Douglas County teachers up for grants in Farmers Insurance contest

Staff Reports

A number of Douglas County School District teachers were “thanked” by someone on the Farmers Insurance “Thank A Nevada Teacher” Web site recently, allowing the teachers to submit a proposal for a $5,000 grant for their classroom.

Farmers will award grants to the top 10 vote recipients. You can vote once a day per proposal through Nov. 30 at

Follow the link to read the various proposals, but here are the local teachers’ proposals:

Mrs. L. Spires, Minden Elementary School, Minden, NV

Not Your Regular Classroom Chair

Searching through other teachers requests made me wonder if I should even submit a proposal; my need is not as high as some of the others, this is part of my wishlist. The rigor of the curriculum and expectations of the students has greatly increased with the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. Many of my students are unable to sit in their seats without fidgeting for periods of time. With the new standards my students are being held at a higher demand for focus and concentration. Chairless classrooms are becoming trend in education. Ball chairs were originally recommended to help students with attention disorders and sensory processing issues; however, studies have shown that ball chairs can improve all students’ attentiveness, test scores, balance, posture, and reduce childhood obesity. As adults, there is a shift to have a standing desk, so why are we asking our young learners to sit in a chair to learn? My wish would be to provide my students with ball chairs.

Mrs. C. Helms, Piñon Hills Elementary School, Minden, NV

Mission Discovery: Brain Stations

In the ever-changing world of education, teachers know that learning is enhanced when children are active and involved in their own learning. Children learn at different rates and from a variety of multiple intelligences. iPads would allow students opportunities to enhance their learning by selecting books they can be successful reading at their current level, research projects, practice math skills, support language, and a variety of other skills. iPads allow learners to tap into the following multiple intelligences: visual, auditory, musical, kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Students will be able to use iPads as enrichment through thinking and problem solving. Writing will be enhanced through the tools iPads have to offer, as well as keyboarding skills which are essential for their future. Students will continue to learn and grow from where they currently are academically with these wonderful motivational tools that will support common core creatively.

Mrs. C. Patmont, Pinon Hills Elementary and Jacks Valley Elementary, Minden, NV

FUELED UP Art Teacher ready to inspire!!!

I love my job as an Elementary Art Teacher! I just moved out of the regular classroom and into the art room where I teach over 450 students a week. Come January I switch schools and I get to meet 450+ new students. That is over 900 students each school year K-6 that I get to teach. My current budget is $1 per student. I find myself purchasing more and more supplies out of my pocket just to provide basic materials: paint, construction paper, glue and tape. I believe in art education and know-how creativity is of vital importance to our future economy. I want to put inspiring materials into these kids’ hands so they can experience the wonder of creating and the power they have to put things together. Many of my lessons are based on classroom content in order to provide a deeper understanding of subjects. A donation to my classroom would be used to purchase art materials and could inspire 900 brains of the future. Early learning experiences are powerful and could fuel the future!

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