by Lori Menger, Reading Teacher
Charting a New Course for the Upcoming Year
With the desire being to build on the successes, repair any damage from the storms, and set a course to assure arrival at the destination, the design team considered the successes and failures and set a new course for the 2008 school year.
First addressed was the loss of the IT position.
- Funding prohibited replacement of this position, so a part time contract position will continue to handle the technology hardware installation and upkeep.
- Requests will be made via email and the IT person will take care of after hours and provide an email back with confirmation.
- New technology was purchased: five flip cameras, four SmartBoardsÂ®, and additional projectors.
In response to computer lab scheduling and the extra time required for projects:
- the upper school, because of their rotational schedule will be scheduled weekly time in the Tech Connect lab and the lower school classes, that are self-contained and more flexible, will schedule lab time via an online calendar.
- Additional technology will remain available for check out.
- The mobile laptop cart will be charged and up and running for checkout.
- Each kindergarten class will be equipped with a projector cutting down on the time kindergarten would need to go to the Tech Connect lab.
- Integration planning with the grade level teachers, the TIF, and the drama coach will be scheduled on a bi-weekly basis, but will be available weekly by request.
- Keyboarding skills will be incorporated into the regular classroom curriculum, utilizing programs already in place.
Integrated lesson plans will be easier to track with the creation of a lesson plan template that will be used by all teachers. There will be a check box to indicate when technology and drama have been integrated in a lesson, so a total of the number of projects using integration can be obtained at the end of the school year.
A technology skills list by grade has been created as a guideline for teachers when integrating technology. Blog usage will be measured by how many hits are received on each blog, in combination with how often a blog is updated.
A grant was obtained and the TIF wrote a “How to Guide to Digital Storytelling Tools” and a copy will be given to each classroom teacher.
Professional development will continue to be a focus and will be provided by the TIFs as well as outside sources. Training will be provided for new technology such as the SmartBoardsÂ®. A minimum requirement of attending two professional development trainings will again be in place. One area of professional development that had taken a back seat to technology was that of drama. In the coming year more focus will be given to this aspect of the integration and the drama coach will provide training to the teachers on how to integrate drama, with sample lessons, examples, and techniques for students as they perform.
In looking back at the first year of implementation of this integration plan, overall it was considered successful by the administration, faculty, teachers, and parents. Although blown off course with some unpredicted set backs, recovery occurred and the plan was put back on course. With the updates made for the upcoming school year, the journey will continue. Smooth sailing is anticipated as SJEDS moves into the second leg of this undertaking. No doubt there will be a few storms, but it is expected to continue being an amazing voyage with many new discoveries waiting to be made.
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- Burnaford, G., Aprill, A., Weiss, C. & Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE)Â Â Â Â Â Â Â (2001). Renaissance in the classroom arts integration and meaningful learning.
- Mahway, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers.
Bloomâ€™s taxonomy. Retrieved July 22, 2008 from http://www.odu.edu/educ/roverb.au/bloom/blooms_taxonomy.htm
- Computer Supported Collaborative Learning. (No date given). Retrieved on 7/24/08 atÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â http://www.edb.utexas.edu/csclstudent/Dhsiao/theories.html#construct
- National Reading Panel. (2000). Teaching children to read: An evidence-basedÂ assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction. (National Institute of Health Pub. No. 004769). Washington,Â D.C.:
- National Institute of Health and Human Development.
Gardnerâ€™s Multiple Intelligences. (2006). Retrieved on July 22, 2008 from http://wilderdom.com/personality/L2-Â Â Â 4GardenerMultipleIntelligences.html#Overview
Note: Special thanks to the following people who graciously allowed me to interview them about the content of this paper.
Jessica Banks, Assistant Head, SJEDS
Paige McGee, TIF, SJEDS
Silvia Tolisano, TIF, SJEDS