2013-14 Curriculum Project Grants

North County

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Who Doesn’t Love a Discount?

Aimey Adams
Kunst Jr. High School
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Students Learn part/whole/percent relationships to build the foundations for a strategy for calculating mark-ups, discounts, and sale prices. Click here to learn more and view lesson plans for this project.

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Genius Hour

Geri Coats, Cathleen Petty
Righetti High School
Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District

Students participate in a project based learning activity over the course of the spring semester with projects developed from their own interests and concerns about the world we live in. For more information and for lesson plans associated with this unit, click here.

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Biome Beginners

Judith Denton
La Honda School
Lompoc Unified School District

Using an extensive botanical garden website and other print references, student pairs become experts on a specific biome and teach their peers through a report of information and a triorama. For lesson plans associated with this unit, click here.

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Watershed and Water Conservation in Santa Barbara County

Laura Branch
Righetti High School
Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District

Students learn about catchment basins, reservoirs and runoff in Santa Barbara County. They construct stream models to study how urbanization causes a decrease in the volume of water that seeps into the ground, resulting in an increase in volume and decrease in quality of surface water. Such changes have significant implications for the quantity of fresh, clean water that is available for use by humans, fish and wildlife. Students are challenged to find realistic solutions to this problem and brainstorm ways to conserve the amount of fresh water they have in their local area. Click here for materials associated with this project.

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Words Alive With Poetry

Heather Dean
Vandenberg Middle School
Lompoc Unified School District

The magic of words comes to life for students through this Poetry Unit that explores great classical poetry while also engaging students in writing unique and non-threatening poems of their own. Students explore the power of words and learn about some of the historical influences on poets and their work. This unit is aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Click here for project materials.

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Collections, Classifications, Elements, and Compounds: Creating a Matter Museum

Kristen Lohr
Taylor School
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

Capitalizing on a child’s natural curiosity for colleting and exploring their natural world, students become “experts” in classifying matter and identifying elemental properties. Students collect non-living and once living objects from their playground. They closely examine the physical attributes of the various collected objects and identify the primary element(s) in each object. The identified objects are then organized and labeled by students as they create their own matter museum or display. Click here for lesson materials.

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Delicious Common Denominators

Carol Gillespie
Kunst Jr. High School
Santa Maria-Bonita School District

This unit is a series of lessons to review and re-teach the concept of using common denominators to add and subtract fractions. Lessons reinforce why common denominators are necessary and even more importantly that when we convert fractions to common denominators we are not changing the value of that fraction. The unit culminates with a fun activity that ends with making trail mix and shows the use of fractions in our every day life. Click here for the lesson materials.

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The Battle at Gettysburg: Embalming of the Casualties and the Subsequent Arsenic Poisoning of the Groundwater

Laura Branch, Alexander Jauregui
Righetti High School
Santa Maria Jt. Union High School District

US History and Environmental Science students work to understand where arsenic in the groundwater came from in areas near the Battle at Gettysburg. Tests within the community show the highest levels of arsenic are located near the cemetery and the only people buried there are Civil War casualties. Students learn that, as far as casualties are concerned, embalming techniques were in its infancy and arsenic was used to preserve their body for burial away from the battlefield. The degradation process of caskets in cemeteries dating back to the Civil War causes the contamination. Click here for lesson plans for this unit.

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Chumash Hutash Pow Wow

Linda Mayer
Santa Ynez Valley Charter School
College School District

This project encompasses a unit about the life, culture, and customs of the Native Chumash people. Students learn and understand the Chumash lifestyle some 200-300 years ago when they lived in tribal villages in our local area. The unit culminates with the students creating, preparing, and inviting other classes to their own Chumash Hutash and Pow Wow. Click here for project resources.

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Metacognition: Thinking About Our Thinking – The Key to Success

Valerie Trenev
Alice Shaw School
Orcutt Union School District

With this unit, students are taught cognitive skills in isolation, a skill that is familiar and useful. When the students encounter situations where the skills are appropriate, they are able to verbalize that they used the particular cognitive asset. This helps the students to create a “tool box” of thinking skills that can be called upon and utilized in problem solving, daily class-work and life. Familiarity with the thinking skills helps to empower students to visualize themselves as problem solvers and thinkers. Click here for project materials.

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We’re Talking Numbers

Bree Valla
Vandenberg Middle School
Lompoc Unified School District

Students improve their algebraic thinking skills by learning to manipulate numbers in multiple ways. They are able to communicate these ways verbally, in writing, and using drawings. They then apply these skills to algebraic problems and are able to communicate their thinking and defend their answers. Click here to access the lesson plans for this curriculum unit.

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South County

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Fourth Grade Earth Science: Rock Cycle

Brittany Deckard
Canalino School
Carpinteria Unified School District

Through this unit, students are engaged in hands-on, inquiry-based experiences that provide experiential learning about the rock cycle. The lessons provide practice with academic language and content area language, in addition to verbal practice with lab partners, sentence frames, and activities like Tea Party. Finally, the use of the actual rock kits, with the types of rocks represented, provides a real world link for the students that brings relevance to the curriculum. Click here to view the lesson plans for this project.

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The Science of Rockets

Debra Leiter-Weldy
Carpinteria Middle School
Carpinteria Unified School District

Through the study of rockets, students learn about Newton’s Laws, aerodynamics, gravity, drag and thrust as well as problem solving, calculating formulas, and determining altitude and speed. Click here for more information.

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Books on the iPad

Krista Munizich
Canalino School
Carpinteria Unified School District

Students create their own informative textbooks on the iPad. The students choose an animal, supply facts about their animal, and provide a sense of closure to their book. The students use many different features on the iPad to create their books, and share their finished books on the apple TV with their peers. Click here for lesson plans associated with this unit.

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