January is a great time to have a snowball fight. Every good snowball fight needs some kind of fort for protection and to build more snowballs under cover. Snowball fights are best suited for outdoors, but what about modeling one inside? This will be part of your challenge, building a fort to withstand attacks from snowballs. Since you will be modeling the activity, representing an idea, object, a system or process, think of the materials being used. What kind of structure makes the best fort? Are different shapes better than others? How can the materials be manipulated for best use?
Your snowball fort creation does have some criteria and constraints. The fort is being constructed out of 100 index cards and only 12 inches of tape. The fort has to be at least 9 inches tall and 10 inches long. To test the fort, determine how 3 snowballs (cotton balls or wadded up pieces of paper) can be fairly launched at the fort to test its durability.
Hints and Tips for Success
By: Clay Nolan, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Cuba, New York – Wednesday, January 15, 2020 – Twenty-seven VEX Robotics teams from across Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties attended the 2nd annual VEX Robotics Qualifying Tournament at Cuba-Rushford Middle/High School on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. Students competed with and against teams from Belfast, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Cuba-Rushford, Fillmore, Franklinville, Genesee Valley, Hinsdale, Pioneer, Portville, Salamanca, Scio, Wellsville, and Whitesville. The middle and high school students executed the 2019-2020 VEX Robotics Competition game, Tower Takeover, which is played by placing different colored cubes in towers and goal zones during a 2-minute match.
Congratulations go out to 4 teams from Cuba-Rushford and Franklinville. Specifically, 2 Cuba-Rushford teams (Rebel Robotics and Yellow Team), who formed an alliance and went on to become Tournament Champions. The Franklinville (Wasted Potential) team earned the Excellence Award and the Franklinville (The Ratz) team earned the Design Award. These four teams qualify to attend the Northern New York State Championship to be held in Syracuse on February 29.
Additionally, the Judges Award was presented to the Wellsville team (Big Cat Robotics) to acknowledge their outstanding Engineering Notebook.
The Volunteer of the Year Award was given to Alex Palowitch from iDesign Solutions.
To prepare for the tournament, students worked together to design, build and program a semiautonomous robot that could quickly and efficiently solve the specific challenges of the 2019-2020 VEX Robotics Competition game, Tower Takeover. Teams studied 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, negotiation, project management, time management and teamwork.
The tournament was possible because of a tremendous collaborative effort between Cuba-Rushford school and CABOCES. The CABOCES Tech Support team, along with ISS (Professional Development, Learning Resources, and Student Programs) worked together to make the tournament a success. Additional support and guidance, which was invaluable, came from Alex Palowitch from iDESIGN Solutions.
The Cuba-Rushford Qualifying Tournament is one of a series of VEX Robotics Competitions taking place internationally throughout the year. VEX Competitions are the largest and fastest growing competitive robotics programs for elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and college aged students around the world. 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 VEX Robotics World Championship, a highly anticipated event that unites top qualifying teams from local, state, regional and international VEX Robotics Competitions to crown World Champions. More information about the VEX Robotics Competition is available at RoboticsEducation.org, RobotEvents.com and VEXRobotics.com. To find out how to become involved in VEX Robotics in the CABOCES region, email email@example.com or call 716-376-8323.
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 U.S. 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. For more information on REC Foundation, visit www.RoboticsEducation.org.
Jean Oliverio, Student Programs, ISS, CABOCES
Defining what mental health and wellness is and isn’t can be extremely helpful in order to demystify cultural perspectives regarding this topic of interest. Katie Mendell, CABOCES Community Schools Coordinator, shared with Scio’s faculty and staff a wealth of information regarding mental health and wellness and what we can do in education to help our students. Understanding the continuum of well-being around mental health and educating the importance of the mind-body connection benefits all learners.
New York State Education Department (NYSED) Board of Regents permanently adopted a proposed amendment in May 2018 clarifying for schools what health education should include in all grades. Schools are required to: include mental health and the relationship of physical and mental health; and designed to enhance student understanding, attitudes and behaviors that promote health, well-being and human dignity. Many school may already be incorporating these elements in their education of health, however this formalizes the new requirements in law.
Take a moment and think of a situation where you recently felt upset; What feelings did you experience? How about a situation that made you feel happy? What were you doing? Simply defined, mental health is how one thinks, feels, and acts. The spectrum of wellness on mental health ranges and often times we associate mental health with mental illness. Katie shared a wealth of information in order to demystify and redefine mental health as how we think, feel and act. Mental Illness is a diagnosable illness that affect a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions as well as disrupts the ability to engage in daily activities.
What can we do for our students? We can begin by reviewing and assessing our current K-12 health education curricula for alignment to new mental health education requirements; build capacity and strengthen relationships between educators and pupil personnel services (school psychologist, social worker, counselor, nurse); developing school-community partnerships with mental health professionals and organizations; identify strategies to engage families and students in supporting mental health and well-being; support a school climate “Culture of Care”; and leverage partnerships and build upon existing resources to develop a sustainable infrastructure for mental health. The following cards were shared with faculty and staff and also provided to students.
By: Jessica Schirrmacher-Smith, CA BOCES Professional Development
Recently we were asked if it was possible to record a CTE Program class for a student that was facing a medical issue that is preventing them from attending the class on a regular basis in the traditional fashion. Our immediate response was, “Sure!”. Then we started asking questions and learning more about the classroom set up and the technology the student had access to at home. Of course, our CA BOCES Distance Learning Tech Support, the CTE Program administration and the course teacher were involved every step of the way. In addition, the students in the class and the effected student also played integral roles. This was a true team effort!
I am proud to announce that we succeeded, albeit after several tried attempts! We have a system in place that is user friendly for the students and teacher, capitalizes on the technology available to our CA BOCES region and the student is able to learn the theory and see the practical skills being taught...however as soon as the student is able to return to the classroom, he/she has to catch up on practicing the practical skills they were able to be exposed too but not able to practice or tested on.
Basic equipment needed for such a venture include: a computer, a speaker, a microphone and at least one camera. We used Zoom software to connect and record the videos and are using Office 365 Sharepoint link to share the recorded sessions. In addition, the recorded video links, teacher created PowerPoints and other documents are available to students via Moodle.
How can we use distance learning to overcome obstacles in student learning?
By: Karen Insley, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Let’s face it. Much of the technologies recommended for teaching and learning need to undergo greater scrutinization since many of those technologies are too far down the wrong end of the spectrum of shiny only to beneficial for learning. However, a shiny technology tool should not be dismissed simply because it is attractive; we must evaluate the tool to determine whether teaching and learning can be meaningfully improved.
Rather than focusing on a specific tool, let’s now consider more generally the tech. tools that utilize coding. The robots in this category have (and rightfully so) raised a lot of eyebrows. For example, it would be ill-advised to bring the tooth brushing robot into your classrooms as a tool for teaching and learning (feel free to email me with a counterexample if you’d like to prove me wrong). While the tooth brushing robot isn’t available for reservation, there are many robots that reside in the CA BOCES Learning Resources warehouse that can yield a meaningful impact on learning.
Lastly, unless the course objectives specifically include a focus on a specific technology, we are creating a disservice for learning when the tech. tool is the end goal rather than a means to reach other learning targets. To help avoid this trap, I have given a few reasons technology, such as augmented or virtual reality (AR or VR) or robotics, can be a meaningful tool to help students master learning targets.
1. Explore Content Learning Standards
Whether used for pre-teaching or re-teaching, technology can provide meaningful interactions with social studies topics (pictured left; the AR app 1600), science topics (pictured right; the AR app Quiver), and more. The benefits demonstrated above are amplified because the technology was integrated with effective instruction. The tech. tool didn’t replace the teaching. The teaching didn’t require students to imagine only. The pairing of technology and effective teaching created more meaningful connections to content learning standards.
2. Foster Creativity and Problem Solving
For struggling learners, students who don’t eagerly or correctly construct sentences, paragraphs, etc. or solve mathematical problems, technology can provide opportunities for increased engagement and flexibility. Parrot mini drones are one of those technologies that, arguably, fall too far down on the shiny end of the spectrum at first glance, but this tool does not have to be attractive only.
For instance, Chelsea Lobello, CA BOCES Model Schools coordinator, worked with an Ellicottville Central School student to complete provided and self-directed missions using block programming; this student not only demonstrated his ability to code and sequence blocks in order for the drone to complete a mission, but he also demonstrated his ability to code and sequence words to meet his language goal.
Later that same day, two other students also programmed the drones to complete self-created missions. During these missions, I was able to have students simplify expressions and solve equations using rational numbers, a topic directly related to their mathematics learning goals and standards.
3. Character Education
Of all the technology integrations that have taken place recently in the CA BOCES region, the upswing of VEX robotics has been the most exciting for me. This year’s competition, Tower Takeover, as well as those from previous years, is more than just an engineering challenge. Students must demonstrate more than academic ability if they want to be successful in this arena.
The REC Foundation includes a similar sentiment on their website:
“In addition to learning valuable engineering skills, students gain life skills such as teamwork, perseverance, communication, collaboration, project management, and critical thinking. The VEX Robotics Competition prepares students to become future innovators with 95% of participants reporting an increased interest in STEM subject areas and pursuing STEM-related careers.”
Almost always, technology should be a tool, not the goal. The scenarios above followed this approach of utilizing technology as a means to an end, providing meaningful benefits on teaching and learning. Hopefully your pursuits with technology are equally as fruitful.
By: Mark Beckwith, Model Schools
Districts are gearing up for the holiday season by traveling to the North Pole. You heard that right. Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Pioneer, West Valley, Fillmore, and Salamanca will be traveling Around the World with Santa and spending time with Mrs. Claus this season, right in their classrooms! These are just some of the types of trips available from the Distance Learning Department.
Christmas trips not really your thing? Randolph is participating in the classic Gingerbread Boy Virtual Experience from the Center of Puppetry Arts. We also have classroom collaborations like “Brown Bear” for elementary, or Career Connection Conversations for high school students that are all free to attend. December’s Career Conversation is with Meme Yanetsko of the Olean Area Chamber of Commerce. These free collaborations are brought to you by the New York State Distance Learning Consortium. The NYSDLC offers out a classroom collaboration for elementary and a Career Conversation session monthly for free for being a part of Distance Learning. Is there a topic you want to see in the offering? Let us know! We are always looking for new ideas to benefit our teachers.
We can find a virtual field trip experience for just about any topic that you come up with. We try our best to provide free/low cost opportunities that work with your curriculum. For more information or to schedule a Virtual Field Trip contact Carrie Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see upcoming events check out the flyer here: https://www.smore.com/40vj6-upcoming-virtual-field-trips
By: Carrie Oliver, CA BOCES Learning Resources
CA BOCES offers a collaborative music library with over 215 music charts for borrowing. Thirty-two charts have been checked out this fall for band concerts making this a well utilized resource. Music teachers in participating districts send purchasing requests to Catherine_Dunkleman@caboces.org who then orders the music through an approved vendor. Upon receipt, Cathy catalogs the charts into Insignia. With a simple search, music teachers may view a chart's summary, select "Click here to watch" for the score, and easily book an item for delivery and use for a semester or school year. When returned to Learning Resources, inventory is taken and any missing or damaged sheet music is replaced per copyright law.
For those curious to see the music collection, visit resources.caboces.org and log in. Search by selecting call number and type in ML. Searches may be narrowed by categories located in the left column of the web page.
Some choral teachers have expressed an interest in having a similar collection. If your school is interested in joining this service, contact Amy_Windus@caboces.org or Cecelia_Fuoco@caboces.org
By Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources
With the start of a new school year, Community Schools hosted the inaugural, bi-annual Community and Schools Together Event. Nearly 100 educators and community partners came together on September 30th to teach, learn and collaborate with one another. The region collectively chose to focus on advancing mental health and wellness at this event. This came as no surprise, considering that 46% of children experience at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE) and approximately 20% of adolescents have diagnosable mental health disorders. School and community partnerships are key to the growth and development of policies, procedures and best practices for mental health.
Dr. Liz Anderson of Binghamton University’s NYS Community Schools Technical Assistance Center welcomed the group and set the stage for the day. She discussed school and community collaboration, and reminded us that collaboration challenging, yet rewarding. “When we collaborate, we know that our strengths will be maximized, our weaknesses will be minimized and the result will be better for families, schools and communities,” said Anderson. The relationship between a community and a school is reciprocal in nature. Communities provide schools with a context and an environment that can reinforce the values, culture and learning. In addition, communities can also expand the variety of opportunities and supports available to students and families. In return, schools offer the community an enduring public institution that often serves as the “hub” of the community, especially within our rural region.
This event truly reflected the four pillars of the community schools strategy, which include, expanded learning opportunities, collaborative leadership and practices, family and community engagement, as well as, integrated student supports. A combined total of twelve breakout sessions took place throughout the day, and were facilitated by school leaders and representatives as well as community agency representatives. Sessions covered things such as family engagement, community trauma coalition, probation services and new legislation, model mentoring programs, addressing traumatic stress with restorative practices, school resource officer support, utilizing the community schools strategy in rural context, health services in school settings and substance abuse prevention and intervention services for schools.
As we move forward to begin planning the next CST event, to be held on March 23rd, we welcome schools and community partners to participate in the planning process. Our goal is to build upon the collaborative spirit that was developed during the inaugural event and increase the outcomes for our region.
By: Katie Mendell, CA BOCES Community Schools
We are preparing students for a world that wants go-getters, decision makers, designers, creators, and dreamers. The old system of school is focused on compliance, but if our students are compliant when they leave us, they will always need to follow someone else’s rules and our society is not made for that. Empower: What Happens When Students Own Their Learning? by John Spencer and AJ Juliani challenge our thinking about engagement in schools and push for classrooms that empower our learners.
This fall, Ryan McGinnis, Tessa Levitt, and Sarah Wittmeyer hosted a 6-week online book study on Facebook centered around the Empower text. 30 teachers from the region logged in weekly from 8-9pm to participate in discussion of the ideas presented in text.
We explored how to shift the classroom and put the learning into the hands of the students. How can we, as teachers, facilitate learning experiences that put students in control? Where can we let them take over the process? How do we do this within the parameters of curriculum, standards, the schools we work in, etc.? How do we give students more ownership in the learning process? What have we done in our classrooms to empower our students? Where do we start?
The best part of the entire discussion was learning how teachers in our region were upping the game for their students. From genius hour, to inquiry, to project-based learning, and beyond, our students are so lucky to have such creative and innovative teachers!
We will be having a “face-to-face” meeting at the end of November as a culmination to the learning and a check-in to see how things are going with empowering our students. If you are interested in learning more about our Facbeook book studies, please reach out! We will be hosting another in Spring 2020! Stay tuned!
By: Sarah Wittmeyer, CA BOCES Professional Development
Have you ever taken an online course? Do you have any idea what is available in the catalogues of online providers? Well… I sure didn’t have any idea of the range of availability to our students. I entered into a new position this school year with Instructional Support Services Division as a Distance Learning teacher for Learning Resources, and let me share with you that I am very excited and in awe of what I can now help offer to our students through CABOCES. Even amongst all of the overwhelming moments that the new school year brings I am HOOKED ONLINE and sinker!!
As I started being introduced to the inclusions of the position, I began to realize all that was available and waiting for students to utilize. The course catalogues, with content areas across the board, displayed on the website and promising to enhance the educational experience in addition to the core and elective selections offered within their district. I would encourage you to take a moment and browse the listings, share it with your friends, coworkers, even your children at home. The students are supported through the Learning Resources department with any technical difficulties or questions as well as communications with course instructors as needed. It gives the students more choices, individual learning skillbuilding, and support as needed. What more could they want ?? 😊
I look forward to working with all the students in all the districts who are taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity. If you have not done so already, take time to check out the long list of opportunities available to our students. Pass the line (HAHA).... and enjoy the atmosphere of being HOOKED ONLINE for learning.
By: Lisa Scott, CA BOCES Learning Resources
John Butler and the Cattaraugus County Government Intern students helped at the Turkey Giveaway at the Cattaraugus Community Action, Inc.
The county government program is run through CA BOCES with students participating from Allegany-Limestone, Cattaraugus-Little Valley, Ellicottville, and Randolph.
CCA, Inc. partners with the community to provide strengths-based opportunities for vulnerable people to achieve economic, physical, and emotional security. You can visit their website at https://www.ccaction.org/
Did you know, STEM Day falls on November 8? There’s no way around it: children are significantly better off with strong science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics skills. That’s why STEM education programs are so important. It’s undebatable that these subjects push society forward, and these programs help to find fun and engaging ways to teach them to students, which is all worth commemorating. So, on November 8, we celebrated STEM Day! How can you celebrate? By taking part in the STEM challenge on this day or any other day this month. This month's STEM challege is a little different. The challenge is to build and make a model to brainstorm and answer, "What does STEM mean to you?" Students can build a model to represent what they think STEM means or how they see it using various materials.
There are no criteria or contstaints to this challenge. It is an open-ended, metaphoric prompt to let students explore and think critically about the solution.
Hints and Tips for Success
By: Clay Nolan, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Teams have been hard at work since the school year began to prepare for the Southern Tier’s largest Lego League tournament ever. The program, sponsored by BOCES, continues to grow by leaps and bounds in the Cattaraugus-Allegany region. On Saturday, November 16th, 27 teams from 14 school districts are participating in this year’s FIRST Lego League robotics tournament series held at Houghton College. Congratulations to Archbishop Walsh, Belfast, Bolivar-Richburg, Catt-Little Valley, Cuba-Rushford, Ellicottville, Fillmore, Franklinville, Friendship, Genesee Valley, Salamanca, Scio, Wellsville, and Whitesville for accepting the challenge to explore the fields of architecture and urban engineering.
First Lego League, a world-wide robotics program, was founded in 1989 to inspire young people's interest and participation in Science and Technology. Each year a new challenge is designed to motivate kids to get excited about research, engineering, math and problem solving, while building self-confidence, knowledge and life skills. Learn about this year’s challenge, City Shaper, here: https://firstinspiresst01.blob.core.windows.net/fll/2020/city-shaper-challenge.pdf
The Campus Center at Houghton College is the place to be on Saturday, November 16th to see more than two hundred 9-14 year old students, plus their coaches and families, and over 3 dozen volunteers discover innovative ways to explore robotics while having fun! Spectators are invited to attend to cheer on all the teams who tackled the City Shaper challenge. At the Closing Ceremony, the seven teams who will advance to the Championship Tournament at the University of Rochester on December 8 will be announced.
Southern Tier Lego League Tournament details:
Call or email BOCES Student Programs at 716-376-8323 for more information. We're looking forward to seeing everyone on Saturday, November 16! Thanks for supporting the Southern Tier Lego League teams!
Student Programs CABOCES
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 email@example.com.
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
Information literacy is pertinent to students’ education and is cultivated through the Empire State Information Fluency Continuum (ESIFC) Cycle of Inquiry and Learning skills Connecting, Wondering, Investigating, Constructing, Expressing, and Reflecting. These skills help students think critically, encourages innovation, and prepares them for research projects. Students wonder about many things but lack effectiveness in finding accurate resources, however, through collaborative opportunities between content area teachers and school librarians these skills can be reinforced with students.
School librarians attending the Collaborative Learning Community (CLC) for 2019-2020 have been provided with an updated version of the ESIFC, which also supports the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) standards.
The ESIFC was developed by the New York City Department of Education/Office of Library Services School Library System in 2014 and has recently been updated to include NYS Next Generation Standards. This resource is available to teachers and school librarians and helps familiarize them with curricular resources and assist in planning collaborative lessons. The four anchor standards and indicators are:
School librarians within CA BOCES will receive training in using this fantastic resource.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources
I have determined a solution to end the struggle between pronouncing data with either a long or short ‘a’ sound. Rather than being confused between which of the two typical pronunciations you should choose, you should pronounce data as you would tada. Now, if you didn’t find it fun before, any conversations regarding data will be much more enjoyable!
Thankfully, the vast majority of my discussions and dialogue centered on data have been well-received and productive. Based on recent conversations with similar colleagues at various BOCES, these generally positive encounters regarding data are both a rarity and are among the many characteristics that set the CA BOCES region apart from many others across the state.
However, because much of my work as well as that of numerous coordinators on the Professional Development team involves data (as it should), I would like to share the data ABCs as many of the CA BOCES continue to delve deeper into data.
Data Is AwarenessA good friend of mine said something that has been stuck in my head since he made the claim not long ago: even the sincerest of intentions can be sincerely mistaken. In other words, while a person’s intentions can be good, the actions he chooses may not yield the desired results, potentially even the opposite.
The same is true in education. As a former high school mathematics teacher, I held firm to the belief that my students needed to do homework in order to be successful. “Complete these 15 problems (10 skill-based and 5 application) each night, and you’ll be on the right track,” I thought. That was the approach my teachers had taken. It was the approach most educators followed (albeit with some flexibility). However, although research based on traditional homework practices yields positive results, traditional homework still does not provide a year’s worth of growth, at least through grade twelve.
By examining the research, we are able to challenge our own subjective beliefs and opinions. It is in this examination of data that we are aware of how to best align our sincerest intentions with what actually works best, not just what we think works best.
Data Is The Beginning, Not The EndBeyond awareness, data is best utilized before making decisions. The difference between using data to become aware and guide next steps as compared to being used for awareness alone is the difference between being proactive and reactive. Data as a beginning allows for timely and accurate decision making, both of which are key to formative practices.
Data Is CrucialIf being accurately informed wasn’t justification enough, I have listed five additional reasons why data is crucial in public education:
By: Mark Beckwith, CA BOCES Professional Development
The limited English proficient population within the United States has grown over 80 percent within the last 20 years, and continues to do so. Language access programs ensure equal access to everyday programs, services and activities that schools provide, including those that impact the vital safety of the community, health and legal rights. Although the need within our particular region is not frequent, it is often urgent.
In an effort to assist our region’s school districts in meeting the needs of the whole child, and doing so efficiently and effectively, Language Line Solutions was contracted through Community Schools to provide translation and interpretation, as needed. Language Line Solutions is a proven and trusted partner in the field of language access that has been in the business for nearly 40 years, with over 25 thousand clients, including top government and healthcare sectors.
The Community Schools Service Showcase on September 24th, hosted representatives of the company to personally introduce the service. Participants learned of the specific services that are available to their districts within the contract and expanded upon the circumstances in which they might be utilized. Specific services included written translation, telephonic interpretation and video interpretation in upwards of 240 languages, inclusive of American Sign Language.
When might schools use spoken and signed interpretation? Good question. Language Line phone interpreting or Language Line InSight video interpreting might be helpful for any inbound or outbound phone calls, parent-teacher conferences, meetings with school administrators, discipline follow up, school nurse visits, new student registration meetings or special education related meetings, including Committee on Special Education (CSE) Meetings. Interpretation services are available on demand, with an average connection time of 30 seconds or less.
Written translation, would be particularly useful to overcome language barriers in various school related situations. Some examples would include, exams or tests, written Individualized Education Plans (IEP), parental consent notices, progress reports, parent handbooks, medical authorization forms and other general notices. Once a district has a document translated, they own that document and are able to reproduce such documents as needed, for example, parent handbooks.
Community Schools will be working with Language Line Solutions to host a virtual informational meeting later this fall. Please look for an announcement or contact Katie Mendell at Kathryn_mendell@caboces.org for more information.
By: Katie Mendell, CA BOCES Community Schools
It has been a busy summer and start of the school year for the Distance Learning Team at CA BOCES and our districts that purchase the 420 CoSer. We are hosting or receiving ten video conference courses that involve ten of our CA BOCES regional schools, one school from Erie 2 BOCES and two schools from Central New York. Installation of Zoom video conference equipment from the 2017 RUS Grant is complete along with upgrades within buildings as requested.
Two highlights from Distance Learning Makeovers in districts:
Scio has two different, but very similar systems. They made over their Polycom Distance Learning Room with a Zoom Room featuring two 55” screen displays and Zoom video conference equipment. In addition they made over their Polycom portable carts with a Zoom Cart which also has a dual display and the Zoom video conference equipment. Scio is offering and receiving four video conference courses this fall. The pictures below show the Zoom Room equipment in the made over Scio Distance Learning Room.
Belfast has remade their Polycom Distance Learning Room with a Zoom Room and has installed equipment and is utilizing Zoom video conference software in three additional classrooms. These makeovers allow Belfast to host and receive five video conference courses this fall. Pictures below show two Belfast classrooms that had a makeover using Zoom.
Like most home remodels, a Distance Learning makeover it isn’t always on time or without its challenges. Our tech support has been instrumental in helping overcome hurdles and challenges. That said, we are also learning how to best use Zoom to enhance learning and teaching. Kudos to our CA BOCES tech support for doing research and finding solutions and to our distance learning teachers across the region for taking a risk and innovating their classrooms as the technology available to them enhances learning.
By: Karen Insley, CA BOCES Learning Resources
CABOCES hosted the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and an audience of nearly 1,400 elementary students and teachers for 2 interactive concerts at the Olean High School on September 25. The BPO, led by conductor Jaman Dunn, kicks off their Student Concert Series each year by transporting a 70 piece orchestra to the Southern Tier.
The concerts combined a diverse selection of music, story-telling and active audience participation. It was more than just a concert, it was an educational show that connected NYS elementary curriculum with music. The audience was prompted to listen, conduct, sing and dance along as the musicians’ accompanied them. The enthusiastic students performed with the BPO.
Each year a talented team of music teachers, staff and musicians develop the School Concert Series. This year the theme was a focus on how music can demonstrate, express and encourage movement and emotion. The BPO Education department aligned their performances with the Common Core Learning Standards. This provided a unique opportunity to inspire Kindergarten through Fifth grade students and enhance the Arts, ELA and Literacy Standards that are being taught in the classroom. To ensure a strong foundation for “Moving and Grooving”, the BPO Education Department provided curriculum material, including audio links, for use in the classroom. The districts received these resources prior to the shows and teachers were encouraged to use them to prepare their students for the performance. The information is available on the BPO website at http://bpo.org/community-engagement/education4/for-educators/curriculum-resources/
Robin Parkinson, BPO’s Director of Education and Community Engagement, summed up the day this way: “The BPO is incredibly proud to start our season of youth concerts in Olean each year, performing for our neighbors in Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. It is gratifying to be able to take the orchestra on the road and play for students who can’t make it to Kleinhans in Buffalo.”
Thank you to Franklinville, Hinsdale, Scio, Wellsville 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 CABOCES Student Programs at 716-376-8323 to find out more about Arts In Education, CoSer 403.
By: Jean Oliverio, Student Programs
If you heard a buzz coming from the Main Center of CABOCES in Olean on August 20th and 21st, there was no need to worry! Our annual CABOCES Summer Tech Camp was going on and the energy, excitement, and participation was through the roof! If you missed out, keep reading for a recap of the event.
Spanning the course of two days in August, over 75 participants took part in a refreshing look into new and exciting instructional technology applications and programs to take back into their classrooms for the upcoming school year. There were 14 different school districts and three BOCES represented by the participants.
On the first day, Matt Miller (author of Ditch That Textbook, Ditch That Homework, and Don’t Ditch That Tech) presented a keynote all about bringing new and innovative approaches to educational activities using a variety of technology tools that most of us already have access to on a daily basis. He showed how to take virtual field trips using Google Maps, using the Quizizz app to replace general homework review assignments, new ways to combat Kahoot/Quizlet overuse. Matt also demonstrated the use of Pear Deck to make classroom presentations more interactive and engaging. He finished the first day with a meaningful and enlightening discussion regarding the relevancy and educational impact that homework may play in our classrooms. A participant commented that “Matt showed some things that were new, some that I already knew, but the approach to using them in the classroom has me excited and ready to go for this school year! He made everything seem so easy and relatable to my classroom.”
On the second day, we had the opportunity to shine the light on some of our local teachers who had put in requests to present to their peers on what they do, software programs they do, and much more. With over 20 teacher-directed presentations to choose from, as well as other sessions from vendors like Apple Education, Castle Learning, Spider Learning and the CABOCES Professional Development team, Day Two had a more “conference” feel to it. Regional teachers were able to choose from sessions such as “Beyond being Nice Online” by Fillmore teacher Eileen Anderson, “The Art of Storytelling” by Mark Beckwith from CABOCES, “iBooks” from Cattaraugus-Little Valley’s Chelsea Lobello, and many more!
If you missed out, you can follow along with what the discussion and buzz was about on Twitter, just search for the hashtag #CABOCEStechcamp to see the resources and more that was shared during the conference days. Teachers left Summer Tech Camp with a tremendous buzz and excitement to use what they learned in their rooms and looking forward to next year’s CABOCES Summer Tech Camp 2020!
By: Ryan McGinnis, Model Schools