In my short experience working with the Instructional Support Services Team and being introduced to the online world that is available to our students, I have come to realize that I could have done so much more for my students in the classroom.
OK…. OK…. Don’t get all in a bunch!! I know that for us educators, doing more is always included when we are preparing for our classrooms of students each day…… BUT …… had I known about MOODLE I could have created blended learning experiences that also made my valuable time more efficiently used. Possibly even giving me some self-care time!!
I have been working and creating course work in MOODLE for the past few months, as well as completing some of free training that is available to help maneuver all the options within MOODLE. Of course…..it is something that will need to be created and set up, but once it is done it will allow for more time. Great resource and great experience for inclusion of the classroom.
We are always available to assist with any questions or concerns.
By: Lisa Scott, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Many districts in our CABOCES region have decided to use our ELA and Math Benchmark assessments to help prepare students for the NYSED 3-8 assessments. Mark Beckwith at CABOCES has those benchmark assessments and other documents on our 3 Tools to Improve Results site: http://bit.ly/3TOOLS.
This all came about from a discussion at Friendship with their administrative team trying to help teachers understand what they need to cover to prepare students for the 3-8 ELA and Math assessments. We used the released questions on the NYSED site and focused on the standards that have been asked the most since the Common Core tests started. CABOCES staff worked on creating parallel questions to these most asked released questions to make the benchmarks and tried to keep the overall look and feel as similar to the actual assessment as they could. The 3 Tools site has a tutorial on using the site, it gives educators the assessments along with Educator Guides for scoring the assessments and Data Analysis documents for analyzing the student results.
Next comes the quandary.....after teachers and administrators sit down to analyze these results, what do they do next? It’s great to realize where you have weakness (and strengths, it’s always good to make sure you keep doing well at what you do well), but what do you do to help students who struggle? What change in instruction happens? At Friendship teachers are going back to use the tests with each individual student and after two administrations to go back and show how much improvement (hopefully) that a kid has shown from one benchmark to the next last. Time is given in AIS/RtI and also teachers can go over it in class. There’s always room to improve and we hope they find value in getting to individual students to go over their own personal results and to come up with a plan to help them fix any gaps. We’re still looking for ideas to help close those gaps that they find from these benchmarks before the actualy New York State test.
What is the answer to that? Is it more of the same type of instruction? Is it more focused practice and if so how and when? Is it using a program like i-Ready or Castle Learning for more practice? I don’t know but would love to hear how other districts are going through this process to help close the gaps, whether you use these benchmark assessments or not. Please let me know at: Mark_Carls@caboces.org.
By: Mark Carls, CA BOCES Professional Development
In the United States, 34 million children have had at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE) -- ranging from abuse or neglect to parental incarceration or addiction. Children living in poverty are more likely to have multiple ACEs, compounding the effects of economic insecurity. In addition, the current opioid epidemic is devastating families. Many classrooms in America are touched by trauma.
Earlier this month 40 teachers and leaders from the region learned about the effects trauma has on the learning brain. In school, children with trauma are more likely to have trouble regulating their emotions, focusing, and interacting with peers and adults in a positive way.
Teachers learned how to take care of themselves in order to take care of the students in their classrooms. Teachers and leaders learned about the nine areas of self-care from Kristen Souer’s book; “Fostering Resilient Learners.” The nine areas of self-care are: sleep, eat healthy, drink water, exercise, sense of TEAM, breathe, limit screen time, challenges and gratitude.
There is some hopeful news in the research about kids and trauma. “We know enough about the science to know that teachers can make a huge difference.” The school environment is one of the places where students who are exposed to real challenges at home can find safety, predictability and consistency.
Relationship-building is an important element of addressing trauma because students rely on stable relationships.
Modeling apologies repairs relationships and develops students’ relationship skills.
ENCOURAGING RESPONSIBILITY is a sense of responsibility, it is important in trauma-informed classrooms because it fosters a belief in students that they are in charge of themselves.
PROMOTING REGULATION Regulation strategies such as soothing music and brain breaks allowed students to manage physical and emotional responses, which is especially important for students who have experienced trauma.
Many more strategies were shared at the workshop. If you would like to learn more about Trauma Sensitive Classroom Strategies, please feel free to check out any upcoming offerings at register.caboces.org
By: Tessa Levitt, CA BOCES Professional Development
If you are a faculty member taking a college course or wish you had access to a specific book for professional use, Cattaraugus-Allegany School Library System (CASLS) may be able to get what you need at no cost. The Online Collaborative Library Consortium (OCLC) is comprised of public, academic, and school library systems across the nation who value resource sharing. However, rules for lending vary for each library.
A lending library may renew a book for an additional six weeks while others request the book be returned. We make every effort to provide borrowers with the materials and the duration for which they need and frequently ask for renewals. In the event a book must be returned after six weeks, we will make every effort to borrow a copy from another library so a swap can be made. Additionally, if a book is damaged or lost it is the individual’s responsibility to pay the replacement fee.
CASLS recognizes the value of loaning and borrowing books to support knowledge. In 2019 CASLS shared 95 books from our professional library to places such as Harvard University, University of Virginia, and Louisiana State University. Likewise, 252 books were borrowed for educators within CABOCES with the highest percentage going to teachers pursuing their master’s degree or SBL or SDL certification.
With CA BOCES’ new web page, requesting a book is very easy. Visit resources.caboces.org and log in using your school email; password is caboces. (If you need help, email Rachelle_Evans@caboces.org .)
If you would like to borrow multiple copies of the same title, reach out to Cecelia_Fuoco@caboces.org or Catherine_Dunkleman@caboces.org to avoid having to fill out the form multiple times. If you plan to renew a book, let us know and we’ll request an extension with the lending library. As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact Cathy or myself at our emails above.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources