For the 4th year in a row, several teachers from our CABOCES region worked in collaboration during our week long Writing With Video Institute. From middle school to high school, from Art to English and Social Studies, from classroom to online teaching, these dedicated educators took the opportunity to become students. They were led by Dr. David Bruce from the University of Buffalo’s Graduate School of Education and Dr. Sunshine Sullivan, Chair of the Education Department at Houghton College.
Technology is changing the way we teach, and the way students learn. With this in mind, the teachers spent time looking at curriculum and lesson plans, and chose a way, or ways, to insert video as a way to engage their students. Certainly, this isn’t something that has to be used every day or every week, for that matter. But it is a tool that many students can easily latch onto and use to lend voice and images to their demonstration of learning.
Don’t let the title of this institute fool you, though. Writing can be demonstrated and used in all types of curricular areas. In these past few years, we’ve had students introduce themselves with “Me in 6 Words”. Students demonstrated knowledge of various types of angles by videoing them as they exist in our world. We’ve had Spanish students video themselves acting out vocabulary. We’ve had students put together video, detailing trips to Gettysburg. The options are limitless. Words are often much more powerful when paired with music and images.
If students are struggling with voice or approach learning from a non-traditional angle or have a flair for technology, we owe it to them to provide resources and ideas to move them forward on their journey of discovery. Let’s be teachers of students, not simply teachers of content.
Join us as we continue to work with this project and offer new ways to impart information. If you have any questions or want to find out more, please reach out!
By: Alexandra Freer, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is spreading like wildfire—and schools districts are starting to implement SEL in their classrooms.
There are many reasons why a school might adopt SEL, all of which have been validated by research: to increase academic success, to lower the stress-levels of students as they strive towards that success; to prevent negative behaviors such as drug use, violence, and bullying; to equip students with the “soft skills” they will need in today’s work environment; and to promote positive relationships and attitudes.
At the core of SEL is cultivating our self-awareness, which begins with an understanding of emotions. Our emotions work with our cognition in a seamless and integrated way to help us navigate the classroom, workplace, our relationships, and the decisions we make in life.
Over the last ten years, emotion researchers have found that negative emotions close us off, making us less resilient and unable to relate with and connect to others; whereas positive emotions such as gratitude, tranquility, love, and joy come with a myriad of benefits. The goal, however, is not to feel positive emotions all the time, but rather to understand how emotions, both negative and positive, impact us. Thus, if we can become aware of our emotions and learn to work with them in a healthy way-to see them as information rather than as overpowering responses that control our actions – then we can choose to respond to situations in a manner that brings out the good in us and in others. I
Social-emotional learning is generally broken down into five categories
Self-awareness is being able to recognize and comprehend one’s emotions and how they translate into our behaviors. This includes recognizing stress or negative emotions, being aware of one’s abilities and weaknesses as well as a “well-grounded sense of self-efficacy and optimism,” according to CASEL.
Self-management takes self-awareness one step further into the ability to regulate one’s feelings and behaviors. This can include controlling anger, handling stress, self-motivation, or persistence through setbacks.
Social awareness looks outward and is about empathizing with others and possessing a willingness to understand and respect the unique experiences, norms, and behaviors of others.
This section is about creating and maintaining healthy relationships through cooperation, active listening, conflict resolution, and communication.
This final section is about making safe, healthy choices that abide by one’s positive and healthy personal moral code and benefit their well-being — and the well-being of others.
For more information, check out https://casel.org/what-is-sel/ and don’t hesitate to reach out to Kathryn Mendell or Tessa Levitt for more information, strategies or professional development.
By: Tessa Levitt, CA BOCES Professional Development
Over the past few years the New York State Education Department has been developing new Regents exams for High School Social Studies in both Grade 10 Global History and Geography and Grade 11 U.S. History and Government. These new exams are designed to reflect the shifts in instruction that were identified in the 2014 released Field Guide for Social Studies and assess students according to the practices identified in the Social Studies Framework for K-12 instruction. The first of these new Framework exams was offered this year in Global, while the US History exam will be offered for the first time in June 2020.
June 2019 was the first administration of the NEW Global History and Geography II Regents for students in Grade 10. This new exam design has 28 MC questions that are attached to a stimulus, a Part II Constructed Response Task, and a single Enduring Issues Essay. The purpose of this new Regents exam was to align assessment to the content, skills, and practices of the Framework. Districts had the choice this past June of offering their Global students the new Framework exam, or having students take the Transition exam which continued with the older format of 30 MC questions, a Thematic Essay, Scaffold Questions and a DBQ essay. For two years there will be an overlap period where both types of exams are offered by NYSED.
One of the most noticeable changes in the exam was in regard to Part II. Replacing the Part II Thematic essay, the Framework exam Part II CRQ’s required students to both analyze and make connections between sets of provided documents.
The other major change was a move away from a DBQ format, to an extended writing response called an Enduring Issues Essay. In this writing task, students were still given documents to examine, but rather than have questions they would need to respond to that were assigned to each document, they analyzed the documents to make connections about an issue they identified from them.
Almost half of the districts in the CA BOCES region offered the new Framework exam to their Global students. The first administration was deemed a success and the consensus from teachers was that the test was both fair and indicative of the practices outlined in the Framework.
By: Rob Griffith, CA BOCES Professional Development
The days from July 3 to August 11 are known as the Dog Days of Summer, usually the hottest, muggiest of the year. This is the period when Sirius, the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the Sun. The ancient Romans defined this period and believed the weather was warmer because Sirius was also providing heat for the Earth, hence Dog Days of Summer. So, how can this heat help us with this month’s STEM challenge? Heat rises which is going to be a good fact to know when building your solar updraft tower, which harnesses the Sun’s heat energy to do work. Our version to going to use empty cylinders with a pinwheel attached to the top. The goal is to get the pinwheel to rotate from the heat rising through the solar tower. What materials would be best to use for the tower sections? Do certain items warm up faster or more than others? How can the pinwheel be attached so it can spin freely? How high off the ground should your updraft tower be? Your challenge is to create an updraft tower that uses the Sun’s heat energy to spin the pinwheel the most amount of times. Updraft Tower Example.
Your updraft tower does have some criteria and constraints. Only the materials provided can be used in your design. The tower needs to be at least 1 foot tall. Every group should build and construct the same type of pinwheel for fair testing during the rotations.
*This idea and challenge can be further explored in the Advancing STEM Grade 4 Unit, Full of Potential: The Effects of Energy.
Hints and Tips for Success
By: Clay Nolan, CA BOCES Learning Resources