Students, teachers, administrators and staff members at Canfield Avenue School are reminded daily to “Work Hard, Have Fun, Be Kind And Make A Difference.” This living motto permeates through our building and is evident in students’ work and behavior, teachers’ interactions and our leaders’ desire to ensure the school is Future Ready. In many ways, Canfield Avenue School has built a strong foundation for Future Readiness. All stakeholders value and see the benefits of infusing the latest technologies in effective and efficient manner. It is this belief that led leaders to allocate funds to provide 1:1 Chromebook implementation in grades 2-6 and purchase other technologies that can be used by the entire learning community, including iPads, camcorders and even two 3D printers.
To begin to paint a picture of Canfield Avenue School’s commitment to future readiness, imagine being able to hear and see the school motto every day during morning announcements which have been live streamed through video (made possible at Canfield Avenue School thanks in part to a robust infrastructure). With the support of the technology teacher, sixth grade students plan and film a morning news segment which is pushed out to all classrooms daily through a YouTube stream. The streams often include content created with the use of a green screen and other audiovisual tools by students across all grade spans during their technology classes.
In order to enhance curriculum, instruction and assessment, Canfield Avenue School members have immersed themselves in Google Apps for Education. Google is used extensively as evidenced by its application across grade levels: Google Drive is used by staff members to create and store important documents, and shared folders allow for extensive teacher and administrator collaboration. Student engagement has been further enhanced through the use of Google Classroom; in various classes, students are provided opportunities to use online activity lists, complete assignments and posts via Google Classroom.
Each classroom at the Canfield Avenue School is equipped with a Smartboard or interactive panel, which through daily use allow students to visualize concepts and make connections with the curriculum. Kindergarten and first grade students experience and use Smart Tables during the school day, which allows for interactive learning in Math and Language Arts through number, phonics, grammar, and other curricular activities. The educational programs and games provided through these interactive tools offer students the opportunity to collaborate and practice skills across the curriculum in a truly fun and highly engaging manner.
Due to Canfield Avenue School’s 1:1 Chromebook implementation in grades 2-6, teachers have the ability to infuse digital student learning tools across the curriculum. Subscriptions to programs such as BrainPOP, IXL, Sumdog, Learning Ally, Kidblog, Renaissance Learning (AR), Lexia, and Everyday Math ConnectED are budgeted into the principal’s account every school year. These paid programs provide teachers the capability to differentiate instruction, support students’ needs, provide for student choice, reach diverse learners, and make instructional decisions based on digital assessments in a wide-range of subjects.
In addition to providing access to paid subscriptions, teachers and administrators at Canfield Avenue School are committed to locating and using free programs and websites that increase student engagement through friendly competitive platforms. Websites such as Kahoot and Prodigy provide personalized, immediate real time feedback and data to both the teacher and the students and they can be used across the curriculum for any content area. Teachers work collaboratively to create games and challenges to use in their classrooms through these free online platforms.
Canfield Avenue School is dedicated to fostering home-school and community-school connections. The school maintains records through OnCourse Systems for Education which includes a Parent Portal where parents and guardians can access important information about their child’s academic programs. In addition to the student records, attendance, grading, and lesson planning features, OnCourse also houses teacher webpages which are used to keep families updated on classroom happenings. Several teachers also use programs such as Class Dojo to enhance the home-school connection. In addition, Canfield Avenue School uses various social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, and Artsonia, to communicate with its stakeholders and highlight the learning accomplishments of students. Finally, in an effort to ensure timely and seamless scheduling of parent-teacher conferences, Canfield Avenue School utilizes PTCfast.com, an online scheduling program that allows parents to choose their own days/times to schedule conferences.
Professional learning practices at Canfield Avenue School are frequently dedicated to Future Ready structures. Workshops have been offered on topics such as BrainPOP, Everyday Math ConnectED and Google Apps for Education programs. Teachers are regularly provided choice over professional development opportunities. In recent years, the school has partnered with the IDE (Innovative Designs for Education) Corporation to provide teachers with training and coaching opportunities to build “Learner-Active, Technology-Infused Classrooms” (LATIC). The LATIC system leads to a classroom environment that actively promotes the enhancement of executive function skills. Students take on more responsibilities as they use technology to solve authentic problems, set goals, and achieve success through varied choices and learning opportunities.
Canfield Avenue School is committed to cultivating Future Ready systems through collaborative leadership practices, ample opportunities for professional learning, the integration of technology across the curriculum, and robust technology support and services. It is our strong belief that using technology systems will enable all school members to make informed instructional decisions and create student-centered environments that benefit all learners. Our successes have been shared at state conferences, featured on NJEA’s Classroom Closeup TV Program, and led to the district becoming one of only seven in the state designated as a Lighthouse District. It is our goal to provide the best 21st-century learning opportunities for all of our students.