GPAEA Schools in the News – February 2016

Post updated throughout the month. Did we miss something? Send your school news to

Note: The articles compiled in this list come from independent media sources who are solely responsible for their content. GPAEA staff did not participate in writing any of these articles and GPAEA does not necessarily endorse the content of the articles. Some articles may be available only by subscription.

The Cornerstone – February, 2016

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New Year – New Ideas! Join us February 18 for The Behavior Doctor

2016_Feb_behavior_doctor_flyer_jpeg_32836547A437FAre you working with parents who are struggling with their child’s behavior who could use new strategies to help at home?  We have just the workshop they may be looking for.

The Behavior Doctor is coming back!

GPAEA Parent Educator Connection will be hosting an evening for parents.  Educators are Community Service Providers are also welcome.

Thursday, February, 18, 2015
6:00 – 8:00 PM
with Question/Answer session to follow
Fairfield Arts & Convention Center, 200 N Main St, Fairfield, IA 52556

Continue reading

Communicating and Collaborating With Feedback

Sue Kientz, GPAEA Instructional Technology Coach

I recently saw a summary of results from a survey McGraw-Hill Education conducted with college students. The report highlight:

The survey of more than 2,600 U.S. college students shows that students are embracing technology for its ability to help them learn more effectively through continual feedback”

digital-study-trends_infographic-fall-2015-final See full size image

This shouldn’t really be a surprise to educators.  We know students learn more when they are given feedback.  Within this article Peter Cohen, McGraw-Hill Education’s group president of U.S. Education, commented:

  • “Students today have an almost insatiable hunger for instant and continual feedback. By using technology to deliver learning experiences that leverage those motivations, we can capitalize on an enormous opportunity to improve learning outcomes.”
  • “Adaptive learning technology provides just that kind of actionable, real-time feedback, and does so in a way that’s incredibly personalized. It’s gratifying to see these technologies align so perfectly with college students’ own motivations.”

Continue reading

Scale-Up with Spatial-Temporal Math

Lynn Selking, GPAEA Math Specialist

According to the STEM Scale-Up Program Menu for 2016-2017, “ST Math is game-based instructional software designed to boost math comprehension and proficiency through visual learning. Integrating with classroom instruction, ST Math incorporates the latest research in learning and the brain and promotes mastery-based learning and mathematical understanding. The ST Math software games use interactive, graphically-rich animations that visually represent mathematical concepts to improve conceptual understanding and problem-solving skills.”

What does it look like to do math through “visual learning?”  What does “graphically-rich” mean?  Does this mean a video game format with a lot colors and shapes moving about on the screen?  No.  In ST Math, there is a quite engaging penguin fellow named Ji Ji who is always trying to get somewhere.  The task of the student is to help JiJi get to where he needs to go.  The software uses no language to introduce or teach concepts. Instead, the game responds to user actions with instant feedback that is linked to both the mathematical concepts in mind and the mathematical implications  of the choice of the student.  Connected mathematical representations are what make learning visual and the graphics rich.


The image shows JiJi moving to where the student placed the balloon gondola.  If the gondola is placed correctly, JiJi will climb on board and sail up with the balloons.  If the gondola is not placed correctly, JiJi returns to zero and waits for the next attempt.

ST Math has been used in the Danville Community School District in Great Prairie AEA during the 2015-2016 school year. The students are enjoying the program.

2016-17 STEM Scale-Up Program Application Due March 1

Tami Plein and Rosemary Peck, GPAEA Science Specialists

Iowa STEM logoThe 2016-17 STEM Scale-Up Program Application is now open – deadline is March 1 at 5 PM.

As you consider applying for a Scale-Up program, remember Iowa has adopted NGSS Performance Expectations as grade specific K-8 and grade banded High School standards. While there are alignment documents that each program has submitted, you need to always be a critical consumer of all curricular materials. Our new Iowa Science Standards (NGSS) as still very new. Achieve and NSTA have said that nothing is 100% aligned with NGSS at this point in time.

Please spend some time familiarizing yourself with the conceptual and instructional shifts of the NGSS standards. Utilize the teachers/coaches in your district that have completed the State Science Standards Overview module and leverage their learning to help you determine the Scale-Up program’s alignment to our new state standards. Each program’s alignment document can be accessed by clicking on the Scale-Up program’s title from the Scale-Up Program Menu A one-page summary will open for that program and on that page will be a link to their alignment document.

A focus of state professional development next year will be the Science EQuIP rubric. This is a tool that will help educators evaluate lesson and unit alignment to our new standards. GPAEA Science Network 3 teachers have had some experience using the Science EQuIP rubric and can help guide alignment decisions. Curriculum work is always a work in progress and continued learning is needed for us to be able to implement these new standards.

’16-’17 Scale-Up Flyer

Lakeview Elementary Closes the Gap for Students in Special Education

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Featured on – Centerville’s Lakeview Elementary has seen tremendous success in closing the Literacy achievement gap for all students, but especially those in special education. “When I think about where we were six years ago when we were first reviewing data in the SINA process and where we are now, I attribute that to support from the AEA and our staff’s willingness to redesign instruction,” says Principal Terri Schofield.

A suggestion from the AEA to include special education students into general classroom instruction and a change in grade-level team structure set the foundation for achievement. “With C4K and MTSS, we began to develop our tiers. Special education students have 90 minutes of reading instruction, Title 1 intervention (students recognized as scoring below FAST benchmark), and specially designed instruction,” she explains, “Teachers have changed teaching to meet the needs of the way kids learn!” Continue reading

ICATER BYOD Event & Webinars

ICATER is a technology and universal design resource for all members of the education community to build learner capacity, and increase access to learning opportunities.


Link to register for Burlington:
Link to register for Ottumwa:

Join ICATER for Wednesday webinars in January & February at 3:00 PM via Zoom at

  • January 6  = Speak It! (Now on YouTube at
  • January 13 = Readability (Chrome extension)
  • January 20 = Compass with Visual Scenes
  • January 27 = Dyscalculator
  • February 3 = Read and Write for iPad
  • February 10 = One Handed Keyboards
  • February 17 = Zoom (Chrome extensions)
  • February 24 = Autismate 365

Powerful Assistive Technology (AT) can greatly increase learning and reduce barriers for all students. Our purpose is to make AT available to you. Come and visit our lab to learn all about the latest in speech to text and text to speech software, cool apps for iPad and iPod, Read and Write Gold, Blio, and other great products that reduce or eliminate barriers for all students.

Learn more at

GPAEA Schools in the News – January 2016

Post updated throughout the month. Did we miss something? Send your school news to

Note: The articles compiled in this list come from independent media sources who are solely responsible for their content. GPAEA staff did not participate in writing any of these articles and GPAEA does not necessarily endorse the content of the articles. Some articles may be available only by subscription.

Iowa high school seniors sought for National Youth Science Camp® honors

Iowa high school seniors sought for National Youth Science Camp® honors

January 13 (DES MOINES) – Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today announced that two Iowa high school seniors have the opportunity to receive full scholarships to attend the National Youth Science Camp (NYSC) this summer in West Virginia. The students will exchange ideas with scientists and other professionals from the academic and corporate worlds during the nearly month-long experience.

The camp includes lectures and hands-on research projects presented by scientists from across the nation; overnight camping trips into the Monongahela National Forest; and a visit to Washington D.C. The selected delegates must not only demonstrate academic achievement in science, but also show potential for thoughtful scientific leadership.

The NYSC experience is offered at no cost to scholarship recipients. Contributions to the National Youth Science Foundation® allow delegates to participate in this educational experience. Educational and recreational programming, as well as meals, lodging, and round-trip air passage on scheduled airlines are provided.

Delegates arrive in Charleston, West Virginia, on Wednesday, June 15, and depart on Sunday, July 10, 2016. The NYSC is held near Bartow in the eastern mountains of West Virginia, within the Monongahela National Forest.

Application forms are available on the NYSC website at

NYSC Application Deadline: February 17, 2016 at 6:00pm Eastern Standard Time