WEF Grant Awards 2012/2013
Grant funds will be used to purchase iPads and related materials to support teaching students with developmental disabilities using data collection based on the methods of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). The ABA method is a process of teaching children with autism and other developmental disorders. The iPad has been changing the lives of students with developmental disabilities, providing them a voice, a therapeutic device, a behavior monitor and an education tool. It gives these students a new and innovative way to learn, communicate and acquire new academic and life skills. Throughout the year, students with disabilities will be provided with an iPad for structured academic instruction, including speech, language and occupational therapy. Trained staff will guide students through the use of specially designed and chosen applications that will provide supplemental methods of instruction, encouraging learning through technology. The iPads will also provide an additional means of tracking students’ learning progress through data collection, observations and informal assessments.
Liz Murray, Vicki Walsh, Tom Salvemini, Kristin Robertson
Currently, students in third grade read about the Pilgrims and Puritans. A game day will allow students to interactively participate in learning about Pilgrim children. Through a Pilgrim Playtime experience, students will connect with Pilgrim and Puritan children through their fondness for games. They will gain an understanding of what life was like for Pilgrim children by experiencing it themselves. Students will find similarities in games they play today in old Pilgrim favorites, including cup and ball, checkers, tops, nine pins, and ring toss.
$980 (second year of WEF funding)
The purpose of this grant is to facilitate the understanding of key mathematics content through the purchase of leveled book theme sets which support the following areas of the grades one and two curriculum: charts and graphs, dollars and cents, and time and temperature. The books and materials will be housed in the Hastings Independent Leveled Reading Library, and used primarily during the school day as a supplement to enrich classroom instruction. At teacher discretion, books could be sent home as independent reading material for students who need additional practice reading content material. The repeated exposure to the concepts/symbols/vocabulary that reading these leveled books will provide to the students of will provide valuable reinforcement of important math concepts as well as additional opportunities to read appropriately leveled books.
Karen Rose, Nicole Sutka
This program is designed to create a math curriculum for the Westborough Public Schools Preschool population that aligns with and precedes the kindergarten math curriculum. Developing Math Concepts, by Kathy Richardson, is a comprehensive math curriculum that spans from preschool to intermediate school. The curriculum was developed using the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics preschool standards. The comprehensive approach gives clear guidelines, learning objectives, suggested activities and materials kits containing materials and manipulatives. The district’s kindergarten teachers have recently adopted the Kathy Richardson math curriculum, and by adopting it at the preschool level, the aim is to create cohesion, support and continuity in methodology, access and assessment within the district.
Lisa Greenwald, Jeanine Weiss, Mark McNeil, Lisa Marcotte, Linda Kimball
This is an interdisciplinary project for the Orange Team, made up of about 80-90 grade 7 students, in which they will make connections between four content subjects after reading the novel Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney. During the science unit Viruses, Bacteria and Disease, students will read the novel in English class. In science class, they will research a viral or bacterial disease (just like the main character in the novel.) The project will allow students to see that science extends beyond textbooks, as they research disease and learn about its history. Students will also see the role math plays in tracking diseases such as the flu and the role epidemiologists play in collecting this data. Online resources as well as library books dealing with viral and bacterial diseases will help with the research that will result in completion of a Glogster (web based interactive poster) and a formal research paper. Ultimately the students will complete a science project on a disease, a research paper in English, a social studies activity, and a graphing activity in math.
Westborough High School
Kathleen Stoker, Anita Cellucci
This project will bring the creative art of performance poetry to WHS, through innovative workshops and interdisciplinary activities supported by MassLEAP (Literary Education & Performance), a collaborative with MassPoetry. Performance poetry is an art specifically geared toward a visual audience. The term became popular in the 1980s to describe poetry composed for performance versus print. There is a continued need for teens to explore areas of creativity in which their voices are validated and celebrated. Students in grades 9-12 will participate in a series of interactive and performance based seminars and workshops throughout the school year that will culminate in a statewide Teen Poetry Festival at M.I.T. The events will include: Poetry Slam 101 session, Demonstration Poetry Slam, Poet in Residence Intensive Workshop, and Louder Than a Bomb film screening and discussion. In addition, Kathleen Stoker and Anita Cellucci will facilitate eight afterschool seminars on the following topics: teambuilding, poetry writing and poetry performances.
This grant will introduce the educational concept of the leaning commons and a cyber café into the physical space of the high school library. The project will be a step toward ensuring that the library stays relevant in the 21st century, helping it to compete with Google, facilitating collaborative learning experiences, and experimenting to build learning commons philosophy into the current library model. The grant will focus on an alcove area of the library with overflow to other sections, creating a space that is open, inviting and flexible. This shift will allow the space to serve as an extension of the classroom for small groups of students to collaborate informally on projects and for teachers to meet for interdisciplinary collaborations. It will also facilitate various social interactions, interactive presentations and afterschool events. During the school day, the space will lend itself to small seminars and workshops as well as collaborate interaction for students and staff. Direct instruction will take place after school in the form of research seminars and eBook discussions, facilitated by the librarian.
Maria Homberg, Louis Lung
$2,800 2nd year funding ($8,900 over 3 years)
The grant allows interested students to compete in the annual FIRST Robotics Competition, a competitive robotics challenge held by FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology,) an organization devoted to the expansion of youth interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, math.) This worldwide competition, which focuses on building very large robots (2ft x3 ft x5 ft, expanding to 7 ft in all directions) is an enormous expansion of WHS’s current robotics program. The majority of the funds will be used to purchase equipment, tools, and components.
Robotics competitions serve as “living curriculum.” In building their robot, the students utilize science principles such as mechanics, velocity, acceleration and friction. They also depend on math calculations for such things as dimensional analysis of the field, planes of attack for the playing pieces, and aiming for the targets and goals. Computer and other types of technology are also employed. Students will fully participate in the design/test/redesign process of their 3-dimensional robot. They will apply physics and math principles as they relate to engineering their robot functions.