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Innovation grants allow teachers to apply research-based ideas in their classrooms. Stoughton Area School District recently awarded four Innovation Grants totaling $9,400. The paragraphs below are from Superintendent Tim Onsager’s blog and share a bit about each project awarded:

Fox Prairie Elementary School teachers Cassie Perkins, Mary Scott, Nancy Nortwen, Tara Hutchins and Trish Rorvig were awarded a $4,000 grant to pilot a program that looks at the link between student movement and academic performance (that’s the chairless classroom idea [from a Mayo Clinic study]). Research shows the two can be linked. [The project includes] the use of adjustable height desks, exercise bands and exercise balls to replace some classroom chairs, [experimental and control groups, and multiple methods of instruction] to… see if one way produces better [health/wellness and academic performance] results.

Stoughton High School family and consumer science teacher Sarah Quinn was awarded a $3,000 grant to increase student engagement in cross curricular learning. Students in Culinary Arts are fascinated by shows such as “Marcel’s Quantum Kitchen” that illustrate how professional chefs and food scientists manipulate food to create innovative and cutting-edge dishes.

Stoughton High School science teacher Eric Benedict received $1,200 to pilot “one to one” technology in the classroom and to work with the technology department to develop a plan to teach other staff on how to integrate this technology into their classrooms.

Fox Prairie Elementary School kindergarten teacher Courtney Woods was awarded a grant of $1,200. Woods will attend an institute this summer that will include training on incorporating the Next Generation Science Standards into the classroom, as well as how to utilize the schoolyard and the surrounding community to make learning more hands on and inquiry-based. 

Why share? “Awarding grants to teachers fosters and supports changing classrooms to better serve students” says Lead Coach at Studer Education, Dr. Robin Largue. “Also, what a great way to recognize teachers for going beyond their normal responsibilities. The sharing of the lessons learned by these teachers as they implement strategies will certainly help the Stoughton Area School District move to higher performance.”

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Special thanks to Dr. Tim Onsager, Superintendent of Stoughton Area School District, for sharing his blog “SASD: Preparing Students for the Emerging World in Which We Live” and post “Innovation Grants Awarded.” Check out the blog and post here. For more information about the Stoughton Area School District in Stoughton, Wisconsin, visit its website at http://www.stoughton.k12.wi.us/.

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