Center for Innovation - Funded Projects 2018-19

  • Design Thinking Support
    Lisa Yokana, Brian McDonald, Emily Block, Fallon Plunkett

    Engage Don Buckley, who consulted for entrepreneurship last year, to work regularly with our students across the STEAM courses and City 2.0. Don teaches entrepreneurship at Marymount School in New York City, as well as at Columbia University's Teachers College. Don was an integral part of crafting the entrepreneurship AT course and also worked with students from City 2.0 occasionally. We saw how powerful it can be to have an outside design thinking expert engage with our students at regular intervals as it assists them when they are stuck and reinvigorates them midway through projects.

    Digital Literacy in the First Grade Reading Workshop
    Katy Weston, Lauren Adler, Kate Byrnes, Kristen Carroll

    Reading digitally is different from reading a book. First grade classrooms are equipped with one to one technology but training for teachers in how to teach reading digitally is at present nonexistent.  According to Sibberson, in her book, Digital Reading, “Reading goes from being a linear experience in print to being a nonlinear one online. Teachers need to be direct about that difference, experts said, showing students that sometimes it's OK to stop and click on a link or watch a video in the middle of an article if it will help them understand the content better.

    "We need to teach young children that digital text is hyperlinked and networked, and you go from one place to another, and it's not left to right," said Turner. "I've had students successfully do that in early elementary by having them click on hyperlinks and talking about, where did that take me? The idea is being very explicit and not just assuming they have the knowledge." At the same time, students need to see that, while the format is different, the purpose of reading remains the same. "When you think about comprehension strategies, they work whether you're reading a blog post or watching video or reading a print book," 

    Make a Difference!
    Michele Boyum, Elie Jacobs, Alethea Lynch, Pam Winders

    To develop a design thinking project based learning experience that integrates our science and social studies units with our reading and writing units. The project will have the goal of children discovering how they can create a design model prototype that could solve real world problems like water and energy shortage thus impacting communities. The theme will emphasize that all people on Earth have the same needs: access to clean water, food, and energy. This will be accomplished by integrating the science units of water, plant, energy, and sustainability with the social studies unit of world cultures: how we are the same and different. 

    SHS Reading Enrichment Program (a.k.a. the SHS Book Club)
    Frank Ceruzzi, Rachel Warshowsky 

    This project would put in place a formalized and incentivized opportunity for Scarsdale High School students to read for pleasure. We are proposing that SHS pilot an optional, thrice-yearly reading experience as a way to build a culture of pleasure-reading in the high school. Students would have easy access to high-interest books, the purchase of which would be funded by this grant; thereafter, they would connect with their peers and teachers to chat about the books in a relaxed and informal setting. The project involves some degree of instructional design. Here’s how it would work: at three junctures during the year (December, April, and June—each before a major break or vacation), students would be presented with three choices of accessible books. These titles, fiction and non-fiction texts that should appeal to a wide audience, would be suggested by teachers from any department, showing students that reading does indeed take place outside of the English classroom and allowing math, science, or history teachers to model a love of reading. A student who wishes to participate would select one of the three proposed titles to read over the break. A week or two after the returning to school, students who read would get together for a book-club discussion led by the teacher who suggested the title. The sessions would be held during a universal free, perhaps Wednesday 7th. Although attendance would be taken, the sessions would be informal, without the burden of a written response. We intend these conversations to be student-driven, akin to the natural type of back and forth dialogue that occurs when people are genuinely engaged with a topic or text. Ultimately, we hope that over time, upperclassmen could begin to select titles for their peers and lead their own book discussions. To incentive participation in this program, we would propose that students who read for and attend each of the three sessions may receive a notation on their transcript that they have participated in a year-long optional reading enrichment program (or some similar language). We hope this small incentive will be enough of a hook to get possibly reluctant students to participate initially. 

    Integrating Coding and Robotics into Elementary Curriculum
    Julia Huang, Alison Turner, Paul Tomizawa, Matt Fitzpatrick, Dylan Cadalzo, Peter McKenna 

    The purpose of this project is to integrate core subject areas with coding and robotics.  More specifically, we will focus on integrating coding and robotics with Math and Information Writing. We believe that when students are engaged in these hands-on experiences, learning becomes natural, meaningful and authentic.  We are inspired to collaborate across disciplines (Art, Library, Technology) and across buildings (Edgewood, Fox Meadow) to incorporate new instructional teaching strategies and tools involving coding and robotics.  We believe that this integration will improve student learning and teacher instruction in these subject areas. 

    An Interdisciplinary Approach to learning Spanish Dance; Integrating Movement, Language, and the Visual Arts
    Maggie Bryant

    To learn about the Spanish Culture through experiencing Spanish Dance. Our PE students will learn the movement while the Art classes will observe (and sometimes participate physically as well) so that they can capture images resonating with them to draw, paint, sculpt.  Our Spanish classes will be learning about the history of the Spanish Dance (will also partake in some of the movement) and will present the Art and PE classes, in Spanish and in English, their findings. We plan to present this not only to all Spanish, PE, and Art classes who have class at the time we are working with Anna, but to the community as well at the annual end of the year Dance  Showcase.