I teach seventh grade math and science at a charter school in a high-need community. I have 56 students, all of whom are learning English as a second language. They are very excited about learning, but many of them lack the language and listening skills to listen to explanations and listen to each other.
I also have 4 RSP students, including 3 students with SLD (Specific Learning Disorder) who have auditory processing deficits. These students need to see everything that I say.
I use a lot of manipulatives and visuals in class to help students understand mathematical concepts, but not all manipulatives can be used effectively on an overhead projector. Since seventh grade math uses a lot of positive and negative integers, it is helpful to be able to show manipulatives with different colors, which is easier to do with a document camera. Also, we do a lot of partner and group work in my class so that students can practice speaking about what they are learning, but it is difficult for the students to explain solutions to the whole class when their peers are required to listen without a visual aid.
My students would benefit greatly from having a document camera in the classroom. It would allow them to watch the use of manipulatives as well as watch step-by-step examples in mathematics. A document camera would also allow me to point to color pictures or slides when teaching biology concepts in science. With a document camera, students could easily share their work with their classmates, without requiring each student to work on transparencies, which can become expensive (about $1 each).
Your help will ensure that my seventh graders learn mathematics and science conceptually, rather than just a list of steps. You will also be helping my students to present problems and practice their public speaking skills in English, making them more confident and ready for high school and college. Our class goal is that each student will increase one level on the California Standardized Test, and your gift will help to make that possible.
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