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December 2017 Grant Recipients

Lisa Sterling - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Pictionary Dictionaries for ELL Classroom

Lisa Sterling - Hillside Junior High, Boise


Newcomer students are faced with the challenge of learning a great deal of vocabulary in a short period of time. They need resources that are up-to-date and provide pictures and words of the objects they will encounter in their new homes, schools, and communities. Picture dictionaries can provide a foundation for learning basic and intermediate vocabulary as well as provide a cultural context for learning. The process of acquiring a second language is complex and requires a great deal of scaffolding; visual supports are essential. This grant will help me acquire picture dictionaries to use in class for junior high school newcomers. This will allow for more interaction and academic engagement.

Amy Ellis - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Writer's Cabin

Amy Ellis - West Canyon Elementary, Caldwell


The Cabin's Writers in the schools program is a really positive partnership between the Boise Writer's Cabin and local schools. The Cabin employs professional authors who are partnered with schools to enhance the curriculum and get kids excited about writing. The writers and the teachers work side by side to write customized lesson plans that help the kids with skills they need. The author from The Cabin will come to our school to plan the specialized writing unit with us, and then will be here each week for 12 weeks to teach the unit in each of our four fifth grade classrooms. At the end of the 12 weeks, parents will be invited to school for a student showcase where each child will share a favorite piece of writing.

The Writer's Cabin program will be incredibly beneficial for our students, and also for us as educators. We work together to seek opportunities to grow as educators, and watching/co-teaching with a professional writer will be really helpful to each of us as educators as we continue to grow in our knowledge of the the Language Arts standards. The professional will also develop relationships with the students, expose them to the world of writing, and will discuss the importance and purpose of writing as they think about moving towards college and career readiness. Expected outcomes from this program include student mastery of the standards as well as professional development for our team of four fifth grade teachers.

Jewel Shea - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Racing Drone Challenge

Jewel Shea - Sagle Elementary School, Sagle


Sagle Elementary School 6th grade class was awarded the Discover Drones Kit by PCS Edventures from the Idaho STEM Action Center this fall. The kit is an all in one curriculum designed for learning drone technology in the classroom. Students not only build and fly drones, but explore a other subjects surrounding drone technology. For example, students learn about the legal FFA regulations for unmanned aircraft, link dronology to the work place, flight control, and construction of a drone flight course aimed for student competitions. There is also extensions to impact the entire school if we hold student flight competitions.

The CapEd grant will cover the cost of a drone obstacle course for our culminating project at the end of the course. After learning and building a drone, students will digital train in drone flight simulation. The final project is a fun innovative competition for students to celebrate drone flight. Student teams will compete in a flight course against the clock. This progression of learning with drones is unique because students will also have to work in small teams refining their communication skills and team building practices.

Courtney Brewer - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Minecraft for Education

Courtney Brewer - East Canyon Elementary, Nampa


It’s no secret that math is many students’ least favorite subject, and many times it is due to a lack of confidence. Digital games have been shown to enhance students’ confidence and motivation. I plan to use Minecraft Education Edition subscriptions to engage students in learning Common Core math concepts such as: representing and solving problems in multiplication and division, understanding the relationships between multiplication and division, recognizing and solving for perimeter and area, describing the attributes of shapes, and more! Research shows game based learning helps with higher engagement, improvement in problem solving, improvement in deductive reasoning, and increased learning. his will increase confidence in math for my students with different levels of academic ability.

I applied to this grant to use Minecraft in my 3rd grade classroom for 1 year. I also applied to receive a "Minecraft in the Classroom" book to help me implement the game in the most effective way, as well as a set of the "Diary of a Minecraft Zombie" books for my classroom library in hopes of connecting the game to ELA and sparking the interest of picky readers.

Karen Palazzolo - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Solar Display Kiosk

Karen Palazzolo - Trail Wind Elementary, Boise


This spring, our school received a grant through Idaho Power and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). A demonstration-scale solar array will be installed on the roof of our building during the coming year. BEF offers an optional solar display kiosk which allows students and staff at the school to see real-time solar energy production information. This means we will be able to see how changes in weather affect the efficiency of our solar panels, as well as how much energy the panels are creating for the school.

The cost of the solar monitoring kiosk is $2,200.00. We recently received a donated iPad as our first step in funding this kiosk and we now need to raise $1,871.00. the CapEd grant money will help fund the remainder of the cost.

Because our student body numbers over 700, many children will benefit from this kiosk. In addition, the parents and families of our students will also be impacted. We plan to mount the kiosk display in a high-traffic area near the office. The solar array itself will be visible from the playground and parking lot, so community awareness of the technology will be significant. Teachers will be able to use information from the kiosk and the BEF website to teach students about solar energy generation. In addition, BEF will provide curriculum materials, supplies, and training to our teachers later this year. The training will enable our teachers to present lessons about solar and other types of renewable energy.

Misti Cook - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Engaging Math for Exceptional Students

Misti Cook - Council Elementary, Council


With the help of grant funding, Council Schools can purchase the Moving With Math Intervention Program, which is a comprehensive program that targets math skills for special needs students. This program can be used both at the elementary and middle schools and will greatly impact the quality of learning for these exceptional students. The program shows which specific skills students need to improve upon and monitors their progress throughout. Not only is it engaging, but it is effective. With grant funding, these students will soar.

Janice Baldus - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Promethean Active Panel Mobile Stand

Janice Baldus - Nezperce Joint School District #302, Nexperce


My classroom is receiving a Promethean Active Panel Whiteboard to enhance students' learning environment. On the Promethean, the students will be able to interact with curricular content. For instance, we use Desmos, an online calculator in my junior high math classes, plus they will be able to use if for other multi-disciplinary projects. Coming from a small school district, there are multiple teachers interested in utilizing this technology. But, in order to provide them access, they would either use my classroom or the district could purchase an Active Panel Mobil Stand to make the Promethean more portable. A mobile stand for the Promethean Active Panel will impact more students and teachers, plus could be a valuable tool for community meetings and presentations.

Shawn Schumacher - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Digital Microscope and Specimen Kits

Shawn Schumacher - Ernest Hemingway STEAM School, Ketchum


We will be purchasing one MicroZoom Wifi/USB 1.3 Megapixel Digital Microscope with focal tips, LED backlit stand, and seven additional specimen kits. The microscope and kits would be shared with the 35 teachers at our STEAM school on a check out basis. All teachers have attended professional development and are creating STEAM Project Based Units to implement at each grade level. One of the main components of the training is the implementation of STEAM notebooks. In these notebooks, students are guided to draw scientific drawings. The microscope will aid students in drawing the details of what they see. The microscopes would be used by students and teachers to investigate and explore. The pictures can be used in projects by the students as well as projected onto our Promethean boards. We could also use the curriculum that comes with the microscope and kits to design lessons to meet the Next Generation Science Standards. Teachers will be able to incorporate mathematics as well as language art standards into this curriculum. Since this is a WiFi compatible microscope staff and students would be able to use it both in the classroom as well as out in the field.

Brittany Maikranz - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Calming Room

Brittany Maikranz - Jefferson Elementary, Jerome


I would like to create a calming room in my special education resource classroom for our entire school to use. Our community is a low socio-economic area which results in a large number of students who have endured some type of trauma. A calming room will benefit the many students we have on behavior plans by allowing a quiet break area that presents opportunities to teach students to regulate their behavior. Our calming room will be available to students who have endured trauma as well as our students who have high sensory needs, and any other students who need a space to calm down and recenter. I would like to include sensory activities, such as sensory mats, stretch bands, and weighted items. I would also like to put safe spaces such as a tent or body socks, in the room for students to be able to calm down by themselves if that is what they require. Through our own research, conversations with administrators, and our experiences with the students in our school, we feel a calming room will benefit our students school-wide.

Crystal Rosen - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Ten Frame Math

Crystal Rosen - Cascade Elementary, Cascade


I would like to purchase individual magnetized white boards for each student with a magnetic ten frame and counters for all students to use. We can use these to help reinforce the paper/pencil work that we do with ten frames and numbers. This method will allow each student to work on their own boards and quietly turn them so that I can see whether or not the concept is understood and shown on the board. This allows every student to feel safe in attempting something that may be difficult without having to be in front of the whole group and be afraid of failing. I think this will increase student confidence and make students more willing to try. It will also create a way for math to be hands on for my kinesthetic learners.

Victoria Wilcox - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

I wish I could hear!

Victoria Wilcox - Glenns Ferry Elementary, Glenns Ferry


With help of the grant, I will purchase head phones for students to use in the computer lab and classroom. The computer lab has broken headphones and we do not have any for our classroom. We need our own to take with us to use when we go to the computer lab. The computer program called Reading eggs is dependent on students being able to hear the directions given. The little ear buds are too much for a kindergarten student to put in their ears properly for them to hear. With new headphones that fit over the head, my students will be able to hear what is being asked and be able to learn more about letters, sounds, words, and sentences. When we start the math section of this program, they will be able to follow instruction and learn their numbers and facts.

Debbie Cline - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Rocking ELL, Rocketing Ahead

Debbie Cline - Filer School District #413, Filer


Academic language is the language that students need to succeed in school. It is different than social language, which many students acquire first to communicate effectively with teachers or peers; but they struggle when it comes to textbooks, tests, assignments, or class presentations. In English Language Learning, students gain skills that help them in all classes, making them ready for college and career. It is preferable that each child has a textbook, rather than having to share. The benefit is they will be able to fully focus on the lessons without the distraction of sharing with another student. Fundamental writing skills are addressed in both the hardcover books and the skills books. Students will be able to grow substantially in their knowledge of writing concepts as they apply their newly learned skills in other areas of the School curriculum.

The "Write Source" comprehensive writing program will enable us to purchase a comprehensive writing program which teaches traditional writing skills, the inquiry process, and project-based instruction.