The Delaware Valley Region Pennsylvania Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development
Inquiry in the Classroom
Delaware Valley Region PASCD Officers Meredith Denovan….……….President Dorie Martin-Pitone…….…......President-Elect President’s Letter Colleen Lelli…….……....Past President President’s Letter March 2015 Lyn Berenato….……….Vice-President Helene Duckett …..…….…...Secretary
President’s Letter- Meredith Denovan
Robert Magliano…………..…Treasurer 2015 Region of the Pennsylvania The December, Delaware Valley Association for Supervision and Curriculum 1 Development
To submit articles, information, or feedback, please contact: Monica Conlin Monica.Conlin@ssdcougars.org Editorial Team: Monica Conlin, Bekci Kelly, Christina Brennan and Brooke Mulartrick
Dear DVR-PASCD Members, I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you the benefits of belonging to our organization, DVR-PASCD, and to ask you to share this information with your colleagues who are NOT members of our organization. 1. An often overlooked benefit is The Gale Library. As a PASCD member, you can download PDF copies of over 60 ASCD book titles. Go to the PASCD web site for more information. pascd.org 2. PASCD offers excellent professional development opportunities: PASCD is partnering with three other state organizations and sponsoring THE PA EDUCATION LEADERSHIP SUMMIT. This event will be held July 24-26, 2016 at State College. Registration details will be released soon. Next year, the PASCD Annual Conference will be held in King of Prussia, November 13-14, 2016. Mark your calendar and plan to attend since it is right in our own “backyard”. 3. DVR-PASCD organizes two professional development events each year. Our October event, held at Neumann University, drew over 70 people. Our next event is scheduled for April, 2016. Watch this space for more information! 4. Newsletters published monthly by PASCD and quarterly by DVR-PASCD include pertinent articles on educational issues that impact all of us. A peer-reviewed journal, Pennsylvania Educational Leadership, is published bi-annually. 5. Legislative advocacy in our state capitol and the PASCD Weekly Policy Update eBlast provide members with timely news and information from Pennsylvania and the nation. 6. Scholarships and grants are awarded to both practitioners and pre-service teachers. 7. And last, but certainly not least, being a member of our organization provides local opportunities for networking! Help us spread the word about our one-of-a kind professional organization and the abundance of resources and opportunities we provide. Sincerely, Meredith Denovan Delaware Valley Region-PASCD President Delawarevalleypascd@gmail.com email@example.com 2
Spotlight on DVR-PASCD Board Member Rebecca Kelly By- Dr.Rina Vassallo - DVR-PASCD Executive Board Member Rebecca Kelly had been involved with DVR-PASCD for the past year. In that short amount of time, Bekci has made a large impact on our organization in multiple ways, most notably in the planning and execution of our biannual events and in the publication of our newsletter. She was brought to our organization by fellow board member Brooke Mulatrick. When asked why she got involved Bekci said, “I got involved with DVR after attending EdCamp Leadership in Philly last year and talking with Brooke. She shared the great things she was doing with the DVR and invited me to attend a meeting. It was so exciting for me at my first meeting that I was hooked immediately - excited to be part of such an active and thriving organization focused on teaching and leadership.” Bekci’s prodigious skills were evident immediately. When asked about her work on the board DVR-PASCD president Meredith Denovan said, “Though Bekci has been on our Executive Board for a short period of time, she has already had an impact on two of our most important initiatives: the quarterly newsletter and professional development workshops. Bekci, along with Brooke Mulatrick, is part of the editorial team under the leadership of Monica Conlin that is producing an excellent newsletter in both content and format. Her expertise in technology is evident as she shares ideas for our spring and fall workshops, which has been quite successful in the past two years. I am thrilled to have Bekci on our team, even if I have trouble remembering how to spell her name!” This is what Bekci contributed regarding her involvement with DVR, “I'd been of an ad-hoc member at first, filling in places where there was need. After about 6 months, I became well settled in working with the professional development committee and as an editor of the newsletter. What I love about these roles is that I'm able to work with many amazing people, share my expertise and stay on the cusp of new teaching and learning ideas/philosophies.” Bekci attended Bloomsburg University earning a B.S. in Comprehensive Social Studies. She earned her School Library certification at Kutztown University and, subsequently, earned a Master’s Degree of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Most recently she completed the principal certification program at Penn State University. In her 18 years as an educator, she has had responsibilities for various programs at Quakertown including (but not limited to) implementing a 1:1 high school laptop initiative, developing 3
and implementing an Online Learning Program, coordinating a Tier 2 program for students at risk of failing, developing and implementing a building plan for Keystone testing, creating Keystone remediation plans for students failing to meet proficiency and supervising Quakertown High School’s Graduation Project. Bekci has spent her career at Quakertown Community School District in a variety of roles. She started as a middle school librarian, but has also served as a 21st Century Teaching and Learning (CFF) Coach and Administrative Liaison in the Quakertown Freshman Center and Senior High School. She is currently the high school librarian and advises the Yearbook, Theater Arts Club, Reading Olympics and Philanthropy Club. Additionally, Bekci has also been very active in iNACOL’s Northeast Region serving as Committee Co-Chairperson. Along the way, Bekci has been recognized for her many accomplishments by being selected as an ASCD Emerging Leader in 2013. Bekci is justifiably proud of her family which includes her husband Dr. Kevin Kelly, a school psychologist who also works in Quakertown and their children – 8 year old Kyra and 5 year old Maggie. Kevin and Bekci truly believe in traveling this road together as I had difficulty tracking her down while the family spent nearly 7 weeks on-the-road traveling 13,000 to Alaska (including the Arctic Circle) in a pop-up camper! When asked about the benefits of being a DVR-PASCD member and a board member, Bekci stated, “The best part of being a member and board member is that I'm constantly inspired by the people with whom I work. Teaching can be isolating and stressful - even when your students are fantastic. Through my work at DVR, I'm able to collaborate, share ideas and build my confidence by learning from and working with other educators and leaders who have done and are doing incredible work. The positive, thought-provoking discussions are invaluable to me as an educator; it keeps me passionately growing and expanding my expertise. My work with this organization is what keeps me excited to innovate when some of my colleagues are getting burnt out. I treasure it!” Our executive board is very happy that Bekci made her way to us. Monica Conlin, DVR’s Communications Chair, would agree. She added, “Bekci brings a tremendous enthusiasm for leading learning and an experienced technological vision for fostering instructional strategies for teachers to meet the needs of today's learners. Always eager to support the goals of DVR-PASCD, Bekci is involved in numerous board initiatives and fervently shares her polished editing and formatting skills to produce our newsletter.”
“Without libraries, what do we have? We have no past and no future.” Ray Bradbury 4
Fall Event- Digital Literacy and Leadership: Great Potential- Great Challenges By- Dr. Linda Bluebello Executive Board Member DVR-PASCD On Wednesday, October 21st, the Delaware Valley Region of the PA Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (DVR-PASCD), Neumann University, and the Southeast PA Association for Educational Communications and Technology (Southeast PAECT) partnered once again for an exciting afternoon of professional development for educators in the region. The workshop, Digital Literacy and Leadership: Great Potential- Great Challenges, featured a menu of innovative and informative sessions from which participants could choose. After time for networking and refreshments, all attendees gathered in a large group setting to hear the opening presentation on the power of branding. The presenter, Joe Sanfelippo, school superintendent and co-author of the book, The Power of Branding: Telling Your School’s Story, provided an engaging session on the importance of branding in education and shared concrete suggestions to help participants create a positive brand presence in their schools. As an added bonus, each educator was given a complimentary copy of Joe’s book to take with them! All agreed that the book will be a great resource in providing additional concrete suggestions and examples of branding techniques that could be readily implemented. Following the energizing opening, folks could choose to attend a session geared to Digital Leadership or Digital Literacy. The information-packed Digital Leadership/Literacy sessions included: Digital Communication Strategies to Brand Yourself and Your District by Ross Cooper, Supervisor of Instructional Practice K-12, Salisbury Township School District, eBooks, iBooks, & Databases, Oh My! – Consideration of Digital Content by Corey Adams, Publisher Representative and Digital Integration Consultant, Exploring the Process of Launching, Evaluating, and Assessing your Digital Learning Initiative by Randy Ziegenfuss, Superintendent, and Lynn A. Fuini-Hetten, Assistant Superintendent, both from Salisbury Township 5
School District, and I Wonderâ€Ś Embedding Inquiry Across the Curriculum, by Christy Brennan, Technology Coordinator, William Penn Charter School. At the conclusion of these informative workshops, all were able to be part of a fun sharing smackdown, win great door prizes, and leave with exciting and innovative instructional/leadership strategies!
Do you want to continue your learning from these great presenters? Follow them on Twitter!
Joe Sanfelippo Ross Copper Randy Ziegenfuss
Lynn A. Fuini-Hetten Christy Brennan
@Joesanfelippofc @RossCoops31 @ziegeran @lfuinihetten @christybrenn
Commentary Dr. Robert Magliano Treasurer, DVR-PASCD The U.S. Department of Education says it plans to ease up on test requirements as part of its pending teacher-preparation regulation. Hooray! Thank goodness, sanity may prevail! The regulation, which is scheduled to appear this December, aims to put more teeth in federal accountability requirements by requiring each state to classify all of its teacherpreparation programs into one of four categories, from “low performing” to “exceptional.” The regulation was promptly greeted with howls of protest from the higher education community, largely because all programs must be judged in part on how well students taught by graduates of those programs perform. But in an announcement at the end of October, the ED promised the regs’ testing requirements would get a second look. “In the coming weeks, we will release a final rule that maintains a focus on student learning, but provides states flexibility on how to weigh the results of statewide standardized tests and measures of student learning more broadly in any teacher preparation accountability system that it develops,” the agency said. But what does that mean? According to Stephen Sawchuck, Associate Editor of Education Week, the regulation itself is unclear on this point. Of the required indicators, states would have to weigh student achievement “in significant part” in making their determinations. The proposed regs also stated that, in English/language arts and math, student growth must be based in part off of state standardized test results and/or teacher evaluations that incorporate those results. (More flexible measures can be used for other subjects.) So, will a final regulation remove this “significant” language? That’s one approach. But it would also pretty much be a symbolic one, because the feds have never specified exactly what “significant” is supposed to mean in the first place. Less likely, but still possible: it will drop the requirement that state tests be used for the growth measure. Brian Preston, a 20 year teacher, Department Chair, and Director of Professional Development with experience in Michigan and New York, believes that standardized tests as accountability tools, despite years of Federal push to use them, continue to be problematic. Independent statisticians (not connected with testing companies or 7
conservative educational think tanks) are generally in agreement that testing as pushed by federal regulation is not statistically reliable. There are too many variables in K-12 schooling and socioeconomics within communities to be appropriately accounted for in current accountability systems. And adding student test measures to higher ed teacher prep accountability programs adds even more unresolved complexity to the models. Further, Preston purports that newly or recently graduated teachers have less experience and tend to be hired in mid-range or lower performing districts, where data shows that student scores will be lower on average than the scores of more experienced teachers and lower that scores of students from districts with higher SES. So, it’s no wonder that higher ed is howling over this proposal. It is a terrible idea with no research base on which to justify its implementation. Preston also points out that the Feds have signaled recognition of too much testing in K12 suggests some of the push-back is penetrating the stubborn forces that insist all useful elements of education can be explained by a test score. That’s the fundamental flaw in all the current accountability chaos. The models continue to be unproven and not particularly useful, from a statistical point of view. The results, if found in a testing lab for a medical procedure, would demonstrate that the procedure should be abandoned. Parents are joining in the opposition to this testing mania. Whether they understand how weak the models are or they are simply seeing the unintended consequences of an Mania—narrowing of curriculum and teaching to the test are the two most objectionable. In conclusion, I applaud Preston who notes that the sooner this fad goes away, the sooner we can get back to studying the real issues of socioeconomic inequality that is the root cause of achievement gaps between rich and poor. There is ample evidence of what works in education, but politicians and profiteers have seized on teacher accountability for two reasons—it gives some companies the opportunity to profit from tests, and it sounds logical and costs less than implementing a whole school and community educational model that deals with societal deficits that interfere with learning.
Assessment Tools for the Classroom By-Brandon Lutz Executive Board Member DVR-PASCD The last few years have seen increased teacher interest in finding different and unique ways to assess students in the classroom. No longer are teachers stuck giving standard paper and pencil assessments. With the increase in 1 to 1 and Bring Your Own devices in the classroom, teachers have a plethora of choices for tools they can use to assess students. Last year, web based tools, Kahoot and Socrative, took the world by storm, but here are some fresh faces in the online assessment tool genre. Mentimeter: An assessment tool that allows teachers to assess students via multiple choice and open response questions with live results. This polling site allows students to see live answers via a bar graph and a unique word cloud feature. Students submit the words through the mentimeter voting page and see the answers appear right in front of them. In the word cloud feature, the words shared the most become larger, which makes it simple for teachers to foster discussion on the most prevalent words. Mentimeter is an amazing tool that is sure to wow students of all age levels. Quizizz: A new assessment tool that is a mix between Kahoot and Socrative. Teachers create a quiz and students take the quiz at their own pace or in a timed fashion. Quizizz is a multiple choice format, but incorporates a fun, game show feel. If the teacher allows, Quizizz will even show Memes to the students when they get the correct answer. Once students have answered the quiz, teachers can see right away the analytics and reteach concepts as needed. Quizizz is a must try new app for assessment! Formative: This assessment tool is a game changer! Teachers create assessments using formative questions or by uploading a worksheet and adding â€œhot spotsâ€? for the questions that must be answered. Question choice formats include multiple choice, True or False, open-ended response or even a show your work feature. The show your work feature opens a drawing pad and students can work out a problem, annotate or draw a picture. The teacher has the ability to watch the students answer through a live view feature. If students start making a common mistake, teachers can immediately see it and correct it. Formative is a must try assessment and best of all, itâ€™s free! Assessing students is imperative in the classroom. The tools shared make formative and summative assessment a lot more fun for students and ensure that assessment data can be instantly used to impact re-teaching instruction.
What’s That Part?: Inquiry in the Classroom By:Christy Brennan Executive Board Member-DVR-PASCD I recently had the opportunity to gather together resources and stories to share for a presentation on embedding inquiry across the curriculum at our Fall event. When trying to come up with a definition of inquiry, after collecting responses from colleagues, I found it helpful to identify what inquiry is NOT. I kept coming back to the idea that inquiry is not teachers asking students questions we already know the answers to. Instead, it’s providing students with open-ended exploration driven by their curiosities. So what might this look like in an elementary classroom?
For one of our first grade technology lessons, we decided to explore some of the different parts of our Chromebooks and figure out how the parts came together to make a whole. Students first brainstormed some parts that they thought a Chromebook might need in order to work. Then we took one apart to see what the inside looked like. We discovered screens, batteries, screws, wires, and lots of other parts too.
Our next job was to take a closer look at two ‘mystery parts.’ We recorded our observations and made some predictions about what we thought these ‘parts’ could be and how they might work together to make a whole. We were excited to discover that our parts were LED lights and batteries and that when we put them together in a certain way, we were able to make the bulb light up! 10
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