District awards new teacher grants
Princeton ISD closed out the school year by awarding teacher grants in the amount of more than $39,000. Winners were announced during the end-of-year luncheon and recognition ceremony recently.
Princeton ISD has been funding special projects to be used in classrooms for several years. However, 2017-2018 marks the first year teachers were asked to submit formal proposals for this money. The first round of funding was announced in the fall.
“We started the year by awarding grants to our teachers, so we thought it would be good to end our year by awarding grants to our teachers,” said Superintendent Philip Anthony. “By funding these projects now, it will enable everything to be purchased and set up so they are ready for the students to use next school year.”
According to Anthony, the district funds these projects to spark new ways to teach the students.
Through the application process, teachers submitted proposals to explain how their project would benefit the students’ learning, as well as make an impact on the community.
In October, the district funded 10 projects in the amount of $30,000. This spring, the district funded 12 classroom initiatives in the amount of $39,250.
There were a lot of excited teachers as administrators presented the oversized checks at the end of the program.
“This is a great way to send the teachers off for the summer,” Assistant Superintendent Donald McIntyre said.
Where the funds will be used:
-Photojournalism teacher Charles Herndon requested a computer to work in conjunction with the photo printer he was awarded in the fall round of proposal funding.
-Shelly Sadler, 2nd-grade reading teacher at Smith, is getting an online subscription to the “Lyrics2Learn” program, which is designed to increase a student’s reading fluency and comprehension using short stories set to music.
“Lyrics2Learn is original because it capitalizes on students’ love of upbeat music and the natural repetition of chorus in song lyrics,” Mrs. Sadler said. “This program will be particularly beneficial for reluctant readers, especially those who have an interest in the fine arts.”
-A subscription to the IXL program will benefit Ms. Jennifer Black’s 7th-grade students at Clark Jr. High.
“The website helps fill gaps for students who have fallen behind or struggle with math skills and also challenges my higher level students,” she said. “Virtual prizes provide motivation to practice more and master lessons, and if a student misses a question, an explanation on how to solve the problem is provided.”
-PHS art teacher Daniel Galerne will get graphic design drawing tablets for his students.
“Virtually all real-world graphic design is done via graphic design tablets as a mouse and keyboard simply do not offer the features necessary for artists to fully realize their ideas,” he said. “These devices will allow students to sketch, paint and draw in a similar way they would do on paper.”
-PHS physics teacher Kyle Lamothe will receive live streaming motion sensors for his classroom.
“One of the most difficult areas for students to grasp is creating position, velocity or acceleration vs. time graphs based on motion,” Mr. Lamothe said. “These sensors allow students to hold the sensor and walk and see in real time what the different representations of their motions look like.”
-Because Melissa Moses submitted a proposal, all the students in the kindergarten-5th-grade behavior adjustment classroom at Special Programs will get iPads.
“One word shows up when researching iPads in a classroom over and over again, and that is engaging,” Ms. Moses said. “Research has shown that children with autism have a decreased connectivity between the areas of the brain involved in making sense of incoming information.”
She said iPad-incorporated modeling is an instructional strategy where the device demonstrates a new concept or skill, and the student learns by observing, listening and participating.
-Lupe Rojas at Harper and Roberta Rotolo at Godwin will get interactive projectors for their classrooms.
-Clark reading and writing teacher Anna Garner requested the 7th- and 8th-grade reading and writing students get the Study Island program, which is designed to support self-paced, individualized learning, as well as teacher-led and whole-class instruction.
“Our society and school system is increasingly moving toward a technology-based environment,” Garner said. “Consistent practice on computers and interfaces will also prepare our students to be tech savvy.”
-Dina D’Onofrio wrote a proposal for all 8th-grade science classrooms to receive a student response system.
“The system and its virtual results factor allows a new approach on how to display student work and results,” she said.
-The 7th- and 8th-grade science students will also have access to virtual reality headsets thanks to a proposal by Jessica Foote and Lori Smith.
-The engineering design and manufacturing students at PHS will have access to a new 3D printer to bring the CAD program to life.
“Greater and more relevant skill development and concept application through 3D printing of student CAD designs will increase the rigor and value of the engineering program at PHS,” said engineering teacher Naureen Fielding. “Product creation has become the cornerstone of academic rigor, and students need to not only master the use of their technology devices, but also their operation and integration.”