Sounds of (no) Silence

The new choir room was in need of a sound system to play music for choral rehearsals and music listening.  In addition, we wanted to expand the system to include recording capabilities for choral and general music students.

This grant provided a new sound and recording system which benefits  student growth and learning by allowing their singing to be recorded with instant playback. With the assistance of this technology, students can now learn to identify and apply criteria such as correct vocal tone, vowel shapes, interpretation of the notation and technical accuracy to rehearse, refine, and determine when a piece is ready to perform.

This provides us with an opportunity for students to develop their critical listening, analyzing and evaluative skills. 

Simulation Software for STEAM lab

We would like to purchase additional software for our STEAM lab to address the many different interests and application possibilities for our students. s

Students will leverage the simulation technology to create their own SMART learning goal that they will strive to achieve.  They will have to use a variety of resources to construct knowledge on the engineering, physics, and design aspects of each program.  Students will use the simulation software to design and create new, useful, or imaginative solutions to their SMART goals.  Students will use the digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning through real world applications (mechanics, construction, design, architecture, city planning). 

Kindergarten Science Curriculum

This granted provided the funding to purchase books to support our Kindergarten Science Curriculum.  In particular, we purchased books for the Weather & Climate unit and our unit on Forces and Actions. 

These books will help our Kindergarten students better understand the world around them and will support literacy across the curriculum.

Mantra Lingua Learning Resources

Lake Bluff School District 65 made a commitment to rigorously implement a World Language program beginning in Kindergarten and moving through 8th grade.  In a rigorous implementation, there are four domains of teaching and learning that must be present:

  1. Reading
  2. Writing
  3. Listening
  4. Speaking

When all of these components are present in language learning programs, student growth is evident.  This grant includes two items to support these goals:  The Mantra Lingua PENPals and the LinguaTALK Spanish toolkit.

Mantra Lingua PENPals

Our new Mantra Lingua PENpals are digital readers that are programmable with a recording feature which lets you customize material to align with curricular learning tasks.  The technology of the reader allows you to record information using an electronic sensor label.  The sticker is coded with your recorded information so that when a student touches the pen to the label, the recorded content is played.  Labels can be used in books, posters, or on objects in the environment.  The recording feature on the PENpal allows the user to record specific content intended or could be used to record in-lesson information.  Recordings can be played back to a listener or the recorder.  The PENpal Class Kits comes with recordable labels, charging cables, batteries, and free software access to over 900 dual language audio files.

These devices benefit our students and learning in a number of ways.  First, they provide the opportunity to make any book available in Spanish, as instructional support to the curriculum.  PENpals give our teachers the opportunity to translate any book, regardless of the language in which it is written.  With respect to curricular goals, this supports reading and listening.  Second, with the recording feature, students have the ability to record responses and play them back.  This meets three learning components of the outlined curriculum (speaking, listening, and presentational). Lastly, PENpals support both interpretive and interpersonal tasks when they are used for different activities like scavenger hunts or interactive group/pair work.  

LinguaTALK Spanish toolkit

The resources in the toolkit promote the teaching and learning of Spanish.  The Spanish Toolkit “comes with interactive activities to help students progress from word through phase to sentence levels.”  This is one of the primary goals of our World Language program.  We want students to learn the language in authentic and developmentally appropriate ways, use the language they are learning through natural yet intentionally planned learning activities, and to be able to demonstrate growth through programmatic performance-based assessments.  The Spanish toolkit is equipped with audio books, PENpals loaded with LinguaTALK Spanish Audio (narrated by native Spanish speakers), Mini-book Creator Software, recordable stickers, picture bank of vocabulary and flashcards, thematic songs, 32 Charts, and a wide variety of teacher-based resources.  Moreover, the book topics and charts are exactly aligned to the thematic curricular units of study, almost as if someone from Mantra Lingua was a part of the development of the thematic units.  This spontaneous alignment of the LinguaTALK resources, alongside programmatic goals, provides an opportunity to capitalize on resources that will promote the Spanish language learning of our students and benefit their overall target language growth.  Standards-wise, the LinguaTALK Spanish toolkit will align with reading, writing, listening, and speaking objectives in addition to supporting interpretive tasks, interpersonal tasks, and presentational tasks.

Portable Sound System

LBES was in need of a portable sound system powerful enough to use for outside events such as field day, wellness week, veteran’s day ceremonies, outside classroom presentations, and our K-2 music shows.

This grant included a powered amplifier/mixer and stand, two speakers and speaker stands, microphone, microphone cable and stand, heavy duty extension cord, cord storage reel and a rolling storage case.

New Kiln

The art department requested a new kiln that was larger than the others and electric.  (The current kiln was very old, small, and has broken down a few times in the last two years). There were problems fitting all K-5 students clay projects in a tiny kiln (generally takes a whole semester to fire every students project 2 times). 

Our new kiln makes the LB ceramics project much more doable for each student.  Also the electric kiln provides greater safety, and protect students from broken/incorrectly fired clay projects.

Makerbot 3D printer

The affordable 3D Replicator features the ease of one-touch printing and has all the same technology as full-size MakerBot printers.  Creating 3D models has never been easier with the MakerBot Replicator Mini Compact 3D Printer. It has all the same technology as the full-size, fifth-generation MakerBot printers and features one-touch printing—just send your file to print and press a button. It’s that simple. The Replicator Mini has a build volume of 4 x 4 x 5 inches (L x W x H), making it perfect for creating  household items, replacement parts, and unique gifts.

Odyssey of the Mind

Odyssey of the Mind

The Odyssey of the Mind teaches students how to think divergently by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests. Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve those problems. They are free to express their ideas and suggestions without fear of criticism. The creative problem-solving process rewards thinking “outside of the box.” While conventional thinking has an important place in a well-rounded education, students need to learn how to think creatively and productively.  Learn more.

Marci Chesin Memorial Children's Book Project

The Alliance for Excellence has now funded the Marci Chesin Memorial Children’s Book Project, which is a fun school project where 7th graders author a story with a moral lesson, print the story in a hardcover book and read the story to 2nd graders. The 7th graders enhance their creative writing, illustrating, mentoring and presenting skills; and the 2nd graders learn about moral issues, how to read, and role model engagement. The funding buys the materials to create the hard cover books with illustrations for 100 students.

LBES Mosaics Project

The Alliance was excited to co-fund (with PTO) the upcoming LBES Mosaic Project! All students and staff will participate in the design and creation of a 12′ wide by 10′ high mosaic that will be installed within the elementary school. Students will learn about the history of mosaic art and then be part of the design and creation, including specific art elements for mosaic making and design, gluing techniques, use of tools, and grouting.

Leveled Literacy Intervention

The Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention has a proven record of improving students’ fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills. The Alliance was proud to fund the 4th grade materials for LBES. In the words of LBES teacher, Anne de Got, “We are so excited to be able to use the LLI program with our students. This program will allow our students to have access to literacy building components to help develop a stronger foundation for reading with material that the students can enjoy and discuss."

From Anne de Got, Leaning Behavior Specialist at LBES:

“We are so excited to be able to use the LLI program with our students. This program will allow our students to have access to literacy building components to help develop a stronger foundation for reading with material that the students can enjoy and discuss.”

Teacher Timers

To support executive functioning with consistent expectations across grade levels, the Alliance funded the purchase of 30 Teacher Timers. These visual timers provide a further breakdown of the day into specific blocks of time and can help manage student behavior, support smooth transitions, and hold students accountable for completing tasks within a certain amount of time.

Ukeleles Program

The Alliance for Excellence funded the purchase of 25 Tenor Ukuleles for Ms. Cvitkovic’s 6th grade music students.  This pilot program affords students the opportunity to not only learn a string instrument, but also to explore other world cultures.

While all students benefit from these instruments, those who are kinesthetic and tactile learners directly benefit from their engagement with the ukuleles.  To further integrate the ukuleles into the curriculum and programming, Ms. C. has also created a Uke Club at LBMS.  Ms. C. and her students are really enjoying their awarded Alliance grant of ukuleles!  Uke on!