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The Connected Classroom

Information On and From EducationPlus' LearningLab

Category Archives: STEM

Are you an educator with science in your curriculum? You’ll want to learn about our upcoming professional development series, open to educators from all grade levels. During our four-day series starting in October, experts will introduce you to the new science standards and explain how they have been designed and organized across disciplines and grades to provide all students an internationally bench marked science education. A key focus of the seminar will be on instructional shifts in relation to the new standards, as well as an increased understanding of the scientific and engineering practices and their impact in the classroom.

What are the new science standards and how do they impact teaching and learning?

After we introduce the Next Generation Science Standards, we will deepen our understanding and learning with focused modules on creating an effective science environment, conceptual understanding and science unit design, science literacy, plus more.

Session dates are October 15, December 14, January 21 and February 22. To learn more, visit our website.

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educators at csd (EdPlus) Educators just like you are doing amazing things through online and blended learning opportunities, providing students experiences that are far beyond what’s possible in the traditional classroom.  As educators, we must prepare students to live in a world without physical boundaries and help students learn how to work with others, virtually or otherwise. You are invited to participate in a multi-session academy that explores the facets of online teaching and learning. Learn more …

Along with facilitators Steffanie Forbes and Laura Jackson from LEGO Education, participants worked through hands-on activities that covered modeling in science, math, engineering and literacy today. They learned new practices in robotics and simple machines that will provide opportunities for their students to demonstrate and build their 21st century skills. Plus, LEGOS!

july lego

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STL RPDC 2015 Logo UpdateBlog post by Tricia Buchanan,
Special Education Improvement Consultant

Coming up for the 2015-2016 school year, we have developed a five-part series on early childhood topics that will focus on top issues in the world of students pre-K through first grade. The topics include:

Classroom Management and Family Involvement
This workshop will focus on integrating parental involvement in the world of classroom management by establishing a mutually supportive relationship to provide consistency, respect and a continuity of expectations for the student.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) for Early Childhood
Experts in education, industry and national security all agree that there is a national imperative to graduate students with a thorough understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. But many parents and teachers wonder, at what age is it appropriate to start teaching STEM? And how can we implement these concepts into early childhood education? The answer is: it is never too early to start STEM education. There are multiple areas, such as nature, to start teaching STEM concepts.

Language, Literacy and Vocabulary Building for Early Childhood
Words and their meanings are the building blocks of literacy development. Building children’s language, literacy and vocabulary foundations is at the core of a high-quality preschool curriculum. Young children, especially those at-risk or with special needs, require supportive learning environments that nurture these skills in order to ensure success in future reading and writing achievement. Discuss the most critical language, literacy and vocabulary skills to incorporate into classroom lesson planning as well as innovative ideas for creating developmentally appropriate learning experiences that will be enjoyable for all.

Brain Research, Developmental Delays and Transition for Early Childhood
Did you know that during the first three years of life, an infant’s brain will make an estimated 1,000 trillion synapses?  The experiences a child has in the first five years of life will either strengthen those resulting neurons or they will be discarded.  As early childhood professionals, we are in a position to observe and encourage activities that will strengthen those neurons and help them connect to needed skills. This session in the series will explore how educators can use the latest research on brain development to enhance these experiences for children. We will also explore the way developmental delays figure into these experiences and how all of this information can be used to promote successful transitions from early childhood programming to kindergarten.

Strategies for Developing Self-Determination skills for Early Childhood
Developing children’s self-regulation, problem-solving, advocacy, communication, goal setting and engagement skills are primary goals of early childhood education. These skills are fostered in both home and preschool environments and can lead to improved educational outcomes. Self-determination helps youth with disabilities achieve positive adult outcomes. The result will be a measurable increase in self-sufficiency and, perhaps even more importantly, greater sense of purpose and satisfaction in adulthood.

For more information, contact Tricia Buchanan at EducationPlus:

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Join us in a series of fun and engaging workshops where educators will have the opportunity to work with LEGO Education kits and technology to bring Common Core and NGS to life! Participants will work through hands-on activities that cover modeling in science, math, engineering, language arts, reading, social studies and literacy that will provide opportunities for students to demonstrate and build their 21st century skills. Bring engaging and motivating programs into your classroom! Topics will vary by session (review descriptions when you register for your event). LEGO Education manipulatives available include:

•  WeDo Robotics: STEAM
•  StoryStarter: ELA, Reading, Social Studies, Science
•  MoreToMath Primary Math
•  MINDSTORMS Robotics EV3: Explore real world Math, Science, Renewable Energy and  Engineering.
•  Simple & Motorized Mechanisms: Physical Science, Physics, Renewable Energy, and Engineering.

Brad FlickingerProject Based Learning & 21st Century Skills in the Elementary Classroom with LEGO Education has open registration dates of May 5, July 16 and October 22.

Project Based Learning & 21st Century Skills with LEGO Education has open registration dates of May 6, July 17 and October 23.

Visit the EducationPlus professional development calendar to register. Photo credit: Brad Flickinger

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Thank you all who had students submit 130 movies to the 2014 Show-Me a Movie Contest! Choosing the winners in each category was a difficult task for the panel of judges, who spent a full day reviewing the movies, entry forms and student reflections. The winning movies will be shown at the Midwest Education Technology Community Conference on February 10th. Congratulations to the following movies, our winning science, technology, engineering, math and art-themed submissions:

Makey Makey Still

Still from Makey-Makey by Warren Elementary students


Show-Me a Story  Francis Howell’s Sawmill
John Weldon Elementary, Francis Howell School District
Sponsor Marcia Riley

Show-Me Something New  Makey-Makey
Warren Elementary, Francis Howell School District
Sponsor Missy Kelly

Show-Me Your Creativity  Using Recycled Materials to Make a Checker Board
Buder Elementary School, Ritenour School District
Sponsors Janel Hubbard, Christine Phillips

Middle School

Show-Me a Challenge  Girls in STEM
Orchard Farm Middle School, Orchard Farm School District
Sponsor Heather Hinze

Show-Me Your Community   Using Art in the Real World
LaSalle Springs Middle School, Rockwood School District
Sponsor Rebecca Schweizer

Show-Me Your Creativity   Fluorescent vs Incandescent Light Bulbs
LaSalle Springs Middle School, Rockwood School District
Sponsor Rebecca Schweizer

High School

Show-Me a Challenge  Distractive Driving Campaign
Liberty High School, Wentzville School District
Sponsor Molly Kleiber

Show-Me Your Creativity  Les Fleurs de la Vie
Francis Howell Central High School, Francis Howell School District
Sponsor Michelle McCune

Thanks to our judges who took the time to review the movies. Also, thank you to our sponsors: EducationPlus, Fontbonne University, Kikkerland Design Inc., Lindenwood University and St. Louis County Library.

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Making IT Happen is an internationally recognized awards program from ISTE for educators and leaders in the field of educational technology integration in K–12 schools. The program identifies and rewards educational technology leaders around the world for their commitment and innovation. The Midwest Education Technology Community (METC) ISTE affiliate is pleased to honor our latest Making IT Happen educator.

Troy Hogg | Making IT Happen

(Pictured left to right) Dr. Peter Stiepleman, superintendent of Columbia Public Schools, Dr. Troy Hogg, Making IT Happen winner and Dr. Chris Diggs, director of technology services

Benton Elementary (Columbia Public Schools) principal Troy Hogg is the fall 2014 Making IT Happen winner from our affiliate. According to a Ben Tilley, assistant superintendent elementary education at CPS, Dr. Hogg “took an underperforming school and began crafting a plan to raise achievement and change the school in a STEM program. Dr. Hogg worked to form partnerships, gather resources and change the culture of the school into active community where science, engineering, technology and math are embraced. Dr. Hogg’s creative leadership is making a real difference for the students at Benton Elementary. Starting an elementary STEM program from scratch takes creative thinking and leadership on the part of the principal involved with the work. Troy Hogg has been that leader for Benton Elementary in Columbia, Missouri.”

Dr. Hogg was presented with his Making IT Happen jacket and certificate in December. Congratulations to Dr. Hogg and Columbia Public Schools! Follow Dr. Hogg on Twitter @tshogg. See a photo set that includes METC ISTE Making IT Happen winners here.

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