The Scholastic Challenge Competition will be held on Saturday, February 4 at Portville Central School. This annual event, sponsored by Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES (Student Programs CoSer #506) will host 36 teams who will compete in a Junior Division and Senior Division, for grades 6-12.
Scholastic Challenge is a fast paced contest that tests knowledge of academic trivia and current events. Teams of four students measure their ability to recall details from a wide variety of topics.
Fourteen school districts will be participating in the double-elimination contest this year. This translates to about 200 students and coaches. Throughout the day, several thousand questions will be read aloud to these ambitious teams. Spectators are encouraged to watch the competitions. It’s exciting to see the students combine an impressive display of intelligence with camaraderie, graciousness and good sportsmanship.
The final matches will be held on stage in the Portville auditorium around 1:15-2:15. The first and second place teams in each division will be presented with plaques to recognize their achievements, as well as an invitation to attend the 2017 National Academic Championship.
This event requires about 40 volunteers to make the day run smoothly. CABOCES Student Programs is grateful to everyone who donates their time and experience to provide a fun and educational day for the students in our area. Scholastic Challenge could not happen without their help!
Congratulations to all the teams participating this year. Thank you to all coaches for mentoring and encouraging your students. The following school districts will be attending on Saturday, February 4:
In December the Board of Regents approved new Science Standards that will take effect in July of 2017. This means schools will need to coordinate their transition away from 1996 Science Standards into new standards so that students are prepared for assessments that will likely be implemented in three years.
It is predicted that new Science assessments will begin in 2020, three school years away. With this in mind, CA BOCES will begin transitioning Science Curriculum Kit titles so that students reach their assessment prepared. Title transition will take place over a three year period. The chart below outlines the planned transition.
All curriculum kit titles can be explored at our new website: www.advancingSTEM.com
Explore the new New York State Science Learning Standards: www.p12.nysed.gov/ciai/mst/sci/nyssls.html
In an effort to continue CABOCES’ progressive advances with coding, we have been offering CodeMonkey as a way to teach computational thinking and core computer science concepts that will prepare our students for the careers of tomorrow.
CodeMonkey is an engaging online game that teaches real computer programming to children as young as nine. Through fun challenges, teachers can introduce basic computer science knowledge to students and better prepare them for the 21st century.
Computer programming might seem hopelessly complicated, but it is actually a lot like walking—you just have to take it one step at a time! Programming is just like giving instructions, and when using CodeMonkey, adults and students alike discover how people write commands in computer languages called code, and how code is broken down into step-by-step procedures called algorithms. Patience, attention to detail, and the ability to foresee different circumstances and outcomes can turn lines of text into useful programs and activities!
The CodeMonkey curriculum is built as a self-paced online game, where students advance through a progression of challenges. In each level, students write real code to program a monkey to catch all the bananas on the screen. Each solution is checked and graded automatically, and the students receive personalized instructions and hints that help them advance at a pace right for them.
Recently, the 5th and 6th grade students at Genesee Valley decided to help that monkey find those bananas! Class time was spent going through the program and teaching the nuances of CodeMonkey and then having the students begin their coding adventure at their own pace. Laughter, shouts of, “This is so fun!”, problem-solving, and even a bit of frustration were on display…all of which are part of learning.
As the students progress, they will being to understand computer programming language, covering topics such as objects, function calls, arguments, loops, variables, arrays, with 300 levels available total. To assist with this, CodeMonkey provides a unique curriculum that accompanies the teaching process step-by-step. Additionally, CodeMonkey provides a teacher’s dashboard where instructors can keep track of their students' progress in real time, as well as see the actual code they wrote. CodeMonkey also provides a cheatsheet so teachers will have the solutions to all challenges.
So what are you waiting for? Contact us and give CodeMonkey a try!
By: Alexandra L. Freer, CABOCES Learning Resources
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.
Check out this month's STEM Challenge.
Teachers from across the Cattaraugus-Allegany region participated in Day #2 of our 6-8 Math CLC. Karen Insley and I walked our participants though several hands-on, cooperative, and challenging activities. The activities included looking at PBL (Project Based Learning), structures for teachers to use with their students, including cooperative grouping activities, being sure to stress the importance of student to student collaboration with mathematical content.
Teachers were given a task (project) and were asked to work on the beginning stages of it. They saw how this type of learning could be incorporated into their lesson planning, and how PBL could look in a mathematics classroom. Teachers saw the structures modeled, and then discussed how they could use the structures in their own classrooms. Many ideas were shared, including ideas for extension for advanced students, as well as modification for students who may need more scaffolding.
Teachers were given time to create lessons, and materials they could use in their classrooms immediately, as well as in the future. They walked away with over five different structures to use with their students. The day was successful, and teachers could collaborate and learn from each other as well as from the facilitators! Our next 6-8 Math CLC is on March 14, 2017.
By Kathleen Agnello, CA BOCES Professional Development
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