The Spring 2007 Classroom Grant judging is completed! Congratulations to ten lucky winners who will each receive over $3,700 in prizes. Click here to see the applications from the runner-up finalists!
Here are the grant applications of our five Grand Prize winning teachers.
Nann Thomson, New Britain High School
New Britain, CT
LESSON TITLE: Seeing is Understanding
I am a Family and Consumer Science teacher in an urban high school of 3300+ students. I teach a two-year culinary arts sequence using the National Restaurant Associations ProStart curriculum. The text aptly describes the course content: Becoming a Restaurant and Foodservice Professional. Therefore my students are not only learning the basics of food preparation, but other topics like nutrition, sanitation and safety, business management, and preparing for a successful career. This diverse curriculum is an ideal platform for using technology to enhance student learning.
Fruit & Vegetable Project*, A Jigsaw
Students will be introduced to the new technology available to our class at the beginning of the school year. In preparation for covering the chapter on Fruits and Vegetables, students will receive an assignment which will require them to hone research and writing skills, and utilize their new or developing skills in the use of technology. Students will visit a large local supermarket (some for the first time) to see the produce display. Through the cooperation of the manager of the local store, our students will be allowed to touch and photograph the produce, thus creating a permanent record of the visit and a visual means of identification of the foods. Students will use Multimedia Lab V to create a presentation, with their photographs illustrating the slides which contain text derived from their research.
The entire jigsaw slide presentation will be shared with all students in the class and made available to the other teachers in our department, who study fruits and vegetables in their Foods classes. The presentation can later be duplicated, and by editing out the name of each fruit or vegetable, can be made into a study/review tool for student viewing before their assessment on the material. (Or it can become an assessment tool itself.) Finally, using Tool Factory Workshop, a hard copy of the presentation can be published, which becomes another reference resource for the classroom.
*Please note: this same project outline can be used with other topics that our curriculum covers, such as herbs and spices, and kitchen equipment, particularly since students who aspire to being successful in the kitchen need to be introduced to many food products/equipment that they are unfamiliar with at the beginning of the course.
Each year a group of students from my classes compete in the Connecticut ProStart Invitational, either cooking (two identical dishes, within one hour, with no electrical appliances) or in a knowledge bowl. If successful, we compete in the national ProStart Invitational. In the culinary piece of this competition students have to prepare a three-course meal under the same conditions. The students are graded, inter alia, on how identical the two dishes (display and judging plates) in each course were prepared and plated. Having a digital camera and attendant software would allow the students to evaluate how well they were meeting this requirement during practices, as well as providing for post-practice discussion regarding the technical aspects of the platings and whether they should make changes to the presentation or garnish.
Having the technology available to my students will also allow them to complete other projects embedded in our curriculum, such as creating a resume (using Tool Factory Workshop). They can also incorporate photographs into their portfolios, which could be maintained digitally. They will be able to complete additional projects to reinforce their learning, such as illustrating appropriate and inappropriate dress for interviewing (using a digital camera and Tool Factory Workshop); creating cleaning schedules, job schedules and tracking food purchases, orders and sales in our kitchen (using Tool Factory Workshop); creating flyers, posters and menus for kitchen sales (using Tool Factory Workshop); and creating Jeopardy-like questions and answers for use in chapter reviews in a slide show format (using Tool Factory Workshop /Multimedia Lab V).
In an effort to utilize an authentic assessment of student learning, a two-hour portion of my students final exam is a food production assignment in the kitchen. A digital camera and attendant software would be invaluable to me as a teacher as assessment tools for recording students food preparation techniques and ability to mise en place.
I believe that the possible uses for the technology represented by this grant are nearly endless, and all of them would enhance the learning that takes place both inside and outside my classroom and kitchen. For the visual learners and special education students in my classes, they present another way to deliver instruction, which can help them succeed. I thank you for your consideration.
"I enjoyed this idea because the teacher has a clear vision of how to use the cameras and software. It is clear exactly how the students will benefit from the camera and software. "
"Cool project that has real life relevance. Utilizes the digital cameras in a way usually reserved for Art classes (smart!) "
Carmen Beasley, Central High School
Baton Rouge, LA
LESSON TITLE: CSI: Chemistry Student Investigators
The CSI television series (three in all) are very popular across the nation and many careers have been pursued by interest generated through watching the exciting episodes. CSI: Chemistry Student Investigators gives students an answer to When are we ever going to use this? and Why are we doing this? By embedding chemistry content into scenarios that students must investigate, teachers can bypass the fears and tap into an already present interest.
CSI: Chemistry Student Investigators
Episode 1: Students are grouped into academically heterogeneous groups and don the persona of laboratory investigators. They are informed of the latest case that they will be working on. Student investigators must construct testable hypotheses and design the experiments which they will use in their investigation. These lab investigations will occur throughout the year and will be linked to the chemistry comprehensive curriculum GLEs. Topics will include density, substance identification, stoichiometry, percent composition, solution concentration, titrations of acids and bases, and organic chemistry and be presented to the laboratory investigators in the context of a mystery that they will solve through their experimentation. The student investigators perform their experiments, generate data that is collected with hand held computers, and take DIGITAL PHOTOS and MOVIE CLIPS of their procedures with OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAS. Software is loaded on the hand helds and along with TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP WORD PROCESSING and MULTIMEDIA LAB V on school computers allows students to graph, make tables, memos, and notations for the next Episode of the project.
Episode 2: The groups of student investigators sync the data, photos, and movie clips generated by their investigations with the aid of TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP and MULTIMEDIA LAB V software into their computers. They organize the data and create visual representations such as graphs and tables. They then write their lab reports using TOOL FACTORY WORKSHOP WORD PROCESSING in the required format of the lab by which they are employed.
Episode 3: Student investigators compile the separate components of the data from their hand held computers and DIGITAL CAMERAS as they begin construction of their personal laboratory DATABASE or electronic lab journal using MULTIMEDIA LAB V software to log the cases on which they have consulted. Over the school year, the electronic journals demonstrate proof of the investigators growth in lab experience, and more importantly, their maturation in understanding not only chemistry, but the underlying skills necessary to master scientific inquiry and technology.
Episode 4: Investigators convene to discuss their cases and findings and present their electronic lab reports orally as the result of the MULTIMEDIA LAB V created journals are shown via a projector to their investigator peers.
Timeline: This cyclic project will continue throughout the year with each of the 11 units in chemistry; scientific inquiry skills will be reinforced during each unit. August and September will host investigations based on general technique, density, separating mixtures, and problem solving. October-physical and chemical properties and changes. November-chemical changes and identifying substances. January-reactions and conservation of matter. February hosts percent composition and colligative properties. Unknown concentrations of solutions will be determined in March and in April acid-base titrations will be performed. Energy changes will be observed in April. May will host biochemical investigations and the year end final presentations of the lab journals created using the Olympus digital cameras, Tool Factory Workshop, and Multimedia Lab V software.
One goal of CSI: Chemistry Student Investigators is to remove fear of science from high school students. The project will allow students to replace the reticence that they exhibit with open-minded invigoration and excitement and create a feeling of I can do this and Let me show you! CSI: Chemistry Student Investigators will turn students onto chemistry and generate pride in their academic work. Students who achieve this goal will exhibit positive attitudes and pride in their work.
The second goal is to provide a bridge over the chasm of chemistry content-specific GLEs and science inquiry GLEs in the chemistry comprehensive curriculum. While the content of the investigations are rooted in the eleven chemistry units, the investigations and roles that the students will assume are based on the scientific inquiry area of the curriculum. The pacing guide does not allow time to focus solely on scientific inquiry although mastery of these GLEs provide the foundation on which all other concepts are understood. The curriculum is packed with eleven units which are also packed with theory, history, and problems to be mastered by each student, and then there is the separate unit which must be addressed throughout each of the other eleven units. The scientific inquiry GLEs are of extreme importance to each unit, but could easily get squeezed out by concentrating on content specific GLEs. Students who achieve this goal will exhibit a growth in understanding how science works including writing testable hypotheses; designing investigations; recording, organizing, and displaying data appropriately; using technology to enhance laboratory investigations; identifying safety procedures to be followed when in the lab; analyzing conclusions from an investigation; choosing appropriate models to explain scientific knowledge.
The third goal is for students chemistry, GEE21 Science, and ACT Science Reasoning scores to increase as they gain knowledge of science through inquiry and manipulation of data so that understanding scientific processes are more easily achieved. These scores can easily be compared to previous scores of students and individual students past ACT science reasoning scores.
The three top priorities of our school improvement plan are: thinking and reasoning skills, learning to learn skills, and expanding and integrating knowledge. CSI: Chemistry Student Investigators addresses each of these needs by getting students involved in an active learning role and engaged in the construction of their body of knowledge through scientific inquiry.
The comprehensive curriculum for chemistry hosts a potential chasm between content-specific Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) and the scientific inquiry GLEs which must be covered throughout the year. Although the scientific inquiry GLEs are of utmost importance to the understanding of scientific processes, they could easily get squeezed out of the curriculum because they are presented only once in the curriculum. CSI: Chemistry Student Investigators is designed to address each scientific inquiry GLE many times throughout the year.
Both formative and summative evaluations will be made. Formative evaluations will be made on each student as they work together in the laboratory. Student investigators will be graded by performance rubrics that feature the anticipated results of each activity or question from the labs, graphs, data tables, and oral presentations at the conclusion of each case. Oral lab report presentations will be made to the entire class by academically heterogeneous groups at the conclusion of each lab activity. Electronic Lab Journals will also be graded by a rubric before they are burned onto discs for each student to keep as a record of his year in chemistry.
Summative evaluations will be made at the completion of each
"I loved this proposal. I was a student that hated science, mostly because it made no sense to me and was incredibly boring. This teacher is making chemistry interesting and exciting. I think using the cameras and Tool Factory software will make science much more enjoyable."
Sonja Mix, Thomas Dale High School
LESSON TITLE: Poetry Alive! Interpreting Poetry Using Digital
A team of English students will take the role of a production company and will create a 4-5 minute film using the digital image as a medium for interpreting students original poems. Three classes will be working together in order to complete this project: Creative Writing, English, and The Actors Studio.
The Creative Writing students will write original poems using various poetic techniques to convey a specific tone. These tone words include awe, cynical, didactic, jovial, mocking, quizzical, reflective and indignant. The English students will use these poems for their image projects. A team of English students will take the role of a production company and create an original digital film interpreting the poem using the DIGITAL CAMERAS. Each production team will be paired with a student, from the Actor's Studio class, who will recite the poem.
Each team will recite, interpret, and create digital still images and short video clips using various camera shots and techniques. The TOOL FACTORY PAINTER will be used to enhance the images using the various special effects. The students will use these still images and video clips and create their movies in Windows Movie Maker and create MPEGs. At the end of the project, the students will use TOOL FACTORY WORD PROCESSOR and MULTIMEDIA LAB V to create their poetry and film interactive projects on the internet, so other students will be able to view the projects. Each group will give a brief presentation of their films discuss the artistic decisions made after examining the language of the poem.
Stage One: The first stage of this project is for the Creative Writing class to write poems based on specific tone words. The creative writing teacher will give specific instructions on how to work with language and use specific poetic techniques to reflect a specific tone.
Stage Two: While the Creative Writing students are creating their poems, my English students will be given a lesson on how to identify a poems tone. They will read and analyze several poems and the poetic techniques used to convey the tone of the poem. In the next step of the project, I will show the students examples of how still and moving images can reflect the tone of the poem. In this stage of the project, I show them several soliloquies from Shakespeares plays as a demonstration of the different ways in which image is used to interpret the soliloquies. I will use scenes from Macbeth, Othello, King Lear, Twelfth Night, Midsummer Nights Dream, and Richard III to show how various film techniques are used. These techniques include lighting, framing, set design, use of color, costume, and camera techniques.
Stage Three: I will divide the students into five groups which will consist of a Producer, Director/Camera Operator, Storyboard Artist, Set Designer, Film Editor. The Producers will meet with me and we will create each group. The producers are responsible for planning, organizing, and disseminating information to their group members. Also, they will help their group members with their roles. The Producers will use the TOOL FACTORY BANK MANAGER to organize the image bank that the students will create during the course of the project. Before the students begin work, they will choose a poem from the Creative Writing class and discuss the word choice in the poem and how it reflects the tone. Listing these important words will be the foundation of their project. The Director is responsible to document the narrator of the poem as well as the character traits that he or she possesses. Then he or she will decide on the camera shots and techniques that support the tone of the poem. The Set Designer will make the decisions of the setting and costumes to capture the mood of the poem. The Storyboard Artist will document the sequence of events of the images, the set design, and the camera techniques. The editor will use the Storyboard to edit the images and video into the Moviemaker program. The editor will also be responsible for creating the opening image, credits, and closing credits of the film.
Stage Four: Once the group has made its artistic decisions, they will need to choose an actor. The production team will choose an actor from the Actors Studio class. The group will work together and discuss their artistic decisions.
Stage Five: The groups will start to film using a mixture of still and video images with the DIGITAL CAMERAS. FRESCO will be used to add special effects to the images. Once the images and video clips have been created, the film editor will retrieve the images from the TOOL FACTORY BANK MANAGER to import the images into Microsoft Windows movie maker and create a MPEG movie. After the films have been created, they will use the MULTIMEDIA LAB V to create their own WebPages. On the webpage they will include the text of the poem as well as the film.
Stage Six: Each group will present to all classes, Creative Writing, and Actors Studio. At this stage, the production teams will present to all the classes involved. They will give a brief presentation of their artistic decisions, as well as answer questions that the other students might have about their films. Every student will have an evaluation sheet and give constructive feedback for each project.
Stage Seven: All the films will be burned on a DVD and given to each student. The films will be posted on the Internet so other teachers will be able to use these projects in their own poetry units. For example, the students from other classes could read the poems and watch the films and write an essay explaining how the film does or does not capture the tone of the poem.
This type of project gives the students a personal and hands on experience dealing with the language of poetry. Using the digital image to aid in their interpretations will help them analyze, discuss and interpret other poems that they will read.
VIRGINIA STANDARDS OF LEARNING:
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Bus-Powered Hard Drive - 5400rpm - Titanium $ 248.95
"Well thought out, objectives clearly defined, entertaining/creative, students will be engaged- TOOL FACTORY software well utilized."
"Extremely well devised proposal! I appreciated the different roles the students could take in the project. I also was impressed with the different software chosen to assist in the project."
Terry Henry, P.S. 256 - Benjamin Banneker Elementary
LESSON TITLE: The Best of Bedford Stuyvesant
The students will be immersed in the documentary from beginning to end. They will do research about the blocks they live on. They will work in teams of three. Each team will knock on doors and using tape and digital recorders will talk to people about how things were on their block many years ago. The teams will use the digital cameras to take photographs of the people they interview.
In addition, the teams using the video function of the digital camera will go out into the bedford Stuyvesnat community to do filming. The students will film in two areas of interest. First, they will film historical sites of Bedford Stuyvesant,such as the house where Laurence Fishburne lived. They will film churches that have been in the community for a century or more. The students will film historical parks and landmarks such as the Magnolia Center which few people have heard about. The students will do research on these sites and using Tool Factory Word Processor and the Tool Factory Database they will type and record all the information they collected doing their field trips.
The second area of interest, is the everyday life that makes Bedford Stuyesant come alive. They will document their trips to the corner store and talk about what makes our corner stores unique. They will film the neighborhood on weekends and show how it comes alive as people hang up their work clothes and put on their weekend gear to enjoy the neighborhood.
The project will be put together in the form of a film documentary, The Best of Bedford Stuyvesant. The students will use Multimedia Lab V along with the Tool Factory Word Processor and Database to prepare the film. When the project is completed, the documentary will be shown to our school and the P.T.A. After, we have received their feedback, we will invite our local community and politicians to come in and see the film. We hope to be able to have it shown throughout our community, at other schools,our local community board and our Community Education Council. In addition, we will put together a web-site using Tool Factory Front page to be able to share our information with other schools and organizations.
It takes a village to raise a child, a motto that
Benjamin Banneker Elementary school stands by whole heartedly.
Knowing that our school is part of that village, it is our responsibility
to not only educate and inspire a child for life, but our community
"Students will engage in real life learning and build a well needed sense of community. This is a project everyone can be proud to be a part of.... "
"I love the concept of it and the pride it will install in the students."
Amber Wagnon, Huntington High School
LESSON TITLE: Through Our Eyes
By the completion of this unit and final project my students will:
Acquire skills which enable them to successfully use technology
equipment such as digital cameras.
Through Our Eyes
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros is a novel that addresses many important themes, but none more important that poverty. By simply talking about a world problem does not teach my students as much as a hands-on problem solving project would! Upon completing the novel my students will tackle the final project Through Our Eyes. Through this three week project my students would complete the following activities:
1. My students design a canned food drive that benefits our local
food bank Second Blessings. This will be accomplished
through groups of students from each class period working cooperatively
together to accomplish their specific assigned task.
THIS PROGRAM WILL FOLLOW THE TEXAS ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS
FOR ENGLISH I.
MEMORY CARDS FOR EACH DIGITAL CAMERA: $30.00
ANY ADDITIONAL FUNDS WILL BE PROVIDED BY THE HHS ENGLISH BUDGET
AND OR THE TEACHER
"I've seen a lot of units developed around this novel, and this is one of the best I've seen. Well rounded across the board- and extremely important work."