Friday, June 21, 2013

Open database for sharing digital learning resources

From the USDE: The Federal Registry for Educational Excellence ( makes it easier to find digital teaching and learning resources created and maintained by the federal government and public and private organizations.

Click here to go to FREE!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The CompassLearning Odyssey system will be updated

From CompassLearning Support & Services Team: An automatic update to CompassLearning Odyssey, version 2013, will be performed on June 28, 2013, starting at 6:00 pm Central Time. With no downtime for this update, you will see the changes made by the update immediately. We expect to complete the update on Friday evening. This release includes:
  • A new user help system for teachers and administrators
  • Enhanced Common Core coverage and fidelity through additional activities and quizzes
  • Numerous content and maintenance updates throughout the product
  • Stability and performance improvements

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Framework for Social Studies State Standards is expected to be final this summer

Catherine Gewertz reports on Education week that "The Council of Chief State School Officers has bowed out of its role as the convenor of a group of states and organizations writing a shared social studies framework. The move means that the National Council for the Social Studies, which had been leading the work, will continue to do so but without the organizational support of the CCSSO. The latest draft of "The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards" is currently being circulated among reviewers from the 15 groups and 20 states that have been working on it."

Click here to read the full article

Click here to go to draft of The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Opportunity for educator involvement for the Formative Digital Library

From: Jennifer Teasdale, DPI Education Program Specialist Office of Student Assessment

Smarter is looking for Additional K-12 and Higher Education educator involvement for the Formative Digital Library. At this juncture, we are looking to fill a database of educators interested in participating in the Formative Digital Library. For any number of reasons, individuals may need to withdraw from the group and need to be replaced. We will be pulling replacement educators from this database to partake in the event that someone must vacate their position.

This is an opportunity to lead the future grade and content formative assessment efforts within Wisconsin and the Smarter Consortium. Network members will connect with colleagues in common grade levels, content areas, and experts throughout the Smarter Balanced states, and with educators across our own state, to continue state efforts to help educators transition to CCSS and implement effective classroom instruction with formative assessment practices.

Each state in the consortium will identify a network of educators. Approximately 92 Wisconsin K-12 and higher education educators will have the opportunity to be part of a Wisconsin State Formative Network of educators that will identify and recommend resources for the Digital Library and disseminate web-based educator training to Wisconsin educators.

The information that follows is based on information currently available and may change as the project progresses.

• This project is expected to last two years.
• Each member will be involved in feedback cycles with a 5-10 day turnaround between the request and the feedback between January and August 2013
• There will be five web-based trainings between August 2013 and June 2014
• After each training session, each member is expected to identify and recommend an upload of at least one additional resource for the Digital Library
• All work is expected to be outside of the regular work schedule
• The Contractor for the project will contract with the educators and pay a stipend
• The stipend for full participation is estimated to be approximately $1300- $1500

Please forward this information to those interested in and qualified to participate in any of these activities. More information about the opportunities and the Educator Involvement Application are available at Interested educators should complete the Educator Involvement Application and submit it to the Office of Student Assessment by the middle of July.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Using tasks in Google Mail and Calendar to be more efficient

6/12/2013 Staff training

Lesson 1: Using Google Calendar (tasks):

Rule 1. Appointments are for times where you need to be physically present.
Rule 2. Tasks are for things that need to be done.

Watch this short tutorial and dive in. Ask for help at any time.

Need to be somewhere - appointment
Need to do something - task

Congratulations: You are now able to use Tasks on Google Calendar

Lesson 2: Using filters to automatically sort mail in Google Mail:

Watch this short tutorial and dive in. Ask for help at any time.

Congratulations: You can now use filters

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Excerpts From Education Week article by Christina Samuels: Click here to read the full Education Week article which goes into much more depth on the changes

The fifth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the standard classification of mental disorders used by mental-health professionals in the United States and contains a listing of diagnostic criteria for every psychiatric disorder recognized by the U.S. health-care system. The most recent edition includes several definitional changes to disorders that are often seen in school contexts.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Definition: A pattern of behavior in multiple settings characterized by symptoms such as failure to pay close attention to details, difficulty organizing tasks and activities, fidgeting, excessive talking, and inability to stay seated.

What's Changed? “Several” symptoms must be present in more than one setting; symptoms must be present before age 12 instead of before age 7; examples have been included to illustrate the types of behaviors children, adolescents, and adults might experience.

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Definition: characterized by communication deficits, such as responding inappropriately in conversation; dependence on routines; high sensitivity to changes in environment; and intense focus on inappropriate items.

What's Changed? Four separate disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome and “pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified,” have been folded into a single umbrella disorder.

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder
Definition: Children up to age 18 who exhibit persistent irritability and frequent episodes of extreme temper tantrums.

What's Changed? This disorder is new with the DSM-5 and is meant to address concerns about overdiagnosis and overtreatment of bipolar disorder in children.

Intellectual Disability
Definition: Impairment of general mental ability that affects adaptive functioning in three domains: conceptual (reading, writing, math, reasoning); social (empathy, judgment, interpersonal communications); and practical (money management, job responsibilities, personal care).

What's Changed? The term “mental retardation” has been removed; severity of impairment should be based on adaptive functioning and not IQ score alone.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Definition: An ongoing pattern of anger-guided disobedience, hostility, and defiant behavior toward authority.

What's Changed? The criteria explain how frequently the behaviors must occur to differentiate them from normal development in children; symptoms have been grouped into angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, and vindictiveness.

Social Communication Disorder
Definition: A persistent difficulty in social uses of verbal and nonverbal communication, such as greeting or exchanging information; following rules for conversation or storytelling, such as taking turns in conversation; and understanding what is not explicitly stated and nonliteral or ambiguous meanings of language.

What's Changed? The disorder is new to the DSM-5. It is meant to identify people who have some of the communication deficits associated with autism, but who do not have repetitive or restricted behavior patterns.

Specific Learning Disorder
Definition: Deficits that affect academic achievement in areas such as reading, writing or mathematical reasoning.

What's Changed? Specific diagnoses such as dyslexia or dyscalculia have been folded into this disorder. As part of the diagnosis, clinicians can provide greater detail as to the type of deficits present.

Source: American Psychiatric Association

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Nearly One-Third of Children With Autism Also Have ADHD

From Science Daily:

"In a study of the co-occurrence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in early school-age children (four to eight years old), researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute found that nearly one-third of children with ASD also have clinically significant ADHD symptoms."

"Published in Autism: The International Journal and Practice (Epub ahead of print), the study also found that children with both ASD and ADHD are significantly more impaired on measures of cognitive, social and adaptive functioning compared to children with ASD only."

Click here to go to article for more information on the study

Whether or not to study another language:

From USDE:
Maureen McLaughlin, senior advisor to Secretary Duncan and director of international affairs, asked me what advice I would give to U.S. students contemplating whether or not to study another language.
My suggestion? You absolutely should! For one, it’s fun, and beyond that, there are countless benefits. Here are my top five reasons for learning another language:
  1. Learn about new cultures and ideas. Language and culture are intertwined. Whatever language you choose to learn, it will always tell you something about the society in which it is spoken. Whether it’s through words whose meanings have evolved over time, popular sayings, or knowing cultural faux pas to avoid, you will learn more than just grammar and vocabulary.
  2. Better understand your own language. When you learn a new language, your natural reaction will probably be to compare it to your own. You’ll start to notice similarities and differences in mechanics and structure that will make you think more about your first language.
  3. Establish meaningful connections. Making an effort to speak to someone in his or her native language, even if you’re not the best at it, shows how interested you are in getting to know them. I’ve also learned that there is no better way to improve than to have a native speaker help you. They may not know that you’re familiar with their language at first glance, but when you make the effort, you might just get a really good tutor and a new friend. I did!
  4. Gain a professional advantage. Having foreign language skills can set you apart and give you an edge over the competition. Many sectors hire bilingual or multilingual candidates to avoid costly mistranslations, deliver services to non-English speakers more efficiently, and to gain access to documents unavailable in English. While researching the French Revolution for a class, I found so many intriguing sources–journals and letters–that weren’t in English. Familiarity with French allowed me to incorporate them in my work.
  5. Build resilience, confidence, and independence. Like all new things, learning languages can be daunting, but the challenges you face are part of the process that make it even more of an achievement! Knowing that you have the skills to navigate on your own and communicate effectively provides a sense of security and comfort even in an unfamiliar environment.
Be it personal or professional, learning another language is a truly meaningful experience with benefits that can last a lifetime.
Please click on this link to watch the full May 23 panel discussion.
Marianne Zape, an intern with ED’s International Affairs Office and a student at UC San Diego, speaks Tagalog, English and French.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

School Safety News From TRICOR

Click here to view this issue that covers the following topics:
· Heat Stress
· Bee, Wasp, Hornet, and Yellow Jacket Stings
· West Nile Virus
· Lyme Disease
· EMC Insurance Offers Free Online Training for Schools
· June is National Safety Month
Mary Schoettel, ARM
TRICOR Safety Consulting

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Educator Effectiveness News

From the DPI Educator Effectiveness Team:

You can access the newsletter at Future issues will be archived and made available on our website. 

Inside this Issue:
     Update on Full Pilot training
     Free Demo of Teachscape
     Understanding Student/School Learning Objectives (SLOs)

Top 5 Ways to Prevent Rusty Summer Readers


With summer vacation started or on its way, as parents or guardians, it’s important to ensure that reading remains on your child’s schedule even while school is out. Reading over the summer is important not only because it improves literacy and language skills, but also because it prevents what has become known as the “summer slide”—a regression in reading ability.

Studies show that children who don’t read or who read rarely over the summer encounter a stagnation or decline in their reading skills.

With that in mind, here are five of the best ways to keep your child reading this summer:

Let your child choose what they want to read – or be read to – for 30 minutes each day. Children are much more likely to engage in material that interests them rather than materials that are forced on them.

Use language and reading opportunities throughout the day. Talk often with your child and point out reading materials wherever possible: on menus, magazines and newspapers, signs, brochures, maps, guidebooks, smartphones, ipads, etc.

Make daily reading a social event. Get the whole family to join in with their own books or take turns reading the same book aloud. Include telling stories as well.

Connect reading to other summer events. If you take your child to the zoo, think about reading a book about animals before and afterward. This will place your child’s reading within a larger context.

Make reading a lifestyle choice. Keep books all around the house to cultivate an atmosphere of reading, and set an example by reading yourself. Children need good models of reading books, magazines, or newspapers.
Posted by: Madison Killen is a student at the University of California Berkeley and an intern in ED’s Office of Communications and Outreach

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tips to Lose those Last Five Pounds

Mayo Clinic Health System Health Note:

Are you struggling with those last five pounds? Have you been working hard, yet the scale doesn't seem to be moving? Here are some helpful tips to help you achieve your goal:

• Drinking a glass of cold water (at least eight ounces) before each meal. This is important because sometimes when you think you are hungry, you are actually thirsty. Staying hydrated is also important for weight management or weight loss.

• Eat fruits and vegetables. The more you fill your stomach with healthy foods, the less likely you will indulge in unhealthier foods.

• Incorporate more protein in your diet. Protein not only helps to repair cells and make new ones, but it is also important for human development. Protein is found in turkey or chicken, lean cuts of beef or pork, fish or selfish, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and other soy products, and low fat dairy products.

• Stay active. Any amount of physical activity that increases your heart rate will help you burn more calories.

Amy Every
Senior Communication Consultant, Marketing Communications
Mayo Clinic Health System Franciscan Healthcare


BREAKFAST: 7:30-8:00
LUNCH: 11:30-12:30
Dates coinside with the summer school schedule:

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