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Virginia Journal of Education


The Resource


Program Offers Teachers
Computer Discounts

The Virginia Teacher PC Purchase Program gives teachers working full-time in the commonwealth’s public schools the opportunity to buy personal computers through the Virginia Information Technologies Agency (VITA), at the reduced prices the state pays.

Teachers can buy Intel/Microsoft Windows-based products from state suppliers who have agreed to participate in the program. Apple Macintosh products are not currently available, and teachers are limited to one purchase per year.

In addition, the equipment purchased by the state is of “enterprise class” quality, meaning it’s higher quality than standard retail equipment.

To learn more about the Virginia Teacher PC Purchase Program, visit www.vita.virginia.gov/scm/default.aspx?id=87.

 

Curriculum Cleared
for Takeoff

You’ve heard educators talk about “giving kids wings.” One way you might do that is to take the statement very literally and bring aviation principles into your classroom. The Federal Aviation Administration website offers a variety of resources to use flight to excite students about science, technology, engineering and math.

In the Educator’s Corner, you’ll find experiments and activities broken down for different K-12 grade levels, along with games, word puzzles and other classroom exercises. There is an Air Traffic Simulator, which you can use to teach Distance-Rate-Time problems. You can even arrange to have an aviation expert as a guest speaker.

To learn more, go to www.FAA.gov/education/educator_resources/.

 

Getting Right
to the Source

Thanks to a new website from the National Archives, it’s now much easier for your students to access a wide range of primary source documents, including items such as George Washington’s draft of the Constitution, the cancelled check for the purchase of Alaska, and President Nixon’s letter of resignation.

The site, www.DocsTeach.org, features numerous documents along with seven interactive tools designed to teach specific historical thinking skills, such as weighing evidence, interpreting data and ferreting out details. There’s also nearly 2,000 classroom activities created by teachers who’ve used the site.

On the site, educators can: browse or search for documents and activities; customize activities to suit their classroom; create a new activity, which will have its own Web address; and save and organize activities to share with students. Once an activity is set up, students can send their work to the teacher by e-mail.

 

ESL Site Can Help

Working with students whose native language is not English presents its own set of challenges for educators. At EverythingESL.net, you’ll find resources including lesson plans, classroom activities, teaching tips and recommended resources.


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