United West Elementary School, Monmouth, ILGrades K-5, General Pedagogical Practice2014, Winter$2,000
To increase engagement in the classroom by enabling all students to build models to illustrate their understanding of various curriculum concepts, Ms. DeFord will introduce LEGO Education’s “BuildtoExpress.” Students will learn to actively listen, think creatively, and cooperate to solve problems. The use of LEGOs will ensure that every student is engaged as they build, reflect, and share with one another.
Saranac Lake High School, Saranac Lake, NYGrades 9-12, Science2014, Winter$5,000
Ms. Zullo and her colleagues will allow students to design, market, and construct plans to build an outdoor classroom. Once built, teachers will integrate science topics within the outdoor classroom while guiding students to apply knowledge learned within the traditional classroom. A focus on interdisciplinary connections and growth in process skills and critical thinking will be analyzed utilizing journaling and higher level thinking questions.
Saint Anthony Park Elementary School, Saint Paul, MNGrades K-5, Music2014, Winter$2,000
Mr. Ollmann will spend eleven weeks in central Mexico conducting choirs, studying Spanish, learning Mexican folk dances, and observing elementary music classes. While in Mexico, Mr. Ollmann will work with a music teacher who utilizes popular music to meet state and national music standards. Upon returning, Mr. Ollmann will share his experiences with colleagues through workshop presentations.
Mrs. Smith and Mr. Sherrik will use the ALEKS program to find and address learning gaps in 7th and 8th grade math students. Student strengths and weaknesses will be identified and progress will be monitored bi-quarterly. Educators will compile data and look for a correlation between the number of skills learned and the proficiency level of students. The data will be used to improve instruction and further the development of more advanced problem solving skills.
Crystal Lakes Elementary School, Boynton Beach, FLGrades K-5, Gifted and Talented2014, Winter$5,000
To aid in the implementation of Common Core Standards, Mrs. Rose and Mrs. Stanislawski will create a leveled library of high-interest literature, science, and social studies books. Educators will work with individual and groups of students to provide explicit instruction in the skills of effective reading. The library will be shared across grade levels and will become a permanent collection at the school.
Sheffield Middle School, Sheffield Village, OHGrades 6-8, General Pedagogical Practice2014, Winter$2,000
To improve her knowledge of behavior management, classroom management, bullying, and economic and social issues, Mrs. Pierson will attend the Character Development Seminar. Upon completing the seminar, Mrs. Pierson will share her newfound knowledge with her colleagues and incorporate the “Character Counts!” curriculum into her classroom.
Dahlia Heights Elementary School, Los Angeles, CAGrades K-5, English2014, Winter$5,000
Using a multidisciplinary approach, students will explore the world by reading Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night's Dream.” Common Core standards will be brought to life as the text of the play becomes a gateway into astronomy, botany, social science, history and literature. Students will additionally explore the music of The Beatles and discover the thematic and poetic commonalities that exist between the Elizabethan worldview and modern concerns. The students will use this understanding to integrate music into the play.
Annandale High School, Annandale, VAGrades 9-12, English2014, Winter$2,000
Through “Teaching Vocal Techniques to English Language Learners,” Dr. Chekin and Mr. Liacopoulos will introduce voice instruction to develop students’ acting and public speaking skills. Working with professionals at Synetic Theatre, students will participate in workshops to learn to develop their voices effectively with movements on stage. In addition to teaching management and critical thinking, the project will address student learning needs by allowing them to be creative and develop communication skills in English.
Mercer County Community College, West Windsor, NJHigher Education, General Pedagogical Practice2014, Winter$2,000
To acquire insights into ways to better prepare future educators for rigorous teacher preparation programs, Dr. Capra will attend “Journey into the Future of Community College Education Programs,” a conference sponsored by the National Association of Community College Teacher Education Programs. Dr. Capra will use the information gained at the conference to advise Mercer County Community College’s education majors regarding the transfer process and federal and state regulations affecting teacher preparation.
Takoma Park Elementary School, Takoma Park, MDGrades K-5, Mathematics2014, Winter$5,000
To encourage collaboration and creativity and to improve student learning, Mrs. Jackson will introduce iPads into the classroom, with an emphasis on the evaluation of mathematics. Educators will use feedback, work samples, application data, and anecdotal notes to assess student mastery of skills and instructional practices. Students will use applications for team work, group discussion, project creation, and reinforcement of classroom and real world skills.
Ithaca High School, Ithaca, NYGrades 9-12, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)2014, Winter$5,000
Ms. Kolhatkar and Mrs. Perl will introduce LEGO Education sets and software in the Academic Intervention Services math lab at Ithaca High School. Students will work in groups of three and spend the spring building a robot. Students will be encouraged to actively gain a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of science, technology, engineering, and math. The project will ultimately allow students to learn the real world skills of problem solving, communication, and teamwork.
Kelly Middle School, Eugene, ORGrades 6-8, General Pedagogical Practice2014, Winter$5,000
To help foster leadership skills, Mr. Miller and Mrs. Cohen will train 8th grade students to act as mentors and role models for incoming 6th grade students. The program will allow educators at various levels to boost academic performance, social awareness, and positive behavioral expectations. Mr. Miller and Mrs. Cohen will each participate in “Where Everyone Belongs” trainings and share the skills learned with colleagues and students.
J. A. DePaolo Middle School, Southington, CTGrades 6-8, Special Education2014, Winter$5,000
To enhance student understanding of argument and persuasive essays, Mrs. Grant and Ms. Laudati will introduce “Book Trailers.” After learning about advertising and persuasive writing, students will create a video trailer for their favorite book and attempt to convince viewers to read the book. The project will allow students to manipulate their knowledge in creative, hands-on ways.
James Campbell High School, Ewa Beach, HIGrades 9-12, Social Studies2014, Winter$2,000
To strengthen Campbell High School’s global literacy program, Ms. Chun will take part in a service learning project in Viet Nam. While there, Ms. Chun will interview government and non-government groups, visit historic monuments, and converse with citizens of Viet Nam’s urban areas and countryside. Upon returning, Ms. Chun will use her newly gained knowledge to enhance global literacy curriculum.
To assist students struggling with reading fluency, decoding, and comprehension, Ms. Oltman and Ms. Andries will introduce Fountas and Pinnell’s Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) systems. Reading interventionists will work with struggling students and look to make improvements in standardized test scores. Ultimately, students will strengthen their skills, strategies, and reading achievement by using the gold LLI system.
Prince George's County Public Schools, Adelphi, MDGrades K-5, English2014, Winter$5,000
Mrs. Jurca will implement “Our Lives, Our Words,” a project that will assist in improving the writing scores of elementary English language learners throughout the district. The project will provide coaching, support, materials, and guidance to ESOL teachers and allow them to make use of digital cameras in the classroom to bolster students' writing ability. Students will use the digital cameras to take pictures of their experiences and then use the photographs to guide their writing.
Through “Reading to Write to Publish,” Ms. Martin and Ms. Williams will increase student interest and enthusiasm for reading and writing by creating a library publishing center. Authors, editors, and librarians will teach lessons on interviewing, the writing process, and publishing. Students will prepare their written work for publication by researching topics, interviewing experts, and familiarizing themselves with various publication outlets.
Oceanside High School, Rockland, MEGrades 9-12, English2014, Winter$2,000
Through “March Community Read,” a common book title will be read by all students and staff at Oceanside High School. Students will enhance their communication skills by working in small groups to create student run blogs and participate in weekly group discussions. The project will place an emphasis on community outreach, as students will encourage members of the community to read and discuss the book throughout the course of the project.
Montgomery County Educational Service Center, Dayton, OHGrades 9-12, Special Education2014, Winter$5,000
To address the unique learning needs of students with emotional and learning disabilities, Ms. Creech and Mr. Johnson will introduce tablet technology to their students. Educators will provide students applications that have been demonstrably successful in assisting students with dyslexia and autism. The technology will support students by enhancing their learning environment and providing vital hands-on tools.
George Middle School, Portland, ORGrades 6-8, Service Learning2014, Winter$2,000
In beautifying the George Middle School courtyard, students will be provided an opportunity to work with professional artists, promote the visibility of student art, and develop a sense of community pride and purpose. Pupils will create panels of fused glass and learn about the history, properties, and safe handling of the material. Additionally, students will assist a topiary designer in the installation of a contemporary sculpture.
To engage students in writing, each teacher in the Kansas School District will attend a professional development seminar presented by the Institute for Excellence in Writing. Teachers will spend time in group settings and work hands-on with guided instruction. On the final day of the seminar, educators will demonstrate their knowledge in classroom settings and entertain feedback and consultation.
Junction City High School, Junction City, ORGrades 9-12, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)2014, Winter$5,000
Through the “Robotics Challenge,” Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Buenau will increase student achievement in math and science through the use of robotics. Students will design, build, and test a fully functioning robot with the goal of successfully completing a series of challenges. Students will work in diverse groups and will collaborate with math and science teachers, local business owners, and professional engineers.
Through “One Way Ticket to Mars,” Mrs. Brownschidle and Mrs. Fox’s students will design and build modules to be used in the first Mars colony. Student will interview experts in the fields of space exploration, space technology, and energy production in order to solve the challenges of colonizing Mars. Ultimately, students will display their modules and create digital presentations to share with the community.
To increase student participation in multiple subject areas, Mr. Edwards will train students with emotional and behavioral disabilities in puppetry and performing arts techniques. Students will collaborate with teachers in writing, rehearsing, and performing an anti-bullying and social skills puppet show. The show will be performed for audiences in several schools and will be shared on the classroom website.
Through “Parkview Elementary and Stepping Stone Theatre Create a Play,” students will engage in a two month performing arts program. Students will use theater arts to develop cultural competence and a deeper understanding of both community and fictional story structure. Concurrently, staff members will examine student data and discuss ways in which culture impacts both teaching and learning.
Frank Elementary School, Kenosha, WIGrades K-5, Mathematics2014, Winter
Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Neumaier will lead a collegial study that will transform math instruction at Frank Elementary School from a whole group focus to a workshop approach. The new approach will encourage whole group instruction, guided and independent practice opportunities, and differentiated small group instruction. Participants will collaborate in grade level teams to work with the Common Core Math Standards and district math curriculum to develop goals, objectives, and lessons that will be presented in the workshop model.
Mira Loma High School, Sacramento, CAGrades 9-12, Arts2014, Winter$5,000
To teach students to be curious, informed, and empowered, Ms. Grueneberger and Mr. Cox will introduce new architecture lessons in their classrooms. Students will correspond with architect mentors from across the nation to redesign an area of Mira Loma High School. By learning to look at their school’s built environment, students will gain a sense of ownership and appreciation for it while learning to be accountable for their surroundings.
Through the “Living Wax Museum” project, students at Catoctin Elementary School will learn about prominent figures in Virginia’s history. Each student will be tasked with researching a different historical Virginian and then representing that person through costume and speech. The project will culminate with students sharing interactive presentations with their peers, parents, and the community.
School District of Laona, Laona, WIGrades 9-12, Computers / Technology2014, Winter$2,000
To improve student achievement and enhance teacher effectiveness, Mrs. Kruger and her colleagues will implement the use of a Student Response System in middle and high school science classes. The system will provide educators immediate feedback and show which students are struggling. In addressing struggling students, educators will assess lessons, make adjustments, evaluate the success of those adjustments, and increase student learning.
Through “Discovering Disciplines of Tropical Marine Science,” Mrs. Abraham and Mr. Link’s students will learn that the planet’s oceans support a variety of ecosystems, organisms, shapes, and landforms. Students will collect sea waters and analyze its salinity, oxygen, turbidity, and acidity. The project will culminate with an expedition to Moku o Lo’e in Kaneohe Bay, where students will take part in a marine biology field camp.
Martin Sortun Elementary, Kent, WAGrades K-5, Science2014, Winter$5,000
To increase faculty knowledge of the Next Generation Science Standards, Mr. Ferguson and Mrs. Rudolph will lead a book study of Betsy Fulwiler’s “Writing in Science” and Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey’s “Common Core ELA.” The project will utilize the Common Core English Language Arts standards to find new ways to begin developing engaging science curriculum. The group will share their work with colleagues within the region via digital communication, workshops, and teacher trainings.
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PAHigher Education, Special Education2014, Winter$5,000
The Indiana Area School District and Indiana University of Pennsylvania will collaborate to design a partnership to improve early elementary learning and teaching and simultaneously improve the Early Childhood with Special Education program. A study group will be formed to investigate a Professional Development School partnership where the Three-Student Project will be implemented to provide successful interventions for all learners, including those who struggle and those who are gifted. Ultimately, the collaborative work will produce highly qualified teachers who are comfortable working with all types of students in a variety of settings.
Chadron State College, Chadron, NEHigher Education, General Pedagogical Practice2014, Winter$5,000
To assist classroom teachers in rural schools, Dr. Roweton and Dr. Brown will produce six self-paced instructional modules that will examine fundamental program assessment concepts. The web-based modules will reinforce psychometric knowledge and skills and emphasize regional availability and relevance. The finished modules will be hosted on the servers of the local Educational Service Unit.
Stuart R. Paddock School, Palatine, ILGrades K-5, Physical Education / Health2014, Winter$5,000
To improve his ability to create, implement, and evaluate programs that promote lifelong wellness, Mr. Simonian will attend the Spark P.E. Summer Institute. Upon returning to the classroom, Mr. Simonian and his colleagues will incorporate information and insight gathered from the institute to develop an aligned curriculum. New Common Core lessons will allow each student the opportunity to make progress on state standardized tests.
John F. Kennedy School, Holbrook, MAGrades K-5, Nurse2014, Winter$2,000
To improve student health and wellness, Mrs. Walker will attend a professional yoga training program. Upon returning, she will implement relaxation and behavioral control practices with students that will assist them in meeting their education goals. The practice of yoga will allow students to lower their stress and anxiety levels through enhanced concentration and relaxation techniques.
Alder Creek Middle School, Milwaukie, ORGrades 6-8, General Pedagogical Practice2014, Winter$2,000
Ms. Fontana will attend the "Tribes Training for District Trainers," which will enable her to train and support teachers to use the Tribes process to examine adolescent development and implement research-based teaching practices that create a caring and inclusive environment for middle school students. Upon completion of the training, Ms. Fontana will share the process with colleagues and assist them in creating caring and inclusive environments in which students are highly motivated and engaged. Students will learn essential skills related to adolescent development, problem-solving, and the importance of democratic leadership.
To increase individualized interventions and enrichment, Ms. Gwin and Mr. Kemmenoe will incorporate a set of iPads into their classrooms. Multiple applications will be used to help meet the widely varied instructional needs of individuals and small groups. Ultimately, students will be provided creative and motivational publishing options as they develop short films using iMovie software.
Ms. Zinkham and Ms. Urban will introduce “Kids Integrating Technology Everyday (K.I.T.E.)”, a program that will utilize tablets to enhance learning opportunities by integrating technology into the curriculum. Any array of leveled texts will allow educators to differentiate instruction based on individual student needs, and applications for words, phonics, and comprehension will be used to support learning. Students will use the tablets in conjunction with collaborative interdisciplinary work on classroom whiteboards.
La Tercera Elementary School, Petaluma, CAGrades K-5, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM)2014, Winter$2,000
To assist faculty and staff with La Tercera Elementary School’s transition to a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Magnet School, Mrs. Corbett will attend the U.S. News STEM Solutions Conference in Washington, DC. While at the conference, Mrs. Corbett will learn current and meaningful ways to implement technology into new STEM curriculum. Upon returning, Mrs. Corbett will share her knowledge with colleagues during the school’s professional development sessions.
Through training and curriculum provided by the Leader in Me Foundation, Pioneer Elementary teachers and staff will develop a culture at the school in which children learn leadership habits and discover within themselves personal strengths that will be used to demonstrate leadership at school, at home, and in the community. Mrs. Dupree and her colleagues will encourage children to use the habits of highly effective people to reach their full potential and impact the world around them.
Cape Elizabeth High School, Cape Elizabeth, MEGrades 9-12, Social Studies2014, Winter$5,000
Mr. Ashe will lead a team of educators in the design of a teacher evaluation system that will incorporate student growth measures, teaching standards, and peer review. The group will research evaluation models, assess the school’s current evaluation system, and design a new system. Mr. Ashe and his colleagues will learn about current best practices, discuss student learning, and share findings with one another.
Woodrow Wilson Middle School, Terre Haute, INGrades 6-8, Science2014, Winter$2,000
Mrs. Jordan will attend the 2014 Educator Academy in Iquitos, Peru. While there, she will work with scientists, researchers, and fellow educators on citizen science projects and field work. Mrs. Jordan will use the strategies, ideas, and understandings gained at the academy to strengthen her skills as an educator and leader and to lead science educator professional development in Vigo County School Corporation.
Mrs. MacDonald and Ms. Garison-Gabbard will lead a professional learning community that will engage in lesson study to examine elements specific to teaching biology and English language arts as a cross-curricular experience. Educators will engage students in a unit that will provide opportunities to discuss themes of race and identity as sociocultural constructs and explore scientific evidence that refutes race as a genetic construct. The lesson study will allow a close examination of teacher practice connected to student outcomes.
Mount Rainier High School, Des Moines, WAGrades 9-12, Physical Education / Health2014, Winter$5,000
Mrs. Calkins and Mr. Sundblad will lead a team of elementary, middle, and high school teachers in designing a K-12 Physical Education curriculum map and professional development plans for a newly adopted PE curriculum and software system. The curriculum map will allow educators to align instruction and have common fitness assessments that will allow students to track their health and fitness progress longitudinally. The system will help students understand how to monitor their health and fitness and how to design plans to improve or maintain current fitness levels.
Fresno County Office of Education, Fresno, CAGrades 9-12, Special Education2014, Winter$2,000
Mrs. Johnson and Mr. Wilkerson will introduce iPads to increase student participation, improve collaboration among educators, and enhance student learning. Educators will use the technology to introduce lessons focusing on community safety, vocational training, independent living skills, and social skills. Student learning will be measured through task analysis that will reflect baseline and ongoing assessment information and track student progress.
Billings Public Schools, Billings, MTGrades 9-12, Reading, Spelling, Writing2014, Winter$5,000
Mrs. Irion and Ms. Martin will extend professional development opportunities within Billings Public Schools by incorporating effective tools for reflecting on instructional practices and student engagement and learning. Participants will film themselves teaching lessons and spend time reflecting both by themselves and with coaches. The strategies learned will be shared in group settings throughout the year.
Vineland Elementary School, Baldwin Park, CAGrades 6-8, Science2014, Winter$2,000
Ms. de Fuente and Ms. Lazaro’s students will learn about the Earth’s resources through gardening, cultivating, and understanding scientific concepts. Students will be provided with hands-on opportunities to examine soil, its elements, and observational skills. Students will not only grow a sustainable garden, but will take these tools to further and share their educational and experiential development.