The Decatur ISD Education Foundation awarded 15 innovative teaching grants totaling nearly $40,000 Dec. 13.
Young Elementary teachers Tami Blythe, Holly East, Clyde’ette Gage and Kimberly Warren were awarded a $4,003.24 grant titled “Mimio Magic” given in honor of First Financial Bank. Students will collaborate frequently using the Mimio. They will brainstorm animals that are oviparous and create a circle or bubble-thinking map. They will have the power to “own” their learning in order to create these thinking maps by adding to or deleting items from them.
Young Elementary teachers in kindergarten through fifth grade, including fifth grade teacher Tammy Rainey, were awarded a $6,990 grant titled “Weatherbug School” given in honor of Devon Energy. Students will work in groups to examine authentic weather data and work with other Weatherbug schools to learn and investigate climates in different areas of the country.
Young Elementary teacher Kara Daniel, Rann Elementary teacher Lindy Bryant and Carson Elementary teacher Brooklynn Stapleton were awarded a $1,075.20 grant titled “Social Studies Weekly” given in honor of Roy and Jeannine Eaton. Students will be able to dig deeper into significant events and contributions of famous Texans and events. Students will not only focus on social studies, but they will also expand their reading and writing skills, as well.
McCarroll Middle School teacher DeDe Diaczenko was awarded a $900 grant titled “Making Our Mark, Weaving a Legacy” given in honor of Dr. C.M. and JoAnn Cocanougher. Students will use a friendly loom to create tapestries that will be displayed on each of the middle school campuses. Much in the same way each student impacts the community they are a part of, the tapestry will represent this time in their lives and how they made a mark on their campus history.
Diaczenko was also awarded a $3,000 grant titled “Get Fired Up, Artists!!” given in honor of Datalink Information Services-Randy and Pam Shrull. Students will build and glaze their own pinch pot/coil pot. As students work with the clay, they will receive instruction from a master potter who will offer advice in design and structural development.
McCarroll Middle School teacher Kristi Thetford was awarded at $4,960.85 grant titled “1D, 2D, No…Let’s go 3D!” given in honor of Atmos Energy. In order to determine the mission and the process to complete the mission and solve the issue in the community, students will need to collaborate on different issues. Students will need to discuss different options on fixing the issue along with the final product to be presented.
Rann Elementary teachers Aaron Massey and Giselle Gutierrez were awarded a $1,647.57 grant titled “Experimental Design: Preparing for the Future…” given in honor of J.E. and Betty Carson. All activities will allow students to work together to collect information and communicate the information they have collected. Students will then work together to create a presentation that explains the information they have collected. All assignments will include an oral presentation of some type.
Rann Elementary teacher Holly McNiel was awarded a $4,878.90 grant titled “More Mallet Madness” given in honor of North Texas Bank. Students will learn the importance of collaboration in an ensemble performance to ensure they are playing together.
Carson Elementary teacher Crystal Klose was awarded a $432 grant titled “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!!” given in honor of Decatur Tire Store. Students will be able to use resources to collaborate on projects. They will be asked to present information obtained and synthesized from the newspapers. They will be asked to critically think about the people discussed in a historical context and develop theories about their actions and the decisions they made and how those actions still impact us today in our country and in the world.
Carson teacher Stacy Williams was awarded a $1,317 grant titled “Let the Creating Begin” given in honor of iCopy/Wise Wireless. Students will collaborate with each other to complete the research about each one of the heroes. They will be involved in a few fishbowls as a class to discuss the information they have found.
Carson teacher Karen Crooks was awarded a $415.03 grant titled “Science Studies Weekly Discovery” given in honor of Bond Family Eye Care. Students will develop research and media skills using primary and secondary sources. 2.0 digital tool suggestions for creating online products like videos, avatars, posters and slide shows are provided.
Crooks was also awarded a $415.03 grant titled “Texas Community Studies Weekly” given in honor of 2K Pawn and Gun. Students are required to write about what they read, perform additional research, cite sources and consider other points of view. Assessment questions require students to recall, examine and analyze the text they have read.
Decatur High School teachers Eric McNiel, Ginger Dillard, Cody Knott, Cassidy McQuiston and Chris Yurasek were awarded a $5,000 grant titled “Mobile Music: Band on the Run” given in honor of Wise Regional Health System. The Sound Machine will allow students to be in charge of their learning. They will be able to take it out, set it up on their own, digitally enhance it with their 21st-century tools that the district already provides and be more productive with technology in the classroom.
High school teacher Christine Carreno was awarded a $1,378.66 grant titled “3D Molecular Designs” given in honor of Charles and Loraine Burton. Students will have a completed DNA molecule, a completed water molecule, and a completed sodium chloride molecule. Students will then demonstrate the structure of DNA and how nitrogenous bases fit together. Students will also demonstrate the different phases of water and how an ionic bond dissolves in water.
High school teacher Audrey Micinski was awarded a $2,754 grant titled “Lighting the Way to Understanding Light!” given in honor of DATCU. Students will engage in a month-long study of light and optics which will be addressed through a series of labs including both prescribed and open-ended labs in which students start with the basic concepts of reflection, refraction, diffraction and interference. That initial study will springboard into the making of a working microscope and then finally a telescope.