Last spring, dozens of PAECT members submitted grant applications with innovative ideas to use technology in instruction. A leadership team conducted a blind review of the applications and chose to fund the two projects below. One of these projects will be featured at PETE&C, and both of these projects will be featured in a live virtual presentation for PAECT members this spring. See below for the project descriptions and presentation details. This grant was made possible by the generosity of Corbett Inc. and KI Furniture. Company information can be found at the end of this article.
Dash and Dot Take 5 - Sara Heintzelman
Presentation: Tuesday 2/14, Empire B, 2:15-3:15
Students within special education require intensive social skills to help fill the gap in the social skills they lack. Unfortunately, as students grow older, they outgrow many of the social skills curriculums that provide engaging materials. In order to engage students in meaningful learning while simultaneously teaching social skills, teachers need to consider the interests of students and how they can match curriculum to these interests. The students in my classroom of students in grades three through five with severe emotional and behavioral disorders, speak constantly about video games and their desire to become future video game designers. Given the interest of my students and the lack of engaging social skills curriculum aligned to this interest, I would like to propose designing a social skills curriculum around Wonder Workshop’s Dash and Dot.
This project, “Dash and Dot Take 5”will teach students how to follow our school and class-wide expectations, Be There Be Ready (be prepared for class with the appropriate materials, stay in area), Be Responsible (complete work quietly), Be Respectful (be polite and raise hand to speak), Keep Hands and Feet Safe (remain safe and use materials appropriately), and Follow Directions (the first time) through learning how to code. This five week unit will walk students through each of the expectation areas, spending one week (three 40 minute periods) on each expectation area. As students explore each expectation area with Dash and Dot, they will document their work with iPad camera, video clips, and student video reflections.
We Can Do STEM - Carmela Curatola-Knowles
Essential to providing a strong academic education for our students is a commitment to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math). STEM skills are critical for the students’ learning needs in the 21st Century. Development of these skills will ensure that they have the opportunity to be prepared for entry into the workforce with relevant, transferable skills for whatever tomorrow’s jobs will require.
An area of STEM being planned is for students to learn coding, robotics planning, building, programming/troubleshooting, and a hands-on approach to understanding simple & complex machines, renewable energy & pneumatics systems. Our plan is for first through eighth grades. We request $500 to purchase WeDo 2.0 Robotics Sets to form part of the basis of the elementary STEM program. These sets will accommodate 1st through 3rd grade students. It will establish a foundation for critical thinking skills. The kits will also provide a constructivist approach to building student knowledge about important concepts that are within a strong STEM understanding. This establishes the core for deeper thought projects with complex machines, renewable energy, and pneumatics systems, planned for 4th through 8th grades.
*KI Furniture creates high-performance education and learning environments for both K-12 and Higher Education spaces. Many of the products in our educational furniture portfolio offer options that support reconfiguration, engaged learning, and technology in the classroom. KI designs and manufactures educational furniture that is appealing, comfortable and supports each school in its mission to demand excellence. Voted #1 in educational solutions 12 years in a row, KI Furniture’s mission is to anticipate technological advances and incorporate them into the design of our educational furniture. KI understands that schools need to know the educational furniture they invest in today will support the technological advancements of tomorrow. Supporting PAECT’s mission to support and speak of educational technology in the classroom is a natural fit, and promotes what both groups are passionate about: student success. For more information, visit http://www.ki.com/ or call us at Corbett Inc. 610-277-7100.