• Development and implementation of an elementary place-based science curriculum for the Yakutat School District

      Liben, Sarah; Todd, Susan; Conner, Laura; Ramos, Judith; Taras, Mike; Fabbri, Cindy (2017-05)
      The need for citizens with a fundamental knowledge of science who understand the interconnections between living things as well as the impact of science on society is more important than ever. To achieve this goal, studies show that major changes to the structure of science curriculum must be made in order to incorporate all aspects of: 1) inquiry-based instruction; 2) strategies that elicit students' prior knowledge; 3) building conceptual understandings; and 4) integrating an ongoing assessment process that provides feedback to students and informs instruction. These suggested changes are articulated in the recent Next Generation Science Standards. In order to construct an elementary science curriculum for the Yakutat School District, I utilized the Understanding by Design (UBD) framework to develop individual "investigations" that were formulated around the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). A place-based framework was constructed for each investigation using the GRASPS Performance Assessment model and Learning A-Z place-based instructional process. Existing lessons and activities that aligned with the NGSS and place-based framework were included in each investigation, and where there were gaps in addressing the standards, I utilized the BSCS (Biological Science Curriculum Studies) 5Es Learning Model to write a series of lessons for each investigation. Ultimately, I developed two curricula for the following grade levels: K-2 and 5-6. Curricula were divided into overarching units that contained between 1-5 investigations, or subunits, each of which were framed around 1-3 NGSS. This project's practical importance was to provide a curriculum for a school district that had no preexisting science curriculum. This curriculum is important to the field of science education, as it serves as a model that integrates western science and traditional knowledge in the context of the Next Generation Science Standards.
    • Elitnauryarait qaneryaramta quliratgun: teachings of our language through storytelling

      Lincoln, Rosalie; Siekmann, Sabine; John, Theresa; Martelle, Wendy (2016-05)
      My master's project, Elitnauryarait Qaneryaramta Quliratgun (Teachings of Our Language Through Storytelling) connects two different ways of teaching and learning Yugtun in a first grade classroom setting. I used the PACE model (English western schooling), which is a story-based approach to support language development. I picked one of the local quliraq (old traditional oral story) told in Yugtun language. Quliriyaraq (way of Yup'ik storytelling) is one of the important teaching tools that tells stories in a natural way. This Quliriyaraq project is culturally relevant (rich in authentic language and cultural background knowledge) and my Yup'ik students were so engaged and motivated. Instruction using the PACE model enhanced students' motivation by using a grammatical feature or a language structure from the story and learning it in a meaningful way. Other aspects that connect to my project are Multiliteracies (meaning-making modes that make learning and teaching literacy effective) and Funds of Knowledge (acquired knowledge from home). Authentic assessments are also included for a traditional oral story into a western education classroom, which are culturally relevant and appropriate in a school. This is one way to maintain our strong and powerful language through our school's bilingual programs. This project can very well serve new Yugtun language teachers, especially in bilingual program schools.
    • It's all in the past

      Phillips, Jill; Marlow, Patrick; Martelle, Wendy; John, Theresa; Siekmann, Sabine (2015-12)
      This project is a response to what I noticed to be a challenge for both my ELL students and myself in multiple school settings--teaching and learning specific English grammar skills. Prior to beginning this program, over the past ten years I had the privilege of working in a number of schools--both internationally and stateside--teaching various ages/levels of ELL learners. It was, however, my time in rural Alaska that prompted me to seek out additional schooling for help in overcoming the challenges of teaching grammar skills.
    • Searching for the familiar

      Helmich, Pamela; Siekmann, Sabine; Martelle, Wendy; Thorne, Steven L.; Alexie, Oscar (2016-05)
      This paper describes my implementation of the Language Experience Approach, a method of developing language skills, in my elementary classroom. Through the Language Experience Approach the teacher is able to tap into the rich resources of the students' home lives and start to bring that knowledge into the school. This is done by the students creating a language piece with the help of the teacher that is not only at an appropriate reading level but also is a high interest reading piece because it is comes from the students themselves. This project includes my rationale, lesson plan, and supporting materials.
    • Teaching literacy skills with graphic novels to elementary students: curriculum unit for grades 1-6

      Gulsvig, Staci R.; Hogan, Maureen; Green, Carie; Marlow, Patrick; Siekmann, Sabine (2017-07)
      Today, many elementary educators praise teaching graphic novels to all kinds of learners, because they inspire students to build healthy reading habits. Yet, there is a lack of resources for elementary teachers to utilize this genre to teach the literacy skills students need. Those same literacy skills are applied when reading the visual elements of graphic novels. How can elementary teachers use graphic novels in their classroom curriculum to increase student achievement on comprehension skills and strategies? To answer this question I created a multi-grade level curriculum for four to ten students, four days a week, for eight weeks. The graphic novel I used is comprised of seven different graphic stories and authors, and shows different ways graphic novels use layout, visuals, and words. The structure of the curriculum is that each story focuses on one visual element of graphic novels and relates that to a specific literacy comprehension skills and strategy. The resulting curriculum showed the ability for students to significantly increase their motivation and achievement when applying comprehension skills and strategies in a new genre of literature. In conclusion, this paper and curriculum project provides elementary educators with the knowledge and tools needed to implement graphic novels into the classroom curriculum.
    • Utilizing funds of knowledge to engage students in meaningful writing

      Webster, Bradley; Thorne, Steve; Shields, John; Siekmann, Sabine (2015-12)