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Mr. Parthepan from Los Angeles CA is requesting Technology through DonorsChoose, the #1 classroom funding site for teachers.

The Unnatural Act of Thinking Aloud

My students need a document camera in order to learn the process of critically analyzing primary sources and other historical documents.

  • $925 goal

This project expired on September 2, 2011.

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

History is not the study of what happened in the past. True history is the process of creating your own narrative of what happened in the past based on your own analysis of primary sources from the historical record. And to conduct this personal analysis, higher order literacy skills are needed.

Many of my students struggle with literacy.

Many come from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and along the way have not always gotten the skills they should have received in school to succeed academically. But the goal of the school they attend and I teach at is to prepare them to attend college and put themselves in a position to achieve and lead successful lives. Our school is in an urban area of California known for high dropout rates and a lack of community engagement in its educational institutions. Our charter school seeks to provide an alternative to this status quo and in doing so, attracts highly motivated students who are not short on effort or goals. But the biggest obstacle they face is the fact that they have spent many years not being exposed to high level literacy in English or even Spanish, which is the mother tongue of many of my students' families. One of the primary paths to success I focus on as a history teacher is building the literacy skills they need.

My Project

For students who do not have great literacy skills, reading can be a struggle and lead to disengagement. The major issue is the disconnect between what the text says and what their mind thinks. Being literate does not mean being a fast reader or simply being able to sound out words phonetically. Being literate means taking your own time as you read to fully understand the text. This means asking questions as you read, wondering about what you read, going back and rereading to make sure you understand. Students with low literacy skills need to be actively taught this and get out of the habit of thinking that reading means just getting to the last word as quickly as possible. I have requested a document camera in order to teach students how they should be actively thinking as they read. The document camera will be used to show my thinking aloud. As I read the text, I am saying what is going on in my head and showing them the exact text that leads to these thoughts via the document camera

For me, reading is an enjoyable, thought provoking activity.

And I want all my students to have this opened up to them. For many, reading is a chore. It inspires boredom and apathy. But in reality, boredom arises from a lack of comprehension and apathy can be a form of protest. By being able to model to them what actual reading literacy is, I know they will be on the right track to becoming highly literate themselves. By the end of the year, they will be able to model for me using the camera.

Mr. Parthepan
Grades 9-12
Nearly all students from low‑income households

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24 donors24 donors have given to this project.

This project will reach 130 students.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
AverMedia AVerVision CP300 Document Camera • CDW Inc. $622.14 1 $622.14

Materials cost


Vendor shipping charges


State sales tax


3rd party payment processing fee


Fulfillment labor & materials


Total project cost


Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


24 Donors


Donations toward project cost


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Project Activity

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