MESSAGES 2013 :: SEPTEMBER 12, 2013

SEPTEMBER 12, 2013 - Teachers' Biweekly Messages

This morning, Department staff and I joined with UNC-TV to tape a one-hour program called "NC Schools + You: What Changes in Our Schools Mean for Parents and Students." I hope that you will be able to view this program when it airs on Sept. 19 at 10 p.m. or on Sept. 27 at 4:30 p.m. We are producing this show to provide an additional way to help parents in your school community understand the changes that are being made in public schools to better serve students. I am especially pleased that the show features traditional public school and charter school educators discussing their experiences. We will send you a link to access this show online after the air dates.

June Atkinson

In this Biweekly Teachers' Message:

  1. State Board of Education Meeting Highlights
  2. Home Base Training Materials Online
  3. Phase III Online Professional Development Modules Update
  5. Informing Instructional Improvement Through Data Literacy
  6. New Services Available on NC WiseOwl
  7. Frank Porter Graham Opens New Professional Development School
  8. LEARN NC Offers New Online Professional Development Courses
  9. NC Council of Teachers of Mathematics Schedules Fall Leadership Seminar/Annual Conference
  10. Coastal Carolina Indian Center Offers Enrichment Opportunities for Fourth and Eighth Graders
  11. NCDOT Offers New Curriculum on Walking and Biking Safety
  12. NCDOT Sponsors Model Bridge Building Competition
  13. First Freedom Student Competition
  14. NASA Sponsors Exploration Design Challenge

State Board of Education Meeting Highlights

At last week's State Board meeting, members approved extending the deadline for the submission of paperwork for advanced degrees to receive the supplemental pay to May 7, North Carolina's Early Learning and Development Standards, the General Assembly's Read to Achieve Comprehensive Reading Plan, an amendment to the North Carolina Elementary and Secondary Act waiver, and grants for School Resource Officers in elementary and middle schools and panic alarm systems. A summary of all Board action items is available online at http://stateboard.ncpublicschools.gov/highlights/2013.

Home Base Training Materials Online

Teachers are reminded that there are a number of online training materials to help you acclimate to Home Base. These include taking attendance, locating materials to support instruction, creating lesson plans and an overview of Home Base. Teachers also are encouraged to read the Home Base Weekly Update you are receiving via e-mail to see the latest known issues and resolutions, with follow-up documents posted online. These training materials and others are available online at www.ncpublicschools.org/homebase/training /materials/.

Phase lll Online Professional Development Modules Update

Online learning modules should be used over time as part of PLCs, during staff meetings, or independently (over a series of days). The modules can be used in a variety of settings, by individuals or by cohorts, with or without a facilitator, depending on local needs. The NCDPI is pleased to announce the release of the following Phase III online professional development modules for the 2013-14 academic year:

  • Building and Sustaining Professional Development
  • Data Literacy in Action
  • Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects, Part 2
  • NC Principal and Assistant Principal Evaluation: Understanding the Process
  • NC Teacher Evaluation: Understanding the Process
  • Responsibilities of the 21st-Century Educator
  • 21st-Century Mentoring
  • Universal Design for Learning

All are available through the NC Education site at https://center.ncsu.edu/nc/. Please review the updated implementation guide available online at https://rt3nc.org. Two additional modules were released earlier this year:

  • Measures of Student Learning: Common Exams, Grades 9-12
  • Measures of Student Learning: Common Exams, Middle and Elementary Grades

For more information please contact Lynne Johnson, director of Educator Effectiveness at lynne.johnson@dpi.nc.gov or Geetanjali Soni, Online Module developer, at geetanjali.soni@dpi.nc.gov.


Answers to the most commonly-asked questions about EVAAS, including the incorporation of EVAAS into the state's accountability and educator effectiveness models, are available online at www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/effectiveness-model/evaas/resources/2013-spring-faq.pdf.

Informing Instructional Improvement Through Data Literacy

Informing Instructional Improvement Through Data Literacy Wikispace pages are currently providing educators with a five stage, cyclical process for data-driven decision-making. A fillable fishbone diagram is available for download and can be used to identify causes and effects in a classroom, school or district setting based on data analysis. A data action plan template can be downloaded and used to develop a SMART goal, determine specific strategies to be implemented, and identify data sources to be used to assess goal achievement. Additional resources related to each of the five stages of the data-driven decision-making process also are available on the wikispace pages. The Informing Instructional Improvement Through Data Literacy web pages can be found at http://si2013.ncdpi.wikispaces.net/Informing+Instructional+Improvement+Through+Data+Literacy. For more information, please contact Lynne Johnson at lynne.johnson@dpi.nc.govor Lisa Amerson at lisa.amerson@dpi.nc.gov.

New Services Available on NC WiseOwl

The NCDPI Division of Digital Teaching and Learning is pleased to announce new services are available on the NC WiseOwl website. Due to changes in providers, we are now able to offer access to great educational and professional databases, journals, newspaper articles and other resources. This is in addition to almost 10,000 electronic books, and a primary source database with millions of images, audio files, interactives and sound bytes. Want to know more? Just visit www.ncwiseowl.org and click on the "New on WiseOwl" link. For more information, please e-mail Dan Sparlin at dan.sparlin@dpi.nc.gov.

Frank Porter Graham Opens New Professional Development School

UNC-Chapel Hill recently opened a new professional development center to provide teachers and administrators with a wide array of resources on child development and education. The Professional Development Center at UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute includes workshops, free courses and major conferences. The Professional Development Center also delivers free online instruction on implementing evidence-based practices in classrooms, as well as lessons on such topics as the early identification of autism spectrum disorders. Check it all out at http://pdc.fpg.unc.edu/online-learning.

LEARN NC Offers New Online Professional Development Courses

LEARN NC is offering two new online professional development courses this fall:

Dream of a Nation. Through reading articles and watching videos by some of today's most innovative and inspiring scientists, economists, environmentalists and others, participants will find materials aligned to both the North Carolina Essential Standards and English Language Arts Common Core Standards that will engage them and their students in empowering ideas. The first offering of this self-paced, interactive, free online course begins on Sept. 25 and runs through Oct. 30. The course is for educators who teach 8th-12th grade environmental science, American history, civics and economics, and English language arts. Upon completion, participants will earn 2.0 CEUs. For more information and to enroll, please visit http://tinyurl.com/ogoufgr.

Co-teaching that works! Best practices for the face-to-face and blended classrooms. Co-teaching That Works! is an online professional development course that explores methods to design an effective co-teaching environment. This course is designed for all educators who want to better understand important strategies and skills in developing effective co-teaching partners. Focus will include partnerships within a brick and mortar style classroom, or a blended or hybrid instructional online environment. This course is appropriate for general and special educators, STEM educators, occupational course of study educators, administrators and counselors. The first offering of this course begins on Oct. 23 and runs through Dec. 4. Participants will earn 3.0 CEUs. For more information and to enroll, please visit http://tinyurl.com/pvnhab3.

NC Council of Teachers of Mathematics Schedules Fall Leadership Seminar/Annual Conference

The North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics will hold its Fall Leadership Seminar on Wednesday, Oct. 30, at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center, Greensboro. The Council has scheduled its 43rd Annual State Mathematics Conference for Thursday and Friday, Oct. 31-Nov. 1, also at the Koury Convention Center. For more information on either of these events, including registration, please visit www.ncctm.org.

Coastal Carolina Indian Center Offers Enrichment Opportunities for Fourth and Eighth Graders

Coastal Carolina Indian Center is offering its brand new 2013-14 Great Salt Water Educational Outreach Enrichment Program as an in-school field trip to both 4th and 8th grade students. The program's focus is on the Indians of Coastal North Carolina and the Lost Colony. Teachers are encouraged to contact Coastal Carolina Indian Center at indiancenter@gmail.com or 252.354.4187 to schedule Coastal Carolina Indian Center's 2013-14 Great Salt Water Educational Outreach enrichment program. For more information, please visit the Coastal Carolina Indian Center Website at www.coastalcarolinaindians.com.

NCDOT Offers New Curriculum on Walking and Biking Safety

The NC Department of Transportation's Let's Go NC! curriculum consists of free lesson plans, materials and supplemental tools to teach elementary-aged children about the basics of walking and biking safety. All curriculum and guidance materials are accessible online at http://www.ncdot.gov/bikeped/safetyeducation/letsgonc/.

NCDOT Sponsors Model Bridge Building Competition

The NC Department of Transportation invites all North Carolina middle and high school students to participate in the 15th Annual NCDOT Statewide Model Bridge Building Competition. The competition is designed to create a greater awareness of careers in transportation, construction, engineering and the services provided by the NCDOT. The competition also gives students an opportunity to work in groups to learn problem-solving strategies and utilize critical thinking skills, while making the connection between what is taught in the classroom and real world applications. The registration deadline is Nov. 15. Regional competitions will be held on March 7 with the state final competition on April 11. To register, please visit www.ncdot.org/about/kids/BridgeComp.

First Freedom Student Competition

High school English and social studies students may want to consider participating in the First Freedom Student Competition. The First Freedom Student Competition offers students an opportunity to compete for $2,500 awards as they examine the First Amendment and the history and implementation of religious freedom in American democracy and the world today and then present their findings through a written essay or video. The upcoming school year's topic, guidelines, student flyer and classroom poster are available online at www.firstfreedom.org (click on the red button, center column). The online student registration deadline is Monday, Nov. 18. The postmark deadline for mailing the entry and its accompanying materials is Monday, Nov. 25.

NASA Sponsors Exploration Design Challenge

In March, NASA launched an exciting new partnership with Lockheed Martin to engage students in America's next phase of human space exploration. The Exploration Design Challenge (EDC) invites K-12 students to learn more about one of the biggest challenges NASA faces before sending humans beyond low-Earth orbit: space radiation. Through a series of age-appropriate activities, participants will learn about radiation and its effects on humans and hardware destined for asteroids, Mars or other deep space locations. Orion is the vehicle for these space destinations and will make its maiden test flight in 2014.

The youngest explorers (K-4) will complete NASA education activities related to radiation. Upon completion, a teacher or other adult may submit the students' names to be flown on the 2014 Orion flight as honorary virtual crew members.

Those same opportunities are open to students in grades 5-8, but they also will design and develop a radiation shield prototype. Instructions, guidebooks and related content are provided on the EDC website.

High school students have an even greater challenge - and opportunity! In addition to the activities listed above, teams of students will design a radiation shield prototype that meets established criteria and constraints. Teams will submit their designs, and the top five designs selected will be tested in a virtual radiation simulator. The winning team will travel to Florida for Orion's launch and have its design flown aboard the spacecraft. The deadline to register students to participate is March 14, 2014. Full Challenge details are available online at www.nasa.gov/education/edc. Students must be registered before beginning the Challenge.