More than a dozen teachers and students illustrated how FEF grants enhanced their classroom experiences during the first “Falmouth Education Foundation in Action.” For example, Joanne Holcomb, former English Department head for grades 7 to 12, discussed how a grant for staff development in Lawrence and Falmouth High School improved performance for teachers and students in English Language Arts.
“We have been so fortunate to receive support in staff development in differentiated instruction,” Holcomb said. “We worked to build our skills in teaching multiple skill levels in a single English class. This raised the rigor and expectation for all students and taught us strategies and assessments that support differentiation for all learners.” FHS English teacher Thomas McManamon joined Holcomb to offer the teacher’s perspective of how differentiated learning is achieved in the classroom.
Other presenters at the event will included: Jane Baker on “This Land is Your Land,” an interdisciplinary project among Falmouth High School, The 300 Committee and Teaticket Elementary School; Bob Porto on Lawrence STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) classes; Carol DiFalco, Lauren Leveque and Josh Leveque on the award-winning Mullen-Hall Garden; and Kathy Rodriguez on Kindle e-books for students participating in Battle of the Books.
In addition, several teachers and students showed exhibits and discussed their projects informally. They included: Tricia Bourgeault on STEMinar classroom and cutting edge instructional strategy; John Holladay on large-scale graphic arts projects; Karyn Phares on incorporating art into STEM learning with ceramics; Chris Brothers on building literacy in the Biology classroom; Justine Dale on the expansion of the sensory playground at East Falmouth Elementary; and Jim McGuiness on a collaboration between East Falmouth Elementary, the Falmouth Historical Society and the Wampanoag Tribal Council.
“This was a first-ever event for us, a way to share with the public some of the wonderful projects FEF has funded over the years,” said Ellen Barol, FEF president. “It was really a celebration of the work of the foundation and the dedicated teachers in the Falmouth Public Schools who have created these innovative learning experiences for their students. We're hoping parents, community members, and educators saw why we're so proud of these projects.”