District 95 Educational Foundation Announces Teacher Innovation Grants

Grants will enhance reading, music and math at Lake Zurich schools.

District 95 Educational Foundation announced their Teacher Innovation Grant recipients during the District 95 Annual Staff Recognition Program, May 18. The following grant applications were approved, for a total of $ 6,296.44. 

Seth Paine 3rd Grade Teachers Nooks and eBooks 

The goal of this project is to provide a variety of popular text to appropriately challenge the reading abilities of third grade students at Seth Paine Elementary. The span of the children’s abilities varies greatly at this age, from beginning readers to ninth grade. Students reading above grade level cannot grow as deeply in their understanding and appreciation of literature because of the lack of teacher guidance with small groups of students at similar levels using multiple copies of the same text. The few multiple copy texts currently available are deteriorating and/or do not capture the interest of children today. The Nook Simple Touch will be used to respectfully challenge all students during intervention time. 

4th Grade Team, Isaac Fox VersaTiles 

 The team will use 4 Versa Tiles Reading/Language Arts Labs, Level 4, one for each of the four fourth grade classes at Isaac Fox. Versa Tiles is a unique and individualized reading/language arts lab that allows students to work at their own pace to learn, review, and practice reading and language arts concepts. Versa Tiles will be used daily during the Reading Intervention time, where the team meets in small groups to  reinforce reading and language arts concepts that have been previously taught. The Versa Tiles lab covers four different reading/language arts strands: Vocabulary, Spelling, Comprehension and Study Skills, and Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics. 

MSN Music Department
iPads for Practice Aid & Music Composition

The MSN music department will use iPads and various apps to organize and view sheet music, compose music and aid in practice sessions. Applications such as MusicNotes will allow small ensembles the ability to store, view, and edit music as well as play from a single device. Many apps provide practice aids such as metronomes, tuners, audio recording devices, ear training tutors, etc. Other apps allow composition using standard notation. 

Reading Specialists, Seth Paine 

iPods for Reading Lab

Seth Paine has the unique advantage of having a reading lab. One intervention utilized in the reading lab is Read Naturally. Read Naturally focuses on the five essential components of reading, identified by the National Reading Panel: phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Read Naturally’s selection of reading passages can help address the needs of a broad range of at-risk readers. Read Naturally's structured intervention program combines teacher modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring — three strategies that research has shown are effective in improving students' reading proficiency. Using audio support and graphs of their progress, students work with high-interest material at their skill level.

The Educational Foundation is an outgrowth of the District’s latest Strategic Plan. As a 501(c)3 not-for- profit Foundation, the Foundation is an autonomous organization working in partnership with the School District to gather and disburse resources to CUSD 95 to support activities that enhance, enrich, and supplement instructional opportunities for CUSD 95 learners consistent with the School District core values and mission. 

This news release was provided by Lake Zurich Community Unit School District 95.




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