Archive | Features

Other school professionals test-drive PGES

Library media specialist Heidi Neltner talks into a whisper phone while reading

Library media specialist Heidi Neltner talks into a whisper phone while reading Count The Monkeys by Mac Barnett and Kevin Cornell with kindergarten students at Johnson Elementary School (Ft. Thomas Independent).
Photo by Amy Wallot, Sept. 17, 2014

By Brenna R. Kelly
Brenna.kelly@education.ky.gov

Heidi Neltner is one of The Others.

She’s not part of a mysterious tribe on the tropical island where survivors of a plane crash were stranded in the television show “Lost.” She’s a school librarian – one of five categories of “other” professionals who will begin using Kentucky’s new Professional Growth and Effectiveness System (PGES) this year.

More than 1,000 library media specialists, counselors, speech pathologists, psychologists and instructional coaches are piloting the system before it’s implemented for the 2015-16 school year.

For most, it will be the first time they will be measured using criteria specific to their field.

Continue Reading

Posted in Features0 Comments

Old dwellings bring new understanding of world

By Brenna R. Kelly
Brenna.kelly@education.ky.gov

This fall, students in Lynn Lockard’s 6th-grade social studies class will get to be nosy people. They will investigate dwellings to learn about how people lived in the past.

“When you think about people’s homes, you really can learn a lot about the people, their culture, their beliefs and what they are interested in,” said Lockard, a middle school social studies teacher at Barbourville City School (Barbourville Independent).

She was one of 14 teachers from the Lake Cumberland region who participated in a weeklong academy this summer designed to teach educators how to engage students by using inquiry-based instruction.

Continue Reading

Posted in Features0 Comments

New core standards emphasize ‘doing art’

Valynn Spearman helps 3rd-grade student Kassie Evans draw eyes on her self-portrait during art class at Allen County Primary Center.  Photo by Amy Wallot, May 15, 2014

Valynn Spearman helps 3rd-grade student Kassie Evans draw eyes on her self-portrait during art class at Allen County Primary Center.
Photo by Amy Wallot, May 15, 2014

By Brenna R. Kelly
brenna.kelly@education.ky.gov

As art teacher Valynn Spearman explained the concept of balance to her 3rd-grade students at Allen County Primary School, she held up brightlycolored portraits by the late pop artist James Rizzi.

“We talked about how Rizzi had a cartoon-like style, rather than having them in proportion,” said Spearman, who teaches art to kindergartners through 3rd-graders.

Then, as she reminded the students to think about balance, Spearman directed them to create self-portraits in Rizzi’s exaggerated style.

Continue Reading

Posted in Features0 Comments

Down to a (computer) science

Joy Neace helps junior Krystal Spencer create a cipher web page during her Intro to Computer Science class at Lee County High School. The class is part of the TEALS program and students learn from instructors off site using LYNC. Photo by Amy Wallot, May 28, 2014

Joy Neace helps junior Krystal Spencer create a cipher web Web page page during her Introduction to Computer Science class at Lee County High School. The class is part of the TEALS program, and students learn from instructors off site using Lync messaging.

By Susan Riddell

susan.riddell@education.ky.gov

On a recent field trip to ZirMed, a health care technology management company in Louisville, Lee County High School students were told that the unemployment rate for those in the computer science field is less than 1 percent.

That was enough to convince the visiting Advanced Placement (AP) computer science students they were right where they needed to be, according to teacher Joy Neace.

“Computer science is one of the fastest-growing fields in the job market and this program allows students to become familiar with the basics in the field,” Neace said of the Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program. “This will allow students to decide if they would like to work in this field, or if they want to study it in college.” Continue Reading

Posted in Features0 Comments

Military history lessons go beyond the battle

DuPont Manual High School (Jefferson County) teacher James Garrett and Henry Clay High School (Fayette County) teacher Jonathan McClintock examine Kentucky rifles from the late 1700s and early 1800s at the Kentucky Military History Museum. Photo by Amy Wallot, June 23, 2014

DuPont Manual High School (Jefferson County) teacher James Garrett and Henry Clay High School (Fayette County) teacher Jonathan McClintock examine Kentucky rifles from the late 1700s and early 1800s at the Kentucky Military History Museum.
Photo by Amy Wallot, June 23, 2014

By Brenna R. Kelly
Brenna.Kelly@education.ky.gov

The boy in the military cap and unbuttoned jacket staring out from the black-and-white photograph looks so childlike he could be the older brother of some of Lisa Reynolds’ 5th-grade students.

“Look at that young picture,” she said recently while examining an exhibit about William Horsfall at the Kentucky Military History Museum in Frankfort. This fall, Reynolds’ students at Kenton Elementary will get to know Horsfall, who was just 14 years old when he left his Newport home to join the Union army during the Civil War. During a battle in Mississippi, he saved a wounded officer, and he is still the youngest person to win the Medal of Honor.

“They can see that children were making life-and-death decisions in that time period, it will bring it home to them,” said Reynolds, who teaches social studies at the Kenton County school. “They need to be able to see that children, even from their area, sometimes had to make hard decisions to join something bigger than themselves.”

The Horsfall lesson will be just one of 12 that will be available statewide this fall thanks to six teachers who spent a week using the people and artifacts in the Kentucky Military History Museum to develop lessons that will deepen students’ understanding of the state’s military history. Continue Reading

Posted in Features0 Comments

Creating a world-class system of career and technical education

Associate Commissioner Dale Winkler and Vice President of the Southern Regional Education Board Gene Bottoms present "From Two Systems to One World-Class System of Technical Centers" to the interim joint committee on education. Photo by Amy Wallot, June 9, 2014

Associate Commissioner Dale Winkler and Vice President of the Southern Regional Education Board Gene Bottoms present “From Two Systems to One World-Class System of Technical Centers” to the interim joint committee on education.
Photo by Amy Wallot, June 9, 2014

By Brenna R. Kelly
Brenna.kelly@education.ky.gov

If Kentucky wants a world-class system of career and technical centers producing students who are ready for college and careers, the state is on the right track but has a lot of work to do, according to a report by the Southern Regional Education Board.

The board studied the state’s current system of state-operated technical centers and centers operated by the school district and made several recommendations on how Kentucky can move career and technical education into the 21st Century.

In 2012, the 53 state-operated centers and 42 locally-operated centers came under the guidance of the newly-created Office of Career and Technical Education within the Kentucky Department of Education. However, there are still differences in funding, teacher professional learning and how the centers operate, the report stated.

The two systems also had separate standards for their curriculum so the departments developed a uniform curriculum framework, said Dale Winkler, associate commissioner for the Office of Career and Technical Education.

“Aligning of the standards was the first thing we did after the office was created, the second was getting this report done, then we’ll look at governance, Continue Reading

Posted in Features0 Comments

History comes alive in arts infused field trips

Students from Paint Lick Elementary School (Garrard County) wait to tour the Governor's mansion. Photo by Amy Wallot, May 6, 2014

Students from Paint Lick Elementary School (Garrard County) wait to tour the Governor’s mansion.
Photo by Amy Wallot, May 6, 2014

By Brenna R. Kelly
brenna.kelly@education.ky.gov

For the past several years, Pam Canter, a 5th-grade teacher at Paint Lick Elementary (Garrard County), has taken her students on a field trip to the Governor’s Mansion in Frankfort most recently in May.

She does so, she said, because she wants to give them a better perspective of Kentucky’s history.

“We’re doing a unit on Kentucky history as well as the branches of government,” Canter said. “It’s a great way for them to see it rather than us just talking about it.”

The next time Canter takes her class to the mansion, her students may be able to do more than just see the house – they may take on the persona of former Gov. Martha Layne Collins or tell a story from the perspective of a piece of china in the state dining room.

This summer 45 teachers from across the state spent a week in Frankfort learning how to infuse arts into field trips. By early next year the lesson plans they developed during the Kentucky Center Academy for Integration of the Arts, Social Studies and Creative Writing will be available for teachers statewide through the Continuous Instructional Improvement Technology System (CIITS). Continue Reading

Posted in Features1 Comment

Science education goes outdoors

Science teacher Christy Johnson instructs 2nd-and 4th-grade students how to take water samples from a stream and test it for various nutrient levels at Glenn Marshall Elementary School (Madison County) Photo by Amy Wallot, May 9, 2014

Science teacher Christy Johnson instructs 2nd-and 4th-grade students how to take water samples from a stream and test it for various nutrient levels at Glenn Marshall Elementary School (Madison County)
Photo by Amy Wallot, May 9, 2014

By Brenna R. Kelly
Brenna.kelly@education.ky.gov

Christy Johnson knows that not every elementary school has an evolving ecosystem on campus, so the 4th-grade science teacher walks her students to the outdoor classroom at Glenn Marshall Elementary every chance she gets.

“We go out all the time and utilize it,” she said. “I always try to integrate it into something that we are talking about.”

On a cloudy day in May, the 4th_ and 2nd-grade students at Glenn Marshall (Madison County) trekked across campus to the classroom which includes a wetland, stream and shelter. The students fished for tadpoles with nets, dipped test tubes into the stream, peered at wiggling insects through microscopes and watched a biologist catch and tag birds.

“That outdoor classroom it is just a wealth of opportunity for hands-on lessons,” Johnson said. “Definitely for the life science, the biology, but there’s opportunities for physical science as well.” Continue Reading

Posted in Features0 Comments

Support and advance

Shelia Baugh, director of specialized instructional programs for Simpson County Schools, reviews junior Garrett Cothern's recent assignment grades with him during a Student Support Team meeting at Franklin-Simpson High School. Photo by Amy Wallot, May 15, 2014

Shelia Baugh, director of specialized instructional programs for Simpson County Schools, reviews junior Garrett Cothern’s recent assignment grades with him during a Student Support Team meeting at Franklin-Simpson High School.
Photo by Amy Wallot, May 15, 2014

By Susan Riddell
susan.riddell@education.ky.gov

When students are called to Franklin-Simpson High School teacher Stephanie Cornwell’s office they not only know why – they arrive at her office with plans for how they will get back on track academically.

“I have students come in to see me ready with their own analysis of why they have been called down to see me,” said Cornwell, a special education teacher at the school. “I also have students who voluntarily stop by to see me other times in the week to check in or just to let me know they have completed what we have discussed. They even thank me for keeping them accountable.”

The student ownership is the result of a student monitoring program undertaken by the school this past school year that focused on raising achievement for students who have traditionally struggled academically, including low-income, minority and special education students. The program proved so successful it garnered the school and educators involved with it a Johnnie Grissom Award. Already recognized by the state for greatly improving its college- and career-readiness rates, school officials decided to turn their attention to reducing the school’s achievement gap.

“We knew that we were going to include all of our students with disabilities that make up approximately 13 percent of our school age population,” said Shelia Baugh, director of Special Instruction Programs for the Simpson County school district. “We also have 11.5 percent of our student minorities and approximately 60 percent of our students who receive free- or reduced-priced lunch.”

To create the monitoring program the school set up what is called a Student Support Team, which originally consisted of special education teachers and the classroom teachers who taught end-of-course subjects: English II, Algebra II, Biology and U.S. History. Continue Reading

Posted in Features0 Comments

Creating global minds, cultural competency through high-tech classroom connections

By Brenna R. Kelly
Brenna.kelly@education.ky.gov

Randy Barrette wants his students to know there is a world outside of Menifee County, Ky. So he has found a way to take them there – virtually.

An hour before school on a recent morning, 10 students in Barrette’s World Cultures class at Menifee County High School sat in front of big-screen TV. More than 7,100 miles away in Kabul, Afghanistan, students at the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) did the same thing.

Then, with the help of a translator, they talked to each other.

And though they didn’t speak the same language, the students had plenty to chat about. In the weeks leading up to the live video conference, students in both countries followed the same curriculum so they would have a basis for their conversation.

On this day the students talked about role models in their cultures, had a show and tell, and finally said goodbye to their new friends.

The class is part of Global Citizens in Action, a program from Global Nomads Group, an international non-governmental organization dedicated to improving understanding among young people across the world.

“The goal is really to connect students across different kinds of borders, whether they are real borders or perceived borders of culture or distance or stereotypes or biases, whatever that may be,” said Allison Finn, a program associate with the group. “And to not only to connect them, but allow them to really collaborate to create change in their communities, whether locally or globally.” Continue Reading

Posted in Features1 Comment

Page 4 of 35« First...23456...101520...Last »