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The students dressed in period clothes and brought their lunches in coffee cans. The reading lesson today was from the McGuffey readers and the afternoon offered a tour of the museum and everyone's favorite....recess.
Each year ESU13 partners with the museum volunteers and local schools to provide this experience.
You Tube Link:
The Outdoor Discovery Program strives to achieve the following objectives.
On Friday April 26, students from VALTS (the ESU13 Alternative Ed High School program) went to Roubidoux R.V. Park near Five Rocks Amphitheatre in Gering to plant trees for Arbor Day. In less than three hours, 40 students and staff planted 150 trees.
These trees will be used by the City of Gering to replace dead and dying trees in their parks. We would like to thank the NRD, First State Bank and Bomgaars for talking to the students about the importance of trees. First State Bank supplied snacks and water after the students had finished planting trees for the day.
This was Sidney’s second in-service day with John Hollingsworth. Earlier in the school year, teachers were trained in an overview of the Well-Crafted, Well Taught Lesson by DataWORKS. These lesson components are research based, include opportunities to check understanding of all students, utilize higher order questions, and maintain grade level expectations for learning.
Many of the ESU districts have attended or hosted one or more workshops by DataWORKS this year. New trainings and continued implementation have already been scheduled for the 2013-2014 school year. Call SOAR or check our offerings in the 2013-2014 Professional Development Summer/Fall Flyers that are being delivered to our districts the first week in May.
203 Transition students attended the Sixth annual conference at The Harms Advanced Technology Center. 18 school districts participated in the event funded by The Assistive Technology Partnership.
The Keynote speaker for the event was Ben Glenn, “The Chalk Guy”, of Indiana. His message was one of challenge, reaching your potential, and overcoming challenges. As he spoke, he created a giant mural which will be hung for all to enjoy and remember. He had the audience captured with his message.
Following the keynote, break-out sessions were held on technology use, voting, dating, conflict resolution, health & wellness, stress, self-advocacy, bullying, and friendship development.
Some students participated in a Jobs Olympics Event. Competitions were held in window washing, silverware wrapping, gift wrapping, product assembly, collating and stuffing, shirt folding, condiment filling, and inserting batteries into devices. Ribbons and trophies were presented to the winners.
Visit the Conference Blog site for all the details: http://youthfirstconference.blogspot.com
Dan Huber, longtime ESU13 Juvenile Detention Center teacher, was recently recognized in the Scotts Bluff County employee newsletter. We wanted to share it with you.
“I wanted to give recognition and thanks to Dan Huber for the many great things he has done for our facility. Dan has been a part of our organization for 17 years and is always striving to make a difference. I consider Dan as part of our team and our family. He has been with us since the old facility. Dan goes out of his way getting things for the kids and he is always willing to listen to any of the kids when they need someone to talk to. Dan works well with everyone and he has a big heart.”
Dan grew up in Chadron, Nebraska. He later moved to Colorado where he attended and graduated from high school. After high school graduation, Dan enlisted in the Navy. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, Dan attended Metropolitan State College. He later transferred to Kearney where he received his Bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate. Dan also attended Walden University where he obtained his Master’s degree. Dan is certified to teach History and English.
“I love my job. The kids keep me young and I feel that I can contribute in making their lives better!”
Beth Still, ESU13 VALTS and NEVA teacher, recently traveled to the headquarters of Discovery Education to participate in a forum that focused on the future of textbooks.
Recently, Discovery Education assembled a group of 17 educators from the United States and Canada who are known in the edublogging community for being dreamers who know no boundaries, doers who are not afraid of failure, innovators who constantly push the envelope and outspoken advocates who tirelessly fight for what is best for students. This event was called the Beyond the Techbook Forum.
I was fortunate to receive an invitation to this event both last year and this year. For two days I got to brainstorm and share ideas with an amazing group of educators as well as some brilliant people from Discovery Education. Our mission was straightforward. We were to come up with ideas about what the future of textbooks should look like and work in teams to design the perfect textbook.
While I cannot speak for everyone there, I can say with certainty that the general consensus is that the ideal textbook will not look like a textbook at all. Discovery refers to their version of a textbook as a techbook. Even though it is nothing like a traditional textbook, they needed to call it something that educators were already familiar with.
Discovery Education has developed techbooks for elementary students as well as high school Biology, Chemistry, Earth & Space Science and Physics. Middle school techbooks have been created US History, World History, and World Geography and Culture. Their next exciting project is the development of a math techbook. Districts from around the country have embraced the idea of using these product. Click here to review some of their stories.
Discovery hosted this forum to get feedback on what elements could be added to make their product even better. As a group we came up with a handful of “drivers” that we felt were essential components to include. We were divided into six groups and our mission was to develop a prototype of the perfect techbook that included as many of the drivers as possible.
We were told to dream big so we came up with some incredibly complex ideas. If Discovery Education incorporates our ideas this is what future techbooks could look like:
A book that does not look like a book at all, but would look more like a website. It would have tabs that would allow for easy navigation.
Vocabulary terms would be hyperlinked to a glossary. The book would be searchable as well.
A reader would be built in so that the text would be accessible to all students.
A variety of multimedia would be embedded. In a perfect world the students could customize their choices to fit their learning style.
A Help button that would instantly connect students with their teacher, peers, or content area experts to quickly answer questions and provide more indepth explanation of concepts.
Ability to leave “sticky notes” with comments or questions. These could provide a space for an asynchronous discussion within the book.
Teachers could customize the book to provide the level of content support that is right for them. For example, new teachers might opt to include multiple layers of support that include ideas for how to frame discussions and step-by-step explanations to problems found in the book. Seasoned veterans might decide to see the bare bones version of the book because they already have their own vast library of resources.
A database of activities that have been created by teachers that use the techbook. These activities could be sorted by numerous categories including the standards they meet, number of time viewed, and rank given to them by the teachers who have used them.
Teachers could be part of a network where they could connect with other teachers who are using the techbook. They could coordinate their plans and connect their classrooms.
Traditional textbooks are static and they are outdated by the time the reach our students. They served a purpose when information was scarce. Today information is all around us. Students need to learn valuable 21st century skills such as how to curate content and how to work and communicate in digital spaces. The more we embrace the shift to digital content the more we will help our students be successful in the world that exists today.
Thank you Steve Dembo, Director of Social Media Strategy and Online Community and Lance Rougeux, Vice President of Learning Communities and Instructional Implementation at Discovery Education for organizing this event and listening to educators. I hope that our insight and ideas were helpful.
If you are interested in joining the ongoing conversation about this topic you can follow the hashtag #beyondtextbooks on Twitter. You can also read the blogs written by the educators who attended the event.
Adam Bellow: @adambellow and @edutecher Founder of eduTecher / eduClipper, Educational Technologist, Public Speaker, GCT, Dad to Two Amazing Boys, and All Around Good Guy. He is also the closing keynote speaker for ISTE2013.
Nearly 50 teachers of grades k-12 recently met to begin the standards alignment process. The main goal of the day was that all of the teachers present would have a thorough understanding of the standards for their grade levels. Harris Payne from the Nebraska Department of Education was also present to help clarify the standards-making process and provided guidance on how to address the requirements.
The next step was to prioritize the standards. Not all standards and indicators are created equal. Teachers evaluated the standards through three lenses: do the students need this knowledge to be successful in later grades/classes, in life, or are they required by law? If they meet this criterion, they can become “priority” standards. All standards need to be taught, but priority standards and indicators will get more time.