Teachers at West Junior High demonstrated creative thinking when they submitted grants for the Spring 2007 application deadline. Terry Wolfson, West Junior High Principal, encouraged her staff to submit grants that supported the school’s literacy initiative. Part of Wolfson’s vision for the school’s literacy initiative involves developing expertise in technology:
I am very proud of the grants applications submitted by our teachers. Part of our literacy initiative at West includes incorporating technology into teaching and learning. Because of the commitment of our instructors and the generous support of the HEF, West students are engaged in challenging and relevant learning activities.
ActiveBoard — Interactive Whiteboards
Ben Friesen, 8th grade science teacher, is a technology leader in the district. He is an expert at educating students with the use of an interactive white board. The Activboard allows him to bring Earth Science alive as he shows students real time activity around the world…. seismic activity, volcanic activity, weather patterns, etc.
Mr. Friesen’s grant was funded to expand this technology to all 8th grade science rooms in the building.
Wow I love the Activboard. It helps us learn better! I think it makes people want to participate more and that makes learning fun and makes you want to focus. — enthusiastic 8th grader
This grant supports a district-wide plan to expand the use of this technology. The Activboard is great way to engage students because it is so visual.
Class participation is much higher when it is being used and the students never get tired of interacting with it. -Benjamin Friesen, Science WJH
Classroom Performance System
When math instructors teach a lesson, they might not know if students understand until they grade homework. Alicia Beebe’s new Classroom Performance System will help her know right away if the lesson makes sense to students. Every student in the classroom will hold a clicker to answer questions. The system immediately identifies who answered correctly and who responded incorrectly or not at all.
This technology enables her to adapt her teaching to the classes’ needs and identify students needing more challenge or help. It also provides reports for her to study when preparing future lessons. The grant provides four classroom sets, allowing Ms. Beebe and her colleagues to share the system and train other staff at West.