Grant Writing for Teachers – Why You Should Apply

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grant writing teacherWhy would you want to be a grant writer for a school? It’s a lot of work to pull together a grant application. And it’s even more work if you’re fortunate enough to receive the grant. You have to keep records, prove that you’ve spent the money properly, and record the results of your program — even if those results are not positive. So why even put yourself through the grant-writing process?

The best, most successful grants are not usually written with just the money in mind. True, money can help move the change process along, but if your purpose for writing grants is truly to better the lives of students and teachers, the chance for success in doing that improves dramatically when you have a positive, well-defined grant program in place.

What challenges are your students facing? What do they need help learning in your school? What behaviors are they exhibiting that might get in the way of achievement? Can your students read at grade level? Are they proficient enough in math to make major purchases without being ripped off? Can they speak English well enough to live productively in American society? Are your teachers trained well enough to truly educate every child in their classrooms? Continue reading



STARBASE Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program

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STEM afterschool

The S&S team is proud to be the sponsor of the National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award for Afterschool for 2017. We are recognizing the nominees and winners for their accomplishments and dedication to the afterschool community. Benita Blackwell shares her experience as an afterschool professional, and how introducing the field of STEM to her students has had an impact on their lives and life skills.

I was introduced to the afterschool profession six years ago when I served a Certified Secondary Mathematics teacher in the public school system. This particular afterschool profession helped to enhance the academic enrichment with the student body of the school. With my enrichment area of expertise being Mathematics and Science, my students questioned me daily on when they would ever utilize the topics embedded in the curriculum in the real world. No matter how much I related the areas to their real world job content, I was still leaving my students stranded in an abyss, because it was not a part of the world they live in. They still could not see how limits relate to atoms and the atomic number; how basketball related to special right triangles; how vectors are associated with every sport; how mathematics can be a form of literature; how algebra, trig, calculus, physics, outliers, and standard deviations are used in the workplace (engineering, automotive, nursing, doctors, banking, accounting, pilots, scientist, biologist, designers, interior decorators, veterinarians, graphic designers, programmers, coding, architects), basketball, baseball, football, soccer stadiums and buildings, and much more. Continue reading



Classroom Book Activity – Rosie’s Walk

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rosie's walk book activity

Classroom Book Activities for: Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins

Story Summary

Rosie the hen is going for a walk on the farm. As she walks around the farm, she doesn’t seem to notice the fox following her. Read to find out what happens to the fox and if Rosie can get back home safe.

Recommended Age: 1st Grade

Activity 1

  • Gather the class on the rug to introduce Rosie’s Walk. As a whole class, do a picture walk of the story. The teacher can model how to do a picture walk or students can volunteer to say what they notice about the pictures.
  • During the picture walk, introduce new vocabulary such as flour and mill. Write the new words on chart paper.
  • After the picture walk, read the story to the class.

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#MatchItMonday for Students & Staff

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#matchitmonday bulletin boardOne of the goals that we have as teachers is to engage our students on many different levels. We not only want to deliver high quality instruction, we want to make our schools a fun place to be.  

This year at my school my colleague, Stephanie (@stephy_morgs) and I decided we wanted to have some fun with our students and staff. We brainstormed and thought of the things that our students enjoyed most outside of the classroom work. Our school has different themed weeks throughout the year and the kids dress up on those days in different types of outfits and they love it! Continue reading



Classroom Book Activity – Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

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chicka chicka boom boom book

Classroom Book Activities for: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom By Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault. Illustrated by Lois Ehlert

Story Summary

In this rhyming alphabet book, letters are racing each other to the top of the coconut tree. Will all the letters fit in the coconut tree? Will they help each other get to the top of the coconut tree?

Recommended Ages: 

  • Preschool
  • Kindergarten

Activity 1

  • Introduce the letters of the alphabet to the students. Place the letters (you can choose to use uppercase or lowercase letters) in a plastic bucket.
  • Have the students sit in a circle and place the bucket in the middle of the circle.
  • Each student gets a turn to pick a letter until all the letters have been picked. Have the students try to name each letter that is picked.
  • After all the letters have been picked, count how many letters there are altogether. Review with students that there are 26 letters in the alphabet.
  • Ask the students what else they know about letters (letters in their names, letters in words, the ABC song). Then sing the ABC song together.

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