Fall 2015, Volume 2
Marietta City Schools
Innovations & Inspirations A collection of innovations and inspirations from across Marietta City Schools that exemplify the Marietta Difference!
Superintendent Message Excited about Marietta City Schools Innovations and Inspirations, Vol. 2 Dear MCS Educators, Before you is a sample of the innovative and inspirational practices and programs that were implemented this past year in classrooms throughout our school system. The teachers showcased in this second edition are your colleagues, and like many of you, are considered teacher leaders who personify the â€œMarietta Difference.â€? As such, they are committed not just to celebrating their success with effective practices and innovations, but also to sharing them within and across all MCS schools, and beyond.
Dr. EMILY LEMBECK Superintendent
Marietta City Schools 250 Howard Street Marietta, GA 30060 marietta-city.org
As a Georgia Charter System, MCS has flexibility from many of the laws and rules which guide the use of time, talent, and funding in exchange for accountability and commitment to innovation. Innovations & Inspirations is about highlighting instructional practices in MCS classrooms, encouraging collective accountability, seeking continuous improvement, recognizing effective teaching and successful learning, honoring our profession, and assuring that all students Graduate Marietta well prepared for life success. It is about innovation or more accurately, achieve-ovation. It is about inspiring all teachers to learn and grow together. It is, most importantly, about all students and colleagues benefiting from the best that each of you can bring to Marietta City Schools and to public education. I hope to see your inspiring innovation highlighted in future editions. With appreciation for our contributing teacher leaders and those to follow,
Emily Lembeck, Ed.D. Superintendent
Innovative Ideas to Improve Student Achievement Purpose of This Journal
• To highlight outstanding teaching practices across the district • To encourage teacher inquiry and collective accountability • To support the professional development of teachers • To contribute to the theory and knowledge base of the profession • To identify areas for improvement and systematic ways for finding solutions • To celebrate learning and to incite passion for the profession
Table of Contents Innovations
The following articles detail classroom innovation projects from the 2014-2015 school year. Clean Food and Sustainability through the Tower Garden Theresa Allen
Cooperative, Project-Based Chemistry Education via 21st-Centruy Technology Dr. Amanda Amos
Experiential Learning: The Art of Making Learning Come to Life Jill Baker
The 21st-Century Physics Classroom 17 Luke Burch Communicating with iPads 19 Susan Donlin Project iMath, 21 Rozina Essani & Dana Meyer First Grade Movie Makes 23 Laura Floryance Vocabulary Development Using Read-Alouds & Quizlet Corinne Rochelin
iPad-iLiteracy 31 Jennifer Santi Blended Learning Environment: The Impact of Augmented Reality on Student Achievement Nina Small
Molding Mathematical Minds 39 Carla Wallace
The following articles provide examples of why and how the teaching profession matters. The Ones Who Inspired Me 42 Jillian Horsey Dear Ms. Pinto 43 Julie Pinto Leave a Legacy 44 Corinne Rochelin Juanita Londono: The Girl Who Inspires Us All Keydy Guevara
Clean Food and Sustainability through the Tower Garden Theresa Allen Description of the Project What innovative practice was implemented? I decided to write a grant for three aeroponic/ hydroponic Tower Gardens. These hydroponic gardens demonstrated how people can grow food in an alternate environment. Tower Garden growing system uses aeroponics—the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil, to produce more colorful, better tasting and incredibly nutritious fruit, vegetables and herbs. Information about Tower Gardens, including videos of a growing garden, is www.towergarden.com. With whom was the project implemented? This project was implemented in the STEM language arts class in the seventh grade MAGNET program at Marietta Middle. School Marietta Middle School When was it implemented? It was implemented after winter break in January 2015.
Why was the project implemented? What were the major purpose and intended outcome? STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications. As a new teacher to STEM, I reviewed the science standards for seventh grade and thought how my content area, language arts, could best support the science curriculum. I had recently read a six-month expose in National Geographic about the world and the dilemma of feeding more people, 2 billion more, by 2050. I researched anchor texts, both literary and informative, that could be supportive of the science curriculum as well as expose students to this authentic problem facing humanity. I designed a language arts curriculum that infused documents, novels, data, informative text, and design challenges to engage and challenge students with this real problem all while learning state standards for seventh grade language arts.
Grade Level Seventh
Subject Language Arts Number of Years Teaching I have taught for eleven years all with Marietta City Schools Highest Degree Earned Specialist Degree in Language Arts Past Awards or Honors Teacher of the Year 2015-2016 DEN Ambassador 2015 Coach/Odyssey of the Mind Regional Finalist 2015 Hobbies/Interests I enjoy hiking and camping especially in the Smoky Mountains. I love to read YAL. I am passionate about educating people on health and nutrition.
The project was implemented to answer the National Geographic expose question; “How Will We Feed 2 Billion More People by 2050?” This project was cross curricular and a STEM Design Challenge intended to teach the students and community about health and nutrition as well as answer the anchor question. I didn’t have an “intended” outcome since the students were creating answers and generating more questions through the Middle Years Programme (MYP) Design Cycle. I did know that whatever this project morphed into, it would be the result of inquiry and questioning by the students as I fed them information. According to Tim Blank, a horticulturist who developed the Tower Garden, the future of agriculture around the world will require new technologies and a much better use of our natural resources to sustain us. With a concern for our planet, Future Growing spent several years developing the patented vertical aeroponic Tower Garden® technology. I own one and felt that through the Tower Garden, students would be able to see firsthand how food can be grown without soil. Because of its unique aeroponic technology and vertical design, Tower Garden uses less
than 10% of the water and land required by traditional, soil-based agriculture. A recent study by the University of Mississippi found it also generates 30% more produce than soil-based growing methods. This is one way for humanity to help solve the problem: “How Will We Feed 2 Billion More People by 2050?” But what else can we do? That is where the students needed to focus and inquire. The students were each given a plant to care for. The three Tower Gardens were able to support the growth of 84 plants. Students volunteered to check the Ph and level of the water. They also had to add more nutrients as new water was added. We had two complete harvests. For the harvests, we picked our vegetables and made fresh- from-the-garden-to-the-table salads. Students volunteered to supply salad dressings. We sampled store-bought celery with our Tower Garden grown celery, and unanimously all agreed our celery tasted more flavorful. We harvested so much produce that we had an abundant of salad left to share. Throughout the unit, we read and studied literature that related to the theme The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez follows the journey of migrant farmers as they pick produce. Seedfolks by Paul Fleischmann metaphorically describes a community based on a ‘common ground’ where a group of city people decide to clean up a plot of land that is filled with trash and plant a community garden. Finally, we read, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park about helping all people have access to fresh water. As we read the literature and informational texts, students asked questions and wrote them on a large piece of chart paper for everyone to read. These questions sparked conversations which led to more ideas and investigation. We intentionally never stopped generating questions. The students presented their final designs at the STEM Expo. They focused their projects among five areas: food production, food transportation, local food, policies and laws, and educating the public through Public Service Announcements. The students learning was powerful and successful in that they learned the Georgia Standards of Excellence, created products through the Design Challenge, but more importantly, they took life-changing knowledge with them about how to fuel their bodies with wholesome and nutritious food.
Data Collection & Results What data were collected during the duration of the project? When & how was it collected? The data I collected was through an Edmodo assignment at the end of the project. The students anonymously reflected and answered ten multiple choice questions as well as a constructed response. Present the data. The data is available through the following link: http://tinyurl.com/lsegur6
Implications What conclusions can be made from the project and the data? • Students are more aware of the food they choose on a daily basis, healthy versus unhealthy. • Students have gained knowledge about where their food comes from and how it is processed. • Students have become proactive with foods their family purchases. • Students addressed a worldwide issue that has ramifications for humanity. • Students’ thinking has been broadened to include cultures other than our own community. • Students addressed local policies and issues that can be softened by community involvement. What are the implications of these findings for teaching and learning? • Students can and want to solve real world problems. • Teachers can and should provide problem-based learning and questioning in the class to initiate higher order thinking. • I will improve the curriculum units and broaden the scope of investigation along this topic. • The Design Cycle is an excellent process for metacognition, so I will continue to require students to incorporate as part of the thinking routines. What are the next steps for this project? In order to capitalize on the success of the first-year implementation, I will endeavor to make the following adjustments to my project in the future: • Clean the greenhouses on the campus; • Involve more stakeholders, including business partners and other content teachers;
• Garner community leaders to partner with this project; • Connect to other schools worldwide who might share alternative solutions to the problem; • Community service projects by tying the work from the project to students’ required community service hours; • Integrate visible thinking, metacognitive, and reflective strategies as part of the work; • Collect data at the beginning of the project and compare it to student outcomes and reflections at the end of the unit.
Students Planting New Seeds
Students Eating Salad grown on our Tower Garden. Most students enjoyed Kale, Swiss Chard and Bok Choy for the first time.
: a new idea, device, or method
: the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods
Full Definition of INNOVATION 1 : the introduction of something new 2 : a new idea, method, or device : novelty —in·no·va·tion·al I \-shnәl, -shә-nәl\
Cooperative, Project-Based Chemistry Education via 21st-Century Technology Amanda Amos Description of Project What innovative practice was implemented? iPads were used to enhance chemistry education through cooperative, projectbased learning With whom was the project implemented? Students in my College Prep Chemistry, Chemistry 2, and IB Chemistry 2 classes When was it implemented? 2014-2015 school year Why was the project implemented? What were the major purpose and intended outcome? Scores on state and international exams indicate that Marietta High School students leave high school less prepared to face college classrooms and workplaces requiring high levels of scientific and technical literacy and reasoning than their peers. Despite recent gains, MHS students continue to score below the state average on the Physical Science and Biology End Of Course Tests (EOCTs). In addition, IB chemistry students averaged 3.48 (out of 7) on the 2014 exam, compared with an average score of 4.01 worldwide. MHS students pass science courses at lower rates than other disciplines. Repetition of science courses can lead to increased class sizes, heavier course loads for students in the later years of high school due to the need to make up failed credits while simultaneously earning new ones, and, in some cases, delayed graduation.
School Marietta High School Grade Level 11 & 12 Subject Chemistry Number of Years Teaching 9 Highest Degree Earned Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering Past Awards or Honors Kennesaw State University I-IMPACT Noyce Master Teaching Fellow
The National Research Council, as reported in its 2005 publication How Students Learn: History, Mathematics, and Science in the Classroom, indicates that students are more likely to learn in Hobbies/Interests science classrooms that are cooperative and centered on core The outdoors ideas. Furthermore, it is critical that students can self-assess and regulate their learning and identify and engage with their individual preconceptions about the natural world. In other words, learning must simultaneously be cooperative, yet differentiated. iPads show wonderful potential to assist in the goals of improving science instruction through both collaboration and differentiation.
Data Collection & Results What data were collected during the duration of the project? When & how was it collected? For Chemistry 1 students, pre-test SLO Exam scores averaged 34%. The expected gain on this exam was 35%, so the average student was expected to score 69% on the post-test SLO Exam. The pass rate on the IB Chemistry Exam for 2014 was 45%. The pass rate was expected to increase to 60% for the 2015 exam. Present the data. Teacher Use of an iPad in the Classroom Many classrooms do not have a full set of iPads for student use, but some do have one or a small number of iPads that could be utilized by a teacher to improve classroom instruction. A few months before I received a teacher innovation grant to purchase iPads for students, I acquired one for my own personal use. Even having just one iPad allowed me to significantly alter the way I ran my classroom. Described below are some apps I have come to rely on since gaining access to an iPad. â€˘ Google Drive. When I acquired my first iPad, I suddenly became a multi-device user. I needed a way to
easily access documents on my iPad that I had previously created on my school laptop. Google Drive solved this problem for me. First, I created a gmail account (www.gmail.com). Then I downloaded the Google Drive app onto my iPad and also installed it on my school laptop, logging in to both with my gmail username (see https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2424384?hl=en for a quick tutorial). Finally, I moved all my existing documents from my laptop’s hard drive over to my Google Drive. All the documents saved in my Google Drive were accessible both on my laptop and my iPad. Moreover, if I edited or added documents on either device, they were automatically synced to the other device. I thought this was utterly brilliant, but it turns out Google Drive got even better. My current favorite Google Drive feature is the ability to share documents with others. Each document has a unique shareable link. If I provide the link to a student or colleague, that person can view and download. I now add these links to my online lesson plans, and students are never without the documents they need to be successful in my class. • Planbook. Do you want to know what happened in my IB Chemistry 2 class today? You can, simply by viewing the lesson plans I keep online at https://planbook.com/planbook.html?t=1044589&k=amoslessonplans. I create and store my lesson plans using the Planbook app on my iPad, but there is also a desktop version for non-iPad users available at https://planbook.com/. I love this app for several reasons. First, I can set it up to accommodate just about any schedule I want, including our A/B calendar. Second, this app is feature rich. I can include state standards for each lesson from a drop-down menu (no typing them). I can insert links to documents or videos for easy access for both me and my students. There is also a notes section, which is visible only to me (not students). I put links to exams and reminders about specific students in that section. Finally, my favorite feature is that I can share my lesson plans with students, parents, colleagues, administrators, and substitutes simply by providing them a link. I put the link on my ASPEN page for easy access by parents and students. See Figure 1 for a sample lesson plan. • Knowmia. I use this app to create videos of lectures I give in class. If students are absent or they just want to hear the information again, they can get it from the video. I find this saves valuable tutoring time after school and is great for review. Also, if I am absent, a substitute can play lectures for students. This app is also useful for a flipped classroom approach. Students can watch videos online, leaving more time for labs, activities, and tutoring in class. There are many whiteboarding apps, but I like Knowmia the best. I can create slides within the app, or I can import from Powerpoint. The app records my voice and any writing that I do on the screen. There are pause and rewind features, so I can take a break or record over mistakes. The videos are published to Knowmia’s website, and each video comes with a link and an embed code, so I can share with students. I can also export the videos to YouTube. To see a sample video I created using Knowmia, go to http://www.knowmia. com/watch/lesson/42282 . Using iPads with Students When I began using iPads with students in my classroom, I had to learn some new skills. Most importantly, I had to learn to use parental controls. My iPads were not originally configured for classroom use, meaning that apps such as the camera and Facetime were enabled, as was access to the app store. I quickly learned that students felt free to use my iPads for any and every purpose they possibly could, so keeping students safe and on task became an important priority. Fortunately for me, one senior IB student and intern was an expert in the use of parental controls, so a quick tutorial from him taught me to remove apps I did not want students using, restrict access to the app store, and limit the types of content students could access on the web. With these safety features in place, we were set for a more productive and fruitful classroom experience with the iPads. Social Reading to Improve Literacy One of my goals in using the iPads in my classroom was to encourage and promote scientific literacy through the use of social reading. I wanted students to read and respond to text in a way that promoted reflection and communication among students. To this end, I tried three different approaches to social reading, each of which I applied to one of three similar articles related to ocean acidification. Students read each article and used one of the three response platforms described below to reflect on the article and communicate their ideas with other students. 1) Traditional Paper. I printed one article and made a copy for each student to read and annotate. I taped several questions about the article to the classroom walls. Students wrote out their responses and taped them to the wall. I then asked them to read and respond to their classmates’ writing. 2) Google Document. I asked students to read the second article online using a laptop. Simultaneously, I asked them to open a Google document in which I had previously placed questions. Students could work cooperatively to respond to the questions. Since multiple people can edit a Google document, they could see other students’ responses in real time. 3) Subtext App for iPad. I converted an online article to an ePub file (instructions on how to do this can be found here: http://kulowiectech.blogspot.com/2012/05/social-reading-on-ipad-subtext-x-custom.html), then had students open the ePub file in the Subtext app. The Subtext app allows students to define and gather
more information about unfamiliar words, annotate text, discuss text with each other in an online platform, answer questions, respond to polls and see poll results, and perform many other text manipulations. For a great tutorial using the Subtext app, see the video available at this link: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=VsBJ5hKQpb4. Using iPads to Gather, Analyze, and Interpret Scientific Data Over the last several years, Marietta High School has worked to acquire classroom sets of digital probeware from Vernier Software and Technology. This probeware collects quantitative data (i.e., temperature, pH, voltage drop, and a host of other measurements) over time and graphs data automatically. Recently Vernier developed an interface for their probeware that connects via Bluetooth to tablets and smartphones and transmits data to their data analysis app. Part of my teacher innovation grant was used to purchase Bluetooth interfaces and additional probes to accompany them. These purchases allowed students to record real-time data on the classroom iPads or their own personal smartphones and tablets. Once recorded, students could share data with each other, compare experiments, and graphically analyze results all from their own smart devices. Additionally, the wireless transmission of data to my iPad allowed me to project data on my Smartboard as it was collected, something I have never previously been able to do.
Implications What conclusions can be made from the project and the data? 1) Students were very appreciative of the capability of the Planbook app to easily connect them with all the information and materials they needed to be successful in class. I received lots of compliments about how student-friendly it was and how students wished more teachers would use it. Additionally, it was a great asset to me in staying organized while teaching many different courses. Planbook is my favorite app teaching. 2) Students were generally positive about my recording of lectures via the Knowmia app. I tried playing videos to the entire class on a couple of occasions and found that they were not well received in that venue. However, when students were provided an individual device in class, or watched videos at home, they provided much more positive reviews. They valued being able to go at their own pace, rewinding and listening again to more difficult concepts and skipping over what they already knew. Also, the ability to pause and write down notes and questions was viewed as important. In general, video lecturing was powerful for individualized instruction, differentiation, and remediation. 3) The results of my social reading experiment were a little difficult to interpret. However, in general I found that students studied and analyzed text itself more carefully when provided an online analysis platform such as a collaborative Google Doc or the Subtext app. However, they engaged in richer discussion with their peers using traditional paper and face-to-face conversations with peers. 4) The use of the Vernier technology to gather and interpret data has both positive and negative aspects. Because data are graphed automatically and analysis tools easily employed, students who are adept at graphical analysis save valuable time over using traditional plotting methods. For students with weaker graphing skills, the app is useful in that students spend less energy creating graphs and can focus their mental effort on understanding the underlying scientific concepts behind the graph. On the other hand, automatic graphing does little to improve these students’ own graphing skills. What are the implications of these findings for teaching and learning? Overall, my first few months of using iPads combined with Vernier probeware technology in my classroom have demonstrated that iPads are useful aids for classroom organization, differentiation and remediation, social reading, and data interpretation. What are the next steps for this project? In the future I would like to use my iPads in ways other than those I have already tried. The following are some untested ideas and goals: 1) Students will improve scientific literacy by annotating and editing their own scientific writing and that of their peers. Free pdf annotation apps can be used for this purpose. 2) Students will create multimedia presentations to display their understanding of fundamental chemical principles using a variety of free story-producing or multimedia presentation-producing apps. 3) IB chemistry students will learn organic chemistry nomenclature and interpretation of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) data via the app “iSpartan.” 4) Students will prepare for the science portion of the ACT (and the IB chemistry exam, which shares some similarities in structure and content) using the app “ACT Test Prep” by Allen Prep.
Figure 1: A sample lesson plan created with the Planbook app.
Figure 2: Kamran Paracha and Leyda Paredes Escobar use iPads during a Chemistry 1 class.
Figure 3: Adam Williams and Jason Caldwell monitor the pH of a solution over time using a Vernier pH probe connected wirelessly to an iPad.
Experiential Learning: The Art of Making Learning Come to Life Jill C. Baker School Sawyer Road Elementary School Grade Level K-5 Subject International Baccalaureate & Theater Arts Number of Years Teaching 20+ Years
Highest Degree Earned Currently working on Masters’ in Educational Leadership Past Awards or Honors 2015 IB Film SRE: We Are Creative chosen to be recognized at IB Creativity Symposium at the Hague, Netherlands Hobbies/Interests Reading, Media, Theater, Costume Design, I LOVE to learn!
Description of Project What innovative practice was implemented? Theater Arts was the focus of the grant with a concentration in process drama, a form of drama where both students and teacher play a role in the process. Fifth graders, for example, traveled back in time to the Civil War to play a part in the trial at Harper’s Ferry as John Brown, attorneys, witnesses, and jury. They began their journey researching the case then formulated questions for both prosecution and defense. The media center was transformed into the humid courtroom on that historic day as I lead them in the role of the bailiff through the process of both trial and historical event. The mock trial was not a production for others, but instead a learning experience for the students as they each played a role in this pivotal part of the war instead of just reading about it. Fourth graders sailed into the life of the explorer and his crew with tableaus about each of the explorers in their standards. Not only did they look the part, but they also created poetry and plays creating a living history museum. With process drama students develop a deeper understanding not only of the standards, but also of the process of learning as they take on the roles of other throughout past, present, and future. The focus is not always on production, but the journey of learning. With whom was the project implemented? Students from K-5 at Sawyer Road received theater arts instruction for 45 minutes to one hour once every three weeks for the first time this year. When was it implemented? 2014-2015 school year Why was the project implemented? What were the major purpose and intended outcome? Albert Einstein once said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” I believe there are no greater gifts we can give students than those learned through theater: confidence, creativity, the love of reading and words just to name a few. Research shows that students who participate in theater programs build not only confidence, but also academic skills. The ultimate goal of this program was to help each student overcome what most people name as their greatest fear: the ability to stand before others and speak confidently. Presentation skills can be the difference in success and failure. Some of the strategies used included the following: • Kindergarten & 1st grade- Puppetry, Readers’ Theater, Poetry, Storytelling, Story Chant, and Vocabulary Charades • 2nd & 3rd grade- Louis Braille role play, Creating Theater Masks, Two Voice Readers’ Theater, and Theater Games • 4th & 5th Grade- Mock Trial, Costume Design, Native American Theater Festival, Tableau, & Poetry SLAM All of these activities allowed students to become more confident by using the tools of the actor: voice,
imagination, body, and expression. Students were encouraged to present to others often and use various strategies to overcome any fears that arose from presentation. When reflecting on the addition of drama to the curriculum this year, several of our quietest students credited drama for helping them to “speak out” and “not be afraid of what others are thinking” when presenting.” The innovation grant funded materials for each of these lessons. These supplies would not have been possible without this funding source. From Civil War hats to cloth for costumes, this grant provided students with skills and experiences that will stay with them for a lifetime.
Data Collection & Results What data were collected during the duration of the project? When & how was it collected? At the beginning of the school year students were asked in an informal survey how they felt when presenting to an audience. Words like “shy,” “scared,” and “embarrassed” were common threads in all grade level discussions. SLOs were also administered to the 5th grade in the area of Theater Arts. Students were questioned not only on their knowledge of theater terms in a multiple choice format, and graded by rubric on their presentation skills. The shy student who spoke barely a whisper on the pre-test delivered Shakespeare and Whitman with ease on the post-test. Testing even became fun as we turned our presentation SLOs into a Poetry Slam. Present the data. At the end of the year students were assessed using surveys on their level of comfort when presenting to an audience. Students stated they had “…overcome (their) fears…” and said things like “…I am better now in front of people because I know I have something good to say.” Many teachers noticed that students had greater confidence presenting information in class and confidence levels had increased considerably. SLO Assessments showed growth as well among 5th graders. Fifth graders in the fall averaged a 38.6 score on the SLOs as many of them had theater knowledge but also showed little presentation skills. In May when tested, students scored an average of 70.8 on the SLO, an increase of almost 100%. I hope to continue to monitor students next year to see if growth continues especially in those students who have attended drama classes for two years at Sawyer Road.
Implications What conclusions can be made from the project and the data? Theater Arts is not only engaging, but a fabulous tool that teachers can use in teaching children. Students today are experiencing a critical communication skill deficit, and theater arts strategies can help students learn to not only fill that gap in oral communication, but also become more successful in their lives. Theater works! What are the implications of these findings for teaching and learning? Gail Godwin, a famous novelist, once said, “Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-parts theater.” In today’s society we must engage our students in the learning process. Our society has changed, and so have our children. Whether implemented for student engagement or teaching concepts students must learn, theater is a tool that needs to be utilized for its powerful impact on student success! Shakespeare said, “All the world’s a stage…” so get out those acting skills and incorporate a little theater in your lessons! Teachers interested in using more theatre and encouraged to start slowly and can use even simple strategies to put a little more drama into daily lessons: 1. Try character voices when reading aloud. 2. Instead of talking about molecules and the states of matter, have students act them out. 3. Make your classroom a comfort zone with a no-laughing-at-others policy and encourage students to become risk-takers. 4. Give students opportunities to present, present, present! It is far easier to overcome stage fright when you are young. 5. Take the first step! Theater is a fabulous way to both engage students and help them to apply concepts they are learning. What are the next steps for this project? I would like to continue growing in my own knowledge of innovative teaching strategies! Next year I am planning to organize our drama program in the lower grades a bit differently using themes such as nursery rhymes and fairy tales to teach theater skills in connection with core standards. I am looking forward to working more collaboratively with the teachers at Sawyer Road to connect theater arts with the IB planners this year. Together I believe we can strengthen students’ grasp of more difficult concepts and apply them to the real-world and beyond.
Not every activity was a success or a huge production; however, each and every time I met with students I saw them gain a little more confidence. Theater Arts was the highlight of the week for many students and helped them to gain the confidence they needed to succeed not only on the stage, but also in the classroom. Thank you to Marietta City Schools for allowing me to bring the art of theater to Sawyer Road. The faces of the students show that this grant helped me accomplish what MCS loves to do: make a difference!
Explorers visited from the past in the form of tableau, a group of people forming a still picture. Fourth graders researched famous explorers and created museum exhibits.
Performing with puppets helped second graders learn communication skills that transfer to all academic areas.
Dr. Seussâ€™ books came to life as first graders joined fourth and fifth graders to experience the step-by-step process of putting together the show Seussical the Musical.
Native American studies came to life as fourth graders made costumes and performed folktales from Native American cultures.
Why Innovation? Teacher innovations assist in increasing the number of students exceeding standards and/or increasing high school graduation rate.
The 21st-Century Physics Classroom Luke Burch Description of the Project What innovative practice was implemented? This grant provided for the purchase of a class set of iPads and physics applications (apps) to assist in labs throughout the school year. These apps allow for frameby-frame video analysis of motion to determine an object’s position, velocity, and acceleration according to time. This analysis is done using the Vernier Video Physics and Graphical Analysis apps purchased for the iPad. These apps allow students to take videos of an object moving, and simply touch the object in each individual frame to plot data points using the video. The app then graphs the object’s position and velocity in the x and y axes. For example, students can use the class iPad to take a video (using the Vernier video app) of a model rocket launching into the air. Then, using the Vernier Graphical Analysis app, students can graph the rocket’s trajectory frame-by-frame and determine the height, speed, and acceleration of the rocket. This is an example that would have been difficult if not impossible School to do calculations with prior to the use of the iPads. Marietta High School The iPads and applicable apps are used with subject matter throughout the school year. The concepts include any subject Grade Level that moves, including: 1-demensional motion, projectile motion, 9th, 12th mechanical energy, simple harmonic motion, etc. Because of the range of subjects that can be studied with these apps, the iPads are Subject useful for the entire school year, not just for one unit. Physics With whom was the project implemented? 9th and 12 graders in Physics When was it implemented? January 2015 – May 2015
Number of Years Teaching 5 years Highest Degree Earned Bachelors of Science Education
Why was the project implemented? What were the major purpose and intended outcome? Hobbies/Interests Scientific inquiry labs require a large quantity of data to be Playing with my kids and working in the gathered and analyzed, a process that typically takes more time yard. than a single class period. Because of the necessary pace of the course, scientific principles generally end up being taught quickly, and the class moves on to another topic before the inquiry lab has been completed. Using video analysis, the total time needed for inquiry labs should be decreased; this allows more class time to investigate new concepts and to do more labs.
What conclusions can be made from the project and the data? • Video analysis of motion allows students to accurately take measurements of motion that are too large or fast to use traditional high school lab methods (i.e., stopwatch and meter stick). For example, students were able to measure the height, launch velocity, and acceleration of a model rocket launch that would have been nearly impossible prior to use of the iPads. • Data collection can occur much quicker since it is as simple as taking a video. • Much larger quantities of data can be collected easily. Each frame, 1/30th of a second, becomes a data point. More data leads to more accurate results. Prior to the use of the iPad, error was elevated in some labs due to lack of data points and the potential for poor data collection. • Students gain the ability to investigate and to take measurements of their actual world around them instead of only what can be set up inside a laboratory environment. The iPads and apps are used to take a video of a car traveling down the road as opposed to a wooden car traveling down a track in the lab. This gives real life application that students tend to be much more interested in and can relate to, resulting in more attention given to the material. What are the implications of these findings for teaching and learning? • Student engagement in activities increases when they are able to measure motion of their normal world
instead of a specific set up inside a lab. • Inquiry investigations can be done in a single class period allowing students to discover the principle instead of being told. This increases their understanding and retention of the information. • Students who struggle with processing data can do inquiry labs more often since video analysis is a direct measurement, measurements of desired data that do not require calculations, method. This interactive, efficient approach allows me to meet the needs of learning who learn best through visual and kinesthetic methods. In addition, the repeated exposure increases the retention of information and the understanding of deeper science concepts. • Students’ ability to draw meaning from graphs increases due to the constant exposure during every inquiry lab. What are the next steps for this project? • I will continue development of inquiry-based labs that can be completed and discussed in a single class period. • I will publish how-tos and example labs on the web to help other teachers implement video analysis in their own classes. The videos will be posted at my classroom website: https://sites.google.com/site/ mrburchsclasses/labs.
Above Left: Students record a stomp rocket’s motion to determine the force used to launch it. Above Right: Student throws a ball in the air to determine the acceleration of gravity Left: Graphical analysis of the vertical motion of a ball thrown in the air to determine the acceleration of gravity.
Communicating with iPads Susan Donlin
Description of the Project What innovative practice was implemented? The grant provided iPad minis for the students in our adaptive special education curriculum classroom to use during instruction, to aid with communication, and to use during leisure time. We provided durable, colorful protective covers to promote independence and a sense of ownership with their particular device. Among other education applications, each iPad was uploaded with a communication application, iCommunicate. The iCommunicate application allows the teacher to design visual schedules, storyboards, communication boards, routines, flash cards, choice cards, and speech cards. The application also uses the same symbols as our picture supported curriculum, News2You. With whom was the project implemented? The seven 7th and 8th grade students in my classroom have moderate intellectual disabilities, and most have significant language delays. Two of my students have language skills limited to a few words and phrases and those are difficult to understand by the unfamiliar listener. I also have one nonverbal student in our room. When was it implemented? We received the iPads and their cases in December, at which point we began using them. I immediately worked on obtaining the communicate application. Because the process to purchase was new and confusing, that particular application was not successfully downloaded onto the iPads until February.
School Marietta Middle School Grade Level 7th & 8th Subject Adapted Curriculum Number of Years Teaching 10 years
Highest Degree Earned Why was the project implemented? What were the major BS – Special Education purpose and intended outcome? I wanted to find a way to promote augmentative communication Hobbies/Interests that appears age appropriate and is portable for my students. I Cake and cookie decorating also wanted a piece of technology that would prove to be flexible for all the varying levels of my students. Low tech options such as picture boards and expressive communication boards have limited options and do not look like something a teenager would keep with them. The iPads are also much more cost effective than some of the other communication device options, such as the Dynavox, which is a powerful, but expensive tool that provides amble options for communication. It is also very bulky and can difficult when transporting.
What conclusions can be made from the project and the data? • Using a touch screen device was a very natural transition for the students, because this is the technology most used with their parents. In the past, teaching students to use the laptop and desktop computers has been difficult, but they quickly adapted to the touch screen device because they are accustomed to using their parents’ smart phones and tablets. • The iPads provide a much more age-appropriate means for completing school work for our students with limited motor skills who do not write. Instead of completing a cut-and-paste worksheet, they can use the iPad for an activity. I even found applications that allowed me to upload worksheets directly onto the device for the student to complete. Also, our online curriculum for special needs students is available on an app with the interactive worksheets and the read-aloud newspapers. • The iPads also allow for age appropriate leisure activity for our students. It is difficult to find common teenage leisure activities that are accessible to our students due to limited motor skills and varying intellectual disabilities, but our students love all the activity options the iPads provide. • With color-coded covers and an organized place to keep the iPads, the students were very responsible with their devices and were independent in putting them away after use. • The iPads proved to be very versatile in the classroom. We even used the iPad video camera to help students working on table manners view themselves while eating. The cases have stands so the students could watch
themselves and become more aware of chewing with their mouth and when they needed to wipe. What are the implications of these findings for teaching and learning? • Allows the students to engage more with technology that is similar to what their peers are using. Most of my students are socially aware and want to fit in with their peers, and using an iPad is a very typical middle school activity. It is important that teenagers with intellectual disabilities be seen and treated as teenagers with a disability and not as young children regardless of their cognitive functioning. • Increases their ability to interact with peers and adults. • The devises increased the students’ engagement and motivation during academics. The students enjoyed using the iPads to complete the activities that accompanied our adaptive newspaper, News 2 You. Before we had the iPads, they completed all of these activities on worksheets either by writing or cut and paste. They stayed on task longer when using the iPads, and when they finished an activity, they would request to do additional activities. • The iPads increased student independence due to ease of use. • This technology exposes these students to technology that is relevant for today’s society. As a result, students are better prepared for life outside of school and after graduation. What are the next steps for this project? • I will explore and find more applications to align with the students’ individual educational goals. In this way, I can meet the differentiated needs of all of my students. • I will spend more time working with the iCommunicate app to create storyboards to help facilitate communication for our students with significant language delays. While actually setting up the application was not as user-friendly as I originally hoped, I am confident that with time the application will continue to be a success for our students.
Above Left: Tylen and Rani completing online academic activities in News2You. Above Right: iPads with color coded covers. Picture about the iPads shows each student with their colored iPad so they could identify their iPad.
Bottom Left: J’Shon reading the online newspaper in picture supported text. The newspaper also has a read- aloud feature. Bottom Right: Rani practicing her table manners while watching herself in the iPad camera. Eating sessions can be recorded to be watched and reviewed later.
Project iMath Rozina Essani and Dana Meyer Description of the Project
Rozina Essani School Marietta High School Grade Level 9 - 12 Subject Mathematics Number of Years Teaching 4 years Highest Degree Earned Master’s Past Awards or Honors Outstanding New Employee 2012 ING Unsung Heroes Grant 2013 Hobbies/Interests 2-dimensional art (painting)
What innovative practice was implemented? Using reality television as inspiration, math problems are solved to the theme of shows like “Survivor,” “Masterchef,” “The Great Escape,” and others. For “Survivor Math,” students use a map of the school to locate the classrooms that contain a math problem board. The room numbers are highlighted on the map. Upon entering the room, one or more problems must be solved in order to earn a tribal puzzle piece. A teacher checks the students work to make sure it is correct. If incorrect, they are told to try again. Students must collect all the puzzle pieces to complete the show. Props are provided to add interest such as tiki torches, bead bracelets, and tribal signs. Students solve problems based off recipe cards in “Mathster Chef.” They choose a recipe and collect the ingredients necessary for their dish. Each ingredient comes with a problem. Students are given aprons and chef hats to wear along with plastic food, recipe cards, mixing bowls, and even a cutting board to use as a clip board. The solutions to math problems are used as combinations for a variety of different safes and locks in “The Great Escape - Math Style”. A clue to the Dana Meyer next problem comes upon opening School a given lock which ultimately leads Marietta High School to opening the one master safe. The grant was used to purchase the Grade Level items above as well as stethoscopes, 9 - 12 a skeleton, lab coats, mirror balls, Subject strobe lights, tables, heart/brain Mathematics molds and much more. These items really brought the activities to life. Number of Years Teaching 25 years With whom was the project implemented? Students were divided into four groups per class, with approximately Past Awards or Honors six to eight in each group. The classes MMS Teacher of the Year 2001 who participated were Analytic ING Unsung Heroes Grant 2013 Geometry (sophomores), Analytic National Board Certified Teacher Geometry Support (sophomores) and 2001 - present Math IV (juniors and seniors). The Hobbies/Interests approach can be used with practically Georgia Symphony Orchestra any class or subject. member (flute/piccolo) Highest Degree Earned Specialist
When was it implemented? We began a few years ago with our own money so activities were limited, but the project was fully implemented during the 2014-2015 school year using the innovation grant award. Why was the project implemented? What were the major purpose and intended outcome? The project was implemented to create an enthusiastic culture in a math classroom. By making math more fun, our hope was to instill a love of learning beyond the classroom.
Implications What conclusions can be made from the project and the data? Students expressed admiration for these activities both verbally and in writing. When one of these activities is
attached to a lesson, the students are more engaged in the classroom. Through observation, all students actively participated in learning the math by working the problems necessary to complete any particular “show.” One of the requirements is that each student must show their work for each problem in order for a team to be declared the winner. This creates an environment of peer tutoring and student teaching. The groups are highly competitive. What are the implications of these findings for teaching and learning? By offering students an opportunity to learn in this manner, more students are likely to engage in solving math problems. Many students think that math cannot be fun and this approach proves otherwise. What are the next steps for this project? With new reality shows emerging from the television lineup each season, the possibility to incorporate them into the classroom in the form of an innovative math activity becomes a goal. Adding technology to the mix would be an ultimate addition to the whole project. It would be ideal for the students to be able to have a means to use Quick Response (QR) codes and the internet when engaged in a “show.”
Students operate on their patient in the ICU (Incorrect Computation Unit)
The “Survivor” Map is used to find the location of problems.
First Grade Movie Makers Laura Floryance School Sawyer Road Elementary School Grade Level First Grade Subject Elementary Education Number of Years Teaching 22 years Highest Degree Earned Masters of Education Past Awards or Honors • H.Res-901 Passed through Congress,
2010 Class project for day of recognition celebrating Ruby Bridges and the Integration of Louisiana Schools. • Letter of Commendation, Mayor Tom Barrett 2010 • Letter of Commendation, Governor Deal 2015 • Marietta City Schools Employee of the Month, May 2015 Hobbies/Interests • Dance • Gardening • Photography and Video Production
Description of the Project What innovative practice was implemented? Movie making technology was used with first graders to teach problem solving strategies and to create enhanced understanding of content. With the help of our parent partner, Mr. Thelonious Carter, students were able to create original movies that centered on key curriculum concepts such as sequencing, phonics rules, and weather patterns. The students used cameras, a Smart Board, a MacBook Pro, a Snowball, and a variety of props to make movies. The kids were involved in every aspect of the movie creation from script writing, prop selection, acting, cinematography, editing, sound production, and directing. Kids were able to import, sequence, trim, and render special effects on a clip using iMovie in less than a minute with no assistance from adults. With whom was the project implemented? My first grade class was comprised of 11 boys and 11 girls, 1 gifted student, and 12 ESOL students. More than half of the students qualified for EIP services. When was it implemented? The class started making its first movies beginning in November 2014 after we received all necessary computer components and software. The project ended in May 2015 with our 1F Film Festival. Every family received a DVD portfolio of all of our productions completed this year. Why was the project implemented? What were the major purpose and intended outcome? Prior to teaching in Marietta City Schools, I worked at a school that had a technology emphasis. My time working there coupled with my experience working in audio and visual production led me to believe that I could make movies with my first graders at Sawyer Road. The purpose was to use movie making technology to support student learning of content and to enhance student ability to problem solve. My hope was that with such an enriched critical thinking environment, more than 50% of my students would exceed the standard on benchmarks and achieve exceptional gains on MAP testing by year’s end. Another intended outcome was to provide students with exposure to a variety of careers paths in audio-visual production. Part of the Graduate Marietta initiative is to help students see themselves as graduates and for students to have exposure to real-world careers. In January of 2015, Governor Nathan Deal announced his intention to establish a Georgia Film Academy that would work in conjunction with the state college system. I wanted to take these initiatives right down to our littlest learners!
Data Collection & Results What data were collected during the duration of the project? When & how was it collected? Throughout the year, students took 4 district benchmark assessments and MAP standardized testing in Fall, Winter, and Spring.
Local Assessments –
• The average student RIT gain in Reading from Fall 2014 to Spring 2015 was 26 points. • The average student RIT gain in Math from Fall 2014 to Spring 2015 was also 26 points. • These gains were significantly higher than our MAP RIT growth projections for the year.
Implications What conclusions can be made from the project and the data? Students became better problem solvers by using movie making technology to demonstrate understanding of content. The kids were able to learn how to sequence, apply skills to new situations, and evaluate what they wished to include. By learning these skills in the course of movie making, they were able to use these skills in other situations. We made a variety of movies this year, although their favorite movie was a silent production titled “Silent E Strikes Again!” which taught kids a phonics rule. All students made exceptional gains on assessments and I believe that this was due, in part, to students being taught how to THINK and SOLVE. Furthermore, the class learned to work well as a team as they saw that our productions depended on everyone doing their jobs well in defined roles. Movie making often involves a large team of talented individuals, and they saw themselves as part of that team. A second outcome was that the kids enjoyed the movie making process so much that they were creating movies all on their own! After reading about the Titanic tragedy, the kids wrote a script about it and filmed their interpretation of the event during their recess time. They used film-making terminology throughout the creation of their own production, showing that even ESOL students could benefit from real-world experiences. A third and unintended outcome was that using the Garage Band software also allowed ESOL and Speech students to see a visual recording of their voices. Garage Band was a program on our MacBook Pro that allowed students to record and edit sound and music. Students could record their voices and see the wave patterns. It also helped the students quickly learn to enunciate and to control volume. All I had to do was move my hand in a sound wave pattern and instantly students would increase their volume and speak more clearly.
What are the implications of these findings for teaching and learning? I believe that using movie making technology is of great benefit for even our youngest learners. Students will be able to learn real-world career skills while learning and presenting content. Students who create representations of the content being learned have better chances of retaining that content. This technology should be used with all of our students and not just Gifted students. When we treat all students to enhanced learning opportunities such as this, the entire class benefits. What are the next steps for this project? It is my hope that with continued funding next year, we can afford an HD video camera and another computer so that students can work in simultaneous small groups. I would also like to use drawing/animation software to enhance some of our movies with animation and 3D, as this was something that we were unable to accomplish this year. I would like to teach next year’s students even earlier in the year how to make movies and continue to work with my prior year students on projects as well so that they build on the production skills that they have already acquired.
Top Left: Lucas learned about panning the camera and editing the shot. Top Right: Arturo records a sound clip using our Snowball. Bottom Left: During recess, the kids made their own production about the sinking of the Titanic. Bottom Right: QR code to YouTube version of the “Silent E Strikes Again,” or it can be accessed at the following URL: https://youtu.be/aA5hjipWWRw
Innovative School System
Marietta City Schools set the tone for innovation by becoming an International Baccalaureate (IB) World School District, making it one of only a few school systems nationwide able to provide the full IB (K-12) continuum.
Vocabulary Development Using Read-Alouds and Quizlet Corinne Rochelin Description of the Project
What innovative practice was implemented? Vocabulary acquisition is often times tackled in primary grades through recurrent spelling lists that offer no real context or meaning for students. This in turn limits application. The end result for many students is a barrage of words studied but not retained from shortterm to long-term memory. After reflecting on the lack of student growth in this area, especially those identified as English Language School Dunleith Elementary School Learners (ELLs), I knew my charge was to teach vocabulary with a more engaging and meaningful approach. Grade Level 3rd Grade Reading aloud to children provides a powerful context for word learning (Biemiller & Boote, 2006; Bravo, Hiebert, & Pearson, Subject 2007). Books chosen for read-alouds are typically engaging, thus Vocabulary Acquisition increasing both children’s motivation and attention (Fisher, Flood, Number of Years Teaching Lapp, & Frey, 2004) and the likelihood that novel words will be 4 years learned (Bloom, 2000). So by coupling an interactive read aloud,
along with the use of www.quizlet.com, my students experienced Highest Degree Earned a new vocabulary approach. When intentionally planning for this Master’s in Teaching work, I first select a quality text, such as Thank You Mr. Falker by Past Awards or Honors Patricia Polacco, and work to identify 8-10 tier 2 level words (i.e., • 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year – mature words that frequently appear in written language) to create Dunleith Elementary a vocabulary list set for that week. I then use post-it notes to mark • MCS Employee of the month – the context in which the words appear in order to help students December 2013 connect and make sense of each word during the read aloud. • UGA representative at the Georgia Once we have experienced the words as a group, each student Partnership for Excellence in Education independently accesses www.quizlet.com to study the same set (GPEE) – 2011 of vocabulary words found in our class sets. These online study Hobbies/Interests sets not only include the words, pictures, and definitions, but also Non-profit work, traveling, reading, offer an audio option for students to work on their pronunciation dancing as well. Once students have a comfort level with each word, they can choose various fun activities and games to encourage them to practice and study frequently. By winning this innovative grant, I was able to secure tablets for each student which allowed this teacher practice to be executed with fidelity. With whom was the project implemented? This project was strictly implemented in my classroom. The class make-up consisted of 21 students, with 10 students receiving English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) services, 13 receiving Early Intervention Program (EIP) services, and two receiving Individualized Education Program (IEP) services. When was it implemented? October 2014 until May 2015 Why was the project implemented? What were the major purpose and intended outcome? Dunleith’s student improvement plan for the 2014-2015 school year identified vocabulary as an area in need of improvement based on curriculum-data analysis. Training provided by the district / literacy coach to meet this need emphasized vocabulary instruction during read alouds. The intended outcome of this project was, therefore, to increase students’ level of engagement and motivation for vocabulary acquisition using the teaching practice of read-alouds along with Quizlet. In addition, emphasizing tier 2 words specifically was meant to increase student achievement in reading comprehension skills measured by district assessments.
Data Collection & Results What data were collected during the duration of the project? When & how was it collected? Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Reading tests were tracked to identify student growth. These tests were given in the Fall 2014, Winter 2015 and Spring 2015 semester of the school year.
Test scores were collected for each summative assessment given on vocabulary sets. Present the data. MAP Results â€“ Percent of student who met or exceeded their projected RIT (scale that measure student achievement and growth): Fall 2014 â€“ Winter 2015 Growth Report (78.9%) Fall 2014 â€“ Spring 2015 Growth Report (60%).
Implications What conclusions can be made from the project and the data? From observation, this project positively impacted overall student engagement and motivation when used consistently. Unlike previous years where students rarely shared or mentioned words from their spelling list, I found that students were more aware of words studied since they often came across them in their independent reading. They were excited to share their findings by writing the word in context on a post-it to be displayed in the classroom. Vocabulary words also appeared more frequently in their writing or even when speaking in their guided groups to expound on their thoughts of a particular topic. Addressing the results from data collected, the difference in data from Winter to Spring could be attributed to an accelerated focus on Milestone preparations which then limited the initial time allotted for vocabulary instruction and practice. Data also suggests a correlation between a high usage rate of the vocabulary sets on Quizlet and higher test scores on vocabulary assessments. A high usage rate is defined as at least one hour in the classroom a week and additional practice at home. Consequently, more growth was made by students who had home access of Quizlet.
What are the implications of these findings for teaching and learning? To improve growth, more support is needed for those students who lack access to internet and academic support at home. In order to address these needs, vocabulary instruction will also be done in small guided groups using task cards such as the one below in order to check for understanding and address any misconceptions. As part of their Word Work activity, students work in pairs taking turns asking their partner a series of questions with the support of these task cards. As students respond to questions, I am easily able to identify areas where students may be struggling and offer additional support. Uninterrupted time must also be continuously provided for the utilization of Quizlet at school. Too often changes in school schedule disrupted time allotted for students to practice on Quizlet. Time is also a concern with regards to teacher planning. Additional planning is necessary to select literature, vocabulary words, create study sets on Quizlet and produce task cards mentioned. Also depending on the read aloud chosen, multiple sessions may need to be set aside time to read the entire book. This leaves less time for students to practice and study vocabulary words on Quizlet directly so more flexibility may be needed with the amount of time teachers allot for each word set in their lesson plans. Task #1 - Have you ever? Name things that are enormous. Tell times when you might beckon someone. Name places that you find cozy. Tell about a time you were bursting with emotion. Tell times when something delighted you. Name responsibilities a student has at school. Task #2 - Which would...? Would you rather have an enormous - bag of candy or bag of vegetables? Why? Would you rather be beckoned by - a friend or a monster? Why? Would you rather have the same responsibilities as - a beekeeper or a candy taster? Why? Which would delight you more - a visit to the doctorâ€™s office or a visit to Six Flags? Why? Which would be cozier - a bed made of nails or feathers? Would you rather be bursting with - joy or sadness? Task #3 - Relate it back to the concept enormous, cozy, delighted, bursting, responsibility, or beckon What word would you use to tell about your bed? If you are bursting with joy, are you delighted? Explain. What word tells about chores you might have around your house? If you had a large hat, yolur hat would be... If you called someone to come to the front door, did you beckon them? Explain. Task #4 - Meaningful questions Could a room bursting with delight have people crying? Explaion. Are you delighted when you have a responsibility? Why or why not? Name a place that is not cozy. What is that place like? Would you beckon an enormous crocodile? Why or why not? Would your mom be delighted if you made your own breakfast? Explain. What are the next steps for this project? For the next school year, other grade levles will also use this approach for vocabulary acquisition. Through teacher collaboration, more vocabulary sets will be made which will overcome the current time constraints. To improve home access of Quizlet, we will encourage parents to use the new, free Quizlet mobile phone application.
Marietta City Schools provides students with a technology-rich learning experience, which is critical for them to obtain the skills necessary for global competitiveness.
iPad-iLiteracy Jennifer Santi Description of the Project What innovative practice was implemented? iPad-iLiteracy! The use of iPads to increase student reading comprehension, writing fluency, and increase vocabulary. The goal of this project was to provide opportunities for students to engage with vocabulary and language apps and websites that would allow them to have fun while learning. In addition to this, it was hoped that students would learn just how much is available to them through technology, as they found themselves working through more difficult language issues as they progressed through their education. To this end, only free apps and websites were utilized throughout the initiative. We visited sites such as Freerice.com and vocabulary.co.il/ to play School games and have competitions for learning. We also employed the Marietta High School use of BrainPop, Luminosity, and Vocabology. Students were given time in each unit to discover new words and implement them in daily Grade Level 10-11 language and writing. The iPads were mostly used in collaborative learning configurations, as only 15 iPads were purchased for use. Subject American Literature, College Prep &PreWith whom was the project implemented? Diploma Programme • Subject Areas: 10th Grade Pre-Diploma Program American Literature and 11th Grade College Preparatory American Literature Number of Years Teaching • Number of Students: Approximately. 150 13 When was it implemented? Highest Degree Earned November 2014-May 2015 Ed.S Instructional Technology Why was the project implemented? What were the major Past Awards or Honors purpose and intended outcome? Kiwanis GEM, twice Employee of the Month The changes from Common Core and Milestones testing increases the demand that students become stronger readers Hobbies/Interests and more competent writers and that they do so in addition to the Gardening, Reading, Traveling, Boating/ development of rigorous standards found within the. More than Wakeboarding ever before in their studies, students will be asked to read highly complex texts over an extended time and then to produce coherent written responses. This change will require that students read more informational texts, write with rational sophistication, become more critical consumers of the world, and begin to see connections from a global perspective. In order to support student in this way, educators must provide authentic learning experiences that engage learners through research-based best practice. In addition to this, as scores on the SAT and ACT indicate, some students have a low-capacity vocabulary. Teachers are challenged to find new ways to engage students with words and increase their understanding of multiple usages. In addition to this hefty responsibility, teachers are also charged with increasing the graduation rate while growing the number of students that will exceed on all standardized tests. In order to do this, teachers and students must work together so that students find success in school, all while keeping expectations high and demanding. There must be a revolution in student engagement, reinvigorating their natural curiosity and love of learning. To do this, we must rely on the fuel of the 21st century learner: technology. The GaDOE has adopted the National Educational Technology Standards (NETS-S) in order to prepare students to be college ready. (These can be accessed at http://www.gadoe.org/Technology-Services/Instructional-Technology/Pages/ FY11-Title-IID.aspx) Within the ELA Standards, students are required to use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information (ELACC11-12W6). In this union of standards, assessments, and student engagement, we must expand the ELA student’s critical reading and writing skills and ready them for a life beyond our walls.
Data Collections & Results What data were collected during the duration of the project? When & how was it collected? As with comprehensive and specialized initiatives, it is important to collect initial baseline data and summative, ending data. It certainly would be the hope to show a correlation between the chosen innovation and substantial student learning and achievement. It was my intention to have focused data collection with this initiative that was instructionally informative. I was hoping to focus my energies on student achievement data that might show the value of this program and the impact that technology can have on learning. However, as the year began and discussions took place about when the iPads would actually arrive to begin the plan, it became apparent that there was no clear indication of when they would arrive, if they would be available in time to consistently implement a plan of action with students. The iPads were not delivered until almost the Winter Break, and then still needed to be configured. I did not have these for use until just into 2nd semester. As such, I did not have baseline data collected. For next school year, I will have a diagnostic tool that directly targets vocabulary instruction and Milestones writing application. This could simply be MAP scores pre and post, with a focus on the reading CCPGS skills within the test, in order to gauge student growth. Of course, with this data there can be no definitive causation, but a correlation might be made, should the tool of measurement be distinctive enough. This would require that the standards for measurement be identified before the first administration of the test and then data pulled for those strands to measure change and growth. As I failed to make the data collection and evaluation a part of the program this year, it is a primary initiative for the beginning of next school year and will be in place for the start of the year
Implications What conclusions can be made from the project and the data? From the experiences with this, it seemed that students enjoyed working with this technology! They asked to use the iPads and engage with the vocabulary apps, even we were not using them. For students, it seems, technology in the classroom provides an experience with reading and writing that is enjoyable. It is a natural language for students and when targeted and focused for specific outcomes, can aid in the reaching of learning targets. I did not notice that ant one group of students enjoyed using the iPads more that another, but I did notice that some groups had more innate knowledge of working the iPads than others. Without deeper study it is unclear as to why this is, but it might be inferred that some students just have not had the same amount to access or “play time” with this particular type of technology. However, all students were able to access the apps and websites, engaging in the expected experiences. I also found that students wanted to use the iPads regularly in their studies for learning not specifically addressed by the focus of the grant. Many students found it helpful to be able to use the iPads a resource when reading or creating projects. Having access to information at all times increased the speed of projects and group work. It also allowed me to be more creative when doing stations work with the students. Instead of each station being a traditional “paper” station, I could set up websites, videos, podcasts, blogs, and more as learning stations for them to rotate through. Students were engaged with the content of the stations, partially due to the technology. Student engagement is an indicator of how much students rely on technology. Technology is like a living organism on the planet. Its growth and expansion, its depth and breadth, its pervasiveness and definitive transformations of culture are all akin to the multiplication of cells in the creation of life. It is the same in the microcosm of our classrooms. Instructional technology in the classroom will be used to enhance and support the delivery of classroom instruction, creation, and evolution. Teachers will forever be the hunters and gatherers of new and effective technologies for just that. In the cannon of Educational Theory, Constructivists have asserted that students should be the constructors of knowledge in the classroom. We must provide the opportunities for students to be the master of their own education, while guiding them to also master the standards set forth. In truth, having the iPads at my disposal meant that I could adapt any lesson or activity, right at a moment’s notice, giving students the opportunity to construct their own learning or engage with more information, instantly. Ultimately, it gave me option as an educator to fit the needs of the students into the equation. The technology in the
classroom opened doors that might have otherwise been closed to my students. Having the iPads helped to create a place where instructional technology could function as the foundation for praxis and deepen the learning. In the case of this initiative, the technology worked as a conduit for engaging the learning; it is the bridge between traditional learning and the new learner; it is the platform for wider and more extensive peer collaboration. Students enjoyed learning and they enjoyed using the iPads for that learning. In fact, some remarked that they were not really aware they were learning! What are the implications of these findings for teaching and learning? As teachers continue to move forward in their own advancements with technology, there has to be a sense of necessity between the content and the technology. Within the exchange between student and teacher there must be choice, praxis, reciprocity, reflection, dialog, equity, and voice. When these become the protocols for learning, the technology serves these masters, increasing student achievement. Learning is a process of accommodation, assimilation, or rejection of information. With this in mind, the student cannot be a passive learner, but must be engaged in the exchange in order for one or all of these processes to occur. As such, for technology to have intended effect, it must be implemented on a regular basis and used for more than play or practice. For example, when I began using the iPads for station work, students seemed to understand that learning (even in an English class) could come in many forms, through multiple mediums. We could watch a video about the time period, read a blog from the author, hear a podcast from the survivors, or read the online diary of a participant, all the while connecting it to the novel or informational text of our studies. It became apparent to me that, when implemented for the expansion of assistive, active experiences, technology can encourage collaboration and achievement. Teachers must ensure that content, pedagogy, and technology are uniting into student achievement and growth; teachers must evolve into the new world era and develop their own rich understandings. Educators know that students speak the language of technology and by giving students the opportunity to use that skill to enhance other skills and standards, provides a place in the day that gives them an opportunity for success. The authentic, meaningful applications of appropriate technologies, and the success they provide, give students a positive sense of what is happening and helps them to behave accordingly. In order for this to happen, teachers should integrate technology into the very culture of the classroom in order to motivate students, enhance instruction, to make teacher and student work more productively, and to help students learn and sharpen their information age skills. Being able to find scholarly and trustworthy information and apply that to their studies and life are the information age skills that teachers need to help students develop. What are the next steps for this project? There are areas for improvement with this project. I know that much of that falls on me as the leader in the classroom. I believe that I did not use the iPads to the fullest extent of their capabilities nor did I use them for the purposes of the initiative as regularly and systematically as should have been done. I fell back on my own traditional methods, almost forgetting that there are other ways to teach, all the while wanting my teaching to be innovative. Another primary issue of concern is the lack of data to address the efficiency of the initiative. Before the start of the next school year, I will create a diagnostic assessment that will show where students are in their writing journey and the extent of their vocabulary acquisition. From this, I will be able to track and gauge progress and growth over the course of the year. It will be a much clearer picture of the program at the end of a year where data has been collected with a reliable tool. I also found that not having enough iPads (one for each student) meant that we could only use them in small groups or in rotations. In some ways, this limited their functionality and therefore the impact and my desire to use them and to create lessons centered on their use. I found myself -and my students- using the iPad for activities beyond the parameters of the initiative quite often. We all became accustomed to pulling an iPad for use at any given time during the class period and students often asked to use them for research and reading. This certainly is not a negative result of having access to technology and testifies to the natural blending of technology and learning for our kids. Next year, I would like to create a more systematic and pervasive application of the iPad, specifically for vocabulary instruction. As an English teacher, I see the low vocabulary acquisition and abilities of my students as a deficit that seems to be growing each year, putting my students at greater disadvantage. It is, most certainly, an area of need for my students, a void in my teaching practice, and a place where I would like to use technology to help close the gap. There are so many methods available for teachers to use technology in vocabulary acquisition and instruction and I would like to explore some of those avenues with my students. I would also like to track the growth of my students to have a better understanding of what truly works for helping my students achieve and learn more.
There are areas for improvement with this project. I know that much of that falls on me as the leader in the classroom. I believe that I did not use the iPads to the fullest extent of their capabilities nor did I use them for the purposes of the initiative as regularly and systematically as should have been done. I fell back on my own traditional methods, almost forgetting that there are other ways to teach, all the while wanting my teaching to be innovative. Another primary issue of concern is the lack of data to address the efficiency of the initiative. Before the start of the next school year, I will create a diagnostic assessment that will show where students are in their writing journey and the extent of their vocabulary acquisition. From this, I will be able to track and gauge progress and growth over the course of the year. It will be a much clearer picture of the program at the end of a year where data has been collected with a reliable tool. I also found that not having enough iPads (one for each student) meant that we could only use them in small groups or in rotations. In some ways, this limited their functionality and therefore the impact and my desire to use them and to create lessons centered on their use. I found myself -and my students- using the iPad for activities beyond the parameters of the initiative quite often. We all became accustomed to pulling an iPad for use at any given time during the class period and students often asked to use them for research and reading. This certainly is not a negative result of having access to technology and testifies to the natural blending of technology and learning for our kids. Next year, I would like to create a more systematic and pervasive application of the iPad, specifically for vocabulary instruction. As an English teacher, I see the low vocabulary acquisition and abilities of my students as a deficit that seems to be growing each year, putting my students at greater disadvantage. It is, most certainly, an area of need for my students, a void in my teaching practice, and a place where I would like to use technology to help close the gap. There are so many methods available for teachers to use technology in vocabulary acquisition and instruction and I would like to explore some of those avenues with my students. I would also like to track the growth of my students to have a better understanding of what truly works for helping my students achieve and learn more.
Group of boys competing for top place in a vocabulary exercise
Working together to discover the correct definition that is being used in the poem
Having too much fun…are we really learning?
Blended Learning Environment: The Impact of Augmented Reality on Student Achievement Nina L. Small Description of the Project What innovative practice was implemented? How can using iPads in the classroom have an impact on student engagement, motivation, and achievement? To study this question, iPads were utilized during instruction in my sixth-grade ELA classroom to facilitate discussion and to enhance learner engagement and student motivation. School With whom was the project implemented?
Marietta Sixth Grade Academy
This project was implemented with over hundred sixth grade students, including students who receive special services and ELL monitoring.
Grade Level Sixth Grade
When was it implemented? The project was implemented during the 2014-2015 school year.
Subject English Language Arts
Why was the project implemented? What were the major purpose and intended outcome? After I attended the ISTE 2014 Conference in Atlanta, I was eager to see how iPads could make a positive impact in my classroom. Before I implemented the innovation project using iPads in the classroom, I piloted using a Microsoft Surface Tablet to enhance my instruction. I was interested in seeing how incorporating mobile devices into the classroom would have an impact on student motivation, learner engagement, and student achievement. I enjoyed using the Microsoft Surface Tablet because it allowed me to move around the classroom. I was able to monitor my students and utilize my SmartBoard simultaneously.
Number of Years Teaching 16 years Highest Degree Earned Education Specialist Currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership Past Awards or Honors GEM (Going the Extra Mile) Fall 2012 Hobbies/Interests I love reading, writing, playing the piano, and singing. I also enjoy watching movies and playing games.
One of the concerns involving student achievement with sixth graders is access to and familiarity with different modes of technology. Not only must teachers continue to emphasize rigor and career and college readiness in their classrooms, but teachers must also prepare their students for a new assessment system. The Georgia Milestones assessment will evaluate the students on how to virtually manipulate different concepts. Not only will the new assessment program continue to evaluate reading comprehension and fluency, but the standardized assessment will also determine how well students can employ effective writing to explain and justify various concepts. According to the Marietta Strategic Plan, a blended learning environment that allows teachers to flip their classrooms will help to differentiate instruction to maximize individual student growth. In addition, an iPad Learning lab will help prepare the students for academic achievement by infusing technology and expanding a blended, virtual learning environment Not only can an iPad lab help students to expand opportunities for individualized learning. An iPad lab can also help students select their own paths for demonstrating conceptual knowledge and content mastery. An iPad Learning lab can also help to engage students in learning and increase their motivation. Many of our sixth-grade students come with Lexile levels below 950. While some students are struggling readers, other students may be reluctant readers. The use of technology in the classroom can help decrease the digital divide and increase achievement for students who receive supportive instruction and special education services. Since many students with learning disabilities often struggle with reading fluency, comprehension skills, vocabulary, and abstract reasoning from text, students may be disengaged in the learning process (Simpson, 2009). Conversely, research indicates that technology integration such as iPads can help students collaborate and increase higher order thinking skills. Furthermore, more students could meet requirements that will place them into enhanced and advanced content coursework, and the number of students exceeding standards on assessments will increase. The project was implemented to determine if there was a way to increase student motivation and engagement for students. Although students know how to decode, many students struggle with reading with fluency and
comprehension. Some students are also reluctant to write and participate in discussions. I also wanted to know if using iPads in the classroom would have a positive impact on student achievement, especially for students who receive special services. The major purpose and intended outcome was to increase achievement, motivation, and learner engagement.
Data Collection & Results What data were collected during the duration of the project? When & how was it collected? The data collected includes student journaling responses. In August, I asked the students whether they felt technology could help or hinder their learning in the classroom environment. Students also participated in weekly online interactive Edmodo discussions. MAP Data for Reading was also collected in the Fall and Spring. Present the data. Students had to describe how they felt about technology in the classroom: would technology help or hinder them? My students were very candid with their responses. Over 85% of the students said that technology would help them in the classroom. Some of them said technology would be exciting to use in the class and different apps would help them with their assignments. Others said technology would help them improve their reading and writing skills because they could use devices to read books and to write responses. In contrast, some students felt that utilizing iPads in the classroom would be too distracting. One student even mentioned how technology can be expensive and that the use of technology can prevent people from interacting socially. For the MAP scores, the classes increased their RIT scores an average of 7 points from the Fall to Spring administration. The students’ scores on teacher-made assessments utilizing the student response systems, or “clickers”, also showed growth. The students had two comprehension quizzes over the novel The Outsiders. To facilitate discussion, I would post questions and polls on Edmodo. The students would also post questions and respond to their classmates’ comments and questions. In my enhanced class, the students increased from 83.6% to 91.2%. My general education class increased from 80% to 91.9%. The co-taught classes increased their scores from 74.3% to 90.0%, 77% to 83.8%, and 75.8% to 84.1%.
Implications What conclusions can be made from the project and the data? The use of iPads as part of regular instruction increased engagement and motivation. When they used the iPads during classroom instruction and other interactive discussions, the students were engaged. Student achievement also increased. I experimented with different online platforms such as Todaysmeet.com and backchannelchat.com, but I felt Edmodo had an excellent online platform the students and I could use for interactive discussions. Edmodo allowed students to create avatars and I was able to monitor conversations and delete comments if necessary. I was also able to monitor participation. The chatting platform works because students who may feel shy about speaking up in class are able to speak up on the chat. Other students who like to make comments during reading could also talk with their classmates or me on the online platform. Students also used various emojis to punctuate their dialogue. We also used iPads to play interactive review games such as kahoot.it. The students enjoyed using the iPads to answer the questions because they were able to answer the questions more rapidly, when compared to answering the questions on a laptop. Using the iPads had a positive effect on the quiz scores, and iPads increased class participation. IPads also helped one of my students who had a visual impairment She utilized the iPad to snap pictures of documents and other text. She could then enlarge the text so she could see. Using the iPad had a positive impact on her engagement and motivation, and the iPad helped her to become even more confident. My student was able to advocate for herself so she could learn in the best way. Teachers need to have professional development to utilize different modes of technology. One form of professional development could come from the Apple company about ways to use iPads and the various apps in the classroom. Teachers could also benefit from visiting other classrooms so the teachers can see how iPads could be set up in the class to improve student achievement. Our ELA PLC has been working together several years to integrate different modes of technology into the classroom; perhaps our PLC can continue to plan together to implement a research-based mode of technology and discuss the impact it has had on our students’ engagement, motivation, and achievement. Teachers also need to do a lot of frontloading to make sure the appropriate apps are used with the iPads. Some apps are more content-based while others are creation-based. iPad set up is imperative to ensure students know how to use the iPad and the different apps. For example, the students have to navigate differently on
Edmodo when they use the iPads compared to when they use the laptops. Some features on the iPads, like the emojis, will not show up unless viewed on the iPad. When students were using emojis to “punctuate” their ideas, the emojis showed up as meaningless characters on a laptop. Some students are very knowledgeable about using iPads, so I would allow them to show their classmates how to navigate through different apps. My enhanced class used iMovie to create movie trailers about a novel we had read. However, when one of the students held up a sign to the camera, the iMovie flipped it so that it was backwards. Next time, I will make sure the students have ample time to practice using the software. Teachers need to closely monitor the students to make sure they are on task. Although I set up my email to receive notifications every time a student makes a response on Edmodo, my email inbox became very cluttered. I turned off the modifications, and I monitored the students by walking around. I was also able to project our Edmodo discussion on the Smart Board so I could keep track of responses. However, sixth graders are quite clever, and they found ways to explore other websites. Teachers also need a class set of iPads so that all students can use them. Although some students brought in their own mobile devices or tablets, sometimes the students would experience connectivity issues. The iPads connected to the internet pretty well. What are the implications of these findings for teaching and learning? Teachers need to have professional development to utilize different modes of technology. One form of professional development could come from the Apple company about ways to use iPads and the various apps in the classroom. Teachers could also benefit from visiting other classrooms so the teachers can see how iPads could be set up in the class to improve student achievement. Our ELA PLC has been working together several years to integrate different modes of technology into the classroom; perhaps our PLC can continue to plan together to implement a research-based mode of technology and discuss the impact it has had on our students’ engagement, motivation, and achievement. Teachers also need to do a lot of frontloading to make sure the appropriate apps are used with the iPads. Some apps are more content-based while others are creation-based. iPad set up is imperative to ensure students know how to use the iPad and the different apps. For example, the students have to navigate differently on Edmodo when they use the iPads compared to when they use the laptops. Some features on the iPads, like the emojis, will not show up unless viewed on the iPad. When students were using emojis to “punctuate” their ideas, the emojis showed up as meaningless characters on a laptop. Some students are very knowledgeable about using iPads, so I would allow them to show their classmates how to navigate through different apps. My enhanced class used iMovie to create movie trailers about a novel we had read. However, when one of the students held up a sign to the camera, the iMovie flipped it so that it was backwards. Next time, I will make sure the students have ample time to practice using the software. Teachers need to closely monitor the students to make sure they are on task. Although I set up my email to receive notifications every time a student makes a response on Edmodo, my email inbox became very cluttered. I turned off the modifications, and I monitored the students by walking around. I was also able to project our Edmodo discussion on the Smart Board so I could keep track of responses. However, sixth graders are quite clever, and they found ways to explore other websites. Teachers also need a class set of iPads so that all students can use them. Although some students brought in their own mobile devices or tablets, sometimes the students would experience connectivity issues. The iPads connected to the internet pretty well. What are the next steps for this project? I plan to expand the project by incorporating more iPads into the classroom and utilizing various apps to increase learner engagement, student achievement and motivation. I am eager to utilize Aurasma and Layar to see how augmented reality can be used in the classroom to improve student achievement. In addition, I would also like to utilize gamification apps such as Minecraft or Twine to see if gaming in the classroom can also have a positive impact upon student achievement. I would also like students to have opportunities to use more creation apps so they can create tutorials and post to iTunesU.
Pictured Above Right: A student response to the question about the benefits of technology in the classroom. Pictured Above Left: Students engaged in a Kahoot.it review game for The Outsiders. Who will have the top score?
Innovation to Graduation
The thoughtful use and instructional integration of technology provides staff, students and families with the tools needed to maximize the learning environment and to ultimately Graduate Marietta. 38
Molding Mathematical Minds Carla Wallace Description of the Project What innovative practice was implemented? I implemented the math program: Mentoring Mathematical Minds. This curriculum was developed through a collaborative effort between The University of Connecticut Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. With whom was the project implemented? The project was implemented with my Advanced Content Math students in grades 3-5. These classes consisted of giftedidentified learners as well as other students who demonstrate high achievement in mathematics based upon their MAP scores. When was it implemented? Implementation of the program began in October 2014 and continued until May 2015.
School A.L. Burruss Elementary School Grade Level 3-5 Subject Gifted Education Number of Years Teaching 22 years Highest Degree Earned Master of Education Instructional Technology 2016 Past Awards or Honors Marietta City Employee of the Month GEM award winner Hobbies/Interests Reading, Walking, Attending Sporting Events
Why was the project implemented? What were the major purpose and intended outcome? I chose to implement this program because it is a national curriculum and research study designed to challenge and nurture advanced math talent in elementary students. The major purpose of the project was to truly enrich mathematically gifted students while teaching grade-level Common Core and NCTM standards. The outcome was to expose these mathematicians to real-world problems which require math skills, creative solutions and the communication of these ideas with others. Having taught gifted math students using the advanced content model the year prior, I struggled to find or create lessons which incorporated all of the above. I began researching the Mentoring Mathematical Minds Program eight months before applying for the Innovation Grant. One example of a learning unit for 4th Graders is titled, â€œAt The Mall With Algebra.â€™â€™ Students gain the understanding of concepts such as equivalent expressions and how variables are used to represent unknown numbers and change in quantities while strengthening their problem-solving and mathematical communication skills exploring the thematic unit of operating various stores at the mall.
Data Collection & Results What data were collected during the duration of the project? When & how was it collected? The Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) Assessment was given to each student in August 2014 and used as a pre-test prior to implementation of Mentoring Mathematical Minds. The same assessment was administered in May 2015. Data was analyzed to determine if students met or exceeded their expect growth on this nationally normed standardized test. 3rd Grade: 21 of the 22 students in the Advanced Content Math class met or exceeded their expected growth on the MAP assessment. 4th Grade 13 of the 16 students in the Advanced Content Math class met or exceeded their expected growth on the MAP assessment. 5th Grade 17 of the 17 students in the Advanced Content Math class met or exceeded their expected growth on the MAP assessment.
What conclusions can be made from the project and the data? The gifted and advanced content math students showed higher than expected gains on their Math MAP scores. The students also made connections to math and the real world that did not exist before. A parent of a 4th grader in my class said, “While my child has always excelled in Math, she never enjoyed it. The creative and challenging activities and cooperative learning environment has changed her feelings about Math.” What are the implications of these findings for teaching and learning? I believe due to the format and content of the Mentoring Mathematical Minds Program, my students will become life-long learners and communicators of mathematical ideas. The classroom environment is different in that there is a spirit of inquiry, collaboration, and risk taking that are not always common in Math classes. Rights and Obligations are established from the beginning that lead to a respectful and secure environment for learning. The importance of being able to communicate your ideas and rational verbally and in writing are evident throughout the program. After each lesson, there are “Think Deeply” questions which challenge the learner to make sense of the math. These questions increase the depth and complexity of the concepts thus challenging the advanced math student to move beyond the obvious. By providing rigor, demanding critical thinking and promoting creativity, this component of the program ensures the qualities needed for a solid math program for talented students. Finally differentiation for all learners is built into the program through the use of “Hint Cards,” which provide scaffolding for the students who need it, and “Think Beyond Cards” for increased challenges. What are the next steps for this project? I plan on continuing to teach the M3 program. Assessment data as well as teacher observation of increased student engagement form the basis of this decision. There are numerous learning apps available from M3 and other sources that support and extend these mathematical units of study. I hope to implement the use of iPads to take full advantage of this technology connection. One change that I will make next year is the sequence in which I teach the units. This year I taught them in the order recommended by the publisher. By making this small adjustment, I can integrate the mathematical themes into the IB planners. Another adjustment I plan on making next year is the integration of additional technology into the program.
Top Left:Students created graphs based upon surveys they designed, conducted and shared data. from and shared results to their learning community using Edmodo. Top Right:Students created thematic board games based on standards learned in this unit and incorporated interdisciplinary skills such as sequencing and writing for an audience as they created directions for their games. Bottom Left and Right: Fifth Grade students investigate ratio and proportion by comparing their own body measurements to a smaller human model. This unit simulated an old fashioned fun-house that existed at carnivals.
Inspiration Celebrate learning and to incite passion for the profession Teacher reflections of their classroom experiences and motivation.
The Ones Who Inspired Me Jillian Horsey School Hickory Hills Elementary
Highest Degree Earned Specialist, Curriculum and Instruction
Grade Level Fifth Grade
Past Awards or Honors • 2015 Teacher of the Year, Hickory Hills Elementary • Participant, Marietta Teacher Leader Academy
Subject Elementary Education Number of Years Teaching 11 years
Hobbies/Interests Traveling, arts and crafts, scrapbooking, decorating
Throughout my career, I have often been asked why I became a teacher. Is it your love of learning? Is it your love of teaching? Who was your inspiration? Yes, I love to learn and teach, but more importantly, I was touched by three phenomenal educators. Mrs. Jarrett, 4th grade teacher, Princess Anne Elementary School. Intelligent, poised, and always prepared, Mrs. Jarrett was my first African American teacher, and she was the first teacher who instilled a sense of pride within all of her students, especially the African American students. Mrs. Jarrett taught us that as African Americans, we were intelligent, strong, and capable of achieving our goals. She inspired us to dream bigger than we had before. Ms. Bertha Smith, 12th grade International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme science teacher, Marietta High School. After an entire class period with Ms. Smith, I was forced to attend her after-school tutoring session also. For weeks, I complained about this “torture,” never once considering the amount of personal time she was devoting to me, until she finally set me straight. Ms. Smith made it plain to me: this was about more than Jillian. She was committed to helping me ensure my future success by equipping me with the knowledge and skills I would need, and she was going to do it despite my complaints. Dr. Margaret Sims, 12th grade literature teacher, Marietta High School. To this day, her name still sends a shiver down my spine. As a student, I did not understand that her no-nonsense, straight-forward personality was essential in order to keep up with the rigorous IB curriculum. Dr. Sims had high expectations for all of her students. She was not there to frighten us; she was molding our future by making sure we reached our potential. Dr. Sims was not only in the business of teaching, but also of changing lives. From a little girl, I knew that I wanted to become a teacher. However, when I became a teacher, I better understood the true purpose of an educator. Educators do not simply teach, we… • Inspire our children to rise above their circumstances and reach their potential, • Equip our students with the tools necessary for college, a career, and life success, and • Change the future, one student at a time. To the faculty and staff of Marietta City Schools, I implore you to continue to use your gifts and talents to positively affect our students. Inspire our children, equip our students, and change the future.
Dear Ms. Pinto Julie Pinto In the 2012-2013 school year, we rolled out the Mathematics Common Core Georgia Performance Standards at Marietta High School by introducing Coordinate Algebra in the ninth grade. The change in standards was difficult for some students, so the math department and school decided to try something new for our students who failed Coordinate Algebra in the fall by allowing them to repeat first semester of Coordinate Algebra while concurrently taking the second semester in the spring. I was asked to teach a section of the first-semester course in the spring. The sixteen students in my class, who were not the strongest math students, were given a second chance to earn the credit and, as a result, to get back on track for graduation. The students and I worked as a team throughout that semester, helping each other to be successful in School mathematics. Marietta High School I quickly found that these students needed more than someone who could explain the mathematical concepts. I became their advisor, their mentor, and their coach. Every day we talked about what they needed to become better students, and what they needed to do differently to achieve their goals. I pushed them to not give up, especially when the concepts became more difficult. I rejoiced with them when they experienced success, and encouraged them when they experienced failure. I was not just their teacher, but also their cheerleader. At the end of the semester, fifteen of the sixteen students passed part A of Coordinate Algebra and moved to the next level of mathematics. Several of the students have moved to other schools since that time, but the ones that I still see in the hallways always greet me with a smile and a high five. Last May, an essay was placed in my box that one of these students had written in English class. I remember this student as being quiet and shy and always pleasant. She was one of the least rambunctious students in the class. This student always completed her work and went on to earn B’s and C’s in her other high school math classes. In her English class, students were asked to write a letter to a person who had influenced them, and I am thankful to the teacher for sharing this letter with me. It read:
Grade Level 9th-12th Subject Mathematics Number of Years Teaching 13 years Highest Degree Earned Masters in Secondary Mathematics Education Past Awards or Honors • Marietta City Schools Systemwide Teacher of the Year - 2015 • Marietta High School Teacher of the Year – 2015 • Georgia Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics, presented by the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics - 2014 • STAR Teacher - 2014 • Marietta City Schools Innovation Grant – 2012 • Marietta City Employee of the Month – May 2010 • Yale Outstanding Teacher Award, presented by Yale University – Fall 2008 • High School Yearbook dedication – Spring 2008
“Dear Ms. Pinto, Did I ever tell you how grateful I am for everything you did for me? Well guess what, I am about to. I have always hated math teachers with a passion mainly because it was my least favorite subject, but when I got to be in your class, you changed the way I looked at math. I was seriously considering dropping out since I had already messed up math first semester. I was also failing second semester, too. I thought I was going to have to be in high school for five years, but you were always there to help me out. You made math seem Hobbies/Interests so easy, maybe it was because you taught differently or maybe Playing princesses and monster trucks because you didn’t bore us to death. Thank you for everything.” with my 4 year old daughter, Sara. Watching TV and Movies I have this letter hanging on my wall. Whenever I have a bad day, or I feel that I am not as effective as I need to be, I go back and read this student’s words. As teachers, we have all affected students in a positive way. We all have students whose lives we have changed. It is easy to get caught up in the day-to-day paperwork and grading and meetings and conferences. But, when we are in our classrooms, working with our kids, our students, our babies, we are making a difference. We have the ability to positively affect each and every student sitting in our classrooms every day, and it is important that we remember that throughout the year.
Leave a Legacy Corinne Rochelin
My former career was guided mainly by false societal and cultural expectations which convinced me at a young age that an acceptable career choice brought a certain level of financial stability, prestige, and recognition. Although teaching often crossed my mind, my well-meaning family advised me to explore the corporate sector instead since they viewed it as the best means for accessing the aforementioned privileges. In succumbing to pressures and not wanting to disappoint, I settled for a career in marketing. The perceived financial stability and status that followed did not fulfill my need to find purpose and meaning in my work. To offset this void, I began to tutor, serve as an assistant teacher in a Christian school, and lead children’s ministry on Sundays. As I built strong and lasting relationships with children, it became quite evident that teachers’ roles veer beyond the instructional to detour permanently into the realm of the personal and the emotional. In other words, I learned that good teaching is founded upon authentic and meaningful relationships with students. I had finally seen a glimpse of what job satisfaction might look like – aligning my passion for education with my passion for service. After much reflection, I decided to put my fears aside and wholeheartedly pursue my true calling – teaching. Many teachers enter the profession wanting to connect with their students. With time however, this early and sincere hope is dimmed when confronted with the pressures of external and in-house performance demands. And though this hope often vaguely remains, it lives on as a shell of its former self, sputtering in idleness, only to re-emerge when circumstances remind us. Somehow, perhaps by a wonderful merging of professional support, mentorship and personal faith, I’ve been lucky enough to retain this ambition in all of its youthful vigor and brilliancy. It is this singular interest in building genuine relationships with my students which has been my greatest professional accomplishment.
School Dunleith Elementary School Grade Level 3rd Grade Subject Vocabulary Acquisition Number of Years Teaching 4 years Highest Degree Earned Master’s in Teaching Past Awards or Honors • 2015-2016 Teacher of the Year – Dunleith Elementary • MCS Employee of the month – December 2013 • UGA representative at the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education (GPEE) – 2011 Hobbies/Interests Non-profit work, traveling, reading, dancing
This desire always prompts me to care about the scholastic but to never neglect the private and the intimate. I am well aware of my students’ academic achievement levels, continually tracking their progress and revisiting their results on various measures of academic progress. Yet, such data only offers a snapshot and does not provide the entire picture. Getting a deeper perspective requires knowing my students beyond the surface level. Interaction with my students in non-structured classroom environments is essential to this process. Every Friday I meet with a select group of pupils for lunch and it’s through these various meetings that I glean insight into students like Chris who are rarely outspoken during times of instruction, but who comes to life during one-on-one interactions. As a result of these informal meetings with him, I’ve gained an extensive insight into the exciting world of Minecraft, as well as a keen understanding of the vociferous frustrations that come with being the youngest sibling in the family. Such gatherings not only benefit me, but they also demonstrate to my students that they are valued and vital to the classroom community. Forging meaningful relationships at its core requires a paradigm shift and extends beyond the classroom. I am purposeful in perceiving students like Chris as capable instead of seeing them through the lens of the services they receive (e.g., ESOL, EIP, IEP) or the reputation that may have preceded him. As an ESOL instructor, with students predominantly of Latin American origins, I am careful in making sure that I respect the cultural nuances of my students rather than grouping them together into one monolithic group. I don’t discourage them from speaking their native language since the classroom culture is all inclusive. Too Many Tamales, A Long Walk to Water, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon are examples of some of the literary works presented in class that begin to shift the dominant cultural narratives. I share my personal phone number with parents and students alike in order to assist with homework or address questions and concerns. I attend school events since these events are important to my students and my presence matters to them. Ultimately, I teach because I want students to know their stories are valued. Undoubtedly, I enjoy the content areas I teach and have a specific passion for math as a subject, but my drive as an educator comes from wanting to leave a legacy in the future of the students I come to know.
Juanita Londono: The Girl Who Inspires Us All Keydy Guevara Keydy is a rising senior at Marietta High School and Editor of Marietta’s student newspaper, The Pitchfork. At nine years old, Juanita Londono did not realize she would not see her friends and family in Colombia again. A rush of excitement entered her body as she and her family moved to the United States. She was ready to see her favorite uncle and to finally go to Disney World. After two months of being in the United States, she became part of the Marietta City Schools system and began fourth grade at A.L. Burruss Elementary School. In sixth grade she was put in ESOL instead of P.E. Londono was determined to exit ESOL and decided to work hard and get good grades in order to do so. Ever since she was young, Londono remembers herself as always being ambitious and determined to accomplish what she wants. Even with this strong sense of determination and ambition, Londono has faced many challenges. The first and biggest challenge she faced in her life was learning English. In the beginning, she struggled to communicate and to make friends. After only one year, she managed to progress from a first-grade reading level to fifth. She later faced the challenge of choosing an education path among her three options: College Prep, Advanced Placement, or IB Diploma Programme. Eagerly, she chose IB because all of her friends chose IB as well. She said, “I did not know what I was getting myself into, but now I am thankful.” Throughout high school, she was faced with various challenges. She had to juggle school work with after-school activities, such as ROTC, Cross Country, Track, and IB. Londono said, “IB wants good grades, ROTC wants you to be involved, and Cross Country and Track want you to be at every practice and meet.” Nevertheless, she managed to accomplish all those things and beyond. She graduated in May 2015 in the top five percent of her class while being a full IB student, and she is attending the Air Force Academy in the fall of 2015 on a scholarship. Aside from ROTC and sports, she was also involved in Beta Club, Math Honor Society, and National Honor Society. With all she does, Juanita draws motivation from her parents, friends, teachers, and even herself. Her parents work extremely hard for her benefit, and her friends and teachers work hard in order to see her succeed. She said, “I see they work hard, so I work hard to make them proud.” When it comes to her role models, Londono said, “I have so many role models. I always tend to look and focus on the positive in other people.” One of her role models is her mother, who is not one to give up easily; Londono said that her mother faces and fights any hardships that come her way. Colonel James Wilson, AFJROTC instructor at MHS, is also one of her role models. “He might be in charge, but he is not bossy. He guides us and helps us to do our very best,” said Londono. Dr. Rona Roberts, History and Psychology teacher at MHS, is a role models but also a friend. Londono describes Roberts as a tough, inspriational individual. She said, “She pushes everyone to do things the right way; she has taught me that community service should not be an obligation but rather something that comes naturally from your heart.” A friendship, such as the friendship between Londono and Dr. Roberts, is hard to find, but it began in the fall of 2013 when Londono was a student in Dr. Roberts’ IB Psychology class. Roberts said, “Juanita adopted me, no doubt. She began visiting me in the morning before class, then at lunch, and was consistent with her visits to my classroom to talk about all the happenings in her life.” Their friendship is unique. Londono admires Dr. Roberts’ traits and says that Dr. Roberts has influenced her life in multiple ways, from teaching her how to be more outspoken to teaching her how
to be tough. Through her hard work and dedication, Londono has become an inspiration to teachers and students in the Marietta City School system. She is humbled that she can serve as an inspiration to teachers, students, and her community by simply achieving her goals and dreams. With a promising future well ahead of her, Londono, after high school, hopes to have a position where she will be able to have an impact on someone’s life. While in the military, she wants to be an international affairs officer in order to travel to other countries and bring peace between conflicting nations. Without a doubt, she will be traveling all over the world leaving a legacy behind and impacting other people’s lives, but among all those travels, she will never forget her home. She said, “Marietta is truly all I can remember. I do not remember anything from Colombia, but Marietta is my home, and it is unforgettable.” When it comes to providing advice for others, Londono believes teachers should always make students feel like they are part of something bigger than just themselves. Students should devote their time and dedication to activities they enjoy and soon those obligations will look less like a chore and more like a hobby. Londono’s ability to fuse her academic goals with extracurricular endeavors makes for an awesome organizational aptitude. Time after time, she has inspired teachers, students, and staff members in the Marietta City Schools system.
With all she does, Juanita draws motivation from her parents, friends, teachers, and even herself. Her parents work extremely hard for her benefit, and her friends and teachers work hard in order to see her succeed. She said, “I see they work hard, so I work hard to make them proud.”
Innovations & Inpirations Publication Marietta City Schools 250 Howard Street Marietta, GA 30060 www.marietta-city.org The Board of Education of the City of Marietta does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability, or gender in its employment practices, student programs, and dealings with the public. ÂŠ Copyright 2001-2015, Marietta City Schools, 250 Howard Street, Marietta, GA 30060. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this document may be duplicated or transmitted in any form without the prior written consent of theÂ Board of Education of the City of Marietta.
Innovations & Inspirations is about highlighting instructional practices in MCS classrooms, encouraging collective accountability, seeking c...
Published on Jul 27, 2015
Innovations & Inspirations is about highlighting instructional practices in MCS classrooms, encouraging collective accountability, seeking c...