What is Project SPARK?
Project SPARK is a research initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and housed at the University of Connecticut. A major part of Project SPARK is a summer enrichment program for SPARK students who have completed grades K, 1, and 2. Students enter the SPARK program based on teacher observation and referral, with guidance from the UConn SPARK team.
Tell me more about Project SPARK Summer Programming...
SPARK summer programming is offered to those students who are in treatment schools, and have just completed grades K, 1 and 2.
In Summer 2017, the SPARK summer program is focusing on Geometry! We are using units from Project M2, Mentoring Young Mathematicians (click the link for more info). Some students (all K and some grade 1) are working with a unit called Exploring Shape Games: Geometry with Imi and Zani. Other students (some grade 1 and all grade 2) are working with a unit called Designing a Shape Gallery: Geometry with the Meerkats. The units include strong focus on using mathematical vocabulary, understanding math concepts, and discussing problems and ideas.
All program teachers are MPS classroom teachers who participated in professional development workshops in preparation for teaching the units. Each day, students participate in various activities related to the mathematical ideas of each unit. The activities include games, discussions, and writing. The units each include 3 major segments or chapters, so students will work on about one chapter per week. The teachers also provide break time with books, games, and time to play outside.
Parents can check in at the SPARK summer website at http://spark.uconn.edu/mps17/ for daily updates on each class. We will also send home a weekly newsletter with updates and some links for math games and puzzles. Parents are invited to attend an open house on Thursday, July 27, to visit classrooms and experience what the children have learned!
What does the research tell us this far?
We just finished year 3 of 5 of the project. Click here to see the District Report as of July 2017.
What can I expect for my child for the next school year?
All students are tested twice a year, using NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association). This assessment helps to determine growth in both math and language arts.
The Project SPARK team will also be in classrooms in the treatement schools, giving Response Lessons a few times during the school year.
At the beginning of Grade 3, you can opt to have your child continue as a part of Project SPARK by signing a consent form. This will allow testing to continue until they are out of elementary school. If you decide to take your child out of SPARK, then there is no action necessary.
Who can I contact with any questions regarding the program?
If you have specific questions regarding Project SPARK, you can contact the SPARK team at (860)486-4498 or firstname.lastname@example.org.