What is an educational lending kit?
An educational lending kit is a set of grade specific lesson plans, hands on learning materials and background resource materials professionally packaged for shipping back and forth to classrooms all over the state. The overall purpose of an educational lending kit is to provide a teacher with everything needed to teach a comprehensive unit on marble that meets the Vermont Framework of Standards and Grade Expectations.
What topics will be covered in the educational lending kit?
The topic of marble in Vermont offers learning opportunities in many disciplines and grade levels – geology, mineralogy, chemistry, social and economic history, art and architecture, math, technology and local folk life studies.
Who will decide what topics will be covered in the kit?
Since it is essential that teachers can easily use the kit and that the activities and materials will be of great interest to students, a Teacher Advisory Group (TAG) – including the Vermont State Department of Education Social Studies Coordinator – will determine what grade level(s) the kit should target, what activities should be included, and what hands on materials are necessary. This same Group will write up grade specific lesson plans and then “test run” the units in their classrooms before the final kits are manufactured.
How are resource materials developed?
Once the content areas are determined, the Education Lending Kit Project Coordinator will work with content experts to develop a Resource Notebook to be included in the kit. The notebook will be a compilation of articles, original documents, photos, diagrams, etc. that will give teachers a thorough background in the various aspects of the marble industry and uses of marble. The Coordinator, with TAG’s guidance, will also develop the hands-on activity materials. The lesson plans and resource materials will be integrated with and take full advantage of the other parts of the Dimensions of Marble project, including the documentary, the Carving Symposium, and the Marble Trail.
How is the actual kit made?
A graphic designer will develop the overall look and feel of all the materials in the kit. Everything needs to be laid out in a self explanatory way so that when the teacher receives the kit, it will be obvious how to use each component. Standard professional packaging materials (heavy duty plastic carrying box, notebooks, packaging materials) are used to compactly assemble the kits. Once the format for one kit is developed, multiple kits can easily be produced.
How long does it take to create a kit?
It takes close to nine months to develop the concepts and specific content components, research and write the resource manual, design and produce the kit component and test run the kits.
How will the kits be distributed?
The kits will be managed, cataloged, replenished and stored by the staff at the Vermont Marble Museum. Teachers will request the kits through the Museum and be allowed to keep them up to three weeks before returning them to the Museum. Standard UPS or FedEx delivery works best.
How will the effectiveness of the kits be measured?
Each kit includes an evaluation that teachers will complete and return with the kit. Adjustments to the kit are made based on these evaluations. The amount of usage of the kits is easily measured by looking at their distribution rates and patterns. With three kits available, it is possible that over 1000 students will be reached each year.