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Onsite Support & Lesson Planning PDF Print E-mail

Each Title II-D grant required a considerable amount of professional development and on-site support:  50 hours or each per year, for a total of 100 hours of commitment to a single grant team.  Needless to say, I got to know each team very well.  I've worked with middle school math & science, at risk youth, as well as high school math and social studies.  I've worked with 1:1 wireless laptop grants and model classroom grant teams (past 2 years).  Each grant required that I learn completely new things about each school, the students and teachers there, and of course, the GPS standards for each grade level and subject.

Much of the onsite support has been spent helping teachers with lesson ideas using their new equipment or general technology resources.  Many times, we spend time planning lessons and brainstorming ways that we can improve their instruction in reasonable increments.  For example, I recently sat down with a high school team to get some ideas for using their grant equipment and tech resources.  Most of the team is fairly new to using technology for instruction.  We brainstormed for each teacher to come up with ideas that they could incorporate into their lessons the following week.

Click on Read More to see the case studies!

  • World History: this teacher is a 15 year veteran, but he's also not comfortable with technology and has limited technical skills.  His standard mode of instruction is lecture from a podium with limited textbook or chalkboard use.  He knows his content and is passionate about it, but has some issues with engagement, though discipline is good.  He is moving into Ancient Greece the following week.
    • I focused on getting him to be a bit more comfortable with his SMART Board and bringing imagery to his standard lecture.  This was a small step up with large payouts.
    • Google Earth is good for quickly visiting places on the globe, and has an ancient Greece layer currently showcased.  Encouraged him to open with that, draw directly on the earth, and use Google Earth when he talked about geography and its effect on the development of the Polis, or city state.
    • Images, images, images.  Use several image sites to find high quality images of armor, architecture, and places.  Use Picasa slideshow to display them full-screen during discussion and lecture.
  • World Geography: This teacher is a 2nd year teacher, very dynamic, and fearless when it comes to trying new things.  He is also comfortable multi-tasking or moving from one technology to another.  He is going into geography of US and Canada, and how the geography, resources, population and religion influence the culture and environmental characteristics of the regions.
    • A good opener is a clip from Discovery's Planet Earth series (Pole to Pole).  It gives a good overview in an interesting way.
    • Google Earth is great for starting off the discussion.  It helps show indirect light, how the poles have months of light/dark, and of course has layers and dynamic content for students to see.
    • Students would then break into groups:  environmentalists, business leaders, parks & recreation, and civil services.  They would then be told that funding for their general area in the budget is being cut by a large amount, and that they should lobby the government to reinstate funding.  They need to gather information on their area and make a convincing case for more funding.  This plays into the current reality of budget crunches and gives the lesson a small element of competitiveness.  Laptops would be used for this.
  • Math: This teacher is a veteran and fairly tech savvy, but teaches math like most others in our educational system:  focus on algorhythms and not much practical application.  She is going into probability and statistics and wants a fun project for the kids to do.
    • Start by playing a simple game of chance with the students that has equal odds for teacher/student.  Then play another one where the teacher has the odds (pick a number from 2-8, teacher picks 5, and roll two 4-sided dice and total them).  Then reveal the advantage.  Break down what average rolls and totals would be for multiple dice of different values (4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 20 sided dice). 
    • Use smartboard to draw and solve problems, then to drag all possible outcomes onto a pictorgraph of the bell curve.  Use excel to tally dice trials, showing the relationship between experimental and theoretical probability.
    • Finally, challenge the students  to create their own game of chance that is skewed in their favor.  Have them break down a cost to play, odds of winning, and total payout/profit per play.  Then have a game fair where the class opens the fair and tries to entice other students to play with fake money.  The team with the most profit at the end wins.  Each team must predict profit potential per plaer and compare it to the real results.