Innovation Award: Final Evaluation 2022-23
Marcie B. Kurka (Pioneer, 3rd grade)
Grant: Story Builders

Project Summary

As we begin to wrap up the school year, I am inviting my students to reflect on their experiences this school year. We are looking at our progress and defining what it truly means to achieve/meet goals. One area of academics that we focused greatly on this year was writing! Writing is a tough topic for many students but with the proper practice and guidance, all students can increase their abilities!

On the first day of school, I have students write me an essay where they describe 3 different things they did over summer vacation. A few students are able to create simple sentences, most containing numerous grammatical errors with almost no extra details while others turn in blank papers simply because they are unable to write! This year I was able to add the Story Builders writing bins to our weekly/daily writing routine and wow, what a difference! The Story Builder bins allowed my students to be creative and describe scenes based on what they created with the different objects. The possibilities of the stories they could create were endless!


The evidence I was able to collect showed that 100% of my students made progress in their creative writing skills. I have included various samples of pre and post writing samples in this final evaluation. The “wow” moment in our classroom was when two students, who are newcomers to the United States, with limited English proficiency, were able to successfully create a well developed sentence based on their Story Builder bin creation.

Pre-Assessment Writing Scores:(Scoring based on ability to write a complete sentence)

      • 15 students scored below grade level
      • 4 students scored proficient level
      • 3 students scored above grade level

Post-Assessment Writing Scores: (Scoring based on ability to write a complete sentence).

      • 4 students scored below grade level
      • 10 students scored proficient level
      • 6 students scored above grade level

Money Spent: (VIEW RECEIPTS)

$61.37 (Amazon)
$61.94 (Amazon)
$340.88 (Amazon)
$73.20 (Amazon)
-32.04 (return to Amazon)
Total $505.36

Next Steps

One area that I would like to improve upon next year is to add vocabulary cards to each bin. Even though students had the ability to use their iPad for spelling and vocabulary support, I believe by adding specific vocabulary cards (or sheets) to accompany the bins will help the students be more successful in developing their writing skills. Oftentimes, I would see students struggling with the iPad, attempting to “find” the right word, which in turn, slowed their progress down, causing some to run out of time and were able to finish their story. Additionally, I would like to find a “better” writing template for my advanced students to use. I did feel my basic writing summary template held a few students back from developing a full complete story. A few students had higher writing skills and were able to see through the basic writing template and took their writing to the next level by adding multiple layers to their stories. Overall the Story Builder bins were a huge success in my classroom and the skills the students were able to gain and apply were monumentous.

I will certainly continue to use my Story Builder Bins next year! Using these bins became the highlight of their week! They truly looked forward to building their story with the props and then loved writing about it! Thank you again to the Escondido Education Foundation for making this grant possible. I appreciate the opportunity to fulfill an idea that I have had for quite some time! This project would not have been possible without your support. YOU made a difference in 22 student lives this year and | know in my heart that the Story Builder Bins will have a lasting impression on these students!