3 Highlands teachers receive grants from school retiree group | TribLIVE.com
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Brian C. Rittmeyer

Three Highlands teachers have received grants from the Pennsylvania Association of School Retirees.

High school Spanish teacher Laura Proano and Kevin Mason, a fifth-grade teacher at the middle school, are sharing a $750 educational support grant from the association. Jody Shumaker, a second-grade teacher at Highlands Elementary School, received a $250 grant.

According to the district, the regional grant Proano and Mason received will allow middle school math and high school Spanish students to develop their STEAM — science, technology, engineering, art and math — skills by building virtual worlds in CoSpaces for Education.

Mason said middle school students will deepen their understanding of math concepts by creating a virtual world beginning with story maps and then making objects come to life by asking math questions.

According to Proano, Spanish IV students will create virtual worlds that compare their cultures to their Ecuadorian penpals. Students in Spanish II will develop a virtual marketing campaign for a trip to a Spanish-speaking country that they research and plan.

Shumaker’s local grant will be used to buy “Math Facts Folder Games” for second-graders.

“There is a significant amount of evidence that supports that all students regardless of their age(s) can benefit from explicit hands-on learning and we as teachers, see this everyday,” Shumaker said. “Using these folder games, all the students have to do is grab a folder and a friend or two. Each of these folder games focuses on a single math concept/operation, so having them available and at their fingertips, they receive the reinforcement that they need to master their basic math facts and so much more.”

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