Over the past 3 years, I've had the unique opportunity of teaching Writing and ELA to all sections of the 4th grade at my school in Lewisberry, Pennsylvania. It has truly been an amazing experience thus far! I love the fact, that I get to know each and every student personally. The students are ready and very eager to take on new approaches to learning all of the difficult concepts involved in writing.
My students have the capabilities and strengths already to be amazing writers, but usually enter 4th grade with little or no confidence in writing.
Exposure to a multitude of experiences, helps to bring out this confidence and then allows their skills to develop throughout the year. Their creativity and interest is continually shining through with each project that is completed. As their skills continue to grow, I am in awe with their development over the course of the school year.
My 4th grade students are in great need of a new, classroom set of student-edition dictionaries. Over the past 10 years, I have used the same set of dictionaries with a copyright date of 1983! At first I thought, “Oh that’s not too bad.” But then I did the math, and quite frankly, 35 years-old for a dictionary is …old! That’s a lot of kids, with a lot of hands and a lot of fingers. (approximately 19,260 fingers to be exact!) Can you even begin to imagine all of the words that have developed since 1983? Not to mention, all of the new and/or revised rules relating to etymology that have also emerged.
In a generation that’s nothing less than a digital apocalypse, one might ask, “Why would a writing teacher want to purchase and use hard copies of dictionaries versus an online site which might be a more efficient and effective tool?” My pedagogical beliefs as an educator are backed by students having a multitude of exposures and experiences in everything.
This includes both the school environment as well as the home environment. Thus digital as well as hard copies are equally important. The dictionary provides learning experiences that can not be achieved digitally. The hard copy should be a student’s first exposure and learned before the introduction of the digital dictionary versions. Additionally, most educators at some point in their career are exposed to students whose families might not have the monetary means to afford an internet connection in their home. This is another reason why it is essential that children know the different ways to successfully complete work. A hard copy of a dictionary could always be assigned to these children as an accommodation if needed. The usefulness of this long-time great resource doesn’t just end there.
If you donated to this project, you can sign in to leave a comment for Ms. Sullivan.
DonorsChoose is the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.
As a teacher-founded nonprofit, we're trusted by thousands of teachers and supporters across the country. This classroom request for funding was created by Ms. Sullivan and reviewed by the DonorsChoose team.
DonorsChoose makes it easy for anyone to help a classroom in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America create classroom project requests, and you can give any amount to the project that inspires you.