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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 fourteen-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.

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This Week's Main Project
Project: Roll Your Way Through Math with DICE!

Resources Needed: 10-sided decahedron dice, operations dice, place value dice, 10-sided decimal dice
School Poverty Level: Highest
Location:   Norview Elementary School, Norfolk, VA
Total Cost: $474.15
Still Needed: $165.07 $80.07
Expires:  Sep 19, 2014  

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Gray:

My Students: I am a Math Specialist who works with small groups of students and also teachers. I try to use a variety of manipulatives that the students don't see everyday in the classroom. I also encourage them to create their own problems that fit my criteria.

My students come mostly from lower income housing. They attend a Title 1 elementary school that houses about 400 Pre-K through 5th graders. Our school is in a large urban district and is one of 32 elementary schools. The students at my school are eager to learn and try new things.

My Project: I love dice and can never have enough. My students can use dice for a majority of the math the do each year.

1. Place value and decimal dice - students roll the set of dice. They have now created the expanded form of their number. Now they have to write the standard and word forms. They can even roll their number and round it to a certain place. What about adding or subtracting the two numbers you rolled? Wait, you would also have to use the operation dice - roll those to see what operation you would have to use.

2. Ten-sided dice - roll and many or as few at a time to create a number. Students then line their number up to create a number. They get to choose which order their dice are placed. Discuss the digit's place value, use the operation dice to sole equations, turn the number into cents and they have to count out the right amount of money.

By using the dice students get to create their own problems. You save paper. Students hate getting a worksheet with 50 problems on it that they have to solve. However, give them dice where they have to create their own problem and most of the time they will create harder problems than would have been on the worksheet and most likely will do more problems than were on the worksheet. But best of all they will have fun while learning.

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DONATE HERE!
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!
We'd like to be able to assist both small and large projects. Our hope is to present a new relatively modest project each week, and then feature a more ambitious project with a long-term deadline, so we can chip away at it each week when our main project is completed. Since DonorsChoose has something similar to a "rec list", every time we create a flurry of activity on a project, even if the dollar amounts involved aren't large, we can push the project up that list so it gets shown to more donors outside Daily Kos. In that way, we can help finish projects that may be beyond our means when only our own dollars are considered.
Long-Term Project
When the main project is finished, let's work on this one.
Project: Math Measurement for 5th Grade

Resources Needed: 2 Hands-On Measurement Centers, a liquid measuring kit, and other math materials to measure area, perimeter, distance, volume, and capacity and to make conversions from one unit to another.
School Poverty Level: Highest
Location:   S Johnson-G Park Elementary School, Gretna, Louisiana
Total Cost: $533.26 (Our Original Starting Amount)
Still Needed: $413.26 $$218.85
Expires: Aug 24, 2014  

Teacher's Comments from Mrs. Wexler:

My Students: "The man ignorant of mathematics will be increasingly limited in his grasp of the main forces of civilization." ~John Kemeny.

I want my students to really understand math in order to become lifetime learners and good citizens. "Hands-on" learning is key to stamping out math ignorance!

I teach at a public elementary school in the metro-New Orleans area. My school has about 650 students, 97% of whom receive free lunch. My students belong to a 5th grade special education class. Some of my students have Learning Disabilities and others have Cognitive Impairments. Most of my students are two - three years below grade level, so they need to work on "catching-up" as well as on grade level Common Core Standards. We have to work hard, and we have to do "hands-on" activities that will engage the kids.

My Project: The children with special needs that I teach need to actively learn by doing, rather than just practicing on worksheets. Through using the volume blocks, they will get to understand volume and capacity to a greater degree. When they use the liquid measures, they will get to associate an amount of liquid to the appropriate measure, whether it is cups, pints, quarts, and gallons. The beautiful measurement materials and activity cards will allow students to delve further into measurements. By giving them a more complete concept of measurements, they will be better able to solve complicated conversion word problems.

My students will become more fluent in math measurement through the math manipulatives and colorful activities. They will gain a more complete understanding of capacity, volume, area, and perimeter. By gaining a better understanding of measurement, they will be able to identify appropriate units of measure and make conversions between the units.

DONATE HERE
Donations of ANY size can make a BIG difference!

Our Dollars at Work
Students from Ms. Carlson's class are building a marble run with materials from the project, Kindergartners Scientists with Balls and Ramps!.

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There are additional photos at the link.


Housekeeping

Last week's main project, Dig, Dig, Dig! Is That A Shark Tooth?, was completed. High school students in Hinesville, GA will have the fossil kits that they need for their oceanography class.

You can see the teacher's thank-you notes at the link. Many thanks to all contributors!

See our list of successfully funded projects. We're up to 417!

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. Occasionally, a fully funded project is called off for some reason internal to the school/teacher, and funding is returned. We have no way of knowing why, but DonorsChoose handles those donations in the same way as for expired projects.

How is the poverty level defined at DonorsChoose.org?
Poverty level refers to the percentage of students at a given school who qualify for free and reduced lunch, which is considered a measure of economic need. To be deemed eligible for free lunch, a student's family income must be within 130% of the poverty line (a max of $29,055 for a family of four). For reduced lunch, the family income must be within 185% of the poverty level (a max of $41,348 for a family of four).

Schools with 10%-39% of students receiving free/reduced lunch are denoted as "moderate poverty" while schools with more than 40% of students receiving free/reduced lunch are denoted as "high poverty". For projects submitted from a school where free lunch rate data is unavailable or unreliable, "Poverty Data Unavailable" will appear.

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.

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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 Jul 20, 2014 at 07:03 AM PDT.

Also republished by SciTech, Dream Menders, and Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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