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Solid science education is the best inoculation against ignorance.
The Inoculation Project, founded in 2009 by hyperbolic pants explosion, is a group of Kossacks who gather weekly to combat the anti-science push in conservative America by providing direct funding to science and math projects in red state classrooms. Our conduit is DonorsChoose.org, a twelve-year-old organization rated highly by both Charity Navigator and the Better Business Bureau. Here's a little introductory video about DonorsChoose. DonorsChoose.org allows you to make direct contributions to specific, vetted projects in public school classrooms, resulting in tremendous and immediate impacts from small dollar donations. Each week, we focus on funding a single small-dollar project at a time, in a traditionally red state classroom and preferably in a high-poverty district.
Look for us every SUNDAY morning at 10 AM ET/ 7 AM PT.

This Week's Main Project
Project: Funds for Fractions:You Too Can Eliminate Fraction Anxiety

Resources Needed: Pattern blocks to represent operations with fractions
School Poverty Level: High
Location: South Forrest Attendance Center, Brooklyn, Mississippi
Total Cost: $190.45
Still Needed: $170.45 COMPLETED! Please move on to the bonus projects.
Expires: Mar 27, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Ford:

My Students: For most adults the word "fraction" brings back a haunting sense of frustration and confusion. As a teacher, it is my goal that all of my students develop a strong mathematical foundation, where they have no fraction anxiety!

My students attend a school where there is literally one flashing caution light. Our community is very rural, with most students come from low socio-economic situations. Many students do not have opportunities for hands on experiences that expand beyond their limited rural life. We are just a small town in South Mississippi, but my students deserve every opportunity to have a quality education that meets their individual needs. We have a lot of pride in our school and have high expectations for our teachers and students alike.

My Project: There is nothing more frustrating to a student that not being able to truly understand a math concept, especially fractions. With just the mention of the word, I can see students expressions just glaze over as if they have already accepted failure based on past experiences. As a teacher, I firmly believe that students can master fractions. However, simply working worksheets will not suffice. I believe if students have concrete experiences, where they, themselves can learn with their own hands, success is possible. The pattern blocks that I am requesting are a perfect example of the resources that will make learning not only easier but fun and interactive. The use of the pattern blocks eliminates the abstract representation of a fraction and replaces it with a tactile and fundamental EXPERIENCE. Through the use of these pattern blocks students will be able to take ownership of fractions through their own hands!

I know there numerous projects to choose from, with many being more exciting or entertaining; but I know that my basic and practical project will have a meaningful impact for many students for years to come. If you've ever struggled with learning a concept, you know the frustration these children are experiencing. Help me create lessons and experiences that will develop their understanding of fractions! Choose Funds for Fractions!

COMPLETED. Thanks to our donors!
Donations of ANY size DID make a BIG difference!
centimeter cubes
We try to focus on the main project until it is completely funded, and then move on to the bonus project. If a project doesn't meet its funding goal by its deadline, it dies and any donations to it are referred to their donors to be moved to another project. For that reason, we don't like to split our sometimes limited resources between two open projects. Of course the choice of project to which you donate (if any!) is entirely yours.
Bonus Project #1
When the main project is finished, let's work on this one.
Project: New American ELLs Need Fluency in Basic Math Facts

Resources Needed: Classroom sets of flashcards will be strategic homework tools for increasing achievement in mathematics.
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Whittier Traditional Elementary School, Kansas City, Missouri
Total Cost: $389.98
Still Needed: $155.87 Completed!
Expires: Feb 26, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Ms. Jensen Clayton:

My Students: ...The students in my New Americans Classroom are English language learners who have been in the country for less than one year. Not all students who are non-English speakers are selected for this setting. My students are refugees from several different countries. They had limited or very interrupted schooling in their own countries due to lack of resources and upheaval. This year, I have some students from Burma via Thailand, some from Somalia via Kenya, one from Kenya who speaks Kamba, and one from Nepal. There are many different languages in my classroom and several different cultures. For these students, life in Kansas City is very different than their lives before coming here. We strive to be at all times respectful and appreciative of each other's culture and strengths. We believe that we all have gifts to share and that with education we will have the power to do so.

My Project: The basic facts flashcards will directly benefit the students in my classroom in several ways. First, students will be able to participate in individualized practice on targeted skills utilizing a hands-on and motivating resource.

Next, these flashcards are self-checking and allow for immediate feedback to each child about their accuracy.

Additionally, the flashcards will be able to be used in a variety of settings, including individually, in partner work, in centers, as test preparation, and for homework.

Finally, for New American English language learners, the development of basic core literacy and math skills is a critical focus, so that students can move out of the sheltered setting into a more integrated setting with their grade-level peers. The more motivated students are to practice these skills, the faster they will progress towards that goal. They can then begin to apply these skills to higher-level learning and critical thinking skills. Help to motivate these learners to practice!

COMPLETED
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!
Math Flash Cards
Extra Bonus Projects: 2 for 1!
When bonus project #1 is finished, let's work on these.
Project: Super Sorting Students

Resources Needed: A shape sorting magnetic board, sorting centers, and a fact family house pocket chart
School Poverty Level: High
Location:  Murray Ridge School, Elyria, Ohio
Total Cost: $166.47
Still Needed: $126.47 Completed!
Expires:  Feb 12, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Bieri: My students are working hard learning how to sort objects according to shape, color, size, and category. We need more academic based sorting materials desperately!

My students are between the ages of 11 and 14 and have profound special needs. My students cognitive and physical disabilities are so severe that they attend a separate facility that specializes in individualized education and a functional academic curriculum...

COMPLETED

♦◊♦◊♦◊♦◊♦


Project: Magnet Mania

Resources Needed: Different types of magnets to do small group investigations
School Poverty Level: High
Location: Ruskin Elementary School, Ruskin, Florida
Total Cost: $169.67
Still Needed: $119.67 Completed, thanks to our donors!
Expires:  Feb 06, 2013

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Vega:  My students are second graders at a low-income Title I school. Many are English language learners as well. As a result, they are lacking many of the real-world experiences that build background knowledge. They are great kids, but they need to see and touch real items to help them learn.

Our science curriculum and materials that are provided through our district are great, but there are only enough materials to do demonstrations for the whole class. I want to provide my students with a kit of magnets they can use to observe and investigate up close. They need real, hands-on experience to help them understand the principles of magnetism...

COMPLETED

Housekeeping:

Last week's main project, Loopy for Physics, was completed. Indiana high school physics students will use loop tracks to learn about centripedal force. (Their teacher, Mr. Boggs, has gone to the trouble of joining Daily Kos to go into last week's diary and thank us. Too late to rec his comment, but if you see him around, say hi.)

We had a bonus project bonanza last week, with bonus #2 being a collection of projects each needing a fairly small amount. We completed the following:

A Hop in the Right Direction...with a Frog Dissection!: South Carolina middle school students will get frogs to dissect and equipment for dissecting them.

Scientific Inquiry Labs: a Kentucky enrichment program for gifted students will receive materials for three science lab projects.

Using Technology to Make Slope Personal: high school students in rural South Carolina will be able to track their movements with a calculator-based ranger system.

Organic Community Garden: a Texas grade school will have gardening tools to start a community organic garden.

You can see the teachers' thank-you notes at the links above. Many thanks to all contributors!

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 256!

When projects are not fully funded by their expiration date, donors are contacted by DonorsChoose and asked to choose another project to which to redirect their donations.

More information:
DonorsChoose.org main page
DonorsChoose.org blog
DonorsChoose.org donor FAQ
All DonorsChoose.org math & science projects search results

We are in no way affiliated with DonorsChoose.org, or any of the classroom projects presented for funding.

♦◊♦◊♦◊♦◊♦

You are welcome to use The Inoculation Project avatar as your DonorsChoose avatar if you wish. If you need instructions for uploading it to your DonorsChoose profile, you'll find them in this diary.

Donors Choose avatar for Inoculation Project readers to use.

Originally posted to The Inoculation Project on Sun Dec 09, 2012 at 07:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Dream Menders and J Town.

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