As summer draws to a close and the days start getting shorter, the unmistakable energy of a new school year begins to fill the air. Amidst this whirlwind of excitement, there's one place within the school that holds a special allure for both voracious readers and curious minds alike – the library. And with the start of a new school year comes a collection of new titles that promise to captivate and inspire!
If you’re a long-distance commuter like me, try listening to an audiobook. It won’t put you to sleep and you’ll find yourself relaxed once you get to your destination!
Once you download the Sora app onto your personal Wi-Fi devices (no more than five), locate your school library and log in. You’ll find a collection of over 7000 titles, and if you need help logging in, ask your school librarian.
New titles for adult level readers include:
The infusion of new titles into this virtual library collection also presents an opportunity for educators to incorporate fresh content into their lesson plans. From assigning relevant reading materials to organizing book discussions, teachers can offer a variety of book formats to enrich teaching strategies and deepen student engagement.
Sora is now a partner with TeachingBooks, a fantastic resource you can access once logged in to resources.caboces.org. Find lesson plans for many titles used in K-12 classrooms, author interviews, book and movie trailers, and vocabulary-building activities. If you wish to have personalized training in using Sora or TeachingBooks, or wish to schedule an in-school training, reach out to me at Cecelia_Fuoco@caboces.org.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Community Schools at CABOCES was busy this summer! We had workshops focusing on mental health, social and emotional learning, resilience, wellness, and so much more. As a reminder, any of these workshops and offerings can be brought to your district! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in bringing Community School resources and workshops to your district!
Mental Health First Aid
Just as physical health emergencies demand swift action and support, so do mental health crises. Mental health first aid is a vital skill that empowers individuals to provide immediate assistance to those experiencing mental health challenges. Like traditional first aid, which addresses physical injuries, mental health first aid equips individuals with the knowledge and tools needed to offer initial aid and support to someone in emotional distress. In this article, we delve into the importance of mental health first aid and how it contributes to a more compassionate and understanding society.
Participants were able to understand:
Key Components of Mental Health First Aid
Recognize Signs and Symptoms
Have Effective Communication
Provide reassurance and Support
Encourage Professional Help
Practice Self-Care and Boundaries
Benefits to Society:
Mental health first aid is an essential component of a compassionate and empathetic society. By educating individuals about recognizing signs of emotional distress, offering non-judgmental support, and facilitating access to professional help, mental health first aiders play a crucial role in creating a safer and more inclusive environment for everyone. Just as physical first aid is a standard skill, mental health first aid should also be widely embraced to promote emotional well-being and foster a society where no one feels alone in their struggles.
Wellspring Resilience with Gerry Daly
Gerry Daly joined us for a two-day workshop on Wellspring Resilience Technique. This is an innovative methos for increasing long-term resilience, defined as the ability to bounce back from setbacks, for educators working in high-stress environments. These sessions focused on helping participants to develop and appetite for resilience in their own lives to identify the specific habits that they are prepared to commit to and incorporate into their day to day lives.
Mental Health for Students Book Study:
Our schools are facing a significant number of children and youth suffering from mental health challenges, and many don’t receive that treatment. Teachers can play an important and sometimes lifesaving role for children who are experiencing mental health challenges. Educators from the region joined together using the book, “Supporting Student Mental Health; Essentials for Teachers” by Michael Hass and Amy Ardell to fill in the gaps providing basic information and guidance a teacher needs. It provided time for educators to learn how to recognize, respond to, and sometimes refer for help, the students who show up to school with mental health needs.
Emotion Regulation with Kelley Burt:
Emotions are an inherent part of the human experience, coloring our perceptions, decisions, and interactions. However, navigating the vast spectrum of emotions can be challenging, often leading to distress and turmoil. Emotional regulation, the ability to manage and control one's emotions, plays a pivotal role in maintaining mental well-being and cultivating healthy relationships. Below are some strategies to keep in mind with students in building and maintaining emotional regulation strategies:
Mindfulness and self-awareness
Time Management and Relaxation Techniques
Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Emotional regulation is a skill that can be cultivated through consistent practice and intentional effort. By incorporating mindfulness, cognitive reframing, expressive writing, physical activity, social support, time management, and healthy lifestyle choices, individuals can enhance their ability to navigate complex emotions. Remember, emotional regulation is not about suppressing or avoiding emotions, but rather about understanding, acknowledging, and managing them in a constructive and healthy manner. By embracing these strategies, students and individuals can pave the way for a more balanced, resilient, and fulfilling life.
By: Kelli Forster, CA BOCES Community Schools
Loose Parts and Play: Meeting New York State’s Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Early Childhood Framework
An overarching theme of the Next Generation Standards for Early Learning is to protect developmentally appropriate expectations and practices. NYS in collaboration with NAEYC define developmentally appropriate practices as a framework of principles that promote learning and development. According to the NGSEL Introductory Document, these principles highlight the need for educators to:
Loose parts play inspires children to develop creativity and innovation. As children use loose parts, they deepen critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It also provides a pathway to celebrate multiple outcomes. Loose parts are sustainable items that learners manipulate through exploration and analysis. Children also engage in rich conversation, learning to use vocabulary and discussion as a method to self-regulate so that they can collaborate with others who think differently than they do. Through loose parts play children engage in developmentally appropriate practice that empowers literacy learning for all.
In a world where joy can be difficult to find, the loose parts environment makes joy the central theme of the school day. It is through play that children and adults find joy. In finding joy, creativity and innovation flourish. When children flourish, they experience success in a way that honors dignity and supports learning. Several teachers will be exploring this learning with students in the new school year. It will be an exciting transition towards the Next Generation Standards and the NYS developmentally appropriate practices framework initiative.
If you are interested in exploring this initiative and how it informs your classroom or district, please reach out to Michelle Rickicki at email@example.com
By, Michelle Rickicki, CA BOCES Professional Development
The CA BOCES Summer Tech Camp 2023 is a 2-day event that highlights resources and tools to aid with technology integration for the classroom. It is a great way for participants to stay up-to-date with the most current trends in technology and to get new, exciting ideas for implementation. This year, the event kicked off on Tuesday, August 15th and culminated on Wednesday, August 16th. It was the first time Tech Camp had been held entirely in-person since 2019.
Dr. Angie Ridgway and Nate Ridgway, dynamic educators and co-authors of Don’t Ditch that Tech, joined as the Keynote speakers for the event. Their sessions on student differentiation and accessibility by utilizing different types of technology inspired and delighted the attendees, over 40, each day.
Topics for other sessions this year included Microsoft Office updates, Chat GPT, the SAMR model, Castle Learning, coding, the Computer Science & Digital Fluency Standard, district round tables and the ever-popular Osmo. Heather Francisco, STEAM Instructional Coach from Wellsville, also presented on Canva, a tech tool that has revolutionized presentations, poster creation, video creation, and more. Participants were able to choose which of these sessions they wanted to attend so they could create a learning experience that was most meaningful to them.
Participants also got to explore our “playground” each day with a variety of digital resources and physical resources that can be borrowed through Learning Resources, via the Insignia page. The digital playground included links to resources like Gimkit, BreakoutEDU, Padlet, CodeMonkey, and more. The other resources that were on hand for participants to experiment with included a variety of Osmo games (the Monster drawing activity and the Coding Awbie games were a hit). There were also robotics available, including like Sphero-Mini and the new Sphero-Indi.
Couldn’t attend but interested in viewing some of those resources from Tech Camp? Visit our Wakelet with a variety of presentations, websites, and other resources. There is also a Padlet with even more resources. Please check them out!
If you have any questions or would like further information about any of those topics, please feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can connect you with the staff specialist who can best meet your needs.
Summer Tech Camp will return next summer in August of 2024. Stay tuned throughout the year; look for announcements about the Keynote speakers and other exciting topics that will be featured at next summer’s event. We hope to see you there!
By: Brooke Neamon, CA BOCES Model Schools
SEL is an essential aspect of personal and social development, particularly during childhood and adolescence, but it also relevant throughout a person’s life.
The core competencies of social and emotional learning typically include the following:
Creating a social and emotional collaborative learning community requires thoughtful planning and intentional efforts to foster a supportive environment that promotes both academic and emotional growth.
On Thursday, July 6th, educators in the Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES region came together for our first SEL CLC of the new 2023-2024 school year. Together, we gave program updates, shared best practices, created, and planned for workshop/book study ideas, and discussed future planning. The next SEL CLC will be October 17th, 2023, at the Olean Main Center. It is going to be an amazing year of building student and adult SEL in the classroom and in the community.
Good vocabulary instruction helps children gain ownership of words, instead of just learning them well enough to pass a test. Good vocabulary instruction provides multiple exposures through rich and varied activities to meaningful information about the word. (Stahl & Kapinus, 2001). Students learn vocabulary indirectly when they hear and see words used in many different contexts i.e., through conversations with adults, through being read to, and through reading extensively on their own. Students learn vocabulary directly when they are explicitly taught both individual works and word- learning strategies. Direct vocabulary instruction aids reading comprehension.
When all teachers in a school focus on the same academic vocabulary and teach in the same way, a school has a powerful comprehensive approach. When all teachers in a district embrace and use the same comprehensive approach, it becomes even more powerful. Research shows a student in the 50th percentile in terms of ability to comprehend the subject matter taught in school, with no direct vocabulary instruction, scores in the 50th percentile ranking.
The same student, after specific content- area terms have been taught in a specific way, raises his/her comprehension ability to the 83rd percentile.
Steps to Effective Vocabulary Instruction
Ask student what they know
Explain in everyday language
Use a video or other visual
Tell a story that uses the terms
Have students investigate the meaning and do a skit
Use current events to relate to the term
Describe your mental picture of the term
Find or create pictures that illustrate the term.
Effective Classroom Strategies to Implement
Frayer Vocabulary Model
Math Word Wall
Math Alpha Boxes
Math Picture Books
The ability to read, write and speak the “language of math” is ESSENTIAL for mathematical concept development and mastery!
Math Concepts = Math Vocabulary
By: Tessa Levitt, CA BOCES Professional Development
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