Picture This Grant

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digital cameras for every teacher

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Picture This Grant

  1. 1. Mary Ann Hogan – Floral Street Elementary School - Shrewsbury Ed. Foundation 2007/2008 “Picture This” 1 I. Introduction: In a world where technology is continually changing, “Picture This” will allow students and teachers to use digital cameras as an ideal platform for incorporating technology into lessons while keeping up with current state and district curriculum standards. Digital cameras are a successful information and communications technology that empowers students to achieve greater understanding of complex ideas. All students, especially those with learning challenges, will benefit from the ability to make visual connections between the world in their mind’s eye and the world in which they live. Digital cameras prove to be necessary to make direct connections to the natural world while demonstrating technology competencies necessary for student learning. “Picture This” will introduce teachers and students to the power of technology through visual literacy and how it can make learning more meaningful. Utilizing digital camera pictures will create powerful visual images that allow students to make a direct connection to curriculum. Students will be energized to learn new technology skills while gaining immediate feedback through visual images that record learned information. The purpose of this proposal is to give teachers and students the opportunity to meet proposed state standards in technology as well as bolster standards for other curricular areas such as Science and Language Arts. Through a previous grant received from the SEF and EDS Technology, students and teachers initiated exciting programs using digital cameras in the classroom. At this time, we would like to maintain the positive momentum. More and more teachers are aware of the ways that digital cameras can benefit student learning. With the implementation of this grant, all classrooms, including the Early Learning Center would house its own digital camera. Professional development would be offered to staff with the intent to expand on current innovative and creative projects that incorporate digital cameras into curriculum while meeting state and district standards for students and teachers. This proposal will be part of a matching funds initiative with the school parent group, the Shrewsbury Technology Department, and the School Department. It will provide a digital camera for 32 classrooms for student and teacher use, integrating technology into all areas of the curriculum including Science, Math, Reading and Writing. It will provide workshops from the Technology Teacher Leader (TTL) program initiated this year. It is through this grant and support from the partnering agencies that teachers are hoping to move forward with innovative use of technology to improve the learning environment for all students. II. Statement of Need Due to a constrained school budget, the town of Shrewsbury eliminated all technology support teachers. This loss was felt not only for the lack of timely and effective support, but also the valuable lessons they designed and implemented at each of the elementary schools. Ownership for technology integration is now upon the teachers. It is through grant funding teachers hope to overcome the serious effects that the elimination of our
  2. 2. Mary Ann Hogan – Floral Street Elementary School - Shrewsbury Ed. Foundation 2007/2008 “Picture This” 2 technology support staff has on students and staff. Most significant for teachers is the disappointment when preparing to implement a technology rich lesson that non- functioning or outdated equipment is their only option. This leads to frustration for resourceful teachers who are striving for high quality instructional practices. The impact of the teachable moment is lost. Enthusiasm for innovation dwindles. Therefore, to meet the needs of teachers and students in technology use and training, this proposal will place a digital camera in every classroom. In addition, it will provide quality professional development for teachers to support and enhance learning. This will be a grassroots movement of teachers inspiring teachers with the assistance of the TTL program. Digital camera workshops will be offered to teachers on the Shrewsbury Professional Development website. Workshops will be presented before and after school to accommodate schedules. Workshops will focus on embedding technology into Shrewsbury curriculum. III. Goals and Objectives The primary goal of this proposal is improve the learning environment for students through the concept of visual literacy. In order to achieve this goal the grant proposes to provide 32 digital cameras allowing equitable access to technology in Grades One through four, including the Early Learning Center classroom. Each year, digital cameras will continue to be a useful and versatile learning tool because it will always be available in every classroom. Visual imagery will enhance learning in several ways:  encourage communication and enhance children’s language and concept development  give all our students the gift of technology and visual literacy (the ability to use critical skills such as exploration, critique and reflection, to understand and produce visual messages) by providing them with the tools necessary to succeed in the world today  allow teachers to address state and district standards in technology and teaching It is at this point we recognize that teachers will incorporate digital cameras for teaching and learning in their own classroom in a variety of forms. Following are a few of the current ways classrooms are using digital cameras on the Nature Trail. Thanks to the funding from a previous grant, these cameras are addressing Science and Technology standards in many classrooms. ♣ Students in grade one have the opportunity to focus on Sand, Silt and Pebbles to document findings while students in grade four parallel and deepen the focus of learning as they study Rocks and Minerals. ♣ Students in grade two concentrate on Changes in the Weather over Time. ♣ Students in grade three extend their knowledge of local Trees and the changes they endure as the seasons come and go. Students work together to carry out the
  3. 3. Mary Ann Hogan – Floral Street Elementary School - Shrewsbury Ed. Foundation 2007/2008 “Picture This” 3 various tasks for information gathering and recording. In this way, a blending of student abilities will enrich each student’s learning experience. This grant will expand the existing nature trail study unit of study. All our teachers and students will be able to document research with authentic information in the form of photos using digital cameras. They will photograph specified plants, animals and minerals along the nature trail. Each grade level will focus on an area that is represented in their curriculum. Observations and recordings using the digital cameras will be brought from the nature trail into the classroom to discuss the findings and incorporate them into curricular studies. The planned hands-on activities allow students to be responsible for their own learning. Using an inquiry based learning approach promotes discovery and builds multiple connections to other areas of the curriculum. Setting expectations for a high level of student involvement motivates their natural curiosity to ask questions, make predictions, and seek answers. In addition, “Picture This” will support objectives across the curriculum that align with state and district standards. Below are suggested strands for inclusion in this grant: At the heart of the MA curriculum frameworks lies the process of active inquiry. Every child needs to be given the opportunity to observe, wonder and question, collect data using a wide variety of appropriate tools and then discuss the information. In addition, student must leave each grade level with a solid understanding of the following standards: Earth Science Strand: ♣ Recognize that water, rocks, soil, and living organisms are found on the earth’s surface. ♣ Understand that air is a mixture of gases that is all around us and that wind is moving air. ♣ Describe the weather changes from day to day and over the seasons. ♣ Recognize that the sun supplies heat and light to the earth and is necessary for life. ♣ Identify some events around us that have repeating patterns, including the seasons of the year, day and night. Life Science Strand: ♣ Recognize that animals (including humans) and plants are living things that grow, reproduce, and need food, air, and water. ♣ Differentiate between living and nonliving things. Group both living and nonliving things according to the characteristics that they share. ♣ Recognize that plants and animals have life cycles, and that life cycles vary for different living things. ♣ Describe ways in which many plants and animals closely resemble their parents in observed appearance. ♣ Recognize that people and other animals interact with the environment through their senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. ♣ Recognize changes in appearance that animals and plants go through as the seasons change. ♣ Identify the ways in which an organism’s habitat provides for its basic needs (plants require air, water, nutrients, and light; animals require food, water, air, and shelter).
  4. 4. Mary Ann Hogan – Floral Street Elementary School - Shrewsbury Ed. Foundation 2007/2008 “Picture This” 4 Physical Science ♣ Identify objects and materials as solid, liquid, or gas. Recognize that solids have a definite shape and that liquids and gases take the shape of their container. Math: ♣ Use mental math to add and subtract whole numbers to 20 ♣ Compare length, weight, area, and volume of two or more objects by using direct comparison ♣ Using a ruler, measure to the nearest half inch and centimeter ♣ Identify time to the minute on analog and digital clocks using a.m. and p.m. ♣ Compute elapsed time less than one hour using a clock and a calendar. ♣ Construct, draw conclusions, and make predictions from various representations of data sets, including tables, bar graphs, pictographs, line plots, and tallies. ♣ Match representations of data (lists, graphs, tables) with the actual set of data. ♣ Create and interpret charts, graphs and diagrams In Technology Students will: state standards draft for 2007 ♣ Identify the components of a slideshow or a multimedia presentation (i.e. title, text graphics, sound, video, animation). ♣ Insert, edit, and format text on a slide. ♣ Copy/paste or import graphics and change their size and position on a slide. ♣ Create a series of slides and organize them to present research and convey an idea. IV. Methods There will be two parts to the methods instruction. The first will be teacher instruction and the second will be student instruction. Teachers need high quality, content specific professional development to move further along in their technology abilities. Effective use of technology requires change in teaching. Correspondingly, the adoption of a new teaching strategy can be a catalyst for technology integration. Through this proposal, each grade level will have a representative to promote the use of digital cameras in the classroom and report feedback on the scope of teachers’ needs. This feedback will be reported to the two technology teacher leaders at the school who will provide appropriate professional development for teachers. Dependent on each teacher’s current confidence level with a digital camera, they may choose to attend any or all workshops. First, a professional development workshop will be provided on how to use a digital camera. It will be made available through a district offering at the school by a technology teacher leader. It will train teachers to use a digital camera, download pictures, save and store pictures on their computer and print pictures. Second, a professional development workshop will be provided on how to integrate digital photos in all areas of the curriculum through a district offering by a TTL member. This will include how to incorporate pictures into applications including (but not limited
  5. 5. Mary Ann Hogan – Floral Street Elementary School - Shrewsbury Ed. Foundation 2007/2008 “Picture This” 5 to) Microsoft Word, iPhoto, PowerPoint and slideshows. Samples will be given on teachers’ current use of digital cameras to meet state and district curriculum standards. Third, a professional development workshop will be provided on how to create a finished product based on quality instructional standards that will also enhance teaching and student learning that addresses state and district standards. Once teachers are familiar with the digital camera and its use, they will be encouraged to teach their own students how to use the digital camera. Students will take ownership on in using a digital camera, downloading pictures, printing, and incorporating pictures into projects. This will empower students to take the initiative to gain further understandings in science and technology. Utilizing the nature trail along with digital cameras to integrate science and technology is currently underway in some classrooms. Through training and instruction for students and teachers, lessons will be carried out integrating digital photos to assist in skills to be learned. Digital photos will enhance visual learning. New concepts will be more thoroughly and easily understood when they are linked to prior knowledge. Students will use photos to display information in ways that are easy to understand that will help make connections in content being learned. V. Evaluation Success of “Picture This” will be determined in several ways.  The first will be participation of teachers in workshops through district offering professional development. Teachers will be encouraged to share or post projects on a web site that were created utilizing the digital cameras in their classrooms for instruction and teaching.  The second way will be by administering assessments prior to the start of each project and at the end of a unit to be learned.  Informal teacher observations will also be used during each of the activities. Students will be held accountable to high expectations. Student rubrics will determine what is expected in the activity experience and will include technology skills using a digital camera. Due to the cost of the project, partnership funding is a positive way to ensure success for this project. We hope this initiative will be a model for teachers using technology to promote learning within our schools that help meet state and district standards. VI. Budget 10 Digital Cameras $1,900.00 20 Camera Cases (reuse 6 old cases) $300.00 $2,200.00 Total: $2,200.00
  6. 6. Mary Ann Hogan – Floral Street Elementary School - Shrewsbury Ed. Foundation 2007/2008 “Picture This” 6 Other Grant Source Funding/District Funding: 6 Digital Cameras – Previous Grant Funding $0 8 Digital Cameras – Matching Funds Parent Group $1,500.00 8 Digital Cameras – Matching Funds Shrewsbury Tech. Dept. $1,500.00 Professional Development Workshops District Funding Technology Teacher Leaders District Funding • •

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