District 6 Staff Receive Innovative Learning Grants

The goal of The Success Foundation’s Innovative Learning Grant Program is to provide opportunities for classroom teachers to develop/advance projects and programs that incorporate Colorado State Academic Standards in innovative and creative ways. The overarching goal of the Innovative Learning Grant program is to increase student success and engagement in District Six schools. Projects/Programs must incorporate standards from at least two of the nine Colorado Academic Standard Areas: Visual and Performing Arts, Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, Computer Science, Mathematics, Reading, Writing and Communicating, Science, Social Studies, and World Languages.

Congratulations to this year's winners!

Richard Madrid, Jefferson High School

Project Title: Jefferson High School Podcast

Creating podcasts is new to our school. Our students being exposed to this type of learning will help prepare them as digital forms of communication are becoming more predominant in society. With the podcasting equipment being portable, it can be used throughout the school and offsite by any teacher in the building. Students having access to this technology will provide them with a new way of learning and will help stimulate creative learning through creative means and improve their communication. Students will be encouraged to develop their own podcasts which will improve their communication, listening skills, and enhance learning by targeting each student's interest. They will create guest lectures, interviews, video demonstrations, content summarization, etc. This format of learning will be beneficial for our students as it will allow them access to curriculum even if they are away from the classroom. Podcasting also benefits different types of learners as students would have access to learn visually through videos or auditory as they listen to audio clips.

Helen Barber, Bella Romero 4-8 Campus

Project Title: Bella's Percussion Ensemble

The instrument the grant will purchase is a marimba; the marimba is a keyboard style percussion instrument that is played with mallets and is a key component to many musical ensembles. Not only key for its role in ensembles, the marimba also requires the percussion student to read music both rhythmically and tonally therein enhancing the students’ understanding of written music. The marimba is a multifaceted instrument that has the ability to support other players through harmony or by creating its own melody, providing students interested in learning percussion with a tool to learn how to read and perform music while gaining the skills to work as part of a team; multiple students playing a marimba at once and the group of students working together to prepare for performance supports natural collaboration. The marimba is to the percussion section what a quarterback is to football, and without this essential instrument, I am limited in the experiences I can provide students. In a year filled with uncertainty for music programs, I have had to turn away from traditional music making opportunities that band usually provides, to opportunities based on percussion instruments for the safety of all students involved. Percussion instruments are accessible to a wide range of skill and experience levels, while providing additional opportunities for community building and expression that students need now more than ever.

Caitlin Konecny - Fred Tjardes School of Innovation

Project Title: Student Growth and Expression through Ukuleles

This grant will allow us to offer six-week personalized music courses in ukulele for small groups of students. Students will have the opportunity to grow in their understanding of music and theory. Students will rate their own growth in all areas using a pre and post self evaluation. At the end of each 6 week course, students will demonstrate their learning in a public performance for their parents and the entire student body

David Falter, Greeley West High School

Project Title: Newspaper Video Production

The Greeley West High School Newspaper has been transitioning into an online environment the past four years with a website and social media sites that link to it. As part of the web page design, we now have the ability to create a news broadcast. Our materials are a hodge-podge of materials that provides skeleton production value and we will use the grant to upgrade as our class turns toward video production and journalism in addition to written journalism.

David Edwards, Fred Tjardes School of Innovation

Project Title: Raise our Voices through Podcasting

Students are becoming increasingly interested in producing podcasts. Over the past several months many of our middle school students have begun using this means of communication as a way of sharing their ideas and their learning. Thus far students have explored topics ranging from football matchups to chemical reactions and the Civil Rights Movement. Unfortunately, the quality of the final products has been limited by the equipment that we currently have available. Students have recorded their podcasts in noisy environments using only Chromebooks to capture their sounds. Similarly, they have been limited to the use of free online platforms for final production and as a result, the podcasts are sometimes choppy and difficult to hear. It also inhibits the amount that students can learn about audio production because the software they are using is extremely rudimentary. This grant will empower student voices by providing them with the time and equipment to continue to explore and develop their ideas and communication skills

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