Category Archives: Elementary and Middle Grades Education (ELMID)

News from the Elementary Education and Middle Grades Education Department

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Dr. Daniel Dickerson Represents ECU on Fulbright Commission Panel Addressing STEM Study Abroad Partnerships with the Czech Republic

Dr. Daniel Dickerson, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education and ECU STEM CoRE (Collaborative for Research in Education) Co-Director, is among a small group of scholars from across the United States selected to sit on a Fulbright Commission sponsored STEM Expert Panel to address university faculty from across the Czech Republic regarding STEM study abroad possibilities. He will join faculty from MIT, Purdue, Michigan, Georgia Tech, and other STEM intensive institutions.

The STEM Expert Panel is part of a capacity building workshop, “Bringing More U.S. Students in STEM to Czech Universities,” sponsored by the Department of State, Office of Global Educational Program, the Fulbright Commission in the Czech Republic in cooperation with Czech universities that offer education in STEM. The workshop will take place in Prague, Czech Republic on April 19-20, 2016 and will be followed by campus visits on April 21-22.

While there, Dickerson will speak to participants during meeting sessions regarding STEM education program development and explore ways to build collaborative efforts with the Czech Republic. Additionally, the US delegation will tour eight Czech universities, attend a reception at the residence of the US Ambassador, and explore innovative ways to enhance global partnerships.

Dr. Dickerson has more than 70 publications, 130 conference presentations, and has been involved in grants as PI, Co-PI, Senior Personnel, or Evaluator totaling over $10 million.

Dean Grant B. Hayes

MEASURING IMPACT: The College of Education embarks on three-year assessment plan

By Jessica Nottingham
University Communication

East Carolina University’s College of Education is under new leadership and on a crusade for excellence.

Dr. Grant Hayes, who has been dean and distinguished professor in the College of Education since August, opened his first faculty and staff meeting asking tough questions: “What does the ECU College of Education want to be known for?” and “what can students get here that they cannot get elsewhere?”

To help the college answer these questions, department chairs are charged with working with faculty to increase the impact, performance and visibility of their work.

“Grant is resourceful and prepared,” said Dr. Art Rouse, chair of the Department of Educational Leadership. “From the time he interviewed and then came to ECU as dean, he could see that the college has major impact on the region, but it was not being told or seen by our various stakeholders.”

Before his appointment at ECU, Hayes served as interim dean of the College of Education and Human Performance at the University of Central Florida, where he held numerous leadership positions. His experience as a professor of counselor education, music teacher and administrator spans more than 27 years. He earned his doctoral, master’s and educational specialist degrees from the University of South Carolina, and his bachelor’s degree in music education from Limestone College.

To read the full article, please click on the following link:
Measuring Impact: College of Education embarks on three-year assessment plan

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Need a Course Elective Offering Value-Added Potential to Your Plan of Graduate Study?

The College of Education’s Graduate Studies Office offers a comprehensive list of Summer 2016 and Fall 2016 courses available as electives to other colleges and majors. This listing is available at: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/graduate/upload/COE_Graduate_Electives_2016.pdf

Multiple degree programs outside the College of Education have linked their graduate students with these courses. As offerings become more well-advertised across campus and through virtual venues, enrollment numbers in these courses continue to grow. For example, after the Fall 2015 course listings were shared via email with all ECU Graduate Directors, Dr. Hamid Fonooni, graduate faculty member in the Department of Technology Systems (College of Engineering and Technology), reached out to inquire further about the benefit of Adult Education courses for their students. Dr. Fonooni shared that the COE elective option information was quite helpful. He further offered, “I think this is great opportunity for our students and our programs to collaborate.”

University-wide sharing of COE course electives available to other majors and colleges takes place twice yearly. Dr. Terry Atkinson, COE Graduate Studies Liaison, coordinates with all six departments in the College of Education to compile and distribute this information on a regular basis. For questions regarding these graduate electives or other COE Graduate Studies questions, please contact Dr. Atkinson at atkinsont@ecu.edu.

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ECU graduate Erin Kessel named Teacher of the Year

THE DAILY REFLECTOR
For Creekside Elementary School teacher Erin Kessel, the time she spends with her students outside of the classroom is just as important as the time she spends in it.

Her dedication to supporting students in their after-school activities, along with her passion for teaching and being a school leader, earned her the title of Pitt County Schools Teacher of the Year for 2016-17. She was presented the award Wednesday at the district’s annual Teacher of the Year Luncheon at Rock Springs Center.

Kessel, a fourth-grade teacher with five years of experience, described in her Teacher of the Year portfolio how cheering on a student at his baseball game changed his attitude toward her and his schoolwork.

“I saw this student every day in class, saw his struggles, then saw him on the ball field and how excited he was that I was there,” she wrote. ”Seeing how successful he was on the baseball field allowed me to build a connection that carried back to the classroom.”

She said in her acceptance speech Wednesday that investing time in students’ lives is the only way to teach them how to overcome their challenges and build on their strengths.

“Our kids are unbelievable in Pitt County,” she said. “They, some of them, go home to hardly anything, and they come in with a smile on their face. We are the reason for that smile. Our schools are the reason for that smile; every person in our school is the reason for that smile. And if they don’t come in smiling, we make sure they smile at some point in that day.”

031016teacheroftheyear2A two-time graduate of East Carolina University, Kessel has held many leadership roles at Creekside, including as a Key Beginning Teachers Program member, lead mentor, representative for technology company Istation and Relay for Life captain. She also is a clinical teacher for ECU’s College of Education and a participant in Pitt County Schools’ Teacher Executive Institute for this school year. She has obtained two grants for integrating technology into her classroom and was named the Sylvan Learning Center Teacher of the Year in 2012.

As Pitt County’s Teacher of the Year, she will get to drive a 2017 Hyundai Elantra from Joe Pecheles Hyundai in Greenville free of charge for one year. She also received an HP laptop, a printer, school supplies and a plethora of checks and gift cards from local businesses, including the luncheon’s sponsor, Pitt County Farm Bureau.

The runner-up was veteran educator Jada Rogers, a fourth-grade teacher at Wahl-Coates Elementary.

Kessel3In her 24 years as a teacher, she has helped develop new curricula and teaching strategies both at Wahl-Coates and in partnership with the ECU College of Education. She has been involved with various groups on the local level, including the Curriculum Reform Focus Group and Teacher Executive Institute, and on the state level, including the North Carolina Teacher Academy and the North Carolina Teaching Fellows Educational Panel. She is a clinical instructor for ECU’s College of Education and was chosen as a researcher and unit writer for the 2011 Teacher Quality Partnership Grant between the college and the school district.

Rogers said in her acceptance speech that she sees teaching as an act of optimism.

“I truly believe that we have to be full of optimism to continue to come in every day and try to bring courage and hope and to be able to pack that into every child’s future,” she said. “We do that starting with loving them.”

Other finalists for Teacher of the Year were: Carol Briley, a kindergarten dual immersion teacher at Belvoir Elementary; Lauren McDermott, a first grade teacher at Wintergreen Primary; Kathryn Shafer, a fifth grade teacher at Wintergreen Intermediate; and Kara Snyder, a second grade teacher at Elmhurst Elementary.

Also at the luncheon, Pitt County Schools recognized its classified employees of the year. The winners, which were announced in January, were: Custodian of the Year Gary Outlaw, Wellcome Middle; Office Employee of the Year Lori Coleman, W.H. Robinson Elementary; Teacher Assistant of the Year Rose Roebuck, Bethel; Child Nutrition Manager of the Year Diane Sumlin, Northwest Elementary; Child Nutrition Employee of the Year Vivian Ordonez, H.B. Sugg Elementary;  Bus Driver of the Year Vanessa Mooring, Northwest Elementary; K-8 Bus Driver of the Year Bettie Jones, Grifton; 9-12 Bus Driver of the Year Anthony Johnson, Ayden-Grifton High.

Superintendent Ethan Lenker congratulated all the winners and thanked the sponsors for their dedication to helping local students get a good education.

“You saw the quality of all these individuals out here today, from our teacher assistants to our school secretaries to our bus drivers,” he said. “We’re stacked with quality people here in Pitt County.”

By Holly West, The Daily Reflector
http://www.reflector.com/News/2016/03/10/Teacher-of-the-year-invests-in-students-lives.html
Thursday, March 10, 2016

Contact Holly West at hwest@reflector.com or 252-329-9585.

Rob Lucas

People Need to Know: Confronting History in the Heartland — New book by Dr. Robert M. Lucas

The book,  People Need to Know: Confronting History in the Heartland by Dr. Robert M. Lucas, Assistant Professor in the Department of Elementary & Middle Grades Education, has just been published by Lang Publishing Company. This book chronicles Dr. Lucas’ engaged research with students and their teacher “as they study the defining event in their community’s history.”  Dr. Lucas presents an approach to teaching and learning in social studies that fully engages students to not only learn about the history of their community, but to contribute something of value to their communities and beyond.

Through his start-up research grant, a Library of Congress grant, and his teaching in the Elementary Education program, Dr. Lucas continues to provide teachers and teacher candidates with a meaningful and dynamic evidence-based approach to teaching history and social studies that enables students to “better understand the complex ethical ramifications of historical work and appreciate why learning matters.” (Note: quotations in both paragraphs are from Vendor’s website, below). To learn more about or secure a copy of the book, go to: http://www.amazon.com/People-Need-Know-Confronting-Counterpoints/dp/1433129787.

Go to the College of Education Research Website to engage in a Blog discussion about Engaged Scholarship and Research

COE Graduation for May 2016

College of Education Graduate Recognition Ceremony – May 7, 2016

The College of Education Graduate Recognition Ceremony is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 7, 2016 in Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum. The faculty and staff of the College of Education are pleased to present a special Graduate Recognition Ceremony (GRC) for our graduates. The ceremony will feature individual recognition of College of Education students receiving degrees. Friends and families of the graduates are cordially invited to attend. It is not necessary for graduates or guests to RSVP for this event. Tickets are not required to attend the ceremony.

For University Commencement Ceremony details and information about the ECU Commencement Weekend, please visit http://www.ecu.edu/commencement.

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Dennis and Barbara Pelletier Endow Education Scholarship

Dennis and Barbara Pelletier have been in eastern North Carolina for nine years, but they’ve been supporters of education their whole lives. Earlier this year, they decided to start an endowment for a scholarship in the College of Education at East Carolina University that will benefit local students who want to become teachers.

The Pelletiers came to North Carolina after retiring from lifelong careers in education in Maryland. Dennis began his career in the community college system and then worked for 26 years at the University of Baltimore, retiring as the vice president for student affairs and enrollment management. Barbara worked for many years as a second-grade teacher in Howard County.

When it came time to retire, they looked at five states before deciding on North Carolina and then searched all over the state before settling in Chocowinity, 30 minutes east of Greenville.

“We wanted university culture, continuing education opportunities and, of course, the medical school was a big draw,” Dennis said.

“At the time, both of our children were living in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.,” said Barbara. “Now our son is in Charleston, and our daughter is in Richmond. It’s great to be so close to family while enjoying the community here. It’s remarkable, and we’re very fortunate how everything worked out.”

The Pelletiers wanted to stay active during retirement, so they looked to ECU for opportunities.

“One of the things we saw that was needed at ECU was more options for continuing education,” Dennis said.

ECU had offered free classes for seniors before, but they were discontinued during budget cuts. So, Dennis helped start the Lifelong Learning Program at ECU. The Lifelong Learning Program provides affordable courses, seminars and trips to local adults 50 and older so they can continue to enjoy learning without tests or grades. Dennis served on the program’s board for three years.

Then he got an email saying the College of Education was looking for volunteers to evaluate scholarship applications.

“That was a natural fit for me,” Dennis said. “That was what started the idea to fund a scholarship.”

The first scholarship from the Dennis and Barbara Pelletier Teacher Education Scholarship Fund will be awarded in the 2016-2017 school year, thanks to an additional contribution from the Pelletiers while the original endowment grows. The scholarship will go to an upperclassman first-generation college student in financial need from North Carolina who wants to stay and teach in the state.

“We were able to customize it to how we wanted to help,” Dennis said.

The Pelletiers were the first in their families to graduate from college. Originally from New York, they met at State University of New York at Oneonta. Like ECU, Oneonta started as a state normal school for teachers.

“We have an appreciation for what our education gave us. We’re both products of public education,” Dennis said.

“We know how tough it is to be a public school teacher,” Barbara said. “We like the idea of helping someone get started. It’s so important to have good teachers. If we can help them get ready for their careers, we can also help so many children that way.”

Though they did not attend ECU, the Pelletiers have enjoyed supporting and getting involved with the university. Many of their neighbors in Chocowinity are also involved with ECU.

“It’s important for the community to support the university,” Dennis said. “The community gains so much from the university, it’s only fair to give back.”

I would recommend getting involved with the university,” Barbara said. “It helps current students and enriches life here. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

—Jackie Drake
Drake, J.  (2016, Winter). Dennis and Barbara Pelletier Endow Education Scholarship. EAST, the Magazine of East Carolina University, page 46. Retrieved from http://www.ecu.edu/cs-admin/mktg/east/Philanthropy_Winter16.cfm

Social media activity SECU PE meeting Fall 2015

“Growing Our Own!” – Eastern North Carolina Community Colleges, School Systems and East Carolina University Collaborate to Fill Classrooms in the East

left-Rich Hudson - right- Grant HayesOn December 2, 2015, sixty-six community college and school system leaders gathered with East Carolina University faculty at the East Carolina Heart Institute in Greenville to focus on the collaborative efforts in preparing educators for the region through State Employees’ Credit Union Partnership East (SECU PE).   The partnership involves a network of 20 community college partners and 41 school system partners within the Latham Clinical Schools Network with the common goal of providing access to teacher education degrees “close to home.”

Dr. Grant Hayes, dean of the College of Education, brought greetings to the group of community college presidents, vice presidents, and liaisons as well as superintendents, assistant superintendents, and human resource directors of eastern North Carolina public school systems.

“There is a growing need to address teacher shortages in rural areas within the region and ECU is committed to offering innovative ways to provide convenient and affordable access to education degrees for students within their home communities,” said Dr. Hayes.

Hayes also recognized the contribution of the State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation who awarded ECU a multi-million dollar gift for student scholarships that are distributed during the SECU PE students’ senior year. Hayes noted that the scholarship funds from the SECU Foundation are crucial for students during their clinical internship which requires these working adults to quit their jobs to complete clinical field work. Mr. Rich Hudson, the Greenville manager of the State Employees’ Credit Union, was present at the event representing the SECU Foundation. He thanked those in attendance for their efforts in producing educators who later become state employees.

A status update regarding the impact of SECU Partnership East was shared with participants. Since its inception in 2002, SECU Partnership East has prepared 674 teachers. 91% of those licensed and teaching are educating children within eastern North Carolina. These graduates have gone on to serve students well in their districts, have become school level Teachers of the Year, and have demonstrated innovation and leadership. Through this well-established partnership, SECU PE positively impacts families in our region to include those of our graduates and those of the students they teach.

A snapshot of the current students enrolled was also provided to the partners in attendance. SECU Partnership East has 227 students currently enrolled with applications being sought for 2016 for degrees in elementary education, special education and middle grades education. Guests at the event also engaged in a social media activity to learn about recent marketing efforts by faculty within SECU Partnership East. Ideas for capitalizing on the use of social media were also shared by community college and school system partners.

SECU Partnership East supports East Carolina University’s mission to engage in regional transformation through providing access to teacher education degrees for students who otherwise could not attend college. Through the collaborative efforts of community colleges, schools systems, and ECU, students in the partnership are recruited from their home communities, learn in those home communities, and upon graduation, go on to positively impact the lives of children in the East.

For information about SECU Partnership East, please visit our website at www.ecu.edu/pe or contact Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry at 252-328-1123 or bilbroberryl@ecu.edu

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NC New Teacher Support Coaches Provide Professional Development

Michelle Casey and April Shackleford provided professional development to the staff of the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center in November. The two North Carolina New Teacher Support Program coaches created an interactive workshop on classroom management for elementary students. The center staff was quite pleased with the best practices presented. The Lucille M. Gorham Intergenerational Center provides many services for the community, including an after school program for elementary and middle grades students.

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From the TRC: Reluctant Readers

It’s the third Thursday of the month and a new edition of From the TRC is published to highlight another service or resource Joyner Library’s Teaching Resources Center (TRC) has to support the College of Education’s faculty and students. Today we’ll cover one of our newest bibliographies, Reluctant Readers.

The TRC has created, and constantly updates, an extensive list of bibliographies and guides available to help students, faculty and staff easily navigate our collections. Print copies for select topics are available in the TRC while our entire catalog of bibliographies and guides are available on the TRC’s website. The reluctant readers bibliography is currently only available online, and is based on titles from the Young Adult Library Association’s (YALSA) Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers List.

But, we need to define who a reluctant reader. The umbrella term, reluctant reader, is used to describe a few different groups of students. Reluctant readers generally fall into one of three categories, those who can’t, don’t or won’t read. Students may not read because they lack the literacy and comprehension skills needed to do so which can lead to self-doubt and a fear of their secret being “found out.” The latter two categories encompass students able to read, but either dislike reading itself or their personal interests lead them to other activities they find more attractive.

So, what to do? A simple Internet search will overwhelm you. There is no shortage of parenting websites, non-profit and for-profit companies willing to share tips, tricks, and books. The Lexile Framework for Reading also offers tips and links to additional resources.

One theme you will find over and over again as you sift through all these resources is student choice. Allow your reluctant readers to choose reading material (e.g., comic book, graphic novel, popular magazine, etc.) about topics they are interested in. Of course, if a teacher knows their students’ interests, and happens to know a few books that may pique their interest, it’s a win-win. That’s why the TRC created our bibliography for reluctant readers.

Joyner Library’s subscription to Novelist Plus will also come in handy at times like this. Novelist Plus allows users to search for “Title Read-alikes” and “Author Read-alikes”. For example, if a student liked Kwame Alexander’s novel, The Crossover” A Basketball Novel, you can use that feature to find a list of similar reads:

Figure 1: The Crossover: A Basketball Novel’s entry in Novelist Plus. Read-alikes are found just above the “Find It!” button.

Figure 1: The Crossover: A Basketball Novel’s entry in Novelist Plus. Read-alikes are found just above the “Find It!” button.

Figure 2: Clicking on the “Title Read-alikes” will show a list of novels with similar themes.

Figure 2: Clicking on the “Title Read-alikes” will show a list of novels with similar themes.

Why is it important to become familiar with Novelist Plus? All K-12 educators in North Carolina have free access to either Novelist K-8 or Novelist Plus through NC WiseOwlJoyner Library’s subscription to Novelist Plus is the only way pre-service teachers can access this resource until you have your own classroom.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Until next time…Dan Z. in the TRC