2010-2011 Opportunity Grant Winners

D112 Administration

Extending the Reach of Learner Response Systems                         Maureen Miller

Upgrade to the initial Promethean hardware with additional Activhubs, which allows the Activotes/ActivExpressions to communicate with the teacher’s computer and store student responses to teacher assessments.




“Hands-On” Experiments for 5th Grade Scientists    Jory Weissman & Bill Steinbach

Active experiments where students will work in teams to make connections, solve problems, gather evidence, review and understand their findings and compare solutions.  The experiments selected show how ordinary materials (vegetable oil, water, dish soap and food coloring can be used in extraordinary ways to solve and explain mysteries of science.


FLIPing for Student Learning                                       Jory Weissman & Bill Steinbach

Students will use the FLIP camera to document their learning on a blog and will write blog posts about daily classroom activities and use FLIP camera to take pictures and videos of learning in action.


Meet a Muslim Storyteller                                         Jory Weissman & Bill Steinbach

The 5th /grade will invite Arif Choudhury a Muslim storyteller, filmmaker and stand-up comic to present to students his experiences of growing up as a Muslim in Northbrook and also explain some of the tenets of Islam.


Whole Movement-Bradford Hansen-Smith              Jory Weissman, Bill Steinbach Jennifer Ikens, Howard Templer, Lisa Colbert

Mr. Smith will present his /wholemovement math concepts through folding and designing of paper plates. He reviews and builds upon the understanding that students have already experienced and extends their understanding by increasing their math applications, vocabulary, and concepts by folding more complex tetrahedrons



Apps 4 Learning                                  Molly Bayless, Andi Simon, Stephanie Cardella

The purpose of this project is to use technology (iPod Touch) as a resource to differentiate instruction for individual students during specific content centers.





Sibelius Upgrade = More Music to Appreciate                                   Mollie McDougall

Upgrade music software so that teachers and students can scan in music and arrange it for students so that they can understand what they are working on and how it is related to the music that they like and /or are more familiar with.


Using Activitygram to Achieve Fitness Goals                                   Amy DiBasilio

A computer program that will help students track their physical activity and make assessments regarding such activity.



Elm Place


Changing Worlds Photo Exhibit                                                          Amanda Wiehl

The Changing worlds Photo Exhibit, a multigenerational photography and oral history exhibit, ill be transported to the school.  The exhibit presents black and white portraits and personal istories of immigrant families for all over the world. The stories- told by children, parents and grandparents recount changes; leaving and loss, cultures saved and new beginnings.


Photography as a Window and a Mirror                                            Suzanne Greenwald

Students will write and take photographs as a means of exploring and understand both their inside (who they are) and their outside world


New Frontiers:  Expanding the American Dream                                         Matt Taylor

Through Art, Music and dance (physical education) students will learn about the changing face of America during the 19thcentury.


Elm Place iStories                                                                                           Amanda Wiehl

The purpose of the grant is to create a living oral document that captures the meaning of Elm Place.  The elm place iStories project stimulates a multi-faceted investigation starting with students exploring their own personal connections to Elm Place.






Green Bay School


Bear Buddies                                                              Mirela Vesa

Buddy program between STEP pre-school students and 2nd grade students at Indian Trail to promote social and language development through lunchtime and structured play activities.


Little Einstein Investigators                                       Erika Moran

Students will take their first steps into understanding the process of scientific inquiry with age-appropriate, hands-on activities and experiments.



Indian Trail


Dot Day                                                                      Karen Grost

All school project and family evening project that enables students to create a “dot” that is unique to them based on the book, The Dot by Peter Reynolds.


Electricity Comes Alive                                              Merle Aronson

4th graders will create an electronic quizboard on a topic of interest where they will research a topic and use their knowledge of circuits to wire answers to questions.


Family Poetry Night                                                   Mary Lesser

School wide poetry event where students and families will read, create, share, perform, experience and build enthusiasm for poetry guided by a professional poet.


Indian Trail Trading Post                                            Beth Heile

3rd-5th grade STEP students will set-up and run the Indian Trail Trading Post, a small school store.


Library of Learning Differences                                 Kelley Combs

Building a library of resources for teachers and students in the area of inclusion and disability awareness to create innovative differentiated lessons for all students at IT.


Natural Artists                                                            Karen Grost

Fourth and first grade students will study the life and influence of Beatrix Potter through separate and buddy activities.


Saving the Savannah                                                  Merle Arenson

Students will research native Illinois habitats as well as become involved in the restoration of native species process.






Diary of an Immigrant Kid                                         Sarah Weil and Darla Dieter

Expose our students to a variety of cultures around the world by understanding and experiencing what it was like for immigrants to travel to America


Drumming up a Multicultural Exploration                 Janet Lubetkin

Innovative way of developing listening skills, leadership and teamwork through learning drum ensembles from West African and other cultures as well as creating original fabric design and a clay mural



Northwood School


Gardening for Education                                            Ellen Osher

Student will design, plant and care for a communal garden.  Students will be using math and science as they determine planting, make decisions, and allocate budget.  An outdoor classroom will be created in the process.


International Club                                                       Mary Jane Thompson

This after school club will help promote multiculturalism.  Students will develop a better understanding and a deeper appreciation of the diverse cultures within the Northwood community and throughout the world.


Northwood’s 8th Grade Community Service Day      Amy Stein

The 8th grade students will volunteer at a variety of sites in the community such as the nursery and elementary schools, Heller Nature Center, Family Network, and the Highland Park Health Center for the elderly.  The purpose is to provide students with a sense of giving back and the importance of doing so.


Read, Write, and Rhyme                                            Susan Sitrick-Sosnowski

All Northwood students will participate in a poetry event where students and families will read, create, share, perform, experience and build enthusiasm for poetry guided by a professional poet.


Roots Fest 2011                                                          Carolyn Frye

Roots Fest is a unique opportunity for the Northwood students to celebrate commonalities and differences from a variety of cultures.  The activities will view culture through the lens of visual and performance art, music, and drama.


Smart Music = Smart Musicians X’s 2  Margaret Delligatti (NW) and Mollie McDougall (EW)

The purpose of the Smart Music program is to captivate young musicians in music learning and practice strategies that will help them become proficient musicians.  Using interactive music technology students are engaged in a visual and musical setting that provides instant feedback.


Star Lab                                                                       Mary Jane Thompson

Starlab is a portable planetarium.  It is an inflatable dome that uses a cylinder projector to project images onto a dark canvas background.  Students enter this dome to learn through a multisensory approach about a variety of topics.


Oak Terrace School


Commerce and College                                              Laura Cunniff

This project aims to guide students in developing career goals and an understanding of the skills, knowledge, and credentials necessary to attain those goals.


Cocinando con Matemáticas (Cooking With Math)   Erica Johnson

Interdisciplinary application of academic skills, including curricular math, science, reading and writing skills to explore different elements of food, cooking, and nutrition in classroom activities and in daily life.  Project culminates in a cookbook.


Nutrition Education Grant                                          Judith Amidei

A program designed to teach students the benefits of a healthy lifestyle with good nutrition.  This project will connect education and community partnerships in an effort to reduce child obesity and the risks associated with this disease.


Unidos Podemos                                                         Mayra Tristan

This project was created especially for Latino parents and students at Oak Terrace to teach strategies, methods and specific vocabulary to parents can better assist their children at home.


Vericomposting at Oak Terrace                                 Patricia Castro

Students will learn about ecosystems, vericomposting, and worm science to help comprehend big ideas in science such as systems, order and organization, evidence, models, form and function.




Storytelling In Kindergarten                                       Amy March

Students will be engaged in a yearlong study of the art of storytelling. They will learn how to express themselves creatively, and speak effectively.






Red Oak


Poetry Night                                                               Linda Diamond

Families will come together to participate in many aspects of poetry. They will create and share their work in a common experience.


Puppet Presentations: A Folktale Festival                 Kate Hancock-Strong

Students present and review folktales.  They will learn from the morals and literary techniques found in folktales.


Reading Stars/Esrellas de Lectura                             Kristen O’Rourke Salamanca

The purpose of this program is to increase oral reading fluency and comprehension skills to children with few books at home.


Red Oak Role Models Mentorship Program              Billy Heisler

High school students will partner with Red Oak children to support, nurture and enhance each child’s academic, social, emotional and personal betterment.





WeatherBug Connects School Program                     Lynn Hansen

Students will utilize a scientific-grade weather station in an integrated real time study of weather and weather systems.



Wayne Thomas School


Creating an “iPod” Through Reading             Emily Hales and Dorene Ochsner Johnson

Students will create podcasts of readings to increase fluency and comprehension skills and strategies.


Drawing and Writing with Bamboo Drawing Tablets           Amanda Kurzawski

Students will learn innovative ways to create original artworks utilizing the bamboo drawing tablet to facilitate on-screen computer drawing.


Gardening with Wisconsin Fast Plants                      Mindy Kirsch

Students will have hands-on experience planting flowers and observing and documenting as they go through the growth cycle.


Kindergarten Life Cycles:  Seeds and Butterfly         Wendy Tepper

Students will sequence the life cycle order of seeds and butterflies.  They will both read about and document the transformations that they observe.


Literacy Discoveries                                                               Dorene Ochsner Johnson

Students will benefit from a variety of activities that address reluctant and struggling readers as well as those performing at grade level.



Wayne Thomas Students Reduce, Reuse & Recycle             Deb Smith

Students will attempt to solve an authentic problem in their school.  They will learn about and participate in recycling, reducing waste and using reusable containers.