Category Archives: for Teachers

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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


Apply Now for ECU’s Online Teacher Education Partnership

Do you want to be a part of a profession that makes all others possible?

Do you want to make a difference?

Do you want a career that is meaningful, challenging, and creative?

Are you looking for a degree program that will fit your busy lifestyle?

If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you should become a teacher through State Employees’ Credit Union Partnership East!

East Carolina University offers four-year teaching degrees through the  State Employees’ Credit Union Partnership East (SECU PE).  Students take the first two years of specific college transfer courses at any NC Community College and enter ECU as juniors to complete – a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Special Education – General Curriculum, or Middle Grades Education.  The online option for Middle Grades Education includes concentrations in language arts and social studies.    All SECU Partnership East coursework is offered through online instruction with classroom learning experiences in your local schools.  Students participate in a full-time internship at the culmination of the degree coursework.

Applications for 2016 cohorts are now open.  Test scores from the Praxis Core for Educators, prerequisite coursework, an interview, and a minimum GPA are required for admission to SECU PE.  Applicants must meet minimum transfer admission requirements to East Carolina University to be eligible to participate.

Degree Program Beginning Semester Application Deadline
Elementary Education (Full-time) Summer January 15
Elementary Education (Part-time) Fall February 15
Special Education (Part-time) Summer January 15
Middle Grades Language Arts and Social Studies (Part-time) Fall February 15

Graduates from SECU PE have a high rate of employment with the majority finding jobs right in their home counties. The convenience of online course delivery, field work close to home, and an opportunity to shape future generations are all reasons YOU should consider this opportunity.

For more information or to apply, contact the SECU Partnership East Coordinator for your region.  Contact information is located at

2015 NC Teacher of the Year Keana Triplett photo credit: NC Department of Public Instruction

College of Education hosts the 2015 NC Teacher of the Year

On October 19, 2015, Ms. Keana Triplett, the 2015 Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year, visited East Carolina University. Over sixty students attended Ms.Triplett’s inspiring keynote address which was featured as a part of the Teacher Toolbox Workshop series, offered by the College of Education.

A North Carolina Teaching Fellows graduate, Triplett earned a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education in 2005, and a Master’s degree in Educational Technology in December 2012, both from Appalachian State University. In 2014, she achieved National Board Certification in English/Language Arts.

Triplett has spent her entire teaching career at Ashe County High School. Since 2005, she has taught 9th, 10th and 12th grade English. She is chair of Ashe County High School’s Writing Committee and a member of the school’s Literacy Committee. She also is a Senior Conference Presenter for the Appalachian Community of Educators Society, a Teaching Fellows Advisory Council member for Appalachian Educators and a Cooperating Teacher for Appalachian State University student teachers.

She is the North Carolina Region 7 Teacher of the Year for 2014-15, and Ashe County Schools’ Teacher of the Year as well as Ashe County High School Teacher of the Year for 2014-15. She is a two-time grant recipient having received the Ashe County Schools’ Endowment Grant in 2010 and the Blue Ridge Electric Bright Ideas Grant in 2009. As Burroughs Wellcome Fund North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Triplett spends her time traveling the state as an ambassador for the teaching profession.

The College of Education was honored to sponsor this event as a way to teach, lead, and inspire!

For more information about teacher education at East Carolina University, please visit our website at

To view a recording of the event, please visit this link:

Montague Franklin with Jennifer Stalls

Education Graduate Leads Middle Schoolers in Conducting Nature Research

Jamaya Heath, Precious Wallace

(L to R): Jamaya Heath, Precious Wallace

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

Eighth-graders at C.M. Eppes Middle School hope to find out if a backyard weed actually contains some beneficial ingredients.

Their teacher, Jennifer Stalls, an East Carolina University alumna and graduate student in the College of Education, brought the real-world research question to her science classes as a participant in the Kenan Fellows Program for Curriculum and Leadership Development.

Frank Marr, Luke Daigle

(L to R): Frank Marr, Luke Daigle

Stalls is one of 42 educators from across North Carolina who completed a five-week summer research experience and two weeks of professional development as part of the annual program.

Stalls worked in the genomics and microbiology lab at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences with mentor Dr. Julia Stevens, who is studying the symbiotic relationship between invasive plants and bacteria in nitrogen fixing. The process is needed to convert gaseous nitrogen into forms that can be used by living organisms.

Stalls created a curriculum for her students to contribute to Stevens’ research by studying regional invasive species that could potentially replenish bacteria in crop fields.

Among the discoveries students are making is the notion that they like science.

Jason Harrell, Landen Congleton, Chad Langley

(L to R): Jason Harrell, Landen Congleton, Chad Langley

“I like that you can make so many things, so many discoveries with science. I like the medicine part of science,” said student Virginia Rahilly.

Stalls is one of six ECU alumni in the 2015-16 class of Kenan Fellows. Others and the schools where they teach are: Christopher Clark ’13, Chicod School in Pitt County; Taylar Flythe ’12, Ligon Magnet Middle School in Wake County; Denise Humphries ’93, Chinquapin Elementary School in Duplin County; Amy Kennedy ’07, Beulaville Elementary School in Duplin County; Julianna Martinez-Schultz ’10, Moore Square Magnet Middle School in Wake County.

Chloe Manning-Moore, Juliana Chaires

(L to R): Chloe Manning-Moore, Juliana Chaires

The Kenan Fellows Program was established in 2000 as the signature K-12 STEM education initiative of the Kenan Institute for Engineering, Technology & Science at N.C. State University.

Kenan Fellows are given opportunities for networking, professional growth and leadership development. For more information, visit

For the full article, please visit the ECU News Services Article Backyard Botantists

Jami Dickerson and Ann Bullock

ECU Graduate Presents at the NC New Teacher Support Eastern Institute for Beginning Teachers

Ms. Jami Dickerson, the 2014 Northeast North Carolina Teacher of the Year and an East Carolina University graduate was the keynote address for the NC New Teacher Support Program’s Institute held at NC State. Ms. Dickerson spoke about using brain-based principles to keep students active and involved in the classroom. Her use of active movements and music were great strategies to model for the beginning teachers in attendance.

Ron Clark and The North Carolina New Teacher Support Program, ECU Regional Office staff

NC New Teacher Support Project Coaches attend Ron Clark’s Presentation in Pamlico County

Ron Clark, founder of The Ron Clark Academy and ECU graduate, spoke this morning to the teachers and administrators of Pamlico County Schools. The North Carolina New Teacher Support Program, ECU Regional Office staff attended the event and enjoyed the inspiring presentation by Mr. Clark.

Clark was a Teaching Fellow at ECU and graduated in Elementary Education in 1994. In 2000, he was named Disney’s Outstanding Teacher of the Year. In 2007, Clark opened the academy in Atlanta, GA. Clark says since 2007, “We have challenged, motivated, disciplined, and inspired these students, and we have grown to love them for their amazing gifts and unique abilities. We truly believe that we have future world leaders at our school, and we are honored to teach them each and every day.”




Teach for Changency is an Educational Community to Promote Change

Dr. Anne Ticknor (Assistant Professor in Reading Education) and Dr. Katie Schwartz (Associate Professor in Mathematics Education) led a mathematics-specific induction program, LAUNCH into Mathematics Teaching, for 20 beginning elementary teachers in eastern North Carolina. The induction program included over 60 hours of mathematics professional development and specialized mentoring across two years. The Z Smith Reynolds Foundation funded the program.

Drs. Ticknor and Schwartz collected data from the program and found that the program structure supported beginning teachers in the how-to of enacting mathematics curriculum in their particular classrooms, created an external network of educators to share ideas and frustrations, provided windows into “what’s possible” in other schools/districts, and offered opportunities for reflection about their teaching visions and pedagogical decisions.

Ticknor and Schwartz have presented these findings in a variety of venues including local, regional, and national conferences and written reports for national education journals. Currently a social media campaign, Teach for Changency, is underway to disseminate findings and provide an informational and educational community to promote teacher agency and pedagogical change. Join the community and follow @teach4changency on Twitter and like on Facebook. 


PIRATES Educators Work to Improve K-6 Science Education

GREENVILLE, N.C. (10/15/15) — On Saturday, October 10th fifteen College of Education alumni returned to East Carolina University to attend a workshop, “Systemic Science. It’s Elementary!” These teachers were among the first graduates of the newly developed Elementary Science Concentration at East Carolina University that focuses on the scientific content and knowledge needed for teaching science to K-6 students. Students enrolled in the concentration receive instructional strategies and specialized content knowledge within all domains of science.

The workshop was funded by a research start-up grant entitled PIRATES (Preparing and Inspiring Achieving Teaching Excellence in Science). The grant was awarded to Assistant Professor, Dr. Tammy D. Lee who spearheaded the development of this program in response to the need to improve STEM education in the early grades. PIRATES is designed to support the fifteen newly specialized science teachers over the course of three years. These beginning teachers will work with ECU science education faculty, ECU scientists, and North Carolina Museum of Natural Science staff to strengthen their knowledge and skills in systemic science education. The goal of the PIRATES program is to return these teachers to their classrooms and schools across North Carolina as elementary science education leaders.

Participant Ashley Barfield a teacher at Abbotts Creek Elementary School in Raleigh said, “The PIRATE grant will not only benefit me as a teacher but my teammates, students, and my school.”

“This grant will be a huge impact in my classroom because it will help my students to think critically about science in the real world by learning about systems,” added Amber Ellington a teacher at Falkland Elementary in Greenville.

Since the launch of the Elementary Science Concentration in the fall of 2012, enrollment has grown from seven students to over one hundred.

“This increased enrollment indicates the overwhelming interest of elementary pre-service teachers to become science teacher specialists,” said Lee.

For more information about East Carolina University’s Elementary Science Concentration or the PIRATES grant please contact Dr. Tammy D. Lee at

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PIRATES teachers participating in the “Systemic Science. It’s Elementary!” event on October 10. Pictured above from left to right: Kayla Sager, Christina Baik, Amber Ellington, Abby Wilkinson, Katherine Hart (red shirt), Ashley Barfield, Beth Wantz Kara Rouse, Danielle Alford, Rachel Fendrick Amanda Etheridge and Dail Berry. Kneeling: Bonnie Glass and Dr. Tammy Lee

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Graduate Program in Mathematics Education Launches 2015-2017 High School Cohort

With a vision of achieving 21st Century skills and productive, meaningful mathematics learning for all students of eastern North Carolina, the College of Education’s Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education’s are of Mathematics Education launched its first ever graduate school cohort of high school mathematics teachers. The vision for the program is that great mathematics learning can be accomplished when faculty, teacher candidates, and eastern North Carolina teachers of mathematics work together in rich mathematics teaching communities.

This fall, teachers and ECU faculty Dr. Maureen Grady and Dr. Charity Cayton are engaged in the study of the research literature, policies, and best practices for high school mathematics instruction. During the past summer, the teachers completed two graduate courses in mathematics with Dr. Chris Jantzen and Dr. Zach Robinson. Committing to the study of mathematics and mathematics education while engaged in the current challenges of teaching high school mathematics is demanding. The College of Education and the area of Mathematics Education are very proud of the 30 teachers who are building their careers and expanding their options with the Master of Arts of Education (MAEd) in Mathematics Education.

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From the TRC…3D Printing Now Available to ECU Community

It’s the first Thursday of the month and a new edition of From the TRC is published to highlight an instructional technology resource Joyner Library’s Teaching Resources Center (TRC) has to support the College of Education’s faculty and students. Our first post of the school year highlights a new service in Joyner Library, 3D printing!

Do you know how common 3D printers are in North Carolina’s public schools? If it’s not now, it will be soon. NC State’s College of Education is busily working toward equipping every middle school in Wake County with a 3D printer. ECU’s own Innovation Design Lab is hoping to outfit seven (7) middle schools with a 3D printer by the end of the school year, and many other K-12 schools around the state have already started their own 3D printing initiatives.

3D printing in K-12 and higher education is definitely a trend. As a result, the TRC has been busy preparing two 3D printers for the College of Education and the rest of the campus community to use. I am proud to announce that, as of today, Joyner Library’s Teaching Resources Center is now accepting print requests for our 3D printers!

To help guide the ECU community, we have also developed a library guide for those who are unfamiliar with 3D printing, but would like to know more. Joyner Library currently has two 3D printers available for use, a FlashForge Creator Pro and a ZPrinter 310 (.pdf). We are also busy prepping a Lulzbot TAZ 5 for future use. This library guide will help you:

Contact us for help by email,

Stay tuned for workshops and other professional development opportunities that involve 3D printing in K-12 and higher education in the months ahead.

We hope to hear from you soon!

Until next time…Dan Z. in the TRC.