MEF Round 23 Awarded Grants – November, 2013

Round 23 Grants – November, 2013

  1. Interactive Notebook
    To implement a teaching technique used at MHS called the Interactive Notebook.  Using this technique, students divide their notebook in half, one side for the teacher and one side for the student.  On the teacher side the student takes notes and answers review questions.  On the student’s side, the student uses images, diagrams, maps, and graphic organizers to interpret the material.  Students will be directed to use color on their side of the notebook to increase information retention.  The purpose for the creation of the Interactive Notebook is to allow the students to take ownership of the content that is being covered and promote best practices in regards to literacy. The materials used in the activity will be used on a daily basis. 
    Andrew Augustyn, Pierce, 8th Grade, 41 students, $165.37.

  2. MHS PBIS and IPATCH Reward Funds
    Students receive recognition from their teachers each Wednesday if they are nominated, and ten of the nominated students are randomly chosen as winners to receive rewards.  The rewards students can choose from are varied, but include office supplies, candy, health bars, bags of healthy candy and nuts, Gatorades, coupons for free ID’s and lanyards, coupons for concessions at sporting events, and tickets to special events at the school.  Students who serve on the committee identify rewards they feel motivate students.  Teachers will benefit as two teachers who participate in the recognition are selected each month to be recognized on large banners in the lobbies and awarded a $50 gift card donated by Chili’s and other local restaurants.  The purpose of the project is to continue to change behavior by recognizing and rewarding students who have a positive influence on our school environment and demonstrate the desired behaviors we are teaching students.  Additionally, we are acknowledging the teachers in our building who support this initiative. 
    James Stamper, Grades 9-12, 2400 students, $1400

  3. Junior Engineering
    The purpose of Junior Engineering is to provide an opportunity for 3rd graders to build motorized machines using unique Lego kits.  This is an on-site field trip arranged through All About Learning (Rose Hulman and Purdue Universities).  Students will build, motorize, and run machines using science, technology, engineering, and math.  Students will cooperatively build and modify machines exhibiting basic engineering principles while using critical thinking and collaborating skills.  Prior to the experience, students will study a unit on Measuring and Simple Machines in preparation. 
    Jayne Hickman, Wood, Grades 3 & 4, 140 students, $700.

  4. Fieler’s Family Math Night
    Family Math Night will strengthen math skills of our students through the power of family interaction.  Parents attending will learn new strategies currently being used to teach math. Different stations will be set up to focus on Estimation, Numbers and Operations, Geometry, Measurement, and Problem-solving.  Families will have access to the Media and Computer rooms.  Refreshments will be served and take home math bags will be provided for the first 50 families that RSVP and attend.  These bags contain math manipulatives with directions. After the event, parents can go home and use the examples given to provide remediation/enrichment activities. 
    Sarah Gill, Fieler, Grades K-4, 220 students, $484.58

  5. Rhythmic Fraction Fun
    The purpose of the project is to utilize a hands-on approach to improve instruction in reading and notating rhythms while also supporting math skills.  Students will work with wooden tiles called Note Knacks that are sized according to the fractional relationships between note values.  Working with the tiles will help students understand the relationships between note values.   This project will also assist with learning math concepts such as fractions, equivalency, measurement, and problem-solving.  Students will use the Note Knacks to add note values, to notate rhythms of songs they know and to compose their own rhythms.  Students will perform their rhythms on instruments. 
    Barb Timmerman, Wood, K-4, 305 students, $737.90

  6. Merrillville Alternative Program Positive Rewards Project
    The project is designed to provide reinforcement for positive behaviors.  Daily, students are required to fill out a short self-assessment that includes information on the time they arrived, their mood, the number of lessons they complete, and the number of points they earn.  When students rank their mood low or fail to consistently complete lessons, they are flagged for additional services.  These services include meeting with the social worker or the behavioral consultant or making an action plan with their teacher.  At the end of the week, students are eligible to cash in points for a bag of chips, snack during break time, movie day depending on the number of points. 
    Katelyn Holsclaw, MHS, Grades 9-12, 500 students, $500

  7. Cross the Line
    The project begins with the premise… “With everything, there’s a line.  On one side of the line there is a greater chance to make good things happen.  On the other side, there’s less of a chance.  With each line, you have a choice.  You either cross the line, or you don’t.  You either want to create the chance of making good things happen or you settle for less.  It’s your choice.”  To help introduce, support, and reinforce the theme, the Cross the Line Kit includes a motivating DVD, leader’s guide, student’s booklet, and accessories.  These lessons include higher level thinking, analogies, writing reflections, and goal setting.  Students are encouraged to follow four steps to improving test scores:  1) choose to commit 2)work hard 3)focus 4)bounce back. This project could be a pilot for all students eventually.  
    Gina Helton, MIS, 5th grade, 30 students, $529.24

  8. Paramount Publishers Club
    The project involves a writing and illustrators club at MIS for fifth and sixth graders as a pilot project.  Students become writers and illustrators paired to create a fictional story or memoir.  The stories will be published and made into hardcover books for students and library.  Students will hold a read aloud where friends, family, and community are invited.   Allowing fictional, creative writing can create moments of self-awareness that are rare in a typical classroom.  This sends a message that what students have to say is worthwhile.  The club will encourage the reluctant writer, strengthen student confidence, reward interest, and promote a positive attitude toward literature while meeting Common Core Standards and involving the community. 
    Shannon Hedrick, MIS, 5th and 6th graders, 165 students, $522.03.

  9. Kids on the Block Anti-Bullying and School Safety Puppet Program
    The Kids on the Block Program is designed to create awareness of what constitutes bullying, present problem solving strategies, encourage empathy for the targets of bullies, and explore ways that students may be involved in promoting safety in their schools.  The MHS Thespian Troupe plans to utilize this program as a theatrical based educational intervention wherein older students educate younger students about the value of a safe and supportive educational environment through fun and engaging performances.  They travel to the elementary schools each year.  The program is in its 5th year now, but updated scripts and puppets must be purchased. 
    Tom Mackey, MHS, K-5 and 9-12, Thousands, $1933

  10. Reading is a Real Treasure
    The project provides new and exciting books and bags to kindergarten through fourth grades students that will enhance the development of their reading skills and promote recreational reading over the summer.  In each bag are three books, a reading log, summer reading Bingo sheet, and a bookmark.  Incentives would be in place for bringing back bags and summer reading logs.  Books are being collected for the project. 
    Janelle Bowen, Fieler, K-4, 2300 students, $858.95.

  11. Inclusion Dance for Special Needs Students
    The special needs students can practice socialization skills and interact with other teens in a safe and supervised environment.  The students who will help organize the dance, will learn how to interact with special needs teens, planning skills, and decision making skills.  Advanced Nutrition and Wellness students will practice their culinary skills by preparing refreshments.  Other students will decorate and prepare invitations.  Dance photos will be funded by the Croatian Choral Group, refreshments will be purchased with funds raised by the Foods classes, prizes and goodie bags funded through grant money from CelebrateMyDrive. 
    Carol VonBehren, MHS, 9th, 195 students, $25


TOTAL ROUND 23 GRANTS:  $8,081.09

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