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2008 Pyramid Awards

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By The Staff

The Pyramid Awards are teacher grants sponsored annually by the Oldham County Educational Foundation and designed to assist with instructional strategies to increase student learning outcomes.  OCEF’s mission is to foster business and community support for the public schools in Oldham County by promoting community knowledge, involvement and support of public education and directing contributed funds into programs to improve education for Oldham County students.  Sponsored by PNC, Head Trust, Fastline Publications, La Grange Rotary, Morgan Keegan & Co., THE BANK – Oldham County, National City Bank, BB&T, Republic Bank and PTAs from Buckner Elementary, Centerfield Elementary, Harmony Elementary, East Oldham Middle, Locust Grove Elementary, Camden Station Elementary and South Oldham High School, this year’s 16 Pyramid Award recipients received a total of $14,597.19 for innovative classroom projects at 11 schools. Teachers submit innovative projects by introducing unique, new or different instructional methods designed to actively involve students in the learning process and increase student learning. Another criterion for these teacher-developed projects is student engagement, which encourages hands-on learning.  Teacher projects are rated by a panel of OCEF Board members. The award may be as much as $1,000 per grant and can be used for instructional materials, equipment, partial stipends for guest instructors, and partial admission costs to community resources. Non-allowable expenditures for Pyramid Award funds include transportation costs, consumable items and teacher stipends. The following is the list of the grant recipients and each  teacher’s project:   Listen to What I Write Susan Vialpando  Locust Grove Elementary  The writing process will be comprised of five recurring steps: brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Re-reading is crucial, and too many students don’t pay attention to it. The students type their piece on a computer, and then using a text-to-speech translation software program the computer will “read” the writing back to them.   A Conversation with Myself Kelley A. Johnstone La Grange Elementary School The project will allow students the opportunity to use technology to monitor and enhance their own oral reading fluency skills. All participating students will be given an Oral Reading Fluency baseline assessment, in which they read a grade appropriate passage. Based on the data assessment tool, students will use self-selected texts and a handheld recorder/player device to listen to their own reading with the expectation of improving their fluency.   Star in your dream Teresa Talbott North Oldham Middle Equipped with a green screen and a video camera, students who participate in Star in Your Dream will have the unlimited possibility of exploring their own imagination, creating their own story, and performing as the star in their own dream.   Workshop Wednesday Tangie Kelsey Oldham County High School To learn science, you must do science. The students will use scientific inquiry and technology to design an investigation to answer questions and solve problems. In designing these experiments, the students will collect, organize and analyze data. They will then use algebraic and analytical methods to identify and describe patterns and relationships in data to solve problems and predicts results.   Teapots by Teens  Cathy Meine North Oldham High The students will learn and perform hand-building techniques to create well-built, functional teapots/cups. During this process they will learn about the history and function of teapots.   Using Graphic Novels to Teach Core Content Lisa M. Sheets Liberty Elementary  The main objective is to use graphic novels in small groups to help reinforce the social studies core content, language arts and writing skills being taught to the whole class.   Culture Suitcases Allison Connell Harmony Elementary The students will create four collections of art objects and art reproductions representing the Native American, West African, Appalachian, and Colonial American cultures and time periods. Each collection of art objects would be housed in inexpensive suitcases to create a sense of culture immersion as students “travel” to each culture.   I Read in OC Lee Anne Hill North Oldham High School  I Read in OC is an interactive and Internet based reading collaboration among students, teachers and the community. Students will convey their reactions to and analysis of various assigned and self-selected texts through video and audio podcasts and news broadcasts. The communities will also have the opportunity to respond to the analyses in an online forum.   Around the World Robyn Morris East Oldham Middle By looking at our own American history as well as the history of other cultures, we begin to see how we are influenced daily. The course will include learning beliefs, customs, and how these cultures affect us today.    Photography– Picturing the News Joan Thompson Oldham County High A good photo does double duty on a newspaper page. First, it serves as an entry point that captures would-be readers’ attention and draws them to the text. Of equal importance is a photograph’s ability to provide an additional dimension to a story by personifying and giving substance to the people, places and events making the news. This course will demonstrate elements of photo composition to the students.   Science Olympiad: Exploring and Sharing Science through the Community Keri Polevchak South Oldham High  Oldham County students will form the first Science Olympiad team to compete and represent the county. Students will engage in scientific competitions across the state to prepare for regional, state and national competitions of Science Olympiad showing the strength of science knowledge and application in Oldham County.   Amigos por Espanol (Friends through Spanish) Joe Percefull  Oldham County Middle  The goal with project “Amigos por Espanol” is to offer Spanish courses through the use of the Rosetta Stone program, to some of our most motivated students in the middle schools, and in time, place them with a new student whose first language is Spanish. This will welcome the newcomer.   Outdoor Classroom/Recreation Project  Robert Fulk Buckner Alternative High  The project will encompass the construction of landscaped area in our school courtyard. The area will include benches, flowers, landscaping and shade. It will serve as an informal outdoor classroom, sitting area, and recreation area. The project will be separated into three sections: planning, execution and reflection.    Biodiversity 411: From Micro to Macro Life on Earth Angela L. Newcomb North Oldham Middle In order to fully understand the complexities of the diversity of life on earth, students must synthesize concepts from a variety of biological disciplines, including evolution, anatomy, cellular biology, and taxonomy. Lesson will also focus on effects of human behavior on the deterioration and preservation of biodiversity.    Louisville after High School: A Graduate’s course on the Possibilities Steve Rauh  North Oldham High  This multi-day seminar course will stimulate our seniors to understand the multitude of opportunities Louisville has to offer in the areas of the arts, business, entertainment, diversity and historical significance. Students will learn about Louisville through a four-faceted experience over a three day period just prior to graduation.   Busting Up Bullying Behaviors Paula Moore  Liberty Elementary The Busting up Bullying Behaviors project will be implemented as a semester-long school-wide initiative to raise student awareness and address needs for behavior changes related to the issues of bullying and relational aggression. Students will understand the different roles of students involved in bullying acts: Bully, Bystander, Victim.