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2010 News | College of Education

2010 Newcomb Grant recipients visit campus

Three recent University of Wyoming education graduates returned to campus Sept. 13, to share their experiences as first-year teachers and describe professional development projects funded by the Lola B. Newcomb Beginning Teacher Support Grant.

2010 Newcomb Grant recipients Kylie Burch, Sarah Honstein Horen and Sami Swing visited undergraduate classes, met with administrators, and delivered college-wide presentations about their experiences.

Burch, now teaching at Poison Spider Elementary in Casper, used her Newcomb Grant while at Pineview Elementary in the same community. Kylie purchased iPod Nanos to enhance student reading achievement. She used the mp3 players in different ways, e.g., recording and sharing books for students to practice individually, asking them to record themselves reading books, and providing individual feedback on those recordings. Students even used the Nanos to record videos of themselves acting out the stories they read. In the end, Burch said, students not only improved reading achievement scores, they also were empowered to identify ways in which they could enhance their own learning processes.

Horen teaches English at Burns Junior/Senior High School. Sarah used her grant to support attendance at the Colorado Language Arts Society Regional Spring Conference. From that experience, she developed a plan to initiate a book club for her students, featuring young adult titles focusing contemporary topics that generated interest in reading. Horen purchased sets of popular young adult titles, some selected by the students themselves, with grant funds. She shared anecdotes about previously hesitant students discovering joy in reading and exploring new stories along the way.

Swing teaches first grade at South Side Elementary in her hometown of Worland. Inspired by students ever-evolving engagement with all types of media, she originally proposed purchasing an interactive whiteboard with Newcomb funds. When her quest to find the right board energized her administrators enough to purchase them for every classroom in the school, Swing shifted her Newcomb Grant plan to the purchase of iPod Touches. The free, education-focused applications available on multimedia players expanded students' access to collaborative and individual learning opportunities. Swing also incorporated the iPods in helping children to create media-driven learning experiences.

he Newcomb Grant provides $1,000 in professional development funds to first-year teachers in Wyoming who are graduates of UW. Grants may be used for a range of activities, including:

  • Mentoring
  • Conferences and workshops
  • Travel related to those activities
  • Substitute time to allow the recipient to participate in mentoring and professional development opportunities
  • Purchase of materials for the classroom.

Grant recipients must return to campus on a day, to share what they have learned with our students, faculty and staff. Applications for the Newcomb Grant are available each fall, through the Dean's Office.

Posted on Tuesday, September 14, 2010

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