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Challenge Winner!
Everett Jeremy Rodriguez
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In Mr. Rodriguez’s classroom you will find students developing personal digital portfolios, earning digital badges, writing scripts, directing, participating in improvisational acting, performing full-length stage productions; writing, composing, and recording their own original music; writing, acting in, recording and editing music videos and documentaries; performing in world music ensemble and student rock bands; facilitating world drumming clinics for all ages; submitting projects digitally, learning from failure and reflecting on success.

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Christopher Leonard Pennington
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Chris teaches students with learning disabilities in grades 9-12. In one classroom, he can have a student with a Traumatic Brain Injury, another born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, or a student affected by Autism; many have Emotional Behavior Disorder. 90% of his students are on free or reduced lunch, which can also affect learning as well as behavior. Because he has the same students for four years (from the time they are freshmen to seniors), he cannot teach the same curriculum twice. So he is constantly generating innovative ideas and implementing problem-solving techniques to keep the material fresh and accessible. In spring 2011, Chris started a new curriculum, wood shop. He integrated business, marketing, and design principles and taught his students how to make bat houses that were then sold to the community. These were a huge success and all the product sold quickly. The immediate benefit the kids received from building something with their own hands was powerful, and it got Chris thinking. In fall 2012, he started a new curriculum that involved a partnership with a community garden and combined gardening, cooking, and nutrition. Now, he has created a total of four new classes that all build practical skills. These include wood shop, nutrition cooking class, bicycle mechanics, and a greenhouse class to grow seedlings and sell in the community.

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Chloe Kannan
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Chloe's first year, she realized that in order to fight the achievement gap, she knew would have to run her classroom differently; she had to invest students accustomed to failing in believing in a transformative vision. Little did she know that this would include teaching atop chairs and desks, making up chants about classroom culture, and even agreeing to get a tattoo if her students read enough independent reading books that year. If you are wondering, she has a tattoo of our class quote on the right side of her ribcage. Chloe's class is different everyday. The only thing each lesson has in common is that the kids do the thinking, the lifting, and find the answers. Here are highlights of Chloe teaching and her kids discussing her class: http://vimeo.com/44903659

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Jason Huber
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The cost of leaving the country for twelve year olds is daunting, and Jason walks them through the journey every step of the way. Jason molds these students into entrepreneurs. Jason pushes his students to find innovative ways to meet their funding goals. Jason's students sell their art, run markets and cafes, head service projects, become grant writers, create ecotourism companies, become dogged fundraisers, and host events that build community morale. Jason's brainchild, The Global Classroom Project, prompts students to be innovative to fund their way to Costa Rica.

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Cassandra Anne Hammond
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Cassie is a wonderful, innovative, creative teacher. She started a video new program at school for the students called CAN (Cougar Action News). Students plan, film and participate in giving the school the local news and weather every Friday morning. In her classroom she is creative using interactive notebooks, designing her own curriculum to fit her students needs and she uses a lot of technology in her classroom to enhance the students understanding of the subject she is teaching. She advises ASB on dance themes, DJs the Friday lunch dances and brings in new a creative ways to look at eliminating bullying on campus with counseling groups of students to invest there time into positive choices instead of turning toward the negatives. She is usually one of few teachers who dresses up for every spirit day...leads the spirit assemblies...comes up with games to play in her classroom and the whole student body to encourage school spirit. She is know by her students as the coolest, most understanding teacher they have. Through her creativity and ease to entertain in her classroom she brings history to life and makes language arts a true art form.

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Brian Muñoz
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Over the years, Mr. Munoz has introduced new technologies to his classes. This year especially, we have started using Smart Music everyday. Other components of our class have recently become very technological. For example, we have a class websites that lets us keep with assignments and events.He fosters creativity in our music selection process.We give input and help make musical decisions together. On a daily basis, we engage in activities that help us think out side the box and take risks.

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Jason Kaare
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During the course of my first year of teaching, I have attempted to be as creative and innovative as possible. A few examples of innovation in my classroom include: -In today's day and age, people are becoming further and further removed from the farm. This means less people are aware of how their food gets from the farm to their plate. I had my students raise market chickens at school and be involved in every step of the process. We received the birds as day old chicks and the students cared for them until the day we processed them at school. They got to see and be involved in every step of the process of producing chicken. We even brought the baby chicks to the elementary school and gave short presentations about chicken production to all the 1st grade classrooms. -Technology is also an important part of my classroom. I routinely have students use their phones or tablets to research ideas brought up in class. I even use Twitter as a way to enhance student engagement. I will often put up extra credit questions on Twitter and I have a hashtag students can use if they have a question about something going on in class. This allows me to answer their questions easily outside of the classroom. -To provide a creative community service aspect to my class, we landscaped the local county fairgrounds. It was a great way for them to see the result of their hard work!

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Bob Marquis
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Mr. Marquis built the curriculum around projects that were intriguing to the students, while focusing on skill development and collaboration. The first project, a modern retelling of a fairy tale, introduced the students to creating a script with a story structure, as well as creating a finished visual product - something many of them had never done before! They went on to create public service announcements (PSAs) for issues that mattered to them, and then participate in a local PSA film competition for high school students. After having only studied filmmaking for 4 months, 2 of his students were part of the 5 finalists selected!

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Lou Lahana
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The goal of my curriculum and instruction is to promote passion-based learning. For example, this year’s project was entitled “Inventions for Social Good.” Students were provided an extensive list of over 20 social issues; each containing links to videos, infographics, articles, serious games and articles pertaining to the subject. Their task was to post a project on their blog that clearly laid out the issues surrounding their problem (semester 2 they will invent a solution) Students were given free reign to use any tool to express their understanding of the issue. Each tool, from Lego robotics and podcasting to game design and filmmaking, was backed up by exemplars, practical application, and tutorials that scaffold students’ technology skills. The resulting projects have been very impressive. Students researching New York City’s garbage problem created a series of lego robotics sanitation vehicles. Along with video documentation of their robots, they contextualized their work by describing issues pertaining to collection and landfills. A student studying elephant ivory poaching in Africa created an interactive game in which a poacher kills and maims an elephant for his tusk. Another student using the same game design program (Scratch) created an interactive maze in which statistics popped up as a smoker collected cigarette butts.

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John Venner
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I have had the honor to see John travel to ropes courses for team building, help student build video documentaries, tackle cross curricular challenges with a full head of steam and so much more. He has volunteered to be one of the first online teachers in our district and has driven his whole school to excellence by embracing and modeling online and blended excellence in instruction, supporting student face to face, online, and in any other way needed. Even more, he starts his classes with questions. He wants to know how his students want to be great, what they want to learn, and how they want to get there. It is the purest, richest form of inquiry and discovery and it should be modeled for every new teacher.

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Award_topvotedidea
$10,000
Circle-1-inactive Step1-title-nominee-inactive

Nominations Began
Tuesday, January 22

Nominations Ended
Friday, February 15
at 12:00 PM PST

Circle-2-inactive Step2-title-voting-inactive

Voting Began
Monday, April 01

Voting Ended
Sunday, April 07
at 11:59 PM PDT

Circle-3 Step3-title

Winner Announced
Thursday, April 18

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