Mackin: A new resource provided by GPAEA Media Services

Tricia Slecta, GPAEA Media Integrationist Specialist

MackinVIA_Logo_BlackGreenMackin is a perfect resource for today’s 21st century learners. Since students are used to having information just a click away, Mackin now provides GPAEA area schools access to thousands of ebooks and GPAEA databases. All it takes is just a click and single sign on. Mackin is more than just an ebook reader. It also has many unique features that makes this resource a powerful literacy asset in the classroom.

Mackin has many features:

  • Students can have 24/7 online and offline access, anywhere, anytime. This feature is beneficial to students without wifi at home. They can download books at school read them at home, take notes and upload them when they return to school the next day.
  • Students can make custom lists of digital resources with MackinVIA Groups. Teachers can create a group and have all the books needed for the topic gathered in a group ready for students to read.
  • MackinVIA Categories provide a quick and easy way to find digital resources by subject. MackinVIA Backpack provides easy access to checkouts, requests, favorites, and notebook. Students can easily link to a school’s Accelerated Reader Enterprise account to take their AR quizzes online, directly through MackinVIA.
  • Students can highlight and underline text and create notes. Students can view lists of highlights/notes in “My Notebook”. Notes can also be saved in google drive thus allowing students the ability to share notes and collaborate with teachers and classmates.  It also includes an integrated Merriam-Webster™ dictionary. Citations are available through EasyBib™.
  • Teachers can add favorite websites and URLs to the links menu. Furthermore, they can upload their lesson to Mackin and have all the website and links in one location. In this way, students then log in to Mackin and start the lesson easily because all the resources are in one location.
  • It is Section 508 compliant making the site and platform more accessible and user-friendly for those with disabilities.

How to Access:

  1. Visit gpaea.org and click on the Mackin logo or type in your browser on any device mackinvia.com.
  2. Get your school username and password from your teacher librarian or request it through email from mediacenter@gpaea.org.
  3. Start to use Mackinvia today.
  4. For further assistance visit this site for tutorials http://help.mackin.com/video/mackinvia-overviews/
  5. Explore, Expound, and Expand your knowledge with Mackin.

2016-17 Second Chance For Reading Learning Opportunity

scrGreat Prairie AEA has provided professional development for trained Second Chance for Reading (SCR) teachers since 2007-2008.  This learning has enhanced teachers’ skill and knowledge in developing standards-based Read Aloud Think Alouds with emphasis on higher levels of Webb’s Depth of Knowledge.  SCR continues to be a Tier 2 option for MS and HS staff who want to improve student literacy skills as well as encourage students to be life-long readers. This year’s days for trained teachers will be at the Ottumwa GPAEA office on Monday, October 31 and Monday, March 6 from 9 AM – 3 PM. Teachers who have completed the initial seven days of training may register here.

What is Second Chance for Reading?

The purpose of Second Chance Reading is to remediate reading deficits for secondary students who otherwise would struggle with the demands of the secondary curriculum. SCR provides a specific course designed specifically for middle and high school students who are reading below grade level. SCR helps students to increase their independent reading, develop vocabulary, and improve comprehension, fluency, and writing. The intended outcomes of SCR are to:

  • accelerate achievement in reading comprehension by increasing reading comprehension scores and vocabulary on the Stanford Diagnostic Reading Inventory by at least one grade level
  • increase students’ access to print and wide reading
  • increase students’ fluency

If you have questions, please contact Fran McVeigh at fran.mcveigh@gpaea.org or 800-622-0027 ext. 5817.

Substitute Authorization Course in Aug/Sept – BURLINGTON

A primary school teacherSubstitute Authorization (Grades K-12) held in BURLINGTON, August 29 – September 14

A substitute authorization allows an individual who holds a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution to substitute in a elementary, middle school, junior high school, or high school (grades K -12) for no more than five consecutive days in one job assignment. An individual who holds a Para educator certificate and completes the substitute authorization program is authorized to substitute only in the special education classroom in which the individual Para educator is employed.

DEADLINE FOR MINIMUM ENROLLMENT: August 22, 2016 (extended to Aug. 26)

LEARN MORE & REGISTER:
https://www.mylearningplan.com/WebReg/ActivityProfile.asp?D=10734&I=2144757

MTSS: A Focus on Assessment w/ Cassandra Erkens

Recommended Participants: Secondary Leadership Teams, Elementary Principals and Instructional Coaches

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3-Day Workshop with Cassandra Erkens
September 20 & 21, 2016 and January 17, 2017

Fairfield Arts & Convention Center
8:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Re-certification credit available
Workshop Fee: $150 – book included

Register: https://goo.gl/RYITAs

Download PDF: MTSS- A Focus on Assessment Sept 2016

ELEMENTARY MTSS: PRESS TRAINING

PRESS Sept. 2016_Page_1
ELEMENTARY MTSS: PRESS TRAINING (TIERS 1 & 2)
A training for elementary teachers, coaches, Title I teachers, administrators and/or leadership teams.
September 13, 2016
8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Great Prairie AEA Office
Burlington – https://goo.gl/Bt2RD2
September 15, 2016
8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Fairfield Arts & Convention Center –
Fee: $100 for those individuals needing a PRESS Intervention & Assessment Manual
Download PDF: PRESS Sept. 2016

GPAEA Schools in the News – Summer 2016

Post updated throughout the month. Did we miss something? Send your school news to jennifer.woodley@gpaea.org.

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.

G.E.M.S. Girls Exploring Math & Science Summer Tech Camp – June 23 & 24

ihcc_logoGirls Exploring Math & Science Summer Tech Camp
(Finishing 3rd – 5th grades)
June 23 & 24, 2016

Explore science, technology, math, and engineering while having fun on a college campus! G.E.M.S allows girls the exciting opportunity to explore college programming through a variety of hands-on activities in some of today’s cutting-edge technologies. They will meet with professional women working in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and math as well as create, explore and discover through S.T.E.M. (Science Technology Engineering Math) projects.

This camp is being funded through a John Deere Corporate Grant and there is no cost to participants. Registration will be limited to the first 50 students who RSVP with registration. The camp will be held in the Advanced Technology Center on the Indian Hills’ Ottumwa Campus on June 23 & 24 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It is open to female students finishing the 3rd, 4th or 5th grades. Orientation and sign in begins at 8:30 a.m.

Register at:  www.IndianHills.edu/GEMS

Contact: Nathan Miller, Bennett Building, 525 Grandview Ave., Ottumwa, IA 52501, 641-683-5309 or nathan.miller@indianhills.edu


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.

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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JUNIOR DIVISION Continue reading

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

GPAEA Schools Recognized for PBIS Excellence

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.

Learn more about PBIS at Great Prairie AEA.

Take the Iowa Literacy Standards Survey by May 13

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.