Coolidge Elementary teachers have been awarded a fellowship grant from the Department of Public Instruction in connection with the School of Recognition Award the school earned last fall.
The grant is for $9,999 and will be used for professional learning opportunities in the area of project-based learning. Staff members will attend the Think Forward national conference in Orlando in June, participate in a book study and begin implementation of project-based learning in their classrooms this fall. About 20 grants are awarded statewide among the 173 schools that received the School of Recognition Award.
Through project-based learning, students will be directly involved in the implementation of their learning standards. The goal is to motivate students to be active participants in their own learning. Relating school-based projects to the community will be a major goal for each teacher. The teachers will attempt to use community resources to help students understand the impact of their project on the community.
For instance, one project may be the implementation of a school garden at fourth grade. Students will go through the process of gaining approval, fundraising, constructing the garden to protect from weather and animals, learning about various types of plants and growing strategies, and maintaining and harvesting the garden. The entire project will incorporate all core areas.
The teachers will monitor the progress of their project throughout the 2015-16 school year and develop professional learning opportunities for their colleagues, eventually sharing their overall student outcomes with schools throughout the District.
Coolidge teachers attending the conference this summer will be Maria Biebel, Caleb Feidt, Katherine Hess, Debra Rosera and Allison Sherman. Jessica Bayer and Tess Kerr are also members of the group which submitted the grant.