AFT - American Federation of Teachers

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Notebook

Funding for Mathematics and Science Projects

Math and Science

Are you a K–12 math or science teacher with great ideas—but no funding—to improve your lessons? The Toshiba America Foundation would like to help with small grants for teacher-designed projects. Grantees must have specific, realistic, and measurable student-learning objectives and must be able to describe what changes in instruction will be made as a result of the funding. Applications from grade 7–12 teachers for projects under $5,000 are reviewed year-round; those over $5,000 are reviewed twice a year and are due each February 1st and August 1st. Applications from K-6 teachers are due each October 1st and may not exceed $1,000. To learn more, visit www.toshiba.com/taf.

Science

In 2005, K–12 science teachers can compete for 50 grants of up to $10,000 each and a minimum of 20 "mini-grants" of $2,500 each from Toyota Tapestry. Their purpose is to inspire innovative instructional strategies in three areas: environmental science education, physical science applications, and literacy and science education. Among the many suggestions for proposals included in the brochure are involving at-risk or minority students, creatively using technology and equipment, and solving local community problems. Proposals are due by January 19, 2005. To learn more, visit www.nsta.org/programs/tapestry.


Reaching the Top of the Teaching Profession

Thirty-two thousand teachers have reached the top of their profession by earning National Board Certification; they have successfully completed a year-long process of carefully examining their teaching.

Whether you're thinking about applying or are getting ready to renew, reading A Candidate's Guide to National Board Certification 2004 is a good way to begin. Jointly published by the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, the guide offers strategies for preparing your portfolio (which will include examples of your teaching practice and analyses of how those practices meet the standards) and completing the assessments (which will test your knowledge of developmentally-appropriate content). The guide also explains the scoring and is filled with tips from National Board Certified teachers.


Photo Correction

In the Summer 2004 issue on Brown v. Board of Education, American Educator mistakenly included a photo (on page 14) of a mob about to lynch Thomas Thurmond and Jack Holmes. Many thanks to the handful of vigilant readers/historians who pointed out that Thurmond and Holmes were, in fact, white and that, although no one was convicted, charges were brought against seven of the individuals in the mob.


Bring the Museum Experience to the Classroom

Trips to museums are a great way to bring history classes alive. There is something magical about smudged letters, cracked photos, and yellowing documents. The curves of a soldier's handwriting, the resolve in the eyes of a new immigrant in his passport photo, the sense of time and place present in crinkly, yellow parchment paper—these qualities can draw in even the most reluctant history students. But museum trips aren't always practical. So, Chronicle Books and the American Document Company offer the next best thing: high-quality, affordable replicas for the classroom.

Chronicle Books has developed two fascinating collections: The Ellis Island Collection: Artifacts from the Immigrant Experience and The World War II Collection: America at War. Each collection includes nearly two dozen artifacts and a booklet with an introductory essay as well as information on each of the artifacts. For younger students, the artifacts make history lessons more interesting; for older students, they are a great way to begin learning about the primary sources that make in-depth historical research so rewarding. Each collection is $24.95; to order, call 800-722-6657 or visit www.chroniclebooks.com.

Using hand-finished, antiqued parchment paper, The American Document Company produces replicas of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, Bill of Rights, Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, and other treasures of American history. Poster-size replicas are $4.99; smaller versions are just $1.99. Better yet, if you are a teacher buying replicas for your class, the American Document Company will give you its wholesale price. To order, call 302-633-6954 or visit www.cooldocuments.com/index.html.