Below are descriptions and information for all grants awarded in the state of Montana.
National Museum of Forest Service History
Contacts: Cheryl Hughes – Director of Education and David Stack – Curator & Historian
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Grant awarded June 20, 2018
Building on the successful implementation of a TPS regional grant in 2017, the National Museum of Forest Service History (NMFSH) launched a second project titled “Native Americans and the U.S. Forest Service Forests, Lands, and Waters: The Confluence Conference.” The focus of this grant was to make a significantly greater impact and create a new compendium of instructional resources focused on the world of Native Americans and conservation. The Museum partnered with the Montana Office of Public Instruction-Office of Indian Education to select participants for a four-day workshop which was held in August 2018. Educators designed primary source-based lessons focusing on the history of the U.S. Forest Service and the complex contributions indigenous peoples have brought to public lands.
During the workshop, educators researched and explored rarely used primary sources, such as oral histories and Coyote Tales (Indian folk tales related to nature). One of the noteworthy aspects of the grant was the participation of Dr. Herman Viola, Curator Emeritus of the Smithsonian’s Native American Museum and prominent scholar of the American Indian experience. Dr. Viola regaled the audience of 25 educators from Montana and around the country with his expertise and rarely heard stories about the inter-connected history of Native peoples and America’s public lands. In the words of Dr. Viola, “... thank you for conducting such a great program ...it far exceeded all my expectations - from the program to the participants… I’m going back to D.C. and say how glad I was to be there, and what a wonderful experience it’s been. I hope we can somehow build from this and make it an even bigger national program. I think the ingredients are right there.” Through their networks with other museums, education associations, and national experts, the NMFSH is serving in an ambassador role to promote TPS regional grants and the increased use of primary sources.
Montana Center for Inclusive Education
Contacts: John Keener – Project Coordinator
Grant awarded June 26, 2017
The overall goal for this regional grant was to begin building a state-wide network of educators trained in using primary sources and to bring TPS to underserved rural communities in Montana. This project was a partnership between the Montana Center for Inclusive Education (MCIE) and the Montana Regional Education Service areas, which allowed direct access to their existing teacher networks throughout the state. The regional grant was also implemented in collaboration with the Indian Education for All initiative, supporting the mandated requirement to teach about the distinct cultural heritage of Montana Native peoples.
Project leaders, Ruth Ferris and Kathi Hoyt, conducted two workshops in the fall of 2017 in Miles City and Great Falls, reaching approximately 50 rural Montana teachers. Following the initial workshops, teachers participated in a series of online activities, including the TPS Teachers Network, EdChats, webinars, and social media to support their efforts in the classroom and share the outcomes of the grant with a wider audience. A final gathering was held in Lewiston at the end of project to review and reflect on participant work. Teachers shared their experiences and materials in a formal presentation to their peers to build sustainability and connectedness within the professional learning community. In total, this grant served 261 individuals, mostly educators/librarians teaching grades three through twelve.
Major successes noted were the initial building of a state-wide network and reportedly higher levels of student engagement. A key indicator of whether teachers would use primary sources in the classroom was their comfort level using TPS tools and resources during the workshops. Their main recommendation was for longer termed projects to increase the likelihood of sustainability. As one teacher remarked after the final workshop, “I have been aware of the Library of Congress web site for some time but have never spent much time on it. I will say that after last week, I know I will be spending more time there… In addition, I enjoyed learning how to create the albums using LOC sources as well as outside sources. I think this will be a great way to put together a very complete resource on many subjects.”
National Museum of Forest Service History
Contact: Cheryl Hughes, Director of Education and David Stack, Curator & Historian
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Grant awarded May 26, 2016
The history of the U.S. Forest Service offers a central point of reference for the history of forest and grassland conservation intersecting with the history of democracy, federalism, and the public good. U.S. This TPS regional grant provided the foundation for developing and piloting all future educational outreach for the National Museum of Forest Service History located in Missoula, MT. In May 2017, approximately 20 educational leaders from Montana and five other states convened at a mountain retreat center near Yellowstone National Park to participate in a TPS workshop. Over a period of three days, the educators explored primary source materials from the Library of Congress and the archives of the National Museum of Forest Service History, learned how to use these sources in their classrooms, and prepared to become Ambassadors for the Museum’s educational programs. This cadre of teachers also created lesson plans for K-12 teachers which will housed on the museum’s website and become the foundation of future education outreach by the museum.
According to one participant, “The thing I like best about teaching with primary sources is that it fosters enthusiasm for learning. When students generate the questions, search for clues, compare documents, and interpret events, they are much more involved than reading someone else’s interpretation and summary of events. Our time at base camp opened the doors to many more sources of primary documents and tools for students and teachers.”
It is estimated that initially, 600 K-12 students will be impacted by the teacher workshop. This number is likely to grow as the Ambassador’s Program is piloted in regional schools.
Billings Public Schools
Contact: Susan Plath, Project Coordinator, Ruth Ferris and Kathi Hoyt, Teacher Leaders
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Grant awarded October 3, 2013
Billings School District #2 provided content-rich, primary source-based professional development for K-12 teachers and librarians over the course of two academic years. The overall goal was to strengthen the classroom use of primary sources available from the Library of Congress and local Montana archives. Professional development workshops introduced or expanded upon teacher and librarian knowledge in using primary source documents to support the inquiry model and integrate Common Core Standards. Building on the success of previous Montana grants, the Billings coordinators recruited teacher/librarian teams who agreed to share what they learned at the building level through in-service presentations.
The initial training workshop was presented on December 2-3, 2013 to an enthusiastic group of 34 teachers and librarians. Following the workshop, teacher and librarian teams developed and disseminated lesson plans using primary sources throughout the school district. Due to the heightened interest, project coordinators requested a grant extension to provide another full day of training and to increase the number of TPS-related lessons available to teachers and librarians. In the words of one teacher,
“After seeing the level of student engagement I plan on incorporating primary sources into more of my lessons. It really was amazing what a difference it made. Other teachers in my school heard my students talking about the lesson taught using primary sources.”
By the end of the grant, 93% of participants had developed two lessons plans. 100% of the educators responded positively about increased student engagement, excitement that extended beyond the classroom, and a deeper level of conversation in the classroom. Teacher leaders continued to collaborate with the TPS regional grant at the Montana Regional Education Service Area 3, illustrating how combined efforts in one state can result in quality professional development for teachers and enhanced learning for students. As a final highlight to the grant, librarian Ruth Ferris was named 2015 Montana History Teacher of the Year because of her thoughtful and creative teaching of US history by effectively using primary sources to engage students.
Montana Regional Educational Service Area III
Grant awarded March 29, 2013
The Montana Regional Education Service Area III (MRESA3) is the professional development arm of the Montana Center for Inclusive Education serving educators and college students in central Montana. This geographic area encompasses 11 counties serving 84 school districts. MRESA3 collaborated with Montana State University Billings (MSUB) and the Montana Office of Public Instruction, Indian Education for All (IEfA) program to implement this regional grant for "Integrating Primary Resource Documents to Study Contemporary American Indian Issues." A primary goal was to design and present an annual two-day IEfA Summer Institute to provide models of best practices using primary resources, Common Core Standards, and technology infusion. Through this grant, the MRESA3 hosted ten workshops for educators in 12 school districts, and developed a pool of trainers to share Library of Congress resources with other teachers. An unexpected outcome was the development of a mutually beneficial relationship with educators in the Billings School District who successfully applied for their own regional grant.
Through the implementation of this TPS grant, teaching has become more engaging and interactive for both teachers and students. As John Keener described,
“The impact on teaching has been remarkable for those who implemented the practices into their teaching and classrooms... Student learning has become more student-led and project based…it has allowed students to correlate the ‘past’ with their ‘present’ in understanding how the past affects events happening in their lives today.”
Western Montana CSPD (Comprehensive System of Personal Development)
Grant awarded September 24, 2012
Western Montana CSPD provided professional development and on-site technical assistance to educators in the seven counties of Western Montana. Through this TPS grant, Weaving Common Core and Indian Education for All, this organization enticed teachers to investigate the resources available at the Library of Congress and use them in the classroom to encourage higher level thinking skills and inquiry. Further goals included training teachers to design authentic lesson plans in the curricular area of Indian Education for All and to develop strategies for implementing the new Montana Common Core Standards through the use of primary sources. This grant combined pre-conference activities (including the online, interactive modules at www.loc.gov), face-to-face instruction, online asynchronous/synchronous webinars and social networking to effectively reach teachers across a vast geographic area. Western Montana CSDP is hoping to replicate this model to the four other regions in Montana.
Montana Historical Society
Contact: Martha Kohl - Education Coordinator, Monatana Historical Society and Kirby Lambert - Outreach and Interpretation Program Manager, Montana Historical Society
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Grant awarded January 12, 2011
This grant enhanced previous TPS activities in Montana and was a direct result of another TPS grant funded through the Western History Association. The Montana Historical Society grant provided funding for workshops and conference presentations designed to reach teachers statewide in Montana. The first workshop presented on September 22, 2011 in conjunction with the 38th Annual Montana History Conference, included a one-day Teaching with Primary Sources Educators Workshop and a two-day session focused on "War, Resistance, and the Montana Experience". These TPS workshop reached 40 participants including teachers, museum educators, pre-service teachers, high school students and community members.
As TPS Western Region Project Coordinator, Taylor Kendal, observed,
"I think this workshop further solidified our belief that collaborative efforts are truly the most successful. The back-and-forth nature of the instruction between national LOC material and local Montana resources really seemed to resonate with the majority of participants."
The sustainability of TPS was evident at the Montana Education Association Conference on October 19-21, 2011 through TPS presentations by Martha Kohl, Montana Historical Society ("Landmarks of Montana History Do Matter") and Michelle Pearson, TPS Mentor and Colorado Teacher of the Year 2011 ("Primary Sources 2.0: Technology Meets LOC").
Grant awarded November 17, 2008
The Montana Historical Society enhanced the "Big Read" project already in operation using primary sources from the Farm Securities Administration. They disseminated copies of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and Hope in Hard Times by Mary Murphy to nine high schools throughout the state allowing students to analyze primary sources and compare depression-era photographs to current day photographs. The Enhancement Grant also enabled Montana to bring 20 teachers to Helena for a "Big Read" symposium in January, 2009.
This grant was completed during the second quarter of 2009 with a total of 142 educators reached. Based on the reports from the nine participating schools, hundreds of students and community members participated in numerous presentations and culminating events held in schools and public libraries in small Montana towns. Activities also included analysis of primary sources through historic and original photographs, collection of oral histories and simulations of Depression-era soup kitchens.