The Dr. Mike Caston Innovation Awards
Follow Up Grant Evaluation Report
Grant Recipients: Stephanie Trogden and Mary Clemons at Reidy Creek Elementary School
Project Title: Exercise + Listening and Leadership Skills= A Win-Win
Grades: First through Fifth
Area: Physical Education General Population with emphasis on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students
The goal of this project was to integrate the technology used for deaf and hard of hearing students who use hearing aids and cochlear implants with one device that would enable those students, along with the general population of students, to access verbal instructions through a special digital sound system (using a transmitter with a clip-on microphone and two stand-alone receivers). The device is used for large group instruction during physical education classes in an outdoor setting, allowing all of the students to easily hear directions and music. Both the teacher and the student leaders utilize the microphone while giving instructions and providing feedback to the students.
Outcomes for the project goals include:
Goal: When verbal instructions are presented (with only one additional repetition) to a physical education class utilizing a digital sound system, students with typical hearing, as well as those with cochlear implants and/or hearing aids will appropriately act upon those verbal directions on 8/10 trials as measured by monthly school staff data collection.
This goal was successfully met. Student behavior, participation and focus increased substantially once the use of the speaker and microphone system was introduced to the PE program. Prior to the use of this system, the ambient outside noises were a distraction for the students and important explanations and directions were frequently missed by many students, but once the speakers were in place, students settled down and focused much more quickly, without repeated reminders. Some of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students frequently comment that they can hear me through the speaker, even before we sync their hearing aids to the device, and they seem to really appreciate that.
Goal: While wearing the clip-on microphone for a digital sound system, regular education students, as well as students with special needs, will present verbal directions to lead their peers in previously taught physical education activities for at least 20% of each class period as measured by staff data collection.
This goal was successfully met. As part of our Leader in Me program at the school, we have a group of students (referred to as the L.E.A.D. team) who help lead exercises during our PE classes, as well as leading dances for the entire school on Friday mornings. The leaders wear the microphone system when explaining the dance moves and the exercises. In addition, students who are not on the L.E.A.D. team also eagerly volunteer to lead exercises and dances, utilizing the microphone system. One young student, who has autism and used to be overwhelmed in PE, has become so enchanted with the microphone that he has become one of our regular exercise leaders. The microphone/speaker system has had a positive impact in even unforeseen situations for student participation and behavioral improvement.
Goal: As Common Core Standards are addressed during physical education classes, students will engage in verbal discussions, respond to specific questions, or ask for clarification (with the assistance of the teacher repeating student comments and/or questions over the digital speaker system) on 80% of opportunities as measured by staff data collection from five physical education classes.
This goal was successfully met. This goal is implemented everyday in every PE class. Students participate in discussions pertaining to the activities before they engage in the activity and at the end of the lesson, students engage in discussion as we debrief. The sound system has been an enormous benefit in helping the students hear and participate in these important discussions, which enable the students to effectively participate in the PE lessons, as well as in the Leader in Me discussions and activities.
I am very grateful for the Innovation Awards program and especially for the generosity of the Staples Foundation for sponsoring this grant. The quality of the PE program has been greatly enhanced, as the sound system has benefited not only the Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, but all of the students, as well. This sound system will be utilized for years to come.
Physical Education Teacher
Reidy Creek Elementary School