Literacy, Elementary, and Early Education Archives

Local Teachers Featured Ed Talk Speakers for the Better Together: CA Teacher Summit July 31

By Pamela Van Halsema on July 24, 2015 4:12 PM

The Better Together: CA Teachers Summit is only one week away. More than 14,000 educators across California will gather next Friday, July 31 to learn, share ideas, dive deep into discussions and work to build and strengthen their professional networks just in time for back to school season. 

Sonoma State University is one of the 33 host universities for this inaugural event, which will include keynote speakers, an Edcamp conference and more. One exciting feature of the day are Ed Talks at each site, in which three local teachers will offer inspiring and thought provoking perspectives about their successes and challenges as teachers, offering personal narratives related to their work with implementation of the California Standards. We are pleased to announce the three featured Ed Talk speakers who will be on stage at Sonoma State next week:

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Catlin Tucker: Connect Students to an Authentic Audience

Catlin Tucker is a Google Certified Teacher currently teaching at Windsor High School in Sonoma County, where she was named Teacher of the Year in 2010. She is the bestselling author of Blended Learning for Grades 4-12 and Creatively Teach the Common Core Literacy Standards with Technology (Corwin) She authored a blended learning course for ASCD and writes a monthly column for Educational Leadership. Catlin is an experienced professional development facilitator, trainer, speaker, and blogger (CatlinTucker.com)



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Ruth Moore: Making Every Voice Matter

Ruth Moore has taught middle school English and history for 26 years to a full spectrum of learners, and has served as a BTSA mentor, department chairs and Teacher on Special Assignment. Ruth chairs as a district-wide committee of Board of Education members, district personnel and teacher representatives from K-12 to support constructive dialogue about issues of concern. She is also currently serving on the newly formed Instructional Leadership Corps, a joint venture of Stanford University and CTA to provide quality professional development around CCSS implementation.



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Glenn Corey: How I Get My Students to Not Listen to the Teacher

After being a toy designer, documentary film-maker, engineer, executive and researcher, Glenn Corey followed his life-long dream to become a teacher. He teaches design and physics at Novato High School where he helps students pursue their curiosity to create value in the world. Corey is one of the first recipients of a new award presented by the Allen Foundation designed to recognize and support K-12 teachers who promote innovation and entrepreneurialism in the classroom.


The Better Together: CA Teachers Summit, is a collaborative event organized by New Teacher Center, and California State University (CSU) and the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. To learn more, visit the event website at www.cateacherssummit.com and follow it all in real time on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@CAteachersummit, #cateacherssummit

Education Groups to Sponsor Unprecedented Convening of California Teachers

By Pamela Van Halsema on June 8, 2015 3:17 PM

Unique partnership of California education groups assemble to celebrate teachers across the state at Better Together: California Teachers Summit
  
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On July 31, California teachers at 33 locations across the state, including Sonoma State University, will come together to share innovative strategies that empower our PreK-12 teachers and build powerful teacher communities to positively impact our students. New Teacher Center (NTC), in partnership with California State University (CSU), the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU) and its member institutions, will co-host Better Together: California Teachers Summit, which is designed to help teachers learn from each other, share best practices in implementing the new California Standards and celebrate their work. The events are supported by $3.5 million in grants to NTC, CSU Fullerton and Loyola Marymount University from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"California teachers know that the time to impact the lives of students is always going to be now," said Ellen Moir, Founder and CEO of New Teacher Center. "This event will allow 20,000 teachers to celebrate in classroom successes while building a powerful and lasting support network." 

As teachers prepare for the upcoming school year, Better Together: California Teachers Summit provides a unique opportunity to hear from nationally renowned speakers and give teachers a forum to share cutting-edge strategies and proven best practices led by teachers and for teachers. Teachers will come away with concrete tools and strategies for navigating recent changes in implementing the new California Standards, and a network of colleagues from their home region to support future collaboration. 

"California's teachers work tirelessly every day to make sure our students thrive," said Kristen Soares, President of AICCU. "This gathering celebrates their achievements and brings them back to their AICCU campus community to equip them with research based practices to ensure their continued success in a changing environment."

"With roots extending back a century to its teacher college origins, the CSU is honored to host this special day of professional collaboration," said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. "Through peer learning and exchange, California teachers continue to be at the forefront of classroom innovation - further igniting the spark of learning in their students."

All California teachers, teacher candidates and sch
ool administrators are invited to participate in th
is
summit. Events will be held at 33 locations through
out California and registration is free. For more
information or to register online, please visit
www.cateacherssummit.com
, and follow
#CATeachersSummit for up-to-date information.

All California teachers, teacher candidates and school administrators are invited to participate in this summit. Events will be held at 33 locations throughout California and registration is free. For more information or to register online, please visit www.cateacherssummit.com, and follow #CATeachersSummit for up-to-date information.

"California teachers know that the time to impact t
he lives of students is always going to be now," sa
id
Ellen Moir, Founder and CEO of New Teacher Center.
"This event will allow 20,000 teachers to celebrate
in-classroom successes while building a powerful an
d lasting support network."

Call for Nominations for the 2015 Jack London Award for Educational Innovation

By Pamela Van Halsema on January 13, 2015 8:59 AM

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"He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars."
Jack London, The Call of the Wild

Inspired by London

Local hero Jack London was a brilliant writer who pursued life with a sense of adventure much like the characters in his books. He took a non-traditional approach to living and learning, and embraced risk to spur his imagination.Tapping into those experiences, he was able to spin classic tales like The Call of the Wild, White Fang and dozens if not hundreds of other stories, novels, poems and plays.

Here at Sonoma State it is London's rogue ambition and creative fervor that we memorialize in the Jack London Award for Educational Innovation program.  For 28 years, the award has celebrated exceptional programs and the creative people who took risks, energy and time to make them successful for the children of Sonoma County public schools. 

Call for Nominations

We now invite nominations for the 2015 Jack London Award.  Representatives from throughout Sonoma County are invited to nominate innovative programs for this honor. Nominated programs may serve early childhood, elementary or secondary education populations either as part of the school day or as an extra-curricular program. 

Think about  what creative risk-taking is happening in the classrooms, labs, art rooms, playgrounds, gymnasiums and auditoriums at your schools. Have you launched any new and innovative  programs that build student engagement and advance learning? Tell us about them! Our advisory committee reviews all the applications and selects a few finalist programs for a team of judges to visit and evaluate in person.

Nominations Due February 12

Apply by Thursday, February 12, 2015; application is posted on our website at www.sonoma.edu/education/jack-london

Direct questions about the Jack London Award for Educational Innovation to Pamela Van Halsema at 707-664-2132.

Mary Collins School to Host 13th Annual Symposium: What Does it Mean to be Literate in the 21st Century

By Pamela Van Halsema on January 12, 2015 10:57 AM

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What does it mean to be 'literate in the 21st Century?  Teacher educators, Dr. Jennifer Roswell and Awele Makeba will consider this question at the 13th Annual Mary Collins School Symposium on Saturday, January 24, 2015 from 9:00-3:00 PM.  These two engaging presenters will share their work in language arts through authentic contexts, student discourses and multiple viewpoints.  

About the Speakers

Jennifer Roswell is the Canada Research Chair in Multiliteracies, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario.Her research explores the ways of broadening literacy education, policy and theory so that it meets the challenges of multi-modal, digital and trans-cultural environments.

Awele Makeba is an award-winning and internationally known storyteller, teacher, recording artist and performer. She is an artist for social change. She currently serves as a Literacy Specialist in Oakland Unified School District.

The full day of professional development will involve presentations Dr. Rowsell and Ms. Makeba, teacher-facilitated break-out sessions, and a final "rocking chair" session in which the two presenters have a dialogue and address our most pressing questions.  A local, organic lunch is also included.*

Mary Collins a Partner with SSU for Teacher Preparation

Mary Collins School partners with the Multiple Subject Credential Program in the training of new elementary school teachers. As a CORE site pre-service teachers observe and ain field experience in the classroom, working closely with expert elementary school mentor teachers for the two semesters they are working toward a Multiple Subject teaching credential.  

Mary Collins is known for their Constructivist approach to learning and offer specialized learning in the arts and enviornmental education. In Constructivism the emphasis is placed on the learner or the student, rather than the teacher or the instructor. Learning is also affected by the context and the beliefs and attitudes of the learner. Learners are encouraged to invent their own solutions and to try out ideas and hypotheses. They are given the opportunity to build on prior knowledge. 

***Bring a friend (2 or more) and receive $5 off each ticket.  Please email us at marycollinsschoolsymposium@gmail.com and we'll send you the discount code!***

Webinars Explore Making in Schools, Features Panel of Maker-Educators

By Pamela Van Halsema on December 2, 2014 10:38 AM

Making in K-12 Schools Webinars: Part 1, Wednesday, December 3 and Part 2, Wednesday, December 10, noon PST

To join the webinars, go to http://educatorinnovator.org/webinars/

2 webinars december 3 and 10 for Making in K-12 Settings

Join School of Education Assoc. Professor Jessica Parker, along with several Bay Area maker-educators as they discuss the role of "Making" in schools.  Set up as a forum, these teachers will share stories from their own experiences in the classroom--from elementary up to high school--incorporating making into the curriculum and both creating and maintaining a culture of creativity

In Part 1 of the two part series, on December 3, the panel will focus on how to set things up to foster hands-on, interdisciplinary maker projects and events which successfully support student learning.

In Part 2, on December 10, they will discuss the kind of professional development that they themselves need as educators to implement these programs and adopt a 'maker mindset' as a teacher.

The Maker Movement

Making emphasizes learning-through-doing In a social environment. Maker culture emphasizes informal, networked, peer-led, and shared learning motivated by fun and self-fulfillment. Makers encourage taking risks and experimentation with materials from simple to high tech equipment, they set up opportunities to build and tinker and create. Robotics, woodworking, crafting, 3D printing, and machining are just a few examples of projects used in Maker Spaces all over the world top inspire through project-based learning.

The notion of tinkering and Making has become popular world-wide and is now truly a movement capturing the imagination of young and old, across cultures and disciplines. Maker Media, based here in Sonoma County, has been the hub and helped build this movement around the world with their publications and their Maker Faire events.

This global community consists of inventors, artists, engineers, and many other types of people with all kinds of backgrounds. This movement is taking many in the direction of successful independent creativity that is allowing for outside the box thinking and knowledge expansion and growth.

This kind of thinking is a great fit for project based learning and creative problem solving curriculum in schools, as well as creative and artistic development.

The Maker Educator Certificate Program

This webinar is hosted and produced by the National Writing Project's Educator Innovator initiative (educatorinnovator.org), and is affiliated with the Maker Educator Certificate Program offered by The Startup Classroom at Sonoma State University. The certificate program offers a selection of mini courses to help educators of all kinds (not just school teachers) learn how to start and maintain MakerSpaces in their own setting, and become part of a network of Maker Educators.  

To learn more about the Maker Educator Certificate Program visit www.thestartupclassroom.org/maker-course/ 

The Day in the Life of a Multiple Subject Student Teacher

By Gabrielle Cordero on October 13, 2014 11:50 AM

By Guest Author: Jared Candelaria

Editor's note: This guest blog article is one in a series written by students in the Multiple Subject Credential Program, intended to offer a glimpse into the life and work of a credential candidate in our program. Candelaria completed the program in Spring 2014.

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My day as a student teacher starts when I wake up at 6:00 a.m. Immediately, I start to think about the lesson plans I have done that prior weekend. As I drink a cup of coffee, I look over my daily lesson plans and wonder how effective they will be that day. I arrive at my teaching placement site around 7:30 a.m and about 7:45a.m. I start to feel a little nervous about the start of my day. As students trickle into the classroom, I greet them at the door with a smile; and after the bell rings, I say, "Time to begin our day, class".

In the classroom not every day is the same. Obviously, the content of the lessons are different and each student is unique. Because no two students are the same and have individual needs, everyday is filled with new challenges. Teaching multiple subjects daily is one of the many challenges I face not only because of the knowledge requirement but also because I must find ways to relay that knowledge to a variety of learning abilities. Some days these challenges are easy to overcome and other days lessons simply fail. No matter the outcome, each day is a learning experience for me and because I care, these experiences will allow me to grow as a teacher.

When the last bell rings and the students are gone, it is time to reflect. I am sure student teachers are overwhelmed by these feelings. I might feel discouraged, happy, excited, sad, or disappointed; but no matter the feeling, tomorrow is another day. A day you continue with the successes and correct the missteps with the help of your mentors. As a student teacher in the Multiple Subject Credential Program, always keep in mind the reason why you entered it. It was to help students reach their potential; and by remembering this, it will allow you to face the classroom challenges and eventually overcome them so that you can be successful.

To learn more about becoming an elementary school teacher and the Multiple Subject Credential Program at Sonoma State University, read more online or drop by and visit us on the ground floor of Stevenson Hall, Suite 1078.

The Day in the Life of a Student Teacher as Told by Indy Luis

By Gabrielle Cordero on July 23, 2014 4:05 PM

By Guest Author: Indy Luis

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As a student getting started on the Multiple Subject Credential (Elementary School) CORE track at Sonoma State, you get to spend two days getting hands on experience as a future teacher. Although, with 5 on campus courses at SSU your focus is more on learning the fundamentals for creating lesson plans, being familiar with the theories behind what you are seeing in the classroom, content knowledge, etc.

But when you transition to your semester as a full time student teacher the focus is more on your time inside the classroom 4 1/2 days a week. You truly get to feel what it feels like to get to school early, prepare your classroom, and then spend the day teaching children. You will spend time getting to know your students, learning your classroom management style, your philosophies on teaching, procedures that work best in primary and upper grades, etc. The learning that can be accomplished in one day is endless, especially if you take advantage of every opportunity.

Mondays during your full time student teaching are the days where lots of caffeine is needed. You are inside the classroom from 8 to 12, business as usual. By 12 you're on the road heading towards SSU where you will attend two courses. These courses are re doable, and they are full of useful information, but having full concentration for 6 hours can be challenging.

Not only is the hands on experience at your school site challenging, but it is also extremely beneficial, and is the most important piece of this program in my opinion. I thoroughly feel like my work in the field was the most important part of my journey to being a credentialed teacher.

The most stressful time of your full time student teaching will be the works prior, during, and after you create, teach, film, and reflect on your PACT lessons. PACT stands for Performance Assessment for Credentialed Teachers, and fulfills a requirement from the State of California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing. To earn a credential, there is a series of skills that you must be able to show. You must design some sort of literacy lesson, film it, and submit all your work to be evaluated by the university. It is something that most all student teachers are able to accomplish and do a fantastic job, and from what I understand all the student teachers in my class did well and passed.

Overall the process during your full time student teaching will be hard, and it will test your strength. Even though it was the hardest thing I went through in relation of my education, I feel like it showed me that I was made to do this. As I was stressing about my PACT lessons, and nervous beyond belief teaching them, I was also nervous about the outcome in my classroom. I wanted my students to learn the literacy skill I was teaching them SO bad. This realization showed me how much I truly was made for educating the members of our future generation. I know that my passion for teaching and learning clearly showed through my work as well, because the entire class was able to succeed in my lessons.

I also feel fortunate to have made this journey through Sonoma State's program with a dedicated staff who were extremely understanding throughout the entire year, as well as a wonderful group of individuals who were also in this journey. Not only do I recommend getting to know your professors, but I also recommend depending on your fellow student teachers at your site and at SSU to get you through this. We should be in this together as a group of future teachers, and helping each other should be part of the deal. It sure was hard at various times during the year as I battled through this program, but anytime I didn't think I could do it, I knew I would have people behind me telling me I could.

Overall I feel that I have learned to become the best teacher I can be in Sonoma State's Multiple Subject Teaching Credential program. I almost gave up multiple times, and it was an extremely difficult process, but I am proud to say I made it. One thing you must remember about this program is that you can and you will get through it, just like many amazing student teachers before you who were also meant to be educators.

To learn more about the Multiple Subject Credential Program at Sonoma State, read more on our website, or attend one of our monthly information workshops!

A (Tues)Day in the Life of a Multiple Subject Credential Student Teacher at Sonoma State

By Gabrielle Cordero on June 30, 2014 11:55 AM

By Guest Author: Jessica Hernandez

Being a credential student at times can be challenging, especially if you are a mother and a wife as well. Being a credential student requires discipline and commitment. But, knowing you're making a difference in the lives of children validates everything.

For part-time student teachers in the Multiple Subject Program like me, you usually have two days at the university taking classes and two days at your placement site. In one of those site days you have a seminar class. On the other days you have an option to spend time substitute teaching during the day and in the afternoon doing homework if you want more experience. The following is a snap shot of a typical Tuesday in my life this semester.

quote from blog: Being a credential student takes hard work and dedication.  But, knowing you are helping children validates everything

On Tuesday, up at 6:00 a.m get ready and everything ready for my twins for Day Care. At 7:30 I head to my school site. It's a 30 minute to and from the site in Santa Rosa to my home in Cloverdale. Arrive at 8:00, sign in at the office and drop my reflection sheet for the week for the site supervisor to read. Class starts, for the first half hour students come to my desk for help. Teacher opens the class each morning allowing students to work on things that they may need to catch up on. After my mentor teacher starts the class. The full-time student teacher and I (the part-time student teacher) sit and correct papers for the teacher. From time to time I will stop and take notes on what I observe. Later I take a group of students to the library for reading. After reading we go back to class. The full-timer student teacher is doing a lesson. I help, in whatever she wants me to help her. During recess, our mentor teacher has study hall and the full-timer and I take turns going to the restroom since students cannot be left unsupervised.

From 12:00 -1:30 p.m we have our site seminar, this seminar will be different depending of which school site you are in. For us it was on Tuesday and typically between this time. In seminar we learned about different things we wanted to learn about teaching. At the beginning of the semester we brainstormed ideas and decided on the topics. Some seminar days were exclusively about PACT (Performance Assessment for California Teachers) for the full-timers, one was about CWS-1 (Candidate Work Sample) for the part-timers. But, most of the time the seminars were in teachers' classrooms where different teachers talked to us about topics like; classroom management, back to school night, Common Core Standards, etc. Most of the time, it was during upper grades' lunch, so we had to eat our lunches during that time as well.

After seminar, we went back to class, assisted our mentor in whatever she wanted us to do. Sometimes it was correcting, copying, taking down projects from the wall and displaying new projects on the wall. Sometimes, I would leave the class to observe other peers doing a lesson in different classrooms.as a part-timer you're required to do four peer observations After we would have a debrief session where we talked about what we observed about the lessons. Then I would return to my class and walk around helping students and observing. Then we head to the gym for P.E. before school ended. I always participate in the lesson. I believe it's important for students to see you as the teacher willing to do what you want them to do. Plus, it's fun to move around and play with your students. Class is dismissed at 2:54 p.m.

We went back to the classroom to plan for the next day and next week. Sometimes we would have auto duty in that case we would be doing that for at least 40 minutes. After school is your opportunity to ask questions about anything you saw or anything you have questions about. During this time I would plan with my mentor on anything she wanted to let me teach for the next day or what I could teach next week. Sometimes we would leave this planning for the next day. Usually I would stay at the site until 3:30. Headed to the university for a class from 4-6:40. Then head back home.

When I got home I attended to my parental duties. Once my twins were in bed. I finished doing homework. Work on my lesson plan for the next day or for the following week. Usually this was a two hour deal on a good day. Then off to sleep I went.

ieSonoma Event June 9 Features Design Thinking in Education

By Pamela Van Halsema on May 21, 2014 10:00 AM

Sonoma State School of Education is pleased to be a co-host of the 2014 ieSonoma event on Monday, June 9, 8:30am-12:30pm at Sonoma Country Day School in Santa Rosa.  The event is focused the changing demands of the 21st century and how our community, and its schools, must respond to meet those demands. Two keynote speakers will be featured, Dr. Sugata Mitra and Nirvan Mullick. A discussion on "Design Thinking in Education" will include a panel of experts, including Greg Bamford, Kristen Swanson, and others to be announced.


Sugata MitraDr. Sugata Mitra is Professor of Educational Technology at the School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences at Newcastle University, England. His 30 years of research spans a wide range of disciplines, but he has earned the greatest recognition for his creative experiment known as the Hole in the Wall, which showed that children can teach themselves and each other when they're motivated by curiosity and peer interest. This work inspired the book and award-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire. Dr. Mitra received the 2013 TED Prize and was named one of the Top 10 Thinkers of 2013 by CNN.

Nirvan MullickNirvan Mullick is a filmmaker, creative consultant, speaker, and entrepreneur. His animated short films have screened in festivals worldwide. In 2001, he began an ongoing collaborative experiment called The 1 Second Film, which was one of the first crowd-funded films. In 2012, he directed Caine's Arcade, an 11-minute film that became a viral phenomenon, receiving over 8 million views and sparking a global movement of "cardboard creativity." Mullick subsequently founded the non-profit Imagination Foundation to find, foster, and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in children. He has received the Dan Eldon Creative Activist Award and Innovation in Action award.

Registration is free for teachers and students using the promotional code innovate14 on the registration form, but tickets are limited.  General admission is $40 for non-teachers.  To register, see this registration page

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About ieSonoma

ieSonoma is a partnership of educational institutions and the larger community dedicated to exploring the research, theory, and practice of transforming education for the 21st century. The partnership was initiated by SCOE in collaboration with founding partners Sonoma Country Day School and Sonoma State University and is aligned to the Cradle to Career Sonoma County goal of ensuring that every child succeeds academically

Maker Day in Marin Showcases How Teachers and Students Integrate Creativity and Science

By Pamela Van Halsema on April 2, 2014 9:11 AM

The MAKER Movement has taken hold in many schools around Northern California. Over the last several years interest in the grass roots MAKER Movement has grown. MAKER Fairs around the world have attracted hundreds of thousands of people. Now MAKER is beginning to spill into schools and be used by innovative teachers seeking to provide engaging, hands-on, authentic learning experiences in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics.  

You can find out what MAKER is all about the 1st annual MAKER Day on April 12 at the Marin County Office of Education.See how the future is being imagined,invented, designed, programmed, and manufactured by Marin County students.Meet the MAKERS and have fun with the hands-on exhibits. Everyone is welcome--teachers, kids, families and more-- and it's free! HERE to register.

GO Green and ride your bike to MAKER Day on April 12. Valet bike parking courtesy of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition!

The Marin County Office of Education and partners Autodesk, Microsoft, Edutopia, Intel Clubhouse, Marin County Bicycle Coalition, Lego Play-Well, Buck Institute for Education, and Bay Area Science Festival are hosting MAKER Day on April 12, from 10:00-4:00 at the Marin County Office of Education, 1111 Las Gallinas Avenue, San Rafael. Experience the excitement, creativity, genius and the "do it yourself" ingenuity of our students. More info at http://make.marinschools.org.

The School of Education encourages both pre-service and in-service teachers to take advantage of this opportunity to see how schools are incorporating the MAKER mindset in their classrooms.