WILLIAMSTOWN -- As part of their school-wide end-of-year celebration, Brayton Elementary School fourth graders will present original projects created on iPads this Friday, June 7 at 1:30 p.m. The presentations will take place in the school’s cafeteria.
Fourth-grade teachers Karen Cellana, Marie McCarron and Jaana Mutka, collaborated with music/band teacher Bill Chapman and art teacher Erica Manville, to use iPads in the design of a multidisciplinary lesson plan for their students.
Fourth-grade teachers and students at both Brayton and Greylock Elementary Schools have been using iPads all school year in their science curriculum and other subject areas as well. Funding for the iPads and teacher training in using iPads in the classroom comes from a Verizon Foundation grant that Williams College received last summer. The Center for Learning in Action at Williams coordinates the iPad program in the schools.
"Life Doesn’t Frighten Me At All" is a poem by Maya Angelou that the Brayton fourth-graders have sought to interpret using the Garage Band application available on iPads. The project is intended to showcase fourth graders’ academic skills as well as their artistic creativity. As part of their study, students have drawn from their acquired knowledge from various academic fields (science, ELA, art, and music) and have collaborated in small groups to build original projects on the
Brayton Principal Sarah Madden, has seen strong evidence of rich student learning during the course of this project.
"The Verizon grant has provided our students with educational tools to expand their horizons and creative thinkin," she said. "Brayton students have benefited from the collaboration with Williams College by increasing their access to technology and by participating in hands-on lessons with Williams College students that bring rich science experiences into the curriculum. The latest project, which integrates music, rhythm, math, art, literature and social justice is one that exemplifies the broad spectrum of possibilities that have become possible for our students."
Director for Elementary Outreach for the Center for Learning in Action, Jennifer Swoap, notes that this final project was beyond the scope of the original grant. "We are grateful that Verizon funded this iPad initiative," she said. "Having the opportunity to explore technology and hands-on science has been a great learning experience for all involved - elementary students, Williams students, teachers, and our staff at the Center for Learning in Action. We are excited by the fourth grade teachers’ collaboration with the music and art teachers. Seeing the enthusiasm and learning extend beyond our original goals is rewarding. We are eager to see the elementary students’ learning presented and shared with the larger school community."
Teachers from Brayton and Greylock plan to continue their collaboration with the Center for Learning in Action at Williams College next year, deepening and building upon the work done during this first, pilot year of the program.
For more info, please contact Jennifer Swoap: 413-884-3152, Jennifer.C.Swoap@williams.edu.