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The Delaware Valley Region Pennsylvania Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development


President’s Letter

Page 2

Profile DVR-PASCD Member

Pages 3-4

Formative Assessment

Pages 5-6

Under-Tapped Resource

Pages 7-8

Digital Age: Teaching and Learning

Pages 9-11

Passion in Class

Pages 12-14

Person of Promise

Page 15

Snag in the River

Page 16

PASCD Sponsors

Pages 17-20

Delaware Valley Region PASCD Officers Meredith Denovan….……….President Dorie President’s Martin………......President-Elect Letter Colleen Lelli. ….……....Past President 1 Rina Vassallo….……….Vice-President Helene Duckett …..…….…...Secretary Robert Magliano…………..…Treasurer The Delaware Valley Region of the Pennsylvania Association for Supervision

To submit articles, information, or feedback, please contact: Monica Conlin Monica_conlin@yahoo.com Editorial Team: Monica Conlin, Bekci Kelly and Brooke Mulartrick

President’s Letter - January, 2015 Dear DVR-PASCD Members, Our fall event, Teaching and Leading in the Digital Age, was a huge success. The collaboration with Neumann University and PAECT enabled us to provide over 75 participants with an excellent program along with the opportunity to network with colleagues. You can access photos of the event as well as materials shared by the presenters on our web site: http://www.dvrpascd.org/ Another benefit of belonging to DVR-PASCD is the opportunity to attend the annual PASCD Conference, which is held every November. Eight of the members of the Executive Board attended this year’s conference in Hershey, PA. The highlight of the conference was the keynote speaker, David Burgess, who is the author of Teach Like A PIRATE. His highly energetic and entertaining session inspired and informed us all with ways to engage all students in order to attain levels of excellence. The annual conference also provides members with the opportunity to meet and discuss important issues in education with colleagues across Pennsylvania. You can easily access the conference materials by going to the web site: http://www.pascd.org/ Each year DVR-PASCD grants two awards. The “Person of Promise” is given to an outstanding pre-service teacher, who in the view of the nominee’s education faculty advisor, is a person likely to make a significant contribution to the teaching profession. The “Snag in the River” recognizes good teaching: “Good teachers put snags in the river of children passing by and over the years, they redirect hundreds of lives” (Tracy Kidder). You can find application forms in this newsletter and on our web site. Winners receive a $100.00 cash award and a year’s membership to PASCD. This year DVR-PASCD will be funding three $250.00 grants for proposals that impact upon student learning and promote best practices. More information will follow about applying for these educational mini- grants. Look for information on our website in the coming weeks! As a professional organization, we are always looking to add to our membership. Please share this newsletter with your colleagues. In the meantime, feel free to contact us for information, propose ideas for region events and/or to see how you can get involved in this fine organization. We look forward to hearing from you! Sincerely, Meredith Denovan Delaware Valley Region-PASCD President Mbd820@gmail.com


Profile DVR-PASCD Executive Board Member Monica Conlin By Rina Vassallo

This newsletter we are spotlighting Monica Conlin, Executive Board Member, DVR-PASCD Newsletter Editor and the very worthy recipient of our DVR-PASCD 2011 Snag in the River Award. When asked why she got involved in our organization Monica stated: “I became involved in DVR through Rina Vassallo and Dorie Martin who both shared the rewards of being a member of the organization. I attended my first meeting in 2011 as I received the Snag in the River Award. I had the opportunity to remain in attendance for the meeting among board members and was engaged by the curriculum topics and energy about these that was shared among members.” Monica added, “Being a member provides me with tremendous resources through networking, professional resources including ASCD, and our annual events. As a board member, I relish the conversations and collaboration we share as members at our table, each of us bringing his or her voice to provide resources and opportunities for professional growth and sharing with all our members.” Monica is an outstanding and experienced classroom teacher beginning her career with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia teaching at three area schools including St. Kevin’s, Cardinal O’Hara and Archbishop Carroll. For the last nine years Monica has very capably taught a variety of courses in the Language Arts Department at Springfield School District, at ETR Middle School, and most recently at Springfield High School. In addition to her vast experience teaching in K-12 schools, Monica also expertly teaches post-secondary student at Strayer University and Delaware County Community College. Her extracurricular activities are numerous and varied. Presently, she is the Advisor for the Springfield High School’s student newspaper, the Learning Facilitator for Rosetta Stone and Springfield Virtual Academy.


For the last 10 years she has been involved in the PA Junior Academy of Science as a CoRegional Director and Secretary. She has also distinguished herself a coach for secondary team at Springfield School District where her students have excelled in statewide competitions. Admirably, Monica gets involved in her educational community whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself- whether writing curriculum, encouraging her students to get published, piloting new programs, serving on committees, presenting professional development or leading new technologies. Her resume is an exemplary model for continuous learning. Monica came our way after being nominated and then chosen for DVR-PASCD’s Snag in the River Award. This award comes from the quote in Tracy Kidder’s book Among Schoolchildren that states, 'Good teachers put snags in the river of children passing by, and over the years, they redirect hundreds of lives. Many people find it easy to imagine unseen webs of malevolent conspiracy in the world, and they are not always wrong. But there is an innocence that conspires to hold humanity together, and it is made of people who can never fully know the good that they have done.' Monica was nominated by her peer and longtime DVR-PASCD Board Member, Dorie Martin, who says this about her friend and colleague: “’A leader is best when people barely know he exits, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves’ (Lao Tzu). Monica Conlin is the constant quiet supporter always coaching and encouraging others toward success. It is only through her gentle expertise that one may actually gain the confidence to take risks and attain greatness. I am so thankful that this article will provide her an opportunity to shine because she has been a guiding light of wisdom for so many. “ In addition to our annual educator award, Monica has remarkably won numerous educator awards including Teacher of the Year by Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Phillies (2000), Distinguished Educator for Archbishop Carroll High School Academic Convocation (2006), DuPont Teacher of the Year Award (2010), Strayer Provost Award (2009 through 2014), Strayer Outstanding Adjunct Professor (2011) and Springfield School District Employee of the Month (January 2012). When notified that Monica would be profiled in our newsletter Meredith Denovan, President of DVR-PASCD Board, said, “Monica became active on the board after being honored with our annual award. She is a hard working executive board member- I can always count on Monica as a leader, as a participating member and as a supporter of our regional events. If you want a job done and done well, give it to Monica!” It is evident that Monica is a great contributor to the educational community and we are thrilled that she is and continues to be a valued member of our board.


Using Formative Assessment Effectively: Strategies that Work By: Colleen M. Lelli, Ed.D. Assessment drives instruction. As educators we use assessment in our classrooms every day. We check for understanding of the content we are delivering. To determine if students have grasped important concepts we use formative assessment. Formative assessment is assessment for learning. Formative assessment allows the teacher to make decisions about future instructional practices and content delivery. Formative assessment provides useful feedback while learning is forming, while knowledge and concepts are still being developed (Frey, 2014). In reality, instruction amounts to a constant process of assessing progress. There are various techniques that can be used in the classroom to effectively determine if students understand course content. Informal formative assessments like questioning, observing and listening are used frequently in all classrooms. The following formative assessment techniques should be used in classrooms by teachers to evaluate student learning. Formative Assessment Activities Activity 3-Minute Pause

Alphabet Boxes

Think-Write-Pair-Share True/Not True Hold Ups


Description The Three-Minute Pause provides a chance for students to stop, reflect on the concepts and ideas that have just been introduced, make connections to prior knowledge or experience, and seek clarification. Questions prompts like the following could be used:  I was surprised 

I felt


I learned

Each student in the class is assigned a different letter of the alphabet and they must select a word starting with that letter that is related to the topic being studied. Students think individually, write their thinking, pair and discuss with partner, then share with the class. This technique can be used within all content areas and lead students to critical analysis. Students determine if a statement given to them by the teacher is True, Not True, True with Modifications or Unable to Determine.

Technology Activity: Heads Up Application

The Heads Up application (app) allows a teacher to design their own category. Using the app, students will work in pairs. One student (partner A) will hold the phone or iPad with the clue facing their partner (B). Partner B provides clues for partner A to guess the word on the iPad.

References Frey, B. B. (2014). Modern Classroom Assessment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Jones, R. (1998). Three Minute Pause [PowerPoint slide]. Retrieved from http://www.readingquest.org/pdf/3mp.pdf. Himmele, P. & Himmele, W. (2011). Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student on Active Learners. Alexandria, VA: ASCD Publications

Image created by R. Stein, Quakertown Community School District


The Under-Tapped Resource: Your School Librarian By Dorie Martin, Ed. D. President-Elect for DVR-PASCD, K-12 Humanities Curriculum Coordinator Haverford Township School District The new Pennsylvania Core Academic Standards require a shift in instructional perception and power. What we view as resources, how we utilize those resources and who we allow to utilize those resources has been a topic of discussion throughout the state. There is a need for teachers to locate complex texts that can support the higher-level thinking and questioning in the classroom. The PA Core Academic Standards require aligned instructional materials that are inclusive of digital media and authentic primary sources. Other authentic materials also include published works we see during our daily travels, such as articles in magazines, journals, newspapers, or books. These are the relevant, rich texts that aren’t typically located in the school provided anthology or basal reader. The balance of texts also requires equality among fiction and non-fiction materials being used in the classroom. For some educators this may mean supplementing their core resource being used in the classroom. Yet, where to begin? How to find the time? Instructionally there is a shift in providing our learners more time to talk and listen to each other- not just the teacher. Time and control of that time is built-in to the lesson where students connect, converse and collaborate through accountable talk. In order to have these types of discussions that garnish deeper thinking and conceptual reasoning, teachers need texts of quality. These passages must be worthy of supporting the depth of questioning and analysis that is grounded in evidence from the text. Yet, where to begin? How to find the time? Visit your librarian and tap into your librarian. Librarians have numerous electronic resources and catalogs searchable by Lexile. Your librarian can guide you through an overabundance of digital sites where you can access articles that support your curriculum and provide materials for Socratic discussion, learning centers, guided reading, text analysis, research and differentiated instruction on various topics. Your librarian is your ace in the hole for working smarter NOT harder. 7

Instructionally begin to build-in “Think/Pair/Share” throughout your lesson and the Penn Literacy Network model of engagement of Before-During-After planning and instruction. Tapping into the expertise of your librarian saves time on endless, frustrating searches for materials that lend themselves to your content. Your librarian can be your bridge to the on-line communities that provide you access to full access to the resources necessary and relevant to the learners sitting in your classroom. Take the time to visit your library and tap-in to your librarian as a resource. Some beginning links: http://www.loc.gov/teachers/ https://newsela.com/ *can access same article at varying levels grades 4 and up http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/ http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/ http://www.readwritethink.org/professional-development/strategy-guides/using-thinkpair-share-30626.html Book: Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading: With More Than 75 Articles from The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Washington Post, Car and Driver, Chicago Tribune, and Many Others Paperback – February 1, 2011 by Harvey Daniels (Author), Nancy Steineke (Author) ISBN-13: 978-0325030876 ISBN-10: 0325030871 Edition: 1st


Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age Event By Rina Vassallo

On Thursday, October 23, 2014, DVR-PASCD joined forces with PAECT (PA Association for Educational Communication and Technology) to host our fall event at Neumann University. Networking began at 3:30 p.m. with delicious snacks and edifying poster sessions facilitated by Neumann undergraduates in Dr. Stephanie Budhai’s Assistive Technology Class on Apps for special needs students. Students demonstrated the Apps and eagerly discussed with participants how they could help students succeed in classrooms. Some of the Apps featured included- Sono Flex, Audionote, Articulation Station, Model Me Going Places and Autism Express. After a gracious welcome from Dr. Len DiPaul, Assistant Dean of Education and Human Services, audience members could choose two sessions to attend from a catalogue of six choices- Introduction to PA Learns on iTunesU, Panel Discussion: Preparing 9

Students to be Competitive in a Digital Society, Innovative and Creative Uses of Technology in School. Flipping the Classroom for Learning Support Students, Modeling Digital Citizenship for our Student, and Teaching Digitally with Google Apps for Education. Presenters included administrators, technology coaches, PDE representatives, teachers, parents, and middle school students. I was able to attend the Panel Discussion where Technology and Curriculum Administrators from three districts presented with a parent (who was also a Neumann professor) and her two middle school aged children. Needless to say it was fascinating to hear of the technology implementations and then their impact on their clients. Among topics discussed were the need for different tools, how tools can elevate thinking, and the SAMR model (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition) to infuse technology into the classroom. Other ideas discussed were implementing dual platforms (PC and Apples) in districts, the use of ipads and chrome books, Learning Management Systems and Project Based Learning. Students very articulately shared that the technology allowed them choices as well as 24/7 access to course learning materials. I also attended the PDE session on PA Learns. This new initiative- course modules and frameworks with live links and videos- is accessible on itunesU and available to teachers. Participants learned how to access them and the plan for future modules.


Evaluation forms indicated that our fall event attended by almost 100 educators was an unqualified success and we plan future collaborations with PAECT and higher education institutions.

Stay tuned for information on our spring event!


Commentary Passion in Class By Jennifer Ward Jennifer Ward strives to create an inquiry-driven classroom with her Haverford High School English students at the center of their own learning. She is highly motivated to research and reflect on her own teaching practices, continually seeking opportunities to build her professional knowledge and skills through her involvement as a Google Certified Teacher, National Writing Project Fellow, and organizer with EdcampPhilly and EdcampDelco. A few weeks back, before the hallways filled with chatter about summer adventures and schedule comparisons, I had the opportunity to both participate in and lead a number of professional development workshops for teachers in my district. It was a week filled with conversations and collaborations around flipping learning, using technology to connect learners, and about passion. And it is a couple of those conversations about passion that have been replaying in my head the last two weeks. It was Tuesday morning, 9:00 am bright and early, reminding many of us sitting in the room that summer was coming to an end. Elementary librarian Christy Brennan was leading a small group of teachers from our district in a discussion about passion-driven learning. It was a conversation that started many months earlier in late June, when both Christy and I were invited by Downingtown STEM Academy teacher Dr. Justin Staub to join his ninth and tenth grade students as they met with Angela Maiers to explore their passions. I have been struggling to write a post about our day at Downingtown STEM Academy for months. It is difficult to put into words the transformations and collaborations that we not only witnessed but also were invited to join. Students and teachers spent two days connecting. And it was an honor to witness how deeply their community of learners connected - connected with one another, connected with their passions, connected with others across the globe who shared their passion - all in search of ways to address heartbreaking problems. I watched as students who confessed that they would never really have connected in the classroom started to brainstorm together ways they might help abused animals in our area. In small groups, students shared their heartbreak, and then began to gather into smaller groups to map the issues and 12

connections around those problems. When students were given the time, space, and support to address real-world issues, magic happened. It happened when students were encouraged to drive their own learning, and teachers became part of the learning community rather than leaders of it. And as Christy and I watched this magic unfold, we started to brainstorm ways to bring passion back to our district. So before our school ended last spring, Christy started a summer staff book club with a group of us committing to read Angela Maier's The Passion-Driven Classroom. That's what were discussing early that Tuesday morning in late August. As we started to talk about what it meant to get out of our learners way, Christy's phone rang. For nearly an hour, we had an opportunity to chat with Angela Maiers. Angela shared with our group what it means to bring passion into the classroom. Many of us mistakenly think of passion as being a frivolous idea, lacking the rigor necessary for the real work of the classroom. But, as Angela pointed out during our conversation, "You don't have a shot at the brain unless you engage the heart." Maiers and Sandvold write in The Passion-Driven Driven Classroom: "Passion comes from the Latin word 'patior,' meaning to suffer or to endure. In its origin, passion is used to describe someone who willingly opens up to suffering and finds fulfillment therein. ...In order to tap into passion as a resource to motivate, engage and empower our learners, we must understand these underlying values of passion." (1617) We teach in districts and systems that are ruled by standards and data-driven outcomes. But this is not at odds with passion. In fact, the empowerment and creativity that passion-driven learning inspires is the very type of inquiry-driven, higher-order thinking called for by our Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Passion-driven learning opens opportunities for students to wonder, to question, to reflect, to demonstrate their grit and resilience. "Passion isn't a nicety," Angela told us. "It's a necessity." As a high school English teacher, it is this concept that has me rethinking how I foster learning opportunities in my 13

classroom. Rather than taking center stage, my role as the teacher is to curate and create moments where students take ownership of their own learning, reflect on and revise their thinking, and demonstrate the skills they are attempting to master. I am a facilitator of learning. And I am not the only leader in the room.

Last fall, my students and I completed 20% time research projects in which my students were given time and space to research whatever topic they were interested in learning more about. I encouraged them to research something they ordinarily do not have opportunities to learn about in school. As a high school English teacher, I realized that my goals were to help students think reflectively, research responsibly, and grow their writing skills by adapting their tone for a specific audience of readers. It didn't matter what they researched. What mattered was the how. Each Friday, students had a full block, 90 minutes, to read, conduct interviews, practice what they were learning. My students learned to quilt, decorate cakes, code apps, write lesson plans for middle school students, set-up experiments, shoot footage for documentary, revise a screen play, connect with resources helping our local homeless community, and so much more. We struggled together. Many of my students experienced success throughout the process, but just as many failed. And the students that butted up against their frustration were challenged by the process of their learning, ended up learning incredibly valuable lessons about how to deal with complications and failures. In the end, students blogged weekly, interviewed experts, and filmed reflection videos on their learning. They created, collaborated, and connected. They wrote more and more often than previous classes. They conducted primary research. They integrated mentor texts with what ‌my students were empowered they learned while interviewing an expert. to develop their voice, share And by opening up choice, my students with audiences outside our were empowered to develop their voice, classroom, and demonstrate share with audiences outside our their learning in creative ways classroom, and demonstrate their learning in creative ways. This is the power of bringing passion into the classroom. 14

Delaware Valley Region PA Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Nomination for the “Person of Promise Award” Nomination form and supporting documentation must be received by March 15, 2015 To nominate an individual for this award, go to our website http://www.dvrpascd.org and choose Awards and Grants

Purpose: To recognize a pre-service teaching candidate who in the view of members of the nominee’s education faculty is “a person likely to make a significant contribution to the teaching profession.”

Selection Criteria: 1. Nominee is an undergraduate student in a college or university in the DVR-PASCD region. 2. Nominee will graduate with a teaching certificate during the year of the award presentation. 3 Two or more members of the candidate’s education faculty agree that the nominee is likely to make a significant contribution to the teaching profession.

Selection of Recipients: 1. Curriculum directors, college faculty and/or DVR-PASCD Executive Board members will make selections according to a schedule prepared by the recognition chair. 2. Decisions of the Recognition Committee are final. 3. Announcements soliciting nominations will be made in the DVR-PASCD Newsletter. 4. Awards will be made at the Executive Committee meetings according to a schedule approved by the president. 5. Persons submitting nominations will receive: (a) an acknowledgement that the Recognition Committee has received the nomination, and (b) notification that the nominee will or will not receive the award.

Nature of Award: Recipient will receive a membership to PASCD and a $100 award. Nominee and sponsors will attend the DVR-PASCD Spring Event as guests of the Executive Board. 15

Delaware Valley Region PA Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development

Nomination for the “Snag-in-the River-Award” Nomination form and supporting documentation must be received by March 15, 2015 To nominate an individual for this award, go to our website http://www.dvrpascd.org and choose Awards and Grants Purpose: To give public recognition to good teaching. Source of Title: “Good teachers put snags in the river of children passing by and over the years, they redirect hundreds of lives. Many people find it easy to imagine unseen webs of malevolent conspiracy in the world, and they are not always wrong. But there is also an innocence that conspires to hold humanity together, and it is made of people who can never fully know the good that they have done.” ~Tracy Kidder Selection of Recipients: Recognition Committee members and/or DVR-PASCD Executive Board member will make selections according to a schedule prepared by the Recognition Chair. Decisions of the Committee are final. Nature of Award: 1. Recipient will receive a membership to PASCD and a $100 award. 2. Nominee and sponsors will attend the spring DVR- PASCD conference as guests of the Executive Board.






Profile for Delaware Valley Region PASCD

DVR-PASCD Newsletter - January 2015  

DVR-PASCD Newsletter - January 2015  

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