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Newsweek magazine had an interesting yet alarming article about how creativity is declining in our American schools; a large part of it was blamed on all the standardized testing. There are no valid, reliable tests for creativity yet, but it remains one of the most essential skills we can teach children of all ages. "Creativity is intelligence having fun”, said the great Albert Einstein. It takes a certain amount of inquisitiveness, courage, creative thought, and ingenuity to be a problem solver. I want to inspire this type of thinking and problem solving in our students at Gulf Beaches Elementary Magnet School, Center for Innovation and Digital Learning. Creativity is the cornerstone for the Hands on Problem Solving (HoPS). It is a unique and well-structured program which gives students of varying abilities and cognitive levels an enriching experience that forces them to think differently, practice technical reading skills, follow written directions, and work collaboratively with peers.

Creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication are the Four C's of the 21st Century Skills for gifted students as defined by the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC). HoPS incorporates all of these in their amazing games. Teachers observe how their young students, many of whom have never experienced this type of challenge, come alive with hands-on problem solving! Our unique school is lucky to have teachers who are creative and energetic; this experience provides invaluable ideas for their classrooms. In addition, teachers will receive supplemental creativity and problem solving tasks in order to continue to improve their students’ creative and critical thinking skills.

I want students to work hard and see how much fun problem solving can be!

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HOPS – Future Problem Solvers

grant photo
School:
Gulf Beaches Elementary Magnet School 
Subject:
Language Arts 
Teacher:
Darlene McLean 
 
2nd & 3rd grade teachers  
Students Impacted:
119 
Grade:
K-5 
Date:
September 15, 2016

Investor

Thank you to the following investor for funding this grant.

 

Rays Baseball Foundation & Pinellas Education Foundation - $1,190.00

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Goal

Newsweek magazine had an interesting yet alarming article about how creativity is declining in our American schools; a large part of it was blamed on all the standardized testing. There are no valid, reliable tests for creativity yet, but it remains one of the most essential skills we can teach children of all ages. "Creativity is intelligence having fun”, said the great Albert Einstein. It takes a certain amount of inquisitiveness, courage, creative thought, and ingenuity to be a problem solver. I want to inspire this type of thinking and problem solving in our students at Gulf Beaches Elementary Magnet School, Center for Innovation and Digital Learning. Creativity is the cornerstone for the Hands on Problem Solving (HoPS). It is a unique and well-structured program which gives students of varying abilities and cognitive levels an enriching experience that forces them to think differently, practice technical reading skills, follow written directions, and work collaboratively with peers.

Creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and communication are the Four C's of the 21st Century Skills for gifted students as defined by the National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC). HoPS incorporates all of these in their amazing games. Teachers observe how their young students, many of whom have never experienced this type of challenge, come alive with hands-on problem solving! Our unique school is lucky to have teachers who are creative and energetic; this experience provides invaluable ideas for their classrooms. In addition, teachers will receive supplemental creativity and problem solving tasks in order to continue to improve their students’ creative and critical thinking skills.

I want students to work hard and see how much fun problem solving can be!
 

 

What will be done with my students

Students will demonstrate important reading skills and cooperative team building skills in order to successfully complete various tasks at the HoPS competition. They first come up with names for their teams; then they will need to use their own instinctive creativity to problem solve as a collaborative unit, while being assessed by the HoPS rubrics.
Students will evaluate themselves with a final survey and write reflections. Due to this real world application and practice with critical thinking skills and problem solving, students will experience the importance of reading carefully and following directions.
 

 

Benefits to my students

Visitors from the Education Foundation witnessed the level of engagement throughout the competition at our school two years ago. They were impressed with the problem solving and critical thinking needed to complete the tasks. I have had the pleasure of hosting this type of competition at my former school as well, so I know how students respond. The students’ parents who volunteered during the event have raved about its level of complexity and fun, and wanted the program to come back. Competitions such as this help students’ attention to detail (reading and following directions), as well as boosting motivation, critical thinking, and cooperative team performance, all vital skills for a successful elementary school career and beyond.  

 

Describe the Students

There are 119 second and third grade students at Gulf Beaches Elementary Magnet this year. This is our third year as the Center for Innovation and Digital Learning, a uniquely qualifying school for such an innovative program! Our students have come to us from all aspects of education: other public schools, home schooled, private schools, and charter schools. Among this population we have 0 ESOL students, 44 non-gifted Exceptional Education students, 79 gifted students, and 40.4% free/reduced lunch students. Many cannot afford the $10 fee per student on top of other school expenses.
Last year, 56% of the students scored a 3 or better in reading and 52% earned a 3 or better in math, which resulted in Gulf Beaches Elementary earning a “B” rating. All of our students would benefit from an enriching, challenging program like HoPS. There are no other programs like it!
 

 

Budget Narrative

There is a $10 fee per student for participation in the HoPS competition. This includes the competition and awards. Each child will need a permission slip/photo release which needs to be printed. If we were even granted $5 per student, a partial grant, we may be able to make the program possible.
 

 

Items

# Item Cost
1 $10 fee per student $1,190.00
  Total: $1,190.00

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