South Shelby Elementary awarded two grants from Northeast Missouri Teachers Association


SHELBINA, MO -- Two teachers at South Shelby Elementary received a grant from the Northeast Missouri Teachers Association. Both Jenny Armstrong and Cara Wilt were notified at the beginning of April by a letter that their application for the grants were approved. Combined, both grants will bring in $1,500 to go toward classroom supplies.

For Ms. Armstrong who is the art teacher at South Shelby Elementary, she received a $500 dollar grant to go toward supplies in her classroom that will benefit students K-5 throughout the district. "The grant I received was a $500 mini grant from MSTA. I wanted to create a black light art show! This is something I can involve all grades, K-5, in here at South Shelby! I know kids love new things and most of these students do not have even basic supplies of crayons and paper at home, so this is even going to be more exciting to them to use! These supplies will have the students learning the elements of art and design, but they would do it in colors that will magically change it in a different light to help them better understand the concept of contrast and value! I can’t wait for the students to create some awe-inspiring art work with these new supplies! The supplies will include new neon art supplies like oil pastels, watercolor paints, reactive tape, markers and of course some black lights! I’m so excited for the kids and especially during this time with everything going on in this world to give them a little excitement to look forward to," stated Ms. Armstrong.

For Mrs. Wilt who is a fourth grade teacher at South Shelby Elementary, received a $1,000 technology grant that will directly benefit fourth graders. Within her application, Mrs. Wilt budgeted to use the funds to purchase items like C-Pen Readers and Educational Insights Hot Dots. Using Hot Dots, students will have an interactive learning experience through math vocabulary, phonics, flash cards, etc. that enables them to learn in a self-paced environment. Fourth graders at South Shelby Elementary (and other grades) utilize Chromebooks for a wide range of educational instruction. Budgeted within this grant are Avid AE-36 Green On-Ear Stereo Headphones that will be used for online learning of the Chromebooks. "I’m very excited to be able to purchase some new learning materials for my 4th graders with this technology grant. These materials will help me differentiate my instruction to meet students’ individual needs. I’m very grateful to MSTA’s Northeast Region for providing this wonderful opportunity," stated Mrs. Wilt. The Northeast Region Missouri State Teachers Association awarded a total of five technology grants (each being $1,000) throughout the region. "These technology grants are to award our membership for excellence in teaching and to help further the accessibility of technology materials for the classroom," stated the association on their application.

The Northeast Missouri Teachers Association will be hosting an awards banquet to recognize grants and other awards given to area teachers on May 5th, 2020 at the Expo Center in Macon, Missouri.

Cara Wilt provided to the paper, part of her grant application that she put together and eventually submitted.

APPLICATION -- Locally identified needs this grant is designed to meet:

MRS. WILT: As educators, we know that our students bring different learning styles to our classrooms. We are constantly faced with the task of helping students stay engaged, show growth, and master the curriculum. Differentiated instruction is a method by which we can take on this challenge and find new ways to help our students. It focuses on using teaching strategies that provide students with a variety of options for taking in and processing information, making sense of ideas, and then expressing their learning.

One strategy I have used to help differentiate instruction is incorporating technology into my classroom. It provides me with a wide range of instructional resources and supports. These resources have offered me the opportunity to provide more varied media tools and methods. I’ve seen technology offer multiple options for students to access information, demonstrate what they know, and get excited about learning. Unfortunately, funds are not available to purchase new items to help enhance technology components in my classroom. I’m seeking this grant as an opportunity to purchase items to provide technology in order to help differentiate the instruction in my class in an effort to reach all learners and capitalize on their unique learning styles!

APPLICATION -- Activities to be completed if I am awarded the grant:

MRS. WILT: I would like to purchase a variety of items that could be used across multiple content areas to differentiate instruction for my students. I teach math and ELA exclusively to my students, but I work in a partially departmentalized setting where I teach social studies to both sections of fourth graders. I would love to use these items in a variety of ways in my classroom, but particularly in small groups at learning centers. The items lend themselves to great experiences for students and would allow them to choose ways they learn best. Not only does this improve student engagement, but it allows them to take ownership of their learning, as well.

APPLICATION -- Expected benefits and outcomes for students:

MRS. WILT: The items I would like to obtain could be used in each of these areas to help enhance learning and engage all students, regardless of their individual learning styles. For example, the pen readers could be used in social studies for students who experience difficulties with decoding. These tools could help the students overcome the struggles of reading the words and help aid in their comprehension of the content. The hot dots math sets could help students who struggle with basic facts. The practice could help them improve their fluency as they move toward more complex multiplication problems. The on ear headphones would be a great tool for aiding students who struggle with reading fluency. Allowing them to follow along with text-to-speech programs on their Chromebooks will help guide the students as they listen to what good readers sound like. These are just a few examples of ways students can benefit from these purchases!

Items budgeted in the grant include: C-Pen Reader, Avid AE-36 Green On-Ear Stereo Headphones 10-Pack, Bose Companion PC Speakers, Educational Insights Hot Dots Learn-to-Solve Word Problems, Educational Insights Hot Dots Academic Vocabulary Card Set, Educational Insights Hot Dots Math Flash Cards- Multiplication, Educational Insights Hot Dots Laugh It Up, Math Vocabulary, Educational Insights Hot Dots Pen, Telling Time Teaching Clock for Kids, Educational Insights Mult. Slam, and Learning Resources Elec. Flash Card.