Walton Education Foundation

Let’s face it, literacy is the basis on which learning is built, in school and in life. It provides a way to climb out of poverty, get a good job, and be a productive citizen. Helping the struggling readers in our schools to catch up is one of the most fundamental challenges educators face. How do we help these students? I would argue that technology gives us the best chance. As an educator, it is important to get creative and take advantage of the many useful tech tools out there to support literacy in a diverse classroom (English language learners (ELLs) make up one-thirds of my students). I would like to enhance student engagement in literacy with additional technology and resources for small group instruction.

By the end of the year I would like to see a 25% increase in mastery in my student’s ability to, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

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Technology and Flexible Seating Options to Support Literacy in a Diverse Classroom

School:
Van R Butler Elementary 
Subject:
Literacy 
Teacher:
Karen Fournier 
Students Impacted:
44 
Grade:
Date:
October 2, 2019

Investor

Thank you to the following investor for funding this grant.

 

St. Joe Community Foundation - $1,118.78

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Goal

Let’s face it, literacy is the basis on which learning is built, in school and in life. It provides a way to climb out of poverty, get a good job, and be a productive citizen. Helping the struggling readers in our schools to catch up is one of the most fundamental challenges educators face. How do we help these students? I would argue that technology gives us the best chance. As an educator, it is important to get creative and take advantage of the many useful tech tools out there to support literacy in a diverse classroom (English language learners (ELLs) make up one-thirds of my students). I would like to enhance student engagement in literacy with additional technology and resources for small group instruction.

By the end of the year I would like to see a 25% increase in mastery in my student’s ability to, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poetry, at the high end of the grades 4-5 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
 

 

What will be done with my students

Providing opportunities to have additional technology (two Dell laptops computers) will make small group reading instruction a multi-sensory process that is engaging and explicit. Using this technology students will be involved in reading instruction (at different reading levels) with literature from STORYWORKS magazine. Because no students learn the same way, every student including struggling readers and English language learners will have access to differentiation tools like STORYWORKS leveled articles, exciting audio versions, vocabulary slideshows and award-winning “Behind the Scenes” video which build background knowledge and support to all kinds of learners.

Furthermore, other on-line literacy websites such as Newsela offers texts at five variable Lexile levels, many in both English and Spanish. Educational technology programs such as Rewordify and Book Share have Lexile measure options that allow students to access text at levels that ensure the same conversation in class but also enable students to learn on their own and have a better understanding of the text.

Additionally, I would like to add 6 flexible seating stools (four for my current technology resources) which would bring a total of 6 computers and stools. Students feel empowered by having some degree of choice and control over their learning environment. Having laptops and flexible seating allows students to choose where they work and with whom. It also allows them to change their location and positions as needed.

Children need to move. Flexible seating allows them to wobble, rock, bounce, lean or stand, which increases oxygen flow to the brain, blood flow and core strength. In turn, this burns more calories and increases metabolism. It also helps keep young minds more alert and focused. Flexible seating encourages students to find their best spot to stay calm, focused and productive.
 

 

Benefits to my students

In an age when educators are bombarded with endless digital tools, we must use technology to create purposeful student-centered learning experiences that connect readers both near and far and nurture a culture of reading. With additional technology, new programs and reading platforms I can offer quite a bit of flexibility to deliver teaching content to my students.

In particular, ELLs benefit from authentic literacy experiences and digital tools where they can collaborate and communicate with their peers while practicing essential language and literacy skills in both traditional and digital spaces. Meaningful uses of technology can help me as an educator meet ELLs individual proficiency levels, enhance language development and content area learning, and provide additional performance-based assessments. From basic translation to a lot of everyday websites which will be great for supporting ELL centered learning activities.

And let’s not forget, an uncomfortable student is a distracted and unproductive student. Naturally, goo ergonomic chairs are far more comfortable and thus allow for more related students. In turn, this leads to several learning benefits including better attention levels, better memory and better concentration. Which also leads to a far easier environment in which to absorb information.

I read in a blog from A.J. Juliani, “The students we share our classrooms with don’t know life without constant connectivity, Wi-Fi, and a global audience. Our classroom environments should be conducive to open collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking. This simply cannot be done when kids are sitting in rows of desks all day.”
 

 

Budget Narrative

The $1,118,78 will cover the cost of two new New Dell Latitude 3190 Laptops for literacy instruction, including struggling readers and English language learners. It will also fund a Storyworks magazine subscription that will build skills and engagement throughout the school year. The magazines will be used for various classroom rotations, such as small group and independent reading. In addition, these funds will also pay for flexible seating options which will allow for student to focus for longer periods of time which in turn can lead to higher academic achievement. 

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 Active Learning Stool (18" H) $47.00
2 Active Learning Stool (18" H) $47.00
3 Active Learning Stool (18" H) $47.00
4 Active Learning Stool (18" H) $47.00
5 Active Learning Stool (18" H) $47.00
6 Active Learning Stool (18" H) $47.00
7 Dell Latitude 3190 11.6in-Celeron-N4100-4GB-128GB M.2-SSD $325.00
8 Dell Latitude 3190 11.6in-Celeron-N4100-4GB-128GB M.2-SSD $325.00
9 Storyworks magazine subscription $186.78
  Total: $1,118.78

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Special Thanks to Our Presenting Partners

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Alys Foundation

St. Joe Community Foundation