Orange County Education Foundation Fund for Innovative Teaching Recipients 2014
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Mrs. Almond will use her $250 grant to purchase several iPad applications that are intended to promote student understanding of Algebra concepts and functions. The applications are designed to be beneficial to students at various levels of Algebra proficiency, Mrs. Almond said.
Mr. Cox will use his $250 grant to purchase a digital tablet with a built-in camera, headsets with microphones, and “Snagit” computer software. The items will be used to support a “flipped classroom” approach that will enable students to more effectively preview course content prior to in-class lessons. By previewing content prior to the lesson, students will be able to engage in more relevant projects, activities and in-class discussions.
Ms. Davis will use her $250 grant to purchase consumable supplies to build student understanding of electrical circuits. “I can’t believe this,” Ms. Davis told Foundation Board members. “I am starting the unit today! I’ll be able to get the supplies now and use them tomorrow.”
Ms. Kelly and Ms. Hudson-Foskett will use their $250 grant to purchase materials that will help students to better understand inferences, to identify figurative language, and to express themselves in more elaborate written fashion. They will engage in a classroom project that involves germinating, transplanting and growing plants that will serve as inspiration for reading, and written and oral expression.
Ms. Kluender will use her $250 grant to purchase math manipulative materials to encourage individualized student instruction and independent student exploration. As Foundation Board members entered her room and started to explain their visit to her students, Ms. Kluender’s expression evolved from surprise and confusion to tearful delight. At the end of the introductory comments, Mr. Kluender squealed, “I won! I can’t believe it.” She thanked the Board members and then turned to her students and announced, “I am going to use this money for a new math center. You all are going to love learning with these new materials.”
Ms. Lamb will use her $250 grant to construct a garden that incorporate nature as an integral and joyful part of daily learning. Her plan is to construct raised-bed gardens in which the children and their families will plant, care for and harvest fruits and vegetables.
Ms. Gnandoss and Ms. Hancock will use their $250 grant to provide stipends for guest speakers in GCC’s new Honors English class. The speakers are selected based on their ability to share stories that broaden student exposure to the world outside of Orange County. “Thank you so much for this,” Ms. Gnandoss told Foundation Board members. “Ms. Hancock and I have so many big ideas and with this award now we can actually implement some of them. This money will benefit so many students in so many ways.”
Mrs. Munger will use her $250 grant to purchase resource books that she will make available to all Orange County teachers in grades 3-5 teachers. The books will provide teachers with ideas to build math vocabulary and to enrich number sense concepts. “I’ve always wanted this for our teachers,” Ms. Munger told Foundation Board members. “I wondered how it would feel to win the big prize. Thank you so much, now I can start a lending library to build reading and math skills!”
Ms. Norris will use her $250 grant to purchase iPad applications that will provide limited- verbal and non-verbal special needs students with multiple means by which to communicate orally, visually and through text.
Ms. Osterhout will use her $250 grant to set up a library that will be accessible to all UES kindergarten teachers. It will include bilingual dictionaries and books written in both English and other languages to make learning more accessible to limited-English-speaking (ESoL) students and their families. “This grant means so much to us at UES,” Ms. Osterhout said. “All of the kindergarten teachers worked to make this possible.”
Mrs. Pettyjohn will use her $250 grant to cover the cost of authentic materials associated with the Colonial Day social studies enrichment activity. Among other things, the activity allows students to participate in Colonial period dances and to design and use Colonial period toys.
Mrs. Shifflett will use her $500 grant to purchase science equipment that she and her students will use to study living systems. They will use “Terra/Aqua Bottles” to make connections between land and water habitats. In the process, Mrs. Shifflett hopes the project will help add relevance to student learning about the scientific method.
STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics. The OES STEAM Team will use the $1,000 grant to purchase materials and resources to establish a STEAM Lab for all OES teachers. Mohrmann said the team recently attended the Virginia Children’s Engineering Convention, where members learned how to teach students to write age-appropriate engineering briefs and how to set up a STEAM Fair to showcase student work. They also learned how to share their ideas with other teachers.
“This is so exciting. These teachers have worked so hard,” Judy Anderson, OES Principal, told Foundation Board members. “The grant will allow us to start a STEAM lab, where students and teachers can really apply concepts and solve problems. We have no idea where the opportunities this grant provides will take our students. Thank you so much. This is a wonderful day for Orange Elementary. I couldn’t be prouder of our staff.”
Ms. Devaney and Ms. Jones will use their $250 grant to purchase books and magazines that provide information that supports families whose children are experiencing behavioral and emotional difficulties. They will include topics such as: coping with ADHD; dealing with sibling rivalry; effective responses to bullying; and childhood anxiety.
Mr. Yurasits will use his $250 grant to purchase a kit he will use to construct a robot named “GERRIE.” He will then make “GERRIE” available to middle school teachers to inspire student learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). “GERRIE” stands for “Generating Enthusiasm for Relevant Robotics in Education.”
Mrs. Yurasits will use her $250 grant to purchase a variety of consumable materials, from plywood to ribbon. Students will use the materials to construct boards that will display photos, notes, awards and other citations related to their school experiences. The project supports the independent living goal of the family and consumer sciences curriculum, according to Mrs. Yurasits.
Ruth Fugee, GCC, GCC Nursing Program Long-Term Care
Ms. Fugee will use her $500 grant to support the expenses incurred by community volunteers who participate as subjects for students in the GCC nursing program. “The grant will promote volunteer activity, retain existing volunteers and recruit new ones,” Mr. Fugee said. “It is important to recognize the valuable service provided by volunteers.”