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Table of Contents President’s Letter ......................................Pages 1-2 What is Multisensory Structured Language Education (MSLE)? ....................Pages 4-5 Event Recap Connecting the Dots with STEM..................Pages 6-7 Why I Believe in Public Education..............Pages 8-9 Growth Mindset x Design Thinking = Innovation ................................................Page 10 DVR-PASCD Sponsors .............................Pages 11-15

To submit articles, information, or feedback, please contact: Monica Conlin Monica.Conlin@ssdcougars.org Editorial Team Monica Conlin & Christina Brennan

President's Letter Dear Fellow Educational Professionals and Aspiring Educators, Our organization recently made a collective and collaborative decision to have our articles in each edition of our newsletter to address a theme of relevancy in education. The theme of our most recent editions has been one of: Innovation and Innovative Thinking. If you have had the pleasure of reading the book by Kobi Yamada titled: What Do You Do With an Idea? you would instantly be able to connect with that familiar feeling of when you have had a wonderful thought blossoming inside your mind and the feeling of discomfort of what may happen if you acknowledged its existence- especially in the presence of others. However, patience and persistence, ultimately wins out. Although this book is from the perspective of a child, it tugs on the creative soul within each of us. We are confronted with the questions of how we can nurture this type of thinking in ourselves and in others. How can we take the first steps to provide space for creativity (coming up with the big idea) and the process for innovation (executing on the idea)? As mentors, teachers, leaders, and innovators we need to consider the following concepts as we move forward: Innovation vs. Status Quo In an article written in 2015, by a Forbes magazine contributor, Henry Doss, one of the suggestions he provided from the results of a Global Innovation Summit, was not to look for innovation through spending more money or more places to spend it-instead “Look for heroes.” One of the key findings had to do with role models. According to the results, “It is very difficult to buy innovation, but strong role models can influence innovation quickly, and with fewer resources than might be expected.” The findings also strongly suggested that innovation is a function of alignment across a total organization. There needs to be a balance of the cultural components of an organization and leadership needs to be an integral part of the solution. In fact, the claim that requires a significant amount of reflection is one which states,” Leadership can do more harm than good if it effectively reinforces conventional thinking, when in fact the whole culture needs to be redesigned.”


President's Letter Teamwork vs. Competition When building a collaborative culture, it is imperative that those in a place of leadership create an environment that keeps communication open and the work transparent. Each team member needs to be aware of the role he or she has on the team and why each role matters. Leaders need to continually be mindful to identify how the team is functioning as a whole and if everyone is working toward the same goal. This requires consistent feedback and using platforms for open communication and suggestions. Creating a culture that celebrates successes and failures (fixed –versus-growth mindset) , while also providing a source of comfort for addressing challenges in order for productivity, performance, and creativity to thrive is crucial. This type of leadership facilitates a positive working environment that encourages employees to be candid with their thoughts in a professional manner when they feel it is necessary. Through this shared sense of purpose, the “work” becomes more than just time spent at the office or in the classroom. Every conversation matters. Ideas won’t get lost in isolation. Take time today to reflect upon what first steps you can take to create an intentional culture of innovation. *In case you need a jump start: https://www.edutopia.org/blog/nurturing-the-innovators-mindset-glen-tripp https://gsuite.google.com/learn-more/creating_a_culture_of_innovation.html With continued appreciation for all you do to make a difference in the lives of others. Dorie Dorie A. Martin-Pitone, Ed. D Supervisor of Literacy & English Language Arts Federal Programs Coordinator Marple-Newtown School District


What is Multisensory Structured Language Education (MSLE)?

Lyn Berenato DVR-PASCD Board Member

What is Multisensory Structured Language Education (MSLE)? Lori Severino and Carolyn L. Berenato Multisensory structured learning education (MSLE) is commonly endorsed and practiced by teachers whose students have a wide range of learning disabilities. Current research finds the nature of reading development looks at the success of structured language approaches in certain reading instructional practices and the multisensory organization of the brain. Multisensory teaching combines listening, speaking, vocabulary, and writing in the reading development process (Farrell & Sherman, 2011). A multisensory approach to learning is the continual use of the five senses, including the use of body movement, to teach abstract concepts, making them concrete and accessible for memory, usage, and transference (Sprenger, 2008).

Multisensory learning involves the use of visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile pathways simultaneously to enhance memory and learning of written language. As written language is taught links are consistently made between the visual (language we see), auditory (language we hear), and kinesthetic-tactile (language symbols we feel) pathways in learning to read and spell. The simultaneous deployment of visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and tactile (VAKT) sensory modalities used in multisensory instruction is a remedial and preventive intervention for students with learning disabilities. Students with a learning difference require explicit and direct instruction. The instruction should be cumulative, intensive, and focused on the structure of language. The Orton- Gillingham approach to teaching language-related academic skills emphasize the core content for instruction is the carefully sequenced and use of sounds, syllables, words, sentences, and written discourse. Otron-Gillingham based approaches, such as The Language Tool Kit, Alphabetic Phonics, Project Read, LANGUAGE!, the Sonday System, Wilson Language Training, Slingerland Approach, and the Spalding Method, emphasize the necessity for explicit language teaching to be systematic, cumulative, direct, and sequential (Farrell & Sherman, 2011, p. 27).


What is Multisensory Structured Language Education (MSLE)?

Lyn Berenato DVR-PASCD Board Member

The instructional combination of a multisensory approach and a structured reading program strengthens a student’s ability to learn and recall information. There are multiple websites that provide information on evidence based practices. The Institute of Education Sciences website What Works Clearinghouse provides information for educators to make the necessary decisions on evidence-based practices. The search engine on the site allows an educator to determine topic, grade level, effectiveness, extent of evidence, and delivery method. Ideally companies that develop the interventions should work with universities to provide training to teachers so they are prepared to provide these interventions as soon as they enter the classroom.

References Farrell, M.L., & Sherman, G. F. (2011) Multisensory structured language education. In Birsh, J.R. (Ed.), Multisensory teaching of basic language skills (pp. 25 -43). Baltimore, MD: Paul H Brookes Publishing Co. Sprenger, M. (2008). Differentiation through learning styles and memory (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Carolyn L. Berenato, Ed. D is an assistant professor of special education at Saint Joseph’s University and a DVR-PASCD Board Member. Lori Servino, Ed. D. is an assistant clinical professor and program director of special education at Drexel University.


Event Recap

Connecting the Dots with STEM PASCD Press Release Last month, Pennsylvania ASCD (PASCD) and Discovery Education, the leading provider of digital content and professional development for K-12 classrooms, partnered to deliver an exclusive, STEMfocused professional development event for educators and school administrators from across the region. This immersive professional development event was held at the Chester County Intermediate Unit offices in Downingtown, PA, and provided participating educators a host of new strategies and best practices for creating a culture of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) education throughout their school systems. Entitled Connecting the Dots with STEM, this event explored best practices for implementing innovative STEM curricula that prepares students to be effective problem solvers and lifelong learners. While participating in a series of interactive sessions, attendees learned how to integrate STEM instructional strategies into classroom instruction and discovered new ways to promote STEM skill building among students. Additionally, participants experienced new digital tools and resources supporting STEM instruction they can use in their classrooms and reviewed data about future STEM opportunities so they can build their own strategies for improving STEM education. This event was led by Discovery Education professional development experts with extensive experience in partnering with districts and schools to transform teaching and learning. Delivering measurable, proven, research-based results, Discovery Education’s Professional Development is designed to show teachers and administrators how to maximize innovative resources that facilitate learning and empower them to integrate technology effectively and confidently into classroom instruction. Last year, Discovery Education provided over 6,500 days of professional development to more than 100,000 educators nationwide.


Event Recap

Connecting the Dots with STEM PASCD Press Release “Pennsylvania ASCD is committed to supporting the success of all learners and to helping educators grow their instructional practice through professional development,” said Dr. Jeffrey Taylor, Assistant Superintendent of North Hills School Districtcan and make President, PASCD. “We are “Wise teachers a huge difference pleased to collaborate with Discovery Education thislives unique which has provided area in on the ofacademy, their student….wise educators with cutting-edge practices they can use to teach today’s students they skills they need for college, careers, and citizenship.” teachers…..promote competence in addition

to well-being, engagement and high hopes Connecting the Dots with STEM was led by for the future.” Robert Corbin, Discovery Education’s Director of Global STEM initiatives. Corbin has been a postsecondary educator for over a decade and has been working helping teachers and administrators worldwide create dynamic digital learning environments that support STEM education.

“Today’s event has provided me all sorts of new ways I can promote the STEM education in my school, and I look forward to sharing these innovative ideas with my colleagues.”

-Angela Duckworth

“Discovery Education is proud to partner with Pennsylvania ASCD to bring this dynamic event to the state’s educators,” said Discovery Education Director of Education Partnerships Donovan Goode. “Together, we can help school leaders across the state build the dynamic digital learning environments today’s students demand and deserve.” For more information about Discovery Education programs, services and initiatives, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.


Why I Believe in Public Colleen Lelli, Ed.D Education DVR-PASCD Board Member

As a teacher, student, parent and citizen of the United States, I believe in public education for many reasons. As an educator with over twenty-two years experience, I could share numerous stories about my students, myself, my friends and my own children and our shared love of public education. The story I would like to share with you is about my upbringing and experience as a young child in the public school system. I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Although I was a suburbanite, the town I grew up in, Norristown, was very urban like. Norristown was (and still is) a home for many different cultures. Some of my best friends were Caucasian Catholics like myself but most of my friends were either Jewish, African-American, Asian or Indian descendent. In fact, my public elementary school hosted a “United Nations Day” every year celebrating the diversity of our school community. We were able to share our various cultural rituals, food, dance, dress etc. with each other. I was proud of my hometown and enjoyed learning about my friends’ cultures as a young student. I received an excellent education through my K-12 experience with the Norristown School District. I thrived and grew academically and socially. I had so many opportunities: academic rigor, band, cheerleading, class officer and clubs, classes in broadcasting—not to mention some of the best teachers I’ve ever met. Teachers that to this day I am still in contact. Teachers that pushed me, provided care, and recognized the importance of fostering learning for students of all ethnicities, religious backgrounds and most of all ABILITIES. I was fortunate to attend a college in the suburbs of Philadelphia, located on the “Main Line.” I was different from a lot of my peers because of the diverse community in which I was raised. In fact, one professor actually made comments that people from my community rarely “made it out” and were “uneducated.” Of course, she didn’t realize as I sat there in many of her classes (I did appreciate her intelligence) I was in fact from the community she was referring. Her ignorance baffled my 19-year-old self. But then I felt more pride than I’ve ever experienced in my life. Public education served me well. Public education opened my eyes to social justice issues. Public education provided me the opportunities to sit in a seat where many thought I didn’t belong. I am proud to be a product of public education.


Why I Believe in Public Colleen Lelli, Ed.D Education DVR-PASCD Board Member

I have many other stories I could share from my time as a student, a teacher, a parent in the public school system and now a professor at a private Catholic college. For now, I will leave you all with my belief regarding the purpose of public education. As a child of working class parents, a first generation college completer with a doctoral degree in education; public education allowed me to dream and allowed my dream of becoming an educator become a reality. Public education is the promise of equal educational opportunities regardless of race, religion or ability. We need to uphold these ideals on which we based public education. Historically America has succeeded because of public education. Undermining these ideals in which our country is based can be a mistake. I believe in public education for all students as it is and has always been an “Education of the Heart.�

JOIN US! APRIL 27, 2017 DVR-PASCD @ Chester County Intermediate Unit Exploring The Educational Maker Movement: The What, The Why, And The How Of Hands On Innovative Learning


Growth Mindset

Growth Mindset X Design Thinking = Innovation Cindy Kruse, DVR-PASCD Board Member Innovation is the product of the ability to utilize design thinking along with a growth mindset. In this equation, the degree to which each is developed has a direct effect on the total outcome. Design Thinking Design Thinking is an innovative way of approaching challenges that we face on a daily basis‌.in our schools, in our places of work, or even in our personal lives. The defining element of design thinking is the human-centered, interdisciplinary approach, which relies on creative thinking in order to create new solutions for real world problems. Growth Mindset Carol Dweck of Stanford University has identified two beliefs about intelligence and abilities; beliefs, which her research shows, can strongly impact our ability to learn. A fixed mindset is the belief that your basic talents, abilities, and/or intelligence are fixed traits. A growth mindset on the other hand, is the belief that whatever level of talent or ability you have, you can always develop it further through hard work, using good strategies, and acting on feedback from others in order to improve. Those individuals that adhere to a growth mindset view obstacles or set backs as a challenge. They embrace failures as learning opportunities. Creativity and Innovation Recent research supports the belief that creativity is a skill, which can be learned and developed, rather than an innate gift. The first step to becoming more creative and ultimately more innovative is to make sure you have a growth mindset. Creativity is messy. In order to develop our creative muscles we must be willing to fail. Productive failure combined with the time and ability to reflect and learn from mistakes provides fertile ground for the growth of novel ideas. There have been many calls in recent years for the increase of innovation within our educational system. While there are many other factors to consider in developing innovative thinkers, explicitly teaching students about Design Thinking and Growth Mindset is foundational to much needed change.


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