Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

Elizabeth Norton Trust Grants Support Learning At Wheeler!

The Elizabeth Norton Trust Fund Board has issued two grants to Wheeler School faculty members Tawana Graham-Douglas and Cheryl Michaud. A $1,000 grant from the Elizabeth Norton Trust was utilized to purchase two iPads for use in Graham-Douglas' second grade class, while a $750 grant allowed for the purchase of three Kindles for Michaud's fourth grade classroom.

According to Graham-Douglas, the iPads are equipped with educational applications (apps) that allow students to practice letter sound patterns, sight words, basic math facts, problem solving, handwriting and storytelling. Interactive eBooks on the iPads facilitate the ability for students to read along with the story to develop vocabulary, engage in building word activities using words from a story, and answer comprehensive questions with immediate feedback provided. The Discovery Learning app allows students to build their background knowledge through science and math videos online. "The apps have been particularly effective in helping students of all performance levels build background knowledge, and have aided students in moving repeated practice out of the realm of "skill and drill." The apps make practice more engaging for students, and adjust according to their individual performance levels. An app will make the practice more challenging or stay at the student's current level and gradually increase in difficulty as needed," explained Graham-Douglas.

Students in Cheryl Michaud's classroom report that they enjoy a number of the Kindle features including the dictionary, the ability to highlight text and take notes, the variety and levels of books that are accessible to them and the ease of use of the readers. "The Kindles are very motivating and easy for students to use. Features such as the dictionary and note taking ability encourage thoughtful reading," said Michaud.

"It is clear that students become more engaged in learning with the integration of technology. The Kindles and iPads have been used in these classrooms quite effectively and support communication, collaboration and creation by students throughout the school day,"noted Wheeler School Principal, Cathy Frayler.

-Posted on July 26, 2011 at 12:18 PM

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