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Magic Touch Grant

Page history last edited by kay hones 8 years, 11 months ago

Magic Touch! Arts, iPods and Working Together

NEA Learning and Leadership Grant 2010

 “Magic Touch” combined arts, technology and

professional learning community of K-5 teachers with the school library.

What do you propose to learn? (required)

Participating teachers will develop cross grade learning activities in arts and literacy to support and enrich learning for all students, including Special Ed and English Language Learners.

Teachers will be supported in learning to effectively use technology (iPod Touch) in lessons.

Doubling our school opera program, 2nd year teachers will mentor new teachers

Initiating our school mural fourth grade classes collaborate and develop theme, research and installation of mural.

Students through opera and mural projects will increase reading fluency, oral, writing  and presentation skills

Students will use iPod Touch to listen to opera selections, record their writing, individual and group planning ideas and reflections for variety of art projects.


How, where, and when will that learning be accomplished? (required)

Fourteen teachers will meet bi-monthly in the school library after school to plan, develop and assess collaborative, cross grade lessons.  In these professional groups, teachers will learn how to  develop and learn to teach innovative and effective arts activities to engage  students in using technology (iPod Touch).  Using additional library resources and research, teachers will plan cross grade programs.  This group represents over  56% the school staff K-5 including Special Education.  During the collaborative meetings:

* Teachers will create on lessons that promote critical thinking, literacy strategies for  reading ,writing, listening and speaking; performance and visual arts skills; student engagement and student voice. 

* Teachers will share successes and challenges, discussing next best steps to improve student learning.

* Teachers will research and create effective evaluation tools, including pre-post assessment, student created rubrics and surveys, student and parent interviews






1800 character maximum

Please specify any learning resources you plan to use and the time frame for your work. (required)


Teachers and students will write mini grants for collaborative projects.

Opera artist class visits (30 per class per year-12 classes)

Teachers meet monthly for collaborative lesson planning

Six 2nd year opera teachers will mentor six new members.

Inclusion teacher is arts coordinator and will finalize/coordinate schedules and meetings and maintain records of all activities.

Librarian  will provide music, arts, technology and related educational research for professional learning groups; resources for arts programs;  maintain on going documentation (school displays); publicity; assist with iPod touch collaboration lessons; reflections and evaluations of activities. She will gather information from teachers and write interim and final reports.

Teachers will incorporate iPod Touch opera recordings, reading and listening cross grade opera activities bi-monthly

Mural teachers (4) meet with teaching artist to plan timeline for mural project.

Classrooms will begin research and planning for mural.


Students will use iPod Touch to develop opera concepts, write storyboard and script; record and assess to improve performance. (12 classes)

Students use the recording feature of iPod Touch to annotate on going progress of mural and reflection of activities.

Teachers and students collaboratively develop rubrics/surveys of programs.

Students will perform original operas for school community.

Students will unveil mural to school community.



1800 character maximum

What is the need for such professional development? (required)

Most of our students are ELL.  We also will have two Special Education classes included in these arts programs. This year six classrooms participated in the opera program. 

We will double the opera classrooms for next year. 

Additionally four classes will complete a complex mural project.

Returning opera teachers would like to work as mentors with new folks.  Teachers would like professional learning community structure to manage the cross grade collaborations and support each other in  developing and teaching successful arts lessons.  Technology is an essential tool for learning, but most of the teachers feel hesitant to include in lessons.  Within these collaborative learning meetings, teachers can mentor and support each other as they plan for student technology experiences.


1800 character maximum

Describe the way you and your colleagues assessed the need,

including the student work used in your process. (required)

We evaluated the opera program for the six classrooms this year.  All six classes gave performances of original operas they had created, including costumes, sets, and librettos! Special Education students all fully participated on stage.

Through observation, we noted increased self esteem (especially during performance), excited attitudes toward music and opera, growth in interpersonal skills as students worked in groups to learn abbot the operas then write and perform their class opera, and improved student behavior.  Our ELL and Special Education students need extra support in all areas of literacy and these opera activities provided opportunities for new literacy strategies and skills.  Since we are doubling our classrooms participating in opera and four classes will be creating a huge mural, teachers discussed ways to support each other.  The librarian does yearly surveys about usage of technology and found that teachers were not comfortable with incorporating technology into lessons.  While several opera/music audio materials were available in the library collection and on the library homepage, teachers did not use them in activities.  In discussion with teachers, how to effectively use technology is a big request. 


1800 character maximum

How, when, where and with whom will you share what you have learned? (required)

We will provide an interim and final report of professional learning goals and activities to our principal.

Class opera performances and the completed mural will be authentic assessment of student learning.

On-going documentation of activities will be featured in school displays and report to faculty and PTA.

Teachers and librarian will develop a workshop to share with other educators in district and state conferences.

Timelines, how-to, what works, challenges, rubrics, and surveys  from the professional learning meetings will be annotated and shared for planning future teacher professional development at our school.


1800 character maximum



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