Elementary School Book Room ($10,529.82) ( Sarah Iannuzzi, Reading Specialist; Jennifer Kohn, Third Grade Teacher; Luis Ramirez, Assistant Principal; Meredith Weibel, Reading Specialist and Dr. Stephen Wisniewski, Principal ) - The grant consists of the establishment of a school-wide book room in a section of the elementary school library, to better meet the diverse independent reading levels of its students in grades 3 through 5. It will contain books at a variety of reading levels, balanced between fiction and nonfiction. Additionally, it will expand each classroom library by 320 titles, with a total of 1,920 books. Teachers will also be able to check out books for up to one unit of study. As a result, students will have access to more books, effectively enriching each child's daily dose of independent reading.
MacBooks To Create "iBooks" ($6,294.00) (Jennifer Kohn, Third Grade Teacher and Meghan Olah, Third Grade Teacher) - With MacBook Air ® computers, students will have the opportunity to create and publish lively, voice-filled informational "iBooks" using a free application, iAuthor ® . The app allows the user to create beautiful, multi-touch picture books that can be viewed on the iPad ™ (previous MTFEE grant award ). Using photo galleries, videos, interactive diagrams and 3D objects, these books bring content to life in ways a printed page cannot.
The grant consists of six MacBook Air ® computers, which will initially be shared by two third grade classes in the spring, while they pilot it for the "Virtual Zoo" project. The "Virtual Zoo" project (previous MTFEE grant award) enables third graders to engage in a cross-curricular animal research project that is entirely dependent upon technology. Each student conducts research, writes a report and uses the latest technology to create a graphic representation of the animal in its habitat, as well as a brief description of the animal. Parents are invited to the presentations, where each student speaks on their specific animal.
In the fall, the MacBook Air ® computers will be available to the entire third grade, via a mobile cart, for each class to publish a writing piece of their choice.
Confratute Conference & Institute ($3,300.00) (Michelle Falanga, Gifted and Talented; Beth Topinka, Sixth Grade Science Teacher) - The grant consists of a week-long, research-based professional development conference focused on enrichment learning and teaching; differentiation; strategies for high engagement and creativity; meeting the needs of all students; and using technology to personalize instruction. The presenters are among the most noted experts and visionaries in the field of gifted education. The information and ideas from Confratute will be taken back and shared with the Millstone Township teaching staff. Topics learned at the conference are designed to enrich student's academic experiences by focusing on higher-order thinking skills, as well as their creative and intellectual growth.
E-Books ($1,563.08) (Francine Kamen, Librarian) - The grant consists of adding a set of U.S. state and regional e-books to the Elementary School Library collection. The e-books will include 57 titles, each one covering a separate U.S. state, the District of Washington, Puerto Rico and the five general U.S. regions. They will be available to staff and students through a web-based bookshelf and its online catalog. The e-books can also be accessed through any internet connection and permits unlimited, simultaneous access by the entire user population. Each teacher can also project the e-book onto a smart board (previous MTFEE grant award) and read it with the class.
The Geological Society of America Northeastern Section Meeting & Conference ($528.70) (Mary O'Rourke, Eighth Grade Science Teacher and Gloria Thomasella, Eighth Grade Science Teacher) - The grant consists of a two-day conference that will provide educators with the unique experience of learning about cutting-edge research in various fields of Geoscience from college students and professors from the Northeast. Participants will have the opportunity to attend themed sessions, view exhibits, discuss teaching strategies with other science colleagues and bring these research topics back to the classroom for students to experience. In addition, the conference will provide the necessary information to expose students to material that is beyond the scope of the standard curriculum, as well as careers and opportunities in science.