Back in 2019 the Rebel Robotics, coached by Shannon Albert, set out to compete in the FIRST Lego League Competition. The theme that year, City Shaper, required teams to identify a problem in the community and design a solution in the Innovation Project. Shannon recently reached out to share her team decided to turn the Innovation Project into an innovated reality.
Shannon shared, "the theme was to discover a public space in the community and come up with a way to improve it." The team wanted to figure out a way to update the playground in Chamberlain Park in Cuba, NY. The Rebel Robotics team decided to implement their plan. The Rebel Robotics team met with the town mayor and local Chamber of Commerce to share their idea.
Through school and community support, the team has raised over $100,000 in private donations to update the playground. Phase 1 of the project is complete with Phase 2 set for the Spring of 2023.
We congratulate the 2019 Rebel Robotics team for turning your great idea into an amazing community resource!
If you would like to learn more about the FIRST Lego League, contact Jean Oliverio at CA BOCES; firstname.lastname@example.org or 716-376-8323.
I’m fresh off the heels of attending this conference in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and have so many ideas floating around in my brain. Even though it is a relatively small conference, the information presented was so applicable to our schools and communities. I’m going to share just a brief window into my learning in hopes that it will trigger interest and, perhaps, an urge to learning more about the NREA (National Rural Education Association) and this conference in particular.
To be sure, some of the ideas floated are some that we are working on here at CA BOCES and in our communities. One is the concept of Place-Based Learning. Place-based learning engages students in their community, including their physical environment, local culture, history, or people. With place-based learning, students get to see the results of their work in their community. They build communication and inquiry skills, learn how to interact with any environment, and gain a better understanding of themselves, as well as their place in the world. Our Student Programs CoSer delves into this when they work with Exploratory Enrichment and Arts in Education. We also work with the Dream It, Do It program, connecting STEM and career opportunities in our region. But in many workshops we offer on our registration system, I can see that connection as well.
Another high-profile topic during the conference centered around teachers in rural districts. What are some strategies we can use to address rural teacher workforce challenges? What are the assets and challenges that exist in small communities and how would a rural responsive teacher education program better prepare teachers? How can school districts cultivate rural teacher resilience to prevent burnout?
These issues and more were the hot topics at this conference. All 50 states were represented, and the focus was squarely on rural schools and how services can be shared. And this focus warmed my BOCES heart! So many schools struggle to give teachers and students the tools and services needed to support learning and growth.
Our CA BOCES schools are not perfect. Each has its own challenges and battles. But just know that our Professional Development Team and our Learning Resources Team is here as an educational partner to equip and provide instruction and resources to mitigate that need.
This conference was educational in many ways. However, it only bolstered my belief that your CA BOCES is an Essential Partner!
By: Alexandra Freer, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Math teachers across the region have been exploring Visible Learning for Mathematics: What Works Best to Optimize Student Learning written by John Hattie, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey. This year’s K-5 Math CLC has focused on the benefits of using effect size research to identify best practices for optimizing student achievement in the classroom. Identifying the right approach at the right time can help design more intentional classroom experiences that hit the surface, deep, and transfer phases of learning.
We began this learning journey in June with Joseph Assof, a high school and community college mathematics teacher and the math department chair at Health Sciences High and Middle College in San Diego, CA. He is a member of the San Diego County Math Leaders Task Force, whose mission is to support every student in meeting the rigorous expectations of the Common Core. Joseph co-authored Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, High School, Teaching Mathematics in the Visible Learning Classroom, Grades 6-8, and The Teacher Clarity Playbook, and his classroom is featured in a number of Visible Learning for Mathematics, Grades K-12 videos.
As we continued our learning journey into October 2022, we focused on chapters 1 and 2 from the Visible Learning for Mathematics: What Works Best to Optimize Student Learning text. This allowed participants to explore the role of clear learning intentions and success criteria as well as the kinds of rich mathematical tasks and mathematical discourse central to each phase of learning. Participants had an opportunity to practice writing learning intentions directly aligned to NYS Next Generation Math Learning Standards.
As we continue our K-5 Math Collaborative Learning Community (CLC) this year we will be shifting our focus from surface level learning to deep learning in December. We will focus on students making generalizations and connections between mathematical ideas and concepts. Participants will walk through different approaches and participate in exercises that promote deeper learning. In March, we will focus on transfer learning where we will discuss formative assessment, feedback, interventions, and how to support students in becoming observers and owners of their own learning.
It’s not too late to join us this year! Our next meetings are scheduled for Thursday, December 8th and Thursday, March 2nd. This is a great opportunity for teachers in the C-A region to learn, discuss and collaborate!
By: Jillian Putnam, CA BOCES Professional Development
New Teacher Academy is a CABOCES workshop and seminars to support and assist teachers who are either new to the profession or new to a district to become familiar with many of the various aspects of the profession. CA BOCES welcomed new teachers from around the region to the 2022-2023 New Teacher Academy. This year over thirty teachers will be participating in one of two different cohorts with sessions held throughout the year in both the Olean CTE center and the Belmont CTE center. The first session for the Catt. county cohort was held on September 21st, 2022 with eighteen teachers in attendance, and the Allegany county cohort was held September 22nd, 2022 with over twenty teachers in attendance.
The day was filled with meaningful activities to help teachers build a better understanding of what it means to be a new teacher, as well as helpful resources and ways to make connections with fellow colleagues. Collaboration, engagement, reflection on teaching standards, and exposure to various strategies and protocols to implement right away in the classroom were the focus of this first day.
There will be multiple more opportunities for these educators to not only continue to develop their teaching skill in the profession, but also to become aware of the various resources and support that CABOCES can provide to them and their districts. The next sessions will be held November 1st and 8th, and will focus on classroom management, lesson development & planning, and digital resources offered through CABOCES Learning Resources program.
By: Rob Griffith, CA BOCES Professional Development
Excitement is building in the CABOCES region as teams are forming and starting to prepare for the 2022-2023 CABOCES Student Competitions, sponsored through CoSer 506. Specifically, thirteen districts will participate in the 2022-2023 CABOCES VEX Robotics Qualifying Tournament Series. For the first time, teams will have 2 local qualifying tournament experiences. Twenty-six VEX Robotics teams from across Cattaraugus and Allegany counties will be attending the CABOCES VEX Robotics Qualifying Tournament at Belfast Central School on Wednesday, December 21st, 2022, and Cuba-Rushford Middle/High School on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023. Students will compete with and against teams from Belfast, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Cuba-Rushford, Fillmore, Franklinville, Genesee Valley, Hinsdale, Pioneer, Portville, Randolph Academy, Salamanca, Wellsville, and Whitesville.
Each year, an exciting engineering challenge is presented to middle and high school students in the form of a game. The object of this year’s game, Spin Up (https://www.roboticseducation.org/teams/vex-robotics-competition/), is to attain a higher score than the opposing alliance by scoring discs in goals, owning rollers, and covering field tiles at the end of a two-minute match.
All teams can compete in both qualifying tournaments as well as Skills Challenges. Teams also have an opportunity to participate in a Team Interview and be judged on their Engineering Notebook. Teams who earn advancement will qualify to attend the Northern New York State Championship in Syracuse in March 2023.
To prepare for these tournaments, students work together to design, build and program a semiautonomous robot that can quickly and efficiently solve the specific challenges of the Spin Up game. Teams study electronics, programming, mechanical systems, animation, 3D CAD, computer-aided machining, web design, and materials fabrication. An equally important set of skills is learned through competition: communication, collaboration, critical thinking, project management, time management, and teamwork.
The CABOCES Qualifying Tournaments are two of a series of VEX Robotics Competitions taking place internationally throughout the year. VEX Competitions are the largest and fastest-growing competitive robotics program for middle and high schools globally. VEX Competitions represent over 24,000 teams from 61 countries that participate in more than 1,650 VEX Competition events worldwide. The competition season culminates each spring, with the VEX Robotics World Championship, an event for top qualifying teams from local, state, regional, and international VEX Robotics Competitions. More information about VEX Robotics is available at RoboticsEducation.org and RobotEvents.com.
About the REC Foundation
The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation manages the VEX Robotics Competition, which thousands of schools participate in around the world each year. REC states that one million students are reached worldwide through all the VEX robotics programs, classrooms, and competitions.
The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable, and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the United States and internationally. Its goal is to provide these programs with services, solutions, and a community that allows them to flourish in a way that fosters the technical and interpersonal skills necessary for students to succeed in the 21st Century. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry, and the non-profit community to achieve this work so that one day these programs will become accessible to all students and all schools in all communities.
To find out more about VEX Robotics in the CABOCES region, email email@example.com or call 716-376-8323.
Jean Oliverio, ISS Student Programs
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