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To Celebrate National Day on Writing, ORC offers eight units on writing, to use throughout the school year!

Celebrate National Day on Writing all year with eight new writing units for grade bands 6–8, 9–10, and 11–12. All the units are now live and can be accessed by going to the table of contents and clicking the link for the unit and grade band you want to see and download. The units contain rich lessons for teaching writing and include lesson plans, resources, student interactives, and additional support.

The units are designed, not as a total writing curriculum, but rather as the meat of the writing program throughout the year. Each set of lessons focuses on the kind of writing that prepares students for achieving the standards.

You can use the units in the suggested months, but you might find that a different order better fits your curriculum. The approximate amount of time suggested for teaching a unit may be adjusted so that some days are devoted to other language arts strands. Most of the units, however, do include the integration of most or all of the ELA strands. To see more about the lessons, go to the “Introduction to Writing Units for the Common Core” post on the ELA blog.

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27th Annual Buckeye Book Fair, November 1

The annual Buckeye Book Fair will be held on November 1 from 9:30 to 4:00 at the Fisher Auditorium in Wooster. The fair will feature nearly 100 Ohio authors and illustrators, who will meet with readers and autograph copies of their latest works. For more information, see the Buckeye Book Fair brochure.

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World of 7 Billion video contest

Back by popular demand, the World of 7 Billion student video contest can help you bring technology and creativity into your high school science classes. The contest challenges your students to create a short (60 seconds or less) video illustrating the connection between world population growth and one of three global challenges dealing with either the sixth extinction, available farmland, or global education. Students can win up to $1,000, and their teachers will receive free curriculum resources. The contest deadline is February 19, 2015. Full contest guidelines, resources for research, past winners, and more can be found at the video contest website

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Lessons on Informative Writing: Research, Autobiography, and Memoir for grades 6–8, 9–10, and 11–12

Here is the second in a series of eight units from ORC to support your teaching of writing. Organized by grade bands, the lessons in this unit focus on informative writing, with emphasis on autobiography (6–8 and 9–10) and memoir (11–12).

See more about the units at the ORC Language Arts blog. 

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ChickQuest

ChickQuest, a Classroom Journey Through the Life Cycle of Chickens, is a 4-H school enrichment program that challenges students to use science, engineering, and technology to investigate the life cycle of an embryonic chicken egg. From monitoring living eggs to observing fluffy chicks, these lively activities pique curiosity, encourage collaboration and communication, and provide young scientists with unforgettable experiences. The United Soybean Board, the Ohio Soybean Council, and OSU Extension will provide this curriculum for 200 elementary teachers in Ohio during the 2014–2015 school year. Each teacher will receive:

  • Teacher Guide
  • Science log books—one per student in your classroom
  • Incubator
  • Fertilized eggs
  • Kit that includes experiment supplies
  • One day of professional development training for the teacher

The first three workshops are:

Thursday, November 6, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Genoa Brunner Campus, 1224 West Street, Genoa

Monday, November 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Nationwide & Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, 2201 Fred Taylor Drive, Columbus

December 16, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Undo's Restaurant, 51130 National Road, St. Clairsville

There is no deadline, but space in each workshop will be limited to about 50 participants.

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Lori Michalec, Ohio Teacher of the Year

The Ohio Department of Education named Tallmadge High School English teacher Lori Michalec the Teacher of the Year. Congratulations, Lori!

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Two opportunities for teachers who incorporate agriculture in their classrooms

2015 Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Awards

K–12 teachers who use innovative ways to incorporate agriculture into their general education classrooms are invited to participate in the 2015 Excellence in Teaching about Agriculture Awards program. The awards program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Credit Council and NAITCO.  If you are interested in applying, please contact Sandy Kuhn (skuhn@ofbf.org) at the Ohio Farm Bureau. Each national winner receives an honorarium of $500 and $1,500 to cover the cost of attending next year's National Ag in the Classroom Conference in Louisville, Kentucky, in June.

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NCTM offers Engaging Students in Learning Mathematics Grants for grades 6–8 teachers

The purpose of this grant is to incorporate middle school classroom materials or lessons that actively engage students in tasks and experiences to deepen and connect their content knowledge. For 2015-2016, grants with a maximum of $3,000 each will be awarded to persons currently teaching mathematics in grades 6–8. The deadline for applying is November 7. For more information go to the NCTM grants web page.

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ORC’s math specialist, Jaime Kautz, presenting at OCTM: “I’ve Got 99 Problems, but Math Ain’t One”

Be sure to attend the presentation by ORC's mathematics specialist, Jaime Kautz: “I’ve Got 99 Problems, but Math Ain’t One,” in Room l at noon on Friday, November 7, at the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics 64th Annual Conference.  And please stop by ORC’s booth in the Exhibitor Hall during the conference. The conference will take place November 5–7 at the Cleveland Convention Center.  For more information, go to the conference page.

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Teachers and students can participate in one of Believe in Ohio’s free STEM Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Forums

High school teachers and parents: Register your students and yourself now to attend one of Believe In Ohio's seven free STEM Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Forums in September, October, or November 2014.

Believe in Ohio is a comprehensive, free, new program from the Ohio Academy of Science (supported by the Ohio General Assembly and the Ohio Board of Regents) that helps students develop critical thinking skills and offers them an opportunity to compete for nearly $2 million in awards and college scholarships..

At the STEM Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Forums, students will participate in a program that will inspire them to "think outside the box" and allow them an opportunity to interact with STEM and venture development thought leaders.

Each Forum runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. A $150 transportation subsidy is available on a first-come, first-served basis for schools with 10 or more students who attend.

Forum Dates:

  • Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, at Ohio University, Athens, OH (SE Ohio region)
  • Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, at Westerville North High School, Westerville (Central Ohio region)
  • Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014, at University of Toledo (NW Ohio region)
  • Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014, at Miami Valley Career Technology Center, Clayton (Dayton Region)

For more information, go to the Forums web page

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triad 21, a PD opportunity for K–12 teachers in central Ohio

triad21 (Teaching Real-World Interdisciplinary Applications to Develop 21st Century Skills) is a yearlong professional learning opportunity for K–12 teachers from across central Ohio. triad 21 is seeking teams of three teachers from public school districts in Franklin, Madison, Pickaway, Licking, Fairfield, and Delaware Counties.

Sponsored by COSI, in collaboration with the Columbus Museum of Art and the Ohio History Connection, educational experts from these three institutions will facilitate a series of three daylong symposia (on Saturdays) followed by six 3 1/2-hour Community of Practice sessions monthly. triad21 will kick off at the Columbus Museum of Art on October 25.

District cost for a three-member team is $1,000. Individuals may also register for triad21. CEU’s and graduate professional development credit options will be available. For more information about triad21, see the brochure or contact Beth Carnate, triad21 coordinator, at 614-286-4553 or triad21.carnate@gmail.com.

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NEA offers Leadership & Learning Grants

The NEA Foundation provides grants to support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes: (1) Grants to individuals to fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes or action research; or (2) grants to groups to fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson study, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff new to an assignment.

The grant amount is $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study. Deadlines for applications are February 1, June 1, and October 15. See the NEA Foundation grants page for more information. 

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Just a reminder that there's still time to vote for the 2014 Buckeye Children’s and Teen Book Awards

There's still time for your students to vote for the 2014 Buckeye Children's and Teen Book Awards. To see the books, go to the 2014 nominations list. The book choices are divided by grade level: K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12 (teens).

To find out more about the awards and to learn how you can participate not only in voting, but in the nominating process as well, go to the Buckeye Book Awards home page.

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Problem Set #15 of Stella’s Stunners is now available!

Problem Set #15 has just been completed and is ready to engage your students. For grades 6–12, Stella’s Stunners are a collection of more than 600 nonroutine mathematics problems. Problems range from simple visual problems, requiring no specific mathematical background, to problems that use the content of prealgebra up through precalculus.

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Dan Langen is ORC’s new social studies specialist

We are delighted to announce that Dan Langen has joined ORC as the new social studies specialist. Dan earned both a B.A. in comprehensive social studies education, grades 7–12, and an M.Ed. in curriculum and supervision from Miami University, where he later taught middle childhood education methods courses. Dan has more than 20 years of classroom experience in middle school and high school settings, and he has served as a technology integration specialist and curriculum leader, in which roles he was responsible for instructional coaching, mentoring, professional development, and standards-based curriculum alignment.

Dan has been a leader in several social studies professional organizations and a consultant for the National Geographic Society and the Ohio Geographic Alliance. His leadership roles for the Ohio Council for the Social Studies include newsletter editor, web editor, legislative liaison, president, and executive director, and he has served in leadership roles for the National Council for the Social Studies. Dan has also been a member of the content advisory committees for the Ohio Department of Education’s 2002 and 2012 standards revisions and the item review committee for the Ohio Graduation Test.

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ELA PD opportunities

2014 Annual Reading Conference at Kent State University, October 31—and a writing contest

The 2014 Annual Reading Conference will take place on October 31 at Kent State University. The conference theme is "Creativity in the Common Core: Teaching the Standards with Imagination and Joy." The sessions from this conference will show how teacher and student imagination and joy can be integrated into the teaching of reading and writing the Common Core State Standards. The keynote speaker is Donalyn Miller. For more information about the conference, go to the Conferences page.

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Wright State University is now offering a Dual Enrollment Certificate

Licensed teachers can earn a certificate to teach a dual enrollment composition course in high school by taking 18 graduate credit hours.  Courses will be offered evenings and summer with one or more web courses. Teachers who start the program this fall may qualify for scholarships to defray a portion of tuition.

Contact Alpana Sharma for more information at 937 775-2070 or alpana.sharma@wright.edu.

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PD opportunities and grant opportunities--STEM and science


STEM

Westinghouse Electric Company N-Vision a Brighter Future

Schools and teachers who want their students to learn more about STEM through a hands-on project are invited to apply for the N-Vision a Brighter Future grant.  

Any U.S. elementary, middle, or high school can apply. Online applications must be received by noon EST on Friday, November 14, 2014. Three schools will be awarded $1,000 to complete their project by the end of the school year. Another $2,000 will be granted to each of these schools' science department for its needs. Therefore, the total grant amount a school will receive is $3,000. Any creative hands-on project dealing with STEM will be considered.  See the Grant Program pdf for more information.


SCIENCE

Apply for AEP’s Teacher Vision Grants

Teachers of pre-K through grade 12 who live or teach in the AEP service area or in communities with major AEP facilities may apply. Grant awards range from $100 to $500. A limit of one grant may be awarded per teacher per year. Grants may be limited to two per school per year.

Any project that has an academic focus and a goal to improve student achievement will be considered. AEP has a special interest in science, mathematics, technology, electrical safety, the balanced study of energy and the environment, and energy efficiency.

Be sure to complete your application before midnight EST, Friday, February 27, 2015, in order to be considered for a grant for the 2015–2016 school year. For more information, go to the Teacher Vision Grants page. If you have questions, please call Barry Schumann, Community Relations Coordinator, at 614-716-1668 or send an e-mail.

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Grant opportunities--General

GENERAL

Now accepting applications for the 2015 Voya Unsung Heroes Awards Program

Grants are given to K–12 educators utilizing new teaching methods and techniques that improve learning.  Each year, educators submit applications for a Voya Unsung Heroes grant by describing projects they have initiated or would like to pursue. Each project is judged on its:

  • Innovative method
  • Creativity
  • Ability to positively influence the students

One hundred educators are selected to receive $2,000 to help fund their innovative class projects. Three of those are chosen to receive the top awards of an additional $5,000, $10,000, and $25,000. The deadline for applying is April 30, 2015. For more information, go to the Voya Unsung Heroes page.

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Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children’s Tylenol National Child Care Teacher Awards

The Terri Lynne Lokoff/Children's Tylenol National Child Care Teacher Awards acknowledge the critical role of child-care teachers in providing quality early care and education. Child-care teachers from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. military bases and installations around the world are invited to apply. Fifty teachers will be selected for their commitment and dedication to the children they serve. Of the top ten recipients, one is selected to receive the Helene Marks Award and is named the National Child Care Teacher of the Year.

As a part of the application process, applicants are asked to design a classroom enhancement project for the children they teach illustrating the educational, social, and emotional benefits of the project. Award recipients receive $1,000–$500 for the teacher's personal use and $500 to implement the project. The deadline is December 8, 2014. For more information, go to the awards information page.

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RGK Foundation grants

The RGK Foundation awards grants in the broad areas of education, community, and health/medicine. The foundation's primary interests within education include programs that focus on formal K–12 education (particularly mathematics, science and reading), teacher development, literacy, and higher education.

All applicants must complete an electronic Letter of Inquiry from the website as the first step. The RGK Foundation will entertain one electronic Letter of Inquiry per organization in a 12-month period. There is no deadline for submitting an electronic Letter of Inquiry. Foundation staff reviews electronic Letters of Inquiry on a regular basis, but you should allow up to three weeks for a response. For more information, go to the Grants Program guidelines page.


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Grant and PD opportunities--Mathematics

Great opportunity for math coaches to work with OSU Mathematics Coaching Program

The OSU Mathematics Coaching Program is currently recruiting districts/schools/coaches for the 2014–2015 school year (February-August). The Mathematics Coaching Program, in its ninth year, is designed as a training program for experienced teachers who work as full-time mathematics coaches. These coaches team with teachers, in their classrooms daily in six-week rotations, and assist them in implementing research-based strategies that help K–12 students learn mathematics. For more information, go to the Mathematics Coaching Program website.

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NCTM 7–12 research grants

The purpose of this grant is to support and encourage classroom-based research in precollege mathematics education in collaboration with college or university mathematics educators. For 2015–2016, grants with a maximum of $6,000 each will be awarded to mathematics educators or classroom teachers currently teaching mathematics at the grades 7–12 level. The research must be a collaborative effort involving a college or university mathematics educator (a mathematics education researcher or a teacher of mathematics learning, teaching, or curriculum) and one or more grades 7–12 classroom teachers. The proposal may include, but is not restricted to, research on the following topics:

  • Curriculum development and implementation
  • Involvement of at-risk or minority students
  • Students’ thinking about a particular mathematics concept or set of concepts
  • Connection of mathematics to other disciplines
  • Focused learning and teaching of mathematics with embedded use of technology (any acquisition of equipment must support the proposed plan but not be the primary focus of the grant)
  • Innovative assessment or evaluation strategies

The deadline is November 7, 2014. See the grant web page to learn about NCTM membership requirements and to find our more about the grant. 

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Pre-K–6 classroom research grants

The purpose of this grant is to support and encourage classroom-based research in precollege mathematics education in collaboration with college or university mathematics educators. For 2015–2016, grants with a maximum of $6,000 each will be awarded to mathematics educators or classroom teachers* currently teaching mathematics at the grades pre-K–6 level. The research must be a significant collaborative effort involving a college or university mathematics educator (a mathematics education researcher or a teacher of mathematics learning, teaching, or curriculum) and one or more grades pre-K–6 classroom teachers. 

The applicant must be a current (on or before October 15, 2014) Full Individual or E-Member of NCTM and teach at a college or university or teach at a school having a current (on or before October 15, 2014) NCTM PreK-8 school membership. The deadline is November 7, 2014. For more information, go to the grant web page

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Apply for NCTM’s Equity in Mathematics Grants for grades 6–8 teachers

The purpose of this grant is to incorporate middle school classroom materials or lessons that will improve the achievement of student groups that have previous records of underachievement. For 2015–2016, grants with a maximum of $8,000 each will be awarded to persons currently teaching mathematics in grades 6–8. This award is for individual classroom teachers or small groups of teachers collaborating in one grade or across grade levels.

The applicant must be a current (on or before October 15, 2014) full individual or E-member of NCTM or teach at a school with a current (on or before October 15, 2014) NCTM Pre-K–8 school membership and currently teach mathematics in grades 6–8 at least 50 percent of the school day. The deadline is November 7, 2014. For more information, go to the grant web page.

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Teacher professional development grants for grades 6–8 teachers

The purpose of this grant is to support professional development to improve the competence in the teaching of mathematics of one or more classroom teachers*. For 2015–2016, grants of a maximum of $3,000 will be awarded to person(s) currently teaching at the grades 6–8 level. The proposal must delineate the teacher(s)’ professional development plan and address how the proposed project will improve the teacher(s)’ competence and affect students’ learning. 

The applicant must be a current (on or before October 15, 2014) Full Individual or E-Member of NCTM or teach at a school with a current (on or before October 15, 2014) NCTM Pre-K–8 school membership and currently teach mathematics in grades 6–8 at least 50 percent of the school day. The deadline is November 7, 2014. For more information, go to the grant web page.

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NCTM grants for emerging teacher-leaders in elementary school mathematics for grades pre-K–5 teachers

The purpose of the grant is to increase the breadth and depth of the mathematics content knowledge of one elementary school teacher who has a demonstrated commitment to mathematics teaching and learning. For the 2015–2016 school year, grants with a maximum of $6,000 each will be awarded. 

The grant applicant must be a current (on or before October 15, 2014) full individual or e-member of NCTM.  The applicant must (1) be a classroom (elementary school) teacher* with at least three years of experience and (2) have mathematics as a regular teaching responsibility. (*The definition of a classroom teacher is an individual who spends half or more of his/her work time teaching in the classroom.) The deadline for applying is November 7, 2014. See the Grants and Awards “Emerging Teacher-Leader” web page for more information.

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NCTM grants for grades 9–12 teachers for connecting mathematics to other subject areas

The purpose of the grant is to create senior high classroom materials or lessons connecting mathematics to other fields. For 2015–2016, grants with a maximum of $4,000 each will be awarded to persons currently teaching mathematics in grades 9–12. Materials may be in the form of books, visual displays, computer programs or displays, slide shows, videotapes, or other appropriate medium. The focus of these materials should be on showing the connectivity of mathematics to other fields or to the world around us. 

The grant applicant must be a current (on or before October 15, 2014) full individual or e-member of NCTM and currently teach mathematics in grades 9–12 at least 50 percent of the school day. The deadline for applying is November 7, 2014. See the Grants and Awards “Connecting Mathematics” web page for more information.

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Apply for a grant to use music to teach mathematics grants for grades pre-k–2 teachers

The purpose of this grant is to incorporate music into the pre-k and elementary school classroom to help young students learn mathematics. For 2015–2016, grants with a maximum of $3,000 each will be awarded to persons currently teaching mathematics in grades pre-k–2 level. This award is for individual classroom teachers or small groups of teachers collaborating in one grade or across grade levels. Proposals must address the following: the combining of mathematics and music, the plan for improving students’ learning of mathematics, and the anticipated impact on students’ achievement.

The applicant must be a current (on or before October 15, 2014) Full Individual or E-Member of NCTM or teach in a school with a current (on or before October 15, 2014) NCTM PreK–8 school membership and currently teach mathematics or collaborate with teachers of mathematics in grades pre-k–2.The deadline for applying is November 7, 2014. For more information, see the grant web page.

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Opportunities for Social Studies

C-SPAN announces 2015 StudentCam documentary competition

For the competition, students in grades 6–12 are asked to create a 5- to 7-minute documentary based on the theme “The Three Branches and You: Tell a story that demonstrates how a policy, law or action by either the executive, legislative, or judicial branch has affected you or your community.” Students should pick an aspect related to one of the three branches on which to focus their documentary—be it legislation passed by Congress, a policy of the executive branch, a decision in a Supreme Court case, or otherwise. Cash prizes totaling $100,000 will be awarded to the filmmakers of the top 150 documentaries, as well as the teacher advisors of the top 50 documentaries. The submission deadline for all eligible documentaries is Tuesday, January 20, 2015.

For more information about the competition, visit www.StudentCam.org. For additional details, call the program’s Educators' Hotline at (800) 523-7586, or email educate@c-span.org.

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What’s new at the Ohio Center for Law-Related Education

Be Our Guest!

OCLRE invites middle and high school teachers to be our guests to observe spring program events, including Mock Trial, Middle School Mock Trial, We the People and Moot Court. What better way to learn about an academic program than by seeing students in action? To learn more, click the program links above or visit www.oclre.org to see the schedule of events. Those interested in observing may contact the respective program coordinator or email oclre@oclre.org.


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Let ORC help you teach scientific argumentation with its latest ORC-On

Students in grades K–12 are expected to learn how to formulate, communicate, and support a scientific argument. You’ll find some great suggestions in this latest ORC-On, which is divided into grades K–2, 3–5, 6–8, and 9–12.

ORC-On e-publications explore a specific event or topic, spotlighting excellent resources and ideas you can use in your classroom. These e-pubs are brief and to the point. 

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Issue of Adolescent Literacy In Perspective on formative assessment

The theme of the latest issue of Adolescent Literacy In Perspective is formative assessment. The theme for this issue was inspired by a project that ORC undertook with the Ohio Department of Education—the Formative Assessment Middle School Project, otherwise known as FAMS.

The feature article was written by Margaret Heritage, nationally known expert in the field of formative assessment. The issues’ three vignettes were written by FAMS coach Richele O'Connor and classroom teachers Seth Martin and Robin Plowman. We invite you to comment on the Language Arts blog to share your thoughts on the articles in this issue and on formative assessment.

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Looking for books for your students to read?

  • The Social Studies Bookshelf has now been expanded to include books for students in grades 1 to 8. The bookshelf is filled with the NCSS’s Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People, which have been aligned to Ohio's New Learning Standards: K–8 Social Studies. You can browse the bookshelf by title, topic, or grade. Also see the new Social Studies High School Bookshelf. Each description is accompanied by a Note to Teachers that suggests how the book might be used in the classroom. ORC has aligned the books to both Ohio’s New Learning Standards: K–12 Social Studies and Common Core Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies.
  • Choose to Read Ohio offers a list of recommended books by Ohio authors. The list contains books for children, tweens, teens, and adults. You can read about Choose to Read Ohio or go straight to the 2013–2014 list.

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ilearnOhio will provide training and support

ilearnOhio is available for districts and schools to adopt. The state's learning management system provides training and support through:

  • Face-to-face train-the-trainer models
  • Web-based tutorials
  • ilearnOhio administrator training
  • Online and phone support for users
  • Online help materials and webinars

For more information, go to the ilearnOhio page.

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