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Teachers Rock District Minigrant Projects

Back in the Fall, my two school districts applied for State of NH technology minigrants. In order to apply for the grant funds (Title II D Enhancing Education through Technology)I needed to find teachers willing to plan a technology infused project, implement it with their classrooms,and document their work in a movie. My two teams finished their movies and submitted them on Friday, and I couldn’t be more proud!

Rollinsford’s minigrant team consisted of a kindergarten , first grade, and second grade teacher-and their teacher interns. Their project: to use technology to improve fluency in primary readers. This was the first time the school had ever applied for a competitive grant, and the money they received was used to purchase multimedia laptops for teachers, Scholastic Keys software for kids, FLIP video cameras, iPod Nano’s, headphone splitters, printer scanners and Reader’s Theater materials.

The  3 minute movie does not begin to tell the story of what the three teachers learned over 6 months. They learned how to download software, when Active Directory requires administrative privileges; they learned how to set up and use itunes with their Nanos’s; they learned how to convert cassette tape stories to Mp3’s using Audacity; they learned to use FLIP video cameras and convert FLIP mp4 files to avi files using Any Video Converter; and lastly, they learned to use Windows moviemaker to create a documentary outlining their project. But what they really learned cannot be summarized in a paragraph and reduced to a list of hardware and software. They learned that using technology makes a world of difference in reading fluency. Studnets used the FLIP recorders and Nano’s to record their reading, and wee able to play back their own recording to receive feedback. Students were able to hear how they sounded while reading and performing, and compare that with professional storytellers reading to them on their Nano’s.

“If I had known how much I was going to learn by doing this, I would have done this a long time ago-grant or no grant, one of the teachers said. “This was the most amazing professional development I have ever had because it was something I have always wanted to do. “I would do it again-I know it was a lot of work, but I would definitely do it again.”

Although the project movie was submitted, this Primary Reading Fluency project is not finished. The results will be shared with the University of NH reading education program, and the teachers will continue to use technology with their students in order to help them grow and learn. For  more information on the NH Minigrant Project check out:

http://www.nheon.org/oet/nclb/2009-10/MinigrantsGettingStarted.pdf

The Rollinsford Fluency Project movie will be posted as soon as it is published.

educationengaged learningfluencyintegrationprimaryprofessional developmentproject

Cathy Brophy • May 8, 2010


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