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William Diamond Middle School
99 Hancock Street, Lexington, MA 02420

LEF Grants Awarded in 2017
Fellowships

  • Kate Bromley, Diamond Middle School Drama Teacher, will attend the Royal Shakespeare Company Summer School in Stratford-upon-Avon. She will study and observe stage performances of Shakespeare’s plays and learn directly from actors and directors about the creative theatre-making process, in order to strengthen both her classroom work with students and the after-school rehearsal and production process. 

  • Cecelia Vosland, Diamond Middle School Guided Learning Specialist in Literacy and Executive Function, will attend the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention and post-convention Assembly on Literature for Adolescents. She will learn about current research and best practices in curriculum, skill strategies, national literacy trends, and instructional materials to help students experiencing difficulties with literacy.

LEF 2016–2017 Grants

Fellowships

  • Kevin Buckley, a Diamond 8th grade science teacher, Jamie Welsh, a Clarke 7th grade science teacher, and James Werner, a Clarke 6th grade science teacher (along with Diamond’s Science Department head Valerie Franks, whose participation is funded by LPS), will attend the National Science Teacher Association’s annual conference in Nashville, TN, where they will learn how to use the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to build students’ scientific literacy. The team will be responsible for determining the scope and sequence of the new middle school science curriculum based on NGSS and MA standards.
  • Cecilia Vosland, a reading intervention specialist, will attend the National Council of Teachers of English Convention in Minneapolis. What she learns there about the latest approaches to English/Language Arts curricula, skill-development strategies, national literacy trends, and instructional materials will inform her work with struggling readers and her collaboration with classroom teachers to strengthen students’ reading comprehension and critical thinking skills.

School Community Grant

  • 6th Grade Community Building and TIE/ICE Block Online Scheduling. Diamond will bring ImprovBoston to campus to engage the entire 6th grade class in building community and exploring the school’s values, and will implement an online program to schedule students into ICE/TIE block assignments in the school’s pilot intervention/enrichment program.

LEF 2015–2016 Grants

Fellowships

  • Kate Bromley, a drama teacher, will attend a Broadway Teachers Workshop in New York City. The workshop will offer master classes with performers, creative teams, and production staff to share new teaching methods, enhance production skills, and provide for the exchange of ideas with peers and professional artists.

Program Grants

  • Creating a Mobile MakerSpace to Teach Robotics in Middle School: Diamond’s science teachers and technology specialist will launch a pilot robotics course, creating a mobile space with the necessary tools for students to explore science, technology, engineering, and math topics through the creative design and manufacturing of robotic parts. The project immerses students in project-based learning in which they propose questions to be solved and conduct their own learning through self-designed experimentation.
  • Expanding Curriculum and Cultural Proficiency about Greater China: A collaboration among the Visual Arts, Social Studies, and World Language Departments responds to LPS’ growing Asian population and to the expanding importance of Asia in the global society and economy. Teachers will take an educational tour of Taiwan and Hong Kong that enables them to develop curriculum units that incorporate an interdisciplinary perspective of greater China; to add resources from Taiwan and Hong Kong to the LPS schools’ shared library of Chinese artifacts, books, and videos; and to explore additional locations for the Mandarin program’s foreign exchange trips.
  • Aligning Grammar and Writing Instruction at the Middle School: Sixth grade English teachers from Diamond and Clarke will attend a summer institute on incorporating the teaching of grammar into the Writing Workshop model. They will redesign the writing curriculum to align instruction in parts of speech with writing units in narrative, poetry, response to literature, and argumentative writing.
  • Enriching French and Music Programs with Artist-in-Residence Brice Kapel: French and choral teachers and students will collaborate long-distance throughout the school year with Brice Kapel, a Franco-Tongolese singer/ songwriter/ performer, in composing songs for an original production to be performed in the spring of 2016 by French students and the D-Minors choir. Next spring, M. Kapel will travel from Paris to Lexington to serve as artist-in-residence for three weeks, during which time he will perform and work with a broad range of students in the areas of French oral expression, cultural understanding, the performing arts, movement, sound and rhythm.

School Community Grant

  • Diamond Middle School used its 2014–2015 School Community Grant to bring a team from Project Adventure to the Diamond campus to run a day of community building activities for all sixth grade students and their teachers, with the goal of easing the transition from elementary to middle school.

LEF 2014–2015 Grants

Fellowships

  • Chinese Language Teachers Institute in Beijing for Nonnative Speakers of Chinese: Diamond’s Mandarin language teacher attended an intensive 6-week institute for Chinese language teachers whose first language is not Chinese. The institute focuses on expanding language skills, Chinese language instructional skills, and knowledge of Chinese culture.
  • Summer Institute on Incorporating the Reader's Workshop Model into 6th, 7th, and 8th grade English/Language Arts Classes: Building on the Writer’s Workshop Model that has been successfully introduced into the 6th grade classes, three teachers attended a summer institute at Columbia Teachers College on the companion Reader’s Workshop Model. This approach focuses on enabling students of diverse reading abilities to become communities of readers who share ideas and develop a love of literature with the teacher acting as a coach.

Program Grants

  • Teaching All Kinds of Minds: Teachers received professional development that applies current understandings from brain research to educational practice. “Teaching All Kinds of Minds” gives teachers a more nuanced understanding of how learning happens, and of how to make learning tasks accessible to every student by addressing the uniqueness of each student’s profile of learning strengths, weaknesses, and affinities.
  • Expanding Reading Options and Interest in Struggling and Nonstruggling Readers and Independent Reading in the 7th Grade Classroom: Two grants – one to a reading teacher and one to the 7th grade English team – built classroom libraries with high-interest fiction and nonfiction books that offer a variety of genres, text complexities, subject matter, and formats. The goals were to encourage students’ reading for pleasure and to increase their cognitive abilities in reading and other subjects.
  • Harnessing Student Inquiry in the Social Studies Classroom: Social studies teachers from all three grades at both Clarke and Diamond attended a summer seminar on teaching students to “ask the right questions” using the Question Formulation Technique. The teachers created lesson plans in Ancient Civilization, World Geography, and United States History that use this technique to foster an inquiry-based approach to study and higher-order thinking skills.
  • iPads in the Middle School Art Curriculum: Art teachers at Clarke and Diamond acquired a cart of iPads and developed instructional units that engage every middle school student in creating art on these versatile devices.

School Community Grant