Big Idea Learning blog article written by Sophie Murphy
In 2008, renowned textbook author Dr, Ron Larson founded Big Ideas Learning, https://www.bigideaslearning.com . They are a leading publisher for mathematics curriculum, by providing cohesive, coherent and rigorous mathematics curriculum. They look to empower teachers and support student learning for K-12. Although this may be a wonderful resource, my intention is to share the blog article from this website pertaining to teaching with clarity and purpose as we conquer the distance learning arena.
In her weekly online blog article, the author Sophie Murphy, provides some tips for guidance to better teach with clarity and purpose during distance learning. 13 to be exact, hence the title of the article “13 Tips for Teaching with Clarity and Purpose During Distance Learning”. She has recognized within the article that we are navigating new ways to teach our students while not being in the classroom with them, and that we have been given no time to prepare in these everchanging times. With that being said, I think we can all agree that there have been times of confusion as to what and how we should be implementing our lessons most effectively.
In her article, Sophie touches on some practices that will be helpful in continuing to deliver daily lessons with the same clarity and purpose as in the traditional classroom setting. In reading the blog article you will find a list of the 13 tips she has compiled to share, however I wanted to mention one in particular. It is her 13th tip, “Be kind to yourself. Know that we are here to continue to support you.” As a member of the CABOCES Instructional Support Services, Distance Learning team this caught my attention and prompted me to share this article. “Be kind to yourself”, be sure to take some time to do this. Whatever it may be that makes you feel better, take that time regularly and believe that you deserve it. “Know that we are here to support you”, you can be sure of that statement. We are here, ready, willing and able to assist you.
Just in case you are not aware of all the supports available to assist you, I will share. CABOCES Instructional Support Services (ISS) has many areas for personal and professional growth within Professional Development, and the coordinators are always working to put a specialized training together based on the needs within the districts. However, ISS is not just about the professional development. Within Learning Resources, there are endless online learning opportunities through distance learning for students. The online experience is even supported with two face to face teacher that guides students through the process, and they provide information of students’ progress to the districts with regularly scheduled check ins. Here is the link: https://caboces.org/services/learning-resources/distance-education/online-courses/. There are many elective and course opportunities to be shared that may not be offered within the walls of the districts. It expands the choices and the variety of content the students could be exposed to in their educational journey. And please if you do not see what you are looking for, reach out, we will be glad to search for you. ISS will provide supports for just about every need, and if we do not have it, we will try to find it. Be sure to reach out to any of the ISS staff and take advantage of all the supports we have to offer the participating districts.
Take a few minutes, read the article and hopefully it will give you some information you can use during these everchanging experiences in the education world.
Be Kind and Be Well,
Lisa Scott, CABOCES Learning Resources
A teacher preparing for remote instruction had heard about TeachingBooks from a colleague and called me for more information. Specifically, she planned to read a book to students and was looking for a vocabulary list. Within, TeachingBooks, the teacher located a vocabulary list, three lesson plans, and a pre-recorded author interview. Unlike OverDrive and popular ebook sites, TeachingBooks does not offer ebooks for download.
TeachingBooks is free to all CABOCES’ districts and provides publisher permissions for virtual read-alouds. Educators may browse PreK – 12 titles and author resources, discover virtual teaching ideas, access passages to 35,000+ books, and share resources via email and Google Classroom. Lesson plans and vocabulary lists assist in meeting learning objectives, and author interviews generate excitement about the book. Although this resource is available to teachers, students should know about it too.
K-12 students can visit resources.caboces.org and log in with a generic username and password (see your school librarian) to meet authors and illustrators with exclusive movies and recordings, experience over 12,000 read-along audiobook experiences, hear authors pronounce and tell the stories of their names, and enjoy over 1,500 complete book readings. Students undecided on what to read can find book suggestions through the Reader’s Advisory.
Contact Cecelia_Fuoco@caboces.org to discover how to use this resource for your remote instruction.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources
In August 2020, ELA teachers from our region were invited to join Angela Stockman, author of Hacking the Writing Workshop and Make Writing, for a two-day institute on multimodal writing instruction face-to-face and across the distance. Through synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities, Angela led teachers in designing writing units and lessons that encourage students to use and explore hands-on approaches to writing.
As a continuation of this work, Angela is will be supporting the region in strategy sessions that are targeted towards specific grade bands, with rotating offerings for Elementary, Middle, and High School levels. Each of the strands will have a focus for that particular level with an overarching theme of multimodal instruction in face-to-face and distance learning situations. Teachers will engage in three one-hour sessions during the course of the school year and will have access to a variety of self-paced professional development lessons created specifically by Angela for our teachers.
Kicking off this series was the Middle School Strand that met after school on November 18, 2020. A handful of regional English teachers convened on Zoom with Angela around a focus on “Defining Structure and Form and Seeking Conventionality.” The next Middle School Session will be on January 27, 2021. Between now and then, teachers can access and work with Angela’s asynchronous resources.
An outline of the remainder of the series is as follows:
Multimodal Composition in the K-5 Writing Workshop
In each session, participants will examine explicit curriculum design methods, tangible writing tools, and instructional strategies specific to narrative, research and information, and opinion and argument writing.
December 2nd: Story Making
January 20th: Building Texts that Teach
March 31st: Composing Opinions and Arguments
MIDDLE SCHOOL STRAND
Multimodal Composition in the Middle School Writing Workshop
These sessions will challenge writing teachers to pursue and elevate the complexity of students' creative and academic writing. Each session will leave participants equipped to coach critical thinking, multimodal composition, and an iterative process, in service to more sophisticated thinking, learning, and written work.
November 11th: Defining Structure and Form and Seeking Conventionality
January 27th: Strategies for Coaching Critical and Metaphorical Thinking and Writing
April 14th: Lifting the Quality of Revision and Editing
HIGH SCHOOL STRAND
Multimodal Composition in High School Writing Classrooms
Participants in these sessions will learn how to leverage important constraints and help writers distinguish formulaic writing from coherent, sophisticated, and authentically influential work. All will leave with explicit strategies that move writers past mere replication in order to generate compelling compositions in every content area.
December 9th: Equipping Writers to Assume a Professional Posture
February 3rd: Tinkering with Structure and Using Conventions for Effect
April 21st: Elevating Complexity and Scaffolding with Careful Intention
Any teacher who may be interested in participating in this series can visit register.caboces.org to sign-up.
For more information Angela Stockman, visit http://www.angelastockman.com/.
By: Sarah Wittmeyer, CA BOCES Professional Development
The ISS Student Programs team is thankful to work with the following Scholastic Challenge coaches:
It is easy to agree that the ninety-five 6th through 12th grade students who participated in last week’s Virtual Scholastic Challenge were the bright stars of the day. However, since this is Thanksgiving week, the Student Programs team would like to shine a light on the unseen heroes of the day: the Scholastic Challenge coaches.
Often literally unseen, with videos and microphones turned off, the coaches virtually went from room to room to observe their students’ matches. These coaches were willing to take on extra work, juggle their hectic virtual and in-person teaching responsibilities, support the teams remotely and in-person, and adapt to last-minute changes due to school closures, in order to give students the opportunity to compete in the 2nd Virtual Scholastic Challenge held on Wednesday, November 18th, 2020. Thirty-four matches took place over the course of the day, with nearly 2,600 questions read aloud. This Student Programs CoSer 506 event would not have happened without the coaches listed above.
After the great success of the May 1st Virtual Scholastic Challenge (https://cainnovativeteaching.weebly.com/innovative-teaching/category/scholastic-challenge ) the Student Programs team aimed to make the second event even bigger and better. The November Virtual Scholastic Challenge grew by 1 team, making it an amazing 21 team all-day competition. Some teams were masked and socially distanced at their schools, while some were logged in from their homes.
Scholastic Challenge is an annual event hosted by Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES. The regional competition that tests students’ knowledge of academic trivia and current events is typically held as a face-to-face tournament.
The Student Programs team is also grateful for the willing and enthusiastic ISS staff who juggled their schedules to facilitate the match rooms.
Congratulations to the four teams that scored the highest total points after three matches and made it to the Finals.
The Junior (grades 6-9) Finals: Ellicottville Central School (1st place) and Whitesville Central School (2nd place)
The Senior (grades 9-12) Finals: Ellicottville Centra School (1st place) and Fillmore Central School (2nd place)
By: Jean Oliverio, CA BOCES Student Programs
Together, we can do better. All students, school districts, families and communities have equitable access to rich resources to improve student learning, strengthen families and create healthier communities. School and community partnerships are empowered and connected in meaningful ways, problems are solved and resources are used effectively. The bi-annual Community & Schools Together Conference, is one example of how the vision of the Community Schools CoSer has been fulfilled. The conference has enabled school and community partnerships to develop, enhance and align.
On November 16th, Community Schools hosted the second virtual Community & Schools Together Conference, which appropriately, focused on relationships and resilience. Despite the fact that the conference was an all-day, virtual event, over 100 participants attended, and stayed the course of the day. This is a true testament to the quality of regional educational leaders and expert community leaders that presented at the conference. Presentations were intentionally structured in strands, starting with self-reflection and care and moving towards taking care of staff and prioritizing staff wellness and relationships. Next, sessions focused on students, parent and family engagement and finally, community partnerships and organizations. Presenters shared a variety of information, ranging from best practices, models of intervention, program evaluation and personal resilience.
In addition to the professional learning and growth that the day was centered around, personal reflection, connection and overall wellness were of equal importance, in terms of intended outcomes. One participant shared that they appreciated “addressing the 'real' issues with empathy and care, as so many people are suffering in their own ways. Information was presented in a way that really made you want to engage, listen and be active.”
Keynote speaker, Ali Hearn inspired participants by sharing her expertise on self-care. She demonstrated to participants that self-care can be replenishing, draining, or relaxing. Replenishing self-care requires people to truly identify self-care practices that are sustaining such as staying hydrated, exercise, and eating healthy foods. Additionally, Ali connected the importance of self-care practices of staff as a benefit for students stating, “If your staff isn’t OK, then students probably are not OK.” Participants were provided with many strategies for daily check-ins as a support for staff, relationship building between staff members, and connecting with families.
Thank you to all presenters, participants and districts that were represented at the recent event. You will find the “presenter profile” below, that provides a snapshot into the collective expertise represented on November 16th. We look forward to the next Community & Schools Together Conference, which will be held on March 22nd, 2021. Please stay tuned for information about the upcoming event.
By: Katie Mendell, CA BOCES Community Schools and Michelle Rickicki, CA BOCES Professional Development