WP: Talking less, listening more: TED Talk inspires Va. Teacher of the Year

A TED Talk shaped Michelle Cottrell-Williams’ perspective as a teacher.

The talk, led by scholar Brene Brown, delved into how vulnerability and shame influence people’s connections with one another, Cottrell-Williams recalled.

The 35-year-old teacher took the lesson to heart and, since then, has made it a point to talk less and listen more to her students, to let them be the guides for their own learning.

“I learned how important empathy is,” she said.

Cottrell-Williams, a social studies teacher at Wakefield High School in Arlington County, was named Virginia Teacher of the Year on Monday. She was selected from among educators representing eight regions across the state.

She said advocating for students of color and those who learn English as a second language is one of her priorities. That’s important, she said, because public schools don’t do enough for those students.

Chris Willmore, Wakefield’s principal, said Cottrell-Williams challenges her students and encourages them to consider different perspectives.

Read the rest of the story HERE and please share!


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Enjoy great educational news, information about upcoming workshops/academies, and much, much more!

Thanks for being educators!!

EdWeek: Add Money Smarts to the Skills Illinois Students Must Now Be Taught

bank_financiallitBeginning this year, Illinois schools are required to teach financial literacy to students in first through 12th grade.

The state’s new personal finance standards are based on the Council for Economic Education’s National Standards for Financial Literacy. A task force made up of classroom teachers and groups like Econ Illinois, which provides training on how to teach money concepts, revised the social science standards to include financial literacy benchmarks for the first time. Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) unanimously adopted the new standards in June 2015, and the state approved them in February 2016.

Illinois is one of 45 states to factor financial literacy into its standards. The thinking behind the effort: students need practice making decisions about spending, saving, budgeting, and investing.

Read the rest of the story HERE and please share!

Edublogs: My Growth Mindset Lessons Usually Go Well, But What I Did Today Was The Best Yet (Student Hand-Outs Included)

Larry Ferlazzo writes:

I’ve done a variety of different types of lessons over the years about a growth mindset, and you can see most of them at The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset” – along with a ton of other related resources.

The one I did today, though, was probably the best one yet.

Our school emphasizes Social Emotional Learning, and a growth mindset is our focus for September.  A number of us are responsible for giving formal SEL lessons to our classes, while other teachers are provided with professional development about how to support it in their classes.

Today, I did the lesson with my English Language Learner United States History class.  Truth-be-told, I was probably a bit more motivated than usual to do something new and creative for two reasons  – one, because, even though the lesson I had done for the past two years was a good one, I a bit tired of it and, two, members of the California State Board of Education were coming in to observe it.

Read the rest of the article HERE and please share.

Upcoming ROE 41 School Improvement Workshops

The Art of Communication – Body Language and Other Essential Skills – Monday, November 6, 2017

This workshop will explore essential skills educators need to effectively communicate with both students, parents and colleagues. Using the “Super Six” as a base, this highly interactive workshop combines theory, activity and the opportunity for participants to examine their current skill level and those areas in need of practice.

Click HERE for a flyer.

New Illinois Social Studies Learning Standards (K-12) with Networking and Integration of ELA & NGSS – Thursday, October 26, 2017

Participants will be provided with an overview of the New Illinois Social Studies Learning Standards. Practical tips on implementing the standards will be shared. Additionally, ideas on integrating Social Studies with ELA and science will be provided.

Click HERE for a flyer.

Take it SLO! Creating Purposeful and Rigorous Assessments That Drive Meaningful Student Learning Objectives – Tuesday, October 17, 2017

With the majority of Illinois districts using student learning objectives (SLOs) for the growth portions of their teacher evaluation process, the need for high quality, teacher-created assessments has never been greater. This workshop will walk both administrators and teachers through a very deliberate process of creating high quality and skill-based assessments that provide meaningful evidence of growth. While the tasks in this workshop are directly related to developing purposeful assessments, the context for all of the work is the evaluation process and use of SLOs. Attendees will leave with a firm understanding of quality assessments, the role of those assessments in the evaluation process and strategies for improving both in their home districts.

Click HERE for a flyer.

Please share and thanks!

Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Education Offerings & Grants

October 2017

1. ENTICE Professional Development Workshops
Registration Closes Soon for Workshops in Makanda and Chicago
New Workshops Added in Moline and Rockford
Register soon at https://www.enticeworkshops.com for ENTICE (Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education) professional development workshops for educators sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR). ENTICE workshops provide background information, networking opportunities, hands-on lessons, supplemental resources on the topic and the opportunity to work with resources professionals on a variety of topics. Professional Development Hours are available. Correlations to relevant Next Generation Science Standards and/or Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards are provided. Shown below are upcoming workshops for fall 2017, winter 2018 and spring 2018. New workshops for Moline and Rockford have been added to the schedule for spring. Visit https://www.enticeworkshops.com for the complete list of workshops. Experience ENTICE!
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Fall, Giant City State Park, Makanda, November 4, 2017
Aquatic Ecosystems: Lake Michigan Ecology, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, November 4, 2017
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Winter, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, January 13, 2017
Wildlife Basics for Early Childhood Educators, Giant City State Park, Makanda, March 16, 2018
Animal Adaptations and the Next Generation Science Standards, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Chicago, March 24, 2018
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Spring, Dickson Mounds Museum, Lewistown, April 7, 2018
Introducing Early Childhood Students to the Nature of Spring. Giant City State Park, Makanda, April 13, 2018
Schoolyard Wildlife Habitat Development, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, April 14, 2018
Illinois Frogs and Toads, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, April 21, 2018
Illinois Frogs and Toads, Cache River Visitors’ Center, Cypress, April 23, 2018
Monarch Mania!, Giant City State Park, Makanda, May 12, 2018
Using Children’s Nonfiction in PreK-Second Grade Science, WIU Quad Cities Campus, Moline, May 19, 2018
Organisms of Flowing Water, Burpee Museum of Natural History, Rockford, June 9, 2018
Survival in Numbers, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, June 16, 2018
2. Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant – Submit Your Application Soon
Applications will be accepted by the IDNR Division of Education through November 30, 2017, for the Illinois Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program. New for the program this year are two application options. Option One will allow you to apply for a standard pollinator garden. With this option, the plant species are predetermined. You and the students must decide how best to use these species in your available space. Other items to be purchased are limited with this option. Option Two allows the applicant to determine what type of wildlife habitat to develop. You can view both options at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/GrantsSHAG.aspx. Please use the supporting video podcasts to assist you in completing the application form. The optional preliminary review deadline is October 31. See the instructions for details. Help wildlife species while taking learning to life! This program is funded by generous contributions to the Illinois Conservation Foundation from the Jadel Youth Fund and the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation.
3. October Kids for Conservation®: Raccoon
The October edition of the IDNR Kids for Conservation® Web page features the topic of the “Raccoon.” You can learn basic facts about this species in the information section. Watch the video podcast, too. Take the quiz to test your knowledge. Educators, there are resources for you to utilize. We have developed a version of the information section specific to early childhood educators. “Kids in Action” features the students of Carbondale New School in Carbondale who worked to overhaul a garden area on the school grounds to make it more easily accessible to younger students while increasing available habitat for butterflies and other pollinators. This topic will be posted at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/outreach/kidsconservation/Pages/default.aspx after September 28. The November topic is the “Eastern Cottontail.
4. Applications Being Accepted for 2018 Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grants
Visit https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/GrantsIBFTG.aspx to find the instructions and application form for the 2018Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant program from the IDNR and the Illinois Conservation Foundation. Teachers and home-schooling educators of grades prekindergarten through 12 in Illinois may apply. Take learning to life with an Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant. The application deadline is January 31, 2018. All funds for this program are donated. The support of the Independence Tube Corporation in Bedford Park, the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Foundation in Skokie and the D. F. and M. T. Grohne Family Foundation in Wilmington is greatly appreciated.
5. Biodiversity of Illinois CD-ROM Series Conversion to Web-based Format – More than 700 Files Available
The IDNR Division of Education is in the process of converting the information and images from the Biodiversity of Illinois CD-ROM series (Volume I, Aquatic HabitatsVolume II, Woodland HabitatsVolume III, Prairie and Edge Habitats) into a searchable, Web-based format. Files are being added as they are completed, so check back often. There will be about 1,500 species in this field guide when it is finished. Visit https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/Biodiversity-of-Illinois.aspx to access the approximately 700 files that have been posted to date.
6. Reporting Monarch Educational Activities
The IDNR and its partners in the monarch initiative are collecting information about educational activities related to monarch butterflies. If you conducted any activities in 2016 or 2017 related to educating people in Illinois about monarch butterflies or to enhancing or developing monarch habitat in Illinois, please send us a brief description (no more than three sentences) describing each activity. Include the date, a description of the activity, the targeted audience (if an educational activity), the organization or person leading the activity and an email address for someone who can answer questions about the activity. Submit the information to dnr.teachkids@illinois.gov. We will post the information on the IDNR Web site at https://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/monarchgen.aspx. This Web site is not intended to promote upcoming activities. We want to share information about efforts that have already taken place to help monarchs and their habitat. We will continue to accept information through 2017 and beyond. Please do not send photos. Thank you!
7. New Video Podcast
The Raccoon video podcast can be found in the Podcasts page at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/podcasts.aspx after September 28, 2017. This video podcast is also available on YouTube.
8. Learning Standards Interactive Web Page
Looking for IDNR lessons to help you meet the Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Standards, Illinois Social Science Standards or Illinois Early Learning Standards? Now you can easily find them with the new interactive Learning Standards Web page from the IDNR Division of Education at http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/education/Pages/Learning-Standards.aspx. You can search by grade level, topic, learning standard and/or subject area. Try it today!
9. Central Illinois Educators: Fishing and Aquatic Ecology Programs Now Available from the IDNR
Educators, if you teach in any of the following counties, the IDNR can help you bring hands-on aquatic education to your students. These programs work to develop positive attitudes towards natural resources, conservation and fishing in young people. Lessons align with the state and national learning standards and are adapted to all grade levels. For more information or to schedule a program, contact Van Grissom at 217-720-3501 or van.grissom@illinois.gov.
Adams, Brown, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Coles, Cumberland, De Witt, Douglas, Edgar, Ford, Hancock, Iroquois, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Mason, McLean, Menard, Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Vermillion
10. Wild Illinois History Leads Students on a Journey to Learn About History and Wildlife Conservation
The IDNR is offering a “virtual” trip for late-elementary schoolteachers, students and their parents. With a few mouse clicks, students can journey back to the earliest days of the Illinois Territory when voyageurs and Native Americans hunted the prairies, forests and rivers. Wild Illinois History helps students in grades three through five focus on early French exploration, along with river and settlement geography. Students can learn how wildlife helped Native Americans and early settlers survive. They also can see how wildlife is a part of our lives today. A fictional French trapper in the 18th century Illinois Territory leads students on the trip. Brief story-telling slideshows are mixed with fun, interactive activities. For teachers, Wild Illinois History offers lesson plans, activities, photos, posters and correlations to Illinois Learning Standards. Try it out at http://www.wildillinois.org/. For more information, contact Bob Bluett, IDNR Wildlife Diversity Coordinator at 217-782-7580 or bob.bluett@illinois.gov.
Head, Division of Education
Illinois Department of Natural Resources
One Natural Resources Way
Springfield, IL 62702-1271
Cell 217-725-9620
Fax 217-782-9552

Edutopia: Why Students Forget—and What You Can Do About It

terada-169hero-memory-shutterstockTeachers have long known that rote memorization can lead to a superficial grasp of material that is quickly forgotten. But new research in the field of neuroscience is starting to shed light on the ways that brains are wired to forget—highlighting the importance of strategies to retain knowledge and make learning stick.

Read the rest of the story HERE and please share this post with your colleagues.