Classroom Amplification System

Grant Date
2016
Grant Applicant
Alison Plapp
Grant Co-applicants
School Site
Amount Funded
$1432.00
Program Objectives (10 points)

Provide a cost effective early intervention tool for ensuring student achievement.

Benefits of Program (20 points)

In order to do well in school, a child must be able to receive all auditory signals. The amount of noise that interferes with students’ ability to hear the teacher’s message may be so distracting that they cannot perform well in the typical classroom environment. The signal-to-noise ratio is most relevant to effective communication, meaning that the signal (classroom teacher’s voice) needs to be louder than the noise in the classroom. Noise in the classroom can result from students talking and moving; reverberation of sound off of hard surfaces in the classroom, and noises from outside the classroom, such as students walking down the halls. A teacher’s voice also decreases in strength as students sit farther away, but it is clearly not possible to have all students sit in the front row, close enough to the teachers to hear everything that is taught; therefore, the distance from a teacher to a student greatly impacts the effect of noise and reverberation in the classroom. Many teachers are not able to produce a signal that is loud enough to overcome the background noise that exists in a classroom, even when they speak loudly. This results in extra energy expended to attempt to get the information to all students, and ultimately fatigue, which does not foster good teaching. Many teachers experience vocal fatigue, hoarse voices, laryngitis, and sore throats, which further impacts the ability to make the information available to a classroom of students. Background noise present in the classroom stands in the way of students easily and quickly understanding the lessons being taught. So much extra energy is spent by students fighting poor classroom acoustics and inherent classroom background noise that it often results in attention challenges. When children miss auditory information in the classroom, they have limited life experiences from which to draw in order to fill in the blanks. Ina nosy environment, they may not hear the entire spoken message. A student who misses what is said has to work extremely lard to follow the teacher’s messages, which makes them more likely to be off-task, distracted, or distracting to others because of the extra energy that is required to make sense of a message that, to them, is broken. This energy could have been used to integrate the information, relate it to their own experiences, and exercise necessary higher-level language and thinking skills. Research has shown that poor listening conditions not only make learning more difficult, but also reduces the energy available for performing other cognitive and linguistic functions. Classroom Amplification systems create a learning environment where the teacher’s voice is directed via a wireless microphone through speakers in the classroom. Each student then receives the teacher’s messages from what has proven to be a closer distance. Essentially, the system puts every student in the front row of the classroom so the auditory information is enhanced and the signal-to-noise ratio then promotes a healthier learning environment. A classroom amplification system provides many benefits such as reducing student fatigue and increasing attention, thereby improving academic achievement. Another benefit is reduced teacher fatigue, resulting in more enthusiastic, highly effective educators. We have classrooms throughout the district that use an amplification system in their classroom and the results are positive. Teachers love the systems and so do the students. Teachers report significant increases in the attentiveness of their students. Research has shown that students in classrooms with amplification systems have demonstrated significant improvements in ready and language test scores at elementary levels. The District is in full support of these systems and amplification systems will be a standard part of the classroom with the bond upgrades. Since North Tahoe is a new school, our school upgrades are further down the road and may not include upgrades to classrooms specifically. We ask that Excellence in Education fund the amplification systems now so our students and teachers can reap the benefit.

Success of Program (20 points)

TESTIMONIAL 1: Laura, A long five years ago, when I was the Glenshire Ex in Ed liaison, we passed the grant to purchase the microphone systems for each classroom. Now, as I student teach in Terrina Woodard's classroom, I (and Terrina) use the microphone everyday. Not only does it put each child in the front row in terms of hearing and participating in instruction, it also serves as a classroom management tool to capture attention, and saves our voices and energy as we instruct all day. Thank you! I don't know how I will ever teach in a classroom without it! I hope all is well with you. I hope to see you soon! Take care, Martha Krieg TESTIMONIAL 2: Also, Denise Caravelli one of our 5th grade teachers had a system at Tahoe Lake, and said if there was one thing she could have brought it would have been her amplification system. Denise said it was an intergral part of her classroom. She said she felt it put every child in the front seat and each child always thought she was speaking to them. Denise also said it worked well with all students, but especially the students who have trouble listening or are easily distracted.

Implementation (20 points)

Equip all fifth-grade teachers at North Tahoe School with a soundfield amplification system in their classrooms, we added another teacher this year, Gina Layh, This system is permanently placed in the room, so she now doesn't have access to it. It is in a 6th grade classroom now.

Sustainability (10 points)
Only if we expand it to other grade levels. Two out of our sixth grade teachers already have an amplification system.
Can you share this grant with your grade level or subject team?

Yes. This is a grade level funding request and other fifth grade teachers will be getting these amplification systems in their classrooms as part of the facility upgrades for Measures U and E. As we transition with the amplification systems in our elementary classrooms this year, our school potentially would expand the amplification system to a few of our middle school grades. We are working out how that could be implemented successfully in the future and if it is realistic. If so, we would appreciate being considered for a future grant to expand.

Budget (10 points)
Taxes
$22.13
Amount Requested
$1431.62
Budget Notes

Taxes $22.13 Amount Requested $1,431.62

Notes

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