RESPECT Training 2015 – Ottumwa

respect-flyer-ott-january-2015RESPECT training is a four-day program focused on training participants in
relationship building and conflict resolution. This training is ideal for family
members, educators and other professionals who serve on IEP teams.

  • Wednesday, January 14
  • Wednesday, January 28
  • Wednesday, February 18
  • Wednesday, March 4

RESPECT training is FREE of charge for all participants. All meals and training materials will be provided, and the following stipends are available:

  • Parent stipends ($50 per day)
  • Educator stipends to defray the cost of substitute teachers (up to $100 per day)

RESPECT flyer Ott January 2015

2015 Science Opportunities for Teachers & Students

  • January 1 – Deadline to register for TEAMS Competition on Feb. 24 sponsored by the Link at SCC, contact Leanne Krogmeier at or 319-208-5053.
  • January 27 – William Penn University is hosting an Educators Make and Take STEM Festival-registration on the SC STEM Hub website:
  • Late January/Early February – SCALE-UP Grant applications through the STEM Hubs
  • February 18 – Advanced Manufacturing Fair targeting students in grades 6-12 and parents at the SCC Keokuk Campus 4-7pm
  • March 26 – Regional Physics Competition at E3 Center in Mt Pleasant
  • March 26 & March 27 – State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa at ISU, Ames
  • March (TBA) – STEM Festival at Ottumwa/Indian Hills Community College
  • April 17-18 – Iowa Academy of Science and Iowa Junior Academy of Science Poster/Presentation competition
  • April 25 – Southeast Iowa STEM Festival at SCC, Burlington Campus
  • May 14 – SCC Investigate Your Future- 8th grade girls STEM event at SCC Burlington Campus

GPAEA Science Specialists:

Rosemary Peck

Tami Plein

Apply for Teach Iowa Scholar Award

The Teach Iowa Scholar Program provides qualified first-year Iowa teachers with awards of up to $4,000 a year, for a maximum of five years, for teaching in Iowa schools in designated shortage areas. This year, qualified teachers are those currently teaching in designated shortage areas under their first contracts in Iowa schools. The Iowa College Student Aid Commission (Iowa College Aid) is seeking applications from teachers who graduated from teacher education programs during the 2013-14 academic year. For more information and to apply, please go to Iowa College Aid’s website:

Deadline: February 1, 2015

The Cornerstone – December 2014

cs header14 1 Enjoy the December 2014 issue!

Setting the Stage for Successful Teacher Leadership Implementation

Jon's Blog

Recently, I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to listen to educational leaders from three districts that have gotten off to a very successful start with their respective TLC programs.  We spent over an hour listening to them talk about not only what constituted their most significant challenges early on, but also to how they overcame those challenges.  The three districts had several things in common and I thought it would be helpful to share what I learned with leaders of districts who will be receiving the grant in the coming two years.  Here is what I learned:

1) – Start creating clarity today – It’s important to communicate to all stakeholders what your teacher leadership program is and what it isn’t and that communication needs to start now, before you receive the grant.  It is likely that your committee members who helped with the development of your application…

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Digital Citizenship

by Sue Kientz, GPAEA Instructional Technology Coach

Doc3I recently read a book by Lenny Schad called Bring Your Own Learning: Transform Instruction with Any Device.  This author states that his students needed three things to move into 21st Century learning with a mobile device:

  1. Mobility:  providing anytime, anywhere access to information via any device
  2. Web 2.0 tools: instructional resources accessible via the cloud, accommodating anytime, anywhere access
  3. Digital Citizenship: prepare students to function responsibly in a digital world.

One of the top three things needed by this author was digital citizenship training for his students and staff, not only while they are connected at school where the content is filtered but also for the other 16 hours of the day when they are not on a filtered Internet connection.  Many of our schools within Great Prairie AEA have already given their students devices so they have mobility.  Most of our schools are using Google Apps for Education so they have Web 2.0 tools that will allow cloud computing among many others that are available for free.  But when we look at the Bright Bytes technology survey data for GPAEA schools we have these statistics:

Doc1 71% of our teachers spend less than 3 hours a year teaching digital citizenship and yet 86% of our students have access to computers at home.  If we aren’t teaching them digital citizenship skills, where are they learning the skills needed to live responsibly in the information age?

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Success for Maddox

Maddox-1st gradeEveryday AEA Speech-Language Pathologists provide consultation and therapy for children who have difficulties with language, voice, articulation, and stuttering. Recently, one Great Prairie AEA staff member received a wonderful note of appreciation from an area parent:

Dear Ms. John,

I’m Maddox’s mom (West Burlington) and I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for all of your work with Maddox these last few months. He loves his time with you and we have seen such incredible progress in such a short amount of time. A couple of weeks ago, he started saying his L’s, and is so consistent and determined! It still catches me off guard to hear them, and they come more and more naturally. Last night, he really caught me off guard when I got home from my studio and he told me he had just taken a “bath”. Last night was the first time in entire life he said “bath” and not “baf”. I made him repeat himself about 5 times, and the rest of the night we kept saying “th” words back and forth to each other. He randomly practices the sounds that you do with him, and I love hearing the pride in his voice as he does it. His J’s sound more like Z’s instead of the D’s they used to sound like, and he is consciously practicing his SH’s, too.

I knowing teaching in any sense can be a thankless job sometimes, and I wanted to make sure you know just how much we appreciate what you are doing for Maddox, and how thankful we are to have you in his life.

Thank you!
Wendi & Travis Riggens-Miller

“It is always great to receive feedback from parents, who can hear the speech behaviors changing in their child,” replied Diane John, GPAEA Speech-Language Pathologist. “Maddox is a joy to work with and be around – children like him, are the reason that I do what I do!”
Learn more about Speech-Language services from Great Prairie AEA at

Early Childhood Award Recipients: Vickie Parker & Dawn Johnson


Vickie Parker

Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (IAEYC) 2015 Leadership Fellowship Award 

Vickie Parker, Early Childhood Consultant with Great Prairie AEA, has been selected as one of 2 recipients across the state for the Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children (IAEYC) 2015 Leadership Fellowship award. Vickie’s proposal combined her passion and enthusiasm for Project Work with young children, her concern for the environment and her interest in open ended creative art. The monetary award will support Vickie’s participation in a week long study abroad experience at Reggio Emilia, Italy where she will have the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the history, challenges and accomplishments of the Municipal Infant Toddler Centers and Preschool of Reggio Emilia. Vickie’s focus will be on the role of the Reggio Atelierista (resident artist) and the Atelier (the art studio). She plans to use her new knowledge and insight to develop and present an open ended creative art experience using loose parts and recycled/found objects in her local community and to enrich the content of the Inquiry Learning/Project Approach classes she offers for Preschool teachers within Great Prairie AEA.

Robert E. Yager Active Learning Award

Dawn Johnson – Kids World Preschool Teacher, Centerville Iowa is the recipient for Robert E. Yager Active Learning Award. “I am very honored to receive the Robert E. Yager Active Learning Award. I believe that preschoolers are capable of incredible things. Therefore, it is important for them to be engaged and to participate in authentic, meaningful activities and experiences.  In my classroom, the children participate in active learning. As a result, they are excited and eager to learn. Thank you for this honor.” – Dawn Johnson Flyer

*Corrected from original on 12-3-14

Positioning ELLs for Iowa Core Success through Differentiation Workshop – OTTUMWA

Join Stephaney Jones-Vo and Shelly Fairbairn at the Ottumwa AEA on Friday, February 13, 2015. The focus of their workshop will be how to scaffold instruction for English Language Learners to meet grade level content standards.  The focus will be on secondary content areas; but the strategies presented can be applied to elementary grades also. Lunch will be provided as will a copy of their book Differentiated Instruction and Assessment for English Language Learners: A Guide for K-12 Teachers. Here is the link to the course in My Learning Plan:

You must register for this course in order to receive the materials. Registration will be limited to 50 participants. Hope your staff can take advantage of this learning opportunity to add strategies to their toolbox to support students in their learning journey.

Code Studio Workshop For K-5 Teachers

Every student in every school should have the opportunity to learn computer science….

As an affiliate of, University of Northern Iowa, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Ben Schafer will be providing a one day workshop for elementary educators across the state of Iowa who are interested in teaching’s Code Studio courses to K-5 students., is a non-profit working to bring computer science to more US schools. Software is redefining the modern world and is increasingly relevant in every 21st century career, yet fewer than 10% of US public schools teach computer science. Training workshops will make it easy for any elementary school teacher to incorporate computer science into their classroom.

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