In my short experience working with the Instructional Support Services Team and being introduced to the online world that is available to our students, I have come to realize that I could have done so much more for my students in the classroom.
OK…. OK…. Don’t get all in a bunch!! I know that for us educators, doing more is always included when we are preparing for our classrooms of students each day…… BUT …… had I known about MOODLE I could have created blended learning experiences that also made my valuable time more efficiently used. Possibly even giving me some self-care time!!
I have been working and creating course work in MOODLE for the past few months, as well as completing some of free training that is available to help maneuver all the options within MOODLE. Of course…..it is something that will need to be created and set up, but once it is done it will allow for more time. Great resource and great experience for inclusion of the classroom.
We are always available to assist with any questions or concerns.
By: Lisa Scott, CA BOCES Learning Resources
Many districts in our CABOCES region have decided to use our ELA and Math Benchmark assessments to help prepare students for the NYSED 3-8 assessments. Mark Beckwith at CABOCES has those benchmark assessments and other documents on our 3 Tools to Improve Results site: http://bit.ly/3TOOLS.
This all came about from a discussion at Friendship with their administrative team trying to help teachers understand what they need to cover to prepare students for the 3-8 ELA and Math assessments. We used the released questions on the NYSED site and focused on the standards that have been asked the most since the Common Core tests started. CABOCES staff worked on creating parallel questions to these most asked released questions to make the benchmarks and tried to keep the overall look and feel as similar to the actual assessment as they could. The 3 Tools site has a tutorial on using the site, it gives educators the assessments along with Educator Guides for scoring the assessments and Data Analysis documents for analyzing the student results.
Next comes the quandary.....after teachers and administrators sit down to analyze these results, what do they do next? It’s great to realize where you have weakness (and strengths, it’s always good to make sure you keep doing well at what you do well), but what do you do to help students who struggle? What change in instruction happens? At Friendship teachers are going back to use the tests with each individual student and after two administrations to go back and show how much improvement (hopefully) that a kid has shown from one benchmark to the next last. Time is given in AIS/RtI and also teachers can go over it in class. There’s always room to improve and we hope they find value in getting to individual students to go over their own personal results and to come up with a plan to help them fix any gaps. We’re still looking for ideas to help close those gaps that they find from these benchmarks before the actualy New York State test.
What is the answer to that? Is it more of the same type of instruction? Is it more focused practice and if so how and when? Is it using a program like i-Ready or Castle Learning for more practice? I don’t know but would love to hear how other districts are going through this process to help close the gaps, whether you use these benchmark assessments or not. Please let me know at: Mark_Carls@caboces.org.
By: Mark Carls, CA BOCES Professional Development
In the United States, 34 million children have had at least one adverse childhood experience (ACE) -- ranging from abuse or neglect to parental incarceration or addiction. Children living in poverty are more likely to have multiple ACEs, compounding the effects of economic insecurity. In addition, the current opioid epidemic is devastating families. Many classrooms in America are touched by trauma.
Earlier this month 40 teachers and leaders from the region learned about the effects trauma has on the learning brain. In school, children with trauma are more likely to have trouble regulating their emotions, focusing, and interacting with peers and adults in a positive way.
Teachers learned how to take care of themselves in order to take care of the students in their classrooms. Teachers and leaders learned about the nine areas of self-care from Kristen Souer’s book; “Fostering Resilient Learners.” The nine areas of self-care are: sleep, eat healthy, drink water, exercise, sense of TEAM, breathe, limit screen time, challenges and gratitude.
There is some hopeful news in the research about kids and trauma. “We know enough about the science to know that teachers can make a huge difference.” The school environment is one of the places where students who are exposed to real challenges at home can find safety, predictability and consistency.
Relationship-building is an important element of addressing trauma because students rely on stable relationships.
Modeling apologies repairs relationships and develops students’ relationship skills.
ENCOURAGING RESPONSIBILITY is a sense of responsibility, it is important in trauma-informed classrooms because it fosters a belief in students that they are in charge of themselves.
PROMOTING REGULATION Regulation strategies such as soothing music and brain breaks allowed students to manage physical and emotional responses, which is especially important for students who have experienced trauma.
Many more strategies were shared at the workshop. If you would like to learn more about Trauma Sensitive Classroom Strategies, please feel free to check out any upcoming offerings at register.caboces.org
By: Tessa Levitt, CA BOCES Professional Development
If you are a faculty member taking a college course or wish you had access to a specific book for professional use, Cattaraugus-Allegany School Library System (CASLS) may be able to get what you need at no cost. The Online Collaborative Library Consortium (OCLC) is comprised of public, academic, and school library systems across the nation who value resource sharing. However, rules for lending vary for each library.
A lending library may renew a book for an additional six weeks while others request the book be returned. We make every effort to provide borrowers with the materials and the duration for which they need and frequently ask for renewals. In the event a book must be returned after six weeks, we will make every effort to borrow a copy from another library so a swap can be made. Additionally, if a book is damaged or lost it is the individual’s responsibility to pay the replacement fee.
CASLS recognizes the value of loaning and borrowing books to support knowledge. In 2019 CASLS shared 95 books from our professional library to places such as Harvard University, University of Virginia, and Louisiana State University. Likewise, 252 books were borrowed for educators within CABOCES with the highest percentage going to teachers pursuing their master’s degree or SBL or SDL certification.
With CA BOCES’ new web page, requesting a book is very easy. Visit resources.caboces.org and log in using your school email; password is caboces. (If you need help, email Rachelle_Evans@caboces.org .)
If you would like to borrow multiple copies of the same title, reach out to Cecelia_Fuoco@caboces.org or Catherine_Dunkleman@caboces.org to avoid having to fill out the form multiple times. If you plan to renew a book, let us know and we’ll request an extension with the lending library. As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact Cathy or myself at our emails above.
By: Cece Fuoco, CA BOCES Learning Resources
This month’s spotlight as we dig a little deeper into the resources we have available to our component school districts in our warehouse is…..Guitaleles!
In an effort to make sure that all of our educators in the CABOCES region can find something of use in our warehouses, we’ve been attempting to add more music and art kits as the music and art standards are being revamped. So....bring on the guitaleles!
We now have 10 Yamaha GL1 Guitaleles in our warehouse. Half guitar, half ukulele…100% fun. This is a unique mini 6-string nylon guitar that is sized like a baritone ukulele (17” scale) and plays like a standard tune guitar. The guitalele’s tuning is pitched up to “A” (or up a 4th) at A/D/G/C/E/A.
This is a student pleaser. It is small enough for Pre-K students to play. The nylon strings make it easy on the fingers and the neck size is great for smaller handed players as well as regular sized hands needing a break from the thicker necks of standard-sized guitars.
Take a look at our warehouse and give our guitaleles a try!
By: Alexandra Freer, CA BOCES Learning Resources
As adults, many of us travel to countless places, cities and even countries. We have access to unique experiences, cultures and pieces of history. Our students, however, do not always have those opportunities and experiences. I remember going to Boston while teaching 4th grade and taking so many pictures to bring back and show my students, wishing they could experience that themselves. When a 7th grade social studies teacher was looking for an engaging way to let his students expand their recent learning of The Liberty Tree and Boston’s history, I remember that feeling I had and we decided to introduce virtual reality using Nearpod VR.
Using a teacher led tour, students answered questions, posted on a collaborative board, and of course, experienced Boston in VR. With each location, students were able to walk around, look around them and make inferences and discoveries relating to the lessons they had recently learned. Rather than just hear about the monument plague where the Liberty Tree once was, they got to see it with their own two eyes in relation to the other stops on their tour. Some students have never been to a large city, so seeing the buildings and focal points of a major city was an added bonus experience.
The student engagement I was able to witness was what I found most exciting. Students were asking questions, pointing out interesting features to each other and showing genuine excitement over connecting their learning of Boston’s history to the amazing sights in front of them. There are so many opportunities we can bring students through VR and truly bring learning to life!
By: Chelsea Lobello, CA BOCES Model Schools
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