This week I should find out if my friend and I are getting iPads for our Resource Rooms.
We wrote the grant over Spring Break and submitted it to our Tech Department the morning the email came out announcing it.
We quickly received a really nice email from the person in charge, thanking us for our application. But you know how the mind plays tricks on you….”Did she thank us for applying, but…..?” or “Did she really like our applications that much?”
One minute we are like, “We are so gonna get them!” and then we are like, “We better get them!” and then “We are never getting them.”
A few years ago, we wrote a grant together to get a Senteo Response System (and we got it!). The year before that, I wrote a grant for a SMARTBoard and document camera. (I was initially denied but then the special education department had some extra money.)
But iPads….they are a hot item right now. Everyone wants them. And there is only so much money in the budget…and we’ve already received a grant. We can’t expect to get them all.
I think we had pretty valid points and I think we could do amazing things with 6 iPads.
I have the RR students 1st and 2nd period for Language Arts and then they go to RR Math during 3rd and 4th. At the most, we will have 10 students on our roster.
Why do I think we should receive a grant?
Here are a few excerpts from our application:
-The addition of iPads will allow students in the resource room setting and the inclusion classroom to receive instruction which will be interactive, engaging, and individualized for their particular learning needs. By combining tablet technology, students will be able to view instructional materials firsthand and in real-time.
-As we each teach multi-grade level resource rooms, it is important that we have the resources available to differentiate their instruction as their IEP calls for. For example, reading levels this year range from non-reader to 7th grade. In Math, students’ ability levels range from 1st grade to 6th grade.
-Incorporating iPads into the classroom will allow us to break students into appropriate groups for specific skills. While the teacher is working with one ability/grade level, the others will be directed to appropriate activities using the technology. With so many apps and programs designed to keep record of student progress, this will allow us to receive immediate feedback and easily plan individualized instruction. Core Math, which is fully compatible with Common Core Standards, is able to track progress for 50 students. Khan Academy would allow similar progress monitoring and prescriptive teaching. DropBox will allow us to create individual folders for each student with appropriate reading selections and spelling activities. Vocabulary and spelling skills can be individualized on Spelling City.
-This new technology will be especially beneficial as our math and language arts series are available online. As the instructors, we will be able to direct students’ attention to particular features of the text, highlight important details, and demonstrate strategies for improving reading comprehension and basic math skills.
-As inclusion teachers, we would be able to provide access to our other IEP students across the curriculum with the teachers we co-teach with. We could break the class into small groups and provide direct instruction in the general education classroom and then design activities for small groups on the iPads.
-One of the most exciting capabilities of this technology is that students will receive immediate feedback from apps and internet web site as to their progress. With programs such as DropBox and Nearpod students can easily share their work with the teacher and their classmates. Students working together in small groups will be able to brainstorm ideas, complete graphic organizers, develop a plan to solve a problem, or explain a process and then bring the team’s ideas to the attention of the teacher which will allow for corrective feedback. Many students are motivated by this type of technology. We are interested in the possibility of using the tablet and its technology to create a small-scale in-class version of a flipped classroom. While some students are receiving direct instruction, others will be front-loaded with information on the next lesson.
Although we’ve only been out of school for a week, I will admit, I’m already in the planning stages for next fall. A tiny part of me is holding out on the hope that iPad activities will fill one column of my lesson plans. As I sit and create lessons for the first few stories, I keep asking myself, “How would this work on the iPad? What apps would work in place of this?”
And then I think….”If I don’t get the iPads…..”
If I don’t get them, I will regain three days of my summer vacation back, because anyone who receives a grant has to attend a 3 day training in either June or July.
I am ready to just find out either way.
Have you ever written a grant?
What was it for?
How did it change your classroom?
Share your story in the comments!