NEWS FOR EDUCATORS

FOR EVEN MORE NEWS FROM THE WORLD OF EDUCATION, VISIT https://ace-ed.org/news/

LATEST UPDATE SEPTEMBER 17, 2020

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Two Kentucky School Systems Select Discovery Education to Support STEM and STEAM Instruction

Silver Spring, Md. (Wednesday, September 16, 2020)— Two Kentucky school systems—Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) and the Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS)recently selected Discovery Education to support STEM/STEAM education in their school districts. Through these two new partnerships, Discovery Education will help educators in FCPS’s RISE Academy and JCPS’s Grace James Academy of Excellence nurture the growth of STEM cultures within these all-female schools that help students develop the creative, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration skills needed for success in classrooms, online, or in the hybrid environment. Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms.

A brand new school opening in the 2020-2021 school year, FCPS’s Rise STEM Academy will support young women as they explore science, technology, engineering, and math during their formative years so that each student may more eagerly embrace STEM career pathways. JCPS’s Grace James Academy of Excellence is dedicated to empowering, activating, and illuminating academic excellence in every girl through an Afrocentric and gender-specific STEAM curriculum.

While in different school systems, both schools sought a complete STEM/STEAM solution that combined sustained professional learning and high-quality digital resources in a way that would nurture and develop a culture of STEM teaching and learning.  In addition, each school wanted a solution that presented a holistic, research-based approach to STEM/STEAM that offered participating educators a strong support structure.  Following a rigorous review, both schools selected Discovery Education’s comprehensive STEM program and Teacher Leader Collaborative (TLC) professional development support.  In FCPS’s RISE Academy, educators in grades K-2 will participate in the TLC, and in JCPS’s Grace James Academy of Excellence, educators in grade 6 will utilize the TLC.

A system to scale professional learning and leadership, Discovery Education’s Teacher Leader Collaborative combines robust STEM professional learning opportunities, job-embedded instructional support for teachers, and Discovery Education’s exclusive STEM Instructional Progression to drive instructional growth. Teacher Leader Collaborative’s professional learning resources prepare educators to implement a problem-driven approach to learning supported by high-quality, standards-based STEM digital and cross-curricular resources, including Discovery Education STEM ConnectDiscovery Education Experience and Science Techbook.  STEM Connect is a web-based, interdisciplinary K-8 supplemental STEM resource and Experience is Discovery Education’s flexible K-12 digital learning platform.  Built on the 5E model, Science Techbook is a digital science textbook that provides exciting multimedia, virtual activities and hands-on labs with model lessons, STEM project starters, and standard-aligned assessments teachers need to immerse students in science in any teaching environment.

“At a school devoted to STEM, developing an atmosphere that prizes communication, creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking is of paramount importance,” said Dr. Soraya Matthews, Director of Teaching, Learning, and Innovative Programs, Fayette County Public Schools.  “Our new partnership with Discovery Education and the introduction of the Teacher Leader Collaborative into the Rise Academy will play a central role in helping create the environment for learning we know is conducive for STEM instruction.”

“The Grace James Academy of Excellence sees its partnership with Discovery Education as foundational,” said Ronda Cosby, Principal of the Grace James Academy.  “The resources within the Teacher Leader Collaborative will open a new world of opportunities for our students and teachers, and create a space where girls can see hope for the future in STEAM careers.”

In addition, educators participating in the Teacher Leader Collaborative from both schools will have access to the Discovery Education Community. A global community of education professionals, the Discovery Education Community connects members across school systems and around the world through social media, virtual conferences, and in-person events, fostering valuable networking, idea sharing, and inspiration.

“The entire team at Discovery Education is excited to support the educators and students at RISE Academy and Grace James Academy of Excellence on the incredible journey they are undertaking,” said Dr. Catherine Lawless, Discovery Education’s Manager of Education Partnerships. “The unique combination of digital resources and professional learning included in the Teacher Leader Collaborative will help educators introduce the young women in those two schools to wonderful world of STEM and STEAM education.”

For more information about FCPS’s RISE Academy visit this website, and for more information on JCPS’s Grace James Academy of Excellence, visit this website.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning, creating immersive STEM experiences, and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education currently serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.

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New Social and Emotional Learning Initiative from the Dove Self-Esteem Project and Discovery Education Boosts Pre-Teen Confidence

 

‘Amazing Me’ Elementary School Initiative Offers Research-Based

Curriculum Resources for Educators, Students, and Families

 

Silver Spring, Md. (Thursday, September 17, 2020) – Research finds that 70-80% of girls do not share their opinions or try out for extracurricular activities due to low body confidence. Poor body image also negatively impacts academics, making it difficult to concentrate in class or participate in class discussions. To address this issue, the Dove Self-Esteem Project and Discovery Education present Amazing Me – a new initiative boosting 4th and 5th grade student’s body confidence through no cost digital social and emotional learning resources.

Amazing Me delivers the best in social and emotional learning (SEL), health, and confidence-building content for educators teaching grades 4-5. The new standards-aligned resources are specifically designed for educators and families to build life-long body confidence and self-esteem in students with research-based curriculum supplements.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Discovery Education to expand our Dove Self-Esteem Project curriculum to elementary school children for the first time. Our research tells us that increasingly children’s self-esteem can start to decline and appearance pressures begin from as young as five years’ old, so it’s critical for us to provide educational resources to help young children to boost their self-esteem and body confidence, enabling them to reach their full potential,” said Hannah Burns, Dove Self-Esteem Project Lead USA.

Supporting distance and hybrid learning models, Amazing Me offers a suite of resources for educators and communities, including:

  • Family Activities: Empower parents and guardians with interactive digital materials that support a foundation of emotional and physical wellbeing in students’ day-to-day lives.
  • Virtual Field Trip: Premiering November 12th, 2020, the Body Positivity Virtual Field Trip (VFT) introduces students to peer stories exploring how to be kinder to themselves and each other.
  • And more: Starting Spring 2021, tune in for even more content, including digital lesson bundles covering key topics from standing up to bullying and communication to body image and identity, plus a suite of classroom activities to supplement learning.

“Amazing Me helps kids love themselves and be kind to others,” said Lori McFarling, President of Corporate & Community Partnerships at Discovery Education. “The thoughtful social and emotional learning content designed for anywhere learning catalyzes student’s self-esteem and grows peer-to-peer empathy. With resources like these, kids can construct the confidence needed to succeed and overcome challenges.”

Amazing Me program resources are accessible at AmazingMeSelfEsteem.com and through Discovery Education Experience. Find more about Discovery Education’s social and emotional resources and information in the Wellness channel of Discovery Education Experience.

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Facebook, follow us on Twitter at @DiscoveryEd, or find us on Instagram and Pinterest.

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Dove Self-Esteem Project

The Dove Self-Esteem Project was created with a mission to help the next generation build a positive relationship with the way they look—helping young people raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential. Dove has reached more than 60 million young people globally with body confidence and self-esteem education since 2004; and together, we can reach even more.  Our goal is to reach ¼ of a Billion by 2030. We’ve partnered with leading experts in the fields of psychology, health, and body image to create a program of evidence-based resources, including parenting advice, to help young people form healthy friendships, overcome body image issues, and be their best selves. Learn more about the Dove Self-Esteem project and download resources at dove.com/selfesteem.

About Discovery Education

Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning, creating immersive STEM experiences, and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education currently serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at DiscoveryEducation.com.

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PBLWorks Introduces New Online Course for Teachers to Adapt Gold Standard PBL Projects for In-Person or Remote Learning

Course includes interactive PBL Project Designer and 72 Gold Standard projects

Novato, CA (Sept. 8, 2020) – PBLWorks, the leader in professional development for high-quality Project Based Learning (PBL), has created a new facilitated online course “Adapting Your First Project” to help teachers seeking a shortcut to implementing high-quality projects with students for either in-person or remote learning.

The 8-week course uses PBLWorks’s new Project Designer, an interactive project planner, and a library of 72 ready-made projects designed for K-12 grade levels and subject areas. Participants pick one project, then learn step-by-step how to make it come alive for their particular students and context. In addition, teachers will learn how PBL can be a powerful tool for promoting educational equity.

“Especially now, when many teachers are feeling overwhelmed by the pandemic, they may not have the bandwidth to plan a brand new, high-quality PBL unit,” said Bob Lenz, CEO of PBLWorks. “Our new online course gives teachers a jumpstart by helping them adapt an existing project to implement right away with their students.”

The course is facilitated by a member of the PBLWorks National Faculty and is designed both for teachers who are new to PBL and for experienced PBL teachers who want to adapt existing standards-based PBL units for their students.

To register for the course, which starts on Oct. 19, 2020 and offers two cohorts – one for Eastern and one for Pacific time zones – visit pblworks.org/online-course/adapting-your-first-projectOptional graduate-level professional development credits are available for a fee through Southern New Hampshire University.

About PBLWorks

PBLWorks (the brand name of the Buck Institute for Education) believes that all students – no matter where they live or what their background – should have access to quality Project Based Learning to deepen their learning and achieve success in college, career, and life. Our focus is on building the capacity of teachers to design and facilitate quality Project Based Learning, and on supporting school and system leaders in creating the conditions for these teachers to succeed with all students. For more information, visit www.pblworks.org.

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Curriculum Associates’ New Blog Provides Solution-Focused Content to Support Teachers and Building-Level Leaders as They Navigate Today’s Educational Environment

Blog features original, informative, and actionable resources, best practices, expert insights, and educator stories

 

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., September 9, 2020—Curriculum Associates has launched a blog to help support teachers and building-level leaders navigate today’s educational environment. The blog, which can be found at CurriculumAssociates.com/Blog, features original, informative, and actionable resources, best practices, research, and educator stories. New content, written by educators and industry experts, will be added multiple times per week.

“We are always looking for new ways to connect with and help educators, especially in today’s complex and fast-changing teaching environment,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Our blog delivers insights from incredible experts—both from our own team and practitioners in the field—and will be a valuable resource for any educator looking for practical and relevant guidance, strategies, and tips to inspire their practice and help solve challenges.”

Posts are authored by a range of voices, including Curriculum Associates national directors, Extraordinary Educators, education researchers, teachers, administrators, and respected thought leaders.

The blog covers myriad topics related to distance learning, data culture, leadership, and instruction. Posts include tips for facilitating virtual learning, helping parents assess students at home, tracking student data, debunking math misconceptions, engaging students in math discourse, facilitating culturally responsive teaching, planning for success after extended school closures, and much more. While the blog is geared toward teachers and building-level leaders, it will include content for district leaders, such as “The Five Questions Administrators Should Be Asking about Returning to School after COVID-19.”

To read Curriculum Associates’ new blog, visit CurriculumAssociates.com/Blog.

About Curriculum Associates

Founded in 1969, Curriculum Associates, LLC designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and outstanding customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students.

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High School Survey During Initial Stage of COVID-19 Crisis Reveals True Depth of Economic, Racial, and Geographic Challenges for Students

 

ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning Offers Recommendations as U.S. Prepares for Somber Pandemic Milestone

 

IOWA CITY, Iowa—As the U.S. approaches the six-month milestone of the COVID-19 national emergency declaration, the full and devastating effects of COVID-19-induced education and economic shutdowns are coming into sharper focus.

The presidential declaration on March 13 led to unprecedented social distancing and shutdown regulations at the state and local levels. From March 26 to April 1, ACT, the nonprofit learning organization that administers the ACT test, surveyed 13,000 high school students about their online learning experiences during the pandemic.

Trying to Learn at Home but Offline

With districts closing schools, online learning was the only option for most students. However,  30 percent of respondents who relied on their cell phone for internet service reported that the service was “unpredictable” or “terrible,” nearly three times the proportion of those who had access to the internet separate from their cell phone (where 11 percent reported unpredictable or terrible service). First-generation college students, students from rural communities, and Hispanic and African American students were more likely than their counterparts to report that their internet connection was unpredictable or terrible.

Other findings include:

  • 14 percent of students reported an unpredictable or terrible internet connection;
  • 13 percent reported having access to only one device to complete schoolwork; students with only one device at home were more likely to be African American or Hispanic, in rural or urban areas, or first-generation college going students—students who are often already marginalized with limited educational resources; and
  • 19 percent reported having access only to a smartphone at home to complete school-related work.

ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning’s report, “High School Students’ Experiences in March During the Coronavirus Pandemic” proposes that device access and internet access be expanded and made reliable. Leveraging the Community Reinvestment Act can address potential equity issues by helping students who would otherwise lack access take advantage of digital learning tools. It says policymakers should explore ways to improve the delivery of online education—for example, funding professional development and support for educators to teach effectively online.

Most Harm to Those Dealing with Existing Challenges

Experts predicted that those facing the biggest economic and social barriers would be most harmed during this time, and the survey bears that out. First-generation college going students (47 percent), African American students (42 percent), and Hispanic students (44 percent) each said they or their family needed help with shelter or clothing, ways to learn school content, internet access, access to technology (computer or tablet), transportation, and resources (grocery store or doctor, childcare, healthcare, fitness and recreational activities, meals, and “other”).

The survey also found:

  • First-generation college-going students and Hispanic students were more likely to report that their parents had a reduction in employment hours or lost their jobs because of the coronavirus compared to students identifying as White or those whose parents attended college; and
  • Four percent of students reported needing help accessing meals the week of March 26, and 18 percent of students worried that their food would run out before their family had received enough money to buy more.

The report states that policymakers should consider the whole learner, including students’ academic, social-emotional, and physical needs. Experts suggest increasing access to tutoring; supplemental nutrition; social and emotional development; and school-based mentoring, counseling, or mental health care.

“These are important findings that add to our body of knowledge about today’s high school students and the hurdles they face,” says Tina Gridiron, vice president of ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning. “We’re fortunate to be able to capture these student perspectives in real time, as the COVID-19 national emergency was being declared. We urge policymakers and others to carefully review the results and our recommendations. We look forward to sharing future surveys that will continue to illuminate our desire to close gaps in equity, opportunity and achievement for populations that are facing the greatest disparities and needs.”


Students’ Experiences While Learning at Home

Researchers acknowledged that survey respondents were likely in a cohort of motivated students, as they had already registered for a college entrance exam. Therefore, it’s perhaps not surprising that a majority of students (89 percent) reported a continuance of class-related work even when their schools were closed. And, of those students, 95 percent reported receiving at least some form of instruction from at least some of their teachers.

There were still worries about the future; 37 percent of students said school closure will affect their academic preparedness “a great deal,” and another 51 percent said “somewhat.”

ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning has addressed some of these issues, relating to basic needs and the digital divide, in recent podcasts and will continue to share insights.

About ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning

ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning focuses on closing gaps in equity, opportunity, and achievement for underserved populations and working learners. Through purposeful investments, employee engagement, and thoughtful advocacy efforts, the Center supports innovative partnerships, actionable research, initiatives, campaigns, and programs to further ACT’s mission of helping people achieve education and workplace success. http://equityinlearning.act.org

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New York State Education Department Approves Curriculum Associates as a Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) Sponsor

Educators can receive state-approved CTLE credits by completing personalized professional development from Curriculum Associates

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., September 14, 2020—The New York State Education Department has approved Curriculum Associates as a Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) sponsor. With this approval, educators across New York can now receive state-approved CTLE credits by completing Curriculum Associates’ active, personalized, and research-based professional development courses which can be delivered online or in-person.

“Professional development is so critical to educators’ growth and success, especially now given the challenges of this school year,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “Our courses are tailored to meet the unique needs of each school and district and to support all educators in an engaging and effective way. With the CTLE sponsorship, we look forward to continuing to provide New York educators with both timely and topical professional learning facilitated by former educators who truly understand the ins and outs of classroom teaching.”

Curriculum Associates was chosen as a CTLE sponsor after completing a rigorous review that examined the organization’s procedures to identify, design, and evaluate CTLE activities; procedures and criteria for selecting instructors; procedures to evaluate effectiveness; plan to maintain records; and more. As part of the state requirements, educators must complete 100 CTLE hours every five years.

Curriculum Associates’ professional development courses, coaching, and materials are designed using adult learning theory research and delivered – either synchronously, asynchronously, or in-person —to accommodate district preferences. The interactive courses, which are typically 90 minutes in length, cover topics such as goal setting and student engagement, strategies for effective small group instruction, interventions for when students are struggling with online instruction, conducting data chats, setting schedules for online instruction and small group rotations, best practices for collaborative team planning, and more.

To learn more about Curriculum Associates’ professional development offerings, visit https://www.curriculumassociates.com/professional-development/.

About Curriculum Associates

Founded in 1969, Curriculum Associates, LLC designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and outstanding customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students.

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