Take the Iowa Literacy Standards Survey by May 13

This survey is designed to obtain the opinions and comments of educators, students, and the public regarding the Iowa Literacy Standards (Iowa Core standards in English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects).  The survey responses will be used to provide guidance to the Iowa Literacy Standards Review Team and the State Board of Education.

In order to complete this survey, it is helpful to review the Iowa Literacy Standards documents, which you can find by clicking here.

Take the survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TGHQWCL

The survey is open through May 13.

Ottumwa Students Interact with Assistive Technology & Room21C

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MARCH 8 – Brittany Stober’s special education class from Ottumwa High School was one of the first student groups to utilize the 21st Century Classroom (Room21C) in the Ottumwa office. The students participated using technologies in Room21C with AEA and Ottumwa High School staff.

During the planning phases before the students arrived the AEA staff focused on the 4C’s: communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. The Iowa Core Standards were used as the activities were developed for the students with an emphasis on literacy.

Standard: Writing Standards 6–12

W.9–10.5

Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of Language standards 1–3 up to and including grades 9–10.)

The  All Turn It Spinner with a switch was used to get into groups.  One of the activities used the Spheros demonstration set (available for checkout) and the iPad app draw and drive. The writing activity was to write a sentence about the tech room on the wall as well as type a sentence on the laptop using a key guard. The students read a book on the TarHeel Reader site using a switch interface to turn the pages of the book on the screen.

If you are interested in using the Room21C with your students contact Lisa Jacobs.  All of the items used during the lesson are available for checkout through the AEA Media Center.

Thank you to the AEA and Ottumwa High School staff!

  • Sue Kientz, Instructional Technology
  • Teresa Miller, Assistive Technology 
  • Lisa Jacobs, Instructional Technology
  • Ellie Hamilton, Assistive Technology 

Fairfield Middle School: How Much Will We Read, How Far Will We Go?

Dee Ann Lantz, FMS Teacher Librarian

pict 1During the month of March, students and staff at the Fairfield Middle School set a goal to read around the school in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Beginning March 1, every time someone completed a book, a book slip was filled out and hung along the hallway. The goal was to read enough books to reach the end of the hallway. When we accomplished that goal in only one week, we realized that we could set a much higher goal – to read completely around our building. Students and staff took this goal to heart. By the end of the month, we had collectively read 1,696 books!! The best part was that we exactly made it around the school and ended right where we began. We DID read around FMS!

pic 2How much did we read, how far did we go?

The students and staff of FMS read 1,696 books that reached all the way around the school during the month of March, 2016!

May is School Board Recognition Month

socialsbanner

May is School Board Recognition Month. Our Agency Board of Directors and the Board members of the local school districts in our Area volunteer countless hours of their time each year to serve their communities and schools. Please consider thanking the school and AEA Board members that you know throughout our Area.

A special THANK YOU to our Great Prairie AEA Board of Directors:

Download: GPAEA Board Recognition 2016

Learn more: http://www.gpaea.org/en/about_us/board_of_directors/

Science Clubhouse Workshops for K-1, June in Ottumwa

Gail Wortmann, Iowa Learning Online

screenshotThe Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are a game-changer for science at the elementary level. They are performance standards – the students must “do science” in order to show attainment. Because the science standards need to be worked into the very busy day in an elementary classroom, it is imperative they be integrated with reading and writing workshops and not treated as a separate subject. The Science Clubhouse Workshop lessons include all NGSS performance standards for each grade level (Kindergarten and first grade each as separate courses). Participants will work through all lessons, practicing the hands on science investigations and tying them to related books and writing assignments aligned with the Common Core.

The Science Clubhouse Workshop courses will help teachers prepare for student attainment of the Next Generation Science Standards as a part of an integrated reading/writing workshop. Teachers will experience science and engineering practices, learn about cross-cutting concepts, review big ideas in science, and identify where the standards fit into a K-12 science scope and sequence. The target audience for this course includes kindergarten and first grade teachers, science consultants/specialists, instructional coaches, technology coaches, STEM coaches, and pilot teachers.

All courses will be held at Great Prairie AEA (Ottumwa) in Conference Room A from 8:00-4:00. Each participant will need to bring a laptop or tablet to access course materials. We will be spending some time outdoors, so dress appropriately.

Dyslexia Resources for Parents & Educators

screenshot

A newly developed Google site and resources to support educators to serve students identified with dyslexia is available at https://sites.google.com/a/heartlandaea.org/dyslexia-resources/home and on gpaea.org.

The site includes information for both parents and educators.  Specifically, it includes information about the definition of dyslexia in the State of Iowa, a presentation for educators on dyslexia, a letter for parents about the services that LEAs and AEAs can provide for a student with reading concerns, and information about seeking a diagnosis.

These materials were developed on behalf of C4K to address a need in the system. These resources were identified/developed by an expert group and vetted by C4K Work Team Co-Chairs, AEA Educational Services Directors, AEA Special Education Directors, and AEA Media Directors. All of these materials should be used as part of a comprehensive reading program.

Summer Enrichment Now KidTek U at SCC

thumb_kidtek_2_colorGPAEA is pleased to announce a change in Summer Enrichment services. Effective June 2016, our former Summer Enrichment program will be transferred to Southeastern Community College’s Kidtek U. SCC will bring a broadened STEM component to the program while updating and supporting current instructors, students and area families. Our preliminary meetings have formalized these decisions:

  • SCC will no longer require Talented and Gifted requirements for attending the summer program.
  • Current Enrichment instructors will be contacted and invited to teach.
  • The program times have not been decided (length of learning sessions, number of days, etc.)
  • Great Prairie will support communication and resources to ensure that student needs are being met.
  • SCC hopes to sponsor two campus locations (Mt. Pleasant and West Burlington).

This program change is an exciting opportunity that will support SCC’s outreach to students and STEM programming, while allowing the AEA to focus and support early literacy.

Registration for SCC’s Kidtek U summer learning program will open at STEMFest on April 23, on SCC’s West Burlington campus from 10AM to 2PM. Regular open registration will start on Monday, April 25. Registrations will be accepted via phone, in person, or online at www.kidteku.com.

The program contact for SCC is:

Kelly J Prickett
Program Developer
Phone: 319.208.5385
Fax: 319.752.3407
kprickett@scciowa.edu
www.scciowa.edu/business/
River Park Place, Suite 220
610 N 4th St.
Burlington, IA 52601

More information: KIDTEK U GIVE KIDS CHANCE TO EXPLORE INTERESTS

The Cornerstone – April 2016

cs header14 1

What is Real 21st Century Learning?

I feel a bit conspicuous admitting that I am still trying to figure out what it means to be a 21st century learner, now that I find myself over 15% through the 21st century. 21st century learning can be a nebulous term. I have heard different groups of people use it to refer to a variety of different things. I have heard it equated to technology integration in the classroom, career technical education, project based learning, problem based learning, community based learning, collaborative learning, and personalized learning. I’ve heard it’s the 4 c’s, the 3 p’s, universal constructs, and cross-cutting concepts. Perhaps it’s no wonder that I find myself a bit confused about the future of learning from time to time. It’s a complex topic to be sure, but here are some truths that I hope will help you better understand what we mean when we talk about 21st century.

21st century learning is not simply having access to the latest technology in the classroom. Technology can be a powerful tool. Well used, it can incentivize kids to collaborate and communicate instantaneously, allowing them to build personalized learning networks and to take their passions to the real world. Too often, however, a classroom device is still just a way to save a trip to the library. Kids don’t need faster access to more content; they need an opportunity to apply their passions to real world problems.

Continue reading: What is Real 21st Century Learning?

Science/STEM is Alive and Well in GPAEA

Rosemary Peck, GPAEA Science Specialist

stem fesitval 9The 3rd annual STEM Festival at IHCC in Ottumwa was an evening of hands-on experiences with the highest number of area students and parents in attendance to date. If you have not attended a STEM festival there are two upcoming opportunities: the SE Iowa STEM Festival, April 23 at SCC in Burlington and the Drake/Metro STEM Festival, April 14 at Drake University. An added bonus to the Drake Festival is the opportunity to hear Bill Nye, the Science Guy, speak immediately after the Festival. The Festivals are free and family friendly. So, come join in on the interactive excitement of the STEM Festivals!

For more information on the April 23 Southeast Iowa STEM Festival: http://se.iowastem.org/southeast-ia-stem-festival

For more information on the DRAKE STEM Festival and Bill Nye appearance: https://scstemhub.drake.edu/

Challenge problem at Physics CompetitionAnother not-to-be-missed science event just took place in GPAEA. The annual GPAEA Physics Competition took place March 22 at the E3 Center in Mt Pleasant. Several GPAEA high schools competed in a variety of events for a chance to compete at State. Events included: the soda straw arm, catapult, mousetrap car, bridge building and the challenge problem. Three GPAEA schools qualified to compete at the State Physics Competition: Moravia, Ottumwa and Harmony! It was an amazing day of great designs and solving challenging problems, congratulations to all that competed!

Video Receives Iowa School Public Relations Association Award

SKMBT_36316041108250Last week at the Iowa School Public Relations Assocation (ISPRA) Conference, Jennifer Woodley accepted an award for the 2015 video, This is Eli.

The video accompanied an article in last year’s The Cornerstone. Since April is Autism Awareness Month, it is a great honor to receive recognition for this video and article.

More GPAEA Success Stories #AutismAwareness