BASD Coaching Rundown

November/December 2021

Happy Holidays, BASD!

It's hard to believe that we're only a few days away from break! Since this time of year is so busy for all, we decided to combine our November and December newsletters into one. Don't forget to read all the way through for some great features, as well as info about our prize raffle! Have a wonderful few weeks of rest, and Happy New Year!

Fall Coaching Challenge Recap

Wow! We were so thankful for the incredible participation in our Fall Coaching Challenge. In all, 176 faculty and staff across the district stopped by our session to learn about high-impact discussion strategies! It was a close competition, but in the end, Pleasant Gap pulled out the win and won the Pie Party reward. As a school, they filled 5 out of 6 possible plates for a plate percentage of 83%!

If you missed attending the strategy day, but would like more information about the info we shared, just let us know. Additionally, please don't hesitate to reach out for support if we can help with implementation of any of the discussion strategies.

Raffle Winners

Thanks to all who participated in our last newsletter challenge by reflecting on questioning via a post on our Padlet! Congrats to the following raffle winners. They chose some fun prizes...clearly milkshakes are a staff favorite!

  • Kacie Montgomery (milkshake delivery from URBN)
  • Nessa Brown (milkshake delivery from URBN)
  • Sarah Plotts (milkshake delivery from URBN)
  • Ryan Myers (milkshake delivery from URBN)
  • Lisa Reitz ($10 Downtown Bellefonte gift card)
  • Arianna Emel ($10 Downtown Bellefonte gift card)

Instructional Tidbit: Reflecting on Student Motivation and Engagement

Since the dawn of education, teachers have been plagued by one common problem -- keeping their students motivated and engaged! Many years ago, we offered professional learning sessions centered around the article, "The Four Secret Keys to Student Engagement" from the September 2014 issue of Educational Leadership. It may be an "oldie," but it's still totally relevant! However, if you're looking for more updated resources, the latest issue of Educational Leadership has some great articles.

We are more than happy to help you reflect upon the level of student motivation and engagement in your classroom. There are a few different ways we can do this that won't require any extra planning or a huge time commitment on your part. We will also be holding a trade time session centered around this topic. See below for more info.

Newsletter Challenge

We encourage you to give student motivation and engagement a particular focus during the month of January. Staff members who do any of the following will be entered in our monthly raffle:

  • Attend the January 12th trade time session focused on student motivation and engagement. More info and a link to sign up can be found below.
  • Reach out to a coach and request a copy of one of the articles from the December 2021 issue of Educational Leadership.
  • Set up a time to chat with a coach to reflect upon student motivation and engagement in your classroom.
  • Invite a coach in to use a tool that will provide data about the level of student engagement in your classroom.

STEM Spotlight

So what really is STEM? In the last newsletter, Allison broke down the 1st "C" -- CRITICAL THINKING. This month, she explains the importance of COLLABORATION:

The world is one giant collaboration. Working together with people you like, don’t like, or are indifferent to is a skill we must teach our kids in order for them to be successful in life in general. Collaborating with your partner to successfully run a house or raise kids, collaborating with your friends to plan a fun trip, collaborating on a big project at work, collaborating on research; they all need a set of skills we can strive to teach our kids. Collaboration can be a big challenge for all people in learning when to accept others' ideas versus challenging them, or how to compromise versus holding fast to your own concept (or combine). By introducing our students to novel problems or challenges, and then guiding them on the skills needed to work successfully with others, we are creating a generation of people who can work together. Collaboration works on our kids' ability to combine great minds!

Teacher Feature

Check out some of the cool things happening around the district!

Trade Time Reminders

The purpose of Trade Time is to encourage you to take ownership of your own professional growth by engaging in learning experiences that are directly applicable to you and your students. In a nutshell, Trade Time provides you with the opportunity to attend sessions outside of contractual hours and then “trade” the time you earn in place of the last district-wide Professional Learning Day. The 2021-2022 Trade Time day is scheduled for May 27th, which is the Friday before Memorial Day. Please click on the document below to view important trade time reminders and links to the various forms you may need to complete the process.

Upcoming Trade Time Opportunities

Internal Trade Time Opportunities:

Ed Leadership Article Chat: Engage and Motivate

Wednesday, January 12th

3:30-4:15 p.m.

In this session, participants will engage in a discussion about student motivation and engagement. Prior to the session, participants will choose two of the articles from the December 2021 issue of Educational Leadership to read. Participants will meet virtually to discuss the articles they read, share key takeaways, and discuss the implications with colleagues across the district.

*Note: Live session will only be 45 minutes in length; 15 minutes of time will be credited for participants to read the articles prior to the meeting. Total trade time credit is 1 hour.


Intro to Canva

Tuesday, January 25th


In this session, participants will be introduced to the free online resource Canva ( The site provides TONS of templates for presentations, posters, signs, infographics, social media posts, videos, and more! Creativity made easy for both teachers and students!

The session will be offered in hybrid format. Participants desiring in-person support with the platform can join Allison at BAMS (room 201). Alternatively, participants can join virtually via Zoom.


Recognizing Gifted Learners (Gifted PL Series, Part 1)

Self-Paced via Pear Deck

In this session, participants will engage in a self-paced Pear Deck presentation to learn more about the characteristics of gifted students. Not only will you learn critical info about recognizing and supporting gifted learners, but you'll see how the student-paced version of Pear Deck works. Additionally, participants will reflect upon the most prevalent myths in gifted education and understand why it's important to differentiate for this unique group of learners.

*Note: This is the same presentation offered at district-wide PL days over the past 2 years. If you already attended this session on a district PL day, you can not participate in this for trade time. You must attend this session BEFORE before attending Part 2 or Part 3 of the Gifted PL Series.


Differentiating for Gifted Students (Gifted PL Series, Part 2)

Self-Paced via Pear Deck

In this session, participants will engage in a self-paced Pear Deck presentation to learn about best practices for differentiating for gifted learners. A variety of strategies that can be implemented with this unique group of students will be shared.

*Note: This session is an extension to a previously offered training titled, "Recognizing Gifted Learners." Teachers signing up for the gifted differentiation session must have attended the first session in the series (see description above).



External Trade Time Opportunities:

Developing a Deeper Understanding of Reading Problems and the Importance of Phonemic Proficiency

Archived Webinar Series hosted by Core

These three on-demand professional learning webinars feature insights and advice from Dr. David Kilpatrick about:

  • Assessment and Intervention in Light of Understanding the Nature of Reading Difficulties
  • Recent Advances in Understanding Word-Level Reading Problems: Implications for Assessment and Effective Intervention
  • Why Phonemic Proficiency Is Necessary for All Readers


Phonological Awareness, Reading, and Writing: What Teachers Need to Know

Archived Webinar hosted by Voyager Sopris

Although we may not always know what came first, (the chicken or the egg?), we do know what came first in the world of literacy: speech. Both reading and writing are based on speech. We use a “speech-to-print” system, not a “print-to-speech” system when decoding and encoding words. Without an understanding of the way sounds are represented in print, many students continue to function well behind their peers. Evidence exists in support of phonemic awareness and its foundational role, but what does that really mean, and how does that translate to practical applications in the classroom? Join Dr. Carol Tolman as she outlines the role of phonological awareness, what misspellings tell us about students’ misunderstandings of phonemes, and what we can do about these errors to enhance their learning. Attendees will learn to:

  • Listen to students’ articulation errors as a window into their understanding of phonemes
  • Identify reasons for specific misspellings, leading to targeted instructional responses that improve reading and spelling
  • Articulate why subphonemic features are an important component of instruction


What is Sensemaking?

Archived Webinar Hosted by NSTA

After exploring what sensemaking truly means, educators will be introduced to the four attributes of sensemaking (phenomena, science and engineering practices, student ideas and grade-appropriate disciplinary core ideas) and how they can be used in the classroom to promote equity and provide opportunities for all students to be scientific thinkers.


Book Beat Live! Uncovering Student Ideas with Formative Assessment

Archived Webinar Hosted by NSTA

In this session Page Keeley, the author of NSTA’s "Uncovering Student Ideas in Science" series, will share how diagnostic probes reveal students’ thinking about core disciplinary ideas and then become formative when data from students’ responses are used to make informed instructional decisions.


Elevating Science Learning Through Read Alouds

Tuesday, January 25th, 2021; 7:00-8:15 p.m.

Webinar Hosted by NSTA

Using picture books to support standards-based science lessons is critical for science learning in the elementary school -- and a fun and engaging way to connect with students. Choosing books that align with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and knowing when in a unit to use these books, is a key skill. During the web seminar we will walk you through our process for choosing aligned books, and model how we use picture books to support science learning at the elementary levels. Join us as we work together to deepen meaningful science learning through high quality literacy that supports anchoring phenomena and real-world connections.


Book Nook

Check out a few of these newly-released educational resources! Click on the book cover for more info about the contents.

Contact Us

Allison D'Ambrosia

K-12 STEM Coach

Nicole Kohlhepp

K-5 Literacy Coach

Jackie Wynkoop

6-12 Literacy Coach