Archive | Features

Hazard school takes more active approach to ILPs

Science teacher JoAnn Hall helps 7th-grade student Caitlin Wels explore careers in the business field as part of her ILP at Hazard Middle School (Hazard Independent). Photo by Amy Wallot, March 10, 2015

Science teacher JoAnn Hall helps 7th-grade student Caitlin Wels explore careers in the business field as part of her ILP at Hazard Middle School (Hazard Independent).
Photo by Amy Wallot, March 10, 2015

By Mike Marsee
michael.marsee@education.ky.gov

Jeff Clair had no idea what individual learning plans were when they were dropped in his lap.

Clair was hired four years ago as the technology teacher at Hazard Middle School (Hazard Independent), and he was told that one of his duties was to administer individual learning plans (ILPs), which are required for Kentucky students in grades 6-12 as part of the effort to make students college and career ready.

He learned what they were and what schools and students were required to do to complete them, and he soon learned that what was being done at his school wasn’t sufficient. Continue Reading

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Technology competition fuels learning in classroom and beyond

Eastside Technical Center (Fayette County) junior Jessica Bryant wears a GoPro camera to document her experience during the STLP state competition in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Amy Wallot, March 26, 2015

Eastside Technical Center (Fayette County) junior Jessica Bryant wears a GoPro camera to document her experience during the STLP state competition in Lexington, Ky.
Photo by Amy Wallot, March 26, 2015

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

Wearing a GoPro camera strapped to her head, Jessica Bryant roamed the vast sea of technology project displays covering the floor of Heritage Hall.

“I like to see everyone else’s stuff because they are so cool, they are all so different,” said Bryant, a junior at Eastside Technical Center (Fayette County).

Among the more than 500 projects at the Student Technology Leadership Program Championship were apps developed by elementary students; QR code-activated video book trailers acted out by middle schoolers to entice younger students to read; science experiments developed by high school students then videotaped for teachers’ use; and a seemingly endless array of inventions and applications developed by  Kentucky students.

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Ready to learn

Preschool student Sarissa Bowman makes her way across balancing blocks on her way to centers in Felechia Wainscott's class in Owen County. Photo by Amy Wallot, March 12, 2015

Preschool student Sarissa Bowman makes her way across balancing blocks on her way to centers in Felechia Wainscott’s class in Owen County.
Photo by Amy Wallot, March 12, 2015

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

As her teacher placed alternating large and small plastic stepping stones across the floor of her preschool classroom, student Khloe Dempsey called out “Ok, we’re doing a pattern.”

One by one the 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds balanced on the stones to get to the other side of the room where they chose one of several centers. In the centers they sorted different colored construction vehicles, matched lowercase and upper case letters, made a number line with trucks and created towers with blocks.

Felechia Wainscott’s students were having fun with the construction themed-unit, but they were also learning about balance, weight, colors, letters and numbers. Continue Reading

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Law and order attracts students to program at Scott County school

Sophomore Bailey Campagna gives opening remarks for the prosecution in the trial of Brutus for the murder of Julius Caesar in the Law and Justice Village at Elkhorn Crossing School (Scott County). The trial was an activity after the students had read Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Photo by Amy Wallot, March 20, 2015

Sophomore Bailey Campagna gives opening remarks for the prosecution in the trial of Brutus for the murder of Julius Caesar in the Law and Justice Village at Elkhorn Crossing School (Scott County). The trial was an activity after the students had read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.
Photo by Amy Wallot, March 20, 2015

By Mike Marsee
michael.marsee@education.ky.gov

Michael Tackett’s courtroom and his classroom are now one and the same.

Tackett, a practicing attorney who turned to teaching, has a classroom that contains a working courtroom more advanced than many of those in Kentucky’s courthouses.

It’s the centerpiece of a three-classroom unit in the Law and Justice Village at Scott County’s Elkhorn Crossing School, which is designed to introduce students to career opportunities involving various aspects of government and the legal system. Continue Reading

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Two honored as PE teachers of the year

Tates Creek Elementary School (Fayette County) P.E. teacher Daniel Hill demonstrates stretching before running to 1st-grade students Camryn Mullins, MyKel Allen and Mikaila Mason. The class was learning about locomotor skills and was broke down into different center including running, jumping, leaping and skipping. Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb. 2, 2015

Tates Creek Elementary School (Fayette County) PE teacher Daniel Hill demonstrates stretching before running to 1st-grade students Camryn Mullins, MyKel Allen and Mikaila Mason. The class was learning about locomotor skills and was broken down into different centers including running, jumping, leaping and skipping.
Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb. 2, 2015

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

Many people assume physical education teachers just play dodgeball all day.

But PE and health educators teach students skills and impart knowledge students will use no matter what career they later choose, said Sue Banister, awards coordinator for the Kentucky Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Each year the group chooses two PE teachers, one elementary and one secondary, who are creative, professional, proactive and innovative in their teaching, Banister said. Continue Reading

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State becoming a leader in CTE academic integration

Laura Arnold talks with David Horseman, an administrative field consultant, about the Technology Centers That Work initiative. Photo by Tim Thornberry, March 26, 2015

Laura Arnold talks with David Horseman, an administrative field consultant, about the Technology Centers That Work initiative.
Photo by Tim Thornberry, March 26, 2015

By Tim Thornberry
Tim.thornberry@education.ky.gov

For decades there has been a misconception that Career and Technical Education (CTE) and mainstream academics were separate educational entities leading students in separate directions.

But, as the need for more students with real-world work skills has grown, so has the realization that an academic core has existed in CTE programs. The problem has been a matter of speaking two different education languages, one from CTE teachers and the other from their academic counterparts.

A recent report by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) regarding CTE in Kentucky found that CTE teachers across the state felt they needed professional learning opportunities and a focus on the academics to bridge this gap. Continue Reading

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Adaptive recreation can make all PE students feel like part of the team

James Alcorn, a physical education teacher at Ashland Elementary (Fayette County) and paralympic athlete Lex Gillette race Stephen McCauley, a physical education teacher at Paris High School (Paris Inependent) and Brian Newton, a special education teacher at George Rogers Clark High School (Clark County) during the Adaptive Sports and Curriculum for Physical Education professional development. Gillette was teaching them how visually impaired athletes run tethered to a seeing partner. Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb. 25, 2015

James Alcorn, a physical education teacher at Ashland Elementary (Fayette County) and Paralympic athlete Lex Gillette race Stephen McCauley, a physical education teacher at Paris High School (Paris Inependent) and Brian Newton, a special education teacher at George Rogers Clark High School (Clark County) during the Adaptive Sports and Curriculum for Physical Education professional development. Gillette was teaching them how visually impaired athletes run tethered to a seeing partner.
Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb. 25, 2015

By Mike Marsee
michael.marsee@education.ky.gov

They couldn’t see a thing, they were lying on the floor, and someone was throwing a ball at them.

This was clearly not your typical professional development day. Nor was it as dangerous as it might seem. In fact, the teachers who took part in a demonstration on adaptive recreation for physical education classes were enjoying themselves as they learned how they can make their classes more accessible to all students.

About 60 educators, many of them physical education teachers, attended the training last month at George Rogers Clark High School (Clark County). They donned light-blocking goggles to play goalball, a team sport specifically designed for visually impaired athletes, and they learned to run blindfolded as a guide ran alongside to tell Continue Reading

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Grant to help schools be more AWARE of students’ mental health needs

Tammy Roberts, program director at the Pulaski County Day Treatment Center, talks with students about their career plans. Roberts said part of the center's goal is to help students transition to school, work and/or college. Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb. 12, 2015

Tammy Roberts, program director at the Pulaski County Day Treatment Center, talks with students about their career plans. Roberts said part of the center’s goal is to help students transition to school, work and/or college.
Photo by Amy Wallot, Feb. 12, 2015

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

Most teachers aren’t trained to spot a mental health issue that may be plaguing one of their students – and if they did suspect a problem, they might not know how to get the child help.

But thanks to an $8.1 million federal grant, teachers and school personnel across the state will learn how to identity mental health issues and get students the help they need.

The Kentucky Department of Education was one of 120 state and local education agencies to be awarded an Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education (AWARE) grant last fall. In addition to providing training on how to detect students’ mental health needs, the grant will also improve the coordination of youth mental health services across the state. Continue Reading

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Thinking of the future

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

She’s only in 8th grade but Savannah Smith knows she wants to be a biomedical engineer.

“That’s pretty tough to get into,” Bruce Griffis, an assistant biology professor at Kentucky State University told Smith when she sat down at his advising table. “How are you going get (into college)? What are you going do?”

Smith’s answer: “Study a lot.”

Griffis and Li Lu, also an assistant biology professor at KSU, told Smith and three other Anderson County Middle School students at the table – an aspiring doctor, orthodontist and physical therapist – that they should take four years of science in high school, do as much math as they can and, of course, study a lot. Continue Reading

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Teaching students to think globally

Second grade teacher Mary Fryer looks over Doug Hogan's painting of rain putting out fire during a class at Clay Elementary School (Webster County). As part of their aboriginal art project, students wrote short stories to go along with their paintings. Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 28, 2015

Second grade teacher Mary Fryer looks over Doug Hogan’s painting of rain putting out fire during a class at Clay Elementary School (Webster County). As part of their aboriginal art project, students wrote short stories to go along with their paintings.
Photo by Amy Wallot, Jan. 28, 2015

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

Several of Crystal Harris’ 2nd-grade students now turn their papers in with their names written across the top in Chinese characters.

They are in Asia, at least for this year. Next year, in 3rd grade, they will move to Australia.

By the time students leave Clay Elementary after 6th grade, they will have traveled around the world, learning about people, culture and language on all seven continents without ever leaving Kentucky. Continue Reading

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