Spring 2020 Semester Offerings from Drake

drake education logo

Happy New Year from Drake University’s Continuing Education and Professional Development Department!  We are excited to spring into 2020 with some new offerings and also some reinvented offerings in different formats.  Registration is now open for most of the courses listed below and you can always check our website for more information: www.drake.edu/cepd

Power of Play: Learning, Communicating and Engaging Learners

Saturday, March 28 and Saturday, April 18

Registration Opens Tuesday, January 21st

Instructor: Susan Dannen

The purpose of this one-credit face-to-face experiential course is to explore the importance of play in learning.  To the observer, students look like they are “just playing”, but together we will unravel the big picture to find the underlying learning taking place through play.  Participants will acquire tools on how to observe play, while learning techniques to interact and respond to play themes.  Attendees will understand concurrently about the rationale behind the importance of play in child development and in education settings, how students use play as part of their social-emotional language and how to effectively observe and respond to messages in play.  This course will be offered for both relicensure credit and graduate credit.

Connecting with African American Students in the Classroom:  A Culturally Responsive Approach to Learning

Saturday, April 4 and Saturday, April 25

Registration Opens Monday, February 3rd 
Instructor: Jeanette Thomas

This one credit face-to-face course examines the educational experiences of African American students in Iowa schools.  Educational practices and organizational structures provide insight into how inequalities due to social, class, race, and other social differences shape educational outcomes.  Individual student experiences in schools are considered with a focus on K-12 public education with an emphasis on urban schools in low-income communities.  Research based strategies with data driven results are studied to provide a framework for analysis for students to incorporate into the classroom setting.  Collaborative partnerships between educators, parents, community service agencies, mental health and social services are highlighted in an effort to illustrate best practices and what works to address the needs of marginalized African American students.  This course will be offered for both relicensure credit and graduate credit.

Teacher Self-Care: Learn Strategies for Yourself and for Your Colleagues

Monday, June 22 and Tuesday, June 23

Registration Opens Monday, February 24th 

Instructor: Judi Mireles

This one-credit course offered for relicensure credit is a self-care workshop for educators!  We will spend the first day learning techniques and strategies for your own self-care and then spend the next day turning outward to think about how you can support the self-care of your colleagues.  Prepare to fill up your motivational gas tank and think about the upcoming year.  You will not be required to purchase a text, however, there is a materials fee due to the make-and-take nature of the course.

Social Emotional Learning in the Classroom:  A Clinician’s Perspective

Thursday, June 25 and Friday, June 26

Registration Opens Monday, February 3rd 
Instructors: Leslie Rogers and Kirsten Smith

This one-credit hour face-to-face course will explore key components and stages of social emotional learning (SEL), related brain anatomy and function, and factors that may impact SEL development.  Participants will learn about a host of factors that may impact a child’s social emotional affect across the school day along with techniques and strategies that will assist teachers, counselors, and administrators in understanding SEL motivators. This course is taught by two ChildServe clinicians who have had the opportunity to work with children one-on-one and want to help educators understand children’s individual SEL needs.  This course is offered for both graduate and license renewal credit.

The Domino Effect Program is Now an Online Course

Registration is Now Open, See Below

Our highly successful Domino Effect program has been converted into a one-hour online course. This was done using video and other content from our fall, 2018 event at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women. Students will experience the entire program from the eyes of an audience member with insights from incarcerated women, guardians serving children of incarcerated women and Dr. Jerome Greenfield who is an expert on mental health. This new class will be offered later this spring (April-May), use the following link to register:  NEW ONLINE WOMEN’S DOMINO EFFECT CLASS

The Domino Effect Program at the Men’s Penitentiary in Fort Madison

Registration is Now Open, See Below

We are excited to continue this program at the men’s prison this spring on Wednesday, April 22nd.  This course may be taken for license renewal or graduate credit.


Inspiring Investigations through Citizen Science

March 23-April 27, 2020

Registration is Now Open, See Below

This one graduate credit online course allows students to discover how citizen science and student-driven investigations meet next generation science standards and support student learning. After completing this course, students will be able to: explain the benefits of teaching with citizen science and inquiry; identify the science practices developed through citizen science and inquiry; describe the complexity of the scientific process; support students in developing their own investigations; create an implementation plan for using citizen science and science investigations with students. This course is being offered through a partnership between Drake University Continuing Education and Professional Development and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Follow this link to register for this course: Inspiring Investigations through Citizen Science 

The Drake Summer Music Institute will offer four opportunities this summer:
Registration information will be posted on our website soon: CEPD Special Events, Conferences, and Courses

Popular Music Pedagogies: Modern Band in the Classroom

June 17-19, Instructor: Dr. Bryan Powell

Bel Canto Solfeggio (this will be two, 2-day courses)

June 22-25, Instructor: John Armstrong

Music Literacy

June 10-11, Instructor: Dr. Carol Krueger

Kodaly Certification, Levels I, II, III

July 13-24, Instructors: Tom Sletto, Barbara Sletto, Sandy Miller, Kris VerSteegt

Drake’s Education Leadership Symposium will Highlight Standards Based Grading:

Registration Opens Monday, February 10th

National assessment expert and author Rick Wormeli will be the keynote speaker in the morning and the afternoon will include breakout sessions focusing on best classroom and leadership practices.

June 17 – Hy-Vee Hall (Room 101), Des Moines.  Registration starts at 8:00 a.m. and the event ends at 3:00 p.m.  Cost $199 which includes continental breakfast and lunch.

Quick links to additional Continuing Education and Professional Development resources

Courses for Coaches and Physical Educators  (Online and Video Correspondence) 
Online courses for teachers 
Special Events, Conferences, and Courses
FAQ’s for students

The dissemination of information from external organizations by Great Prairie AEA does not infer sponsorship or endorsement of the information. It is being passed on to our stakeholders for its educational value.

The Cornerstone – January 2020


Happy New Year! Enjoy this issue of The Cornerstone. Scroll down to begin reading or click on a news link below.

Iowa ALN Professional Learning & Student Expo – April 8 & 22

Join us for the 2020 Iowa ALN Professional Learning & Student Expo on April 8 in Ottumwa and April 22 in Burlington. This will be a great opportunity for you to interact and learn about authentic learning experiences happening in your District.


Download PDF with clickable links: IowaALNFlyer20200109-1

Area Students aka Future Problem Solvers

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BURLINGTON – On January 8 & 9, middle and high school students from Burlington, Central Lee, & Keokuk came together to participate in an Iowa Future Problem Solving Bowl hosted at Great Prairie AEA. Students participated in one of two categories:

Global Issues Problem Solving (Team)

In Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS) students in grades 4-12 compete in teams of four to research and problem-solve topics of current relevance in the world. Teams complete two practice problems (optional), which are evaluated and returned with feedback. They then submit a third problem to try to qualify for the competitive State Bowl. Qualifying teams are invited to compete at State for the opportunity to represent Iowa at the annual International FPS competition in June.

Global Issues Problem Solving (Individual)

Individual Global Issues Problem Solving is designed to give self-motivated, confident students the opportunity to compete, using the same format as the Team Division but completing shorter booklets independently. This is an ideal option for coaches who have a few extra students who won’t fit evenly onto teams. Individuals complete two practice problems (optional), which are evaluated and returned with feedback, and then submit a third problem to qualify for the competitive State Bowl. Qualifying individuals are invited to compete at State for the opportunity to represent Iowa at the annual International FPS competition in June.

A special thank you to District Coaches and teams for participating:

  • Central Lee, coach Hollie Weber – 2 junior teams, 3 middle teams, 3 senior teams, 1 middle individual
  • Burlington, coaches Katie Salisbury and Aron Kehoe – 2 middle teams, 1 middle individual & 2 senior teams
  • Keokuk, coach Barb Edler – 1 middle team & 1 senior team

Wishing all students and teams the best of luck! Learn more about FPS at https://iowafutureproblemsolving.com/ or contact GPAEA’s Coordinator Tracy Jarrett at tracy.jarrett@gpaea.org.

Volunteer Judges Needed for District History Day on April 7

Blue Blueberries Food Fact Facebook Post

Great Prairie AEA is looking for volunteer judges for the Voltaire Twombly (Great Prairie AEA) District History Day Contest on April 7 in Ottumwa. National History Day in Iowa is a year-long educational program that encourages students in grades 6-12 to learn about history and sharpen important skills, including research and critical thinking. 

Date: Tuesday, April 7, 2020
Location: Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa, IA
Judges: Volunteer judges will help evaluate student projects and create a positive experience for Iowa’s young historians. Judges will receive online training and additional training the morning before the contest. We will be offering lunch for all judges and helpers. 

If you would like to participate, please contact Lisa.sines@gpaea.org or call 641-682-8591 X5501. You may also sign up to be a volunteer judge online at (Select the Voltaire Twombly Contest (Great Prairie AEA)https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf-IpRandmPLXIUrcTuX_FUbZ4HQat2iq5dv4wh288RKKkG4g/viewform

Distinguishing Between Disability and Language Acquisition: Steve Gill – April 13 & 14

Download PDF: DisabilityLanguageFlyer20191219-3

In this two-day workshop, participants will learn how to implement the ELL Critical Data Process and the corresponding matrix with Steve Gill, who developed it. This matrix will help teachers and consultants determine whether English learners may qualify for special education services (due to disability) or require more intervention (due to language).

The ELL Critical Data Process helps bring key staff members together to discuss how to best meet student needs and have a guided process that leads to a pictorial representation of their discussions.  Participants are encouraged to attend with a building team.

This course will also focus on understanding the relationship between our acculturation, belief systems, practices and results.

Register at https://aealearning.truenorthlogic.com/ia/empari/learning2/course/viewCourseSearch?courseId=180870

Iowa’s AEAs seek nominations for annual awards recognition


Do you know someone who has made outstanding contributions to education and Iowa’s Area Education Agencies (AEAs)? Please take a few minutes to nominate this person for recognition!

Iowa’s AEAs bestow three awards annually to outstanding candidates for their contributions to education and the work of Iowa’s AEAs. To submit a nomination, complete this application by Feb. 14, 2020. Anyone is welcome to submit a nomination.

Awards will be presented during the annual Iowa’s AEAs Boards of Directors’ Conference and the ceremony will be held at 6:30 p.m. on March 26, 2020, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Johnston.

The three awards and criteria can be found below. Each nomination should include examples of why your nominee should receive the award.

Friend of the AEA Award

Acknowledges contributions by policymakers, citizens, board members, school district partners, businesses and organizations who have been great partners and demonstrate strong support for furthering the mission of Iowa’s AEAs. Open to all policymakers, citizens, board members, school district partners, businesses and organizations.

E. Robert Stephens Award

Dr. E. Robert Stephens, better known as “Dr. Bob” and the father of Iowa’s AEAs, acknowledges contributions in the area of innovation and support to local districts, AEAs, the Department of Education and other partners/organizations. There should be evidence of outstanding contributions to the well-being of the educational community including:

    • Benefits of this individual’s leadership;

    • Creative leadership in inspiring and motivating others to achieve and contribute;

    • Strong commitment to the profession by active participation in professional activities; and

    • Evidence that the individual is respected by his/her colleagues and the community.

 Open to AEA staff who serve in an administrative role and AEA board members.

Innovative Creator

Celebrates amazingly innovative and creative thinking and actions to get results for students, educators, Iowa’s AEAs, school districts and other partners. Open to all AEA staff, board members, educators, policymakers, students…we are all creators!

For more information, contact Connie Johnson, Iowa’s AEAs Communications Director, at (712) 335-6044 or cjohnson@plaea.org.

Paraeducator Opportunities in Burlington & Ottumwa – March/April

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Professional Development for working with English Language Learners
For Certified Paras through the BOEE:
Upcoming Spring Paraeducator Courses
Professional Development for working with English Language Learners

Photography & Drawing Contest from Iowa Architectural Foundation & Pella

Download PDF: 2020 Contest PDFs – 11 x 8.5 color

Snapshot Iowa! Photography Contest – Grades 7-12

All Iowa students, grades 7th-12th are eligible, including home-schooled students. We want to see unmounted, black and white PHOTOGRAPHS SHOWCASING YOUR FAVORITE ARCHITECTURE! Entries must be postmarked by March 30, 2020.


Architecture by Children Drawing Contest 2020 – Grades K-6

Have you ever thought how certain places create fond memories? Do you have a great memory of a particular building? Maybe it’s your first day of school, an event at a park, or walking through a museum. Great architecture can be a big part of our memories in life. Think of one of your favorite buildings and draw it by hand on the entry form. Entries must be postmarked by March 30, 2020 and will not be returned. Please be sure to read all the rules and regulations.


The dissemination of information from external organizations by Great Prairie AEA does not infer sponsorship or endorsement of the information. It is being passed on to our stakeholders for its educational value.

Educators: Login to AEA Scout – Digital Resources at your fingertips!


Download PDF: AEA_Scout_Flyer_FINAL

Visit scout.iowaaea.org > click Login > select Login for Educator > enter the same username/password that you use to register for AEA Professional Learning or Mandatory Reporter > Search & Explore

Questions? Contact your school’s Teacher Librarian or Jane Frizzel, jane.frizzell@gpaea.org at GPAEA

More information will be shared in next month’s The Cornerstone.

Future Ready Movement in GPAEA Schools – Spotlight on Davis County

Laura Williams, 21C Learning Specialist

With the role out of the new Iowa Clearinghouse for WBL, more and more schools are wondering how and when to place authentic projects into the classroom. 

Spotlight on Davis County 

This year, Davis County CSD took the plunge. Teams of passionate educators attended the second Authentic Learning & WBL Immersion training this year and from this experience, they were equipped with ideas and tools to help support creating future ready opportunities for their students.

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During the training, the team explored a potential project idea that would fit many of their social studies and english standards at the middle school. The project explored was called “Why our Town?” Why our town is a project idea where area businesses, economic development, and/or chambers of commerce say yes to working with area students to develop media and content to help showcase their communities. These short videos, once approved, can then be used on community websites and social media, truly making this project authentic. This creates a win-win for students and area businesses! Students develop 21st Century skills, are able to make relevant connections to curriculum, explore potential careers, and area businesses are able to showcase their services and potentially contribute to building future employees.

To learn more about what this project entails from both the student and teacher perspective, this video (below) showcases Chelsea Dearborn’s 8th Grade English class. 

Contact Chelsea at chelsea.dearborn@dcmustangs.com

Not only did this project seem to fit curricular needs in English class but there were some obvious connections to the 7th grade Social Studies curriculum as well. “Here is one example of one of our PBL projects that were created by 7th grade. This was a promotional video to attract families to SE Iowa for economic development.  We have had several CEOs speak to classes about vocational opportunities and the groups were able to select from a list of several that they have heard from.  They then thought about things that would attract families to this area in order to develop a promotional video for SE Iowa.” 

-Josh Husted, 7th Grade Social Studies  (Josh.Husted@dcmustangs.com)

But Davis County didn’t stop there, they pulled together a group of teachers to think about what authentic learning experiences and community connections could look like for early learners and elementary students.

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Amazing ideas such as preschoolers meal planning and creating a take a bake meal for their families, thinking through city expansion and ideas to build and promote Davis County via the city planners project with 4th grade, and incorporating local experts in the use of dramatic play centers in Kindergarten. 

Great work Davis County! 

To learn more about Authentic Learning Opportunities for your students or training to support this kind of learning, please contact laura.williams@gpaea.org or visit https://www.gpaea.org/services/iowaaln.

Current Offerings: 

  • Agile for Education: A Scrum Play by Play  
  • Authentic Learning & WBL Immersion Training 

Save the Dates: 

  • Authentic Learning Network Student Expo – Ottumwa GPAEA April 8th 
  • Authentic Learning Network Student Expo – Burlington GPAEA April 22nd 

*All schools are invited to bring students who have been working on authentic projects with area partnerships to showcase their project, network, and share their experiences at this event! For more information, contact laura.williams@gpaea.org