My students need markers for their hands, headphones for their ears, since, for my kids, learning to read is a multisensory process
My students are ELL's reading (far) below level who come from impoverished and often emotionally difficult backgrounds. They range from first grade to 4th 5th or 6th, depending on which group or groups has the most urgent need in any given year. I work with them in leveled groups of six. For many of these kids a classroom is the most nurturing and safe environment they encounter in a day.
They are eager to learn and appreciative of materials that help them do so.
A fresh box of crayons makes their eyes sparkle. They salivate at the sight of a new purple Expo marker. At a glimpse of a 2-inch eraser they may hyperventilate.
They are creative, hands-on kids who enthusiastically use simple tools to graph out vocabulary, story structure, evidence of sequence, cause and effect, compare and contrast, predictions, in order to READ.
Like all kids, and the kid in all of us, they love a good story. What a thrill when they learn to read it themselves. Recently our class acquired for the first time a set of six chromebooks. They are excited about reading stories on their own now. There's a catch. But more about that later...
It never ceases to amaze me just how tactile my students are, whether it's a first grade group or a fifth grade group, or anything in between. *Tell* them something and their eyes glaze over. But give them a colored marker and it's All Systems Go. The colors absolutely help them see relationships and contrasts. For example , they choose colors to keep track of traits in a Character Analysis chart:
Pat's traits are blue.
Ron's are red.. Hey look! Pat's lazy! Ron's not! Look at all this blue evidence! Pat sleeps late! Doesn't pick up her stuff!
Ron does! Look at all that red evidence! Hey! We could put that on a Venn Diagram! Ms. Hobson, can we have a Green and Blue marker, we're gonna do a contrast chart...
Now about the headphones. As mentioned earlier, our class has recently come into posession of a 6-pack tub of chromebooks, much to their delight. At last they can work a challenging individual reading assignment (they like challenges) on their own level without having to wait for or keep up with anybody else in class.But here's the catch. Our classroom is TINY. Apparently it was designed as a small one person office . But here we are, six or seven groups of kids a day, all grade levels, all crammed around a rickety horseshoe table in this tiny little room. So EVERYTHING is a distraction--the hallway noise, chairs rattling, the kid next to you subvocalizing---in short, for the nice new chromebooks to enhance their learning experience, they need headphones so they can focus. These kids are already lagging behind in their regular classroom, grappling with English , they don't get much support at home, and they need all the help they can get.
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|10 Sony Headphones (BUY 9 GET 1 FREE) • Best Buy Education||$134.90||1||$134.90|
|Expo Low Odor Fine Tip Dry Erase Markers - 12 Color Set • Teachers' School Supply||$23.73||4||$94.92|
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