Purchase of tablets to assist with classroom instruction

Educator Name: Catherine Seidenglanz
School Name: Hillcrest Elementary

This program focuses on identifying the diverse literacy needs of all 2nd grader at Hillcrest Elementary and attending to individual needs through prescriptive and thoughtful technology applications using Barnes and Noble Tablets (or similar technology) to increase skill, confidence, and engagement. Teachers aspire to give each child exactly what they need. With student need increasing, it has become evident through conferring, analyzing student work, and assessment results, that our daily challenges to meet diverse needs is growing bigger and bigger. Expectations for time, achievement, and productivity for students and teachers are high but somewhat unrealistic without the most relevant resources and support. We believe changing our approach to instruction and using more technology to differentiate and address personal need will get us closer to a true personalized learning state where each student achieves goals at their own pace with appropriate support and resources. We hope Meemic will help us acquire 10 tablets for use the reading and writing workshops allowing all students daily opportunities to extend learning through teacher guided app work, peer collaboration, and attainment of personal achievement goals. Tablets have it all at a more affordable price than the iPad. There are apps for skill work, fluency, enrichment, just right literature, not to mention the appeal and interaction necessary to hook even the most reluctant or unmotivated readers and writers. The availability of updated ready-to-use technology is a critical missing piece in targeted instruction. This causes us to teach and learn in ways that may not be as effective or efficient as they could be. This is frustrating for students and teachers. Simply stated, we believe tablet apps matched to student need with teacher support have the ability to transform the way we teach and learn allowing truly differentiated solutions that can be targeted, monitored, and assessed while engaging students to drive their own achievement. Please consider supporting our 2nd grade literacy program.

In the 2012-12 school year, one teacher will be teaching reading and writing to all second grade students. This program will benefit all students across the grade level instead of just one homeroom. With increased reading time, prescriptive skill work, more engagement, and attainment of personal goals, students will benefit by higher achievement. Students will also benefit by being able to read the most recent books, participate in ground breaking applications that meet their digital generation learning style, and set the pace and re-learn when they need to. Readers will take more control and have more choices in their learning. They will be empowered and responsible leading to more time on task and more overall satisfaction. With personalized learning, students requiring more teacher support will receive it while those who long for independence and devour reading will have their needs met too.

There is a high demand to meet students where they are academically and emotionally and move them forward at their own pace. We know this increases engagement and ultimately achievement and self-worth. Tablets used effectively have the ability to meet the demands of all types of readers from most needy to most gifted. That is awesome! Second grade is a critical time for readers at all levels, especially those below grade level. Strong readers face a likely future of academic success and weak readers face a likely future of academic struggles and frustrations. There is an urgency and responsibility that drives me each day. If our students do not end 2nd grade as strong readers, their career choices decline significantly. We have a one of the most crucial jobs in society to make sure our kids have skills and choices to succeed in life.

This program will be driven by the classroom teacher, district tech support, building principal, parent volunteers, families, and most importantly -- all students in 2nd Grade at Hillcrest Elementary. Progress will be monitored and recorded by the classroom teacher to share results of this program with her school, district, and the global community.