Two PYLUSD teachers awarded GATE classroom grants to enhance student learning

Mrs. Wall's 5th grade Brookhaven GATE students.

Two Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District (PYLUSD) teachers were recently awarded classroom grants from Orange County Council for Gifted and Talented Education (OCC GATE). This grant will facilitate a project designed to enhance GATE instruction in the classroom and will be awarded for a project that other funds do not or cannot finance. Recipients were honored and grants were awarded on November 3, 2018, at the OCC GATE Conference.

The first is art teacher Stephen Faller at Travis Ranch School.

Faller’s GATE Proposal for an abstract 3D printer will combine the ideologies of Art and Technology to create a truly unique experience for the students at Travis Ranch Middle School. Through the use of a 3D Printer, students will create works of art that are purely based upon their imagination without any of the restraints of ‘figuration’. No matter the skill level of the child, students will collaboratively work together to create stunning pieces of art that can strongly take their place in the Contemporary Art movement.

The second is fifth grade teacher Sarah Walls at Brookhaven Elementary School.

Mrs. Sarah Walls runs the Brookhaven Bears Brilliant Academy for 3rd through 6th grade Gifted and Talented students. For the past two years, the Academy has centered around enrichment for students by having different guest teachers/speakers talk with the GATE students at the bi-monthly sessions, and then lead them in a hands-on learning experience. Past sessions have included an introduction to coding from a coding engineer at Google to rocket launches led by a Brookhaven dad and military officer.

This year Mrs. Walls is taking inspiration from El Dorado High School’s fantastic “Hawk Talk” program, and will be transforming this after school Academy into “Brookhaven Bear News or BBN”. This will be a program where the Brookhaven GATE students create a newscast that would be designed, written, directed, edited, and produced by the students. This will require students to use many higher level thinking skills, creativity skills, and ideas that center around the depth and complexity concepts used across the district. Mrs. Walls was fortunate enough to win a grant that will enable her to purchase technology equipment that can help her students gain a full film creating, editing, and producing experience.

Congrats to both teachers! Thank you for your dedication to student success!

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