Calle Mayor Middle School, Torrance, CAStudent Achievement GrantGrades 6-8, Special Education2016, Winter$2,000
Mrs. Sargent and Mr. Cunningham will implement the Unique Learning System, a research-based online curriculum developed for students with moderate to severe disabilities. The curriculum will use age-appropriate books to focus on students with cognitive abilities several years below their ages. Mrs. Sargent and Mr. Cunningham will use online data tracking for monthly tests and benchmark assessments to assess progress on individual performance goals.
Miller Elementary School, San Diego, CALearning & Leadership GrantGrades K-5, Mathematics2016, Winter$5,000
Ms. Brothers and Ms. Kincaid will lead a team of educators in a collaborative study of mathematical “Big Ideas” to promote conceptual understanding of mathematics as a coherent, connected system for problem solving. The cohort will create a visual representation of the “Big Ideas,” connect it with associated Common Core Standards, and display it in Miller Elementary School classrooms. The visual will assist students in understanding and connecting math across all disciplines.
Ross High School, Hamilton, OHLearning & Leadership GrantGrades 9-12, Science2016, Winter$2,000
To promote the use of inquiry and research-based science education, Ms. Mitchell will attend an Earth Expedition field study hosted by Miami University and the Dragonfly Project. Through traveling to one of the global study sites and working side by side with research scientists, fellow educators, and community leaders, Ms. Mitchell will develop skills that promote greater student achievement, advanced critical thinking, and genuine engagement. The experience will also create opportunities for curriculum development through collegian collaboration within the science disciplines, across curriculum, and within the community.
To improve problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills, kindergarten and fourth grade students will work together to complete a rigorous wind turbine project. Students will research turbine designs, record data, and create a movie to document their learning journey. As collaborative teams design turbines, they will meet with community engineers and Skype with students globally to share ideas and discuss turbine models. The project will culminate with students using 3-D printed parts, recycled items, and other materials to construct a turbine.
Mrs. Staugler and Ms. Furbush will establish a professional learning community to chart a developmentally appropriate trajectory of academic language, spanning the domains of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The group will examine the intersection of three specific academic language functions (sequencing and ordering with transitions, summarizing and informing, and opinion and persuasion) with Common Core Standards across content areas. The cohort will also outline teaching points for grade level clusters and create classroom supports for both teachers and students.
Mr. Carroll will apply research-based literacy strategies with a randomly assigned sample of band students to investigate whether explicit literacy instruction can improve music reading, and whether music reading can help improve text reading. Mr. Carroll will observe the similarities in reading and music performance as they pertain to fluency, comprehension, and phonemic and phonological skills. Mr. Carroll hopes to show that the elimination of music curriculum could eliminate opportunities for students to apply the aforementioned concepts in a new context, thus stunting their potential.
Charlotte Choice Charter School, Charlotte, NCStudent Achievement GrantGrades K-12, Literacy2016, Winter$5,000
Ms. Atkinson and colleagues will introduce the Barton Reading and Spelling Program in their classrooms. Through the program, low performing students will be exposed to curriculum that will assist them in improving performance in reading, spelling, and writing. Student performance will be analyzed, shared, and used to identify the growth and development of best practice strategies within Charlotte Choice Charter School.
Through “Mobymax for Emotionally Impaired Students,” Mrs. McWilliams will introduce software that will meet students’ academic, emotional, and social needs. The software will help Mrs. McWilliams mainline emotionally impaired students and support them in regulating their emotions. The Mobymax software will chart students’ mastery of new concepts in math and reading and reward them as they progress. Use of the software will ease the acute social anxiety of struggling students and help them self-identify as independent learners.
Dr. Whitney will engage with colleagues in a hybrid model of action research through the use of social media, live interactive blogging, conference participation, and collaborative professional development. Live blogging will be used to engage colleagues remotely and allow Dr. Whitney to share his learning during the 2016 STEMCon. Upon returning from the conference, Dr. Whitney will facilitate a professional learning community within the district and model and disseminate strategies and research-based best practices in STEM education.
Main Street Middle School, Montpelier, VTStudent Achievement GrantGrades 6-8, Science2016, Winter$5,000
Mr. Rosenberg and Ms. Chabot will introduce Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling (ARIS), a user-friendly platform for imaging, creating, and playing interactive stories and place-based games on mobile devices. Students will integrate their study of local natural communities with ARIS to make games that combine the physical landscape of Montpelier with a hybrid world of virtual interactive characters, items, and media. Using GPS and QR Codes, students will invite the community to use their mobile devices to see, explore, and enjoy Montpelier’s natural landscape through new eyes.
Fargo Public Schools, Fargo, NDLearning & Leadership GrantGrades 9-12, Social Studies2016, Winter$5,000
Through “Transforming Social Studies Classrooms,” Mr. Gigstad and colleagues will attempt to radically alter student learning through strategic changes in the instructional practices of social studies educators. Teachers will be challenged and guided to alter their focus from declarative knowledge and memorization to skills-based learning. Course study groups will align curriculum, incorporate Common Core Literacy Standards, embed 21st Century Skills, create common assessments, and determine best instructional practices that maximize student learning.
Sycamore Elementary School, Simi Valley, CALearning & Leadership GrantGrades K-5, Literacy2016, Winter$2,000
Using the third grade Units of Study for Reading, Ms. Payne will transform her classroom into a richly literate reading workshop where all students will experience success. By attending the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project Summer Institute at Columbia University, Ms. Payne will work with like-minded educators to study and further enhance methods of holding students accountable for doing their best work. Upon completing the institute, Ms. Payne will develop classroom structures that support inquiry and share her knowledge with grade level teams in staff development meetings and workshops.
Templeton High School, Templeton, CAStudent Achievement GrantGrades 9-12, Science2016, Winter$2,000
To further their understanding of robotics, neuroscience, and programming, Templeton High School students will build robots controlled by neuro-cognitive commands. Students will gain hands-on knowledge of robot building and will gain insight into the fields of neuroscience and brain-computer interfaces. The project will culminate at the school’s annual Makers Fair, where students will share their work with both the community and the student body.
PS 314X, The Fairmont Neighborhood School, Bronx, NYStudent Achievement GrantGrades K-5, Education Support Professional2016, Winter$5,000
To improve students’ financial literacy skills, Ms. Cruz and Ms. Bellamy will introduce a stock market game and the “Earn Your Future” curriculum to third and fourth grade students. The programs will help students improve academic performance through the use of real world skills in math, language arts, economics, social studies, and technology.
Rich East High School, Park Forest, ILStudent Achievement GrantGrades 9-12, Science2016, Winter$5,000
To increase student interest in science, Mr. Barnes will transform his traditional classroom into an inquiry-driven learning environment. Inquiry-based activities, labs, and assessments aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards will allow students to analyze and reflect on data and assess their growth in various physics units. Students will investigate velocity, acceleration, energy conversions, clean energy, and renewable energy sources. Upon completing the project, Mr. Barnes will share student results with his colleagues.
Adrian Public Schools, Adrian, MIStudent Achievement GrantGrades 6-8, Special Education2016, Winter$5,000
To encourage visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning, Ms. Parker and Ms. McCarbery will introduce tablets in their special education classrooms. Students will work with a number of apps that will provide alternative forms of mathematics and literacy instruction. While using the apps, students will have additional opportunities to show growth in various concepts through multiple styles of learning.
West Brookfield Elementary School, West Brookfield, MALearning & Leadership GrantGrades K-5, Special Education2016, Winter$5,000
Ms. Melissa Fijal, West Brookfield
4th to 6th Grade Special Education Teacher, West Brookfield Elementary School
Partner: Ms. Nicole Guimond
Grant Amount: $5,000
Ms. Fijal and a group of colleagues will facilitate a study group focusing on co-teaching in the classroom. The learning will focus on creating a co-teaching model to address student achievement gaps between special education students and their peers. The cohort will examine inclusive classroom and self-regulation strategies and create lesson plans and units for inclusive classrooms using a variety of instructional strategies to differentiate content, product, and process.
Huntingdon Area Middle School, Huntingdon, PAStudent Achievement GrantGrades 6-8, Library Media Specialist2016, Winter$5,000
To create student innovators and leaders, Mrs. Steward and Ms. DeMatteo will implement Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curriculum through the “STEM Connecting School to Life” program. The team will create classrooms that excite students and stimulate their desire to create, explore, and learn. Mrs. Steward and Ms. DeMatteo will use K’Nex sets to allow students to design, program, and build machines to solve real world scenarios. Students will speak with local engineers as they work on their projects, and will present their final products at a school science fair.
Sabin Schellenberg Professional Technical Center, Milwaukie, ORLearning & Leadership GrantGrades 9-12, General Pedagogical Practice2016, Winter$2,000
Mrs. Saad will attend a “Making Parenting a Pleasure” training, the Oregon Parenting Educators Conference, and the Zero to Three Conference, which will allow her to train and support teachers in PACE, a program for pregnant and parenting teens. Upon completing the training, Mrs. Saad will bring her findings to her classroom, and create model documents that outline knowledge gained through the experiences. Mrs. Saad will share the scope and sequences, lesson plans, and resource lists with her colleagues.
To understand how to implement a framework of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in a middle school better, and how PBIS supports students with disabilities and mental health needs, Ms. Vance will attend the International Positive Behavior Support Conference. While there, Ms. Vance will attend symposiums and workshops relating to school-wide systems, middle school classroom behavioral and academic supports, mental health, and supports for students with disabilities. Upon returning from the conference, Ms. Vance will disseminate information obtained from the conference to staff and students through professional development trainings and PBIS staff meetings.
Keystone Oaks School District, PittsburghGrades 6-8, Foreign Language Teacher2013, Spring$2,000
To develop the necessary skills and acquire the technology needed to record her lectures, Mrs. Brill will attend workshops and conferences through the Flipped Learning Network. Upon completing the training, Mrs. Brill will pilot a “flipped learning curriculum” in one French course and will later expand to her other French and Spanish classes. Upon evaluating the program, Mrs. Brill will engage colleagues in flipped training courses.