2015-16 Kiddo! Teacher Grants Awarded

Kiddo! Grants Support Innovative and Creative Teaching

scientists at sea bannerKiddo! is pleased to announce the recipients of its Teacher Grants for the 2015-2016 school year.  Kiddo! Teacher Grants are awarded in support of programs that foster creative and innovative classroom teaching.  Each fall, an Awards Committee — one teacher from each school, representatives from the administrative council and Kiddo!, and a parent from PTA Council — reviews teacher proposals and selects award recipients. The committee strives for balance across schools, grades, and subjects. Without donations from the parent community these grants would not be possible!

Thanks to your generosity, our students will enjoy the following exciting programs this year:

Biological Drawing with Ane Rovetta (MVMS, 7th Grade Science)
Naturalist, storyteller, and artist Ane Rovetta visits 7th grade science classes to give a presentation and lead a lesson on biological drawing. Students use their new skills to create scientific drawings of invertebrate organisms, enhancing their study of invertebrate biology.

Bringing Science Into the Classroom (Tam Valley, 1st Grade)
Lawrence Hall of Science will provide students with a hands-on and fun experience to reinforce the Next Generation Science Standards taught in class. Goals will be achieved through hands-on exploration and scientific investigations.

Creation of We Are Coral Musical Program (Park, 2nd Grade)
Songwriter Jerome Rossen will work with 2nd graders to write a musical on coral reefs while students are studying marine sciences during Oceans Month at Park. Students will create a story line with characters that learn about the coral reef through the music, and will learn staging and acting skills.

Design A House (MVMS, 6th Grade Math)
Working with fractions and mixed numbers in a real-life situation, students will design a scale model four-room living space on a 900-square foot footprint and then build a 3D version of the layout. Students will apply their mathematical skills in a creative, design-oriented way.

Get Kids Building (Park, Robin Boxer, TK/K and 5th Grade)
Purchase of engineering materials that appeal to all students by tapping into their storytelling skills and affinities. Students use the materials to construct and problem-solve, but also include characters and design elements that lend themselves to creative role-playing and oral storytelling. Builds problem-solving skills and perseverance.

Historical Portraits (Tam Valley, Sheila Campbell, 5th Grade)
Guest art teacher Corinne Masri will lead 5th graders in a printing project of historical figures. Students will refine and expand their expertise of printmaking techniques introduced in 4th grade. Portraits will focus on leaders of the fight for civil rights in the U.S. and worldwide, connecting the project to the 5th grade social studies curriculum and reinforcing a global perspective.

Interactive Miwok Program (District Wide, 3rd Grade)
Local specialist Ane Rovetta will teach students local history through interactive learning, including making rope from tule, seed gathering and sorting, preparing and cooking acorns and storytelling. Students will be provided with a hands-on experience and understanding of local historical practices and beliefs from the past and the relevance of those practices today.

Learning Progression Portfolios (Edna, Carrie Morgan, 3rd Grade)
Using the two frameworks, “Making Thinking Visible” and “Studio Habits of Mind,” students will create a working portfolio documenting learning progressions across disciplines. Students will choose formatting and materials, put together their portfolios, add work that illustrates their understanding goals and present them to parents.

Ocean Sciences Curriculum (MVMS, Chris Hill, 6th Grade)
Students will learn about the causes of climate change, the effects on sea level, currents and organisms, and possible solutions, by participating in a Lawrence Hall of Science program that incorporates the NGSS Standards and integrates math and scientific literacy. Students will participate in a variety of hands-on experiments, labs, active reading assignments, real-life situations and discussions.

Mindfulness in the Classroom (Edna 2nd Grade, Tam Valley 2nd & 4th Grades, Strawberry K-5th Grades)
Students will receive multiple classroom sessions to practice mindfulness with Lisa Spendov, an instructor certified by Mindful Schools. Sessions will teach students and teachers powerful tools to develop focus and attention, increase a sense of calm, control impluses and build social and emotional skills from the inside out.

Reading Comprehension (Strawberry, Meggin Lasater, Grades 1st-3rd)
Purchase of materials that teach comprehension using mentor texts that offer opportunities to model and practice comprehension strategies, including: connecting, determining importance, inferring, predicting, questioning, summarizing, synthesizing and visualizing/imaging. Will be used to teach special education students with a range of learning needs.

Scientists at Sea (Park, 5th Grade)
As a supplement to their biology curriculum, 5th graders spend a day on the Bay aboard a 90-foot research vessel operated by the Marine Science Institute. They collect and study plankton, run hydrology tests, observe wetland ecology, operate trawl nets, and identify fish they catch (and release).

Shadow Puppet Workshop (MVMS, Kayla Zeisler, 8th Grade Drama)
Daniel Barash, an educational shadow puppet artist will teach 8th grade drama students the history of shadow puppetry as an art form, including performance and puppet-making techniques. Students will explore story elements and create their own stories to bring to life behind the shadow screen.

Shakesperience (Old Mill, 4th Grade)
Students are exposed to Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets during a multi-week program. Students learn verbal and physical storytelling, group dynamics and refined listening skills. Close comprehension of text reinforces common core standards. Program culminates with a student performance.

Sharing Our Stories (MVMS, 8th Grade Tech)
8th Grade Technology students will be paired with a resident of the Redwoods retirement community and work together to create a digital story. Students will interview Redwoods’ residents and craft a digital version of residents’ stories. Equipment purchased for this project will then be used for future digital story projects.

Stand Up For Learning (Edna, Adam Sanchez, 5th Grade)
Purchase of four standing desks to be shared by students to use as optional work stations during class time. Recent studies have shown that providing students with an acceptable alternative to sitting during class improves student learning.

Stop Motion Curriculum (Edna, Alex Duvall, 3rd Grade)
Purchase of materials to enable students to create stop motion animation projects using Dragonframe, an image caption software. Projects will provide students with experience learning new technology and foster creativity in the development of their individual projects using the materials.

Young Author’s Fair (Edna Maguire, 1st-5th Grades)
Students will receive three library lessons on writing fiction, then write stories at home to be presented at an all day Young Author’s Fair. Students will rotate through storytelling, notebook making and leather bookmark making stations, and enjoy presentations by storyteller Anne Fretes, author Adam Sanchez and artist Emilie Albertoli.

Yoga Instruction (MVMS, 6-8th Grade)
Yoga instructor for yoga instruction during P.E. Students will learn a series of simple poses to encourage them to move, stretch, and breathe. Students will also practice mindfulness, which develops listening and thinking skills.

Thanks to funding support from the Mill Valley Middle School PTSA, the Edna Maguire School PTA, and the Old Mill School PTA, funding was provided for the following grants:

Digital Scales for Data Collection (MVMS, 7th Grade Science)
Expansion of program to equip all science classrooms with easy to use digital scales. Students will be provided with the tools that real scientists use for collecting accurate data during science investigations. Collecting primary source data is a key focus of the Next Generation Science Standards.

Incorporating Robotics into STEM Curriculum (Edna, Katie Fisher, 3rd Grade)
Purchase of Lego Machines and Mechanisms, a robotics set, to engage students in the active learning of computational thinking, robotics, programming and problem solving. Students will build and explore machines and mechanisms, investigate motorized machines, calibrate and capture wind, and study gearing mechanisms.

Incubator to Cultivate Microorganisms (MVMS, Jason Souza, 7th Grade)
Students will culture and study microbial colonies on agar in petri dishes, from benign samples around school.   Students will observe growth and explore affects of various antibiotics on these cultures.

Individualized Math Program (MVMS, Brandolyn Patterson, 7th Grade)
Purchase of licenses for BuzzMath, an online math curriculum supplement that is aligned with the Common Core Standards. Provides effective, differentiated instruction for students, access to additional learning resources and the ability to map student learning over time.

Rubik’s Club (MVMS, Molly Peets, 6-8th Grades)
Purchase of materials for Rubik’s Club, created for students who are learning how to solve the Rubik’s Cube, and for more experienced students who are learning alternative solutions and gaining a deeper understanding of the solutions. Club plans to hold a Speed Cubing contest in December, and explore different sized cubes.

Scholastic Math Magazine (MVMS, Jonna Palmer & Brandolyn Patterson, 7th Grade)
Purchase of e-subscriptions to Scholastic Math Magazine, an online middle school math publication that makes math meaningful and accessible to students by applying core math concepts to high-interest real world subjects. Each bi-monthly issues has several articles and activities, each aligned with the Common Core Standards.

Watershed Puppet Making & Performance (Old Mill, Lisa Spangler, 1st Grade)
Students will prepare performances that will enhance, reinforce and expand students’ participation and knowledge of the local watershed curriculum.  Performances will relate to the three parts of the watershed, and the ecosystem relationships within and between each part. Students will create watershed puppets, participate in scene planning and painting, report research, rehearse performances and perform.

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