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Current Need: Education is a challenging endeavor as I find that I am expected to build and hone the skills of an ever-diversifying group of learners. This demographic shift occurring simultaneously with changes in technology alongside the rise of economic globalism has teachers constantly searching for innovative engaging ways to prepare children for the future. When all these factors are considered it is critical now more than ever that my students are provided with instruction that reaches them where they are and prepare them to be fully engaged citizens ready to compete in the modern global economy. As the middle school and Algebra 1 teacher for a 7-12 secondary school, I am on the frontlines in this effort. When I review both the formative and summative assessments of my students, I find that their ability levels can be quite stratified. Even more importantly, I have several students clustered at the bottom on our district and state benchmark assessments. Going beyond tests, I see every day in the classroom, a need to provide students with immediate specific feedback on their performance. Additionally, the current classroom setup (individual desk and chairs) does not facilitate a more collaborative environment one that would allow students not only to learn from me but from each other as well. For these reasons a need has arisen to reinvent the classroom.
Program Design: To address the current need I propose to create a classroom workspace with white board tabletops, interactive math software and interactive visual aids. Our superintendent just announced that our school will be implementing a one to one initiative providing every student with a wireless device. I plan to take full advantage of this development by transforming my traditional classroom with unique whiteboard tables complete with number lines, printed coordinate planes at each station along with an interactive math software for completing assignments that provides immediate feedback to each student simultaneously while differentiating based on student responses.
Program Evaluation: The research question that will guide this program is: Does changing the classroom layout from desk to tables and using an adaptive mathematics software that employs game-based learning improve the skill level of students regardless of ability level? The outcomes I expect after the implementation of this program will be increased student performance, increased student engagement, and increases in student’s satisfaction with their classroom experience. The metrics I will use to evaluate my program will be student performance on the district academic screener the Measures of Academic Progress or MAP, ratings of student engagement from administrative walk-throughs, and the Student Voice Survey for student satisfaction (see Table 1.1).
Table 1.1 Evaluation Framework
Description of Outcome
Type of Data to be Collected
When Data Will be Collected
Instruments to be Used
100% of students will outperform on projected RIT growth
– District benchmark assessments
-Outcome data: annually August, November, and March
-75% Increase in Student Engagement compared to last year and as well as pre-implementation months
-District Walkthrough Form
100% increase in the percentage of students providing positive ratings on Student Voice Survey compared to my ratings last year
-Student Voice Survey
To control for extraneous variables confounding the results of this program I will take the following steps: Increases in student achievement: I will compare students to themselves (MAP results from last year) as well as to their peers (same grade peers in another class); Increases in student engagement: I will follow a pretest/posttest model and compare administrative walkthroughs from before and after program implementation. Increases in student satisfaction: I will compare my results from last year to the results this year, additionally I will compare my results to the results of the other math teacher teaching same grade peers.
Program Sustainability: Our school is focused on putting systems in place to support ongoing continuous school improvement. I expect significant increases in student achievement and engagement because of this program. Further, school and district leadership want to ensure that the processes are in place to continue improvement efforts. I intend to devote the full amount of my allotted classroom funds ($200). To ensure sustainability beyond the initial grant, I will continue the proven strategies for students and commit at least 50% of my classroom funds for next year to maintain the key program elements. Additionally, I have registered on crowdfunding sites for education including DonorsChoose.org to help support my efforts to improve outcomes for my students.
Budget:Our school district will maintain Munis financial system reports for expenditures of this project, and conduct an audit each year. It is my objective in receiving this grant to implement a program in my classroom that will help increase student engagement, performance, and satisfaction with their classroom experience. A request of $1,000 is needed to implement the program and activities included in this application. The monies will partially fund the supplies and materials needed for program implementation and will be paired with my district allotted classroom funds.