iPads vs. Textbooks

An essay written by a fifth grader

IPads Vs Textbooks

by Anisha

            Textbooks have become a nuisance for students and school districts across the nation. As technology advances, learning has become more efficient, and children have become more accustomed to devices like iPads. Some school district officials think that textbooks are the way to go, but iPads are obviously the sensible alternative. This course of action will reduce stress on students, save the district resources, and endure a longer period of time than textbooks.

Although a few people may think iPads can be frustratingly slow if overloaded with applications, the majority of people realize that iPads are easier for students to use. Textbooks put considerable weight on a student’s back, which can lead to medical conditions such as scoliosis. With an iPad, on the other hand, the weight on the student’s back is reduced by a large amount. Also, iPads are much more portable than textbooks. In addition, when a student has to pack just one iPad daily rather than four textbooks, the chances of forgetting a book decrease by 75%. On many occasions, I have forgotten to bring my textbook home the night before a test. This made it difficult for me to prepare effectively for the next day’s exam.

These electronic devices can provide an opening for other distractions, but iPads use fewer resources than textbooks. Some people may feel iPads are more expansive than textbooks, but they actually save money in the long run. School districts also have fewer pages to print each year. Unlike textbooks, iPads will allow the school districts to go green. Since there is no paper printed, the Evergreen School District will save the thousands of trees that go into making textbooks and printing paper. iPads will also save students a lot of space in their backpacks and in school. Instead of having thick textbooks, they will have a skinny iPad.

With iPads, there is a slight risk of software corruption; however, iPads do not wear out like textbooks. To begin with, iPads are impossible to rip or tear. On the other hand, as a student flips through textbooks, the pages are easily damaged. iPads also prevent students from writing in answers to questions in textbooks or vandalizing them. With an iPad, each child can think for him or herself without a previous student filling in the answers for them. Lastly, an iPad has no flimsy spine that children can bend and break. This will help the iPads stay in good condition.

Last but not least, using iPads in schools to substitute textbooks is a wonderful way to solve the problems of kids of all ages. This replacement is the most productive and efficient method because it helps students be more at ease, allows the district to conserve resources, and will last a long time. Make the smart choice and replace textbooks with iPads in the Evergreen School District.


A Room of my Own

essay written by a sixth grader

A Room of My Own

by Atti

My baby sister, Annie, has taken up my old room, and I am currently sharing one with Ethan, my younger brother. You may think that I am perfectly fine, but certain circumstances that you do not realize have caused me to ask for my own space. Ethan is completely wild, you favor others over me, and I’ll promise to do my best at school and neatness.

Although you possibly could imagine I should share my “abundant space” with Ethan, my little brother is the ultimate roommate nightmare. As he’s one of the noisiest kids in the universe, his snoring sounds like a cat coughing up hairballs and keeps me up at night. Also, he pesters me, 24/7. While I’m doing my homework, he’ll pop up with his toys and beg me to play with him. Ethan’s also very unhygienic. He’ll stick his crayons up his nose if he thinks that will make him look more like a walrus.

You may think I could work it out with Ethan just by talking to him, however people (and a dog) are having a better life than me. Why Annie needs privacy, I have no idea. She too young to wear makeup, and if she did, it would smear. Besides, she doesn’t even have any hair yet! The dog gets better treatment than me, too. Stink sits on the couch all day, eating popcorn and watching TV.

Maybe you assume that letting me get my own room again is expensive, but I will guarantee that I’ll behave like the perfect child.  I’ll make sure my room keeps spotlessly clean. If you come into my room, you’ll never again find toys or papers on the floor. Besides, haven’t I been getting good grades? I’ve gotten lots of A’s lately! I promise that I’ll be responsible overall. If you find anything wrong with my new room, I’ll gladly fix it as quickly as possible.

I’ve been dividing the room with Ethan after my sister took up my former room. Ethan is no longer tolerable, and I’ve had enough watching others treated like kings while I wallow in the mud.  If you give me a new room, I will be the best kid possible. So don’t bother thinking about it when you can give me my own space back now.


Know Your Audience

Persuasive writing can be hard for students for a number of reasons, but one of the toughest is learning to address their words to the right person. Let’s face it. Thinking adults know that whining and stamping your foot will not work if you are asking the president for tax reform, although some politicians continue to try that approach. Conversely, a well-reasoned, heavily supported position does not work on a two year old. When students are learning to write persuasive essays, their audiences are usually their parents, their teacher, the principal or school board, or the city council.

The first step in choosing the best arguments for a persuasive essay is to determine exactly who the audience is. Who is the person or group responsible for making the decision that will give you what you want? If you want an increase in your allowance, to stay up later at night, or to get a pet, then your audience is your parents. If you want a decrease (or increase) in homework, more field trips, or fewer group projects, then your audience is your teacher. The principal would be the one to address if you want more after-school activities, more assemblies, or to change the playground rules. The school board handles issues such as closing school libraries, laying off teachers, and shutting down (or establishing) a music program. If you want a stop sign installed, cleaner sidewalks, or new parks, then you should write to the city council.

Once the audience is identified, you must get inside their head and determine what their objectons will be. On a city or school board level, the objection is usually money. Parents look out for the well-being of their children. Teachers and principals are focused on student learning. Which of the arguments for your position will work best for your intended audience? If you make a well-reasoned, well-supported argument to the school board about how important your idea is for the well-being of students everywhere, they are most likely to counter with a statement that they still have no money. Your argument may have convinced them, but it has not overcome obstacles and caused action. And that action, of course, is why you are writing.

Below are some arguments students have used for various assignments. Which audience would they be most effective with: parents, teacher, principal, school board, or city?

Write your choice in a comment, and add arguments of your own. Maybe use this space to test out arguments for an essay you’re working on.

* I will do my chores every day if I can have it.

* Streetlight maintenance will go a long way to reducing crime on the streets after dark.

*Reducing the amount of homework will allow students to spend quality time with their parents after dinner.

*Saturday school would cost more money because of the need to run heat and lights, and buses.

*Everyone else is doing it.

*Honor roll assemblies should be reinstated because they recognize achievement and that encourages students.

*School libraries should remain open so that students continue to have a wide variety of opportunities to read for pleasure as well as research.

*School projects should be done in groups because it allows the smarter kids to help the ones who aren’t as good.


On my Kindle: Ranger’s Apprentice #10: The Emperor of Nihon-Ja by John Flanagan


Seeing the Other Side

Students sometimes have difficulty with persuasive writing.  I think that is because students don’t practice persuasion in their daily lives.  They ask and are told no, or they whine.  That’s about it.  A student skilled in the art of persuasion, however, can be refused nothing! (Don’t hold me to that…)

Before you can see the other side of the argument, you need to fully understand your own side.  Brainstorm a list of reasons that support your argument.  Put down all your ideas, even the ones you know aren’t going to work!  One strategy to use for thinking of arguments is the EITHER OR list.  EITHER OR is an acronym to help you remember kinds of persuasive arguments.  Try to think of an example for each of the listed strategies.

Once you’ve done that, you are ready to think about the other side.  Really strong persuasive arguments always counter the other side.  That means you know what objections the person you are trying to persuade will have, and you know how to cancel their argument.  For example, let’s say you are trying to convince your teacher to give less homework.   You’ve got some good ideas, but you know your teacher will say you need to practice what you learn in class every day.  To persuade her, maybe you say homework allows less time to sleep and you need your rest in order to be alert in class.  Check out “Homework” for a student example that ALMOST convinced me to eliminate homework for my class for a week.

Remember that the person you are trying to convince already has an opinion that is different than yours.  If you are going to convince them, you need to lessen their concerns about your idea.

So let’s say you want to convince your parents to give you a bigger allowance.  Coming up with the reasons why you want it is easy.  What will your parents’ objectons be?  Maybe they will say they don’t have the money, or they got that much when they were your age, or you don’t earn that much.  How can you weaken their arguments?  Maybe you offer to use your allowance to buy some of the things your parents buy now, or you convince them that kids have more expenses nowadays, or you promise to do more chores.  THEN they will listen to you!

You try it!  What is one thing you feel strongly about?  Share your  biggest reason why you want it.  Now tell me what the biggest opposition is.  How can you counter that argument?

On my Kindle:  The Fire Within by Chris D’Lacey