Video to Inspire

book00039  Reading is a passion of mine; I love the feel and even the scent of a book.  However, the driving force of my love of reading is that it allows me to explore worlds to which I can never really travel.  I can be any role, profession or even animal as I read.  My imagination can help me to soar above the mountains and dive to the depths of the deepest seas.  I don’t know what started my love affair with reading but I do know that not every child comes out of school with a reading passion.  The question is: What can  parents and teachers do to kindle that love of reading?

As Scholastic states on their webpage: “Finding the right book at the right time can kindle an emotional spark within children that will motivate them to read more, understand more, and read joyfully. When that happens, the world opens and everything becomes possible!”

Watch this inspiring video by Scholastic publishing and start that spark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTk54gRVryk

See more at http://www.scholastic.com/worldofposs…

 

 

 

Rosemary Manges

Rosemary Manges, Program Coordinator for Inclusive Services, has over 39 years of educational experience ranging from the public school classroom, administration, preparing pre-service teachers at the college level to development of policy at TEA. She is in her 10th year at Region 10.

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5 Must Dos for the New School Year

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Whether a new teacher or a more experienced one, each wants to have a great 2014-15 school year.  Here are 5 “must dos” to ensure your year begins well.

1)  Make connections with your students
 In the first few weeks of school, you’re sure to have a lengthy to-do list. Try to remember to spend time getting to know your students. Learn a little something about each one of your students and marvel at their individuality. Share about yourself and make connections whenever possible.
2)  Allow time for exploration
Students are curious about their new classroom and their new teacher, just like you’re curious about your new students! Encourage exploration by including some unstructured time during the first few weeks of school. Have students take a tour of your classroom, noticing where materials live and exploring things that interest them. Lead your class through guided discovery of commonly used classroom materials, teaching students how to use them properly. Allow time to play around with materials such as math manipulatives so that students understand how the materials work.
3)  Get routines going
Strong routines are the backbone of efficient classrooms. It’s no fun practicing lining up 20 times a day or rehearsing how to put away materials again and again, but this practice is an investment that will pay off in the future. Build time into your day for practicing routines. As you’re practicing an attention-getting signal for the 40th time, it may seem tempting to give up, but stay strong. Once your students have your classroom routines down, your life will become much easier.
 
4)  Come up with classroom agreements
Sometime in the first few days of school, talk with your students about how they want their classroom to run. Engage in a discussion about how everyone needs to act in order to keep the classroom running smoothly. Develop a set of agreements (or “norms” or “rules”) and have all students agree to follow these guidelines. Coming up with agreements collectively increases buy-in and engagement because students are more likely to follow rules that they came up with themselves. Post your agreements in the classroom and refer back to them every day, reminding students why they exist and encouraging reflection on how the agreements are working.
5)  Bring joy into your classroom
With all the routines to practice and materials to introduce, it can be hard to remember to take a breath and have fun. Try to plan something fun every day. Think of something that will make you happy– maybe reading aloud a favorite book or doing a fun group project. A positive classroom environment is the first step towards student success. This first step starts with you! If you’re happy, your joy will be contagious.

Rosemary Manges

Rosemary Manges, Program Coordinator for Inclusive Services, has over 39 years of educational experience ranging from the public school classroom, administration, preparing pre-service teachers at the college level to development of policy at TEA. She is in her 10th year at Region 10.

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IQ=Success: NOT!

thought_1678c I was surfing the blogs I typically read this morning and noticed this one.  It stood out to me since I, too, was reading David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.  The following blog article by Daniel Goleman captures the heart for this book and presents a valuable perspective to educators as we start another new school year; IQ is not a valid predictor of success.

Please read Daniel’s thoughts on this subject:
I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller David and Goliath. Malcolm was befuddled by the finding that many of those in the mid to low achievement spectrum of Ivy League schools did not turn out to be world leaders – despite their SAT scores being higher than even the best students at the so-so colleges, who fared better.

Gladwell’s reasoning was slightly muddled. He assumed that academic abilities should predict how well we do in life. They don’t.

Gladwell proposes that the relatively poor performance of students who scored average grades at highly competitive schools suffer from a learned low self-confidence from being small fish in a big pond. That may be part of the picture, but there’s much more to it.

Studies at the University of Pennsylvania have found that students who don’t have the highest IQs in their class but get high grades share a quality called “grit.” They keep plugging away despite any setbacks or failures. And a 30-year longitudinal study of more than a thousand kids — the gold standard for uncovering relationships between behavioral variables — found that those children with the best cognitive control had the greatest financial success in their 30s. Cognitive control predicted success better than both the child’s IQ and the wealth of his or her family.

Cognitive control refers to the abilities to delay gratification in pursuit of goals, maintaining impulse control, managing upsetting emotions well, holding focus, and possessing a readiness to learn. Grit requires good cognitive control. No wonder this results in financial and personal success.

To further understand what attributes actually predict success, a more satisfying answer lies in another kind of data altogether: competence models. These are studies done by companies themselves to identify the abilities of their star performers. Competence models pinpoint a constellation of abilities that include grit and cognitive control, but go beyond. The abilities that set stars apart from average employees cover the emotional intelligence spectrum: self-awareness, self-management, empathy, and social effectiveness.

Both grit and cognitive control exemplify self-management, a key part of emotional intelligence. IQ and technical skills matter, of course: they are crucial threshold abilities, what you need to get the job done. But everyone you compete with at work has those same skill sets.

It’s the distinguishing competencies that are the crucial factor in workplace success: the variables that you find only in the star performers — and those are largely due to emotional intelligence.

These human skills include, for instance, confidence, striving for goals despite setbacks, staying cool under pressure, harmony and collaboration, persuasion and influence. Those are the competencies companies use to identify their star performers about twice as often as do purely cognitive skills (IQ or technical abilities) for jobs of all kinds.

That’s why I’ve argued we should be teaching these life skills to every student. It’s your expertise and intelligence that get you the job — but your emotional intelligence that makes you a success.

 

This article was first published on LinkedIn and reprinted on the e-copy of Education World Newsletter. Follow Daniel at https://twitter.com/DanielGolemanEI

Rosemary Manges

Rosemary Manges, Program Coordinator for Inclusive Services, has over 39 years of educational experience ranging from the public school classroom, administration, preparing pre-service teachers at the college level to development of policy at TEA. She is in her 10th year at Region 10.

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Here Come the CoPs!

cop No, no, not that kind of Cop but Communities of Practice (CoPs).  Today’s smart educator needs to become better connected to resources, tools, learning activities, and peers—both inside and outside school. The growth of online communities of practice—often a chief component in professional learning communities—reflects a continued commitment to working collaboratively with your peers toward improving student success.

You might be asking, what are communities of practice?

By definition, a community of practice is a collection of people who engage on an ongoing basis in a common endeavor, such as a bowling team, a book club, a friendship group, or a church congregation. Two crucial elements of CoPs are a shared experience over time and a commitment to shared understanding (Penelope Eckert, 2006). The progress of CoPs in education is reflected in the growing number of educators collaborating through online communities, most apparent via Google and other social media platforms.

Watch for opportunities to participate in Region 10  CoPs in the coming year.

Rosemary Manges

Rosemary Manges, Program Coordinator for Inclusive Services, has over 39 years of educational experience ranging from the public school classroom, administration, preparing pre-service teachers at the college level to development of policy at TEA. She is in her 10th year at Region 10.

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President Barack Obama signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.

ed-news-colorOn July 22, 2014, President Barack Obama signed into law the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. The legislation, which updates the Workforce Investment Act, overdue for reauthorization for more than a decade, received overwhelming bipartisan support from both houses of Congress.  On July 9th, the House  approved the bill by a vote of 415 to 6; it was approved by the Senate on June 25th by a vote of 95 to 3.  The legislation will prevent schools from using sheltered workshops to provide transition services to students with disabilities, among other provisions.

According to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, “The signing of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 creates a blueprint for job growth and makes key improvements to the nation’s workforce development system. For the unemployed, the new law offers hope; for the young, it offers encouragement; and for people with disabilities, it brings opportunity.”

Rosemary Manges

Rosemary Manges, Program Coordinator for Inclusive Services, has over 39 years of educational experience ranging from the public school classroom, administration, preparing pre-service teachers at the college level to development of policy at TEA. She is in her 10th year at Region 10.

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11 Lessons for Graduates and You

 

thought_1678cJon Gordon is one of my favorite authors of books about leadership; one of which is called “The Seed“.  Here is some great advice from that book:

“Graduation is a time when many contemplate their future and purpose. It can be both a time of great excitement and worry. I certainly remember the anxiousness I felt after graduation. So whether you are graduating high school or college, know a graduate or perhaps you are graduating to the next level of your life and career I wanted to share 11 lessons from The Seed that I hope will empower and inspire you on your journey.

1. You are here for a reason and the most important thing you can do in life is to find, live and share your purpose. It’s the one thing in life that truly matters and if you don’t pursue it, everything else is meaningless.

2. Follow your passion. It so often leads you to your purpose. You may not know what your passion is right now. That’s ok. The important thing is to make it your life mission to find it, live it and share it. To help find your passion, seek out jobs and experiences that allow you to use your strengths and gifts. Do what energizes you.

3. Beware of hobbies. Just because you love spending time on Facebook doesn’t mean you would enjoy working for the company. And just because you love to cook doesn’t mean you would enjoy owning a restaurant. For example, I owned restaurants but I realized I didn’t love the food business. I loved the service and marketing aspect of the business.

4. Quit for the right reasons. Don’t quit because work is hard or you’re experiencing challenges. Quit because in your heart you know there is something else for you to do. Quit because you are not benefitting yourself or the organization you work for. Quit because you are absolutely certain you are no longer supposed to be there.

5. Learn from every job and experience. Every job, good or bad, prepares you for the work you were ultimately born to do.

6.Your current job may not be your ultimate purpose but it can serve as a vehicle to live and share your purpose.

7. Whatever job(s) you take after graduation simply decide to serve. When you serve in small ways you’ll get more opportunities to serve in bigger ways.

8. Your dream job is likely not the one you dreamed about. So often we end up in amazing careers that have nothing to do with our college degree or childhood dreams.

9. The quest for your purpose is not a straight line. It is filled with mystery, signs, obstacles, victories, dead ends, delays and detours. Your job is to stay optimistic and faithful on your quest.

10. Don’t rush the future. There is a process that seeds must go through in order to become all they are destined to become, and you must go through this same process to become the person you are meant to be and do the work you are meant to do. You may want things to happen NOW but more than likely if you got what you wanted NOW you wouldn’t be ready for it. The purpose process prepares you, strengthens you, shapes you and grows you to be successful, not in your time, but in the right time.

11. Be the Seed. Seeds surrender themselves to the ground so they can be used for a greater purpose. Wherever you work, decide to plant yourself where you are and allow yourself to be used for a greater purpose. When you plant yourself and make a difference you grow into the person you were born to be and produce a harvest that will benefit others and change the world.”

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Rosemary Manges

Rosemary Manges, Program Coordinator for Inclusive Services, has over 39 years of educational experience ranging from the public school classroom, administration, preparing pre-service teachers at the college level to development of policy at TEA. She is in her 10th year at Region 10.

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Summer Learning Day is June 20, 2014

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Education has a huge repository of “free” resources?

Disclaimer: The U.S. Department of Education does not mandate or prescribe particular curricula or lesson plans. This information is provided for the visitor’s convenience and is included here as an example of the many resources that parents and educators may find helpful and use at their option. See the full FREE disclaimer.

With the kids getting out of school, and summer season starting, you may wish to consider some formalized learning activities or programs during the summer months for your kids.

Summer Learning Day is designed to spread awareness about the importance of summer programs that promote kids’ developmental growth, while intending to keep them safe and healthy. You can check out an event map that lists activities throughout the country, or look into what federal agencies, such as those highlighted below, have to offer regarding opportunities to leverage educational content into summer learning. (Check out the events around Dallas on the event map)

photo of a teen doing classwork

The Sciences

Engage in science: You and your kids can check out the themed units that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) offers to engage kids in activities focused on life sciences, physical science, earth and space science, and engineering. These units facilitate promotion of a greater connection to NASA’s mission and its educational resources.

 photo of students looking at a space launch

Weather and Oceanography

Learn more about our climate, the water cycle, or ocean currents: Your kids may find topics that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is focused on—topics, such as the weather, ocean currents, and climate monitoring—of interest this summer. Resources that include real-time data and ecosystem impacts may encourage your kids’ engagement and learning.

water cycle

Agriculture and Resource Conservation

Find out more about agriculture and related topics: Your kids may be inclined towards various subjects related to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)—agricultural research, plant health, food and nutrition, farming, food safety, forestry, and natural resources conservation. USDA offers youth-geared information and resources on these topics.

photo of kids in a garden

Natural Resources

Become a National Park Service Junior Ranger: The NPS Junior Ranger program is an activity-based program conducted in almost all parks. Interested youths complete a series of activities during a park visit, share their answers with a park ranger, and receive an official Junior Ranger patch and Junior Ranger certificate.

a photo of junior ranger

Summary

These are a few if the educational opportunities for your kids this summer that can facilitate kids’ interest in various fields and promote learning in a fun-filled environment.

Rosemary Manges

Rosemary Manges, Program Coordinator for Inclusive Services, has over 39 years of educational experience ranging from the public school classroom, administration, preparing pre-service teachers at the college level to development of policy at TEA. She is in her 10th year at Region 10.

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Goodbye Thomas…Goodbye Albert…Sorry We Have Stopped Looking for You…

Today we have a guest blogger, Layne Pethick.

As I sit and ponder, I am continually haunted by just one question. It is a question for the ages, one that many a child has asked and many an adult has dismissed. It is a simple question that carries the power to bring a person to their knees, to change the world, to progress humanity to greater levels of understanding…that question is simply “Why?”

My “why” moment at this particular time revolves around the issue of people with special needs and “why” their gifts and talents are being overlooked (ignored, dismissed, neglected, disregarded, unconsidered, undiscovered, unrecognized…I probably just took more time finding these synonyms for overlooked than most people give to the consideration of a person with special needs also being gifted and talented).

So there it is, my true “why” moment that has been haunting me for the past 22 years of my educational career. Why are we not giving more consideration to the reality that some of our student with special needs are also gifted and talented and deserve the right to be identified and participate in our G/T programs in our schools.

Until we truly understand what it means to be gifted and talented (not just the “A” student who is academically strong), I must submit the following letter on my behalf to all those students with special needs who are waiting for their true gifts to be noticed:

Dear Future History Maker,

 It is with a sad heart that I offer this apology letter to you. I am sorry that so many others have stopped looking for you and the gifts you bring to this world. I am not sure why so many have stopped looking, I can only hope that one day the search will continue and you will be found.

Until then, it is with a heavy heart I say “goodbye”. Goodbye to all our future Albert’s and Thomas’(that would be reference to Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, and so many more who have made the most dramatic and important contributions to this world…all of whom had both a disability and an amazing gift or talent).

It is my hope that we can find an answer to the question “why are we not recognizing your gifts and talents rather than hyper-focusing on your disability”, so that we can begin to look for you again. I hope you can accept my apology and I hope to see you soon!

 Regards,

Layne

 If you have taken the time to read this blog, I ask that you take the time to find the gift or talent our students with special needs bring to this world. Let’s start looking again!!

 

 

Thanks, Layne, for this contribution.  Let’s all look for the “gifts” and “talents” that every child has.  It will make a difference to them and to our future!

Rosemary Manges

Rosemary Manges, Program Coordinator for Inclusive Services, has over 39 years of educational experience ranging from the public school classroom, administration, preparing pre-service teachers at the college level to development of policy at TEA. She is in her 10th year at Region 10.

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Getting Ready for Summer Break

brainpwer  Now that Memorial Day has come and gone, summer is here and school is about to end.  How are you going to keep the kids involved and their brains active all summer long?  If you have some technology available at home, it is now easier than it was in the past– you have apps!   Here are a few programs to review; many of these encourage creativity and will keep the imagination alive and well.  ENJOY!

 

1. Kidblog: This app is very simple, intuitive, and educators said they felt students were writing much better after they knew their work would be published digitally.

2. Aurasma: An augmented reality app. Students are using the app to “attach” videos to books in their school library, and when other students hover mobile devices over each book, they have access to the student’s video review of the book.

3. Pinterest: One educator is using the pinboard site as a portal for parents who want to support their learners at home. Teachers are adding pins in different classroom subject areas or lesson areas and parents can access those materials at home.

4. 30hands: This storytelling app lets students take pictures, annotate, record voices, and transform it into video.

5. Adobe Voice: This is a brand new presentation tool with great templates for storytelling. It also offers a library of copyright-friendly music and images for use.

6. Book Creator: Students can pull in images, multimedia, texts, and can create their own books. Books can be sent over eMail, as PDFs, and more.

7. Tellagami: This app offers enhanced storytelling with an avatar, which is popular with young students.

8. Biblionasium: Teachers can set up favorite books and recommended lists on virtual bookshelves that are available to students at all times. Students can eMail their reading logs instead of handing them in on paper; teachers can set up fun challenges and rewards that will encourage students to keep reading.

9. BrainPOP and myBrainPOP: Students can complete lessons in BrainPOP, take notes in a notetaking app, and then use My BrainPOP to keep track of all their work.

10. Chromville: This app offers an augmented reality experience. Students download and color a blank coloring page. When they hover over the image with a mobile device, the image comes to life. The app promotes storytelling, as young students develop characters and storylines to accompany their images.

11. Clear: A gesture-based organization app.

12. Digital Passport from CommonSense Media: This app helps students cultivate their digital citizenship skills.

13. CrowdFlik: This app takes simultaneous recordings from different people (i.e., people recording an event such as a concert or wedding) and stores it in the cloud. Users can edit those mini-recordings together into a movie with multiple viewpoints.

14. EasyBib: This bibliography generator helps students determine what style they need and how different citations appear.

15. NoodleTools: Users can use one tool for note-taking, outlining, citations, research, and more. 

16. eduClipper: This tools aims to help students and educators save time and build personal learning networks.

17. edWeb.net: This resource for educators offers a multitude of communities, webinars, and discussions on targeted education topics.

18. Evernote: This app enables users take notes, create to-do lists, record voice reminders, and more.

19. ExplainEverything: This interactive whiteboard and screencasting tool lets users import and insert documents, pictures, or video, while drawing and annotating.

20. Follett Destiny: School staff have immediate access to circulation functions on the go.

21. DestinyQuest: Students can search and access library resources from mobile devices using this app.

22. Follett Titlewave: This mobile app helps teachers and librarians assess and improve their library collections.

23. GV Connect: This app integrates with a user’s existing Google Voice account and lets them place calls from their Google Voice number, listen to messages, send and receive texts, forward calls, and more.

24. Green Screen: This app from DoInk lets users create green screen videos from mobile devices. Users can combine up to three image sources at one time, use live or prerecorded video, and more.

25. Haiku Deck: Innovative and inspiring presentation software.

26. SlideIdea: A presentation app that makes it easy to create slides and share with others.

27. Hopscotch: This app lets students drag and drop blocks of code to create their own programs.

28. Lightbot: This coding tool combines coding and puzzle solving to engage users.

29. iMovie: This app enables users to browse and share videos and clips they have created.

30. Paper from FiftyThree: Users can create digital ink organizational displays and can easily share those ideas.

Rosemary Manges

Rosemary Manges, Program Coordinator for Inclusive Services, has over 39 years of educational experience ranging from the public school classroom, administration, preparing pre-service teachers at the college level to development of policy at TEA. She is in her 10th year at Region 10.

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The End of a School Year

thought_1678cSTAAR is done for many but the school year is not yet over so what should be happening in the classroom?  Teaching and learning, that’s what!  Every school day is an opportunity for a child to learn something new and exciting and these days at the end of the year are too valuable to just fritter away with activities that are not tied to good instruction and learning.  Now is a perfect time to do cross-curricular learning that helps students learn how English, math, science, social studies, and fine arts relate and how each brings a unique contribution of knowledge and skillset to solving new or real world problems.  Check out some of these videos/articles on http://www.edutopia.org/videos?keys=&tid_2=332&tid_1=All to see how integrated learning can happen and maybe change how we do school everyday, not just after state assessments.

Rosemary Manges

Rosemary Manges, Program Coordinator for Inclusive Services, has over 39 years of educational experience ranging from the public school classroom, administration, preparing pre-service teachers at the college level to development of policy at TEA. She is in her 10th year at Region 10.

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