Congratulations to May 2009 Honorable Mention winners who will each receive $120 in prizes for the classroom.

Cindy Wilson-Hyde, Gulliver
Coral Gables, FL 33156

Lesson Title: Third grade Students are Going Wild--Wild West, that is!
As a part of the third grade curriculum, students study the westward migration of Americans during the 1800's. To begin their unit, students read the novel Sarah, Plain and Tall, by Patricia Maclachlan. This novel tells the story of a young woman who leaves her home in Maine to become a caretaker of the children of a widower in Kansas. Through this novel, students learn a bit about life in the west during the 19th century. Students will also research to learn about famous and infamous people that lived during that time period. With the addition of the new resources provided by the Tool Factory grant, the unit will take on a new twist.

**Students will work in cooperative learning teams comprised of 3-5 students and will choose a famous pioneer to research. Using the facts from their research as well as background information from the novel, student teams will create a podcast interview with the "pioneer" of their choice. Two students will act as interviewers and one will play the role of the western pioneer. Students will need to be well-versed in the facts about the life and times of that era in order to formulate appropriate questions and answers for the podcast interview. Famous western pioneers may include Annie Oakley, Wild Bill Hickok, Levi Strauss, Brigham Young, etc.

**Students will create a podcast series telling tales of the journey west from a pioneer child's point of view. Students will research facts about actual towns and trails on the westward journey to make their podcast as realistic as possible. Students will create an online "pioneer newsletter" using photos and narrative accounts of historical events.

** Students will collaborate with a school in Maine or Kansas to help them understand the differences in the areas in which we live. Students will share photos and narratives showcasing parts of their neighborhood and their school.

**Miami is a multi-cultural city comprised of citizens from all over the world. Some of the visitors who traveled here have stayed and made a new home. The experience of leaving one home for another is sometimes difficult. Working in collaborative learning teams, students will identify parents, grandparents, neighbors or community members who have migrated and settled in Miami. Students will interview these residents and compare and contrast their experiences with those of Sarah in the novel. Students will share their findings through a podcast series.

**Students will research famous Miami pioneers and create a podcast to share their information. One team of student researchers will tell the story of Julia Tuttle and the part she played in the development of the city of Miami.

Each year our school celebrates the culmination of this unit with a campus-wide Pioneer Day. Activities include square dancing, a tour of an authentic chuck wagon and storytelling circles with teachers dressed in pioneer costumes. This year, student reporters will capture the Pioneer Day activities using microphones and video cameras and produce a podcast to share the day with others in our school community. These podcasts will provide research material for students in upcoming years.

Implementation of the resources provided by the Tool Factory grant:

Tool Factory Simple Guide to Podcasting: This guide will provide the step-by-step instructions for teachers and students as they begin to design their podcasts.

Worksheet station: Students will use the worksheet templates in their computer classes in collaboration with the classroom teachers and librarian to create storyboards as they design and outline their podcasts.

Tool Factory Software: The Tool Factory Software will be used to produce the podcasts for this third grade project. It is our hope that this software will then be used across all grade levels for student-produced podcasts.

Digital Voice Recorders and Microphones: This equipment will be used to record the student podcasts and interviews. Students will be able to take the voice recorders with them around campus to record interviews with guests and"pioneers".

Clip Art Station: Students will use the clip art resources to enhance their podcasts, and also to enhance their pioneer newsletter.

Web Page Station: This site will allow students to post their podcasts, interviews and pioneer newsletters to share with the community.

Catherine Wrenn, Carl Schurz High School
Chicago, IL 60660

Lesson Title: Our Voices – Sounding Our Barbaric Yawps
The Our Voices unit will be a primary curriculum component with the 10th grade AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) students. Students in the AVID program represent the academic middle, possess the desire to go to college, and the willingness to work hard. Therefore, they are pushed to reach their potential and be prepared for a post-secondary education. For this unit, they will conduct inquiries into poets and their works with the challenge to discover one poet who speaks to them. There will be scheduled library research time as well as print resources, and audio recordings. In doing so, students will examine how a poet’s life influences the themes and subjects of his/her poems as well as the particular styles, forms, and poetic devices common to a particular poet. They will analyze one poet and his/her work and then write five original poems that imitate an aspect of this poet; their poems may imitate a subject, theme, form, or use of a particular poetic device. In addition, they will compose “Poet Notes” to each of their new writings to explain the connection and present their findings.

During the writing process, students will use the resources in the school writing center as “Peer Revision Partners” to revise, edit, and type their five original compositions. This process will continue in a workshop atmosphere so students reinforce the strategies of prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publication for all five poems.

The media aspect of the project encompasses distinct activities. Once students complete the research and writing of their poetry, they will translate their poet notes and compositions into a planning page, which will guide them as they develop, organize, prepare, and record their podcast scripts. Student scripts will include an introduction to their poet and a dramatic reading of a new poem. Next, they will create digital pages to assemble their chapbooks, which will be uploaded to the class online magazine. Then, student groups will take a Digital Gallery Walk through the class presentations in the computer lab where they can listen to the podcasts, view the chapbooks, and write reflective feedback for each project they visit. Finally, students will share their work within their school community at the annual Poetry Slam workshop hosted by the writing center.

Grade Level: 10
Number of Students: 100+ Participating

Standards: Illinois STATE GOAL 3: Write to communicate for a variety of purposes. 3.C.4b Using available technology, produce compositions and multimedia works for specified audiences.

PERFORMANCE INDICATORS FOR TECHNOLOGY—LITERATE STUDENTS Routinely and efficiently use online information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publications, communications, and productivity. (4, 5, 6)

The resources provided in this grant will be instrumental in allowing students to fully integrate research, writing, and technology. We intend to use the grant resources in the following ways:

·One Tool Factory Podcasting Site License: Schurz High School is equipped with a multi-media writing center, and four computer labs available for individual student use as well as whole class instruction. This software will be essential in bringing podcasting to a wide population of students for a variety of purposes. The design in the writing center naturally lends itself to research, writing, and using technology. The tools in this software will be instrumental in introducing podcasts to the curriculum. As a member of the Institutional Leadership Team, I will have the opportunity to formally and informally demonstrate the capabilities of this package to teachers in various disciplines and share the wealth of resources and knowledge within the school.

·2 Olympus Digital Voice Recorders: These devices will enable my students to record their podcasts from remote locations in our building. As students create their poems and scripts, they will be able to integrate unique sounds from around our historic building to breathe energy and style into their broadcasts. This will spark their imaginations to find areas that can create backgrounds, interludes, or mood. In addition, during our school’s annual National Poetry Month Poetry Slam, the voice recorders will allow us to record student performances.

·2 Microphones with Noise Cancellation: One microphone will be set-up at one stand-alone computer station in the classroom, and the second will be available to students at a designated computer in the writing center. Because students will complete work at different paces, these locations will enable them to continue their projects uninterrupted during their in-class workshop time, or during drop-in time at the writing center.

·Clip Art Station: The sounds and images in this collection will provide students with photos and audio that can aid in both the creation of the podcasts and the digital anthology pages that will be showcased on the on-line magazine. This station will also be beneficial to students as they create their Career Profile pages, which is earlier in the year so they can experiment with the array of offerings in this collection prior to the poetry unit.

·Worksheet Station: The library of worksheets, in particular the storyboard and script writing pages, will be essential in planning a quality project. Students are taught the writing process and these aides will reinforce the prewriting, revision, and editing aspects of the project. For the 2009-2010 academic year, our school has adopted Writing to Learn, specifically organizing information, as a targeted powerful practice for all 9th and 10th grade students. These worksheets will provide hands-on, focused activities that enhance the instruction in our building.

·Web Page Station: Our ultimate goal since the start of this unit is to mirror the great American poet, Walt Whitman, and shout our barbaric yawps from the rooftops of the world. The web page station is the vehicle to do just that. It will provide us the capability to launch our words beyond our immediate walls. Hopefully our voices will reach others and bring the power of poetry to their ears. At the same time, we will connect to the thoughts, words, and ideas from other classrooms across the country.

·Tool Factory’s Simple Guide to Podcasting: This resource is a great starter for teachers and students new to podcasting. Step-by-step instructions and visuals will help minimize fears about integrating this technology. Students will be able to help themselves become more independent learners; teachers will have an accessible resource to guide them through their first podcasts. The 10th grade AVID students who use this technology will be the “experts” who can use their experiences with the project and this resource to be the trainers for the 9th grade AVID students.

·Tool Factory’s Adventures in Podcasting: This advanced publication will enable us to continue to grow podcasts as an integral part of our curriculum. AVID students are focused on rigorous courses and college eligibility, and I foresee many podcast adventures in our futures. Our college fair field trips and tours will be perfect opportunities to share our experiences via podcasts. Also, 2010 marks our school’s Centennial anniversary, and student created podcasts would be perfect additions to our planned festivities. Perhaps, “This Day in Schurz History” or a daily “Bulldog Broadcast” that highlights significant events, accolades, and alums.

The primary mission of Carl Schurz High School, a Chicago Public School, is to, “…provide and educational environment that will focus on the improvement of reading, writing, math, and the integration of technology across all content areas.” This project coupled with the Tool Factory grant incorporates the ideals of our school. Furthermore, many of the college bound students in the nationally acclaimed AVID program are the first generation in their families to aspire to a post-secondary education. Their diverse multicultural backgrounds and 91% free/reduced lunch status highlight the uphill climb they are determined to complete. This grant will offer them the opportunity to expand their technological prowess and open their eyes to the multi-faceted world of multimedia. As our AVID population increases annually, this technology will have a pay-it-forward effect as more and more college bound students will enhance their 21st century literacy skills, embark on independent research that is a foundation of higher education, and grasp the poetic power of their own voices in a classroom without walls.

Elizabeth Eubanks, St. Mark Catholic School
Boynton Beach, FL 33435

Lesson Title: St. Mark Messengers of the Mystical Mangrove Park
Mangrove Park is located in Boynton Beach, Florida directly attached to our school. It is approximately 4 acres of Mangrove Forest, which sits in the Lake Worth intra-coastal waterway and is home to many wildlife species. Recently I have partnered my middle school science students with a research scientist team from Florida International University in Miami to do a study on the White Mangroves and surrounding area, strictly to enhance our educational and scientific method strategies. We have just tagged 30 trees in which we will place dendrometers; they measures trunk growth. This grant will not be used for FIU scientists yet for St. Mark students to communicate with them.

Scientists believe that in time scientific data collection will be collected by community groups – what a great way to kick off this theory with pod cast documentation. Can you imagine being a middle school student working and reporting on “real science data”? My students will be part of cutting edge science.

Resources from this grant, as well as other technology, will be used for a long-term lesson in which my 90 +/- middle school (6th -8th grade) students will create pod casts depicting all aspects of the Mangrove Park. Students will pair into groups of 2 or 3 and create pod casts on all varieties of flora and fauna of the park. Such as (but not limited too):

Pod cast depicting the characteristics of Red Mangrove.
Pod cast depicting the characteristics of White Mangrove.
Pod cast depicting the characteristics of Black Mangrove
Pod cast depicting Buttonwood flora of the Mangrove Park.
Pod cast illustrating water quality testing and results.
Pod cast on life cycle of the spider crab.
Pod cast on pollution of the Mangrove Park.
Pod cast on an effort to clean the Mangrove Park.
Pod cast on water depth measurements.
Pod casts on individual bird species in the Park, such as Blue Heron, Yellow Crowned Night Heron, Turkey Vulture, etc.
Pod cast on all bird varieties in the park.
Pod cast on our scientific research of Mangrove Tree Growth.
Pod cast on individual and all varieties of fish in the Mangrove Park.
Pod cast explaining the Florida International University project.
Pod cast explaining the scientific method used for the FIU project.
Pod cast connecting global warming issues with the Mangrove Park.
Pod cast puzzles – Can you guess what made this sound?

Participating in this project will enable all middle school students to become familiar with all ecological aspects of the Mangrove Park, which depicts tropical Florida. Students will be required to listen to and evaluate pod casts created by their peers. Students will also have the ability to communicate the results of their findings with the community at large. The park is owned by our school, yet rented and maintained by the city of Boynton Beach. This will be a resource that will be connected to the local library. Spanish and Creole are common languages in South Florida and students will create/ copy select pod casts recording them in these languages as well as English.

Students will also communicate their findings with not only PK-8 grades students in our school but with other students within the Diocese of Palm Beach County while challenging other schools to create a similar project within their school area. The project will be advertised in media (news papers and television news) so that the community has access to the link of information.

Students will also have the ability to share their findings with the FIU scientists and communicate with them via personal pod casting about further aspects to study and test.

Students will spend much of their time recording from the field in hopes to acquire not only authentic background noise, but also sounds of the Mangroves to further depict the area. They love being in the park and are often quoted saying, “this is so much better than class, then I remind them – “they are in class.” Students will be empowered as they take creative responsibility for teaching in a style which is interesting and stimulating to their classmates and community.

In conjunction with this project I have received a grant from the National Science Foundation via FIU to go to Costa Rica and connect and compare our local research practices to those in Costa Rica. Students will use the grants resources to communicate for comparative reasons with me. It is my intent to involve local kids from Costa Rica in this project so that we may compare our tropical areas (and languages) The outreach of this project will be cross continental, thus creating a broader impact.

Students have been viewing various pod casts in attempt to develop a pod cast style that they find stimulating and appealing to their style of learning and teaching. They are excited to put their pod cast research, as well as ecological research into action.

A most important benefit to students will be to increase their knowledge in technology, which is not only an asset, but also a necessity for them during this internet time and age.

By using the storyboard students will not only connect with the Science Florida Sunshine State Standards, but will also connect, geography, social studies, technology, math and language arts. The language arts teacher will partner with this activity as well.

The Tool Factory Pod casting Site will be essential to this project, used for each production to create and find tune the pod casts. The Tool Factory Pod casting Site will also be utilized for instructional purposes regarding “How to Create a Pod cast”, enhancing student knowledge of Pod cast development.

The Olympus Digital Recorders are yet another essential tool for pod casting. They will be first used for instructional purposes “How to utilize a digital recorder”. After students are comfortable with the recorders they will be required to sign them out to use to create their pod cast. They will download their work into the Tool Factory and then pass the recorders on to another group.

The Microphones will be used each time the students make a pod cast that requires any instructional voice over. They will also use the microphones to record specific sounds in the Mangrove Park, such as that of a Great Blue Heron or water movement.

The Clip Art Station will enable the students to enhance their pod casts with photos and graphics, so that they may illustrate the beauty of the Mangroves. They will also be able to enhance their commentary with sounds of nature pending the recorded sounds that they desire are not up to par. They will be able to use additional sounds to enhance various points that they are trying to make.

The Work Sheet Station will be the first tool students will utilize. The story board – time line worksheet pages will be their training grounds prior to recording. These will also be used as an instructional tool to get the project into motion via planning. They will be co-used for this project with science, technology and language arts lessons.

The Web Page Station will be our greatest asset for a broader impact. Although our school has a very basic website and uses edline to record some events and grades, we do NOT have a site to share pod casts. This site will enable students to share their information with each other, the rest of school – PK – 5th grades, the City of Boynton Beach, the Palm Beach Diocese school system and most importantly our FIU scientists and myself when I study in Costa Rica. Although this tool is worth $300 – it will be priceless to us.

The Simple Guide to Pod casting and the Adventure’s in Pod casting will serve as guides for myself and my students to learn how to utilize the tools we have been granted. They will be invaluable resources as we grow and develop into professional reporters.

Read the applications of the 3 Grand Prize Winners.