2008 Innovation in Education Award Winners
Program: Smarts Kids as Agents of Change
School/District: Paul Ecke Central School, Encinitas Union School District
Description: What do a garage band beat, a video camera and computer with editing software have in common? These are technology tools that second graders at Paul Ecke Central School in the Encinitas School District use everyday to learn mathematics.
The innovation incorporates music, technology, and oral language skills in a unique way that gets kids excited about learning. The real-world application requires students to plan and present problem-solving strategies to promote mathematical thinking. Students then videotape each other and produce DVDs of this problem solving that later serves as professional development for teachers in Cognitively Guided Instruction.
Every week, math teachers at Paul Ecke Central School form collaborative groups to study and discuss the students’ video creations and assess the student learning. Program assessments document impressive results by the students. For the teachers the rewards are immeasurable.
Program: Interactive Learning
School/District: The Preuss School UCSD, San Diego Unified School District
Description: There is a wave of innovation surging throughout the Preuss School UCSD campus. It is visible in the excitement on the students’ faces as they arrive at school and most apparent in the interactive learning going on in Dr. Jerry Lederman’s math class.
A self-contained system of linked web pages providing lessons, lesson plans. PowerPoint summaries, prior tests, homework assignments, worksheets and a user forum for Algebra II and Pre-calculus. This unique, user-friendly website has helped students raise students scores significantly. Over the past three years. Preuss students improved their scaled scores while the statewide scores barely moved.
Working with a team at teachers Preuss was able to make this resource available to more students and parents and resulted in enhanced learning and improved math scores.
Program: Transforming Teaching and Learning through a Curriculum Web Framework
District: Lemon Grove School District
Description: In the Lemon Grove School District, students start their day logging on computers rather than checking out books… welcome to 21st century learning. The innovation comes in the form of an effective interactive online environment filled with learning resources built into a Curriculum Web Framework. The concept of the Curriculum Web Framework is significant in that it organizes and simplifies the rich supply of grade-appropriate, subject-specific, instructional materials for both teachers and learners.
The learning doesn’t stop at the classroom. Kids are logging on before and after school and extending their learning time. The anytime, anywhere access to their child’s learning environment also gives parents an inside view of school expectations and the educational progress.
Teachers agree that one of the greatest advantages the framework offers is the ease of reaching students at their levels of learning and allowing for more individualized lessons.
Program: No Excuses University
School/District: Los Penasquitos Elementary School, Poway Unified School District
Description: The No Excuses University promotes college readiness for all students through a comprehensive endeavor that is specifically geared towards elementary students. Los Pen was the lowest performing school in the district for 26 years. All that changed a decade ago when the school created a new approach to teaching and learning bases on a culture of universal achievement.
Each classroom holds an expectation that all students are capable of attending college. In partnership with an adopted university, students engage learning on a path to success. The school’s commitment to excellence for all students resulted in remarkable results. Los Pen is the only school in the Poway Unified School District to be honored in California as a 10-10 school four times in five years (ranked in the top decile for schools statewide, and in the top decile for schools with similar characteristics).
This innovative school program has spread across the nation and is now the vehicle that is supporting change at many underperforming k-8 schools.