Queensborough Community College, Bayside, NYHigher Education, Lecturer2013, Winter
Mr. Slodounik and several colleagues will study the effectiveness of self-regulated strategy instruction on the teaching of analytical writing in the context of their classrooms. The approach will emphasize explicit instruction, modeling and overt development of self-regulation.
Curtner Elementary School, Milpitas, CAGrades K-5, Special Education2013, Winter
To further impact the classroom, school, and community, Ms. Awai will take the Advanced Training of the Nurtured Heart Approach. The training will allow Ms. Awai to work with students in developing values and character, improving behavioral management, and improving academic performance. Additionally, Ms. Awai will provide workshops to educators and parents during Parent University nights in her school district.
Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Flossmoor, ILGrades K-5, Science2013, Winter
To improve the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum at Homewood-Flossmoor High School, Mr. Svozil will attend the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy at the National Robotics Engineering Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Upon completing the academy, Mr. Svozil will implement a robotics curriculum in his school’s College Engineering course. Students will be exposed to a problem based curriculum that will encourage them to learn core engineering concepts through authentic tasks and situations while building a robot.
To combat childhood obesity and teach students the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, Ms. Garmon will provide students at Judith Giacoma Elementary School with daily healthy snacks and an evidence-based curriculum for healthy eating choices and exercise. Additionally, Ms. Garmon will provide teachers with support and the equipment needed to lead students in daily physical activity. Ultimately, project leaders will create a school environment that values proper nutrition and physical fitness in addition to academic achievement.
To increase student engagement in the sciences and arts, and to integrate families and community members into the lifeblood of the school, Ms. Lerro and her colleagues will introduce the multidisciplinary project “Garden of Dreams in the Bronx.” Students and educators will create a vegetable garden to be used by the school and community and use it as a scientific laboratory and greening project. Cultivating growing spaces will allow students to broaden their hands-on experience in science, math, and the arts.
Booker T. Washington Magnet High School, Montgomery, ALGrades K-5, Law2013, Winter
Dr. McDonald will attend a series of summer institutes to learn engaging and creative ways to incorporate historical and current legal issues into law curricula. Dr. McDonald’s studies will increase his knowledge of history, culture, and the arts by promoting cultural respect and responsive teaching through arts education. Upon returning, Dr. McDonald will incorporate law, writing, culture and the performing arts into instruction that will benefit the entire school community.
Annandale High School, Annandale, VAGrades 9-12, English2013, Winter
English Language Learners at Annandale High School will participate in Washington, DC’s Shakespeare Theater Company’s “Shakespearience” program and produce a staging of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Participants will engage in formal dance and mime instruction to develop expressiveness through movement and blocking. In addition to teaching management and critical thinking skills, the project will address student academic needs by fostering creativity and kinesthetic intelligence.
Eisenhower Elementary School, Green Bay, WIGrades K-5, School Social Worker2013, Winter
Through the “Eisenhower Engagement Program,” Mrs. Winkler and Ms. Schuette will implement research based interventions that focus on increasing student engagement through improving attendance, developing extracurricular activities, reducing behavioral referrals, and increasing parental involvement. Mrs. Winkler and Ms. Schuette will collaborate with teachers to provide interventions that target these areas in order to fully engage students in the learning environment. Ultimately, increased engagement in the learning environment will result in an increase in instructional time and greater academic success.
Central Bucks West High School, Doylestown, PAGrades 9-12, Mathematics2013, Winter
To increase student engagement and interaction, Ms. Walsh and Ms. House will create an “ActivClassroom” through the use of student response systems and dual pens with interactive whiteboards. Students and teachers will receive immediate feedback while working through problems, which will serve as a motivational tool and help improve student comprehension. The technology will allow multiple student responses to occur simultaneously, which will enhance teaching and learning.
Bradbury Heights Elementary School, Capitol Heights, MDGrades K-5, Special Education2013, Winter
To gain a stronger understanding of the effects of globalization on education, Mr. Pacheco will attend the Future of Learning Institute at Harvard University’s School of Education. The workshop will provide Mr. Pacheco with the skills and resources to become a more effective leader by examining how the digital revolution and mind/brain research influence teaching and learning. Upon completing the institute, Mr. Pacheco will share his learning in district wide professional development workshops.
Messalonskee High School, Oakland, MEGrades 9-12, Science2013, Winter
To support the implementation of the Mass Customized Learning (MCL) plan, educators at Messalonskee High School will engage in professional learning communities, attend workshops, and visit peers’ classrooms that have already implemented MCL. Through MCL, students will have individualized education plans to help them achieve rigorous learning standards. Educators trained in MCL will provide students with plans tailored to their specific learning needs and interests.
East Aurora School District, East Aurora, NYGrades K-5, Teacher2013, Winter
Ms. Kibler will implement “The Power of Place Value,” a professional development initiative aimed at increasing student growth in place value understanding. Ms. Kibler will attend the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ Annual Meeting and sessions focusing on sense, place value, and the Common Core Learning Standards. Upon returning to her district, Ms. Kibler will lead colleagues in a program to develop curriculum that will include hands-on learning, instruction, parent communication, school wide activities, and assessment.
Laingsburg High School, Laingsburg, MIGrades 9-12, English2013, Winter
Mrs. Strickland and Ms. Klabuhn will create a paperless classroom and allow students to “Login to Learning.” Students will submit writing assignments through Google Docs, peer groups will revise and edit the writings, and teachers will evaluate assignments online. The emphasis on technology will allow Mrs. Strickland and her colleagues to make class assignments more interactive and allow students to take charge of their learning.
Ella Canavan Elementary School, Medina, OHGrades K-5, Teacher2013, Winter
Through a partnership with Trout Unlimited, Mrs. Dobben’s students will experience the diversity and interdependence of life by examining local waterways. Students will raise trout from eggs to adults, monitor tank water quality, and engage in stream habitat study. The project will allow students to understand ecosystems, appreciate water resources, and begin to foster a conservation ethic.
Oakland Technical High School, Oakland, CAGrades 9-12, English2013, Winter
Through “Health Academy,” Ms. Bailey and Ms. Nixon will teach Oakland Technical High School students about nutritious cooking and its connection to lifelong health. Students will be encouraged to explore the impact of various food choices on the environment and local community. The project will culminate with students teaching their peers about healthy living tips through in class demonstrations, health fair tables, and writing assignments meant for publication.
Fulford Elementary School, North Miami Beach, FLGrades K-5, Math and Science2013, Winter
To increase student achievement and promote collaboration among educators, Ms. Santiago and Ms. Wedderburn will lead a three day weekend retreat for 20 early career teachers and education support professionals. The retreat will include interactive professional development activities that will focus on research in human cognition, the integration of technology into the classroom, and the application of Lesson Study. The participants will incorporate this training into their practices, share with their colleagues, and participate in yearlong follow-up opportunities.
Ms. Nicholson and Mrs. Keck will use Lego robotics sets to enhance student learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math. Students will work collaboratively to design, build, program, and fine tune the functions of the robot. Working collectively, students will use the robots to assess possible solutions to green technology problems and complete specific functions and tasks.
Ms. Erickson Connor and Mr. Schroeder will introduce “Club Ped,” a fitness challenge that will equip students with pedometers and allow them to establish daily goals to increase movement. Students will confirm individual successes and track collective mileage to produce comprehensive statistics. The project will encourage increased student activity and incorporate mathematical models that allow students to fully understand the effectiveness of their fitness initiatives.
Hassan Elementary School, Rogers, MNGrades K-5, School Social Worker2013, Winter
Ms. Schmitz will create a “Mindful Classroom” as a Tier 1 Response to Intervention, with the intent to increase student focus, improve emotional regulation, and enhance interpersonal relationships. Through the implementation of direct instruction and daily practice, students in the classroom will improve academic performance and exhibit fewer absences due to anxiety and fewer aggressive behaviors.
César Chávez School, Portland, ORGrades K-5, School Counselor2013, Winter
Ms. Peake and Mr. Sairanen will lead a group of Advancement Via Individualized Determination (AVID) students in an environmental awareness experience at Oregon State University. Educators at the university will guide activities to expand student knowledge of sustainability, recycling, and clean energy. Upon returning to César Chávez School, students will share their learning with peers and implement a school wide recycling program.
UCLA Community School, Los Angeles, CAGrades K-5, Teacher2013, Winter
To address the wide range of learners in her multiage dual language classroom, Ms. Garcia will implement a reading workshop and create a leveled classroom library. Through daily reading routines, students will develop ownership of their reading in two languages. Students will learn how to pick high interest books at their reading level, build reading stamina, and comprehend text using reading strategies. During independent reading time, students will confer with teachers to set goals and meet in small groups for explicit instruction.
Firebaugh High School, Firebaugh, CAGrades 9-12, Education Support Professional2013, Winter
Mrs. Cunha and Mrs. Robinson will use tablet technology to create small group work centers that focus on math and science instruction. The learning will engage students in the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning modalities. Educators will use appropriate apps to provide students a hands-on learning environment with differentiated instruction that encourages immediate student feedback.
Hibbing Community College, Hibbing, MNHigher Education, Science2013, Winter
Hibbing Community College will partner with two local elementary schools in the Hibbing School District to enhance science learning through hands-on activities for students in first grade classes. Incorporating Minnesota science standards into classroom teaching demonstrations, three different learning sessions will be conducted throughout the year. Mr. Zbikowski will bring demonstration equipment and computer enhanced presentations to the classrooms, working with elementary teachers in the subjects of rocks and geology, simple machines, and mathematical and physical properties using a truss bridge structure.
Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Karbo will partner with students and the community to create a compost garden. Students will learn about the effects of waste on their environment and ways to decrease the amount of waste that is sent to landfills. Students will then use critical thinking skills and problem solving to find waste disposal solutions the can be incorporated locally.
Peter S. Ogden Elementary School, Vancouver, WAGrades K-5, Librarian2013, Winter
Through “Poetry Around Us,” students will study, compose, and present original poetry through an active exploration of their community. Students will shoot digital photographs to pair with their written work, take notes as they observe a variety of settings, and record themselves as they read their poems as part of a multimedia poetry showcase for families and classmates. Integrating technology with speech and language lessons will assist students in gaining a better understanding of the power of poetry as performance art.
Ms. Herrmann and Mrs. Keene will utilize tablet technology as part of their differentiation and intervention process. Students with learning disabilities, as well as general education students, will use the tablets as part of their curriculum in reading, writing, and math. The project will enable Ms. Herrmann and Mrs. Keene to create innovative instruction in content areas that will allow students to meet their Individual Education Plan (IEP) and learning goals.
Riverside Elementary School, Sioux City, IAGrades K-5, Teacher2013, Winter
Mrs. Voegeli will introduce “Finding My Learning Nook,” a technology project that will assist students in math and reading lessons. Math fluency apps will be used daily to improve students’ understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students will also read ebooks that will allow them to practice reading skills at different levels and deepen conceptual understanding. Differentiated instruction will allow Mrs. Voegeli and her colleagues to meet the needs of all students while developing critical thinkers and problem solvers.
Hyde Elementary School, Coraopolis, PAGrades K-5, Special Education2013, Winter
Mrs. Strassner will implement the “Whale Done” behavior modification program to build an effective learning community among staff and students. Students will receive copies of the “Whale Done School” text, which teaches learners to build trust, accentuate positive attitudes, and redirect energy when mistakes occur. By using the practice of redirection, students will learn to overcome the possible negative problems that occur on buses and in classrooms.
Pearl R. Miller Middle School, Kinnelon, NJGrades 6-8, English2013, Winter
Ms. Florio and Ms. Kelly will establish book clubs at Pearl R. Miller Middle School to give students in reading classes access to multiple copies of essential texts. Students in groups will read, share, and discuss high-level reading and thinking strategies. Students will increase reading fluency, stamina, independence, and passion for reading as they are introduced to concepts that will be necessary for college and career readiness.
Alton High School, Alton, ILGrades 9-12, School Social Worker2013, Winter
Ms. Scott and Mrs. Wittman will empower at-risk students to express themselves through music, drama, dance, visual arts, rap, step, and poetry using Creative Art Therapy. Students will study the arts, compose music, record songs, and create dance and step routines. Students’ technological proficiency will improve through the use of graphic design software, camcorders, and music production equipment. The project will culminate with participants sharing their experiences with elementary school students.
Fireside Elementary School, Phoenix, AZGrades K-5, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)2013, Winter
To gain STEM resources to share with her students, Mrs. Gosney will attend the Advanced Space Camp for Educators in Huntsville, Alabama. The camp will expose Mrs. Gosney to intensive classroom, laboratory, and training time focusing on space science and exploration. During the program, Mrs. Gosney will participate in trainings, simulations, and activities designed to promote lifelong learning in classroom settings.
Tualatin High School, Tualatin, ORGrades 9-12, Mathematics2013, Winter
Ms. Hay will participate in the Knapsack Institute, a three-day workshop held in Colorado Springs, Colorado that focuses on inequality and social justice. The institute is an intensive professional development experience that allows educators to develop skills to more effectively communicate around issues of racial equality. Ms. Hay will learn powerful strategies for transforming curriculum and becoming a more culturally competent educator and facilitator.
Michael F. Wallace Middle School, Waterbury, CTGrades K-5, Physical Education2013, Winter
Ms. Phoenix, along with Wallace Middle School’s Positive Behavior Support Committee, will open a school store. By demonstrating positive behavior, students will earn currency that will allow them to purchase products at the store, all of which will encourage physical activity. Through investing in these products, students will learn the value of hard work and saving, as well as the importance of lifelong physical fitness.
Love Chapel Elementary School, Erwin, TNGrades K-5, Music2013, Winter
Dr. Dwyer and Mrs. Hatcher will collaborate with colleagues to design learning centers that will integrate electronic tablet technology into the curriculum of low income kindergarteners. Students will use the tablets in small, differentiated groups utilizing program applications designed to develop reading, writing, and mathematical abilities. Students will interact with stories and songs that promote phonemic awareness and number concepts. Hands-on activities will be created that will assist kindergarteners to achieve school readiness and success.
To address an English Language Learner population struggling to make consistent gains in academic achievement, Ms. Walker and Ms. Moy will lead a continuing collegial study of the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP). Educators will participate in a study circle and be trained in the implementation and evaluation of SIOP and how the tool can improve student achievement. The resulting teaching and learning of English Language Learner (ELL) students will be measured by student language proficiency.
Selma Unified School District, Selma, CAGrades K-5, Resource Specialist2013, Winter
Mrs. Pasillas and Mrs. Breedlove will use iPads to increase the level of Individualized Education Plan (IEP) goal specific instruction, student motivation, and educator productivity in a highly engaging and motivating manner. Students in Tier 3 intensive interventions and speech therapy will have access to educational apps targeted directly at their individual needs. The use of this technology, coupled with effective instruction, will allow struggling students to take a greater individual role in the course of their learning.
Mrs. Whitbred and Mrs. Westra will introduce tablets into their classrooms and create multimedia lessons that will encourage students to think critically and produce ebook narratives, tall tales, poems, and cartoons and share them with their peers. Additionally, students will use the tablets to conduct research for science and social studies group projects.
Mount Washington Elementary School, Mount Washington, KYGrades K-5, Mathematics2013, Winter
Mount Washington Elementary School's Common Core Mastery Team will provide school wide professional development via research based “Thinking Strategies” instruction groups. One of the nation’s leading vessels for mastery of Common Core Standards, “Thinking Strategies” instruction empowers students to think critically, improves classroom engagement, and elevates student achievement. The group will share their learning with colleagues in districts throughout the region and state.
Ferris High School, Spokane, WAGrades 9-12, English2013, Winter
To improve the language arts curriculum at Ferris High School, Mr. Halstead will attend the Teachers’ College Writing Institute at Columbia University. At the workshop, Mr. Halstead will learn strategies for implementing the writing workshop model in his classroom. Upon returning, Mr. Halstead will conduct writing workshops at the school and district level and collaborate with colleagues to implement highly engaging teaching strategies.
Bradley East Elementary School, Bradley, ILGrades K-5, Teacher2013, Winter
Through “The Daily 5,” Mrs. Rizzo and Mrs. Norman-DeSelm will create independent iPad iPod learning centers for reading and math. By adding a technology component to current lessons, educators will encourage student independence and hands-on projects. Tablets iPods will be available to students to use in independent centers and preloaded with specific apps that focus on student needs and allow student choice.
Jefferson Early Childhood Center, Moline, ILGrades K-5, Special Education2013, Winter
Mrs. Shipman and Mrs. Oltman will create an outdoor space to implement early childhood best practices. The cohort will create lessons through Creative Curriculum, a standards based research tool currently implemented at Jefferson Early Childhood Center. Planned activities across subject areas will foster sequenced, developmental growth that correlates with Illinois Early Learning Standards. Through the outdoor learning space, Mrs. Shipman and her colleagues will foster an enriched child-centered learning environment for students, their families, and members of the community.
Global Connections High School, Seatac, WAGrades 9-12, English2013, Winter
To improve teaching practice through more consistent assessment methods, Ms. Schicht and Ms. Weseman will form an Assembly Leadership Team (ALT) at Global Connections High School. The ALT will study standards based grading, collect data regarding grading practices, and ultimately create a shared vision of assessment. Participants will implement a school wide common belief and practice around assessment that will impact every teacher and student.
Pueblo Magnet High School, Tucson, AZGrades 9-12, Exceptional Education2013, Winter
To learn more about inclusive practices in the Common Core general education classroom for students with disabilities, Ms. DeMartino will attend the Model Schools Conference in Washington, DC. At the conference, experts in the field will discuss the elements of effective instruction, provide a roadmap on the development and support of instructional effectiveness, and discuss ways to create a culture of responsibility in schools. Ms. DeMartino will use this knowledge to develop a sustained inclusion program at Pueblo Magnet High School.
Mount Vernon High School, Mount Vernon, OHGrades K-5, Foreign Language Teacher2013, Winter
To embellish the language arts and social studies curriculum at Mount Vernon High School, Mrs. Behrensmeyer will attend an immersive Greek cultural study through the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, Greece. Mrs. Behrensmeyer will study ancient and contemporary art, architecture, engineering, writing, and literature and will share her findings with colleagues. Upon returning, she will create interdisciplinary culture capsules to infuse classics into the total curriculum.
Fremont Public Schools, Fremont, NEGrades K-5, Teacher of the Blind2013, Winter
Mrs. Robinson and Ms. George will create a “Sensory Courtyard” which will offer a unique, hands-on approach to providing greater educational opportunities for students with special needs. The courtyard will offer accessibility for every learner and allow students to have opportunities to actively participate in unique educational experiences. Students will increase their exploration of new textures to awaken their senses and become more productive.
To improve student writing proficiency, Mrs. Stein will attend the Teacher’s College Summer Writing Institute at Columbia University. The institute will offer professional development focused on curriculum development, student writing assistance, and classroom structure creations that support inquiry and collaboration. Upon completing her studies, Mrs. Stein will share her knowledge with colleagues via monthly workshops featuring book talks, in-class lesson studies, and coaching periods.
Bush Middle School, Birmingham, ALGrades 6-8, Mathematics2013, Winter
Through the use of Renaissance Learning software, Ms. Purnell and her colleagues will incorporate technology to address gaps in the critical math skills of students with learning disabilities. Daily use of the Accelerated Math program will enable students to receive personalized intervention and targeted instruction, which will lead to greater conceptual understanding.
Rincon High School, Tucson, AZGrades 9-12, Exceptional Education2013, Winter
To learn about life centered career education, Mrs. Van Gelder will attend a series of sessions taught by leaders in the field of special education. The sessions will focus on transition assessments, social skills instruction, life centered career education, and behavior modification strategies. Upon completing this learning, Mrs. Van Gelder will present best practices at collegial workshops and train other special educators to utilize essential strategies.
Miami Beach Senior High School, Miami Beach, FLGrades 9-12, Social Studies2013, Winter
Ms. Garcia and Mrs. Bush will provide a group of Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) students with curricular support, career exploration, and academic enrichment opportunities through a series of field trips in the Miami metropolitan area. Activities in the program will focus on writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization, and reading. Assignments will highlight financial planning, scholarships, and the college application process while also preparing students with the skills necessary for future work environments. The program will culminate with student reflections that allow them to analyze their thoughts, feelings, and acquired skills.
Joy Elementary, Fairbanks, AKGrades K-5, Physical Education / Health2013, Winter
To gain a wealth of new knowledge and current best practices to share with physical educators across the state, Ms. Myrum will attend the American Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance national conference. Knowledge obtained at this conference will be used immediately to improve classroom instruction. Additionally, Ms. Myrum will present findings from the conference to her colleagues at the local, regional, and state levels.
Peter S. Ogden Elementary School, Vancouver, WAGrades K-5, Mathematics2013, Winter
Through “Poetry Around Us,” students will study, compose, and present original poetry through an active exploration of their community. Students will shoot digital photographs to pair with their written work, take notes as they observe a variety of settings, and record themselves as they read their poems as part of a multimedia poetry showcase for families and classmates. Integrating technology with speech and language lessons will assist students in gaining a better understanding of the power of poetry as performance art.
Mt. Pilchuck Elementary School, Lake Stevens, WAGrades K-5, Special Education2013, Winter
To appeal to young learners by engaging their visual, auditory, and tactile senses, Mrs. Wyant and Ms. Janowiak will introduce interactive whiteboards into their classrooms. Working with general education students, special education students will be exposed to developmentally appropriate materials that will meet the needs of all learners. Whiteboard technology will assist Mrs. Wyant and her colleagues in meeting the individual and specific needs of students at all levels and improving student understanding of core concepts.
Clarksburg High School, Clarksburg, MDGrades 9-12, Computers / Technology2013, Winter
Mr. Sell and Ms. Amberg will broaden the scope of the current curriculum in Clarksburg High School’s Introductory Computer Science course by introducing robotic technology. Students will be exposed to computer programming and analytical thinking by working with Finch robots. Mr. Sell will teach foundational computer science lessons while fostering student creativity, as students learn problem solving, critical thinking, and basic programming concepts in an innovative way.
Mr. Sanders and Mrs. Wagoner will implement interactive whiteboard technology in their classrooms. Educators will focus on reading and writing lessons that will result in increased comprehension and understanding of subject material. Ultimately, Mr. Shoals and Mrs. Wagoner will enhance instructional knowledge and practice, increase student engagement in learning, and promote staff support and collaboration.
Glastonbury High School, Glastonbury, CTGrades 9-12, Reading, Spelling, Writing2012, Winter
Alexandru will conduct multiple sessions with foreign language teachers within
her school district. The sessions will focus on curriculum development that
will incorporate efficient interpretive reading strategies in daily instruction
that will be reflected in all common summative assessments. Additionally, the
group plans to develop student assessments that measure increased oral language
Southeast Local School District, Ravenna, OHGrades 9-12, Computers / Technology2012, Winter
improve technological proficiency among educators within the Southeast Local
School District, Mr. Farmakidis will share with colleagues a series of teaching
models which focus on integrating technological applications into teacher
pedagogies. Throughout the course of the learning, Mr. Farmakidis will assist
colleagues in an ongoing pedagogical shift to fully and effectively integrate
technology into all K-12 classrooms across the curriculum.
Annandale High School, Annandale, VAGrades 9-12, Arts2012, Winter
“Theatre Without Borders” brings non-native English speakers to the stage
Annandale High has one of the most diverse student populations of any Fairfax County, VA school. With students from Central and South America, West and East Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, many students must juggle academics with learning a new language and settling into a new home, a new school, and an unfamiliar culture.
To offer her students a creative outlet for learning, ESOL teacher Leslie Chekin created “Theatre Without Borders.” Its purpose? To allow students to study classical theater, literature, and most importantly, English. Since participating in the program, almost all of our 40 students have significantly improved test scores on the state’s English language proficiency (ELP).
The program started small nine years ago, with no budget for a stage and most sets and costumes paid for out of pocket. “We had applied for a county grant, but there was no money,” Chekin said. Then last fall, Chekin and her partner, Michelle Picard, received a $5,000 Student Achievement Grant from the NEA Foundation. With it, Chekin and her colleagues in the performing arts department transformed the existing old program into what she describes as a “total theater concept,” exposing students to all aspects of theater, from design and stage management to lights and sound.
Like almost everything in education, change came gradually. Her students’ first challenge was to conquer stage fright. Every student must audition, even for a non-speaking role. They learn about acting, directing, public speaking, and organizing publicity campaigns, as well as each play’s themes, characters, and plot.
“During my first year in the program, everything about theater was challenging,” said student Fabiola Alba. “I couldn’t even pronounce my lines.” But she persevered, and has now performed in and even directed a handful of Shakespeare’s plays. “It wasn’t easy,” she said, but by the year’s end, her language skills had dramatically improved.
“After you perform his plays, Shakespeare is always going to be something important in your life,” said Carlos Portillo, another student. “I’m still part of the program and am not ready to leave it yet,” said Andrea Albarracin, who discovered that working together is the key to a successful performance. Their foray into the literary titan’s works was not blind. Students attended performances at the Shakespeare Theatre Company and Gala Hispanic Theatre in Washington, D.C. They even performed their own mini-production of “All’s Well That Ends Well” for visiting representatives of the Shakespeare Theatre Company.
With each production came its own internal drama, according to Chekin. Many of her students struggle with the displacement of moving, learning a new language, and difficult home lives. But in overcoming challenges together, they gain important life skills. “They see themselves as a company,” she said. “That feeling of pride and identity? They pass that on to each other.”
The program may be the only exposure to theater and the performing arts these students have ever received. It also serves a larger purpose. “The real hurdles to graduation, in particular for students coming from other countries, are math and English,” Chekin said. In February, the class completed the state’s ELP test. “All of the kids, except for two or three, moved up an entire level, if not higher,” she said. One student later became a certified lights technician. Another became a student ambassador to the Shakespeare Theatre Company, and returned after graduating to lead an interactive workshop on “Much Ado About Nothing.”
“There used to be a barrier between performing arts and ESL students,” Chekin said. Now, the theater crew has earned a small following in the community. “They have a reputation for being hysterically funny and unpredictable,” Chekin said. Last year’s performances of “The Taming of the Shrew” and “Macbeth” drew audiences of 200-300 people. In 2012, the show goes on, as a new company of students aim to create their own interpretation of the classics.
Rancho Verde High School, Moreno Valley, CAGrades 9-12, Social Studies2012, Winter
Bootsma and Mrs. Vansant will introduce vertically-teamed, collaborative AP
social studies and AP English classes at Rancho Verde High School. Eight
collaborative team teachers will be granted self initiated workshops that will
enable them to vertically align both social studies and English standards. Educators
will implement learned strategies by grade level and across curriculum.
Hall-Woodward Elementary, Winston Salem, NCGrades K-5, Education Support Professional2012, Spring
Dempsey Moore will participate in the “Maximizing Leadership Potential”
workshop at the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro, North
Carolina. Through the workshop, Ms.
Dempsey Moore will prepare to become an effective teacher leader through the
examination of self awareness, learning agility, communication, and
influence. Additionally, Ms. Dempsey
Moore will learn to navigate conflict management and professional relationship
building. The methods learned will be
shared with other educators at Hall-Woodward Elementary upon completion of the
PS 327 Dr. Rose B. English School, Brooklyn, NYGrades K-5, Computers / Technology2012, Spring
Ms. Butler will implement a digitized interactive
curriculum to deliver personalized lesson plans and homework assignments to students. The system will manage all elements of
teaching, learning, and assessment while allowing Ms. Butler to remain at the
center of instruction. Students will
learn while taking part in multimedia activities featuring state of the art
animations, games, creative explorations, and collaborative projects. The project
will ultimately improve student test scores and increase student confidence,
motivation, and enjoyment of math and language arts
Odessa Elementary School, New Port Richey, FLGrades K-5, Special Education2012, Spring
Mrs. Robinson and her colleagues will
introduce learning activities that pair students with autism with basic
education students. The project will
serve to enhance academic learning and communication and social skills for both
groups. Students will gain a deeper
understanding of one another while working together in the areas of reading,
writing, science, and social studies.
Saint Anthony Park Elementary, Saint Paul, MNGrades K-5, Arts2012, Spring
Ollmann will embark on an immersive cultural and Spanish language study in
Guatemala and Mexico. Through the
University of Mexico, Mr. Ollmann will take part in an intensive study of the
Spanish language as well as take elective courses in Mexican history, culture,
and dance. Throughout the study, Mr.
Ollmann will blog about his learning and, upon returning, share his experiences
with colleagues through workshop presentations.
Hillcrest Elementary School, San Francisco, CAGrades K-5, English2012, Spring
deepen her understanding of assessment based literacy instruction that supports
emerging readers who are English language learners, Ms. Martinez will attend
the Reading Institute hosted by Teachers College Reading and Writing Project at
Columbia University. Upon completion,
Ms. Martinez will infuse her classroom with a rich, literature based bilingual
reading workshop and share her learning with grade level colleagues during
weekly collaboration meetings.
Stagg Street Elementary School, Van Nuys, CAGrades K-5, Science2012, Spring
Through the “Science is Real Life”
project, Ms. Arellano and her colleagues will bring grade level standards to
life by introducing students to the Los Angeles Conservation Corp’s Sea
Lab. Students will see the water cycle
in action through direct observation and discussion. Participation in active science laboratories
will allow students to become immersed in scientific lessons and make
connections between the lessons and their own lives.
Northgate Middle/Senior High School, Pittsburgh, PAGrades K-5, Science2012, Spring
students at Northgate High School will enhance laboratory learning through the
incorporation of iPads in the lab setting.
Tablet simulations will portray volatile chemical reactions and
molecular interactivity and allow students to visualize molecules and
stereoisomers. Mrs. Boring and Mrs.
Coughenour will make available video content that will extend learning beyond
the classroom and increase student interest in the study of science.
Indiana School for the Blind, Indianapolis, INGrades 6-8, Special Education2012, Spring
Masih will travel to Finland to study a school for the visually impaired and
discuss with educators instructional strategies for working with visually
impaired students. During her travels
Mrs. Masih will blog about her learning so her middle school world cultures
class can read about it during the school year. Upon return, Mrs. Masih will share new strategies and policy ideas with
teachers at the Indiana School for the Blind and with other educators in her
Mason County Middle School, Maysville, KYGrades 6-8, Science2012, Spring
Bowling will present two workshops at the National Science Teachers Association’s
Regional Conference. In the first
workshop, Mrs. Bowling will teach colleagues how to incorporate social networks
in science classes; in the second workshop, she will discuss the use of
chemistry demonstrations to spark student interest and kick off a unit of study
on the structure and transformation of matter. Additionally, Mrs. Bowling will attend sessions focusing on the integration
of the new Common Core Literacy Standards into science content area. The information learned at the sessions will
be shared within her district through a professional learning community.
Ponderosa Elementary School, Sunnyvale, CAGrades K-5, Reading, Spelling, Writing2012, Spring
Dodson will lead a professional learning community at Ponderosa Elementary
School in implementing the “Reader’s Workshop.” Colleagues will collaboratively develop an implementation plan for an
improved school wide language arts program.
Support will be provided to students through traditional books and an
online program assessing reading comprehension.
Bartlett High School, Anchorage, AKGrades 9-12, Reading, Spelling, Writing2012, Spring
To improve student reading and writing
proficiency, educators at Bartlett High School and its feeder elementary and
middle schools will implement the “Step Up to Writing” program as a school wide
initiative. The cohesive writing program
will provide students with a common set of skills and vocabulary to discuss
reading and writing. Language arts
educators initially trained in the program’s implementation will train
educators in all other subject areas.
Norwich High School, Norwich, NYGrades 9-12, Social Studies2012, Spring
Maholchic will attend the AP Annual Conference, where she will present the
seminar “Teaching Timed Writing: A Gradual Release Model.” During the session, she will share strategies
that she has developed in her classroom to improve student writing in a timed
setting. Additionally, Ms. Maholchic
will attend seminars on ways to strengthen the AP program at her school and
explore new classroom strategies. Upon completing
the conference, Ms. Maholchic will share new ideas and strategies with her
Russell Area Technology Center, Russell, KYGrades 9-12, Computers / Technology2012, Spring
To encourage students to become technology
leaders, educators at Russell Area Technology Center will implement the “SMART
Classroom Suite.” Through the use of
SMART boards, students will work collaboratively on educational games and
discussion questions. Furthermore,
students will expand their view of technology as a social and professional tool
and take initiative in contributing to the design of classroom lessons.
Magnolia Middle School, Meridian, MSGrades 6-8, Mathematics2012, Spring
Through the “Pass Path to Math
Achievement” project, students will meet the demands of Magnolia Middle
School’s 21st century technology goals. Mrs. Cole and Mrs. Webb will appeal to students’ enthusiasm for
technology to improve their math understanding with PassKey self-pacing mathematics software. Through daily use of this technology,
students will manage the pace of their personal learning processes.
Hall Memorial School, Willington, CTGrades K-5, Reading, Spelling, Writing2012, Spring
Hennessey will attend the Columbia University Teacher’s College writing
institute to gain a stronger understanding of research based strategies that
will improve writing curriculums and strengthen students’ writing
abilities. Ms. Hennessey will use the
knowledge gained at the training to address school improvement initiatives with
the intent to improve student proficiency in language arts.
Beacon Day Treatment, River Rouge, MIGrades 9-12, Special Education2012, Spring
To increase student understanding of
math and science, Ms. Fanelli and Mr. Wachtel will work with students to
collect data in laboratory experiments, analyze the data, describe mathematical
phenomena, and design experiments to explore self directed, open ended
questions. Students will also work with
educators to become fluent in mathematical language and equipment. Ultimately, each student will pose his or her
own research question, design an appropriate experiment, and analyze and
explain the results.
Mrs. Thompson will introduce iPads into
her language arts classes to help better meet students’ needs as they improve
their speaking, listening, viewing, and media literacy skills. Students will engage in differentiated
learning projects and work in collaborative groups. Ultimately students will display an ability to
fully process the information-rich world they inhabit and increase their
engagement in language arts lessons.
Adams-Friendship Area Schools, Friendship, WIGrades K-5, Computers / Technology2012, Spring
increase literacy skills through the strategic use of technology and digital
media to produce a school wide news program. The program will present students with life and career skills including
self direction, flexibility, adaptability, productivity, and
responsibility. In addition to the news
program, student journalists will produce an online newsletter to be shared
with their classmates.
Frank West Elementary School, Bakersfield, CAGrades K-5, Mathematics2012, Spring
Mrs. Feldt, Mrs. Cannon, and a team of
colleagues will strengthen math lessons by teaching the “Han-5 System of
Mathematics,” a program with differing strategies for visual, kinesthetic, and
auditory learners to master basic math concepts. Students will learn to skip count fluently,
multiply, divide and solve several types of algorithms. The team will focus on ensuring that all
students are proficient in math and aware of the importance of math in their
Hawthorne Elementary School, Madison, WAGrades K-5, Reading, Spelling, Writing2012, Spring
Ms. Kluetzman and Ms.
Funk will integrate iPod Touches in their classrooms to support and enhance
student vocabulary development and reading comprehension. Students will use the tablets to participate
in white board activities, listen to stories and songs in support of
comprehensive strategies, and use applications for vocabulary and early reading
skill development. Hands-on activities
will be designed to appeal to underperforming students in an effort to improve
students’ language arts proficiencies.
Nathan Hale High School, Seattle, WAGrades 9-12, Science2012, Spring
Ms. Walker will study at
Mexico’s El Eden Biological Preserve, where she will gain field research skills
and gather baseline data on the biodiversity of the area. Work will be conducted with a team of teacher
researchers to learn field method protocols and tools and contribute to an
analysis of conservation biology issues. Throughout the learning, Ms. Walker will blog about her learning
experiences and apply new field study skills in working with colleagues to
design field research opportunities for her biology students.
South Ripley Elementary School, Versailles, INGrades 6-8, Science2012, Spring
Mrs. Dennis and Mrs. Gilpin will
introduce a project based learning experience through which students will
determine the best alternative energy source to use on school property. Students will research different “green”
energy methods, draft informative papers, and write persuasive articles to
change energy use in their school and community. Students will work with sustainable energy
experts in the community to better understand the workings of renewable
energies and to determine the best option to be implemented at South Ripley
Thornwood High School, South Holland, ILGrades 9-12, Special Education2012, Spring
Mrs. Liberio and Mrs. Hoekstra will
introduce touch screen technology to encourage increased academic participation
and communication by special needs students diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s,
nonverbal learning disorders, and learning difficulties. Students will gain instructional information
by kinesthetically, visually, and auditorially increasing their awareness of
surrounding environments. The use of
iPads will allow nonverbal students to become members of a highly social
technological environment and will provide them with a conduit to communicate
in the classroom more effectively.
Maple Elementary School, West Bloomfield, MIGrades K-5, Reading, Spelling, Writing2012, Spring
Mrs. Estes and Mrs. Miller will use
iPads to improve ESL and Title I student achievement in reading and
writing. Conferences between educators
and individual students will be used to record student writing samples both
digitally and observationally. Educators
will use digital photos and notes to revisit students’ writing samples,
determine areas of focus, and collect data for whole group instruction. Student samples will ultimately be shared
during parent-teacher conferences throughout the school year.
Lincoln County School District, Newport, ORGrades K-5, Science2012, Spring
County School District will partner with the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Westwind
Stewardship Group, and Willamette University to facilitate a two day science
workshop for district educators. Participants will engage in field studies of unique biological communities
as they learn innovative strategies for teaching ocean literacy. Teacher leaders will be identified in ocean
literacy and will work with Willamette faculty and Oregon Coast Aquarium staff to
conduct teacher research and lead their schools in implementing instruction
tied to science, math, and literacy content standards.
Holt Public Schools, Holt, MIGrades 9-12, Mathematics2012, Spring
of mathematics educators will conduct lesson study to develop instructional
practices across middle and high school grades that support students'
engagement in a Mathematical Practice Standard from the Common Core State
Standards. The cohort will collaborate
to plan, teach, observe and revise one lesson for each grade level to develop
students' problem solving abilities.
Washington County Career Center, Marietta, OHGrades 9-12, English2012, Spring
To assist students in
fully developing the cultural literacy necessary to excel in AP English, Mr.
Koons will introduce Kindle Fires in the classroom. The tablets will provide students with
dictionary search functions that will enable them to annotate unfamiliar words,
literary and cultural allusions, and other information essential to a deeper
understanding of written works during class reading and research. Students will greatly enhance their
understanding of material that would otherwise be ignored or misunderstood.
Denton Middle School, Mobile, ALGrades 6-8, Science2012, Spring
To spark student interest in science,
technology, engineering, and math, Mrs. Loper and Ms. Williams will introduce
“Pathway to STEM,” a hands-on technology project. The project will combine local and state
standards from all core content areas to develop critical thinking skills through
habits of inquiry and self directed learning.
Students will develop a passion for STEM subject matter and will develop
communication and cooperative learning skills via critical reflection and
Hilltonia Middle School, Columbus, OHGrades 6-8, Science2012, Spring
School educators and students will participate in the “Indoor Gardens” project
as the initial step in creating a foundation for improving student literacy and
achievement. The educators will
integrate learning through the use of hydroponic and vertical garden systems in
classrooms. Utilizing the knowledge,
expertise, and equipment gained through the project, school staff will develop
integrated lessons to engage and challenge students while increasing literacy
Athens State University, Athens, ALHigher Education, Education Support Professional2012, Spring
novice teachers become more effective classroom practitioners, Athens State
University will partner with surrounding school districts to implement the
“Tying Excellence with Accountability Mentorship” program. The program will provide recent graduates of
the Athens State College of Education with ongoing support from faculty mentors
to assist with the link between theory and practice. Through collaboration with mentors, educators
will work to reduce feelings of isolation and stress, increase job satisfaction
and performance, and improve retention.
Saranac Lake High School, Saranac Lake, NYGrades 9-12, Science2012, Winter
Clicking Into Engaging Science Lessons
When Amanda Zullo began teaching a multi-grade high school chemistry class, she knew she needed to change the way her class worked to meet the needs of a wider range of students. With no prerequisites, the Regents chemistry course placed in the same classroom “the valedictorian and the kids who are hoping to meet the graduation requirements,” she says. “It challenged me to try different ways of teaching to reach the broadest group of students possible.”
Zullo shifted to an inquiry-based model of classroom instruction, one in which students work together in groups to solve open-ended problems. To ensure students were on task, she walked from group to group to check for understanding. But she knew that spot checks “based on gut” weren’t enough to ensure that all students were learning.
In searching for a solution, Zullo discovered a counterintuitive corollary about technology and teaching: finding a tool to quickly gauge student understanding paved the way for more open-ended, deeper learning.
Through the NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grant, Zullo obtained a classroom set of “clickers,” a system of handheld devices that students use to respond to questions posed during class. The system compiles the results and pinpoints which students are struggling to understand key concepts, allowing Zullo to focus on helping exactly who needs it.
“You could tell if the kids were on target as they were doing these projects,” she says. “It immediately took the fear factor out of spending a day teaching kids something they may or may not learn from. With this, I can just find out on the spot and adjust on the fly to make sure everyone’s on target with the learning goals at hand.”
Zullo worked with other science and math teachers to learn how to use the system, which has also helped spark classroom discussion. “A teacher could borrow the laptop from the library, pick up the clickers and bring them to their classroom and use them,” Zullo says. “It became very seamless.” Collaboration on the technology also opened the door for collaboration in the classroom, as Zullo began co-teaching lessons with an Algebra teacher. “As we found this was effective, we were encouraged to try more and broader things,” she says.
The technology has also helped focus tutoring in the school’s after school library program, which is overseen by educational support staff. “You can export reports from the system and see what kids got right and wrong,” Zullo says. “That way, the students come into the library after school and get help with what they need. It’s helped realign that support with the classroom expectations.”
All told, 300 students and 15 teachers have used the clickers since they were introduced in March 2012. Zullo saw the number of critical thinking statements included in student lab reports increase by 45 percent; this is a significant increase and is what new standards such as the Common Core State Standards aspire to achieve.
The clicker has facilitated formative assessment of student understanding, higher-order and cross-disciplinary instruction, and more aligned afterschool supports—all of these are known by research to contribute to higher-student achievement. Zullo adds, however, that an equally important shift occurred—she became a more “reflective” teacher. That is, with the reports generated by the clickers, she had access to a new source of data and information that she could use to reflect on and tweak her practice. In her own words, “In the end, the reflection on what’s happening in your classroom is really valuable.”
Fowler will attend the New and Aspiring
School Leaders program at Harvard University. Through the program, Mr. Fowler will gain new
tools, frameworks, leadership techniques, instructional practice techniques,
and ideas to more effectively build and sustain learning environments. Upon
program completion, Mr. Fowler will share his knowledge with staff and
administrators within his district.
Techie Teachers, Mrs. Tardif will
undergo Smart Notebook Certification Training. The training will provide Mrs.
Tardif with the skills necessary to fully utilize her school’s technology equipment
as educational tools. Upon completing the training, Mrs. Tardif will provide
materials and training for her colleagues within a collaborative study group.
East Stroudsburg Area High School South, East Stroudsburg, PAGrades 9-12, General Pedagogical Practice2012, Winter
improve the quality of education for ESL and Hispanic heritage students, Ms.
Rasely-Philipps and her colleagues will develop an academic group at school
that will foster personal and cultural connections as well as academic and
career choices. The group will study methods of teaching across cultures and
develop a mentorship program that connects students with area professionals to
improve retention and graduation rates among Hispanic students. The group will
work in the future to build like programs for other at-risk populations.
Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VAHigher Education, Education Support Professional2012, Spring
Eckhoff will guide a teacher learning community of recent graduates as they
navigate their first teaching year in a primary grades classroom. Acting as a participant observer, Dr. Eckhoff
will facilitate face-to-face and virtual meetings, collect group artifacts,
preserve transcripts from meetings, visit community members' classrooms, and
maintain field notes documenting the work of the community throughout the
year. Through the implementation and
documentation of the community, Dr. Eckhoff will contribute to understandings
of the impact of such groups on novice teachers' identities and teaching
practices as they navigate the complexities of contemporary, early childhood
Edward J. Milliken Technical Center, Oakdale, NYGrades 9-12, Physical Education2012, Spring
To learn about the benefits of community
service and personal health, Ms. Gottlieb and Mr. Audiino will lead a group of
students in becoming certified personal fitness trainers. Participating students will visit other
schools and design lessons to teach fellow students the importance of fitness
and health and the impact they have on peoples’ lives. Ultimately, Ms. Gottlieb and Mr. Audiino will
include students at other local schools in the initiative.
South High School, Minneapolis, MNGrades 9-12, Education Support Professional2012, Spring
improve communications with students and parents from the growing Somali
community in Minneapolis, Ms. Bouche and Ms. Koskela will study the Somali
language. Through the language study,
Ms. Bouche and Ms. Koskela will better bridge the current language gap and
provide assistance to their Somali students. The project will allow the team to better understand concepts, language
comprehension, and the Somali culture.
Sierra Madre School - Elementary Campus, Sierra Madre, CAGrades K-5, Reading, Spelling, Writing2012, Spring
Halpern will attend the Summer Literacy Institute at Lesley University to
create reading and writing workshops, focusing on improving student achievement
in both reading comprehension and writing nonfiction text. After the institute, Ms. Halpern and
colleagues will infuse nonfiction text into collegial workshops to prepare for
the transition to the Common Core Standards. Ms. Halpern will devise innovative teacher-student workshops that
embrace informational text while transitioning from the current fiction-focused
University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NYHigher Education, Social Studies2012, Spring
Dr. Morreale will present “Community
Resources,” a multidisciplinary service learning course that will engage
students in their living and learning communities. Through critical reflection, students will be
provided with international, national, and local perspectives of the causes and
challenges of poverty and homelessness. Students will gain problem solving skills through self directed
learning, community service, the creation of a public service announcement, and
reflective group discussion.
William K. Willis High School, Columbus, OHGrades 9-12, Literature2012, Spring
Mr. Steinbower will
attend the National Council for Teachers of English Assembly on Literature for
Adolescents Conference to learn methods in which to incorporate popular young
adult literature into classroom lessons. Upon completing the conference, Mr. Steinbower and colleagues will work
with visiting authors to improve literacy in underserved populations at Willis
High School and surrounding schools. Results of the study will be shared with colleagues via articles
published in several state wide education newsletters.
Troy School, North Troy, VTGrades K-5, Science2012, Spring
Mrs. Nemeth and Mrs.
Boutin will introduce a “grow lab” in their kindergarten and 1st grade
classrooms. Students will study and
monitor the evolution of various plants by planting, cultivating, and
harvesting multiple species. Throughout
the project, students will be encouraged to cultivate a respect for the natural
world and a lifelong appreciation for healthy and sustainable living.
JFK Middle School, Hudson, MAGrades 6-8, Science2012, Spring
JFK Middle School students will
participate in the conservation of the Blanding’s turtle, a threatened species
in eastern Massachusetts. In
collaboration with wildlife biologists, students will raise and care for
hatchlings which will be released upon maturation and tracked via radio
transmitters. Students will learn about
scientific research methods, turtle ecology and biology, and the complexities
of species conservation.
Harry Russell Elementary, West Carrollton, OHGrades K-5, Science2012, Spring
Bowman will participate in Earth Expeditions, a global conservation and
education program that promotes inquiry based learning and experiences for
students. Mrs. Bowman will learn in the field
with other educators and conservationists from around the world. Upon completion of the expedition, she will
share her knowledge by leading first grade students in an inquiry based
Ed W. Clark High School, Las Vegas, NVGrades 9-12, Science2012, Spring
prepare students for the competitive 21st century economy, Ms. Vine will attend
the National Science Teachers Association STEM Forum and Expo, at which she
will present a hands-on workshop about successful informal initiatives and
community programs. The conference will
also provide Ms. Vine the opportunity to meet with equipment specialists,
attend hands-on training sessions, and collaborate and strategize with other
professionals about current programs and their outcomes.
Lebanon High School, Lebanon, NHGrades 9-12, Computers / Technology2012, Spring
“Community Wellness through Digital Art”
will expand Lebanon High School’s art offerings to include the use of digital
tools. Ms. Clary and her colleagues will
expand students’ technology resources and provide a diverse group of student
artists a new opportunity in which to explore their creative processes. Students will be charged with completing
projects thematically focusing on community wellness. Project results will be shared with the
community through a digital art show and website.
Garfield High School, Seattle, WAGrades 9-12, History2012, Spring
To understand the
importance of Seattle’s International District in the displacement of Japanese
Americans during World War II, Mrs. Woodward and Mr. Lovre will lead a school
wide common book project. Garfield High
School students and faculty will read the novel Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet and learn about the events
that led to the establishment of internment camps in the United States. Students will articulate causes of the internment,
ways to prevent future injustices, and alternative solutions for conflict
mediation among various groups or people.
Denver Place Elementary, Wilmington, OHGrades K-5, Science2012, Spring
a partnership with the Cincinnati Zoo, Miami University, and Project Dragonfly,
Mrs. Randolph will travel to Belize to take part in Earth Expeditions. Mrs. Randolph will participate in investigations
to monitor manatee population dynamics, human influence on coral reefs, and
aquatic mangrove species sampling. Expedition leaders will emphasize use of inquiry based learning to
generate knowledge of conservation. After the expedition, Mrs. Randolph will develop inquiry based science
units to introduce students to marine ecosystems, problem solving through
inquiry, and conservation themes.
Randolph Middle School, Randolph, NJGrades 6-8, Special Education2012, Spring
Zschack and a colleague will travel to Thailand to volunteer at an orphanage
that was created amid the destruction of the 2004 tsunami. Through this immersive cultural experience,
Ms. Zschack will gain knowledge in the fields of special education, history,
and language arts. Upon return, Ms.
Zschack will implement a service based learning project that will bring to
light the struggles of children in foreign cultures.
Lake Weir High School, Ocala, FLGrades 9-12, Special Education2012, Spring
students who have failed state reading tests, Mrs. Brazell-Smith will attend a
dyslexia screening seminar. After
completing the seminar, Mrs. Brazell-Smith will equip educators at Lake Weir
High School with effective strategies to identify dyslexic students, including
a basic screening. The screening will
enable educators to identify students with learning disabilities and present
them with accommodations in the classroom and on state tests.
Packard Children's Hospital School, Palo Alto, CAGrades 9-12, Literature2012, Spring
provide hospitalized students with engaging and imaginative curriculums, Ms. Ho
will attend the Oxbridge Academic Teacher's Seminar on Literature and the
Fantastic. The seminar will focus on
classic fantasy novels and the influence of Oxford on their authors. After completing the seminar, Ms. Ho will
develop curriculum for a fantasy literature course focusing on escapism and imagination. Additionally, Ms. Ho will share knowledge
with colleagues in her school, district, and hospital schools throughout the
Osage Elementary School, Voorhees, NJGrades K-5, Arts2012, Spring
Wormann will complete the initial “Level of Musicianship and Leadership”
program through Music For People, in which she will seek to promote a humanistic
approach to the way music is taught, performed, and appreciated. The program will allow Ms. Wormann to
establish a base of improvisational techniques and competencies and learn to
facilitate these skills to benefit students and fellow music teachers. The learning will be documented through
journals, audio recordings, and collaborations with mentors in the
W. Charles Akins High School, Austin, TXGrades 9-12, Mathematics2012, Spring
equipped with reading, writing, and behavior documentation applications, W.
Charles Akins High School Social Behavioral Skills (SSBS) students will improve
their reading and writing achievement, behavioral choices, and social skills in
academic settings. Mrs. Newcomb and her
colleagues will use behavioral applications to document, collect, and interpret
data that will be used to make Individual Educational Plan decisions. Staff will ultimately collaborate with
parents to address truancy, poor study habits, social skills, and other chronic
behavior problems endemic to the SSBS student population.
Liberty Elementary School, Santa Maria, CAGrades K-5, English2012, Spring
Second grade teachers at Liberty
Elementary School will expose students to interactive hands-on visual projects
to improve student understanding of the school’s comprehensive language arts
program. Educators will create and
provide interactive vocabulary activities to expand the English learners’ language
base. The ultimate goal will be to
encourage students to speak using newly learned language as frequently as
possible while making connections and building comprehension.
Red Hill Elementary School, North Garden, VAGrades K-5, Education Support Professional2012, Spring
White and Ms. Hilker will lead a study group focusing on the use of
differentiation through the discussion of proactive, purposeful, responsive, and
learner centered instruction. The group
will target specific concepts and strategies related to differentiation using
modified lesson study methods as a means of collaboration, implementation, and
reflection. After creating and
delivering collaborative assessments, projects, and lessons, teachers will
evaluate and refine these products to more effectively differentiate
Chambersburg Area High School, Chambersburg, PAGrades 9-12, Science2012, Spring
Mr. McKenry will
implement an “Adopt-a-Stream” classroom project in order to improve student
achievement in genetic and ecology lessons and foster a conservation ethic in
students. Students will take care of and
monitor a local stream in order to determine its health and will propose steps
to conserve and improve the aquatic resource.
Project participants will raise trout in the classroom to investigate
growth and development and analyze ecological relationships between living and
nonliving entities in an aquatic ecosystem.
Montezuma Elementary School, Montezuma, INGrades K-5, History2012, Spring
McMullen will travel to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum to attend
the annual Arthur and Rochelle Belfer National Conference for Educators. Museum educators and scholars will share
rationales, strategies, and approaches for presenting the complex subject of
the Holocaust to students. Mrs.
McMullen will hear survivor testimony and have extensive time to view the
museum's permanent exhibitions. Seminar
sessions will emphasize planning and implementing units of study for Holocaust
The Renaissance Charter School, Jackson Heights, NYGrades K-5, English2012, Spring
Ms. Tubridy will introduce “Poets for
Change,” a personal inquiry and poetry project that will use poetry and
research as a vehicle from promoting change in students’ lives. Senior ELA students will study the form and
craft of poetry and learn performance techniques. During the school’s Experiential Learning
Week, a team of students will train for city poetry slams, and student
anthologies will be printed to culminate the project.
Siegel High School, Murfreesboro, TNGrades 9-12, Science2012, Spring
Siegel High School agriculture
students will gain experience in water conservation techniques by designing and
planting a riparian buffer along a local creek. Students will assess the need for reducing runoff and increasing
infiltration for a limestone dominated landscape. Mrs. Farrow and Ms. Hooper will provide the
service learning opportunity as part of their agriscience and landscaping
classes and will share the outcomes of the project with the local school board,
colleagues, and members of the community.
Fresno County Office of Education, Fresno, CAHigher Education, Special Education2012, Spring
Special education teachers will use
iPads to increase student learning and collaboration among educators. Through a hands-on approach to community
based learning, educators will present practical lessons on social and
communication skills. Students will
additionally learn through vocational trainings that focus on students’ ability
to live independently.
Jane Addams Elementary School, Palatine, ILGrades K-5, Mathematics2012, Spring
To foster student creativity, Mrs.
Galezewski will encourage elementary students to participate in the creative
process through musical composition. Students will first observe educators composing music and then will
write collaborative compositions through the use of learned musical knowledge
and technology. Students will ultimately
compose individual or small group pieces and perform them on recorders,
xylophones, and other classroom instruments.
Washington Community Schools, Washington, IAGrades 6-8, Special Education2012, Spring
To increase the reading proficiency of
underperforming and special education students, Mrs. Spencer and Mrs. Kinsinger
will expand the “System 44 Reading” program. Through the program, students will be exposed
to small group instruction, independent reading assignments, and computer
lessons. The process will emphasize the
phonetic skills needed to become an independent reader. Upon completion of the program, students will
possess the strategies needed to decode unfamiliar words.
St. Paul Music Academy, Saint Paul, MNGrades K-5, Arts2012, Spring
Kelly will collaborate with Arpita Chatterjee, a licensed music educator in
India, for a musical exchange that will inform both educators of the technical
and cultural methods used in various forms of music. Ms. Kelly and Ms. Chatterjee will develop a
pilot music and English language acquisition project using American folk music. Additionally, Ms. Chatterjee will assist Ms.
Kelly in developing a music unit studying the musical styles of classical folk
and Bollywood Indian music.
Pocomoke Middle School, Pocomoke City, MDGrades 6-8, Computers / Technology2012, Spring
To address varying readiness levels and
interests, educators at Pocomoke Middle School will introduce iPads in
classrooms to provide instructional methods that draw on students’
interests. Educators will use instant
feedback to prepare for lessons and modify instruction to improve student
engagement. In addition, Mrs. Ziglejeva
and her colleagues will look for students to express higher levels of intrinsic
motivation, productivity, autonomy, achievement, and self competence.
HB Woodlawn School, Arlington, VAGrades 9-12, Education Support Professional2012, Spring
Dr. Van Evera will lead
a collegial reading group focused on building a sense of community among staff
members and understanding how data analysis techniques can be used to guide
continuous school improvement. Group
readings will focus on school environment as an essential element of high
quality learning. After the reading is
complete, the group will create an action plan for HB Woodlawn School based on
learning and data collected.
To foster a deeper appreciation of the language arts, Ms. Lavergne’s fourth grade special needs students will participate in an accelerated writing and publishing institute and produce books. Students will use digital technology and publishing software to design the layout of their publications and develop marketing tools for publicity purposes. A copy of each author's completed manuscript will be sent to the Library of Congress to be cataloged in the archive.
Fourth grade students struggling with reading comprehension will be responsible for compiling The Chilly Press, a student publication of current events and interviews. Students will read about and report on current events, interview teachers on classroom activities, and write articles with the assistance of specialized reading and writing tools available through the Solo literacy suite. Solo will help students construct meaning of text through text-to-speech support and graphic organizers, and support students through brainstorming, organizing, and writing a first draft.
PS 18 JG Whittier, Staten Island, NYGrades K-5, English2011, Winter
Mrs. Cafiso and Mrs. Mahoney will create a classroom library to encourage students to read. Classroom lessons will focus on phonics based instruction aimed toward English language learners. Students will ultimately create a series of bilingual books which will be displayed in the classroom library.
Kirk L. Adams Elementary School, Las Vegas, NVGrades K-5, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Mrs. Brockett will lead a professional learning community in the study of differentiated instruction. The project will support teachers by allowing them to explore specific site based educational needs. Group members will collaborate regularly to identify student needs and improve student learning.
Gordon Russell Middle School, Gresham, ORGrades 6-8, English2011, Winter
Ms. Hargaden will attend Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project in the summer of 2011. Upon returning, she will lead a team reading and writing workshop at her school to implement and refine an approach to literacy instruction. Ms. Hargaden will stage in service training for colleagues and will implement her learning in the classroom.
Bancroft Middle School, San Leandro, CAGrades 6-8, Science2011, Winter
Mr. Junsay and Ms. Rosenkrantz will employ the Qwizdom student response system in seventh grade science classes during a unit on cell biology. Each student will be provided with an electronic clicker so that he or she can respond to multiple choice and short response questions posed during discussions, lectures, and a review prior to the formal assessment on cells. The response system will be utilized to increase student engagement during classes, and provide immediate feedback to students.
Edgewood Community Developmental School, Goldsboro, NCGrades 9-12, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Ms. Narron and Ms. Sanders will establish a yearlong induction program for paraprofessionals at Edgewood Community Developmental School. To help new paraprofessionals become more effective in classrooms, learning communities will use reflection, skill enhancement, and education policy and law research. Ultimately, teacher assistants will create an exit portfolio and a manual to share with other educators in similar environments.
Wakefield High School, Arlington, VAGrades 9-12, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
In order to increase the Latino graduation rate at Wakefield High School, teachers will develop relationships with Latino families through the Wakefield Home Visit Project. Teachers of English language learners, special education students, and ninth grade students will make one hundred visits to family homes by the time the 2011-12 school year begins. Through this voluntary experience, the educators hope that parents will grow to trust them more and respond positively to invitations to participate more in school events related to their children’s academic progress.
College Gate Elementary School, Anchorage, AKGrades K-5, Science2011, Winter
Ms. Helmer and Ms. Dowling will collaborate to integrate science content with reading, reasoning, research, and writing skills. The project will provide hands on experiences for first grade at risk students enabling them to develop content knowledge, literacy skills, vocabulary, and inquiry skills through reading fiction and nonfiction selections. Students will be provided with a take-home backpack meant to facilitate family participation in students' learning experiences.
Maywood Elementary, Maywood, CAGrades K-5, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
To gain a greater understanding of early intervention strategies, Mrs. Navarrete will attend the seminar Powerful Early Intervention Strategies to Help Students Struggling with Reading and Writing through the Bureau of Education and Research. Upon completion, Mrs. Navarrete will share her learning with her colleagues, who will then implement the best teaching practices in their classrooms to improve student achievement.
View Acres Elementary School students will design and develop a large vegetable and native plant garden as part of a new staff-initiated science program that is based on state science standards, student inquiry, and project based learning. Lessons focused on the garden will engage students in learning about the cycles and structures of plants and animals, the interaction of living things with their environment, concepts of sustainability through organic gardening, composting, recycling and renewable resources, and nutrition. Students will learn about hunger issues and discover the importance of community service as they donate the food they grow to a local food pantry.
Culdesac Joint School District #342, Culdesac, IDGrades 9-12, Science2011, Winter
Ms. Schultz and Mrs. Spears’ seventh through twelfth grade classrooms will use engineering strategies to think critically and use problem solving skills to deepen their knowledge of science and social studies. Students will conduct inquiry based investigations to find solutions to contemporary technological issues.
Cambridge Elementary School, San Antonio, TXGrades K-5, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Mrs. Walker will attend the Connecting the Mind, Brain and Education Institute on brain research at Harvard University. At the institute, Mrs. Walker will work with experts in the area of brain research to design and plan specific ways to use cutting edge research to improve classroom instruction. Upon completion of the institute, Mrs. Walker will lead a staff development session on brain activity at her school.
Woodland Park High School, Woodland Park, COGrades 9-12, Science2011, Winter
Through the Mastery Learning program, Woodland Park High School students will study chemistry by collaborating with one another, viewing lectures on video podcasts, and performing hands on inquiry experiments. Mr. Bergmann and Mrs. Devaux will introduce the program in their freshman earth science and astronomy classes to promote active student participation in every facet of science education.
Dirigo Elementary School, Peru, MEGrades K-5, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Mrs. Elliot will lead a collegial study in Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK), a framework for increasing technology integration. After an overview of the TPCK model and exposure to several sample units, teachers will work in grade level teams to create a binder of units that integrate technology. The teachers will also share the units during in service workshops with colleagues throughout the district.
Thurston High School, Redford, MIGrades 9-12, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
To enhance her media literacy, Mrs. Clayton will attend the National Association of Media Literacy Education’s Biennial Conference. Participants will learn to engage students in the use of media technology and consumption so that they may participate globally in political, financial, and educational discussions. Sessions at the workshop will provide attendees with technology learning opportunities that they can immediately use in their classrooms.
Scottsboro High School, Scottsboro, ALGrades 9-12, Science2011, Winter
Ms. Townsend and Mrs. Stills will implement “The Chemical Magic Show,” in which high school students will act as chemistry teachers in elementary school classrooms. The project will allow students to display their scientific and creative skills in presenting complex information to early learners. The primary objective of the “show” is to provide a younger audience of special education students with a view of their older peers working collaboratively to enjoy learning science.
Ms. Caulfield will attend Columbia University’s Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP), a leading educational institute in advancing teaching techniques that align with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). After attending the seminar, Ms. Caulfield will use her newly acquired knowledge to enhance the learning of her students and support her colleagues in applying the CCSS.
Mrs. Gruis and Mrs. Rother will introduce Where Everybody Belongs (WEB), a middle school transition program that helps sixth grade students feel comfortable throughout the first year of their middle school experience. WEB will foster a belief that students want to and can help other students succeed. The WEB middle school transition program will train educators to train members of the eighth grade class to be WEB Leaders.
Central Lakes College, Brainerd, MNHigher Education, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Mr. Reeser will attend the Certified Welding Educator Seminar and Examination. As a result, he will be able to provide students with improved learning experiences and better evaluations and assessments. The increased standards will provide students with a real world example of welding evaluation which they will receive in their careers.
Students at Potowmack will participate in a new math instructional program entitled Math Through Music. As part of the program, students will sing and dance to the sounds of educator Dr. Jean, who has created motivating songs to teach young children math skills and concepts. Students will also visit math listening centers and borrow materials to use at home in order to allow their parents to be involved in the program.
Hulstrom Options School, Northglenn, COGrades 6-8, Social Studies2011, Winter
Through Generation 2 Generation, Hulstrom Options’ students will help preserve and document local history through podcasting, video logging, and artifact curation. Students will work with senior veterans to digitize more than 4,500 artifacts dating from the pre-Civil War era to the present. The work will be shared with the Colorado Historic Society and the Library of Congress.
Wilder Elementary School, Grand Forks, NDGrades K-5, Social Studies2011, Winter
Wilder Elementary students will engage in technology rich experiences with opportunities for creativity, problem solving, critical thinking, and decision making using iPad tablets. Partnerships with pre-service teachers at the University of North Dakota and connections with individuals in other countries will help students to recognize the importance of effective communication and to understand and appreciate cultural diversity. The knowledge gained from these experiences will help improve student learning and assist students in developing important life skills.
Baldwinsville Central School District, Baldwinsville, NYGrades K-5, English2011, Winter
Ms. Oaks will attend the five-day Summer Reading Institute at Columbia University's Teachers College Reading and Writing Project to gain the tools needed to implement a successful reading workshop model in her classroom. Upon completion of the institute, Ms. Oaks will share what she has learned with her district's Reading Workshop Committee and will support the committee's efforts to implement reading workshops throughout the district.
Armada High School, Armada, MIGrades 9-12, Science2011, Winter
Through continued efforts to establish Armada High School as a green education leader in the state of Michigan, Mrs. Veit and Mr. Defever will lead a school wide renewable energy program. The project will allow all students to take part in hands on opportunities to explore wind, solar, and alternative energy options. Students will work collaboratively with the local farming community to turn agricultural byproducts into biomass energy and explore the science behind heating homes through sustainable means.
Hilliard City Schools, Columbus, OHGrades K-5, Mathematics2011, Winter
Mrs. Stover and Mrs. Marsh’s students will learn how to solve open ended, differentiated mathematics problems. Through inquiry exploration, students will engage in whole group, cooperative group, and independent learning opportunities. Students will develop and engage in critical thinking and problem solving, and as a result deepen their knowledge of mathematical subject matter.
Jefferson Davis Middle School, Jacksonville, FLGrades 6-8, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Ms. Moore will attend the 2011 National Science Teacher Association conference and learn strategies to bridge the learning gaps students are experiencing in earth and life science. Ms. Moore and her department expect content retention to increase and student test scores to improve. Ms. Moore will share what she has learned with her colleagues and provide support for her department in implementing the strategies learned at the workshops.
Physics students at HB Woodlawn School will investigate the feasibility of generating electricity using wind turbines. Students will first receive instruction on the physics of wind turbine design and then coach middle school students working in groups to build a highly efficient turbine blade. Using a high speed camera, middle and high school students will analyze and modify blade effectiveness. The results will be reported to the Arlington Government's Community Energy Forum, which is currently investigating ways to reduce reliance on carbon for energy production.
Columbia Heights Elementary, San Antonio, TXGrades K-5, Science2011, Spring
Mrs. Tejada and Mrs. Root will lead students in the expansion of a school garden. By planning and cultivating the garden, student will observe the life cycle of plants and will understand the origins of the vegetables they eat. Additionally, rain barrels will be installed, which will allow students to learn about rain water harvesting and water conservation.
Licking Heights Central Middle School, Pataskala, OHGrades 6-8, Computers / Technology2011, Spring
Mr. Wetzel will attend a SMART Certified Training to gain an understanding of the full capabilities of the interactive whiteboards at Licking Heights Central Middle School. Post training, Mr. Wetzel will train colleagues on effective whiteboard use and will incorporate this knowledge into his instruction.
Carlton Hills Elementary, Santee, CAGrades K-5, Mathematics2011, Spring
Ms. Stotz and Ms. McCurdy will enhance reading and math lessons through the use of the TeacherMate system, a technology designed for differentiated and individualized instruction in elementary classrooms. Students will work in teams of six and partake in small group activities aimed at improving reading and math performance, particularly for students who have learning disabilities or are English language learners.
Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids, MIGrades K-5, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Spring
Four members of the Grand Rapids Public Schools staff will attain certification as behavior analysts, requiring intense training in effective instruction for students with autism. In obtaining this certification, the colleagues will provide ongoing training and professional development for the rest of the schools’ program staff in addition to providing higher quality instruction for students. Eventually, the training will be expanded throughout the entire school district.
Washington School, West Orange, NJGrades 9-12, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Spring
Mr. Yonitch will attend a cultural and language program in Peru, where he will live with a host family and attend Spanish language classes. Upon completion, Mr. Yonitch will return to Washington School and share his knowledge with colleagues and students, sixty-five percent of whom are native Spanish speakers.
Camino Nuevo Charter Academy, Los Angeles, CAGrades K-5, English2011, Spring
Ms. Montano will attend the Columbia Teachers’ College Summer Workshop to improve her classroom practice so that she can provide her predominantly Latino student population with culturally relevant stories. Upon returning from the workshop, Ms. Montano’s students will engage in a series of writing activities that will help them explore authentic and meaningful narratives of themselves, their families, and their communities.
New Hope Learning Center, New Hope, MNGrades K-5, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Spring
Mr. Givand will investigate the use of technology in several school districts in Minnesota in an attempt to understand its relationship to student achievement. In addition to examining the best practices of effective technology integration, Mr. Givand will examine potential costs and cost savings associated with the hardware and strategies that other districts have implemented.
Springfield Middle School, Holland, OHGrades 6-8, Mathematics2011, Spring
Through “Virtual Book Buddies,” eighth grade students at Springfield Middle School will create digital storybooks. Students will record themselves reading the books aloud and the recordings will be used as learning tools to assist kindergarten readers. Through this collaborative multi school project, Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Merrill-Wyatt hope to improve reading performance by both kindergarten and eighth grade students.
Norcrest Elementary, Pompano Beach, FLGrades K-5, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Spring
Norcrest Elementary School educators will implement the International Baccalaureate/Primary Years Programme (IBPYP) in all grade levels and with all students. The IBPYP aims to develop inquiring, knowledgeable, and caring young people. Educators at Norcrest Elementary will be trained in the process and will subsequently implement it with students.
Carroll T. Overton Elementary School, Salisbury, NCGrades K-5, Social Studies2011, Spring
Mrs. Green and Mrs. Rutherford will expose students to nineteenth century culture through a visit to the historic Biltmore Estate and Grounds. Through hands on interactive lessons, students will discover the rich history that exists within the walls of the estate and understand the significance of the Vanderbilt family’s impact on architecture, agriculture, landscaping, and innovation.
Gower Middle School, Burr Ridge, ILGrades K-5, English2011, Spring
Mrs. Dewese will attend the Science Education for Public Understanding (SEPUP) Academy in Silverthorne, Colorado. While there, she will study literacy strategies that support reading comprehension as well as written, oral, and media literacy; technology tools; assessments of students’ performance; uses of issues based curriculum to teach science; and uses of science notebooks. Upon returning from the workshop, Mrs. Dewese will share her knowledge with her colleagues at Gower Middle School and implement the SEPUP program.
Van Asselt Elementary, Seattle, WAGrades K-5, Mathematics2011, Spring
Students at Van Asselt Elementary will increase math proficiency through hands on exercises. Scales will be used in math classes at all grade levels for measurement practice, with an emphasis on algebra understanding at the intermediate grade levels. Students will use board games to practice concepts, both in and out of class. Ultimately, Ms. Wilson and Ms. Munger will help students understand the connection between math and science through the inclusion of deeper problem solving opportunities.
Yale Elementary, Ariel, WAGrades K-5, Science2011, Spring
Students at Yale Elementary and community volunteers create and maintain an outdoor organic learning center. The center will allow students to view and interact with numerous living systems. The hub of the learning center will be a greenhouse, which will promote organic gardening by allowing students to plant flowers and vegetables throughout the year.
Integrated Arts Academy at H.O. Wheeler School, Burlington, VTGrades K-5, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Spring
To help provide students and staff at The Integrated Arts Academy with the most current, professional school nursing knowledge and skills in the specialty practice of school nursing, Mrs. Mongeon will attend the National Association of School Nurses' Annual Conference. The conference will feature breakout sessions, panel discussions, and poster presentations, all of which will address multiple aspects of school nursing. Mrs. Mongeon will increase her knowledge of children with special health care needs and the importance of being part of a collaborative, coordinated health care team. She will share this knowledge with her colleagues through district wide in-service trainings.
Potomac Senior High, Dumfries, VAGrades 9-12, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Spring
To better communicate with an increasing Spanish speaking population at Potomac Senior High, Mr. Williams will travel to Guatemala to participate in The Casa Xelaju’s three week Spanish Immersion Program. The program will require five hours of daily classroom instruction using the curriculum of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Additionally, Mr. Williams will live with a Guatemalan family and will participate in field trips to understand local cultures and customs.
Draughn High, Valdese, NCGrades 9-12, Social Studies2011, Spring
In a collaboration of language arts and social studies classes, Draughn High students will conduct oral history projects based on student interests and class assignments. These projects will require students to identify subjects, create questions, conduct interviews, transcribe interview information, and archive the material into the school's ongoing collection. Students will additionally work to archive and preserve previously gathered oral history interviews.
Goshen Lane Elementary, Gahanna, OHGrades K-5, Computers / Technology2011, Spring
To address the necessity of technological literacy in successful twenty first century learners, Ms. Snyder and Ms. Stoll will provide students with interactive multimedia technology via iPads and laptops. The devices will be used to support academic needs, provide classroom accommodations for students with disabilities, and engage students in a multisensory approach to learning.
Farms Intermediate School, Brighton, MIGrades K-5, Social Studies2011, Spring
Mr. Kukan and Mrs. Markby will implement the “Global Perspective Project,” which will provide students with a hands on approach to social studies learning. Students will focus on the “where” and “why” of the world and on the people and cultures of Latin America, the United States, and Canada. Additionally, students will be able to utilize active reading strategies and apply these strategies to the everyday reading and understanding of informational and nonfiction text.
Anaconda High School, Anaconda, MTGrades K-5, Mathematics2011, Spring
To reduce student risk factors and promote student achievement, Mrs. Kissell will implement the “Teachers Teaching Teachers” project at Anaconda High School. Mrs. Kissell will lead a collegial study within the math department with the goals of improving student learning and addressing state math standards. Through monthly meetings, the staff will align curriculum, purchase supplemental learning materials, and be trained on existing technology.
The Quest Center, Hollywood, FLGrades K-5, Social Studies2011, Fall
Music for special needs
To improve the communication skills of students with profound special
needs, including those with autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy,
Dr. David Lazerson and his co-applicant, Cindy Frost, implemented a
music program in special education classes.
The team used software to assist students in understanding the nuances of simple
instruments, and eventually, learning and playing songs. Students interacted with members of their community through song and
dance performances at senior centers, other schools, and a local
Lake Louise Elementary School, Palatine, ILGrades K-5, Arts2011, Fall
Digital storytelling with iPad2s
Laurie Scarpelli's fifth and sixth grade music class at Lake Louise Elementary School in Palatine, IL, combined eBooks applications on iPad2's with nursery rhymes to inspire a love of reading and to build 21st century skills in their counterparts in lower grades at their school. Watch how they created digital stories with pictures, text, and student-performed piano accompaniment and vocals as a teaching tool that they used with younger students.
Scarpelli and her co-applicant Marianne Rakoczy received a $5,000 Student Achievement grant from the NEA Foundation to complete this project.
Tualatin High School, Tualatin, ORGrades 9-12, Social Studies2011, Winter
Ms. Hay will attend the White Privilege Conference, hosted by the Minnesota Justice Collaborative. Knowledge acquired through the conference will be applied to Ms. Hay’s curriculum in her course Race in 21st Century America, in which students study issues of racial identity development and the social construction of race, racial disparities, and white privilege.
Mrs. Spencer and Mr. Goffin will challenge students to become independent learners capable of meeting their personal goals. Through the use of iPads and available applications, students will identify life goals and research the math skills needed to accomplish these goals. Students will examine course requirements and pre-requisites for the goals and will then work backwards to discover the math skills they will need.
Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, Oak Bluffs, MAGrades 9-12, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Mr. Baer and Mrs. Holter will lead a program which will connect U.S. teachers with teachers in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa to explore best practices for equipping students with the 21st-century skills needed to thrive in an increasingly integrated global community. A pilot study group will explore educational approaches with teachers in different countries and provide students with opportunities to interact with international peers. Ultimately, an online network will be established through which the groups can continue to exchange educational resources.
McKinley High School, Baton Rouge, LAGrades 9-12, Mathematics2011, Winter
Ms. Faulk will attend the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference to participate in sessions designed to build stronger teacher content knowledge, student-teacher relationships, parent-teacher relationships, and hands on learning experiences. After the conference, Ms. Faulk will share her knowledge with her colleagues and document the impact of the new teaching methods.
Environmental Academy of Research Technology and Earth Science, Newbury Park, CAGrades 6-8, Science2011, Winter
Students at EARTHS Magnet School will embark on real and virtual journeys to different biomes in California to conduct environmental research. Students will study the water sources and watersheds in each biome and collect data, photos, and videos on water supply, native plants, weather, and animals. After comparing each biome, students will chronicle their observations in science journals and prepare presentations to share with parents and the community.
Trezevant High School, Memphis, TNGrades 9-12, Social Studies2011, Winter
Mr. McFerren and Mr. Lee’s students will research issues relevant to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, including geographic locations, historic landmarks, museums, and prominent attractions. Students will study statistical data of past collegiate African Americans and compare it to the present to calculate predictions of future enrollment. The students will also visit Historically Black Colleges and Universities in three cities, write reflective journals, and create a video documentary depicting milestones in African American education.
Northern High School, Durham, NCGrades 9-12, English2011, Winter
Ms. Alcorn will study language and literacy learning in the lives of urban youth by taking the Hip Hop, Youth Culture, and Critical Pedagogy course at Middlebury College. Through her work, Ms. Alcorn will develop a better understanding of the powerful oral and written communication many youth engage in through their participation in hip hop and youth culture. Upon completing this course, Ms. Alcorn will share her findings with colleagues and apply them to students in her English classes.
Bowie State University, Bowie, MDHigher Education, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Dr. Robertson will examine the impact of preparatory tools in improving student performance on the Graduate Record Exam. The goal of the research is to determine if prior preparation improves performance in the specific areas with which students struggle. By pinpointing the challenging areas, faculty members will integrate additional pedagogical tools in their courses with the goal of improving student performance.
Redan Elementary School, Lithonia, GAGrades K-5, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Dr. Cuspard will attend the ASCD Annual Conference to enhance her knowledge about learning opportunities that help educators create better schools and improve teaching and learning programs. The learning will assist Dr. Cuspard in her position as Redan Elementary’s professional learning community leader and parent liaison.
Muskegon Public School, Muskegon, MIGrades 6-8, Special Education2011, Winter
Teachers in Muskegon County school districts will implement Camp Shout Out, a multi-layered learning environment for children who stutter, their families, and speech therapists. Speech therapists will be trained by board certified fluency specialists who have dedicated their careers to helping people with this problem.
Seneca Valley Intermediate High School, Harmony, PAGrades 6-8, Science2011, Winter
In an effort to reinforce the importance of outdoor learning, Mrs. McMurray will lead classroom sessions in local state parks. By raising student awareness of the natural world and motivating students to become engaged in natural resource management practices, Mrs. McMurray and her colleagues will create a project that will effectively engage students in environmental education.
North Ridgeville City Schools, North Ridgeville, OHGrades 6-8, Social Studies2011, Winter
The Job Skills Exposure Program will teach special education students the job skills they need in order to gain employment. To help determine necessary skills, students will be taken to potential employers and exposed to various jobs. Classroom instruction will further hone skills and help strengthen oral and written communication abilities.
University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Little Rock, ARHigher Education, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Through the project PALS, Dr. McAdams and colleagues will expand on research about the use of live dogs in elementary reading programs. Recent results indicate that with the PALS programs, literacy scores increased up to thirty five percent compared to children who participated in reading activities without dogs. The team will determine how valid this program is when used in a rural, low socioeconomic community, and study the efficacy of canine presence as a significant variable in reading skills.
Black River Middle School, Chester, NJGrades 6-8, English2011, Winter
Mr. Pizzo and Mrs. Aiello will lead a professional learning community to reinforce writing as a skill integral to all curricula. Exemplary lead teachers in the district will team with professionals from the College of Saint Elizabeth not only to provide training for teachers in all disciplines, but also to conduct action research to determine both the successes of the project and the areas to be addressed in the future.
Kealakehe High School, Kailua-Kona, HIGrades 9-12, Social Studies2011, Winter
Mr. Brown and Mr. Buongiorno will implement a yearlong collaborative project that will challenge students to apply what they learn about comparative politics and international relations through simulating United Nations’ sessions. In addition to formal research papers and presentations, students will provide the community with information regarding the U.N. and other international issues.
Dorris Intermediate School, Collinsville, ILGrades 6-8, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Mrs. Ritchie will attend the National Institute of Trauma and Loss in Children’s Practitioners’ Assembly and learn new methods of providing services to students and staff during crisis situations. As a member of the district’s Help and Response Team (HART), the assembly will provide Mrs. Ritchie the tools necessary in assisting individuals who have experienced traumatic events.
Independence High School, Bakersfield, CAGrades 9-12, Science2011, Winter
Through Project Robo-Class, Mr. Crosby will begin a robotics club in the Autism Department at Independence High School. Through the use of Lego robotics kits and instructional software, students will develop experiential knowledge of robotic mechanics.
Fox Road Elementary School, Raleigh, NCGrades K-5, English2011, Winter
Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Watson will implement guided reading as the primary method of literacy instruction at all grade levels at Fox Road Elementary School. Educators will provide targeted instruction to students in small groups, allowing individual students to learn the reading strategies they lack. Sets of guided reading texts will be purchased to supplement materials currently in use.
Winchester Village Elementary School, Indianapolis, INGrades K-5, English2011, Winter
To address Winchester Village’s large number of English language learners who are refugees from Burma, Mrs. Tunis and Mrs. Dillon will guide students in utilizing iPad and Smartboard technology to become published authors. Students will write their own original bilingual books and share them with peers who are less proficient in English. Through peer interaction, native Chin speakers will become more confident in reading and writing English.
State University of New York at Geneseo, Geneseo, NYHigher Education, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Through a collaborative partnership with county emergency medical services, Dr. Rozalski and Dr. Urso will be prepared to train pre-service teachers to respond to emergency situations and to manage safe environments for medically fragile children in school settings. Teachers will learn CPR/AED and strategies for working with medically fragile students. Through training additional instructors and up to fifty pre-service teachers per semester, the project will expand to support the training of all pre-service teacher candidates at SUNY Geneseo's School of Education.
West High School, Anchorage, AKGrades 9-12, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Ms. Wailey and a team of colleagues will learn TPR Storytelling, a language method which allows educators to reach out to struggling students. Team members will conduct monthly meetings to discuss techniques and progress. The educators will each conduct webinar presentations and save them to a newly created website. Upon completing the training, they will use the TPR methods in the classroom and report their findings.
West Broadway Elementary School, Madisonville, KYGrades K-5, English2011, Winter
Second grade students will work cooperatively to create a successful and informative school newspaper for West Broadway Elementary School. The project will aid students in making real world connections between the outside world, the local community, and the school. Students will gain a sense of accomplishment while simultaneously increasing writing skills.
Morgan Elementary School, Morgan, UTGrades K-5, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
The entire Morgan Elementary School faculty will study the book How to Give Effective Feedback to Your Students by Susan Brookhart. Collaborative teams will review the text, the research, and student and classroom data over the course of the year to support implementation of the principles of effective feedback. The study and implementation will be supported by text, DVD training, coaching, and learning walks.
Cohen Middle School, Elmira Heights, NYGrades 6-8, Arts2011, Winter
The Making Music Modern Project will engage music students at Cohen Middle School to increase critical thinking skills and provide an outlet for creative expression. The project will incorporate software with which students will compose, arrange, play, and record music. Students will learn to read and notate music, play instruments, adapt existing music to their ability level, and compose original songs.
Schwegler Elementary students will visit Kansas’s Tallgrass Prairie in order to understand the historic and cultural importance of the ecosystem. The project will enable students to engage in community learning while discovering the relevance of local geography. After visiting the prairie, students will create a large prairie mural that will be shared with the community.
Port Salerno Elementary School, Stuart, FLGrades K-5, English2011, Winter
In order to improve the performance of English language learners at Port Salerno Elementary School, Mrs. Staton-Soliman and Mrs. Smith will introduce interactive Kindle e-readers in their classrooms. Ultimately, the project will increase student reading comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary.
Chadron State College, Chadron, NEHigher Education, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Winter
Dr. Roweton will place remotely controlled video and audio digital equipment in local elementary and middle classrooms to train Chadron State College (CSC) Educational Psychology students in observation. These students will practice coding what they experience remotely, analyze observational data statistically, summarize results graphically, and prepare for direct classroom observations. Participating public school students, their instructors, and CSC pre-service teachers will discuss video segments at the conclusion of each semester.
Vance Elementary, Vance, ALGrades K-5, Mathematics2011, Spring
Teachers at Vance Elementary will receive training in fundamental conceptual mathematics instruction. A team of five educators will work together to strengthen the current math program by increasing students’ abilities to reason and solve problems logically. An emphasis will be placed on kindergarten students’ evaluations of their own mathematical thinking.
Aliamanu Middle School, Honolulu, HIGrades K-5, Science2011, Spring
Through the “Cleaner Energy Project,” Mr. Andres and Mrs. Young will work collaboratively to engage students in proper research skills and inquiry based science labs focused on the topic of renewable energy. After completing preliminary labs and research, students will participate in the “Green City Challenge” in which they will present a solution to an energy problem, followed by the design, construction, and programming of Lego Mindstorm robots.
Clackamas Web Academy, Clackamas, ORGrades 9-12, Mathematics2011, Spring
Mr. Borgelt and his colleagues will form a study group to explore how to better prepare students for the academic rigors of Algebra I. The study group will evaluate the effectiveness of the current math curriculum and identify, implement, and evaluate assessments, supplemental materials, and math interventions to improve student success. The group will also consider the research based math supplemental instructional resources and interventions that are most appropriate for students.
DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts, Atlanta, GAGrades K-5, Science2011, Spring
Through “The World of Engineering,” DeKalb Elementary students will be exposed to a comprehensive instructional unit on engineering fields. Students will then use engineering concepts to design and build robots to compete in the school wide “Robocup Jr.” competition. Ultimately, Mrs. Kabwatha and Mr. Taylor expect to improve student aptitude through numerous hands on problem solving opportunities.
Chestnut Elementary School, Kissimmee, FLGrades K-5, Science2011, Spring
Mrs. Carter and Mr. Berrios will introduce their third grade students to an integrated curriculum focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). In this construction challenge, students will design and test scale roller coasters and study the principles of energy conservation. The project will encourage students to use a team based, problem solving approach which will integrate their computer based technological resources with the engineering design process.
West Elementary School, Hutchinson, MNGrades K-5, General Pedagogical Practice2011, Spring
Mrs. Holtz will participate in four brain based education courses at the University of St. Thomas. Upon completing the courses, Mrs. Holtz will assist in advancing brain based research and teaching strategies in her school and district. Additionally, Mrs. Holtz will purchase multiple brain based education texts which staff and student families will be able to check out from the school library.
School District of Osceola, Osceola, WIGrades K-5, Computers / Technology2011, Spring
Educators within the School District of Osceola will be provided with interactive whiteboards for classroom instruction. This technology will promote high quality, equitable instruction while improving student achievement in language arts and mathematics. Students will communicate using wireless devices for formative assessments and use interactive educational software to meet the needs of all individual learning styles.
Legend Elementary, Newark, OHGrades K-5, Computers / Technology2011, Spring
To bridge the gap between special and general education students, Mrs. Keene and Mrs. Herrmann will introduce iPads in their classrooms as a way to enhance lessons through the use of technology. The project will enable Mrs. Keene and Mrs. Herrmann to create innovative hands on instruction for special education students in content areas to meet their IEP goals. Regular literacy assessments will be implemented to evaluate student success.
Linganore High School, Frederick, MDGrades 9-12, Computers / Technology2011, Spring
Teachers in the World Languages professional learning community will learn how to create highly interactive lessons using Livescribe Smartpens. The pens will then be introduced to classrooms, where students will be able to use them to record lectures and word pronunciations. Audio captured through the pens will be uploaded to the school’s website for use as study tools.
Sunnymead Middle School, Moreno Valley, CAGrades K-5, English2011, Spring
Mrs. Grimble and Ms. Hines will study several books and professional articles on differentiated instruction for middle schools and will apply what they learn to lessons for the upcoming school year. They will share this information with the language arts department and adapt it for use by all grades. Teachers will be recorded while using the lessons, to review and discuss at study group meetings throughout the school year. The study group meetings will also offer opportunities for teachers to review literature on differentiation and collaborate on practical applications for differentiation strategies.
Hillside Intermediate School, Bridgewater, NJGrades 6-8, Arts2011, Spring
Mrs. Macht and Mr. Sgro will introduce “Youth Engaged in Service through the Arts (YES A+),” a unit that will use the core principles of service learning to bring youth voice and choice into the school day. The project will guide students in the exploration of community, service, and citizenship. Students will ultimately design and implement ethical action plans that encourage responsibility and collaboration.
Luther Conant School, Acton, MAGrades K-5, Arts2011, Spring
Ms. Stewart will travel to Ghana for three weeks to study the musical traditions of the Ewe people. As a result of her research, Ms. Stewart will revise her music curriculum to include an in depth unit for the upper elementary grades exploring West African music, dance, and culture, as well as introductory lesson on West African music for the lower elementary grades.
Skoi Yase Primary School, Waterloo, NYGrades K-5, English2011, Spring
To address a growing student population in need of additional reading support, faculty at Skoi Yase Primary School will create a leveled library. The use of leveled books will enable Mrs. Ackerman and Ms. Cotter to provide differentiated guided reading instruction and implement strategies to increase student reading success.
Prospect Elementary School, Lake Mills, WIGrades K-5, English2011, Spring
Ms. Wendt and Mrs. Collins will foster creative, constructive writing through the use of twenty first century technology tools. “From Pen and Paper to Mouse and Keyboard” will use innovative web 2.0 technologies, including blogs, wikis, webinars, podcasts, and electronic readers, to improve writing and reading across the curriculum. Technology will be placed directly in the hands of the students where they can learn, create, and be engaged.
East Stroudsburg Area High School, East Stroudsburg, PAGrades 9-12, Science2011, Spring
Mrs. Geffers and Ms. Huffman will offer students an understanding of environmental science careers and public policy by encouraging them to consider the issues and debates surrounding energy and the environment through the lens of local, state, and global economies. Students will investigate natural gas exploration, solar farming in Pennsylvania, and will communicate with students at a sister school in the United Kingdom to discuss differences in their countries’ environmental policies. Students will be challenged and engaged in a positive discussion regarding renewable energy sources and the development of new careers in the field.
Meadowview Middle School, Mount Airy, NCGrades K-5, Science2011, Spring
Through “Water Quality, Water Quality, What’s Your Location?,” students will use technology, the school campus, and the community to develop real world understanding of the importance of water. The project will integrate language arts, science, math, and technology in a hands on unit on water and its enormous impact on the environment. Students will become twenty first century learners as they explore the properties of water, their own impact on the environment, and how current human behavior impacts future generations.
Rebecca Mecikalski, Rochester, MNGrades K-5, English2011, Spring
Mrs. Mecikalski will attend the International Reading Convention in Orland, Florida. At the workshop, Mrs. Mecikalski will study ways to improve the reading scores of students at Pinewood Elementary, particularly Hispanic and African American populations. Upon her return, Mrs. Mecikalski will share implementation strategies with her colleagues.
Birch Creek Elementary, Smithfield, UTGrades K-5, Computers / Technology2011, Spring
Mr. Rigby and Mrs. Cox will improve students’ mastery of technology by introducing Smart Boards and clickers in the classroom. Students will work in groups to compile materials for use in multimedia classroom presentations. Additionally, the less technologically proficient students will be encouraged to take lead roles in group activities to improve their use of essential technology.
J.L. Newbern Middle School, Valdosta, GAGrades 6-8, English2011, Spring
To help students develop advanced writing, research, critical thinking, and presentation skills, Mrs. Collier and Mrs. Almond will engage students in a production that incorporates rap, singing, and dramatic presentations based on their social studies and language arts curriculum. Students will learn appropriate research, drafting, composition, and speaking skills. They will also create a stage and video production of their performances to be showcased as a culminating activity.
R.C. Buckley Elementary School, Lansing, NYGrades K-5, Science2011, Spring
Ms. Wright will participate in an Earthwatch Institute expedition, studying Trinidad's leatherback sea turtles. As a member of the scientific research team she will participate in satellite tracking and collect data about migration patterns and habitat to predict leatherbacks' presence in commercial fishing waters. After the expedition, Ms. Wright will develop a website that will give students a tutorial on applying concepts of conservation to solve real world problems. Ms. Wright will share her experiences, new knowledge, and teaching materials with her colleagues through the district’s professional learning community and Cornell University's Educational Outreach.
East Valley High School, Spokane, WAGrades 9-12, Science2011, Fall
Biofouling: It's a sticky situation
George Barlow’s high school science students at East Valley High School
in Spokane, WA, immersed themselves in the scientific method during a
yearlong project in which they created and tested environmentally
friendly materials to remove barnacles from ship hulls, which ends up
costing the U.S. Navy millions of dollars each year in fuel costs.
Students began initial background testing to create antifouling
substances, then designed an experiment to test them in aquariums with
barnacles and mussels.
Barlow and his co-applicant, Tim Severns, received a $5,000 Student
Achievement grant from the NEA Foundation to complete this project.