This grant is being written for all students grades K-5 at Donner Trail Elementary School.The Qball is a soft and throwable microphone designed to be used in a classroom setting. It is shaped like a ball and is made of soft, light, and durable foam so that it can be throw from student to student. The Qball is intended to be used by students while they are sharing answers or ideas with the class. It will plug into our existing sound amplification system (District Adopted Redcats and Topcats)or it can plug right into any set of speakers. When using the Qball students are able to have their voice heard clearly and equally by everyone in the classroom. The Qball also has smart features such as muting when it is is motion and automatic standby and shut off times if it is not in use.
There are many benefits of using the Qball in the classroom. The Qball helps to manage classroom discussions because when someone has the Qball, it is their turn to speak. It also helps to increase student engagement by making participating in discussions and sharing ideas more fun. Everyone wants the chance to catch and throw the Qball, but in order to do so they are going to have to engage and participate. The Qball makes participating more of a game, and all kids love playing games in the classroom. The Qball would help with our speaking and listening standards by making students want to speak more and express their thoughts as well as making it easier for students to listen. Additionally, QBall will aid students clearly hearing and modeling fluent reading strategies.
Many students have soft or quiet voices and it is hard for them to be heard by other students. This is a daily problem in my classroom. I can pass them the teacher microphone, but it wastes precious learning time walking around to each student to hold the teacher microphone. That microphone also can not be thrown; it is fragile and hard, so it would be hard to catch and would easily break. Because of this many students are not heard by the entire classroom when they are speaking or sharing. According to the Qball website “Studies have shown that a child's cognitive auditory processing is not fully developed until age 15. In order to comprehend speech clearly, they need to hear at more than 2X the level of your average adult! The Qball helps ensure that everyone can be heard clearly, especially students who tend to be shy or soft spoken.” Even things like ambient noise from recess going on outside to the heater make hearing quieter students very difficult. The Qball is quick and easy to use, so it would easily be able to eliminate these challenges making sharing and listening accessible to all students.
Success of this program would be shown through higher levels of student engagement. Through observation, I would be able to assess the increased engagement of my students. Success would also be measured by increasing the number of students that are meeting or exceeding the speaking and listening standards. With increased engagement and success with the speaking and listening standards, students would also be able to improve their skills in all other areas of the curriculum. When students are engaged it helps increase their knowledge and understanding in all subject areas.
I am writing this grant to get one QBall for each of the three classrooms at Donner Trail Elementary School.
In my own classroom the Qball will be discussed with the students and will be shared as a tool and not a toy. We will practice with it during a few discussions at first, and then start to use it as much as possible throughout the day. The Qball will be very easy to set up and introduce to the students, so I will be able to start using it right away by pairing it with either portable speakers, Topcat, or Redcat district audio equipment.
This grant is written for all three classrooms at Donner Trail Elementary. It will support learning for all students in grades K-5.