Like many people, here at Learning Resources we are working on shedding excess weight! Shelves and shelves of outdated media kits have been removed from the system and we are looking leaner and meaner.
But any successful weight loss effort needs a support system. And our administrators, teachers, and students are just that. For the past few months, we reached out to CLC’s, forums, Admin teams, and curriculum specialists to give us ideas for new kits that align to standards and/or are high interest.
If you have any ideas for kits that can be used in your classrooms, please don’t hesitate to reach out and share your ideas. We’ve already added some kits that may be new to you: Sphero Minis, Sphero Bolts, and BobXL
BobXL is a training dummy. Some of our schools are working with their students on self-defense and reached out to us for help. Self-defense is important to learn, but these lessons can fade without practice. Now students can train to develop the muscle memory they may need if a self-defense situation occurs.
In addition, we’ve also added Sphero Minis and Sphero Bolts.
Both are app-enabled robots that provide endless opportunities to be creative and have fun while learning
If you have any questions or want to find out more, please reach out! We have a lot of work to do to create more and more kits that will help teachers and students reach their educational goals.
By: Alexandra Freer, CA BOCES Learning Resources
The Cattaraugus County Government student intern class of 2019 consists of 32 students from Allegany-Limestone, Ellicottville, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, and Randolph. As part of the program for this semester, the class has chosen to support the CAMP group in raising awareness of preserving and restoring historical sites such as the Civil War Memorial building in Little Valley. CA BOCES offers the County Government Intern Program in conjunction with Cattaraugus County.
On October 16, 2019, the County Government students were involved in filming a video with Sam L. Hayes, Tourism Assistant with the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism.
Get ready for the 4th Annual Southern Tier Film Festival! Teachers from all over Allegany and Cattaraugus counties are partnering with their students to help them write, read, and direct their own films. Students are flexing their skills and showing up at school to be directors, writers, and artists. They are recruiting their peers and making their way to the stage. This year the festival will be held in the Olean High School’s Auditorium on May 7, 2020 at 6:00 PM, but before then a lot has to happen.
Teachers involved in the ongoing Writing with Video Professional Development sponsored by CA BOCES and Houghton College are reaching out to as many school districts as possible and inviting teachers to bring writing with video to their classroom, which just means asking our students to express their learning through video projects in the following categories; animation, video poems, themes, and narratives. Further, as we reflect and work to continuously improve this wonderful event that includes students, their work, parents, teachers, and administrators, we are excited to include a middle school category this year. For more detailed instructions on how your students can get involved and submit a video to this year’s festival, go to Schoology and enter the access code W8CQ5-968RV. The deadline for student submissions is April 27, 2020.
Here is a link to the video that members of the Writing and Video group compiled featuring student film: https://cabocesorg-my.sharepoint.com/:v:/g/personal/christina_mcgee_caboces_org/EVwTfkXAIeZBj3InB_aI02ABZ1y68c5vpSi9GwQwkPrx9Q?e=nzS9EO
For more information about past events or getting involved with the summer professional development offerings, please check out other articles from the Innovative Teaching blog including “And the Winner is…,” “Fun + Film = S.T.A.F.F. Win,” Your Students and the 2018 S.T.A.F.F. Awards,” and “Creative Professional Development Turns into Collaborative Life-Long Learning, Innovative Curriculum, and Regional Annual Film Festival” or reach out to Alex Freer, Digital Resources & Technology Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By: Christina McGee, CA BOCES Learning Resources
On October 1, K-5 math teachers from around the region gathered for a Collaborative Learning Community (CLC) experience. The morning was jam-packed with information and resources for math with CABOCES coordinators Jillian Putnam and Justin Shumaker. Using a Think Tank model for group discussion, topics discussed included best practices when facilitating student learning, the use of technology in the math classroom, and whether math lessons should begin with teacher led instruction or students attempting to solve problems on their own. Teachers had time to discuss each and ask questions regarding their current classroom practices.
If you are unfamiliar with the Think Tank model, participants are separated into smaller groups of preferably four members where each person is given a specific role. The roles include the facilitator, time keeper, scribe, and person to share out. The facilitator ensures that all group members are heard and stay on topic. The time keeper ensures the group adheres to the time constraints of the model and moves the discussion forward when necessary. A scribe takes notes of what the group discusses while the share out person takes the small groups ideas and shares them with the full group.
Also integrated into the day was the idea around Social Emotional Learning (SEL). A point of emphasis around the region due to the new NYSED standards, SEL is incredibly important for each of us to consider. The overall well-being of our students should be one of our main priorities and also goes a long way towards helping our students be successful. A quick tip - pine cones stimulate the nerve endings in your palms. Do you have students who struggle with focus? Have them roll a pine cone in their hands! A cheap alternative to fidget spinners, simply walk outside and pick one up off the ground!
In the afternoon, Clay Nolan, STEM coordinator at CABOCES, shared with the group the latest and greatest from NYSED about the new science standards and assessment timeline. In short, the new grade 5 and 8 science assessments will start in the 2021-2022 school year. Also a point of emphasis, what makes a great exit ticket. Teachers dove deep into how to setup exit tickets in order to best inform us of the learning that took place that day. From Learning Resources, Alex Freer, Coordinator for Digital Media, also came and shared some of the resources available to the teachers through their department.
At the end of the day, teachers and facilitators were excited about the work accomplished. We look forward to working with teachers from around the region again for the next K-5 Math CLC on February 4 at the CABOCES Barn training room.
By: Justin Shumaker, CA BOCES Professional Development
Restorative Practices is becoming more common in the CA BOCES Region. Several districts have requested Restorative Practice Awareness training for staff as they begin to explore practices that teach positive behaviors and build relationships rather than punish. Climate changes daily but as we know changing school culture takes time, dedication, honest conversations, and an open-mindset. The CA BOCES Restorative Practice Awareness training provides an opportunity for teachers to reflect on the positive and negative impacts of current and past practices.
Restorative Practices range from informal to formal. Participants are introduced to the Restorative Practices Continuum which includes informal practices such as affective statements and questions that communicate people’s feelings, and allow for reflection on how their behavior has affected others to impromptu restorative conversations and more formal practices including circles and formal conferences. As you move from left to right on the continuum the processes become more formal, involve more people, and require planning and time.
During the awareness training, participants are exposed to affective statements and questions. Affective statements are personal expressions of feelings in response to others’ positive or negative behaviors. The idea is for teachers to make connections with students. Affective questions include questions that can be asked to the:
Person who committed the harm:
What were you thinking at the time? What have you thought about since?
Who has been affected by what you have done in what way?
What do you think you need to do to make things right?
Person who was harmed:
What did you think when you realized what had happened?
What impact has this incident had on you and others?
What has been the hardest thing for you?
What do you think needs to happen to make things right?
Participants gain an understanding of how to have small impromptu conferences with students to address specific situations and how to incorporate circles into the classroom. It’s always recommended that circles be 80% proactive and 20% responsive. Therefore, more emphasis should be put on building relationships and making connections with students.
Changing school culture is a significant challenge where students will become the beneficiaries of stronger schools and a safe and supportive environment for learning. Restorative Practices provide children and adults with a skill set for enhancing communication in all settings. We encourage schools to explore the restorative journey for their students!
By: Jillian Putnam, CA BOCES Professional Development