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Math Club Receives an “Insider’s View of Getting a Job”

On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, the Gamma Student Chapter of NCCTM hosted a 12 person panel consisting of principals, math department chairs/lead grade level math teachers, and a director of human resources.  These “insiders” represented elementary, middle, and high school mathematics and shared their knowledge from a combined 185 years of educational expertise.  The full panel was introduced to an audience that consisted of approximately 50 students and six Mathematics Education faculty members before breaking into smaller subgroups for elementary, middle, and high school.  The conversations within the smaller groups provided the opportunity for panel members to share unique insight for their given educational context, and for Gamma students to ask important questions about not only the hiring process, but also how to become the best math teacher possible. One main theme heard from panel members in each subgroup was that they are looking for, “good math teachers that want to be great math teachers” and that there are supports in place to help them achieve greatness in the math classroom.

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Our sincere thanks goes out to the “insider” panel, consisting of the following individuals:

Elementary

  • Chena Cayton – Principal, Wahl-Coates Elem School, Pitt County
  • Karin Stefko – Kindergarten Teacher, Wahl-Coates Elem School, Pitt County
  • Coni Clark – Third Grade Teacher, Wahl-Coates Elem School, Pitt County

Middle Grades

  • Charlie Langley – Principal, CM Eppes Middle School, Pitt County
  • Barskdale Thompson – Sixth Grade Teacher, CM Eppes Middle School, Pitt County
  • Kristen Coleman – Sixth Grade Teacher, CM Eppes Middle School, Pitt County
  • Thomas Sisson – Seventh Grade Teacher, CM Eppes Middle School, Pitt County

High School

  • Jerry Simmons – Principal , New Bern High School, Craven County
  • Brad Johnston – Principal , Farmville Central High School, Pitt County
  • Renea Baker – Dept Chair , DH Conley High School, Pitt County
  • Tina Petty – Dept Chair, Southside High School, Beaufort County

Human Resources

  • Delilah Jackson – Director of Human Resources, Pitt County Schools

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COE Graduate Students Invited to Participate in Roundtable Discussions

The COE Research Committee invites graduate students conducting research to share their work in a roundtable discussion Thursday, November 20, 2014, from 4:00-6:00 PM. All presentations will be held in the Speight Building, and you may present face-to-face or virtually. Submit your research information using the Roundtable Application. Graduate students must be current students in a College of Education program to apply. Contact Dr. Anne Ticknor at ticknora@ecu.edu with questions.

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ICYMI – Co-Teaching, “A New Model for Student Teaching.”

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Sarah Young ‘13 leads a group of kindergarten students in Amy McGregor’s classroom at Wintergreen Primary School in Greenville. She was one of two ECU students assigned to that classroom for their spring semester internship as part of the Co-Teaching Program in ECU’s College of Education.

The fall 2013 issue of ECU’s East magazine featured the Co-Teaching initiative in the ECU College of Education as an exciting and innovative new practice, “A New Model for Student Teaching.”

Co-Teaching provides a comprehensive and rigorous experience for interns and enhances the quality of learning for P12 students. The Co-Teaching partnership enables clinical teachers to provide consistent mentoring, giving interns the time and support necessary to gain skills and the confidence required to teach successfully.

Since this article was published, the Co-Teaching initiative has grown from a few interns to 111 interns in 91 classrooms, representing seven teacher preparation programs at ECU. Such growth would not be possible without strong public school partnerships.  Greene County Schools liaison to the Latham Clinical Schools Network at ECU, Gwen Smith, says her teachers are:

“just beginning to understand what a wonderful model (co-teaching) could be.”

“Over the past years, (fear of relinquishing the classroom) has been the biggest (deterrent),” Smith said. “They tell me ‘I can’t take an intern this year.’ But anytime you’ve got more than one teacher in the classroom, the students are certain to benefit.

“We want to get our best teachers for these interns—our master teachers. This 2-1 model works better.”

The Co-Teaching initiative’s team of lead faculty—Judy Smith, Liz Fogarty, Christina Tschida, and Vivian Covington—is actively working not only to improve and expand the initiative, but also to study its impact on clinical practice, the focus of NCATE’s Standard 3. Early co-teaching research is focusing on candidate learning outcomes and candidate efficacy in co-teaching settings. Preliminary findings indicate:

  • Co-Teaching interns significantly outperformed non-Co-Teaching interns on two rubrics on the edTPA: Subject-Specific Pedagogy and Using Assessment to Inform Instruction.
  • When surveyed, Co-Teaching interns indicated a higher degree of self-efficacy in their ability to differentiate instruction than that indicated by non-Co-Teaching interns.

For more on Co-teaching and NCATE Standard 3, see the ECU TI IR, Standard 3.

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EPP Dashboards – Assessment System (Standard 2)

Significant changes have been made by the EPP since the NCATE visit in 2006 to refine its key assessments at conversion points throughout its programs: program entry, internship, and program completion. Key assessments are aligned with state and national standards appropriate to program level, content, and support of the EPP conceptual framework.  In the Professional Standards for the Accreditation of Teacher Preparation Institutions, Standard 2 states:

The unit has an assessment system that collects and analyzes data on applicant qualifications, candidate and graduate performance, and unit operations to evaluate and improve the performance of candidates, the unit, and its programs.

The EPP has several dashboards pertaining to measures for NCATE Standard 2:

For more information and examples related to Standard 2, please visit the NCATE/CAEP Exhibit Rooms on the COE Office of Assessment and Accreditation’s website.

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CAEP Prep: Meeting Standard 1 – Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions

Since the 2006 NCATE visit, the ECU EPP developed several of its Pirate CODE innovations as specific enhancements to current curricula to improve program quality and address significant issues in the field. Several Pirate CODE innovations influence how the EPP meets Standard 1: Candidate Knowledge, Skills, and Disposition. This post highlights two Pirate CODE innovations supporting the EPP’s efforts to meet Standard 1 as part of ECU’s Transformation Initiative. For more detail visit ECU’s online exhibit room for Standard 1.

The VGR model introduces a conceptual framework for novice teacher candidates’ observations by using video clips as common and shared texts that are a standardized and efficient means for guiding classroom observation experiences. VGR requires teacher-candidates to: (1) view a series of four classroom-based videos (one video per week); (2) complete a structured observation protocol in Taskstream™ after watching each video; and (3) participate in a full-class debriefing discussion with classmates and one faculty member following each video observation. During these debriefing sessions, faculty intentionally model how classroom teachers may or may not think about the events shown in the video. Through prompting questions and comments, faculty encourage candidates to see classrooms from the perspective of a teacher, rather than through the lens of a P-12 classroom student, a position that teacher candidates have occupied for most of their academic careers. The overarching goal of the VGR model, then, is to provide teacher candidates with structured opportunities to develop the observation skills necessary to focus on elements of quality instruction.

The need to develop student understanding at the declarative, procedural, and conditional levels is a cornerstone of the TQP grant. This type of module series facilitates a developmental progression of knowledge and understanding in a consistent and coherent manner in baccalaureate coursework (PT3 Group at Vanderbilt, 2003; Schwartz, D. L., Lin, X., Brophy, S., & Bransford, J. D. ,1999b ; Bransford, J. D., Vye, N., Bateman, H., Brophy, S., & Roselli, B. J., 2004; Brophy, S. P., 2000). There are three ECU ISLES modules addressing ten research-based strategies. The strategies were identified from a list of 28 strategies currently being implemented by TQP grant partner districts. The goal of the first module—ISLES 1—is to teach pre-service candidates what exactly the strategies are (which is deemed “declarative knowledge”). The second module—ISLES 2—is designed to teach pre-service candidates how to use these strategies (which is considered “procedural knowledge”). The third module—ISLES 3—guides candidate development about when to use certain strategies (otherwise referred to as “conditional knowledge”). Each ISLES module is embedded in program coursework within ELMID and Special Education programs. The end result is a comprehensive series of online modules designed to build pre-service candidates’ understanding and use of research-based instructional strategies. Assessments collected in Taskstream™ provide data from the modules that are available to lead faculty for practice-based research.

 

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COE Faculty Instilling Confidence, Inspiring Success

In a recent interview, senior Elementary Education (with a concentration in Science) major, Beth Wantz, credits COE and MSITE faculty with having a profound influence on her life.  She feels that they “truly care” about their students and go above and beyond to help them succeed.  She gives particular credit to Tammy Lee, explaining that, “Mrs. Tammy Lee has inspired me in so many different ways.  She has pushed me with my assignments and lessons throughout my college career because she knows what I am capable of doing.  Mrs. Lee has given me many opportunities outside of school that will greatly benefit me as a teacher, such as taking me to the National Science Teacher Association Conference in the fall of 2013.  With doing this, Mrs. Lee has given me the confidence that every effective teacher must have in order to benefit their students.  Mrs. Lee has also taken the time to teach me how to be a good teacher and a good person.  She is my biggest influence and my role model.”

Teachers teaching teachers–clearly a step in the right direction.

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Starfish

Starfish is an early-alert retention tool that works through Blackboard to support student academic success at ECU. Through Starfish, faculty can inform students of their academic performance within a course and connect students to appropriate support resources.
Starfish’s goal is to catch students before it’s too late and offer academic assistance
Starfish has the capabilities to engage students on many levels, but has been used at East Carolina University extensively to allow faculty to express concerns (flags) or offer words of praise (kudos). Some commonly used flags at East Carolina University have been low test/quiz scores, excessive absences, and stopped attending. Some commonly used kudos have been to keep up the good work, off to a good start, and outstanding academic performance.

In the 2013 – 2014 calendar year alone, College of Education faculty gave out nearly 18600 flags and kudos that without a doubt have proved to be very helpful to students. Faculty feedback is extremely important in helping students reach their academic potential and Starfish provides this in a simple, quick form. A specific flag indicates to the student the nature of the problem and this provides them with the opportunity to correct it. Since faculty have taken the time to address a problem, they are obviously more than happy to support a student through correcting the problem. A specific kudo indicates to the student that things are going well and should be motivation to keep things moving in that direction. I have received 2 kudos this semester so far and am motivated to receive more as I continue my graduate studies. Starfish data shows that the number of flags and kudos given by faculty continues to increase from year to year. Therefore, Starfish appears to be here to stay as it proves to be a very helpful tool for faculty and students alike.

Kelvin Shackleford
MSA Principal Fellow
East Carolina University

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East Carolina College of Education Hosts Future Teachers for Teacher Cadet Day 2014

2014 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year, James Ford

2014 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year, James Ford

One hundred plus potential teachers from high schools within the East visited the campus of East Carolina University on October 15, 2014 for Teacher Cadet Day. The Office of Professional Development and Student Outreach within the College of Education offered this event to high school students who are enrolled in the North Carolina Teacher Cadet Program.  It is an innovative year-long or semester-block activity-based curriculum for high school juniors and seniors. The course is designed to promote a better understanding and create interest in those students who may consider teaching as a profession. It is an honors program that details many components of the education environment and involves students in content, application, observations and teaching in preschool, elementary, middle school, and high school settings.

While on campus students listened to a keynote address by the 2014 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year, James Ford. Mr. Ford is a world history teacher at Garinger High School with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Students also attended a Program Fair with representatives from the various program areas in the College of Education, as well as representatives from teacher education programs across campus.  This was followed by informative sessions around the theme of the conference: What’s Your Superpower? I TEACH.  Students participated in sessions on college admissions, career exploration, and options for teacher education. In addition, these prospective teachers engaged in a dialogue with teacher education students in a panel discussion. The visiting students completed their day on campus with a trip to West End Dining Hall and tours provided by ECU Admissions.

Teacher Cadet students from Duplin, Gates, Johnston, Nash, and Wayne counties participated in Teacher Cadet Day 2014. Special thanks is extended to Ms. Christa Monroe for her efforts in organizing this recruitment event.

If the video above does not load, use the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAF0H0mD4D0&feature=youtu.be

For more information about the College of Education’s efforts in the area of teacher recruitment, please contact Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry at bilbroberryl@ecu.edu or 252-328-1123.

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Cornerstone – Employee Training Site

What is Cornerstone?  It is the software that East Carolina University uses to offer training opportunities for full-time employees.  Faculty and staff can now log into Cornerstone to find instructor-led training, online training, or complete assigned online training.  Within Cornerstone, employee’s personalized training center provides links to the areas they will use the most: My Training, Your Upcoming Sessions, Online Training in Progress and Browse for Training.

Training is offered from across the campus from various departments, including the College of Education’s educational technology staff.  Employees can search the site for training that fits their interests or needs.

Key Features Within Your Personalized Training Center:

  1. Complete Assigned Online Training: Access the “Online Training in Progress” area and click Launch to access any courses assigned to you.
  2. Register for Instructor-Led Training (ILT): Visit the “Browse for Training” area and click the name of the department or school to view and/or register for upcoming training sessions. Open or print these step-by-step registration instructions. After registration, you will receive an auto-generated email confirmation from ces.mail@csod.com, complete with an Outlook calendar invite.
  3. Access Your Transcript: Visit the “My Training” area and follow the “Click Here for Transcript” link to view your active, upcoming and completed training.

Feel free to log into the site to view the training option: http://www.ecu.edu/itcs/cornerstone/

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Science Education Club on the Path to National Recognition

It’s official!  The Science Education Club has completed all the requirements and workshops to be officially registered as a student organization at East Carolina University.  This has been a two year project that was finalized by the work of graduate student Megan Garner, and undergraduate elementary science concentration students: Beth Wantz, KC Hart, Kayla Sager, and Lauren Brewington.  The club is under the direction of faculty adviser, Tammy D. Lee who speaks with pride of the student’s accomplishment, “We are very excited to have this recognition at the university level so we can now apply for national recognition at the National Science Teacher’s Association.  The students have been diligent in their work and pursuit of this recognition which demonstrates their dedication and desire to be a part of science education and to have others participate in a student organization of a collected interest, Science! I am honored to be a part of this journey with these students.”  For more information about the Science Education Club visit them at their website or contact Tammy D. Lee at leeta@ecu.edu.