Mini-Grant Application for School Year 2016-17

Submitted by: Barbara Wilcox Email: Grade Level: TK and 6 Subject: Reading, Writing, Technology
Co-Applicant: Email: Grade level: Subject:

School: Tropical Elementary Type: Public Grade Levels:K-6 County:Brevard

Approx. Enrollment: 760 Number of teachers:56 % of Free and Reduced Lunch:48%

School Address:

885 S. Courtenay Pkwy Merritt Island, Fl 32952

Phone: 321-454-1080 Principal:Meara Trine Email:

Project Title: Tropical Kingdom Treasures
Project Dates: September -May 2017 Grade Levels:

Focus Area(s) :Early Childhood Reading- Writing- Technology - Multi-grades character development

Florida Language Arts App (FLApp) project incorporates reading and writing in early childhood through various technologies and technology projects. E-books (both auditory and leveled readers) and learning apps (reading, spelling, and writing) purchased will be downloaded onto classroom and newly purchased IPads and Kindles which students will use to augment their learning at various times during the day. Our 2016-17 school-wide focus is improving the 90 minute reading block and having the ability to immerse my students in reading through multiple genres on multiple levels in varied formats will help meet their individual needs and preferences. Projects using technology will include: partner video-taping of animal reports at the zoo, PEACEwing project –a Padlet project spreading peace, reading e-books and taking virtual assessments, responding to books through writing apps, and practicing learning concepts through padlet sites (spelling practice, Recycle America pledges, etc.). This project meets Brevard Public Schools operational belief: “Commitment to a relentless pursuit of teaching methodologies that foster student engagement, critical thinking, self-efficacy and content mastery”. The students in my class consist of high level kindergarten students and Transitional Kindergarten (TK) students. The students reading ranges from Level 2 Frustration level (Level 4 is the “on-grade level” criteria to be placed in TK) to a few students who have mastered up to level 28 (2nd grade level). TK’s goal for the year is Level 10 or higher with comprehension as measured through running records and Accelerated Reader assessments. Struggling students learning to read will benefit from this program through a variety of methods that support their learning and interest at their individual levels but it also supports those students who are ready to “read to learn”. Having a multitude of options for these high-level learners will continue to support their learning needs, growth, and abstract thought processes.

1. How is your project innovative? (25 points) Primary students have limited attention spans. A 5 year olds attention span is approximately 5 minutes, therefore they need a variety of methods of engagement. Technology is one method of interaction that all the students enjoy and are eager to embrace. Holding students responsible for their learning, even at this young age, is a criterion for mastery of content. This project, which will provide multiple levels of non -fiction e-readers on various technology components (computer, IPads and Kindles) and then a posting a response (writing a summary, making a questionnaire for others reading the book to answer, etc.) through a Padlet site, will promote reading, writing, science and social study standards in our classroom. This project also includes utilizing our 6th grade buddies. Every Friday our buddies visit our TK classroom and each 6th grader works with two TK students on reading, writing and identifying sight words. Being able to use the Kindles and the IPads to read stories to the 6th graders, as well as write about their reading together, is important because this 1:2 connection enables my TK students to receive immediate feedback on a consistent basis, which will support their learning goals. This project is also innovative as it requires the students to respond to text in an on-line capacity and connects them to other readers outside of their classroom for interaction. To post on the Padlet site, a student’s responses must be legible and “professional”, meaning they must learn to edit and revise until acceptable. This component holds them to a higher standard than responses just used in the classroom setting. Student success in this project will show in multiple ways including: a 6 level increase in reading from level 4 at the beginning of the year to a level 10 or higher at the end of the year, an understanding of multiple scientific concepts as evidenced by an increase in pre/post science test scores, and better writing skills as evidenced by an increase on the writing rubric to level 5 or 6. The e-books and Padlet site will be shared with other classrooms in our school for reading and writing opportunities. The Padlet site will also be shared with parents, other schools, and our local colleges for their involvement or responses as desired. In order for the teacher to stay abreast of new and innovative technological ideas for primary instruction, she will be attending the Florida Technology State Conference. This grant will also purchase an additional 4 IPads for the classroom which will bring our classroom Ipad total to 9. With only two working computers in my classroom, it is almost impossible for my students to utilize technology without using our classroom IPads, all purchased through grants! Additional IPads will enable all my students to work as partners with technology at the same time. We have a variety of projects that they will be completing as partners, including but not limited to: videotaping each other talking about specific learning topics, posting messages on our classroom Padlet sites (Peacewings, spelling, reading connections, etc.) and of course, working with their 6th grade buddy. Working with partners supports both our academic criteria as well as our social-emotional criteria for TK. The purchase of 4 Kindles will enhance our “listening and learning” center. Students will be able to read or listen to books at their individual levels. Books purchased for the Kindles will be utilized for years to come promoting sustainability. Having a variety of technology options for the students will also give us more ways to utilize and increase our reading time to develop stamina in reading processes. Students will be able to choose if they need to read alone or read with a partner. When students are focused on their individual or partner work, it frees the teacher to work with small groups of students to individualize their lessons with less distractions. This is a win-win situation for all. 2. How will it fit into your curriculum (include standards)? (10 points) This project will be utilized during our Reading Rotation (90 Minute Language block) daily. Students will rotate through stations including those utilizing the IPads and Kindles. One of the goals is to have students develop a stamina for reading over longer lengths of time. Having the option to read in their preferred manner, e-book or real book, will help each student meet his/her goal. This project fits perfectly into my daily curriculum. It will meet the following criteria and standards: Reading: RF.TK.4 Read emergent-reader texts with purpose and understanding. Reading Fiction/Non-Fiction: R.I.TK 1/ RL.TK.1 - ask and answer questions about key details in the text. RI.TK 2/RL.TK.2: Identify main topic and retell key details of a text. Science: SC.TK.N.1.1: Collaborate with a partner to collect information. Writing: W.TK.2: Participate in creating a variety of informational/expository forms through drawing or writing. Writing: L.TK.2: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing. Social Studies: SS.TK.C.2.1: Demonstrate the characteristics of being a good citizen. Social Studies: SS.TK.A.2.4: Listen to and retell stories about people in the past who have shown character ideals and principles including honesty, courage, and responsibility. 3. How will it encourage long-lasting change in your classroom, school or community? (20 points) This project will encourage long-lasting change in my classroom through the utilization of the Kindles, IPads, e-books and apps through many years of instruction and learning. The students will also be able to view activities completed the previous year, if desired. This also provides my students with a sound knowledge base in utilizing technology which can then be expanded, refined and reviewed in future classes. The focus can then be on learning content and not learning how to use technology. This will give them a boost for future success. This project will encourage long-lasting change in our school by proving that technology is important in our early childhood classrooms and can be utilized correctly and with specific goals in mind. It will pave the way for additional funds and/or grants to be utilized based upon the reading success of this grant. Hopefully it will also encourage other teachers to utilize more technology options including students teaching other students. This project will encourage long-lasting change in the community and the world through the sharing of our Padlet sites. For example, Peacewings is a Pad-let site that promotes peace through the world. My students write about what they will do to promote peace and will read what other people around the world will do to promote peace. You can check out our previous Peacewing project: . It broadens the horizons of everyone that participates, and provides my students with a real-life experience to learn about other places in the world. 4. How will technology be utilized? (20 points) The technology integration will happen on a continuous, daily basis. Technology will be utilized through IPads: reading, spelling, writing apps, video-taping students’ mastery of concepts, utilizing Padlet sites for communication with each other, stakeholders and the community in general. Technolgoy will be utilized through Kindles: reading and listening to books at specific learning levels. Professional Development for the Teacher will support my efforts in finding new and better ways to implement technology in the classroom as well as to improve my own technology skills. 5. What evidence will you collect to show student gain? (10 points) Students will show mastery of concepts through various measures. Videos of information sharing and posts on Padlet sites will document learning. Pre/post assessments, running records and District level assessments, as well as teacher observation, will be used to assess learning. My goals are: 90% of the students in TK will increase their reading level through Running Records to level 10 or higher and 90% of the students in TK will increase their sight word identification skills to 100 words. 6. How will participants share your project results with the community? (15 points) Projects will be shared in multiple ways. Some of the videos made will be shared with the kindergarten teachers to help them teach certain concepts and other videos will be shared with the parents through uploading on my Edline teacher webpage. Other projects will be shared through the use of the Padlet sites and the stakeholders, parents and community will be encouraged to respond through these sites. Projects will also be shared through our classroom newsletter and our Tropical School newsletter.


Service/ Item Description Cost
Technology Professional Development for Teacher (FETC Conference). $249.00 per day (if paid by 12/16 290.25
4 IPad Air @ $346.49 each.4 IPad Air heavy duty drop resistant cases @ $18.99 each plus shipping and 1681.79
4 Kindles(79.99 each) 4 Kindle cases (39.99 each) and shipping/handling (71.98) 551.86
50 Kindle E-books @ #.99 each 199.50
18 Headpones for IPads and Kindles @ 7.50 each (one per TK student. This will hold students respons 135.00
Total Cost of Project $2,858.45
If matching funds identified list source:
Donated Goods/Services:Use of Free On-Line books and Free Apps for Ipads
Total Requested From TERRA $2,858.45

I, Barbara Wilcox , certify that the application is complete and final, AND I verify that I have received permission to apply for these funds from Meara Trine,the Principal of Tropical Elementary and any other individuals required by my school district.