- The inconvenient truth is that money matters
- Celebrate Better Hearing & Speech Month!
- New Literacy Consultants to join Great Prairie AEA 2016-2017
- National History Day Regional Winners
- Keokuk Places in Iowa High School Battle of the Books Contest
- GPAEA Schools Recognized for PBIS Excellence
- Early Childhood Professional Development Opportunities – June 2016
- Ottumwa Students Interact with Assistive Technology & Room21C
- Fairfield Middle School: How Much Will We Read, How Far Will We Go?
- Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week! May 2-6
- May is School Board Recognition Month
- Our Kids Summer Institute for Teacher & Administrators in Waukee – June 2016
- Science Club Workshop for K-1
- Dyslexia Resources for Parents & Educators
- Teacher in the Workplace
- Summer Enrichment Now KidTekU at SCC
I have been kicking around my thoughts on the legislative session over the past few weeks as I have been preparing to write my last piece for our final edition of Cornerstone. I was discouraged by …
May is “Better Hearing and Speech Month” and we invite you to learn more about services and supports available from Great Prairie AEA.
Hearing services at Great Prairie AEA include screenings for young children and direct services for students who have been identified as deaf or hard of hearing. Learn more at http://goo.gl/4bnNxK.
Shoutout to GPAEA’s Hearing/Audiology Team! Thank you for all that you do for the children and families of southeast Iowa.
SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY SERVICES
Great Prairie AEA Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) work with children, birth to 21, who have a variety of communication needs. Most of these needs fall into the areas of articulation, language, voice, fluency, and early literacy. Learn more at http://goo.gl/cKPW33.
Shoutout to GPAEA’s Speech-Language Team! Thank you for all that you do for the children and families of southeast Iowa.
With six years of teaching experience at Prairie City-Monroe Community School District, Melanie has taught two years of Second grade and is currently finishing her fourth year teaching Kindergarten. During this time, she has had the honor to participate and assist in leading through the District Leadership Team, Building Leadership Team, MTSS Team, Iowa Core Team, Literacy and Math Team, PBIS Team, and Technology Team. Melanie’s role has been to interpret data, build a positive and consistent learning environment, design and implement forward-thinking systematic instructional strategies, and contribute to professional development. With these experiences, she is looking forward to exchanging ideas and supporting your district as the year progresses.
Originally, from the Fairfield Community School District, Melanie is a B.A. graduate in Elementary Education, which includes an endorsement in Reading from Central College, and is pursuing a Master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of Iowa to be completed this year. Melanie is excited to be moving home to be with her future husband and family within the Great Prairie Region to contribute to enhancing student performance, maximizing professional development, and empowering educators with a multitude of instructional strategies within our Community School District. As a Literacy Coach, she is eager to meet and collaborate with her colleagues at Great Prairie AEA.
Melinda’s interest in education was sparked as a sign language interpreter for Jr./Sr. HS students, which have given her opportunity to teach several grade levels. Currently serving as a first grade teacher and Professional Learning Team leader in Albia, Melinda’s love for teaching reading drove her to obtain her masters degree in Literacy Education from Drake University. She is extremely excited to have the opportunity to be a part of the AEA team! Her husband, Richard, is Albia’s 7-12 JH/HS principal. They have two daughters, McKenna (age 8) and Mady (age 4) and enjoy fishing, camping, riding bikes, and watching movies as a family. An interesting fact about Melinda is that she lived in Alaska for several years and caught fish weighing over 100 pounds!
DES MOINES – Fifty-three schools were honored by the Iowa Department of Education Tuesday for their work implementing a process that promotes good behavior at school which, in turn, creates a more vibrant learning environment.
Great Prairie AEA was well represented and twelve were among the schools honored:
- Central Lee Elementary
- Corse Elementary (Burlington)
- Sunnyside Elementary (Burlington)
- West Burlington Jr/Sr High
- Hawthorne Elementary (Keokuk)
- Keokuk High School
- Libertyville (Fairfield)
- Oskaloosa Middle School
- Wapello Elementary
- Washington Elementary (Fairfield)
- Banner Level: Grimes Elementary (Burlington)
- Paramount: Sigourney Elementary
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or PBIS, involves a series of processes that promote a school-wide culture of positive behavior. This is done through educating teachers on how to teach expected behaviors to their students. PBIS also consistently acknowledges good behavior as well as applies consequences for violations.
“I am so proud of our schools and their commitment to excellence!” exclaims Shelli Blazic, GPAEA’s PBIS Coordinator. “Shout-out to Administrators, Internal Coaches, and AEA External Coaches who propel our schools to ever improve PBIS/MTSS Implementation. I appreciate all you do!”
Data are used to assess problem areas and behaviors within each school, and strategies are developed to counter them. Schools were honored by the Department for outstanding implementation of the systems and practices of PBIS.
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.
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
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
Celebrate Teachers, May 2-6, and especially on Tuesday, May 3, 2016, National Teacher Day. Thank a teacher for making schools great! Learn more at NEA.
Download: 2016 Our Kids Flyer
Register (Search “Our Kids”):
Gail Wortmann, Iowa Learning Online
The 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.
- Kindergarten Workshop: June 13-14, 2016 (Covers standards for kindergarten only.)
Register for this Course: NGSS Science, Reading, Writing Integration for Kindergarten
- First Grade Workshop: June 15-16, 2016 (Covers standards for first grade only.)
Register for this Course: NGSS Science, Reading, Writing Integration for First Grade
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.
GPAEA 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:
More information: KIDTEK U GIVE KIDS CHANCE TO EXPLORE INTERESTS
- What is Real 21st Century Learning?
- Science/STEM is Alive and Well in GPAEA
- Video Receives Iowa School Public Relations Association Award
- Celebrate NAEYC’s Week of the Young Child, April 10–16!
- Supporting Preschool Children with Disabilities – May 10 & 11
- April is Occupational Therapy Month
- Visual Arts & Iowa Core Workshop in Cedar Rapids – June 20 & 21
- April is Autism Awareness Month
- Summer Institute Series: Creating an Inclusive Environment with Explicit Instruction
- 2016 Assistive Technology Summer Institute
- GPAEA Schools in the News – March 2016