This is the question on the minds of Lego League teams this fall. The 2014-2015 Lego League Challenge is World Class-Learning Unleashed. Students will redesign how knowledge and skills are gathered in the 21st century. Teams will teach adults about the ways that kids need and want to learn. Get ready for a whole new class, World Class.
Teams have been hard at work since the school year began to prepare for the Southern Tier Lego League Tournament on Saturday, November 22, 2014 at Houghton College. It's exciting to see the program continue to grow in our region and new schools have formed teams this season.
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 Nielsen Phys. Ed building at Houghton College is the place to be this Saturday to see about a 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 call or email BOCES Student Programs at 716-376-8284 if you'd like more information. Also, check out this link: firstlegoleague.org/challenge/2014fllworldclass.
Times are approximate:
Opening Ceremony - 12:15 - 12:30
Competition Rounds - 12:30 - 2:15
Alliance Round - 2:15 - 3:00
Awards Presentation & Closing Ceremonies - 3:00 - 3:30
The mantra of the program is always its’ Core Values, which are as follows:
CA BOCES brings PREPaRE workshops to the Cattaraugus-Allegany region. The PREPaRE School Crisis Prevention, Preparedness, and Intervention Training Curriculum was developed by the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) as part of the association’s decade-long leadership in providing evidence-based resources and consultation related to school crisis prevention, intervention, response, and recovery.
School psychologists, counselors, administrators, and other educational professionals from across the region worked together to learn how to establish and sustain comprehensive school safety and crisis prevention and preparedness efforts. The PREPaRE model builds on existing personnel, resources and programs, and can be adapted to individual district needs. The first of two PREPaRE workshops guided participants to explore how to prepare for school crises by developing, exercising, and evaluating safety and crisis plans.
Portville’s School Psychologist, Dr. Michelle Edick, stated, “The first day of the PREPaRE training gave me an opportunity to think about the ways our district is well prepared for a crisis and the ways we can continue to improve.” The presenters, Dr. Ellen Faherty (Director of the Lea R. Powell Institute for Children and Families and Clinical Associate Professor of School Psychology at Alfred University) and Dr. Hannah Young (Staff Psychologist at the Unity House of Cayuga County, Inc.) provided participants with updated research and strategies as well as a clear connection between ongoing school safety and crisis preparedness. The presenters emphasized the unique needs and functions of district and building teams and the steps involved in developing these teams, including a model that integrates school personnel and community supports.
School district crisis teams play a critical role in crisis prevention and intervention; the work goes beyond meeting the needs of students; it reaches faculty, staff, families, and many times local community members. As evidenced by recent crisis events across the nation, school districts are integral to an overall community crisis response in terms of providing a safe haven, disseminating information, indentifying individuals at risk, providing mental health services, linking individuals with community services, tracking displaced families, supporting long-term recovery, and serving as a model of normalcy in the face of trauma.
Please contact Anne Mitchell if you have questions about the PREPaRE workshops.
Kristen Meier is a new member of the Instructional Support Services Team. In October, she began in the position of Curriculum Coordinator for Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School District. Before joining the team as a Curriculum Coordinator, she taught for Pioneer Central School District at Delevan Elementary School for just over five years. Throughout her time at Pioneer Central School District, she was a third grade special education teacher and the Response to Intervention (RtI) Specialist
“Raise your hand up, it’s a bully free zone.” Almost 2000 students and teachers repeated Queen Nur’s mantra and learned how to become Super Buddies and act as Upstanders.
Last week, second and third grade students and teachers from sixteen schools across Allegany and Cattaraugus Counties attended the first TheatreWorks USA performance of the school year.
It’s an understatement to say that Queen Nur (meaning Light) brought stories and songs to life for the audience. She energetically grabbed a hold of everyone’s attention and never let go. She, with help from her percussionist partner, Mr. Dwight James, was part singer-dynamic storyteller-motivational speaker-comedian-dancer and educator. Not many performers insist on young students to stand, stomp, clap, dance, shout and sing throughout a show. Her “call and response” style demanded it and ensured that everyone interacted, even teachers, much to the delight of their students!
Each year, BOCES contracts with TheatreWorks USA, a professional acting company based out of New York City. BOCES Art-In-Education helps schools enrich the lives of their students by providing opportunities to experience the performing arts. For more information, contact Student Programs at 716-376-8284.
Students and teachers who want more of Queen Nur’s inspirational messages, can learn more at queennur.com.
By: Jean Oliverio, CA BOCES
New York State is far behind the 25 states with virtual schools and the 29 states operating full time online schools, but our hope is policy leaders will continue to see the promising practices and results from online and blended learning.
Rob Griffith is an Instructional Staff Specialist for CABOCES working in the Wellsville Central School District as a Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology Facilitator. Prior to coming to CABOCES, Rob spent 13 years at Hinsdale Central School teaching HS Social Studies, MS Technology, and various elective courses. His enthusiasm for technology and his ability to integrate technology into the classroom enabled him to receive the Innovative Educator of the Year Award.
Having a focus on continuous improvement, he finds tremendous value in reflection for evaluation and instruction. His MS degree was focused on Reading & Literacy and he believes that all classrooms have both the capability and responsibility to instruct in aspects of reading and writing. He believes that working to improve both self and others pushes collaborative learning and results in an increased capacity to achieve.
Teachers at Franklinville Elementary School have been working hard to streamline instruction in guided reading across grade levels this fall. Leveled texts have been placed in literacy libraries to allow teachers to pull texts they need to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of their students. Accountable independent reading has also been a focal point for elementary teachers this year.
Through the use of Storia School and 1:1 iPads, teachers and students have access to 2,000 ebooks, including both fiction and non-fiction titles. In essence, Storia allows teachers to create a customized digital library for their classroom. Since each text is leveled, students can select books that are written at their reading level, fostering students’ ability to select “just right” books independently. Teachers can also place titles on students’ “bookshelves” within Storia. Many ebooks are interactive, allowing students to highlight and take notes, and some ebooks include videos as well.
Teachers are able to track students’ reading progress within Storia, and can use that information as a basis for discussion during student-teacher reading conferences, and as a measure of students’ ability to transfer the use of skills and strategies taught in guided reading lessons.
Students are excited to engage with texts in Storia, and it has reshaped students’ vision of how valuable and enjoyable reading can be.
By: Stefanie Mayr, CA BOCES and Franklinville Central School
Christina’s love of reading started at a very young age when she would climb a tree with a book and spend hours rapt by the tales of characters from all over the world and different times. This led to her move to New York City where she received her B.A. in English at Hunter College. While in New York City, she discovered her passion for education, social justice issues, traveling, and blogging. During this time, Christina volunteered to assist with the start-up of the creative writing portion of The Children’s Theatre Company. There, she developed lesson plans, taught classes, and helped children showcase their written talents alongside other creative endeavors. She also volunteered at a women’s homeless shelter, which solidified her resolve to work toward social justice in education.
Later, Christina moved to Buffalo, where she received her M.Ed. in English Education and pursued her excitement about education in a world of blended and online-learning. During her graduate education, Christina researched the influence of technology in learning environments and the importance of students developing voice and inquiry skills in the larger world through their English classes. She had the opportunity to present her findings on a panel at the 2011 NCTE Annual Convention in Chicago. Her research led to a desire to investigate how teachers create opportunities of inquiry for a diverse student population to act in the larger world using multiple literacies as their tools. Christina is currently working for Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES as the newest Distance Learning Teacher.