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January 2019 Grant Recipients

Brad Nishitani - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Who's My Neighbor?

Brad Nishitani - Council Elementary, Council


Have you ever wondered what animals live or visit your neighborhood? This is exactly what third graders at my school want to know! Throughout the year we study the local birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, and fish. The game cameras ordered with this grant will give us the ability to observe what wildlife uses the schoolyard and compare it to those using the nearby foothills, and pine forest. This grant will be used to purchase five game cameras, memory cards, security boxes, locks, and one card reader. Three of the five game cameras will used to monitor animals using the schoolyard, foothills, and the pine forest. The metal security boxes and locks will keep the cameras secure. Students will compare the photos to see if the same animals are using all three habitats.

Kelly Selvage - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Farewell to Shady Glade - Boise Contemporary Theater

Kelly Selvage - Anser Public Charter School, Garden City


"What happens when the city meets nature?" is the guiding question the students will be exploring through their River to Ridges Expedition. Students will be learning and researching animals found in the Boise Foothills. The curriculum will be supported by four visits and classes at the MK Nature Center. To help the students demonstrate what happens when the city meets nature, they will explore the text "Fare Well To Shady Glade" by Bill Peet. To share their understanding with the school community and parents they will create in conjunction with Boise Contemporary Theater a short play about the story. The play will meet the standards of speaking and listening, comprehension, writing, and reading.

Debbie Paxton - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner


Debbie Paxton - Centennial High School, Boise


All of our schools have a student population that has been affected by a catastrophic event. Students want to be understanding and compassionate towards their fellow students. Yet, there is little taught about the human side of global events. The emotional position of someone who has survived death and destruction is all but unknown to many students. I want my students to explore the journey presented in the Night Trilogy, and understand the struggle people have after surviving a catastrophic event; when the world wants to move on, but the individual cannot. How does one create a life worth living while carrying a heavy emotional burden? This particular trilogy follows the Elie Wiesel character through three significant emotional journeys. Journeys where the soul is examined in-depth.

Jordan Douglas - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Document Reader

Jordan Douglas - The Ambrose School, Meridian


The funds from this grant will be used towards a classroom document camera and projector. These will be long-standing tools to facilitate learning across multiple disciplines. They are mobile and can be used by any of our teachers. A classroom document camera allows teachers to project a document, model, or experiment to a screen so the entire class can follow what the instructor is doing. It allows the teacher to interact with students face-to-face rather than turning to write on the board for extended periods. It gives every child a front row seat. It gives instant feedback to students during the learning process. It helps the students to follow along on an assignment in a reading. It saves classroom instructional time, teacher preparation time, and paper and ink resources. With this document reader and projector, less time will be used in paper shuffling and more time will be spend in active learning.

Korinne Pecunia - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Reading Books

Korinne Pecunia - Union High School, Nampa


As a school, we are working this year to test and analyze our student's Lexile reading levels. We are working on teaching kids how to select books that will be a challenge for them based on their Lexile reading levels. We are struggling with not having many options in our library that match up with student interests and their Lexile level. The higher the Lexile, the more difficult it is to find a book of interest. This grant will purchase books for our library that kids will be excited to read AND be challenged while they are reading. We allowed kids to choose books based on their Lexile scores and we aim to order those books for them to read and then add them to our library collection.

Amber McVey - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Creating a Better Future By Supplying Basic Needs

Amber McVey - Pepper Ridge Elementary, Boise


Our school is experiencing a rise in students who are facing challenges at home. Some do not have enough to eat, others struggle to find suitable clothing items. Through no fault of their own, they undergo hardships most adults would find challenging. This means their minds are busy thinking about where their next meal is going to come from or how they will find clean, wearable clothing that will be appropriate for school. As a school, we would like to take this burden from them by providing them with snacks and clothing items as they need them. Having items here at school to bridge the gap between hunger and full tummies, between holes in their shoes and warm toes, between clothing that is too small and items that fit will make a tremendous difference in the lives of these children. Our project has a specific area to house food and clothing, where they can be easily monitored by our nurse, counselor, and safe-school aid and dispersed to children who need them. Students who are in need will be readily able to access the materials, getting their immediate needs met so they can experience a school day without anxiety or worry taking their attention away from their learning.

Shawna Sheppard - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Creating Critical Thinkers through Literature

Shawna Sheppard - Pepper Ridge Elementary, Boise


My fifth grade team and I have identified books that link into our curriculum and support desired outcomes in students. In our building, we strive to build a literature based environment that not only encourages reading, but also supplies high-interest, relevant text to students. All of the books have been chosen with our student population in mind. Additionally, they were all published within the last 12 months, giving our students the opportunity to be some of the first to encounter these new stories. They will have a more diverse choice of reading material that caters to our curriculum and supports what they are learning in class. By providing our students with quality, diverse books they will be able to challenge their own thoughts and approach learning metacognitively. Our classes will interact with these materials as we hold mock Newbery sessions, ultimately voting on our own "Newbery Award Winner" for the year. Providing our students with a purpose for reading will help them buy-in to the process while igniting their mental development.

Allyson Maynard - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

STEM Library for K-3

Allyson Maynard - Future Public School, Garden City


With the funding from this grant, I am seeking to create a STEM library for grades K-3 to better support the implementation of Idaho content standards for Computer Science. My school has provided access to devices and basic robotic kits but is still working to provide "unplugged" activity options that do not use any sort of device. These device-free activities help to develop the teamwork, computational thinking, and problem-solving skills that are necessary for success in computer science learning. Storybooks on computer science topics that expose students to new ways of thinking and characters that look like them (for example: Rosie Revere, Engineer) help to break down stereotypes about who can enter STEM fields. Board games designed to introduce students to skills used in coding are a fun way to gain understanding and practice with sequences and patterns. These activities, when used weekly as in our program, will promote a deeper understanding of computer science practices, support mastery of computer science standards, and will help to internalize the thinking that our K-3 students are the engineers of the future.

Jared Gee - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

Exploring the World in Infrared

Jared Gee - Sugar-Salem High School, Sugar Salem


We traditionally view the world in the visible light spectrum--but the world can be viewed in other ways. Using the FlirOne Pro thermal imaging camera, we will increase our Physics, Chemistry, and Biology students understanding of the world using infrared imaging. The FlirOne Pro is a thermal imaging camera that uses a connected phone or tablet to handle image processing. To power our FlirOne Pro we would be purchasing the 9.7 inch iPad and a protective case. In Physics, we will study heat transfer between materials and apply that information we learned to have each student take the FlirOne and iPad home for a day to do a home energy audit with the assistance of a local industry professional. Chemistry students will use the thermal camera to watch the progression of a chemical reaction through the eyes of the heat produced in those reactions. In Biology, students will use the camera in three different lab scenarios: First, in our plant growth lab they will view the temperature of the plants in relation to their environments. Second, they will use a simulated lake/river environment to study the effects of water on the temperature fluctuations of an ecosystem. Finally, they will use the camera to study the metabolism of yeast to determine if there is a connection between the temperature of a colony of yeast and the amount of carbon dioxide produced in an anaerobic environment.

Liza Martin - Idaho CapEd Foundation Teacher Grant Winner

6th Grade Physical Science

Liza Martin - Glenns Ferry Middle School, Glenns Ferry


The State of Idaho has adopted new, more rigorous science content standards that are very closely matched to the National Science Standards. Our sixth grade students will now devote a whole school year to studying Physical Science. The best way for students to learn and understand science concepts is through hands-on experiences and laboratory experiments. In order to provide these learning opportunities for my students, we will be purchasing new science equipment. The grant funds will be used to purchase durable equipment that will not be used for only one project, but for a whole school year's worth of science exploration. Some of the concepts students will explore include heat transfer, force and motion, and manipulation of properties of matter such as density. With the purchase of the requested equipment, it is expected that students will be engaged in learning science and therefore they will retain scientific knowledge and be able to apply the concepts learned in class to the outside world.