Code.Org’s Code Studio Workshop on January 10 for Elementary & Middle School Teachers

code_logo_cmykCode.Org’s Code Studio Workshop will be held at GPAEA, Burlington Room 21C on January 10, 2017

This is a great opportunity to learn to teach coding to elementary and middle school students! This training and curriculum resources are provided by Code.org and a grant through the University of Northern Iowa.

There is no cost to attend. Teachers will need to provide their own laptop.

Register at 
https://code.org/professional-development-workshops/5687893

Register for Understanding Dyslexia on November 29 – Parent Session Added

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November 29, 2016
8:00 am – 3:30 pm
Fairfield Arts & Convention Center
Register: http://bit.ly/2d0wgka

Keynote Speakers:

John Alexander, M.Ed.
GrovesAcademy, Head of School
Head of School of Groves Academy, a private school for students from second through twelfth grades diagnosed with dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.

Dr . Deborah K. Reed
Iowa ReadingResearch Center
Director of the Iowa Reading Research Center and an Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of Iowa.

Participants will:

  • gain a greater understanding of what dyslexia is and isn’t
  • identify the characteristics of good reading and spelling instruction for students with dyslexia
  • use data from oral reading fluency measures, such as FAST CBM-R, to plan high quality reading instruction
  • review additional assessments and how they might contribute to the overall picture of students’ reading abilities

Download: understanding-dyslexia-fairfield-1


Parent Session: 4:30 – 6:30 PM
Magnificent, Multi-sensory Activities that Make Learning Last!

No Cost – No Registration 

Presenter: Elizabeth Hoksbergen, MSEd, Executive Director of Instruction Services at Apples of Gold Center for Learning, Inc., Decoding Dyslexia Iowa Board Member

Have you every wondered how to help your child become a fluent reader, master math facts, comprehend complex text, or build a bigger vocabulary? Simultaneous, multi-sensory strategies will help you help your child develop skills while cultivating confidence. During this session we will explore how to stimulate the brain through visual-auditory-tactile-kinesthetic activities that you can do right at home. We will learn seven specific learning activities you may do with your child without purchasing expensive resources or online subscriptions. Come and learn how to help your child fall in love with learning! Location: Cambridge Room

Download: parent-session-november-29-2016

American Education Week – November 14-18, 2016

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Mark Your Calendars for American Education Week—November 14-18, 2016!

NEA’s 2016 theme, “Great Public Schools: A Basic Right and Our Responsibility,” was reflected in special observances each day of the 2016 weeklong celebration:

  • Monday, November 14, 2016: Kickoff Day
  • Tuesday, November 15, 2016: Parents Day
  • Wednesday, November 16, 2016: Education Support Professionals Day
  • Thursday, November 17, 2016: Educator for a Day
  • Friday, November 18, 2016: Substitute Educators Day

Read more about the history of American Education Week.

Lakeview Elementary Student Wins Humble & Kind Poetry Contest

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Peg Kauzlarich, Centerville Teacher

Lakeview student Ava Stober, was chosen as one of 10 winners from the United States in the Scholastic Reading Club’s “Humble and Kind Poetry Contest.”

The contest was held during April, which is Poetry Month. Students were not required to participate, but Ava chose to. Entrants were asked to write poems inspired by the Tim McGraw song, “Humble and Kind.” According to the letter telling Ava she was a winner, the contest received thousands of entries.

As a winner, she received a signed guitar and autographed pictured with a special message from Tim McGraw to hang in her classroom.

Ava was a sixth grade student in Peggy Kauzlarich’s classroom this past year at Lakeview Elementary, Centerville.

Congratulations Ava – GPAEA is very proud of you!

Gradual Release of Responsibility Workshop

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TARGET AUDIENCE: K-12 Teachers, Instructional Coaches, and Administrators who are new to the GRR Model or those who would like a refresher

Workshop #1 (beginners) will be on December 12, 2016 will provide participants with the basics of what and how to implement Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey’s Gradual Release of Responsibility instructional model. Participants will learn of the four model components: focus lesson, guided instruction, productive group work, and independent work. Aida Allan, a long-time associate of Doug Fisher, will be the presenter.

Workshop # 2 (advanced) is scheduled for Monday, February 13, 2017 also at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center. More info to come.

Register at http://bit.ly/2cQWtSu

Gradual Release of Responsibility flyer

New Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Kathy Achenbach, Kate Cole, & Michelle Ryan, Transition Coordinators

President Barack Obama signed WIOA into law on July 22, 2014. WIOA is landmark legislation that is designed to strengthen and improve our nation’s public workforce system and help get Americans, including youth and those with significant barriers to employment, into high-quality jobs and careers and help employers hire and retain skilled workers (US Dept. of Labor). This law mandates that schools and Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services (IVRS) jointly develop a system of supports so that students achieve competitive integrated employment and do not work for a Community Rehabilitation Program (CRP) at sub-minimum wage.

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Congratulations Sixth Grade Math Bee Winners!

Lori Mueller, Math Consultant

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The Great Prairie AEA Sixth Grade Math Bee was held on May 3, 2016 at the Fairfield Arts and Convention Center. Twenty-one schools districts sent a total of fifty teams of sixths graders to participate in the event.

This year’s winners:
First Place
: Daniel Wilkerson – Central Lee Middle School
Second Place: Macy Watkins – Central Lee Middle School
Second Place: Andrew Drost – Oskaloosa Middle School
There was a tie for second place that we couldn’t seem to break so we awarded two second places.
Third Place: Michael Hellman – Holy Trinity Catholic

These students placed in the top ten:
Allison Dowd – Danville Elementary School
Thomas Spoelstra – North Mahaska Elementary School
Autumn McMahan – North Mahaska Elementary School
Bella Steffensmeier – Central Lee Middle School
Miles Breon – Eddyville-Blakesburg-Freemont Community School District
Tyler Garnder – Mt Pleasant Middle School
Hayley Chase – Danville Elementary School
Cale Leonard – Evans Middle School
Eden Svoboda – Danville Elementary School
Spencer Hilger – Fairfield Middle School

GPAEA Sixth Grade Math Bee 2016 Top Ten Medalists
Allison Dowd – Danville Elementary School
Thomas Spoelstra – North Mahaska Elementary School
Autumn McMahan – North Mahaska Elementary School
Bella Steffensmeier – Central Lee Middle School
Miles Breon – Eddyville-Blakesburg-Freemont Community School District
Tyler Garnder – Mt Pleasant Middle School
Hayley Chase – Danville Elementary School
Cale Leonard – Evans Middle School
Eden Svoboda – Danville Elementary School
Spencer Hilger – Fairfield Middle School

Top Six Teams for the GPAEA Sixth Grade Math Bee 2016

First Place Team – Central Lee Middle School: Xandra Abel, Sydney Jones, Macy Watkins, Daniel Wilkerson

Second Place Team – Oskaloosa Middle School: Andrew Drost, Ella Roach, Shannon Linder, Charlie North

Third Place Team – Danville Elementary School: Elizabeth Smith, Eden Svoboda, Allison Dowd, Hayley Chase

Fourth Place Team – North Mahaska Elementary: Thomas Spoelstra, Sam Terpstra, Sean Knockel, Garrett Lamb

Fifth Place Team – Central Lee Middle School: Drew Conlee, Emmy Liu, Bella Steffensmeier, Emma Youngbeck

Sixth Place Team – Eddyville-Blakesburg- Fremont School District: Ethan Davis, Lauren Wells, Miles Breon, Katie Fairfield

National History Day Regional Winners

Great Prairie AEA hosted a district History Day on April 14, 2015 in Fairfield. Congratulations to the following Junior & Senior division winners who participated in the State competition on Monday, April 25th at the Iowa Events Center. Learn more at http://ia.nhd.org/index.htm.

Congratulations also goes out to Mt. Pleasant Middle School National Qualifying Team of Aurora Vansickel and Claire Holtkamp for their Jr Group Exhibit. Jennifer Stater is the teacher that has been facilitating their work. Good luck in Washington DC this summer!

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Keokuk Places in Iowa High School Battle of the Books Contest

Martha Marsot, Keokuk High School Teacher, Keokuk, IA

Helena Snyder, Samantha West, Rachal Starr, Madeline Berner

Keokuk HS Students: Helena Snyder, Samantha West, Rachal Starr, Madeline Berner

“What item did Evie first use her powers on?” “No, it wasn’t a belt buckle! It was a shoe buckle!”*

“Which one of these steps in preparing mushrooms is incorrect?” Washing them.*

A trivia contest? Well, sort of. These questions were a part of the Iowa High School Battle of the Books contest, which is sponsored annually by two Marshalltown, Iowa high school educators, teacher librarian Sue Inhelder, and TAG teacher Susan Fritzell. For the first time ever, Keokuk High School sponsored a team who participated in this contest.

The mission of the IHSBOB is to introduce Iowa students, grades 9-12, to award-winning literature. The list of 28 books is comprised of national award-winning books of multiple reading and interest levels, as well as the Iowa High School Book Award nominees. Senior Madeline Berner has wanted to “battle” ever since she learned about the contest, and she finally persuaded a few other bibliophiles to join her. Team members Madeline, Rachal Starr, Helena Snyder, and Samantha West had to read 28 novels, memorize authors and titles, and remember myriad details from the books. That might sound like a lot of work, but according to Madeline, “It was super fun to get together and do something that we all love!”

A preliminary online battle, which was a multiple choice and author name test, determined the top 16 teams in the state, who then travelled to Marshalltown, Iowa on April 26 to compete in a quiz-bowl type contest. “We had never done this before, and honestly didn’t expect to make it to the finals, so we were really excited to find out we made the top 16 for the final battle!” commented sponsor Barb Edler.

The final battle was held in the high school library at Marshalltown, with about 70 students and their sponsors. There were four rounds of oral questions, and teams had 10 seconds to come up with correct answers. Keokuk placed 7th in State! A great extra of the day was a Skype session with Mike Mullin, author of the popular book, Ashfall. Mike answered questions about his research process, and gave advice to aspiring writers. “Read a lot. And, marry someone with good health insurance.”

Keokuk’s good showing has energized the team for next year’s “battle.” The team met regularly during this school year to discuss their books, and started strategizing on the way home from Marshalltown about next year. The 2017 list is already out, and in their hands! High schools can have more than one team, and teams can have up to 6 members, so anyone interested in participating in this fun reading event should contact Mrs. Edler or Mrs. Marsot at the high school. More information about the IHSBOB is available at the official website.

*The Diviners by Libba Bray

*Relish: My life in the kitchen by Lucy Knisley

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

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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/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!

Celebrate NAEYC’s Week of the Young Child, April 10–16!

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The Week of the Young Child™ is an annual celebration sponsored by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) celebrating early learning, young children, their teachers and families. More info can be found at iowaaeyc.org.

Shoutout to our Early Childhood and Early ACCESS staff for all their work with young children and families!

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Supporting Preschool Children with Disabilities – May 10 & 11

Supporting Children with DisabilitiesMay 10 & May 11, 2016
9 AM – 3 PM
Fairfield Arts & Convention Center

 

Join International Consultant Kate Werling as she helps Early Childhood Teachers and other educational professionals learn how to use The Creative Curriculum® for Preschool to provide a high-quality program that is inclusive of all children.

Teachers will learn how to incorporate the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to offer children multiple ways of acquiring knowledge and skills and to provide a variety of formats for instruction, learning,and assessment in ways that will help all children communicate what they know and can do.

Register at http://bit.ly/1R1UHYf

April is Occupational Therapy Month

OT webApril has been designated as Occupational Therapy Month nationally and is celebrated throughout the country.  Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants are part of an important profession that helps people across their lifespan to participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities.  Their customized approach to evaluations, interventions, and outcomes help a child with disabilities participate in school and in social situations, and offer the specialized support and services to people of all ages and in all circumstances that only occupational therapy can provide.

We want to take this opportunity to recognize and thank our own Great Prairie AEA Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants for the services they provide throughout our service area.

Occupational Therapists

  • Carrie Carlson
  • Lynn, Coppage
  • Carol Havelka
  • Marty Hudson
  • Kathy Jaske-Gardner
  • Shanah Sullivan

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants

  • Vonn Gould
  • Ashley Hobbs
  • Joe Hudson
  • Michelle Mihalovich
  • Deb Mueller
  • Chris Williams

Learn more about OT services from Great Prairie AEA at http://www.gpaea.org/en/services/occupational_therapy/.