Teams have been hard at work since the school year began to prepare for the Southern Tier Lego League Tournament on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at Houghton College. It's exciting to see the program continue to grow in our region. CABOCES is ready to host the largest Southern Tier Lego League Tournament ever!
First Lego League, a world-wide robotics program, was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in Science and Technology. Each year a new program is designed to motivate kids to get excited about research, engineering, math and problem solving, while building self confidence, knowledge and life skills.
The Campus Center at Houghton College is the place to be this Saturday to see almost two hundred 9-14 year old students, their coaches and families, and over 3 dozen volunteers discover innovative ways to explore robotics while having fun! Please consider attending and help us celebrate all the teams who accepted this challenge. We will announce, at the Closing Ceremony, the five teams who will be advancing to the Championship Tournament at the University of Rochester on December 11.
Call or email BOCES Student Programs at 716-376-8323 if you'd like more information. Also, to learn more about this year's Challenge, check out the link:firstinspires.org/robotics/fll/challenge-and-season-info
We're looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, November 19! Thanks for supporting our Southern Tier Lego League teams!
For GPS purposes, use Houghton College, 1 Willard Avenue, Houghton College, Houghton, New York 14744.
Watch for Lego League signs, once on campus.
The tournament will be held in the Reinhold Campus Center Lounge, the Student Union at Houghton College.
Parking is available in the Gillette and Gym parking lots.
There are 18 teams competing this year. This is our largest Southern Tier Tournament!
The Tournament Tables will be in the Campus Center Lounge.
The Matches will be projected onto a big screen for viewing.
The Pit Area will be in the Campus Center downstairs Rec & Cafe Area.
*Southern Tier FLL Qualifying Tournament 2016*
(times are approximate and subject to change)
12:00 Opening Ceremony
12:20 Competition Rounds begin
3:00 Alliance Round & Dance Party
3:45 Awards Presentations & Closing Ceremony
National Distance Learning Week is just around the corner (November 7-11). The attached flyer highlights the offerings being brought to you by CA BOCES in partnership with the providers. This is a great opportunity for districts and teachers to give a virtual field trip a try at no charge to the district during DL week only. This event is supported in conjunction with the New York Distance Learning Consortium for Cattaraugus Allegany BOCES that participate in the Distance Learning CoSer. For additional information about Distance Learning Week call or email: Carrie Oliver—firstname.lastname@example.org /716-376-8270
2:00 p.m. November 7, 2016 (3rd - 5th grade): Make and Take with Polymers
Take an inside look at the properties surrounding polymers. What are they? What do they do? Where do we find them? Who uses them? This approach will feature a discussion of chemistry base properties of solids, liquids and gases, and then compare polymers to these chemical concepts. Do polymers defy the rules of chemistry? We will also look into why they are important and what careers are involved. We will also demonstrate labs that can be easily conducted at home.
For more information on about the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, click this link h p://www.perotmuseum.org/events-and-programs/school-programs/sciencecast-distance/learning/ index.html
10:00 a.m. November 8, 2016 (4th-7th): Bodyworks
What does a real heart look like? How does its function relate to our brain, muscles, bones and lungs? This pro- gram uses preserved human specimens, anatomical modes, and physical exam techniques to impress your students with their own insides. From cells to issues to organs, we overview human skeletal, muscular, nervous, pulmonary and cardiovascular systems, relating their functions to healthy behavioral and nutritional choices.
For more information on about the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, click this link h ps://www.cmnh.org/ivc
1:30 pm November 9, 2016 (PreK - 2): Cobwebs for Christmas
Are you ready to add some "bling" to your Christmas? This fun and interactive lesson will explore the tradition of adding tinsel to Christmas trees. The charming folktale Cobweb Christmas by Shirly Climo is set in Germany and focuses on some curious spiders paying a visit to Tante's tree. Incorporating Science, Language Arts, and Technology standards, students will discuss characteristics of arachnids using observation, compare and contrast different arachnids, and identify key elements of our story.
For more information on about the Muskingham Valley Educational Service Center, click this link https://www.mvesc.org/
9:00 am November 10, 2016 (K - 3): How to Make An Artist
Students are introduced to artists and their work through picture-book biographies. During this program which makes strong connections between language arts and visual art, students create art in the style of Frederic Reming- ton and Georgia O'Keeffe. The program is a great intro to a fine arts museum.
For more information about the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, click this link h p://www.cartermuseum.org/learn/distance-learning
1:00 pm November 10, 2016 (K - 8): All About Matter
Bubbles, eyedroppers, dry ice and liquid nitrogen are a part of an incredibly interactive program focusing on states and properties of matter.
For more information about the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, click this link h p://www.fwmuseum.org/distance-learning
This Just In:
It's official! CABOCES will be hosting the largest Southern Tier Lego League Tournament ever on Saturday, November 19 at Houghton College. See flyer for details.
First Lego League, a world-wide robotics program, was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in Science and Technology.
Each year a new program is designed to motivate kids to get excited about research, engineering, math and problem solving, while building self confidence, knowledge and life skills.
Exposing children to music and art leads to a deeper understanding of content. It’s a natural connection for teachers to offer their students.
CABOCES hosted the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and an audience of more than 1500 elementary students and teachers for 2 unique concerts at the Olean High School on September 27. The BPO kicks off their Student Concert Series each year by transporting a 60 piece orchestra to the Southern Tier.
This was a wonderful opportunity to inspire Kindergarten through Fifth grade students and enhance the ELA, Literacy, Social Studies and Art Standards that are being taught in the classroom. The BPO Education department masterfully linked their performances to the Common Core Standards. Both concerts combined not only a variety of musical selections, but also story-telling and active audience participation. It was more than just a concert, it was an educational show that tied in elementary curriculum with music.
Mr. Stefan Sanders, conductor for the BPO, embraced the idea that musical story telling is a valuable tool that fosters greater understanding of student learning objectives. To ensure a strong foundation for Feel the Music! (grades K-2) and Selfies: Musical Portraits (grades 3-5), the BPO Education Department supplied teachers with curriculum lessons for use in the classroom.
Thank you to Wellsville, Hinsdale, Franklinville and Olean school districts for allowing their students to attend and promoting the arts in their education. CABOCES Arts in Education helps schools enrich the lives of their students by providing opportunities to experience the performing arts. If the concept of music as education piques your interest, please call Student Programs at CABOCES 716-376-8284 to find out more about Arts In Education, CoSer 403.
By: Jean Oliverio, CA BOCES Student Programming
C-A BOCES welcomed new teachers from around the region to the ’16-‘17 New Teacher Academy. The first of four sessions was held on September 21st, 2016. There were 24 teachers in attendance for this full day workshop. The day was filled with meaningful activities to help teachers build a better understanding of what it means to be a new teacher, as well as helpful resources and ways to make connections with fellow colleagues. Collaboration, engagement, reflection on teaching standards, and goal setting were a huge part of the day. Teachers also learned about available digital resources through our Learning Resources SNAP system. Teachers were able to have great conversations with their colleagues as well as with the entire group throughout the day. We look forward to continuing to teach and learn from each other over this school year.
New Teacher Academy will have three more days of learning, sprinkled throughout the rest of the academic year. The upcoming dates are December 1st, February 16, and the last on May 25, 2017.
By: Kathleen Agnello, CA BOCES
How well will you score?
On October 19, 2016 approximately 200 area educators gathered at the Premier Banquet Center for an energizing and inspiring day of learning with Eric Jensen. The focus for the day centered around educating students of poverty. Eric’s work is based on years of brain based development research, as well as the socio-emotional aspect of students of poverty. Eric provided staggering statistics on poverty in the United States, and in particular, poverty data on children. “51% of all students in U.S. Public Schools are poor. With New York State having an average of 48%.” (Suitts, S. (2015). “A New Majority.” Research by Southern Education Foundation). While the numbers are daunting, there is hope.
The first step in making changes to education is to raise awareness of the needs of children in poverty. Eric’s presentation helped to shed light on the reality of poverty in our country. The 21 area schools, 2 local universities and CA BOCES Staff realize the local impact of poverty on our students. The next step is implementing small changes in schools and classrooms to meet the needs of children of poverty. Eric provided suggestions for schools and classrooms to help students graduate:
What is your district, school or classroom already doing to meet the needs of your students of poverty? Where does your district, school or classroom need additional resources and support?
CA BOCES Instructional Support Staff is providing workshop offerings for districts, schools or classrooms to foster changes in instruction to meet the needs of students of poverty. We are offering a Poverty CLC that will meet 3 times throughout the year: December 8th, February 5th and May 18th. We are also offering a Poverty Simulation Training for districts. Dates are to be determined based on district needs and availability. In addition, Eric has several books and other resources on his website: jensenlearning.com.
By: Karen Insley, CABOCES
Quiz answers 1) T, 2) F, 3) F, 4) T/F, 5) F
Are you looking for resources and don’t know where to turn? Maybe you have some idea of what you are looking for and don’t have the time to cull through the myriad options available. At the CABOCES Learning Resources center in Allegany, we will have a training in January for the teachers in our two county area, highlighting all that our Staff Specialists here can do for you and your students.
Learning Resources has recently had an increase in the amount of resources being used by our component schools, but there are still so many things being underutilized. So as part of this training, the Staff Specialists went through each branch of Learning Resources and how they can assist with curriculum and content, utilization of online and digital support, as well as providing tangible resources to use in the physical classroom. The teachers who have gone through the training before have been amazed at the hundreds of thousands of resources available and how each department can either assist with or provide instruction on the various aspects of digital resources and technology, STEM, Library services, and distance learning.
Both STEM and the Digital Media program provide kits that can be used in the classroom to aid instruction and provide hands-on activities. Online resources accompany those kits, as well as accessing the SNAP system to find additional support. The Distance Learning branch has many components, including Moodle and Mahara, credit recovery, virtual field trips, collaborative classrooms, online learning, and Adobe Connect. Additionally, our Library Resources offers support to all 22 school libraries in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties, implementation of the inter-library loan system, and provides online usage of Britannica and World Book.
If you are not utilizing any of these resources, only using some of them, or need to know more, come join us on January 12 at our Learning Resources center in Allegany, NY.
By: Alexandra L. Freer, CA BOCES
The November STEM Challenge: Turkey Cooker.
Advancing STEM Challenges are designed to bring engineering and design to your classroom in a simple, easy-to-implement, challenge-based way. Modify our Advancing STEM Challenges for your classroom. A new challenge will be posted monthly.
Post a photo of your students in action in our comment section or post a comment on how you modified the Challenge to work in your classroom.
Betsy Hardy, Distance Learning Coordinator for CA BOCES, was invited to present on a panel at a national conference last week alongside renowned author, Michael B. Horn. Michael B. Horn is the Co-Founder of Clayton Christensen Institute and author of Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools. Betsy was asked to attend 2016 iNACOL Blended and Online Learning Symposium as an expert on implementing blended learning programs. During the panel, Betsy was asked a number of questions on strategies for introducing online and credit recovery programs, utilizing online portfolios in the classroom, and cited many real life examples of ways that districts have been successful in the Cattaraugus-Allegany region, as well as how program implementation has to be based on district individuality and specific needs. Some of the recommendations she gave included having a team set up the program, having a specific teacher or aide with students at all times while students work on their classes, and setting up multiple in-depth professional development opportunities for teachers.
One of the many remarkable insights that Betsy brought to the panel discussion, was her unique understanding of how rural districts utilize online and distance learning programs to help broaden the scope of student transcripts and give students unique opportunities to experience courses that otherwise would not be offered, as well as how online programs broaden student skillsets and exposure to a plethora of ideas and prospects. Betsy also noted the important role that credit recovery has played in the region, sometimes increasing graduation rates by as much as 10% in well-established programs with a dedicated aide for students working on their classes.
Betsy, alongside a renowned author, shared the noteworthy achievements and best practices that districts in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties have made as they move toward a blended environment, helping students obtain important 21st century skills. School districts should be proud that their implementation of blended practices has garnered national attention.
If you have any questions, or would like to learn more about blended learning opportunities and professional development, please reach out to Betsy Hardy, Justine Lombardi, or Christina McGee at (716) 376-8281.
By: Christina McGee, CA BOCES
While building contractors remodeled Fillmore School this summer, Fillmore teachers renovated their traditional classrooms to incorporate blended learning. Fillmore will be implementing 1:1 devices for their K-12 students, and the teachers are readily adapting their classes to incorporate technology into daily instruction.
The CA BOCES Learning Resources and Model Schools teams worked with Fillmore teachers at Tech Camp for three full-day workshops. Teachers were introduced to Nearpod’s mobile interactive presentation software, Socrative’s quick assessment tool, Moodle’s Learning Management System, iPad Apps for Elementary and High School, CA BOCES Library and Media resources, and much more.
Opening discussion each day with the Fillmore teachers included:
Wendy Clark, who built a Moodle course she named Phenomenal Fourth Grade Readers shared, “I can't wait to use all of the fantastic apps that we learned about in my guided reading lessons! When we get our iPads; I’ll be all ready to go thanks to our summer tech training days!”
Cristin Glasner, MS Science Teacher added, “I had an amazing experience this summer. I brought back a huge amount of new knowledge on new technology to use in my science class. I was especially excited to incorporate Nearpod, Moodle, WEO and Edge factor into my classroom. I am so excited about using this technology to engage my students in their STEM lessons, add in Brain breaks, and trying some flipped lessons. This technology helps me make my content more relevant to my students and draws them into the lesson. They have so much fun, ask great questions, and have a better retention of the content.”
Every teacher at Fillmore has developed a Moodle course filled with interactive items for students, including: Math modules to reinforce math concepts, STEM videos, Music exploration videos, Spanish glossaries, Art concepts, Reading surveys, English journals and forums, Quizlet flashcards, Geography maps, News feeds from historical, language, STEM and Arts sites, and much more!
Fillmore’s journey to a 1:1 classroom environment has proven to highlight some great new strategies and tools that teachers are embedding into their day. Placing technology into the hands of every student allows students access to continue learning beyond the typical school day. Shaping the future of blended learning and global citizenship within the newly remodeled walls of Fillmore Central School is on an exciting path to great success.
By: Betsy Hardy, Distance Learning Coordinator, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Check out this month's Advancing STEM Challenge, "Cube Launcher". Advancing STEM Challenges are designed to bring engineering and design to your classroom in a simple, easy-to-implement, challenge-based way. Modify our Advancing STEM Challenges for your classroom. A new challenge will be posted monthly.
Post a photo of your students in action in our comment section or post a comment on how you modified the Challenge to work in your classroom.
By Clay Nolan, CA BOCES Regional STEM Coordinator
For a full week in July, area teachers gathered at Houghton College to be a part of an up and coming program aimed at working in the field of digital literacy. We are blessed in this area to have so many great content area teachers. Throughout our workshops, we see interested, talented, and dedicated professionals striving to give of their best to their students.
To that end, CABOCES has partnered with Houghton College to provide professional development for teachers who wish to increase their knowledge of technology and digital literacy that will propel their learners through the 21st century. Led by Dr. David Bruce, Associate Professor of Learning and Instruction at UB and Dr. Sunshine Sullivan, Associate Professor of Education at Houghton College, Rural Voices, Rural Visions closely resembles City Voices, City Visions. This is a program based out of Buffalo State University that provides educators and students with digital video resources to augment classroom learning. In this area, though, the focus is on those in rural communities.
Rural Voices, Rural Visions stresses not simply the use of technology, but the transformational power of technology. We cannot simply use technology for technology’s sake; we need to use it in ways that impact learning and give students another tool in their toolbox. Dr. Sullivan is hopeful that Rural Voices, Rural Visions will “provide a peek into the world of professional learning communities around digital literacies in a rural context, a gap in educational research and practice”.
Through Rural Voices, Rural Visions, the goal is to have teachers teach composition using varied modalities, not simply using essays or papers to reflect knowledge of content. For example, how can we use film to supplement classroom learning? According to Dr. Bruce, “When we discuss compositional issues such as audience, point of view, transitions, specific details, etc., the video theme provides a useful framework for discussion. This is especially crucial if the coursework involves print compositions. For those students who struggle to get their ideas on paper, I have found it to be helpful to refer back to their videos as a reference point.”
What a great opportunity we have in our region to work with such dedicated educators! Please contact me if you are interested in finding out more about Rural Voices, Rural Visions. We’d love to have your expertise!
By: Alexandra L. Freer, CA BOCES
For the past few times I’ve been meeting with teachers, I’ve been introducing them to STEM Challenges. These challenges have the participants work together to solve a problem I pose. Sometimes the problem has a fictional story attached to it or connects to the real world, but all of the challenges have the teachers working as engineers to find a solution.
Once the problem is introduced, I tell them the criteria and constraints that go along with the challenge. For example, there might be a time limit, only certain materials available or limits on the amount of material to be used, requirements that need met, etc. Participants get to ask questions about the challenge, imagine their ideas, plan it out with team members, create their solution, test it out, and then improve upon it, which is known as the Engineering Design Process.
So far, participants I’ve worked with have designed packages to keep a glass ornament safe, earthquake resistant buildings, towers made out of index cards and a foot of tape to hold a stuffed animal, boats to save the gingerbread man, windmill blades to lift a cup of washers, sails to catch the wind, Trojan horse carts to roll down a ramp, and built cup towers using only a rubber band and strings.
Through all of these challenges, I noticed the participants were engrossed with the challenge and trying to do their best to solve the problem. When their design wasn’t working, they were very eager to go back to the drawing table and figure it out how to make it work. When they were successful, it was a great scene to watch. Participants were high-fiving, cheering each other on, applauding one another, jumping up and down, and making sounds of joy and excitement. After the challenge, I posed to them that if this is how you are feeling, can you imagine how excited your students would be doing the same thing?
Was it “Chutes and Ladders”? “Battleship”, perhaps? How about “Chess” or “Uno”? Everyone had a favorite game growing up. What was yours? Maybe “Super Mario Brothers”? Go ahead, take a minute and think about it. Name that game you spent hours on, strategizing about, and maybe even cajoling others to play with you. Got it? Great! I knew you had one.
For many children, adolescents, and even teachers, playing a game, especially a videogame, is a preferred pastime. Something about a game keeps players engaged as they try over and over again to accomplish a skill, complete a task, or advance to a next level. The challenge can be all-consuming as players spend considerable amounts of time gaming, even seeming to lose consciousness of the world outside the game. Why do games merit such attention? It may be because games meet students in Lev Vygotsky's (1978) Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD). The difference between what a learner can do without help and what he/she can do with help, the ZPD exists between what is known and unknown, where classroom teachers attempt to meet their students with new knowledge, and new learning occurs. It is the instructional sweet spot.
Games intuitively capture a player’s attention at his/her ZPD, as initial rounds capitalize on a player’s prior abilities and skills, and each additional level forces him/her to learn a new skill or acquire new knowledge to be successful. Despite the glazed-over eyes and tears of frustration that can accompany a string of losses, the player returns again and again, each time with a little more understanding of the key to mastery.
But how is it that games feed a player’s engagement despite multiple unsuccessful attempts? Bruner Wood (1976) expanded on Vygotsky's work to suggest that supports, or scaffolding, within the ZPD can be removed as soon as skills become automatic. Wood referred to scaffolds as, “Those elements of the task that are initially beyond the learner’s capacity, thus permitting him to concentrate upon and complete only those elements that are within his range of competence” (1976, p.90). One element of successful learning is the ability of the teacher to engage students in the content long enough to provide the scaffolds and supports needed for students to succeed in the ZPD.
To achieve engagement, games captivate players emotionally, enticing them with the quest to be played. Game designers hone in on a player’s desire to succeed or win by building the sense the player can triumph through fair play. This embedded emotional element mesmerizes players and leads to deep engagement and the acquisition of skills and content, and tickles the player’s intrinsic desire to succeed. The strong emotional connections of games further enhance a sense of engagement with their task. Fear, surprise, disgust, pride, triumph, and wonder all act as engagement keys for game play (Farber, 2015). “Designers can customise an experience best suited to unlock certain feelings” (Farber, 2015, p.60), making even stronger connections to the game and creating a commitment by the player to continue.
Both Vygotsky and Wood describe recognizable parallels to players that self-select games in their ZPD. Gamers learn rules using peers as supports, play, and soon--without help--experience gratification as they play, and even lose. As players develop, they select games requiring a variety of skills or, as skills become automatic, games that are more challenging. Games players find too easy or too hard lie outside the ZPD and lack the keys to engagement, causing players to become passive or give up. Ralph Koster, author of A Theory of Fun for Game Design, points out, “The definition of a good game is therefore one that teaches everything it has to offer before the player stops playing” (2013, p.46). Koster asserts both the educational and entertainment value of games by writing, “Basically, all games are edutainment” (2013, p.47).
Games, almost in any form, are so good at engagement, maintaining attention, and advancing a skill that they also make terrific teaching tools and have led to the game-based learning philosophy. “Game based learning describes an approach to teaching, where students explore relevant aspects of games in a learning context designed by teachers. Teachers and students collaborate in order to add depth and perspective to the experience of playing the game” (EdTech Team, 2013).
Through game-based learning, teachers pair the benefits of games with learning in their classrooms. Andrew Garvery, a middle-level English teacher at Randolph Central School and professed “gamer”, is one teacher using the blended game design curriculum Zulama to bring the engagement of game design to his students. Andrew’s students are answering the questions, “What is a game? Why do we play them? Is a game a representation of society? How is society represented in a game?” (Garvey, 2016). His students are not using a traditional educational games approach to master vocabulary or key components of content, rather games are the engaging content in his class. Students in Andrew’s classroom are, by design, becoming game designers.
Games, through many of the strategies highlighted below and built within Zulama’s curriculum, become everyday pedagogical tools in the learning process.
Whether your favorite game is Monopoly, Minecraft or Mancala, when you are gaming, you are a student and learning is happening. Almost magically, the game has placed you in your Zone of Proximal Development and, chances are, you can’t get enough, even when you’re losing. Incorporating game-based learning strategies to instructional design can bring the magic of the game to the heart of learning in any classroom.
EdTechReview, Editorial Team. (2013, April 23). What is GBL (Game-Based Learning)? Retrieved February 25, 2016, from http://edtechreview.in/dictionary/298-what-is-game-based-learning
Entertainment Software Association. More Than 150 Million Americans Play Video Games - The Entertainment Software Association. Retrieved March 11, 2016, from http://www.theesa.com/article/150-million-americans-play-video-games/
Farber, M. (2015). Gamify your classroom: A field guide to game-based learning. NY, NY: Peter Lang.
Garvey, A. (2016, March 10). Zulama Webinar [Online interview].
Koster, R. (2013). Theory of Fun for Game Design. O'Reilly Media.
Vaillancourt, Beverly. (2014). Zulama: Game Design, Game Principles, and Emotional Design Elements. Used with permission.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wood, D., Bruner, J., & Ross, G. (1976). The role of tutoring in problem solving. Journal of Child Psychology and Child Psychiatry, 17, 89−100.
By: Tim Cox, CA BOCES Instructional Support Services
At Ten Broeck Academy in Franklinville, data has taken the driver’s seat to inform instruction. Last year, Principal Jennifer Cappelletti assembled a Data Leadership Team comprising of teachers from different content areas, as well as herself and Brendan Keiser, the BOCES Curriculum Coordinator, to develop a data-driven culture in her 7-12 building. To begin the cultural shift, the DLT started by creating a calendar for the year that included: three interim assessment testing periods and meeting dates for the DLT and for teachers to review their data. By creating a calendar for the year, the team committed to the initiative.
During the year, all teachers create and administer three interim assessments that are rigorous, aligned to the standards, and mirror the final assessment for the course, whether it is a state exam, Regents, or final exam. Teachers use eDoctrina and Castle Learning to link their assessment questions to their content standards. Both programs generate item-analysis reports with multiple data points, such as which questions students struggled with/mastered, the percentage of students struggling with/mastering a standard, and answer distribution for each question.
The DLT uses these reports to make initial observations of the data to help prepare for the data meetings with teachers. When the DLT meets with the teacher, the team works together to make observations, inferences about the data, and an action plan. Meeting as a team is essential, especially for the last task, because everyone can work together to share new ideas and practices to help target areas of weakness, instead of just making an action plan where you reteach the content in the same way. Together, the DLT makes SMART goals with the teacher (Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) to best meet the needs of his/her students that he/she hopes to meet by the next interim assessment.
This process has been very successful. Jennifer Cappelletti shares, “Over the past two years, we have made using data effectively a main focus in the high school. With each data cycle we have evaluated the process and made adjustments to make the process more worthwhile. This year, we added cross-curricular teachers at the same grade level examining each other's data together. The result has been a better understanding of each other's curriculum and collaboration on reaching common goals.”
Finally, to strengthen the data-driven culture, the DLT has been involved in CA-BOCES’ Informed Teaching Series. The team participated in four sessions, doing a deep dive into Leaders of their Own Learning, a book that details how to create a culture of student-engaged assessment that puts students in the driver’s seat in self-assessing their progress. Upon completing the program, the DLT met and identified five best practices they want to implement into their school culture. Great work, Franklinville teachers!
By: Brendan Keiser, CA BOCES Professional Development
Learning new information was difficult for Melvin the Monster. Melvin’s friends and family showed him how they learn new things by using art, math, sports, music, and encouragement from each other.
Puppetmasters David and Amy, also known as Up In Arms, combined a cast of 10 friendly, colorful monsters, humor and original songs from rock, to classical, jazz, pop, and Broadway standards to teach Melvin and the young audience about learning styles and self confidence.
Almost 2000 students (PreK- 2nd graders) from schools across Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties learned valuable lessons for school and life. Genesee Valley, Cattaraugus-Little Valley and Arcade Elementary opened their auditoriums to host these performances. Monster Intelligence marked the sixth and final performance of the school year contracted by BOCES. BOCES Arts-In-Education helps schools enrich the lives of their students by providing opportunities to experience the performing arts. TheatreWorks USA is a professional acting company based out of New York City. It is America’s largest and most prolific professional theatre for young audiences. For more information about bringing TheatreWorks shows to your area, contact Student Programs at 716-376-8284.
By: Jean Oliverio, CA BOCES Student Programs
At Whitesville CSD on Tuesday, May 10, teachers were exposed to various STEM related products and activities. Teachers explored, Little Bits, Coding Apps on the I pad, online resources through their SNAP account and a Global Design Squad activity entitled; Seismic Shake-Up with staff specialists from CABOCES. Over the past several years, STEM/STEAM has become increasingly important within the school curriculum. Research has stated, that STEM education is important for our students to be competitive in the workforce. According to the National Department of Education:
The United States has developed as a global leader, in large part, through the genius and hard work of its scientists, engineers, and innovators. In a world that’s becoming increasingly complex, where success is driven not only by what you know, but by what you can do with what you know, it’s more important than ever for our youth to be equipped with the knowledge and skills to solve tough problems, gather and evaluate evidence, and make sense of information. These are the types of skills that students learn by studying science, technology, engineering, and math—subjects collectively known as STEM.
One activity explored with Karen Insley of CABOCES was the Seismic Shake-Up! In this activity, students/teachers think about the need for earthquake resistant structures around the world, and determine what it takes to make a structure that is strong enough to withstand an earthquake. Through collaboration, design, problem solving, testing and researching; students learn and explore what it takes a to design and build a structure that can withstand an earthquake.
A second activity the teachers dove into was Coding with Clay Nolan from Learning Resources at CABOCES. Coding is one of the hot phrases of today and is important for ALL students to be exposed to programming as early as kindergarten. According to Eric Missio of the National Parent/Teacher organization states:
Coding (also called programming or developing) is telling a computer, app, phone or website what you want it to do. Some educators and experts are calling it the ‘new literacy’--a subject so important that every child needs to know the basics to excel in our rapidly changing world. Four- and five-year-olds can learn the foundations of coding and computer commands before they can even write and spell words. Older kids can learn to code through classes, mentors and online tutorials (see below for learn-to-code resources for all ages).
Learning to code prepares kids for the world we live in today. There are tons of jobs and occupations that use code directly, like web designers, software developers and robotics engineers, and even more where knowing how to code is a huge asset—jobs in manufacturing, nanotechnology or information sciences. However, for most kid-coding advocates, reasons for learning to code run much deeper than career prep.
Clay’s session started with the basics of human coding and advanced to applying this basic knowledge to a coding app or coding program on the ipad. The teachers began to make a code for other teams to follow in order to build a tower out of cups. The basic concepts of human code allows teachers and students to practice and understand the language of a coding program better. After the towers were built by following the developed codes, teachers explored two coding apps: Hopscotch and Code.org.
By: Tessa Levitt, CA BOCES Professional Development
Teaching science today in the classroom can be time consuming. There may not be time to fit in all the components from a CA-BOCES science kit due to time constraints. Students might be missing out on the hands-on activities, important vocabulary, and science concepts each learning experience is geared for only because of time’s sake. Also when getting that buckhorn science kit and opening it for the first time, it can be a bit overwhelming with the supplies, manual, books, live animal coupons, and reading that is needed to prepare the kit.
Last week, a few teachers wanted to explore a few of the science kits offered by CA-BOCES. Teachers went through some of the experiences, examined and manipulated the supplies in the kit, debriefed themselves on the manuals, learned about additional resources that coincide with the kit, and discussed implementation plans in their classrooms.
Hinsdale third grade teachers, Lisa Morrow and Christine Goodling, were both surprised and intrigued by how many ELA skills were intertwined with the science kit, Life Cycles and Traits of Frogs. They noted that it could easily be used during their ELA block because students need to pull main ideas, details, conclusions, evidence, sequencing, and inferences from the texts all while learning science concepts. The teachers also commented how excited the students would be to engage with the topics and activities since they would have actual eggs, tadpoles, and frogs in their classrooms. After their new found knowledge of the science kit and realizing its ease of use, teachers left rejuvenated and excited to bring science back to the classroom knowing how much the students would gain from this experience.
The coding initiative has taken hold in many of our elementary classrooms throughout the Cattaraugus-Allegany region, through the use of Bee-Bots, iPad Apps for Education, programming course platform Zulama, Lego League, and many more. Many of our teachers are breaking away from the ‘shuttering’ that ensued from the mere utterance of the word “coding”. Coding, at its heart, is simply providing a set of directions that one must follow. It encourages critical thinking and problem solving skills in our students.
On March 16, Mrs. Hamer’s Kindergarten embarked on their first hands-on coding experience under the expertise of technology integrator Mark Carls. cooperative learning groups of 4-5 students, under Mark’s guidance, programmed our Bee’s to maneuver through the grid provided.
Mark was very enthusiastic when describing his work with our students commenting, “Some students grasped the concept of the bees right away and I was able to provide more complex pathways almost immediately, while some students needed more direct support with one step programming tasks. All in all, it was great! The kids were very engaged and enthusiastic about using the Bee’s. Every student wanted to touch them and in our small groups they were able to do just that.” Through this one activity, Mark was able to provide students with an enriching differentiated critical thinking task.
Mrs. Hamer’s Kindergarten class is eagerly awaiting Mark’s next visit when they will be applying their knowledge of coding with the tangible Bee-Bots to coding with the Bee-Bot App.
Through participation in Environmental Science programs with traveling teacher Barb Busack, Cuba-Rushford fourth grade students learned spiders are fascinating animals. On this day, they studied the parts of a spider, as well as how it hunts and digests its prey; soup anyone? They also studied the spiders’ amazing ability to make silk stronger than steel and style it into a variety of webs. Most importantly, they learned spiders are beneficial to our ecosystem, as they help control the insect population.
A competition was held to see which students could use their newly gained knowledge of spiders and their amazing lives to answer assessment questions and unscramble facts about spiders’ benefits to man. The first student who figured out the scrambled sentence won a spider web keychain.
The lesson concluded with the students making a pipe cleaner spider that can be hung outside. Hopefully a real spider will come along and use the framework to make a web, thus reducing the amount of unwanted insects in our yards and proving that spiders are beneficial!
By Barb Busack, CA BOCES
So you’re teaching a topic you’ve been teaching for 20 years and you need to breathe some life into the content. Where do you turn for timely, relevant and content specific material? SNAP!
Or maybe you’re a new teacher who needs manipulatives or leveled reader kits. Where can you get those? SNAP!
Science kits? SNAP! Hard copy media? SNAP! Professional Library materials? SNAP!
Through our Learning Resources program, we have thousands of resources available that can be used either instantaneously or ordered and delivered within days. There are many resources available online, but can you be sure of the authenticity? Here at Learning Resources, we zero in on educational media and technology that enhances your instruction.
With SNAP, we work with specific vendors who provide us with educationally sound and safe content: vendors such as Discovery Education, PBS Learning Media, TumbleBooks, TeachingBooks, BrainPOP, Learn360 and more. We also provide hands on instruction as well as technological assistance. Invite us to come into your classroom or building and we will work side by side with you and/or your students to align SNAP resources to your content. Look how much fun we had in Portville this month!
Is it easy to use? Extremely! It looks a lot like Amazon, or any other online shopping program. You can filter your choices and access streaming media right through your search. There is also a calendar that allows you to see when resources are next available. When you’re finished making selections for things to be delivered to your school, simply go to your “cart” and submit your order! What a SNAP!!!!
Let’s take a tour: www.snap.caboces.org
By: Alexandra L. Freer, CA BOCES
Local librarians were recently challenged to use Buncee to submit a photo story that showcased what his/her library program was doing. Mary Zdrojewski, K-12 librarian from Scio created "Beyond the Bookshelves".
Create your digital canvass with Buncee at www.edu.buncee.com .