Tuesday, July 19, 2016

White Boards for Foreign Language, Algebra and Calculus Classes

Dear PTA,

Thank you so much for the grant to purchase the class set of dry erase boards.  These have been extremely helpful throughout the school year for review and practice as well as games. My students love to play "Win, Lose or Draw", and "Jeopardy" with the boards and I love them because as a teacher they give me immediate feedback on what my students understand well and what they need to practice more.  As we are coming to the end of the school year they are so helpful to have in class as we review for the final exam.  I would not have been able to afford the class set of boards without the PTA grant, and therefore would not have been able to review in such fun and interactive ways.  Thank you for helping make my Spanish 1, 2 and Fluent Speakers 1 classes fun and productive!

Katie Beverage
World Language Teacher


When we first moved into the building.  The white board funded by the PTA has enabled me to have all the walls in my classroom covered in White Boards.  This has allowed me to  get my freshman Algebra 1 students as well as my senior AB Calculus students, up out of their seats and working at the board.  Students were more likely to work in groups and it enabled me to see at a glance what groups needed help and which students were on the right track. 

I have attached a copy of what the new board looks like in my room.  

Again, thank you for your generosity.  I know students will continue to benefit from this grant, and that I can continue to engage them in the discovery of mathematics.

Nancy Mohler

Señor Wooly Videos

Dear PTA:

The grant to use SeñorWooly.com was well used this year!  He provided us with extremely funny videos and ancillary work that related directly to the Spanish II curriculum.  For example, by watching “Es una ganga”, or “Puedo ir al baño” the students heard target words and phrases in a very funny video, and were able to work on material that only paying teachers have access to. We downloaded everything to be able to use it again next year!  Also,  This year, Sr. Wooly started online activities and games that gave the kids the chance to use their computers on interactive activities during the Spanish II class.  This is a quality website, and my three classes (and Ms. Beverage  Spanish II classes) had the chance to use this supplementary program to advance learning while keeping the kids quite amused!

Me and Ms.Beverage thank you kindly for the grant, the PTSA rocks!

¡Muchas gracias!

Rosa Navas and Kathie Beverage

Buzzer System for QuizBowl

Let me start by saying that it has been great to have the buzzer system this year for my House 1 English students.  Working with the students in class we’ve written questions, played QuizBowl – and had some real fun re-enforcing critical skills like technical writing, listening, and reviewing content.  Just last month I lent the buzzers to another teacher for a revival of the infamous Wakefield Brain Brawl where students and teachers battled to reign supreme!  

As you know, it’s a busy time of year for students, but we have a pending assignment (extra credit) where I’ve invited students to pass along their appreciation for the buzzer system.  I hope to have student responses to forward along later this week.

Thank you for all that you do to support our students through supporting our staff!

Nate Batchelder

Nathan S. Batchelder, MEd, NBCT
House 1 English Language Arts

Model U.N. Grant

Dear PTSA,

First of all, we are very fortunate and grateful to have received this generous donation from the school's PTSA. The donation allowed us to raise enough funds to attend the Johns Hopkins University Model United Nations Conference in Baltimore, MD. This year, Wakefield's delegation to the conference included the most amount of students since the inception of the club. Without the PTSA's help, financial burden of attending the 3-day conference would have fallen primarily on individual students. Because of their experiences at the conference, especially for Model UN club's rookies, the attendees had become more confident public speakers and more engaged and informed citizens. Thank you again for your support in this endeavor. 


Mr.Babichenko and Ms.Labella (co-sponsors of Wakefield's Model UN Club) 

Book Club Grant

Dear Wakefield PTA,
Once again we would like to thank you for your generous grant.  With your help, we were able to purchase books to support our book club and our guest author visits.
The money was primarily used to buy 15 copies of Sold by Patricia McCormick, which we used as a Book Club book in collaboration with Girl Up Club.   The power of student recommendation is evident  because as of today, Sold is our number one circulating book this year with 53 check-outs since December.   In addition, Social Studies Teacher Laurel Sheridan has purchased a class set of the book to use for instruction.

In collaboration with Mr. Lutz’s and Ms. Snyder’s co-taught English 11 classes, we used the remaining money to purchase two class sets of books for guest authors April Genevieve Tucholke and Randy Ribay, who were brought to Wakefield via the NOVA Teen Book Festival and One More Page Books. On March 4th, these students came down to the library to listen to these authors talk about their writing process and participate in a Q&A session.   

I have attached pictures of the March 4th event.

Thank you again for your support.


Gina Glassman & Donna Felseneheld,
Wakefield HS Librarians

STEM, United Minority Girls and Tech Expo Grants

From teacher Wendy Maitland, June 6, 2016:

I am including pictures that I hope you will share with the members of the PTSA.  The money received was tremendously helpful for each of the programs that I requested them for.  The STEM Club really took off this year and we were able to purchase supplies for activities for our own club as well as for Claremont's after school STEM club for girls.  In addition, the STEM Club participated in two Robotics competitions this year and there were many parts/tools that we purchased.  If we did not have the grant money for this program, it would be difficult for us to engage in the various activities/outreach that we did.  For Tech Expo, the event was again successful.  We had students from the various middle and high schools in APS participate.  We provided breakfast and lunch for the judges, lunch for the students, prizes for the winners in each category.  Furthermore, each registrant received a Tech Expo t-shirt.  If we did not receive this grant money, it would impact our ability to provide the various things to the participants and judges.  The last program, UMG, money received went toward the purchase of pizza for our Monday meetings as well as food for our end of time celebration in January.  If we did not receive this grant, we would not be able to provide pizza lunches to the members each Monday.  In addition, we would not be able to provide light refreshments and roses during our celebration.

Thank you all for your support!

Science Olympiad Grant

To the PTSA from teacher Mike Megargee, June 2, 2016:

 I am writing to thank you for the PTSA grant that I was awarded for the Science Olympiad program.  Without PTSA funds, all the expenses come right out of my pocket, so your kind support has allowed us to compete this year and plan for continued competition in the future.  I’ll refer to the attached photos to discuss our progress this year.
“Air trajectory plan”.  30 students were involved, meeting Tuesday afternoons in my room.  We emphasized the construction events rather than the test events.  There were some great, innovative designs, and some of them actually worked!  The students learned a great deal about the value of prototyping and testing devices rather than getting lost in ornate designs.  This ball launcher worked well, but was completed so late that there wasn’t enough time to fully calibrate it.

“Air trajectory” There is so much to be learned at the competitions: where to stand, what actions are considered violations, how to interact with the judges, how the events are actually scored.  Just being at the regional competition helped the students identify opportunities for greatly improving their devices’ performance.

“Bridge”. For example, this bridge would have scored much higher if the students had seen how much time it takes to load the bucket in a constrained space.  They ran out of time without their bridge ever failing. Next year’s group will go it with a much stronger understanding of potential pitfalls.

“Electric Vehicle (movie)”  We involved more freshmen this year, and it was a fantastic improvement.  Their energy and curiosity led us in directions that we otherwise might not have gone.  This was the highlight of the regional competition: two freshmen trying to make an electric vehicle go an assigned distance and automatically stop.  Their car was probably the most accurate, stopping right on the target.  These freshmen now have impressive STEM and leadership accomplishments to put on their resumes.

Even with a young, inexperienced group, we finished one place shy of continuing to States.  But we have a solid team of students returning next year with great ideas for improving on the construction events, and coordinators already developing approaches for competing successfully in the test events.

And the grant from the PTSA has made sure that we can compete another year.