An immersive learning game platform offered through CABOCES is called Breakout EDU. This concept takes the idea of an escape room, a recreational activity where teams work together to get out of a locked room, and turns it into a learning activity for students where they work together to open a locked box. The idea behind this activity is that students will use their brains to solve various puzzles to get inside the tightly locked box which has a number of various locks connected to it. These locks can be 3 or 4 digit combinations locks, directional locks, key locks, or even words locks requiring students to spell the correct word in order to open the lock. Various simulations and games are available on the BreakutEDU website, but teachers are also encouraged to build their own games for their students.
Math teacher Mrs. Mansfield’s recently gave her 7th grade students a Breakout challenge, and then added a twist. After having students work in two separate groups to complete the ‘Linear Equations vs. The Avengers’ Breakout game, she assigned a new task for her class. Working in small groups, each set of students was asked to create their own Breakout style activity for their classmates. Creativity was welcomed as students would create puzzling activities and mathematical challenges that their classmates would attempt to solve. Complete with an assessment checklist and rubric, each group received direction and instruction, and will conduct and share their activities in a few weeks.
By: Rob Griffith, CA BOCES Professional Development
Advancing STEM Challenge
Check out this month's Advancing STEM Challenge!
And They're Off!
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.
An exciting project officially launched throughout the region on March 12th: CA Today, an education podcast brought to you by the Instructional Support Services team of CA BOCES. The purpose of the podcast is to promote continual learning for educators in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. Hosted by Sarah Wittmeyer and Brendan Keiser, each episode will focus on not only the latest and greatest instructional practices, but the ones that are tried and true. Additionally, we’ll be highlighting the exciting things that are occurring in classrooms and schools throughout the region, while also exploring how the ISS Division can support educators and schools.
A podcast is very similar to talk radio. Episodes, which are audio recordings, are typically focused on exploring a topic through conversation, stories, or interviews. People can subscribe to a podcast to receive new episodes as soon as they are released. The nice thing about podcasts is that you can listen to them anywhere at any time! Sarah Wittmeyer, who had the initial idea to start the podcast, shared, “I was thinking about ways to connect to teachers and administrators in our region, to share resources, and to highlight the great work we’re doing for our students, in a way that fit into our busy lives as educators.”
Our current format for the podcast will be releasing a new episode each month. The episodes are structured in two different ways. First, a large episode will be released that has Sarah and a CA BOCES co-host exploring different topics, learning about an app or something new from the BOCES SNAP platform, and interviewing a colleague from the ISS division to learn more about what they do and how they can help schools. For example, episode 1 was hosted by Sarah and Brendan in which they explored innovation in the classroom, interviewed STEM Coordinator Clay Nolan, and learned about Apple Clips from Rob Miller.
The second type of episode will be shorter and will focus on one sole topic for that episode. Episode 2 explored MakerSpaces by interviewing Franklinville’s Technology Integrator, Betsey Bradley, who shared how the MakerSpace at Franklinville High School/Ten Broeck Academy was created and how it has impacted students. Of the experience, Betsey shared, “I enjoyed the time I got to spend talking with Brendan about MakerSpaces. Although we were being recorded, it felt more like a conversation than an interview. He listened and responded to what I had to say, with ease, and smoothly made connections with the research and preparation he did beforehand. It was definitely a worthwhile experience!"
You can stream us on our website at http://catoday.caboces.org/. The full audio library with show notes that have links to additional resources can be found on our website as well. You can also subscribe and listen to episodes on iTunes and Stitcher. Finally, continue the conversation by connecting with us on Twitter @CATodayPodcast!
We’re very excited to start this new journey! If you have something you’d like to share with the region, please reach out to us at email@example.com. We’d love to have you on the show!!
Special thanks to everyone who has supported this endeavor, including our website developer Alex Smith, graphic designer Kim Survil, Tim Clarke, Tim Cox, and the initial podcast committee team!
By: Brendan Keiser, CA BOCES Professional Development
May virtual field trips
Take your students on a trip...without leaving the classroom. Virtual field trips are a great way to connect your students with experts from around the world. Download our May Virtual Field Trip guide.
Schedule a trip:
Carrie Oliver, 716-376-8270, firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Insley, 716-376-8281, email@example.com
Congratulations to all teams that participated in this year's Odyssey of the Mind Region 19 Tournament!
April Advancing STem challenge
Check out this month's AdvancingSTEM Challenge!
AdvancingSTEM 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 is 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.
During a Family Engagement Night, Allegany Limestone Elementary teachers, Mary Jo Reed and Caroline Miller present the topic “Growth Mindset” to parents. Over 185 students and parents attended the Family Engagement Night to learn more about Growth Mindset. A growth mindset movement would not be complete without the support of parents. When parents learn about the mindsets and how a growth mindset can help their child become more motivated and engaged, they are more than willing to begin the work at home.
Researcher “Carol Dewek states that students who believe their intelligence can grow with effort and practice - like a muscle - do better in school and in life. This belief is called a growth mindset. Students with a growth mindset understand that they have control over their own success. They are more motivated to work hard; they put more effort into their schoolwork; they are more resilient in the face of obstacles; and they ultimately do better in school. In contrast, students who believe intelligence is set at birth - like eye color - have what is called a fixed mindset. They tend to do worse academically because they give up when challenged and think that having to work hard means you don’t ‘have what it takes’. The good news is that mindsets can be changed, and when they are, students show a significant increase in their academic achievement.”
Parents can model a growth mindset by speaking candidly about the mistakes they’ve made, and what they’ve learned from them. Speak positively about the mistakes and struggles, and this will show students that taking risks and making mistakes are a natural part of the learning process. Explain to their children that trying hard things is what helps us grow, and you can’t be perfect when you try something hard!
Researchers have learned about mindsets that help students reach their full potential into accessible information and practical recommendations for teachers and parents.(www.mindsetkit.org)
After the presentation, parents and students enjoyed making pizza and door prizes donated by local businesses and PTO.
By: Marguerite Andrews, CABOCES Professional Development
all Schools day
All Schools Day brings component districts together to share Video Conference courses from within and outside the region. CABOCES Distance Learning hosted a successful All Schools Day February 9th. Lead by the Distance Learning Coordinator Karen Insley counselors and administrators from nine districts met in person and over Zoom to offer and seek video conferring courses. Video Conferencing courses are live courses where students and teachers meet from different locations utilizing a video and audio connection. Exciting offerings for next school year include College Biology from Belfast, College Sports Management from Boliver-Richburg, College Calculus from GV, and a suite of Agricultural Business courses from our partners in the Erie 2 BOCES region.
You can learn which video conference courses are available for the next school year on the Distance Learning Database located on the CABOCES Distance Learning webpage. The guest username and password are distance.
By: Justine Lombardi, CABOCES Learning Resources
Star light, star bright
On February 5th and 6th, CA BOCES’ Digital Star Lab visited Friendship Central School (FCS) providing students in pre-k through fifth grades a sampling of what the digital planetarium offers. David Yochum, the middle/high school science teacher, arranged for the visit and offered four of his 10th grade students an opportunity to instruct an eighth-grade class on pertinent topics using this technology.
During my two days at FCS I was able to introduce students to an outer space view of planet earth, moon phases, constellations, nebulas, the milky way, and the planets in our solar system. Each field trip ended with watching the sun rise from the surface of Mars. Students were awed by the experience and demonstrated an increased awareness of our solar system as the planetarium allows for on-demand instruction regardless of temperature and time.
Collaboration with your school librarian is made easy when resources, like the following suggestions, are paired with lessons:
By: Cece Fuoco, CABOCES Learning Resources
Follow us on