2009 Research Grants
The following Research Grants were funded by Winnetka Public Schools Foundation!
A Literature Review of Empirical Research About Early Childhood Math Screening Tools
Foundation funds were used to enable two teachers to conduct a review of empirical research on early childhood math screening. Their goal was to create a valid and effective math-screening tool for all K-1 students in order to identify those with Math difficulties.
Exploring the Impact of Child-Teacher Relationship Training on Teachers’ Relationship
Building Skills and the Effects on Student Classroom Behavior – Research indicates that there is a positive correlation between the quality of teacher-child relationship and children’s behavior in the classroom, and that strategies designed to improve student-teacher relationships can assist in improving children’s problematic behaviors in the classroom. Based on these premises and modeled on the research study: “Impact of Child Teacher Relationship Training on Teachers’ and Aides use of Relationship-Building Skills and the Effects on Student Classroom Behavior” by Wendy Pretz Helker and Dee C. Ray, the school social worker utilized Foundation funds to research how this hypothesis might work in our schools.
Investing Assessment Methods and Interventions to Support Students’ Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Needs
Foundation funds were used to enable the school psychologist and social worker to research the following topics: What are the social, emotional and behavioral skills students need to be successful in school; What assessments will help us identify children at risk; and What interventions will support students’ needs and help them build the necessary skills for success? The psychologist and social worker then worked with a consultant to help them analyze data and align their research findings with a multi-tiered intervention model (RtI).
Implementing Writer’s Workshop in the Middle School Curriculum
Foundation funds were used to enable four teachers to research best practice in Writer’s Workshop: what it looks like, how it is structured, and the process of designing authentic curriculum. They also explored how a Writer’s Workshop model may help students develop into strategic and thoughtful writers and enhance the voice and ownership in their work. In addition, staff researched how writing conferences with individual students enhance the student-teacher relationship as well as create authentic opportunities for the assessment of student writing and differentiation of writing instruction. Further questions that were researched include: How can one effectively capture students’ writing progress to inform instruction and curricular design; How can one create and use meaningful conference notes to create mini-lessons to address individual and group needs; and, How do our choices about what we ask our students to read influence them as writers and influence their knowledge of craft. The Writer's Workshop continues to be a big part of Middle School curriculum.