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March 2018 Grant Recipients

Chitlada Patchen - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Language Learning Resources

Chitlada Patchen - Frontier Elementary School, Boise


Our newly established Newcomers classroom serves 24 English language learners ranging from first grade to fifth. The classroom is in need of a quality phonemic awareness program that will reinforce their ability to hear letter sounds. An online word study program would help my students expand their vocabulary and word knowledge. Besides these, having a few math manipulative games such as a ten-frame game board or other language games are important to their learning development. Language games like these not only boost a student’s learning academically, they also help students with social and emotional development.

Kelly Adams - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

The Power of Nonfiction

Kelly Adams - Silver Trail Elementary, Meridian


I am piloting a new curriculum titled Middle School Units of Study for Reading by Lucy Calkins. This curriculum is designed for a reading workshop format. In this format the class meets for a minilesson then takes the demonstrated strategy into their own books to practice. In this two month unit titled The Power of Nonfiction, my students will need access to various Nonfiction titles at their appropriate reading level. I will use this grant to enhance this new curriculum. The book bundle I am ordering includes topics that cover teen activism, war, and food/water issues.

April Demshar - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Feed Our Kids!

April Demshar - Kuna Middle School, Kuna


At KMS, we have many students from low-income homes. 36% of students at KMS get free and/or reduced lunch. We have a large group of about 20 students on our cross-curricular teaching team in 8th grade who really struggle with behaviors, motivation, etc. and they also come from low income homes. They vacillate between putting their heads down and sleeping because they are so hungry, and wandering the room/shouting out/disrupting loudly because they are so unfocused. We have noticed, however, that these boys are positively impacted by food. One teacher on our team has started handing out pieces of gum or small snacks to these students at the beginning of class, and their behaviors have improved. We desperately need help financing the food needs of these kids. High protein snacks are expensive, and those are the snacks that produce the best outcomes for our kids. The grant will help fund snacks for these kids.

Dolly Higgins - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Bee the Change You Want to See in Your World

Dolly Higgins - Anser Charter School, Garden City


Students at Anser Charter School have become passionate about the environmental issue of Colony Collapse Disorder and pollinator health. Funds from the Idaho CapEd grant will provide a bee box and additional equipment for junior high students to manage a hive on site in collaboration with community experts. Working with experienced beekeepers from our school community and Boise State University, junior high students will apprentice and support the management of a colony. Working closely with educators in both the 4-5 and junior grade levels, these teens will also become the mentors of younger students at our K – 8 school.

Hillary Johnston - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

District Testing Instruments

Hillary Johnston - Filer Elementary School, Filer


Presently, our District has been using out-dated testing instruments to assess special needs students. Our District proposes to use the grant funding to purchase three-testing instruments for our special needs students. It is our intention to purchase the online versions of these instruments, which is most cost effective. The three instruments are: Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 5th edition (WISC V); Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale V (WAIS V); and, Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI).

Emily Thomas - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Economic Project-Based Learning Unit

Emily Thomas - Sacred Heart School, Boise


Project-Based Learning makes my second grade classroom come alive! I want to implement this new project-based learning unit into my curriculum, because the level of engagement from students during projects is amazing! In this unit, the students will design a business plan, develop a product, write a budget, create advertising, and host a market. All activities will be tied to our Common Core Math, Social Studies and ELA standards for second grade. The students will work in groups to create their own businesses. They will work within a budget to design a product that they will ultimately sell on the final market day. They will also need to log their hours of work, so they can get paid at the end of each week. On the final market day, they will set up their businesses and get prepared to sell. We will be selling to other classrooms, and each other (every student will get a set dollar amount to spend on market day)!

Ashley DeNardis - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Headphones for Heritage

Ashley DeNardis - Heritage Middle School, Meridian


This year, our school is required to teach a Digital Tools course to incoming 6th grade students. As part of the course, students will learn how to use various Microsoft applications, but also Digital Citizenship. As part of the process, students will work through interactive activities online and view video which will enhance their learning. Since each student works at a different pace, the ability for students to use headphones while working through these activities will help with focus and reduce outside distractions. I would like to purchase headphones for each student to use, that will remain in the classroom.

Janel Myers - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner


Janel Myers - Morningside Elementary, Twin Falls


Our Wonders reading unit has a story about magnets which is easily integrated with our Scott Forseman science curriculum on Magnets and Force. I have purchased magnets from the local feed store so students have a tactile experience with attraction and repel. However, I want my class to move into the knowledge base of Engineering Design (New Science Standard ETS1-3) and how magnets and electricity work together. With the activity set and activity book by STEM Infinity, my students will be able to combine electric currents with magnetism to hypothesis and experiment how the two are related and can compare experiments to see how their connectivity works and doesn't.

Courtney Shearer - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Encouraging Readers: Spanish Literature

Courtney Shearer - Reed Elementary School, Kuna


Our two second grade Dual Language Classrooms are 60% Spanish instruction. It is often challenging to have enough Spanish reading materials to get into the hands of students and an even bigger challenge to help them see themselves as Spanish readers. Our goal is to do a classroom Spanish novel unit and later Spanish Literature Circles using beginner level Spanish Chapter books. While we hope to foster growth in reading fluency and vocabulary, we also want to celebrate the success of individually completing a chapter book in Spanish as we do with our English Literature Circle Projects. For the classroom novel study, we selected a title, Magic Tree House-Earthquakes, that aligns with our new Science Standards. For the Spanish Lit Circles, we have selected 6 titles that represent various levels within beginning Spanish and various interests.

Quinet Boone - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Books for Growing Readers

Quinet Boone - Indian Creek Elementary, Kuna


We will use the grant money to buy books for the library and supplies to help the books last longer. Students love to read non-fiction and we would like to expand this section of our library with more beginning level readers so more students have books in their reading level as well as their interest level. Also, our third grade classes do a wax museum every year, where the students do a report and poster of a famous person. Then they memorize a small vignette, dress up as the character and invite their parents to the museum. We would like to support this effort with some modern biographies of famous people.

Darin Romrell - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

STEM to the Stratosphere

Darin Romrell - Sugar Salem High School, Sugar City


Students often lack the opportunity to participate in real-world projects during their elementary and secondary education—especially in STEM fields. I would like to extend our STEM curriculum into an after-school program that will allow students the opportunity to create and analyze weather data. To accomplish this goal, we will design and deploy weather balloons and their payloads that will travel between 60,000 and 120,000 feet—reaching the stratosphere. Students will not only design the experimental payloads of the balloons, but help with launch preparation, landing predictions, and required FAA paperwork. The data will then be analyzed by our Physical Science and Algebra classes.