Description of grant:
My initial application was to find a way to improve student engagement and comprehension in my math classes. I thought that if I could get the students moving, I would have better engagement. I was applying for wall-to-wall white boards and 4 projectors. I wanted the ability to have all of my students at the board at the same time.
What happened over the course of the grant: Over the course of the grant writing process, I did a lot of research on how students’ engagement is tied to movement. There was not any research that I found on secondary classrooms. So, I began applying my ideas to my classes without the hardware that I was hoping to obtain through the grant. I wanted to have information constantly coming in that would help me streamline my presentation for the grant.
What you learned:
I learned that some of my early ideas about how to use the whiteboards were impractical. There were too many ability levels in the classroom to have some of my lesson plans be as fluid as they needed to be to work in a full classroom. But the big idea, that engagement could be tied to movement, was 100% spot on. I began to see students’ comprehension increase as well as their retention on more difficult topics. It also did amazing things for student empowerment. Students would become additional teachers in the class. It was absolutely incredible.
I would recommend that this theory be tested in other disciplines. I know it works for math, but what about sciences and history?
This idea has already been implemented in all of the math classrooms in the high school. I think it would be a great addition to the Junior High as well.
I am so glad that I did this. I cannot believe how much it changed the classroom for the better! The kids talk and are engaged. They communicate with each other and take leadership roles in the classroom. I have only good feelings about this project.