HANNIBAL | Sarah Almon, an eighth grade English and language arts teacher at Hannibal Middle School, has received a $500 grant through WGU Missouri's “Fund My Classroom” initiative. The funds will go toward purchasing iPads for use in Almon's classroom to help students better reach the standards set by the Missouri Department of Education for all areas of eighth-grade English.
Next year, Almon and her partner teacher — Jonathan Hiles — will be the first in the school to work in a co-taught classroom of 40-50 students. Almon and Hiles have worked together for four years and consistently use non-conventional ways of teaching, ensuring literature comes to life and students can self-assess and improve their writing skills. Eighth grade includes many literature standards concerning listening, presentation skills and multiple types of writing, and the iPads will help students in a co-taught classroom achieve these standards.
Using iPads, students can record speeches to self-assess and improve their skills. The technology will also allow students to use and have access to many different texts and allow the students to write in different forms, including blogs and informational and argumentative writing styles. iPads will also allow Almon and Hiles to create stations or rotations to help meet student needs.
The innovative classroom project is one of 29 across Missouri chosen by WGU Missouri to receive funding. The nonprofit university issued a call in March for K-12 teachers across the state to nominate proposed classroom projects for the opportunity to receive full or partial funding through its “Fund My Classroom” initiative. Almon's proposal was one of more than 100 nominations received statewide. All grants were awarded during Teacher Appreciation Week in May.
“We are happy we can bring so many of these innovative projects to life through our 'Fund My Classroom' initiative and give the impacted teachers something to look forward to in the midst of all the uncertainty COVID-19 is causing for schools across the region,” said Angie Besendorfer, chancellor of WGU Missouri. “This initiative is an opportunity for WGU Missouri to celebrate teachers and is a great way to thank them for the lasting, positive impact they have on their students. We were excited to hear from so many great teachers with excellent ideas that will enhance learning both in and out of the classroom.”
More information about the “Fund My Classroom” initiative and the work WGU Missouri is doing to help teachers advance their careers can be found at https://missouri.wgu.edu.