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September 2018 Grant Recipients

Samantha Showers - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

ASL Class and Club Books

Samantha Showers - Nampa High School, Nampa


I started teaching basic signs to a group of students during advisory last year. Every week, we had an average of 30 students from all four grade levels show up to learn ASL. Due to the growing interest in the language, one of students started ASL club, with myself as the advisor. This year we plan to expand ASL club, as well as continue with ASL classes during advisory. My students and ASL club participants have the desire to become conversational in ASL, in order to conduct ASL club meetings in full sign language, as well as to be able to participate in Deaf community events. Books and supplemental materials will be used to enhance learning. As a result, students learning within the classes that take place after school/during advisory will have a logical, sequential order, creating an enhanced and more rigorous learning experience for the students.

Brooke Myers - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Enthusiastic ELA Teacher

Brooke Myers - Gateways, Nampa


I am educating 6th-12th behaviorally challenged kids for a program called Gateways. Some of our books are extremely outdated, we lack supplies such as pencils, paper, erasers, etc., gym equipment, arts and crafts supplies, even desks! I will be using the grant money to purchase new textbooks and supplies for our school, so that our children can learn effectively and efficiently. Right now we have to make copies of textbooks or share due to lack of. It will be amazing to actually have enough for each child. When we have to make copies or have kids share, this causes great disruptions, which impedes in the teaching and learning process. Consistency is key for these kids, and with the proper supplies, this will make teaching and learning so much more smooth.

Amy Bass - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Cultivating Perseverance Through STEM

Amy Bass - Joplin Elementary School, Boise


With aide from parents and staff, we are developing integrated STEM projects throughout the year. Students will use the Engineering Design Process to brainstorm, design, create, test, and improve projects that have open-ended goals, allowing students to develop a variety of successful resolutions. With most lessons, students will be able to take their creations home to present and share their knowledge with their families. My class will use the funds for two mobile storage carts to contain all the parts needed to build the projects, plus the parts for projects themselves.

Jan Johnson - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Engage Special Ed Students in the Classroom

Jan Johnson - Filer Elementary School, Filer


Research has repeatedly demonstrated that students learn best when they are fully engaged, and hands-on learning is one of the best ways to do that. With this technology, every child in the classroom has the ability to utilize the Smart Board at the same time. For example, advanced Smart Boards have the ability for students to use their finger and write directly on them. Most Smart Boards have the separate work spaces so several children can utilize the smart board at once. This interactivity provides students the ability connect their tablets to the white board to upload or download work. The use of this technology will better serve our SpEd students in acquiring the skills they need to succeed.

Bonnie Lindgren - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Literacy Enhancement with Graphic Novels

Bonnie Lindgren - Ross Elementary, Kuna


Struggling readers are often unwilling to pick up a book and read it because they are insecure about their reading skill, especially when it comes to the effort needed to make sense of all the words on the page. A new style of books was used last year in the Title 1 classroom which has shown much promise in bringing the reluctant reader to the table. According to the IPL2 website, "Graphic novels are, simply defined, book-length comics. Sometimes they tell a single, continuous narrative from first page to last; sometimes they are collections of shorter stories or individual comic strips." Because graphic novels are a newer book style, they are on the expensive side ($10-15 each). Not all graphic novels are appropriate for a school setting, so they must be carefully selected to ensure the message is acceptable. Between the two classrooms, this project will support, we currently have 7 graphic novels to be shared amongst 92 kids during this school year.

Lloyd Verhage - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Thermal Imagers for Inquiry Curriculum

Lloyd Verhage - Treasure Valley Math and Science Center, Boise


Treasure Valley Math and Science Center (TVMSC) lacks an inquiry-based means for students to experience exothermic chemical reactions in Chemistry, observe hidden animal life in Biology, and measure cloud temperature at different altitudes in Earth Science. Thermal imaging is an ideal tool to teach these concepts because it provides measurement of multiple temperatures at once, and allows for observation of temperature interactions. Four science teachers plan to incorporate thermal imaging into their classroom. TVMSC plans to evaluate how this grant benefits students and education through the pretest post-test method after using the thermal imagers for an inquiry-based lab activity. Success will be measured through increased student knowledge of science concepts after using the thermal imaging devices.

Lindsay Durkin - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Blooming Authors

Lindsay Durkin - Mary McPherson Elementary School, Meridian


Throughout the year in first grade, we work on handwriting, sentence writing, grammar, punctuation, and students create narrative and informational writing pieces. Students frequently share their work and create colorful illustrations of their writing. However, they often don't make the connection between their writing and books they read for fun. That's where the Someday Book project comes into play. Students use writing as a way to express themselves and these Someday Books leave a lasting memory of their hopes and dreams. Students begin to see themselves as authors and take ownership of their writing. After each writing piece, students illustrate a picture and share with their classmates. After all students have published their book, we host an Author's Celebration. At the celebration, parents and families come to school to listen to the kids read their books. Pure magic is the only way I can describe the pride and joy on our students' faces during this project!

Nicasio Usabel - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Soil Health? Evaluating the Properties of Soil

Nicasio Usabel - Marsing High School, Marsing


The objective for the project is to address the needs of those students whose passion is not science, but need to learn science through practical application. The goal is to give students positive hands-on experience working with STEM and to build an appreciation for the subject. This project will specifically help to acquire lab equipment to allow for more innovative labs, advanced data collection, and observation of results. I will purchase new lab equipment that allows students to apply the scientific method through innovative STEM labs. These labs will focus on soil health by measuring the acidity, salinity, and temperature of the soil, and to evaluate affects of acid rain on soil. Students will maintain observational and mathematical records, conduct research, and make in class presentations.