I teach 3rd grade in a very small rural school. My students come from a range of backgrounds and have great cultural diversity, even though we are a small school, the population is a beautiful mix. They come from very diverse families, and unique living situations. They embrace each other's differences and they grow and learn as a unit, not too different from a family. Most of my students have started school together in Kindergarten and will stay in school with one another until they graduate high school.
The majority of my students are country kids to the soul-they are hard workers, respectful, considerate, curious and resourceful.
My students are incredibly curious as well- they have well thought out questions about how things work, why things work (or don't). They spend their free time reading about animals, machines, space and the ocean! They are learning to be excellent researchers, problem solvers and critical thinkers.
My students are active in their communities already participating in local organizations like 4-H and playing on local sports teams. These students will one day be exceptional, productive members of our community and our society, armed with new ideas for whatever life throws their way.
The third grade is a pivotal time for learning, and technology plays a huge role in how students learn. This is the year students are required to take state mandated tests, and they are all done electronically. A big issue with this is that not all of my students have equal access to technology. While they have time during the school day to use technology they may not have access at home, which puts them at a disadvantage when testing because a large portion of the testing experience is the knowledge of how to navigate the machine. I have chosen to ask for a Chromebook cart because that is an essential piece to having accessible technology in my classroom. Having the cart means my student will have the Chromebooks to use throughout their entire day, which would give them opportunities for growth in all areas of their academics.
With the Chromebook Cart, my students will have access to programs and websites to enhance their mathematical skills by practicing skills that are targeted to their academic level to assist them in beginning to master multiplication and division facts which are essential in the third grade as the building blocks for the rest of their primary education.
They will also be able to use programs which provide them with real world conflicts and the ability to find solutions to those problems. Students who are struggling with their academics will be afforded the opportunity to build up those skills at their own pace, which will help them to close the gaps in their education. Having access to technology is also 21st century preparedness, meaning the skills they learn on computers as young students, like typing and research, can assist them in jobs and careers as they reach adulthood.
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