Innovative and Creative
Grant Application Information
Each year the Stephenville Education Foundation continues its mission in raising and awarding private funds to support the SISD commitment to excellence. The SEF is committed to fund innovative grants that are designed to encourage, facilitate, and reward innovative programs and activities that support district goals.
Teachers that have received grants reports that students:
- Continue to remain challenged and engaged.
- Have acquired new innovative skills by hands on activities and differentiated instruction.
- Have an increased level in student involvement and active engagement in the learning process.
Grant applications are only available to current Stephenville ISD educators.
Applications must be submitted by April 1, 2021.
2021-2022 Awarded Grants
DIG Into PreK with The Letter People
Teachers – Amber Monk, Bethany Bullion, Anna Danely, Susan Simpson, Alison Sanders
Provide challenging education programs delivered by utilizing a broader curriculum supported by processional learning that will give students the qualities and skills needed to succeed in the 21st century. Last year I wrote a grant for the Letter People Puppets and I never dreamed of the impact that they would have in my room. My students act as though they are actual friends in our classroom. Each week they get so excited as we dig the puppets out to find out their name, story, and letter sound.
So, you can imagine my excitement when I found out that Frog Street had created an entire program centered around The Letter People. DIG Pre K is a comprehensive program that provides additional resources in all content areas, while further bringing our puppets to life with all-new stories, flip charts, sentence stems, songs, and student readers.
Pre K has been missing an outside, research-based resource for several years now. We, as a Pre K team, have worked very hard to construct lessons and activities that engage our children, but the innovative edge of having an actual research-based tool to help us DIG even further into Pre K would be an asset that would benefit all Pre K teachers and students simultaneously.
Moving and grooving into vocabulary acquisition
Teachers – Doris Lemus, Janet Ruiz, Martha Esquivel, Nancy Hernandez
Rockalingua for PreK and Kindergarten bilingual classes. Rockalingua is a music-based Spanish learning platform that offers a wide array of resources for bilingual teachers. It offers learning opportunities through songs, videos, and games for different content areas. The platform was designed to engage students in a fun and effective way. Children develop innovation skills when they’re encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art and playing/singing music. Exposing children to music in early development will help them learn word sounds and meanings, and dancing will help build their motor skills.
Teachers – Amanda Swatsell, Venus Carlson, Cherie Martin, Courtney Royal, Marla Bragg, Janna Whitehead
Plugo is an award-winning new hardware gaming device that pairs to the Ipad allowing students, specifically ages 4-10, to collaborate and learn in a creative, fun, and hands-on way. After downloading the FREE apps, the children can physically manipulate learning tiles for three games in the Plugo STEM Wiz Pack, including Letters, Count, and Link. Plugo “sees” what the kids are doing and transfers it to the Ipad through using a magnetic playboard and game pieces. While the STEM pack comes with three games that allow learning across the curriculum, there are additional games that can be purchased separately.
In line with Stephenville ISD’s iChampion movement, Plugo is combining technology with tactile learning in an innovative, new way. Plugo presents ways to help students learn using the Ipad that are beneficial and fun.
1. Plugo aligns perfectly with HB3 and the Science of Reading.
2. Plugo takes full advantage of learning through technology with this innovative and interactive iPad gaming system which reaches TEKS across the curriculum.
3. Plugo provides students tiles to physically manipulate, allowing students to fulfill the much-needed tactile learning style.
Learning stations are set up in the classroom with 4-5 students per station and students rotate through each station. One station will be dedicated to one of the Plugo games during an ELA or Math station using specific Plugo Ipads issued through the district. Individual student Ipads will be reserved for other stations that might require the use of technology, such as Accelerated Reading. Plugo has a “Letters” game that can be used in literacy stations/guided reading and also has a “Count” game that can be used in math stations/guided math. Additionally, there is a “Link” game that is perfect for helping students learn to use their critical thinking skills.
Sensory All Around Us
Teachers – Maria Burleson, Tamantha Brooks, Katherine Meade, Stephanie Schrimsher, Lacy Gilley, Wayne Cooper
This project provides sensory motor tools and activities for the Chamberlin Elementary Sensory/Motor Lab. In addition, these tools will have the ability to travel with students to other learning environments, to help students within our Functional Living Skills classroom to be able to improve in fine and gross motor skills, as well as receive tactile, visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive input. These assets will also provide students an outlet with planned learning opportunities, or “brain breaks”, to help overstimulated students be able to relax or decompress. An increasing number of students are being diagnosed with Autism. Research indicates that students with autism have specific sensory needs that can be fulfilled by utilizing sensory-motor activities and tools to better focus and relax their minds. By having such resources available, it allows them to reach their optimal learning potential. Furthermore, research has shown these “brain breaks” are beneficial for students with other types of disabilities.
Teacher – Brittany Magin
Snap Circuits and Circuit Puzzles are packed with innovation. These circuits and puzzles use basic engineering, electronics, and circuitry concepts to give all students a brain workout while creating building concepts. These are hands-on kits and puzzles that challenge students to create complete circuits by following directions and basic trial and error to make the board light up, make a bell ring, make a radio work, or even make a fan actually blow. There are over 300 different projects in the snap circuit kits and over 40 puzzles in the cool circuits to keep students actively engaged. These will be highly engaging activities to use to help teach circuits to our 4th graders, which is a skill they are required to learn in our science curriculum. Having multiple sets of these circuits in each of our classrooms will help with small group instruction and hands-on learning.
Logitech Crayons and Charging Stations
Teacher – Brittany Magin
Logitech crayons are made for students/kids. We are 1-to-1 with iPads at our school and I feel like this tool will help in so many ways in our everyday instruction. Logitech crayons will take our learning and iPad use to a whole new level. Our school is continuing to achieve its goal of blended learning with teaching, technology, and data. We are taking student data and using it to drive our instruction and continuing to create an individualized learning path for our students based on information we receive from NWEA testing and IXL. These are both programs we have on our iPads. My students will be able to use these “crayons” to write, draw, problem-solve, and type. This will not only continue to make learning/assessing more engaging but also ensure precise answers and detail so that we have the most accurate data possible.
I plan to use these Logitech Crayons daily in my classroom in math and science. In science, we are usually drawing diagrams (water cycle, lifecycle, renewable and non-renewable resources, circuits, etc.) and I can see these being way more efficient for this use as well. The state is also moving to make all mandated testing online as well. With my subject being STAAR tested, these tools will also be used to take these assessments online. This again will ensure engagement along with precise answering and note-taking.
Breaking Out of the Box!
Teacher – Tisha Young
Breakout EDU provides breakout room games in both hands-on and digital formats where students work collaboratively to solve logic puzzles that are rooted in multiple subject areas and that are aligned to that subject’s curriculum standards. From core subjects such as math, science, and reading to elective subjects like art, P.E., and computer science, Breakout EDU promotes the growth of problem-solving skills and reasoning skills in a fun, interactive environment. Breakout EDU also provides students with the opportunity to create and design their own breakout room adventures then share them with others.
Breakout EDU promotes collaborative learning opportunities, develops critical problem-solving skills, and provides an engaging way to learn. The games are designed for students to think outside of their normal linear path of logic and begin to grow their cognitive and deductive reasoning skills as they solve the multi-locked, hidden clue puzzles. Breakout EDU games also help students develop their Social-Emotional skills (SEL). These skills include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and responsible decision-making.
My desired outcome for using Breakout EDU is to provide an inclusive way for students at various learning levels to increase their problem solving and perseverance skills while learning the importance of collaboration, teamwork, and leadership.
Creativity with Crayons (Logitech)
Teacher – Michele Ponder
My purpose is to make using technology as beneficial as possible both for my Gen ed class as well as my bilingual class. I want them for the practicality of neatness and fewer errors which will benefit the student academically, but also for higher-level thinking and creativity. Students will be more efficient when creating projects with graphics such as fractions, angles, water, and moon cycles. Although putting a pencil back into the hands of our children should not be innovative, it has become so. They need continued practice and strengthening of their fine motor skills.
The Logitech crayons will be tremendously beneficial for ALL students, both General ed, bilingual, and special ed, as we move into this new era of testing online. Also in small groups, students are becoming more self-directed in their learning. Assigning project-based activities will be easier for students to create diagrams, illustrations and visuals more easily.
Let’s Get Series-ious About Reading
Teacher – Lisa West
Students will be encouraged to complete books in a series through Book Clubs, a record-keeping process (bookmarks with series lists), and campus recognition. This will provide opportunities for students to set goals and enact challenges, expanding their knowledge, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. The grant provides an innovative approach encouraging all students to take an active role and direction in their learning. Typically Accelerated Reading has provided motivation for most students through a point and percentage approach. The awarding and implementation of this grant will provide a unique type of motivation. All students will be able to participate at their own academic level, with selection, reading, and goal-setting being initiated and pursued by individual students.
This grant directly correlates to many of the district’s goals. Students will take the initiative to establish relationships through literature with their peers, grow as readers, and personalize their learning experiences. The purchase of newly developed augmented reality literature adds an additional level of technology enhancements to the student’s learning. According to a report conducted using 33 highly qualified studies, students prefer paper over online texts (hechingerreport.org). This is especially important when looking at a student’s overall comprehension while reading non-fiction. In addition, students frequently ask if there are other books in a series when selecting books. The desire to complete a task, such as reading an entire series, promotes and encourages future reading.
Logitech Pencils for Young Authors
Teacher – Brenda Perez
While the iPads on their own are a powerful tool, Logitech Crayon Pencils will unleash their creativity and improve their ability to share ideas and collaborate with others. They will also allow us to achieve our goal of becoming a more efficient digital blended classroom. Our goal is to have the tools to be completely effective, as growing authors and readers in our classroom. The durability of these pens will help us foster continued work on their iPads all year long. Please be certain that these 24 Logitech Pencils will be put to good use daily in my classroom to be digitally productive.
Set the Stage to Engage Common Cliche to Reality
Teacher – Kelly Eakin
A classroom transformation is a student engagement strategy that brings real-world atmospheres to the classroom in order to pique student interaction with the curriculum and promote student success. For example, to teach revisions and editing strategies for sentence construction in the ELA-R class, teachers can transform the classroom into a hospital operating room. In this scenario, a patient (a sentence) is inflicted with an illness and the doctor on duty (the student) provides the correct remedy to cure the ailment. By engaging in a role-play situation in which the student applies concept knowledge, they are creating a synapses path for recall through active learning.
In a world that is constantly evolving, we find that we are able to participate in a variety of different experiences. As a teacher, I often find that a large percentage of my students are not subject to the background knowledge from a variety of experiences needed to support their schema about the world around them and bring that awareness into the classroom to solve problems. Classroom transformations allow teachers to bring the “outside world in” and provide an engaging opportunity for a diverse group of students to experience learning in a different manner, at a higher level. It is a known fact that when students are actively engaged in their curriculum, their level of success increases. Students who view lessons and concepts as interesting, meaningful, and entertaining tend to retain more pertinent knowledge about the subject. Classroom transformations are a vital avenue to fulfilling all aspects of student engagement and promoting student success while providing background knowledge of the world in which they live.
Stephenville High School
Total Immersion Reading with Unbroken-The Louis Zamperini Story
Teachers – Camilla Brewer, Shelli Mader, Trent Dunavant, Kristy Polk
Unbroken is an interactive curriculum that has students participated in reading, listening, vocabulary strengthening, letter writing, and team building. The book will be read aloud in class, during the 5th six weeks of the school year. Students will not only read and listen, but they will also participate in activities that will allow them to work together as small teams, as well as participate in class discussions and complete written work.
The Budget Challenge
Teacher – Kristie Aparicio
The goal of the simulation is for students to learn personal finance is about priorities and trade-offs. The simulation scoring and metrics encourage positive behaviors and discourage counterproductive behaviors.
Student priorities: Pay bills on time, Minimize fees. Prepare for unexpected events. Manage a credit card balance Maximize retirement savings into 401(k). Maintain a Budget and Cash Flow Spreadsheet, or comparable tool to track income and expenses. Reconcile the tracking tool regularly. Research quiz topics independently.
The best way to learn personal finance is through experiencing it first-hand. This simulation immerses students into financial life as an adult, so they can go through the actions of paying bills, saving for, retirement and dealing with unexpected events while having a teacher to support them through the process.
It is important that students make their own decisions, and even make mistakes, in the simulation to learn personal finance lessons. Encourage discussion, but insist on individual play. Each student must maintain their own Budget and Cash Flow Spreadsheet, pay their own bills, determine their own 401(k) contribution percent, take their own quizzes/surveys, and submit their own Help Desk tickets.
Spark Our Learning
Teachers – Tamantha Brooks, Katherine Meade, Stephanie Schrimsher, Lacy Gilley, Wayne Cooper
This project provides sensory motor tools and activities for the Stephenville High School Sensory Lab, as well as tools to travel with students to other learning environments, to help students within our Functional Academics/Living Skills classroom to be able to improve in fine and gross motor skills, as well as receive tactile, visual, vestibular and proprioceptive input. These activities and tools also provide students with planned learning opportunities to increase focus, academic performance, and behavior. They will also help overstimulated students be able to relax or decompress.
Increasing numbers of students are being diagnosed with special needs. It is projected that within the overall general population, 5-10 percent of students may have sensory integration dysfunction (Roley, Bissell, & Clark, 2009). Specifically, research indicates that students with autism have distinct sensory needs that can be fulfilled by utilizing sensory-motor activities and tools, which will be of help to them in reaching their optimum learning potential. These sensory breaks/planned learning activities are beneficial for students with other types of disabilities as well. Additionally, increasing levels of anxiety in students have been reported as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Sensory rooms could be beneficial to help all students, including older students, deal with anxiety or sensory needs. As noted in a story by The Washington Post, “Colleges are giving students calming sensory spaces to relax and decompress as well” (Cruse, 2020). This indicates that experts and professionals have recognized that older students benefit from sensory experiences and input along with younger students.
SHS Mock Trial
Teacher – Tametha Barker
The Texas High School Mock Trial Competition is an annual event run by the Dallas Bar Association. Mock Trial simulates a civil or criminal trial, with students trying the case as members of the prosecution or defense teams.
Through performance-based education, the program furthers an understanding of both the content and processes of the legal system; increases basic skills, analytical ability, and self-confidence; and promotes cooperation among students.
Students who participate in Mock Trial develop critical thinking and oral advocacy skills. A grant from the Stephenville Education Foundation would allow SHS students to participate in this innovative, hands-on learning experience, which helps students to improve basic skills like listening, speaking, reading, and reasoning.
$1,225 Partial Funding, $475 approved
Past Grant Recipients
Grants Awarded Fall 2020Central ElementaryTeacher - Amber Monk The Letter People Puppets date back to the 70’s but still have a place in education today as a fun additional tool to use in our literacy program. Children today need something that grabs their attention...
Grants Awarded Spring 2012Central ElementaryWe're all ears at the Listening Center - K $290.00Bilingual Library - Pre K - K $467.00Henderson Jr. High"Going Infographic" the "Flipped" Classroom experience $720.00Stephenville High SchoolEveryone Can Weave - 9-12...
In 2014 we were able to give almost $10,000 worth of grants to help students and teachers!