Verona Area Education Foundation Awards $3,500 to Multiple Teachers

Verona Area Education Foundation Awards $3,500 to Teachers
Posted on 03/24/2016
This is the image for the news article titled Verona Area Education Foundation Awards $3,500 to TeachersMore than $3,500 was recently awarded by the Verona Area Education Foundation (VAEF) to District teachers on the following innovative projects listed below! For more information on how the VAEF annually supports year-round education, click here.

music rug   learning

2016 VAEF Chosen Grants:

SP Innovation Lab
Teacher: Karie Hutner
School: Stoner Prairie Elementary
Grant: $300
The SP Innovation Lab is a designated space available currently to 4th and 5th grade students during afternoon recess four times a week to focus on going deeper into new technologies and making. They have started with 3D printers and 3D printing design. Karie wanted to pursue more robotics and coding activities for students as well as offer other options that they currently do not have for students through the purchase of materials that support many different kinds of creations: Puzzlets and Dash and Dot Robotics.

Note Worthy 13'2” Round Carpet
Teacher: Amy Schiefelbein
School: Stoner Praire
Grant: $849
This rug incorporates many musical symbols and reinforces the concepts being taught in the classroom and also assists in creating “life size” rhythms and practicing simple notation.

Creciendo Ciudadanos Globales (Growing Global Citizens)
Teacher: Lisette Venegas
School: Sugar Creek Elementary, Two Way Immersion Program
Grant: $330
Lisette said that finding age/developmentally appropriate current events and non-fiction resources in Spanish is extremely difficult. She wanted to purchase an interactive, subscription-based newspaper for kids called News-O-Matic. Everything is in Spanish and English, written by experts, and reviewed by a child psychologist. It is a newsy app that includes stories, puzzles, a word game, and audio. The kids use them on their ipads.

The following projects have been ordered and will be in action before the year's end:

(Following two are for sensory supports:)
Teachers: Erica Gorzalski, VASD Occupational Therapist, Malissa Roberts, MSOT UW-Madison Fieldwork Student
School: Country View Elementary
Grant: $670

Teachers: Casey Knight, Nikki Borchardt, & Kayleen DeWerd
School: Glacier Edge Elementary
Use of sensory strategies and incorporating additional movement opportunities into students' learning environment has shown to increase students focus and participation and decrease anxiety. Noise canceling headphones are a must for students who struggle to focus during independent work time because of noise. Squeeze balls help students who have trouble staying focused during large group lessons. Wobble cushions are perfect for students who need to be in constant motion. Other important tools to be purchased are weighted lap pads, fidgets, resistive tunnels and bouncy bands for chairs, slant boards and a Hoberman's Sphere to facilitate deep breathing and calmness within the classroom.

Personalizing the Writing Process
Teacher: Amy (Klubertanz) Otis
School: Glacier Edge Elementary
Grant: $150
For kids who love tinkering and building but struggle with engagement during literacy activities Amy's students will use “Lego Story Starter Kit” to ignite their excitement for writing. Their creations will be story starters, as well as provide social interaction and growth and much needed help with vocabulary and collaboration.

Robotics Challenge
Teacher: Heidi Konop
School: New Century School
Grant: $180
This grant request centered on a Project Lead the Way unit on autonomous robotics. Radios were purchased and the fun will be unveiled in the fall as students learn robotics.

“Verona Town-Through the Eyes of Second Grade Learners”
Teachers: JoBeth Kroetz and Ann Kruse
School: Sugar Creek Elementary
Grant: $200
In March and April:
As part of their art and social studies classes 2nd graders will learn to understand the visual language of street design, buildings (fire station, schools, banks, police station, parks, businesses, etc.) and the layout of their environment by constructing a 3-D model of their city using various art supplies to represent the model. The culminating activity is an exhibition of the entire collaborative building experience in the Sugar River Gallery (Verona Area High School) utilizing digital interactive presentations and 3-D models.

“Cake Boss”: Book Release Event
Teacher: Jennifer Klawiter and Keely Graettinger
School: New Century School and VAHS
Grant: $150
Project is planned for May:
A collaboration between Ms. Graettinger's Culinary Class students and Ms. Klawiter's 2/3 multiage class. A picture book connected to STEM will be read to each class and they will be presented with this task, “You have been asked by a publishing company to design a cake for the release of [chosen book]”. The students will be divided into groups to plan and create a cake for the event. The cakes will then be judged on taste, presentation, and originality. They will need to demonstrate understanding of a text and connecting the design to the theme. They will also shop at Miller's and learn decorating techniques, practice cooking skills, kitchen safety and sanitation, and listen to different opinions and use practical reasoning to decide the best choice for the whole group.

Formation of Graphene Via Chemical Vapor Deposition
Teacher: Jason Strauss
School: Verona Area High School
Grant: $460
This research will be done in May:
Nanotechnology! In this lab students will attempt to create a nano molecule called graphene. It can conduct electricity and has strength greater than steel. Scientists around the world are trying to develop cheap and simple methods of making this nano-molecule. One method is called Chemical Vapor Deposition. Jason will purchase the materials so that Chemistry students could conduct this experiment. This would be exposing students to true research in a cutting edge field. Jason asserts that too often Chemistry labs are nothing more than cooking, following a prescribed recipe to achieve a known result, which is not science. Science is a method of problem solving to gain new knowledge.

For Verona Press coverage, click here. 
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