2016 Teacher Grants Awarded!

Kiddo! is pleased to announce the recipients of its Teacher Grants for the 2016-2017 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. Funding for these grants comes from “Raise your Paddle” donations at the biennial Kiddo! Gala as well as proceeds from special events.

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

A Sense of Place (Edna, 3rd Grade)
Using a cross-disciplinary approach, students will identify characteristics, facts and personal opinions about their sense of place in the Mill Valley community. With the assistance of teachers and a local artist, students will investigate area history, explore identity and responsibility, create a collaborative “thinking wall” art project, develop a topic-related addition to the school website, and reflect on students’ ongoing responsibilities toward sustaining our community.

Acids and Bases…Oh My! (MVMS, 8th Grade)
Upgrade instruments used for exploration of acids and bases in the chemistry curriculum, which will allow students to collect fast and accurate data, and provide more time for data analysis and content. Instruments will be available for students to use at home for individual science projects.

Body Management in the Classroom (Park, Edna & Old Mill, K-5th Grade)
Purchase of a “Body Management Kit,” which includes tools that activate sensory-motor movement to activate brain function and reduce stress. The tools address the needs of students that have not met developmental sensory and motor milestones, and help them manage their bodies in a structured setting. Tools include a labyrinth balance board, yoga for mindfulness cards and weighted blanket.

Book Club for California Young Reader Medal (Old Mill, 5th Grade)
Provide materials for a lunch-time book club run by the school librarian to provide a positive alternative to the playground. Students will read all California Young Reader Medal-nominated books, then will vote on award. All books purchased will remain in the school library following the program.

Coding in the Classroom (Tam Valley, 4th Grade)
Purchase of coding blocks that help teach elementary students to code using manipulatives. Tools encourage problem-solving, abstract reasoning, use of appropriate tools strategically, and use of structure. Complements tools currently used in classroom.

Design a House (MVMS, 6th Grade)
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.

Election in the Library (MVMS, 6th-8th Grades)
Allow students to participate in democracy and the electoral process, by conducting a school-wide election day in the library on Election Day. Create an authentic voting atmosphere through the purchase of 30 voting privacy screens where students will vote using Google forms.

Executive Functioning Supports (Park, K-5th)
Increase the number of tools that allow students with executive functioning challenges to feel empowered to regulate themselves. Tolls include a set of Kore wobble stools for students who need to move while working, and set of five “watch minders” that vibrate and provide reminders to students that can be specific to particular student.

Finding Animal Clues (Tam Valley, 1st Grade)
Classroom workshop presented by Lawrence Hall of Science for each 1st grade class. Students solve a mystery by collecting data, observing animal behavior and analyzing evidence. Aligns with NGSS science standards.

Guest Mindfulness Teacher (Tam Valley, 2nd Grade)
Students will receive multiple classroom sessions to practice mindfulness from a certified instructor. Sessions will teach students and teachers powerful tools to develop focus and attention, increase a sense of calm, control impulses and build social and emotional skills from the inside out.

Individualized Math Instruction (MVMS, 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.

Inquiry-Based MakerSpace Cart (Park, Grades 1st-4th)
Build a MakerSpace cart for classrooms and their buddies. A MakerSpace is an inquiry-based project center where students are given a task in which they use STEM competencies and tools. The space allows students to think critically, problem-solve and collaborate in order to succeed. It provides creative time and materials for kids of all ages to build prototypes, explore questions, fail and retry, and bounce ideas off one another.

Integrating Social Studies, Nonfiction and the Arts Through Songwriting (Park, 3rd Grade)
While students learn about Miwok and local Mill Valley history in class, Lori Adessa and songwriter Jerome Rossen will work with 3rd graders to write music for recorders that is based on traditional Native American music, and about Mill Valley history. Students will perform music created for parents.

Light and Shadow at Bay Area Discovery Museum (Park, 1st Grade)
Participate in Bay Area Discovery Museum Fab Lab program, which enables students to experience a STEM project by navigating the design process from concept to production, and turn their ideas into reality.

Mobile Whiteboards for 21st Century Learning (MVMS, 6th Grade)
Purchase mobile magnetic whiteboards to facilitate student collaboration in the 6th Grade pod. The whiteboards will enable teachers to incorporate design thinking projects into the curriculum through collaborative brainstorming and prototype sketches, and will facilitate group projects to support collaboration, communication and creativity.

Mosa Mack Science Curriculum Pilot (Edna, 4th Grade)
3rd grade classes will conduct a pilot of the Mosa Mack science curriculum, which is aligned with the NGSS science standards. Through inquiry-based learning and tactile experiences, students will explore and problem-solve in a number of scientific areas, including energy, waves, Earth’s systems, and others. The blended-learning curriculum provides students with opportunities to learn through hands-on experience, and to apply what they have learned.

Mountain Biking Club Grant (MVMS, 6th-8th Grades)
Provides for the purchase of needed patch kits and 1st aid kits for the MVMS Mountain Bike Club.

One World – Large Scale World Map (MVMS, 6th-8th Grades)
Provides for the purchase of large world map for the MVMS main hallway.

Osmo in the Classroom (Old Mill, 2nd Grade)
Purchase of Osmo Wonder kit learning systems, an educational gaming system used with iPads and manipulatives that fosters social-emotional skills, creative thinking, art and STEM skills, and is aligned with the Common Core standards.

Outdoor Habitats for Learning (MVMS, 7th Grade & Environmental Club)
Students will create an outdoor classroom space and will beautify the MVMS campus. Activities include restoration of wetland vegetation, creation of a succulent wall and planting of native plans.

Programming Hummingbirds (MVMS, 8th Grade)
Students will create an interactive video game with moving parts, creatures and lights through the use of the Hummingbird Duo Classroom Kit. Students will program a physical design to provide a tangible representation of code.

Read and Relax (Edna, Adam Sanchez, 5th Grade)
Purchase of non-fiction magazine subscriptions to use during weekly reading sessions with parents. At the end of each session, students and teacher discuss what students read and enjoyed, and reading tips. Subscriptions include Brainspace Magazine, Creative Kids and WILD Magazine.

Rubik’s Cube Club Grant (MVMS, 6th-8th Grades)
Provides for the purchase of more puzzles for the Rubik’s Cube Club, including cubes that are similar to Rubik’s Cube, but solved differently.

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).

Seating and Sensory Tool Lending Library (Tam Valley, All Grades)
Creation of a school lending library of alternative seating option and sensory tools. Tools assist students by improving their attentiveness in their learning environments and increasing their access to the curriculum. Items include Zenergy Ball chairs, Hokki stools, Time Timers and Stress balls.

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.

Social Emotional Learning and Mindfulness (Strawberry, All Students and Grades)
Students will receive multiple classroom sessions to practice mindfulness a certified instructor. Sessions will teach students and teachers powerful tools to develop focus and attention, increase a sense of calm, control impulses and build social and emotional skills from the inside out.

Using Gaming to Improve Math Skills (MVMS, 7th Grade)
Online account license for Sum Dog. Students practice content-based skills through adaptive game-based curriculum. Provides differentiated instruction with incentive of games shown to be a performance and confidence enhancer because it targets individual needs and provide immediate feedback.

Visual Thinking Strategies (Park, All Grades)
Purchase institution subscription for Visual Thinking Strategies, a method initiated by teacher-facilitated discussions of art images. Provides a way to jumpstart a process of learning to think deeply, and enables students to use existing visual and cognitive skills to develop confidence and experience, learning to use what they already know to figure out what they don’t.

XPULT Catapult for Science Experiments (MVMS, All grades)
Kits for student use that can be checked out of the classroom for use or demonstration. Materials needed for STEM projects required of each student as part of the science curriculum. Kits can be used easily by students at home or used by teachers for physics demonstrations.

Young Authors’ Fair (Edna, 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 local authors and artists.

Kiddo! Updates

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