Creative Classroom Grants 2019-2020
Big Sky High School – “Applied Veterinary Science”
Students will use the equipment to apply the skills they developed in practicum set-ups in the classroom in real life situations with the livestock on the school farm. These activities include veterinary, biocontrol and stewardship activities.
Big Sky High School – “Farm to Fork – Apples Away!”
The Missoula Agriculture Center has begun planting an apple orchard, a few more trees each year. The Agriculture Center plans to harvest these apples from the farm and surrounding community and teach students how to safely process and store them. We plan to make cider, applesauce, jellies, jams and dried apple chips! We would like to host a community harvest celebration in the fall where we will invite K-12 students and the community to help make cider and learn about local agriculture.
Chief Charlo Elementary – “Trout in the Classroom”
The purpose of this project is to engage students in an interdisciplinary unit on Montana’s rich natural history by raising trout in the classroom. Montana history, science, math, ELA and the arts are all integrated during this five month long unit. An emphasis will be given to Montana’s natural history, relating to its many indigenous peoples and their relationship to the Clark Fork Watershed.
Hellgate High School – “A Safe and Warm Work Environment”
I have been moving the building trades program away from basic wood shop into an actual trades program with a focus on framing. For students to get real experience, bigger items like sheds need to be built in the parking lot. Because many students do not come to school with the proper dress to be out in the Montana weather, a classroom set of warm/reflective work coats, gloves, and hats will be purchased and available so all can work outside.
Hellgate High School – “Personal Finance Simulation Tool”
This would provide 5 years access to the Knowledge Matters simulation tool that focuses on Personal Finance. This grant will provide these awesome simulations to approximately 500 students over the course of the license. These simulations help teachers to provide a forum for students to apply their in-class learnings in a way to make them more applicable to their lives outside of school.
Sentinel High School – “Model Rocket Building”
Students will put into practice knowledge of the basic principles of rocket physics and the engineering process to design, build, and launch their own rockets.
Big Sky High School – “Sensory Sensitive Project”
These new sensory items will allow us to meet the needs of our diverse population by creating and maintaining a healthy and safe sensory sensitive environment.
Big Sky High School – “Independent Reading Books in French”
Students get so excited to be able to read simple French novels all on their own in class, and we would really love to build up our library of great, high-interest French readers to help improve literacy across the curriculum!
Chief Charlo Elementary – “Inclusion Learning Classroom”
The purpose of this project is to help furnish and create an inclusive learning space that is increasing from approx. 80 square feet to 400 square feet. It would promote a welcoming environment for exceptional students to invite their typical peers to join in activities in a setting they can feel comfortable in. In addition, this project will also create a way to meet the varying needs in sensory areas as well as the provision of academics through a variety of modalities for students with high needs in a variety of areas including visual needs. The grant will also provide tools to help create foundational skills in vocational areas for students to learn basic responsibilities through completing school jobs and help support learning through supplying supplemental academic tools to promote differentiated instruction in hands on learning.
Hellgate High School – “Up-Cycle for the Community”
Provide an opportunity for students to donate product back to their community. They will fabricate benches, chairs, signs and awards to the local community in quality craftsmanship to show cast their learning.
Jeannette Rankin Elementary – “Daily 5: Work on Words with an LCD Tablet”
Funds from this grant were spent to purchase 23 LCD writing tablets for a Kindergarten classroom. The tablets would be primarily used for English Language Arts. The students would use the tablets for the Daily 5 which is a newly adopted literacy framework by MCPS. Students would use the tablets for their Work With Words rotation. The tablets will foster independence with beginning writing skills and could also transfer over into math and other subjects.
Rattlesnake Elementary – “Earth Systems: Eco-Columns”
An eco-column is a small-scale, fully self-contained model of Earth’s systems. Its components include a terrestrial habitat (geosphere) and an aquatic habitat (hydropshere) with living plant and animal life (biosphere and atomosphere). An eco-column allows students to model, study and collect data on how energy flows and cycles through an ecosystem. Finally, an eco-column provides an opportunity to understand how energy is brought into the living world and transferred through food chains, and how the living and nonliving environments are connected through cycles of matter.
Rattlesnake Elementary – “4th Grade Musical”
The purposes of this project are to give students a performing arts experience, learn about folklore from a different culture through language, dress, singing, dancing, drumming and instruments. Students will develop their musical skills that are already part of our district curriculum and the national standards. They will sing in foreign languages, play different instruments, and engage in group dance. They will also learn the art of shadow puppetry to tell the story. The performers will perform for the student body as well as the public. The entire student body will experience folk art from this performance.
Franklin Elementary – “We See You”
A First-Grade teacher texted: ‘I may be over thinking this, but can our school stock different shades of bandages? When kids in my class reach for a bandage, they are all made for one skin color’. This is currently a national conversation, and we want to respond!
Big Sky High School, Sentinel High School – “Circles Curriculum by James Stanfield”
This curriculum will be used with low and moderate functioning students with Special Needs. It will be shared by the Life Skills programs at both Sentinel and Big Sky. The curriculum we have currently is from the early 1980s and still uses VHS tapes.
All Schools – “Building Bridges with Books: Phase 2”
Phase 1 of Building Bridges with Books took place during the 2018-19 school year. Through grant funds from the Missoula Education Foundation, wonderful books were able to be purchased and shared among students. Upon further discussion, we also see the need for more of these books to be available in classrooms specifically with refugees. Our MCPS students have welcomed our newcomers and making them feel comfortable and safe. However, the languages and cultures of our refugees are very foreign to most of our students and teachers so we would like to find a way to change that.
In Phase II of Building Bridges with Books, we would create book kits which will be checked out for up to 6 weeks to classrooms with enrolled refugees. These kits would also be offered to classrooms without refugees over time. The kits will contain books that are culturally relevant, have stories about refugees, information about specific countries as well as dual language books (in English with Swahili/Arabic/Tigrinya). We are hoping to see some of the books read aloud to the class while others could be used during Daily 5 and with our tutors.
Hawthorne Elementary – “Read to Self”
I would like to buy audio books for my classroom and students. I hope to give them the opportunity to enjoy reading chapter books. Although my students may not be able to read the books themselves, listening to them opens up a new area of literacy for them. These books are read by real people, exposing students to good reading with fluency and expression. It helps them access grade level texts and increases their vocabulary
Rattlesnake Elementary – “Reading: Expanding Genres and Building Stamina”
MCPS recently adopted a new ELA curriculum. One of the main tenets of the curriculum for upper elementary is the importance of building reading stamina and expanding students’ exposure to other genres. When reviewing my class library, I realized that the books available to my students were over-represented in fantasy and realistic fiction. Other genres were almost non-existent, like mythology, and science fiction or under-represented, like mystery. Without these genres, I believe I am missing the opportunity to hook readers. I am also missing the opportunity to push good-readers into a new genre and expose them to different themes and genre-related vocabulary. Additionally, I want to help build stamina by purchasing comfortable reading pillows.
Washington Middle School – “Chill Out! Strategies for Self-Regulation for Middle School Students”
According to the 2015 CASEL* Guide, “Current best practice guidelines for education at the middle-school level recognize the diverse developmental needs of this age group and the importance of promoting both academic and personal development, including social and emotional competence.”
As counselors, we are tasked with teaching students the skills to achieve social and emotional competence. One way in which to do this is to implement HeartMath, an evidence-based program, designed to help students reduce stress, improve communication and acquire skills in self-regulation. This problem utilizes using biofeedback and psychophysiological strategies that help to improve academic performance and reduce anxiety (Rush et. al., 2017 & Aritzeta et. al. 2017). The HeartMath program can be used across Tiers I, II, and III and addresses the 5 core social/emotional learning competencies outlined by CASEL. Through this grant, we hope to purchase HeartMath software, devices, and the online learning program.
Big Sky High School – “Pollinators and the Ecosystem Services they Provide”
Students will study bee behavior and pollinator ecology through a working hive. This project will help them appreciate and understand the role pollinators play in our food systems. By working with and observing the bees, they will have a concrete example of ecosystem goods and services—the things that healthy ecosystems provide humans for free. They will also learn about the issues facing pollinators today and the research that is happening to try to prevent future losses.
Jefferson School – “Music and Movement”
Students learn through motor imitation and movement. This project would help to teach those basic pre-learning skills of following the lead of another, motor planning and performance, as well as teach literacy and math skills through movement. Circle time is a powerful part of a child’s day and having engaging materials will bring the students in and encourage participation.
C.S. Porter Middle School – “Circuit Training”
MCPS has recently adopted a new Physical Education curriculum. This grant provides funds to the HPE department to purchase new equipment in order to teach their students circuit training and improve their physical fitness.
Sentinel High School – “New Title for IEFA”
Students will have the opportunity to explore a current and unique Indian Education for All novel by reading Jeremy Orange’s There There. Orange’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated novel explores the lives of Urban Indians living in Oakland, California. This urban perspective is one our students haven’t explored yet, and the poignant stories–along with edgy and compelling prose–is one that can inspire students, evoke empathy, and provide a lens into a rich and vibrant culture still very much alive.