Grant Writing Tips

To help you in your Grant Writing efforts, we have compiled several helpful pages from which to draw ideas. Use the links below to see sample Grant applications. For a printout of the entire Grant Writing package in .doc format, please click here .

Introduction

In response to your request to include SkillsTutor in your grant proposal, SkillsTutor, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, offers a proven, research-based Internet program to help students master core fundamental skills and advanced learning concepts.

This Internet-based program will provide students with individualized instruction, remediation and enrichment while aligning to the Individual State Standards.

SkillsTutor can be deployed individually depending on the learning level and specific needs of each student.  The program is flexible, rich in features, but also easy to learn and to put to productive use.

Teachers Help Students

Everything we do begins with the teacher.  The teacher is the primary source of instruction.  Using SkillsTutor, teachers can diagnose student weaknesses and provide supplementary lessons to remedy skill deficiencies, track student progress and measure levels of achievement.

SkillsTutor has over 2200 activities and lessons to supplement curriculum.  Teachers can select individual assignments or let the software prescribe individual lessons based on each student's pretest.  As students progress through their individualized lesson plan, the software tracks their time on task and measures their understanding of key learning concepts. Teachers can assess each student or each class with regard to their understanding of the concepts.  By reviewing real-time data, teachers can easily and quickly adjust their lesson plans to improve each student's level of achievement as well as the collective standing of the class.

Increased Learning Time And Productivity

SkillsTutor will extend learning opportunities beyond the traditional day.  The program is a tremendous supplemental tool and will fully support teachers' efforts.  The program will add value to regular core classes, test preparation programs, before, after and summer school programs, special education, ESL, adult education, migrant programs and more.  A teacher can select specific modules for each student or assign a pretest and let the software diagnose individual deficiencies.  The management system will then prescribe specific learning modules each student needs to master a skill set or concept.  In addition to making assignments, the software tracks the time each student devotes to each module and their test scores over time.  Administrators, teaches and parents love the 25+ accountability reports in SkillsTutor.

Continuity Of Instruction

Unlike instructional software that resides solely on a school network server, SkillsTutor is always accessible via the Internet.  The school does not incur the cost of purchasing, uploading and maintaining specialized hardware and software; teachers and students are not limited to in-school terminals and school hours.  Students can access assignments from any computer with Internet access - at school, at home, from a library, or other resource center.  The lesson the student begins in school can be continued from other locations in the evening and on weekends.  With continuity of instruction, key concepts get reinforced. Students can take as much time as they need with SkillsTutor and are spared the embarrassment of not knowing answers in the classroom and falling behind as their classmates turn to new topics.  Those who do not grasp a concept the first time can repeat lessons in private, and review examples and answer test questions until they have mastered the building blocks for successful learning.

Measure Progress And Accountability

Educators remain in control.  Statistical data from SkillsTutor allows them to see at-a-glance which students are making productive use of the software and which are not.  Test scores and trend analysis provide objective data to measure the progress of each individual student and every class.  Teachers and administrators can measure the effectiveness of new or revised learning modules and determine which merit inclusion and which do not.  Using pretest and posttest results, teachers can identify which students are meeting state standards and which could benefit from additional remedial and tutoring efforts.

State educators can use statistical data generated by SkillsTutor to demonstrate the effectiveness of their programs when they make presentations to federal agencies and educational foundations as well as to their school boards and local learning communities.

Benefits

SkillsTutor is based on research and experience. We have drawn on 25 years of experience, first with SkillsBank CD-ROM software, and expanded our vision to provide a product that offers enrichment as well as remedial instruction.  In SkillsTutor, educators have a product that is effective, easy-to-use and affordable.

Internet-Based Solution

SkillsTutor is a true Internet product.  There is no requirement for any type of in-school hardware or software.  Educators and students can access SkillsTutor via the Internet using a standard web browser from wherever they happen to be - any day, any hour.  Class assignments, student tests, and statistical data - all system elements reside in an online relational database.  User names and passwords control access to classes, assignments, student activity data and test scores.

Aligned To State Standards

SkillsTutor is aligned with the State Standards, giving teachers a powerful tool to help students master fundamental skills.  As students strengthen their knowledge of these skills, they will experience success in the classroom and in their performance on any other standardized assessments.

Teacher-Directed Study

In a typical school year of 180 days, students receive four to five hours a day of academic instruction.  The 2200+ activities and lessons in SkillsTutor are designed to supplement a teacher's lesson plan.  The Scope and Sequence take into account the limited amount of time available for supplementary material.  In addition to remedial lessons, teachers can assign enrichment lessons in Science, Algebra, Reading and Information Skills.  The lessons that begin in school can be continued in the library, at home or any other place the student has access to the Internet.  There is also a Spanish voice-track for struggling English learners.

Diagnosis And Prescription

SkillsTutor contains built-in diagnostics, which the teacher can use to determine student comprehension of key concepts.  The teacher can assign a pretest to individuals or an entire class and establish a passing score (pre-set mastery level).

SkillsTutor converts the test results into a remedial lesson plan containing only those modules the student needs to master.  As the student completes each module, a test measures the level of comprehension.  At the completion of the lesson plan, a posttest measures the student's understanding of the subject.

Ease Of Use/ Training

SkillsTutor follows the familiar paradigm of the lesson plan. Each lesson has specific objectives, written material to review and examples or discussion to illustrate key concepts.  If the student wrongly answers practice questions, the software triggers a review of those questions, provides the correct answer and the principles or concepts underlying the answer.  When the student satisfactorily completes a module, the software opens the next lesson.

Each school receives a User's Guide for Administrators, Teachers and Students and can access reproducible worksheets that are aligned to the SkillsTutor lessons for class work or home assignments online.  Onsite SkillsTutor professional development training courses -- either in a classroom or in small online sessions using our online virtual system -- can be scheduled at affordable rates.  Our Customer Care Center provides free technical support and customer service.  Just call the toll-free number, Monday through Friday.

Robust Reports

All SkillsTutor activity is captured in a relational database to facilitate retrieval and statistical reporting.  The teacher can view individual or class data to determine time-on-task and test scores.  District and state officials can measure the performance of students on lessons aligned to state standards.  The teachers of students who do not pass the (Name the Exam), for example, will be able to assign lessons related to key learning concepts the student failed to master.  The software will provide the teacher with a means to determine on a daily basis (if desired) both the level of effort and level of learning each student attains in preparing for subsequent tests.  All data remains secure and confidential.

Cost-Effectiveness

SkillsTutor focuses on core skills and concepts, not the entire curriculum.  As a result, a course may run 100+ hours, and the software's diagnostic feature might prescribe 40 hours of supplementary material for an individual student.  SkillsTutor is an effective and affordable choice for schools seeking to expand their learning reach at reasonable costs.

(Educational software containing thousands of hours of instruction tends to be less cost-effective because teachers and students have limited time to make much use of these costly packages.)

Solutions For Many - A Solution For One

Because SkillsTutor is on the Internet, no special hardware, software or network is required to use the program. It can be applied in one school or in multiple schools across a district.  Educators could selectively apply its diagnostic and prescriptive powers in one or more districts - even the entire State - to help those students in need of remedial instruction.  (Advanced lesson modules could also enrich the learning experience of gifted and talented students.)

A variety of educators have stated these benefits of using SkillsTutor:

  • Saves time, less manual paperwork
  • Automatically identifies students' weak skills to quickly focus on teaching "needed" concepts
  • Opens up communication with parents
  • Promotes creative thinking and use of technology tools to school boards, teachers and local communities
  • Broadens the ability to provide one-on-one instruction
  • Serves as an "indicator" of specific student, class or overall school test performance
  • Motivates teachers and students to teach and learn in different ways
  • Adds value to non-core curriculum classes
  • Adds structure to study halls and library time
  • Serves as an intervention tool to help categorize students who may need special education status
  • Increases performance on standardized tests
  • Serves the entire school in multiple learning settings
  • Decreases the number of students "at risk" of failing
  • Supports teachers by reinforcing traditional teaching methods
  • Covers core skills necessary to reach higher learning goals
  • Familiarizes students with test formats and is self-paced
  • Remediates adult students for success in the workplace
  • Excites parents and provides an added tutorial service.