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Popular Teacher Designed Activities

These are the most popular lesson plans and curriculum units accessed by teachers on the web site. Enjoy!

What Makes A Good Friend?
The Ocean Biome
Breads from Around the World
The Great American Melting Pot
Catching on to Catcher in the Rye
The Leaning Tower of Pisa
Digging Into the Past
The Real Way to Moolah Beach!
Tarantulas
The Vision Contest
The Darkling Beetle
Creating a Poetry Web Site
Are We Alone?
Pedestrian Safety
A Walk in an Impressionist Garden
Power Point Poems
Let's Rock
The Renaissance
Making e-Books
Drawing the Line


Below is a list of our Teacher Designed Activities.

Curriculum: TDA: sql

"CELEBRATING ME"
Category: Arts
Grades: 7 to 11
How It Works: In the "Celebrating Me" project, each student plans, writes, rehearses, and delivers a speech explaining about his/her unique talent, interest, or ability. Along with the speech, the student creates a visual representation of his choice, which can be a demonstration, poster, diorama, or collage. The purpose of the project is to give students an opportunity to experience and succeed in public speaking, and to recognize and celebrate their own unique achievements and interests of their peers. While preparing and participating in this project, students are developing and organizing their writing, editing, speaking, and listening skills. A variety of learning styles can be accommodated.

Methods of instruction include teacher-directed and student-directed activities. Students work independently to plan and write their speeches, and create their visuals, and present them to the class. Assessments used are rubrics, self-assessments, and teacher observations. Five classes of 25 seventh grade students in heterogeneous ability level classes have participated each year. It is appropriate for grades four through eight.

The Students: This is a wonderful project to do at the beginning of a new school year, because it helps students get to know each other quickly, and the teacher can learn each child's strengths, many of which may never be demonstrated in the daily classroom.

The Staff: Susan Nicolini-Saylor Flood Middle School, Stratford

What You Need: Graphic organizers, note cards, paper; poster board, markers

Overall Value: "Celebrating Me" involves a combination of cognitive and affective skills resulting in a motivating and enjoyable learning experience. It fosters self-awareness, appreciation and recognition of one's own individual talent or interest, and those of others, while using speaking, listening, and viewing, as well as writing. Since each student selects a topic in which he is already knowledgeable, or has experienced success, the interest level is intrinsic. Positive self-concept and confidence occur as students prepare their speeches and share them with the class, thus working to be effective communicators.

Standards: Positive Self-Concept

Interpersonal Relations Speaking, Listening and Viewing

Writing


"EVERYBODY IS A STAR!"
Category: Arts
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: Everybody Is a Star!" is a forum for studying public speaking, performance art, literary concepts, writing, and critical analysis in ways that guarantee active and responsible involvement of all students. Students write their own original plays or scenes, dramatize historical events or scenes from literature studied or work with published dramas.

After initial instruction, the culminating activity can be repeated throughout the year to review literary concepts and enhance new pieces of literature. Background lessons include the history of drama and biographical information about famous dramatists. Literature lessons include types of drama; parts of a plot; character development; and stereotyping. Written assignments include reviews of television programs and live plays; scripts for videotaped reviews; self and peer assessment forms; and directions for theatrical face painting. Public speaking lessons include elocution exercises and the actual performing of plays and critiques before the class. Lessons can be added or deleted depending upon time constraints, students' abilities, and individual teachers' goals without compromising the effectiveness of core leanings. All of the above are treated in ways that are age - appropriate for middle school.

Written reviews are evaluated in traditional ways and in peer evaluation formats. Actors are evaluated on evidence of practice, voice projection, expression, correct pronunciation, and other aspects of the actual performance, plus the effort to bring props and costumes. Oral reviews are also evaluated as performances. Their content is evaluated on organization of ideas; use of constructive criticism; support for others in the class; understanding and application of literary terms; poise; effort; and insight.

The Students: Middle school English classes varying in size from 20 to 25 students participated in this unit. It is appropriate for grades five through eight.

The Staff: Barbara Groves East Ridge Middle School, Ridgefield

What You Need: Cold cream, face paints, cotton, video/audio equipment (optional), overheads

Overall Value: Classroom plays often engage a few students in speaking roles while the rest watch; this approach demands active listening because students view performances while serving as critics. Teamwork, building positive self-concept, and responsibility converge in this unit with strong academic content in writing, and speaking, listening and viewing skills. It promotes true revision, assigns active roles at all times, and brings critical viewing out of the classroom and into the television room.

Standards: Positive self-concept Responsibility Speaking, Listening and Viewing Literature Writing


"Hola, Ohio, Jambo Hello Children"
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 2 to 5
How It Works: Children gain an awareness of the culture of five different areas -- Mexico, Japan, China, Africa and the USA -- by comparing the similarities and differences in customs, languages, literature and celebrations. Children make flags, murals, masks, jewelry, musical instruments, learn to count in other languages and prepare and sample new foods. The project culminates in an exciting,,"Festival Day Around the World." Students: This project is adaptable for all primary grades as well as bilingual and special education classes.

The Students:

The Staff: Sally M. Johnson, currently a kindergarten teacher, holds a BS and MS from Chicago State University. She has twenty years of teaching experience in the Chicago public schools.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: The room should accommodate learning centers so student groups can work simultaneously on various activities throughout the classroom. Cooking equipment is needed to prepare ethnic foods. Outside Resources: Public and school libraries provide literature selections and videos. Children enjoy visits to ethnic grocery stores and restaurants. Parents assist with arts and crafts projects and the preparation of ethnic foods.

Overall Value: Children come to appreciate the differences between people in the world while becoming aware that people everywhere have much the same needs. The project enhances and reinforces all academic areas while allowing flexibility in the selection of specific activities.

Standards:


"How-To" Mania
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 8 to 10
How It Works: This program is designed to use attention-getting activities to excite middle school students about writing a "how-to" process paper. Step One: Introduce the process of writing a "how-to" paper using visual charts to display the various steps. Place a shoe in front of the class and have students tell you orally,"how to" move your hands to tie the laces into a bow. Answers can be taken from various class members or you can select a specific student to give you the instructions. Repeat the process several times as interest remains high and allow students to try their hand at following the directions of their friends. There is more than one way to tie a bow (I learned this from students who showed me an easier way the first year I taught this program) so be sure to ask for volunteers who know other ways to accomplish the task. While interest is high, have a student list the steps involved on the chalkboard and then move the students into a rough draft of a "How to Tie Your Shoes" paper. For ESL students draft a model paper on the board they can follow to complete their own successfully. Step Two: Demonstrate,"how-to" make a balloon animal (it is really very easy) and have your students record the steps. Students are highly motivated by the chance to get a balloon, so it's OK to ask to see their finished,"How to Tie Your Shoes" paper and/or their pre-writing, outline, or cluster of ideas for their,"How to Make a Balloon Animal" paper before giving them a balloon to experiment with. Most novices cannot blow up animal balloons so get a pump. Two hand pumps are enough for an average-size class. Avoid the plastic pumps because the first time they are dropped, the tips break off and you are back to using lung power to fill the balloons. Complainers never get the color balloon they want, so get only one or two colors or rule the that students must take the color they are given to, defuse this complaint. After three years my principal agreed that I would pop all practice balloons before the child leaves the room and any student wanting a replacement to take home could pick it up right after school. The extra $8.00 for another bag of balloons saved the principals, other teachers and staff more than enough anguish to pay for itself. For ESL, post and practice phrases like,"fold about six inches of the balloon," "twist,","tie," etc. to help them draft their sentences. If you move around the room while students are experimenting, you can help them develop the wording for the steps they are trying to describe. Step Three: Students create and present their own,"how-to" topic. They may teach any skill you approve to the class. Extra credit is given for props, handouts, and assistants. Each student does one. Making a sandwich, putting on makeup, and,"how to" ask a girl out on a date are a few of the eighth grade's favorite topics. Take three days for preparation, with the first for topic selection and pre-writing outlines, the second for a draft of the speech. The Student:,"How-to Mania" has been used successfully with both eighth and sixth grade regular English and ESL students.

The Students:

The Staff: The student's language arts teacher will be able to accomplish this program successfully with the administrator's patience and support.

What You Need: Materials: 1) Posters, visual aids and handouts to present the writing process of the,"how-to" paper. 2) A pair of shoes with laces. 3) At least two gross of professional-grade 260 balloons available through mail order or carnival or party supply stores. 4) Two solid metal balloon pumps or an electric inflator, if money, is no object. 5) Large sheets of drawing paper (legal size is sufficient if no other is available). 6) Portable public address system, podium, or school record player with a microphone. 7) A classroom with room for students to engage in creativity. Outside Resources: No outside resources required

Overall Value: Students will have had the opportunity to learn the steps to producing a "how-to" paper and have four to five opportunities to review the steps with creative, hands-on projects.

Standards:


"IF WALLS COULD TALK"
Category: Arts
Grades: 6 to 14
How It Works: "If Wall Could Talk" is a project which demonstrates to students the connection between written and visual forms of communication. After completing a study of poetry students are encouraged to interpret the written word in a visual format. The resulting illustrations are integrated into a mural which is painted on a wall in the library by the art teacher. The names of the student artists and the student who selected the quote are included in the mural. In celebration of poetry, art and their efforts each student receives a personal invitation written by a current fourth grade student to return to the library and their alma mater for the "unveiling of the mural".

During library visits students are involved in discussion and recitation of poetry, examine literal and figurative interpretation and practice extraction skills in the selection of a line of poetry. The quote is the basis for demonstrating their illustrative and compositional skills in art class.

Assessment is performance based. Students meet with the media specialist to evaluate the poetry they have selected for recitation. The media specialist also measures the value of student selected quotes based on criteria established during lessons. Peer assessment occurs as students "vote" for the quote they would like to see incorporated into the mural. Illustration and compositional skills are measured through their final project in art class. One quote and twenty-five to sixty illustrations are selected to be part of the mural.

The Students: One hundred fifty fourth grade students participate in this project. It is appropriate for grades 4-12.

The Staff: Jacqueline Rogalski and Nancy Linton A. Ward Spaulding School, Suffield

What You Need: Volumes of poetry, markers, paper, paints and brushes.

Overall Value: Skills in art and literature are promoted and cultivated. Students become familiar with and learn to appreciate poetry and the mural as art forms. Critical and creative thinking skills are used through the quote selection process and interpretation of its message through visual imagery. Anticipation and excitement about the project increases as students view selected illustrations being added to the new mural. Self-esteem is enhanced individually and as a class. The lasting legacy of their efforts is revealed at the "Unveiling". The entire school community enjoys and appreciates contribution.

Standards: Intellectual Curiosity

Sense of Community


"Kid's Korner" - A Library Within A Library
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 10
How It Works: Young would-be authors meet before classes begin to write and illustrate their own books. The books, available for borrowing, are displayed in a special section of the school library, the,"Kids Korner." A laminated color copy of the book goes home with the young author. The culminating event is an all-day festival which includes: -an assembly in which students dramatize their books, -a student drama troupe traveling to other classes -young authors reading their books to others -a paper-making demonstration, -presentations by professional storytellers, children's authors and/or illustrators. Students: This program was open to students of all abilities in grades K-8. The class of 15-25 students met four days a week, from 8:00-8:30 A.M. When a book was completed, the next student on the waiting list took the place of the just-published author.

The Students:

The Staff: Shirley Wyzguski holds a BA from Northeastern Illinois State College and an MA from Northeastern Illinois University. She developed this program while Director of the Library/Learning Resource Center at Mayo Elementary School. Mayo's students won recognition and numerous awards in district-level Young Authors' competitions.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: An area of a classroom or library can be set aside as a work area for the Young Authors. A "supply center" with paper, pencils, markers and art materials and a "publishing station" are all that's needed to start the program. Outside Resources: Multi-color copying and laminating can be done at commercial copy centers. Field trips to Harold Washington Library, various museums, etc. throughout the school year enhance students' experiential background, giving them more ideas for creative writing.

Overall Value: The flexibility of the program allows for a constant flow of new young authors. The process of writing and illustrating books combines the practice of countess skills into a tangible outcome which can be proudly displayed. Students exhibit tremendous growth in communication skills, comprehension and critical judgment.

Standards:


"Let's Eat Out"
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 6 to 7
How It Works: Children will be introduced to and will develop a conscious awareness of the,"real" world. The business aspect of marketing a restaurant, the on the job experience of waiting tables and cashiering, will make an impact as they focus on future employment possibilities. To begin, the children will meet in small groups, brainstorm, develop restaurant themes and select their menu items. As the project continues, the children might work individually or with partners. Class time will be allotted to create menus and appropriate prices. When menus are complete, they will be displayed and utilized in math class as a center activity. One day per week, six children will be allowed to go to the center. Responsibilities of the students in each role will include: the Patron, the Cashier, and the Waiter/Waitress. The students will change roles weekly so that all students will actively participate in all roles. The concept of,"playing restaurant" is an exciting way of following Dewey's,"learn by doing" principle. DCPS MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES: Graduation, Rate, Achievement, Job Preparedness. THE STUDENTS: The class is departmentalized and mathematics is taught to approximately 160 fourth- and fifth-graders. The math period is 60 minutes daily. The range of ability levels extend to both ends of the spectrum. The project can be adapted to older as well as younger children. At-risk groups and gifted students can benefit because the sophistication levels can be easily adjusted.

The Students:

The Staff: Ms. Scholnick's teaching experience includes: elementary school teacher for 22 years, Teacher of the Year 1985, member of the writing team for the Saturn Proposal which is the new Gilbert L. Porter Elementary School of Discovery, received a MiniGrant developed to provide aerospace data from NASA for the Teacher Education Center and Dade County Public Schools, participated in the Educational Research and Dissemination Program in fall 1990, Facilitator for the Mathematics and Science Teacher Enhancement Training 1991 Conference. She has implemented adaptations of this project for the last seven years (grades three, four, five).

What You Need: MATERIALS AND FACILITIES: Any corner of the room with a table and chairs is adequate. A cash box, play money, receipt books, table settings and materials to make individual menus will also be necessary. Laminating the menus would be helpful for longevity. OUTSIDE RESOURCES: As a culminating activity, children and teachers can go to a restaurant and,"eat out." With a partner, they will total their estimated bill and determine the amount of change each of them will be due. This should be expanded to overall observation of a real restaurant--adding menu items, tax, etc.

Overall Value: This project gives real life meaning to math and it develops awareness of careers. It gives dimension to the concepts of adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, estimating, counting money and making change. It is self-motivating because the children are enjoying themselves. It make learning fun!

Standards:


"MY MUSIC, MY HISTORY, MY LIFE"
Category: Arts
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: Music from the beginning of time has been a method of recording history. Events and changes in our world also affect music. In 1989 singer/song writer Billy Joel recorded the song, "We Didn't Start the Fire." Through music, Billy Joel told the history of the world during his lifetime. He listed people, major events, and important social issues that dominated the years of his life. Through this project students explore the world of their lifetime. They research not only changes in music over these years, but the changes and events in the world that have affected music. After researching and reporting on both musical and non-musical events, the students construct a timeline of the years from their birth to present, which display their findings of this era.

Students began the research in the media center using periodicals such as Time and Newsweek in addition to encyclopedias and almanacs. Students then proceed to the computer lab where they utilize software such as Bookshelf and Middle Search that contain current articles and stories covering a variety of topics. In addition, the class is guided through an on-line web search of their topics. The last step is to compile the data, categorize the information by year and create additional verses for the Billy Joel song. This requires students to apply their knowledge of rhythm and meter. One music teacher guides the students through this project and the media specialist and computer aide assist with the research. This would make an excellent interdisciplinary project with Language Arts.

The Students: The students who participated in this project were grade 8 general music students of varying ability levels including the learning disabled. These students do not participate in the school's performing groups. This project is appropriate for grades 6 - 12.

The Staff: Catherine J. Larson Madison Middle School, Trumbull

What You Need: Students conducted the research in the library and computer lab. The writing, construction of the timeline, and creation of additional lyrics took place in the music room.

Overall Value: The recent world has changed tremendously. Communism has fallen in Europe, space exploration has opened a new chapter, and the war on drugs and literacy are strong voices from the government. Technological advancements such as computers, VCR's, and digital recording have played a major role in many changes. They have been responsible for a major change in the music industry and the roles of composer, performer, and producer. Students of today are unaware that these technologies are still in their infancy. Through this project students better understand the connection music has to culture and life. Finally, it allows the students to apply their learning in a relevant medium. Putting lyrics to music is not an easy task. It is not as simple as breaking down the syllables. Words have rhythm. Applying knowledge of note values and meter to the rhythm of the words to construct the verses proves to be a challenge task. The accomplishment is realized when students are able to perform their verses to the music of "We Didn't Start the Fire."

Standards: Intellectual Curiosity Motivation and Persistence Reading Writing Reasoning and Problem Solving


"Parent Awareness Workshops: Strategies For The Workforce 2000"
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 2 to 8
How It Works: The purpose of this project was to acquaint parents with the current changes in mathematical instruction as we prepare their children for the Twenty-First Century. As teachers in public education, parent support is essential for such change. In an invitation, we stated the various topics that would be covered: why mathematics instruction is changing; the value of manipulatives, problem solving, cooperative grouping, authentic assessment; and some practical suggestions for parents on helping to incorporate mathematics into their child's everyday life. The project we have submitted is representative of one of three workshops held for parents throughout the school year. RATIONALE: The purpose of this project was to explain to parents that we, as educators, could no longer justify vast allocations of instructional time to rote procedures in computation, when today, nearly everyone uses calculators to compute accurately and more efficiently. Passive regurgitation of abstractions can no longer be the primary means of instruction when so much research and wisdom of practice show us the vast benefits of active construction of understanding... all based on realistic applications and the common-place use of concrete materials and pictorial models. The role of children is to explore, investigate, validate, discuss, represent and construct. The role of the teachers is to guide, discuss, create environment, question, listen and clarify. This change is demanded due to the significant impact of available technology, particularly calculators and computers; the changing world of work, wherein mathematical ability is increasingly the key to maintaining our economic viability; the growing body of research particularly in the field of cognitive psychology about how students best learn and retain knowledge; and the dismal student achievement data drawn from the National Assessment of Educational Progress and the highly publicized international comparisons of recent years. We pointed out the need that we, as adults, have to broaden our understanding about how the world is changing. These changes bring about new and different needs... needs which we are not measuring up to. Selections were read from various books, pamphlets and articles that are part of our parents lending library which includes materials that have been collected since its inception in 1989. The materials read and the selections given to the parents all supported our claims.AUDIENCE: This project is easily replicated to parents of any school-age child. Any topic can be addressed using this format.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: To prepare for this math workshop for parents, it was necessary for us to compile articles from newspapers, magazines, professional journals and books on the subject to support the philosophy of teaching math with the emphasis on thinking skills and problem solving. Our materials also included a sampling of all the manipulatives that we use in our math program. An overhead projector and overhead manipulatives are needed to explain concepts and do problem solving with the group. It would be an asset to have a well-known speaker endorsing the necessity of teaching children math skills that will be needed in the workplace in the Twenty-First Century.

Overall Value: Children need to know that, when confronted with a problem that requires more than just rote memorization of facts, many different avenues may be employed to solve the unknown. Our project shows parents how we develop logic, reasoning and critical thinking skills amongst their children. We also show that there is more than one right way to arrive at an answer. Children are encouraged to be creative and share their different ways of problem solving with the rest of the class. Our group felt it was important to share with the parents what their child's math class is typically like. By holding these workshops during the evening hours, we wanted to gain the parental support and endorsement to the changes rapidly occurring within today's classrooms.

Standards:


"PLAYWRIGHTS AND MARIONETTES"
Category: Arts
Grades: 3 to 10
How It Works: Imagine five marionettes coming to life before your eyes as they perform an original play. Imagine the faces of the puppeteers as they introduce themselves and their marionettes at the post production party. It begins simply with a story...The teacher tells a favorite story with a marionette. The students become so excited they have to create their own marionettes for story telling. The class discusses how they will construct them and the materials they will need. As their marionettes are 'born' they need Baby Books to commemorate the day. All books are read at share meeting by the students or teacher.

The newborns' personalities emerge as they join us at a meeting to select a group of four or five fellow puppeteers for collaborative play writing. The writing process is employed as the teacher meets with each small group to develop plays for their marionettes. Works in progress are presented to the whole class at share meeting. The students receive constructive criticism and suggestions. The teacher for the whole class reviews instructional points. The teacher also acts as a scribe and records information for later revisions. Students design and create scenery for the plays. Rehearsals begin and lines are memorized. Excitement mounts! Each group is given a special day to perform its play for other groups and parents using a student made stage and props to augment the marionettes.

The Students: This project accommodates all learning styles. The completed plays will serve as the project assessment. Twenty-five kindergarten students, grouped heterogeneously, participated in this project.

The Staff: Mary Stewart Bargar Edgewood Magnet School, New Haven

What You Need: Scrap Wood, Metal Screw Eyes, Tongue Depressors, String

Overall Value: The students enhance their writing skills, as seen in the Common Core, by conceiving ideas and selecting and using detailed examples, illustrations, evidence, and logic to develop topics throughout their play writing. The students enhance their interpersonal relations, by participating actively in reaching group decisions during writing and performance. On the performance dates, students, parents, and teachers celebrate the knowledge gained and skills achieved when the plays are performed and discussed in postproduction sessions.

Standards: Positive self-concept Interpersonal Relations Writing Speaking, Listening and Viewing


"S.T.A.C.K.S. (Some Techniques to Access Computers for Kids' Sake)"
Category: Technology
Grades: 1 to 6
How It Works: The Project: As an introduction to utilizing an authoring computer software program, special needs students create their own personalized high-tech books called,"S.T.A.C.K.S.".

The Students:

The Staff: This project was developed and implemented by a Speech and Language, therapisVComputer Coordinator and a Special Education teacher. Additional teachers or staff members willing to learn about an authoring computer program can implement this project.

What You Need: This project was developed and implemented by a Speech and Language, therapisVComputer Coordinator and a Special Education teacher. Additional teachers or staff members willing to learn about an authoring computer program can implement this project.

Overall Value:

Standards:


"Sensing" Science
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 3 to 4
How It Works: "Sensing" Science is a hands-on approach for instructing basic science concepts. Its purposes are to create a positive and motivating incentive for enhancing and enriching the students' critical thinking skills and the students' interests in science through the use of meaningful hands-on materials and activities. Preparation of the project involves the selection and purchase of appropriate and meaningful,"hands-on" science materials that students can see, smell, touch, hear, and/or taste. Students are then introduced to these various materials during their instructional science periods. Simple investigative and exploratory activities using the,"hands-on" materials are designed to give students an opportunity to use critical thinking skills to discover the,"hows" and,"whys" pertaining to various science concepts. As a culminating activity students are encouraged to prepare a simple project, demonstration, and/or experiment using the various,"hands-on" materials for a "Sensing" Science Day. At the,"Sensing" Science Day students have an opportunity to share their work and what they have learned with parents and community members as well as other students within the school. DCPS MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES: Achievement, Critical Thinking. THE STUDENTS: This project has been used in several first- and second-grade classes. Both regular academic classes and special instructional classes have successfully participated. The project is easily adapted for all levels of students, including kindergarten as well as classes with students of Limited English Proficiencies. It can be implemented within one individual classroom or within an entire grade level. "Sensing" Science lends itself to cooperative learning situations, as it can be used with either small or large groups of students.

The Students:

The Staff: With a doctorate degree in Early and Middle Childhood Education, Karol Yeatts is an 11-year teaching veteran for DCPS. Dr. Yeatts was Dade County Public Schools' 1989-90 Math Teacher of the Year and was the 1990 Florida Mathematics Classroom Teacher of the Year District XI Winner. She is a nominee for the 1991 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. Dr. Yeatts has received several Dade Public Education Fund Teacher Mini-Grants and was a 1990-91 Impact II Developer (Manipulatives: Motivating Mathematics).

What You Need: MATERIALS AND FACILITIES: "Sensing" Science can be used in any classroom setting. The,"hands-on" materials can be easily stored in plastic bags or containers and placed on book shelves or in tote bins. A list of materials and activities are available for teachers interested in adapting the project. OUTSIDE RESOURCES: This program can be operated without any outside resources. However, the school's PTA is an excellent source for obtaining parent volunteers and additional materials. A Field Trip to the Museum of Science is an excellent outside resource to consider for enhancing the students' interests and curiosity in the,"hows" and,"whys" of their world.

Overall Value: This project provides the means for creating a positive and motivating incentive for enhancing and enriching the students' critical thinking skills and their interests and acquisition of basic science concepts through the use of,"hands-on" sensory materials and activities. Your students will look forward to Science and who knows, maybe a future Nobel Prize winner may be among the participants!

Standards:


"Write" in the Center of It
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 4
How It Works: This on-going activity was developed to promote success and confidence in reading and writing. It incorporates the whole language approach to learning. Children are exposed to a variety of literature. They learn to appreciate fictional and non-fictional books. The literature is extended across the curriculum since everything is based on a theme. The children write in their journals in the morning, during their center time and always in the writing center. The writing center is the most popular center in the classroom. The boys and girls cannot wait to share their writing with someone willing to listen. The use of inventive spelling and student word banks is encouraged for writing success. The children learn to write for a variety of reasons and to a variety of audiences. Story prompts, pictures and questions are posted daily. The children are encouraged to make individual and class books. Before making these books, the students are exposed to literature with repetitive texts. Here, they are gaining confidence with reading, because their stories have a pattern. This success snowballs into more stories and books and lots of fun!, To help the students identify letters and sounds, books focusing on a specific letter are introduced. For example, when reading Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McClosky, the children focus on the letter,"d." In addition, they make their own books entitled, Make Way for the D's!, They come up with everything that starts with,"d" to make their own books: Make way for the dogs!, Make way for the dinosaurs!, Make way for the dads!, Make way for the deer!, The boys and girls illustrate their books and share them!, They feel great because they are reading. As they learn other letters, the class helps to pick books they wish to rewrite. As we work on specific themes, we also incorporate the book writing. When we worked on our HOMES unit, they rewrote books related to the topic of study: "Houses for Everyone — A hole is a house for a mouse. A shoe is a house for a foot. A face is a house for a nose. A skull is a house for a brain." This program works hard at encouraging writing in every subject area. While learning to write, the children become readers. The Student: Kindergarten students in a developmentally appropriate classroom environment have participated in this program with success. It can be used by first and second graders.

The Students:

The Staff: This program was used for three years by a kindergarten teacher in a hands-on, print-rich environment.

What You Need: Materials: A print-enrich environment is a must to have success with this program. Materials needed include: notepads, sentence strips, stapler, scissors, plenty of table space, markers, shaped paper, chalkboard, newsprint, glue, tablet, tape, booklets, pencils, crayons, chalk, variety of literature. Outside Resources: We have used the school and the public library for additional books.

Overall Value: "Write in the Center of It" is a program that not only helps children learn to read and write, but also builds confidence. They look forward to sharing their writing with everyone. The children are learning to share and appreciate literature in all content areas. Most importantly, these kindergarten students start,"writing" as early as the first day of school. Their reading and writing improve daily with teacher and peer encouragement throughout the year.

Standards:


"INHERIT THE WIND"
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: High school English students from grades nine through twelve explore the theory of evolution and read the highly relevant play "Inherit The Wind" and a series of articles and essays about the famous Scopes trial that centered around the right to teach evolution. They incorporate technology as they research the topic and write their own essays on whether evolution should be taught in school.

Students first read a New York City student's published opinion on the 1999 Kansas law that banned evolution questions from state tests. They evaluate her essay and read a New York Times article about the Kansas law and other accounts of the Scopes trial from 1925. They take notes and write short essays on their opinions of the events. They also read an article outlining the conflict between religious faith and the theory of evolution. Again they take notes and write essays expressing their opinions. They read the play "Inherit The Wind" at home, and for each of the five scenes, they write an account using the point of view of one of the characters in the form of a letter to a friend or a diary entry. They also read the play in class and discuss issues raised and the literary devices the authors use in a play, which is a fictionalized account of the 1925 trial. Students write essays based on the play and choose five topics to research using the Internet.

The Students: A wide range of student ability is acceptable. I used these lessons with ninth graders in New York City who happened to also be studying evolution in their biology class.

The Staff: Peggy Maslow, a New York City high school English teacher for 23 years, has used technology in the classroom for over 16 years. She has also been her school's newspaper advisor for almost two years. She has taught all levels of students ranging from those with reading difficulties to honors, and has taught courses in journalism, mystery, American literature and other topics.

What You Need: Completion of this project will take ten or more class periods. Students will be reading the play "Inherit the Wind" by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Computers with an Internet connection and search engine such as Netscape are needed. A basic working knowledge of computers is necessary.

Overall Value: Researching the background issues first will enhance the students' understanding and motivate them to be more engaged while reading "Inherit The Wind." For the students I teach, the issue of religious faith being in conflict with the theory of evolution is a very exciting one. They become very animated in their discussions. Furthermore, students will be motivated to express their opinions about the conflict by drafting and writing essays, then revising and editing them. The research exercise that follows allows the students tremendous choice in finding an area of interest. Using the Internet is integral to finding and using the background information and even more important in doing the research on a related topic of their choice.

Standards: Technology: Students employ the computer and the Internet as research tools and resources; compile, analyze, and evaluate data; and develop word-processing and research skills. English: Students read informational materials to develop understanding and to reach a conclusion; produce a report which includes appropriate facts and details; develop several main points relating to a single thesis; analyze and revise work; respond to drama using interpretive, critical, and evaluative processes; and critique a document.


0ur Neighborhood Online
Category: Technology
Grades: 4 to 8
How It Works: This interactive web page program, Our Neighborhood Online, allows general and special education language-impaired students to learn about various aspects of their neighborhoods and share this information with others through the World Wide Web. It provides students with a way of incorporating speech/language class goals into the real world. These goals include comparing and contrasting, describing and explaining, increasing vocabulary, following directions, developing critical thinking skills, role playing/seeing another person's point of view, and effective communication. To attain these goals students develop web pages addressing particular questions. For example, to learn vocabulary words and develop critical thinking skills, they examine the concept of neighborhoods. By asking what a student's house, block, and neighborhood look like, they build vocabulary and learn to describe and explain. By describing their neighborhoods, they learn to compare and contrast. The students write paragraphs describing their neighborhoods, relate why they live in particular places, and draw pictures of their homes. They then type and save their work on the classroom computers and scan their pictures on the scanner in the library. Their work is put on the Our Neighborhood Online web page, www.homeroom.net /Schools/schlsUSA/queens/p193qns1/Krinitz/ mskrinitz.htm. The next web page that students explore examines the history of their neighborhoods. The web site http://homeroom.net/ Schools/schlsUSA/queens/p193qn allows students to access community based information and other school web pages. They create a survey asking others about their neighborhoods. They receive responses to their surveys from various parts of the United States and countries around the world, and answer mail on an ongoing basis. They also summarize and chart the responses they receive. The students' web pages highlight favorite neighborhood places and present results of the neighborhood survey, as well as a survey of neighborhoods in which the teachers lived as children.

The Students: Ten fifth and sixth graders with speech/language impairments are involved in this program. Students at all levels can participate in this program and improve their skills.

The Staff: Barbara Krinitz is a speech/language teacher at two district elementary schools. She has been involved for a number of years with improving communication skills through the use of video and computer technology. She is the recipient of the Innovative Teaching with Telecommunications Award from Thirteen/WNET. Our Neighborhood Online has been used in the school since November 1997.

What You Need: Nicholas Juszczak, a parent who created and operates Homeroom.Net, helped with the web page design. Students use the Internet-connected computers in the library or the computer lab. With Internet access in the classroom, the program can be expanded to include children in other grades and allows more program-related use of the Internet. Students use history textbooks (e.g., Old Queens, New York in Old Photographs) and newspaper articles that relate to the history of local neighborhoods. They interview family members and local residents.

Overall Value: The students share stories about their neighborhoods with people in other parts of the world. This program has improved student knowledge and use of computers and computer technology, and has shown them how concepts learned in class are useful in the real world. It gives them a sense of importance and success and provides cross-curriculum learning experiences.

Standards:


100% Smart-Seven Ways of Learning
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 6 to 10
How It Works: 100% Smart based on Howard Gardner's theory of the seven, intelligences enables students to explore their own strengths in, terms of learning styles. Each student soon discovers that each, of the seven intelligences is part of them, but that some are, more fully developed than others. The power of discovering one's, strengths and using them to learn is a critical component of, education and self-esteem. Through discussion, reading, drama, math and writing the students, learn about Gardner's theory of learning. Students complete, questionnaires categorized by linguistic, musical logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal and interpersonal intelligences. After scoring the, questionnaires, students utilize their math skills in fractions decimals and percents to create personal pictorial circle graphs, with each of the seven, pie-shaped pieces in the right, proportions to truly reflect the data collected about themselves. These are filled with symbols depicting their use of that, intelligence. For example, one student who plays the harp might, use that symbol for musical intelligence while another uses a, tape recorder to represent his/her love of listening to music. The finished graphs are visual, proportionally correct statements, of the diversity of learning styles within our classroom, community. Students use the ideas expressed on their graphs to write prose, and poetry about themselves as learners. Each student presents a, demonstration of one of his/her strengths in one of the seven, intelligences. One might perform a jazz dance to demonstrate a, strength in the bodily-kinesthetic area, while another might, display his/her watercolors to demonstrate a strength in the, spatial area. I have been challenged by Gardner's work to revise my classroom, curriculum so learning styles of all students within the, classroom curriculum are honored. The seven intelligences are, displayed in our classroom and we refer to them almost daily as a, way to understand ourselves and others as learners. This project was stimulated by my mentor project on gifted, education. Networking within a research group of the South Coast, Writing Project also added ideas. This project is the essence of all the Frameworks as its primary, goal is the development of positive self-esteem for all students. Its primary purpose is to help students recognize not, only their own strengths as learners, but to appreciate the, diversity of strengths and talents of all members of their, classroom community. This project was used in my heterogeneous fifth/sixth grade, classroom. One of my teammates also used this project with her, sixth grade students.

The Students:

The Staff: I have taught grades 1-6 for 21 years with an emphasis on upper, grades. I was a South Coast Writing Project fellow in 1982 as, well as a fellow in literature, math and history/social science, projects. I have been a Mentor for seven years.

What You Need: Materials needed are white tag board for graphs, colored pencils, and pens. Teacher packet includes questionnaires, samples of, student graphs, writing ideas, and a bibliography. A copy of In, Their Own Way, by Thomas Armstrong is helpful. Outside resources are not needed.

Overall Value:

Standards:


20th Century Biography: 21st Century Research Techniques
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: Biography is a cross-curricular project which introduces students to varied research techniques, including specialized software, encyclopedias, books, periodicals and the Internet.

Students select a famous twentieth century person as follows: Grade 9-- Californian; Grade 10--person from Brazil, Spain, China, South Africa, Sweden, or India; Grade 11--American who excelled in performing arts, science or literature; Grade 12--American politician.

First, students locate their subjects in an encyclopedia (book, CD-ROM, or Internet), then read a biographical article (book or magazine). They may also interview family or community members. Students search the Internet to locate additional significant information, e.g., early life, important dates, significant contributions, important facts everyone should know, and the reason this person is remembered. Students must also locate one graphic on the Internet for their projects.

Students receive small group instruction about word processing, graphic outlining software, and search techniques for the Internet. They have three weeks to research the biography, which they submit with graphic design, text outline, and notes; first edited and corrected drafts, final copy, title page, bibliography, and Internet graphic. In a culminating activity, students present their reports orally to classmates. They may earn credit in their history and English classes, also.

The Students: 1997-98: 120 resource and special day class students.

The Staff: Beverly has taught special education for 35 years, and obtained technology grants for a 17-station state-of-the-art special education learning lab. Donna, a special education teacher for six years, emphasizes history and health in her individual instruction.

What You Need: Computers, biographies, periodicals, cross-platform software such as Netscape, Inspiration, Microsoft Word, Adobe PhotoDeluxe, various CD-ROM encyclopedias, teacher packet.

Overall Value: Students develop confidence with word processing, refine their library research skills and learn to search the Internet for specific information. They build cooperation and communication skills by working in small groups, sharing techniques for locating information from various sources, and editing each other's work. Students receive credit for each project requirement and receive frequent feedback for each part of their project.

The California History/Social Science Framework recommends teaching students to select and organize electronic sources of information. The English/Language Arts Framework stresses the need for general education and special education to work together to make needed curriculum modifications.

Standards:


6th Grade Power Newsletter
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 8 to 8
How It Works: The 6th Grade Power Newsletter was developed in response to students' desire to create a newsletter that reflects their interests and concerns. While its focus is on math and science, the newsletter covers many topics. Its purpose is to provide students with a vehicle through which they can express their ideas and recognize their contributions to the life of the school community; while, school procedures and curricula are constantly dictated to them, here is one activity they are in control of. Students also benefit by learning the complexities of publishing, including research, writing, printing, and distribution.

The Students:

The Staff: Leondro Dellapina initiated 6th Grade Power during the 1992-93 school year with the intention of motivating students and enhancing their self-esteem. In response to its widespread popularity among, students, he plans to initiate seventh and eighth grade newsletters.

What You Need: Newsletter staff is currently at eleven (one president, two editors, seven reporters, and one artist). When the project is expanded to other grade levels, staffing will reach approximately twenty. Computers with a basic word processing project are essential. A camera is optional.

Overall Value: Because it is produced by and for sixth graders, 6th Grade Power gives students a sense of ownership and accomplishment in seeing the finished product of their efforts with their names standing out in the credits. "Requests for additional copies of the newsletter have been overwhelming," exclaims Dellapina. "The sixth graders want to be involved, and the seventh and eighth graders have asked to have their own newsletters," he says.

Standards:


A CELEBRATION OF WOMEN
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: "A Celebration of Women" encourages a deeper understanding of the role of women in history. Through English, science, math, and social studies, students get a flavor of the importance of women in our lives. The unit continues to be valid as the teachers observe both male and female students coming to the realization that without the contributions of women, we, as a species, would not be as developed as we are. Using research, students will come to see that throughout history women have been minimized. Because this unit includes all team teachers, students are exposed to a variety of learning styles through written, spoken, visual, investigation, application, demonstration, and performance experiences. The students discover their interests and talents by experiencing the different opportunities of this unit.

The Students: Using methods of instruction that include teacher guided lessons, small and large groups, as well as independent study, students are given a variety of way to obtain their information th at creates a level of excitement and anticipation. Ninety-five eighth grade students, all of v various levels of ability and interest participate in this unit each year. Each year a new component is added and a new insight is revealed. This unit is appropriate for all middle level grades.

The Staff: Beth Jenkins and Evelyn Didato Schaghticoke Middle School, New Milford

What You Need: Literature about notable women and their accomplishments, internet access, art supplies, and videos.

Overall Value: The study and appreciation of women has varied, immediate, and life long value. Students are observed throughout the unit for their understanding and acknowledgment of the information being shared. This is seen by how the students discuss the topics, demonstrate and role play the scenes, and document their images and appreciation of women. The life long assessment comes from the student-how well they perceive, react to, and acknowledge the women they encounter during their lives.

Standards: Intellectual Curiosity Responsibility and Self-reliance Learning Skills Speaking, Listening and Viewing


A Chip Off the Old Block
Category: Science
Grades: 5 to 8
How It Works: Research skills, higher-level thinking processes, application of life skill strategies, and application of the scientific method are integral parts of this unit which is designed to introduce genetics and heredity to elementary school students. Chip Off of the Old Block is presented to students in spiral bound unit packets which are kept in individual student portfolio folders. Students become knowledgeable about the thinking skills they are using for each activity, have a copy of the curriculum/activity classification model, and end of unit assessment criteria.

Unit activities allow students to learn research strategies, apply higher level thinking processes, plan and carry out an experiment using the scientific method, and apply problem solving strategies. Activities are presented in a manner that allows students to discover new information about genetics and heredity, rather than learn about it through written information alone.

The Students: Designed for grades 3-6, academically talented students, or 4-6 average ability. Cooperative learning groups of 3 to 4 students are recommended.

The Staff: Classroom or gifted resource teacher

What You Need: Student portfolios, spiral bound unit packets (which include 12 student pages, a curriculum cube, and a student/teacher assessment), poster board, or science fair display boards.

Overall Value: All of Bloom's Taxonomy levels are addressed in the unit, however, emphasis is placed on analysis, synthesis, and evaluation processes. Calvin Taylor's Life Skill areas are applied as students perform tasks requiring productive thinking, communicating, predicting and forecasting, planning, and decision-making. In addition, the scientific method (purpose, hypothesis, materials, procedures, results, and conclusion) is applied as students conduct research in small groups.

Standards:


A Constructivist Unit On Simple Machines
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 6 to 8
How It Works: A Constructivist Unit on Simple Machines is an interdisciplinary unit designed to teach the concepts and workings of simple machines through exploration and investigation. Students are immersed in hands-on experience with various simple machines including screwdrivers, gears, and levers. The scientific method of conducting experiments (hypothesis, materials, procedure, observation, and conclusion) is presented and reinforced from the beginning of the year. Throughout the year, students learn that there are many failures, unsuccessful experiments, and incorrect conclusions drawn in a scientific experiment before there are successes. Students are informed about scientists and inventors who stumbled upon a discovery, were not considered good students, or spent their lifetime researching just one idea. It is important for students to realize the trial and error nature of science as they acclimate to a constructivist classroom. Students pretend that they live during the period of colonial New York, which is studied as part of the fourth grade social studies curriculum. They are posed with problematic tasks that might have arisen during that time period. As a result, students work together to create simple machinery that facilitates the work to be accomplished. The students work in cooperative groups on most activities and serve as facilitators for each other in various capacities. Students serve as translators, recorders, artists, or structural engineers. All students become problem solvers as part of this program.

The Students: Students participating in A Constructivist Unit on Simple Machines are members of a heterogeneous fourth grade class. The students vary in their learning abilities and command of the English language.

The Staff: Pearl Halegua is a teacher at P.S. 196 who is interested in incorporating math, science, and technology into her interdisciplinary science unit. Pearl has implemented A Constructivist Unit on Simple Machines for the past two years. She has received a masters of education at Hofstra University where she received a Leadership in Middle School Math (sponsored by the National Science Foundation) certificate in 1997. Pearl also leads family workshops in math, staff development, and has been part of the math literacy committee in CSD 28.

What You Need: This program uses a variety of resources including picture books, videotapes, science books and other textbooks, teaching manuals, and other supplementary material that are easily reproducible. The local lumber yard also contributes pieces of wood and dowels for the class to use. Other material varies depending on the specific lesson plan.

Overall Value: A Constructivist Unit on Simple Machines allows students to view themselves as investigators who are able to use scientific methods and other means of organizational and mathematical skills to solve a problem. They also learn about the many failures and unpredictable outcomes involved in science and technology before achieving success.

Standards:


A Day in An Egyptian Bazaar
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 5 to 10
How It Works: A Day in an Egyptian Bazaar is an engaging simulation which ends a semester-long study of the people and history of ancient Egypt. It is an integrated thematic unit that involves the entire class in a simulated historical drama of an ancient Egyptian marketplace. Higher level thinking, cooperative learning, study and research skills are used in two main areas: developing the Egyptian characters that the students will play, and developing the authenticity of their marketplace and the goods they will trade. This is part of a year-long study of ancient civilizations and uses the core literature book, The Egypt Game . Intensive cross-curriculum study of the time period and mini-dramas prepare the students for the day. The physical environment of the classroom is changed to simulate the marketplace. Cooperative learning groups research facts and design posters, murals, signs and market stalls to be used around the room for the day of the Bazaar. Displayed student projects, accumulated during this intensive study, include: hieroglyphics practices, "cubit" and other mathematics projects, Egyptian structures (pyramids, villas and houses) and god and goddess posters. Curtains, sheets, and rugs are used around the classroom to transform it. Baskets, skins, cloth and large leaves are used as "grocery bags" to carry the commodities traded. These bartered items include: wheat, salt, herbs, spices, makeup, flowers, plants, food, amulets, cotton cloth, jewelry, and sandals. Services bartered include those of scribes, lawyers, priests, and teachers. Students arrive for the day in historical dress and "in character." The characters are borrowed from student classroom study, research and the core literature reading. They include tax collectors, royal court members, nomads, Berbers, Hebrews, slaves, guards and warriors. A royal procession and marketplace trial are some of the authentic experiences. "It was scary when the pharaoh arrived. The guards made us get out of the way," stated one of the participating students. Other comments were: "I sold all my handmade jewelry the first half hour," and "Taxes! Taxes! Taxes! Every time I made a good trade, a scribe would come and ask for taxes." This is a highly motivational simulation for students, staff and parents alike. It promotes positive attitudes towards history and literature. Students compare aspects of ancient life and consumerism with those of today. Assessment tools include test, projects, student participation and reflections as well as teacher observations. State Framework: This supports the History/Social Science Framework which emphasizes the study of major historical events and periods in depth so that students may see the rich details of history, as the well-told story using primary and secondary resources and a variety of teaching styles. The Students: Sixty-eight heterogeneous (including ESL and Special Education) sixth graders participated in 1991-92 and 1992-93. This "Market Day" simulation can be easily adapted to any Grades 3-8 classroom and any historical period.

The Students:

The Staff: I have taught 6th grade for 18 years — the last six years at Solvang. I have also taught Grades K, 3-4, and 7-8.

What You Need: Facilities and Materials: Lists of framework-aligned history periods, matching core literature books and A.V. materials are available upon request. Access to a video camera, VCR and a television is helpful. Outside Resources: Museum visits tie in well with this unit. Any parent or community member willing to help with drama coaching, painting and setup is helpful.

Overall Value:

Standards:


A Feather in Everyone's Cap
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 2 to 3
How It Works: Every child in the classroom has a past that connects them to their present, and this was the theme for this integrated social studies unit. For the heritage unit, the students worked cooperatively with their parents and each other to make a more meaningful learning experience. First, they created a heritage feather for the Thanksgiving turkey and a pictorial of their life with their parents. Parents and community members were invited into the classroom to share their heritage. In class, children learned map skills by making a balloon globe, learning a continent song, locating their country of origin on a map, charting their ancestor's journey, graphing their ancestor's country of origin, and creating a class timeline for the life of a pilgrim. Children also learned about the life of a pilgrim as they made butter, wove a miniature sweater, ground corn and played old-fashioned games.

The Students: This project involved 31 kindergarten children. It was an all day, self-contained class and meets daily.

The Staff: Pamela Cicora has been teaching for six years. During this time, she has received numerous awards to implement innovative projects.

What You Need: A trip to the school library provided the students with a variety of literature books and videos about life as a pilgrim. Guest speakers were invited to the school to share artifacts and information about the country of their origin. Many projects were completed with parents, a parent volunteer, or a group setting.The children worked at tables within the classroom. This allowed them to work cooperatively or individually. Most of the supplies were available through the school or through parent donations. A toaster and a hot plate were also helpful.

Overall Value: This heritage unit is full of hands-on activities. Youngsters learn best through hands-on activities that are meaningful and that incorporate learning by using all the senses. These activities incorporate each student's personal history, that of fellow students, and also the pilgrims. Individual, small group and whole class learning experiences are utilized. The unit is evaluated through hands-on projects, oral discussions, and social interactions.

Standards:


A Historical Musical Review 1900-1980
Category: Classroom Management/Intergroup
Grades: 8 to 8
How It Works: The,"Historical Musical Review" is an interdisciplnary unit designed to provide sixth grade students with a broad overview of what life was like in the United States from 1900-1980. All classes are asked to, search and present information regarding the current events, fads, fashions, famous people, entertainment, music, sports and scientific inventions for each decade. Students are divided into four classes and are given the task of studying one specific time period: 1900's-1920's, 1930's-1940's, 1950's or the 1960's-1970's. Students become the,"experts" on their time period and are told they will be,"teaching" the rest of the team (the other three classes) what they have learned. Within each class, students have the, opportunity to select areas of study based on personal interests. Student,"teaching" takes place during a culminating activity which brings all four classes together in a format called,"The Historical Musical Review". At that time, students in each class showcase their knowledge and talents in ways designed to both educate and entertain an audience of parents and peers. Students work both independently and in groups on the creation of these presentations which make the events and people of the not-so-distant past come to life. Examples of student performances includes, skits about topics ranging from the Great Depression to Woodstock, dance performances which teach the foxtrot, waltz, charleston and hand jive, monologues and role playing of famous people such as Hitler, JFK, Al Capone, Charlie Chaplin and Elvis, displays of reproduced art work and musical selections ranging from the Beatles to Bing Crosby. Scenery, costumes, love beads and even grand father's World War II uniform are part of the show. The day after the musical review a set of questions, developed by each class, is administered to the team for evaluative purposes. Each class will evaluate, the responses in order to determine the level of learning that has taken place due to the Musical Review. Throughout the unit team teachers provide the basic framework for student learning. Appropriate information is disseminated, bibliographies compiled and made available, literature infused, Writers Workshop applied, videos shown, research questions written and assessed, music played and discussion established. THE STUDENTS: This unit was designed for a team of ninety sixth grade students, but is adaptable for any grade. This project appeals to students of all ability levels. Topics of study are of high interest to students, and all children meet with success due to the fact that they can select areas of study based on their interest and learning style.

The Students:

The Staff: This unit can be implemented by a team of teachers or a single classroom teacher. It can also be expanded to include teachers from a wide variety of disciplines, especially a media/library instructor.

What You Need: The items necessary for this unit are reference materials, videos, musical tapes and records. Outside resources have included a dance instructor, piano player, volunteer parents or grand parents who can provide background information based on their own experiences.

Overall Value: Sixth grade students are provided with the opportunity to learn about periods of U.S. History which are not introduced to them in the curriculum until the second semester of their junior year of high school. Students develop a sense of history and life as a continuum as they make con connections between events of one decade and the next. The culminating presentation ion allows students of all abilities to share their knowledge and talents while gaining experience performing and speaking in front of an audience.

Standards:


A HOUSE DIVIDED
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: The report of artillery rings out as Clara Barton steps on stage to narrate the kick-off the integrated unit, "A House Divided". This skit, performed by staff, stimulates the intellectual curiosities of seventh grade students, and introduces them to the Civil War. "A House Divided" helps students to recognize the historical impact the war had in shaping American culture and understand how it affects us today. In the opening activity, each student shadows a character from the video, THE BLUE AND THE GRAY. Creating empathy with the character, each student keeps a journal, which helps him or her to analyze events, and attitudes that lead brother to fight brother. For the following six weeks, all core and unified arts curricula are focused on the Civil War.

The unit engages students in a variety of planned activities. One major study is the selection and completion of an independent research project, where students choose an area of interest and investigate the historical facts surrounding the person or event. Students can choose different projects ranging from battles to technological advances in communication to music of the war to the beginnings of the Red Cross. In another component of the program students are authentically drafted into the Northern and Southern armies. Commissioned officers are appointed through an application and interview process. Officers experience first-hand the qualities needed for effective leadership.

The Students: The student's day is organized into four blocks of time. One block is teacher directed instruction; the other three are devoted to research, project work, and stage performance. Students self-monitor progress giving teachers a means of measuring student performance. The post assessment includes a persuasive writing prompt using CMT guidelines. The culminating activity is an evening presentation to parents and the community. where students perform their own plays. Family and friends view projects, eat food, and listen to music of the Civil War period. Every grade seven student, regardless of ability level, is included in this unit.

The Staff: Marcus Asbridge, Jeanne Benoit, Vicki Espeseth, Beverly Griffith-Williams, and Robert Skopek Putnam Middle School, Putnam

What You Need: Texts, periodicals, laser disks, and CD Roms

Overall Value: The overall value of "A House Divided" is that it creates a vehicle for critical reasoning and higher order thinking. The unit is designed to generate active learning experiences requiring students to perform tasks based on information gained from research. It teaches collaboration because projects are organized into cooperative groups. "A House Divided", ultimately, requires students to gain an understanding of an important historical event by becoming responsible and accountable for their own learning.

Standards: Intellectual Curiosity Learning Skills


A Jaunt through Genres: Creative Involvement with Literature
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 5 to 6
How It Works: The purpose of this literature project was to introduce students to a variety of genres and to allow them opportunities to respond to novels using higher-level thinking skills. Each month, a different genre of literature was introduced as a reading requirement. The students were then required to find a book of interest, categorized under the specific genre, and read it. After completion of the book, the students completed a multiple-choice test using the Accelerated Reader Computerized Testing Program. A different creative project was assigned each month to coincide with the genre being studied. The teacher presented the project requirements at the beginning of each month, and then students worked independently in class to complete their projects. The projects were designed to be interesting, fun, hands-on and meaningful ways for students to engage in the literature

The Students: A total of sixty-one students participated in the reading program. The students consisted of two classrooms of fourth graders. The students were grouped according to ability level and were taught at that level. The two groups completed the same genres throughout the year, adapting appropriate criteria, books, etc. according to their academic needs.

The Staff: Yvonne DiPetro and Alice Hood have a combined teaching career of 18 years. Their program has been in use for two years.

What You Need: Resources included computers (at least one per classroom) that have the software for the Accelerated Reader Computerized Testing Program installed. An Accelerated Reader Book List, access to school and/or public libraries and field trips helped with this project. Guest speakers were The fourth grade classrooms had two computers per room with the Accelerated Reader Computerized Testing Program installed. Accelerated Reader Book lists and books that are read come from either the school library or the public library. A chart listing the various literature genres is helpful.optional.

Overall Value: This literature program allows each and every student to use reading as a tool for learning and thinking across the curriculum. Each student feels success as he or she reads age appropriate/ability level appropriate literature and responds to it in a wide variety of meaningful ways. The project can be adapted to fit any grade level and involves all students regardless of academic ability. All teachers would benefit from using this program which extends the understanding of the uniqueness and universality of student experiences through multicutural literature.

Standards:


A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN: THE STRUGGLE FOR GENDER EQUITY
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: The concept of gender equity in sports is investigated through actual interviews with pioneers who played a significant role in breaking down gender barriers in our society. Students are introduced to the period before Title IX, an era in American History which many traditional history books do not address.

As part of their efforts to learn more about sex discrimination, students act as investigative reporters by contacting and interviewing female athletes who played sports prior to the Title IX legislation. By interviewing primary sources students attempt to identify ways in which female athletes were discriminated against in sports.

To gain a further understanding of the gender equity issue, students view the videotape "A League of Their Own." Students work in cooperative learning groups to develop questionnaires that are sent to former female baseball players from the Rockford Peaches of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. The AAGPBL was the focus of the film "A League of Their Own." The research tool is designed to give students a genuine understanding of how American society was divided on the basis of gender.

The Students: Students create magazines that serve as supplements to their textbook. The magazines pay tribute to the pioneers who paved the way for today's female athletes. Included in the magazines are interviews with past and present female athletes, biographies, letters to the editor, reader response activities, editorials, graphics and photographs. Students complete a performance assessment checklist of the activities involved in the project.

The Staff: Michael Riccio Wooster Middle School, Stratford

What You Need: A regular classroom provides a fine setting for implementing this project. Contacts were made with former members of the Rockford Peaches of the AAGPBL. This proved to be an exciting part of the project for it gave the students an opportunity to interview real people who played an integral role in our country's history. At an assembly students learned from pioneers the struggle and sacrifices made prior to Title IX and the opportunities that exist today for women.

Overall Value: The unit of study gives students an opportunity to examine a topic that is not covered in traditional history books. Students learn from primary sources the realities of sex discrimination in our country, but most of all they now have new heroes such as Jennifer Rizzotti, Rebecca Lobo, and Lisa Leslie. The performance assessment tasks link students' prior knowledge and provide opportunities for new connections to be made; however, the best measure of the unit's success can be found in the students' excitement.

Standards:


A LITERARY JOURNEY TO PARIS: MAD ABOUT MADELINE
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 7
How It Works: "In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines, lived twelve little girls in two straight lines..." So begins the l939 French children's tale, Madeline, by Ludwig Bemelmans. The story of a petite girl raised in a Paris boarding school, Madeline and her subsequent sequels have endured as a classical literary triumph for over fifty years. Madeline's heartwarming stories with happy endings appeal to children while giving them an awareness of phonics and rhyme. The Caldecott-winning illustrations of famous Paris landmarks are a plethora of line, shape, and color.

For these reasons, Madeline provides the perfect literary setting for acquainting second grade children with classical literature, French culture and geography, and timeless art, while connecting reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills. The variety of activities and lessons give all children an opportunity to learn through learning styles chosen by the students. Reading, writing, art, public speaking, and music are among the curricula areas addressed.

Lessons include the author's use of story elements and description. Story maps of events are constructed to identify a writing concept crucial for young writers, the idea that each story needs a beginning, middle, and end.

Each student works through the writing process to compose an original Madeline story. The teacher uses a checklist to assess the student's inclusion of essential process writing elements. Students self-assess their work before submitting their final copy using a student checklist. The unit culminates with a "Madeline Breakfast" where students share their work.

The Students: An academically heterogeneous class of l9-22 children has participated in this project each year. It is easily adapted for all primary-aged children.

The Staff: Elizabeth F. Szewczyk The Eric G. Norfeldt Classical Magnet School, West Hartford

What You Need: Multiple Madeline copies, nonfiction books on French culture and geography, French music, paper and writing/drawing tools.

Overall Value: This project enables every student to experience another culture through classical literature. By offering students a variety of learning modes through multiple projects, all students participate at their full ability.

Sharing their knowledge during a formal culminating event provides social interaction and academic recognition. Conversations laced with "Bienvenue" and "Tres bien" prove that classical literature for young children is truly timeless.

Standards:


A Photo Gallery Of Famous Chicago Landmarks
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 6 to 8
How It Works: Students study Chicago's top twenty-five landmarks. Activities for this project include: learning about the landmarks' history, their architects and how the Chicago Fire of 1871 changed everything taking a walking tour of the Loop planning an architectural bus tour serving as tour guides for each other. Using black and white film, students photograph the buildings they visit. They develop, print and mount their photos for display. They also sketch and paint some of the landmarks they've visited. Students: This program was designed for 5th graders as a Social Studies Chicago Unit. It is adaptable for intermediate and upper grades.

The Students:

The Staff: Yollande Gottlieb is a fifth grade teacher at Walt Disney Magnet School. Al Weismeyer is head of the Photography Lab there.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Books about Chicago landmarks such as Chicago on Foot and Chicago-- Growth of a Metropolis help students identify and locate buildings. Cameras and black and white film are needed as well as art supplies for sketching, painting and re-creating famous landmarks. Outside Resources: A trip to the Chicago Historical Society should precede any downtown tours. Parents are needed to assist with downtown walking tours.

Overall Value: Children learn about Chicago history and architecture and have fun at the same time. They, capture Chicago landmarks, on film and on paper and have the satisfaction of seeing their work displayed. They share their newly acquired knowledge of Chicago's history by acting as tour guides for fellow students.

Standards:


A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS
Category: Arts
Grades: 2 to 10
How It Works: The strength of imagination, the vitality of the written word, the spirit of team-building, and the magic of creating a glorious cooperative group activity are all captured in "A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words." This project is a highly effective approach to creative writing that encourages students to play an active role in the development of a story. In preparation for this language arts activity, students are divided into six small cooperative groups. A group leader, recorder, time-keeper, and "encourager" are assigned. Each group receives a comprehensive resource packet which includes a self-evaluation guide. To begin, students view a poster-size laminated picture. They are instructed to cooperatively discuss the who, what, where, when, why, and how questions as they apply to the picture. They are encouraged to analyze the plot, decide on a sequence of events, discuss the mood, and develop a conclusion. All responses are written in the appropriate section of their booklets. Next, using a graphic organizer, students plan their story. In some instances, cooperative groups may decide to develop a play or a puppet show. Together they think about what they want to write, draft their story, and edit for interesting sentences, unique vocabulary, and writing mechanics.

The Students: As students work, the teacher rotates among the groups to facilitate the communication process among the students. Polaroid pictures taken of the project "in process" ensures task relevancy and motivates students. To culminate the learning process, each group enthusiastically shares its finished project with the class. Presenters learn the importance of voice tone, body language, and eye contact. Using their evaluation guide, students use cooperative learning and brainstorming techniques to evaluate their work. Polished presentations are taped and displayed along side finished writing pieces, illustrations, props, and instant photographs at the Education Expo held each spring.

The Staff: Merle Hart

What You Need: A VCR and an instant camera.

Overall Value: In this fresh approach to creative writing, students feel excited and enthusiastic about language arts. They become fascinated by the development of their stories, learn to fully appreciate the power of the written word, and feel a sense of pride as they share their successes with each other. Students also benefit from working with and learning from other students as part of a small cooperative group with a common goal. Photographs of the teams provide visual reinforcement, further enhancing the concept off "us", "we", and "our".

Standards: Positive Self-Concept Intellectual Curiosity


A Qualitative Study Of Acceleration
Category: Science
Grades: 9 to 10
How It Works: This is a challenging math project that promotes math skills and accurate record-keeping through lively activities. Working in small groups, students learn about acceleration by: using stop-watches to time each other over a 50 yard distance, recording times for crawling, hopping, skipping, jumping, running and walking forward and backward, averaging times and comparing the graphed results To study the effects of gravity on acceleration, they: use angled ramps, water-drop carts and other materials to produce more results, develop twelve graphs on acceleration, use the graphs to discern the elements that affect acceleration Students: This project was developed with sixth graders. It will be expanded in 1994 for grades seven and eight and LD students. The project can be readily adapted for lower grades.

The Students:

The Staff: Ken Benedix, departmental Science teacher at Dirksen School, holds a BA from Northeastern University. He has won several grants and has been teaching Science for five years.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: A large area such as a hallway or playground is needed for the experiment measuring speed over a 50 yard distance. All other experiments can be done in a regular classroom. Materials needed include stop-watches, graph paper, ramps, books, water carts and adding machine tapes. Outside Resources: Outside resources are not necessary for a successful project, but parent involvement is an asset.

Overall Value: Students gain personal knowledge and experience of the world around them through interdisciplinary activities. They apply basic math skills to study scientific concepts relating to acceleration.

Standards:


A QUICKTAKE JOURNEY
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 8
How It Works: A QuickTake Journey is a motivational program that integrates writing and computer technology to foster reflective and descriptive writing skills in functionally diverse students. The new electronic camera technology is incorporated into student journals to introduce students to computer graphics and to skills such as punctuation, spelling, grammar, and style. Each child describes the events of the year in a bound journal. The children use the QuickTake camera to record events, to edit and caption pictures on the classroom computer, and to incorporate the photographs into their journals. The pictures offer a strong impetus for writing. The students are able to evaluate their personal growth over a full year. These professional-level books enhance self-esteem, serve as personal measures of growth, and function as mementos of the classroom experience. Students A group of 60 third grade students participate in this project. Members of this heterogeneous group, which includes five learning disabled children, have writing abilities from emergent to independent. The program can be adapted to any grade level.

The Students:

The Staff: Two third grade teachers coach the children in the writing process throughout the year, enlisting the services of other staff members to model personal writing styles. Both teachers have completed a course on integrating technology in the classroom, and they instruct the students on the techniques for using the electronic camera and computer graphics.

What You Need: The students need bound journals for their writing and photographs. The students use the Apple QuickTake camera; all photographic editing and captioning is performed on classroom Macintosh computers. All project activities take place in the classroom or during regularly scheduled field activities. Outside Resources No outside resources are necessary.

Overall Value: A QuickTake Journey enables students to take ownership of their own writing. The program enhances student writing skills, integrates multimedia technology into the classroom, and introduces students to modem photojournalism. The journal enhances student self-esteem by tracing student progress through the year and presenting students with a tangible product of their endeavors.

Standards:


A Recipe for Writing
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 6 to 7
How It Works: By mixing explicit writing instruction and modeling with an assortment of practice exercises such as writing poetry, plays, letters and descriptive paragraphs, students become confident young writers. They enjoy a year's worth of imaginative writing assignments. Practice exercises include:∑ letters to their parents to win approval to go to summer camp∑ reports on the lives of famous African-Americans∑ a detective story that takes place in their classroom "office" ∑ planning every aspect of a theme party and staging an original drama for other classes This is definitely a recipe worth trying!

The Students: This project involved 28 fourth graders, meeting twice a week, for one hour sessions. It can be adapted for students of varying ability levels in grades two and up, and in larger or smaller groups.

The Staff: Linda Barrett holds a BA in Elementary Education from Purdue University and a master's degree in Library-Information Science from Dominican University. Paris Winston earned a BS in computers from Northern Illinois University and an MA in Teaching from Columbia University.

What You Need: The project requires the following materials: all kinds of writing materials (colored pens, paper, journals, folders, etc.); an assortment of books covering different genres of writing; lumber, paint, brushes, and tools for constructing play sets; catalogs and grocery store flyers; material for costumes; computer(s) for word processing; a printer; students' certificates.

Overall Value: Students enjoy the out-of-the-ordinary writing exercises; their learning success is evidence of the effectiveness of this award-winning project.

Standards: This project addresses the following Illinois State Goals and Chicago Academic Standards (CAS): Goal #3, CAS A-C, Goal #4, CAS A-C, Goal #5, CAS A, CFS 2,3,4, and 7.


A Scavenger Hunt!
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 14
How It Works: "A Scavenger Hunt!" -- the words themselves have always meant fun, mystery, and discovery. Students have the freedom of active research, without realizing that they are learning discovery techniques, critical thinking skills, cooperative learning techniques, and more. The scavenger hunt is designed to increase the students' use of various resources in the library or media center. The student is challenged to locate specific information, most of which is not readily found in encyclopedias or dictionaries. For example, a student might be asked to locate specific data about Bob Denver of,"Gilligan's Island" fame. The student enjoys discovering that this supposedly bumbling comedian is actually a college professor of English Literature with a Ph.D. Having done this research, the student has now begun to develop research skills using something in which he/she is interested in. The newspaper is also a great source for the scavenger hunt, specifically useful when preparing students to formally learn its parts, use, and enjoyment. For example, a student might be asked to find the acronyms for,"Prisoner of War" (P.O.W.) and,"Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries" (O.P.E.C.). DCPS Major System Priorities: Intergroup Relations, Critical Thinking, Achievement. The Students: This project has been implemented over the past five years with hundreds of, Citrus Grove Middle School students. With very little restructuring, the scavenger hunt can be used with grades K-12.

The Students:

The Staff: Judy Davis is a reading resource teacher, formally of the Houston, Texas school system, who has attended a reading institute at Kinlock Park Middle School and is a member of the Dade Reading Council. Gerth PoitierWhitehead is an English teacher, alternate union steward, team leader at Citrus Grove Middle School, and has developed different curriculum proposals for QUIIP and, Black History Month Observance. The project has been implemented in both classrooms for more than eight years. When it is used to teach library skills, the media specialist can help the younger students locate the appropriate reference materials.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: The project, can be introduced in the classroom with basic reference resources such as encyclopedias, Guiness Book of World Records, Roget's Thesaurus, an almanac, or a biographical dictionary. A literature anthology, commercially produced games such as,"Trivial Pursuit" and,"Jeopardy" and teacher-made questions from a variety of sources are additional resources. However, a media center with a large variety of specialized reference books is the best resource. Outside Resources: The scavenger hunt is a universal activity which can be adapted to practically any setting outside a classroom or school library. Scavenger hunts can occur on a field trip to the Seaquarium, MetroZoo, Matheson Hammock, Vizcaya, Museum of Science, The Barnacle, Miami International Airport or even the family garage. The list is endless! Learning can happen anywhere!

Overall Value: Students seem more enthusiastic when they explore a topic with which they are familiar. Their prior knowledge has been used as a stepping stone to increased awareness.

Standards:


A School of Poets
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 10 to 11
How It Works: How does a teacher create a poet in one week? -- by implementing this project. Using A School Of Poets, students are taught easily to create their own poetry through a step-by-step process which includes writing and analyzing poetry. The result is that students learn a variety of forms while creating a beautiful book they will treasure. DCPS Major System Priorities, Student Achievement, Standard English, Intergroup Relations, Parental Involvement, Blueprint 2000 Goals, Student Performance, Learning Environment, The Students, This project has been used with eighth-grade students. It is easily adaptable for any grade level by adjusting the requirements and can be used with both large and small groups. It can be taught to advanced, regular, ESOL and remedial level students because it relies on the students' ability to use what they already know.

The Students:

The Staff: Beth Rivero has been teaching creative writing and language arts at North Dade Middle School for five years. She wrote the humanities curriculum for North Dade Middle's International Studies program and designed the curriculum for the Pre-International Baccalaureate program. She was trained at the Writing Institute and is a member of Dade County's Global Cadre. In 1991-92, she was the Global Teacher of the Year for Region I. Currently, she is completing her master's degree in educational leadership.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Students will need markers, typing paper, a variety of literature textbooks (all levels) or books of poetry, a folder, and a thesaurus. Thesauruses make it easier for the students to create better products using their own ideas. Optional equipment may include computers and a binding machine. The teacher may want to have a hole puncher and markers available in the classroom. Outside Resources: High school students may be encouraged to do the research on their own at public libraries. Parents are encouraged to loan books of poetry to the class for use in preparation of the project. Using a poet as a guest speaker is a terrific culminating activity.

Overall Value: "But I don't know how to write poetry" is an answer that teachers hear whenever they ask students to write a poem. Students can create their own books of poetry, use critical thinking skills and identify the parts of speech. This poetry notebook project allows students to gain valuable knowledge about poetry and skill in writing it while letting them have fun accomplishing an enjoyable goal. It does not require additional work on the part the teacher and it is easy to grade. Finally, students leave class at the end of the year with a book of their own that they wrote and illustrated.

Standards:


A Virtual Look at the American Constitution
Category: Technology
Grades: 10 to 12
How It Works: This program used a teacher-constructed website to teach the concepts and contents of the American Constitution. The time period in which the actual creation of the document took place was also researched. The purpose was to give students an interactive and tactile approach to learning history through the use of technology. Students accessed websites and navigated through them to find information. Once they had located information about a particular assignment, they read, researched the information, and answered questions on teacher provided worksheets in order to show their comprehension of the subject matter. The innovative aspect of this project was that it could be used in a variety of ways. Teachers could guide students through activities if they were not knowledgeable in computer use or in the use of a website.

The Students: This project was used in addition to regular classroom studies in the eighth grade. All students were given the opportunity to use the website and this provided motivation for all achievers to complete their daily tasks.

The Staff: Lori Farley is a first year teacher in the Akron Public Schools.

What You Need: Computers with Internet connection and printers are needed for this project. If a teacher wished to construct his/her own website, Claris Works Home Page software was needed. Computers, printers and accessibility to the Internet were needed for the project.

Overall Value: This project was a wonderful way to get students actively involved in their own learning. They also got quite a sense of accomplishment when they were able to successfully navigate through the website to find the information for which they were searching. Watching unmotivated students be so proactive about their own learning was a fabulous experience. Teachers can easily adapt this project for their classrooms and even get the students involved in creating their own websites.

Standards:


A World To Share: A Multicultural Approach
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 6 to 8
How It Works: This project represents the work of a team of five teachers developing and implementing a new curriculum. This Club program supplements a multidisciplinary, intergrated curriculum built around the national and regional origins of the student body. A WORLD TO SHARE is organized around student-selected interest groups called Clubs. The subject matter of each Club is determined by individual teachers on the team. Coordinated themes are planned so that activities in one interest group supplement those of other groups. Students discover the commonalities found in different cultural formats and learn to appreciate the value of cooperative learning. This is a student-driven project. It is a curriculum of choice. Club choices include: Stamp Club, Health Club, Fine Arts Club, Creative Arts Club, Choral Club and Environmental Club. Before Club meetings begin, each student develops a family biographical profile based on cultural heritage. Club activities are coordinated around a monthly theme. Each club researches another aspect of the culture selected for the month, working in its own interest area. Each Club develops a publication in the form of book, journal, passport or brochure. These documents become the basis for a shared classroom reference library. A year-end Festival serves as a culminating activity for all. Students: About two hundred 4th and 5th grade students participated in this project. Students in Special Education were included. The project is infinitely adaptable.

The Students:

The Staff: The teachers who developed this project have worked together as a team for over three years in an open classroom. Classroom experience levels range from three to twenty-three years, in both public and private schools.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Needed materials and facilities depend on which interest areas and activities are chosen. Detailed information for each Club's materials is outlined in the teacher's packet prepared for this project. Outside Resources: The input and assistance of families and the community are essential. Field trips to local museums, libraries, food markets, arboretums, theater performances and the Philately convention are only a few of the many exciting available outside resources.

Overall Value: While the teacher(s) choose the topic, the content of each club is personal and relevant to the student population and offers them the opportunity to choose their own areas of interest and study. Students also learn and appreciate the similarities and differences of each other's cultural backgrounds.

Standards:


A.I.D.S. Awareness
Category: Science
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: Equipped with comprehensive research, A.I.D.S. Awareness is an A.I.D.S. education unit in which students produce a video to teach their entire school population. While this country is waging what may appear to be a hopeless battle against a most undiscriminating health hazard, too many teenagers continue to rely on an unfounded belief in their own immortality. They must be redirected!, Peer influence and accurate information-sharing between high school students, through the popular medium of TV/VCR video, is an effective supplement to A.I.D.S. education programs. Students research the latest data and methods of combating A.I.D.S. Using this information, students draft a pamphlet to distribute to the entire school at a special session. Students prepare a pretest and a post-test based on their 20 minute video presentation, sharing, information from their research papers about A.I.D.S. From this classroom sharing, they create a brief narrative about A.I.D.S. and, through community guest speakers and a field trip, gain additional information. Producing a video creates a high interest level in this issue. Writing and sharing research papers is a wonderful way for students to gain new information, and creating a pretest and a post-test reinforces the information. The video and the information presented will have an impact on the entire high school due to PEER PERSONALIZATION. DCPS Major System Priorities: Standard English, Achievement, Critical Thinking Skills, Intergroup Relations. The Students: The project involves high school science students, but could also be adapted for health and social studies.

The Students:

The Staff: Michael Hornstein is a registered pharmacist and substance abuse counselor who has taught Anatomy and Physiology for the past eight years. He has previously been awarded a grant in A.I.D.S. Awareness and has published a paper about cocaine. An audio-visual technician/school volunteer would enhance this program. Parent chaperones on field trips are necessary.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: Books and articles about A.I.D.S. are vital materials to this project. Outside Resources: The blood bank or a hospital are necessary facilities. Guests are an integral component as well.

Overall Value: This project will have an impact on teenagers' unfounded belief in their own immortality enabling them to perform intensive research and to interview specialists in the field. By means of a high interest level video, 30 students will educate and influence their peers.

Standards:


A-B-C "Cook-Off"
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 1 to 3
How It Works: : "A-B-C 'Cook Off'" provided kindergarten students with a weekly cooking encounter that incorporated math, science, social studies and language experiences. It was a hands-on activity which utilized all of the senses as students created a tasty dish. Each week a letter of the alphabet was chosen to be in the "cook-off". As children prepared and made the dish, they reviewed and discussed what they had done during the week with the "cook-off" letter. The verbal responses that were made while an ingredient was added, or the mixing bowl was passed, or the mixture was stirred, were the measures of success

The Students: The entire class of kindergartners participated in the weekly "cook-off". During the week, the children did many letter activities in both large and small groups that could be adapted to achievement levels. A teacher and a parent volunteer monitored the activities.

The Staff: Donna Knox has been teaching for 22 years and has worked with kindergarten children for the past six years.

What You Need: Each week a note was sent home with two students to inform the parents of the needed "cook-off" ingredients. The ingredients were sent to school on Thursday to be ready for the Friday cooking.

Overall Value: Children learn best when using all of their senses. The A-B-C "Cook-Off" lets children explore the alphabet letters by seeing and hearing the letters in books that are read to them. They feel and touch the letters as they make them with paper, clay, their bodies, and other sculpture they have made. The goal of this experience is to bring a tasting taste of learning to the young minds that devour it!

Standards:


Academics Integrated With Movement
Category: Instructional Inquiry
Grades: 3 to 6
How It Works: Instructional Inquiry Process: Academics Integrated With Movement (AIM) is an intense one-on-one program integrating academics with related services of physical, occupational, and speech and language therapies for students with physical disabilities. These nonambulatory, severely involved students verbalize physical movements being performed in response to the teacher's instructions. Instruction is based on the Program of Studies. The physical and occupational therapists select functional movements; the speech and language clinician determines the appropriate language expected. The program focuses on language that encourages internalization of academics and movement. Each student has an instructor to guide him or her through physical movements because the students are unable to complete the selected physical movements without assistance. The research will determine if this approach allows for coverage of academic material while enabling students to function physically in the classroom independently or with less assistance. In addition, the study hopes to show that the training will help students access activities and materials more easily and improve speech patterns and attending skills. The Students: Seven students in primary elementary education for students with physical disabilities will participate in this study. The program will be implemented each day with one hour of instruction five days a week.

The Students:

The Staff: Teachers, a physical therapist, a physical therapy assistant, occupational therapists, the speech and language clinician, public health training assistants, public health attendants, volunteers, and parents will be involved in the research.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: The regular classroom for students with physical disabilities will be needed. Floor mats and specially designed seats are necessary. Adaptations to regular chairs and tables will help facilitate independent movements. Outside Resources: Parents, other relatives of the students, and community volunteers will help with the program.

Overall Value: It is anticipated that students' academic performance and independent movement will increase, causing an improvement in the students' attitudes and self-confidence. As a result of this improvement, the students will be able to use more spontaneous speech and will be eager to participate with students who are not as severely involved physically. It is hoped this learning experience will empower them to try new movements. If this approach proves effective, it can be extended as needed for students with extremely limited physical capabilities.

Standards:


Academy of Space Sciences
Category: Science
Grades: 5 to 6
How It Works: To interest students in outer space, astronomy and their accompanying sciences, this project helps teachers create a classroom space academy. Students assume that space travel is already in effect, they are cadet-trainees and have to learn how to, plot a route to Mars for exploration and then return. There are three final projects: a test on Mars, a final exam dealing with the planets and a space scrapbook, which has to be completed by the end of the unit. DCPS Major System Priorities: Achievement, Critical Thinking, Parental Involvement, Blueprint 2000 Goals: Learning Environment, Student Performance, The Students: The population for this project included 150 students, nine to 10 years of age, who were divided into four homerooms. All levels participated, including students in the Gifted, Academic Excellence, regular classroom and ESOL programs. Classes met every day, although not all students met every day. Tuesdays were reserved for total class instruction or to view special videos. This unit can be adapted easily for any size class of students.

The Students:

The Staff: With a master's degree in elementary education and a master's degree in administration & supervision, Arnold Pakula has been teaching for more than 27 years, with the past 18 years as a fifthgrade science teacher at Highland Oaks. In 1984, he was chosen Teacher of the Year at Highland Oaks, as well as Area runner-up. Mr. Pakula writes his own units for science and language arts.

What You Need: A self-contained classroom would be ideal but a wide-open one has been used. Bulletin boards should reflect the learning environment with maps and photos of the solar system and computer generated banners. At least two computers, with special space-science simulations, should be available for the students to use. Outside Resources, Useful outside resources include public and classroom libraries for research, a VCR, a TV, and space videos. Field trips to a Planetarium, NASA's SpacePort USA at the Kennedy Space Center, and Space Camp (Titusville--where the launch of the shuttle can be viewed) are encouraged. Space-oriented speakers also can add an interesting angle.

Overall Value: Through the incentives offered, students will become immersed in this unit. They will enjoy actually researching, writing letters to government officials to promote America's space program and learning. Additionally, this project is so interesting and versatile that for many students it may become a family project. In the end, students will be hooked on the study of space, continuing with related activities long after the unit is finished.

Standards:


ACE: Achievement Center at Edison
Category: Instructional Inquiry
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: ACE investigates what happens when the at-risk student population is provided individualized instruction in the core curriculum with the intent of successfully mainstreaming them back into the regular classroom after four weeks. The center will function as an on-site alternative approach to education for students who need more instructional and behavioral attention than the demands in the regular classroom allow. All students will receive constant and individual tutoring in core academics (math, science, English, and social studies) from a minimum of three teachers from those areas. A trained social worker and a crisis intervention team member will counsel for behavior modification and supervise to ensure the most supportive environment possible. It is anticipated that the ACE program will provide meaningful one-on-one instruction for the at-risk population. Once the teacher referrals and parent-student contracts have been assessed, class size will be limited to no more than 15 students. At the end of the four-week period, the ACE screening committee will assess whether a student has met the academic and behavioral goals that would allow him or her to be successfully mainstreamed back into the regular classroom setting. Assessment will be based on, but not limited to, attendance, grades, attitude, and maturation as an achiever. Its include those who are making no progress in the regular classroom and who need ongoing individual attention with academics and behavior. During the first semester, the primary focus will be ninth and tenth graders since they have been the most at-risk academically and behaviorally at our school.

The Students:

The Staff: The ACE team is composed of the reading specialist serving as coordinator, a trained intervention team member, a social worker, a full-time instructional aide, three or four teachers in the core curriculum, and at least one peer tutor.

What You Need: Although a regular classroom suffices, a self-contained room with a bathroom and separate office space with a telephone offers maximum opportunity for student concentration, engagement, and achievement. ACE personnel will maintain a daily folder that will track attendance, behavior, and the status of the students' work. Parents will be actively involved beginning with the original referral into the center. Students entering the center will have routine sessions with their counselors and the social worker or the psychologist at least once a week.

Overall Value: Ideally students will become more engaged in the classroom activities, behave more appropriately ensuring academic progress, and display sufficient skills to receive passing grades. Support from home will reinforce the entrance contract provisions.

Standards:


Acoustics and Signal Processing
Category: Science
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: Acoustics and Signal Processing Using Computers is a week-long series of explorations into the physics of sound, music and speech. In these explorations, student lab groups use microphones connected to computers to display and analyze the sound waves produced by various musical instruments and their own voices.

Students begin by using the microphone to record soundwaves produced by striking tuning fork. The computer graphs the soundwave, giving students a good visualization of what is occurring. Then the students use the computer to perform a Fourier Transform on the waveform. The computer displays the results in the form of a bar graph, which shows the fundamental frequency and the harmonics.

Without the use of a computer to analyze the data, the only way to find the fundamental frequency and harmonics is by using an oscilloscope, which is beyond the scope of a high school physics class. But with the computer, students can immediately "see" the waveform and analyze the fundamental frequency and harmonics. Since data-gathering is simplified by the computer, the students have more time to do analysis. For example, they compare the natural frequencies of tuning forks and musical instruments to the natural frequencies of sounds produced by human voices. Also, they can compare the differences between vowel sounds and consonant sounds.

As a final project, students design and build their own homemade musical instruments. After the instruments are constructed, the students analyze the natural frequencies of their instruments and compare these frequencies to the sounds they have been observing all week. They prepare overheads presenting the particular musical characteristics of their instruments. And on the last day of this unit, each group "performs" a song with their instruments and presents the results of their sound analysis to the rest of the class. These presentations, along with written tests and teacher observation, allow us to assess student understanding and knowledge.

The Students:

The Staff: Alan has been teaching high school physics for seven years. His previous career was in geophysics. He is a technology Mentor for his district. Curt taught high school for four years. He is attending seminary in 1997-98.

What You Need: A Macintosh or IBM-compatible computer and an interface box/microphone are necessary. The box and microphone can be purchased from Vernier Software or Pasco supply company. Further information can be found in the teacher packet. We use resources at Santa Barbara City College, UCSB, local industry, and parents. Hardware support and consulting are being provided by QUEST, the Engineering School, Physics Department, and Graduate School of Education at UCSB. Equipment and texts are being supplied by the Tech Prep Program at SBCC. Some parents and local industry have helped with software support.

Overall Value: Students demonstrate basic comprehension of material previously not used in high school classes.

Standards:


Across the Curriculum through Video
Category: Global Education
Grades: 11 to 11
How It Works: Across the Curriculum through Video is an interdisciplinary project that integrates the ninth grade English and social studies curricula. The social studies unit, which covers the history, geography, and culture of India, China, and Japan, is reinforced in the English class with oral, reading, and writing exercises related to these countries. By relating the subject areas, students see the connections between various subjects as teachers discover ways to transcend the boundaries of their disciplines. In the project, lessons, student presentations, and day-to-day planning sessions are videotaped; seeing themselves on videotape motivates students and allows them to critique their own work and observe their progress. At the same time, teachers use the tapes to learn about interdisciplinary instruction. Teachers can use the tapes to rework or restructure their lesson plans to meet specific objectives. Videos present special projects, role playing, interviews, news shows, skits on historical events, and debates.

The Students:

The Staff: Robert Gross, communications coordinator at August Martin for the past 11 years, developed the project in collaboration with Ann Ferrelli, who serves as a faculty advisor for the school newspaper. By recording the actual development of an interdisciplinary curriculum, they hope to provide other teachers with ideas for interdisciplinary teaching as well as an exciting learning tool for students.

What You Need: Across the Curriculum through Video involves four ninth grade classes (two English classes and two social studies classes), two English teachers, two social studies teachers, an advanced video class, and a video teacher. The classes are taped by an advanced video student or in the TV studio by the video class. All lessons are coordinated by the, English, social studies, and video teachers. Advanced video students edit the final tape.

Overall Value: "Knowing that they are on camera has motivated students to take their work and themselves more seriously," say project disseminators Gross and Ferrelli. Students in the classes involved in the project have higher scores and improved attendance and have become more expressive and invested in their writing and performance. At the same time, the project has been a valuable means for teachers of English and social studies to work together to coordinate their lessons.

Standards:


ACT OUT (ACTors Original Upbeat Theater)
Category: Arts
Grades: 2 to 10
How It Works: All the world's a stage!, Here's an active project that gives every student speaking and acting experiences. Through ten different interdisciplinary lessons, students: -develop their dramatic skills, -enlarge their vocabulary, -master social skills -become more aware of cultural differences and similarities In one session students physically mirror the actions of the teacher, then repeat the exercise with a student. In another session students discuss words that describe emotions and then, using hand mirrors, try to express those emotions. Other lessons let students role play social situations and create characters to fit people in magazine illustrations or photos. The project culminates with the students producing a play written by the teacher. Students: This project was developed with students from a wide range of ages, abilities and social skills. Students met in groups of 12-15, spending two or three 50 minute periods on each lesson.

The Students:

The Staff: Deborah Reese holds a BA, an MA and an MA in Education from National College and is cross-certified in several areas. She has been teaching Special Education students at Durso School for eight years and is currently attending classes at Roosevelt University.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: The project requires several hand mirrors, props such as canes, purses, small sports equipment, a tape recorder and simple costumes. Optional equipment includes a video camera, additional tape recorders and a full-length mirror. Performance space for the play requires a space larger than a classroom; an auditorium is ideal. Outside Resources: The Illinois Theater Association provides information on,"Activating Drama in the Classroom." Imagination Theater will give performances in the school and provide ideas for additional classroom activities. Other resources include Music Theater Workshop, ORT, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Ensemble, Urban Gateways and U.S.A. Ballet.

Overall Value: Through activities in this project students become more sensitive to issues of prejudice, cultural differences and interpersonal issues. Their social skills and self esteem are enhanced.

Standards:


Adapting the presidential physical fitness test
Category: Health/Physical Education
Grades: 5 to 8
How It Works: This study investigates whether physically disabled students can improve their level of fitness working with an individualized, adapted version of the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. Fairfax County students in grades four, five, and six currently participate in a nationally recognized Presidential Physical Fitness Test designed to determine upper body strength, flexibility, abdominal strength, cardiorespiratory endurance, and agility. To date, there has been no attempt at formally adapting this test protocol for students with any type of disability. In the adapted version students are permitted to attempt the regular test, if appropriate, and then the adapted physical education specialist makes the necessary changes for the individual. This version becomes his or her fitness test event. Any necessary assistance to ensure that adaptations are in accordance with the student's ability level in addition to avoiding contraindicated activities for specific disability characteristics, such as high muscle tone or range of motion, is provided by the physical and occupational therapists. Data are collected on a quarterly basis including the fall, winter, and spring quarters of the school year 1994-95 and the fall quarter of 1995-96 school year. Each participant will perform all five tests during each testing procedure. Data are collected by the adapted physical education specialist, recorded into a spreadsheet program, and then analyzed for percentage of difference between each testing session. Upon completion of the final data collection, improvement is anticipated in many or all of the, students regarding their fitness levels and cognitive knowledge pertaining to the individualized fitness regime. Eight students, collectively, in our fourth, fifth, and sixth grades and five in the third grade will participate in the project. Students meet for physical education class two times per week with one extra meeting time per week established for specific physical fitness workouts.

The Students:

The Staff: Classroom teachers, the school-based physical and occupational therapists, one computer specialist, one intern, and one adapted physical education specialist make up the research team.

What You Need: The project will take place in the gymnasium and the therapy area. Various pieces of homemade equipment will be used during the project. Consultants include two University of Virginia professors, an adapted physical educator, the Fairfax County Public Schools coordinator for physical education, and the Fairfax County Public Schools wellness director.

Overall Value: This program ensures that students with physical disabilities have the same opportunity to achieve a Presidential Fitness Award (adapted) as do their peers who do not have disabilities. The development of adaptations will benefit students in future programs and with other disabilities and will support the integration and acceptance of students with disabilities.

Standards:


ADO-LESSONS
Category: Health/Physical Education
Grades: 7 to 14
How It Works: "Look before you leap" is a timeless adage with an important message. Possibly, Descartes' insightful quote, "I think, therefore I am," was meant to be more fundamental than existential. The very essence of such wisdom is to encourage thinking. In an effort to spark positive thinking and utilize such thought processes to resolve conflicts constructively, sixth grade students are exposed to various levels of decision-making through both an art and health class.

The Students: Initially, students brainstorm all types of day-to-day decisions which confront them. Students gather in small groups to discuss ways in which they think through a decision before acting upon it. A step-by-step series of questions is developed, and these "Ask Yourself" questions become essential for all decisions in life. Decision-making is given an artistic venue as students create posters which depict an array of situations intrinsic to personal relationships, moral and ethical values, and social interactions. These posters are then displayed and scrutinized by students and staff for one week. A contest is held to determine a title for the art display. The contest helps foster a dialogue among students and teachers about decisions, values, and conflicts. The culminating product is a video entitled Making Good Decisions. Many of the art and health students who participate in this unit demonstrate a desire to enhance their learning in conflict resolution skills and apply to be trained as peer mediators. They eventually become part of the middle school's Peer Mediation Council.

The Staff: Thelma Halloran and David A. Welch

What You Need: Art supplies, camcorder and camera.

Overall Value: It is the role of an educator to develop decision making skills in students which are applicable to academics and life. These skills are for everyone - transcending race, religion, gender, and intellectual ability. Through this project, students become more self-reflective and gain insight into self-responsibility. Specifically, students learn skills necessary for independent thinking, conflict resolution, and problem solving. Because the entire student body is included in various components of this project, behavioral awareness is raised. This heightened awareness spills over into the school's culture as it affects student relationships and sensitivity to others, and invariably develops into a sense of community. The rewards of such learning promote positive self-concepts lasting far beyond our influence.

Standards: Responsibility and Self-Reliance Moral and Ethical Values Reasoning and Problem Solving


Adopt A Lot - Nurturing The Soil
Category: Science
Grades: 2 to 5
How It Works: In this project, students adopt a lot and achieve three goals: beautification of the neighborhood, greater knowledge of their environment and a stronger sense of their leadership potential. Working with parents and community volunteers, students: clear the land of weeds and litter, till the earth and add fresh layers of soil, plant seeds, flowers and trees to sustain and beautify the area Children learn about the land and the effects of seasonal changes, weather conditions, neglect and improper care. They discover how their efforts can improve this plot. Classroom activities include planting, composting, measuring temperature, light levels, water and growth. Library visits, neighborhood nature walks, classroom speakers, lectures and field trips enhance this project for students and teachers. Students: Planned for a group of third graders, this project can be adapted for use by older children by increasing the complexity of the activities.

The Students:

The Staff: Deborah Ward holds a BS from Loyola University. She has taught at Lawndale Community Academy since 1989 and grew up in the community where she teaches.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Students need an area in the classroom for displays, books and planting projects. Materials needed include: soil, seeds, magnifying glasses, measuring tools, pens and markers. Gardening equipment is necessary for outdoor activities. Outside Resources: Parents and guardians are strongly urged to participate in outdoor activities and to accompany the group on field trips. Excursions in the community, to parks, conservatories, forest preserves and botanical gardens stimulate interest in this project. All outings should allow time for children to observe and ask questions. They need to note changes in nature such as growth, erosion, decay and neglect. Docents and park guides can help children to understand these outside experiences.

Overall Value: This project helps children to realize they have the choice to either neglect or nurture land around them. It is important that students feel that they are truly making their own discoveries during this project. This is a hands-on experience with both teacher and students enthusiastically learning together. Children in urban settings see obvious decay. Here is a chance for them to plant beautiful flowers and learn about positive change!

Standards:


Adventures in Architecture
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 7 to 7
How It Works: Adventures in Architecture is a three part highly motivating program that encourages children to develop confidence in their problem-solving ability as they learn about the world of construction. First, students are introduced to the five steps of Creative Problem Solving using CPS for Kids. Practice in visual problem solving is provided through the use of selected activities. In the second part of the program each student completes a research project about an architect or building. The requirements for the research can be adapted according to the age level and skill of the students. The final phase of the unit consists of construction projects, either implementing a creative plan or using a kit which provides plans such as Drinking Straw Construction, Domekit, and Tensegritoy. A local builder can be invited to visit the classroom to demonstrate the use of computer technology in the field of construction. The class can also visit a construction site and tour homes in various phases of construction at a new development. DCPS Major System Priorities: Critical Thinking, Achievement, Intergroup Relations. The Students: This project was implemented by 36 students in the fifth grade of the Academic Excellence Program (AEP) at Pinecrest Elementary School. AEP meets twice a week for a total of two hours, but adapting this program to a regular class that meets daily is recommended. This program is recommended for Gifted or AEP fifth or sixth grades, and math or physics classes grades seven through 12.

The Students:

The Staff: Annette Rubin, Academic Excellence Program Teacher, has 11 years of public school experience, including elementary counseling, teaching handicapped preschoolers, infant intervention, and teaching a nongraded intermediate class (Grades four, five and six). No extra school personnel are required to implement this program.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: The program takes place in a regular classroom. Outside Resources: The active involvement of a local builder is an important aspect of this program. His/her visit to the classroom and a subsequent field trip provide the vital component of the,"real world of work". Other guest speakers are also recommended: architects, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc. Because the Dade County Public Library allows teachers to check out 25 books at a time this resource is very helpful for the research portion of the program.

Overall Value: The most exciting aspect of,"Adventures in Architecture" was watching my students' enthusiasm grow as their skills developed. Their self confidence increased as they completed tasks that at first seemed beyond their capabilities. There was a mutual sense of pride from everyone involved in the final evening presentation: students, parents, local builder, teacher and principal.

Standards:


Africa
Category: Global Education
Grades: 2 to 2
How It Works: This program introduces young students to the ways of life in a small African village and to historical African Americans. This program introduced the students to contributions made by African Americans. I targeted contributions that related to my students. For example, we made peanut butter when we studied George Washington Carver. This program allowed the students to experience another way of life through dramatizing an African village. This program was introduced at the beginning of February. I explained to the children that February has been designated as,"Black History Month." The first week of February, we discussed why the term African American was used for people who are called,"Black" and we discussed Africa as the origin of African Americans. We found Africa on the globe, discussed its shape and its distance from the United States. We read picture books about the cultures in Africa. We learned some words in the languages spoken in Africa and listened to recordings of the languages being spoken. We learned some African-American rhymes and songs. The students learned to recognize the letters in the word Africa and learned the beginning letter sound of,"A" in the word Africa. The second and third week the, students prepared booklets or art work that introduced them to several historical African Americans such as George Washington Carver, Mae Jemison, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bill Pickett. During the last week of February, I set up a replica of an African village. Some students made drums from empty oatmeal boxes, and each student dressed in African attire that I made from fabric pieces. We played recordings of African drum music and choreographed a dance. Students: This program was used by 44 pre kindergarten students but can be used and adapted for older children. The children are very interested in this unit. By the last week of February, I only need to hint at a suggestion and the students were more than willing to carry out the lessons. I pointed out some of the students' own traditions and related them to the experiences of the characters in the books we read. For example, I pointed out that the fashionable braided hairstyles that, some of the students wore originated in Africa. We compared pictures of children in Africa to some of our students with similar hairstyles.

The Students:

The Staff: This program was developed by a first year teacher. Any interested, classroom teacher or volunteer can teach this program.

What You Need: Materials: Colorful fabric pieces (pillowcase and bargain table fabric can be used), tree branches and plants, baskets, African drum music, empty oatmeal boxes or coffee cans and construction paper for drums, famous African Americans duplicating masters, real or plastic vegetables/ fruit, colored pasta and yarn for necklaces, and African folk tales picture books. Outside Resources: The Houston Public Library (if needed)

Overall Value: Materials: Colorful fabric pieces (pillowcase and bargain table fabric can be used), tree branches and plants, baskets, African drum music, empty oatmeal boxes or coffee cans and construction paper for drums, famous African Americans duplicating masters, real or plastic vegetables/ fruit, colored pasta and yarn for necklaces, and African folk tales picture books. Outside Resources: The Houston Public Library (if needed)

Standards:


Africa, A Multimedia Approach
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 5 to 6
How It Works: Africa, a Multimedia Approach uses computer technology and cooperative learning groups to help students gain an understanding of the continent's geography, economics, culture, and current events, while increasing language competency. The program provides a multi-sensory approach to teach students with language-based challenges. Students' receptive and expressive language difficulties require concrete learning experiences that are amply provided by this program. Students are divided into cooperative learning groups. Each group is assigned a topic. The teacher structures the topics by presenting questions such as: "What are the different landscapes found in Africa?," "What kind of work do people do in Africa?," and "What is happening in Africa today?" The students are required to write, read, and express orally their findings and information. With the aid of KidPix and Slideshow, an informational program on Africa is created. KidPix is a multimedia program that students use to create slides using their drawing, writing, and painting skills. The students compose individual slides on topics that they study. Slideshow, a part of the KidPix program, allows students to link their slides together and produce a slideshow. The teacher asks students to look at the daily newspaper, find articles on Africa's current events, and clip the articles. The teacher leads the reading and discussion of the articles. The group proceeds to write short summaries or scripts of these articles and illustrate them with KidPix. They type the summary and record the script with the computer's microphone. When all groups complete their slides, the information is imported into Slideshow. While awaiting computer time, the children work on related projects, such as mosaics of African pottery, masks, and maps. Each group is responsible for researching, preparing scripts, typing scripts, using tools from KidPix to create pictures, recording, preparing slides, and making a slideshow. The groups rotate so that each group works on all activities.

The Students: Ten third and fourth grade language-impaired students in a MIS III class participate in this program. The students have no previous computer experience. Many of the students have below grade level skills in reading and language arts. The classroom has one stand-alone computer on which the students work. The program can be adapted to many age levels, group sizes, and abilities.

The Staff: Feiga Levy has been a special education teacher for 24 years. She has been using KidPix for four years in various formats to create programs of this nature. Sandra Quitko has been teaching special education for 29 years. For the past nine years, she has been a staff developer, specializing in computer training. The class paraprofessional assists with the implementation of various activities

What You Need: Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, KidPix, and Slideshow are used with the classroom computer to create slideshows. The Encyclopedia Britannica and books on Africa are also used. In addition, newspapers, crayons, dried peas, beans, lentils, rice, glue, cardboard, and markers are needed for African art activities. Guest speakers and the public library are also useful resources.

Overall Value: This program provides a multisensory approach-auditory, visual, and tactile-to education, which works particularly well with language-impaired students. Using multimedia encyclopedias as auditory references allows the students to gather information. The pictures are extremely valuable in assisting the children of this MIS III class gain an understanding of the vocabulary and concepts involved. The use of the microphone and recorder from the computer motivates the children to improve their linguistic abilities.

Standards:


African American Women Writers: Legacy through Literature
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 13 to 14
How It Works: This seminar style course designed to explore a variety of literature created by African American women through selected readings that bring into focus the political and sociological aspects of their experience. Student had the opportunity to concentrate on one particular author (Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde, Kristin Hunter, Gwendolyn Brooks, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, Toni Cade Bambara, Ntozake Shange, Sonia Sanchez, Nikki Giovanni) and share their perspectives by means of exhibition and performance based criteria. Personal journals are maintained to foster reflection and writing expertise. In addition to student research material and literary criticism, the following selections are required reading for the course: In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens - Alice Walker, This Bridge Called MY Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color - Editors: Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writing - Gary Colombo, Robert Cullen and Bonnie Lisle, Braided Lives: An Anthology of Multicultural American Writing - Minnesota Humanities Commission. The teacher will supply literary reading for discussion on pertinent is that related to the topic e.g. feminism, racism, stereotyping, historical perspective, etc. Critiques of selected works by the author must be included and a suggested number would be eight to ten essays, poems, journal articles, novels and abstract. The final exhibition is prepared and presented as the student's own design and invention. It may be in any form or medium based on each sstudent's interest, academic persuasion and creative thought. conferencing with the teacher and mentor educators on a weekly basis, where appropriate, is encouraged. One full class period will be designated for each exhibition and evaluation by teacher, peers and self will determine the pass/fail grade. Students will create their own evaluation data sheets, standards and criteria. Projects have included dramatic presentation, reading, autobiographical time lines, as well as audience involvement in debates, essential questions and oral tradition. THE STUDENTS:This experience is designed for highly motivated juniors and seniors who have excellent critical thinking and research skills. A prerequisite is a strong recommendation from an English teacher and a personal interview.

The Students:

The Staff: The basis of the course is,"student as worker" therefore the teacher will serve as a facilitator for learning and encourage mentors for the enhancement of the project.

What You Need: The class should, have a comfortable area in which to meet that is conducive to discussion and conveniently located near excellent resource material and media equipment. Ideally, a section of the school library would be most appropriate. Interviews and guest speakers, visits to area colleges, the availability of theater, archives and local bookstores of a culturally diverse nature have a great impact on the extent of resources.

Overall Value: The celebration of diversity and respect for humankind can be accomplished through a sensitive study of literature when one partners this exploration with the goal of understanding cultural influences and their place in the growth of a society. This multidisciplinary project serves to build bridges between students and challenges them to be introspective, open-minded, empathetic and creative.

Standards:


AFRICAN INSPIRATION: A COMMUNITY QUILT
Category: Arts
Grades: 4 to 8
How It Works: "African Inspiration" takes students on a journey to Africa to explore the art and culture, and back to America to explore their own heritage. Students study ancient African textile designs, then learn about contemporary African-American artists who tell about themselves through contemporary textile arts. All second grade students in the school create an individual quilt square that shows their uniqueness and ties them to their own heritage through drawing, writing or printing symbols, incorporating the ancient and contemporary methods used by Africans and African-Americans. The squares will be used to create a larger, grade-level quilt that will help students to appreciate their own uniqueness and improve self-esteem, as they understand and appreciate the ethnic heritage of others in their second grade community. Students will also develop an awareness and appreciation of contemporary and ancient African arts.

The Students: Students will make connections between ancient and contemporary African art as they listen to Tar Beach by Faith Ringold and observe examples of ancient Adinkira and adire-eliko cloth. Students will learn more about their personal heritage as well as improve drawing and writing skills as they work individually to research their cultural heritage, write about their strengths, create a self-portrait, and design and print symbols important to them. Students will learn about others as they work in small and large groups reading others' stories and symbols and collaborating with other second grade classes to create a border that will unite all the squares. Assessment is ongoing and includes student self-evaluation and peer-evaluation as they choose their best work and edit in small groups. The teacher will evaluate students on how well they meet specific, established criteria.

This project's innovative feature is that it can be used with a single class, school-wide, or town-wide. For limited budgets, the quilt can be made of paper.

The Staff: Elizabeth Allegretti Cherry Brook Primary School, Collinsville

What You Need: Fabric, fabric crayons, printing supplies, visuals of ancient and contemporary African textiles are used.

Overall Value: Students learn about the purposes and aesthetic qualities of African art, connecting the present to the past by incorporating ancient and contemporary art into their personal artwork. A positive self concept is achieved as students create a square illustrating their unique attributes. Students cooperate and contribute towards a larger, group art piece as they understand and appreciate the ethnic heritage of others. Students also appreciate the arts as being important for expressing ideas and feelings. Students are understanding and applying African artistic techniques to create their own symbols, pictures, and words relevant to themselves.

Standards:


All Bound Up
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 3 to 8
How It Works: Students write, bind and share their own individual books, with each page focusing on an aspect of their lives such as family, feelings, experiences and aspirations. The purpose: for students to learn the value of working towards a long-term goal while reinforcing numerous language arts objectives and promoting each student's uniqueness in a positive light. This project begins with an introduction into publishing-related careers. Students are then able to see the parallel between what they are doing in the classroom and the real world of publishing. The students take on the jobs of author, illustrator, editor and promotor. The teacher is the publisher, senior editor and bookbinder. The writing process is initiated with a class discussion, which is followed by brainstorming. Students then practice classifying their ideas around a theme, clustering a list of, details and then using those details to structure their writing. After revisions and editing students are ready to copy their, writings onto a page of their book. Illustrating the page is also an important task, with students encouraged to make their pictures bright, big and meaningful. Next comes the Title Page, Table of Contents, Dedication Page and most important - the binding of the book. Now the students are ready to read their books to others. Students are taught how to stand, speak, and pace their reading for a large audience. DCPS Major System Priorities: Standard English, Job Preparedness. The Students: "All Bound Up" can be used with students in grade one through six, and is appropriate for use with small and large groups. In addition ESOL and Exceptional Students will benefit from the program.

The Students:

The Staff: Debra Allen is in her third year of teaching and is currently enrolled in the Master's program at Nova University. Prior to receiving a full-time teaching position, Ms. Allen was very active in school functions as a member of the PTA as well as a classroom volunteer. She was also the recipient of the Sally Mae Beginning Teacher Award for the elementary division for the 1987-88 school year.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: Materials needed include canvas or poster board, crayons, black ink pen or felt-tip markers, blank white paper and binding tape. Access to a book binding machine is helpful but not necessary. Outside Resources: Displaying books in the media center and the classroom is important. Guest speakers from a publishing company can be invited into the classroom.

Overall Value: "All Bound Up" gives students the opportunity to improve their communication skills - both oral and written. In addition, students enhance their selfconcept by creating a book that highlights their interests, their abilities and their talents, and then share it with their friends. The joys of authoring are evident in the smiling faces of the students when their books are,"all bound up".

Standards:


ALL IN THE FAMILY
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 2 to 7
How It Works: This project brings parents and children together to practice basic math skills, the concepts of odd and even numbers, estimation, and telling time. Parents and children are invited to attend after-school workshops, where they roll dice, play cards, and compete in a variety of games that teach and reinforce fundamental concepts and skills. Participating families are given a packet of the games, so the learning (and the fun!) can continue at home.

The Students: This project began with a third grade class, then a combined first and second grade workshop was held, followed by a fifth grade class. The project is adaptable for other size groups and grade levels, offered as multiple workshops during the school day or after school.

The Staff: Dolores Burdick holds a BA from Northeastern Illinois University and a MST from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has taught as a math specialist for four years. Paula Holtzman holds a BA from Northeastern Illinois University. She has taught for 30 years as a math specialist, including eight years as a math coordinator. Christina Moe holds a BA from Earlham College and a MA from Roosevelt University; she has taught for two years.

What You Need: The following are needed for this project: game resource books; dice of various colors; dry beans; 3x5 index cards; polyhedra dice; pencils and paper; decks of cards; icosahedra dice; markers; plastic storage containers; Zip-Lock bags; "packing peanuts."

Overall Value: The transformation of initially shy parents and children into active participants, engaged in lively competitions, is testimony to the effectiveness of this learning experience.

Standards:


AMERICAN ARTS AND CRAFTS DOCUMENTARY
Category: Arts
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: American Arts and Crafts Documentary" provides students with opportunities to learn more about their cultural heritages, to link American arts and crafts to the humanities, and to experience a pride in cultural traditions. Forming groups of four or fewer, students research Americana and create a fifteen minute video. Successful projects have been candle-making, body piercing and tattooing, glass blowing, history of popular dance, and pizza. On scheduled dates, each group gives the class members outlines for guided notetaking, shows the video, and engages the class in a related activity such activities as teaching the class a dance, creating an architectural plan, or presenting a fashion show. If a student cannot secure video equipment, another format, such as a magazine may be used.

The video provides a history of the medium; techniques and skills required; noted practitioners (past and present); examples of works; and links to history, economics, politics, technology, science, literature, the fine arts. The video has an introduction, development, and closure with clear transitions from one segment to the next. The video closes with credits, identifying each group member and his/her role. Appropriate background music and sets enhance the production.

The Students: The planned activities allow students to explore a variety of learning styles and integrated resources. Opportunities for creativity are boundless. Teachers act as guides as students become experts from their self-directed research. Students are encouraged to go beyond the library and computer sources and investigate their communities for local artisans and experts. Students are assessed in a variety of ways, including rubrics, self-evaluation narratives, critiques from teachers, and other students.

The Staff: Myra Susan Ciaglia Guildford High School, Guilford

What You Need: Video equipment, LRC, Transportation

Overall Value: This project allows students to explore a variety of academic resources, to create connections with the humanities, to develop interpersonal relationships, to discover individual talents, to present a positive self-image to the community, to become self-directed learners, and to reinforcing reading, writing, viewing, listening, and speaking skills. Students learn how to delegate and accept responsibility, to meet group and individual deadlines, and to handle unexpected crises. "The American Arts and Crafts Documentary" experience gives students a hint of some potential real life integrated projects, such as getting into college, planning a wedding, or buying a house.

Standards: Responsibility and Self-Reliance Intellectual Curiosity Motivation and Persistence


AMERICAN CULTURE: ACCEPTANCE OF DIVERSITY
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: "American Culture: Acceptance of Diversity" builds a classroom culture of trust and respect, and teaches children to understand and celebrate multiculturalism in America. Students read articles, view videos, create illustrations of understanding, participate in simulation activities, write summaries, discuss ideas, think critically, and visit the multicultural city of New York.

A bulletin board entitled, "The U.S. Is A Mosaic" begins this sixth grade exploration. A classroom discussion helps children develop an awareness of the diversity of American culture with metaphors such as: the U.S. as a salad bowl, melting pot, or kaleidoscope. Students apply their multiple intelligences and diverse talents to design a visual explanation of the U.S. as a mosaic. Students create a spectrum of projects. Peer evaluation skills and the importance of constructive criticism are developed by using a quality rubric. The classroom culture evolves into one of peer acceptance, support, and trust.

Students learn about the impact of history on culture through family interviews, selected readings and by creating personal history time lines which are displayed throughout the sixth grade wing.

Videos serve as catalysts for discussions about experiences with prejudice, discrimination, and stereotypes. A variety of simulation lessons are threaded throughout this unit to provide real experiences.

Cooperative groups create an American culture book demonstrating an understanding of our culture. This book is sent to students on another continent. As a cultural exchange, these students send drawings and letters to American students. A culminating trip to Ellis Island and Chinatown provides a natural multicultural mosaic experience where students learn about America's cultural history and taste a new culture. Students are now prepared to define the ideals for a society which supports respect, tolerance and diversity.

The Students: Two teams (234 students) of heterogeneously grouped sixth graders participate annually.

The Staff: Carole Otto and Jennifer Danis East Lyme Middle School, Niantic

What You Need: The videos "Who Is An American?" and "People," articles about aspects of culture and diversity, general art supplies and computers are used.

Overall Value: This unit provides learning opportunities and skill development which address Connecticut's Common Core of Learning. Students develop a sense of community, moral and ethical values, and a positive self-image. Children are challenged to think, read, write, view and listen critically. They learn to speak openly and accept diversity. What defines this unit is that children not only learn to be tolerant, but to accept and celebrate the diversity in our multicultural society.

Standards:


American Indians - More Than Teepees And Feather Headdresses
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 2 to 5
How It Works: Young children become aware of Native American culture and compare and relate its features to their own, in our city of many cultures. They become aware of how Native Americans helped early European settlers. Activities include: making depictions of Indian life dioramas, symbolic story paintings (compared to Mayan, Egyptian and others), listening to selected Native American stories, making corn husk dolls, simple woven baskets, clay pottery, and bead designs Students: This project was developed for 32 first grade bi-lingual students. It can be adapted for any primary grade and for special education students, integrating it with several skill areas of learning.

The Students:

The Staff: Aracely Feldman holds a BA in bilingual education from Northeastern University and an MA from National Louis University. Recipient of several grants, she has taught in Chicago schools since 1981.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: A variety of craft materials are needed: clay, basketry material, beads, string, corn husks, etc. In additional musical selections and story books provide information and enrichment. Outside Resources: Field trips to: the Field Museum of Natural History to see the Pawnee Lodge, North Park Village Center for maple syrup gathering in February. Parents are very important as classroom speakers and volunteers to help with class projects and field trips.

Overall Value: This project makes students aware of each other's backgrounds. They learn to be proud of their own cultures and to respect those of others in our diverse community.

Standards:


American Jewish Writers: Novelists, Dramatists and Poets
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 13 to 14
How It Works: No topic is more interesting than people. Our, population is intrigued by magazines, movies, and mini-series describing what people think.

The Students:

The Staff: Eleanor J. Cohen, a Dade County Public School teacher for five years, received a 1989 Rockefeller Foundation Grant for the Humanities. In the fall of 1989, her article about prejudice reduction appeared in The World of Difference newsletter. She participated in the 1987 University of Miami/DCPS Writing Institute. Ms. Cohen attended the Dade Academy for the Teaching Arts (DATA) in 1990, from which she developed this project. She has recently been awarded an Impact II Adapter Grant from the Dade Public Education Fund for,"Connections: Search for Beauty, Overcome Prejudice, Inhabit Other Lives." She is a member of Phi Delta Kappa/University of Miami Chapter. Although Ms. Cohen presently teaches English, she has taught in the Students at Risk Program and in the Pre-College Institute for the Gifted Learner. She has been an Assistant Professor, Instructor and Adjunct Lecturer at Western Michigan University, Purdue University, Hunter College and The College of New Rochelle. She participated in the 1991 Woodrow Wilson Summer Institute in Secondary School History.

What You Need: MATERIALS AND FACILITIES: The school library offers an adequate selection of books and encyclopedias needed for this project. A VCR/TV is needed. A tape recorder to record group projects would be beneficial. Access to a Xerox machine for class copies of materials is necessary. Materials prepared by developer for teacher use include handouts about specific American Jewish writers, dramatists and poets. The Readers' Adviser, Jewish Writers--North America, and information from The Literature of American Jews will be implemented for classroom use. OUTSIDE RESOURCES: Enrichment activities and field trips are beneficial. Professors from local universities/colleges can be invited to present seminars or lectures about American Jewish writers. A field trip to the Miami Book Fair International to meet famous writers can be arranged. Guest speakers arranged by publishing companies can be invited to the classroom. The Dade County Public Library provides a rich selection of reference books, films and encyclopedias. Teachers can check out several dozen books at one time for their class to do research and prepare projects.

Overall Value: Teachers want their students to develop into individuals who are confident and psychologically healthy, knowledgeable, tolerant of various opinions, skilled in communicating with all types of people, and willing to value each other. Introducing students to powerful works written by American Jews will enhance their appreciation and understanding of the hopes, problems, and achievements of that group. Students will develop intelligent opinions based on facts having read, discussed, and written about writers who fought through their own neuroses and emerged whole as a result of their internal struggle. learning about discrimination, racism, stereotyping value clarification, attitude formation, and prejudice can be accomplished by examining literary works written by American Jewish novelists, dramatists and poets. Teachers want their students to develop into individuals who are confident and psychologically healthy, knowledgeable, tolerant of various opinions, skilled in communicating with all types of people, and willing to value each other. Introducing students to powerful works written by American Jews will enhance their appreciation and understanding of the hopes, problems, and achievements of that group. Students will develop intelligent opinions based on facts having read, discussed, and written about writers who fought through their own neuroses and emerged whole as a result of their internal struggle. learning about discrimination, racism, stereotyping value clarification, attitude formation, and prejudice can be accomplished by examining literary works written by American Jewish novelists, dramatists and poets.

Standards:


AN AUTHOR'S VISION, AN ARTIST'S VOICE
Category: Arts
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: In collaboration with the Whitney Museum of American Art, students write, illustrate, and bind picture books based upon a personal experience, a family legend, or a news story. Using storytelling techniques, students then read their books to an audience of younger children. Essential to Connecticut's Common Core of Learning is the assertion that an educated citizen is one who has mastered skills that will enable him or her to continue to acquire, understand, and use knowledge. "An Author's Vision, An Artist's Voice" is built upon the development and demonstration in middle school students of higher order thinking skills, research techniques, mastery of the writing process, and the ability to speak and listen well. Students learn the value of outside resources as repositories of research information by working with Whitney Museum staff, public librarians, and teachers at the museum, public library, and school. They examine and analyze the picture book genre and relevance of authors' lives to their work. Then they read and categorize picture books under headings such as folk and fairy tales, concept books, and parodies. Students write personal narratives or family legends and appraise book-worthy news articles in order to generate ideas for texts. Proceeding according to the writing process, young writers then produce picture book story drafts, which are revised following individual conferences with children's book editors from a local publishing company. Interaction with these professionals in the classroom enriches students' experience. Working with Whitney Museum staff and their teachers, students design and draw storyboards and mock-ups, create prototype characters, illustrate books using collage, pop-up effects, and color techniques; finished products are bound into permanent form. An exciting "authentic assessment" is a museum reception for parents, students, and teachers, where books are read and young people respond to questions about their experiences as writers.

The Students:

The Staff: Alice J. Daniels & Patricia Jackman

What You Need: Fabric and art supplies

Overall Value: Connecticut's Common Core of Learning recognizes that art and literature reflect, express and illuminate human experience. In "An Author's Vision, An Artist's Voice", middle school students, with the help of community resources, study authors, artists, and a literary genre; they then craft their own literature based upon their lives which, in turn, enlightens younger children. Building upon the bond between reading and writing, students see that the lessons of humanity are transferred through art and literature. They also see the worth and purpose of reading and writing, not only as useful means for acquiring and communicating information, but also as ways through which young people order and understand their own experiences.

Standards: Positive Self-Concept Writing


AN AWESOME AUTHOR
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 7
How It Works: "An Awesome Author" involves students in literature circles studying an author such as Beverly Cleary and her humorous works. This project engages students in numerous opportunities to read, write and respond together. By integrating language and visual arts, students develop listening, telling, writing, viewing, design and drawing skills. In accordance with the Common Core of Learning, understanding and application of literature, responsibility and self-reliance, and the skills and competencies of reading and writing are stressed. In addition, the math/language arts connection is made through several student project extensions.

Through shared responsibility in literature circles, students of varying abilities read together, respond in both an oral and written manner, note humorous selections, and make predictions. Methods of instruction vary to include teacher and student directed lessons. Large and small group discussions prevail from independent reading and read alouds. Journal writing, character sketches, and personal responding develop skill in constructing meaning of text. The assessment plan for this project is multifaceted and ongoing. Students use self-assessment and group survey sheets as well as a personal response journal. Teachers measure student progress and learning by observation in the daily literature circles and in individual student journals which note humor, personal responses, and predictions for various endings. Character and author biographical sketches as well as parental feedback help assess student learning.

The Students: Approximately seventy-five third grade students of various levels have participated yearly in this author study.

The Staff: Christine Lage, Marie Morro, Carolyn Mosher, Terri Reichen, Judith Shively East School, Torrington

What You Need: Books, audio and videotapes, drawing supplies, computer banners

Overall Value: This project provides students numerous opportunities to connect the language and visual arts as well as mathematical extensions. Through large and small group interaction in literary circles, responsibility and self-reliance are fostered. The children share and assess daily journal entries. Group reading goals are set as children divide reading tasks and create their group matrix chart of the shared book. Children from four classrooms combine talents in a cooperative inter-classroom effort. "An Awesome Author" concludes with hallways adorned in colorful banners, character illustrations, matrix charts, and math activities in a truly "awesome" way.

Standards: Responsibility and Self-reliance Positive self-concept

Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening


An Environmental Extravaganza
Category: Science
Grades: 4 to 8
How It Works: Investigating plants' and animals' interactions with the environment is a key component in the fourth grade science Standards of Learning. An Environmental Extravaganza is a creative, integrated approach to teaching science, math, and language arts that makes students aware of local and global environmental issues.

A variety of activities and instructional materials are incorporated in this theme- based unit. Fictional literature that emphasizes environmental communities, habitats, niches, lifecycles, and the influence of human activity on ecosystems is used. Information that pertains to the subject of their literature book is gathered from reference books, C-D Roms, almanac indexes, and Internet resources. Students use computers to create databases and graphs, produce bar and line graphs with art materials, and create tangrams and tesselations with plant or animal themes. They use ant farms, tadpole aquariums, and ladybug circuses to observe lifecycles, animal behavior, and habitats.

Class participation in adoption programs of whales, wolves, or manatees encourages student correspondence and data collection. Culminating activities such as student- written, -produced, and -filmed plays, and the creation of a class environmental newsletter via computer generate learning and interest.

The Students: Thirty fourth-grade students of varying abilities participate in this program. The program can be adapted for grades two through six.

The Staff: A classroom teacher developed the program. The reading teacher, librarian, and technology teacher provide support.

What You Need: Materials include literature books, student writing journals, art supplies, an ant farm, a tadpole aquarium, and owl pellets. The space requirements are the individual classroom, school building, and grounds. Field trips further enhance the unit.The public and school libraries provide reference materials and CD-Roms. Parent and community volunteers help facilitate the program. Field trips and guest speakers bring first hand, expert information to the students.

Overall Value: Participation in this program improves student achievement while sparking an interest and understanding of environmental issues. The variety of activities and learning keeps students' interest level high. Enthusiasm and concern for the subject matter overflows into excitement for science, math, and language arts.

Standards:


An Environmental Study (Florida Up Close Project)
Category: Science
Grades: 5 to 12
How It Works: Technology offers the opportunity to increase student participation in learning. By reading and researching the Florida Everglades and its endangered animals, students learn about South Florida's natural environment and become aware of ecological concerns. The greatest benefit is the academic and social success of the students as they investigate this unique ecosystem. By creating a newsletter or multimedia presentation, technology becomes the tool both for the research and the presentation.

1. Pick appropriate topics

2. Find print materials

3. Create bookmarks of relevant sites

4. Scan appropriate photos

5. Practice with publishing or multimedia software

The Students: Internet research, CD ROM research, scanning, desktop publishing, multimedia creation, and email

The Staff: Valen Mayland is a twenty-one year veteran middle school teacher, who had presented award winning grant ideas at state and district technology conferences.

What You Need: Microsoft Publisher, AppleWorks or Children's Writing Center for desktop publishing; HyperStudio or PowerPoint for presentation software, Internet access, CD ROM encyclopedias, National Geographic's Mammals CD ROM, and Grolier's Animal Encyclopedia

Overall Value:

Standards: STANDARDS

Science: Understanding the process of life and the interdependence of living things.

Writing: Using the writing process to more effectively communicate ideas and information.

Reading: To read effectively and to gather and synthesize information.

Social Studies: To heighten awareness of ecological concerns and their social implications Teacher


An EnvironNewsletter: Florida Up Close
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 8 to 14
How It Works: Children need to know! To raise awareness of the sensitive environment of South Florida, students learn about their ecology through readings, research, writing and the development of an EnvironNewsletter. Students working with a partner use a software program and the computer to turn their discoveries into a professional finished product -- a newsletter. They enjoy the exploration of research and the use of technology to share their knowledge, even beyond the classroom. Even the US Congress can receive their publications expressing their concerns for South Florida's environment. DCPS MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES, Intergroup Relations, Achievement, Critical Thinking, BLUEPRINT 2000 GOALS, Graduation Rate, Readiness for Employment, Student Performance, THE STUDENTS, Computer Application students in sixth, seventh and eighth grade participated in this project. The students came from a variety of ethnic and social backgrounds and were classified as having varying abilities including ESOL, ESE and Gifted. This project can be done with students of different ability levels in grades six through 12.

The Students:

The Staff: Valen Mayland is a 15-year teaching veteran, who has a master's degree in computer science. She is a member of the University of Miami Clinical Teacher Program, a recipient of a Teacher MiniGrant, a 1990-1991 and 1991-1992 IMPACT II Developer and F.A.C.E. Conference presenter. She is the computer department chairperson and SBM/SDM chairperson. She was honored as the 1987-1988 Miami Lakes Middle School Teacher of the Year.

What You Need: MATERIALS AND FACILITIES, This project has been used in a computer lab using 15 Apple IIe computers (2 students each), but can be used with a single computer and program. Each computer requires a copy of The Children's Writing & Publishing Center (The Learning Company). Multi-color ribbons allow the newsletter to be printed in color, a real plus to the children. OUTSIDE RESOURCES, The media center can be used for research. Videos, such as The Rotten Truth, You Can't Grow Home Again, A Salute to Mother Earth, and When a Tree Falls: Lumber vs. Deforestation, are also helpful. Organizations concerned with the environment can provide information.

Overall Value: Reading and research related to the delicate ecology of Florida provide the students with the opportunity to know about their natural neighborhoods. The research and writing are done with a partner providing interactive learning. The use of the computer to complete a research project is the ultimate motivational tool. And, of course, students are awed and fascinated as they watch the printer type each and every line of their work!,

Standards:


AN EVENING AT A REVOLUTIONARY INN
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: Start with a well crafted novel, add background on 18th century American life and major events of the Revolutionary War, allow students to research and create their own skits, add dancing, and visual displays; invite parents, and you have "An Evening at a Revolutionary Inn." The fictitious "Meeker Inn" in nearby Redding, Connecticut, is the setting for James and Christopher Collier's novel My Brother Sam Is Dead and the scene of our culminating activity. In cooperative groups, students research and develop skits illustrating famous events of the Revolution such as Paul Revere's ride, the Battle of Bunker Hill, or an imagined interview with Betsy Ross. Students display illustrations of period uniforms, tools, weapons, a winter encampment at nearby Putnam Park, and other historical events. Members of a Revolutionary War re-enactment troop demonstrate clothing, utensils, dances, and etiquette of the time period. Students learn dance movements which mimic the skills of fencing, fighting, and even basketball and football. Themes in the novel lead to discussions on "taking a stand based on your beliefs" and "how beliefs can influence family and community loyalties." Topics for skits illustrate acts of heroism and bravery by those who founded our nation.

The Students: Students are assessed in various ways. Written quizzes measure content and analytical knowledge. The skits and displays, however, are performance tasks. Performance assessment lists are used to help students create their products. Specific tasks, such as note taking or developing a script, are broken into discrete components with procedures clearly spelled out for students. Groups monitor daily progress and note difficulties using cooperative daily logs. Activities are peer-and self-assessed by students and teachers. Revisions are encouraged.

The Staff: James Howson and Sam Lewbel

What You Need: School cafeteria, art supplies, props and research material.

Overall Value: Imagine our surprise when seventh graders - even the boys - eagerly volunteer to learn colonial dancing! This illustrates the high level of interest among our students. Through the novel's main character, a young adolescent, students gain a deeper understanding of past events they are studying in social studies. An added dimension is achieved by re-creating those events and the story's setting. Students now have a real audience and a role to play. Through acting, dancing, and creating displays, students use multiple modes of intelligence to interact with the content.

Standards: Intellectual Curiosity Learning Skills


An Evening in Harlem
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: An Evening in Harlem, a culminating activity for the study of the 1920s in America, students take a personal tour of the rich culture and historic setting of the African-American Harlem Renaissance. Students take on personas of important figures from the era and present them and their artistic acheivements to their classmates.

We begin with an introduction to American society in the 1920s using materials from Teachers' Curriculum Institute's History Alive series to help students engage the key features of the decade. Then students identify the unique elements of the new age via deconstruction of visual images in a teacher-guided slide show.

Students then focus on the story of African-Americans in the 20th Century. Students enhance their understanding of the pre- and post- World War I period by investigating political views of African Americans, before focusing on the 1920s in Harlem using the book Circles of the Twentieth Century: The Harlem Renaissance, and conducting factual mapping of the period, then critiquing assumptions and biases of the book's author.

In English class, students learn the language and slang of the 20s using materials from History Alive, and playing "Twenties Bingo." Personal biographies from the collection Having Our Say introduce students to women of the era. In addition, students read and analyze African-American poetry, including work by Langston Hughes, followed by a viewing of Voices and Visions: Langston Hughes.

Students then produce an independent research paper on a historical figure from the period, employing primary sources from the person's career, secondary sources to provide critical analysis, plus viewing or listening to the person's artistic output. Although they follow the standard five-paragraph format, students take a critical stance in exploring the character's importance. The Harlem Evening provides the opportunity to use this knowledge. Students create the setting, atmosphere and scenery of our own "Cotton Club" and present their figures in this exciting and fun format. Students gain sound academic knowledge in an unforgettable experience.

Students are assessed using both traditional and innovative formats. The term paper assessment follows traditional rubrics of substantive knowledge and academic research and writing skills. The authenticity of the performance becomes a crucial means of evaluating students and their ability to communicate their characters' historical importance.

The Students:

The Staff: An Evening in Harlem, a culminating activity for the study of the 1920s in America, students take a personal tour of the rich culture and historic setting of the African-American Harlem Renaissance. Students take on personas of important figures from the era and present them and their artistic acheivements to their classmates.

We begin with an introduction to American society in the 1920s using materials from Teachers' Curriculum Institute's History Alive series to help students engage the key features of the decade. Then students identify the unique elements of the new age via deconstruction of visual images in a teacher-guided slide show.

Students then focus on the story of African-Americans in the 20th Century. Students enhance their understanding of the pre- and post- World War I period by investigating political views of African Americans, before focusing on the 1920s in Harlem using the book Circles of the Twentieth Century: The Harlem Renaissance, and conducting factual mapping of the period, then critiquing assumptions and biases of the book's author.

In English class, students learn the language and slang of the 20s using materials from History Alive, and playing "Twenties Bingo." Personal biographies from the collection Having Our Say introduce students to women of the era. In addition, students read and analyze African-American poetry, including work by Langston Hughes, Sheri has taught all ability and grade levels of high school English for nine years. She is a Mentor Teacher and a Met Life fellow with the IMPACT II National Teacher Policy Institute. Eric has taught United States History for three years. He is a coach for San Marcos High School Mock Trial team, and was formerly a deputy district attorney in Alameda County.

What You Need: Numerous primary sources are listed in the teacher packet.

Overall Value: This student-run evening of literature, music, dance, art, poetry and drama also serves as a jumping-off point for our in-depth investigation of race relations in 20th century America.

Standards:


An Evening of Literature
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 4 to 5
How It Works: Our goal was to provide an opportunity for second graders and their parents to work together in a shared experience of reading, writing, listening and speaking. The anticipated outcome was that the parents would participate in the same types of literature activities that the children experience in the classroom throughout the year. Specifically these actlvities were: orally retelling a story and summarizing the story using sentences and pictures. An example of this was a story mural consisting of three 18 x 24" pieces of white paper attached together. The beginning, middle and end of the story were drawn and sentences written under each. The story booklet consisted of a title page and three 8 1/2 x 1 1" pieces of paper. The top of the page was left blank and lines were drawn on the bottom of the page. The child/parent summarized the story using the lines. Pictures accompanied the summary. The third skill consisted of analyzing the story for character, setting, actions and ending. A story board was set up by dividing an 18 x 24 piece of paper into six equal sections. Title and author were put in the first box. Characters, settling, actions(2 boxes), and ending were placed in the other boxes using pictures and sentences. After completing one of the three required projects, the students and parent(s) could choose an optional activity of making a puppet or bookmark. This literature experience took place n the early evening. The participation, cooperation, and quality of the projects have been outstanding. The students were eager to share their completed projects with the group. THE STUDENTS: This activity was designed for second grade students but is adaptable for grades three through eight. Students were teamed with thier parent(s) for this activity.

The Students:

The Staff: The classroom teacher initiated and then supervised the activity. The project could include the reading consultant, media teacher, principal, and language program leaders.

What You Need: A large assembly area with tables s necessary. The 18 x 24" white paper is needed for murals and story boards. Other necessary items are prepared copy paper for booklets, lunch bags and standard classroom supplies. Optional materials: puppet stage and microphone. A sample of each project should be displayed in the classroom and assembly area, along with directions.

Overall Value: This project emphasizes the participation of the student and their parent(s) In a shared literature experience. The student and the parent(s) cooperatively plan and implement the activity for the evening. Parents were as enthusiastically involved as their child. Positive feedback was received from participating parents regarding the success of the evening as both entertaining and educational. Many of the parents were eager to duplicate the project at home.

Standards:


An Unbuglievable Unit
Category: Science
Grades: 5 to 8
How It Works: This high-interest, hands-on program introduces students to the world of spiders and insects and culminates with students "inventing" a bug. They learn about spider anatomy by observing specimens with magnifying lenses and by building clay models. They also write bug poetry, create "Be Nice to Spider" posters, and draw comic strips using facts about a spider's digestive system. They make personal similes in response to Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood. They create an unbuglievable wordbook in response to Antics. They write a Spider Pass Around story (which is edited and revised using a TV/computer hookup), write and retell folktales (i.e. How the Spider Got a Tiny Waist), and perform the play James and the Giant Peach.

The unit incorporates many skills indicated in the Program of Studies and in Virginia's Standards of Learning. Language arts skills include research writing, story retelling, folktale writing, figurative language studies, poetry, and parts of speech. Science concepts include insects, arachnids, and arthropods, comparison of the digestive and skeletal systems of humans and spiders, the food web, and flowers and pollination.

The Students: The program was developed for nine students with emotional disabilities in grades 3 through 6. The students meet each day over a five-week period.

The Staff: A classroom teacher and an assistant implement the program. A parent volunteer helped sew pillows covered in bug-design fabric for use during silent reading time.

What You Need: The research requires a laser disk on insects and non-fiction and fiction books. Fabric, clay, and poster board are needed for the projects.

Space is necessary to display the many projects created by the students.A trip to the Smithsonian Museum Natural History Insect Zoo enhances the project. A guest speaker from the Entomology Department of the Smithsonian, books from the public library, and information on the Internet also contribute to the program.

Overall Value: An Unbuglievable Unit is an excellent way to grab students' attention and motivate them to research and learn information. They become so interested that they bring in specimens and become more aware of the importance of bugs in the balance of nature.

Standards:


Ancient Egyptian Sarcophagi
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 8 to 10
How It Works: To provide an interdisciplinary unit for 6th grade Social Studies and Art students, I developed a unit for my classes involving Egypt. Students studied Ancient Egypt as part of the 6th grade Social Studies curriculum, and their Social Studies teacher wanted to give them some,"hands-on" experience. I provided the students with background information on the Egyptians belief of the afterlife as well as the mummification process. In addition, students viewed a video on King Tut's tomb. The classes were divided into groups of two, and students were asked to design either a two-dimensional or three-dimensional mummy case. Two-dimensional cases were created by having one student lie on a piece of butcher paper while another traced him/her and cut him out. Students, researched mummy cases and using craypas, colored their mummy case in the style of a fictional Egyptian man, woman, or child. Upon completion of their mummy case, the student groups were asked to write a fictional account of their Egyptian's life; i.e. what jobs they might have held, their family, what type of life they led. Three-dimensional mummy cases were created via the papier mache process. Student groups, using balloons as a base, created sarcophagi using a mixture of wheat paste and newspaper strips. With the help of the media specialist, students viewed pictures of Ancient Egyptian sarcophagi and, painted their mummy cases as was the custom of the times. The Students: Classes each consisted of approximately 26 students heterogeneously grouped and included several Special Education students as well. Classes met for approximately ten 45-minute class periods. This project could easily be adapted for grades 4 and 5 as well.

The Students:

The Staff: In order to accomplish this project as a true interdisciplinary unit, help from the Social Studies teacher and Media Specialist are of importance.

What You Need: Video: King Tut Tomb of Treasure, Video: Artful Journeys: Mysterious Egypt, National Geographic March 1977: Egypt, 6th Grade Social Studies book, Arts & Activities April 1993 (Mummy case tracing is an adaptation of a project called,"Mummies Come Alive" featured in this issue),, Books with visuals on Egyptians available in any library. This project was carried out in both the Art room and in the regular classroom. Paints - acrylic, Butcher paper, Craypas, Newspaper, Scissors, Wheat paste.

Overall Value: Students were exposed to a number of disciplines through this assignment. They studied Ancient Egypt and the way of life of the Egyptians in Social Studies class. They researched books on Egypt and searched for visual aids in the library with the help of the Media Specialist. Language Arts was incorporated into this unit by asking students to write an account of an Egyptian's life, and finally, they learned valuable skills in Art class on two-dimensional as well as three-dimensional design. Students were excited and extremely interested in this assignment, and as a result, I, believe they will retain the information they've acquired.

Standards:


ANCIENT INQUIRER
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: "Ancient Inquirer" blends the study of classical mythology with computer technology. Students create imaginary headlines based on the mythology of the ancient world and then display these headlines as modern-day, tabloid "front page news." Students publish their mock-tabloid pages using any available desktop publishing software, thus incorporating technology skills into the study of the ancient world. The knowledge base of this project encompasses ancient culture and mythology. Learning activities include collaborative review, critical thinking, creative writing, the development of basic word-processing and publishing skills, and group assessment.

Students begin with an intensive review of mythology and ancient culture. Approaching this review from a contemporary perspective, a goal of the review session is to develop sensational and humorous tabloid headlines based on mythology and ancient history, e.g., "Janus Has Identity Crisis! Doesn't Know if He's Coming or Going!," "Cleopatra's Last G-Asp!," or "Family Funeral & Wedding in Thebes: Oedipus Kills Dad, Marries Mom!" Students use desktop publishing templates to publish tabloid pages, complete with headlines, illustrations, captions, weather reports, dates, and other tabloid features, all relating to the ancient world. The teacher provides the project format and evaluation guidelines. Final compilation of all tabloids into one class magazine provides an opportunity for student enjoyment and the positive critique of one another's work.

The Students: Students of all abilities in all levels of Latin classes will enjoy success with this project. "Ancient Inquirer" is easily modified to complement other literature studies in English classes, e.g., Hamlet, Oedipus Rex.

One teacher, guiding students through the basics of desktop publishing, can implement the project. While the technology aspect of this project relies on a computer lab, students created very effective tabloid display pages by hand before access to computers was available.

The Staff: Mary Donna Lyons Enfield High School, Enfield

What You Need: Mythology books, literature and desktop publishing software.

Overall Value: "Ancient Inquirer" offers a variety of options for success. Through collaborative review, all students engage in a shared reinforcement of learning. The visual, interactive appeal of desktop publishing software encourages students to create their tabloid front pages. The publishing templates instantly produce attractively organized pages, giving students a sense of pride in their creativity. Students develop their critical thinking skills as they interpret ancient mythology with a contemporary spin, adding parody, humor, and the use of 20th century technology. "Ancient Inquirer" also helps students increase their knowledge and appreciation of the classical world.

Standards:


ANCIENT WISDOM IN CONTEMPORARY TALES
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 9 to 11
How It Works: Ancient Wisdom in Contemporary Tales is a multisensory interdisciplinary unit that features two seminars conducted by a professional storyteller who engages students in the development of storytelling and helps them create final products using audio tape, video tape, and the computer, or a combination of these. Prior to the storyteller's first seminar, students research immigration patterns in the United States and the cultural contributions of the immigrants. In the seminar, the storyteller models stories from the areas researched and motivates the students to develop their own stories through interaction, dramatization, and use of instruments.

In the interim between seminars, the students analyze supplementary materials including books, videotapes, audiotapes, CDs, computer programs, and sheet music. By the second and final seminar, the students must have at least one story started and be prepared to offer constructive feedback to their peers. At the second seminar, the students share their stories and receive feedback from the storyteller as well as from their classmates.

The students develop presentation skills and gain an understanding of the diverse cultures they represent.One hundred ten multicultural seventh and eighth grade students who are emotionally disabled or learning disabled participated. Although classified as at-risk, their intellectual ability ranges from average to gifted.

The Students:

The Staff: Five special education teachers, the speech therapist, two aides, the librarian, two computer lab specialists, a counselor, a parent, the art teacher, and the custodial staff implemented the program.

What You Need: Macintosh computers with HyperStudio and "What's My Story?" software, a scanner, VCR, TV monitor, tape recorder, and CD player provide a choice of media. Keyboards, drums, multicultural music (sheet, CD, tape) enhance the stories. Students solicit ideas from a variety of storytelling and reference books, videos, tapes, and CDs. Facilities include a small auditorium for sharing stories, the library's soundproof room for recording the final projects, and the cafeteria for a reception following the assembly.

Outside Resources A professional storyteller provided the curriculum, suggestions for implementing it, and professional storytelling skills. The PTA provided funds; two parents donated research resources and items for the reception. Community businesses professionally edited the best stories.

Overall Value: This experience improves students' reading, writing, research, and cooperative learning skills. Students learn more about themselves, their families, other cultures, the lives and talents of their peers, and their own talents. The students become interested in storytelling as an art and as a profession.

Standards:


ANCIENT WONDERS: A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: In "Ancient Wonders: A Journey Through Time" students in groups of three plan a tour of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and their present-day countries, and produce a travel booklet advertising this tour for prospective clients. The purpose of this project is for students to learn the specifics of each Ancient Wonder; associate it with the history and culture of a present-day nation; become comfortable using the Internet as a research tool; gain knowledge of advertising and marketing techniques; and enhance research, organizational, and collaborative skills. The project is interdisciplinary in its scope (architecture, language, history, geography, culture, business, technology), collaborative in its approach (student groups), and multi-faceted in its accommodation to a variety of learning styles (visual, auditory, writing, hands-on).

The tour itinerary must include a visit to each Wonder, in the time, and place it once existed, as well as a stay of at least two days within the present-day country. Information about each Wonder, the sites and attractions of today's country, means of travel (including time-travel) detailed day-by-day itinerary, hotel accommodations, costs, insurance and liability, and other pertinent information must appear in the booklet. The finished product, an informational and advertising booklet, is evaluated on evidence of research, accuracy and thoroughness of information, attractiveness of format, creativity of design, and overall organization.

Instructional methods and activities include teacher explanation and demonstration, hands-on use of the Internet, class discussion, group planning, student presentation, and guest speakers (travel agent and marketing specialist.) Some class time is allotted for all these activities; students must also use out-of-class time for research and planning.

The Students: Three classes of Latin II students, varying in size from 12 to 23, have been involved in this project

The Staff: Joyce C. Narden Amity Regional Senior High School, Woodbridge

What You Need: Media Center for Internet access handouts, a video, sample travel booklets from a travel agency.

Overall Value: This project enables students to make connections: between the present and the past, between the real world of the travel business and the academic world of school, and between curiosity and learning. Students increase their knowledge of world history and geography while developing respect for other cultures and their achievements, both past and present. While students are introduced to the intricacies of marketing and the complexities of travel, they hone organizational and research skills, especially those involving technology. Through group collaboration, students improve the multiple competencies needed to work with others in achieving a common purpose.

Standards: Intellectual Curiosity, Responsibility and Self-Reliance, Interpersonal Relations Learning Skills, Reasoning and Problem Solving


AND I CAN PROVE IT
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: And I Can Prove It" challenges students to research an information problem, evaluate the information, develop arguments and then relate those arguments both verbally in a class debate and then in essay format. The purpose of the project is to develop the students' abilities to think and listen critically, solve problems, make decisions and communicate their ideas succinctly.

The Students: In preparation for the culminating debate and essay, students are taught to take notes, identifying information that is relevant to the question at hand rather than "important" in a generic sense. Students then read articles about the debate topic- animal testing for medical research- and share notes in small groups, each group listing arguments for both sides of the issue.

The next day the class is divided into two groups- one in favor of animal testing and one opposed. The media specialist takes one group up to the library, and the members of the other group stay with their language arts teacher; using their notes, group members each select an argument for their side that they will develop and present in the debate. After writing up their arguments, group members present them to their own group, and as a team the group analyzes how to improve the argument, anticipating potential weaknesses. Finally, the groups brainstorm what they believe will be the arguments used by the opposing side and assign group members the job of responding to specific arguments. Students writing five paragraph essays using what they believe are the three strongest arguments for their side follow the debate, consisting of argument presentations and rebuttals.

The Staff: Pat Blank and Colin Neenan Madison Middle School, Trumbull

What You Need: Information on debate topic, charts, paper, and markers. Optional: video camera to tape debate for class analysis.

Overall Value: The variety of activities allow students to succeed through visual, written and verbal experiences, accommodating a variety of learning styles. Students who had not excelled in other activities throughout the year have an opportunity to shine in their debate performance. Students learn how to take stand on an issue, prepare logical, supported arguments, and determine the value of each of the team's arguments. They work cooperatively in sorting, by value, the information and planning their team's strategy. Team members learn to listen critically but respond in a supportive fashion as they help each other strengthen their arguments in preparation for the debate.

Standards: Intellectual Curiosity Moral and Ethical Values Reading, Writing Speaking, Listening, & Viewing


Applying Research To Lesson Planning
Category: Instructional Inquiry
Grades: 1 to 5
How It Works: This study investigates the impact of research on lesson planning in the primary classroom. The research team recognizes the need to incorporate the diverse elements of many successful models including multiple intelligences and strengths of students, conceptual mapping, and integration of the arts. For the past year this research team has been exploring these issues through reading, attending conferences, visiting other schools, and participating in weekly discussion groups. These tasks were all undertaken in preparing to implement the multiage approach in their primary classrooms. As the research proceeded, the team recognized the merit of each concept and, as a result, the need to integrate these diverse but related practices into a coherent approach. This research will give teachers the necessary information to plan lessons that consider transformational curriculum (the integrity of the disciplines, the child's individual learning continuum, conceptual organizers, and child development practices, all within the child's social context). It is anticipated that lesson plans developed within such a framework will enhance the learning of primary students. Data collected will include teachers' lesson plans that reflect the learning taking place and the changes made during research. The primary classes consist of 250 students from three to eight years of age.

The Students:

The Staff: Thirteen classroom teachers including teachers of FECEP, kindergarten, grades one and two, multiage, learning disabilities, and Spanish partial-immersion will conduct the research.

What You Need: The following books are being used for continued research: The Hundred Languages of Children by Edwards, Gandani, and Forman, Eds.; The Unschooled Mind by Gardner; Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom by Armstrong; Reaching Potentials: Appropriate Curriculum and Assessment for Young Children by Bredekamp and, Rosegrant; and Serious Players in the Primary Classroom by Wasserman. No special facilities are needed. Dr. Theresa Rosegrant will provide in-service training for the team over a two-month period. Dr. Rosegrant, currently teaching kindergarten in Arlington County, is coauthor of Reaching Potentials and a former professor of education at George Mason University.

Overall Value: Research has shown that effective schools have a common mission and work toward goals as a team. The primary team will enhance the educational program of young children by providing a common knowledge base and philosophy, as well as a means to implement a transformational curriculum.

Standards:


Appreciate and Create!
Category: Arts
Grades: 8 to 14
How It Works: Students love to create art! Using this curriculum, each student creates a portfolio of art while learning about art and achitecture of the historical periods covered by the grade 6 History/Social Science Framework.

Appreciate and Create!, which covers the Stone Age through the Fall of Rome, encourages students to use their multiple intelligences to understand history and to express themselves creatively in the style of each period studied. The History/Social Science and Visual/Performing Arts Frameworks and Art Smart were helpful in planning this curriculum. Art Smart provided only a few slides, so I photographed slides from books and was given reproductions by other teachers.

Interest is stimulated and information communicated in a variety of ways, including reproductions of each period, slides of art and architecture, and music from a period or place to help students imagine they are artists working in another time in history. Students learn that each period produces a style of art and architecture. Understanding the historical context makes learning more interesting and meaningful. Students learn how the art of the past continues to influence the art and architecture of today. An example would be the Santa Barbara Mission columns with Ionic capitals. Learning reinforces what is being learned in social studies classes.

For the Stone Age, students create their own cave paintings and aboriginal paintings. For ancient Egypt, students create Egyptian stationery by writing their names in hieroglyphics and decorating paper with Egyptian pictures. Several copies are made and each student then writes a letter of appreciation to his/her social studies teacher. Egyptian block prints are made using gold ink and multiple prints are made in other colors. Students also make aluminum foil mask pictures. For ancient Greece, students create their own black and orange figure vases and mythological beasts. For ancient Rome, students create cut-paper mosaics. These are just a few of the many projects students create while exploring styles of art from the past using a variety of art materials and techniques.

The Students:

The Staff: Anne has taught middle and high school art for 16 years. She also taught Headstart youngsters at the Santo Domingo Pueblo in New Mexico. Her Ph.D dissertation was about the creative process in art.

What You Need: Classroom must have a sink. Slides have been photographed from books. Reproductions and various art materials are easily obtained. The teacher packet includes detailed information. Taking groups to the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is helpful.

Overall Value: Appreciate and Create! is designed to teach knowledge and skills; however the most important outcome is for students to use what they have learned in a creative way, to explore and have fun. Often students excitedly report seeing art or architecture in town, on TV or in books that they recognize from the periods we are studying. A slide quiz is given to students at the end of the course to see if they can match the art and architecture with its period. They do this easily. In order to encourage exploration, grades are not given; however, individual standards remain high. Seeing high-quality work and their pride in what they have created is important information for evaluation. Parents love seeing students' portfolios of art and hearing the history of periods studied.

Standards:


Aquarium Adventure
Category: Science
Grades: 9 to 14
How It Works: In Aquarium Adventure, students learn to use scientific equipment to study the effect of filtration systems on classroom experimental and control aquaria. Students record the data daily, graph their results and share their findings with other students via Internet. Each classroom contains two aquaria. One tank is set up with a bio-wheel, a filtration system that involves biological, chemical, and mechanical filtering. The other tank may be set up with no filtration or underground filtration, but all other variables must remain constant. Eventually, at least one of the tanks achieves chemical and biologicial balance. Students use their data to decide if and when the tanks reach equilibrium. Students graph their data. After a discussion comparing the aquaria and nature, students design a poster showing both systems and how each uses biological, mechanical, and chemical means to achieve balance. An important part of Aquarium Adventure is sharing the findings. Once students in one class have taken data, it is shared via Internet or county mail with the other teachers' students. All data must be accurate because students' peers depend on it for doing comparisons. Marineland, a division of Aquaria, Inc. in Moorpark, donated bio-wheels for our classrooms. They are interested in how aquaria can be useful in the science learning process. This was the inspiration for our project.

The Students: 1997-98: 400 junior high and 200 high school heterogeneously grouped students, including GATE, sheltered, mainstreamed resource and other special education students.

The Staff: We all belong to the countywide Women Educators of Science and Technology (WEST). Marilyn Garza, a former engineer, has taught science for three years. Melissa Kehl has taught science for nine years. Both are on their district's K-12 science articulation team. Betsy Villalpando, a second-year integrated science and conceptual physics teacher, participates in the Science Partnership for School Innovation, and is a South Coast Science Project fellow. Melanie Zinser is a first-year science teacher

What You Need: Two equal sized fish tanks (four liter or larger), one bio-wheel, fish, teacher packet.

Overall Value: Students learn the value of long-term experiments. Their observational skills improve from examining the tanks daily. They learn why accuracy is important and how scientists depend on the quality of each other's work. We assessed accuracy and completeness of daily data, records, and construction. Approximately 85-95% performed satisfactorily; most excelled.

Standards:


Aquatic Science
Category: Science
Grades: 9 to 10
How It Works: Developed as an extension of the middle school life science curriculum, Aquatic Science examines aquatic ecosystems through a variety of practical hands-on activities. The program is designed to encourage students to work together to solve problems using available materials. Students are involved in lab groups at the beginning of the course. Each group is responsible for designing and maintaining a fresh water aquarium. Group members are assigned individual tasks related to maintaining the overall health of the aquarium. These jobs include monitoring and charting water temperature and acidity levels, maintaining filters and equipment, and observing and feeding the fish. Students also participate in weekly hands-on lessons and labs intended to examine specific aspects of aquatic ecosystems. Topics include currents, tides, invertebrates, fish, sharks, whales, and ecosystems such as coral reefs and tide pools. Activities include Gyotaku fish painting, currents and tides labs, and Baleen versus toothed whale feeding. Twelve seventh and eighth grade students with emotional disabilities participate in the program. However, the class could be adapted to other classes by adjusting expectations and by choosing readings at the appropriate grade level. The class meets for two one-hour blocks a week.

The Students:

The Staff: A special education teacher developed and implements the program. In addition, two teaching assistants help with classroom labs and activities. The science department provides equipment and recommendations.

What You Need: Necessary materials include ten-gallon aquariums, filters, gravel, a ph test kit, and heaters. Also needed are paints, brushes, poster board, and folders as well as special items such as live animals, prepackaged fish, and motor oil. Although developed for a science classroom with lab tables, the program could be adjusted to any room where running water and power sources are available. Storage space for equipment and aquariums is another necessity. Trips to a local fish supply store and to a lake to examine a freshwater ecosystem extend the program.

Overall Value: The program allows students to generalize information they learn about water and about the systems dependent on water and to apply it to their lives--for their benefit and for the protection of a precious resource. It appeals to students with different learning styles and allows them to experiment with and expand on familiar concepts. Students become engaged in the activities, and, as a result, their overall behavior improves--including remaining in the assigned area, following directions, and completing group tasks.

Standards:


ARCHAEOLOGY: IT'S NOT JUST DIRT!
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 2 to 7
How It Works: Some memories last a lifetime and this will be one of them! Students are enthralled to participate and experiment just like real scientists. To make the unit more authentic and relevant, we consulted local experts such as the state archaeologist and historical and archaeological societies. This archaeology unit is interdisciplinary, problem based, and creative.

To introduce the unit, students are shown a backpack full of archaeological tools (trowel, measuring tape, compass, gloves, plumb bob, etc.) Students make predictions as to what type of scientist would use this equipment.

From there, students are presented with a hypothetical problem involving a dig site and items that may be artifacts. The class creates a KWL bulletin board that they change or add to as we progress through the unit.

Next, students read a variety of trade books on the topic, do research in the library, and add to a class concept map. They view a movie and work with an interactive CD on the computer. The children record their findings in their archaeology logs.

Poetry is used to introduce a lesson about inferences. In cooperative groups, the students make inferences about a given set of materials.

The art teacher works with the students when they do print casting, and parent volunteers assist the children to mathematically devise and then implement a grid system for a simulated dig.

The Students: As a culminating experience, students are asked to do a project which consists of creating an original story, biography of an archaeologist, an archaeology game, a crossword puzzle, or a dictionary of archaeological terms.

The Staff: Terry Buckingham Tashua School, Trumbull Caryn Intorre Osborn Hill School, Fairfield

What You Need: Literature, videos, and computer resources about archaeology, and simulated dig materials are all used.

Overall Value: This unit is so rich that it is ideal for interdisciplinary work. Mathematics, reading, writing, listening, research techniques, technology use, and reasoning are some of the skills used.

All learning styles and ability levels are accommodated. Students are assessed throughout the unit for their participation, log entries, cooperation, and final project. The children gain respect and understanding for the past in a way that makes it real to them. It helps them to understand the present and to anticipate the future. It's more than a picture in a textbook; it's actually putting their hands in the dirt.

Standards:


Architecture Of The Eastern Hemisphere: 199? Calendar
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 6 to 8
How It Works: What architectural wonders can you see in the Eastern Hemisphere?, Students create a twelve-month calendar featuring landmarks from there. This project involves them in: selecting twelve sites for their calendars, researching their geography, history and cultural features, writing brief descriptions of these sites and buildings, designing and illustrating each page Using a variety of media, students create their own free-hand illustrations. The calendars are assembled on construction paper. Each calendar page includes the illustration, the annotation, the name of the month, and a calendar grid. No two calendars are the same. A wide range of important architectural sites are selected and discussed by the group. Students learn that the Eastern Hemisphere contains a priceless legacy built over the centuries by people from many cultures. Students: This project was developed with a fifth grade class, meeting twice a week for eighty minute sessions for five weeks. It is adaptable for other subject areas, age groups and achievement levels.

The Students:

The Staff: Suzanne Saposnik holds a BS in Special Education from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and an MSW from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She is the Coordinator for the A.G. Bell Regional Gifted Center. Jane Grant holds a BA in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and an MA in Teaching from National Louis University. She is a fifth grade teacher at Bell.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Resource books are needed for research. Basic classroom materials are also required. Children need adequate work space to lay out books, draw pictures and assemble the calendars; tables that allow children to work side by side are best. Outside Resource: The possibilities for using outside resources will vary based upon the content area(s) selected.

Overall Value: Even children resistant to art activities produce excellent calendars and are uniformly proud of their accomplishments. Children compare notes and discuss information, learning from each other.

Standards:


Around the World in 180 Days
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 2 to 8
How It Works: Around the World in 180 Days is a year-long geography project in which parents visit the classroom to share information about places they have visited, lived, or that interest them.

In September, parents sign up to give geography lessons. They are encouraged to bring pictures, slides, books, mementos and food from the particular region they are presenting. I offer to help them find materials.

The children are highly motivated by visits from parents, especially their own parents. We discuss appropriate behavior, possible questions to ask, and what they already know about the place we will be 'visiting.'

One family dressed in outdoor hiking gear to talk about a Sierra Nevada trip. They brought pictures, discussed mountain safety, backpacking food, purifying water, and finished with a 'campfire' and s'mores for all. Another family took us to Norway. They brought souvenirs and childhood toys, which are different from ours. (The mother lived there as a child.) They shared Norwegian history, including Viking lore, and discussed the topographical features. They also brought stamps for the children's travel journals, Norwegian chocolate and cheese.

I provide pictures and maps from magazines for each child's journal, which includes pages for each place visited. Students record at least three facts about each place studied, either on postcards to parents or on their journal pages. We use different art techniques and media (some learned at the SCWriP Summer Art and Writing Academy) to enhance the journals, which become assessment tools.

The Students: 1997-98: twenty children, grades 1-2 (wide range of abilities).

The Staff: Lisa has taught for nine years: computer lab, grades 4, 5 and 1-2.

What You Need: Maps, globes, magazines, art supplies, children's literature, teacher packet.

Overall Value: When parents share their travel experiences, students are interested. Students demonstrate increased ability to write a sentence and expand it to several sentences, and more skill with artwork, which they use with other subjects and expanded projects. As the year progresses, they improve their ability to synthesize information. The History/Social Science Framework recommends expanding children's geographic and economic worlds, developing awareness of cultural diversity and learning about people who supply our needs.

Standards:


Around the World in Eighty Books
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 1 to 2
How It Works: Around the World in Eighty Books

The Students: Fifty-four children in half-day kindergarten classes took part in this project. Because of the high interest level, the project can be adapted for other age groups, class sizes, and ability levels.

The Staff: Mary Ann Mangano has taught at Cameron School since 1970. She holds a BS from Loyola University, Chicago and an MS Ed from the University of Illinois. She has received many teaching awards.

What You Need: Students can use a corner of the classroom to create a "mini-museum" to display materials from their "travels." The project uses trade books, globes, maps, and book-making supplies. A TV/VCR brings the different countries that are explored into the classroom in living color.

Overall Value: Songs, stories, games, and dances from other lands give students a stronger sense of their own culture. Books can be marvelous motivators and when they are combined with kindergarten enthusiasm, everyone becomes a learner and everyone becomes a teacher.

Standards: This project addresses the following Chicago Academic Standards (CAS) for Social Studies and Illinois State Goals: Goal #14, CAS E; Goal #15, CAS A, CAS B.


Around the World in One Semester
Category: Global Education
Grades: 7 to 9
How It Works: Around The World in One Semester is a virtual journey around the seven continents. It encompasses visiting different countries, recording information about their culture, religion, politics, history, current issues, beliefs, etc.

The students design one passport per continent, and as a class we travel to as many as 10 countries of this continent. By watching movies, doing library research, writing to embassies and to PCVs, using Netscape, hosting speakers, mapping the way to get there and other activities, my 7th grade students immerse themselves into the country we are working on. Once we finish a continent students are charged to present in groups, through plays, games, or reports the rest of the countries we did not reach. At the end of the group presentation, the rest of the students raise one of 2 cards a O/W (one way), or R/T (round trip). A few kids are picked and asked to explain their choice of answers.

The Students:

The Staff: This program is implemented by the French for Beginners Exploratory teacher.

What You Need: The library provides many of the resources. Embassies, Peace Corps, Travel Agencies, and other business entities can enhance the program with many extras.

Outside Resources

None needed, even though many could be used to enhance.

Overall Value: The program has been in place and successful for a couple of years. Part of its success is due to the fact that it stretches the walls of the kids' worlds and makes them aware of other cultures. The continent they study often echoes places students have heard of, had interest in or studied about in Social Studies. With this course their perspective of these countries is changed from the historical often biased view to one that is more cultural, accepting and tolerant. Past students have come back to share with current ones how their learning has helped to shape their understanding of others, and embrace a more global attitude when it comes to many issues.

Standards:


Around the World with Flat Stanley
Category: Global Education
Grades: 3 to 4
How It Works: "Around the World with Flat Stanley" was a wonderful way to incorporate reading and letter writing into a geography unit. Students listened to the story of Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown. They made a picture of Stanley and sent their own Stanley to a friend, family member, or Chamber of Commerce. Excitement built as the students waited for their Stanley to return. Stanley's adventures were charted on a large map. During this unit, students learned how to write a letter and studied the landforms and cultures from countries around the world.

The Students: Twenty-eight students from the second grade participated in this project. This project could be used in any classroom with any number of students.

The Staff: Monica Denowski has been teaching for three years. This is the second year of this successful project.

What You Need: Jeff Brown's book, Flat Stanley.After the book was read, an information sheet was sent to parents which described the project. The children wrote a letter to their families and sent it along with their own picture of Stanley.

Overall Value: : Sending a "Flat Stanley" around the world is an excellent way for students to practice letter writing while learning about the world. The excitement builds as "Flat Stanleys" are received daily. Who could it be from? Where has Stanley traveled?

Standards:


Art and Architecture
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 3 to 14
How It Works: Art and Architecture: Creating an Island Community is an integrated learning experience in which the students gain an understanding of aesthetic valuing, how their homes and communities affect the world around them, and are influenced by the environment in which they live. To begin the unit a parent, who is an architect, comes to speak about his/her job, explaining the different stages of house-building and how homes directly affect, and are affected by, the environment in which they are built. Students read and discuss The House That I Live In, which exposes them to different styles of architecture in the United States. Then they design shoebox-top houses in various styles for a "neighborhood" bulletin board display. The environmental impacts of a community's growth are explored through reading Window and The Little House. Students create a poetry book based on the Little House's feelings about each of its environments: country, suburbs, and city. Using The House That Bob Built and other books, the children explore architectural and design vocabulary. Math is integrated throughout the unit as students learn about measurement, coordinates, angles, lines and shapes using rulers, compasses, and protractors. Piet Mondrian's art is presented to the students as an example of how fine art influences architecture. The students then create a piece of Mondrian-style art. As a culminating activity, the class cooperatively creates an island community jigsaw puzzle on plywood. Using the information from previous lessons, the students design a self-contained community that works with the environment and takes into consideration the types and styles of buildings that would fit in the different climates and terrain of the island. The students also finish a cumulative story called the "Island That Room ___ Imagined" which takes them on a tour of their island and names specific places. The student's ability to verbalize and carry through a building design and the island community is a measure of the unit's success. This unit was taught over a two-month period, but could be extended or adapted to any grade level, historical era or geographic location. Our interest in art and architecture as an integration tool stems from our belief that students need to understand their cultural and historical heritage. State Frameworks: The History/Social Science Framework emphasizes the need for a better understanding of students' relationships within their community and the effect of humans on the environment. The Visual/Performing Arts Framework recommends that students gain knowledge of how "art reflects, records, and shapes history and plays a role in every culture." The Students: Forty-two first grade students, including 10 limited English speakers, participated during 1992-93. By using all of the learning modalities — kinesthetic, visual, auditory, and tactile — students are completely and successfully involved in the learning experience.

The Students:

The Staff: Julia has been teaching first grade for two years. Karen has taught Grades K-3 for 18 years, with emphasis on Grade 1. She was selected to attend a National Gallery of Art Institute in Washington, D.C. in 1993.

What You Need: Facilities and Materials: Most materials are available in a school supply room, except for the plywood (4'x4') or heavy-duty cardboard for the jigsaw, matboard for the Mondrians, shoebox tops and trade books. Outside Resources: We visited a home under construction, walked through our town, and had an architect visit the class.

Overall Value:

Standards:


Art as Science
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 8 to 14
How It Works: The Idea and Its Value, Art as Science—The Chemistry of Pre-Columbian Middle America will, help students realize the essence of science: keen observation gathering of substances to experiment with, trying new ideas manipulating material substances and using combustion. This unit, of descriptive chemistry discovers properties of elements and, compounds used by ancient Americans from their environment. In, addition it tells the early history of chemical technology as, ideas and skills developed integrating it with the history and, culture from the Mayans, Aztecs and Incans. It is advantageous to teach the early roots of science because it, seems less austere and academic to the student than modern, science. Early science was very concrete in an educational sense, since ancient Americans experimented with matter found in their, environment. From these natural resources manipulated by a trial, and error approach, early Americans discovered and created clay, vessels, metallic objects, dyes and pigments and medicines to, make their lives more productive, satisfying and safe. These, technological developments from elements, compounds and mixtures, found naturally are the science of chemistry. In essence, this, unit teaches a multicultural descriptive chemistry integrating it, with earth science and biology. It allows rediscovery of these, early science and art activities. The idea incorporates a group of labs that enable students to, learn observation, characteristics of metals, crystal structure, of solids, colors of compounds, methods of smelting metals from, ores and extracting pigments from plants and dyeing. This unit, allows the great scientific contributions from other cultures to, be highlighted and discussed, bringing life to these ancient, peoples. It allows all students the opportunity to succeed at, science and experiment with easily obtainable materials. It also, helps students respect the past and place it in context. Combining history, art and science with alternative assessments, such as comparative lab analysis of crystals by cooperative, groups, this exciting unit allows for critical thinking and an, integrated study of native cultures. This unit of investigations emphasizes the processes of science —, observing, classifying, etc. as well as meeting the Science, Framework idea of thematic instruction. In addition, these labs, and accompanying materials integrate all the disciplines of, science. Writing about science is developed in all labs. Over 300 fifth-tenth graders have used this program over the last, two years, in addition to 30 Science Project fellows.

The Students:

The Staff: I have taught grades 2-12 for 10 years. I have been awarded, numerous grants and am currently co-director of the California, Science Project at UCSB.

What You Need: A normal science classroom would be ideal, but all activities can, be performed in any classroom. The 11 labs require commonly, available science materials. The teacher packet covers all, aspects of the unit. Parents or slides from the regions studied help bring the lessons, to life. Art and language arts teachers often come in to speak.

Overall Value:

Standards:


Art Exposure - Primary And Beyond
Category: Arts
Grades: 2 to 5
How It Works: This project exposes young children to a variety of art media and the topics of line, image and space or shape. Enjoyable hands-on activities use a variety of techniques and materials. Line is explored through pen and ink drawings, charcoal drawings, egg carton prints and rope ink prints. Image is investigated, by creating photographic collages, solargraphic paper prints and Polaroid photos. Shape and space are examined by creating sculptures with, toothpicks, styrofoam,"popcorn" and a variety of clay techniques. Students: This project can be adapted for students of all ages and abilities.

The Students:

The Staff: Pat Williams holds a BA from the College of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois and has taken numerous art courses. She has taught a variety of art classes to children in recreational facilities in Berwyn and River Forest. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at George Leland School, she teaches pottery to children at both Art Works in Oak Park and the Park District of Oak Park.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Projects can be completed in a regular classroom using a large, wide roll of paper or vinyl tablecloths to cover work areas. Lists of necessary art materials for each project are available. Outside Resources: A kiln is necessary for fired clay projects. A local pottery or ceramics shop can provide firing for a small fee.

Overall Value: This project expands art instruction beyond the basic color, cut and glue experience. Children are introduced to art terms and techniques. They develop feelings of joy and self-worth by expressing themselves creatively.

Standards:


Arthur "Readers" Take Home Packets
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 1 to 3
How It Works: The purpose of the Arthur "READERS" take home packets was to reinforce a positive parent/child relationship while strengthening listening skills and role playing with puppets. Students demonstrated sequential order, and various writing skills. As a classroom activity, students identified the beginning, middle and end of a story by putting sentence strips in sequential order. Parental involvement to help use the learning packets was utilized as well as cooperative learning techniques

The Students: Students in the first grades, aged six and seven were involved in this project. However, the packets could be used for any level of achievement. The packets could go home for a 2-3 day period in which all the activities would be completed, or the activities could be completed in class with small or large group instruction.

The Staff: Joy Goodenow and Karen Lamm have been ESEA Title I Tutors for two years. No other special assistance is needed to implement the program.

What You Need: CD-ROMs were used to integrate the program.Materials used consisted of sentence strips, Arthur books, pencils, crayons, journals, two pocket folders per student, puppets and a cassette tape player

Overall Value: : The goal of the packets is to enlist the child's parent in his/her education. All children should experience the joy or reading with love and encouragement from their family.

Standards:


Artist's Life And Times - In Person!
Category: Arts
Grades: 2 to 10
How It Works: This art program provides students with information on selected artists, art styles, techniques and information on the artists' lives and times. With this learning, students,"get under the skin" of each artist, developing an understanding of the creative juices needed - inspirations, subject matter and more - to produce artwork. Students: learn vocabulary and art history through conversation, visuals, reference books, filmstrips, videos. master techniques and skills by sketching from work by an artist, discussing these drawings using art vocabulary. produce their own art in that artist's style, commenting on and interpreting their work display their artwork along with their own comments.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need:

Overall Value:

Standards:


ATTACKING THE GENDER GAP: GROUPING GIRLS FOR SUCCESS
Category: Instructional Inquiry
Grades: 8 to 10
How It Works: This study asks "How are the process skills of girls, especially gifted girls, affected by different groupings within a heterogeneous seventh grade science class?" The research team will compare the girls' performance when they are in single sex groups with their performance when they are in coed groups. They will also compare performance of groups with heterogeneous ability levels with that of gifted groups. They will keep data on four specific behaviors: observing, measuring, organizing data, and analyzing data. They will also conduct informal interviews with girls to see if they are aware of trends in their performance.

Students This study will involve 250 seventh grade science students.

The Students:

The Staff: The science department chair will supervise the science research in her own classes with the help of another teacher on the team. The enrichment specialist will help in data gathering, background research, and computer programming for data collection. Parent volunteers may be used to help with data collection.

What You Need: Failing at Fairness and How to Encourage Girls in Math and Science are useful resources. The team will use existing school facilities.

Outside Resources The team has discussed the research question with professors at the University of Connecticut and the University of Virginia.

Overall Value: The research team hopes that this study will provide information that will enable them to decrease the gender gap. When alternative grouping is not available, the teachers hope to meet the needs of girls in heterogeneous groups by equipping them with coping skills and strategies for achieving excellence. They also hope the girls will come away with an awareness of their own habits, a willingness to challenge traditional roles, and a tendency to take higher level courses in the future.

Standards:


Australia—Down Under
Category: Global Education
Grades: 3 to 3
How It Works: This program exposes the students to the different cultures found on the continent of Australia. Objectives were developed into a thematic unit. The unit spanned the entire school year with specific activities that covered the geography, animal and plant life, native people, immigrants, languages, and the history of Australia. The content subject areas covered in this unit were social studies, language arts, math, and science. The program culminated at the end of the year with a phone link. The phone link was established with St. Augustine School (School of the Air), located in the city of Adelaide, in the province of South Australia. Throughout the school year, letters, pictures, and videos were exchanged between students at the two schools. Students: The student population consisted of all the first grade students in the school (approximately 125 children). All are minority students.

The Students:

The Staff: The staff included all of the first grade teachers and the Department of Communications of Houston Community College which provided cameras, videotape equipment, and two-way speaker phones for the students to use for the phone link.

What You Need: Materials: Art supplies for games, masks, book making; writing supplies—writing paper, tag board, markers, etc.; books, video or film on Australia, video tape, film. Outside Resources: No outside resources are required.

Overall Value: This year-long thematic unit on Australia along with the culminating phone-link activity provided both our students and the Australian students with a unique experience. This opportunity allowed them to become more globally aware, culturally tolerant, and appreciative of different people in a world of diversities.

Standards:


Auteur-Auteur!
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 7 to 7
How It Works: In this project older students write and illustrate a simple original children's book in a foreign language, in this case French. Samples of story books in the foreign language are examined. The class brainstorms to develop plot ideas for their stories. As each student's book is completed, it is read to a younger child who has some knowledge of the foreign language. The student asks the younger child simple questions about the book in the target language. Authors gain experience in writing stories and reading aloud. They learn to formulate simple questions. Listeners have to focus on comprehending the story and communicating their ideas in French. Students: In this project fifth grade students wrote the books and first and second graders listened. All have studied French since kindergarten; LaSalle School is a language academy. The project can be adapted for all language arts classes. It will be appropriate for foreign language, bilingual, and ESL classes.

The Students:

The Staff: Karen Waheed earned an MA in Education from St. Xavier University in 1990. She has taught French and German in kindergarten through eighth grade for five years.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Sample children's books in the target language are needed. Blank books and colored markers or pencils allow students to give the books a professional appearance. Outside Resources: Volunteers who speak the target language can augment the project by reading stories and helping the older students correct their work. The public library may have books in the target language.

Overall Value: Students gain a great sense of accomplishment -- the older children from writing a book in another language and the younger children from understanding the story that's read to them.

Standards:


Authentic Assessment: HyperCard in the Classroom
Category: Classroom Management/Intergroup
Grades: 3 to 10
How It Works: The Program HyperCard in the Classroom is capable of bridging the gap between traditional assessment practices and new views of assessment by engaging teachers and students in a collaborative/reflective partnership at the classroom level. Students first learn keyboarding skills and the use of HyperCard. They research an academic unit and create a storyboard that mimics the HyperCard stack. After identifying the associative links among pieces of information on the storyboard, students create their own HyperCard stacks complete with text, graphics, and sound. Students then make revisions on printed stacks and finalize the projects. The stack is an artifact which allows the teacher and student to reflect upon and judge the extent of learning transfer. The student navigates the teacher through the stack, which is a cognitive map or blueprint of the student's thinking process. HyperCard has proven to be unlike any other vehicle for wedding instruction and assessment; moreover, it makes it possible for students to sift through information, construct hypotheses, and reach conclusions - to externalize a depth of understanding of the subject matter. Actively involving the student in the process of creating, accessing and manipulating information, this project is capable of bridging the gap between traditional assessment practices and new views of assessment in which students and teachers collaborate in a reflective partnership. The Students: The original program involved twenty-one heterogeneously grouped sixth graders with four to five students in each group. The project is appropriate, however, for any age students capable of learning keyboarding skills.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: Materials Needed: The program requires a Macintosh computer, HyperCard 2.0, and a printer. An overhead projector and an LCD panel are optional. Several guides for using HyperCard are also helpful. Overall Value: A learning environment based on HyperCard allows the student to access knowledge from multiple perspectives for various purposes using different learning strategies. This program creates an opportunity for students to make sense of their work and judge their own success in virtually any content area. It offers teachers the opportunity to change the traditional assessment question of "Did you get it?" into "What did you get?"

Overall Value:

Standards:


Authentic Data Collection for Field Experiences
Category: Science
Grades: 1 to 8
How It Works: The local playground, pond, woods or beach provides the setting for children to develop scientific inquiry skills. Students repeatedly visit an environmental site in their community and learn to pose questions, use scientific tools, gather data and make observations about their world. On the first visit, students become acquainted with the area and its systems. On subsequent visits, students make observations focused on a question they have posed. They gather and record data at the site, and bring it back to the classroom for organization. The students compare the data following each visit and use this information to answer their original question.

Assessment of student learning is embedded in the tasks, reflecting the authenticity of the process. Throughout the project learners observe, record, tally, graph and report their findings back to the group. Teachers can design rubrics relevant to each of these phases. Teachers observe the students actually using the tools (quadrats and transects) and note whether scientific protocols have been met. Students are also responsible for generating a final presentation and designing a rubric by which to assess it. Most importantly, the students are able to look back on their original list of brainstormed questions and decide whether they found their answers... or not! Guiding Principles: #1 Students understand the nature of math and science #7 Students attain and apply essential knowledge and skills of mathematics and science

Content Standards 1A: Students use scientific inquiry to provide insight into, and comprehension of, the world around them. P1 Make accurate observations using appropriate tools and units of measure. P2 Ask questions and propose strategies and materials to use in seeking answers to questions. 7.1C: Students understand and apply concepts of data analysis. P1 Formulate and solve problems by collecting, arranging and interpreting data. P2 Make tallies and graphs of information gathered from the immediate surroundings. I1 Make generalizations and draw conclusions using various types of graphs, charts and tables. 7.2A: Students understand that there are similarities within the diversity of all living things. P1 Identify the differences between living and non-living things. P2 Describe characteristics of different living things. 7.2B: Students understand how living things depend on one another and non-living aspects of the environment. P1 Identify ways that organisms depend on their environment.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: Library books and CD-ROMs on the system being studied are essential. Recruiting local people as guest speakers involve interested community members and enliven the project. Professional development such as MMSA's Summer Academy offer educators skills in learning how true scientists use authentic data collection methods. MMSA's 1995 Academy inspired the creation of kits which contain resources necessary for the classroom exploration of scientific inquiry. This project uses science tools and technology for teaching and learning.

Overall Value: Learners encounter many uses for data collection in their lives. Learning these techniques now provides a valuable foundation for further inquiry. This project adds an unusual component to field experiences, allowing children to be true scientists trained in authentic data collection techniques. Students use quadrats and transects, which provide a focus for their observations. These tools are used by the scientific community for assessing populations. Repeated use of scientific instruments and frequent visits to the same community site leads to comfort and trust for students. This fosters an environment in which risk-taking thrives. Problems arise in any project, encouraging students to develop flexibility. Students seek solutions from each other, their teacher, parents and other resources.

The kits and training in how to use them are available for use by other schools. AUTHENTIC DATA COLLECTION challenges students to apply scientific knowledge, requires mathematical skill and leads to understanding. Students practice process skills which they can use throughout their lives. Data collection skills, once learned, are readily transferred and not easily forgotten. In the final projects, students communicate their learning to school and community members as well as to each other.

Standards:


Awesome Apples
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 2 to 4
How It Works: This unit will provide students with opportunities to enhance predicting, observing, recording and comparing skills by using apples. By using a hands-on approach all children will be able to touch, taste, smell, and actually see first hand how apples are used in our everyday lives. To "kick-off" the study of apples the students go to a local apple orchard to discover how apples grow, the important role of the honey bee, and the different machinery used in processing the apples.

Some of the activities that can be done range from graphing and weighing the apples purchased at the store, performing science experiments dealing with dehydrating and cooking the apples, as well as "surfing the net" for recipes and other ideas. Books, poems, and songs can be used, charts and stories can be written and murals can be painted and displayed for the school to enjoy. The children will be excited each day when arriving to school because of the "hand-on experiments" that are ongoing in the classroom and will discover new ways to experiment with the apples.

The Students: Used with all learning abilities ranging from inclusion to gifted students.

The Staff: Classroom teacher

What You Need: Any type of classroom; apples; various cooking equipment; a selection of fiction and non-fiction books on apples.

Overall Value: This learning experience is easily integrated with all curriculum. It is possible with this topic to take a student's idea and further develop it. This gives the students ownership of the project. Doing hands-on projects that have ownership and meaning to the student enables them to draw conclusions and communicate to others their ideas and discoveries. The students show development of higher level thinking skills and enjoy eating the products of their learning experiments.

Standards:


B.R.I.C.K.S. -- Bringing Real Interdisciplinary Curriculum To Kids In Schools
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 8 to 10
How It Works: Through interdisciplinary studies, students learn the concepts of, simple machines, gear ratios and problem solving using the popular, building bricks manufactured by LEGO. Students work in cooperative, groups to solve problems and build models such as eggbeaters with, gears and cranes with pulleys. Students keep inventor's notebooks, that include schematic drawings and parts inventories and follow, the scientific process to arrive at conclusions to difficult, topics. Using LEGO building bricks students are provided with unlimited, opportunities for hands-on learning. As students progress through, the project, they encounter important concepts from math, physics robotics and engineering. In addition, they participate in the, important processes of problem solving and cooperative learning. Students involved in this project will be gearing up for learning. DCPS Major System Priorities: Achievement, Critical Thinking, Intergroup Relations Blueprint 2000 Goals: Student Performance, Learning Environment The Students: Computer Application students in grades six, seven and eight, including ESOL and ESE students, (LD, EH, SLD and Gifted) have, participated in B.R.I.C.K.S. The project also has been presented, to elementary students.

The Students:

The Staff: Lottie Simms is a 14-year teaching veteran with an educational, specialist degree in Computer Science Education. She is the 1992, State of Florida Instructional Computing Teacher of the Year. She, teaches computer technology classes and is an Adjunct Instructor, for Barry University's School of Education. She is also the Middle, School Coordinator at Miami Lakes Middle School, a teacher trainer, for LEGO educational products, an advocate of interdisciplinary, instruction and a cooperative learning instructor. She is the, recipient of two Teacher Mini-Grants and is a 1990-1991 IMPACT II, Developer.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: The project can be implemented in the traditional classroom. LEGO, kits, (Technic I and Technic II) are needed to fulfill the project, objective. Outside Resources: A teacher-made video showing students at work accomplishing the, stated objectives can be shown. LEGO produced lesson plans and, ideas for implementation also can be utilized.

Overall Value: Students enjoy coming to class to play with LEGO toys. However they don't realize that the toys they are playing with have, outstanding education value. Through this project, students, develop an enthusiasm for school as well as developing team skills, by working in cooperative pairs. Students are rewarded with self-, gratification by accomplishing some difficult tasks in a, cooperative, social setting.

Standards:


Bacteria Unit: A Collaboration of Experts
Category: Science
Grades: 5 to 8
How It Works: Guiding Principles: #1 Students understand the nature of mathematics and science #2 Students communicate effectively in mathematics and science #7 Students attain and apply essential knowledge and skills of mathematics and science

Content Standards 1A: Students use scientific inquiry to provide insight into and comprehension of the world around them. P1 Make accurate observations using appropriate tools and units of measure. P2 Ask questions and propose strategies and materials to use in seeking answers to questions. 2B: Students construct knowledge through reflection, evaluation and refocusing. I1 Reflect on work in science and mathematics using such activities as discussions, journals and self assessments. 2F: Individually and collaboratively students use effective communication techniques. P2 Interact in groups of various sizes. I1 Function effectively in groups within various assigned roles. 7.1C: Students understand and apply concepts of data analysis. P2 Make tallies and graphs of information gathered from immediate surroundings. 7.2B: Students understand how living things depend on one another and non-living aspects of the environment. P1 Identify ways that organisms depend on their environment. 7.2C: Students understand that cells are the basic units of life that can reproduce themselves. P2 Demonstrate an understanding that plants and animals need food, water and gases to survive. P3 Explore magnifying devices and how they enable individuals to see in more detail. P4 Provide examples of causes of diseases.

The Approach In the BACTERIA UNIT: A COLLECTION OF EXPERTS, a laboratory scientist works with students and their teachers to transform classrooms into active laboratories. Teams of students actively search for bacteria in their classroom and surrounding environment. Through an integrated curriculum, scientific methods and language are introduced to students. Students discuss what bacteria actually are, where and what they require to live, and the useful and harmful things bacteria do. They also learn the techniques necessary to study bacteria. Teachers and scientists guide students to develop hypotheses and protocols, which they then investigate in teams. Language arts, math, science, art and cooperative learning are incorporated into this curriculum, taking full advantage of the unique experience. A variety of teaching strategies and assessments are used to insure student success throughout the week. Student brainstorming activities provide a baseline through their demonstration of prior knowledge (preassessment). Students learn how to inoculate petri dishes the right and wrong way through live demonstration and instructional video. In daily science journals students record their activities, predictions, and observations. Students apply knowledge learned in early experiments and make inferences based on previous conclusions established through data analysis. Collective data are displayed in several ways. A student generated classroom map entitled,"Where can we find bacteria?," displays hand-dawn pictures. Students place actual petri dishes, which serve as data points, on a large floor graph. This allows comparative data analysis and discussion at the whole class level. Teachers use pre and post unit student interviews and student journals to assess learning throughout the period. Pre-test, post-test and five month follow-up interviews with stratified sample students in the BACTERIA UNIT revealed strong durable comprehension of the unit's basic concepts. Additionally, students interviewed demonstrated facility with designing experiments, including the importance of an experimental control, and were able to interpret graphic data displays. In the coming year, assessment strategies will include a student designed quiz with answer key for inter-classroom exchange, a cartoon depiction of the week's activities, fill in the caption student exercise and "design your own experiment."

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: This project requires pertinent scientific tools including: agar, petri dishes, test tubes, sterile swabs, sterile gloves and an incubator. Petri dishes with agar are the only necessary materials unique to this unit. They are commercially available, pre-made for $0.30 each. All other materials can be obtained from existing supplies. A cardboard box and lamp serve well as an incubator. Q-tips are a realistic substitute for sterile swabs and a plastic sandwich bag can be substituted for a test tube. A magnifying glass offers the close up view required for observations. A scientist-expert guides students experimentation, ensuring scientific accuracy, in the design of learning experiences. Because a scientist-expert is not always available, we have produced a training video to demonstrate techniques to student-scientists. Teacher-experts nurture student conceptual growth and oversee class management concerns.

Overall Value: This project, which focuses on learning about germs in personally relevant studies, addresses the need to interest rural students in science and mathematics. It offers them free access to scientists from the community, introducing them to local role models in non-traditional fields. This investigation into the world of bacteriology links science to students' worlds, in an easy to implement format. The COLLABORATION OF EXPERTS has been active for three successive years, involved two laboratory scientists, reached one hundred eighty second grade students and resulted in a document submitted for publication. Students, parents, teachers and scientists describe this unit as exciting, innovative and adaptable to many settings.

Standards:


Bagging Up Alphabet Fun
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 1 to 3
How It Works: This daily program gave children an opportunity to relate letter sounds they were learning to objects they had at home that began with each alphabet letter. Each child had a chance to take home a duffel bag and find three to five items that began with the weekly alphabet study. The sharing child gave a clue to an item that had been brought in and classmates tried to guess the item, answering in a complete sentence. If the item was not guessed in three tries, the student showed the object. When the child was finished, another child was picked to fill the duffel bag the following day. Children loved guessing and then seeing the items as well as being in the spotlight. Each child was given an equal chance to excel. This project helped many shy children overcome their fear of speaking to the class because they were holding onto their props.

The Students: This year 29 students in a team-teaching classroom used two bags per day. This program could be done with first graders or special education classes and in small or whole class settings

The Staff: Susan Bussan has taught 16 years. She has taught second grade, tutored in kindergarten and is currently teaching kindergarten. She has received two IMPACT Grants in past years.

What You Need: Children, with parental help, searched their homes for ideas. Some children brought in favorite tapes and books beginning with the letter study. A few students have even copied pictures they have found on the Internet.Children sit on the floor with the sharing child holding the duffel bag standing in front of them. The duffel bag also contained a stuffed animal or puppet that the child could play with when the bag was taken home for the evening.

Overall Value: Children love the chance to be "teacher". They enjoy giving clues and choosing the child to guess which objects they have in the bag. Children develop good listening skills and practice effective speaking. This helps build self-confidence and pride. "Bagging Up Alphabet Fun" helps children remember the letters and sounds which they are learning each week. Children learn and retain from their peers.

Standards:


BALEEN OR NOT BALEEN? THAT IS THE QUESTION
Category: Science
Grades: 2 to 7
How It Works: This interdisciplinary project was designed for students to acquire knowledge, gain understanding, and develop an appreciation for whales and their environment. Integrated activities incorporated language arts, math, science, social studies, art, music, and technology. Students not only took pride in their expertise but also gained an awareness of the delicate balance of nature in the oceans. An exciting component of the project was the opportunity for the students to become graphic artists. Each student selected a whale, researched its attributes, and created a free-hand drawing on a computer. On the class field trip to the Mystic Marine Life Aquarium, all sixty-six third grade students wore their personally- designed shirts. This trip culminated in an in-depth study conducted in the classroom that included individual research reports, whale stories, a presentation by a marine naturalist, math lessons, project folders, videos, computer lab activities, art room projects, and whaling songs. It provided an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge to the aquarium staff and to better appreciate the live exhibits they encountered. This project incorporated activities that encompassed the seven Multiple Intelligences, as described by Dr. Howard Gardner, addressing varied abilities, interests, and learning styles. Students measured and drew three life-sized whales on the school parking lot.

The Students:

The Staff: Julie Kuja, Avery Morgan, Joan Seaman and Mary Stehle

What You Need: Measuring tools and music tapes.

Overall Value: This project capitalized on students' natural interest in whales. Students synthesized information and developed an awareness of and appreciation for whales and their environment. Open-ended activities enabled students to effectively use reasoning and problem solving strategies. Students were able to answer the following essential questions about whales: What are the distinguishing characteristics of whales; Why do whales migrate; How has humankind disturbed the delicate balance of nature in the oceans?

Standards: Intellectual Curiosity Reasoning and Problem Solving


Bathroom Beautification
Category: Arts
Grades: 4 to 10
How It Works: In this project, students lead their learning community by replacing bathroom graffiti with attractive student-made art. Eighth graders first analyze instances of graffiti or vandalism in the school's bathrooms, using the mean, mode, and median to describe their findings.

Meanwhile, the eighth graders serve as mentors to a second grade class. The mentors create weekly lesson plans for their "students," and measure their progress. The students co-plan the layout and design for themes in the bathrooms, then paint the bathroom stalls and walls. Their student-made product is safe from future vandalism because they designed and created it!

The Students: Sixty second grade students and 60 eighth grade students participated in this highly successful project. The students represented a broad range of ability levels.

The Staff: Erin Roche is a bilingual language arts teacher who has taught for four years in the CPS. Ushma Shah is a CASA Art Teacher and has taught for seven years. Gabriel Angomas, a bilingual eighth grade math teacher, and Guillermo Delgado, a professional artist who has worked with the CPS for five years, assisted Mr. Roche.

What You Need: The following materials are needed to implement this project: paint; brushes; paper towels; plastic cups; plastic squeeze bottles; a floor covering (e.g. a tarpaulin).

Overall Value: Students are highly motivated to complete math assignments, interpret statistical assumptions and meanings, write and reflect on lesson plans, lead their second grade students, and even come to school early to help prepare! All students are fully engaged and participatory, and the school gains student-created artwork they can point to with pride!

Standards: The project addresses the following Illinois State Goals and Chicago Academic Standards (CAS): Goal #6; Goal #7; Goal #10; Goal #25A.2d and 3d; Goal #26 Bj.2d; Goal #27 A.2a. and State Application of Learning: Working on Teams, p.79 of state arts standards booklet.


Batter Up!
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 5 to 14
How It Works: Batter Up! is an interdisciplinary unit of study focusing on baseball. Students use their research skills to gain knowledge of the teams in Major League Baseball while sharpening their skills in mathematics, geography, language arts, and science, as well as learning new skills needed for today's information age.

One example of Batter Up! is the lesson where students search the internet to learn about the origin of the teams in Major League baseball and create a timeline of the dates the teams entered the league. Students grasp the history of the teams while learning about the other historical events that happened during the time period.

During this unit, students will create graphs, design baseball uniforms, create baseball cards and even learn about rumming a baseball franchise. " " America's favorite pasttime is an exciting focus to motivate students to learn how to gather, organize, synthesize and communicate information in all subject areas."

The Students: This unit can be successful with students of varying ability levels. I have taught this unit to 6th graders but can also work with students older as well as younger. Any group of students interested in using the internet and having some interest in baseball or learning about baseball can be successful. Some lessons can be taken out of the main unit and completed as stand-alone lessons.

The Staff: Lottie J. Simms teaches at Lawton Chiles Middle School in Miami Lakes, Florida. She is also a TeachNet Web Mentor

What You Need: "10 or more" "Internet connection

An integrated software package - word processor, data base, spreadsheet, presentation tool.

Overall Value: This unit of study creatively and effectively uses technology to motivate students to achieve. It is high interest and innovative, thus contributing to student achievement strategies. It is easily adapted to all grade levels and interest levels.

Standards:


Batter Up!
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 5 to 14
How It Works: Batter Up! is an interdisciplinary unit of study focusing on baseball. Students use their research skills to gain knowledge of the teams in Major League Baseball while sharpening their skills in mathematics, geography, language arts, and science, as well as learning new skills needed for today's information age.

One example of Batter Up! is the lesson where students search the internet to learn about the origin of the teams in Major League baseball and create a timeline of the dates the teams entered the league. Students grasp the history of the teams while learning about the other historical events that happened during the time period.

During this unit, students will create graphs, design baseball uniforms, create baseball cards and even learn about rumming a baseball franchise. " " America's favorite pasttime is an exciting focus to motivate students to learn how to gather, organize, synthesize and communicate information in all subject areas."

The Students: This unit can be successful with students of varying ability levels. I have taught this unit to 6th graders but can also work with students older as well as younger. Any group of students interested in using the internet and having some interest in baseball or learning about baseball can be successful. Some lessons can be taken out of the main unit and completed as stand-alone lessons.

The Staff: Lottie J. Simms teaches at Lawton Chiles Middle School in Miami Lakes, Florida. She is also a TeachNet Web Mentor

What You Need: "10 or more" "Internet connection

An integrated software package - word processor, data base, spreadsheet, presentation tool.

Overall Value: This unit of study creatively and effectively uses technology to motivate students to achieve. It is high interest and innovative, thus contributing to student achievement strategies. It is easily adapted to all grade levels and interest levels.

Standards:


Be All That You Can Be
Category: Relations
Grades: 3 to 14
How It Works: "Be All You Can Be" is an enrichment curriculum to increase self-esteem, to encourage students to get the best education possible to achieve their career goals in life, and to make the community aware of the school mission statement and motto. Community resource speakers are utilized through assemblies, group discussions, and interactions to enlighten students on the various educational choices and alternatives they may choose to achieve their career goals. A full week or more of activities is set aside to implement this program. Speakers, representing all the ethnic groups of the school, are invited to boost the students' self-esteem and to talk about their success regardless of their race or socioeconomic background. Each day has a theme (Monday: Hats Off to a Great Education — everyone wears a hat). Each classroom designs a banner about success, education, achievement, or the school motto. The banners are displayed in the school for the remainder of the year. Student athletes from the neighboring universities speak to, small groups of students on the importance of college and the desire to succeed. Other speakers show educational alternatives such as vocational trade schools and junior, college. The importance of a high, school education is stressed to the students. Each student colors and makes a badge with an education slogan on it, i.e. Education is the Key to Your Future; Education, Education, Education: Don't Take a Vacation from Education. Students read poems during the program each day about the importance of education. For the finale at the end of the week, a pep rally is held with skits stressing the importance of an education and cheers including S-U-C-C-E-S-S and other cheers that the students have made up with their classes. The grand finale is a Be All That You Can Be Sock Hop on Friday after school with door prizes donated by local merchants. The Student: All students in the school can participate in this program, and it can, be adapted for middle school and high school.

The Students:

The Staff: At least a couple of energetic, teachers or VIPS are needed to coordinate the week of activities. Cooperation with the faculty and staff is necessary to carry out the activities. Volunteers are needed to help with the after-school dance.

What You Need: Materials: Badge (one for every student), paper to make badge inserts, ribbons with the school motto printed on them, poster board, markers, art supplies, and computer banners. Outside Resources: The Houston Independent School District Community Resource Speakers catalogue was used to obtain most of the speakers. Other speakers were obtained through personal contact with teachers at the school. For this program to be successful, you do need to incorporate outside speakers.

Overall Value: Materials: Badge (one for every student), paper to make badge inserts, ribbons with the school motto printed on them, poster board, markers, art supplies, and computer banners. Outside Resources: The Houston Independent School District Community Resource Speakers catalogue was used to obtain most of the speakers. Other speakers were obtained through personal contact with teachers at the school. For this program to be successful, you do need to incorporate outside speakers.

Standards:


BE YOUR OWN BOSS
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: An empty store is available for lease in a the local mall. Student groups must wear the hats of entrepreneurs and decide if they will sign the lease and open their own retail stores. Before making their decisions, a number of factors must be considered, a great deal of planning must occur, and choices must be made - and this is what propels the students through the unit. In the end, students must decide if signing the lease is a wise decision. This project integrates many skills. Students construct graphs of data they have gathered from the survey, interview real mall store managers, measure and diagram an empty store, determine area, calculate inventory and remodeling costs, design store logos and advertisements, create spreadsheets, evaluate data, and write essays explaining their decisions. By centering the theme on a shopping mall, the unit capitalizes on the middle school students' interests and social tendencies while providing a motivating backdrop that focuses on skill development in a realistic environment. The majority of the unit occurs in the mathematics classroom, but the students use the computer lab at optimal points when both the classroom teacher and the computer teacher are available to help students with their numerous project components.

The Students: "Be Your Own Boss" is used with Pre Algebra, General Math and Remedial Math students in grade 8 but it also suitable for students in grades 7 and 9. The project could be modified by increasing or decreasing the amount of computer work or by changing the complexity of the tasks.

The Staff: Joyce Jones and Elizabeth Smith Leonard J. Tyl Middle School, Oakdale

What You Need: Shopping mall field trip, 50' tape measure, clipboards, graph paper, computers.

Overall Value: "Be Your Own Boss" was designed to address student weaknesses on the Connecticut Mastery Test as well as prepare students for the Connecticut Academic Performance Test. During the three to four weeks of the project, students work from the concrete to the abstract. Reasoning, measuring, computation, communication, and problem solving are all involved, just as auditory, visual, and hands-on learning styles are addressed. Students get to integrate their math and computer skills while also working cooperatively with fellow students in a real world situation.

Standards: Motivation and Persistence Interpersonal Relations Reasoning and Problem Solving Quantitative Skills Speaking, Listening and Viewing


Because - We Want Results
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 12 to 12
How It Works: "Because - We Want Results" combines the State Assessment skill of cause and effect with writing to turn students into advertising executives who,,"because" of their newly-discovered powers, get the,"results" they want! The project's strength lies in the critical thinking involved in recognizing cause and effect in relationships. This basic skill comes alive when students share over a dozen examples from their own experiences, using cause/effect vocabulary. The teacher can easily teach the accompanying, writing skills, specifically comma usage for introductory dependent clauses. A construction-paper paired activity is used to check application. Students then examine ads to find directly-stated or implied cause/effect relationships. Further activities include developing group products and ads, reading literary selections to analyze cause/effect, and writing expository essays structured by this skill. This project inverts the English teacher's usual approach of literature-skill-writing-evaluation and, instead asks young people to search their own lives for examples, express them in writing, generalize the application of the skill and recognize it in reading, both functionally and creatively. It is important, to understand that,"Because We Want Results" can be a one-day to two or three week activity, depending on curricular needs. Some classes benefit from just the examples, vocabulary, and paired activity, while other courses connect the ad writing to consumer propaganda or mass-media units to increase the students' learning experience. DCPS Major System Priorities: Critical Thinking, Job Preparedness, Standard English, Intergroup Relations. The Students: This project has been used in several skills level tenth-grade classrooms. The project can be easily adapted to any level, from Kindergarten to accelerated. Other disciplines packed with cause/effect relationship--such as health, science (especially, physics) and social studies--lend themselves well to many of the activities found in,"Because - We Want Results".

The Students:

The Staff: Chris Kirchner has developed SSAT teaching techniques as her school's testing coordinator for the past three years. She has taught inner-city high school students for over seven years, and has won acclaim for involving these young people in the social problems that face the community through JACKSON ACTION. She was recently a finalist for Dade County Teacher of the Year.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: A normal classroom setting, overhead projector, writing skill transparencies, construction or colored paper, magazines. Outside Resources: Students can study case/effect relationships at Miami's Museum of Science. A list of speakers from local ad agencies is available.

Overall Value: Students have a great time teaching themselves the basic skills as they gain insight into advertising techniques through their study of cause and effect. The ability to recognize relationships in what they hear, see and read develops critical thinking skills valuable to the conscientious consumers of the 21st century.

Standards:


Becoming That Scientist!
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 5 to 14
How It Works: Becoming That Scientist, is an exciting interdisciplinary, hands-on unit that enables students to learn about, demonstrate, the acquired knowledge, and,"step into the shoes" of the, scientist of their choice. This unit expands science into, history, writing, art, and mathematics giving the student, knowledge of the tools a given scientist must use. Becoming That Scientist captures and strengthens the scientific, curiosity and interest of the whole class, motivating students to, research and demonstrate the life and science of their special, chosen scientist. Students begin by brainstroming the question,,"What is a, Scientist?" Students then begin gathering facts and resources, about scientists and inventors, eventually narrowing their, research report down to one favorite person. Student-created, journals, reflective writings, diary page collections interviews, timelines (pictorial and written), science fair, entries and the culminating minidramas are outlined and scheduled, by the teacher throughout this science unit. Teacher assessments include: final projects, tests, assignment, checklists, and videotaped minidramas. Students use higher level, critical thinking skills and problem solving when comparing their, scientist to their own lives. Students' written and oral, reflections along with parent, staff, and community comment are, also used in assessing this unit. Photographs and video, recordings are collected periodically throughout the unit, and, viewed by the class, parents, and community, in class and during, Open House/Science Fair night. Parent comments included,"I'm glad, to see a strong student interest in science," and,"We're all, learning about Benjamin Franklin!" This idea could be, successfully adapted to any famous individual of history literature, music, or art. This unit teaches process skills such as observing, ordering, and, categorizing. It communicates ideas to others, while experiencing, history in rich detail and as a story well told, which are all, recommended by the Science and History/Social Scienc Frameworks. The Science Framework stresses hands-on lessons and instilling in, students the joy of science through enjoyable, expanding, activities and experiences. Also recommended is writing across, the curriculum and integrating with other areas of study. Sixty-six sixth graders, including ESL and special education, students, participated in the 1993-94 school year. All students, successfully completed the key areas of the unit. Adaptations to, individual learning levels included teaming students and, modifications of assignments.

The Students:

The Staff: I have taught sixth grade for 19 years, the last seven years at, Solvang. I have also taught kindergarten, grades 3-4, and 7-8.

What You Need: This unit can be done in any normal classroom setting. Resources, from the County Education Office Library and the school library, should be planned ahead. Camera and video equipment is helpful, but not necessary. Guest scientists are very effective during this unit. Class, visits and field trips to medical labs and hospitals are helpful. When applied to in writing, NASA and other national science, agencies can often supply materials and photographs.

Overall Value:

Standards:


Before 911
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: Before 911, is designed to teach students first aid skills emphasizing hands-on emergency experiences in a fun but, educational manner. People encounter medical emergency situations, requiring first aid knowledge daily. An initial assessment of, first aid skills identifies areas where each one needs more work. During the unit, they individually investigate and learn these, skills. Curriculum includes, but is not limited to, discussion role play of minor cuts, burns, sprains, broken bones, seizure, reactions, severe bleeding situations, and sports accidents. After class discussion of a variety of community emergency, situations, experts come in to speak to the class. Next, students, are divided into groups of two or three to role play emergencies, and demonstrate their knowledge of appropriate reactions while, being videotaped by another student. Videotapes are then reviewed, by the class, which stimulates additional discussion on reaction, options. Using students as the actors and camera operators is an, effective teaching tool since peer image is so important at the, high school level. Videotaping also provides an effective means, of evaluation. Before 911, promotes critical/reflective thinking skills and, problem solving for high-stress emergency situations. Students, learn that panic reactions are not conducive to clear thinking. By remaining calm and having knowledge of first aid, students, experience increased self-esteem. They are proud of themselves, for being able to help others. State Framework, This curriculum fits the English/Language Arts and History/Social, Science frameworks by integrating listening, speaking, thinking self-esteem building and community involvement in a meaningful, context. The Science Framework is addressed with hands-on, learning and understanding of essential body functions, and also, the teaching of process skills such as observation and, categorizing priorities. Before 911 was implemented with students who were identified as, learning and severely developmentally disabled. It was designed, to address the needs of all learners in the classroom. Ten, students, grades 9-12, ages 14-22, participated successfully.

The Students:

The Staff: I have taught home economics and health for six years and have, been a Learning Handicapped teacher for three years.

What You Need: Materials are taken from a variety of sources, including first, aid books and films. Role play activities use materials which are, commonly available: sticks or magazines for splints; clothing or, sheets for bandages. A video camera is also necessary. Professional speakers are valuable resources. Possible speakers, include representatives from the Red Cross, the Mobile Life, Support Unit, and the Fire Department.

Overall Value:

Standards:


Behavior Of Mealworms
Category: Science
Grades: 4 to 7
How It Works: This project involves students in caring for and observing the behavior of mealworms. Mealworms are the larvae of the darkling beetle. This project evolves with the interest level of the students. It is possible to study just the mealworms, but if interest remains high, it is even more satisfying for students to adopt a mealworm and observe it as it passes from the larvae stage to the pupa stage, then see its,"pet" as an adult, and even witness the next generation of mealworms as the eggs left by the adult beetles mature into mealworms. Activities include observing mealworms, thinking about their likes and dislikes--and wondering about them. Students become concerned about their pets and want to name them and devise ways to improve the quality of their lives. Children use their own ingenuity to create equipment to test their hunches con concerning their mealworms'-abilities and likes and dislikes. Children quickly learn that a lowly little creature has definite likes and dislikes--and this creature can show its preferences when given choices. Children record their findings in science journals. Evaluation is on-going. As children work alone or with partners studying their mealworms and/or designing equipment to test their theories, much sharing and brainstorming occurs. Teachers may also monitor the activities and use reflective questioning as a strategy to get the pupils to work through their theories. The quality and quantity of responses in the science journals are also helpful in evaluating the quality of student learning. One particularly revealing assignment I have given is to ask the students to write a letter to their mealworms describing all the things that he were able to learn from their meal worms.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: Mealworms, Containers, Cereal, Science Journals, (reproducibles for science journal are in project package) Cardboard, Q-tips,Blocks, Paperclips, Cotton Balls (any items students want to use to create equipment for their mealworm experiments.

Overall Value: When students are working with live creatures they are in the unique position of having the opportunity to learn directly from them. With this project, the teacher is the facilitator monitoring student activities, checking for understanding, making available supplies needed by children who are creating equipment, or observing their mealworms. The mealworm itself, is the teacher, and the student participates actively trying to come up with ways to help the mealworm reveal its preferences. In this regard it is a most unusual experience for young children. I have found that this sort of hands-on activity holds student interest and serves as a springboard to generate much language. I have also found that the experience of working with mealworms and following the life cycle of the darkling beetle cultivated a respect for living creatures. Appropriate vocabulary such as segment",,"larvae",,"life cycle","pupa" and habitat become a part of the students' everyday speaking vocabulary.

Standards:


Berlin's Choice: The Soviet Union or the West?
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 12 to 14
How It Works: Students analyze the relative merits of capitalism and communism by assuming the roles of post-WWII steel workers in the ruined city of Berlin. Using primary source documents, they stage a debate in which a fictitious labor union, eager to rebuild, will decide to invite either the backing of communist Soviet Union or the capitalist West.

The lesson plan is four anticipatory sets followed by a mock debate. Set 1) Students view slides of art and photos from 1930s and 40s Berlin. They see Expressionistic art and listen to jazz music, then see photos of Nazi Berlin while listening to Ode to Joy. Finally, they see slides of Berlin in ruins. Each student creates an art triptych in response to these three stages of Berlin. Set 2) Students participate in "jump-in reading" and create found poetry about Berlin using George Marshall's 1947 Harvard University address. Set 3) Students, seated before a projected image of Churchill, Stalin and FDR at the Yalta Conference, read excerpts from "Declaration of a Liberated Europe." Set 4) As American foreign correspondents in post-war Berlin, they synthesize learning into a column for the paper back home.

For the debate, the class becomes the United Steel Workers of Berlin Labor Union, committed to having a say in the future of Berlin. Students are divided into two teams. Team 1 is given primary source documents which paint an optimistic picture of communism. Team 2 is given primary source documents which favor capitalism and the West. Once both teams analyze the documents and prepare their cases, three elected speakers begin the debate.

The Students: 1997-98: 60 grade 10 World Cultures students, 35 teachers (at the California History/Social Science Project).

The Staff: Chris has taught World History and Latin for two years. He is a UCSB California History/Social Science Project fellow.

What You Need: Teacher packet with primary source documents, images of Berlin photography and art, period music, and overhead of the Yalta Conference photo.

Overall Value: Students step back in time and view the promise of communism vs. democracy rather than communism's harsh totalitarian outcome. They are challenged to address society's concept of civic rights, values and responsibilities. They also strengthen their historical, ethical, cultural, geographic, economic and sociopolitical literacy. By interpreting and re-teaching primary source documents, they hone their participation, critical thinking and basic study skills.

Students receive credit for completing drawings, poetry and newspaper articles. Journal entries are evaluated for student understanding of history and for personal effort and awareness of the process. The California History/Social Science Framework recommends teaching the results of World War II, The Marshall Plan, and the Truman Doctrine. A final test on totalitarianism includes this material.

Standards:


Beyond Happily Ever After
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 6 to 6
How It Works: "Beyond Happily Ever After" is an integrated language arts/social studies unit in which students study a wide variety of literature featuring strong female protagonists and examine their own stereotypical thinking. As they study traditional vs. feminist fairy tales, they practice the skills necessary for success in writing a compare/contrast essay, as well as writing their own parodies of traditional tales. After studying shorter literary forms, they move on to novels, focusing on the works of Lynn Reid Banks, Katherine Peterson, and Patricia C. Wrede. After analyzing their treatment of characters in their works, excerpts from the novels are transformed into puppet shows, with the students creating scripts, puppets, and scenery. While this is going on, students are studying Herstory, or the contributions that women have made to our society, and applying what they have learned to the choices that they must make in their own lives. The unit concludes with a Famous Females program. The Student: The program was implemented with two classes of Vanguard fourth graders who meet daily for integrated language arts instruction. Student's, reading levels ranged from about one year below level to three to four, years above grade level. Books were chosen to meet their individual reading needs, while whole-group instruction was aimed at specific TAAS reading and writing targets.

The Students:

The Staff: "Beyond Happily Ever After" is used by a classroom teacher with interest and experience in both the language and performing arts. No other staff members are needed, although ancillary teachers can contribute a great deal to the quality of the finished products. The program has enjoyed the enthusiastic support of the administration and parents.

What You Need: Materials: Copies of fairy tales on transparencies, an overhead projector, art materials for puppets (Styrofoam, wooden dowels, yarn, felt, acrylic paints), and enough copies of novels by the featured authors for the children to read are all that is necessary. Additional audio-visual equipment, such as a cassette/CD player, keyboard, or video camera would enhance the quality of the performances. Outside Resources: The library is an excellent source for single copies of the necessary books. Multiple copies can be, purchased inexpensively from school book clubs (such as Scholastic) or at a significant discount from Richardson's Books.

Overall Value: This project is a valuable one for several reasons; first, students are able to practice important reading, writing, and interpersonal skills within a very meaningful context. In addition, they are able to learn more about the half of the population that history books have for so long neglected, as well as being able to make the connection that history was made by real people like themselves. Finally, they are able to examine the stereotypical thinking, both in literature and on the playground, that has limited their choices in the past so that they may avoid those traps in the future.

Standards:


Beyond the Earth and You
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 9 to 11
How It Works: Beyond The Earth And You is designed to teach,"at-risk" and reluctant learners different aspects of our solar system using hands-on, exciting activities. The purpose is to show students that there are many things that are far larger than themselves and the world in which they live. To begin this unit of study, students are first introduced to terms that form a base for discovering their solar system. Students then begin to build on this knowledge by researching information on the planets and other celestial objects within our solar system. The students share information with their peers to create their own individual books on and illustrations of the solar system. The students continue with a field activity in which the students must, using mathematics and a team approach, determine a scale they can use to show the distance of each planet from the sun. The students then use this scale to create a "human picture" of the universe with each student representing a planet. Next, students construct models of the solar system using their gained knowledge and applied math. The final activities involve a "night-sky discovery" and construction of a mini-planetarium. These activities provide the students with an opportunity to share their knowledge with other students within the school and with the community. DCPS Major System Priorities, Achievement, Critical Thinking, Parental Involvement, Intergroup Relations, Blueprint 2000 Goals, Student Performance, Learning Environment, The Students: This program has been used with students with varying exceptionalities in grades seven through nine. Beyond The Earth And You may be adapted to meet the needs of students of all levels and skills. This project is centered around cooperative learning and may be used with large or small groups of students.

The Students:

The Staff: DaJuana Prater holds a bachelor of arts in education and is a beginning teacher. She graduated at the top of her class at Florida Atlantic University. Her field of specialization is exceptional student education. Ms. Prater currently teaches science and math to students of varying exceptionalities at North Dade Middle School.

What You Need: This program uses various art materials, a telescope of average magnification and supplies needed to construct a mini-planetarium. A classroom of virtually any size may be used when implementing this project. Outside Resources: Parents are the most valuable outside resource for providing volunteer support and materials. Other sources include the school's PTA and student service organizations.

Overall Value: Beyond The Earth And You furnishes both teachers and students with the opportunity to discover, in an exciting and innovative environment, more about their world and other celestial bodies beyond that world.

Standards:


Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt
Category: Science
Grades: 8 to 8
How It Works: This program uses the observation of shadows in all its forms to teach science, art, language, and math. Some social studies is woven into several of the activities. The students were first taken to the Museum of Fine Arts to observe the use of shade and shadow. They were encouraged to make observations on the work of the various,"masters" and to comment on the effectiveness of their use of shadows. If this field trip is not possible, it may be replaced by a display of reproductions of various sketches and paintings. Questions such as the position of the source of light and the possible effect of shifting the object/light source were used to trigger discussion about the relationship between the tested variables. The class used the resulting formula to calculate and predict the size of the shadow using different variables. They also applied their knowledge of the formation of shadows to the formation of eclipses. This led to a discussion of how light travels and the conclusion that light must travel in a straight line otherwise shadows would not be formed. An extension of this activity was a discussion of the things that shadows are used for, e.g. sun dials. The second activity was introduced by the placement of various objects on a table in the middle of the room with a light shining down on them. The students were positioned around the room with sketch pad and pencils in hand. Each student sketched the object from his perspective. The sketches were placed on a grid map of the classroom. Each student was also asked to write a description to go with his sketch. As an extension of this activity, I mixed up the pictures and asked students to attempt to identify which description went with which sketch. The third activity involved the reading of Macbeth (either the whole play as we did, or one of the many speeches, that deal with light, darkness, and shadow, e.g. "Out, out brief candle, life is but a walking shadow" followed by a group discussion about the true meaning of this speech and the students' understand of how uncertainty can be portrayed as a shadow. They were then encouraged to write their own poems using and metaphors about shadows. Each student or group of students read their poems to the class but did not explain them. Other members of the class took turns explaining the poems; and after everyone who wanted to attempt an interpretation had done so, the authors explained their poem, culminating discussion about differences in interpretation. The students were also allowed to listen to different types of music and discuss which parts were equivalent to bright light and darkness and which they would consider shadowy. The students were challenged to interview friends and family and do research to find myths, legends, traditions, and/or superstitions involving shadows e.g. Ground Hog Day. They were allowed to share their discovery with others. As an extension of this activity, the students were encouraged to create their own myths. The Student: The students involved in this program were sixth graders, although it can be scaled up or down to other grade levels. This program can either take place in a single integrated middle school or upper elementary classroom, or be part of a team-teaching system.

The Students:

The Staff: The only staff needed is the classroom teacher.

What You Need: Materials: The materials needed for this program were: paintings, light, objects, sketch pads, pencils, music, player, graph paper, encyclopedia, books on myths and legends Macbeth or any other work of literature that uses shadows. Outside Resources: The school library and art museum are needed as outside resources.

Overall Value: The brainstorming, observation, and group work allow the hands-on, minds-on environment that enables students to construct their own understanding and synthesis of knowledge. Furthermore, this program required very few materials and was, therefore, inexpensive.

Standards:


BEYOND THE TIMBERLINE
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 2 to 10
How It Works: Through the creation of their puppets, theaters, and scripts, students embark on a multi-cultural journey that crosses four continents. "Beyond the Timberline" increases and their understanding and appreciation of diversity and allows students to become active learners through speaking, listening, and viewing while creating their own style of presenting. The Alps, Appalachian, Fuji, Himalayas, Andes, and Rocky Mountain regions are represented. Enthusiastic parent volunteers assisted the groups. For example, a Fuji mom taught the children how to make "Sadako's cranes". Students research many aspects of the region's culture, jobs, religious customs, and recreation and demonstrate the geography of the regions by locating the mountains and drawing maps of the continents built to scale. The children incorporate their newly acquired knowledge in the writing of puppets' scripts which is shared in the excitement when the "families" come to life on authentic stages. Intellectual curiosity emerges and is satisfied in unexpected ways. For example, the Andes' puppets speak Spanish. Japanese puppets educate the children about Hiroshima and Peace Day and the Himalayas discover Chinese letters. Through the use of a variety of instructional methods and assessments, many learning styles are addressed. In addition to primary sources, tapes, and videos are also available for eager learners. Performance based assessment is used by the teachers resulting in the self-reflections written piece upon completion of projects.

The Students: Forty-one fourth grade students of various ability and backgrounds have participated. This unit is appropriate for grades four through eight.

At the culminating presentation and feast, the excitement of the students is contagious. All involved, including parents and other invited guests, truly became witnesses of students who are stretching Beyond the Timberline. As a result, each child increases his/ her self-confidence and self-esteem- the foundations for lifelong learning.

The Staff: Anita Greco and Kimberly Porto Ridge Road School, North Haven

What You Need: Literature about Mountain Cultures, computers, art supplies, cassette players, videos (camcorder,VCR)

Overall Value: The mountain project demonstrates the students' abilities to acquire listening, speaking, and visual expressions asking not only did they enjoy the freedom to develop their region, but they also acquire a deeper sensitivity and respect for people of diverse cultures. The uniqueness of this project is in its design. The teachers provide the impetus, but the students cooperatively and creatively write, direct, and create the scripts, puppets, and stages.

Standards: Intellectual Curiosity Speaking, Listening, & Viewing


Birds of Multicolor Feather Can Fly Together
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 1 to 8
How It Works: Using a core curriculum approach, Birds of Multi-color Feather Can Fly Together infuses global citizenship, mathematics, science, and art into a multicultural literature-based project. Students read multicultural books, conduct research, complete art projects, make books and puppets, role-play, and create plays. As an arts-based activity, children draw pictures of two parrots, cut out the pictures, and paste them face-to-face onto oaktag paper. They then write dialogue between the birds: "Even though we have different feathers, we can still fly together" and,"Our colors are different, but we can still play in the park" are some comments the parrots have made. Parrots in different settings are created with a variety of ma-terials. Children then draw pictures of people of different races talking to each other and add dialogue. A math worksheet about bird eggs helps children with addition and subtraction, and the study and comparison of the characteristics of parrots (feather colors, beaks, food supply, sounds made, egg laying, and how they fly) engages youngsters in science research. For a social studies activity students study where parrots can be found. For literature activities children take their reading an extra step, and make their own books about parrots.

The Students:

The Staff: Sela Zellman developed this project for her students at PS 81 in Ridgewood, Queens. She wanted to encourage children to respect and get along with people of various races and ethnic backgrounds.

What You Need: Materials required include drawing paper, scissors, oaktag, paste or glue, markers and crayons in a wide range of colors, multicultural skin-tone crayons or markers, a variety of multicultural reading materials, and videos of various peoples and their cultures.

Overall Value: Disseminator Sela Zellman states that this project fulfills the need for children to understand how important it is to respect diversity in people. "The students tell me that they understand more about different ethnic groups," says Zellman. "They see that although the colors of the feathers of the birds are all different, the birds are the same underneath. I began to see the students treating each other better in just a short time. The children have expressed that being different is nice. If we were all the same it would be boring."

Standards:


BLASTING OFF INTO THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
Category: Science
Grades: 2 to 5
How It Works: Children learn about our solar system by creating a "wall of planets" and playing "musical planets" with this project. They are introduced to astronauts and NASA missions with films and books. Children eat "space" food, publish their own ABC's of Space Travel Big Book, keep logs of their explorations, and even design their own space suits and create space ships for journeys to the moon and planets!

The Students: The project was developed for two half-day kindergarten classes; it can be easily adapted for different ages and ability levels.

The Staff: Mary Ann Mangano has taught kindergarten at Cameron School since 1970. Her BS is from Loyola University, Chicago, and she holds a masters degree from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

What You Need: The following are needed: trade books and video(s) about space exploration and astronauts; solar system floor puzzle; sunflower seeds and dried fruit; garbage bags; silver paper; large cardboard boxes; notebooks and/or bookmaking supplies.

Overall Value: Blasting Off Into the Twenty-First Century lets students look at the past, examine the present, and develop ideas and inventions that will prepare them for the next century. They learn to value team effort and group planning, think critically, and improve their communication skills.

Standards:


Book Battle
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 6 to 7
How It Works: Students at two neighboring elementary schools first read the same specified titles from their media centers, and then are chosen to be members of their school's,"Book Battle" teams. They compete orally by answering questions (developed by the Media Specialists) about their books, whose titles are specified by the Sunshine State Young Reader's Award (SSYRA) program, sponsored annually by the School Library Services Office of the Florida Department of Education. Twenty fiction books are nominated and any educator in the district with third through eighth grade students can choose to have their school participate. Three years ago, the developers expanded the state program to add more excitement and incentives for their students to be SSYRA readers. Each year, these Media Specialist write questions for each nominated book and advertise the program. All students who want to try out for their school's team read the books and answer written questions. Students with the highest scores on the written tests are chosen as the,"Book Battle" team. The whole program culminates with an oral competition between the two schools, with everyone involved wearing,"Book Battle" tee-shirts. Trophies are awarded and refreshments are served. DCPS Major System Priorities: Achievement, Critical Thinking, Intergroup Relations. The Students: The SSYRA program is intended for students in the third through eighth grades. However, the two schools at which this project is implemented are elementary schools. In the,"Book Battle" each team is limited to fourth and fifth grade students, any of whom can take the written qualifying test to seek a place on the team. Several Learning Disabled students have become members of the teams. The project could easily be adapted to any grade level, any books, or any number of schools!

The Students:

The Staff: Jean Worley has taught in several capacities for Dade County Schools for 18 years and has been the Media Specialist at Redland Elementary School for ten years. She is actively involved in many activities, including SchoolBased Management Council, The Dade County Media Specialists Associations, and the AFT's Educational Research and Dissemination program (as a TeacherResearch Linker). Marcia Pitt has been teaching in Dade County for 22 years, and has been the Media Specialist at Avocado the past ten. She has been chosen Avocado's Teacher of the Year and has been honored by the Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce in 1987. She has served as a board member on professional and county Media Specialists' organizations.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: Any size Media Center or classroom could be a site for of this, project. The newly-nominated paperback books, tee-shirts, trophies, and refreshments are the needed components. The,"Book Battle" guidelines and a planning calendar have been compiled by the Developers to enable any teacher to easily adapt this program. Outside Resources: A large room with a podium and microphone lends importance to the,"Book Battle" for the students and their parents.

Overall Value: The SSYRA Book Battle is a program that has everything a teacher can want: a highly motivational, easy-to-implement, inexpensive, not timeconsuming, short-term and long-term program in which all levels of students can participate and, most importantly, have fun! The school spirit generated by the competition runs as high as for sports activities. Parents express great pride in their children participating in such a wonderful program.

Standards:


Book Battle
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 5 to 10
How It Works: Students at two neighboring elementary schools first read the same specified titles from their media centers, and then are chosen to be members of their school's,"Book Battle" teams. They compete orally by answering questions (developed by the Media Specialists) about their books, whose titles are specified by the Sunshine State Young Reader's Award (SSYRA) program, sponsored annually by the School Library Services Office of the Florida Department of Education. Twenty fiction books are nominated and any educator in the district with third through eighth grade students can choose to have their school participate. Three years ago, the developers expanded the state program to add more excitement and incentives for their students to be SSYRA readers. Each year, these Media Specialist write questions for each nominated book and advertise the program. All students who want to try out for their school's team read the books and answer written questions. Students with the highest scores on the written tests are chosen as the,"Book Battle" team. The whole program culminates with an oral competition between the two schools, with everyone involved wearing,"Book Battle" tee-shirts. Trophies are awarded and refreshments are served. DCPS Major System Priorities: Achievement, Critical Thinking, Intergroup Relations. The Students: The SSYRA program is intended for students in the third through eighth grades. However, the two schools at which this project is implemented are elementary schools. In the,"Book Battle" each team is limited to fourth and fifth grade students, any of whom can take the written qualifying test to seek a place on the team. Several Learning Disabled students have become members of the teams. The project could easily be adapted to any grade level, any books, or any number of schools!

The Students:

The Staff: Jean Worley has taught in several capacities for Dade County Schools for 18 years and has been the Media Specialist at Redland Elementary School for ten years. She is actively involved in many activities, including SchoolBased Management Council, The Dade County Media Specialists Associations, and the AFT's Educational Research and Dissemination program (as a TeacherResearch Linker). Marcia Pitt has been teaching in Dade County for 22 years, and has been the Media Specialist at Avocado the past ten. She has been chosen Avocado's Teacher of the Year and has been honored by the Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce in 1987. She has served as a board member on professional and county Media Specialists' organizations.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: Any size Media Center or classroom could be a site for of this, project. The newly-nominated paperback books, tee-shirts, trophies, and refreshments are the needed components. The,"Book Battle" guidelines and a planning calendar have been compiled by the Developers to enable any teacher to easily adapt this program. Outside Resources: A large room with a podium and microphone lends importance to the,"Book Battle" for the students and their parents.

Overall Value: The SSYRA Book Battle is a program that has everything a teacher can want: a highly motivational, easy-to-implement, inexpensive, not timeconsuming, short-term and long-term program in which all levels of students can participate and, most importantly, have fun! The school spirit generated by, the competition runs as high as for sports activities. Parents express great pride in their children participating in such a wonderful program.

Standards:


BOOKMAKING: AN INVITATION TO WRITE
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 1 to 8
How It Works: Bookmaking: An Invitation to Write provides classroom teachers with writing prompts that extend the lesson and integrate art into the curriculum. This approach to teaching art and writing links how an artist expresses an idea with how an author expresses an idea and inspires students to write poems and stories by creating books. The results of the project are shared at the school's Writers' Celebration. The construction of the books ranges from simple to complex and can adapt to many subjects and art materials. Students explore the art elements of design--shape, line, color, texture, and positive and negative space-and technical properties-materials and techniques. They also examine books and observe the relationship between illustrations and stories. They try out the artists' and authors' techniques and processes by creating individual books to share with family and friends. The art projects enable all children to participate, and they take into account diverse learning styles by linking verbal and visual modes of expression. Students All students are involved in the program.

The Students:

The Staff: The art teacher works with the entire school community to implement the program.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities Picture This by Ellen Matter, Looking at Picture Books by John Stewing, Poetry Fun by the Ton With Jack Prelutsky and Poetry Galore and More With Shel Silvestein both by Cheryl Potts are excellent resources. Also needed are bookmaking supplies including ingredients for paste, textured papers for covers, binding combs, glue sticks, and a book stapler. Outside Resources Authors and illustrators from the community help carry out the program.

Overall Value: Students learn best when they are active, when they have choices, and when the learning is relevant to their lives. This program encourages students to use words and drawing to express their ideas and to view their work in a positive way. The books can be kept as treasures and read and enjoyed for many years.

Standards:


BOOKS OR BYTES AT LAST CHANCE HIGH
Category: Instructional Inquiry
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: This study seeks to answer the question: Which mode of study is the best to prepare a student to pass the General Educational Development (GED) exam: book, computer, or a combination of book and computer? Books and related reading and writing materials are currently used in preparing students to pass the GED test. Since most of our students are enrolled short-term and are visual and kinesthetic learners, they need the most friendly and time-efficient method of preparation.

Data will be gathered by comparing test scores from the 1st day and the 15th day of the study. The class will be divided into three groups: students preparing with book-related materials, students preparing with the computer program, and students using both. Data will also include a comparison of student academic and technical competencies through a computerized self-assessment Leikert scale questionnaire administered on the 1st and 15th days of the study.

The Fairfax County Juvenile Court detained the students participating in this inquiry. Their average stay is 21 days. The GED population consists of 16 and 17 year-old students who have a few high school credits toward graduation. These at-risk students do not plan to return to high school and need GED preparation in order to obtain a viable job and become successful adults.

The Students:

The Staff: Two teachers, one specialist, five volunteers, and 24 facility staff members who monitor the classroom will conduct the research. The two teachers will implement and manage the group matching and statistics while the specialist directs, guides, and supports the inquiry.

What You Need: This program requires the use of the GED 2000 GED computer Preparation Course, Levels 8-12. No special facilities are needed.

The Fairfax County GED program coordinator, the Virginia Department of Education GED specialist, and the Washington, D.C., GED testing service irector will advise the research team during this study.

Overall Value: The following outcomes are expected: Students will successfully complete the GED exam. Study habits and time on task will improve through the use of different study methods. Use of the most time-efficient method for GED preparation will enhance student initiative and self-discipline.

Standards:


Books To Go
Category: Foreign Language
Grades: to
How It Works: Books to Go provides a different perspective from the original program It's in the Bag With Books (see IMPACT II catalog 1989-1990) in that it reaches out to students with learning disabilities (LD) and students for whom English is a second language (ESL). The students take a small tape player home with a book and an audiotape, affording them the opportunity to listen repeatedly to good literature and to science trade books. In addition, this adaptation enables grade one and grade two students to use the tape player independently, allowing them to choose from a variety of appropriate responses. Students' self-esteem, reading vocabulary, comprehension skills, and background knowledge improve as a result of this program.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need:

Overall Value:

Standards:


Bouncing Book Bag
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 6 to 6
How It Works: A child-parent team is hard to beat when they work together to acquire English literacy. Using a class library of books that are at or below students' reading level, the teacher first reads the books to the class. Students discuss the books, using innovative discussion methods such as: ∑ the fish bowl ∑ picture walks ∑ one minute commercials Or students may create mini books, flip books, accordion books, even a video book.

Students next select a book to take home to read to their parents. At home, parent and child read and discuss the book together, then record their reaction to the book in a special diary, using their choice of words or drawings. The bag goes back to school and the cycle repeats. Students are encouraged to voluntarily share their diaries with the class.

A child-parent team is hard to beat when they work together to acquire English literacy. Using a class library of books that are at or below students' reading level, the teacher first reads the books to the class. Students discuss the books, using innovative discussion methods such as: ∑ the fish bowl ∑ picture walks ∑ one minute commercials Or students may create mini books, flip books, accordion books, even a video book.

Students next select a book to take home to read to their parents. At home, parent and child read and discuss the book together, then record their reaction to the book in a special diary, using their choice of words or drawings. The bag goes back to school and the cycle repeats. Students are encouraged to voluntarily share their diaries with the class.

A child-parent team is hard to beat when they work together to acquire English literacy. Using a class library of books that are at or below students' reading level, the teacher first reads the books to the class. Students discuss the books, using innovative discussion methods such as: ∑ the fish bowl ∑ picture walks ∑ one minute commercials Or students may create mini books, flip books, accordion books, even a video book.

Students next select a book to take home to read to their parents. At home, parent and child read and discuss the book together, then record their reaction to the book in a special diary, using their choice of words or drawings. The bag goes back to school and the cycle repeats. Students are encouraged to voluntarily share their diaries with the class.

The Students: Twenty-five fourth grade bilingual students participated in this three-month-long project. The project can be adapted for grades one through six, with any size group.

The Staff: Luis Soria has taught for seven years. He holds a Type 03 teaching certificate for grades K-9, with bilingual and ESL certification.

What You Need: The following items are needed for this project: children's literature books, library envelopes and borrower cards, sturdy storage bags, copy paper, 3-clasp folders.

Overall Value: This project builds literacy through a home/school partnership, creating a family of learners. Children rapidly improve their ability to read and speak English.

Standards: This project builds literacy through a home/school partnership, creating a family of learners. Children rapidly improve their ability to read and speak English.


Bouncing Bubbles
Category: Science
Grades: 1 to 3
How It Works: Children can't resist the allure of bubbles. They love to blow bubbles and to observe bubbles in nature or in their own bathtub. This interdisciplinary, year-long project includes the following "bubble activities:" ∑ creating an interactive bulletin board ∑ finding bubbles in lollipops and bubble gum ∑ measuring liquids and mixing bubble solutions ∑ making bubble wands ∑ reading stories and poems about bubbles ∑ writing stories about bubbles ∑ charting the size of bubbles

The Students: Thirty-two heterogeneously-grouped first graders participated. The project can be adapted for other ages and can be implemented for larger or smaller groups.

The Staff: Beth Yaccino holds a BS in Elementary Education from Northern Illinois University and an MA from Northeastern Illinois University. She has taught first grade for seven years.

What You Need: There are several books for teachers with information about bubbles, and bubble-themed books for children, such as Tomie de Paola's The Bubble Factory, add to the fun. In addition to common classroom supplies, the following are needed: measuring cups; dish detergent; glycerin; rubber bands; straws; funnels; clear and plastic cups; bubble gum; lollipops; balloons; pipe cleaners; sponges; strawberry baskets; pipe cleaners.

Overall Value: Children have fun as they acquire a variety of skills in hands-on activities revolving around bubbles.

Standards: This project addresses the following Illinois State Learning Goals and Chicago Academic Standards (CAS): Science Goals #11, A1 & C1; #12, B2 & C2; #13, D1.


BOUND TO READ, BOUND TO SUCCEED
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 3 to 6
How It Works: Best Practices for Teaching Reading recommends having children write and publish for real audiences. This project lets children do just that as they create a daily class newsletter full of world, national, and local news, jokes and brainteasers, a weather report, and upcoming school events.

A copy of the newsletter goes home at the end of the day to be shared with parents. The teacher includes in the newsletter homework tasks such as correcting intentional misspellings and grammatical errors, or supplying missing illustrations. The following day, the class reads and edits the letter; at the end of the month the newsletters are bound into booklets. Children and their parents treasure this permanent record of the school year.

The Students: The project was developed with a first grade class. (Most of the children used English as a second language and had limited English vocabularies.) The project is adaptable for first through fourth grade students of various ability levels.

The Staff: Rita Nicky is a first grade teacher at Rachel Carson School and hold a MS in Education. She has taught for 22 years.

What You Need: The following are needed for this project: a chart tablet or overhead projector; paper and access to a photocopier; a book of riddle or brainteasers; binding supplies.

Overall Value: The newsletter increases parent and child literacy levels as they see writing done for a purpose. Parents are kept well informed of school events, and the bound newsletter are valued as keepsakes and learning tools.

Standards:


Bringing The News To Life
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 8 to 11
How It Works: In Bringing The News To Life students enter the complex world of, mass media and use their language skills to produce a news video. They analyze the format of a local TV news broadcast to classify, news items, identify the sequence of presentations and describe, transitions. Each student selects an area of personal interest finds a related article in The Miami Herald to analyze and, synthesize orally and in writing. Written reports are prepared individually, but oral reports are, rehearsed in pairs and small groups. In addition, each student, coordinates with the anchors to create an introduction for the, report. Students may work individually or in groups to, prepare, visual aids and commercials. The project is video taped and, critiqued in class. DCPS Major System Priorities: Standard English, Critical Thinking, Intergroup Relations Achievement Blueprint 2000 Goals: Adult Literacy, Learning Environment, Graduation Rate and Readiness, for Postsecondary Education and Employment The Students: This project has been used with 25 adult students in advanced ESOL, classes. It can be easily adapted to other class sizes, age groups, or achievement levels. In addition, it can be adapted to regular, English classes, foreign language classes, history or social, studies classes.

The Students:

The Staff: Carol Antunano has been teaching ESOL at The English Center since joining the Dade County Public Schools in 1982. She has a master's, degree in TESOL from Florida International University. In 1990 she received a Teacher Mini-Grant, and was a 1991-1992 IMPACT II, Adapter. She has been BRINGING THE NEWS TO LIFE for five years. The English Center media specialist has provided valuable technical, assistance in implementing this project.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: The project can be used in any classroom. Newspapers, maps posters and art supplies are needed to prepare the reports, logo weather symbols, commercial and visual aids. A video camera and, cassette recorder add an exciting dimension of reality to the news, broadcasts but are not essential to the success of the project. Outside Resources: Although no outside resources are required, a field trip to a local, newspaper or television station would enhance the project.

Overall Value: In Bringing The News To Life students become familiar with the news, media, improve language skills and develop critical thinking, skills. By actively reporting the news, students become better, informed and gain self-confidence. As members of a team, students, increase their appreciation of cultural diversity in the classroom. As members of a culturally diverse society, students become, empowered to participate actively in community affairs and really, bring the news to life.

Standards:


Bubble Gum Mania
Category: Classroom Management/Intergroup
Grades: 9 to 9
How It Works: Bubble Gum Mania is an interdisciplinary unit for middle school students that provides them with hands-on learning. Math and science concepts are connected to the social studies, language arts, and the elective curricula. In science, students use the stretchability and sugar content of bubble gum to learn experimental design methods. In math, students work with percentages, measurement of central tendency, correlation analysis, and statistical analysis of data gathered through scientific experimentation. In English classrooms, students are involved in collaborative writing, while investigating the Vietnam era in social studies. The arts are involved through the creation of bubble gum collages and the study of,"bubble gum" music popular during the Vietnam War. Students also develop the cooperative learning skills of encouraging listening, using soft voices, helping others, and staying on task. The Students: One hundred students in the seventh grade participate in the program. This program is designed to run concurrently over a period of one to two weeks in all core subject classrooms on a middle school team. Students develop a positive attitude toward learning and increase their understanding of math and science concepts. The program can be used in a variety of educational settings and adapted to a large group activity.

The Students:

The Staff: A middle school core team composed of science, math, social studies, and language arts teachers implement the program. The elective teachers are involved with the development of visual arts projects that enhance the unit.

What You Need: The facilities necessary for the activities consist of a middle school science lab; math, English, and social studies classrooms; and a Macintosh computer lab. Materials such as assorted bubble gum brands, meter sticks, and triple beam balances are also needed. The science and math curriculum specialists in the Department of Instructional Services helped in developing this program.

Overall Value: Bubble Gum Mania creates an exciting atmosphere for learning, while facilitating the integration of subjects. Students demonstrate that learning has taken place in math and science through the successful completion of individual response sheets, entry of data on a computer spreadsheet, and general feelings of accomplishment.

Standards:


Building Blocks for Reading, Writing and Character
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: Building Blocks for Reading, Writing and Character is a writing activity that fosters success in writing and teaches important character education lessons. Using an agenda on a character-related theme, students construct a one- to two-page well-organized composition each week, while engaging in discussions about developing values and building character. Theme examples are: Finding Money (Honesty); Elderly Character (Compassion/Respect) and Solving Personal Conflicts (Cooperation).

The teacher introduces the theme at the beginning of the week by giving students an agenda that states the theme and a writing prompt for each day. The teacher leads a discussion each day to generate brainstorming ideas, and reinforce the specific idea within each unit. Students then write a five- or six-sentence paragraph each night as homework, and revise the previous night's homework. The next day, students and teacher revise their new paragraphs. This is repeated each day until Friday, when they do final copies in the computer lab, engage in summative discussion and presentation of their completed work.

The Students: 1997-98: nineteen seventh grade special day class students.

The Staff: John taught junior high special education for nine years, and will teach art in 1998-99. He has taught art for the Music and Arts Conservatory. Prior to teaching, he was a partner in a commercial/residential interior design firm.

What You Need: Teacher packet with writing prompts; poster of the STAR Basic Life Skills; a chart that displays daily points and weekly totals so students can monitor their success; clipboard for teacher recording; weekly access to a computer lab; the STAR Program Workbook, or other character education-related materials, which include videos on character-building topics.

Overall Value: This project reinforces the California Language Arts Framework recommendations by providing daily writing. Improvements in writing ability in terms of grammar, spelling, inclusion of topic sentence, and sentence structure have been documented. Communication skills are strengthened through discussion where students teach other about issues like honesty, respect, responsibility, and good judgment.

Student self-esteem is increased by daily success points for completing their homework, bringing their agendas, re-copying the previous day's final draft, and contributing to class discussions. Positive changes in student behavior results in improved citizenship grades and increased adherence to classroom, school and district rules and expectations.

Standards:


Building Bridges to the World Through the Arts
Category: Arts
Grades: 6 to 6
How It Works: These are multicultural, interdisciplinary units celebrating the countries (Africa and Russia) of our world, using the arts as a foundation for learning and understanding. The arts have always played a major role in our acquiring knowledge of past and present cultures and civilizations. There are several goals involved: to insure that as much academic knowledge as possible, in the areas of language arts, history, geography, science, social studies, theater, current events, social issues, politics, and in art and music appreciation, is learned about each country; that students, through ethnic singing, dancing, playing instruments and art, gain an awareness of the arts as universal languages, that can bridge gaps between nations; to unite a school and community in a common goal; to provide direct, positive relationships and experiences for our students with those of other nations; to promote growth in skills and knowledge in the arts, according to their curriculums; to provide, an example of how special subject teachers.s can work cooperatively to enhance the educational experience for all; and to encourage appreciation and gratitude for life in the United States. Initially, our goals are twofold: to establish rapport with the and support the staff; and to ignite enthusiasm for the project from staff and students. These goals are achieved by: (1) making a presentation to the staff, which, includes a complete written outline of all phases of the project, our goals and objectives, how they will be carried out, a comprehensive list of activities/suggestions for each subject area, that can be implemented in the classroom, and a bibliography of the mini libraries set up in our classrooms for their use; and (2) establishing direct, personal contact with the country. This creates incredible enthusiam, a ripe environment and excitement for learning. In the case of Russia, penpals are arranged for older students and books, about life in our country (favorite toys, seasons of the year, etc.) were created and exchanged with younger students. For Africa, involvement with the Peace Corps Partnership program began immediatley with very many fundraising projects, the outcome of which was the building of a small school in rural Africa. Having established and to continue rapport, support, and enthusiasm, general instruction begins with he arts team which includes: introductory videos, guest artists and speakers, field, trips to museums and concerts, current events boards, the use of common words and phrases in native languages, discussion of customs and social issues, the reading of fairy tales, art and artifacts displays, etc. And, although much instruction is proved by the art team, the classroom teacher has an unlimited opportunity, to contribute, to instruction, and to devise innovative ways to incorporate units into the curriculum. Forexample, one teacher orchestrates an,"African Jeopardy" game between classes, another teacher presents a theatrical adaptation of a Russian fairy tale; and still another teacher, arranges to be a guest lecturer on geography. The enthusiasm of a, few tends to become infectious. As for the development, of skill within special subject areas, all lessons are designed to met curriculum, standards, as well as, understanding knowledge and appreciation of each country. For example, in art, while learning factual information on life in the Serengheti, students were also learning how to mix colors as they painted animals for a mural of the Serengheti. In music, using the Kodaly method of instruction of in many, folksongs were learned with accompaniments on Orff instruments. All elements.s of music were emphasized and discussion of lyrics provided knowledge of life in another country. In physical education, students were taught several ethnic folk dances with rhythmic motor ability, auditory integration, locomotor skills, and cooperation as some of the objectives. Methods of assessment included: self assessment from videos of performances; student assessment from verbal responses and increased enthusiasm for and knowledge of the arts; written and verbal assessments from parents, teachers, administrators, community, and news media; and Professional assessment from a renowned ethnomusicologist and professor of music education who (1) made a presentation of our programs at the national association of ethnomusicologists, (2) wrote two articles on our programs for professional journals, (3) sent a Fulbright scholar from Japan to assess our programs for use in her country, and (4) made the videos of our programs mandatory viewing for music education students. In conclusion, this project requires energy, teamwork, and preparation. Its uniqueness stems from students bonding in some special way with individuals of other nations. It is designed for educators who are concerned with not only the academic knowledge a child acquires, but also with moral and ethical character development. This project represents a mosaic from which any of the parts can be removed. THE STUDENTS: All students, K-12, could benefit; 280 students, including special needs students participated in our school; frequency of class meetings per week = art, one, one-hour session, music, two, one half-hour sessions, and physical education, three, one half-hour sessions; achievement levels have no boundaries; project can be undertaken within a range of one classroom to entire school.

The Students:

The Staff: Music, Art, and Physical Education teachers are the foundation; all staff can contribute.

What You Need: Necessary materials are: instruments, piano, music, books, records, tapes, videos, stereo system, basic art supplies for projects, costumes, and scenery; recommended facilities are: stage and/or all purpose room for performance, regular classrooms and/or arts rooms for practice; outside resources include: museums, parents, P.T.O. community, university personnel and students, guest speakers and artists, and news media; other outside resources include: names and addresses of contact people in Russia, Africa, and Peace Corps, resource books bibliography, format instructions, videotapes of performances and art exhibits, written presentations for staff, song, listening, and dance repertories, lists of art projects, lists of classroom activities, etc. Enough research has been done and materials acquired to make it easier for other schools to participate.

Overall Value: Using the universal languages of the arts as a foundation for gaining knowledge of other countries, students become keenly aware that,"its a small world, after all" that people everywhere are more a like than different, that they are most fortunate to live in the United States, and that knowledge, compassion and understanding are ingredients to mains a better world. Through direct contact with students from other nations, it is hoped that our student will develop some temporary and lifelong friendshipships, that will free them from future prejudice. Hopefully, as future leaders of our country, they will make a difference in world peace.

Standards:


Building Language And Life Skills With Photography And Video
Category: Foreign Language
Grades: 7 to 7
How It Works: Building Language and Life Skills With Photography and Video explores ways of using multimedia to motivate, acculturate, and teach students who have had little formal schooling and who have limited proficiency in English. Students gain in self-esteem and acquire school survival skills as they participate in activities with real-life relevance such as making a school orientation video for other,"newcomers," developing photo books to teach language concepts to younger,"buddies," and using photography and video to record daily events and concepts across the curriculum. Students develop receptive and expressive language skills as well as critical-thinking skills as they plan, write, film, edit, and evaluate multimedia products such as videos, photo books, and storyboards. The Students: Approximately 20 fifth grade English as a second language (ESL) students participate, sharing the multimedia products with first grade,"buddies," fifth grade peers, and other newcomers to the school. The activities can be used successfully with students of all language levels at various grade levels.

The Students:

The Staff: An ESL teacher who works as part of the fifth grade instructional team developed the program. Various staff members help in producing the school orientation video. Most of the activities can be implemented by one teacher working with a group of 12 or fewer students.

What You Need: Materials needed include several Polaroid cameras (preferably one camera for every two students), Polaroid film, a camcorder, and videotape. Cameras can be borrowed for the program from other staff members and parents. Materials also include a bibliography of resources related to photography and video and a video response form with instructions. Parents are invited to view the school orientation video and to give feedback on its content. Students share photo books with their families and are encouraged to bring in photographs and videos of their families and countries. The staff at Chapel Square Center helped edit the school orientation video.

Overall Value: Students gain in self-esteem and acquire new language skills as they participate in the program. Students who can barely communicate in English discover a new medium for self-expression and move from visual to verbal literacy, from passive outsiders to active members of the school community.

Standards:


Building The International Space Station
Category:
Grades: to
How It Works:

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need:

Overall Value:

Standards:


Bulbs, Birds, Butterflies and Beyond
Category: Science
Grades: 3 to 5
How It Works: "Bulbs, Birds, Butterflies and Beyond" was an exciting program which not only developed an outdoor classroom, but also fostered relationships between home, school and community. Students learned about the interdependence of communities - plant, animal, insect, an human - by creating a garden on school property. With the help of parent and community volunteers, students planted small bushes, trees, and flowers that attract butterflies, other insects and birds. Students also provided and maintained nesting houses, bird feeders and birdbaths in the garden. A small indoor butterfly hatchery could be added to the classroom. Students participated in design, observation, journaling, research, and inquiry activities.

The Students: During the 1999-2000 school year, 33 second grade students participated in the project. The students met daily and were at varied levels of achievement including a number of IEP students. The project could be adapted to any age level or achievement level and could also be used with individual, small or large groups.

The Staff: Tracy Piatt and Lois Bates have a combined 57 years of teaching experience plus numerous awards including NEOEA Positive Image Award, East Ohio Gas Good Neighbor Award, Phoebe Apperson Hearst Outstanding Educator Award, Outstanding young Educator - Stow Schools, Outstanding Educator - Fishcreek Elementary School, and Honorary Life Membership PTA.

What You Need: A wide variety of resources ranging from library books to the National Wildlife Federation website were used in this program. Classroom speakers included an environmentalist and the owners of a local nursery and wildlife store. Parent and community volunteers helped to prepare soil, build birdhouses and maintain the garden area.A small grassy area with at least one tree was needed to begin the garden project. Flowering shrubs, perennials, assorted birdfeeders, and a birdbath were added to attract a variety of birds and other wildlife.

Overall Value: This project fosters independence, responsibility, caring, and and accomplishment in all students. By involving parent and community volunteers, the project increases communication between home and school. The project is easily adapted to all ages and most curriculum areas. Students are encouraged to care for and protect our environment.

Standards:


Bunny=Usogi: Discovering What We Have in Common with Our Japanese Pen Pals
Category: Foreign Language
Grades: 1 to 14
How It Works: : Through prolonged exchanges of photos and letters, children from two countries learned about one another and about themselves! The program began as children identified a partner class from another country and initiated the relationship through the exchange of photos of themselves working or playing at a favorite activity along with a brief autobiography. The program was extended as children identified events, celebrations and classroom activities that they would like to share with their partners. These were documented with photographs and then captioned with brief explanations. Foreign Language students were enlisted to complete translations. What students discovered from thousands of miles away by using different languages, having different face and clothes, they were sharing the same interests and activities while exhibiting the same curiosity, cooperation and verve as other children when they explored their learning.

The Students: There were 31 American kindergarten and first graders and 45 American fifth graders from Japanese language classes. From Japan, there were 22 first grade students and 35 ninth grade English language students. All children participated actively and constantly. This project could be adapted to any grade level, group size or country,

The Staff: Sheri Leafgren teaches at the Downtown Primary School. She has been a Jennings Scholar, a recipient of a Fulbright Memorial Fund Scholarship to Japan, a building Teacher of the Year and received a PTA Outstanding Educator award. She has presented at local and national teacher inservice.

What You Need: The project began when the teacher went to Japan, but could be initiated with any foreign country classroom. Resources could include foreign language teachers, university personnel, specialists in Japanese culture, or visitors from Japan. Local libraries and computer websites were an additionaThe classes went about their normal learning activities and used 35 mm and digital cameras to document their work and play. As photos were prepared, the students composed explanatory captions for the pictures and then enlisted the expertise of 5th grade students taking Japanese. Picture books were gathered that were written in Japanese with English translations as well as Fairy Tales.l source to gather information about the country and its people.

Overall Value: Children are children everywhere!! Through this project, children actually see themselves: their friendships, their enthusiasm for learning, their love of animals and their wonderment for the world in the words and faces of their friends from across the sea.

Standards:


Butterflies Emerge: Cycles of Life
Category: Science
Grades: 3 to 10
How It Works: In this project students do more than observe and study the life cycle of the Painted Lady butterfly. Besides obvious science lessons, students become better writers when they: ∑ keep a butterfly journal ∑ estimate and measure caterpillars as they grow ∑ discover symmetry through art and mathematics ∑ develop a keener concept of time as they tally the number of days it takes for a butterfly to emerge

The Students: This team project involved 90 students in first and fourth grades, an intermediate special education class, and an upper grade special education

The Staff: Sue Sessler holds a BA from Carthage College, an MAT from National-Louis University, and has taught for three years. Kerry Maloney has an MSEd in Special Education and has tauAnn-Louise Murray holds a BA from Lawrence University and an MFA from Northeastern Illinois University; she's taught for 14 years. Anne Pandyra, with 20 years of experience, is a trilingual teacher. ght in cross-categorical classrooms for 11 years.

What You Need: The following are needed for this project: a butterfly nursery with 3-5 caterpillars, Life Cycle stamps, handheld magnifiers, many books about butterflies, a caterpillar-to-butterfly puppet.

Overall Value: Children develop a new respect for life and the environment when they help raise and observe real butterflies fluttering in the classroom.

Standards: This project addresses Chicago Academic Standards in Science, Language Arts, Math, Drama and Music.


C.A.N.E. -- Creating A Natural Environment
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 4 to 4
How It Works: Preserving our natural environment is extremely important to the, well-being of future generations. Project C.A.N.E. was designed, specifically to educate and encourage young students to see the, importance our environment plays in our day-to-day existence. Project C.A.N.E. builds knowledge, fosters appreciation and, promotes active involvement in the creation of a natural biome. The students receive hands-on experiences in researching, planning creating and maintaining a South Florida hardwood hammock. The hammock affords the students the opportunity to feel a sense of, pride and accomplishment through actively participating in the, maintenance of a fragile part of the South Florida environment. Project C.A.N.E. allows students the opportunity to see and feel a, unique South Florida environment first-hand. Classes from many, grade levels use the hammock for outside projects and learning, experiences. DCPS Major System Priorities: Achievement, Parental Involvement, Intergroup Relations Blueprint 2000 Goals: Student Performance, Learning Environment The Students: Twenty-five second-grade TEAM students (Teaching Enrichment, Activities to Minority Students) participated in all aspects of the, project. The project can be easily adapted to all age levels and, can be accomplished with smaller or larger groups.

The Students:

The Staff: Ken Kronheim has been teaching in Dade County for nine years. He, has a master's degree in Urban Education from Florida International, University. He has been teaching Academic Excellence and TEAM, students for the past five years and is very involved in the, Critical Thinking movement. Mr. Kronheim volunteers his time at, Tropical Audubon Society, where he serves on the education, committee.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: A plot of land on the school property is needed. Native plants can, be obtained from a nursery specializing in such plants. It is, helpful to have a consultant willing, to assist in the selection of, native plants that will work well on a particular project site. Outside Resources: Books from school Media Centers and public libraries are needed. Parent volunteers play an integral part not only in the planting, but in obtaining equipment needed, such as: shovels, rakes backhoe, tillers, etc. Environmental speakers are helpful but not, necessary to plan and implement the project successfully.

Overall Value: The best education is one in which the students are totally, involved and they take ownership of what they have accomplished. This project not only does that but also allows students to connect, a part of their education to the real world. Students work, alongside adults, sometimes their own parents, which allows them to, see the importance of cooperation between the generations. The best education is one in which the students are totally, involved and they take ownership of what they have accomplished. This project not only does that but also allows students to connect, a part of their education to the real world. Students work, alongside adults, sometimes their own parents, which allows them to, see the importance of cooperation between the generations.

Standards:


C.A.R.S.: Caring About Raising Self-Esteem
Category: Arts
Grades: 8 to 10
How It Works: Some children continually take a back seat as they watch more capable students gain good grades, honors, and recognition. C.A.R.S. provides a hands-on way for at-risk children to gain self-esteem through building model cars. The high-interest, structured activity holds students' attention, and the success they experience motivates them to improve their academic, interpersonal, and social skills

The Students: Twelve boys and girls in grades six through eight took part. Students were divided into two groups; each group met once a week after school. The program can be adapted for at-risk children in grades 4-8.

The Staff: Jan Fiedland is the counselor at De La Cruz Academy; she taught for 14 years before becoming a counselor. Robert Hrad, the assistant principal at De La Cruz, has 22 years of teaching experience. Frankie Matos is the School-Community Representative at De La Cruz. He is an avid model builder and a collector of real 1960's Chevrolets

What You Need: An art room with adjacent storage is ideal. The following materials are needed: plastic models; glue; a paint chart, paint and thinner; sand paper; utility blades; soap, paper towels and water for clean-up; newspapers; rags.

Overall Value: C.A.R.S. attacks the difficult problem of promoting self-esteem in at-risk students. The project has proved to be an effective way to keep these children present and motivated toward achieving tangible goals.

Standards: This project addresses the following Illinois State Standards and Chicago Academic Standards (CAS): Goal #1,CAS A; Goal #2, CAS A; Goal #3, CAS D; Goal #4, CAS A.


C.E.L.E.B.R.A.T.E. (Culturally Enriched Learning Endeavors Blend Relationships And Traditional Experiences)
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 3 to 7
How It Works: C.E.L.E.B.R.A.T.E. is a program developed in an attempt to bridge, cultural gaps through our traditional celebrations. It is designed, to serve as a multi-cultural education unit that will maximize, awareness of cultural diversity, enhance learning and instill a, sense of pride in one's uniqueness. Students will learn, researching (critical thinking skills), interviewing, writing public speaking and production skills. Students, as interviewers will develop questions to use to interview parents, relatives, or, members of various ethnic groups. As presenters, the students will, discuss their own cultural celebrations with the class. Through this innovative program, students have the opportunity to, learn about their heritage while educating their peers and their, teacher. The teacher not only becomes culturally sensitive to his, or her students but will develop more effective teaching tools to, meet each student's cultural needs. DCPS Major System Priorities: Achievement, Standard English, Bilingualism, Critical Thinking Blueprint 2000 Goals: Student Performance, Learning Environment The Students: Approximately 60 gifted students, grades first through fifth participated in C.E.L.E.B.R.A.T.E. during the 1991-1992 school, year. Students in regular classrooms, grades first through fifth can benefit from this project as well.

The Students:

The Staff: Ana Maria Vega is a second-year Academic Excellence gifted program, teacher. She has a bachelor's degree from Florida International, University and is presently working toward a master's degree in, School Counseling. She was nominated Beginning Teacher of the Year, for 1991-1992. Ms. Vega works closely with two volunteers, Silvia, Samalea and Ileana Noda, to implement the project,

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: This project can be carried out in any classroom. A VHS Camcorder, is helpful but not necessary. Outside Resources: Libraries, travel agencies, Bureau of Tourism and Travel, cultural, federations or organizations, videos and guest speakers can be used, as resources.

Overall Value: Many students are not aware of their heritage and hold, preconceptions about members of cultures that may differ from their, own. C.E.L.E.B.R.A.T.E. educates students, as well as teachers about different cultures, customs, traditions and beliefs. The, teacher not only becomes culturally sensitive to his or her, students but also develops more effective teaching tools. Students, develop pride in their own heritage and respect for cultural, differences.

Standards:


C.H.A.T.S. - Community History: Adults, Teens, Senior
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: One of the greatest hindrances to the study of history is our ability to ask our predecessors to explain just why they did something that way or what effect n important event had on them personally. With this project, we tapped -he richest resource that a community has, Its citizens, in order to create a living text on recent history in our community. he vehicle for this centered on the creation of student-adult discussion groups which met informally in order to gain better insight into what it was like to live in our community during the past 50 years. Adult participants were asked to bring along pictures and momentos to supplement their recollections. Guests and students viewed newsreel tapes to help spark and to focus discussion groups. Students tape-recoded discussions to be saved as part of our city's oral history. In between group meetings, students examined old high school yearbooks, magazines and newspapers in order to collect data on fashions, foods, fads, new products, music, media etc. In so doing, students learned how to use newspapers, magazines, photographs, letters and other artifacts as prime sources in the study o history. They came to gain a clearer view of history as a story of people's lives. It was most rewarding lo see a unique community-school relations}lip grow which helped students to develop a great:greater pride in our community as they came lo know its people not only across age gaps but cross cultures too. Students developed good questioning techniques and improved their communication skills. They became more discerning as viewer.s, readers and listeners. they gained a good understanding Or bias and began to question sources. they became more aware of the value Or every day things.s as resources. With each community contact, they gained more self-confidence as they entered, into real dialogue with adults. The students also came to see that history cannot be isolated from life. They came to appreciate the fact that history is literature, theater music, art, science and technology, business & finance. It is life itself. Our students were pre and post tested on l:heir knowledge of the eras studied. The end result was a student published booklet which captured the essence of each decade could provided students with a practical application of their computer skills. he The Students: The project has been used with four classes of students of ah ability levels in a non-graded high school. It would easily be adaptable to middle & upper elementary school classes by adjusting the depth of inquiry into the period studied.

The Students:

The Staff: The program was developed & implemented by regular classroom teachers as part of an interdisciplinary curriculum. We enlisted the support of our local senior center, Historical Society as well as staff, parents & friends.

What You Need: Students used books, magazines, microfilm and video and audio tapes as well as artifacts that had been gathered kindness of our human resources. The depth & variety of outside resources can go any way that is practical. The Important part is the communication & analysis that takes place.

Overall Value: This project- created a thinking classroom environment;lent. Interdisciplinary approaches to the project made students more aware of the need to learn and understand the information: analyze it to understand the relationship of the parts to other parts; and synthesize, it or create something new using divergent thinking. They used criteria hat they had developed allowing hem to exercise an essential higher-level thinking skill. (''think-pair-share'' method) Involvement in the decades project focused on students becoming more active in their own learning. Most importantly, they are functioning s they would in the workplace/real world by gaining: planning, interpersonal, leadership, information, technology, communication, listening, team, building technologies competencies. (Common Core Of Learning) This is a highly motivating alternative to the usual class report.

Standards:


CAFE - Food for Thought
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 3 to 8
How It Works: Combine: Cups of creative cooking experiences and tablespoons of teacher questioning. Add: A dash of diversity, desire and determination. Mix well with eager students willing to hypothesize, inquire, discover, analyze and evaluate. Enjoy! Yields: Gallons of Great Thinkers! The project's purpose: to develop students' basic skills in reading, writing, language arts, the content areas, mathematics and the fine arts. As the students read, write, speak and think about their experiences with foods, they are using their senses. Sensory activities make learning meaningful and aid in the retention of basic skills. Recipes feature a variety of foods that appeal to the multi-cultural tastes of our community. Cooking is perceived as an adult activity, and students find working with foods both motivational and satisfying. DCPS Major System Priorities: Critical Thinking, Achievement.

The Students:

The Staff: Marti Milberg McLean has taught Kindergarten at Williams Jennings Bryan Elementary School for five years. She has completed an M.S. in Early Childhood Education from Florida International University. Mrs. McLean is associated with the DCPS/UTD Critical Thinking Skills Project. Deborah Mink has been teaching at John G. DuPuis Elementary for ten years, previously serving as a music teacher at Miami Gardens Elementary School. She has traveled throughout the United States collecting ethnic recipes. Mrs. Mink loves to cook herself and had fun writing the cookbook and adapting the recipes for the classroom. (In contrast, Mrs. McLean hates to cook at home, but loves the results she gets cooking with her students!)

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: A regular self-contained classroom with access to running water and soap is all that is needed to begin a cooking program. The teachers have written a cookbook full of recipes that have been classroom-tested by the children. Outside Resources: Children's cookbooks are valuable resources. Field trips to restaurants, grocery stores and food-service businesses provide learning experiences. Guest chefs and parents who share favorite recipes also add to a successful program.

Overall Value: "CAFE - Food for Thought" increases attendance, improves student achievement and helps children think critically as they develop life skills. Students rarely miss a cooking day at school. Through teachers' questioning, students develop skills such as sequencing, seriation, part-to-whole relationships, measuring capacities and observing changes in the foods, skills which build a knowledge base for reading and math.

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Cafeteria ABC's
Category: Classroom Management/Intergroup
Grades: 7 to 7
How It Works: What's the conduct like in your school cafeteria?, How can you help to make it better?,,"Cafeteria ABCs" was designed as a service project for older students to assist younger children, sometimes in school for the first time, to learn proper behavior in a school cafeteria. The project enabled the older students to become successful writers, sensitive to language and its effect. These students were able to utilize their computer skills in the production of a professional-looking book which could then be read to other classes. Higher-level thinking skills were called on to achieve the objective. The project also allowed students to experience how cooperation with others created something of value that one person would have difficulty achieving alone. The approval of others as they read and reread the students' work was a great bonus for their self esteem. Each fifth grade student began by choosing a letter of the alphabet for his/her page of our book. It was necessary for them to relate the letter to cafeteria behavior and to incorporate an illustration which they thought would appeal to their audience to help them to remember the advice or admonition being given. Alphabet letters left over after everyone had chosen their letter were written first as a class project under teacher guidance and served as samples for the project as a whole. Students worked together to find varied ways to present text and graphics. Pages were assembled and bound. The final stage was reading the book to the kindergarteners. The pages of the book were also used as a bulletin board display in the main hall that was much read. The Student: Two classes of fifth graders originally participated. All types of students, ESL, SIGHTS, Resource Room, were involved. They met for two 45-minute classes weekly. Four classes of kindergartens were originally visited. Requests for repeat visits and from other classes were honored.

The Students:

The Staff: The teacher technologist developed and implemented this project. Consent to read to the classes is needed from all classrooms visited.

What You Need: Materials: Although,"Cafeteria ABCs" was written and illustrated in a computer lab, basic school supplies are all that is really required to implement this project. A binder for the pages is really nice although brads could be used if needed. Outside Resources: None required, although a review of ABC books could be helpful to the students to assist them in evaluation.

Overall Value: Materials: Although,"Cafeteria ABCs" was written and illustrated in a computer lab, basic school supplies are all that is really required to implement this project. A binder for the pages is really nice although brads could be used if needed. Outside Resources: None required, although a review of ABC books could be helpful to the students to assist them in evaluation.

Standards:


Calculating Some Great Trips
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 6 to 9
How It Works: How much vacation will $10,000 buy for you and three companions if you venture outside the U.S.A.? Students find out when they plan a memorable three-week vacation abroad. Working in teams, students research currency and plan an itinerary.

Students gather information using the library, the Internet, even personal recommendations from school staff members. Students display materials related to their destination country, mathematically analyze its flag, and investigate the geometric features of locales in their selected country. The project culminates with 5-minute team presentations of the planned trips. Classmates use calculators during the presentation to monitor those $10,000 budgets!

The Students: This project has been used with a math class of 15 sixth and seventh graders, and with 18 fourth and fifth grade students who were studying in-depth library research methods. It is adaptable for upper grade classes, and for larger or smaller groups

The Staff: Regina Biros holds a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from St. Xavier College and a master's degree in Mathematics Education. She has taught at Kellogg School for five years.

What You Need: Much of the research for this project was done on the Internet. The following items are also needed: encyclopedias; travel sections of newspapers; folders/scrapbooks; travel brochures; calculators.

Overall Value: This "real-world" math project incorporates language arts and social studies, resulting in students who realize that math skills learned at school will be useful throughout their lives.

Standards: This project addresses these Illinois State Goals and Chicago Academic Standards (CAS): Goal#7, CAS A-2; Goal#8, CAS D-1; Goal#9, CAS C-1.


Calculating Some Great Trips
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 6 to 9
How It Works: How much vacation will $10,000 buy for you and three companions if you venture outside the U.S.A.? Students find out when they plan a memorable three-week vacation abroad. Working in teams, students research currency and plan an itinerary.

Students gather information using the library, the Internet, even personal recommendations from school staff members. Students display materials related to their destination country, mathematically analyze its flag, and investigate the geometric features of locales in their selected country. The project culminates with 5-minute team presentations of the planned trips. Classmates use calculators during the presentation to monitor those $10,000 budgets!

The Students: This project has been used with a math class of 15 sixth and seventh graders, and with 18 fourth and fifth grade students who were studying in-depth library research methods. It is adaptable for upper grade classes, and for larger or smaller groups

The Staff: Regina Biros holds a bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from St. Xavier College and a master's degree in Mathematics Education. She has taught at Kellogg School for five years.

What You Need: Much of the research for this project was done on the Internet. The following items are also needed: encyclopedias; travel sections of newspapers; folders/scrapbooks; travel brochures; calculators.

Overall Value: This "real-world" math project incorporates language arts and social studies, resulting in students who realize that math skills learned at school will be useful throughout their lives.

Standards: This project addresses these Illinois State Goals and Chicago Academic Standards (CAS): Goal#7, CAS A-2; Goal#8, CAS D-1; Goal#9, CAS C-1.


Cambodia in the 1970s: Communism and the Khmer Rouge
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 12 to 14
How It Works: Cambodia in the 1970s: Communism and the Khmer Rouge is an interdisciplinary unit which uses writing and literature to help students understand how communism played out in the genocide of Cambodia. (In 1975 the Khmer Rouge, the communist Cambodian jungle group led by Pol Pot, took control, with the goal of building an agrarian Cambodia based on Pol Pot's view of communism.) Students learn the history and geography of Cambodia. We move on to the specific history of Pol Pot, his rise to power and success despite his ruthlessness. To supplement the notes, I show students Cambodian clothing and we discuss the differences between Khmer Rouge members and non-Khmer Rouge people (they draw sensory figures of both). After a reading and discussion of Khmer Rouge song lyrics and survivor stories, students write "found" poems using these primary sources. In the final phase students write a position paper as if they are advisors to President Carter telling him how the international community should deal with Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Once we have discussed their ideas, I show the students the July 1997 ABC Nightline segment on the "trial" of Pol Pot.

My inspiration for this unit was twofold. I spent two weeks in Cambodia in the summer of 1997 and was struck by the effect of the Khmer Rouge on current-day Cambodians. A week after my trip I was a participant in the California History-Social Science Project at UCSB where the topic was "Civic Values, Rights, and Responsibilities From Ancient Times to the Present." I realized that the information I had gathered in Cambodia fit this topic perfectly.

The Students: 1997-1998: three teachers and 240 students (heterogeneously grouped, containing gifted, resource, and ESL students).

The Staff: Helen has taught world history for four years, and is a California History/Social Science Project fellow.

What You Need: Teacher packet with bibliography; a basic history of Cambodia; slides or photographs of Angkor temples, Pol Pot, prisoners, and the Killing Fields; Khmer Rouge song lyrics and survivor stories; photographic books and magazines; video of "The Killing Fields" (rated R).

Overall Value: The California History/Social Science Framework recommends study of nationalism and genocide. Two journal homework assignments, sensory figure drawings, and a unit test are assessed. In World History classes, the Holocaust is often the only example of genocide given. As a result of this unit, students know quite a bit about Cambodia and understand that the Holocaust was not an isolated incident.

Standards:


CAMPUS LANDSCAPING WITH A PURPOSE!
Category: Science
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: Students often feel as if they have little control over what goes on in their school, but by introducing landscaping as a way of learning plant biology, students can provide great input into the appearance of their school. This project is designed to allow students in academic and honors biology to use the knowledge they've gained not only this year, but over the last three years, to aid the administration in upgrading and improving the landscaping of the campus.

Students are required to select a specific location on the school grounds which they feel needs improvement. Throughout the duration of the project they will be visiting this site on a regular basis. Students collect soil samples and measure environmental data at the site. They also brainstorm ways to improve the location.

Students then contact local garden centers or do research in landscaping journals in order to learn which plants would provide the most successful alternative to current landscaping features. Next, students design and carry out an experiment to test whether or not their suggested improvements will be successful.

The Students: In the meantime, they must create two scaled maps of the area, both before and after their suggested changes. Students carefully evaluate the costs of making the changes and estimate the amount of maintenance required to sustain them. Finally, students propose their changes in a letter to the principal, which includes the maps, the results of their research, and the projected costs.

The Staff: Louis F. Ungemach Housatonic Valley Regional High School, Region #1, Falls Village

What You Need: Landscaping journals and garden books, basic gardening supplies, tape measures, pH test kits, and other miscellaneous lab equipment are needed.

Overall Value: The holistic nature of this project makes it a great end-of-year venture. Students not only practice proper scientific method, but also demonstrate creative thinking, artistic ability, good writing, and verbal communication skills.

The project appeals to students of all learning styles, and they work mostly at the upper levels of Bloom's taxonomy. Students are motivated by the idea that they are directly contributing to their school, as well as by the freedom of choosing where they want to work and how they want to do it. The best part is that students really care about their work because they hope to see it realized when they return to school in the fall!

Standards:


Cantando, We Learn!
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 3 to 7
How It Works: Cantando, We Learn! uses music to teach students a foreign language. The students learn nouns, adjectives and grammar functions with the help of music. For example, the students learn the numbers by singing them. Using popular music, traditional nursery rhymes or rap music makes it easier for students to identify new words. The songs can be introduced before each unit's vocabulary or after the unit to create excitement for the new words the children have learned. And, in December, students can learn holiday songs in Spanish, which they can share with the entire school. Soon every one will be singing. Cantando, we learn!, DCPS MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES, Bilingualism, Intergroup Relations, Achievement, BLUEPRINT 2000 GOALS, Student Performance, Learning Environment The Students, Cantando, We Learn! has been used successfully with first- to fifth-grade students. The project is easily adaptable to all grade levels and to students of different learning abilities.

The Students:

The Staff: Dr. Gemma Santos was named Dade County Social Studies Teacher of the Year in 1992. She has presented numerous workshops at the Florida TESOL Conference, Florida Social Studies Council and Florida Geographic Alliance. She has received several Teacher MiniGrants and is a 1991-1992 IMPACT II Adapter. Ms. Isabel Santos has been teaching for more than 25 years, the last five with Dade County Public Schools. She was the recipient of a 1991-1992 Citibank Success Fund grant to implement this idea.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities, Cantando, We Learn! uses a cassette player, songs in foreign language, worksheets and other teacher created materials. This project can be used to complement the existing curriculum in any classroom setting. Outside Resources, Students can be encouraged to bring in foreign language music to share with their classmates.

Overall Value: The students in this project will not have a problem learning another language. They will sing their way to foreign language proficiency while they are having fun.

Standards:


CAREER CHRONICLES
Category: Arts
Grades: 10 to 11
How It Works: Career Chronicles documents a series of visits to artists in their natural habitats--studios, workshops, offices, museums, retail establishments and factories. Small groups of students travel by public transportation (to enhance the real life/real work experience) to the places artists work. There they learn about the many ways in which creative people can and do earn a living, most of which students never before imagined.

The Students: This project involved 150 eighth grade students, 15 at a time, for 10 days of on-site visits, "working lunches," discussions, and writing follow-up letters and reports. It could be adapted for other grades and other career areas.

The Staff: Cheryl Gold holds a BA from the University of Illinois; she has taught for 16 years.

What You Need: Few materials are required to get the project up and running. Clipboards for students to carry during visits are helpful, as is stationery for thank you's and follow-up letters. Money for CTA fares and brown bag lunches are needed. With access to a computer, Career Chronicles can be documented and shared with others.

Overall Value: Career Chronicles exposes students to the possibility of earning a living doing something you love. All work is not tedious or routine. Many resourceful individuals work in creative endeavors that provide more than just money--their work provides satisfaction, as well. That lesson can be the most life-enhancing of all.

Standards:


Caring Communications
Category: Classroom Management/Intergroup
Grades: 5 to 8
How It Works: CARING COMMUNICATIONS provides a format to teach a range of skills intended to increase students' abilities to communicate effectively. Other important objectives of the program include building self-esteem, developing self-awareness, creating friendships and learning peace-making skills. The children are taught attentive/reflective listening skills, to establish and maintain eye-contact, to use,"I" messages and to express feelings. One CARING COMMUNICATIONS activity is Heart Talks, in which a child whose turn it is to speak holds a red velour heart while the other children are asked to listen with their ears and hearts knowing they, too, will have a chance to be heard. Another activity is The Heart Seat, in which the class reads Claude Steiner's The Warm Fuzzy Tale, discusses the concepts of warm fuzzies, and then participates in giving each other warm fuzzies. Hand Dancing, in which children are seated in pairs in order to dance together with just their hands while maintaining eye contact with each other, is one of the other many activities in this CARING COMMUNICATIONS project. Through these activities, children are encouraged by their own successes in supporting each other and themselves. They learn they are all winners. There are no losers in this process only caring communications. DCPS MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES, Intergroup Relations, Achievement, BLUEPRINT 2000 GOALS, Learning Environment, Student Performance, THE STUDENTS, This program has been used with kindergarten, first and second graders since 1981. Many of the activities also were adapted for use in third through sixth grades.

The Students:

The Staff: Shirah Penn has a master's of education and is currently completing her 33rd year teaching in Dade County. She was named the Grace Contrino Abrams Peace Teacher of the Year for 1984. She was awarded a plaque for her work in self-esteem education. She is currently a member of the National Council for Self-Esteem.

What You Need: MATERIALS AND FACILITIES, The project can be implemented with the following: a Cliff Durfee's red velour pillow, a "Li'l Luvvy" puppet and song, reproducible worksheets, and a "feelings" doll (suggested). OUTSIDE RESOURCES, Many books and records on self-esteem have been collected. A listing of these is included in the bibliography of the CARING COMMUNICATIONS Idea Packet.

Overall Value: Spending just one-half hour weekly in this program frees the teacher from more time-consuming and temporary control measures. The students learn self-discipline and caring, which they will carry throughout their lives. These activities also enable teachers to refocus their energy in a more positive, accepting and tranquil manner creating a classroom climate of mutual support.

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Carmen San Diego is in Your Classroom
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 8 to 10
How It Works: The software package,"Where in the USA is Carmen San Diego" lends itself well to applying knowledge of data base use, review of USA geography, development of critical thinking skills and the utilization of cooperative learning. The students complete maps on the states and their capitals, and areas of their criminal pursuit. The cooperative grouping allows for an exchange of information between students and sharing of techniques. The final day of,"the Games," scores are tallied and the winning team from each class is rewarded with certificates of achievement. DCPS MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES: Achievement, Critical Thinking Skills, Cooperative Learning. THE STUDENTS: Computer Application students were composed of mixed sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. These groups were of varying ability from ESOL to gifted.

The Students:

The Staff: Valen Mayland is an 11-year teaching veteran, who has a master's degree in Computer Science and teaches Computer Education classes. She is a member of the Clinical Teacher Program at the University of Miami and is Chairperson of the SBM/SDM cadre at Miami Lakes Middle School.

What You Need: MATERIALS AND FACILITIES: The project has been used in a computer lab with eight computers, but can be used with a larger group and less computers. Each computer team has a copy of,"Where in the USA is Carmen San Diego?" (Broaderbund) and a package of materials that include maps and worksheets developed to enhance geographical skills and logical approaches to thinking skills. A class set of World Almanacs, a World Atlas, and a large USA map are helpful. OUTSIDE RESOURCES: Ms. Mayland begins this unit with a trip to the Media Center where the Media Specialist gives a lesson on how to use the Almanac and Atlas. The previous lessons are on developing a data base on the states.

Overall Value: Students develop team skills and learning on several levels. They reinforce geography skills, learn to share ideas, and find a solution to a problem in a cooperative environment. They also develop pride in their accomplishments.

Standards:


CARTONS OF CARE
Category: Special Education
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: In "Cartons of Care," a team of middle school students targets homelessness as a critical community problem. Through the project, they develop and execute a plan to "make a difference" through specific community service.

Although inquiry, brainstorming, and character education begin in the social studies class, all other academic disciplines become involved as students expand their knowledge of this major crisis in our society through videos, newspaper articles, and true-life experiences.

Throughout the unit, students work cooperatively, employing a variety of learning methods to create posters, bumper stickers, essays, and graphs that demonstrated concepts and facts related to homelessness.

They research the problem on local, state, and national levels and write letters to agencies as they request speakers. Letters to families and friends about "Cartons of Care" send out the message that everyone can help and that we all can make a difference. During a closing evening program, at which each audience member donates a food article to the project, guest speakers from state homeless shelters also address the audience of students, parents, school personnel, and community leaders.

The Students:

The Staff: Tracy Andersen, Angela Capozzi, Deborah DePierro, Susan Lance, Jacqueline Partridge, and Mimi Seperack David Wooster Middle School, Stratford

What You Need: Videotapes, newspapers, art supplies, collection bins, and guest speakers from area homeless shelters and government agencies are used.

Overall Value: Both the community and students benefit from "Cartons of Care." The project strengthens the role of the middle-schooler as a community resource and promotes positive changes in peer relations. Students also use problem-solving skills to meet their goals. Through the interdisciplinary model, students improve research and writing skills while they gain an understanding of statistics and an overview of social and legal regulations. Students realize that they have the power to improve our community and our world. While empowering themselves "to right a wrong," they also learn a lifetime lesson that individually and cooperatively they can "make a difference" through continued community service.

Our students set and then tripled their goal of 1,000 food and toiletry items that they collected, sorted, graphed, packaged, and delivered to local homeless shelters. As students take up the cause of community service, there will be positive changes in peer relations, in your school, in your town, and in your world.

Standards:


Casting Creative Characters
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 5 to 8
How It Works: The children are involved in an intensive short-term writing project which enables them to create plays using both cooperative problem solving and process writing skills. Two to six students, work cooperatively to write an original play. They use role playing to help create their characters and plots. Groups revise and edit their plays during share sessions. The project ends with a dramatic reading or presentation of the new works. The success of the project may be assessed through a review of the completed plays. The teacher begins with language lessons that emphasize the format of a play. We discuss how the author includes stage directions and character descriptions. The students learn to recognize that the name of the character appears each time he/ she speaks. The children's imaginations are tantalized by asking them to combine two fictional characters that they've never seen paired before in a unique situation, like ‘Catwoman and Cinderella going bowling'. The students brainstorm a list of possibilities. They enjoy this activity and are anxious to begin writing. After choosing titles that interest them, they begin forming their writing groups. Each group works as an independent unit. They establish the parts each member will play in the writing process, e.g. the recorder. Their initial task is to write a short description of the characters, and a story map. The groups usually decide to role play in order to create the characters' dialogues. 2 Students give readings of their unfinished plays for the other groups to critique during share meetings. They receive constructive criticism and suggestions. The teacher takes notes for the group while the share meeting is taking place. They use the notes in the next writing session, as they feel necessary. This process continues until the groups are satisfied with their plays. Sometimes the students need the teacher to help refocus their writing. Finally, they type their plays on the word processor and edit them as a group. They print their play and design a cover. Each group then prepares and presents a dramatic reading. The children delight in listening to other plays as much as they do presenting their own. The Students: This project has been successfully implemented with both third and fourth grades. The classes of approximately twenty-six students were grouped heterogeneously. This project could easily be adapted to groups in third to sixth grades. The students meet three time a week for an hour to an hour and a half at a time. The entire process can be completed in three to four weeks. The intensity of the time and the shortness of the span encourages great work. This process really asks students to be creative and to pool their talents. Every student is successful in this endeavor.

The Students:

The Staff: This project was implemented by a classroom teacher. The project may be enhanced by a drama teacher and the help of parent volunteers to assist with typing and editing.

What You Need: No additional materials are necessary. It was very helpful to have word processors for a ‘finished', product.

Overall Value: Students work together to successfully write a play, as they improve their communication and problem solving skills. Through the use of cooperative learning and process writing techniques every child enhances their self-esteem. My classes have won a local play writing contest for the last five years using this process. Everyone becomes a successful playwright. This project belongs to the students. The teacher's role is to set it up, and provide the proper learning environment. It is important to keep the, writing period to three or four weeks while making sure that each period is from an hour to an hour and a half in duration. This sets the stage for an intensity that sweeps the children off their feet.  Coupling cooperative learning and the writing process, makes the process familiar and safe. The following is a list of steps you might follow to replicate this project. Since the onus of the project belongs to the students the list you actually end up following will be different depending on the needs and abilities of your class.

Standards:


Catch Me Doing Something Right
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 2 to 5
How It Works: We all like to read good things about ourselves but seldom get a chance. This flexible project celebrates children's diversity, making them feel special. After reading The Tenth Good Thing About Barney and I'll Always Love You, students make lists of ten good things about each other and staff members. The lists are discussed and expanded. To gather more information children conduct interviews with staff or exchange lists with their parents. A final list of 10 Good Things and a photograph or illustration of each person is displayed in the school and eventually bound into a book for the school library. Students: This project is appropriate for all ages and abilities, including bilingual classes. It can be conducted as a one day, week-long or all-year project.

The Students:

The Staff: Mary Ellen Ziegler earned her degree at Chicago State Teachers College. She has taught primary grades in Chicago Public schools for twenty years. She is a grant winner and a teacher/consultant with the Chicago Area Writers Project.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: This project requires writing materials and classroom art supplies. Photographs of the students are needed or,"portraits" drawn by the children themselves can be used. Outside Resources: Laminating adds a finished, professional quality to the final piece. Crossing guards, parents, lunchroom, custodial and office staff can all be included in the project.

Overall Value: This project builds self-esteem in students, staff and family. Reading, writing and thinking skills are used in a positive, reinforcing activity.

Standards:


CATS - A PRACTICAL VIEW VIA T.S. ELIOT
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: "Cats - A Practical View Via T.S. Eliot" is designed to introduce a group of sixth grade special education students to poetry and theatre by reading T.S. Eliot's book Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats and seeing the Broadway musical "Cats." The students see the play as a culmination of several interdisciplinary units involving language arts, social studies, music and art. This is accomplished through lessons which address different learning styles and incorporate the goals in a cooperative learning environment.

The goals are as follows: To help students grasp the concept of the different "cat personalities" described in T.S. Eliot's poem; to have students write their own animal poems; to develop research skills and successful interaction among students by having them report on the different breeds of cats; in social studies, to help students understand the importance of cats in the ancient Egyptians' lives; to familiarize students with the music; after seeing the musical, to have students write about and recreate their favorite cats by making large puppets and videotaping the students with their cats. The activities address a variety of learning styles through written, spoken, visual, kinesthetic and performing experiences. In addition, students develop critical thinking skills and use computer technology to write their stories and poems. Methods of instruction are teacher- and student-directed through reading, discussion and poetry writing. Students also work individually on their cat projects and stories.

The Students: Assessment during this activity is ongoing and multifaceted. Through oral and written quizzes, the quality of students' work in relation to individual abilities and student performance in a jeopardy-type game; however, the most important assessment is ongoing teacher observation of students' enthusiasm during the various activities. Six students to eleven students have participated in this project each year. It can be adapted for use with fifth grade through high school students and with regular education students.

The Staff: Lillian M. Wright Turn of the River Middle School, Stamford

What You Need: Books, tapes, camcorder, standard art supplies and cotton batting.

Overall Value: Through an interdisciplinary approach, students gain a more positive attitude and understanding of poetry and theatre. Students are empowered to create, communicate, listen, make decisions, and interact socially. They interact with the community by writing letters of thanks to the Chamber of Commerce members for the grant money and by sharing their projects with them at the culmination of the unit. In addition to the variety of activities, they experience a live Broadway production. They are also permitted to go on stage to examine the sets and see one of the characters. For students, the whole experience proves to be THE CAT'S MEOW!

Standards: Sense of Community Interpersonal Relations Speaking, Listening and Viewing Reading Writing


CELEBRATE OUR MULTICULTURAL HERITAGE!
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 3 to 7
How It Works: It is a well established fact that the people of our world are moving towards a global community. Although, unlike other countries, we are truly a nation of immigrants, we have long cherished the ideal of the "melting pot" philosophy. Fortunately, we are beginning to shift this viewpoint of our nation from an egalitarian to a pluralistic society. By teaching our children to be culturally aware, we can strive towards a global community that accepts and appreciates the contributions of each human being.

Through this intergenerational project, students will learn to value and enjoy diversity, and gain respect for family, school, and the community. There are three phases to this project.

First, each student completes a family tree with help from various generations of his/her own family. The purpose is twofold: (1) By combining information, the class becomes aware of the great variety of cultures represented in our common heritage, and identifies and graphs patterns of immigration; (2) Each student identifies the oldest living family member whom they can later interview.

Second, students more closely explore one country of their heritage by locating and using a variety of sources of information. They identify important facts and customs.

The third phase of the project is the interview. Students learn how to conduct an interview, take effective and efficient notes, and write a biography.

The excitement and pride build as the various pieces approach completion and are put together in a beautiful hardcover book which each child creates (the assessment piece.)

At our culminating Heritage Festival, interviewees are honored and family members enjoy our mini-museum where we share our books, artifacts, and foods of many cultures.

The Students:

The Staff: Candis Yimoyines Hine Naubuc Elementary School, Glastonbury

What You Need: Access to a library-media center and computers is important. A speaker from your local historical society can be most helpful and inspirational.

Overall Value: During the five years that this project has been conducted wonderful connections have been promoted within families across generals and among families across cultures.

Students gain a much broader awareness of other cultures, and begin to understand and appreciate their own historic and ethnic heritage.

Standards:


CELEBRATING DIFFERENCES: BREAKING THROUGH THE BARRIERS
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: This unit raises awareness of and respect for differences among people, how differences can be challenging, and how those challenges can be overcome. Students are exposed to a variety of activities including small group discussions and brainstorming, simulations of learning disabilities, physical disabilities, discrimination, historical research on discrimination in America, and the writing of a thesis paper about discrimination. The most inspirational part of this unit occurs when speakers with disabilities are invited to the school to discuss the problems they have faced due to their disabilities, but most importantly how they have overcome those challenges and achieved success.

The activities involved in this unit address the needs of students with different learning styles. Throughout the course of the unit, students experience written, verbal, kinesthetic, visual, and auditory activities, allowing them to find success through their own learning strengths. Methods of instruction are varied throughout the unit. Teacher and student directed discussions about differences and discrimination occur in both large and small group settings. Students work independently on research, writing, and during some simulations. Other simulations require work in pairs or small groups.

Each activity in this unit has its own assessment piece including teacher or student led discussions, the completion of individual evaluation forms to self assess frustrations associated with the simulations, and self editing of written work. Teachers assess student learning through observation and discussion, and by reviewing the written evaluations with the students.

The Students: Approximately two hundred seventh grade students have participated in this unit each year. The unit is appropriate for grades six through eight. Three special educators, one study skills teacher, and eight classroom teachers have implemented this unit. Other personnel involved include the school physical therapist and an enrichment teacher.

The Staff: Cynthia Buch Dias, Jill M. Dymczyk, Celeste Higgins and Kristen Marshello Har-Bur Middle School, Burlington

What You Need: Wheelchairs, communication boards, blindfolds, leg and arm braces, sign language cards.

Overall Value: This unit provides the opportunity for students to explore and understand differences among people, but more importantly the similarities shared by everyone. The Common Core of Learning states that all students should be able to respect differences among people, recognize the pluralistic nature of United States society, and recognize characteristics common to all people. This is the purpose of the unit and all activities in the unit are designed to achieve this goal The expected outcome of this unit is that students develop a sensitivity to and an understanding of the needs, opinions, concerns, and customs of others.

Standards: Interpersonal Relations, Sense of Community Speaking, Listening and Viewing


Celebrating Diversity-Cinco de Mayo
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 8
How It Works: Celebrating Diversity--Cinco de Mayo integrates science, math, music, and language arts and features art in the culminating projects. The students learn the historical background of Cinco de Mayo and compare it to celebrations they have experienced, such as Labor Day and Independence Day. The students examine authentic Mexican artifacts and locate their origins on a map. The students learn Spanish songs and Mexican dances, videotape the process, and perform at a celebration. Students experience the connection between visual art and scientific observation in projects, such as creating a radial-design ceramic sol and recording the weight and size of the clay when it is in three stages: wet, greenware, and bisque. They also prepare ethnic foods, using math skills as they compare prices, estimate the amount of ingredients, and measure the ingredients.They practice language arts skills by reading fiction about aspects of Mexican life, writing stories, and recording observations in their response journals.StudentsOne hundred students in the first and second grades participate.

The Students:

The Staff: The art teacher works with the entire school community to implement the program. Materials and Facilities Picture This by Ellen Matter, Looking at Picture Books by John Stewing, Poetry Fun by the Ton With Jack Prelutsky and Poetry Galore and More With Shel Silvestein both by Cheryl Potts are excellent resources. Also needed are bookmaking supplies including ingredients for paste, textured papers for covers, binding combs, glue sticks, and a book stapler. Outside Resources Authors and illustrators from the community help carry out the program.

What You Need: Art supplies include clay suns, pinatas, tea candles for luminaries, tissue paper, rug yarn, and silver foil. Also needed are books about Mexico and the video Cinco de Mayo. The program takes place in classrooms, hallways, and the art room.Art supplies include clay suns, pinatas, tea candles for luminaries, tissue paper, rug yarn, and silver foil. Also needed are books about Mexico and the video Cinco de Mayo. The program takes place in classrooms, hallways, and the art room.

Overall Value: The program effects changes in students' self-concepts, cross-cultural appreciation, attainment of second language skills, and their understanding of connections that link the processes of creative writing, the arts, and scientific investigation

Standards:


Celebration Time: Cultures of the World
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 11 to 11
How It Works: This program is designed to introduce ninth-grade English students to the diverse cultures in the United States. The students are placed into small groups, and each group selects a culture to research the customs, literature, music, art, and architecture. Students will collect information from library reference books, travel books, newspapers, and magazines. The students will write a written report and create a poster or a collage. Since this is an English class, students must include in the written report a myth or legend and a short story based on their selected culture. Students may produce tapes of their myths, legends, or short stories for presentations to other English classes. Each group must find a movie that is based on their particular culture. Each student will view the movie and write a movie review. The groups will present the movie review with their oral, visual, and written presentations. Each group will present the projects to the entire class and to visiting, English classes during a special week designated for cultural awareness. The Student: The students are enrolled in regular and honors ninth-grade English classes. In the past, the students have thoroughly enjoyed discovering different cultures as they used their primary source, National Geographic. This program has enhanced the students' skills as researchers and investigators. In addition, the students have taken great pride in sharing information on a subject that most of their classmates have not known.

The Students:

The Staff: The developer, the librarians, and the Spanish teacher will be involved in the implementation of this project.

What You Need: Materials: National Geographic, library reference books, and twenty copies of Multicultural Perspectives are the materials needed for this project. Outside Resources: Guest speakers from various cultures have been invited to share with the students.

Overall Value: Sometimes the problems of the world are caused by people who wear intellectual and psychological blinders. This program provides an avenue for broadening students' vision of the diverse, colorful, and creative cultures of this earth. By exploring music, art, and literature, the students will gain a greater appreciation of the unique cultures in this world. The preparation of this program gives students the opportunity to improve their reading, writing, and communication skills.

Standards:


Challenge Activity Packets (CAP)
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: to
How It Works: This take-home enrichment program, an adaptation of It's in the Bag With Books, (see IMPACT II catalog 1990), enables students to read books and create original, products, such as dioramas, self-created books, and puppets, which they can, share at school. Each CAP is a zippered vinyl bag that fits in a backpack. Each, bag contains a book, a cassette tape of the story, a parent handbook with pictorial, directions for completing a project, and supplies for students (scissors, glue crayons, paper, yarn, construction paper, and writing paper). After reading the, book, a student can demonstrate his or her understanding of the story by making, a special project. The program encourages parental involvement in helping their, children enjoy reading and provides resources to help their children express their, understanding of story concepts.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need:

Overall Value:

Standards:


Change My Mind
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 9 to 14
How It Works: Students explore controversial issues that interest them through various classroom activities, from writing an essay to a group debate. The essay prewriting is a chart of the pros and cons of a specific argument related to their issue; this enhances their ability to argue effectively by anticipating opposing arguments. They continue through the writing process to a final draft. Light research is included for some topics, and news articles which pertain to their issues are discussed in class. Students design a slogan to convince their readers to agree with their opinions after reading bumper stickers as they drive, paying close attention to advertisements, and contemplating visual symbols which could move a reader to be sympathetic to their side of the argument. Students are grouped randomly to debate the issues that were explored through the writing process. This stage is especially validating for the remedial student, who often has a stronger verbal ability than his or her writing may reflect. The last phase allows students to see that their voices, when used effectively, are heard by adults, e.g. parents and teachers. Students choose an adult in their lives with whom they have a disagreement. The instructor sends an explanatory letter to the potential recipients of these persuasive letters requesting their participation. Then students send a statement of the change they would like considered Recipients send back a list of objections/justifications for the rule. After role-playing activities with other students and a drafting process, a persuasive letter is sent to the recipient, who responds in writing. Many participants compromised and changed a rule. Those who did not change provided ample justification for their policies, which helped students to understand the reasons for them. In both cases, the students' ideas were validated, and a good-natured, mutual respect for differences emerged. Change My Mind was inspired in part by a workshop I attended at UC Berkeley in 1990; I modified the presenter's idea (to write persuasive letters to parents) to include other adults in the lives of students. The time frame depends upon the writing process skills of the individual class. Last year the project took about two and a half months. This is an innovative approach to teaching persuasive writing and thinking because students are exposed to several settings in which to use these skills (writing, bumper stickers, politics, advertising, debates, and changing adults' minds) rather than merely writing an argumentative paper. It is student-centered, student-generated, and process-oriented. Students make connections between classroom work and their lives. All writing is done on computers, making the project even more relevant to future positions they may hold in our workforce. State Framework: The program is relevant to the California State Framework for Language Arts because it is a thematic approach to learning involving several levels of critical thinking. The Students: Approximately 35 students participated in 1992-93. They were remedial Writing Lab students, including non-native speakers of English, with various writing difficulties. This project is highly adaptable to other ability levels and ages, especially because students choose their own issues to examine.

The Students:

The Staff: I have taught English for three years at Santa Ynez High School. I am a Bay Area Writing Fellow.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: Paper, pencil, bumper stickers. Computer is desirable. Outside Resources: No outside resources are required.

Overall Value:

Standards:


Characters Can Come Alive
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 4 to 4
How It Works: Characterization is an important literary technique for all ages to understand. Round, fully developed characters are central to good writing and literature. Students gain insight into character development by creating puppets based on folk and fairy tale characters. After the class identifies characters in a shared story, each student chooses a character to explore. Children create two lists-one of physical traits and one of personal traits-they believe their characters possess. Then puppet construction begins.

When the puppets are finished, students explore how movement and voice could demonstrate personality traits of their character. The project concludes with either an actual, fully plotted play, or student monologues in the voices of their puppets, explaining the puppet's point of view on the story and on other characters.

The Students: This project was implemented with a multicultural second grade class, which contained several ESL and learning-disabled students. It can be adapted for all elementary grades and class sizes.

The Staff: Lara Pruitt has taught second grade for three years; prior to that she taught sixth grade. She is the liaison for a school arts integration grant through LEAP (Lakeview Education and Arts Partnership).

What You Need: This project requires the following: books, puppet materials such as socks, yarn, pom-poms, a glue gun, pieces of cardboard, plastic eyes, etc.

Overall Value: Puppets motivate students to read and to think analytically and creatively. The explanation and review of character traits develop vocabulary and provide practice in making inferences, a valuable skill when taking tests.

Standards: The project addresses the following Illinois State Goals and Chicago Academic Standards (CAS): Goal #1, CAS A, CFS 1 & 7, CAS D, CFS 3; Goal #2, CAS A, CFS 4 & 6.


Charter of Global Responsibility for the 21st Century
Category: Global Education
Grades: 12 to 14
How It Works: Charter of Global Responsibility for the 21st Century offers students opportunities to analyze global affairs and articulate their vision of positive change in the world. The purpose of the project is to get students to work together and share in the achievement of a common good. Students are encouraged to see events and problems from a global perspective and to harness their own power and creativity to create change. In the process, they strengthen their research, analytical, verbal, and writing skills. Participants researched and wrote their own contribution to the charter, which was presented at a town meeting sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association (FPA). The students and teacher met after school for six weeks; after agreeing on the topic Nonviolent Conflict Resolution, students shared bibliographic material and did further research. At the second meeting, the group was divided into four subgroups, which broke the topic down into specific areas for study and writing. At subsequent meetings, the group analyzed and critiqued the draft articles. Once the articles were revised and published, they were submitted to the FPA for consideration. At the town meeting,, student-contributors read aloud from the charter. The audience included guests representing the United Nations and the media, along with representatives of the FPA. Students at the town meeting were a heterogeneous grouping from public and private city and suburban schools. The views of participants represented diverse cultural and socioeconomic perspectives, which made the experience particularly enriching for all.

The Students:

The Staff: The project was developed by high school teacher Linda Steinmann in cooperation with the FPA. It was first conducted in 1992. Amon Diggs, of the FPA, addressed the senior U.S. government class on the various topics that were on the agenda for the charter. The association also provided the class with a packet of materials for the project.

What You Need: The project used materials provided by the Foreign Policy Association, including Great Decisions, magazine and activity book. All the teacher needs is access to a good school or public library and the ability to direct students in their research and writing. Access to a video camera is desirable but not required.

Overall Value: Through their participation in Charter of Global, Responsibility for the 21st Century, students learn that it is not enough simply to have an opinion about significant global issues; rather, it is the role of a citizen to speak out cogently on these issues. Students have strongly held opinions and a fervent desire to make their opinions heard. "The students' attendance was 100% at every meeting," says Steinmann. "Their charter articles were first rate, and their performance at the town meeting was excellent."

Standards:


Cheap Talk in the Workplace
Category: Special Education
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: The expressive language device, "Cheap Talk" was incorporated into the work environment for those students with limited speech or those who were non-verbal. Each student was seated at his/her own workstation with an assortment of four work activities. The communicator device had four prerecorded messages stating their desire to "sort silverware", or to "assemble tool kits", etc. The student used "Cheap Talk" to express his/her choice of tasks, cue the teacher that they were beginning to work, had finished the task, or that they were making a new selection. On each button was a photocopy picture of the activity choice to reinforce the matching of symbols and verbal expressions. When students activated their "Cheap Talks", they enjoyed the humorous expression in the recorded message that encouraged them to begin working quickly. One of the student's message choice stated, "Get to work". He acted as the supervisor when someone was off task and then activated this command. The students had a good laugh and focused again on their work.

The Students: Seven students with multiple and/or orthopedic handicapping conditions participated three days per week. These students ranged in age from 16-21 years and were on levels between ninth and twelfth grade. The use of "Cheap Talk" could be easily adapted to any grade level or academic setting for this population of students. Each student used their own "Cheap Talk" in his/her work area or it could be shared in a small group. "Cheap Talk" was battery operated and was, therefore, portable and could be used anywhere.

The Staff: Deborah Weckerly has been teaching for 22 in the public schools. She has received several MEOSERRC grants and has been recognized by MEOSERRC for "Using the Community as a Classroom." She also has served as a certified vocational evaluator.

What You Need: "Cheap Talk" communication devices were on loan from the school district's lending library. "Boardmaker" computer program provided pictures for use on the buttons and activity trays to develop a student's matching skills. Each student had a workstation complete with pictures of family and friends, as well as files for collecting data of work production. Located next to "Cheap Talk" were four vocational activity trays containing all needed materials for completion of a job activity. Job materials were both homemade as well as commercially produced.

Overall Value: Each student has exhibited increased motivation to begin working without reminders or encouragement since using their device. Previous to incorporating it into their work environment, students delayed reporting to their workstations and sat idle until a staff member attended directly to their needs. Now, they cannot wait to have a vocational class and begin working on their own. When students are given the opportunity to make a choice and express their selection to the teacher, they experience more self-reliance and independence as well as self-expression.

Standards:


Checkbook Behavior Management System
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 7 to 8
How It Works: Checkbook Behavior Management System is a creative way for students to learn practical math skills and gain responsibility in the classroom. It fosters independent decision making as well as builds self-esteem, as students gain responsibility and develop group cooperation in the classroom. Each student receives an application to join the,"class bank." Upon opening his or her checking account, each student receives a free gift, a checkbook, and a bank bag. A large chart demonstrates the proper way to write a check and to enter a deposit or withdrawal into the checkbook register. A posted sign explains,"ways to earn money,","ways to spend money," and,"checkbook rules." Checkbook rules include maintaining an accurate balance and demonstrating honesty. Each child earns money by holding a class job and by accumulating points on a daily point sheet. Class jobs include owning and thereby renting out the bathroom, the drinking fountain, and the pencil sharpener. Students deposit their earned money at the end of each day, using a deposit slip. Students spend money by writing checks to their classmates for using the bathroom, the pencil sharpener, and the drinking fountain. They may also write checks to the class kitty for borrowing supplies, not putting things away neatly in the coat closet, or forgetting to do a job. Funds from the kitty are given away in a weekly class drawing to students who have gone,"above and beyond the call of duty." The Students: Eleven fifth and sixth grade emotionally disabled students have participated in the checkbook system. This program can be used with students in both regular and special education classes in grades 4 to 6.

The Students:

The Staff: The classroom teacher and assistant are responsible for monitoring student check writing and checkbook balances.

What You Need: Space to display charts is helpful but not necessary. Items for the class store and a class auction are needed. A field trip to a local bank helps students see firsthand how a bank operates. Parents and other guest speakers, who join the class to discuss their careers and their management of money, enhance the program.

Overall Value: Checkbook Behavior Management System encourages students to make better behavior choices and decisions. This, in turn, raises their levels of self-esteem as they each feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. Students' enthusiasm for math also grows as they discover a real purpose for using the skills they are learning.

Standards:


Checking Your Battery
Category: Classroom Management/Intergroup
Grades: 2 to 14
How It Works: Checking Your Battery is designed to allow students to self-regulate their energy levels. This program was adopted from "How Does Your Engine Run?" by Sherry Shellenberger and Mary Sue Williams of Therapy Works, Inc., in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The purpose of the program is to teach students how to monitor their own readiness to work, play, listen, and attend. The students identify and chart their energy levels through class discussion. The students and staff explore the areas of touch, movement, listening, and oral-motor and identify those that are successful for self-regulating a student's energy level or "battery" for academic work. Items from those areas are made available in the classroom. Once the teachers and staff are comfortable with a student's ability to choose an area that is effective for self-regulating his or her energy level, diagnostic sessions are decreased, and the carry-over is done on a daily basis by the classroom teacher.

The Students: The program was initially implemented in two classes of hearing impaired students. There is no age-level boundary, but students need to be cognitively aware of their energy level. This program can be implemented with entire classes or in small groups

The Staff: The occupational therapist oversees the strategies and techniques. The classroom teacher and aide assist in implementing these strategies on a daily basis in the classroom.

What You Need: Materials needed to implement the program provide sensori-motor experiences in the areas of touch, oral-motor, movement, auditory, and vestibular skills. Specific supplies include gymnastic balls, tire tubes, large cushions filled with scrap pieces of foam, auditory cassette tapes, small toys, and various food snacks. This program can be managed within the classroom.Parents may be asked to send in items including specific food snacks.

Overall Value: The program provides students with the skill to be responsible for and the strategies to be able to independently regulate their own energy level not only in school but also at home. It gives them opportunities to express needs, acceptance, and respect for others' differences. As a result, self-esteem improves and the ability to focus academically is enhanced.

Standards:


Chess Challengers
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 6 to 10
How It Works: This chess playing program develops logical thinking and spatial visualization skills, fosters self-esteem and cooperation and constructively channels aggressive impulses through competitive game playing. Innovative instructional videos teach children how to: -set-up a chessboard and pieces, -the rules for moving pieces, -the rules of chess competition. Daily practice sessions let students play, referee, and act as peer tutors. Daily games evolve into a regional children's chess tournament. Students: This program was developed for an, intermediate grade level class of special education students. It can be used with all students, including those with limited English proficiency and physical handicaps. At-risk students and gifted and talented children benefit from this program, too.

The Students:

The Staff: Madeline K. Fuertsch holds a BS from Pennsylvania State University, an MA from Texas Christian University, an MEd. in Counseling Psychology from North Texas State University. She is working on an MEd. in Special Education at Northeastern Illinois University.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: This program requires a VCR, a mix of plain and annotated chessboards, sets of chess pieces, videos from the U.S. Chess Federation, chess clocks (for competition) and chess books, magazines and puzzles. Outside Resources: Materials for instruction are available from The U.S. Chess Federation. Children gain from visits to observe chess tournaments at other schools as well as major national and international tournaments held in Chicago. Masters of national and international Chess Federations can be invited to speak to the children.

Overall Value: Children develop logical thinking skills and cooperation takes the place of aggression. Low self-esteem is replaced by feelings of accomplishment and pride.

Standards:


Chicago Alphabet
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 2 to 5
How It Works: Children learn about twenty-six famous, and not so famous, places in Chicago with names that follow the alphabet from A to Z. Locations are photographed; some sites are studied in the classroom when visits are not feasible. Student draw their impressions of each location and dictate or write stories and descriptions. Then photos, pictures and stories are combined to create a large classroom,"Chicago Alphabet" scrapbook. Students: The program was developed with an all-day Kindergarten class. It is easily adaptable for all primary grades, Special Education and bilingual classes.

The Students:

The Staff: Michele Keller holds a BA from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and masters degrees in Reading and Administration from Northeastern Illinois University. She has been a teacher in Chicago Public Schools from 1965 to 1969 and from 1987 to the present.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: A bulletin board can be the focal point of the program, as well as a large map of Chicago. As children progress through the alphabet photos, art work, stories, brochures and maps are displayed on the bulletin board. Many sites provide free materials. Picture books and videos help teach about sites visited and studied. Outside Resources: A number of field trips are essential for the success of this program. Parents play a key role in helping with the class trips, taking photographs and assisting with dictation about experiences in the classroom.

Overall Value: Children locate sites on a city map, learn the letters of the alphabet and become experts on their own city. This program promotes visual perception and language skills. It introduces maps, directions and geographic terms. Children learn facts and see memorable places in Chicago. They expand their vision of the city while sharing special experiences.

Standards:


Children Are Architects of the Future
Category: Global Education
Grades: 4 to 4
How It Works: Children Are Architects of the Future, is an integrated curriculum project that employs a thematic approach to develop academic skills and concepts of at-risk second grade students. Using the theme of architecture, the project builds on children's strengths and interests to motivate them to learn more about structures in their environment. The project begins with neighborhood walks in which, children observe and categorize buildings in the neighborhood according to shape, size, use, building materials, age, and other features. The children gradually learn to discern geometrical shapes and architectural forms and are encouraged to reproduce these in the classroom through drawings, models, and paste-ups. These exercises branch out into an array of activities. For a major class project, children design and build a "reading house" out of empty milk cartons. The children work cooperatively as designers, architects, construction workers, and clean-up crews. Students also create a skyline that encircles the classroom and a "structures dictionary" of words they have found that are related to architecture. They also, work with a junior high school class on a variety of projects. Field trips and guest speakers enrich children's experience. The project incorporates mathematics, science, social studies, language arts, and art in varied and creative ways that spark children's imaginations and allow them to develop their individual talents at their own pace.

The Students:

The Staff: Noticing that many children in his classes had never traveled far from their own communities, Theodore Husted, an early childhood teacher,, designed the project in 1992 to expose students to the world beyond their immediate neighborhood and to foster academic and social skills.

What You Need: The project has been a success largely because of the collaborative efforts of many educators and, community organizations citywide; these include architects, engineers, and construction workers who visited the class and junior high students who served as mentors. Art and construction materials were, provided by PS 46 and through donations. They include building materials such as empty milk cartons, wooden blocks, legos, Cuisinair rods, and sand, as well as paper, markers, rulers and drafting supplies,, glue, and other items for building and designing structures.

Overall Value: Children Are Architects of the Future creates a non-stressful, individualized learning environment in which at-risk children can learn at their own pace. "I have witnessed growth in each and every child," says Husted. "They have demonstrated improvement in self-esteem, attendance, class participation, reading and math, and critical thinking. The project has provided opportunities for children to acquire higher order thinking skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation," he notes.

Standards:


Choose It, Read It, Write About It, Talk About It, Enjoy It!
Category: Classroom Management/Intergroup
Grades: 8 to 8
How It Works: Classroom management and reading are the focus of this project. This classroom management technique gives educators the opportunity, to take student attendance and perform general bookkeeping tasks, while students are reading. The project is successful and, effective because it utilizes classroom time constructively. The, project also exposes students to books and to making choices for, the books they want to read. The project employs a very simple technique. The students are, required to select a book and be seated before the class bell, rings. This project promotes responsibility because the students, know exactly what they are supposed to be doing and when they are, to do it. This project also promotes reading because students log, the books they read and the number of pages they read in each book. Other elements of the project include: writing book reports answering book questionnaires, participating in book discussions and presenting oral reports about the books. An important element of this project is modeling. When the teacher, has finished taking attendance, he or she is seated and begins, reading as well. The theory behind this technique is to show, students that the teacher believes reading is very important--so, important that the teacher chooses to read and not grade papers or, perform other activities at this time. DCPS Major System Priorities: Achievement, Critical Thinking Blueprint 2000 Goals: Student Performance, Learning Environment The Students: This project has been implemented successfully with sixth-grade, multi-level students for four years. The students were actively, involved in silent reading and occasionally participated in, oral/listening Book Talk activities. This project can be adapted, easily for all grade levels and in other areas of curriculum as, well.

The Students:

The Staff: Maria Garcia has been teaching for 15 years (12 years in DCPS). Her, experiences include instruction in ESOL and bilingual content area, classes. Currently she is teaching grades six through eight at, Homestead Middle School, where in 1989 she was named Teacher of the, Year.

What You Need:

Overall Value: This project provides students with choices on reading materials, and it provides the teacher with an excellent management tool. This project also encourages students to take pleasure in reading, books.

Standards:


CIRCLE OF CELEBRATION
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 4 to 8
How It Works: "Circle of Celebrations" involves students in a year-long investigation of culture and cultural awareness through the study of holidays celebrated in the United States and abroad. English Language Learners (ELLs) and regular education students work together to investigate the influences of all cultures on celebratory customs. Students discover that their own cultural heritage often shape holidays and celebrations around the world. This program supports the ESOL curriculum within the mainstream classroom by integrating skills needed to acquire the English language in a meaningful way.

Many curricular areas are integrated within this project as students investigate how and why people celebrate holidays. Seasons are a vital part of all celebrations and are used to teach science and math along with the ties all people have with the earth. Social studies is taught throughout the year while students study the relationships between people and their surroundings in a society. Language arts is an essential component to this unit of study as students read about holidays and express their ideas and feelings about what they have learned both orally and in writing.

The Students: Learning styles are addressed as children are provided the opportunity to internalize language and apply it to everyday situations through performance, visual, auditory, spoken, kinesthetic and written experiences. Methods of instruction include small and whole group activities. Students work independently as they participate in or reflect upon lessons about holidays. Teachers measure student learning via written and oral responses to the material. Teachers observe students to assess mastery of performance objectives. Through reflective journal writing students are given the opportunity to participate in self-assessment. Nineteen heterogeneously grouped students (including ELLs and children with varying special needs) have participated in the program each year. It is appropriate for students in grades two through six.

The Staff: Theresa Palluzzi and Claudia Esposito Jerome Harrison Elementary School, North Branford

What You Need: Literature and audio tapes about holidays world map, family trees pictures and symbols that represent holidays

Overall Value: Students' self worth is greatly increased as they come to understand that all of us have cultural backgrounds, which shape the holidays, observed around the world. ELLs acquire English naturally and are assimilated into the American culture. All students become more aware of cultural connections as they speak about their own experiences, listen to stories, and read and write about the holidays. This program brings students and teachers full circle as holidays are celebrated throughout the year. Students learn to value their own uniqueness and, at the same time, respect and appreciate others in an authentic and meaningful way.

Standards: Positive Self-Concept Interpersonal Relations Speaking, Listening and Viewing Reading Writing


Circuit City
Category: Science
Grades: 6 to 8
How It Works: Through a series of hands-on activities, children learn the basics about electricity by experimenting with batteries, wires, conductors and magnets. Their basic knowledge is then expanded into other areas. Student activities include: collecting and graphing data of their own electrical use, creating an Electro-Quiz Board to learn multiplication tables, writing fairy tales in which electricity changes the usual plots, mailing letters to U.S. battery companies and mapping energy sources The program culminates with students wiring an entire cardboard house with lights! Students: The program was developed with a heterogeneous fourth grade class. It can easily be adapted for older and younger children.

The Students:

The Staff: Marianne Poniatowski has a Master's degree in Education from DePaul University.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Basic electrical supplies necessary include batteries, wire and light bulbs. Science activities that require more equipment were done individually at home or in school. There are many resource books with basic electricity lessons available to enrich or augment this project. Outside Resources: Students will gain from classroom visits by a working electrician and a representative from Commonwealth Edison.

Overall Value: Through hands-on activities children learn basic concepts about electricity which are then reinforced through integrated activities. Children enthusiastically learn, share ideas and work together cooperatively.

Standards:


City Tour
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 6 to 8
How It Works: Working in cooperative groups, children research some of Chicago's most famous buildings. They then convert measurements to "human scale" and use large cardboard boxes to construct replicas of Chicago's well-known architectural landmarks on the school playground. Once construction is complete, students create a tour guidebook, send out formal invitations, and at a gala celebration, lead tours of "Chicago."

The Students: City Tour involved 30 fourth grade students of varying abilities, nine to eleven years old. The project can be adapted to other age and achievement levels.

The Staff: Sharon Lawson has taught for eight years; both her BS and MS are from Chicago State University. Catherine Tanner has taught for 13 years. She holds a BA from Western Illinois University and two masters degrees

What You Need: The following items are needed: maps, postcards, books of Chicago, measuring devices, a plumb line, art supplies, a box cutter, fastening devices such as nuts, bolts, tape, and a glue gun, boxes of all sizes, city T-shirts for students, lab books.

Overall Value: Motivation soars when students become builders of "the city of big shoulders." The math and map lessons they apply won't be soon forgotten, nor will the pride they experience as tour guides.

Standards: This project addresses the following Illinois State Learning Goals and Chicago Academic Standards (CAS): Goal #1, A-C, Goal #3, A-C, Goal #4, A-C, Goal #5, A, Goal #6, A-D, Goal #7, A & B, Goal #8, B, Goal #9, A-D, Goal #15, D-E, Goal #16, B-D, Goal #17, A, B, & D, Goal #26, B3d, Goal #27, B3.


Cityscape
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: The purpose of this project was to promote students' interest in social studies and to teach researching skills by exploring and comparing three major U.S. cities. Using a variety of resources available to them, the students created a T-shirt, a land area model, and a written report on one of the three assigned cities. The area models were made as a group using a large, flat box filled with dirt. Plants were started from seed and put in the box for landscaping based on what would grow in that climate. Buildings, land scenes and people were created out of students' imagination using plastic toys, milk cartons, construction paper and magazines. A group presentation and comparisons of the qualities of each city culminated the unit. Graphs were made comparing populations, weather highs and lows, and land area.

The Students: Twenty-four students participated in this project. They were orthopedic handicapped and multihandicapped students aged 16-21. They functioned on levels from ninth grade down to early elementary

The Staff: Patricia Steinborn-Lee has taught for 13 years in the multihandicapped classes. She has taught both elementary and high school levels. She has received four MEOSERRC grants and two IMPACT grants.

What You Need: Needed resources were the school library, public library, the Internet, Akron Auto Club, library videos and magazines. It was helpful to have volunteers in the classroom.Tables were needed on which to build and display the models. Different meeting areas within the room were helpful for the different groups. Books were needed on each of the states and cities that were studied. Travel pamphlets and maps were also helpful.

Overall Value: This project was fun for the students. They used their own interests to direct their search of information on their city. As an example, those interested in sports did research on recreation and leisure activities. Students working together and putting together all their information to build a model of what they had learned was the best feature of this project. They made their research come alive by utilizing group decision-making skills on items that needed to be accomplished. At some point, every subject area was incorporated into this project. This project is highly adaptable to many situations and levels.

Standards:


Civil War Alive
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 8 to 11
How It Works: To better understand the Civil War, the students are asked to become a general, a soldier or a medic at one of fifteen battles of the Civil War. Groups, consisting of three students, join either the Union or Confederate Army and research their particular battle through this unique perspective. This project is an excellent year end culminating activity because it requires students to use their research, written and oral communication skills. The students first research their assigned battle. They then give a multi-media presentation which includes: examining and reporting medical, environmental and technological issues of the Civil War, interpreting and graphing statistics, writing letters home from their field position, keeping daily journals from their battlefield, constructing three-dimensional maps, participating in a question and answer forum, preparing period food, and listening to period music. The students are evaluated individually during the course of their research and then are assessed as a group on the day of the presentation. THE STUDENTS: This unit is designed for a team of 90-100 eighth grade students, but is adaptable for grades five through eleven. The students are heterogeneously grouped into teams of three or four students. In addition to instruction in individual core classes, there are two full days of research in the library and two afternoons for group planning of their presentation and preparation of their backboard.

The Students:

The Staff: This unit was designed for a middle school team consisting of five teachers - English, reading, math, social studies, and science. This could easily be modified to accommodate different size teams, or to be used by an individual teacher using an interdisciplinary approach.

What You Need: An introductory packet which explains the entire project is given to each student. One tri-fold display board is used by each group for their oral presentation.

Overall Value: The students transfer knowledge and skills from the classroom as they actively participate in the learning process and, therefore, show a greater understanding of the causes and outcomes of the Civil War and its impact on American history. Because of the personal involvement,,"ownership" and cooperative group endeavor, students of all ability levels learn.

Standards:


Class in a Stream
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 8 to 10
How It Works: This learning experience uses a small, nearby stream as a laboratory, by monitoring different aspects of its quality. At the stream site the students measure the width, depth, temperature, velocity, pH, nitrates, and ammonia. Finally, the students spend twenty to thirty minutes collecting macro invertebrates from the stream bed, grasses, logs, rocks, leaf packs, and any other debris in the water. The measurements and test results are recorded on a data sheet. The bugs are classified back in the classroom and given a pollution tolerance rating. Some concepts are covered in the classroom prior to going to the stream. Linear measurement, precision, accuracy, and estimation are developed in the math and science classes. After the data is collected it is used to develop the math concepts of statistics, rates, formula development, creating and interpreting graphs. Chemistry, physical science, and life science are enhanced with the tests conducted at the stream. Science processes of observing, analyzing, summarizing, and classifying are taught. Databases on computer are created and maintained from year to year. Computer spreadsheets and graphing calculators can be used to compute statistics and create various graphs. At the end of the experience, the students use their communication skills and imagine they are the scientists who write reports explaining their findings to an individual or agency who has hypothetically requested them to test the stream quality.

The Students: The learning experience was designed for 7th and 8th grade inclusion classes and has been very successful at these levels. Advanced 6th grade involvement could be possible.

The Staff: Classroom teacher

What You Need: A waterway near the school is necessary to collect the data. The other activities can be completed in the classroom. Start up expenses can be rather high but our students, teachers, and administrators deemed it worthwhile.

Overall Value: Students love being outdoors. An in-depth study of a stream enhances the curriculum with outdoor hands on activities. The students develop an appreciation and sense of stewardship for their environment when they get into it so completely. The learning experience is a combination of the Riverwatch learning experience and EPA methods of stream monitoring. The students experience the laboratory work, data analysis, and reporting of scientists who work in environmental careers.

Standards:


Classy Cookies
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: This project, Classy Cookies, is a fully operational business, enterprise that is planned, organized and controlled by students, within their math class. Students follow all the steps necessary, to start a new business enterprise. They are responsible for, making the cookies, purchasing and measuring supplies, preparing, their product and packaging and organizing the sale of their, product in the most cost effective way possible. Problem solving, techniques are developed and cooperative learning is needed for the, company to prosper. Students experience the process of organizing employee, responsibilities. Parents, the school and the community are also, involved. The students create Classy Cookies stock certificates, and sell stock in their company to raise the initial capital, needed. Each student completes a job application and interviews, for the various positions within the company. They create the, advertisements and learn to work within a specific time frame for, the best results. Each student has the opportunity to open his or her own savings, account at a local bank with the shared money earned through Classy, Cookies. All phases of the Applied Math curriculum are utilized, within this project. DCPS Major System Priorities: Achievement, Job Preparedness, Intergroup Relations Blueprint 2000 Goals: Student Performance, Learning Environment The Students: This project originally was set up for hearing impaired students in, ninth through twelfth grades, but is easily adapted for all levels, of students.

The Students:

The Staff: Barbara Chotiner started her teaching career in the elementary, grades 12 years ago in Dade County. Her experiences since then, have included working with physically disabled adults on the post-, secondary level and doing vocational counseling for deaf adults. Presently, she is teaching hearing impaired high school students in, the math and computer content areas, as well as teaching sign, language to hearing students.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: This project can be used in a regular classroom setting. Access to, computers can be helpful for creating letters and contracts, as, well as producing signs, banners and stock certificates. However this is not necessary for the project to be successful. Cooking, activities require toaster ovens and other cooking utensils. Outside Resources: Guest speakers from the business community and cooperation from a, local bank to waive the start-up fees for the Young Savers Accounts, are helpful. The bank would also be asked to provide deposit slips, and new account applications at no charge.

Overall Value: By guiding and encouraging students through the creation of their, own business enterprise, the teacher helps students develop a, clearer understanding of the connection between what they learn in, the classroom and what they need to become independent contributing members of society.

Standards:


CLICK ON LITERACY: USING CAMERAS IN THE KINDERGARTEN CLASSROOM
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 3
How It Works: In Click on Literacy: Using Cameras iin the Kindergarten Classroom kindergarten students create books that they can read and will want to read. To prepare for the four-week process, students listen to a variety of trade books that use photographs to illustrate concepts in language, math, and science. Assisted by their classroom teacher, they select a topic or concept, then use Polaroid cameras to photograph four or five pictures depicting their topic.

The students develop computer skills by composing and printing several words or sentences for each picture and creating a title page. They match their pictures with their text and glue them onto 6" x 6" colored, poster board squares. A cover, title page, and the book pages are bound with a 5/8" plastic comb binder. Students share their completed books with the class and keep them in the classroom library where they can be read and reread until the end of the school year.

The Students: Three kindergarten classes, a total of 62 students, participate in the activities.

The Staff: The kindergarten teachers and their instructional assistants guide the students through the process of creating their own books. After having introduced the project, the reading teacher works with each class for an hour a week.

What You Need: Each classroom needs a Polaroid camera and enough film for each student to take four or five pictures. Other supplies include poster board, glue sticks, and plastic binders. The program takes place in the classroom and adjoining areas.Parent volunteers work in the classrooms to help students type their text on the computer and coordinate their pictures with the text.

Overall Value: Click on Literacy: Using Cameras in the Kindergarten Classroom helps students understand basic math and language concepts and makes them proud of themselves as they master the process of writing and illustrating a book.

Standards:


CLONING AROUND WITH THE CLASSICS
Category: Science
Grades: 7 to 14
How It Works: Transforming ziti macaroni into a human rib cage while manipulating used beef bones into a human spinal column only begin to reveal eighth grade students' abilities to think imaginatively and to perform creatively as they assess their knowledge and achievement in one of several engaging activities within this unit. Challenging reading material, both fiction and nonfiction, reinforced with reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, combine to form a student-centered, hands-on approach toward learning. Students are inspired to view learning as a lifelong pursuit.

The primary goals of this unit are to actively engage students in their own learning while challenging them to perform at high levels and to experience success. The unit uses the novel, Frankenstein, and the study of human body systems and genetics as the cornerstones of this creative extension of language arts, science, health, mathematics, art, social studies, and reading. Challenging students to connect classical philosophy and values to twenty-first century technology and human development produces the spark of life in this unit that arouses a natural intellectual curiosity in students as they apply their understanding of classical literature to modern bioethical issues surrounding genetic engineering.

The Students:

The Staff: Rosemarie O'Brien, Marlene Salvatore, Nancy Salvatore, and Tony Salvatore Har-Bur Middle School, Region #10, Burlington

What You Need: Teacher-generated worksheets, rolls of Kraft© paper, anatomy books/charts, large room for drawing (e.g. cafeteria), library media center.

Overall Value: The timelessness of 19th century classical literature merges with the timeliness of 21st century genetic technology so that students recognize and confront the potential and the limitations of human intelligence and of science and technology in solving problems. Science draws on current articles about genetic and bioethical issues. Students enhance their learning while monitoring concrete and abstract thinking, identifying cause and effect relationships, and applying inductive and deductive reasoning to solve a scientific query.

Evaluation is consistent, using interdisciplinary rubrics. Discipline lines blur as students immerse themselves in integrated learning that nurtures positive self-esteem, critical thinking, and creativity, as well as mathematical, reading, and writing skills within a scientific medium.

Standards:


Club 25
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 3 to 3
How It Works: Club 25 is a "Read With Me" program in which parents work with their children to instill a love of reading while spending 10 to 15 minutes per night in the pursuit of literacy. It follows the standard piece of advice that suggests that parents act as good role models and read to their children. Club 25 is a simple, low-maintenance parental involvement program. To implement the program, the teacher sends home a reading log with 25 lines on it. Parents are asked to read to their children for 10 to 15 minutes each day and sign one of the lines to indicate that reading has taken place. As children begin to read by themselves, they become reading partners with their parents. When the reading log is full, it is returned to school and filed and the children are given a second reading log. At one point per line, they are able to earn certificates worth 25, 50, 75 or 100 points. Children are given pencils, bookmarks and stickers to mark the completion of each reading log (25 points). A bulletin board in the classroom also tracks their progress. As a culminating activity, impressive certificates are presented on an Awards Day. Each child receives a certificate and one paperback book for each 25 points earned. It is possible for each child to be the recipient of four books if this program is conducted during one semester! DCPS MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES: Achievement, Parental Involvement; correlates directly to the district-wide reading initiative begun by Superintendent Paul W. Bell. THE STUDENTS: This project was implemented by a group of 30 first-grade students. It could easily be adapted for kindergarten through five by using incentives appropriate to the grade level.

The Students:

The Staff: Bonnie L. Sheil is a kindergarten teacher at Bowman Foster Ashe Elementary School. She has six years of teaching experience in Dade County Public Schools. She has been Teacher of the Year at Kendale Lakes Elementary for 1988-89 and Mainstreaming Teacher of the Year at Kendale Lakes Elementary for 1990-91. She has been awarded a Citibank Success Fund Grant for 1990-91 and a Teacher Mini-Grant for 1991. No extra school personnel are required to implement this program.

What You Need: MATERIALS AND FACILITIES: Club 25 guidelines have already been developed to enable any teacher to easily adapt this program. Suggested items for incentives are pencils, stickers, award certificates and books. The only requirement in the classroom is a suitable place to display a chart to track progress. OUTSIDE RESOURCES: Having guest celebrity readers (your principal, media specialist, parents, Ronald McDonald, etc.) really enhances this project and imparts the message that adults other than the teacher think reading is important.

Overall Value: Educators everywhere are focusing on ways to promote literacy. Another area of concern in schools is parental involvement in the educational process. Club 25 addresses both of these issues in a simple, effective and easy-to-manage program. It places fundamental value on time spent between parent and child and provides incentives that further enhance literacy.

Standards:


Colonel Fabyan's Bridge
Category: Science
Grades: 8 to 10
How It Works: The learning experience is presented in the form of an ill-structured problem, during which students are cast in the roles of environmental/structural engineers and consultants. They are tasked with the problem of reviewing the need for, and ultimately recommending, the form of a replacement for a pedestrian bridge currently in place over the Fox River, at Geneva, Illinois. An ill-structured problem, students are presented with a copy of a letter that requests their support in examining the need to replace the bridge. As the problem progresses, students discover that ownership, economics, historical significance, environmental impacts, and levels and types of use, all impact the decision-making process. Additionally, they become aware of the network of regulations, and regulatory agencies, that impact and constrain projects of this nature.

During the course of the problem, students are called upon to respond to formal requests for information, by both the organization that initiated the project, and the Army Corps of Engineers, the lead oversight agency on a project like this one.

As a final product, students design, build, and evaluate a model of a portion of the bridge structure. During this process, they develop a clearer understanding of the effect of forces and loads as they refine their designs.

The Students: This learning experience was designed for middle school level classrooms.

The Staff: Classroom teacher

What You Need: Long craft sticks; Elmer's wood glue; waxed paper; cotton string

Overall Value: This learning experience incorporates the use of an ill-structured problem as a vehicle to enable the individual student to advance their level of development in the area of scientific literacy, as outlined in the Scientific Literacy Habits of Mind. Additionally, students develop and refine interpersonal skills as well as improving their abilities to manage projects, and collect, evaluate, and utilize data in problematic situations

Standards:


Colonial Thinking
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 7 to 7
How It Works: Colonial Thinking exposes children to,"hands-on" experiences and emphasizes critical thinking. Students relive and discover our country's early heritage through exciting learning experiences. They come to think, with greater awareness of the nation's beginning times. The project's strength is its flexibility. It provides an interdisciplinary approach, team teaching, cooperative learning and parental involvement. There is an endless expansion of possibilities. Instruction includes extensive use of audiovisuals, printed media materials, antique and replicated vintage items of Colonial days, related field trips and speakers. During the culminating week's events, parent volunteers and the teacher, guide the students in creating colorful quilt squares, churning golden butter, constructing cornhusk dolls, cranking out delicious ice cream and dipping wax candles to light while using a quill pen and becoming a scribe. Models of typical Colonial villages can be a challenge. Role playing offers infinite opportunities to delve into the government, arts, businesses, education and all aspects of the early societal conditions. This in-depth foundation provides a meaningful basis for learning about subsequent history. Questions from students generate great research topics. This project expands students' thinking, making them question history--not just accept it! DCPS MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES: Achievement, Critical Thinking, Intergroup Relations, Parent Involvement. THE STUDENTS: "Colonial Thinking" lends itself well to either elementary or middle school. It is a highly integrated project using an interdisciplinary approach, which met with great success in fifth-grade classes. Students' individual levels are accommodated by individual, small group or total class activities.

The Students:

The Staff: Kamela Patton teaches in a full-time gifted magnet program. Within Ms. Patton's five-year teaching experience, she has taught mainstream, gifted and adult students. In addition, she has instructed in the DCPS Pre-College Institute for Gifted Learners. Ms. Patton has served as faculty sponsor for the drama and photography interest groups and sponsors Future Educators of America.

What You Need: To assist teachers in implementing this project, numerous compiled lesson plans, activity sheets, teaching tips, modifying ideas, basic and supplementary materials are available. A classroom arranged in small groups is desirable. OUTSIDE RESOURCES: No additional resources are needed for the project. However, a field trip to Cauley Square or guest speakers enhance the classroom activities. Donations of supplies for the students' creations can be provided from area merchants and the school's PTA.

Overall Value: This project provides the opportunity to develop curiosity and enthusiasm among students. They have an enhanced sense of pride in the results of their efforts. Their heightened awareness of history gives greater meaning to current events and whets their appetites for correlated information. This permits an opportunity to assist children in thinking beyond their textbooks!

Standards:


Color Me Green
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 8 to 9
How It Works: Color Me Green is an environmental coloring book designed and published by sixth and seventh graders to use in teaching younger children about responsible environmental practices. Reflecting an emphasis on cooperative learning and community service, this project provides an opportunity for pre-teens and teenagers to be positive role models for younger children while taking pride in a job well done. Students are involved in all phases of production: through group process, they explore environmental topics to be illustrated, prepare the artwork, write captions, test sample pages with younger siblings, solicit bids for printing, and collate and bind the books. After completing the book, a committee of students accompanied by a teacher presents it to the principal of a local elementary school. The class decided to use Color Me Green in two first grade classes and to include a brief writing excercise for the first graders. In preparation, the class engaged in discussion and role-playing about the, behaviors and cognitive abilities of young children and how to handle a variety of situations that might arise. The project included maintaining a journal in which students logged their accomplishments, evaluated their work, and discussed their problems and successes. Students also submitted a final report, which was used to assess their learning and performance and provide future guidance to teachers.

The Students:

The Staff: Sara Jane Hardman and Laura Hussey initiated Color Me Green in 1992. By eliciting students' own ideas for a project to teach younger children, they were able to generate the initial enthusiasm that made it successful.

What You Need: Students will need fine or medium black markers and blank white paper for drawing and reproduction. The greatest share of the costs is for reproduction and, if desired, a binding machine and plastic binders. This last item is not essential, since the book can be stapled together. It is important to establish a good relationship with the elementary school in which students will be working.

Overall Value: Community service benefits everyone and is an effective component of the middle school curriculum. The students developed a sense that what they were doing was important because of the service that they were providing to younger children. They produced an exemplary book and their journals reflected the pleasure and satisfaction that they derived from the project. One student wrote: "We all got along really well. We were talking, laughing, and reading together. We also have a wonderful coloring book, some photos to capture the moment, and thank-you letters from the little kids."

Standards:


Combined Algebra/Physics
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 12 to 13
How It Works: This is a year-long course for which students receive credit in both junior algebra and introductory physics. The two curricula have been combined so that they support each other--students learn related topics simultaneously and by doing so learn the subjects in greater depth. Next year will be the third year that we teach the course and the first time it will be team taught. I will be joined by math teacher Liggy Chien.

Most of the combinations are natural links, such as linear functions with basic kinematics or trigonometric functions with physical wave properties. Many allow me to add depth to the curriculum, such as adding the Law of Sines and the Law of Cosines to physics units which usually only allow solutions of problems with right triangles. I am able to teach much more data analysis than I would teaching either course separately.

Students write a paper each quarter explaining the history of some of the concepts or the mathematics and physics behind an activity or device. For evaluation, I use tests, quizzes, papers, homework checks, portfolios, and student presentations. Each student is expected to lead the class for part of a period each quarter.

The Students: Average ability

The Staff: Classroom teachers

What You Need: Typical classroom; resource books.

Overall Value: The course is for sophomores and juniors who are in the middle track at New Trier. Students who take the course benefit from seeing how the different curricula mesh so well together. They also get a much deeper learning experience; they are able to handle material which would normally be too difficult for them mathematically. Many students have said that the course made math and science interesting and that they felt much more comfortable taking physics knowing that they would get the math support. The course does not cost the school more money than teaching the two courses separately would.

Standards:


Coming to America
Category: Technology
Grades: 6 to 8
How It Works: The purpose of Coming to America, A Study of Diversity and U.S. Immigration is to develop research, writing, and word processing skills, while students learn concepts related to United States immigration and trace their families' journeys to America. They read If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island by Ellen Levine and view a related CD-ROM that includes photographs, films, and sound tracks. The students note the immigrants' countries of origin and the reasons they give for leaving their homelands. The students interview family members about family history. Using Maps and Facts by Broderbund and Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia, the students trace their families' travels to the United States and research the countries that their family members left. Students write stories of their families' journeys here and what life was like upon their arrival. The stories are illustrated using Borderland's KidPix. The stories are printed, laminated, and bound into a book. The students create a bar graph and a pictograph on Tom Snyder's The Graph Club that depicts the number of families moving from specific countries to the United States.

The Students: The students are fourth graders who come from diverse ethnic backgrounds and vary in their level of language proficiency. This program may easily be adapted to other grade levels and may be done in small groups in a classroom as well as individually. The needs of all learners are addressed, as the students are able to work at their own pace.

The Staff: Carolyn Hornik has been a teacher for 22 years and a computer teacher for the last 10 years. She works as a teacher trainer for the After School Professional Development Program and a staff developer in Community School District 21. She was a winner in the 1993 New York City Desktop Publishing Contest and was Technology Teacher of the Year in District 21 in 1996.

What You Need: The technology lab is equipped with 32 Power Macintosh 54/2400 student stations. An Apple Color Laser Printer 12/660 PS, and three Hewlett Packard 870CXI color ink jet printers are extremely useful. Schools with Internet access can arrange chats between their students and those of other countries to learn about life in other parts of the world. Chats can be arranged with recent immigrants to the United States so that students may better understand the reasons that people leave their homelands and what life is like for them after their arrival in the United States. Family members may wish to speak to the children and describe their lives in other countries as compared to their lives in the United States. Trips to places such as the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, Ellis Island, and the Statue of Liberty are worthwhile follow-up activities.

Overall Value: The topic of United States immigration combines the fourth grade social studies unit of United States history and the study of various groups of immigrants. It is also a study of ethnic diversity as part of United States history. This activity follows the New York City performance standards by fostering reading comprehension of informational materials, producing a report of information, producing a response to literature, producing a narrative account, preparing and delivering an individual presentation, demonstrating a basic understanding of the rules of the English language in written work, analyzing and revising work to improve its clarity and effectiveness, and responding to nonfiction using interpretive and critical processes. This program is highly motivational because it relates to the students' personal lives. An appreciation for diverse cultures is established. Students achieve a great sense of accomplishment and self-esteem in being able to do their own interviewing, research, and writing of their stories on the computer.

Standards:


Coming To America
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 9 to 9
How It Works: This cooperative learning board game takes children on an, immigration journey. Children are grouped together into,"families" struggling to exit Cuba after the rise of Communism and the Castro, regime in 1959. Using problem-solving and math skills, families, decide how best to spend their resources, money and time to get to, America. In their quest to emigrate, families are faced with problems such, as the possible separation of family members and monetary setbacks. Students also explore such issues as human rights and civil, liberties in Cuba. The goal of the game is for the entire family, to immigrate to America. This project provides Language Arts skills through reading poetry, and political satires and through writing petitions to the United, Nations and letters to family members abroad. In addition geography literacy is improved by comparing political maps of Cuba, pre- and post- Castro revolution. DCPS Major System Priorities: Critical Thinking, Achievement, Intergroup Relations, Bilingualism Blueprint 2000 Goals: Student Performance, Learning Environment The Students: This project was effectively implemented in seventh-grade Social, Studies classes during the 1990-91 school year. From as few as 15, to as many as 48 students can participate in the game at the same, time. Although the game was developed for middle school students it can be adapted for elementary or high school students by, simplifying or elevating the level of complexity of the issues, explored. The project also could be used with foreign language, classes.

The Students:

The Staff: Keren Greenhauff San Emeterio has been teaching Social Studies for, three years. She hold a bachelor's degree in History and Sociology, from Florida International University and is trained in Global, Awareness. She was the 1989-90 Sally Mae Beginning Teacher of the, Year at Lake Stevens Middle School. Currently she is the, Chairperson of the Social Studies Department at North Dade Middle, where she teaches in the Magnet program in the Center for, International Studies. Her project was developed for, and, presented at, the International Social Studies Conference held in, Miami in 1991.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: The game includes a game board, a die, playing pieces, play money, and information cards. The game materials and interdisciplinary, unit can be duplicated for easy use in any classroom. Seats should, be landscaped to form groups. Outside Resources: A field trip to the Cuban Museum of Arts and Culture is an, excellent activity. Also, a variety of guest speakers who, emigrated from Cuba are available in Dade County for preliminary or, follow-up discussions.

Overall Value: In Dade County, the immigration experience is not an unusual one. In such a heterogeneous population, empathy and understanding of, the problems faced by an emigrating group is essential. This, simulation allows children to explore the specific problems faced, by Cubans in their exodus by stepping into their shoes. It also, addresses the general problems faced by any people deciding to, permanently leave their homeland. Through direct participation and, role playing, children experience difficult and complex feelings, and problems. Although implemented in the form of play, the, seriousness of the issue is not lost, but rather made more, accessible to children. For children of other nationalities, the, Cuban culture can be better understood. For children of Cuban, heritage, a better understanding of their history can be achieved.

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Coming To America, Kaleidoscope of Cultures
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 7 to 11
How It Works: Coming to America, A Kaleidoscope of Cultures is an intergrated learning experience which helps students, gain an appreciation of their cultural heritage and develop a feeling of pride in it. Students will learn how, millions of immigrants who came to America at the turn of the century, overcame, obstacles in an effort to gain the most precious gift, their freedom. They will understand how the, immigrants were the backbone of our country and helped to make it strong. Students will also appreciate the roadblocks facing new immigrants to this country today. This unit allows the students to display their cultural background and recognize, commonalities which make us all part of the family of humankind. Through teacher- directed lessons and simulations in all, content areas, the students, will study about the immigration experience,, learn about, health factors which affected immigration, keep an historical fiction journal narrating an, immigrant's American experience, and design a three dimensional graph on immigration statistics. In addition, students will do research on their geneology at home and construct a, basic family tree. Construction of a giant mural in art class will depict, a kaleidoscope of shapes and figures from all over the world. After this initial instruction, students will be involved in a cooperative learning activities. Our sixth grade, team of 90 students was broken down into groups of common ancestry to, gather research for a display on a three-sided board. Group presentations will comprise an Immigration Fair for the school and parents. Each group will display a map of their country, which shows the routes that their ancestors, took to get to America, a flag of their country, pictures, items produced in their country that we use in America today, heirlooms/artifacts/clothing , typical food to serve Fair guests,, pictures and facts on, famous immigrants who have made contributions to America and their math, graph and journal. Each student, will prepare answers to self- selected questions about their research to answer orally for development of public speaking skills. These questions are prominently displayed and fair-goers are encouraged to ask the students to discuss their answers in informal conversations. There will be a self evaluation sheet that the student will complete asking such questions as: What contribution did you make to the group?, Did you complete the activities you said you were going to do?,, If not, why?, List 5 things you learned about your country. What 3 things did you learn about another country?, On a scale of 1 to 10, what score do you feel you deserve?, The teacher will then assess the student's performance and give a group and an individual grade for the project. The Students: This project was done with 90 heterogeneously grouped students but is adaptable to smaller groups. All special education, students were included. The cooperative learning groups had approximately 5 to 7 students. This, necessitated more than one group with common ancestry. Teacher- directed lessons took approximately three weeks. Additionally, it took 8-10 sessions for ancestry groups to gather research and prepare the display. This project is appropriate, for grades 5-9.

The Students:

The Staff: Social studies teacher, English teacher, math teacher,, science teacher, art teacher, media specialist.

What You Need: Each of the core four classrooms held, 4 or 5 cooperative learning groups. The gymnasium was used for the final presentation. Guest speakers, including recent immigrants,, could expand the scope of the project. Reference, books dealing with immigration, MacGlobe and other computer software, popular songs and videos were utilized. A trip to Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty was, taken. A slide show on Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty field trip was produced by a student, with the help of the Library Media Specialist and was shown, during the Immigration Fair.

Overall Value: By participating in the immigration unit, students are involved in activities that develop self-directed learners. The culminating project fosters cooperative learning and public speaking skills. Gathering data and synthesizing the information through graphic displays, allow students to demonstrate reasoning and problem solving skills. Through simulation and research, the students gain an appreciation of cultural diversity and the common roots we share.

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COMMUNICATING ABOUT ART
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: " Communicating About Art" is designed for students to communicate in Spanish about art. Students research (through art texts or the Internet) the life and works of a Spanish or Latin American artist. Speaking, listening, and viewing skills are emphasized as students deliver oral presentations on their findings and ultimately create a Spanish art gallery. Working in pairs or individually, students learn what in their selected artist's life may have influenced his/her paintings, the artist's main contributions to art, and significant themes in his/her works. Students base their study on a minimum of two paintings and may include their own work done in the style of the artist. In formal oral presentations students describe and interpret the paintings through visuals.

"Communicating about Art" has several unique features. First, prior to the oral presentation there are "rehearsal days" in which students assess each others' oral and written work through student generated rubrics. Second, students as teachers teach the Spanish vocabulary essential to the understanding of their presentations. Third, a post-presentation question/answer period among the presenters and the listeners in Spanish stimulates active participation and communication among the students. Lastly, as a final written and oral assessment to the project, students create a museum gallery on the classroom walls using twelve teacher- selected works of art from the presented artists, and explain in Spanish how they determined its order. The teacher's role is to model an oral presentation for the students, to teach art vocabulary in Spanish, to review samples of questions in Spanish for the presenters and listeners and to act as a facilitator and guide. The library media specialist assists in locating art materials and makes slides from pictures. There are several methods of assessment. In addition to the rehearsal days' rubrics and the art gallery creation, each student is responsible for a written version of the oral presentation and for a self- assessment on the oral presentation itself.

The Students: Thirty Spanish Three Honor students completed this project. However, it can be adapted for use in any language, or to history, English or the arts and to any grade level if presented in English.

The Staff: Arlene Schwartz Branford High School, Branford

What You Need: Art books, Internet (optional), posters, slides, transparencies of pictures and art vocabulary in Spanish.

Overall Value: This performance-based, student-centered project addresses learning styles through its audio-visual and tactile elements. Students are highly motivated and accept responsibility for their learning and for meeting the guidelines of a student/ teacher created timeline. Students experience great pride from completing the challenging task of delivering a concise and clear presentation in Spanish on a culturally relevant topic. Student dialogues encourage risk-taking and spontaneous use of Spanish. Art appreciation, technology, language skills, culture, and history combined with hard work, persistence, self- expression, imagination, and creativity enable students to transform the classroom into an art gallery in "Communicating About Art."

Standards: Motivation & Persistence Positive Self-Concept Speaking, Listening & Viewing


Communication Boards Come Alive
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COMMUNICATION INVESTIGATION
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: Deft fingers nimbly flow over the bumps and ridges on pages of a Braille text - communication. We see a student's shoulders droop, eyes cast down as she enters the room slowy and without concentration - communication. Light zooms along in pulses through a tiny optical fiber over thousands of miles in milliseconds- communication. We watch as a beautiful girl is made to look attracted to someone just because he bought a Jeep in a television commercial - communication. We stare at lines, curves, dots, and circles instilled with meaning and ordered on white pages - communication. A dog sniffs a hydrant, learns something and then leaves a message of his own - communication. You keep calling someone, leaving messages to get back to you, but you never receive a reply - communication. This project is designed to enlighten students about the great diversity in means of exchanging information.

The Students: Our seventh grade students become private investigators in the field of communication. This project represents the second facet of an integrated unit entitled Information, Communication, and the Media. We engage students in the project by having them use many forms of communication while attempting to solve a crime mystery. Next, students become time travelers to investigate the history of communication devices. Groups of three to four investigators construct, become familiar with, and explain a different invention in the history of communication (e.g. cave paintings, day tablets, papyrus, scrolls, and quill pens.) Students then examine body language and attempt to identify the meaning of on-stage displays of different types of body languages. Students are then introduced to symbolism and each group designs an international symbol on a large poster that contains no words, but instead graphically and clearly communicates an important message. Next, students learn about patterns of symbols such as Morse code, binary code, Braille, and sign language. The unit culminates with each group designing its own language and teaching it to the class, before handing out a message for us to decode in their language.

The Staff: Gerald Cheever, Victoria Hebeler, John Langan and Susan Poskus

What You Need: Art supplies and video tapes.

Overall Value: When a managing engineer at Hamilton Standard was asked which was the most reliable indicator of employee success in his company, the expected reply was intelligence, drive, and a topnotch college education. Instead, he immediately said that the most successful employees were those who had good communication skills and the ability to get along with others. In order to succeed in today's world of information students must understand and become proficient at communication. When students realize how many different ways they can communicate, it expands their horizons.

Standards: Positive Self-Concept Speaking, Listening and Viewing


Community Begins With Me
Category: Classroom Management/Intergroup
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: "Community Begins With Me" is an active and rewarding process which empowers students with the foundations of self-understanding and interpersonal communication skills. Its purpose is to actively engage students as an integral part of the class. Through community-building activities, students develop self-confidence, helping them to connect positively with teachers and classmates. They come to view themselves as valued members of the class (which represents a microcosm of the greater community). Building community is a continual process. From its onset, it must be clearly established that acceptance of each individual into the total group makes the true composition of a community. Equally important is the teacher's ability to model community-building behaviors. Once the class develops a sense of cohesion, positive interaction is increased. To achieve a sense of community, the students learn the importance of such basic courtesies as addressing each individual by name. One activity entitled,"School's In" requires the class to examine the inner workings of the school and how effectively it functions as a community. In addition, the students become familiar with each faculty and staff member and their respective roles in the daily operation of the school. Realistic problems are presented to the students as they participate in actual problem-solving techniques. Students can also generate their own list of problems and their resolutions through brainstorming sessions during which the class is divided into groups to investigate problems, formulate feasible solutions, and participate in role-playing as a way of appreciating the factors involved in the operation of the school. DCPS Major System Priorities: Graduation Rate, Intergroup Relations. The Students: "Community Begins With Me" enhances the curriculum and classroom management of middle, junior, and senior high schools. The program also addresses the needs of exceptional and high-risk students.

The Students:

The Staff: Mary F. Jones has been teaching in Dade County Public Schools for over 15 years. In 1981 she was selected as the Teacher of the Year for Exceptional Students for Dade County. In 1982 she was also recognized as the Teacher of the Year at her school and was the finalist for the North Area. She has, received recognition in the area of Articulation, Career Education, and Study Skills Programs.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: Lesson plans, activity sheets and overhead materials have been prepared to assist teachers in implementing the program into any classroom. Outside Resources: No additional resources are needed.

Overall Value: "Community Begins With Me" addresses the need to establish a more effective classroom whereby students and teachers work in a safe and productive environment. Students become active participants in the learning process. All parts of the community benefit from the process as each individual recognizes the significance of working together for the common good.

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Community Connected Writing
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 4 to 4
How It Works: Out into the community!, Bring the neighbors into the classroom!, That's how students connect to their city environment in this stimulating project. They react to what they see and hear by reading and writing. Topics are generated through active experiences. This project integrates talking, listening, writing and reading. Students are immersed in the entire writing process: prewriting, composing, revising, editing, and publishing keeping daily journals, discussing their writing with teacher and classmates To promote the home/school connection, students use a "Book Writing Kit". Children and their families work together to compose and illustrate books. The students' stories are then tape recorded and placed in the classroom library for others to enjoy. Students: This project was developed for second grade students of various ability levels. It can be adapted to any grade level and can work well with special needs students.

The Students:

The Staff: Lynn Sarno holds a BA in Elementary Education and an MA in Reading from Northeastern Illinois University. She has taught in Chicago Public Schools for six years and has received numerous grants and honors for her reading and writing programs.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: In addition to basic classroom materials, the following items are needed: a binding system or long-arm stapler, two cassette recorders, two headsets, and blank tapes. A writing table is needed to house this equipment. Computers may be used to type the texts. Outside Resources: Volunteers can help with taping and binding stories. Field trips to community sites and outside speakers brought into the classroom provide real-life topics for writing.

Overall Value: As students gain skill in organizing ideas, understanding the writing process and sharing their writing with others, their confidence increases and they develop assurance in communicating with the community at large.

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Community Through Creativity
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 8 to 14
How It Works: "Community Through Creativity" is an immersion in,"hands-on" art and language projects which uses visualization, original ideas, and creative expression in a socially relevant way. Its purposes: to develop a "socialself" awareness, to initiate and sustain community building skills, to involve students in shared decision-making, and to establish a community environment. Basically,,"Community Through Creativity" is an activity packet with step-by-step lesson plans designed to encourage personal and social growth through pleasurable activities. Activities include exercises in choosing or writing captions for a model community poster, creating an original classroom community poster, creating personal and social mandalas (designs symbolic of the universe), developing a series of bumper stickers, and creating an island environment and using the experience to develop classroom rules. Directions are flexible and can be modified by the teacher according to the level of students taught. Both the delivery and the content of the curriculum is affective in nature, and it addresses an outstanding need in our society. DCPS Major System Priorities: Intergroup Relations. The Students: The students targeted in this curriculum are those in the middle through senior high school classrooms. The lessons can, however, be adapted to students in lower grades as well as to students in exceptional education classes. Small group activities are emphasized.

The Students:

The Staff: A 14 year teaching veteran, Sharon Fedor's content area expertise is varied. She has taught elementary (high-functioning autistic) through college level (psychology) students. She has written and illustrated a high school marine biology and oceanography curriculum and has adapted it for use by the learning disabled student. She has lived in three European countries and has studied Shakespeare at Oxford, England. Ms. Fedor has called on her broad personal experiences to develop a teaching approach that uses affective education and creativity to address the pressing needs of society today.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: Materials needed are: a blackboard with colored chalk, poster paper, poster boards and colored markers. Outside Resources: Outside resources might include the Peace Education Foundation.

Overall Value: Through the combining of creative expression and the development of social sensitivity, students are guided (or followed!) through a process leading towards social understanding and community spirit.

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Computer Big Books…Focus on Literacy
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: to
How It Works: Computer Big Books: Focus on Literacy is a computer-based publishing program that establishes a firm foundation for literacy, fosters a love of books, and encourages students to become life-long readers. Young children become authors who create and collect books for both their classroom and personal libraries. The process begins with a commercially-made big book whose easy repeating phrases, scant text, and predictability encourage quick memorization. After a week of daily reading and accompanying activities, the students create a tangible product (storyboard, story apron, or small book) which they bring home on Friday to share with their families. These memorized stories become the bridge between the developmental reading steps. Students then work together to make four kinds of computer big books: Reproductions: use the original text of the week's big book but add the children's interpretive illustrations; these reproductions become valuable choices for classroom reading time after the original copy has been returned to the school library. Innovations: capitalize on the repeated sentence structure of the focus big book and ask the children to change the text in some way: adding their names, substituting a new idea, or rewriting the ending. Informational big books integrate the curriculum by allowing students to write about what they have learned in other subject areas. Original big books: can either be fiction (imaginary tales inspired by holidays, life events or teacher prompts) or nonfiction - accounts of a field trip or other shared experience. When writing a big book, the teacher always models the writing process by brainstorming, writing (using one of four methods), conferencing, rewriting, editing publishing, illustrating and sharing. Each of the four writing approaches uses the computer in slightly different ways. The Cloze method involves preparing the text ahead of time with a blank for the child to fill in. The Language Experience Approach transposes from chart paper to computer. The Small Group Method finds children looking over the teacher's shoulder as the teacher keyboards the words. The Data Show uses an LCD panel which "magically" shows words appearing and disappearing onto a screen. The pages can be printed immediately on the large screen printer for the children to illustrate. The Students: The original program was used in a transitional pre-first grade of largely at-risk students. It would be appropriate for K-2 (literacy goals) and 3-6 (other objectives).

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: Materials Needed: A Macintosh computer, PageMaker software, Adobe, and a large screen printer. An overhead projector and LCD panel are optional. Students should have as many art supplies for the illustration process as possible: crayons, watercolors, tempera cakes, colored chalk, colored pencils, colored tissue, construction paper, etc. Overall Value: Computer Big Books provides a large number of appropriate level reading materials in the classroom, teaches children the value of technology at an early age, and strengthens students' self-confidence. Computer Big Books help students develop an "I CAN DO IT" attitude and foster communication and cooperation among children and parents. At the end-of-the-year "author tea party," the children divide the big books among themselves to take home and keep, providing treasured reading materials for homes that may not have children's reading materials available.

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Computer Learning
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: The computer program, "Math Assault II: Fractions," is designed to teach fractions, decimals, ratios, proportions, and percents through graphic illustrations of concepts, a series of illustrated hints, speech for attention and focusing, and a game format for motivation. These topics are normally taught from the fifth through the eighth grade levels. There are 240 word problems and 240 computational problems. The emphasis is on teaching strategies and problem-solving skills for ten categories of problems which include customary measurement, metric measurement, money, and time concepts. All problems and solutions are illustrated through a multimedia format which includes a picture to depict each problem, a different series of pictures to illustrate the solution, text, sound effects, music, and speech to enhance understanding of the problem and solution.

The Students: Designed for students at achievement levels 5-8. Can be used for all age levels.

The Staff: Classroom teacher

What You Need: Any type of classroom. Minimum requirements are an IBM compatible computer with at least 640 Kilobytes RAM and a VGA monitor. Minimum requirements for speech capability: 2 Megabytes of RAM, a Sound Blaster sound card, and at least a 386 processor.

Overall Value: This learning experience is designed to help students to: solve problems and think logically; understand the underlying concepts in fractions, decimals, rates, ratios, proportions, and percents; understand the steps necessary to solve word problems; and provide practice doing calculations. The math problems are part of an arcade game designed to provide motivation for up to 60 or more hours needed to complete the program. Students also learn perseverance and independence since all of the problems are presented with written, spoken, and graphical solutions.

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Computerized Research, Start to Finish
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 9 to 14
How It Works: Computerized Research, Start to Finish rekindles the interest of the unmotivated student. Each student develops a product from inception through completion using a technology-based medium which drastically increases motivation to learn and work. The teacher guides each student to choose a specific person, place, or event within a selected subject area. In a Civil War unit, for example, a student may choose to learn and write about Robert E. Lee. During their first visit to the computer lab, students learn how to enter relevant facts from the encyclopedia on hard drive and print out their entries. With research material in hand, they return to their classroom, study their sources, organize the facts into an outline, and write a rough draft. Students enter the rough drafts into the computer where the word processor enables them to add, delete, and revise. Spell checking and thesaurus features help the students refine their work and deliver a more professional product. Some students even add graphics to their text to further explain what they want to say. The Students: The original users of this program were seventh grade students with motivational problems and below-grade reading levels, but the project is suitable for all students grades 7-12.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: Materials Needed: The program works best with one Macintosh computer with hard drive for each student and at least three printers. Software includes a hard drive encyclopedia (Random House), a word processor (Microsoft Works), thesaurus, and dictionary. Optional: File Server, Networked System, CD ROM and CD encyclopedia. Overall Value: In this age of information, students need to be able to use computers to speed the processing of gathering information and communicating in written form. It is exhilarating to see students who are resistant to academic endeavors become so excited to work on their projects that they request computer access to research and write on their own time!

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Conflict Mediators' Program
Category: Classroom Management/Intergroup
Grades: 6 to 14
How It Works: Many teachers report that the number-one hindrance to classroom learning is interruptions resulting from unresolved interpersonal conflicts between students. The purpose of this program is to train students to resolve conflicts, not only their own but also those between peers. Students learn to problem-solve, listen objectively, take responsibility for their actions, and to communicate assertively rather than aggressively. The success of these lessons hinges upon live enactment of the concepts being presented. The first step is to train six student actors. Class presentations are introduced by a skit, a pantomime, or a role play. For example, a pantomime introduces the concept of empathy, while a skit is used to demonstrate the principals and pitfalls of problem-solving and mediation. The last stage of the program, the training of conflict mediators, is accomplished by selecting a team of students with a good behavior record, objectivity, and the ability to speak before peers. These students are then trained in listening skills, problem-solving and mediation techniques, and then assigned (in pairs) to specific duty times among peers. DCPS Major System Priorities: Intergroup Relations, Critical Thinking. The Students: This program can be used in grades four through 12. It is as effective in one classroom or one whole grade level as it is for an entire school. It requires at least five total class presentations, followed by an eight-hour training seminar for selected student mediators. The school-wide program could easily be implemented for use in secondary schools, with counselors and administrators in a cooperative venture. The dispute mediation could be expanded also into a nine-week unit on Intergroup Relations, or taught as part of the annual elective courses, Peer Counseling I through IV.

The Students:

The Staff: Karen Hardeman has been an educator for 20 years, teaching, exceptional education, and counselor training to students from preKindergarten through college levels. She has received two previous Dade Public Education Fund Mini-Grants, and was named a Peace Educator of the Year in 1987 by the GCA Peace Education Foundation, and Educator of the Quarter in 1990 by the Homestead/Florida City Chamber of Commerce. She is currently a Florida State Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Private Practice, as well as Student Services Department Chairperson at Homestead Middle School.

What You Need: Material and Facilities: Posters, videos, and teacher's guides published by G.C.A. Peace Education Foundation will be most helpful. Video production equipment and prerecorded videos of student mediators in action are also helpful. Outside Resources: A field trip to the Community Relations Board of Miami, and a Faculty Inservice session by Fran Schmidt of DCPS Social Studies Department would be of value.

Overall Value: Students who participate in this program demonstrate increased confidence and ability to help themselves and their peers to resolve disputes nonviolently. As arguments decrease, students have more time for learning. As students are empowered to solve their own conflicts, the teacher's role becomes less like a "police officer". The overall school environment begins to improve, and as a result, teachers and students are freed to work cooperatively together.

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Conflicts, Wars, No Peace
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 6 to 6
How It Works: Japan had invaded China, Mussolini had conquered Ethiopia, and the Spanish Civil War was raging. Then in 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, bringing the United States into World War II. Wars in our century have taken about a hundred million lives. The pain, sorrow, and anguish this has caused is incalculable. How have survivors, both military and civilian, been enable to cope?, This program of study expands and enriches the social studies, language arts, math, and art curricula with the study of war and conflicts involving the United States and its, never-ending quest for world peace. Various fiction, reference, and non-fiction books were used as the subject of war and conflicts became more understandable to the students. They were able to discover the parallels between attitudes that led to previous conflicts and those that are still very prevalent in world leaders and others today. They concluded that peace starts with each of us. The students kept a notebook in which they placed pictures of previous war scenes, current newspaper articles of wars and conflicts presently occurring in the United States and around the world, drawings, charts of war costs and casualties, war entry timelines, and other information as we progressed through the unit. Expressive narratives, informative/descriptive narratives, and research writings were included in their notebooks. Vocabulary was introduced across the curriculum. The Revolutionary War, Civil War, and both World Wars were discussed in detail using drawings, pictures of states and countries before and after the war, and other reference sources. After many group discussions and debates, the students were assigned the task of re-enacting the events leading up to a conflict or war and presenting another outcome. Their goal was to maintain peace. This was quite a challenge. Bursting with their newly acquired knowledge, they performed various skits showing the perils of wars. Their projects, were creative and accurately depicted war aftermath. Both a United States and World map were used to identify various locations where wars had been fought. Next, we flagged areas where wars are presently being fought. The map scale was used to calculate the distances between various cities, states, and countries affected by strife. The Student: This program was used with fourth grade students, but can be adapted to any intermediate or secondary level.

The Students:

The Staff: A fourth-grade teacher developed the program to increase her students' knowledge and awareness of the perils of war and the devastating results of their after effects. Students must be made to realize at an early age that conflicts must be settled in a nonviolent, intelligent, and fair manner.

What You Need: Materials: The teacher and students used the local public libraries and the school library to gather reference materials. Oral accounts from veterans, magazines, newspapers, maps, posters, and information from the Smithsonian Institute was also used. Various fiction and non-fiction books were purchased to add to the classroom library for easy access by the students. The students used cardboard boxes and plywood to construct their dioramas. They purchased military men, model military aircraft, union and confederate officers, and other arts and crafts supplies to make their dioramas accurately depict a war era. Magazine pictures were used to make murals of different wars and war torn areas. Outside Resources: Veterans can be asked to come in and speak to the students about their experiences.

Overall Value: "Conflicts, Wars, No Peace" was a very interesting unit of study that allowed the students to examine the causes and effects of battles. They not only gained historical knowledge, but they were able to appreciate the need for every boy, girl, man, and woman to strive for peace. If it is true that history repeats itself, then the future is bleak. If it is true that peace starts with each of us, then we do have some control over our destiny. The choice is one that we each must make.

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Confucianism in the '90s
Category: Global Education
Grades: 8 to 11
How It Works: Confucianism in the '90s was designed help intermediate level students gain some insight into alternative moral outlooks. Learning about another moral system helps students gain insight into their own system and personal beliefs. This unit also helps students understand some of the underlying tenets that motivate the Chinese people.

The program is comprised of a springboard activity in which the teacher reads Confucius' analect on the conduct of the virtuous person to the class followed by a class discussion. Students are then given quotes from the Analects to discuss in small groups and agree upon an interpretation. This often results in a lively discussion and insight into their own beliefs. Students then learn about li, ren, filial piety, and righteous government from the teacher and are given a worksheet challenging them to identify which of the virtues is being discussed in a series of quotes. Finally, they develop their own "modern" Confucian saying and share it with the class.

Other activities include reading and reacting to a series of interviews done with Chinese teachers and students on the topic of Confucius, responding to a newspaper article, and debating whether or not a return to Confucianism would be workable in modern China.

The Students: Twenty-four heterogeneously grouped sixth graders participated in this unit. The group met for 45-minutes a day for two weeks. Students were broken into small groups for discussion. Confucianism in the '90s has also been used with a smaller group of fifth graders. The program can be adapted for older students.

The Staff: In this instance, the staff included the classroom teacher and the special educator. This unit can be taught successfully by the classroom teacher without assistance.

What You Need: The program was implemented in the classroom using copies of the Analects and school supplies. Other than paper, pencils and a copier, no special materials are needed.No outside resources are needed other than several copies of the Analects.

Overall Value: The unit is successful because students can relate the situations in the Analects to situations in their own lives. New concepts are explored though lively discussion. Students are given a means of examining their own belief system in a non-threatening way.

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Connecticut Week: A Celebration of Statehood
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 2 to 14
How It Works: Connecticut Week: A Celebration of Statehood is a, project which involves the entire school for one week. The week falls, in the middle of a grade 3 thematic unit on Connecticut. Each grade, level determines an area of concentration for that week: kindergarten, focuses on Connecticut symbols; grade 1 focuses on Connecticut, animals; grade 2 focuses on Connecticut rivers; and grade 3 focuses on, the history of Connecticut. Each area of concentration was-determined, by matching the focus to curricular objectives. In addition to the grade level objectives, special school-wide, activities are planned. Activities include: Connecticut song sharing Connecticut author day, Connecticut T-shirt day, presentations from, the local historical society, town tours, field trips, energy, presentations, government official visits, and a Business and Industry, Fair. At the fair, businesses and industries share their expertise, with the students in a fair-like atmosphere. A wealth of Connecticut information transforms the school, building. Displays from classroom activities line the main hallway. Bulletin boards carry Connecticut themes and Connecticut banners, proudly line the building entrances. Daily morning announcements, contain Connecticut trivia questions and school lunches include, Connecticut food and Connecticut shaped cookies. Students are given, Connecticut pencils and I Love Connecticut necklaces. Evaluation of the week is easily observed in the enthusiasm of, the students, parents and community members. Students are able to, integrate and transfer newly acquired knowledge across the curricular, areas as evidenced by the development of original products. THE STUDENTS This project is designed for an entire school, population for a one-week period. Students in grades K-3 have, successfully participated in this celebration.

The Students:

The Staff: A Connecticut Committee is established to determine the, school activities for the week. One grade level representative administrators, and special teachers are included. The classroom, teacher supervlses the specific activities in his/her room, however all staff members play an integral part in the celebration atmosphere. Parent volunteers and PTO members help with the display work and, distribution of materials.

What You Need: All materials for the grade, level projects are standard classroom supplies. Facilities and, outside resources depend upon the extent of the celebrations. Our, resources include the local historical society, state business and, industry representatives, energy resource people, the state, troubadour, Connecticut authors, local and state government officials, and our school PTO. The school-gymnasium is used for our, presentations, but the entire buildlng is a showcase for Connecticut, information.

Overall Value: Students experience an all-school annual event that, unites the school with a common theme. High self esteem is exhibited, when work is displayed in the school hallways. Students understand, and appreciate their historical heritage by recognizing and analyzing, events, personalities, trends and beliefs that have shaped, Connecticut. Students also begin to understand an indlvidual's role, in helping to improve the quality of life in a community and state. Learning to appreciate themselves and their home state is reinforced, year after year in this Connecticut Week Celebration.

Standards:


Connecting Preschool Children And Books
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 1 to 1
How It Works: Connecting Preschool Children and Books is a collaborative program between preschool teachers and the school librarian to provide developmentally appropriate experiences to both the disabled and nondisabled preschool population. With integrated sequential planning, library time enriches and extends classroom activities. Books are used to introduce a unit or to elaborate on a concept. In addition, hands-on activities related to the books are carried out in both the library and the classrooms, and children participate at their individual levels of development. Furthermore, by using the book as a reference, students can link current enjoyable experiences to ideas and activities in the book. By integrating many subject areas within one unit, many skills can be taught. Fine motor skills are taught by drawing, coloring, painting, cutting, and gluing in art. In science, naming, observing, comparing, recording, and describing develop language and cognitive skills. Movement, memory, and imitation in music teach gross motor and cognitive skills. Reading, math, and oral language all develop cognitive skills. The Students: Two classes composed of 16 noncategorical preschool students from 3 to 5 years of age with various handicapping conditions and one FECEP class of 15 students participate in the program. The program could be adapted to larger groups of handicapped and nonhandicapped preschool students.

The Students:

The Staff: The school librarian and three preschool teachers developed the program and, with the help of assistants, implement the program.

What You Need: The program requires typical classroom and library space. Appropriate materials include books, flannel graphs, filmstrips, pictures and photos, art materials, props, and hands-on manipulatives. Parents are encouraged to read the library books that the children check out. Letters, newsletters, and home visits provide information on books and activities.

Overall Value: Connecting Preschool Children and Books provides opportunities for preschool children of diverse backgrounds and developmental levels to enjoy books and related activities. The children engage in activities that build their self-esteem as they become more competent in language, cognitive, and fine-motor skills. Since many of the children are from multicultural backgrounds in which English is not the primary language spoken in the home, concrete experiences planned collaboratively for the classroom and the library enhance the children's interest and provide a base for understanding. The children then acquire communication skills by listening and by using language.

Standards:


Connections: To Search for Beauty, Overcome Prejudice and Inhabit Other Lives
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: "Connections" is a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic program in literature, writing, and the human experience. Students engage in concurrent activities of reading multi-cultural, multi-ethnic literature reflecting the themes in the project's title. At the beginning of a grading period the class is given the names of pen pals in the same school system who are of a different racial or cultural background. Each week, for nine weeks, students write letters to their pen pals about their backgrounds, cultures, schools, and life experiences. Students may not share photos, phone numbers or home addresses, removing any element of risk and preventing students from judging pen pals on superficial characteristics. They are to develop the,"connection" through writing alone. All letters may be sent through school mail at no cost to the teacher or student. Throughout the project, students keep a "Connections Journal: A Journal of Self-Discovery" in which students keep all pen pal letters, reactions to stories and novels read, class discussions and films viewed. As a culminating activity, students meet their pen pals on a field trip picnic, teaming with them in various games and getting to know one another in person. A real,"connection" is made. DCPS Major System priorities: Standard English, Intergroup Relations. The Students: This project has been implemented with tenth-grade English students at, regular and honors levels, but may be adapted for any class in grade nine through twelve. A varying number of lessons should be allowed to cover a nine week grading period.

The Students:

The Staff: Carol L. Green, a Dade County Public School Teacher, for 17 years, received a 1989 Rockefeller Foundation Grant for the Humanities, from which she developed this project. In 1988, the Grace Contrino Abrams Peace Education Foundation named her Peace Educator of the Year. She participated in the 1987 University of Miami/DCPS Writing Institute and in 1990, attended the Dade Academy for the Teaching Arts (DATA). She has taught English at MDCC and courses on the Holocaust for the Central Agency of Jewish Education. Ms. Green is listed in the 1989 Who's Who in American Education.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: Class rolls from another teacher in another school, journals, selected readings, and directed assignments. Outside Resources: Films: "The Eye of the Storm" "Why Man Creates" "The Wave" "El Norte". Field trip can be arranged at any park centrally located to both schools.

Overall Value: Our society's cultural and ethnic variety requires not just that we tolerate those of another culture, race or religion, but we appreciate and learn from them. Through directed studies in literature and writing and making a reallife connection outside one's own culture, students have the opportunity to live what they learn.

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Cooking Through The Curriculum
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 1 to 1
How It Works: Cooking experiences allow young children to learn about the world, around them through a medium that is familiar and satisfying associating warmth, love and acceptance with the food they eat and, the social environment of eating. The language arts are fostered, as children learn new words about food, use words to describe how, food tastes, learn how reading is necessary to follow a recipe and, practice motor skill as they mix, pour, stir and beat so that, muscles for writing are developed. In math, children are using counting skills in a meaningful way learning about measurements, ordinal numbers and beginning to, understand fractions. Science lessons abound as children see, changes in substances, learn how to observe accurately, learn the, forms of matter, and have an opportunity to think logically. Social Studies takes on a new dimension as children learn about, where food comes from, the many people who are involved in food, preparation, foods of different cultures and the cooperation that, is necessary in the preparation of meals and snacks. Students make a salad using all the parts of the plant, set the, table in one-to-one correspondence and write an experience story, about the different tastes and textures of the vegetables. This, activity provides a unique and rewarding experience because it, allows students to share cooperatively the responsibilities of, Cooking Through The Curriculum DCPS Major System Priorities Achievement, Intergroup Relations Blueprint 2000 Goals Readiness to Start School, Learning Environment The Students: This project has been implemented in preschool and primary classes, in various school settings. It is presently being implemented in, the Early Intervention Pre-Kindergarten program. It can be adapted, to any elementary grade regardless of achievement level.

The Students:

The Staff: Linda Harvey has been teaching young children for 18 years in, private and public schools. She is a member of the School-Based, Managed Cadre, Curriculum Committee and Primary Grade Group, Chairperson at Golden Glades Elementary. She has been the, recipient of a Citibank Success Fund Grant and is a 1991-1992, IMPACT II Developer. Currently the Teacher of the Year at Golden, Glades, she is pursuing an advanced degree in Early Childhood at, Florida International University.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: A hot plate, mixer and assorted pots, pans and mixing bowls form, the core of materials needed for this project. The groceries and, paper goods required are relative to the recipes adapted for the, program and the population being served. Outside Resources: Parent volunteers, the Cafeteria Manager, local chefs and assorted, cookbooks are useful.

Overall Value: Children acquire knowledge about the physical and social worlds in, which they live through their interaction with objects and people. When students are actively involved in hands-on, multi-sensory, learning experiences, learning becomes relevant for them and they, are more likely to persist with a task and to be motivated to learn, more. Cooking Through the Curriculum provides children with a, rewarding, productive experience that utilizes all five senses.

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Cooking with Style
Category: Health/Physical Education
Grades: 5 to 5
How It Works: This program was developed with an introduction to measurement and nutrition. The easiest way to implement this program is by setting up nutrition, computer, writing, library, and game centers. The students in groups of four or five have the opportunity to visit each center for 30 minutes once a week. The students are responsible for bringing the ingredients to the nutrition center. The students get to touch, feel, and measure the ingredients and watch them cook. The fun part comes when the students eat their products. The recipes are simple to follow and make enough for the group. The students also start collecting recipes from the classroom and home. The Student: This program has been used in a third grade bilingual classroom. The students were responsible to bring in the ingredients that would be used in the nutrition center. The students were very enthusiastic about this program and wanted to continue cooking everyday, even after the unit was completed.

The Students:

The Staff: The program was implemented by one bilingual teacher. Some of the students, parents, and VIPS would go into the classroom and help the teacher in the nutrition center. They would help the students in the center while the teacher helped the other students in the other centers.

What You Need: Materials: There are a few basic things that are needed to be successful in the classroom. A teacher needs a toaster oven, electric skillet, bowls, spoons, paper plates, forks, napkins, measuring cups, and spoons. You could ask the students to bring the paper goods along with the ingredients. Outside Resources: No outside resources are needed, but we have gone to a supermarket and a bakery on a field trip. The Impact II office also has names of companies that will send you free, materials to your school.

Overall Value: The students really enjoyed using the nutrition center, because they got to measure, cook, and eat what they made. They were enthusiastic about learning how to measure and how to eat healthy foods. It gives them the chance to use what they learned in a real-life,"hands-on" experience. The students also did their comparison, shopping through the fliers from the grocery stores.

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COOPERATION COUNTS
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 7
How It Works: Through literature and technology, "Cooperation Counts" fosters community between children of different ages and grade levels. Children develop and hone communication skills as they work together to write and publish stories. Rapport is built as fifth graders work with first graders on theme related activities. The beginning of the project involves the fifth graders helping the first graders to make self-portrait using various media. This activity helps friendships bloom between the two different age levels. Then the portraits are displayed at the PTA Open House. Next, children discuss and write about friendship.

These pieces are typed and printed, introducing the children to the Writing Center and leading the way for cooperative work on the Internet. The older children take turns selecting appropriate books and reading to the first graders, emphasizing story elements. This prepares the younger students to construct meaningful stories containing important components. Using the writing process, along with guidance from their partners, the first graders are ready to write a story about friendship. The stories are developed into picture books; the text is typed by the fifth graders and illustrated by the first graders. The project culminates as the books are shared with families at a "Cooperation Celebration".

The Students: This project addresses multiple intelligences, giving the children the opportunity to express ideas through written, oral, visual, tactile and interpersonal experiences. Assessment is ongoing and performance based. Students are evaluated using a rubric and teacher observation. Students also self-assess and reflect both individually and with their cross-grade partners. Twenty-four first graders and twenty fifth graders, of all ability levels, participated in the project.

The Staff: Carole Franceschet and Rosina Hurley Montowese Elementary School, North Haven

What You Need: Computer lab, writing supplies, teacher-prepared materials, arts and crafts supplies, student-selected books.

Overall Value: This project results in the acquisition and refinement of writing skills and promotes the benefits of sharing and working cooperatively. Self-esteem is built in the fifth graders as they take on the responsibility of a first-grade partner. The first graders are motivated and encouraged by the exposure to the more refined writing skills of the older children. The activities promote interpersonal relationships and the importance of a sense of community, as the students apply knowledge in literature and technology, while building skills in reading, speaking and writing. The students celebrate their achievements when their picture books are presented to family and friends.

Standards: Positive Self-concept Interpersonal Relations Motivation and Persistence Reading, Writing and Learning


COUNTRIES, CULTURES, AND KIDS
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 7
How It Works: Imagine sipping tea in China, creating and donning an African tie-dyed shirt, watching a demonstration of homemade pasta making, and galloping on the Argentine pampas, plus much more, without ever leaving your classroom. The itinerary for this magical journey is designed by the cultural makeup of your class and enhanced by student and parental participation!

"Countries, Cultures and Kids!" is a yearlong interdisciplinary unit which fosters ethnic pride and a feeling of self-worth while promoting an awareness and tolerance of diverse cultures. Children are taken on a journey around the world in 180 days, and they are guaranteed a stop at their cultural beginnings.

Each ethnic day is started with a literature selection chosen from a prepared project bibliography. The selection is read to the children and a literature related activity is completed. Background information about the country being celebrated is shared. Map skills are integrated into the day and math and critical thinking skill activities are implemented. Writing activities may include creative or expository selections. Children create multicultural pieces of art and enjoy traditional music and ethnic dances. Children may also play a game such as Hopscotch (England). Cooking rounds out the events of the day. Children enjoy tasting many delicious and diverse foods.

The Students: The culminating activity at the end of the year is Heritage Day. Children share what they have learned about their country and other countries during this unit. Parents sign up to bring in an ethnic food for a tasting party and are invited to stay and join in the celebration. This has been an overwhelming success with 100% participation.

The Staff: Pamela B. Blanos and Angela Burkholz Helen Street School, Hamden

What You Need: Most activities can be carried out with materials readily available in the classroom. If cooking, recipe ingredients would be needed.

Overall Value: This project generates a great deal of enthusiasm as children are eager for their cultures to be celebrated and interested in learning about the cultures of others. They display a sensitivity toward differences among students within the classroom and come to realize the similarities we all share. Self-esteem grows as each unique ethnic background is celebrated. Parents eagerly volunteer to come to speak to the class, to cook special dishes or to lead an art activity. As the project ends, children gain ethnic pride and self-respect. They realize their own value and come to value others.

Standards:


Courting Civil Rights
Category: Global Education
Grades: 7 to 8
How It Works: Courting Civil Rights, gives students a working knowledge of the U.S. judicial system as well as an in-depth understanding of the civil rights movement. By, learning about famous civil rights cases of the past, students develop a deeper understanding of current events and how they can work for social change. Students are presented with a general overview of a civil rights case (e.g., Brown v. Board of Education) and are taught courtroom procedure and appropriate legal terminology. After discussing the history of the civil rights movement through handouts, videos from the PBS series Eyes on the Prize, and other resources, they are responsible for working cooperatively to prepare a given case for the plaintiff or the defense. Finally, they present their cases to their peers and faculty, with the teacher acting as judge. Courting Civil Rights strenghtens students' oral and writing skills as they write their own arguments and dialog and play such parts as lawyers, baliff, stenographer, and witnesses. It gives them an opportunity to work cooperatively toward a common goal and to develop the analytical skills that are necessary for understanding the major social issues of, our time.

The Students:

The Staff: Jennifer Eden Hinderstein developed the project as a result of her interest and activity in multicultural affairs. She is available to provide consultation, to interested colleagues as well as sample lessonplans, student work samples, resource lists, and other materials.

What You Need: The project requires a least two teaching periods a week. In addition to legal pads and other basic supplies, the project uses the video series Eyes on the Prize to introduce students to civil rights history. Students' presentations are videotaped. Props such as a gavel are recommended to give presentions authenticity. Library materials and other resources are needed for students to research cases.

Overall Value: By participating in the project, students gain an awareness of social issues and can articulate peaceful remedies to current problems in American society. They have developed a sense of themselves as powerful and competent citizens, says Hinderstein. "After having taught Courting Civil Rights with my sixth graders, all they want to know is ‘When can we do it again?"

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Cracked-Up Over Animals
Category: Classroom Management/Intergroup
Grades: 6 to 6
How It Works: "Cracked-Up Over Animals" was a program designed to reinforce information learned about animals through the integration of all academic disciplines. In this program, each student took a box of animal crackers and began by making predictions about the box's contents. After recording their results on a chart (both predictions and actual amounts), each student created a graph which displayed the chart's information. Next, the students classified the crackers in their box into groups using, a particular attribute. The students then met with a partner and after observing the common characteristics of the group's members, they attempted to guess the attribute their partner used to classify their crackers. After researching information on an animal of their choice, the students created,"Animal Riddles." On an index card, the students listed four descriptive clues for their animal saving the most definitive clue for, last. These were then placed inside, the empty box and placed at a center for the students to come and make their guess as to which animal was being described. The students then met in expert groups to share their research findings. With the information gathered in the groups, the students chose another animal in addition to the animal which they researched to us in a classificatory writing activity. Next, the students created a "Country Cube" on the country from which their animal originated. Each side of the cube contained descriptions of the country's location in relation to other countries by incorporating such skills as latitude and longitude, and cardinal and intermediate directions. To wrap up the program, the students used actual measurement information to construct life-size replicas of their animal out of cardboard. The classroom was then converted into a zoo, with tours for, others to enjoy and experience all, that was learned about animals so that they, too, will also become,,"Cracked-Up Over Animals." Students: The students who participated in this program were 21 fourth graders. "Cracked-Up Over Animals" can easily be adapted and utilized in any grade level.

The Students:

The Staff: The classroom teacher monitors learning while the students assume the role of facilitator and dispenser of information.

What You Need: Materials: The materials needed for the successful implementation of this program are boxes of animal crackers, encyclopedias, nonfiction animal books, index cards, tag board, world maps, rulers, and cardboard. Outside Resources: An outside resource to be utilized is a visit to your school from the Houston Zoomobile.

Overall Value: "Cracked-Up Over Animals" is a motivational program which encourages students to work cooperatively with each other. It also allows the students to assume ownership of their learning, and therefore, encourages them to become responsible for not only their learning, but also for the learning of others. Children love animals and they love animal crackers, both of these being the basis of this program.

Standards:


Create a Legend!
Category: Foreign Language
Grades: 11 to 13
How It Works: Students used Spanish to read and retell, or invent, a legend. Using software, they illustrated the legend and added sound effects. With a microphone, they added their own voices as narration. Class activities included reading, analysis, and paraphrasing of the legend. Students also utilized their speaking and computer skills in preparing the story. The program required students to read, write, and speak in Spanish in an engaging and interesting project.

The Students: Approximately 45 students in a third year Spanish class participated in this project. Classes met daily for 40 minutes for this two-week project. This activity could be adapted to elementary students and to other curricular areas where a story may be told. The students worked in groups of 2-4 and could be of any grade level.

The Staff: Carol Eiber has been teaching for 16 years. She has been awarded a Martha Holden Jennings Grant, three PTSA mini-grants and has a Diploma in Spanish as a Foreign Language. Nancy Green has been teaching for 27 and is a member of the technology committee.

What You Need: Resources needed were Storybook Weaver Deluxe by MECC Learning Library, a computer, a microphone and a printer. The computer may be shared or multiple computers with multiple copies of the software can be used, if it is available.The computer(s) may be set up in the classroom or in the media center, wherever space is available. More computers and software allowed more students to work at one time.

Overall Value: This project is fun! The students enjoy trying out different scenes, characters and sounds. It engages them visually and aurally while offering practice in speaking the foreign language. Small group work requires cooperation and democracy. It is an enjoyable change from paper and pencil writing.

Standards:


Creating 3-D Math Using Quicktime Virtual Reality
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 9 to 10
How It Works: The purpose of this program was for students to develop a comprehensive understanding of various 3-dimensional geometric figures and to enhance their use of other mathematical writing, research and computer skills necessary in everyday life. Students worked in groups of three to four to study a particular shape. Students formulated and explained their own formulates for surface area and volume of their shape. They researched examples of their shape using both traditional and Internet sources. They shared their knowledge about their shape through the multi-media presentation format HyperStudio and QuickTime VR. The students used their new knowledge throughout the project by constructing the necessary materials for their presentations including the black VR box, the calibrated turntable, the net and the model itself along with real world examples.

The Students: This project, completed twice, was done with a seventh grade pre-algebra class consisting of 24 students. The students met daily for a forty-minute class period. It was best to group the students into smaller groups of 3-4 students.

The Staff: Mary Jo Hromco has been teaching for 30 years. She is a past recipient of an IMPACT grant, has been a Jennings Scholar and has been selected as a Teacher of the Year from her building. Mike Lytz has been teaching for 21 years. He began teaching as a middle school classroom teacher and is currently the Technology Resource Specialist for Middle Schools. Both educators have presented at both state and national conferences

What You Need: : Small groups of four students, trained in HyperStudio, were best to begin with. Those trained students became the "experts to help others.

Teachers needed to have access to computers with HyperStudio and QuickTime VR on them, plus a digital camera. The other materials, such as boxes, felt, clip on lights, turntables were inexpensive and easily accessible.

Overall Value: One of the best aspects of this project is that it is a hands-on way to incorporate technology with subject matter. Students become actively involved in seeking out the knowledge they need and using it to create a presentation

Standards:


Creating a Classroom Newspaper
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 4 to 5
How It Works: A monthly classroom newspaper can stimulate creativity, enhance global awareness, sharpen critical thinking skills, and improve writing skills, and help children have fun. Children are involved in the decision-making process as they determine the contents of each edition. Students of various reading levels become aware of how a group effort can result in accomplishing a finished product. Students appreciate the makings of an actual newspaper, learn to meet deadlines, and realize the potentials of computer technology. They discover resourceful approaches to solving problems. DCPS Major System Priorities: Standard English, Critical Thinking, Intergroup Relations, Student Achievement. The Students: This project flourished in two very different school settings, Redland Elementary and Highland Oaks Elementary. It was used with second and third grade students. A classroom newspaper can be adapted to many age groups and achievement levels.

The Students:

The Staff: Alma Dean has taught in the DCPS system for five years, serving as a Learning Disabilities teacher at the Easter Seals School for four. She has a Masters in Health Services Administration from Florida International University. She is a Teacher/Research Linker trained through the AFT/UTD Educational Research and Dissemination Program, past researcher for Dade Academy of Teaching Arts, Board Director of University of Miami Alumni Association, and First Vice President of Redland P.T.A. Esther Evans has taught for ten years, six in Cleveland, Ohio and four in Dade County. Ms. Evans has composed original music to Robert Louis Stevenson's,"My Shadow" which she plays on the guitar. She was selected to guide 23 fifth-grade students as they toured Rome, Italy. Stephanie Sheir received an M.A. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Northern Colorado. Ms. Sheir was recognized for her fund raising for the Challenger Memorial Fund, in which she created a school project called,"Jump for the Astronauts". She was a math resource teacher in the Northeast Region for three years training teachers and students in a county math system.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: Computers, word processing software such as Appleworks (MECC), graphics software, printers, current newspapers, dictionaries, thesauri, and encyclopedias are all helpful materials. Outside Resources: Journalists from local newspaper and field trips to their newsrooms enhance this project.

Overall Value: Creating a classroom newspaper involves total participation in the writing process/whole language approach. A wide variety of topics are covered so every student is able to,"shine" in some area. A classroom newspaper strengthens the home-school bond while providing a creative outlet for children's thoughts and expressions.

Standards:


CREATING A POETRY WEB SITE
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: Using poems that illustrate the use of figurative language, tone, repetition, imagery, and refrain, high school English students write short essays, first in small groups and then by themselves. Afterwards, they answer questions on the poem they have selected as their favorite and write about it. Along with the poems, these essays make up the Favorite Poem classroom Web site. Students scan the poems, and artwork can also be incorporated. Then they compare and contrast their classroom site to a national Favorite Poem Web site. There are also video and audio readings of some of the poems on the national site. Students can also analyze and write about some of these poems.

Students are assessed by their comprehension of the poems' content and the literary devices used, as well as by the essays they write.

The Students: I covered this unit with 9th and 12th graders in New York City. The ability level can be wide.

The Staff: Peggy Maslow, a New York City high school English teacher for 23 years, has used technology in the classroom for over 16 years. She has also been her school's newspaper advisor for almost two years. She has taught all levels of students ranging from those with reading difficulties to honors, and has taught courses in journalism, mystery, American literature and other topics.

What You Need: This project takes ten or more class periods to complete. Computers with an Internet connection and word processing equipment, as well as a scanner, are necessary. Students should have a basic working knowledge of computers and the Internet. Teachers must be knowledgeable in creating a Web site.

Overall Value: Once students have learned how to recognize literary devices in poems and use this understanding to see the author's tone and theme, they can deepen their interpretation of new poems. After reacting to and analyzing more than eight poems, two of which are on the national site, students write essays about their favorite poems and create a class site. They also examine poems new to them on the national Favorite Poem site. Their appreciation and analysis is heightened by audio and video readings. Students put to use what they have learned about applying their knowledge of literary devices to analyze the poet's tone and theme.

Standards: Technology: Students develop note-taking, drafting, writing, and editing skills through use of the computer; use critical thinking and establish research skills to evaluate the credibility and appropriateness of Web sites and the validity of the available information. They compile, analyze, and evaluate the data collected while visiting a Web site.


Creating with Lines, Points, and Planes
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 11 to 13
How It Works: In,"Creating with Lines, Points, and Planes," students develop an appreciation for an awareness of the importance of geometry while at the same time they are able to show creativity. Creative writing and geometry may seem like strange companions, and perhaps they are. Yet, why should they be?, Maybe they cannot be the closest of friends, but at least they ought to meet once in a while. The students think and write creatively about geometry. The finished product is a "formal" work in the sense that it meets the appropriate standards of language and composition. They are also responsible for selecting their audience, preferably one who has successfully completed a high school geometry course. To begin their writing experience, the students are given writing prompts such as: 1) Maybe you would like to write,"An Ode to a Rectangle," sharing what makes it so special and unique. If you do not know what an ode is, you could do a little research. 2),"If I were a geometric figure, I'd be an oblique hexagonal prism." You would then go on to describe how the properties of this figure fulfill your lifestyle and how you think and react. 3) Maybe you would like to write a bit for a newspaper, such as a front page, a specialty column, or a sports item. 4) Perhaps you would like to write a love story about the romance between a circle and a trapezoid, sharing their geometric properties and how they contribute to the love affair. The students are not, however, limited to these prompts as many finished products were comic strips, Christmas carols, cartoons, other types of poems. The students spent a semester building knowledge about geometric lines, points, and planes. The students presented their finished products orally and using visuals to the class. The Student: The students involved in this project are ninth through eleventh graders in classes of 30 to 35 students.

The Students:

The Staff: This developer has been a mathematics teacher in the Houston Independent School District for 19 years. She was the recipient of stipend from the Exxon Excellence Award for Mathematics; she was chosen to attend the Regional Geometry Institute for two summers in Utah. She also taught Business as an adjunct faculty member at the Houston Community College for 10 years.

What You Need: Materials: Students use art supplies, poster boards, tape recorders, computer disks and video cassettes. This project is conducted outside the classroom and in the school library. Outside Resources: No outside resources are needed.

Overall Value: Students often get discouraged and frustrated with the learning process. After doing this project, the students were enhanced by their own creativity as well as their peers'. As they researched the different geometric terms and concepts and began to create, their appreciation for the subject grew. To research the terms and concepts and then create a well-written poem, ode, comic strips, or other creation was great challenge for the students; and their finished products brought great delight. Geometry is certainly knowing facts, investigating properties, proving theorems, and calculating measurements. But it is also a matter of relationships, of beauty, of wonder, of awe!

Standards:


Creative Comic Adventures
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 8 to 11
How It Works: Creative Comic Adventures is a program that introduces the student to a new and exciting form of authorship and publishing. A new breed of computer software is available that allows the user to create comics, posters and books. These user friendly programs provide the tools to compose music, imaginative art and expressive dialogue. These programs reward individuality and enable a student to create personalized comics by way of computer animation. Students will develop their own story line and dialogue relevant to their own experiences. Those students, with or without artistic ability, will have an exciting vehicle/medium to showcase their talent. Creative Comic Adventures will provide students with high-interest, low ability reading material. They will design their own vehicles or create their own job descriptions. "Comic Book Maker" (Pow! Zap! Ker-Plunk!) will tie it all together with a unique collection of stories that can be printed as well as video taped. DCPS MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES: Critical Thinking Skills, Whole Language, Student Achievement. THE STUDENTS: This project was implemented with Emotionally Handicapped, Trainable Mentally Handicapped students and Low Level Readers. It can be successfully used with ESE students as well as regular students. It can be used with one student or with groups.

The Students:

The Staff: Josephine Bennett is a 15-year teaching veteran with a B.S. in science (mental retardation), and a master's in reading. She has received both a Citibank Success Fund Grant and a Dade Public Education Fund Teacher Mini-Grant.

What You Need: MATERIALS AND FACILITIES: Materials needed include access to a computer, software, printer and a dictionary. OUTSIDE RESOURCES: Students can use the school and public libraries to research cartoon and comic creators and their methods.

Overall Value: It is outstanding to see the thought processes and the elation, whatever the level of the student, when their ideas and creations take fruition and can be transferred to the printed page. Critical thinking and story sequencing, plus the joy of authorship, evolve into a finished product that can be displayed and shared with others. It's fun to poke fun or take frustrations out in this accepted manner. The improved behavior and cooperation displayed was evident as small groups worked together to produce their collective ideas.

Standards:


Creative Signs and Banners
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: to
How It Works: This program is designed to be a service to all faculty and a work training program for Exceptional Education students. An area will be set up for the,"Creative Sign and Banner Company." The students will be responsible for running off sign and banner orders. The student will have to be computer literate. A check-off list of the computer training will be made for each individual student. The students will have to prove themselves computer literate through testing and teacher observation. The students will deliver the signs and banners to the people who ordered them. The Creative Sign and Banner Company will be open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. An order form will be sent to the main office and all department heads. A three day deadline will be required to ensure the appropriate amount of time to complete the order. The Student: Exceptional Education students from my Life Skills Communications, Life Skills Math, and Life Skills Vocational classes will be trained and will participate in the program.

The Students:

The Staff: My teacher aide and I will be training and working with the students.

What You Need: Materials: The materials needed to run such a program are 3 computer programs 5 boxes of paper, and 10 color ribbons for the Imagewriter printer. Outside Resources: No outside resources are required.

Overall Value: The overall value of the Creative Sign and Banner Company will be, the benefits it will provide to the students and faculty. The students, will be trained in the latest up-to-date computer technology. The work, experience will allow the students to increase their ability to sell themselves when job searching. The people who will benefit are on- campus administrators, teachers, counselors, area office staff, and incoming visitors presenting workshops. When a program is being set-up, we can be notified and prepare the necessary signs. There are many other values I could think of, however, the most important value is how this affects the students.

Standards:


Critter Creations
Category: Science
Grades: to
How It Works: The original program, Mealworm Mechanics (see IMPACT II catalog, 1992) extends the sixth grade science kit,,"The Behavior of Mealworms," by using a, design and technology approach to apply knowledge of the parts of an insect and, how the insect relates to the environment. Critter Creations expands on the, original by adding the use of graphic software to design an imaginary insect and, also create an animated clip using software. The students first design their insects, on the computer. The insects must conform to given criteria, such as a having, moving part (i.e. wheels, movable wings, motorized legs). The students then build, their insects using materials from home, create an animated clip of their insect, moving through the environment, and finally give an oral presentation sharing how, their insect was discovered.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need:

Overall Value:

Standards:


Cross-Age Tutors
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: Studies have shown over and over again, that the best way to "turn on" a student to the learning process is to get that student actively involved in the process itself. One way to guarantee active participation is to have that student help someone else learn. That is the premise behind placing "at risk" high school students as tutors in the elementary schools. Since one of the goals of this course is to help decrease the dropout rate among at-risk students, it is vital that the instructor of this course select tutors carefully. The focus is on SUCCESS, specifically the Steps to Success as explored in the S.T.A.R. materials: Be Confident, Be On Time, Be Responsible, Be Friendly, Be Here, Be Polite, Be Prepared, Be a Good Listener, Be a Doer, Be a Tough Worker, Be a Risk Taker, Be a Goal Setter, Be Healthy. The tutors assist the elementary children in tasks assigned by the teacher for 3-5 hours a week. The value of this course is that the high school students assume a position of responsibility, and receive invaluable "hands-on" experience in problem-solving, and interpersonal relations. The fact that tutors are "teachers" adds to their self-esteem, self-confidence and self-respect. In addition to the time spent in the elementary classroom, the tutors attend a Tutor Seminar class at the high school, which meets once a week to work on such issues as tutor training techniques, self-esteem, team building, problem-solving, and communication skills. The tutors gain practice in speaking, listening, and writing by sharing their previous week's experiences with the seminar group; listening to others' experiences while practicing active listening skills; contributing ideas for problem-solving; completing the handouts from the S.T.A.R. materials, a primary resource, and taking notes based on group discussions. The course is one semester long, but students may continue to enroll every semester with teacher approval. Self-evaluation is ongoing, but a composite evaluation of the student and the program are completed at the end of each semester. The high degree of enthusiasm combined with the high marks given by the elementary school staff, and the tutors indicate that this program works. The tutors not only show self-improvement, but promote success in their peers by being good role models for success. State Frameworks This course fits the English/Language Arts Framework and the History/Social Science Framework by integrating listening, speaking, reading, writing, thinking, self-esteem building and community involvement in a meaningful context. The Students: We have done this program for one year, and have placed 16 students (grades 10-12). Small classes enable individualized attention to each tutor in a seminar setting. The tutors, elementary staff, and elementary school children have been overwhelmingly positive and enthusiastic. As the word spreads, more and more teachers want our tutors.

The Students:

The Staff: Rod Duncan has been teaching junior and senior high school for 32 years and began the alternative schooling program at Dos Pueblos High School in 1972. Diana has been teaching high school since 1971.

What You Need: Facilities and Materials: The Responsibilty Skills/S.T.A.R. manual is needed. The teacher packet includes the Tutor Seminar curriculum. Outside Resources: None needed.

Overall Value:

Standards:


Crystal Clear
Category: Science
Grades: 2 to 5
How It Works: Q. What grows but is not alive?, A. A crystal. In this project children grow crystals, learning what crystals are, how they form and the differences and similarities among various types of crystals. Four different crystals are grown using: -salt, -sugar, -alum, -laundry bluing Children observe and record the growth process. They use hand magnifiers to identify and compare the shapes of the crystals. Finally students learn about other crystals and how they are used. Students: This project was developed for second graders meeting weekly for one class period. It can be adapted for other age groups.

The Students:

The Staff: Pauline Zolp received her BA from Loyola University in 1988. She has taught hands-on Science at Robert Healy School since 1990 and has already received several awards.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: It is essentials to have a space where containers of liquids can be left undisturbed. All the materials are readily available in local stores. Outside Resources: None needed.

Overall Value: Students' knowledge of shapes, colors, sizes and patterns is enhanced. They learn to use hand magnifiers and record their observations. The project develops individual responsibility and increases observational, sequencing and writing skills.

Standards:


CTA Chicago - Classroom Tours Around Chicago
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 9 to 10
How It Works: What better way to generate topics for stories and essays than by visiting some of Chicago's most exciting places using the most accessible transportation available--the CTA. Each month children choose a destination, research the site, travel there with their teacher and then reflect on the experience through discussion and writing. Students: This project involved thirteen seventh and eighth grade students, meeting daily in a special reading class. It is readily adaptable for other grades.

The Students:

The Staff: Carol Lovely has been a teacher in the Chicago Public Schools for seventeen years. She holds a BS from The College of St. Teresa in Winona, Minnesota and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Chicago State University.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: This program requires a file cabinet, file folders and access to a telephone to request materials and make appointments. Outside Resources: Application forms for CTA passes, system maps and schedules are available from the CTA. Museums will send information about themselves; local newspapers provide information about upcoming events of interest to the students.

Overall Value: Children master using the CTA. By visiting museums, libraries, the airport and city hall their universe expands. Their writing skills improve and they become more sure of themselves as they express their opinions in a relaxed, less structured setting.

Standards:


CUBS: COMMUNICATING UNDERSTANDING BY BUILDING SOCIAL SKILLS
Category: Special Education
Grades: 2 to 7
How It Works: "CUBS" is a social skills curriculum. The basic premise of the program is to directly teach social skills to students with special needs rather than relying on the incidental learning of these skills. There are twenty objectives taught in a cumulative approach. The goal of this program is to teach skills that will help students develop socially appropriate behavior.

Students participate in whole group and small group activities to facilitate understanding of the objectives introduced during each lesson. Weekly role-play activities provide the students with the opportunity to practice each objective. Through observation checklists, weekly homework, teacher and parent reports, and student self-evaluation, assessment is ongoing.

Two of the many innovative features of this program are peer mentors and interdisciplinary teaming. Peer mentors function as role models and facilitate improved social skills through role-playing, group discussion, and project partnerships. Peer mentors are selected for their leadership and superior social skills and become advocates within the school community for all members of the group.

An interdisciplinary team consisting of two special education teachers, a speech language pathologist, and a school social worker, meet weekly to plan the lessons for that group.

This collaborative team determines the most effective ways to introduce the social skill for the week and then develops the necessary materials to implement the lesson. Each member of the team brings a unique perspective to the planning process due to his/her training in a specific discipline. As a result, each lesson incorporates principles of pragmatic language, language development, social and emotional development, conflict resolution, behavior modification, attention to learning styles, and exceptionalities.

The Students:

The Staff: Beth Chudnow and Karen Johnson Eli Terry Elementary School, South Windsor Tracy Conners and Gary Walton Philip R. Smith Elementary School, South Windsor

What You Need: "CUBS" utilizes interdisciplinary team approach and standard classroom materials.

Overall Value: Possessing and utilizing acceptable social skills is an integral part of preparing for adult life and lifelong learning. Through speaking, listening, and viewing, students have multiple opportunities to refine these skills. The peer mentors and the interdisciplinary team approach allow the students to role-play, discuss, and network with peers and teachers. As they build confidence and self-esteem they become fully involved members of their community. Interdisciplinary team teaching, multi-age grouping, peer mentors, a multi-modality approach, and links between home, school, and community are unique attributes of "CUBS."

Standards:


CULTURAL ART AND HISTORY
Category: Arts
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: "Cultural Art and History" is a course designed to explore various cultures around the world by using both art and language arts. The purpose of the class is to give students the opportunity not only to study various cultures but to also gain a greater appreciation for the similarities and differences amongst them. Students learn about Native America, Africa, Australia, Latin America, Puerto Rico, and China, through the study of the oral traditions, videos, articles, music, museum visits and, especially, hands-on art experiences. Some of the art projects produced during the course are beaded bracelets and pouches, Kachina dolls, sandpaintings, dreamcatchers, African ancestor figures, masks, African Adinkra cloths, Australian dot and x-ray paintings, wood-burned gourds, nearikas (yarn paintings), molas, Vejijante masks, and Chinese paintings. While creating these projects students are allowed to choose a very traditional approach or to be more creative and make a modern version, as long as they understand the reasoning behind the art.

The Students: In a journal type book where students write about the history, beliefs, and art of each group of peoples, they also include a drawing of each art project they create with an explanation of the meaning behind their won art work. Students are also required to include in the book a tale from the people of that culture that has special meaning to the student. The journal needs to be worked on often and it is the students' responsibility to keep it current. The integration of language arts through the writing and art projects allow each student a chance to excel through different learning disciplines. The students are assessed through the quality and thoroughness of their books and through their work ethic while creating the art projects. A rubric is used to help in the assessment.

The Staff: Diane Szymaszek Francis T. Maloney High School, Meriden

What You Need: Art supplies, videos and books on different cultures and their art, museums, speakers.

Overall Value: Through "Cultural Art and History", students are given the opportunity to be creative through art and writing. They learn to be responsible and self-reliant by keeping their books up to date. The students also acquire knowledge of other cultures and learn to appreciate the similarities and differences among them.

Standards: Responsibility and Self-reliance Intellectual Curiosity Writing, Speaking, Listening and Viewing


Cultural Awareness and Related Experiences
Category: Global Education
Grades: 8 to 14
How It Works: Cultural Awareness and Related Experiences (CARE) is designed to enrich the educational curriculum by allowing students at the Middle School Learning Center (MSLC) to attend museums and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. These experiences expose the students to artifacts, paintings, and historical events. By attending the Kennedy Center for the National Symphony Orchestra's,"Meet the Orchestra," students become acquainted with symphonic music and observe young people performing in the orchestra. At the Smithsonian Institution students learn about American history and African-American culture as it relates to their civics and social studies curricula. Socially, students observe proper attire and behavior appropriate at an opera house and a museum. The students write reports on their experiences and share the reports with their classmates. CARE is especially important for the students who attend MSLC, which is the alternative education program for the middle school students in Area I. The majority of the students are from single-parent, low-income families. Many of the students function below grade level and have failed seventh or eighth grade. Many of the students in the program have not been exposed to the cultural and historical resources available to them.

The Students:

The Staff: The classroom teacher organizes the activities of the CARE project. The teacher, a full-time assistant, and parents chaperon the field trips.

What You Need: Funds are necessary to provide the field trip experiences. No additional materials or facilities are needed. In addition to depending on parent volunteers, this project takes advantage of the cultural resources of Smithsonian Institution and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Overall Value: CARE exposes students to cultural and historical resources, enabling them to share a common knowledge with their peers. It helps them to understand their role in society by examining where they have been and where they are today as a people and as a nation.

Standards:


Cultural Collections
Category: Global Education
Grades: 3 to 5
How It Works: To educate the students about the school's diversity, the staff at Belvedere supplements the curriculum in several ways. Staff members ask parent volunteers to speak about their countries of origin, to plan a holiday celebration, or to bring in artifacts. Teachers also look for literature that illustrates the backgrounds of their students. Culture Collections facilitates teachers' efforts to make their curriculum more multicultural. The program specifically helps students in grades one through three to develop social studies skills. The collections help students in these grades to compare their families with families around the world, to identify cultural and ethnic traditions in their classrooms, to compare life in their community to life in another community, to identify how global communities are interdependent, and to describe similarities and differences in global communities. For example, students can use articles from the kits such as the Japanese inflatable paper balls, the Korean and Vietnamese dolls, the carved African animals, and the stacking toys from Russia to compare and contrast games and toys used by children around the world. They can use the dashiki from Nigeria, the kimono from Japan, the ruyana from Colombia, and other clothing articles to discover how all communities have basic needs such as clothing.Global Education Focus: Culture Collections is a multicultural tool that enriches and enhances lessons about different countries and cultures. Each collection features cultures represented in Belvedere Elementary School: African, Asian, European, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and Native American.

The Students:

The Staff: From 1976 to 1980, I worked in Montgomery County, Maryland as an ESL teacher, bilingual teacher (Spanish/English), multicultural social studies teacher, and base classroom teacher. From 1980 to 1981, I taught preschool in Calvert County, Maryland. From 1987 to 1989, I taught adult ESL in Fairfax County, Virginia. From 1990 to 1996 I taught elementary ESL at Belvedere Elementary in Fairfax County and developed the program for this school. I have used the program I designed for less than a year. I am currently teaching regular first grade at North Springfield Elementary School in Fairfax County. Parent volunteers at Belvedere were helpful for labeling and categorizing donations from the staff and parents that were contributed to the collections.

What You Need: The treasure chests which house the collections need space for storage. Each chest is approximately 3 feet long by 2 feet high. Our school was able to store the collections in a small room off the library. It was difficult to add teacher-made activities such as the Divali lamp or the Chinese calendar to the collections, because the books and donated articles took up most of the room in each chest. When forced to choose what items to include or exclude, I placed more of a priority on hands-on items that the children could take out and use in the classroom than on reproducible exercises. If money had been available, I would probably have purchased two chests for each collection to accommodate all the articles and teacher-created activities that could have been included.

Resources

I used the media center (library) to store the collections. All artifacts in the collections were donated by the wonderful parents, teachers, and instructional assistants at the school. A specialist in another division of the school system even donated a huge collection of articles from Asia after reading my initial grant application.

Overall Value: Although Culture Collections makes it easier for teachers to find materials and to help students develop social studies skills, the program also produces intangible results. It creates an atmosphere of tolerance for multicultural differences, generates enthusiasm for cross-cultural studies, and provides opportunities for parents and other community members to contribute their knowledge of different cultures. The authentic pieces of clothing, the games, the eating utensils, the dolls, the jewelry, the artwork that are contained in the collections ignite children's interest in a way that textbooks cannot. Teachers who adapt this program for their classroom will discover that: 1) nothing beats having the "real thing" to stimulate student interest , and 2) a collection of cultural literature assembled in one spot makes your job a lot easier!

Standards:


Culturally Speaking, The Gods Aren't Crazy!
Category: Global Education
Grades: 9 to 9
How It Works: "Culturally Speaking" is a three part project which connects culture, geography, and environmental issues together through the viewing of the video,"The Gods Must Be Crazy". Students are given the opportunity to visually focus, in on how different cultures view each other, how culture is learned or conceived, how culture can s pread and interact, and how different cultures treat the environment. Prior to seeing the film, the students study what culture is through the use of textbook materials and a simulation. The terms culture, enculturation, acculturation, cultural diffusion, culture shock, material culture and non-material culture, adaptation, and interaction are examined as to their meanings and applications. Through the culture simulation,"Bafa Bafa" students experience cultural interactions that reinforce the cultural terms previiously considered. The second step is a brief geeographical study of the Kalahari Desert and surrounding countries n regard to their location and place description and the bushmen who live there. The statement,"The environment shapes culture" is presented for brainstorming in order that the students can connect the earlier mentioned terms to man, his culture, and his environment. After the students have been exposed to the concepts of culture and the geographical factors that shape the environment, the video is shown. Each student is given a copy of questions relating to cultural concepts or topics contained in the film. Pertinent documentary handouts are given out when applicable. After a specified section of the video is seen, the students are put into groups to examine the questions relevant to the material seen. Exchanges of viewpoints based on teacher-generated and student-generated questions occur within the groups and in whole-class discussions where speaking and listening skills are reinforced. Evaluation of how well the students can apply the terms and concepts studied prior to the video screening comes through questions and answers periods, checking of group questions, mini-quizzes, and a final written essay. THE STUDENTS: This project, which lasts 10-12 days, is designed as a basic introduction, to culture for seventh grade students at all levels. The degree of difficulty can be modified for students in grades 6-12.

The Students:

The Staff: The classroom teacher can supervise this activity, but the media specialist is needed to provide the AVA equipment and access to research materials, if research activities are incorporated. If the video is not available at a local video store, then the media specialist may be asked in advance to secure a copy.

What You Need: The necessary items for,"Culturally Speaking" are,"The Gods Must Be Crazy" film/video, TV monitor and a VCR (preferably with a counter), National Geographic Magazine(June, 1963), the simulation,"Bafa Bafa" or a similar culture simulation, and a geography textbook that deals with the basics of culture. Encyclopedias and books that deal with African history and geography, and with culture, are helpful for teacher preparation and student research.

Overall Value: By using,"The Gods Must Be Crazy" video, the subjects of culture, geography, and the environment are brought to life and intertwined in an interesting, often humorous, way. Intellectual curiosity is enhanced when students have to apply and transfer,"book-learned" concepts to instances portrayed in the video. The portrayal of different cultures and cultural values leads naturally to moral and ethical questions which have no definitive answers. Students eagerly become involved in what occurs in the video and the knowledge acquired has ben found to be easily remembered and transferable to other places and cultures of the world.

Standards:


CULTURE CAFE
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 8
How It Works: The presentation takes place in the ESL classroom or in any space that holds about 50 people. Guest speakers are asked to provide artifacts, posters, clothing, music, pictures, and food samples to enhance the presentation. Paper products, film, and a binder are also necessary. Outside Resources Guest speakers from the community share their expertise with the students.

The Students:

The Staff: The teachers of students for whom English is a second language (ESL) are responsible for coordinating the program. They invite guest speakers, duplicate information packets for the students, set up necessary equipment, purchase paper products, and take pictures of the presentation.

What You Need: Culture Cafe is a lunch-time program that introduces students to the language, culture, customs, and foods of several different countries. Each month a teacher, staff member, parent, or community member is invited to give a 30-minute presentation on his or her native country or culture. A group of about 40 students representing grades one through five, teachers, and staff members attend the presentation. Presentations include locating the country on a map; discussing the climate, geography, and customs of the country; trying on native clothing; listening to music or learning dances; sharing artifacts, slides, pictures, or videos; and learning some phrases in the featured language. Sampling the traditional food is always the highlight. Summaries and photographs of each presentation, recipes, and maps are compiled in a book that is made available for checkout through the library at the end of the year. Students Every student in grades one through five participates in at least one presentation each year. Each student selects a country he or she would like to learn more about and signs up with the classroom teachers for that month's Culture Cafe presentation. This procedure enables students across grade levels and programs to come together and learn in a relaxed, fun environment.

Overall Value: Culture Cafe is an enjoyable learning opportunity that students and staff look forward to. The presentations enhance students' knowledge and foster their appreciation of other cultures. Students from the cultures featured are given an opportunity to share personal experiences and knowledge with their classmates. Serving as "experts" boosts their self-esteem.

Standards:


Culture of Mexico
Category: Foreign Language
Grades: 4 to 4
How It Works: You can eat cactus? Tuna is fruit? Chocolate was called,"xocoatl" by the, Aztecs? The Mayas used a calendar more accurate than ours today? Napoleon, sent a French emperor to Mexico? All these questions and more can be, answered by students taking the course, the,"Culture of Mexico." This semester course course offers .5 credit in Spanish and is open to any, student with one or more years of Spanish language study. Many of the, readings and classroom presentations are done in Spanish. Mexican history and culture are,"experienced" by creating authentic craft, projects, such as weaving, pinatas and clay figures. Students also cook, authentic Mexican recipes, make tortillas from scratch, and learn to use, the,"molinillo" to make hot chocolate, once the royal beverage of Aztec, nobles. Students,"tour" many Mexican cities via slide presentations. A favorite classroom activity is reading Mexican legends and tales. A, comparison is made between the,"Sleeping Beauty" and,"Snow White" legends, of Western Europe and the,"Aztimba, la Princesa" and the,"principe, Popocatepetl" legends of the Aztecs. Creation stories of the Mayas of the, Yucatan Peninsula are compared with the book of Genesis. Students then pick, their favorite legend and make an illustrated children's book in Spanish. For more than a decade, more than 150 students have,"discovered" Mexico, through the study of her ancient cultures and the current trend toward, modernization and involvement in world trade. There is never enough time in, the Spanish I or II course to study a Spanish-speaking country in such, detail. Mexico is also our closest Latin American neighbor. A side line of this course has been to take students on actual tours of, Mexico to experience first-hand what they have learned in the classroom. To, date, seven tours haven been led by the instructor to various regions of Mexico during the summer or spring break vacations. Students have grown, immensely in their appreciation of Mexican culture and values, have gained, valuable insight into their own culture and values, and have come to, recognize that even our legends hold many similarities to Mexico.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: In Mexico (text and student workbook), EMC Publishing, St. Paul, MN, 1990. Un Verano en Mexico, AMSCO Publishers, New York, NY, 1975. The Course of Mexican History, Michael Meyer and William Sherman, Oxford, University Press, New York, NY, 1979. Leyendas Mexicanas, Barlow Stivers, National Textbook Company, Skokie, IL 1975. The Story of Mexico, un Libro para Pintar, Nancy Conkle and Elena Lopez Bellerophon Books, Santa Barbara, CA, 1991. Travel Mexico/Events (magazine), Winter, '92 -'93, premier issue, Carlsbad CA, 92009, 619-929-0707. I will disseminate a complete course syllabus and more extensive, bibliography of teacher resources materials to interested teachers.

Overall Value: Developer Charles observes,,"After studying the works of famous Mexican, artists and exploring the meticulously handcrafted,"artesanias" of the, marketplace, students are given the unique opportunity of trying their, hands at making handicrafts.","The everchanging syllabus makes this course a joy to teach. Every trip the, students and I make to Mexico uncovers some new historical fact, presents, us with new contemporary Spanish words or exposes us to another of the, varied regions of the country. New materials, artifacts, and regalia are, constantly being added to the course. This course is never taught the same, way twice!"

Standards:


Curious George Goes To Class
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 3 to 3
How It Works: Curious George Goes To Class is a holistic approach to teaching by, getting real books into the hands and homes of children so that, reading will not only take place, but also will be valued as well. Illiteracy is a national problem. Research indicates that more, than half of those children from homes of illiterates will remain, illiterate. Research also shows a high correlation between writing, and reading and other subjects. Writing makes children think! In order to attain success in today's world, reading, writing, and, thinking are essential. Good literature can provide a highly, motivating medium for teaching not only reading, but also writing, and thinking (problem solving). The purpose of this project is to, teach children to read and love books through writing and good, literature. With writing projects, the children will increase, their level of reading and problem solving because they experience, the confidence of reading their own written words. With literature, for models, the students experience the enjoyment and beauty of, language and reading. Together, they promote a positive learning, environment for reading and writing and thinking. Each month, literature in the classroom centers around a theme or, author. Curious George books begin the year and are on going. Young children enjoy his character and his many adventures. The, books are used to develop story maps with setting, characters, and, events that include problems and solutions. Young children begin, by writing class stories that follow the map and later go on to, cluster or create new settings and plots for their own stories. January's snow theme centers around Ezra Jack Keats',"The Snowy, Day," Raymond Briggs',"The Snowman," and H.A. Rey's,"Curious George, Goes Sledding." Geometric snowflakes are made in math, ice, crystals are examined in science and the climate is studied in, Social Studies. Integration is the key. DCPS Major System Priorities: Achievement, Critical Thinking, Standard English, Parental, Involvement Blueprint 2000 Goals: Student Performance, Learning Environment The Students: Approximately 30 first-grade students from a low economic and, culturally diverse area participated in the project. Primary, classrooms would benefit with minimal costs. Parent support is, encouraged and extremely helpful.

The Students:

The Staff: Christine Ruda is a first-grade teacher. She has a master's degree, in reading from the University of Nebraska and is currently working, on a specialist's degree in Math Education at the University of, Miami, as part of the DCPS/UM Math and Science Resource Teacher, program. She has attended the DCPS/UM Writing Institute and is a, Writing Associate for DCPS. As department chairperson for teaching, and Language Arts, she has used this project for more then four, years. She is currently involved with the Teacher Training, Institute.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities This project can be carried out in any classroom. Books are, essential. Materials have been prepared and company names for, purchases have been listed. Outside Resources Field trips and guest speakers are an excellent additional, resource. The public library is very useful as well as, contributions from parents.

Overall Value: Providing children with books is one of the best ways to promote, success in reading and the love of reading. When a child is able, to share the same book used in the classroom with his/her family the book becomes a friend for life.

Standards:


Current Affairs
Category: Global Education
Grades: 7 to 7
How It Works: Current Affairs encourages students to find out what's going on in the world, to analyze world events, and to discuss global issues with their peers. Students are required to find out about the news and to report to the class on one of six issues: international news, national news, local news, weather, entertainment, and sports. One period a week is devoted to student reports to the class. Once a month, students tape their Current Affairs presentation on the school VCR. The project integrates reading, writing, pubic speaking, social studies, math, and art as students write news stories; create maps, signs, and graphs to illustrate major points; and practice their presentations. Taping the, news project is the highlight of the month for them; the room takes on the aura of a TV studio as students, dressed in their best clothes, present their news stories to the other classes in the school.

The Students:

The Staff: Belinda Morris has been teaching current events using the Current Affairs, format for three years. She has found the VCR to be a powerful motivational tool for teaching current events—students not only create a finished product, but they can share their work with other students.

What You Need: Students use one period a week to report their stories to the class and one afternoon a month to tape the news projects. The class has a subscription to student issues of the New York Times. Materials for making props include maps, chart paper, construction paper, markers, and paint. Video equipment is necessary to tape projects, and televisions are needed so that other classes may view the projects.

Overall Value: Students enjoy being in the role of news anchor, sports caster, or weatherperson. At the same time, they are encouraged to improve academically. "Any class will become motivated when faced with the challenge of being recorded and seen on a VCR," says Morris.

Standards:


Current Events: Critical Thinking Development
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 9 to 14
How It Works: Utilizing daily television news reports that are recorded by the instructor allows the students to use primary resources as the main source for information and analysis of current events in history, geography or economics. Requiring students to turn in news articles and summarize them can be non-productive. Many students are non-participants. Overnight analysis of world and local events may lead to student frustration and limited participation. The following procedures facilitate use of daily news broadcasts to learn about and analyze current news events: 1. Each morning I tape the morning world news report on a VCR recorder. I write down the words and terms that might not be understood by my students. The words are discussed prior to viewing the news report. 2. For three or four weeks, students watch 10-15 minutes of the daily news at the beginning of the period. During the newscast, students keep a journal. Each day's entry includes the date, two or three facts reported, and the student's reaction to each event. 3. Cooperative learning groups are then formed to analyze the governmental, economic, social and geographic aspects of events. The group determines five primary events and does an explanation and evaluation of each event using higher levels of critical thinking skills. 4. Each group makes a presentation with a map indicating where the events occurred. 5. The instructor collects and grades the individual student journals and the group presentation. This project promotes a variety of listening, writing, vocabulary and critical thinking skills. It contains activities which enable them to understand world events in a meaningful manner. Students found this activity to be enjoyable and yet very challenging. They felt that their reactions to the current events enabled them to be valued participants in historical events. Likewise, students indicated that they were able to grasp the larger ramifications of events and compare reactions with each other. State Framework: This activity integrates social science themes that are included in the History/Social Science Framework: geography, economics, social and political activities. The Students: This activity was presented to a World History class of 35 regular as well as mainstreamed Resource students. All the students felt non-threatened, actively participated and enjoyed the opportunity to write their own history as individuals and members of small groups.

The Students:

The Staff: I have taught for 18 years as a high school Resource Specialist at Righetti High School. I have trained in SIM (Strategy Intervention Model), Cooperative Learning and Teacher Effectiveness training, and am a trainer in Women's Leadership for the California Teachers Association and TESA (Teacher Expectations and Student Achievement).

What You Need: Facilities and Materials: Instructors must videotape the morning world news, principally the thirty-minute newscasts. The teacher can then edit segments to reduce the tape's length. Outside Resources: None needed.

Overall Value:

Standards:


Cybernetic Finger Painting
Category: Arts
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: Cybernetic Finger Painting fulfills the dream of every artist. This program allows art students to experiment, produce layer upon layer of design, to modify and change nonstop without losing the original creation. For students and teachers alike, it's a relief to know that one can take chances and never stop creating out of fear of losing the original. Using a graphic computer and digitizer, students create their design on the screen. They can then alter, delete or add to the design in any way and still be able to retrieve the original art. The program works with photography, drawing, painting, and even ceramics. Once students are satisfied with their modifications, the image which appears on the monitor can be printed in color. For instance, a photography student digitizes a photo into the computer, then recalls and modifies the photo by deleting or adding certain images. Once the student is satisfied with the modifications, the image which appears on the monitor can be printed in color. The Students: Independent art students used the program originally, but it soon became apparent that the program works at all levels. Photography students change the composition of photographs by adding a variety of color, textures, etc. Art I and II students use the program for perspective composition, color theory, and design elements. Even students studying fashion and interior design can use the program.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: Materials Needed: The program requires a graphic computer (Amiga 500, 1000, or 2000) and monitor, a digitizer (or police surveillance camera), computer discs, camera mounts, and a stand and lights. Software includes a mouse and pointer controller, a deluxe paint three palette which offers 246 color variations, a matrix or ink-jet printer, inks, and paper. A lecture or demonstration by a visiting computer artist can prove valuable.

Overall Value: Cybernetic Finger Painting puts art sensitive students in touch with their creative forces. This program "de-intimidates" students and allows them an element of playfulness and experimentation which does not exist with other traditional tools. It's the right time to bring this technology into the classroom!

Standards:


D.E.N.S.I.T.Y. (DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL NOTIONS SHALL INSPIRE TODAY'S YOUTH)
Category: Science
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: In "D.E.N.S.I.T.Y." each student creates a product based on the results of several scientific experiments involving density. Students then select the best product from each class. Once the product is chosen, students are placed in cooperative groups of four to five and are "hired" to work in specific divisions of their corporation. Each corporation (class) consists of five divisions: Product Design, Market Research, Television, Radio and Magazine. The goal of each class is to convince a panel of CEO's and bank executives (parents and faculty members) to financially support their marketing endeavors.

Participating in "D.E.N.S.I.T.Y." enables students to acquire knowledge and skills while addressing several learning styles. Students perform hands-on scientific experiments evaluating the density of a variety of materials and write a formal proposal discussing their product and the material they used based upon the results of their experiments. Three peers discuss and assess each proposal before it is submitted to the Design Supervisor (science teacher). All products are presented, and the best product is chosen by the class. Students are then "hired" to work in a specific division of their class's corporation. Product Design requires students to determine the cost to make the product, construct a prototype and include scaled pictures of the product. Market Research calls upon its members to decide the cost of the product to the consumer, target a specific age group and identify advertising mediums necessary to capture the specified market. Television, radio and magazine divisions create commercials and layouts incorporating specific advertising techniques to attract the desired consumer. The final phase of the project requires all divisions to make a formal presentation to a panel of faculty members and parents portraying CEO's and bank executives. The panel selects the best presentation and agrees to finance that corporation's product.

The Students:

The Staff: Julia Rizzotto and David Pepsoski Rochambeau Middle School, Region #15, Southbury

What You Need: A typical science room contains all materials necessary to complete the unit. A standard classroom becomes "headquarters" for each corporation. Parents are needed to portray the panel of CEO's and bank executives to give the presentations a "real world" quality.

Overall Value: The project enables students to acquire and apply the science and technological skills necessary to design a product. Responsibility and self-reliance are evident as each individual has specific deadlines to meet. Furthermore, students' speaking, listening and viewing skills are strengthened and applied in their final presentations. Reasoning and problem-solving skills are demonstrated throughout "D.E.N.S.I.T.Y." and positive interpersonal relations are reinforced within the heterogeneous groups. Unique attributes of the project are the strong bonds and positive interdependence which form within each corporation as they work together toward a common goal. Additionally, parents are given the opportunity to actively participate in their children's' education.

Standards:


Death at Baskerville Hall?
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 9 to 10
How It Works: Death at Baskerville Hall? Is a reconstructed hands-on, life-size investigation that teaches reasoning, deduction, problem solving, and higher-order thinking skills. The project centers on the re-creation of two situations from the novel The Hound of the Baskervilles. By assuming the roles of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, the students take an active role in the investigation and draw their own conclusions. They learn valuable skills such as keen observation, note taking, technical writing, and summarizing.

The first reconstruction is of Sir Charles' death. Students take precise notes as they investigate the scene, draw conclusions as to the cause of death, and write a detailed police report of what happened. The students follow the same procedure with the re-created death of Selden.

They share their written reports with one another to determine their accuracy and to detect any differences. After analyzing the differences, the students, as an investigative team, submit a final report.

The Students: Approximately 120 seventh grade students participate in the program.

The Staff: The English teacher developed and implements the program with the help of the library staff.

What You Need: Sand and dirt and plastic sheets to place under them, enlarged drawings simulating several scenes, wood to construct a foundation for the scenes, and small reproductions representing the scenes are used. A mannequin, clothing to represent the time period and the social class of the characters, and small figures to represent the novel's characters provide the students with the details necessary in their investigation.

The multipurpose room is used to set up the scenes.Copies of crime reports were obtained from the police department and from a federal agency.

Overall Value: Death at Baskerville Hall? stretches students' academic skills and requires critical reading and thinking that enables transferring knowledge from the story to making accurate deductions at the scenes. The program enables students to make a connection between a work of literature and authentic technical writing.

Standards:


Decatur Diner-To-Go
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 6 to 8
How It Works: What does the term,"homeless" mean?, Where does homelessness exist?, Who are the homeless?, Students in the middle grades explore these questions through discussions together and reading stories and books on the subject. They consider the nutrition and hygiene problems of the homeless, then plan cooperatively to take action. Students decide to make bag lunches for a neighboring shelter. To reach their goal, they are involved in a range of activities: planning for good nutrition and an appealing menu, writing to local businesses for donations of food and beverages, budgeting, comparing prices, purchasing food and supplies, packaging 10 nutritious lunches each, including a short,"Pep-O-Gram" note in each lunch bag Students: This program is scheduled to deliver lunches once a month for four months. Each month about 30 students work together to plan and supply the lunches. They meet daily for 80 minutes to discuss the concepts and implement their plans.

The Students:

The Staff: Judith Cobb is the language arts teacher at Decatur School. As teacher coordinator of this program, she is assisted by volunteer parents and senior helpers from the community. Delivering the 200 bag lunches takes a short time commitment for willing hands and a van or two.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Planning is done in the classroom. Lunch packing activities are held in a multi-purpose room/gym area near the kitchen. Four long tables are set up as assembly line work stations in the center of the room; cartons of supplies are set up around the perimeter. Outside Resources: Donations of food and supplies are welcome and helpful; students write to request them. Volunteers to help pack lunches and deliver them are useful, too.

Overall Value: Decatur School Diner-To-Go Day brings heightened self-esteem as students reach their goal of delivering delicious, inviting meals to 200 hungry people. Human dignity, self respect and mutual concern are themes integrated throughout the project. Students are involved in a multidisciplinary program that includes oral and written language skills, nutrition, budgeting and social issues.

Standards:


Design Insights: Facing Tomorrow's Challenges Today
Category: Instructional Inquiry
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: Instructional Inquiry Process: Design Insights investigates whether strategies used to teach design technology have the same impact on gifted and talented students, students with learning disabilities, students who speak English as a second language, and regular education students. It also attempts to discover if students can be taught to become risk takers and then apply their knowledge to real-life situations. It is expected that through this method of problem solving, students will become risk takers who will enjoy looking at problems from more than one perspective, realizing that there is more than one way to solve a problem. Their mistakes will become building blocks for design improvement and challenges that encourage perseverance in the solution of problems. Data will be gathered using the students' design technology logs. Each log includes the problem, the criteria for solving the problem, the student's ideas, a drawing of a plan, and a response to and an evaluation of the activity. In addition, detailed drawings of the final product often include modifications of the original plan, which reflect the student's thinking. A checklist is used to evaluate the elements of each design technology entry. All activities will also be videotaped. The Students: Seventy-five students, including students who speak English as a second language, students with learning disabilities (LD), and gifted students are involved in this program. A representative group of ten students will be used for the research.

The Students:

The Staff: The core research group will include three fifth grade teachers, an LD teacher, and an LD instructional assistant.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: Masking tape, foam core board, construction paper, fadeless paper, glue, paint, and any additional materials that might be useful for creating design technology solutions, such as paper towel rolls and dowel rods will be needed. The research will take place in the classrooms located around an open pod area with a storage room. Outside Resources: Field trips will be taken to the National Museum of American History and the National Gallery of Art. A consultant will work with the students in preparing their own museum. A designer from the National Council of Social Studies will share his or her experiences as a designer. In addition, parents and community members will describe the real-life problem solving they have experienced in their professions.

Overall Value: It is anticipated that students will become more confident in their ability to solve problems. They will learn to take more time to understand a problem and plan its solution. Mistakes will not deter their efforts as they learn to modify and improve solutions.

Standards:


Design the Ultimate Container
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 10 to 12
How It Works: This learning experience offers students to put their geometry knowledge to work in a simulated marketing business. Students are put in marketing teams to create the "best" package for eight identical spheres (plastic Christmas ornaments work well) of which only one sphere can be in the team's possession at any time. The CEO of the managing company (the teachers) tells the teams that the company has been hired to sell all the spheres in a company's warehouse and that he is holding an in-house competition among his best marketing teams to create the ultimate marketing campaign.

The campaign includes having to create a package for the spheres - cost effective and eye-catching, a report to the CEO which includes the geometry and cost of the packaging, and a videotaped 60 second commercial for the product that they "create." Only two packaging shapes will not be acceptable to the owner of the spheres. They are the tube-like cylinder (where spheres are put in one on top of the other), and a rectangular solid. Oh, and by the way, the CEO wants you to figure package efficiency (volume of the spheres/volume of the container). If the teams plan to add any materials other than the actual outside packaging, they must have costs and rationales why they think the extra costs are essential to the marketing of the spheres.

The Students: This learning experience was originally designed for students in honors geometry. However, it is successfully being used in eighth grade math classes and regular geometry classes.

The Staff: Classroom teacher

What You Need: This learning experience requires the use of a video camera, VCR, and monitor to effectively utilize the commercials. A project sheet and grading rubric are available upon request.

Overall Value: Throughout the experience, students are using technology, measuring devices, and they are talking to people in business to find out about marketing. Students are taught teamwork skills and practice working in teams. Problem-solving strategies to find volumes of irregular shapes become creative, unique, and real-world. The teams are graded on creativity, accuracy, and the package efficiency, attractiveness, cost effectiveness, and ability to communicate mathematics. The students saw math in action and they enjoyed the experience tremendously.

Standards:


DETERMINING STOCK MARKET CRITERIA
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 7 to 14
How It Works: In Determining Stock Market Criteria, students learn the about the concept of stocks and investment and the criteria for selecting of stocks. Using an LCD display projector, the teacher shows the class how to find stock reports, quotes, and news article related to stocks on the Internet. He/she asks students what kind of information would be important in ascertaining whether or not a company would be a good investment choice. Using available articles related to the stock, students are asked what information would be useful in determining whether the company in question would be a viable investment, and what current events might affect the stock's performance. After formulating these criteria, the information is added to a semantic web. Additional criteria for discussion might include sector, industry, number of employees, what the company manufactures or sells, net income, revenues, and who else invests in this company. The students are evaluated on participation and their ability to find locations on the Internet for researching stocks. The teacher evaluates the quality of the semantic Web and database created as well as the criteria established.

The Students: Required student technology skills include Web navigation, reading and interpreting graphs; producing a computer-generated database and/or semantic map; developing word processing skills; and using graphic applications.

The Staff: Carolyn Hornik is the computer coordinator at P.S. 101 and is a staff developer for District 21 and in the Oceanside school system. She teaches an after school professional development in-service course entitled, Computers In The Classroom. This is her 24th year of teaching

What You Need: Required teacher technology skills include locating appropriate Web sites for researching stocks, producing a sample database and semantic Web, and using word processing skills.

Required student technology skills include Web navigation, reading and interpreting graphs; producing a computer-generated database and/or semantic map; developing word processing skills; and using graphic applications. A computer with Internet access and an LCD display projector is needed. Software materials used include SuperPrint 2.0 or Kidpix, ClarisWorks 4.0 or Microsoft Works.

Overall Value: In cooperative learning groups, students read and analyze investment reports, graphs, news articles, and company overviews on the Web for two different stocks. From the data, they synthesize the information and add to their list of criteria to be used in selecting stocks for investment. The students produce a computer-generated semantic Web and/ or database with criteria or focusing questions to be used when selecting a stock for investment. (For lower grades, 5-6, the teacher creates a database based on the semantic map that the students make.) The students save, print, and present their database to class.

Standards: English Language Arts: students read and understand informational materials, produce an informative report, participate in group meetings, prepare and deliver an oral/written presentation, restate or summarize information, and use a range of appropriate strategies, such as providing facts and details and describing or analyzing the subject. Mathematics: students predict results and analyze data, read and interpret information from a graph, describe and compare quantities, collect and organize data to answer a question, and make statements and draw conclusions based on data. Social Studies: students define basic economic concepts such as supply and demand, markets, opportunity costs, resources, productivity, and economic growth. Applied Learning: students apply academic knowledge to solve practical problems, integrate writing and drawing skills with computer technology, identify a problem and use motivation and logical skills to solve it in individual and group settings, and communicate effectively through written and verbal language


DETOUR FROM DRINKING AND DRIVING
Category: Health/Physical Education
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: The main objective of this project is early intervention/instruction for middle school students to the dangers of drinking and driving. The project's goal is to target those not yet old enough to drive to make smart decisions about drinking and driving when they are of driving age. Avoidance strategies and workable, practical solutions are stressed, as well as the staggering statistics of deaths, injuries, and losses due to alcohol related accidents. The students identify their roles in solving the major safety problem on our roads today. This interdisciplinary unit employs videos, newspaper articles, true-life accounts and guest speakers to increase students' awareness and knowledge of the ramifications of drinking and driving. Students write and role-play scenarios depicting avoidance strategies when faced with an adult or older friend who has been drinking and offers them a ride. These scenarios are performed for parents and videotaped for other classes to use. Students write essays, compute drunk driving statistics, research legal statutes and community ordinances, and learn the relationship between drinking and blood alcohol concentration. Other learning styles are addressed when students create posters and bumper stickers depicting the theme of making choices and avoiding becoming a statistic. Students' writing, posters, and bumper stickers are the "decorations" for family night at which students present their findings and newly acquired refusal/coping skills for detouring from the road to nowhere.

The Students: The youth-teaching-youth strategy is an effective tool in meeting the project's objective. Parents and community benefit, while the role of students as resources within the school and community is heightened. One hundred and thirty 7th graders participated in this team project.

The Staff: Angela B. Capozzi, Christina Covino, Susan W. Lance, Deborah Mudrick-McGrath, Victoria Nolan, Jacqueline Partridge Wooster Middle School, Stratford

What You Need: Video tapes, guest speakers, art supplies, newspapers.

Overall Value: The unit contributes to the well being of our students as well as the community. This project acts as a catalyst for change in our young teens. Their posters, essays, newly acquired refusal skills, and family night have a positive impact on ALL drivers. There is a deterrent effect on drinking and driving. Through scenario writing and role-playing for an audience, students acquire skills that result in positive decision making. Positive self-esteem and confidence occur when students build their own strategies to avoid the major safety problem on our roads today. The unique attribute of this unit is the early intervention/instruction for middle school students concerning the dangers of drinking and driving. By targeting those not yet old enough to drive, we heighten their awareness of the need to make educated decisions about drinking and driving when they are of legal age. Another innovative quality of this project is the weaving of the interdisciplinary model and incorporating all academic subject areas into the central theme of detouring from drinking and driving, the road to nowhere. Use of speakers provides a bridge between school and community.

Standards: Responsibility and Self Reliance Reasoning and Problem Solving


DIA DE LOS MUERTOS
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 8
How It Works: Dia de los Muertos is an interdisciplinary unit that promotes cross-cultural understanding of the Latin American celebration, the Day of the Dead. Students use research, visual and performing arts, and content area objectives to explore the meaning of this celebration and relate the learning to their own culture.

In language arts, they read about the celebration and examine folk art objects they have read about. They research their family tree and interview a family member about a deceased relative. They also write short stories about the skeleton they create.

For science, music, and art, they learn the names of bones and the types of joints and how the bones and joints enable movement. In small groups, they create dances based on their knowledge of how the skeleton can move. They also learn the Spanish words for the song "Dry Bones."

For art, they compare and contrast a model of a human skeleton and a carved folk art replica; then they use mixed media to create a skull. Working in small groups, they construct a large flexible skeleton to be placed on a mural. They also sculpt small animal skeletons using model magic and wire and cut skeleton banderitos out of tissue paper. Students use math skills as they prepare food for the celebration.

The Students:

The Staff: All students in kindergarten through grade three participate in the program. The program could easily be adapted for any grade or ability level. Staff The classroom teacher and the instructional assistant implement the program.

What You Need: Materials include papier mache skulls and a large skeleton, twister wire, and model magic from Crayola. Activities take place in the classroom, art room, and music room.

Outside Resources A field trip to the exhibit "A Glimpse of Folk Art Traditions From Latin America" at the GRACE gallery in Reston and a session with a story teller enhance the program. Parents also provide artifacts.

Overall Value: Dia de los Muertos uses the arts to increase understanding of the core curriculum-science, math, language arts, and history-and evokes students' enthusiasm at the same time.

The students' research reinforces family values. Their artwork demonstrates their acquisition of scientific knowledge and reflects an aesthetic appreciation of Mexican folk art.

Standards:


Dial-a-Friend
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 3
How It Works: This unit provides children with a practical reason for developing telephone skills, learning their telephone numbers, and increasing communication skills and sociability. It also integrates math, language arts, and visual and performing arts. The class uses role play to: answer a telephone, end a conversation, politely ask to speak to someone, respond if one receives or dials a wrong number, and take and leave a message, including on an answering machine. Courtesy is emphasized, including knowing appropriate times to call, to learn good "telephone manners." Cross-age tutors serve as monitors and models and share in the role playing. The children learn alphabetical order by organizing themselves alphabetically based on the word they hold on a placard to prepare them for using the class telephone directory. It is given to each child after everyone learns his/her telephone number from flash cards. The children learn when to use 911 and have pages in their directories that list emergency numbers. For homework, the children call a classmate. Parental permission is obtained for all activities using the home phone number. This unit is taught for a month. This activity has meaning to the children because they are using a real life skill. They use critical thinking skills when they create their own applications for use of the telephone and when they respond to situations as they occur, either in role playing at school, or in real life. The children gain communication skills by creating their own conversations in role playing in front of the class, and in using telephones in the classroom playhouse or the class answering machine. This idea gives children a way to contact one another and broaden their friendships beyond school. It also enhances home/school parent involvement as parents monitor the phone call homework assignment and enjoy the benefits of having their child able to use a telephone appropriately. The students' recordings on the classroom answering machine and periodic role playing of telephone conversations in front of the class provide assessment of students' progress. State Frameworks: The English/Language Arts Framework supports listening and speaking. The Mathematics Framework supports number recognition. The Visual/Performing Arts Framework supports creative expression through dramatizing. The Students: Twenty-six kindergarten students participated in the activity in 1992-93. They were of various achievement levels. All were successful in completing the activity, and it could easily be adapted to other groups, such as bilingual students and mainstreamed special education students. Another class could be involved by forming "buddy" telephone partners.

The Students:

The Staff: I have taught for 22 years, with 13 years in early childhood education (K-2). I am a Central Coast Math Project fellow.

What You Need: Facilities and Materials: Two telephones are needed, as well as a tape recorder or answering machine with a recording that requests a message after the beep. A tape recorder to record conversations is also needed. A playhouse setting in the kindergarten classroom provides a place for two children to invent the conversations that tie into their dramatic play. Outside Resources: The involvement of parents enables students to use the telephone at home. Parents sign a form indicating that the student completed the activity. A field trip to the telephone company would enhance this unit.

Overall Value:

Standards:


Dialogue Through Debating And Socratic Seminars
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 9 to 10
How It Works: Students focus on issues by reading the newspapers and watching media coverage of current events. They use primary sources, historical material, literature and examples of art. Then they examine and discuss topics using the structures of debate and the Socratic seminar. One exercise, for example, asks students to take a position on violence in video games and then debate the pros and cons. Students sharpen their skills in recall, comprehension and analysis. They learn to ask and respond to questions and how to recognize relevant points of information. Students: This project was developed with an eighth grade class but is adaptable, with modifications, for younger children.

The Students:

The Staff: Louverta Hurt, an experienced classroom teacher, is currently Assistant Principal at Rufus Hitch Elementary School. She also serves as part-time coordinator of the MA Program for Personalized Learning at Concordia University in River Forest. Ms. Hurt holds a BA in Elementary Education from Northeastern Illinois University and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Topics for the seminars can come from newspapers, periodicals, literature, drama, historical documents, pieces of music, works of art, television or movies. Students need handouts explaining the seminar format, how to read critically and seminar evaluation forms. Outside Resources: None needed.

Overall Value: Students learn to research a topic and express their opinions developing new insights and reasoning abilities. Their use of higher order thinking skills increases.

Standards:


DIFFERENT CHOICES: CURRICULUM THROUGH POETIC VOICES
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 7 to 8
How It Works: Children discover there is more to poetry than traditional rhyming stanzas. There are poems inspired by weather, animals, geography, history, nature, and social issues--in short, everything in the curriculum. The descriptive vocabulary and content of poetry help students better understand and remember topics.

During Writers Workshop the teacher introduces new poetic forms, while the "word-of-the day" wall enlarges children's vocabularies. Students write and illustrate their own books of curriculum-area poetry which is rich in images, feelings, and emotions.

The Students: The project, which was developed with a class of fifth graders, is adaptable for all ages and ability levels.

The Staff: Julie Tabin's undergraduate degree is from the University of Wisconsin; her MAT is from National-Louis University. She has taught at Avondale School for seven years and is a teacher consultant for the Chicago Area Writing Project.

What You Need: The following are needed for this project: spiral notebooks for students; a wide selection of poetry books; construction paper; a book binding machine; a laminating machine, if available.

Overall Value: Even students who are initially reluctant become confident writers and readers of verse, proud of their own publications.

Standards:


Digging Into Cultures
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 6 to 14
How It Works: InDigging Into Cultures, students assume the, roles of Indian, tribe member, archaeologist, and researcher, motivating them to, explore the rich, complex nature of Native American culture, its, history, art, religion, technology, food, sports, and geography. Phase 1: Students study the myths of Native American cultures emphasizing the role these stories have in the development of, beliefs. Students divide into groups to study myths of a, particular region, and then present one myth as a puppet show tableau, reader's theatre, interview, or other format. Phase 2: The groups then research the culture of the people who, lived in the region where their myth originated. Each member of, the group is responsible for becoming an expert on the culture of, that region, reporting orally on one aspect of that culture, and, re-creating an artifact, such as pottery, masks, pieces of totem, poles, jewelry, and arrows. Students take notes during the oral, reports to aid them in the next phase. Phase 3: Parents, students and teachers create a dig site for, each region. The pits are set up in grids, using stakes and, string. Parents and/or teachers bury the student-created, artifacts in individual grid sections and keep an accurate record, of where each is buried. Student teams dig in pre-arranged pits, to assure they will uncover artifacts from a culture on which, they are not experts. They record the location and position of, the item found on a grid. Phase 4: Students research the artifact found by using notes from, previous oral reports and other reference materials. Students, make inferences as to the cultural region they believe the, artifact originated before meeting with peer experts from that, region to discuss their conclusions. Phase 5: Students write a report that explains the importance of, their found artifact in the culture that created it and supports, their conclusions about the artifact's origins. The various phases of this project provide opportunities for all, students to be successful. It takes approximately six weeks but, can be adapted to accommodate any schedule or grade level. The, idea was inspired by a desire to make history come alive and to, encourage students' respect for other cultures. The History/Social Science Framework emphasizes that students, need to develop a keen sense of historical cultural empathy and, that the study of history involves the imaginative reconstruction, of the past. During the 1993-94 school year, this unit was taught to, approximately 70 fifth graders, representing a wide variety of, achievement levels.

The Students:

The Staff: Marilyn has taught grades K-3 and 5 during her 13-year career as, a teacher. Toni has taught grades 4, 5, and 6.

What You Need: Research materials are available through the County Education, Office, public and school libraries. The dig experience requires, a site large enough to accommodate four to five pits of, approximately 4 ft. x 4 ft. The teacher packet includes myths, from various regions, information on Native American cultures diagram of pit set-up and student grid, report outlines, list of, ideas for artifacts, bibliography and samples of student work. None required, but parents are very helpful in setting up the, pits for the dig phase and assisting during the actual digging.

Overall Value:

Standards:


DINO-DRAMA
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 4 to 10
How It Works: Dinosaurs hold children's attention as they learn how to conduct research, develop individual portfolios (including a bibliography) to document their findings, and, finally, produce a dinosaur extravaganza! Students begin by accessing a variety of print and electronic sources in the classroom, the library, and in a museum visit. Dinosaur puppets are fashioned from papier-mache and recycled materials. Finally, students write a script incorporating dialogue, rhymes, and songs for a "mellow drama" based on their research and starring their 'dino' creations.

The Students: About 300 sixth and seventh graders implemented Dino-Drama over a ten week period. The project, originally developed with a second grade class, can be adapted for a wide range of ages and ability levels.

The Staff: Peggy J. Wickline, the librarian at Logandale Middle School, has many years of teaching experience. She holds a BA from the University of Pittsburgh, a MA from Northeastern Illinois University, and is currently pursuing a MS in Library/Information Science. Eva Laczina holds a BS from Northeastern Illinois University; she has taught for five years and specializes in science. Victor Ochoa, the art instructor at Logandale, holds a BFA from the University of Texas, El Paso and a MFA from the University of Illinois, Champaign. He has taught for one year.

What You Need: This project requires the following: books, magazines, and CD ROM's; paper and folders for written research; paint and papier mache; a puppet stage (homemade or purchased from a supplier).

Overall Value: Reading, writing, researching, analyzing, categorizing, and designing culminate in a truly authentic learning experience that is documented by student-made portfolios.

Standards:


Dino-Mania
Category: Science
Grades: 4 to 7
How It Works: This program is an interdisciplinary unit which studies the exciting topic of dinosaurs. It incorporates, to some extent, all areas of the curriculum. During reading, the students read,"Danny and the Dinosaur" and,"Digging Up Dinosaurs." This allowed them to explore both fiction and non-fiction titles about dinosaurs. The students worked on cause-effect relationships and inferencing skills to decipher how they believe dinosaurs became extinct. In math, the students worked on graphing skills. They graphed plant-eaters vs. meat-eaters, favorite dinosaurs, time period dinosaurs lived in and many other student initiated ideas. Science concepts were taken from the second grade Science book. Students learned about fossils, kinds of dinosaurs, and fuels from dinosaurs. For social studies, the students worked on a time line for the different time periods of the dinosaurs, the formation of the earth and where the different dinosaurs lived long ago. Students also wrote daily in their journals about dinosaurs. The wrote about their favorite dinosaurs, what they would do if they encountered a T-Rex, how to convince their mother to let them keep a dinosaur and other topics. The students rewrote,"The Little Red Hen" to follow how dinosaur fossils are dug up, cleaned, taken to the museum, and reconstructed. Other activities included making a fossil, creating a diorama, and films from the Media Technology Center to follow the unit. The Student: The unit was used in a Generic Exceptional Education classroom. The students range from second to fifth grade. They function two or three grades below level.

The Students:

The Staff: The teacher is the only person needed for this unit. The librarian can be informed to help the student pick out books on dinosaurs to reinforce what is being taught in the class.

What You Need: Materials: The classroom is the only facility required to implement this unit. There are some materials that are needed to teach the unit. The science text will be helpful to teach the students the basic concepts of dinosaurs. Shoe boxes and clay are needed for the dioramas, journals for the students' writing, graph paper for math, pictures or stickers of dinosaurs to put on the time line, and class copies of,"Danny and the Dinosaur" and,"Digging Up Dinosaurs." Outside Resources: The Media Technology Center is needed to order films on dinosaurs, and fossils. A trip to the Museum of Natural Science could be planned to help reinforce the concept of rebuilding dinosaur fossils.

Overall Value: This unit proved to be quite successful due to all the excitement over dinosaurs today. The students were enthusiastic and wanted to jump right in on working on this unit. The students were able to master all skills taught and did very well on all extension activities. This initial thematic unit used in my room helped create a positive attitude toward units that have followed.

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DIRKSEN'S SCIENCE DECATHLON
Category: Science
Grades: 9 to 10
How It Works: Students engage in a year-long Science Decathlon to solve a variety of science problems. Unlike the usual decathlon, this one organizes children into cooperative groups. Students compete to discover who can build the best marshmallow catapult, the strongest toothpick bridge, and the most effective water filter. Ten different assignments give students plenty of hands-on opportunities to test and, if necessary, rethink their solutions as they try to become the school's "Super Scientists."

The Students: Although this project involved an entire school, it can be adapted for a single class or with fewer problems assigned.

The Staff: Ken Benedix is a Northeastern Illinois University graduate and has taught upper grade departmental science for six years.

What You Need: Most of the assignments require only everyday items found in the home. Experiments involving rockets use a bottle rocket launcher and an air pump. NASA and the Estes (Penrose, CO) and Van Cleeve companies are good sources for science materials.

Overall Value: Hands-on activities increase students' interest; competition only fuels their enthusiasm, as children learn and apply the scientific method and build independent problem-solving skills. This project meets the following Illinois state goals and Chicago Academic Standards (CAS): goal 6, CAS A CFS 2,5, CAS C CFS 1.2&4; goal 7, CAS A CFS 1,3, CAS B CFS 2; goal 8, CAS A CFS 1,4, CAS D CFS 1; goal 10, CAS A CFS 1, CAS B CFS 2, CAS C CFS 1,2; goal 11, CAS A CFS 1-4, CAS B CFS 2-6 and 9, CAS C CFS 1-6; goal 12, CAS D CFS 1-3, CAS E CFS 6-8, CAS F CFS 1-3; goal 13, CAS A 1,3,5,7, CAS D CFS 1.

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Discoveries
Category: Science
Grades: 1 to 3
How It Works: Discoveries is a collaborative project that joins prekindergarten students from a community-based project, mainstream students from a magnet school for science and technology, and severely language delayed special education students. As the project crosses the educational curriculum, it also addresses global citizenship through lessons that promote understanding of and sensitivity toward people with disabilities. The project begins with a small plot of land that was converted into a school community garden. The mainstream and special education students plant flowers and vegetables; seeds and cuttings are grown simultaneously in,"secret gardens" in the classrooms. The children also participate in weekly two-hour life science classes. The children plant fall and summer crops. Teams of students are assigned to daily chores such as weeding, hoeing, and watering. In late fall students harvest the crops and hold a harvest festival where they sell their homemade products. The classroom pet center is supplied with an incubator, brooder, ant farm, and relevant fiction and other resources. Students record their observations in journals. The pet center promotes responsibility for animal care and provides opportunities to explore how animals develop. Each season features field trips and special events for the children and their parents. By working together on these challenging projects, the children develop genuine friendships and respect for one another.

The Students:

The Staff: Donna Ciampa and Susan Mintz are teachers at PS 224. They developed Discoveries in collaboration with parents, staff, and administrators in an effort to provide children with opportunities to learn, to build self-esteem, and to develop respect for others.

What You Need: The project involves 10 severely language delayed special education students, 20 preschool students from a local community organization, and 1 mainstream kindergarten class. Staff include 1 communication specialist/speech pathologist, 1 special education teacher, 1 preschool early childhood specialist, and 1 mainstream early childhood teacher. The science center is equipped with a greenhouse, a plant lab, an incubator, and a brooder.

Overall Value: As a result of their involvement in the project, children have demonstrated an understanding of basic life science concepts; simultaneously, their tolerance, sensitivity, and understanding of less typical children has grown as children took on shared goals and responsibilities, explain Ciampa and Mintz. "Miguel, a bilingual developmentally delayed student, typifies the bonds formed among the children. In his enthusiasm and anticipation of the arrival of the other students, he exclaimed ‘Yea!, I can't wait!, When will my friends get here?'"

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Discovering Revision Through Technology
Category: Instructional Inquiry
Grades: 7 to 8
How It Works: This research explores instructional strategies and technology that facilitate the writing revision process and students' positive perceptions about themselves as writers. Specifically, it will answer the following questions: -How does the use of word processors affect student productivity given students with prior experience in keyboarding and word processing? -How does published writing affect students' self-esteem and self-efficacy as writers as seen by parents and teachers? -How does published writing affect students' pursuit of the revision process in subsequent new writings? The research team hypothesizes that using word processors will ease the motor skill problems of writing and that productivity will increase. Self-esteem will increase as students see improvement in the published product. Attention to content is prioritized with the fine-motor impediments eased. Data evaluating writer self-esteem are collected from three surveys that parents, teachers, and targeted students complete at the beginning, middle, and end of the defined period. Data indicating time of daily use of word processors are collected to correlate with productivity. Student writing portfolios document increases in productivity. The study targets fifth and sixth grade students in the program for the learning disabled who demonstrate discrepancy between ability and achievement in written expression. These students are being instructed in keyboarding and word processing. The 22 identified students meet four days per week, 45 minutes a day, for specific instruction in written expression.

The Students:

The Staff: Two teachers of the learning disabled in grades five and six participate in the study.

What You Need: The research requires individual access to word processors during writing instruction. Laptop word processors, such as the Alpha Smart, ensure access to a computer at a reasonable cost. Support to acquire Alpha Smart word processors was received through the school's PTA, Intelligent Peripheral Devices, Inc. and the Area III grant program. Contacts at Digital Ink offer technical assistance.

Overall Value: Without the ease of word processors, students with learning disabilities (particularly fine-motor problems) find the recopying process for the final draft laborious. These difficulties may diminish self-esteem and appear to reinforce negative attitudes toward writing. The benefits of seeing a published piece are therefore reduced. Use of word processors will ease the mechanical impediments of the process, allowing optimal attention to written content.

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Discovering the Silent World of the Deaf
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 2 to 8
How It Works: The program's purpose is to help nondisabled students understand deafness and the unique cultural contributions the deaf community has made to our hearing society. Students are introduced to Sign Language and the fingerspelled letters of the alphabet. They learn food, color, family and animal signs, opposites, seasons, numbers, and they learn to sign some songs they already know how to sing. In addition, students discover how they hear, what causes hearing loss, why noise pollution is so critical to hearing loss today, and what types of hearing aid devices are available to hearing impaired people. They learn the correct terminology for deaf individuals and will discover the ways in which the deaf make phone calls and understand television. They operate hearing-impaired alarm systems including alarm clocks, smoke detectors, and alarms that alert them to baby cries; and they find out how hearing-ear dogs are trained to help deaf individuals. They discover what it is really like to be deaf in a world which depends on sound for communication. As a result, students become aware of the deaf community in the United States and improve their attitudes toward both disabled, individuals in general, and deaf individuals in particular. As a culminating activity, students have a "silent day" living as deaf individuals in their silent world, wearing ear plugs all day and communicating in Sign Language. They discover that lipreading is a very inefficient system, and experience at their levels of understanding the real-life implications of living in a silent world. DCPS Major System Priorities: Intergroup Relations. The Students: This project is especially designed for grades K-6th, but can easily be done with middle and high school students. It is also easily adapted for small or large groups - one class or an entire school - and can be done with any achievement level.

The Students:

The Staff: Carol Dunstall has taught for 27 years in grades preschool to six, teaching American Sign Language to interested parents and other members of the community. Dr. Dunstall has conducted numerous workshops at the gradate and undergraduate levels. This project has been implemented for many years for individual classes and whole schools; it requires no additional personnel to implement.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: The book Sign Language Fun and the videotape Sign Me A Story are useful to this project, but not essential. Dr. Dunstall's packet of teaching materials for teacher and child use is essential. Regular classroom spaces are appropriate. Outside Resources: Flashing light alarms, telephone devices, and other equipment for the deaf may be borrowed from the Deaf Services Bureau of Miami.

Overall Value: Discovering the Silent World of the Deaf provides a way for hearing students to communicate with deaf students while learning to appreciate the cultural contributions the deaf community has made to our hearing world. Students become fascinated with the special devices used by the deaf and with their uniquely beautiful language - The Language of Sign.

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Discovering Trigonometry: A Graphing Approach
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: Discovering Trigonometry: A Graphing Approach adds a playful dimension to learning trigonometry concepts. This collaborative, hands-on project is a set of guided worksheets that allows students to discover the shapes of the various trig graphs as well as the basic concepts of amplitude, phase shift, and period. Students work in teams. Each team uses a computer to work through one guided worksheet per class period, mastering one concept each day. The lesson is based on the Sunburst software package Green Globs and Graphing Equations, although other graphing programs could be adapted to this project as well. Motivation for mastering each lesson comes from a challenge. In the graphing game Green Globs: Expert Level, teams score points by finding equations to create graphs that will "hit" the most green globs that are randomly scattered in a coordinate plane on the computer screen. The more hits in a single shot, the higher the score. Students work to improve graphing ability to increase scores and to break records set by students in previous years. The Students: Although the original program involved two advanced math classes, the lessons could be adapted to any class covering trigonometry. The idea of the guided worksheets could be used with any graphing unit, and the approach was used in an Algebra I class to introduce slope and intercept of a line.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: Materials Needed: Besides copier paper for worksheets and graph paper for exercises that check understanding, this project requires one computer for each cooperative team. The software graphing program is Green Globs and Graphing Equations by Sunburst.

Overall Value: This program fosters an enthusiasm for math. Students view computers as learning tools, learn to work cooperatively in groups, master trigonometry concepts, and always want to know, "When can we do this again?"

Standards:


DISCOVERING YOU AND ME IN OUR FAMILY TREES
Category: Arts
Grades: 2 to 7
How It Works: "Discovering You and Me in Our Family Trees" opens the hearts and minds of students to the richness of family history through grandparent interviews, family photographs and artifacts, and role playing a turn-of-the-century arrival to Ellis Island. The purpose of the project is to gain an awareness of the value of our ancestors, explore cultural differences and similarities within our classroom community, and introduce the concept of immigration and its role in creating our pluralistic nation. Through the exploration of personal family trees and comparisons to those of classmates, students begin to see the similarities among families and cultures, while developing a respect and understanding of different cultural traditions. Learning about the journeys ancestors made to come to America, and studying about Ellis Island introduces the students to how immigration created our multi-cultural society. The integration of language arts through oral family histories, visual arts through quilting and doll making, and drama through role playing allows students to connect their learning in many different disciplines. While students learn about the value of their ancestors they develop listening, writing, speaking, and viewing skills. Teacher led discussions based on non-fiction and realistic fiction literature provide the foundation for the project. Students work independently to prepare family histories, and 'family quilt squares' to present orally, and in small groups to create ancestor dolls inspired by family heritage. Teachers assess student learning through oral presentations of 'family quilt squares', participation in mapping ancestors' native countries, sharing of written interviews of an ancestor, participation in oral discussions, and a final written essay assessed on a narrative writing rubric.

The Students: Two groups of 20-22 second grade students of heterogeneous abilities have participated in this project each year. The project is easily adapted for grades two through six.

The Staff: Brenda P. Macri and Cynthia R. Sherwin Cos Cob School, Cos Cob

What You Need: Appropriate non-fiction and realistic fiction books,family photos, clothespins, fabric remnants, stethoscope

Overall Value: This project provides a delightful excuse to gather ' round the family photo album sharing stories of the past. Through exploration of family trees and presentations of family oral histories, students gain insight into the wealth within one's family heritage, and begin to recognize their ancestors' roles in passing on family values and traditions. Students broaden their perspectives beyond their "personal universe", exploring and gaining respect for cultural similarities and differences within our "class family"and school community. The personalized hands-on activities allow students to reach into the past and discover that everyone can have fun climbing a family tree!

Standards: Sense of Community Speaking, Listening, and Viewing


Do You Measure Up? A Math Lab
Category: Classroom Management/Intergroup
Grades: 7 to 10
How It Works: Do You Measure Up? shows students how to use computers for mathematical applications by asking them to focus on their favorite topic: themselves! During a two week period, students measure and record the physical dimensions of each other and use a spreadsheet to analyze the data and find the patterns that emerge. In cooperative learning groups, students collect data onto a teacher-made form or template. Students measure the height, foot length, span, and cubit of every group member using meter sticks. Similar data is gathered from members of other groups until each paper "spreadsheet" contains at least ten items. After a lesson on the nature of ratios, students use a calculator to complete the two ratio columns of their worksheets - one for values greater than one, another for values less than one. Now they're ready to access the computers! Spreadsheet vocabulary (cell, cell name, row, column, value, label, etc.) become understandable in light of the worksheet template they have completed. Using well-defined cooperative learning roles, each student in turn enters a portion of the collected data. Next students create formulas in the ratio columns. Students are allowed to help each other with the formulas but each kid must actually push the keys (without using the copy command). Finally, group members analyze hard copies together. They are encouraged to find and highlight interesting abnormalities or errors. For example, the usual ratio of height to foot length is around six: "I am six times as tall as the length of my foot." An occasional error suggests a disproportionate cartoon: "I am twice as tall as the length of my foot." Groups can present their analysis and findings to the rest of the class in an oral presentation and the two-page printouts showing values and formulas are proudly displayed throughout the classroom. Especially impressive are student explanations to parents when they demonstrate their working knowledge of electronic spreadsheets. The Students: This project has been used successfully with mainstreamed math classes in grades six and seven. It would also be suitable for eighth graders.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: Materials Needed: Each team of three or four students needs measuring instruments, a computer, electronic spreadsheet software, a data disk and a data template (homemade). This project used either an Apple and Appleworks software or a Macintosh Classic and Microsoft Works. Overall Value: Middle schoolers rarely use computers for mathematical applications. This project combines classroom instruction, small group and individual activities to expand students' views of computer applications.

Overall Value:

Standards:


Dollars and Sense
Category: Classroom Management/Intergroup
Grades: 10 to 11
How It Works: "Dollars and Sense" is a program that allows the students to utilize real-life situations while learning to work with percentages. Each student is given a household with a spouse and two children. The student will use the newspaper to choose a career. He/she will make notes of the qualifications (education, experience, etc.) necessary for the position. The student will determine how much tax (FICA, FWT) and insurance will be withheld from his/her check and then determine the net income. The student is given a circle graph that shows how much of his/her net income may be used for different household items (food, clothing, utilities, savings, entertainment, etc.), He/she will then choose an apartment or house from the newspaper and determine whether he/she will be able to afford the monthly rent/mortgage. The student will then furnish the house or apartment choosing furniture from the sales paper testing for affordability. They may choose to ride the bus or buy a car. The car must be chosen from the newspaper or a magazine. The student will go through the same procedures to determine if it is affordable for them. They will buy food and clothing for the family. The Student: This program was used by twenty eighth- and ninth-grade students during the first semester.

The Students:

The Staff: This program can be taught by any mathematics or Career Orientation teacher.

What You Need: Materials: Weekend and Thursday's newspaper, auto magazines, apartment and house magazines, and mail order catalogs are needed. Outside Resources: No outside resources are needed.

Overall Value: The student will be involved in the learning process and will be enthusiastic about learning,"something relevant." This program can also be used as a "Cooperative Group" project. It will teach and give the students the opportunity to, develop interpersonal skills, conflict resolution skills, life skills, and percents.

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Dolls Around the World
Category: Global Education
Grades: 2 to 7
How It Works: Dolls Around the World is an innovative approach to developing children's awareness of the traditions and customs of peoples from many regions of the world. The use of dolls to explore world cultures was initially linked with the third grade social studies curriculum Regions of the World. A unit on the Eastern Coastal Indians opens with a presentation by the teacher of Native American cornhusk dolls. The children read the Seneca story,"The Doll with No Face" and make their own dolls. The class makes Hopi Kachinas from clothespins, pioneer wooden spool dolls, Japanese paper dolls, beaded dolls to represent the Zulus, and soap sculptured Eskimo dolls. The project reaches across all curriculum areas. For example, children develop communication arts skills by reading folktales and writing their own stories about the dolls they make. They develop the math skills of patterning and measurement in lessons focusing on the beadwork of the Plains Indians and African peoples. Not only do they develop sensitivity toward the cultures of diverse peoples, but they gain a sense of pride and accomplishment in creating and displaying their work.

The Students:

The Staff: Loretta Nardone has been using dolls in her classroom for 18 years. She has found that their visual power and their familiarity to children make them appealing and effective learning tools. She is currently working on a Dolls Around, the World curriculum guide and work kit for District 31. Consultations can be arranged with interested teachers.

What You Need: Dolls can be made from almost any materials on hand, including paper, clothespins, spools, craft sticks, and beads. Sewing may be incorporated into dollmaking activities if desired. For the wooden spool dolls and the cornhusk dolls, a local crafts shop provided materials at a discount.

Overall Value: The response to the project by children, teachers, and parents has been extremely positive. The dolls are on exhibit at the New Dorp Library and a full-page article about it appeared in the Staten Island Advance. Making dolls was equally exciting for the boys in the class as for the girls. "My best example of the project's success came when one of my boys made a doll for me dressed in native costume with an accompanying story,," she recalls.

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DOUBLE DIP CHALLENGE
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: Double Dip Challenge rewards emotionally disabled students for behavioral and academic success through group reinforcement activities at interim time and at the end of the quarter. Students must commit to the challenge on the sign-up sheet. This motivates them to demonstrate appropriate school behavior as well as increase their academic efforts while meeting their individualized education program goals and objectives.

The criteria for a specific quarter's Double Dip Challenge are advertised on a large bulletin board in the ninth grade wing. The students are then reminded several times daily of their challenge, and they continue to work toward their goal. The bulletin board is changed quarterly to give the "double dip" a new and creative twist. (e.g., double dip ice cream, double dip roller coaster, etc...)

Students learn responsibility and organizational skills that continue to improve as expectations are raised in the Double Dip Challenge. For instance, the first quarter challenge is a "C" or better in academic areas; the second quarter is a "C" or better in all classes: the third quarter is a "B" or better in academic areas; and so on. Each week, the academic teachers involved post a list of students who have made the grade for that week on the "double dip" bulletin board.

Students The Double Dip Challenge is presented to all 30 to 35 ninth graders but can be adapted to any grade level. The challenges for each quarter are presented during bimonthly class meetings. A student monitors progress by looking for his or her name on the board each week. The program provides ongoing motivation and increases students' responsibility for attendance, class work, homework, and test preparation, as well as organizational skills and appropriate school behaviors.

The Students:

The Staff: The ninth grade team teachers and their instructional assistants implement the program.

What You Need: The Double Dip Challenge is displayed on a 12-foot bulletin board in the ninth grade wing. Reinforcement activities take place in the cafeteria, on the school grounds, or at area businesses (bowling alley or a restaurant).

Outside Resources Reinforcement activities include field trips (Smithsonian museums, the National Zoo, Belle Haven Marina Park, area restaurants). Some area restaurants have graciously given us discounts for our group. Parents have contributed by funding part of the cost for student field trips. With additional funding, students will be exposed to theatrical and musical experiences.

Overall Value: This program challenges students with emotional and behavioral problems to be academically successful. It encourages increased attendance and appropriate school behaviors. The program then allows for reinforcement activities that reward students for meeting the criteria of the "challenge."

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Down at the Bottom of the Sea
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 5 to 7
How It Works: The Coral Reef Experience began as a method of involving the students in our land-locked part of the world with the ocean and its inhabitants. We did hands-on experiments involving objects sinking or floating, salt water freezing, charting marine animal life spans, and setting-up and monitoring an aquarium and its inhabitants. As we discussed the ocean's food chain, a new development took place. The students, in researching their marine animal reports and rehearsing their play about food chains, began to deal with the subject of pollution and its effect on our world. They began to realize the symbiotic nature of their world and the devastating effects of pollution on everyone. They realized that if the coral reefs were not preserved and cared for we would have nothing left of them but recyclable materials. They decided to create a reef made from all the recyclables to show this effect. We felt that this was a real "bonus" in creative thinking and critical problem-solving which grew out of the cooperative learning environment.

The Students: Can be used for all achievement levels in large and small groups.

The Staff: Classroom teachers

What You Need: Any kind of classroom. An aquarium would be helpful. The following books, films, provide helpful information. Films: Shells BBC Worldwide, Seashores BBC Worldwide. Books: Ocean Life by Lisa Rudy, Ultimate Ocean Book - Smithsonian, A Reef Comes to Life - Sagaloff, Nat. Life on a Coral Reef - Bender, Lionel.

Overall Value: The students discovered a new world. They have become concerned about recycling and what will happen to our oceans, reefs, and their inhabitants. They have become aware of the interrelationships in nature and have a much more global view of symbiosis.

Students who have never experienced the vastness of the world's oceans or pollution on a large scale became involved and concerned individuals. They were quick to notice instances of oil spills and other problems that could lead to animal extinction in the news media. Their concern for recycling here at school gave them a new experience at caring for our environment.

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Dr. D's DNA Dynasty
Category: Science
Grades: 8 to 10
How It Works: This learning experience familiarizes students with biological concepts including structural homology, evuolution and binomial classification. Students will: perform academic research; model the naturalist's powers of observation in field settings; analyze classical literature in light of scientific debate; and create a puppet show based on the above. Research and performance parameters may be adjusted to various ages, materials, and time frames. Students begin researching animals of their choice in response to reading, The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle. Students assume the role of naturalist and devise hypotheses as to language capabilities in the animal kingdoms. They record their observations and revise their research while preparing for a puppet show. Students can create scripts, scenery, posters, and papier-m‚chť puppets to act out various perceptions. Exaggerated treatments such as melodrama or slapstick humor result in entertaining application and synthesis of students' knowledge.

The Students: All levels

The Staff: Classroom teacher

What You Need: Materials for puppets; The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle book. Field experiences might include museum exhibits, zoos, and libraries.

Overall Value: This experience motivates participation in research and reflection. Characterization of animals with puppets enhances critical and creative thought processes. Students' understanding of scientific principles grow as puppet forms and scripts are created. Scripting and production provide additional opportunities for the practical application of knowledge. This experience offers adaptability, sparks curiosity, and reinforces retention of scientific principles.

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Early Intervention Through Puppetry Experiences
Category: Health/Physical Education
Grades: 5 to 6
How It Works: This project is based on the peripheral problem associated with substance abuse: the need to keep students actively involved in the process of educating their peers. "The Early Intervention Through Puppetry Experiences" is unique because elementary students participate by learning the harmful effects of substance abuse through individual and group instruction (lesson, taught by the classroom teacher), and through involvement with their puppets. Once the students have learned its harmful effects, they will write scripts about substance abuse based on their knowledge. These students will present their skills to lower grade students within their school, also teaching other students how to work with the puppets (i.e. being role models), all the while enjoying themselves. Students role-play their own written mini-scenarios, with their puppets, to younger students. The content of the scenarios is substance abuse prevention. The purpose of using puppets is not the mastery of puppetry, but the enjoyment and fun of puppets in exploring attitudes and information on substance abuse. DCPS Major System Priorities: Critical Thinking Skills, Intergroup Relations. The Students: This project was implemented in fourth and third grade classes of about 25 to 30 students. Both special education and regular students have successfully participated. At least six lessons should be allowed before classroom performances.

The Students:

The Staff: Kathy M. Salomon is a fifth-grade teacher at South Hialeah Elementary and Community School. She is an active member, and chairperson of school marketing, social and safety committees. Ms. Salomon successfully coordinated the implementation of,"The Early Intervention through Puppetry Experiences" within the school to Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, first, second and third grade teachers. She is currently working toward an advanced degree at Florida International University.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: Puppets and DCPS curriculum on substance abuse. Outside Resources: The following organizations can supply information on substance abuse: Teenage Drug Problem Hotline, Al-Anon/Al-Ateen, Alcoholics Anonymous, New Horizons, MADD, Glenbeigh Hospital, Highland Park General Hospital and Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Overall Value: Students explore attitudes and gain information on substance abuse while enjoying themselves with puppets. As a result, students, enhance their values and self-esteem, improving attendance, academic performance and behavior.

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Eat, Drink And Be Healthy
Category: Science
Grades: 2 to 5
How It Works: Children use the nutrition pyramid and a range of classroom activities to: classify key nutrients, learn to read food labels, gain skill in selecting foods and appropriate serving sizes for a healthy diet, distinguish between healthy and unhealthy foods, learn how food affects their minds, bodies and teeth The project culminates with a Snack Bar Tasting Party planned and prepared by the,"food smart" students or chefs. Students: This project was developed for a second grade class. It can, easily be adapted for other grades, ability levels and bilingual classes. Many of the materials needed are available in Spanish.

The Students:

The Staff: Susan Diamond earned a BA in Education and an MS in Nutrition from New York University. As an educator and Registered Dietitian she has taught at the elementary and adult level. She is directing a nutrition and dental health research project for grades K-8 at Harold Washington Elementary School where she teaches second grade.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Children use customary school supplies, books and pamphlets, kitchen utensils, computer programs, diaries, videos and dental health models. Outside Resources: The National Dairy Council, the Dairy Nutrition Council, the American Dietetic and the American Dental Associations provide free materials, videos and guest speakers. Neighborhood supermarkets offer tours and the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry has a Nutrition Center for students. Parents help prepare food for the class.

Overall Value: Children learn what constitutes a healthy diet and gain valuable skills to achieve lifelong health and wellness.

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El Arte del Mundo Hispano
Category: Foreign Language
Grades: 6 to 6
How It Works: After studying art from the Spanish speaking world, students research a Hispanic artist of their choice and design a project to be presented in class and later exhibited in an,"open-house" art exhibit organized by the students. This program is designed to improve oral and written proficiency in Spanish while exposing students to the cultures of the Spanish-speaking world through art. A unit on Spanish art is presented by the teacher using videos, slides, posters and art books to provide the students with the necessary content related vocabulary and to familiarize the students with the different styles and schools of art, i.e. realism, surrealism, cubism, etc. When possible, a guest speaker is invited to speak to the classes on a related topic in the target language. Students are also encouraged to visit local museums and galleries to identify works by famous Hispanic artists that are part of permanent collections here in Houston. At the end of the unit of Spanish art, (2-6 weeks), students are asked to choose a work of art by a Hispanic artist of their choice and to prepare a project to be presented in class. Although more than one student may choose to research the same artist, no two students are allowed to present the same work of art. Selections are approved on a "first come/first served" basis. The only guidelines provided by the teacher for selection of a work of art are that the artist must be Hispanic (including Hispanic born in the U.S.), and that the work of art be in no way offensive. Once each student has chosen a work of art, he/she is required to research the artist and the particular piece. The student is assigned to write a short essay combining this information. The essays are edited by the instructor, then returned to the students for rewriting. The written and visual assignments are combined into a project to be presented orally in class and later publicly displayed. Students are evaluated on Spanish proficiency and quality of the finished product. The projects are exhibited in an,"open-house" exhibit during Hispanic Heritage Month, as part of the school's Columbus Day Celebration. Projects are limited only by individual students' creativity and imagination. Students: Currently about 150 students are involved in this program. They are third year students of accelerated and native Spanish speaking programs. This program could be adapted to any level with minor modification and duplicated in any foreign language class (French, German, Russian, etc.).

The Students:

The Staff: I developed this program as a transitional device to move the students from the traditional grammar-based, language learning method to a content and culture-related language acquisition method. The classroom teacher is the primary facilitator; however, guest speakers may enrich the program.

What You Need: Materials: Videos, slides, posters, art books and other related materials are, needed to present the initial lesson. Students are encouraged to visit local museums and galleries, as well as shops specializing in art-related merchandise. Outside Resources:Guest speakers can include local artists, museum docents, and teachers of other disciplines. Students are also encouraged to use, the Houston Public Libraries and local university libraries to research, their subjects.

Overall Value: "El Arte del Mundo Hispano" is designed to promote oral proficiency in a target language, while exposing students to culture and history through the world of art. The,"open-house" art exhibit allows the students to share their language learning experience with their families and the community-at-large, thus enhancing their self-image and overall confidence in the language.

Standards:


Electronic Investigators
Category: Science
Grades: 9 to 10
How It Works: The goal of Electronic Investigators is to engage students in scientific investigation and to introduce them to computer-based research. Many students who have never shown a strong interest in academics have been reached through this project. Working cooperatively in teams, students are given science topics to research and present. The computer is the principal investigative tool for these young scientists. Students use the NYCENET electronic bulletin board to access relevant resources. Among the main databases used by the students is Grolier's Encyclopedia. The work of student electronic investigators combines several subject areas: science, math, reading, and computer education. Students use search operations, such as,"NOT," WITH,","AND," and,"OR" to search a database for information. By using the computer to formulate research strategies and gather information for their projects, students gain confidence in their capacity to learn and to present information.

The Students:

The Staff: Richard De Marie created Electronic Investigators to stimulate students' interest in scientific investigation while teaching them the computing skills that they will need in the workplace of the 21st century.

What You Need: Science and computer teachers are involved in this project; collaborative meetings are held weekly to discuss specific science projects that will be assigned to teams of three students. Basic materials are a computer, modem, communication software, printer, and telephone line. Either the Apple or IBM platform can be used.

Overall Value: Many students do not actively participate in school and simply sit passively in class. When children are working together in group projects, they feel that they are part of the educational process. "Children learn a great deal from each other. Telecomputing allows groups of children to collect and share information and to think critically. In the process, they learn collaboration, teamwork, and social skills," explains De Marie.

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Electronic Journals
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 5 to 10
How It Works: The Program Electronic Journals gives each student a chance to "talk" to the teacher. Students use a word processor to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the books they are reading; the teacher reads their electronic journals and responds on the same disk. All students have data disks on which to save entries and responses. Initially, the teacher takes each student's disk, writes a letter explaining the procedure, and gives a writing prompt. Students make entries weekly and follow the teacher's directions. Students read at least two books each quarter. In addition to the reading journal, students prepare book projects: formal presentations which again take advantage of computer technology. Students produce slide shows with animated scenes from their books, book covers, etc. They combine computer graphics with drawing and telling to create a "multimedia" project. The Students: Originally designed to meet the needs of a gifted student who had difficulty with the physical process of writing, the program has been expanded to include other students. The project would work with students grades three and up. The only limit is the availability of computer time.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: Materials Needed: Any computer with word processing and graphics software would work well. This project used an Apple IIGS with color monitor, AppleWorks 3.0, and Paintworks Plus software. Overall Value: This program allows direct interaction between student and teacher through technology. While the program results in increased fluency in reading and writing, and increased use of technology, it can also generate contagious excitement in the classroom.

Overall Value:

Standards:


Ellis Island: An Immigration Simulation
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 9 to 9
How It Works: In preparation for a team trip to Ellis Island, students plan to simulate the immigration process on the busiest day of Ellis Island - March 27 1907. Groups of two to four students are asked to select a

The Students:

The Staff: Four seventh grade homeroom team teachers, one special education team teacher, a study skills team teacher and a high school foreign language teacher are more than enough to supervise this activity. It could be expanded to include library-media specialist, guidance counselor, nurse, health/physical education, and anyone who wished to participate.

What You Need: The necessary items for an immigration simulation include a cafeteria or gymnasium, tables and chairs, large poster board or newsprint roll, oak tag for,"inspection cards," a public address system or microphone and amplifier, optional video camera and tape. Standard classroom supplies and equipment are also needed.

Overall Value: Role playing, collaborating, researching, and socializing fosters positive self esteem, creativity, interdependence, and application of knowledge in a real-life learning environment that promotes success for every student. It also reinforces strategies for solving problems that have more than one solution. Students are able to integrate subject, area skills in new and creative ways and to interact with older students in a meaningful way toward a common goal. All students were excited and enthusiastic about learning. Students stayed on task to meet a standard of excellence. Everyone enjoyed a learning experience.

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eMate Pilot Program
Category: Technology
Grades: 7 to 8
How It Works: This research is evaluating the impact of one-to-one immersion in portable computing with Apple's eMate laptop. The eMate Pilot Program provides every fifth-grader and fifth/sixth multi-age classroom student at Mantua with an eMate laptop computer for his or her use at school, at home, and on field trips. Students use the eMates to gather and organize information, analyze data, complete assignments, and to develop and perfect keyboarding skills.

As we approach the third millenium, new technologies are influencing the current paradigm of how teachers teach and students learn. We want to know what changes, if any, will be observed in students' academic achievements as well as in their attitudes toward learning as any time, anywhere users of the eMate. Furthermore, we are examining attitudes among teachers as they become daily users of technology as a tool for instruction and assessment. We will document how use of the eMates alters teaching styles, philosophy, and delivery of instruction.

Baseline and one year data in the form of student, teacher, parent, and administrative surveys will be collected. Student projects completed with the eMate will be evaluated, as will student, parent, and teacher anecdotal journals. "Type to Learn" pre and posttests will be administered to all program students. Writing samples from randomly selected students will be evaluated at six-month intervals. Performance of our fifth grade students on the Virginia Standards of Learning technology assessment will be compared with that of other FCPS fifth- graders. Additionally, we will analyze teacher use of "Learner Profile", a student performance assessment tool.

The Students: One hundred seventy eight fifth graders and fifth/sixth multi-age students are participating in this pilot program. In addition to general education students, the project includes learning disabled (LD) students, those for whom English is a second language (ESL0, children in our Gifted and Talented Center (GTC) and deaf students from our Total Communication Center (TCC).

The Staff: Three general education sixth-grade teachers, four general education fifth-grade teachers, one TCC fifth-grade teacher, two fifth/sixth multi-age GTC teachers, our ESL teacher, two LD resource teachers, and our technology resource teacher form the eMate pilot program team. The team meets weekly to discuss professional and instructional use of the eMates, to design data collection instruments and analyze information, and to prepare conference presentations and publishable reports.

What You Need: The eMate 300 is small, durable, portable computer that uses Apple Newton technology as a means to deliver accessible computing. It features a student-size keyboard, infrared capabilities for instant communication and collaborative learning, and easy connections to desktop computers-both Mac OS and Windows- based PCs. The eMte comes with integrated software that includes word processing, draw3ing, spreadsheet and graphing clculator functions, as well as calendar, appointment book, and "to do" list applications.Funds to purchase the initial eMates were provided by Texaco Refining and Marketing, Inc., following a settlement with the Mantua Citizens' Association.

Personnel from the Department of Information Technology and the Office of Program Evaluation serve as resources to the inquiry team as needed.

Overall Value: The eMate Pilot program is expected to extend students' educational experiences beyond the classroom, creating a distributed learning environment that allows students and teachers to take advantage of a full range of technology-making learning more meaningful, effective, and engaging. It is expected that eMate will be especially beneficial to those students without computer access in the home, and to those students who may be underachieving while utilizing a traditional binder, assignment book, and pencil. The eMate will provide visual access to learning and enhanced collaboration and communication for our deaf population, expanding their educational and cultural opportunities.

Furthermore, the emate program will provide an excellent model, worthy of replication, for the daily use and integration of technology into the standard curriculum of "wall-less" classrooms within Fairfax County Public School for the 21st Century!

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EMBARKING ON A LIFETIME VOYAGE
Category: Special Education
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: Embarking on a Lifetime Voyage" is an exciting, multifaceted program in which students develop a variety of skills while gaining important insights into character traits which can lead to a successful and fulfilled future. This program ties together a variety of activities and projects in the four major disciplines.

The overarching theme of "voyage" gives coherence and a sense of adventure to students. While each of these areas has a different approach to the issue of "voyage," the underlying themes of integrity and personal responsibility resonate. In mathematics, students use computer technology to create a logo for their own lifetime voyage into creation. In science, the scientific methodology employed in a classroom experiment. In history, the study of Greek culture and The Odyssey demonstrate the timelessness of human struggles with imperfection. In English, students combine literature with the excitement of interviewing and intergenerational guest speakers. Students discuss what they have learned about integrity, with an emphasis on making sound choices in life's large and small decisions.

The next phase of the project involves group interviews and finally each student conducts his or her own interviews. Students select an individual whom they believe represents a model of integrity; these are often senior citizens.

Interviews are recorded on paper, via audio or videotape. At the end of the project, students present the results of their interview to the class and submit a written assessment of their experience.

The Students:

The Staff: John Benoit, Mary Jean Faulkner, Gary Fleming, and Joseph Viola Bristol Eastern High School, Bristol

What You Need: Materials include the novel A Night to Remember by Walter Lord and other short stories, The Odyssey by Homer, access to computers with graphics, string and measuring instruments.

Overall Value: "Embarking on a Lifetime Voyage" is a lively, interactive, interdisciplinary and intergenerational learning experience. The guest speaker interviews give students an opportunity to test and sharpen their skills in writing and asking questions, analyzing and presenting responses. Subsequently, in selecting their own interviewee, they have a chance to utilize the skills, which they have been rehearsing for a semester. Students learn in a dramatic and interesting way that integrity and responsibility are complex concepts and an ongoing choice in their own lives.

The project energizes and inspires students, involving them in actively thinking about the patterns in their lives and their hopes for the future.

Standards:


Emerson Field Study Program
Category: Science
Grades: 8 to 11
How It Works: Guiding Principles: #2 Students communicate effectively in mathematics and science #5 Students understand their roles in the natural world #7 Students attain and apply essential knowledge and skills of mathematics and science

Content Standards 2A: Students use clear and accurate communication in sharing their knowledge. I1 Record results of experiences or activities and summarize and communicate what they have learned. 5A: Students apply mathematics and science concepts to demonstrate an understanding that natural systems, including human systems, are cyclic and interconnected. I1 Describe a food web and food pyramid. I2 Describe roles in a community. M1 Describe the law of the conservation of matter. M2 Describe some specific cycles of matter. M3 Describe the influence of abiotic and biotic factors on biotic communities. 5B: Students demonstrate an understanding of their role in the natural world and how to take responsibility for the impact on it. I3 Identify and explain some of the impacts that human beings, as a group and as individuals, have on their environment. I4 Describe the concept of waste. 5C: Students understand that human impact on the environment can include more effective management of resources and reduction of harmful effects. M3 Use measurement tools to quantify environmental conditions. 7.1C: Students understand and apply concepts of data analysis. M2 Use a variety of organizers to organize data that they have generated. 7.2B: Students understand how living things depend on one another and non-living aspects of the environment. I1 Describe a food web and the relationships within a given ecosystem. I2 Explain the difference between producers, consumers, decomposers, and identify examples of each. I3 Compare and contrast physical and living components of different biomes. I4 Investigate the connection between major living and non-living components in a local ecosystem. M1 Describe, in general terms, the chemical processes of photosynthesis and respiration. M3 Describe succession and other ways that ecosystems can change over time. S1 Illustrate the cycles of matter in the environment and explain their interrelationship.

The Approach In this FIELD STUDY, students plunge into the laboratory at their doorstep. A local saltmarsh, forest and pond become prototypes of ecosystems and how they work. Students gain first-hand knowledge of how these ecosystems function and how our very existence depends on maintaining a healthy environment. In the classroom, introductory activities prepare students for meaningful field experiences. Out in the field students compare and contrast the various physical and living components of the three different ecosystems using a variety of tools including thermometers, hydrometers, specimen collecting tools, ph meters and field guides. They organize their findings on graphs and charts. Each student keeps a scientist's journal. Through their investigations students see the impact of humans on their environment. Data gathered allows students to predict possible future dangers to the environment and to develop environmental management plans. A pre-test is used to assess students' prior knowledge. Journals are used to measure growing student understanding as the unit progresses. Non-traditional, multi-day group tests allow students to create posters and diagrams to show what they have learned from their experiences. The research paper is a work product which assesses communication skills and demonstrated understanding of ecological principles. This and other student-created products are also used for assessment (ongoing during the project). During the project, students are observed and guided when needed. The major formal assessment is a student created poster describing the three ecosystems. Based on data from their observations and research, the posters demonstrate that students have a knowledge of cycles in nature (water, nitrogen and carbon dioxide) energy pyramids and other relationships in the ecosystems. The posters also demonstrate their understanding of basic ecological terms.

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need: Activities in this unit can be adapted to a variety of ecosystems. The saltmarsh activity can be omitted (if one cannot get to the shore) and the unit will still be effective. Terraria are built from 2-liter plastic bottles and utilize local plants. Measurement tools are required, including hygrometers, thermometers and ph paper. Internet and CD-ROM resources support student research. This unit takes between five and six weeks to complete.

Overall Value: This project starts with contained classroom experiences and then gives students opportunities to expand and practice their understandings beyond school. Seeing how the same principles apply in very different settings helps students begin to understand that "generalizable" principles can describe the world. Students see field trips as class experiences rather than "add-ons" or "fun time."

This approach connects to other disciplines and the world outside of school in concrete ways. On field trips, math concepts are applied to data analysis and ecological principles become visible in the students' local environments. The student research paper is incorporated into the English curriculum, including necessary research and writing skills. Students develop confidence by jumping in to the "unknown waters" of this unit's concepts and field methods in this unit, which must then be applied to new situations. They practice recognizing ecological concepts in different sites and analyze them to see how the different factors interact with the others. Parent and community volunteers are also involved to support the budding scientists.

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Encounter Space 2000
Category:
Grades: to
How It Works:

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need:

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English (Advancing Literacy in Schools)
Category: Arts
Grades: 2 to 10
How It Works: Advancing Literacy in Schools is an interactive program to advance the reading and writing skills of students. This team project builds on A.L.I.S. activities at all grade levels. It is based on the writing process approach to language learning. Because 1994 is the International Year of the Family, the project focuses on cultural diversity and home-school connections. Every student is involved in a "buddy interview" and a short biography is written with a photograph attached. Biographies are compiled into family albums. Students create lyrics to describe the A.L.I.S. Family and sing the songs at the Beaubien School Open House. Teachers videotape and photograph activities all year. Students: Students in 1st, 3rd, 5th and 7th grade classes are involved in this program. There are approximately 30 students per class, ranging in age from 6 to 14, with achievement at all grade levels.

The Students:

The Staff: Mary Clancy, 3rd grade teacher, holds a BS from DePaul University. Sherry Kasten, 5th grade teacher, holds a BA from Northeastern Illinois University. Mary Nestler holds a BA from Northeastern Illinois University. Debbie Solka, 7th grade teacher, holds a BA from Northeastern. Judy Trammell holds a BS and an MS in Teaching Reading from Chicago State University.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Materials and equipment needed include a camera, film, a video camera and tapes, paper and bookbinding materials. Teachers and students meet with their assigned cross-age classrooms once a week to get to know each other in their classroom settings. Outside Resources: Parents, community members, senior citizens, business people, elected officials and others are invited to share traditions, songs and dances, to demonstrate artifacts and cultural backgrounds.

Overall Value: This program strengthens home, school, cultural and neighborhood connections. Reading and writing skills develop as students work and share with one another.

Standards:


Enriching the Advanced Placement Calculus Program
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 14 to 14
How It Works: Enriching the Advanced Placement Calculus Program, enables students to use the graphing calculator as a tool for mathematical exploration and discovery. Starting in 1994 students will be allowed to use calculators on SAT exams. In 1995 all Advanced Placement candidates in calculus will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the use of a graphing calculator. The infusion of the graphing calculator into the secondary school mathematics curriculum provides students with a new means of investigating and verifying mathematical concepts. The purpose of this project is to familiarize students with the graphing calculator, specifically the TI-81 or TI-82 from Texas Instruments; to teach them to apply their computing skills in solving mathematical problems; to enable them to develop skills in computer programming; and to further develop their higher order thinking skills through creative work. After the students are shown how to use the calculator, they work in small groups to solve a variety of problems. As they develop proficiency, they apply their knowledge by writing a project using the graphing calculator. Finally, students demonstrate their proficiency by presenting a mini-lesson on a topic in the mathematics curriculum.

The Students:

The Staff: Steven J. Balasiano implemented this project in 1992 as a means of integrating technology and computer programming into advanced mathematics classes. He received an IMPACT II grant in 1986 for his project Mathematics: An Investigation into Research. Lesson plans and consultations are available to teachers interested in implementing the project.

What You Need: Materials consist of Texas Instrument TI-81 graphing calculators and a viewscreen, an overhead projector, and the manual Calculus Activities for the TI-81 Graphic Calculator, by Dennis Pence.

Overall Value: The use of the graphing calculator and audiovisual equipment in advanced calculus has been truly motivating for students. The graphing calculator is,"a challenging piece of equipment that inspires interest in mathematics," comments Balasiano. "The use of the graphing calculator in the Advanced Placement calculus syllabus created a feeling of unity among the students as they worked together to discover higher level concepts in mathematics," he notes.

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ENTERING THE LOOP: INCREASING CLIENT/SERVER COMMUNICATION
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 7 to 14
How It Works: "Out of the loop." This is the phrase many students use to describe their position in the decision making process in education. Although clients of the system, they have very little input into decisions which impact them directly. One reason these clients have little input is because they have very little contact with the servers, the people responsible for educational decisions. To respond to this need for more communication between clients and servers, this project directs students to research a topic which currently impacts their education. After collecting data, students discuss topics with educational decision-makers.

The use of standardized tests (CAPT, SAT) to improve curriculum is the topic for discussion. Working collaboratively, students collect, analyze, and evaluate test data. They examine articles on assessment and materials provided by both the school system and the State Department of Education. After formulating questions and pinpointing issues of concern, they interview and confer with the school system's director of curriculum and instruction and an official from the State Department of Education - Division of Teaching and Learning. In addition, students write formal letters outlining their positions on the topic to each decision-maker, and each decision-maker responds with a letter. Another topic for discussion is block scheduling which is currently under consideration for implementation in the high school in September, 1997. After the conferences, the teams examine the information gathered and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of block scheduling and its impact on education at the high school. As the final step in the project, each student composes a formal letter of support or opposition and directs it to the decision-makers.

The Students:

The Staff: Marie Scully Gray

What You Need: Internet access and research articles.

Overall Value: This project, adaptable to many grades and topics, features large group instruction, small group instruction and interaction, collaboration of individuals at all levels of the educational structure, teacher assessment, and student assessment. Students work collaboratively to obtain information through various media, to think critically and formulate probing questions, to develop and support informed opinions on a topic relevant to them, and to engage in dialogue with those directly responsible for making decisions concerning it. Students learn valuable life skills - how to effectively express and support their opinions so as to have input into the decision making process. Most importantly, students experience success. They learn that they don't have to be "out of the loop;" they can be part of the decisions which affect their education.

Standards: Learning Skills Positive Self-Concept


ENVIRONMENTAL ALPHABETS: CONNECTING SCHOOL AND HOME
Category: Science
Grades: 1 to 6
How It Works: Each year, as part of a larger study in which students research a natural environment and then with varied art materials construct the studied environment in the classroom, the teacher provides a homework assignment for families to do together. The goals of the assignment are to give families a concrete way to connect with the student's current study; to involve families in reading about and researching the environment together; to give an opportunity for student and family to "show off" their artistic or research talents; and most of all to promote positive interactions between families, students, and the school learning environment. With their family, each student is given the task of creating a poster for a specific letter of the alphabet based on the current environment being studied. The description encourages flexibility in thinking, using a variety of media to create the poster. Families are encouraged to pursue their own ideas within the framework of the assigned letter and environmental topic. The posters, labeled with the families' names, are displayed in alphabetical order with a title in the school hallway.

The family alphabet is an integral part of an evening presentation of the environmental study by the students. Over the past five years, families have produced alphabets for these environments : the rain forest, the ocean, the desert, the northern forests, and the African Savannah. Every year families and teachers marvel at the creativity and variety of ways this assignment is completed. Families get involved, spend time and work together on a school project. Children have an opportunity to see adults involved in the learning process as good models of life- long learning.

The Students:

The Staff: Anne Cuyler

What You Need: Research materials and poster board.

Overall Value: It is the goal of this project to bring parents, students, and school personnel together to celebrate the incredible diversity of earth's natural environments. Creating the alphabet posters allows children, families, and teacher opportunities to learn more, to share together and marvel at the wonders of this earth. Opportunities for learning cover a broad range of skills like reading for information, summarizing and presenting research in an interesting compact format. Collected information and interest expands with so many people involved. The effects are long lasting. Children take pride in what their families accomplish together. They remember the environmental study and their part in the family alphabet.

Standards: Intellectual Curiosity Learning Skills


ESL THROUGH RHYTHM AND SONG
Category: Arts
Grades: 3 to 5
How It Works: By listening carefully and using percussive instruments they've made themselves, children repeat rhythmic patterns given in English. Next come "call and response" exercises which become gradually more challenging. Children learn favorite songs, read books based on songs, and improvise and dramatize familiar short stories.

Finally children write and recite their own songs/poems, which are copied into a class book that is shared with parents.

The Students: The project was developed with a first grade Spanish bilingual class. It is easily adaptable for other ages and for a range of ability levels.

The Staff: Clare Billingham holds a master's degree and has taught in the Chicago Public School's Bilingual Program for 24 years. She received a Golden Apple Award in May 1997.

What You Need: The following items are needed: coffee cans and rhythm sticks or other percussive instruments; music CD's or tapes; paper; crayons; paint; markers.

Overall Value: Children develop self-confidence and become less fearful about communicating in their second language. Under the guise of having fun, they forget themselves and speak more English.

Standards:


ESL Through Whole Language
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 5
How It Works: Students learn English in a bilingual classroom while having fun in stress free environment. They integrate all subjects through direct experiences with materials, trips and celebrations. Diverse activities involve - reading high-interest books which provide focused practice, writing their own stories which serve as texts, listening to good literature read in both English and Spanish, reading good trade books in both languages every day Students begin to read sooner through this program. Related math and science activities expand learning. Students also share a cooking and baking unit with an English speaking classroom group in their school. Students: Planned for a first grade bilingual group, this program is extended to include a class in the mainstream program. It can be adapted for other elementary grades.

The Students:

The Staff: Fluent in Spanish, Ms. Billingham holds a Masters Degree from National Louis University and a Bachelors Degree from Northeastern Illinois University. She has taught at Otis in the Bilingual Program for 19 years and has received numerous grants and awards.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: Implemented in the classroom, this program requires an easel for big books, ample paper supplies, numerous trade books and sequential story books. It is useful to have a tape recorder, overhead projector, VCR and television available.

Overall Value: Students' speaking abilities improve through interaction with others in natural learning situations. Vocabulary builds quickly and easily as children talk and read together. Self esteem increases as children interact with mainstream program students on an equal basis.

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ESL Voices Project
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: to
How It Works: An adaptation of the Golden Eagles: A Historical Project (see IMPACT II catalog, 1993), the ESL Voices Project uses a monthly newsletter format to showcase the, writing of elementary school English as a second language (ESL) students. The, two-page newsletter is produced on a computer and distributed to all students at, the school. Students gain a knowledge of the writing process and understanding, of writing for a specific audience: their peers. A student editorial board, participates in the selection, editing, and proofreading of student work. The, newsletter is designed to involve as many students as possible, with a celebration, of the strengths and diversity of ESL writers as the focus of each issue.

The Students:

The Staff:

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ESP-EMPLOYABILITY SKILLS PORTFOLIO
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: ESP--The Employability Skills Portfolio involves students who are emotionally disturbed and learning disabled in the process of creating and maintaining their own career-related portfolios. Students collect evidence of employability skills in academics, personal management, and teamwork, as well as records of learning styles, interests, and vocational assessments. They learn more about their strengths and abilities, what accommodations are and what types of accommodations can help them succeed in the classroom and on the job, and the skills necessary for self-determination, independent decision making, and self-advocacy. The program focuses on specific skills at different levels. At the initial level, students complete learning styles inventories, increase their levels of participation in the individualized education programs (IEP), visit the Career Center, and make initial contact with community resources. Later levels use the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) and provide instruction in resume writing and interviewing techniques. The portfolio provides storage for resumes, letters of recommendation, copies of all records, including scores on Scholastic Aptitude Tests and IEPs. In addition, the portfolio contains a personal computer disk and hard copy evidence of progress toward employability skills. Students All students participate in the ESP process through one or several classes.

The Students:

The Staff: The program continues from 9th through 12th grade and involves teachers in basic skills resources, all core subject areas, and computer applications.

What You Need: Students use many computer resources, including resume writing programs, interest inventories, and aptitude tests. Students also use supplemental resources designed to provide understanding of the IEP. All activities take place within the classrooms, the Career Center, and the lecture hall of the high school. Field trips to vocational centers and to Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) take place by grade level. Outside Resources Outside resources include the high school Career Center, NOVA, ASVAB, the Transition Counselor, Department of Rehabilitative Services, and people in the community.

Overall Value: This program increases students' awareness of the need for planning for the transition from high school to college or a career. As students practice within the controlled environment of the classroom, they increase self-confidence and proficiency in the skills needed to succeed. If their career plans are unformed, they have opportunities to consider various possibilities that relate to their interests and abilities.

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ESTABLISHING A STUDENT LEARNING TEAM ENVIRONMENT
Category: Instructional Inquiry
Grades: 2 to 8
How It Works: This study seeks to identify "What happens when students work collaboratively in student learning teams to identify topics for research and develop multimedia projects that present their research?" The team looks at students' interaction and performance in a student learning team (SLT) environment that emphasizes working collaboratively and learning through inquiry and reflection and encourages students to demonstrate their strengths.

Students Students in one fourth grade class and one third grade class work in four-student SLTs to complete multimedia research projects. They research a specific topic to gather information that is incorporated into HyperStudio multimedia stack presentations. The presentations are shared with other classes, and selected stacks are incorporated into the school's web page to be shared globally.

The Students:

The Staff: Two classroom teachers and the technology resource teacher compose the inquiry team. An instructional assistant, the librarian, and special education teachers help the SLTs when needed. The team meets to plan the units of study related to Program of Studies topics and the available research resources, such as library and Internet. The inquiry team meets one half day per month with the school's teacher-researcher team to design the data collecting instruments, analyze and discuss the data, draft a findings report to be shared at conferences, and prepare a final report for publication.

What You Need: The project requires Internet access and library materials, multimedia computer stations and HyperStudio software, and a web page program, Claris Homepage 2.0. The software Data Collector is used to analyze qualitative data. SLTs meet twice a week for 45-minute blocks in the computer lab or the library and during free time at classroom computer stations.

Outside Resources The Office of Educational Planning personnel serve as resources to the inquiry team as needed. PTA staff development funds support the teachers who disseminate the project information at workshops and conferences.

Overall Value: By conducting this research, the team examines theories of learning related to collaborative learning. The team hopes that as students take active leadership roles such as teaching others new skills and offering creative ideas for the project, they will demonstrate their abilities to work collaboratively to research information and complete a project, reflect on their learning, and feel successful about their accomplishments. In addition, the team hopes to assess the SLT model to determine the value of implementing it schoolwide.

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Etching, Sketching, Writing, Reciting, Framing, & Proclaiming
Category: Mathematics
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: My comprehensive portfolio program provides for authentic assessment via the media of writing, art, drama, and research. Objective tests have serious limitations in probing higher levels of the cognitive domain and in tapping multiple intelligences. Since the forum for authentic problem solving is the real world, my students must learn to apply mathematical concepts in diverse ways, employing a variety of media and focusing on a specific audience. Through the use of exemplary models, self-evaluation guides, and editing rubrics, the students critique their favorite projects in the quest to transform "good" into "great." As the students transform their working portfolios into showcase portfolios, they document their progress in applying and communicating mathematical concepts. A comprehensive project on the life and times of a great mathematician represents the culmination of the students' efforts and encourages them to make multicultural connections.

The Students: Designed for Algebra I and Honors Geometry students, the activities can be modified for any group size or ability level.

The Staff: Classroom teacher

What You Need: The pre-writing and editing activities, the presentations, and the display of student work occurs within the classroom. The students provide their own materials; although to have markers, tape, scissors, and colored paper available is desirable as the students work on short writes in class. Packets of writing-to-learn activities for Algebra I and Honors Geometry are available upon request.

Overall Value: ETCHING AND SKETCHING: In order to communicate mathematical concepts cogently, students must learn how to delineate problems precisely, to model abstract principles, and to select media judiciously. The student-artists produce several drafts of a project and experiment with nontraditional formats. WRITING AND RECITING: This portfolio program includes elements of the Writers' Workshop model in order to demonstrate that problem solving is a creative process that evolves in dialogue with a community of researchers. FRAMING AND PROCLAIMING: Artists who have framed their messages effectively have engaged in critical thinking and have attended to the audience's needs. The process of researching and refining culminates in the excitement of proclaiming--of sharing insights and displaying masterpieces!

Standards:


Ethnobotany: Cultural Uses of Plants
Category: Global Education
Grades: 9 to 14
How It Works: Students learn about a plant which is used in their culture for medicine, food, fiber, or other purposes and then employ scientific techniques to test the properties of their plant. In this way they are able to learn more about their own culture in the context of a scientific study about plants.

Students interview older relatives or friends about an important plant used in their culture. They collect as much information about this plant as they can via oral history as well as utilizing library and Internet resources. They write a paper about the plant.

The second phase of the project entails designing and carrying out a safe control experiment about the plant. The student collects fresh or dried plant material and makes an extract or tea from it. The experiment must test the plant for one of its alleged properties to see if the plant really works for its intended use. Here are some examples of appropriate titles for experiments: "Does Aloe vera really help speed the healing of burns and cuts? Does Eucalyptus make good insecticide? Does Mint tea help freshen the breath? Does Garlic have antibiotic properties which help to cure a cold? Can banana stalks be used to make paper?" It is important that the experiment follow good safety precautions. Plants which are illegal, poisonous or uncommon food substances should never be ingested or experimented with.

Once the experiment is completed, students make a poster about the project and present their findings to the class and/or at the school science fair.

The Students:

The Staff: High School students in biology, ecology, nutrition, or environmental issues classes participate. It can be adapted to middle school students taking life science classes or integrated into a course on world cultures. It works well in ESL classes.

The program is implemented by a science teacher.

What You Need: Library and Internet resources are needed for the research phase. For the experimental part, students will need samples of their plant materials and access to generic scientific equipment such as microscopes, petri dishes, scales, rulers, etc. They need poster boards and art supplies to complete the poster presentations.

Older relatives of students, friends, and guest speakers with a knowledge of plants and culture are consulted. Books about medicinal and food plants are helpful.

Overall Value: By learning about a plant that the student uses in his or her own culture, the theme of multicultural awareness and appreciation can be integrated into the science curriculum. Students learn that traditional knowledge and the experience of elders is important. They learn that the scientific method can be implemented to discover what is valid and invalid.

The program encourages students who may be underrepresented in the sciences to develop an interest in science by starting from a vantage point that is relevant to them. This approach helps lead to a deeper interest in science such as the study of nutrition, health and anatomy, physiology and biochemistry of plants. It offers limitless possibilities for science fair topics and gives students confidence in their ability to conduct research.

Standards:


Everyone Needs a Home
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 5 to 8
How It Works: Everyone Needs a Home is a unit where students learn about a contemporary social problem, and offer community service. Students read The Stone Fox by John Gardiner, a book about a boy and his grandfather living in Wyoming in the 1920's who are about to lose their home and farm. Although I use The Stone Fox as the basis for my unit, there are a number of other quality books dealing with a similar theme that could be used equally well. After reading the book and completing the study guide, students write about and draw pictures of their own homes, and compile information about houses/homes from ancient times to the present. Students then are introduced to the problem of our homeless population through the video "Shelter Boy" and current newspaper articles. They also view a video about Good Samaritan Shelter in Santa Maria. The class puts together a school-wide drive to gather used toys and books for the local shelter. They make posters to display throughout the school, visit classrooms to tell about the project and ask for donations, give reminders over the school's morning report broadcast, collect and store donations received. Various small groups of students deliver donations to the shelter with the teacher on three different occasions. The initial unit takes about four to five weeks plus an hour or two per week for two months to keep the drive going. Students read quality literature, gain an understanding of a contemporary social problem and a sense of self-worth by helping others, practice varied communication and organizational skills. Although the pupils realize they cannot solve the problems of the homeless, students do discover that they can make life more enjoyable for children who are living in the shelter. These children usually have very few books and toys of their own and the shelter lacks these items as well. Some of my students even spent their own money to buy new toys (contrary to our stated aim). This is a real life community service lesson that leaves students with a genuine sense of pride and accomplishment. State Frameworks: The English/Language Arts Framework emphasizes the need to use high quality literature selections in which the student encounters values such as truth, justice, and compassion through interesting stories and memorable characters. The History/Social Science Framework encourages students' participation in school and community service activities. The Students: This project was done in 1991-92 and 1992-93 in a regular class of 30 fourth graders. The project is suitable for use with 3rd through 6th grade classes with an appropriate level book used as the basis for the unit.

The Students:

The Staff: I have been an elementary teacher for 29 years. I also have a librarianship credential. I am the Operations and Training CWO for the 7th Training Command, California State Military Reserve. I am President of the Santa Maria Public Library Board of Trustees and serve occasionally as a volunteer at the Good Samaritan Shelter.

What You Need: Facilities and Materials: Copies of The Stone Fox or other suitable book, a copy of the videotape "Shelter Boy" (available through the Santa Barbara County Education Office), and basic art and writing materials are needed. The reader's guide, bibliography, student samples and suggested sequence of activities are available in the teacher packet. Outside Resources: Current articles from newspapers and magazines may be used. The teacher may wish to visit a local shelter before presenting the unit.

Overall Value:

Standards:


Experiencing Microscopes In Science
Category: Science
Grades: 6 to 10
How It Works: By learning to use a microscope, students become acquainted with a variety of plants and animals, observing their characteristics at the cellular level. Students: learn to prepare slides, record and diagram their observations, gain new insights into the world of science The Students: This program is readily adaptable for regular, special needs, or gifted students in grades four through eight.

The Students:

The Staff: Judith Mims has taught intermediate grades and Learning Disabilities for fourteen years. She holds a BS from National College of Education and an MA from Chicago State University. She was Teacher of the Year at John L. Marsh School and has received an Oppenheimer Family Foundation grant.

What You Need: Materials And Facilities: This project requires enough microscopes for students to be able to work in pairs or individually, slides, slide covers, droppers and other laboratory equipment. Space in the classroom is also needed to set up a "microscope center." Outside Resources: The program is enhanced by a visit to the Museum of Science and Industry. Scientists and medical professionals can be invited to speak to the class.

Overall Value: Students develop microscope skills and an overall interest in science and gain effective verbal presentation skills as they record and share their observations.

Standards:


EXPLORASTORIES
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 7
How It Works: "Explorastories" is a cross-curricular project providing students with opportunities to explore a story while identifying and comprehending the main idea, details, facts written in work, and briefly summarizing their story.

The classroom teacher engages the students in an introductory lesson focusing on the appropriate elements needed to summarize a story. The teacher continues these techniques through an Explorastory outline completed by each student. Next, the student prepares a final copy/script on chart paper to be read in the final presentation.

The art teacher meets with each student to provide guidance with artistic enhancement of a favorite part of their story. The music teacher provides each student with an opportunity to musically express their own ideas and emotions. This experience enables each student's presentation to begin and end with a musical piece which will enrich specific story elements. Lastly, volunteer parents video tape each student reading their Explorastory accompanied by musical interludes, as well as displayed story props, book jackets, and background enhancements. A final video program takes place at an Explorastory evening school event.

The purpose of this program is to provide students an exciting and skillful way to retell a favorite story. This project allows each student to communicate their story summary in a coherent sequence of thoughts. The presentation is appropriate for story content and the audience. The students experience the pride and accomplishment from hard work and persistence while exploring their creative potentials.

To accommodate diverse learning styles, Explorastories exposes the students to the visual, kinesthetic, verbal and auditory modes of processing, thereby enhancing the quality and equality of all young learners. Each student works with three different teachers, representing three curricular areas. Individual assessment is based on personally chosen objectives and achievements.

An Explorastory evening program is the highlight of the project. The children and parents unite to celebrate their Explorastory segments in the form of a show displayed on a large screen television. The audience gathers to encourage the students with certificates and an Explorastory party with friends and families.

The Students: This program has been successfully implemented with 21 second graders ranging from gifted to remedial students. Due to the program's diverse teaching styles, "Explorastories" can be adapted to other elementary groups with appropriate objectives.

The Staff: Kim Waltmire, Roslyn Etra and Chris Rose Jack Jackter Elementary School, Colchester

What You Need: Music excerpts, art supplies, books, Explorastory outline (handout), chart paper, markers, pencils, video camera and VCR are needed.

Overall Value: The Explorastory program assures effective learning in the area of students' intellectual curiosity, reading skills and competencies. These teachings have intrinsic value and an Explorastory program attends to appropriate skills, knowledge and attitudes expected, regardless of the students' diverse learning styles. Through the use of literacy this program nurtures an awareness and appreciation of creative and performing arts in our society.

Standards:


EXPLORER CONVENTION
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 2 to 7
How It Works: From the earliest existence of our species, man has set forth in quest for knowledge of the world beyond his own. This innate motivation fueled all exploration to the present day. The study of exploration, the lives of those great explorers to whom we owe our legacy, as well as the civilizations that came before us, provides us a window not only to our past, but to our future as well. The purpose of this study is to immerse the student in an active engagement with exploration that will allow the student to personalize the effects of exploration on individuals and the world. The student's acquisition of knowledge and development of skills begin with an examination why people explore. The culmination of the study is the Explorer Convention, which actively engages students in an authentic learning experience. The study begins with an examination of the meaning of exploration utilizing Cooperative Learning and Talents Unlimited strategies. Graphic organizers are generated by the students to discover the many, varied reasons why people explore. Methods of instruction focus on whole class, small group, and individual activities that are geared to varied student learning styles.

The reading of historical fiction and nonfiction is used as a springboard for development of an understanding of both the positive and negative aspects of exploration. Decision making skills are used by the students to determine which explorer they will research in order to personalize the trials, tribulations, and major contributions of their chosen persona. Students employ cartography skills to make a map of their journey and create representative artifacts in the medium of their choice. Individual student explorers present their work, visually and orally, in a convention format, which is open to the community. Assessment is ongoing throughout the project and includes the use of a rubric, individual conferences, and authentic assessment during student simulations.

The Students: Fourth grade students of varied learning styles and ability levels have participated in this project for the last three years.

The Staff: Sharon P. Lehr Academy Elementary School, Madison

What You Need: Fiction and nonfiction books, art supplies, computer access, media access

Overall Value: The project provides and active, authentic, and creative vehicle to engage students in the study of exploration. This unique approach brings history to life in the classroom. Students are encouraged to couple their academic experience with their individual talents in order to represent a page in history. Community is built within the classroom environment as students collaborate to produce a unified celebration of exploration at the Explorer Convention. It affords young students the opportunity to develop intellectual curiosity as they progress through a sequential series of learning skills within the framework of the project.

Standards: Intellectual Curiosity Sense of Community Learning Skills Reading and Writing


Exploring 20th Century Loop Sculpture
Category: Arts
Grades: 6 to 8
How It Works: How many students can name or identify a great piece of sculpture in the Loop?, Students in this project become familiar with some of the finest examples of Chicago's sculpture. They complete a process which includes: reading The Loop Sculpture Guide (Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs), forming mini-groups to select pieces for study, researching library resources for information on sculptors, entering information on personal discs in the computer lab, photographing specific pieces of sculpture chosen for study, completing bound portfolios of photos and information

The Students:

The Staff:

What You Need:

Overall Value:

Standards:


Exploring Literacy Through The Visual Arts
Category: Instructional Inquiry
Grades: 3 to 6
How It Works: Instructional Inquiry Process: This study seeks to determine if the integration of visual arts with language arts will lead to growth in communication skills, artistic expression, and critical thinking. Teachers will use the visual arts as an instructional tool to develop descriptive language, specific verbs and nouns, story ideas, and planning methods. The fourth grade students will also focus on developing figurative language, being aware of sentence patterns, and planning and organizing their writing. The students will study a variety of artworks and artists and explore a variety of art techniques including still life, collage, portraiture, and landscape drawings. First grade students will write narratives and create collage illustrations using textured paper. All students will be encouraged to make comparisons and interpretive comments, to explain their processes, and to evaluate the products. Teachers and students will keep art journals in which they will respond to art and literature and plan for a writing or art activity. The Student Writing Profile will be used to compare writing samples from the beginning to the end of the program. Anecdotal records and checklists will be used to measure growth in oral language and critical thinking. Art samples, art journals, and pre- and post-interviews will be used to assess artistic expression. The Students: Three first grade and three fourth grade classes, including learning disabled self-contained students, will participate. The target populations will consist of 18 at-risk students.

The Students:

The Staff: Four first grade teachers, four fourth grade teachers, and the reading resource teacher will implement the research. The art teacher will teach art techniques.

What You Need: Materials and Facilities: Children's books about art and artists, professional resource books, art prints and slides, and a variety of art supplies including tempera, acrylic and watercolor paints; chalk; colored pencils; and crayons are needed. In addition, each child and teacher will need an art journal. The research will take place in the classroom. Outside Resources: Parent volunteers will help with art projects and will type students' stories.

Overall Value: Exploring Literacy Through the Visual Arts will use art as a means to stimulate the development of language arts skills. Immersing students in a rich visual environment will enrich the curriculum, provide another medium of expression for children at risk, and encourage critical thinking.

Standards:


Exploring Our Own Backyard
Category: Science
Grades: 2 to 14
How It Works: The purpose of the project, is to have students appreciate their, environment by becoming more aware of it. Students went, to our nearby beach. While there, students identified plants and animals, illustrated, a big book, sculpted in the sand, felt a flounder and a skate, broke up plastic rings and disposed of them, viewed storm lines and iron in the sand, categorized polluting and non-polluting materials and created new verses to a pollution song. Students created their own pictures with natural objects found on the beach, related their experience (touched a crab, walked like a crab, built a crab) to a story, The Hermit Crab analyzed and categorized specimens found in the seine net. Additionally, pre/post, classroom activities were done that related to Beach Day and the various learning activities done on the beach. All 204 kindergarten students in the district, high school students in the Graphic Arts class, Marine Biology class, and the, Video, Production, class as well as parents and community volunteers were involved in this project. Kindergarten students went to learning stations staffed by, either two high school students or a high school student and a community member. There were 15 stations including a touch tank station with local marine animals; a seine net station for collecting, identifying and sorting specimens; a beachscape station for drawing; a storytelling station; a sand station, to investigate storm lines; and a shell jewelry station to name a few. A student's performance at, the various learning stations, was the assessment tool. While the kindergarteners were at the various learning stations, high school students were videotaping the event for their video production class. A picnic lunch, creative movement activities, and a songfest provided the opportunity for, large group interaction. All students wore T-shirts designed for Beach Day by one, of the kindergarten teachers, silk screened, by the students in Graphic Arts, and painted by t he, kindergarten students. The, T-shirt, colors which helped to identify students from each elementary school were periwinkle, sky and bay blue. Students that completed the pre and post activities as well as going through various learning stations now, know, that the beach is more than a place to swim. They realize that, the beach is, a place to find live animals and plants and to observe them. They learned, that they can function successfully as part of a large, diverse group. High school students, found out that they can share what, they have learned in high school classrooms and can function, cooperatively with each other, and their teachers to orchestrate a complex, environmental project. Everyone, discovered that we are never to old or too young, to learn and that what we learn in the classroom is valuable in the real world. THE STUDENTS: Two hundred and, four kindergarten students, (every kindergarten, child in the, district), and sixty, high school, students participated in this project.

The Students:

The Staff: The kindergarten teachers, Integrated Arts teacher, and the Biology teacher from the high school are the primary participants in this project. However, using a different habitat, one might include other adults and/or high school classes.

What You Need: All materials are from the local habitat. Dowels and cardboard are used for station signs. Specific for the beach habitat are the seine net, shovels, sand sifters, algae press, and touch tank. T-shirts optional. Transportation if needed.

Overall Value: Learning is connected, to the real worild and the real world is connected to classroom learning. Cooperation among, students is emphasized as well as collaboration among teachers at various levels and in different schools. Community members and parents and high school students provide a unique and exiting learning project developmentally appropriate for primary children. It is one in which everyone is actively involved in learning.

Standards:


Exploring Our World Through Library Activities
Category: Special Education
Grades: 8 to 10
How It Works: Exploring Our World Through Library Activities is a program that enlarges the learning environment of moderately and severely disabled students. Its objective is to extend and integrate the subjects studied by the students in their classrooms. Activities such as art projects, story reiteration, individual library book production, and book care skills extend the customary literature presentations. Additional activities include preparing individual photo collections for visual clues, participating in the school weekly news show, producing a video of activities, and reading with book buddies. These activities lead to increased self-esteem, strengthened language skills, improved social interaction, and a deeper appreciation for activities enjoyed by other students in the school. Through literature appreciation and extended activities, the students enhance their receptive and expressive language skills, strengthen listening skills, and practice social skills. Two classes of 18 moderately and severely handicapped students aged 12 to 15 participate in the program biweekly.

The Students:

The Staff: The librarian, teachers, and instructional assistants plan and implement the program.

What You Need: Art materials, notebooks, video programs, library books, books with cassettes, Polaroid camera and film, QuickTake camera, and the Children's Writing and Publishing Center computer program are needed for the projects. Classes are held in the library. Writing projects are completed in the classroom and in the library. Space is also needed to accommodate making the art projects. No outside resources are needed.

Overall Value: Including moderately to severely disabled students in a library program builds their self-esteem and extends their learning environment into an area used by the other students in the school. They improve their social, language, and speaking skills and develop an appreciation for books and libraries. Other participating students help integrate these special students into the school environment.

Standards:


Exploring The Animal Kingdom
Category: Science
Grades: 5 to 6
How It Works: Exploring the Animal Kingdom uses an integrated approach to engage students in a study of the diversity of the animal kingdom. Students learn that scientists classify animals according to physical attributes, and that these attributes, as well as habitat, influence the animals' behavior. Students use books and computers to gather data about the animal of their choice and use this information to create a Book of Knowledge that consists of facts about the animals they researched. The students are divided into small cooperative groups to conduct hands-on science experiments that investigate animal behavior and environment. Students make observations and predictions and classify their animals-all important science research skills. Research subjects have included land snails, ants, chameleons, garden snakes, newts, frogs, tadpoles, and goldfish. Observations are recorded and later used as data for books, charts, graphs, and maps. Next, students create an animal atlas showing the many different parts of the world that these animals inhabit. All of the students construct shoe box dioramas depicting their animal's habitat. The final classroom project is to open a Wildlife Conservation Center at the school. For those animals that cannot be represented live, students' dioramas are displayed. The rest of the school is invited to visit the center and participate in the learning process. Through their displays, dioramas, charts, graphs, writings, and oral presentations, the students are able to convey their conceptual understanding.

The Students: Using an integrated approach affords the class the opportunity to work daily in a self-contained class of 30 for eight weeks. The group of third graders that is involved in the program has limited, if any, technical background. Students are guided through their search for information and final production of their reports on the computer. This program can be adapted to other ages and achievement levels. The amount of work, material to be covered, and level of sophistication can be altered to meet specific needs. Because the students are expected to report their findings in many ways, the needs of different learners are addressed.

The Staff: Deric Borrero has completed one year of teaching. During his year of student teaching, he took advantage of the support offered by his professors and the essential feedback from the participating children to develop this program. Having his own classroom this year provided the opportunity to implement and develop it further. He is a member of the school-based management team and was instrumental in beginning a drama group to enhance literacy in the school.

What You Need: Materials for this project may include snakes and snake cages, terrarium set up, frogs, newts, fish, tadpoles, crickets, snails, chameleons, an ant farm, and butterflies. Students should have books, both nonfiction and fiction, along with resource guides, available to them for research. Teachers need a computer along with appropriate software, such as Encarta, Animal Planet from Discovery, Amazon Trail from the Learning Company, and access to the Internet. The Student Writing Center, ClarisWorks, and Print Shop are used in publishing work. Digital cameras and flatbed scanners are used to transfer graphics and texts to published works. Both Scholastic http://scholastic.com and Discovery http://discovery.com provide invaluable information on their web sites. A visit to the local wildlife conservation center is also helpful.

Overall Value: This program successfully integrates a core of knowledge that is presented in a cooperative learning environment. Students share their findings as they work together editing and publishing their works. In presenting and sharing their products, self-esteem is enhanced and a sense of pride and excitement are developed.

Standards:


EXPRESSING OURSELVES: COMMUNICATING WITH THE AUGMENTED SPEAKER
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 8 to 10
How It Works: Expressing Ourselves is an activity-based program that provides frequent opportunities for functionally nonverbal students to communicate through the use of augmented speakers. Because many tasks that students are asked to perform require the ability to communicate, giving them the means to communicate is important. One way to do this is with an adapted voice output device. Each student's device is programmed with pictures and symbols based on the lesson or activity. By selecting a picture or symbol, the student can participate in a lesson, interact with verbal peers, order lunch, purchase items, or ask for assistance. As a result, nonverbal students become effective communicators. Students Seven students with moderate to severe disabilities, ranging in age from 12 to 16 years, participate in the program. These students are functionally nonverbal and represent various levels of learning.

The Students:

The Staff: The classroom teacher and the speech language technician developed the program and then introduced it to the classroom staff, the school staff, and their middle school peers.

What You Need: Materials needed are easily programmable voice output devices for one to four messages and a set of Mayer Johnson Picture Symbols (three-book set or the computer picture program called "Boardmaker"). The program uses the classroom, specific areas within the school, and local community sites. Outside Resources Parents receive daily progress reports and are asked for help. Community trips to local stores, restaurants, and parks provide opportunities that promote communicative interaction.

Overall Value: Expressing Ourselves gives nonverbal students opportunities to become effective, successful communicators. Their success builds self-esteem, which then leads to a greater desire to communicate.

Standards:


Expressionism to Fascism
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 9 to 14
How It Works: Expressionism to Fascism: Germany Between the Wars is a week-long integrated mini-unit focused on the social, economic, political, and artistic climate of Germany during the period between the world wars. Students examine and better understand how people coped with the devastation of war and the chaos of its aftermath, which gave rise to fascism. "Art reflects the times" is a mantra we both learned to appreciate when taking art and history courses that inspired us to present artworks that reflect the times and encourage students to engage in the creative process.

This unit follows a reenactment of the Versailles Peace Conference that ended World War I. Students journal in the first person about their feelings after the war. After a read-around, students compare their imagined reactions with those imbedded in literature, art, and music of the time.

With these sensory images in mind, students turn to an even more practical and personal experience: budgeting the family income during hyper-inflation. Each student is assigned a job (factory worker, sales clerk or entrepreneur) and must decide how best to balance a monthly paycheck with the rising cost of goods. During class, the teacher reveals each of five month's prices only after students have completed the previous month's budget. In addition to groceries, students must budget for winter coats, school supplies and unexpected costs as the months progress. Students then write in character about the experience and who they hold accountable.

To discourage students from relying on historical hindsight, we give them a fictitious campaign scenario, in which they are to choose a leader: one candidate resembles Paul von Hindenberg, the other Adolf Hitler. After a class vote, we discuss the historical parallels with Germany's 1932 election. As a culminating project, each student produces a work of art, literature or music and writes a historical connections paper that shows his/her understanding of the rise of fascism in Germany.

An evaluation rubric is included in the project description so students know in advance how their work will be assessed. Students also turn in their journals and budget for teacher comment and evaluation.

The Students:

The Staff: Melanie and Helen have taught grades 9-12 history/social science for nine and three years, respectively. Both are California History-Social Science Project fellows.

What You Need: Slides of German Expressionist artworks; post-WWI literature; CDs of The Threepenny Opera by Kurt Weill and Bertoldt Brecht, and songs of Marlene Dietrich; budget worksheets; overhead transparency of goods and prices; art supplies. Teacher packet includes simulation masters and bibliography. Students may visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Art to investigate artistic styles, including German Expressionism and Cubism.

Overall Value: Students' active participation in these lessons helps history come alive. Supporting a family under these conditions proves to be difficult, and students better understand the hardship of sacrifice and economic depression. The interactive approach facilitates greater retention and empathic responses to history and humanity.

Standards:


Extra, Extra, Read All About It!
Category: Social Studies
Grades: 14 to 14
How It Works: The purpose of this project is to help teachers and students gain access to information that can be found by using a full-text CD ROM database of newspapers and other publications. The rewards of using the CD ROM database are numerous. The multicultural content of the CD ROM database allows students to form opinions based on a wide variety of information from diverse populations. Recent events in some city high schools, reflecting violence and racial tension, have caused a lack of self-esteem in many minorities. By using the CD ROM database, students can tap into publications of the minority presses and be awakened to the triumphs within their own culture. Another wonderful example of the usefulness of the CD ROM database is in a social studies class. The CD ROM database gives students the opportunities to check view points on significant news event in different publications. Students can explore the events in the Middle-East from the Jewish point of view or witness how the ArabAmerican communities view the peace talks. Another use of the CD ROM database allows Hispanic students to read in their native language. Additionally, students studying Spanish are provided with several Spanish language publications to increase their understanding of the language as well as of the cultural nuances presented across Hispanic publications. Using the CD ROM database can make any subject more challenging, but learning to use the CD ROM database doesn't have to be with EXTRA, EXTRA, READ ALL ABOUT IT. DCPS MAJOR SYSTEM PRIORITIES, Graduation Rate, Achievement, Bilingualism, Critical Thinking, and Professionalization of Education, BLUEPRINT 2000 GOALS, Readiness for Employment, Student Performance, Learning Environment, Teachers and Staff, THE STUDENTS, This project is best implemented with senior high school students.

The Students:

The Staff: Consuelo Pino was the Teacher of the Year for Miami Central High School and was the High School Teacher of the Year for the Florida Association of Computers in Education. Ms. Pino is social studies department chairperson at Miami Central High School where she has taught for 22 years. Ivy Montoya has 17 years of experience in second language learning. She was the 1990 Florida Association of Computers in Education Teacher of the Year, a finalist for two years for Florida State, Instructional Technology Teacher of the Year, and this year was named Florida State Instructional Technology Teacher of the Year.

What You Need: MATERIALS AND FACILITIES, Media centers, in all Dade County public high schools, have the needed CD ROM player and compatible computer. OUTSIDE RESOURCES, Representatives from Ethnic News Watch may be available for hardware training.

Overall Value: Never before have students had such a fine opportunity to compare and contrast different points of view from major news sources of diverse cultures. Teachers benefit, too, by learning how to use a technology-based learning tool to increase motivation and achievement in their students!,

Standards:


Fabric of Our Lives
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 6 to 10
How It Works: Fabric of Our Lives is a six to eight week project in which, students translate their,"life stories" into a nine square, patchwork quilt. Having read many pieces of literature based on, the role of quilts in history and family traditions, students, collect memories of people, events, and issues that are or have, been important through the years by looking in family scrapbooks interviewing people important in their lives, and writing, memoirs. Each square of the quilt has a theme, such as family, traditions, school, accomplishments, future life goals, and, social issues of our times. Symbols represent these themes. Students select fabrics for their quilts and the finished squares, are sewn together parent volunteers. In the meantime, students, also write autobiographical poems and engage in storytelling, activities to develop a real sense of the uniqueness of each, others' life experiences. the unit culminates with a community, Quilting Bee to which 95% of the parents come to help their, children tie the quilts. Through the medium of art, students learn that stories can be, told in new ways. Research provides insight into the role of the, art of quilt-making in our country's history, as well as its role, today, e.g. the AIDS Quilt Project's goal of heightening, knowledge and encouraging support to fight this deadly disease. The value of this project is quite evident the night of the, Quilting Bee, as the students share their quilts and stories not, only with their families, but also with the families of other, students. the students gain a real sense of belonging to a, community and their places within it. This project not only, promotes a sense of pride in one's heritage, but also a, connection to the future as evidenced by a student comment,,"I'm, going to keep this so that I can pass it down to my children." this project enhances self-esteem through an appreciation for the, uniqueness of each student's life story. Personal connection is, evident as students say, 'Mine is going to be something cozy to, cuddle in and read.","Mine is going to be hung in my bedroom." It, is a treasured memory of the past and the present to be shared, with future generations. The Students: Twenty-eight 6th graders, including gifted and talented students, and resource students, participated in this project.

The Students:

The Staff: Though I have taught Grades 1-6, the last 12 years I have focused, on 4th - 6th graders. I have been a Mentor Teacher for six years, and a fellow of the Tri-County Math and South Coast Writing, Projects.

What You Need: Materials: muslin and print material, batting, thread and, needles, and fabric paints. Individual quilt fabric kits are, organized and finished squares kept in students' boxes. The, entire project is done in my classroom except the Quilting Bee which is held in our multi-purpose room. Parents take students in groups of 5 to 7 to a fabric store to, purchase material with class funds plus student/parent donations. A parent who makes quilts and discusses the process of, quilt-making.

Overall Value:

Standards:


Faces and Places: From Africa to Us
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 2 to 14
How It Works: Faces and Places: From Africa to Us, is a year long integrated, project that teaches about the people, culture, geography, and, wildlife of Africa through classroom activities and, correspondence with a Peace Corps volunteer. Students begin their study of Africa by seeing photos of our, Peace Corps volunteer and the village where she is serving in, Cote D'Ivoire. They locate Africa on maps and share what they, already know about that continent. Correspondence between the, class and the volunteer includes letters, drawings, and, photographs. Our volunteer has also sent us a handmade, wallhanging, African stamps and money, and pictures drawn by, local children. Since paper and art supplies are not readily, available, we send related materias to the children in the, village. Using information about Africa, students are introduced to the, alphabet by illustrating their class book, Africa: From A to Z. We read nonfiction and fiction books before the students, determine and chart the differences between real and make-believe, animals. Since the oral tradition is an important part of African, literary culture, the children also listen to African folk tales. We learn about the desert, grasslands, and tropical rainforest, regions in Africa and what we can do to help protect the animals, living there. In science we study a particular animal then the, students draw or paint a picture of the animal in its natural, habitat and dictate what they have learned about that animal for, our class book. This is used as a tool to assess what scientific, information the students have retained and also to evaluate their, language skills. We look at the daily life of a child living in Africa and compare, it with a child living in the U.S. In the spring, the class has, an African revue and food fair. We include our,"fourth grade buddies" in the reading and writing, activities of the kindergarten students and the spring field trip, to the zoo. The children frequently bring in materials about Africa to share, with the class. They are very enthusiastic about the project and, ask,,"What are we going to learn about Africa this week?" The English/Language Arts and the History/Social Science, Frameworks recommend integrating curriculum areas. The Social, Science Framework also emphasizes geography awareness and, learning to respect and understand different cultures. I began this project while teaching third grade and adapted it to, the needs of 31 ethnically diverse kindergarten students in, 1993-94. Approximately one-fifth are African American and several, are LEP students. The class has a wide range of ability levels, but all participate successfully.

The Students:

The Staff: I have taught grades K-6 for 24 years and am now teaching, kindergarten. I have been a process Mentor and am currently a, Mentor working with substitutes and tutors plus facilitating, Mentor activities.

What You Need: Pictures and books about Africa are needed. Postage costs are, about $100. My packet includes a bibliography of literature and, reference books about Africa, ideas for art projects, and, information about the Peace Corps' World Wise School Program. The World Wise School Program will match third-twelth grade, classes with a Peace Corps Volunteer. Guest speakers from the, community are used, as well as a field trip to the zoo.

Overall Value:

Standards:


FALLing for the Five Senses
Category: English/Language Arts
Grades: 1 to 2
How It Works: "FALLing for the Five Senses' was a unique way to combine two areas of the kindergarten curriculum in a hands-on approach that sparked student interest. Children used the materials gathered on a fall scavenger hunt to meet objectives from the science, language arts, and math curriculums. Utilizing learning stations, students chose to use either computer software, participate in games, do art activities, or write in journals to demonstrate what they learned. The program concluded with a Fall Festival consisting of learning station activities directed by parents.

The Students: Sixteen kindergarten students participated in the program, which lasted for one week. Since the program was integrated with other subjects, it was the basis for most of the language arts and math lessons for that week. Smaller or larger groups of primary aged children with a wide range of achievement levels could successfully participate.

The Staff: Nora Flanagan has taught for 22 years, the past nine being at the kindergarten level. She was selected as Pfeiffer School's Teacher of the Year in 1994 and Pfeiffer PTA's Educator of the Year in 1997. Past grants include those from The Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, Buckeye Book Fair, Summit Educational Partnership Foundation, Bank One and IMPACT grants.

What You Need: Students went on two walking field trips. Suggested literature can be obtained from the public library. The software, Sammy's Science House, was used to enhance the lesson, but it was not necessary.Neither special setup nor equipment was needed. Materials could be obtained during a fall walk, from the kitchen, and from the library. A packet was prepared which described an introductory lesson, materials and ideas showing how to link the fall season to each of the five senses.

Overall Value: "FALLing for the Five Senses" is appealing to young students because it gets them out of the classroom for a fall scavenger hunt and for a listening walk. Students enjoy using the hands-on approach for most of the activities and the food is always a hit! Students may not even realize that they are learning. Teachers can easily integrate science and math. Materials are inexpensive and readily available.

Standards:


Falls Church High School: A Community of Readers
Category: Relations
Grades: 11 to 14
How It Works: A Community of Readers encourages students and faculty members to share their mutual enjoyment of reading through voluntary book discussion clubs. Each month one or more faculty members voluntarily sponsor a book discussion group. Students and interested faculty members can take part in any or all book groups. Students come to the library, check out a book they are interested in reading and discussing, and then join a discussion group to exchange ideas about the book.

This creative approach to teaching reading is based on the assumption that all students and adults have a desire to read about what interests them. It extends classroom projects that designate books to be read and discussed.

Long term and lasting skills are acquired from the program: students learn to assume responsibility for the selection of a positive outside activity, for selecting a book, and for participating in a voluntary book discussion group. They also learn to communicate thoughts and ideas effectively with adults and other teenagers more as peers than as teachers and students.

The Students: Approximately 50 students in grades 9 through 12 participate in the program, meeting once monthly.

The Staff: Members of the school staff volunteer to facilitate the book club groups.

What You Need: Sets of books identified by the book groups are needed. Discussion groups meet in classrooms, in the library, or other areas of the school when classes are not in session. Staff members facilitating the groups provide refreshments.

Overall Value: It is anticipated that students and teachers would have pleasurable experiences reading and sharing a book across cultural and age differences, that students develop a lifelong love of pleasure read