Category Archives: Office of Professional Development and Student Outreach

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.”

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Ron Preston Serves as President of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Dr. Ron Preston, ECU Mathematics Education, began his tenure as President of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM), April 2015. He will convene the 45th Annual NCCTM State Conference on November 5, 2015 as well as the NCCTM Leadership Seminar on November 4. Both events are held at the Koury Conference Center in Greensboro.

NCCTM was founded approximately 50 years ago to unite all teachers, supervisors, curriculum developers, and teacher educators of mathematics in a shared goal of exceptional mathematics teaching for optimal mathematical learning for all NC students. In addition to conferences and seminars, NCCTM provides Mathematics Fairs for K-12 students, supports mathematics competitions for high school students, awards mini-grants to classroom teachers of mathematics, provides scholarships to support graduate studies for teachers, presents awards for outstanding performance and innovation in mathematics education, and publishes a journal.

Ron Preston is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics and the College of Education. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in mathematics education at ECU and serves as Mathematics, Science, and Instructional Technology Education’s Director of Students. He is the 2014-2015 ECU Faculty Advisor of the Year. He is active in funded projects and research in mathematics education. His holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Indiana University.

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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 https://www.facebook.com/teachforchangency on Facebook. 

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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 leeta@ecu.edu

Like us on Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/PirateScientists

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

Abbie Brown

The COE Research Committee Presents Dr. Abbie Brown: Increasing Your Impact with Social Media

Come to Speight 202 on October 22, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to learn how to use web-based and mobile applications to create and share content.

Making good use of web-based and mobile applications can significantly increase one’s academic impact. Social media offers a variety of opportunities for scholarship and service to one’s discipline, while increasing the visibility of academic programs and institutions. For the past two years, Dr. Abbie Brown has been experimenting with podcasting, blogging, and content curation via the Flipboard app, resulting in the receipt of a national award for his podcast series, opportunities to collaborate with major figures in his discipline, and invitations to speak at international conferences. It’s one example of using innovative social media to positively affect productivity in more traditional venues.

The workshop’s purpose is to share information about making effective use of social media to increase your own academic impact by reviewing examples and describing the tasks involved in blogging, ‘casting, and curating content

Faculty participants will receive Distance Education Professional Development Credits. ECU

Faculty and Staff can register for this event in Cornerstone.

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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, 3Dprinting@ecu.edu.

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.

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Reading Education Faculty Highlights

At this time in the semester, students are showcasing what they have learned through papers, projects and mid-term exams. We thought we would share a few highlights of what the ECU College of Education Reading Faulty have been doing since the start of the fall 2015 semester.

Dr. Caitlin Ryan has presented multiple professional development sessions for Pitt County Teachers working on Literature Circles.  Dr. Ryan shared, “I really enjoy helping teachers learn about texts and activities that help students love reading. We focused on how talk about text is an important component of both student engagement and comprehension instruction in the reading curriculum.”

Dr. Anne Ticknor and Dr. Katie Schwartz (Associate Professor in Mathematics Education) led a mathematics-specific induction program, LAUNCH into Mathematics, 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.  Ticknor and Schwartz are continuing research and publications related to the initiative and are facilitating a social media campaign, Teach for Changency, to showcase program guest bloggers, participant quotes, and key findings from the study. See: teachforchangency.com

Kelly Bahoric (Elementary Education, K-12 Reading License, ’15) and Dr. Elizabeth Swaggerty co-authored a journal article that explores fanfiction as a valuable literacy practice in both the real world and the K-12 classroom. Bahoric notes, “Reading and writing fanfiction is an exciting practice for students because it allows students to expand upon ideas they already love and enjoy. There is also a subversive element to the practice. One could rewrite established works in a way that is more challenging and less conservative than the original. The potentially subversive nature of the practice is highly appealing to young people.” Article available here: http://www.ccira.org/colorado-reading-journal/SUMMER-2015.html

Dr. Ran Hu is investigating Western teachers’ English teaching experience in China. She hopes to help more people understand the experiences and challenges of those who taught English in a foreign country.  If you have taught English in another country or have an interest in learning more about teaching English abroad, please contact Dr. Hu (hur@ecu.edu).

Blount Feature

College of Education hosts Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Institute

East Carolina University’s College of Education hosted its second Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Institute on Sept. 12 for close to 100 pre-service and in-service teacher educators from the Latham Clinical Schools Network, a privately funded partnership program that supports the enhancement of 39 school systems in eastern North Carolina.

As an expert in the field of literacy and student engagement, Dr. Peter Johnston, delivered the keynote presentation that inspired the educators to incorporate this year’s theme Words: The Power to Open Minds into the classroom.

Dr. Peter Johnson addresses a question during a literacy and teacher education panel discussion at the Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Institute. Pictured from left to right: Johnston, Lauren Buck, vice president of the North Carolina reading association, Becky Taylor, North Carolina State Board of Education representative, Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry, ECU’s assistant director of teacher education and Jim Cieslar, executive director of United Way Pitt County.

Dr. Peter Johnson addresses a question during a literacy and teacher education panel discussion at the Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Institute. Pictured from left to right: Johnston, Lauren Buck, vice president of the North Carolina reading association, Becky Taylor, North Carolina State Board of Education representative, Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry, ECU’s assistant director of teacher education and Jim Cieslar, executive director of United Way Pitt County.

“Attending Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Institute was a wonderful experience,” said one participant. “The institute gave me the opportunity to learn about new approaches to literacy from district and national experts and leaders. It has also helped me to develop professionally by challenging me to use creative, proven methods of teaching in the classroom.”

Attendees participated in breakout sessions by reading education faculty and a literacy and teacher education panel discussion featuring Johnston, Dr. Laura Bilbro-Berry, ECU’s assistant director of teacher education, Lauren Buck, vice president of the North Carolina reading association, Jim Cieslar, executive director of United Way Pitt County, Dr. Don Davis, North Carolina senator, and Becky Taylor, North Carolina State Board of Education representative. Dr. Grant Hayes, dean of the College of Education, welcomed the group with comments on the importance of supporting literacy.

Dr. Peter Johnson with participants attending the Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Institute.

Dr. Peter Johnson with participants attending the Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy Institute.

“The Margaret Blount Harvey Literacy events and my participation on the ECU Literacy Leaders Board provide a wonderful opportunity as a professional to interact and meet with other educators,” said another participant. “These events make me feel empowered and respected as an educator.”

In addition to LCSN teachers, the ECU Literacy Leaders Board and select ECU undergraduate and graduate students were invited to attend the conference. The Department of Literacy Studies, English Education and History Education in the COE held the conference at the Holiday Inn in Greenville, NC.

“We are thrilled with the enthusiasm of the participants who attended the institute,” said Dr. Johna Faulconer, conference director and associate professor in the College of Education. “Literacy is a critical issue and we are fortunate that through the generosity of Felix and Margaret Harvey, and daughters Leigh McNairy and Sunny Burrows, the family’s wishes of providing high quality literacy professional development opportunities for teachers and teachers in training has become a reality.”

A link to a photo album providing a pictorial account of the day is available at: http://www.coe3.ecu.edu/coeweb/Albums/2015_Blount/index.html

Dail Berry

Elementary Science Alumna Receives WITN’s Teacher of the Week Award

Congratulations to Dail Berry who received this week’s Teacher of the Week award from WITN. Last May, Berry graduated from East Carolina University, receiving the Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education with a concentration in Elementary Science. In the summer of 2014, she was an innovative camp counselor for the East Carolina Summer Science Camp. In her role as camp counselor, she created and implemented the popular camp session, Under the Sea. Ms. Berry also has experience working as a counselor for the 4H program in her hometown. After graduation, Berry decided to return home to Hyde County to start her teaching career. She is now teaching 7th and 8th grade science at Mattamuskeet Early College High School. When asked about her interest in science, she stated, “I fell in love with science while taking courses at ECU and now I want science to be my focus.”

Berry has already distinguished herself as a leader in her school by assisting with the Junior Beta club, a Co-advisor of the Envirothon team, and the Assistant Varsity Coach for the high school volleyball team. For the next three years, she will also be a part of a new research grant entitled PIRATES, Preparing and Inspiring Readiness for Achieving Teaching Excellence in Science. Dr. Tammy Lee, Assistant Professor in Science Education at ECU, noted: “The goal of this grant is to support beginning teachers that specialized in elementary science within their undergraduate education program at ECU.” The person nominating Berry for this award said, “She is an amazing teacher and the sweetest person. It’s her first year teaching and I’d love for her to get recognition for all her hard work and determination.”

Here is the link to the WITN interview with Berry: http://www.witn.com/home/headlines/WITNs-Teacher-of-the-Week-Dail-Berry-of-Hyde-County-327835781.html