CEF Announces Fall 2015 Grant Recipients

The Carlisle Education Foundation received a total of 10 applications in October which we reviewed as part of our Fall Grant Cycle. We are pleased to award grants totaling $38,011 to the following recipients:

Liz Perry, 7th Grade Math: $1,755 Professional Development Grant to attend the MidSchoolMath National Conference in Santa Fe, NM from February 19-20, 2016. This conference is focused entirely on middle school math topics. Participants will learn and co-create with some of the nation’s most extraordinary teachers using a combination of the oldest and newest forms of pedagogy, from story-telling and mathematics to cutting edge software. Topics include developing your own curriculum; building a mathematical culture in the classroom; motivation and drive, the importance of a growth mindset, teaching to understand why, not just how; universal design for learning, and more.

Jeff Hechenbleikner, School Psychologist: $1,749 Professional Development Grant to attend the National Association of School Psychologists 2016 Annual Convention from Feb. 10-13, 2016 in New Orleans. His goals are to stay abreast current best practices, learn strategies and interventions that will help better serve the current school population, and be able to share these learned strategies with teachers, staff, students and parents.

Maya Bery, Librarian: $997 Professional Development Grant to attend the American Association of School Librarians Conference in Ohio this November. The AASL Conference brings together librarians from throughout the country to share the latest trends and technologies to support student learning.

Andrea Steffek, Spanish Instructor: $1,940 Professional Development Grant to enroll in a Spanish for Spanish Teachers course in Costa Rica. This course is designed for teachers and will increase their pedagogical expertise by discussing controversial grammatical topics, as well as addressing how to integrate culture, history and politics into the current curriculum.

Lesley Yanka, Dennet Sidell, Jack Tiano and one Special Educator: $7,620 Professional Development Grant to attend the Bureau of Education and Research conference, Co-Teaching that Works, in December. This intensive four-day conference in Boston features two top Co-Teaching experts and will focus on how to deliver high-quality, engaging and effective Co-Teaching training to all faculty, Pre-K through Grade 8.

Carlisle Public Schools, Dennet Sidell: $23,950 Innovation Grant to install amplification systems in every elementary and grade 5 classroom, as well as world language, music and art classrooms. In addition, the grant will also cover funding for 20 student microphones. These units assist teachers in having their voice heard when talking with the class so that all students hear instruction in ways they had not before. When students address the class, they can feel confident that all peers can hear them equally well. Students are less likely to become distracted if they hear all parts of a conversation and find it easier to stay on task even when given two- and three-part directions.

Nicole Baker Visits Quebec for Teachers of French Convention

French teacher Nicole Baker received a grant from the Carlisle Education Foundation to attend the American Association of Teachers of French Convention in Saguenay, Québec in July 2015. Here are some reflections on her trip:

baker_1Attending this conference allowed me to learn so much more about the language, culture and history of Quebec and also other parts of the French-speaking world. The workshops were helpful, useful and the lectures often inspiring!

I teach some aspect of the culture and language of Quebec in grades 3-8 and more specifically in 8th grade when I do an entire unit on it. Students make a “Virtual Field trip to Quebec” for which, thanks to the help of our Librarian Maya Bery, we now have great resources on our Library website: http://cpslibrary.carlisle.k12.ma.us/agrave-queacutebec.html

I attended many workshops at the Convention, found out about French speaking singers that are good to teach about in the classroom, the future of the geography of France (fascinating!), and I also discovered a wonderful language program called “Planet French” which the middle school students will have access to on their iPads. It contains film clips on different topics, many about Quebec but also other French-speaking countries and is made for the beginner level. It can often be very hard for beginner students to understand native speakers, but this is made specifically for them, and is adapted to help them understand better. I intend to write lesson plans around these film clips and ask students questions to ensure that they have understood correctly and grasp the meaning of each topic. I am thrilled with this new teaching tool!

baker_2After the Convention, I had a chance to explore the area two hours to the North called “Lac St Jean,” a famous vacation area for the people of Quebec. I went to a zoo where the animals were free and the people on a train, so they came close up to see us. I will share these pictures with my students to teach names of animals and other nature-themed vocabulary.

Knowing that their French teacher was in Quebec will hopefully make students want to go to that part of North America, too, and to be educated travelers when they do! They will hear how different the French is from the one in Europe, they will understand more about the history and culture of these people and also know what one can do there, which animals live there and what the geography looks like. It will give a clear purpose and meaning to them while learning a language they do not hear around them on a regular basis. Students will better understand that French is real. It is part of life, of traveling and of discovering our world.

MERCI! to CEF for giving me such a wonderful opportunity!