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.

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/

Summer Enrichment Now KidTek U at SCC

thumb_kidtek_2_colorGPAEA 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:

Kelly J Prickett
Program Developer
Phone: 319.208.5385
Fax: 319.752.3407
kprickett@scciowa.edu
www.scciowa.edu/business/
River Park Place, Suite 220
610 N 4th St.
Burlington, IA 52601

More information: KIDTEK U GIVE KIDS CHANCE TO EXPLORE INTERESTS

What is Real 21st Century Learning?

I feel a bit conspicuous admitting that I am still trying to figure out what it means to be a 21st century learner, now that I find myself over 15% through the 21st century. 21st century learning can be a nebulous term. I have heard different groups of people use it to refer to a variety of different things. I have heard it equated to technology integration in the classroom, career technical education, project based learning, problem based learning, community based learning, collaborative learning, and personalized learning. I’ve heard it’s the 4 c’s, the 3 p’s, universal constructs, and cross-cutting concepts. Perhaps it’s no wonder that I find myself a bit confused about the future of learning from time to time. It’s a complex topic to be sure, but here are some truths that I hope will help you better understand what we mean when we talk about 21st century.

21st century learning is not simply having access to the latest technology in the classroom. Technology can be a powerful tool. Well used, it can incentivize kids to collaborate and communicate instantaneously, allowing them to build personalized learning networks and to take their passions to the real world. Too often, however, a classroom device is still just a way to save a trip to the library. Kids don’t need faster access to more content; they need an opportunity to apply their passions to real world problems.

Continue reading: What is Real 21st Century Learning?

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!

woyc2016

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!

Continue reading

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/.

Visual Arts & Iowa Core Workshop in Cedar Rapids – June 20 & 21

Visual Arts PD flyer copy

Download Form: http://www.aea10.k12.ia.us/profdev/pdf/registform.pdf

Register Online: https://www.gwaea.org/apps/ProfDev/user/signon.cfm


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.