Exposing children to music and art leads to a deeper understanding of content. It’s a natural connection for teachers to offer their students.
CABOCES hosted the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and an audience of 1500 elementary students and teachers for 2 unique concerts at the Olean High School on September 25. The BPO opened the 2015-2016 season for the tenth straight year in Olean.
This was a wonderful opportunity to inspire Kindergarten through Fifth grade students and enhance the ELA, Literacy, Social Studies and Art Standards that are being taught in the classroom. The BPO Education department masterfully linked their performances to the Common Core Standards. Both concerts combined not only a variety of musical selections, but also story-telling, active audience participation and a sing a-long.
Mr. Stefan Sanders, conductor for the BPO, embraced the idea that musical story telling is a valuable tool that fosters greater understanding of student learning objectives. To ensure a strong foundation for Symphonic Fairy Tales (grades K-2) and Musical Passport (grades 3-5), the BPO Education Department supplied teachers with curriculum lessons for use in the classroom.
Thank you to Wellsville, Hinsdale and Olean school districts for allowing their students to attend and promoting the arts in their education. CABOCES Arts in Education helps schools enrich the lives of their students by providing opportunities to experience the performing arts. If the concept of music as education piques your interest, please call Student Programs at CABOCES 716-376-8284 to find out more about Arts In Education, CoSer 403.
By: Jean Oliverio, CA BOCES Student Programming
A Banned Book is one that has been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. Many students are not aware of censorship. By displaying books that have been challenged with removal, students visiting the school library peruse books on display and discover the reasons behind the challenges. Students not only gain an appreciation for being able to choose what to read, but can engage Ms. Brandes in a conversation about freedom of speech and its protection under the First Amendment.
The books featured during Banned Books Week (September 27 – Oct. 3) have all been beset with requests to be remove from libraries for one reason or another. Part of the Banned Books Week celebration is the fact that, in a majority of cases, the books have remained available. This happens only thanks to the efforts of librarians, teachers, students, and community members who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read. Some banned or challenged books include The Hunger Games trilogy, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird and even E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web.
To celebrate the American Library Association’s Banned Books week, Friendship’s Ms. Brandes created a height chart similar to those used in criminal profiles. She left the line-up poster in the hall so students could take a selfie with a banned book. Reading teacher Angela Eddy is profiled in the photograph below reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. To find out more about banned or challenged books, visit http://www.ala.org/search/site/banned%20books.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Making the Most of Makerspaces: Teachers Explore Practical Ways to Bring the Maker Movement to Life in Their Classrooms
What makes a Makerspace? Makerspaces are creative, do-it-yourself spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. Makerspaces and the idea of such exploration stations in schools are popping up throughout the region. After attending the Model Schools Conference in Atlanta, Georgia at the close of the 2014-2015 school year, many teachers throughout the region have been inspired by the Maker Movement, seeking to bring such ideals of creativity and innovation into their classrooms and schools.
One such school is Olean, who has a pair of second grade teachers kicking off a space in their own classroom with the hope of extending it to the whole of East View Elementary teachers and students. While the ideas are very much in the evolution phase, they are reaching out to learn all the resources that can bring their makerspace to life. The students started off with an exploration of robotics, where students are interacting with bee bots and learning directionality as an initial understanding of computer programming and coding.
Prior to the start of the ’15-’16 school year, Laurie Bushnell and Tracy Keller of Olean fame joined with CABOCES to explore practical resources for making the most of their maker space. In tinkering with duct tape, and in playing with straws and marshmallows, they saw the practical use of household materials as the starting point for making in the classroom. From there, they explored Cubelets, Bee Bots, Makey-Makeys, and more. .
Who has the time? Makerspaces seem like they could just be another thing to add on to the plates of our teachers, but they can be innovative spaces open before or after school, or used in special areas for extended learning opportunities. Despite when or where they may be created or used, they are popping up all over the region.
Looking for more information? Consult some of the following resources to get some ideas as to how you can work to develop a makerspace in your school:
By: Lauren Stuff, CA BOCES
At our September faculty meeting, each CA BOCES Itinerant teacher received a copy of the book Explicit Direct Instruction: The Power of the Well-Crafted, Well-Taught Lesson by John Hollingsworth and Silvia Ybarra. Explicit Direct Instruction, or EDI, is a strategic collection of instructional practices combined together to design and deliver well-crafted lessons that explicitly teach content, especially grade level content, to all students. The Itinerants will begin their EDI journey by implementing the strategy ‘Checking for Understanding’ in their classrooms. Checking for understanding means you are continually verifying that students are learning while they are being taught. EDI uses the acronym TAPPLE to help remember all of the steps involved.
Ask a Question
Pick a Non-Volunteer
Listen to the Response
You can learn more about the research behind EDI and tap into some of their resources by visiting the website: http://dataworks-ed.com/
By: Mary Morris, CA BOCES Student Programming
With more and more schools going paperless, student work has become more accessible for teachers, parents, and administrators. As a one-to-one iPad district, Cuba Rushford Central School has turned to digital portfolios, or e-portfolios, for their students to share and present their accomplishments. Carrie Bold, Principal at CRCS, tapped Linda Botens to guide all the 9th grade Transition classes through the personal portfolio creation process.
An e-portfolio is an ideal tool to create collections of documents, images, blogs, resumes, videos, and hyperlinks to share with classmates, teachers, family, and friends, and to present to potential employers. Making e-portfolios a requirement for all high school students enables every student a chance to take their work with them and create a visual artifact to show progress and development in all facets of their high school experience. These portfolios have become an online space for students or teachers to reflect on their life, learning and goals, and have become "the new generation of the three ring binder" JISC My World Project Final Report, Roberts, 2006.
Upon completion of the first year developing e-portfolios using Mahara, an e-portfolio platform supported by CA BOCES Distance Learning, Linda Botens shared, “It was great seeing all students, regardless of their academic grades in some courses, to be successful in creating e-portfolios in Mahara. This was one place that all students could achieve success, as they got to see their works in a type of on-line program. They were excited about posting photos onto the gallery, especially the students who used their own photo works from an art class.”
Mrs. Botens added, “Many students were excited about the fact that parents, including grandparents, could see their works, if they chose to do the sharing. Many of the students liked sharing their works with other students and teachers. The ultimate success was placing the Romeo and Juliet videos on Mahara. These could be shared with family members, friends etc., and it is something, that upon graduation, they can view again and bring back the memories. Overall, this past year proved to be exciting, as we were the first class at CRCS to create digital portfolios, and the students took pride in this.”
Mrs. Botens is eager to meet her new class of 9th graders and to begin the Mahara experience with them. The past CRCS 9th grade students will continue to add to their e-portfolios in their 10th grade year, and will develop a valuable collection of school memories throughout their years at CRCS.
By: Betsy Hardy, CA BOCES Learning Resources
The First Day of the Rest of Your Life: CABOCES Teacher Academy Supports New Teachers in Today’s Ever-Evolving Classroom
The bell rings on the first day of school, and the students come rushing through the halls, waiting for the ever-important moment they get to meet their new teacher. Throughout the Cattaraugus-Allegany region, we welcome many new teachers who, for some, are gearing up to their first classroom experiences, and in many cases, are just as eager as those students to get the school year underway. In an effort to assist new teachers, CA BOCES has continued to offer a collaborative-learning community for new teachers. Teacher Academy has opened its doors to those educators looking for a place to ask questions, share ideas, and collaborate with people experiencing many of the same successes and challenges as themselves.
Just as on the first day, new teachers were placed in a novel situation with colleagues, engaging in conversation, and reflecting on those first days of school: what went well? What didn’t? What would we change in the future? What are we looking forward to? As new teachers have found time and time again, it is vital that there be reflection on the instructional approaches implemented in the classroom. Many participants were able to share their personal experiences in an open forum and hear the thoughts and insights of others as to the ups and downs of their own first days.
One major element of new teacher experiences is the mentorship program that their school has set into play. Teachers seek out insight and advice from a mentor in their school building. As a part of this year’s academy, teachers are exploring the work of Meenoo Rami and her book Thrive: 5 Ways to (Re)Invigorate Your Teaching. Rami advises new teachers to not get caught in the rut of seeking out the insights of one, but rather finding professional advice in a multitude of places, be it online networks, regional training experiences, or in their school building. Rami holds that one mentor is simply not enough, and so, new teachers were tasked with the challenge of finding an additional mentor to guide them in their professional experiences of year one.
As the initial session came to a close, this year’s participants were asked to set professional goals to support their growth as practitioners over the course of their first years. The goals, which ranged from organizational improvement, to classroom management strategy implementation, were established as a means to set a target for those teachers new to the schools in the CA-region. Often times, a first-year teacher has to grapple with many challenges, from lesson planning to time management, to learning the curriculum. In setting professional goals, the teachers in the program have an aim to work towards, and in turn, can also be reflective practitioners that consider what has worked for them, and what has not.
The Teacher Academy CLC has, and will continue to strive to support new teachers as they work through their first experiences in the classroom. In engaging in professional conversation, reflecting on personal practices, and setting goals, today’s new teachers will be outfitted with the tools to make this school year, and those for years to come, a true success.
For more information regarding the New Teacher Academy Collaborative Learning Community, please reach out toLauren Stuff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Lauren Stuff, CA BOCES Professional Development
This August area High School Math teachers gave up some of their time to come together to work on preparing for the upcoming school year. With the transition to the Common Core over the last two years most have grown accustom to the format of the NYSED Modules on EngageNY. However, even though some Algebra I teachers have had two years under their belt (and Geometry completing their first year of using the Common Core standards) they came together to share ideas of what they’ll look to tweak for this school year. Those teaching Algebra II also worked on adapting the modules for this first year of implementation of Common Core Algebra II. Throughout the two sets of 2-day offerings in August teachers were able to share ideas with others and have time to plan to hit the ground running next month.
As things continue to change for this trainsition to the new Common Core Algebra II exam you can find any and all of the approved High School Regents changes and/or resources at EngageNY: https://www.engageny.org/resource/regents-exams-mathematics
Resources shared for area teachers are also posted in our CABOCES HS Moodle course at: http://moodle.caboces.org/demo/course/view.php?id=471
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By: Mark Carls, CA BOCES and Hinsdale Central School
Nicole Brandes at Friendship Central School really knows how to liven up the library! The start of the school year began with a Book Tasting with music of the 80s. A Book Tasting is an activity that encourages one to sample genres, devour words and sate the intellectual appetite.
Mrs. Giardini’s students had a great time exploring new books in the media center. Ms. Brandes said that “during this activity we were able to see, think, and wonder about the different genres and then blog our thoughts”. To make the book selections random, a rendition of musical chairs was used.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources