Troy Foundation for Educational Excellence Teacher Grant Awards
Athens High School
Improved Instruments for Chemistry Erich Beregszaszy, Michelle Dodson, Gary Koskinen, Jane Moss, Rachel Peterson
"During the 2018-2019 school year the Athens High School chemistry lab will be used by 480 students in Chemistry 1, Organic Chemistry and Active Chemistry. By replacing damaged and aging equipment with Vernier Go Direct Temperature and Conductivity Probes students will be better able to interact with more modern forms of technology (iPad, Chromebooks, smartphones) and extend their learning into the community exploring more real-life situations outside of the chemistry lab. Along with improving the efficiency of current teaching, new content can be introduced such as Specific Heat (Chem 1 and Active Chem), Solutions/Solubility & Equilibrium (chem 1), Heat of Solution Experiments (AP chemistry) and Equivalence Point Experiments (AP Chemistry).
Collaborative Painting Collaborative Painting Melissa Volk
Athens art students will make a visual impact on their learning environment by bringing students together with their artwork and allow them to make an impact on their community. Students will determine a common need among students in the school, will think of ways to solve this problem with a collaborative art project and will explore different techniques needed to accomplish their artistic vision. Activities will include thumbnail sketches, implementing/deciding upon a design. Exploring different materials/supplies appropriate for the project. Making modifications if needed and celebrating the final product.
Chamber Ensemble Launch Adam Cable
Students in the Athens band program will participate in a small ensemble unit preparing them for MSBOA Chamber / Solo & Ensemble Festival. Students will be asked to create a small group of 3-10 students in their class to rehearse and perform a piece of music. With our new chamber music library, students will be able to select a piece they would like to play online which will increase their interest in performing the music. Over the course of 1-2 months, students will have time to prepare their chamber piece in class and are expected to rehearse outside of school to prepare for their performance. At the end of the 1-2 months, students will perform their selection for the class and will be evaluated by their peers using the MSBOA rubric. This performance will serve as a catalyst for groups that will continue at the MSBOA Chamber / Solo & Ensemble event on January 19th.
Tetrix Max Dual Control Robotics Set Tim Heath
Using the Tetrix Max Dual Control Robotics Set and Curriculum, the Engineering Design and Applications Two, Three, and Four students will work in teams of 2-4 to engineer, build, test, drive, and code robots through a series of hands-on projects. This curriculum along with the hands-on projects will provide students with authentic, innovative, deep learning with: creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration.
Hyperlapse with GoPro Adam Burns
Students will learn how to create hyperlapses (a moving time lapse) using the just-released GoPro Hero 7. They will include these hyperlapse videos in their videos and use it for more creative storytelling. The GoPro will become part of our everyday use in broadcasting. Students will learn to create hyperlapses and appropriate places to add them into their videos, such as to demonstrate the passage of time or to create transitions between scenes. In the past, a hyperlapse was something that took expertise and years of practice. The new GoPro Hero 7 allows for professional level hyperlapses to be made in the camera itself.
Troy High School
Scholastic Spanish Language Magazines Julie Tucker, Lisa Lopez, Loni Vargas, Paulina Wilson, Angie Griesmann, Kate Hoin
Spanish language students will explore the cultural aspects that most interest them and use their acquired knowledge in activities and projects to make connections between the Spanish-speaking community and their own. Students in the first three levels of the language will have a year-long subscription to Scholastic Spanish language magazines. They will be immersed in the culture of Spanish-speaking countries using the beautifully illustrated on-level hard copies of the magazines in conjunction with the robust online resources that accompany each subscription.
Flexible Seating in the Special Education Classroom Kathryn Kavanagh and Karly Didocha
Students with disabilities and impairments further detailed in their Individualized Education Program or IEP will experience a climate that fosters instructional collaboration, a community of trust, mutual respect, empathy, and appreciation for diversity. They will be provided flexible seating options, filtered lighting and collaboration style desks that will foster instructional collaboration and allow students to personalize their working environment making it supportive to their unique mental and physical needs. For students to learn what works best for their particular learning style, they need to have access to their options. By making a variety of seating options available to students, they will have the opportunity to find what works best for them. The goal is for students to demonstrate higher level of productivity while in a space that is specifically designed to meet their individual needs. Whether they need the classroom space to work collaboratively or decompress, the space needs to have options that will be conducive to learning and growing.
Model Based Biology Rebecca Brewer
Using interactive manipulatives, students will model their understanding of biological concepts outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Through sense-making activities, students will be able to visually demonstrate what they know, while also being given opportunities to revise their models based on peer-to-peer feedback before applying their model to a new scenario. Through collaborative hands-on activities, students will strengthen their discussion of biology during the "sense-making" stage, deepen their understanding of the connectedness within and between units, and ultimately be able to demonstrate mastery by using the model they constructed in a different, but related capacity.
Multimedia Tools for Multimedia Storytelling Jayna Rumble
The Chariot newspaper student staff will experience authentic, innovative deep learning. They’ll be improving creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. They will also be building citizenship by telling stories of the members of their community and inviting other students to listen. They will explore multimedia storytelling forms. This year, they are invested in creating at least one monthly (and potentially weekly) podcast. a monthly podcast and at least one monthly broadcast story. After we learn about the process, we will be able to increase our use and frequency of this content. We can increase the number of podcasts that we create and we can increase the frequency of episodes. We can also begin to tell more stories through broadcast. They will use photography and video to create multimedia stories on their website. the school community as well. When my students choose to tell meaningful stories of the students around them, they will be creating meaningful connections with students.
Modeling with Molecules Autumn Spiteri
Troy High Chemistry students will build molecules and see the shape (3D structure) and bonds between elements. The Molecular Model Set is the perfect tool to help students understand core science concepts such as conservation of mass, chemical formulas, balancing equations, and more. Anything is possible for students, from creating simple water or carbon dioxide molecules to complex biochemicals such as amino acids. The models that students create will help them visualize vital concepts as they study chemistry and biochemistry.
Happy Atoms Digital Molecule Kits Kathryn Robles
Using the "Happy Atoms" kits students will collaborate with each other and use a physical manipulative as well as technology to discover the structures of atoms and molecules. Students will gain a better understanding of the nanoscopic chemical world by being able to employ the molecules on their desktops and share their findings with the class. The Next Generation Science Standards advocates more opportunities for discovery and less lecturing. A goal of this project is to have students use models to discover patterns in atoms, bonding, and intermolecular attractions.
Athens High School and Troy High School
OneTroy High School "Read" & Guest Speaker Staci Vought, Toni Isaac
This project will impact all general education teachers and students at Troy High and Athens (roughly 3,400 students). All students will engage in deep learning about the Flint Water Crisis in various classes. All general education students will be reading different excerpts of Dr. Mona Hanna-Attish's book ""What the Eyes Don't See”. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attish will speak for a 1/2 day at each high school in March (March is Reading Month) or April (as part of Authors in April). Following a general assembly in the auditorium at both schools, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attish will interact directly with students through break-out sessions on writing, research, political science, and biology. Students will write about the experience in their English classes and through Schoology, reflect on ways to take action in our surrounding communities.
Integrated Math Resources Jessica Jones
Students in Special Education will be actively engaged in their math learning utilizing appropriate, relevant, real work materials that promote a collaborative community culture. "9th,10th, 11th grade students enrolled in Integrated Math 1 and 2 at Troy High and Athens High School will be better access the curriculum and real-world examples with these resources. Student will collaborate and participate in their visual thinking of math concepts with the use of pencils and dry erase markers. These students often have difficulty with math calculations, so by using adequate calculators their calculation disability can be removed and they have more access to the curriculum. The Scholastic Math magazine will be an amazing supplement to real world math as well as motivating practice problems for students to be able to answer the age-old question, ""Why do we need to learn this?"" When students can connect their learning to their own lives, academic success will be much higher as well as engagement and overall work production. The math magazine also provides a technology component with math games and videos to increase engagement and enjoyment.
All Middle Schools
Civil War Day 8th Grade Social Studies Teachers
As a culminating activity, 8th grade students from all four middle schools will visit the Troy Historical Museum. The Troy Historical Museum experience will bring to life lessons the Civil War unit of study. which will meet several of our Grade Level day Content Expectations. This experience will allow students to hear great speakers and see how people lived during the 1860's. We work with the Troy Historical Museum to hire re-enactors for the day such as Abe Lincoln and Sojourner Truth. Students will complete a journal as they move through the 8-10 stations at the museum and will reflect on what they learned at the Troy Historical Museum. On the following day, the students will then discuss what they learned at the historical museum.
Baker Middle School
Building Math Understanding with Forts!
Lindsey Becker, Andrew La Torre, Lauren Vermeulen, Tammy Shen, Angela Correa, Ping Bai, Anne Costello, Marianne Krzeminski
Given a problem to solve such as such as design a building for storage of athletic equipment on school grounds or create a “dream fort” that will house the team, students will create and craft a prototype with a specific volume, surface area, number of sides, number of vertices, etc. Through this activity, students will deepen their learning of relationships between parallel lines, angles, degrees in different shapes by participating in high quality discourse and number talks. They will put to use the geometric concepts learned about 2 and 3 dimensional objects.
All In Club Laura Kemp, Lindsey Becker, Tammy Shen, Holly Minnella, Dustin Harnish
As an incentive to promote student commitment to their classes with their Effort, Grit, Positive Attitude, and Growth Mindset students will be offered the opportunity to joint the ALL IN CLUB. We plan to celebrate the success of our students being part of the ALL IN CLUB throughout the year every three weeks on Fridays. If a student is not ALL IN with their assignments, there is an opportunity to have an extra work day and gain support from the teacher in completing missing assignments. The goal is for all students to be ALL IN to participate in our celebrations. If a student is able to complete their missing assignments during the work day, then they can join the celebration. At celebrations students will have the opportunity to play board and card games, ping pong, shuffleboard, and complete Maker Challenges. Similar to the Chopped Reality Cooking show, in which chefs compete and turn baskets of mystery ingredients, a MAKER CHALLENGE box will be available for groups to come together with a common project. Students in each classroom will build a component of a larger project using recycled cardboard and MakeDo building tools and rivets. The rivets connect the cardboard to reduce the use of tape.
Positive Slope Marianne Krzeminski, Lauren VerMeulen, Anne Costel
Baker math students will understand slope as rate of change. Students will graph and think critically to interpret data on a coordinate plane. Through collaboration with their peers, students will collect data and be responsible for displaying the information and identifying trends. This will allow students to show a deeper understanding of the meaning behind the data. Students will communicate their findings through multiple representations of the data. When students begin the unit Graphing and Writing Linear Equations, we will begin conducting weekly labs. For example, using the toy car activity that was generously funded by a 2017 TFEE grant, students will engage in an authentic opportunity to recognize, graph, and interpret linearity and slope. By writing and evaluating linear equations, they can use their data to predict larger scale scenarios. In another lab, students will record Barbie's jump distance as it relates to the number of rubber bands used to create her bungee cord. Variations could include collecting time as a data point, distance Barbie bounces up, and time to stop swinging.
Let’s Learn About Ancient Civilizations Through Playing and Creating Board Games!
Krystal Renton Dustin Harnish
The 250 seventh graders at Baker Middle School will sharpen students creative, collaborative, critical thinking and entrepreneurial skills while learning about ancient civilizations. Students will first play the ancient board games. They will then teach one another about the games. They will keep records on basic parts of the game. Is it fun? Why is it fun? Is it easy to understand or complicated? How many people can play at a time? What does the game say about the civilization? At the end of our unit on the four river valley civilizations we will play our games in an attempt to answer these questions. We will then start to think about what our own board games will look like. What is interesting to us? What did we learn from these ancient games that we could use in our game? Finally, students will design, build and market their games with the hope that we can convince others to purchase our creations.
Create A Historical Video Game Dustin Harnish
Baker Social Studies students will create their own video game using Bloxels. They will first research an ancient myth and conduct a brief analysis of that myth--basically, the who, what, why, when, where of the myth. In addition, they will have to identify why they think that myth was written. What was it trying to explain? Then using Bloxels (a video game design hands on creative tool) they will have to use their knowledge of the myths and epics to create a video game backstory. They will then create characters like Zeus and Medusa and can put them in the Labyrinth of their video game. This will be a collaborative small group effort. In the end students, by using Bloxels to create their own video game, will be able understand the purpose of mythology and epic poetry, citing specific examples along the way.
OverDrive eBooks and Audio Books for Secondary Students Kathy Loch, Christina Chatel
Troy middle school and high school students will have an expanded number of eBooks and audio books in the shared middle-and-high school collection. The expanded collection will support ELA teachers as they promote reading in their Reader’s Workshops and will increase students’ access to great books when the middle school media centers are closed. These books are available through the Sora app, which all middle school students have on their iPads. High schoolers are able to load the app on their personal devices. Since we currently only have 1 copy of each title, the students who have holds wait a very long time. Lower level readers and ELL students can access titles to improve comprehension and to increase their English language skills.
Boulan Park Middle School
Global Goals Impact Project Phil Lewan
6th grade social studies students analyzing global issues and take action to further the public good and take real world action and practice citizenship, creativity, critical thinking, character, collaboration, communication and problem solving, Using the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainability, students will conduct research and then formulate a plan to help make an impact regarding their chosen issue. The goal is to have students take real action to help or inform others regarding their selected issue. This year students will have the opportunity to use the $500 from TFEE to help fund the implementation of their projects. Project proposals will be presented to a panel of teachers and administrators who will select one or more to fund up to $500 total. Offering the opportunity to fund one or more of these projects will implement a real-world application of learning and provides a potentially immense benefit to the community.
Larson Middle School
Protect Our Waters, Community Connection Sandra Bammel, Shannon Dziwanowski, Dave Ivanko
8th grade students will create a program by which they can monitor and reduce the amount of plastic water bottle waste generated by the students at Larson Middle School by informing their community and encouraging reusable water bottle use. Students will work with community professionals to test the waters of the Gibson Drain and identify what they and their families can do to protect this resource. Students will identify the flow of water from their community all the way to the ocean and students will create video Public Service Announcements to inform their community of the importance of protecting our water resources. Students will explore the problems being experienced in the world's oceans today to determine an avenue by which they can work collaboratively to make a difference. In addressing the problem. students will be able to state problems and possible solutions. Activities include students create and conduct surveys of plastic water bottle use, develop a plan of action, put the plan into action, and evaluate the results.
Larson Theater Laura Garver
7th and 8th grade students will be collaborating on a shared vision / theme to explore in a theater performance. Students will explore the script writing process. Students will design and paint 6 large (4' x 8') scenery boards on wheels. Students will create and gather dozens of props to be used in each performance. Students will rehearse with all of the performance elements (including lights, sound, props, scenery boards, etc.) in class. Every student in the class will be engaged in multiple projects based on their unique gifts / talents / interests. The activities will be accomplished at Larson, during 1st hour, in room 704 and on the stage.
US History Artifact Kits Katy Stanley, Jeff Knaus
264 8th grade U S History students at Larson Middle School will engage in collaborative exploration that is student-led and inquiry based by using "The Artifact Kits “. Artifact Kits will allow students to learn through an interactive way to explore the past. Since 8th grade English participates in a Historical Fiction Book Club, Artifact Kits will be available for teachers to incorporate into their lessons to connect their reading to hands-on historical artifacts. Each of these artifact kits will bring a certain point of history alive for students and will provide a glimpse into the daily life of different eras. Students will gain a better understanding of America by collaborating and discussing with their peers about the variety of artifacts and experiences specific to eras throughout history.
Interactive History Adventure Books Katy Stanley, Jeff Knaus
264 8th grade Social Studies students will (1) increase their skills in explain the ideology of the institution of slavery, its policies, and consequences, (2) explain the expansion, conquest, and settlement of the West through the Louisiana Purchase, the removal of American Indians (Trail of Tears) from their native lands, the growth of a system of commercial agriculture, and the idea of Manifest Destiny and (3) construct generalizations about how the Civil War affected combatants, civilians (including the role of women), the physical environment, and the future of warfare, including technological developments. The supplementary Interactive History Adventure books will allow students to analyze history from a different perspective and will provide students with the opportunity to choose how historical events determine the fate of each character based on choices selected by the students.
Literacy Learning Space Cindy Christiansen
The Troy School District English/Language Arts department is moving its middle school curriculum to the Teacher's College Reading and Writing Project curriculum. This proven curriculum is research-based and has a goal of helping students "become powerful readers and writers who read and write for real reasons - to advocate for themselves and others, to deepen their own and others’ knowledge, to illuminate the lives they live and the world they are a part of." The curriculum requires a meeting/gathering space for students where a teacher presents a mini-lesson and conducts instructional read aloud. To create a literacy learning space different furniture and a redesigned environment will be accomplished by the purchase of two IKEA SOFAS and the addition of other hand-me-down furniture. All students will participate in lessons presented in this space and as directed by the Teacher's College curriculum, and their participation is an essential part of helping students achieve the ambitious literacy goals this program requires.
Light a Classroom - Light the Students - LIGHT THE WORLD! Laura Garver
Larson ELA and Theater students will be engaged in large group mini-lessons, independent reading/writing, conferring, small group book clubs, and collaboration to achieve their highest potential with the redesign of the classroom environment. New seating and lighting will introduce the flexible seating for both large and small group settings, innovative lighting that fosters the most positive and instructionally stimulating environment, and space saving elements to enhance resource availability to students will make our ambitious goals an outstanding reality. Reading, writing, speaking, visually representing, collaborating, conferring, and many more skills will be promoted in this minds-on classroom.
Larson Sky Dome Planetarium Colleen Cain
"The sky dome planetarium provides a mobile planetarium for use in each science class throughout the day. An expert will help to guide the students through their learning experience. Students will work collaboratively in groups after the planetarium visit to share their learning and connect it to our curriculum. Students will share their learning with a reflection that connects their experience to our class learning. They will be able to do this creatively and will have a choice of creating a poster, video or journal.
All Elementary Schools
PebbleGo: Digital Literacy for #OneTroy
Lauren Henderson, Heidi Apol, Wendy Gustin, Lori Kostrzewa, Jaclyn Morrison, Ruba Alexander
All Troy Elementary (K-5) students will have strong digital literacy and research skills as a result of using the Capstone PebbleGo Database. This database will provide all elementary students access to a multi-modal literacy resource specifically designed to meet the needs of young readers. This will provide students with "authentic, innovative, and deep learning". Along with the Library Media Center, the data base can be used in K-5 classrooms, ELL classrooms, and special education classrooms to provide support for early readers and English language learners. PebbleGo uses a multi-modal platform to index and present information in the social studies, science, animals, and biographies. This platform includes fully narrated, leveled text as well as visual search options and citation support.
Barnard Elementary School
Family Summer Enrichment Night Deanna Dutts, Amanda Morton, Gwen Simon
Students at Barnard Elementary will extend their school directed learning activities into the summer to maintain and enhance their academic development in a cooperative venture with school staff, students, and parents. At the end of the school year all students will participate in a hands-on, collaborative science investigation led by Barnard teachers. During this time, their parents will attend a presentation by our principal and Literacy Specialists about the importance of providing learning opportunities for students throughout the summer. Then families will reunite and travel together around the building to find out about summer learning opportunities. Teachers and volunteer high school students will guide parents to pick up materials for at-home science, math, and writing activities. Families will visit the hands-on stations and hear about summer offerings from representatives of the Troy Historical Museum, Stage Nature Center, Troy Public Library, Troy Tech Talks, and more. Students will practice yoga, and collect healthy kid-friendly recipes, while hearing about opportunities for karate lessons. As students leave, they will select a new book, at their reading level, to kick start their summer reading.
Bemis Elementary School
Deep Learning Through Sensory Play Jennifer LaTarte, Amanda Summers, Angelika Gadlage
ALL kindergarten students will participate in enhanced sensory experiences they use to explore, process and come to understand new information. They will also use sensory play to build fine motor skills. There are immense benefits to appealing to young learners through their five senses. To enhance and deepen subject matter and critical thinking using the 2 sensory tables and materials and 2 light tables. Studies have shown that children with special needs, both delayed and gifted, benefit from experiencing learning through their senses. Sensory exploration propels delayed learners because it gives them a level playing field. Sensory play helps to coordinate small muscle groups which is crucial to progress with self-help skills such as zipping, tying and buttoning and also to academic skills such as writing.
Fostering Independence in the Library Heidi Apol
Bemis Elementary students will become more confident and more comfortable visiting the library media center outside of the scheduled specials time. They will be able to effectively access information for independent reading as well as classroom research projects. The addition of bins will allow better organization of the nonfiction books and make the books more accessible to the students. By better meeting the needs of our young learners, they will have a more successful library experience. Instruction on access to informational resources will be aligned with the classroom literacy units because students learn better when they have a reason to use the information provided.
Costello Elementary School
Pop-Up Pods: Amping up Student Voice Grayson McKinney
Costello is a place where thinking is visible, valued, and actively promoted, and creating these pop-up recording pods will help to further that vision. Purchasing ""Pop-Up Pods"" for our school will give each teacher the opportunity to create a quiet corner of their classroom in which students will share their thinking. Inside the pods, students will be free from distraction, where they can create higher quality videos for their teacher and fellow students to watch and respond to. The sound will be more audible and the picture will be more stable, free from background distractions. Experience indicates that students will eagerly seek the opportunity to utilize this space, thereby making sharing their thinking novel, purposeful, and fun!
Cardinal LINKs Seth Wyatt, Jen Erff, Julie Eldridge, Kristen Marcaccio
Cardinal Links are volunteer students committed to creating a successful learning environment for their peers. Cardinal Links take specific time out of their school day to support their peer students who all have different backgrounds and circumstances (for example, autism, ADHD, ADD, FASD, learning disabled, and general education students). Last year Cardinal Links have positively impacted over 100 students at Costello. Cardinal Links are hardworking volunteers who are dedicated to creating a difference at Costello Elementary by using high-level critical thinking and problem-solving skills that they have developed through working within a peer support program. Cardinal Links are devoted to making a difference in the world around them by not seeing a disability, but by seeing a unique person instead. This year the program will expand to include more students, implement “Lending Libraries” around the school, and organize an inclusive trip to an ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and sensory-friendly facility.
Hamilton Elementary School
1000s of Books For Kindergarten! Melissa Geeraerts, Cheryl Rowley, Mike Thomas
Approximately 75 kindergartners this year will ignite a passion for reading through access to a vast array of “emergent” storybooks in addition to basic text material. Elizabeth Sulzby, professor at the University of Michigan, has published a list of recommended emergent story books. These are now called "Sulzby Books." Students will have access to these books after several interactive read aloud, which would give them a window into these easy to remember, repetitive stories. Teachers conduct reading workshops every day. Students are introduced to a reading strategy during a mini lesson then have 30-40 minutes of independent reading time (IDR). During IDR, our students will be able to read many, many books. They read these books with their partners so they can retell stories to each other, identifying key parts. Our students will also be exposed to a variety of texts will choose which of those they put in their book bins.
Building and Learning with Lego and Sphero Kyle Rogers
5th grade students at Hamilton Elementary school began learning to code robots through a grant from TFEE that provided our students with SPHERO coding robots. This year we will expand the project by acquiring a table that will serve as both a tool for our Lego makerspace and SPHERO lab. The table would be used to create mazes for our SPHERO robots to navigate. In the past we have relied on two dimensional mazes for our SPHEROS. By allowing the students to create their own 3D mazes they will become even more empowered in this learning process. This project involves our entire fifth grade class as we are hoping to expand coding this year from our co-taught classroom to also include the other two sections of fifth graders. Also, we plan on introducing coding with our SPHEROS to our second-grade buddies, therefore bringing this project to even more students.
Elephants, Penguins, and Frogs, Oh My! Nonfiction Books to Support Elementary Research.
Suzanne C. Siegel
Students at Hamilton Elementary School will expand their science experiences through use of supplementary reading materials that are world class nonfiction related books that focus on the concepts of Science The books are award winning books based on the delivery of the scientific information. The books have accessible text, photo diagrams, and high-impact images, all readers, including reluctant, will blaze through these grade appropriate, engaging books. Experience shows that science is about teaching kids the skills to become good scientists, which includes being good readers. Scientists, have to read articles and journals—review the research—before they can build experiments or projects of their own.
Hill Elementary School
Organizing Classroom Library/Lending Library Katherine Eve
Kindergarten students will enjoy easy access to a "Lending Literacy Library” with the addition of a new organization system (i.e. baskets and book bins) in the classroom. Having a new system will help students to develop an understanding of difference in genres of text, to show different categories, different levels, and different authors that are easily accessible. When books are organized and the students are able to remove books and return them to the appropriate spot, we are going to create students who will be able to check out books and take them home to also further their literacy skills. This gets the parents involved and excited about new books every day at home for their child. I am hoping to also grow my non-fiction selection of books as kindergarteners use these for 'teaching books'.
Fine Motor Function and Fun Danielle Davenport
Hill Elementary School kindergarten students will accelerate their fine motor skills development through play with a variety of objects that require the use of the small muscles which control the hand, fingers and thumb. Fine motor skills are essential for performing everyday skills as well academic skills. Unfortunately, more children entering kindergarten struggle with fine motor. Without the ability to complete these everyday tasks, a child’s self-esteem can suffer, their academic performance is compromised, and their play options are very limited. Students will demonstrate their fine motor skills when forming letters with minimum effort. They will also show improvement in life skills, such as using scissors, zipping coats and fastening buttons. Evaluation results will be used to guide future instruction.
Finally Some Finale Joseph Richards
Fifth grade orchestra students will maintain a higher engagement level in the classroom, experience a high level of expectations in the class, and engage in more student collaboration. Using the composition software, Finale, I would be able to create music appropriate for the 5th grade orchestra students. Every 5th grader in Troy is required to play an instrument if they are physically and cognitively able to. Most music composed today for the 5th grade has a lot of roadblocks that can inhibit and slow down a student’s learning. It is not always that each instrument section has an interesting and engaging part to play, so I would create one, leading to total class engagement. If I were to create music based on the technique, style, note reading abilities that we work on in class, I would be able to hold them to a higher standard as well, without having to pause in the middle of a class to teach them something completely new. I would be giving them all of the materials needed to create the best music that they can, and at the same time appropriately challenging them.
Fostering Independence in the Library Heidi Apol
Bemis Elementary students will become more confident and more comfortable visiting the library media center outside of the scheduled specials time. They will be able to effectively access information for independent reading as well as classroom research projects. The addition of bins will allow better organization of the nonfiction books and make the books more accessible to the students. By better meeting the needs of our young learners they will have a more successful library experience. Instruction on access to informational resources will be aligned with the classroom literacy units because students learn better when they have a reason to use the information provided.
Leonard Elementary School
Composting for Kids Kathryn Stam
21 Leonard Elementary 2nd grade students (and 21+ next year as third graders) will use critical thinking, collaboration, creativity and problem solving to implement a hands-on experience in taking our paper, fruits and vegetables and other natural scraps from lunch and turning the waste into compost to give back to the Earth. Learning to give back to nature and how and why we should do so is crucial to empowering students to connect with their worlds. If they are a part of creating rich soil and giving back to the Earth, they will be forever impacted by their impact on our planet, therefore wanting to leave it better off than how it was when they lived on it. With our compost we plan to use it in our own school-wide gardens and what we do not use we will donate to Bemis Elementary for their Greenhouse ROOTS project, or to the homes in our neighborhood for them to plant beautiful gardens.
Collaborative Goals Amanda Kolinowski
First grade students at Leonard Elementary school will experience differentiated seating options and timers so that they can track reading goals and collaborate with peers. First Graders are very busy learning Lucy Calkin's Reader's and Writer's Workshop. There is much time spent reading and writing during our day. Students will develop a growth mindset towards reading stamina. They will also work collaboratively with each other to discuss comprehension, vocabulary, writing and story components. They will track their growth and adjust their reading and writing stamina goals throughout the year. They will reflect on their growth as readers and writers as they become aware of the environment around them and set out to complete a goal.
Light up Learning Lorraine Hogan
First grade students will experience a classroom with a soothing and calm working environment through florescent light covers. According to Ron Ritchhart's book, Creating Cultures of Thinking, it is very important to provide students with an environment that will stimulate learning. Research suggests that florescent lighting can increase headaches in children and adults. The research also shows that students with autism are EXTRA sensitive to the harsh light given off from fluorescent lighting. The cloud themed coverings I am requesting mimic the same lighting as a real skylight.
Power Up Robots Nadeen Brown
First grade students will begin to learn how to code, be exposed to the technology of robots and communicate this experience through their writing. This will be accomplished by purchasing mini Ozobot Bit robots for students to work with in small groups to code them to color and create designs. The students will also experience listening to a guest speaker who works at a factory which manufactures robots. The students will utilize critical thinking skills, creativity, collaboration as they participate in this STEM project. An article from Tufts.Edu, entitled ""Why Kids Should Code" states "Coding can be a playground for children to become producers, and not merely consumers, in our technologically-rich world. It is our responsibility to introduce children to coding and computational thinking when they are young."
Edison Robotics STEM Project Genia Connell
Consistent with the school district goal of empowering students, our third through fifth graders at Leonard Elementary will use the Edison Robots in collaborative groups to learn science concepts through their own inquiries and investigations they have designed and implemented. Students will be actively engaged in the process of STEM as they use critical thinking skills to program and help their Edison Robots solve problems. These robots can be used with physical and natural science goals. This project is innovative at Leonard because students have previously not had an opportunity to learn about how robots are used in everyday life and how coding and programming them can solve everyday problems. The purchase of these robots will be complemented with materials that pose initial problems for students to solve.
Martell Elementary School
Sculpture Lab Cammile Lamesk
All Martell students K-5 during art classes will be developing imagination and creativity, problem finding and solving, coordination and fine motor skills, spatial awareness, depth perception. Sculpture lab will help foster the spirit of experimentation and exploration, which is the root of innovative thinking. Art students will be building sculptures and arranging tile designs to develop fine motor development. As students are building sculptures, they are having fun collaborating and learning to work as a team. Exploration and playing with sculptural manipulatives give builders first-hand experience with symmetry, balance, leverage, geometry and principles of physics. Project funds will go towards Architectural building blocks, pattern play sets, Emido building block sets. Pattern blocks, Math links, Kiva brain builder block sets, ‘sticks and clips’ challenge (Popsicle sticks and clothespins), and Idoot magnetic building blocks and storage bins.
Morse Elementary School
A Little Mustang Music Allison Greene and Valerie Gobler
A Little Mustang Music allows Morse students grades 2-5 to learn the violin for free. There are three levels of instruction: beginner, intermediate, and advanced. Each group has around 40 students so close to 120 students are able to participate. In addition to the regular music instruction provided during school hours, the violin club allows the students to explore their creativity. They will learn the basics of music but will also be creating and playing their own music. We will incorporate diverse music styles and learning techniques. Students will learn to read and write music and try to play it in groups. As the levels advance, they will learn to work together. Advanced levels will learn to read music and play in multi-part harmonies. Near the end of the year, they will perform for families. Advanced levels will have additional opportunities to perform.
Reading and Writing Workshop Carpet Time Marie Woodman, Lisa Kort, Chad Hubbell. Anne Melia
First graders will build partnerships for deeper learning during workshop times in key content areas reducing transition times to increase academic growth. All four first grade classrooms with approximately 23 students will be able to use a community gathering area on a carpet to assist with classroom management to maximize learning time. Students will use the carpet each day, as it is developmentally appropriate at this age. During reading and writing workshops daily, students will use specific spots on the carpet to conduct peer to peer coaching and provide a distinct place for Lucy Caukins' "Rug Clubs" in phonics workshop. In addition, in math, students will use specific spots to partner for math extensions through games.
Let’s Hear It For Q-Ball Lauren Cooper
One class of 25 second grade students at Morse Elementary School will improve their listening comprehension through the use of Q-Ball. . Q-ball is a microphone in the shape of a ball. Q-ball believes “every class, meeting and event is an opportunity to change lives. But that’s only possible if people can hear and learn from each other. Studies have shown that a child’s cognitive auditory processing is not fully developed until age 15. In order to comprehend speech clearly, they need to hear at more than 2 times the level of your average adult! The Q-ball helps ensure that everyone can be heard clearly, especially students who tend to be shy or soft spoken.
Schroeder Elementary School
Student Led Heart Dissection Jason Cichowicz and Tammy Gilbert
The Schroeder Elementary School fifth graders study the various human body systems. The Student Led Heart Dissection activity provides a culminating activity to the You and Your Body science unit that will provide students with a deeper understanding of both the heart and the circulatory system. Boulan Park Middle School sixth graders will be in charge of leading the groups through the discovery process and assisting with the dissection. Thus, in addition to learning more about the heart, the sixth-grade students will develop the leadership skills that will be needed in the world of tomorrow. This activity will allow students to discover potential career pathways, develop both critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and learn the importance of team work. Students will utilize technology to keep an electronic diary of their learning. This learning activity is unique because it involves a collaborative effort between the middle and elementary levels.
2nd Grade Restaurant Mardi Bolden, Jaime Lindstrom, Shadia Martin, Mandy Hazergian, Ashley Cardenas
All second-grade students at Schroeder will design and execute their plan to successfully open and run a restaurant for staff and parents to attend. This project aligns with our economics unit in social studies. This is a student led collaborative project. The impact on student learning is endless! The students are fully in charge of this event. They do all of the planning, designing, questioning, problem solving and decision making for this restaurant to be successful.
Outdoor Classroom Dana Calvird
An outdoor classroom allows students to tap into a different type of learning in an environment that is right at their fingertips. So much of the science and social studies curriculum deals with the outside world, but so many of the lessons are happening just inside our classrooms. The project began last year as students wrote persuasive letters to the community asking for donations of building materials to help make this dream a reality. Big school-wide projects take a lot of monetary help as well as donations. Flexible outdoor seating was purchased for students but there are still a lot of essential components we need in order to make this project successful. Teachers will bring small groups or their entire class to this outdoor classroom. Many will do science lessons, social studies, or even use their iPads to connect technology to the unit at hand. We, as teachers, are constantly embedding new ideas into the current curriculum. This would allow us to foster students' learning and ideas in even more ways.
Content Area Books Dana Calvird
All fourth-grade students and many third and fifth grade students at Schroeder Elementary School will have increased access to non-fiction books selected to support the reading and social studies curriculum. For example, the second reading unit is all about reading nonfiction text and a focus on weather. There are many books about this topic and more can be borrowed from the library, but to have an even more plentiful selection would enable all students to grow as better nonfiction readers and this will carry over into their writing. Fourth grade content books will be purchased to meet the needs of our ELD students, students reading below grade level, as well as students reading above. This would impact all fourth-grade students, approximately 90 students.
Interpretation Book Clubs Lindsay Keegan
All 81 fourth grade students will benefit from the addition of additional books for use in the new Interpretative Book Club unit. Throughout the book club unit, students will not only meet with their book club. They will have a chance to collaborate with other students in the school and other fourth grade students in the district as well through Skype! During this unit, students will study characters analytically, recognize multiple issues and themes in books, and compare and contrast characters and themes across books. This unit will allow students to communicate and collaborate with their peers in the classroom and beyond the classroom walls. During their book clubs, members will grow ideas by writing their ideas in their reader’s notebook as they read. When they meet with their group, they will be ready to discuss these ideas. Group members will assist in helping each other take their initial thoughts and grow them into powerful ideas about characters and themes.
Book Club Books Jamie Lindstrom
Second graders at Schroeder will participate in series book clubs during reading workshop using new, current, high interest series book club books for our new Lucy Calkin's Reading Workshop Series Book Club unit. Supplementing the classroom library with these new books recommended by Lucy herself, will allow all of the 2nd graders at Schroeder, to have brand new series books to use for their book clubs that we will have during reading workshop. These books will help our students practice having high level conversations with their partners, demonstrate higher order thinking while collaborating with classmates, and practice analyzing characters in a series 2nd grade.
Lucy Calkins Author Study Holly Malavolli
All 27 fourth grade students will be offered a vast assortment of books by Patricia Polacco that will enrich their understanding of the author's craft. Students will have access to more titles and more examples than currently available at our school. Students will enrich their reading lives through this author study. They will incorporate technology by creating book commercials using iMovie and they will post updates on our class Seesaw account. Both uses of technology will enhance their understanding of the author's craft and writing style.
Morning Routine Tubs Kris Cueter
Through the introduction of the “Morning Routine Tubs” 27 first grade students will begin their school day working in teams on customized assignments that require planning, creating, building and problem solving while having time to socialize with their team mates.
The goal for morning tubs is for students to start the day feeling successful, encourage collaboration and teamwork. Some examples of morning tubs will be math connections where students are working on previous lessons, practicing math facts, and preparing for the next lesson. In literacy students will work on reading and writing skills. Students will be engaged in word work, writing and reading responses.
Troy Union Elementary School
Troy Union's Makers Project Ruba Alexander, Katie Ruterbusch, Katie Held, Stacey Palmer, Patrick Werner, Mike Cottone
The Troy Union Makers Project will create opportunities for 500 Troy Union students to explore the world around them while learning to use tools and materials that develop creative projects. The Troy Union Makers Project will help our school to develop a collaborative work space for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools. The space will be open to ALL students and adults within the Troy Union learning community. The Troy Union Makers Project is about teaching and learning that is focused on student centered inquiry. Some of the skills that are learned in a makerspace pertain to electronics, 3d printing, 3D modeling, coding, robotics and even woodworking. Makerspaces are also fostering entrepreneurship and are being utilized as incubators and accelerators for business startups.
Wattles Elementary School
Ruba Alexander, Angela Clemence, Kimberly Phillips, Colleen Price, Ben Martin, Carolyn Brown, Gigi Buchanan, Susan Reid, Andrea Moon
The Wattles Makerspace Project will create opportunities for 500 Troy Union students to explore the world around them while learning to use tools and materials that develop creative projects. The Troy Union Makers Project will help our school to develop a collaborative work space for making, learning, exploring and sharing that uses high tech to no tech tools. The space will be open to ALL students and adults within the Troy Union learning community. The Troy Union Makers Project is about teaching and learning that is focused on student centered inquiry. Some of the skills that are learned in a makerspace pertain to electronics, 3d printing, 3D modeling, coding, robotics and even woodworking. Makerspaces are also fostering entrepreneurship and are being utilized as incubators and accelerators for business startups.
Wass Elementary School
Creative Lab Sarah Clos
Art students at Wass Elementary School will develop skills that students will need to be independent critical thinkers, problem solvers and innovators in the 21st century. Creative Lab will help foster the spirit of experimentation and exploration which is the root of innovative thinking. When students have art on a Friday, they are given different creative challenges. For some challenges they will have to work in groups, some challenges they will have to work independently. ""Creative Lab"" encourages students to follow their curiosities, test how materials work, experiment, and explore new ideas. These challenges show students that teachers are co-learners and they do not hold all the answers. When children solve problems, they think for themselves and build confidence. This time for open-ended discovery and experimentation teaches students there are multiple ways to approach a problem. In addition of the usual supplies for an art class, magnetic blocks building sets, engineering construction toy set, Lego chain reaction craft kit, and Whatchamadrawit game.
Light, Classroom, Action Debi Kellett
Twenty-one second grade students at Wass Elementary School will experience an improved physical environment. Building on last year’s purchase of some tables and chairs of varying heights and designs this year, we will purchase 21 chair pockets. This will provide students a place to store their personal belongs as well as keep the community space of their shared work area clean and organized. Also, we will acquire differentiated lighting. Researchers found light quality varies substantially in a classroom leading to questions of which artificial light characteristics facilitate maximum learning. This has resulted in light systems intended to support students in their academic performance by dynamic lighting allowing for different lighting conditions per task. The research stated, when the artificial lighting mimics more natural lighting the learning is maximized.
Raising the Excitement for Reading Jackie Skinner
Second grade students will access an expanded collection of books that align with the Lucy Calkins Reading Curriculum for Second Grade and support the reading skills taught to second graders. These additional books will help strengthen the reading skills of second graders, especially struggling readers. Students will grow in reading fluency, decoding words, vocabulary, and comprehension. The goal is to close the reading gap and make sure all students are reading on grade level. All students will grow in reading fluency, decoding words, vocabulary, and comprehension. The goal is to close the reading gap and make sure all students are reading on grade level. Having a variety of books to match the students will allow them to enjoy books over and over again. Graphic novels are fast paced for high energy students and perfect for reluctant readers as they provide visual cues to help them read. The pictures combined with the texts will propel young readers and encourage them to read more and more.
Bookapaloza! Lauren Fragomini
Third grade students at Wass Elementary School will access an expanded collection of books in their classroom library aligned with the Lucy Calkins reading curriculum. Providing students with a vast array of chapter book series will allow them to dig deeper into character traits, motivations, and form evidence-based theories across multiple texts. This work compliments our Reading Life and Character Studies reading curriculum. They will now have access to texts that they will compare lessons characters have learned and lessons them as readers have learned, too. They will analyze similarities and differences between messages that authors convey and how it relates to their world. All this mind-work aligns with our blue pillar of empowering students to connect learning to the world. During our Character Studies reading and Reading Life unit, third graders are immersed in books and series. They study characters across the series to make observations, understand character traits, and begin to form hunches about these characters. Students also learn about a story mountain--the shape that stories take.
Peer-2-Peer Kathy Cappuso- Larson, Caitlin Bray- Boulan Park, Alex Keesling- Baker, Stacey Schoenherr- Smith, Robin Macleish- Athens, and Special Education Staff in charge of Troy High Peer-to-Peer
Special Education staff in each secondary school have developed a Peer-to-Peer Program. Grade levels 6-12 are impacted and the entire school benefits from having Peer-to-Peer Programs. LINK students, students with disabilities, and students throughout the school experience the positive impact of Peer-to-Peer. LINK students will develop leadership skills, advocacy skills, and problem-solving skills, while working as peer mentors for students with disabilities. LINK students will deepen understanding and promote disability awareness not only in school, but within the community. Students with various disabilities will benefit from their LINKS' support and friendship. Various Peer-to-Peer Activities include: Disability Awareness/Autism Awareness Activities, T-Shirts promoting disability awareness, pizza lunches and/or breakfast meetings to problem solve, set goals, and develop plans of action, and a possible field trip with LINK students and assigned students with disabilities.
Supporting students during extended school year Grace Lynch, Brynn Lawrence, TSD extended school year summer staff
This past year 36 students attended TSD extended school year AM or PM classes at Wattles. Ages ranged from incoming kindergartners to students in high school. Many of these students would benefit from noise canceling headphones due to sensory differences. Some students become overwhelmed by the noises in school, which can negatively impact behavior. Headphones will also increase the likelihood that students who wear them will be able to interact with peers in general education summer school; noise canceling headphones will make the noises of the general education classroom more tolerable. The goal of this product is to maximize the independence and participation of students who are in the district's extended school year.