The Wellsville Campus of Alfred State College will host the 4th Annual College and Career Readiness Fair on Thursday, April 9, 2015 from 9:00-1:00.
The 2015 schedule is set with a robust lineup of speakers. The Planning Committee is honored to announce that the Keynote Speaker who will address the students is Kimberly Moritz, Superintendent of Randolph Central School. Check the Fair website, lifeready.weebly.com, to see the impressive lineup of successful professionals committed to connecting with the youth of Allegany County.
Over 300 Allegany County teenagers are registered to participate in the Fair. Participants will transition through 3 interactive areas (Career Conversations, Career Playground and the Career and Community Exhibitors) while on campus.
Much forethought has gone into the day. Students were asked to prepare for the College and Career Readiness Fair by thinking about their future careers and identifying the Career Cluster that most interests them. Most careers can be categorized into six main clusters, see the Fair website for more details. Each Career Cluster will be identified at the Fair.
Based on students' individual interests, they will be given a personalized schedule to ensure they get the most out of their day. They will be guided to learn from experts from every Career Cluster as well as their specific Career Cluster of interest. Students will be encouraged to get their hands dirty, speak with professionals from local businesses, and Skype with successful business people from across the country. There will also be opportunities for the high school students to meet Alfred State students and gain insight from them. The day will offer something for everyone, in a rich, hands-on way.
The Planning Committee has developed a great opportunity for Allegany County students to explore their future, discover their passions and set potential goals. All details of the day, from exhibitor registration to pre-event activities and agenda, are available online. Local businesses and colleges can still sign up to attend by completing the Exhibitor registration at lifeready.weebly.com. For more information, call CABOCES Student Programs at 716-376-8284.
MARK YOUR CALENDARS - Final Session - May 15, 2015
“What is causing the lack of clean water?”
“Do other scarce resources cause war, beside the lack of clean water?”
“Can a lack of clean water cause war and/or war cause a lack of clean water?”
“How are developing countries penalized for their industrial development?”
The Question Formulation Technique (QFT) was used to generate these, and about a hundred more, provocative inquiry questions at the most recent Educating STEM session. The professional development series was designed to explore the pedagogical core of STEM education. Participants explored the role of inquiry in STEM using the QFT as one approach for building a classroom appreciation of asking questions.
The fast paced QFT strategy, developed by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana, codirectors of the Right Question Institute, was designed for use in any classroom and to promote and build a culture of learning that is centered in inquiry, where students and teachers are always asking questions, really good questions, that might spark interest, attachment, and devotion to the answer. Hundreds of questions are brainstormed in a single application of the QFT with an understanding that not all questions will be answered or explored, rather it is implemented to teach students to ask provocative questions that could be used in inquiries while learning.
The QFT, developed by the Right Question Institute and central to the book, Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions, is a teacher led technique that requires all students to respond to a provocative statement, or question focus, by stating questions that come to mind as the question focus is presented. Participants at the Educating STEM series learned the technique and developed the questions above by responding to this question focus,
“Lack of clean water is responsible for more deaths in the world than war.”
Participants worked in groups to generate as many questions related to this question focus as possible. They depended mostly on their own curiosity as they created questions on large chart paper, holding off on answering and judging any question that was written. Next, in order to generate even more questions, participants worked to rewrite existing questions. They did this by rewriting closed questions as open questions and vice versa. For example, using the question focus above, the following closed question was generated, “Where in the world is water scarce enough to cause a war?” Answers to this closed question might include an identifiable list of places in the world where water is very scarce. Participants then worked together to convert their closed questions into open questions. For example, the closed question above was rewritten to ask, “Could water ever become so scarce in the U.S. that it could cause Civil War?”
The QFT is used to generate as many questions as possible, and to promote a classroom culture shift around questioning and inquiry. After asking so many questions, the students and teachers then work together to prioritize their questions and select a few to answer during an upcoming unit of study, or to preface a research project, or just practice asking really intriguing, provocative questions.
Question Focus: “The (Question Focus) technique helps students learn how to produce their own questions, improve them, and strategize on how to use them.”
With enough practice, how could the QFT help me build a culture of inquiry in my classroom?
Is the QFT simple to implement?
Does the QFT take the pressure off me, as the teacher, to come up with provocative questions that my students will actually care about?
Is building a culture of inquiry important to me?
By: Tim Cox, CA BOCES
Carrie Peters and Jennifer Gillman are pictured here at the HS Math Question Design Day workshop that was held on February 12, 2015 at the Olean BOCES Main Center. Teachers from the region gathered together to create assessment questions aligned to the Common Core Standards in Algebra 1 and Geometry. The questions that were created that day will be shared with those districts participating in the workshop and can be found on the CA BOCES HS Math Moodle site, developed by Staff Specialist Mark Carls.
So why write about these two teachers? The answer is as simple as π. Without question, these two teachers have consistently displayed superior levels of professionalism during workshops that make them stand out as teacher leaders across the region. For example, they openly shared their curriculum maps and resources that they created over the summer at the first Geometry Teachers workshop offered this fall. They also attended a workshop on Quality Assessment Design to self-assess the types of assessments that they give to their students, and learn more about methods of collecting evidence of student learning, and together they created 11 original assessment questions aligned to the Geometry Standards to share with colleagues in the region.
Carrie Peters has been teaching her students math at Olean HS for the past 9 years. She graduated from Olean City Schools, so it’s a full circle to have one of their own students come back as a teacher. She attended college at SUNY Geneseo and currently teaches students Geometry, Advanced Geometry, and year 2 of Algebra 2 Trigonometry.
Jennifer Gillman graduated from Cattaraugus-Little Valley HS and has been teaching students in Olean HS for the past 2 years. She attended college at SUNY Fredonia and currently teaches students Geometry, the first year of a 2-year Algebra 1 course, AIS and Topics- a course designed to help students pass the Regents after completing the course work.
By: Mary Morris, CA BOCES
This month teachers from 18 of the 22 schools from CABOCES gathered together to explore and discuss best practices for our youngest students. As research states, a child’s early years in school are critical to building their literacy and math skills so that they are prepared for greater success as they grow. As many studies have suggested, gaps in students reading and math skills after the third grade become exacerbated and can even impact students’ chance of graduating from high school.
During our session Michele Pettenati, an OT specialist for BOCES, shared a plethora of ideas and resources for helping students with writing and the tripod grip. The foundation of all good handwriting begins with the following skills:
Fine motor skills involve the small muscles of the body that enable such functions as writing, grasping small objects, and fastening clothing. When we refer to fine motor skills in the context of handwriting we are typically talking about the small muscles in the hands and fingers used for writing.
Pre-kindergartners benefit from daily experiences that support the development of fine motor skills in their hands and fingers. Children should have strength and dexterity in their hands and fingers before being expected to master the daunting task of handwriting. Teachers can help students strengthen those muscles in the classroom by providing authentic, fun, and developmentally appropriate activities on a daily basis. These activities will also support the development of appropriate pencil grasps when the child is ready.
During the math portion of our workshop we looked at the PK Math Standards, reviewed the Emphasis in Common Core Standards for Mathematical Content and watched a math “Studio Talk” video from Engage NY. Teachers were encouraged to use the following content emphases to make curricular decisions regarding math instruction:
Teachers were also reminded where to shift their focus and priorities by examining the learning progressions through grade levels and how to utilize the Standards of Mathematical Practice in a PK classroom.
Overall, the turnout for the day provided teachers with an opportunity to collaborate and share ideas to take back and utilize during their daily classroom instruction. Teachers spent the afternoon sharing Common Core aligned math and ELA center ideas while developing new ways to utilize classroom sign in sheets.
By Tessa Levitt and Jillian Putnam, CA BOCES
Video of Sara Donlon, Social Studies teacher at Genesee Valley Central School, reflects on her experience with the district's Summer Digital Credit Recovery Program.
On-site training has recently been provided to several districts using OverDrive with Belfast Central School being the latest. This digital download platform allows for easy distribution of eBooks and audiobooks since it is compatible with a wide variety of devices. What are the benefits? I’m so glad you asked! eBooks:
And that’s not all! Project Gutenberg offers over 46,000 free e-books. English teachers will find many of the classics located here. From Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Pride and Prejudice, Metamorphosis, Maus, Frankenstein, Grimm’s Fairy Tales, to Shakespeare’s Hamlet there are many choices that support the Common Core.
In addition to what individual school libraries have chosen, participating districts have access to the shared collection through CA BOCES. The majority of these books support the Common Core, including some professional development materials.
The only emission from OverDrive is engaged learning!
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES School Library System
Lindsay Montague, a Grade 4 teacher from Genesee Valley Central School District, has her students ordering fraction cards on a number line in her classroom to gain a better understanding of equivalence and how to compare the size of a fraction to benchmark fractions.
Many of the classes at Cattaraugus-Little Valley elementary school have tried utilizing part of their center time to also tackle some STEM activities. Some of these activities include using either the Kodable or Hopscotch app, others have been hands-on with the Bee Bots and lately with Cubelets.
Mrs. Rickert’s 2nd grade class has Rick Weinberg and Mark Carls come in when they’re at CLV to help with these stations. The 2nd graders first tried working together to find their way from the Start to the Finish with the BeeBots. The mazes started simple then got much harder, but with teamwork and collaboration the teams figured out how to program the Bee to complete the maze. Some even figured out how to go backwards through the maze!
Just after the February break the students in Mrs. Rickert’s class started trying to use Cubelets to explore and build certain items. Their first task was to build a lighthouse. After some discussion working together in teams they decided that they needed power, a light and then to have it rotate. Once they completed this task they figured out they could add the “Knob” cubelet to control the strength of the light as well as adding other cubes for stability. Further exploration found a “Temperature” and “Distance” sensor. We’ll see what the future holds for those.
By: Mark Carls, CA BOCES
(Randolph, New York) – On Saturday, March 14, 2015, 49 teams from across the Southern Tier will be showcasing their creativity during the Odyssey of the Mind Regional competition. Odyssey of the Mind is a world-wide creative problem-solving tournament that promotes original and divergent thinking as a team sport. Divergent problems, that is, those with more than one solution, encourage students to learn and lead the way using 21st century skills. By working in teams of up to seven members, participants learn teamwork, the appreciation and understanding of others, and the concept that a group is a more powerful thinking force than an individual.
Randolph Central School will be hosting more than 300 creative kids aged ten through eighteen years old, who will be showing off their brain power in this high-energy tournament. The winners, who will be announced at the end of the day, will represent Region 19 at the New York State Tournament at Binghamton University on April 11 and possibly World Finals at Michigan State University on May 20-23.
Teams from 14 area school districts have worked hard to come up with 8 minute solutions to one of these five mind-bending problems posed by Odyssey of the Mind:
Problem 1: Runaway 'Train'
The team’s problem is to design, build and operate one or more vehicles that will travel on tracks and make stops at different stations without touching the floor. While traveling between stations, the vehicles must overcome obstacles —moving uphill, towing something, and more. The theme of the performance will explain the vehicle’s difficulties on the track and will include a ‘conductor’ character. Once the vehicle reaches its final destination it will display a flag or banner during a victory lap!
Problem 2: Problem 2: Experiencing Technical Difficulties
The problem is to design, build, and demonstrate various devices that complete specific tasks. The team will create a theme where technical failures must be resolved through completing the tasks. There will be a list of tasks to choose from including ring a bell, change the wording on something, sound an alarm, move an object, etc. There will also be a mysterious engineer character. Of course, there’s a twist — all of the devices must be powered by rubber bands!
Problem 3: Problem 3: Pandora’s Box
In this classics problem, teams will put a video game spin on the story of Pandora’s Box. A gamer character will take on this multi-level game inspired by the Greek myth. The game will include a prologue that depicts the original story of Pandora’s Box, three characters representing different evils that escaped the box, and a power meter that represents the gamer character’s health. To beat the game, the player will advance to the final level where it will release hope into the world.
Problem 4: Problem 4: Lose Your Marbles
This problem requires teams to design, build, and test a structure, made only of balsa wood and glue, that will balance and support as much weight as possible. The structure will also hold five marbles that will be released during weight placement as a result of a team-created device removing a piece of the structure. After the crusher board and one additional weight are placed on top of the structure, the first marble will be released. After the next weight is supported, the team will use its device to release another marble, and so on. The team will incorporate weight placement and “losing your marbles” into the theme of the performance.
Problem 5: Problem 5: Silent Movie
Lights, camera...action! In this problem teams will create and present a performance depicting a Director character that produces and presents a silent movie featuring a humorous villain character that commits three silly acts of “villainy”. Characters that are in the movie may not speak as part of the presentation of the movie. Instead, like classic silent films, the team will use music played on a team-created instrument and creatively displayed subtitles to convey its story to the audience and judges. Also, teams will use a signal to indicate when the movie begins and ends.
Students have spent months of their free time solving these problems as well as developing teamwork skills, independent study, friendships, confidence, all while improving their brainstorming and problem-solving techniques. They learn new things and utilize their individual strengths to solve the problem. Teams also learn how to budget money since there is a cost limit to each problem. Throughout the day, one will witness imaginative costumes, elaborate props, dances, original songs and poetry, creative writing and much more.
Not only do the participants compete within their chosen problem, but teams must also perform well in a “spontaneous problem”, where they solve a new problem on the spot. They must be creative, quick thinking and work well together as a team.
Spectators are welcome to join in the excitement of the day. CABOCES is still recruiting volunteers. No prior experience is needed and training will be provided. Anyone interested in getting involved is encouraged to call (716) 376-8284.
Saturday, March 14 is the culmination of many months of work from students, coaches, parents and judges who all work together with the common goal of expressing creativity, supporting the arts and learning new things in a fun environment. The tournament starts at 8:30 and continues throughout the day. The Awards Ceremony begins around 3:15.
Thousands of teams from throughout the United States and 25 other countries participate in this program. For more information visit www.odysseyofthemind.com, www.nysoma.org or call CABOCES Student Programs at 716-376-8284.