On September 24, 2018, ESU 11 hosted a Professional Learning Community meeting for kindergarten and first grade teachers. PLCs are an ongoing process in which educators work collaboratively to achieve better results for the students they serve. During this session, the group reviewed the newly adopted College and Career Ready Science standards and 3-Dimensional Teaching. Kate and Jody helped teachers identify where the Nebraska CCR Science standards are taught in each school’s current science textbooks. During this procedure, teachers held professional discussions and identified gaps in their current science curriculum. Teachers were then provided with resources that they can use to address these gaps. Then, Gifted Education Coordinator, Janelle Jack, demonstrated a lesson that teachers can use to help incorporate engineering practices into the classroom. The next PLC will be held in January. Between now and the next meeting, teachers are encouraged to integrate one of the lessons/resources that was shared in their classroom during a science lesson.
On September 20, 2018 ESU #11 provided a Level I update and training on how to handle crisis situations and/or grief in the school setting. Dr. John Dudley was the presenter. During the course of the day he shared many experiences, which provided a framework for school teams to develop their own crisis team management skills in addition to analyzing and updating their own current crisis team response manuals. This particular training was designed for new crisis teams and for school staff and community members new to existing school crisis response teams. During the course of the day, schools learned how to organize crisis teams to effectively respond to crisis situations in their schools, define a school crisis in addition to the types of crises they should respond to in their schools, manage the media, organize staff meetings during times of crisis, identify high risk students/staff in the aftermath of a school crisis, learn how to do effective follow up with students and staff, and help students, staff and parents.
The ESU 11 Gifted Department recently conducted Country School Activities in conjunction with the Nebraska Prairie Museum in Holdrege. 153 students participated in the activities. Some of the projects that they did were making butter, learning about the Blizzard of 1888, dipping candles, creating a raft to carry their wagon across the Missouri River, and writing with ink and nib pens. The students had a lot of fun as well as learned a lot about what it was like to live and attend school during the early 20th century. We think they’re all glad that they go to school now.
On September 5, 2018, ESU #11 hosted a photography workshop. This workshop was facilitated by Alan Mais, “The Camera Doctor”. This training was specifically designed for students and teachers who have digital application and yearbook responsibilities. During the course of this half-day, participants learned about the basics of taking pictures, how to operate their specific camera, the variety of accessories that are available for their camera, how to troubleshoot a variety of problems, and the proper care of cameras and prints.
On September 4, 2018, Kate Hatch and Jody Bauer conducted the second workshop for Entry Year Assistance for new teachers. At this session of training, the group focused on classroom management, and how to establish positive relationships with parents. In addition, Kate presented strategies and tactics that can be utilized to ensure successful, nonthreatening parent/teacher conferences. ESU #11 Technology Curriculum Consultant, Jody Bauer, also showcased the ESU 11 website and a variety of free online tools to help increase student engagement such as Padlet, QR Codes, ClassroomScreen, ReadWorks, and Listenwise.