Faculty from the Department of Teaching and Learning Participate in the Annual Arkansas Curriculum Conference
Many faculty from the UCA College of Education Department of Teaching and Learning faculty contributed to the great success of the annual Arkansas Curriculum Conference (ACC) held at the Peabody Hotel and Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock on November 3-5, 2010. This year approximately 1,200 classroom teachers from across the state of Arkansas attended this outstanding evening seeking professional development. Additionally, the department was represented by many middle level and secondary teacher candidates from UCA who both attended the conference to enhance their teaching insights and career opportunities and assisted with presentations.
ACC is co-hosted by four state organizations: the Arkansas Council for the Social Studies (ACSS), the Arkansas Council for the Teaching of English and Language Arts (ACTELA), the Arkansas Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ACTM), and the Arkansas Science Teachers Association (ASTA). Additionally, ACC is sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Education, the Arkansas Department of Higher Education, and the University of Arkansas Center for Mathematics and Science Education.
Several faculty from the Department of Teaching and Learning serve in leadership roles. Marilyn Friga serves on the ACSS board. Donna Wake and Jeff Whittingham serve on the ACTELA board. Terri Hebert serves on the ASTA board; this year she also assisted with conference registration. Faculty serving as board members were responsible for organizing several breakfasts, lunches, and dinner receptions.
Faculty from the Department of Teaching and Learning making 23 presentations included (in alphabetical order):
Dr. Tammy Benson with middle level intern Valeria Martin – “Jump Start Early Literacy: Strategies that WORK:” an array of research-based strategies to improve literacy in young learners
Dr. Gary Bunn – “Creative Thinking as a Vehicle for Greater Understanding:” a process for connecting concepts to promote creative thinking to increase understanding
Ms. Mara Cawein with teacher Tonia Crow of Cabot School District – “Use National Board Standards to Improve Teaching in Mathematics:” an extension of the national board process
Ms. Marilyn Friga with teacher Linda Shott of Pottsville School District - “The Box:” a conversation about National Board Certification
Ms. Marilyn Friga, Dr. Jeff Whittingham, and Dr. Patsy Ramsey from the UCA Department of History – “We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution:” a nationally acclaimed program on the principles of the U.S. Constitution
Dr. Nancy P. Gallavan with Ms. Marilyn Friga and MAT art teacher candidate Meagan Williams of Cabot School District – “Teaching the Thematic Strands of Social Studies with Dr. Seuss:” a comprehensive alignment of Dr. Seuss books with activities
Ms. Emily Goldstein, business education intern, with Dr. Robert Lamm, from Arkansas State University – “Evaluating Writing:” an analytical evaluation of rubrics with electronic techniques
Ms. Nancy Gregorich, middle level intern, with Ms. Catherine Hayes, ACTELA – “The Journal Gets a Facelift:” an overview of journaling to fulfill many different expectations
Dr. Terri Hebert - “Shake, Rattle, and Roll:” a selection of activities that help students visualize potential damage from earthquakes
Ms. Jessica Herring and Ms. Terri Smedegard, middle level interns – “Teaching Tweets: Using Social Networking to Teach Language Arts;” an exploration of social networking as forms of personal narratives for use with middle level learners
Ms. Jamie Metcalf, middle level intern, with Jan Loyd, teacher from Cabot School District – “Classroom Management, Organization, and Strucure:” an opportunity to increase learning through classroom management and readiness
Ms. Minnietta Ready, middle level intern, with Dr. John Hehr, professor at the University of Arkansas – “STARLAB: Weather:” a view of global weather events
Ms. Minnietta Ready, middle level intern, with Ms. Deborah Teems, teacher from Mountain Home School District – “Elementary My Dear Watson!” a series of forensic and inquiry based science labs
Ms. Minnietta Ready, middle level intern, with Ms. Judi Colloredo, Invent Now Kids – “Creative Coasters:” an adventure in building roller coasters
Dr. Wendy Rickman and Dr. Stephanie Huffman from the UCA Department of Leadership Studies – “Lifetime, School, & Reluctant Reader Populations:” a summary of traits of readers and nonreaders within student populations
Ms. Haley Tharp, middle level intern, with Ms. Novella Humphreys, Northcentral ESC – “Igniting the Fires for Reading History:” a collection of strategies to motivate students to ask burning questions related to history
Dr. Donna Wake with professor Dr. Sean Connors from the University of Arkansas – “Rethinking Reading: Graphic Narrative in the Classroom;” a presentation supporting graphic novels as an expansive definition of reading
Dr. Donna Wake with professor Dr. Peter Smagorinsky from the University of Georgia – “A Structured Process-Approach to Teaching Writing:” a hands-on experience with extension activities
Dr. Donna Wake with middle level intern Mindi French - “Digital Storytelling: Writing for the Net Generation:” a review of digital storytelling products created by students ranging from kindergarteners through graduate programs
Dr. Jeff Whittingham with Dr. Rob Christensen along with Dr. Stephanie Huffman and Dr. Wendy Huffman from the UCA Department of Leadership Studies – “Using Audio Books in the Middle School Library:” a report of findings relating the impact of using audio books on attitudes toward reading and fluency
Dr. Jeff Whittingham with author Dr. Patricia McCormick – “The Writer’s Life: Helping Students Find the Writer Within:” a featured luncheon presentation with a National Book Award winning finalist guiding teachers to inspire their students’ writing
Dr. Jeff Whittingham with middle level interns Valerie Martin, Jamie Metcalf, Terri Smedegard, Michelle Stell, Haley Tharp, and Angela Wittke – “Twenty Ten: The Best Twenty Books of 2010:” an examination of juvenile fiction and young adult books published in 2010
Angela Wittke, middle level intern, with Ms. Erica Sockwell, teacher from Jonesboro School District – “What Classroom Am I In? Writing Across the Curriculum:” a view of writing in all subject areas
In addition to their presentations, faculty from the Department of Teaching and Learning recruited for the College of Education in the Exhibit Hall promoting their graduate programs. An assortment of fliers were distributed, especially information about the Advanced Studies in Teacher Leadership Program, the Special Education master’s degree program, and the School Counseling Program. Other faculty who contributed their time to the COE Recruiting Exhibit included Dr. Kathleen Atkins, Chair of the Department of Early Childhood/Special Education, and Mr. Ken Vaughn, Director of the Office of Candidate Services.
Faculty from the Department of Teaching and Learning were excited to provide professional development for Arkansas teachers at the 2010 ACC and look forward to participating again next year.
UCA College of Education Instructor Earns National Board Re-Certification
Marilyn A. Friga, Instructor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education at the University of Central Arkansas, recently was granted her National Board Professional Teacher (NBPT) Re-certification. Originally, Mrs. Friga was certified in November, 2001, in the area of Adolescents and Young Adulthood/Social Studies-History. The National Board Professional Teacher Re-Certification process includes providing evidence of advancing professional growth, increased student learning, and adherence to the highest standards in teaching. Mrs. Friga continues to grow in and contribute to the education profession as a Praxis III Assessor/Reviewer and a Path Wise Mentor/Trainer for teacher educator candidates preparing to become classroom teachers and practicing classrooms teachers seeking opportunities to advance their reflection and professionalism. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification is the highest recognition for classroom teachers in the United States. At this time, approximately 82,000 U.S. teachers are national board certified including approximately 1,400 Arkansas teachers. UCA is extremely fortunate to have an instructor who has earned both her original National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification in 2001 and her Re-Certification in 2010.
Child Study Center Instructors Present at State AECA Conference
Five instructors from the UCA College of Education Child Study Center presented two sessions at the 49th annual conference of the Arkansas Early Childhood Association (AECA) held in Hot Springs, AR, October 14-16, 2010. Mrs. Kathy Moore, Director of the COE Child Study Center, presented a session on using technology in the classroom. Previously a second grade teacher, Mrs. Moore showed how she used technology to link her classroom of second graders to a science outpost on Antarctica, corresponding with a fellow Arkansan stationed there conducting science experiments.
During her session, Mrs. Moore showed how the students learned about a land that most of them will never visit or even spend much time studying through the use of technology. Extending their focus on Antarctica, Mrs. Moore developed lessons integrating every aspect of the curriculum, from language and literature to science and social studies, into the classroom explorations, making learning come alive for the students that she shared with the conference session participants.
In another conference session, instructors Mrs. Ruth Rowell, Mrs. Jamie Dallas, Mrs. Brenda Payne, and Mrs. Debbie Storment presented a session featuring science education in the pre-K and K classrooms. The presenters showed how to link the Arkansas Early Childhood Frameworks and the Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale (Revised) known as the ECERS-R scale to the classroom through the use of a learning center. The ECERS-R scale is an assessment tool used to rate the quality of Early Childhood centers based on seven subscales. An on-site assessor completes the ECERS-R; centers are rated on their scores. Materials for the learning center and simple science experiments were discussed and demonstrated to the conference participants.
3rd Annual Bookcase Literacy Banquet
Faculty and staff from the UCA College of Education Department of Teaching and Learning attended the 3rd Annual Bookcase Literacy Banquet held at Bob Courtway Middle School in Conway on Thursday, October 21, 2010. Former State Senator, Stanley Russ, presided over the enjoyable evening and Bookcase Literacy Project founder, Jim Davidson, delivered the keynote address. The Ward Family Singers and Friends provided special entertainment.
Since its inception in 2005, the members of the Conway Bookcase Literacy Project Committee, with bountiful help from the community, have built and presented 300 quality, personalized oak bookcases featuring a starter set of books to preschool children in the Conway Housing Authority and Head Start Program. This volunteer project uses no tax money or grants of any kind. The project focuses on giving back to the community with a focus on literacy.
Faculty and staff from the Department of Teaching and Learning generously bought a “table” at the Oct 21st banquet; the funds will be used for building 50 bookcases to be presented to young children in April, 2011. Additionally, books for young children were donated to the Bookcase Literacy Project by faculty and staff from the College of Education. Filling the bookshelves with high quality books for preschoolers helps to get books in each child’s hands and to promote a head start on school. Special thanks to Jamie Alea, Tammy Benson, Gary Bunn, Mara Cawein, Sue Farris, Terri Hebert, Maree Herring, and their families, along with other faculty and staff from the Department of Teaching and Learning who contributed to this worthy cause. If you would like more information about or to contribute to Bookcase Literacy Project, contact Dr. Tammy Benson, chair of the COE Department of Teaching and Learning, who serves on the Conway Bookcase Literacy Project Committee.
Mashburn Center Recognized as Model Intervention Program for AR Schools
Dr. Mark Cooper - Director of Mashburn Center
The Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) has recognized the Mashburn Center for Learning as one of three state-endorsed intervention programs for schools seeking to improve the learning of low-achieving students. The Center provides professional development for teachers in research-validated instructional methods and strategies. The Center also strives to enhance the professional learning communities of schools to increase a school’s capacity for improved student learning. Preliminary evaluation reveals increased student achievement in Mashburn Center participating schools.
C of Ed Dean Receives National Award
Professor Diana G. Pounder, UCA College of Education Dean, recently received national recognition by being awarded the University Council for Educational Administration Distinguished Service Award. The University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) is a national consortium of leading universities who have doctoral programs in educational leadership, Dr. Pounder's disciplinary focus. The UCEA Distinguished Service Award is given infrequently to those whose service to UCEA far exceeds that of their peers.
Dr. Pounder's many service contributions to UCEA include leadership as UCEA's President, Conference Program Co-Chair, and Executive Committee Member in the late 1990's. More recently, Dr. Pounder served as Editor of the UCEA-sponsored journal, Educational Administration Quarterly, the leading scholarly journal in the field of educational leadership. She also served as Co-Chair of the UCEA-AERA National Task Force on Leadership Preparation Research.
Kappa Delta Pi Awarded National ACE Award
UCA’s Kappa Delta Pi chapter, an international education honor society, was awarded the ACE Chapter Award at the annual KDP convention.
Only 29 chapters received this award from among the 598 chapters in Kappa Delta Pi. Three members traveled to Orlando, Florida to take part in professional development sessions, awards presentations, and inspirational speaker presentations. Attending KDP CONVO 2009 in Orlando, Florida.
Gallavan Recognized in National and State Professional Associations
Dr. Nancy Gallavan has been nominated for the 2009 American Educational Research Association Book Award for the book: Kottler, E, & Gallavan, N. P. (2008). Secrets to success for social studies teachers, Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. She is also serving as the Arkansas Association of Teacher Educators (ArATE) Conference Chair, with the annual conference held on UCA’s campus in September, 2009. Dr. Gallavan is President–Elect of the Arkansas Association of Teacher Educators (ArATE).
What is Working in Arkansas Education? Rockefeller Foundation Commissions White Papers from Mashburn Center Faculty
The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation has formally established an agreement with the Mashburn Center for Learning to write three comprehensive white papers that examine what is working in Arkansas to increase graduation rates at two-year colleges, four-year universities, and high schools. A fourth comprehensive white paper will focus on what is and is not working in Arkansas to improve STEM education, with specific focus on the impact of STEM education on graduation rates. The WR Foundation has asked the Mashburn team, Drs. Mark Cooper, Patty Kohler-Evans, and Lisa Daniels and Ms. Renee Calhoon, to investigate interventions that impact hard to retain students and marginalized populations attending two-year colleges or four-year universities, students attending high-poverty high schools, and low income, minority, and rural students participating in STEM education.
The WR Rockefeller Foundation has instituted a multi-year strategic plan that builds on WRF's 35 year history of grant-making. The multi-year strategic plan is called Moving the Needle (MTN). The ultimate goal of the foundation is to move from the nation's bottom five in economic and education indicators to one of the nation's highest ranking states. Dr. Cooper, Director of the Mashburn Center for Learning, finds that the WR Foundations mission and the Mashburn Center for Learning mission is completely aligned. The Mashburn Center for Learning team is very excited to participate in this strategic alliance with WRF due to the special focus on improving education for challenged learners attending high schools, two-year-colleges, and four-year institutions.
Miranda Ratliff Awarded KDP Grant
Miranda Ratliff receives grant from Kathryn Smith, Kappa Delta Pi President.
Miranda Ratliff received the first chapter grant from Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in education. Applicants must be active members of the KDP chapter and demonstrate leadership in the chapter as well as potential as a professional educator. Miranda’s leadership ability was evident in a recent class, where the faculty member shared the following about a classroom activity. “I noticed that Miranda emerged as a leader in this team project. She brought resources to share with the other teacher candidates, and she motivated the team to stay on track.” The following excerpt from her essay demonstrates her potential as an educator. “I plan to always work hard on getting to know my students so that they are the ones that benefit the most out of our interactions. I know that students come in every size, shape, color, intellect and behavioral issue. This does not sound discouraging to me, but rather an opportunity to allow myself to grow.” Congratulations, Miranda. KDP believes in your ability to nurture and love your future students.
2010 National Virtual Case Study Winners
The National Virtual Case Study Competition sponsored by StudentAffairs.com is open to graduate students matriculating in a Masters level program in student personnel administration, higher education, or counseling for at least six credits during the corresponding spring semester. This year marked the 9th Annual Virtual Case Study Competition.
True to form, another College Student Personnel Services and Administration (CSPA) team was selected as a national case study winner in the “Most Educational” category, taking third place. The 2010 CSPA team consisted of Joe Wheeler, Mike Simpson, Nathan Lynch and James Goin. Each team member received a $50.00 award. Past performances by UCA/CSPA grads include Third Place for Most Creative in 2009; Fourth Place in 2008; Second Place in 2007; and Third Place in 2006.
SUMMER 2010 INTERNSHIP LEADS TO NATIONAL RECOGNITION
One of the current CSPA students, Nathan Lynch, wrote a blog about his Summer 2010 internship experiences in China. and recently he began collaborating on a national blog with Stuart Brown who coordinates the website studentaffairs.com. To learn more, you can go to Nathan’s China Blog at: http://theotherclassroom.wordpress.com
UCA Graduates Exceed State Average in Classroom Teaching Performance Assessment
The 2010 Praxis III results were recently released by the Arkansas Department of Education. The Praxis III assessment is a classroom teaching performance assessment that is required to qualify for a standard teaching license in Arkansas. This assessment is done after an individual begins teaching with the three-year initial teaching license and is typically completed at the end of the first year of teaching. The 2010 PRAXIS III Assessment revealed a state average score of 51.4 with a standard deviation of 2.6; the highest score possible and also earned was 57; the minimum passing score is 45.
The 2010 UCA Praxis III results are identified by the route of preparation the person completed to qualify for the initial teaching license. UCA has two approved initial teacher preparation programs -- the traditional undergraduate program and the Master of Arts in Teaching program. Other graduates from UCA that are identified in the Praxis III results have completed a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree, but have elected to enter the Non-Traditional Licensure Program administered by the Arkansas Department of Education. The results from all three initial licensure routes indicate that UCA graduates meet required classroom performance standards to earn a standard Arkansas teaching license. Specifically, teaching performance assessed with the Praxis III indicates that individuals prepared through the Master of Arts in Teaching have a somewhat higher average performance score (52.7) than that of other UCA student groups. The second highest average (52.2) was made by those prepared in the traditional undergraduate teacher education program. Those UCA graduates completing the Non-Traditional Licensure Program had the lowest average score (51.5). The UCA College of Education celebrates with all UCA graduates who have successfully completed this assessment and who are teaching in Arkansas schools.