Curriculum Times

May 2016: Volume 2, Issue 9

This newsletter is a monthly update on the happenings within the TPS Curriculum & Instruction offices. We will keep you apprised of upcoming trainings, opportunities for you and your students, and resources to use at your site or in your classroom. If you have something that would be a good inclusion, please email curriculum@tulsaschools.org.
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The Curriculum & Instruction department thanks YOU for all that you do for the students in Tulsa Public Schools every single day. While we all know that teaching isn't easy, we know that you have THE BEST job. You do the daily work every day with students that will get them on or keep them on the path to being college, career, and life ready. So THANK YOU!

This issue's Table of Contents

Gifted & Talented
  • Recommended DOs and Research Supported DON'Ts

Any Given Child

  • June AGC Professional Learning
  • May Field Study Trips

Social Studies

  • Professional Learning Opportunities
  • End of Year Reflection Ideas

AP College Board

  • Updates

Secondary Integration

  • Using Complex Text in the Classroom

Mathematics

  • The Number Bond: A K-5 Model that Fosters Number Sense
  • Secondary Mathematics

Fine Arts

  • Deadlines
  • Opportunities
  • Kudos
  • Eye Pop Portraiture Gallery

Tech Bytes

  • EdWeb.net - Free Webinars for Every Educator, Year round
  • Corwin Connect Summer Tech Learning Webinar Series

Science

  • Science Matters
  • HHMI: BioInteractive Workshop
  • Sol Hirsch Education Fund Grants
  • Resources

Literacy

  • Summer Reading

Early Childhood

  • Programs with Purpose Update
  • iRead available during the Summer
World Languages
  • The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals
  • Memorial High School Latin Students Earn National Honors

Curriculum Contact of the Month

  • LeeAnne Pepper

About Us

Archived Editions

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Recommended DOs

  • Remember that FAIR and EQUAL is not the same.
  • Plan for differentiation: consider pre-assessing, compacting and extension activities.
  • Allow a variety of assessment options
  • After some direct instruction invite students to take a pre-test to demonstrate they have mastered a skill or concept.
  • If a student has mastered a skill, allow them to do different or more complex work or work on an individual projects while class is working; use an individual contract to ensure they stay on track.
  • Ask students how they might enhance or change an assignment or project in order to be more challenging or interesting.
  • Consider grouping gifted students together by strength area or similar interests for a portion of the day
  • Give appropriate praise and feedback. Many Gifted students have insecurities and anxieties and do need social and emotional support.
  • Support students’ use of technology and interest in exploring their passions, even if you aren’t familiar with either.
  • Work with the Gifted resource teacher to develop extensions activities.
  • Provide leadership and goal setting opportunities
  • Allow students to demonstrate other or multiple ways to tackle a problem i.e. Math student might have a different way of showing a skill or concept that could resonate with other students.
  • Be a facilitator for the gifted learner, not a sage on the stage
  • Realize many Gifted students are introverted and need time to recalibrate on their own.

Research Supported DON'TS


  • Don’t confuse high achievers with high-ability students. High achievers put in time and effort to succeed. Gifted students may not be as compliant.
  • Don’t assume that all gifted students are the same and that a single strategy works for all.
  • Don’t insist that gifted students complete reading or writing diagnostic tests if they already show strong ability in these areas.
  • Don’t assume that gifted students are growing academically. What do formative and summative assessments tell you?
  • Don’t require expected repetitions for mastery. If gifted students don’t know a skill or concept they often pick up new information quickly and need fewer repetitions or practice. Compact, Compact!!
  • Don’t always require a formal test or assessment for these students. If they already know it, and you know they know it, then why spend time testing?
  • In Math, don’t insist that students work all of the homework assignments. Allow them to work the 5 most difficult first to show mastery.
  • Don’t assume that gifted students want to teach other students. This may be stressful or frustrating for them. They would rather be learning something new.
  • Don’t withhold time with the gifted resource teacher as a punishment. The designated time with the gifted teacher may be there life line.
  • Don’t assume because they are gifted that they are organized. Gifted students may be intellectually capable but struggle with executive functions. If we help them learns how to self-regulate in learning one kind of task, it will generally be easier to learn to self-regulate in other areas.


Adapted from ASCD and EIC
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June AGC Professional Learning

Attention teachers in grades 6, 7 and 8: Any Given Child is planning three different workshops, during June just for YOU!

June 1st:

· Sherwin Miller Museum of Jewish Art

· Four Squares of Music This hands-on, teacher-developed workshop will develop your students’ critical thinking and creativity.

June 2nd:

· The Oxley Center –TREES is an Integrated Arts Workshop, using science content related to Language Arts, Fine Arts, & Social Studies. Participants will receive a stipend but space is limited.


To learn more and to register, go through My Learning Plan now!

May's Field Study Trips

Field Study/Trips scheduled in May include 1st Grade Pre-Visit at your school and visits to Gilcrease Museum, 4th grade visits to Chamber Music performance, 6th Grade visits to AHHA , and 8th grade visits Tulsa Symphony Orchestra.

For specific dates for your school site and more information go to the AGC Page on the C&I Website.

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Professional Learning Opportunities for Social Studies Teachers

There are numerous opportunities for you to continue your learning over the summer in Tulsa and around the state. Workshop topics range from the Holocaust, National History Day, Social Justice, Freedom Riders, Personal Financial Literacy, Geographic Literacy and more! Clicking on this link will provide you with information on each workshop. http://bit.ly/1ms9lAc


Can't get away for a workshop? Do you prefer to learn on your own time? Check out these websites and blogs to deepen your content knowledge.

End of Year Reflection Ideas

As the last days of the school year are ticking by, you may be left wondering how to wrap up the school year. Below you will find some suggestions on how you and your students can reflect on the shining moments from the school year.

1. Advice for Future Students

Make a list of advice for future students by asking current students to reflect on the year and share tips for success. High school math teacher Lauren Collins says this activity usually yields a good mix of funny and serious advice, which she prints out and gives to the next year’s class on the first day of school.

2. Graph of Highs and Lows

High school ELA teacher Esther Wu asks students to draw a graph of their year’s highs and lows on 8.5 x 11 paper with emoticons, symbols, lessons learned, songs of the month, etc. Students use the month of the year as the x-axis, and their emotions, what they learned, etc., as the y-axis.

3. Top Ten List

Another great idea from Esther Wu is to have students work in small groups to come up with a Top Ten List about the year. Students can be as serious or funny as they wish in presenting their lists to the class. Esther shares that this activity is super fun, plus you get to learn a lot about what students found meaningful about the school year.

4. Standards reflection

Katie Novak has her students grade her on how well she taught the ELA Standards. She gives her students a copy of the standards, then makes her case for how each standard was covered over the course of the year by reviewing lessons, literature, prompts, etc. Katie shares that hearing her students assess how they were covered allows her to assess students’ learning in a non-threatening way.

5. Graffiti Wall

Reflection can happen individually, in small groups, and as a large group. Sherwanda Chism, K-6 gifted teacher, has a great way to get the whole class reflecting together. She creates a “Graffiti Wall” by covering a wall in her classroom with bulletin board paper. Students then write and draw about their greatest learning experiences that took place in her class. Sherwanda shares how this activity helps students to reflect, while simultaneously providing feedback for her on her practices.


excerpted from https://www.teachingchannel.org/blog/2014/05/23/reflective-end-of-year-activities/

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AP Updates

Guided Tours of Six AP Subjects

Check out these video overviews of Six AP Subjects. These are wonderful tools both the novice and the veteran AP teacher. Currently there are videos for AP Art History, AP European History, AP U.S. History, AP Computer Science Principles, and the revised AP World History and updated AP Calculus courses taking effect in fall 2016. More will be published throughout the 2016-17.

New AP Calculus and AP World History Resources

Course and exam descriptions and AP Course Audit resources are now available for the updated AP Calculus AB and BC and revised AP World History courses, which take effect in 2016-17.

New Online Resources

AP European History and AP U.S. History teachers can access new online resources that provide sample free-response questions to use with their students, video modeling of key instructional strategies, and resources to help implement these strategies in their classrooms.

AP U.S. History Updates

The 2015 edition of the AP U.S. History Course and Exam Description and updated rubrics for the AP history document-based questions and long essays are now available.

Davidson Next Offers Free Online AP Professional Development Modules

AP professional development materials that target challenging course topics are currently available in Calculus, Macroeconomics, and Physics 1 & 2.

2015-16 Redesigned Courses

Information about the AP Art History and AP European History redesigns is now available on the course home pages on this site.

Teachers Resource Search

Find Reviews of textbooks, articles, Web sites, and other teaching resources for ALL AP courses.
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Using Complex Text in the Classroom

In 2006, ACT, Inc., released a report called that showed which skills differentiated those students who equaled or exceeded the benchmark score (21 out of 36) in the reading section of the ACT college admissions test from those who did not. Surprisingly, the clearest differentiator was students’ ability to answer questions associated with complex texts. We have been hearing about the importance of using complex test in all classrooms for a number of years now; but what, exactly, makes a text complex?


It is commonly agreed that a number of variables go into determining the complexity of a text. All of these variables fall into one of three areas: qualitative, quantitative, or reader and task.

Qualitative measures include levels of meaning, structure, knowledge demands, and language conventionality and clarity. Texts that are not complex tend to have simple, well-marked, and conventional structures. Complex texts may require students to infer meaning. They may use antiquated language or uncommon structures such as flashbacks in a work of fiction.


Quantitative measures usually are derived from considering the vocabulary and the length and structure of sentences. The quantitative measure we use in Tulsa Public Schools is the Lexile. Generally, a text that is below a student’s on-grade-level Lexile will not be considered to be complex.


The third components, the reader and the task, are important considerations when presenting text in your classroom. If your students are not familiar with the vocabulary, format, or language of a text, it is complex to them. If the task assigned requires higher level thinking and analysis, the complexity of the text is also greater.


So, what can teachers do to help students build their skills with complex texts? In a March 2012 ASCD article, Timothy Shanahan, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey suggest a number of strategies to help students conquer complex texts. First, it’s important that students have lots of practice reading the same text. This is not something that teachers outside a literacy classroom often do. Rather than asking students to read a text then discuss it, the authors suggest allowing students to dig into a text individually, then read with other students and discuss the text’s meaning, and finally, use the text to answer questions which require reference to the text.


Although we all know it is important to establish a purpose for reading, the authors warn not to convey so much information that it “spoils the reading or enables students to participate in class without completing the reading.” (p. 4) Finally, they offer the caution that grappling with complex text is difficult. Students tend to avoid the difficult, preferring to do things that are within their comfort zones. Reading, however, is like training for a sporting event – it takes pain to improve. It is important for teachers to offer students encouragement and scaffolding to enable them to experience a series of small successes. Over time, these small wins will add up to a student’s ability to persevere and truly understand complex text.

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The Number Bond: A K-5 Model that Fosters Number Sense

In math education, the term “number sense” is thrown around all the time, ad nauseam. We all want our students to have it, as it’s often juxtaposed with rote memorization. But what does number sense really mean? Number sense is making sense of the part-whole relationships between quantities, working flexibly with numbers, using strategies and properties of operations to solve (e.g., the associative property), and understanding that a problem can be approached in multiple ways.


So, how do we teach number sense?

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There are a few things that have changed my life: getting married, having children, the number bond. No joke. This simple model encourages students to reason about quantities, to look closely, and to think. From Kindergarten through 5th Grade, the number bond has opened my eyes to the multiple, often creative, ways that we can solve problems and share solution strategies. If you are new to the number bond model, this K-5 coherent strand is for you.


Grade K

In Kindergarten (Module 4) decomposition and composition are taught simultaneously using the number bond model so students begin to understand the relationship between parts and wholes. They begin to see that the numbers 6 through 10 can be “friendly” as students find smaller quantities embedded within them, e.g., 1 and 5 embedded within 6 (see below).


There are 6 apples in a bowl. 1 apple is yellow. 5 apples are green.

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This work is foundational to fluency in Grade 1 with sums and differences to 10, as well as fluency with sums and differences to 20 in Grade 2.


Grade 1


Grade 1 students learn to complete a unit of ten, as exemplified below. Students use familiar 5-group drawings from kindergarten as a pictorial scaffold for the increasingly complex numerical number bond representation.

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Once students can make a “ten”, they can easily make “the next ten,” or 60, as shown above with the problem 59+6=60+5. This empowers them to complete a unit of a hundred in Grade 2.


Grade 2


A Grade 2 student sees that just as 9 or 59 is close to the “ten” or “next ten”, so is 390 only 10 away from the next hundred, in this case, 400 (shown below).

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Can we use the number bond for subtraction? Absolutely. Grade 1 students solve simple subtraction problems via the “take from ten” strategy. Grade 2 students then extend this understanding to “taking from a hundred” to make a simpler problem (shown below).
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In the Grade 2 example above, notice how close 198 is to the next hundred, 200. Students need not subtract via renaming with the traditional algorithm. Instead, they can use the number bond and their understanding of part-whole relationships to create a simpler problem.


Grade 3


In Grade 3, students continue to use the number bond, now adding new units to their repertoire. Students see that just as we can add and subtract ones, tens, and hundreds, we can also add and subtract twos, threes, fourths, fifths, etc. Let’s look at parallel below:

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Notice how the decomposition of 6 apples as 1 yellow apple and 5 green apples in Kindergarten sets the stage for the distributive property in Grade 3 when the unit changes from ones to nines: 6 nines = 1 nine + 5 nines.
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Why do we bother teaching students to decompose multiplication facts using the number bond model? In Eureka Math, students consistently use what they know, rather than learning “tricks”, to help them solve more challenging problems. We know that multiplying by nines can be challenging for our students, but multiplying by fives is a simpler, more manageable task. So here, we can break apart 6 nines into 2 smaller parts, 1 nine and 5 nines.


Grade 3 students also begin work with the essential building blocks of fractions, namely unit fractions, e.g., 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, etc. They see that any fraction can be decomposed into smaller unit fractions. Below, you can see how students decompose 5/5 into 5 units of 1/5. Then, students can break apart 6 fifths, such that 6/5 = 5/5 + 1/5.

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Grade 4


In Grade 4, students see that they can manipulate fractions to complete simple arithmetic, adding and subtracting with like units. So, just as the Grade 1 student can complete “1 ten,” the Grade 4 student can complete “1 one.”

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The Grade 4 student understands that 8 ninths is close to 1 one (9 ninths). The Grade 4 student decomposes 6 ninths such that 6/9 = 1/9 + 5/9. Then, he/she combines 8/9 and 1/9 first to make 1 one. The remaining parts are combined to make 3 5/9.


Grade 4 students can also use their understanding of decomposing a unit (i.e., recall taking from a ten or a hundred) to take from the one (shown below).

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Grade 5


In Grade 5, the new complexity arises when students face units that are not equivalent. Now, students must create equivalent units in order to successfully add or subtract. As illustrated in the problem below, students find a like unit, which is a multiple of both denominators. Here, the largest like unit is ninths. Students multiply both the numerator and the denominator by 3 to rename 2/3 as a number of ninths.

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Grade 5 students also use the number bond to decompose fractions to take from the one. Here, the Grade 5 student decomposes 5 2/3 to subtract 8/9 from 1 one, or 9/9. Now, the student works through a simpler addition problem, 1/9 + 4 2/3, changing thirds for smaller equal units, e.g., ninths, that can then be added.
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Conclusion


The number bond is one of a number of coherent models that students regularly use in A Story of Units. For me, it supports the number sense that many adults are lacking, because we were children of the memorization generation. Seeing part-whole relationships and multiple solution paths and is an important component of number sense. A student may know that 7 x 6 = 42, because 7 sixes = 5 sixes + 2 sixes, thus applying the earlier understanding that 7 = 5 + 2. The number bond is a powerful model that supports what we all want for our students: the ability to think flexibly, strategically, and creatively. Your students will thank you later.


This post is by Eureka Math teacher-writer MaryJo Wieland.

Secondary Mathematics

On May 12th TPS will be hosting the monthly meeting of the Northeast Math Consortium Group beginning at 4:30 at Wilson Teaching and Learning Academy. The meetings generally last 1½ hours and are open to teachers.


Here is a list of web sites to find great resources (Summer reading)

Great Minds – Eureka Math

Learnzillion

Illuminations

Geometric Constructions

New Jersey Center for Teaching and Learning

Learning progressions from the University of Arizona

Framework for the Minnesota Math Standards

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35th District Art Show

May Deadlines for Fine Arts Teachers

May 3 District Performing Arts Senior Recital @ Wilson, 7:00pm

May 12 Fine Arts Awards Assembly @ ESC Selman Room, 4:00 - 5:30pm

May 17 Fine Arts Chairs Meeting @ ESC Fine Arts, 4:30 - 5:30

May Opportunities

STEAM

During the hearing for the final conference report to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. - Rep. Bonamici’s entered an amendment adding text in two places within the “well-rounded” section of the bill. This section describes activities to support “well-rounded educational opportunities.” Initially, Congress listed 9 eligible programs and activities. The list included things like “programs and activities that use music and the arts as tools to support student success through the promotion of constructive student engagement, problem solving, and conflict resolution.” It also included “programming and activities to improve instruction and student engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including computer science.” And now, thanks to Rep. Bonamici, it lists 10 eligible programs and activities. The new add: “programs and activities that support educational programs that integrate multiple disciplines, such as programs that combine arts and math.” Otherwise known as STEAM! For more, read this.


Vocal Music Master Class

A master class in vocal music to be offered by Will & Anthony Nunziata on Saturday April 30. Contact Person is Patti Duncan-District Chair for Choirs.


Portraiture Show

A portraiture show at the Zarrow Education Building-Downton will be held May 6. Please come out to the First Friday Art Crawl and enjoy opening night of the “Eye-Pop” Portraiture Show at the Zarrow Downtown. The show is open all evening and will feature works from multiple Tulsa Public Schools from grades K-12.


Mayfest Student Gallery

Call for student entries-All entries must be delivered to the Performing Arts Center La Fortune Studio, located at 3rd and Cincinnati on Monday, May 16th, between 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The art piece must be ready to hang or show (i.e., frame, dry mount, mat, etc. NO GLASS!). Enter the PAC through the doors located to the west of the main entrance doors. There is a freight elevator to the second floor. http://tulsamayfest.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/YAG-2016.pdf

Kudos

  • Carol Gunselman at McKinley for setting up the Superintendent’s Display Case for April

  • Janie House with Edison MS choir and Tavis Minner with Lee Elementary choir for outstanding school board meeting performances.

  • Performing arts departments at Memorial, Edison, Hale, BTW, for outstanding performances of spring musicals.

  • Julie Boucher, Nathan Greenwood at Edison, and Eric Ryan Johnson at BTW for receiving so many “Superior” and “Excellent” ratings with their students at OSSAA state music contest.

  • All of the Visual Art Fine Arts Chairs for their work in organizing the District Art Show and Levit Prize.

  • All of the secondary vocal music directors for their work in preparing the students to compete in the District Music Festival. Special thanks to Patti Duncan, District Chair for Choirs for organizing and Karen Miller, Choir Director Rogers HS for hosting.

  • Richard Wills for his work creating and organizing the District Event, “Drop Everything and Create”

  • Sarah Berry, Rhonda Wyble, and Sheryl Miller for their work organizing the Elementary Music Festival. The house was packed and the music was beautiful.

  • Julianne Clark at Rogers High School who received the State Superintendent Art Award for excellence in art education. The following students also received medals of excellence: Kayla Andrus (Edison HS), Abigail Carver (Edison HS), Gabrielle Lawson (BTW HS), Warren Roach (Edison HS), Emma Rutter (Edison HS)

Select 35th District Fine Arts Show Pieces

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EdWeb.net - Free Webinars for Every Educator, Year round

EdWeb.net is a highly-acclaimed professional social and learning network that has become a vibrant online community for exceptional educators, decision-makers, and influencers who are on the leading edge of innovation in education.


EdWeb members are teachers, faculty, administrators, and librarians at preK through 12 schools and post-secondary institutions. EdWeb is a place where educators who are looking for ways to improve teaching and learning can gather and share information and ideas with peers and thought leaders in the industry.


Any educator can use EdWeb for free to create a personal learning network or professional learning community to make it easier to collaborate, share ideas, and move forward faster with new ideas and initiatives, particularly those than leverage technology to accelerate improvement.


A calendar of upcoming webinars can be found here. Webinars run year round, not just in the summer time. All webinars are free of charge and come with a continuing education certificate that you can enter into My Learning Plan for PD credits.

Corwin Connect Summer Tech Learning Webinar Series

Corwin Connect is offering a free #plungeintotech free webinar series throughout this summer. The webinars that are open have links attached to the topic title. Some, however, are not live yet. Please check back later with this link to sign up for the later webinars in the series.


June 7 @ 3:30

Topic: Deeper Learning With QR Codes and Augmented Reality

Discover how free, scannable technology can enrich learning and captivate students, including use of QR codes and Augmented Reality to promote hands-on learning, creativity, and critical thinking.

Leader: Monica Burns, an experienced presenter and regular webinar host for SimpleK12, is an EdTech & Curriculum Consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator, and the Founder of ClassTechTips.com.


June 14 @ 3:30

Topic: Courageous Edventures

Go on an edventure with Jennie Magiera and begin charting your course through the limitless possibilities of using technology in your classroom.

Leader: Jennie Magiera

As a White House Champion for Change, Google for Education Certified Innovator, and TEDx Speaker, Jennie works to redefine education through effective technology use.


June 21 @ 3:30

Topic: Redesigning Learning Spaces

Transform spaces to maximize student achievement and learn to design brain-friendly learning environments that foster engagement, productivity, and achievement while seamlessly integrating educational technology.

Leaders: Erin Klein & Bob Dillon

Award-winning educator, national keynote speaker, author, and mother, Erin Klein is passionate about classroom design and how meaningful technology integration can enhance learning experiences.

Dr. Robert Dillon, Director of Education at the BrightBytes Institute, has a passion to change the educational landscape by building engaging schools.


July 5 @ 3:30

Topic: Understanding Open Education Resources

In this webinar on Open Education Resources (OER), educators learn how to access the resources they need to meet the needs of their students.

Leader: Bob Dillon

Dr. Robert Dillon, Director of Education at the BrightBytes Institute, has a passion to change the educational landscape by building engaging schools.


July 12 @ 3:30

Topic: Blended Learning in Action

This webinar will help teachers integrate online with face-to-face instruction to personalize learning, increase engagement, and prepare students for high-stakes exams without sacrificing class time.

Leader: Catlin Tucker

Catlin Tucker is a Google Certified Teacher, professional development facilitator, education consultant, speaker, and author with a passion for blended learning and technology integration.


July 19 @ 3:30

Topic: Teaching the Last Backpack Generation

Discover how to transform learning using mobile technology in this exciting webinar where you’ll learn how to make technology a natural part of every lesson.

Leader: Zachary Walker

Zachary Walker is the founder of Last Backpack Generation, a special educator, and a technology consultant who provides professional development for districts, schools, and businesses.


July 26 @ 3:30

Topic: Going Google

Explore the wide array of Google tools in this webinar as author Covili shares how to use them to engage students and foster digital learning.

Leader: Jared Covili

Jared Covili, a professional development trainer, specializes in strategies for classroom technology integration, including web page design, geospatial learning, web 2.0 tools, and digital devices.


August 2 @ 3:30

Topic: Make Learning Personal

In this webinar, you’ll discover strategies to develop effective plans of action to shift classroom dynamics and empower learners to take control of their learning.

Leader: Barbara Bray & Kathleen McClaskey

Barbara Bray is Creative Learning Officer and co-founder of Personalize Learning, LLC, founder of My eCoach, and a major facilitator for change in the classroom.

Kathleen McClaskey is co-founder and CEO of Personalize Learning, LLC, founder of EdTech Associates, Inc., and an educational technologist with a passion for personalizing learning.
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As we wind down our 15-16 school year, our thoughts turn to summer and the excitement that a new year can bring. I hope you all take the time to rest and rejuvenate over the summer. Reflect on what worked- share with me, and what didn’t- you can share that with me as well. In particular, I am looking for the bright spots that happened in your classrooms this year. What was that one lesson that you know you rocked because it engaged the students and everyone, including yourself, came away with new dendrites from all of the learning that happened? What was the one concept that you struggled with – you thought you had a great lesson, but no one learned and you did all of the work? Finally, how can I better help you during the 2016-2017 school year?


Additionally, I am currently working on next year’s curriculum supporting documents. If you would like to review and give feedback, send me an email and we can set up a time.


There are many opportunities over the summer to increase your core knowledge in several areas – science content, text complexity, writing great questions, etc, in the TPS arena, and others outside TPS as well. Keep your eyes on your emails and the science content page to see what is available. The OSTA (Oklahoma Science Teachers Association) is holding their annual conference on June 10 in conjunction with OCTM (Oklahoma Council of Teachers of Mathematics). Membership in both organizations is $20 combined this year. The registration for the conference is $15. For more information, go to https://osta.wildapricot.org/. If you know of something wonderful that you are attending and the window of opportunity is still open, send those my way so that we can share the wealth.


If you have not joined the OKSci community, this summer would be a great time to become involved. Start by going to www.OkSciTeachers.com. There you will see updates and links to the many resources available to science teachers in Oklahoma. There are also facebook pages. Search for oksci, okscielem, okscibiology, okscisecondary. You can also find information on Twitter under the handles #oksci, #nsta, #ngss.


I look forward to working with some of you over the summer. Don’t let your vacation turn into this:

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Science Matters

Science Matters is a public awareness and engagement campaign designed to rekindle a national sense of urgency and action among schools and families about the importance of science education and science literacy. The Science Matters network is a vehicle for information dissemination and communication among teachers of science.

HHMI: Biointeractive Workshop

Enhance your content knowledge and classroom learning experiences through this multi-day workshop highlighting free, classroom-ready multimedia resources from HHMI BioInteractive that will bring the Oklahoma Biology Standards to life.


  • June 22-23 at Holland Hall in Tulsa
  • Register here
  • See flyer for more details

Sol Hirsch Education Fund Grants

These grants are awarded annually to teachers/educators of grades K–12 to help improve the education of their students, school and/or community in the science of meteorology. The Grant is intended to allow teachers to:
  • Purchase scientific materials and / or equipment for the classroom, school or community.
  • Begin new school and / or community science outreach and education programs.
  • Enhance and / or expand existing meteorology / science education programs.
  • Attend accredited courses, workshops and / or conferences related to meteorology that will significantly enhance their teaching activities.

The application period for the 2016–2017 school year is Open until Jun 3rd (5 PM CDT Deadline) http://nwas.org/grants/solhirsch.php

Science Resources


  • Popular Science Magazine
    Stay up to date all the time on the hottest topics in popular science!
  • The Genetic Science Learning Center at The University of Utah is a nationally and internationally-recognized education program that translates science and health for non-experts. In addition to genetics, we address all areas of life science and health as well as other scientific fields. The GSLC's websites are one of the most used science sites on the Internet. In 2013, they received almost 20 million visits, which came from virtually every country in the world
  • This past month, Mystery Science had so much fun prototyping robotic fingers, creating model eyes, and playing games that trick the brain. Now we’re ready to announce our new unit: The Human Machine! The Human Machine is aligned to the 4th Grade NGSS standards and designed for students ages 8-11. Mystery Science is currently free and has unit plans from 2nd grade to 6th.
  • Teach with your iPad science apps are the most abundant in iTunes. There are several solar systems, and periodic table. If you search science in iTunes, you will find pages. The only thing science apps are missing is a projection app.
  • The Science Spot is a resource for junior high science teachers and students.
  • Curious Little Apps seeks out and reviews the very best educational iPad apps for kids that inspire creativity and encourage hands-on learning
  • Edheads is an online educational resource that provides free science and math games and activities that promote critical thinking. Choose from Simple Machines, Virtual Knee Surgery or Stem Cell Heart Repair, among others. All activities meet state and national standards.
  • Med Myst is one of the games at Rice University's Center for Technology in Teaching & Learning. In 1995, Rice University established the Center for Technology in Teaching and Learning (CTTL) to address the ways in which information technology can expand and enrich education on the Rice campus as well as in other settings. The mission of CTTL is to undertake research that makes technologies for learning more productive, accessible, and engaging. Our recent focus has been on the use of games in science and health education.
  • HippoCampus is a free, core academic web site that delivers rich multimedia content--videos, animations, and simulations--on general education subjects to middle-school and high-school teachers and college professors, and their students, free of charge. Teachers project HippoCampus content during classroom learning and assign it for computer labs and homework. Students use the site in the evenings for study and exam prep. Users do not need to register or log in to use the site.
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    Summer Reading

    As summer approaches and with state testing in the rear view, it is time for teachers and students to rejoice. The end of another school year is fast approaching, but as vacation time nears, teachers have the important task of motivating students to read during the summer months. Just because school is out, it doesn’t mean reading and learning should stop. Research by Allington and McGill-Franzen (2003) found that children who read six books or more may improve or maintain their reading achievement.


    Reading is Fundamental provides great tips for kids to keep them reading. This site provides summer reading challenges and contests to help give kids a start on their summer reading. You will find articles, activities, and summer reading tips for parents and teachers. Explore hyperlinks as well as the whole site and you will find great book lists. www.rif.org


    Scholastic offers a Summer Reading Challenge. Teachers can register students for the Summer Reading Challenge and track students’ reading progress throughout the summer, and use an interactive map to see how many minutes your school and other schools have read throughout the summer. This is a fun opportunity to challenge other classrooms in your building or start a friendly challenge with a neighboring school. The site also offers downloadable summer reading book lists and printables.


    Also be sure to encourage children and families to utilize the Tulsa County Library summer reading program as well as story times and events.

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    Programs with Purpose Update

    A group of dedicated and passionate-about-what-is-best-for-our-students, Early Childhood Teachers have been meeting to begin editing the Programs with Purpose document to reflect the new District Strategic Plan, Destination Excellence. This document was initially introduced for the 2010-2011 school year and outlined the district’s early childhood philosophy, goals, and expectations and guiding principles. Once completed, the document will be available for feedback.

    iRead available during the Summer

    Students who have been in kindergarten through second grade this school year will have access to iRead during the summer months. Students log in at the usual website and use their student IDs for both username and password.

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    The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals

    Being bilingual has some obvious advantages. Learning more than one language enables new conversations and new experiences. But in recent years, psychology researchers have demonstrated some less obvious advantages of bilingualism, too. For instance, bilingual children may enjoy certain cognitive benefits, such as improved executive function — which is critical for problem solving and other mentally demanding activities. Read more here.

    Memorial High School Latin Students Earn National Honors

    Three Memorial High School students recently received awards from the American Classical League for their outstanding performances on the 2016 National Latin Exam. The NLE is given to more than 150,000 students of the Latin language each year, with participants from the USA and abroad. Christian Robinson and Ethan Connor were awarded the ‘cum laude’ (with praise) designation, while Miranda Stillings was named a Silver Medalist, and was awarded the ‘maxima cum laude’ (with greatest praise) designation. Way to go, Chargers!

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    Curriculum Contact of the Month - LeeAnne Pepper

    LeeAnne has worked for Tulsa Public Schools for 9 years and currently serves as the Academic Coordinator for Instructional Technology & Elementary Mathematics. She has taught 2nd-6th grades at various times throughout her career. However, she fell in love with both 5th grade students and curriculum and so she spent the bulk of her classroom teaching days at that level. In 2011 she completed her Master's degree in Educational Technology from Oklahoma State University. Prior to that, she graduated in 2006 from the University of Tulsa where she played four years of softball and earned her BA in Elementary Education. LeeAnne is passionate about educational technology and the ways that utilizing such can transform the student and teacher experience to invigorate learning and stretch the student's ability to engage with new ideas. She is also very interested in and loves reading and teaching about great pedagogy coupled with mathematics concepts to strengthen teacher and student understanding of the creative discipline we know mathematics can be. In her spare time, LeeAnne can be found at Okie Crossfit trying to Rx the daily WODs or at home caring for one of the many cats and dogs that make up her menagerie. She loves being close to her mom and dad as they also reside in Tulsa. She also has a brother, Danny, in Tulsa who proudly serves the city as a Tulsa Firefighter.
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    The Curriculum Department will host monthly “Just in Time” sessions for teachers of all grade levels. These professional learning sessions are opportunities for teachers to collaborate on unit and lesson plans, share strategies, and gather additional resources for their upcoming units of instruction. During each session, Academic Coordinators will share specific strategies and resources to engage students and promote mastery of standards. Teachers from various grade levels will be invited to share their effective lessons and tools. Each participating teacher will leave the session with new ideas for lesson plans. Teachers can sign up using My Learning Plan.

    About Us

    Dr. Perri Applegate, Academic Coordinator for Secondary Curriculum Integration

    Cindy Barber, Academic Coordinator for Instructional Materials

    Earon Cunningham, Director of Instructional Media & Library Services

    Sharon Dautermann, Academic Coordinator for Elementary Curriculum Integration

    Ayn Grubb, Academic Coordinator for Secondary ELA

    Julie Hasfjord, Academic Coordinator for STEM

    Gary Horner, Academic Coordinator for Secondary Math

    Natalie Hutto, Academic Coordinator for Elementary ELA

    LeeAnne Jimenez, Academic Coordinator for Science

    Lea Ann Macomber, Music Coordinator

    LeeAnne Pepper, Academic Coordinator for Instructional Technology & Elementary Math

    Vicki Ruzicka, Academic Coordinator for Instructional Media & Library Services

    Mary Jane Snedeker, Academic Coordinator for Social Studies

    Dr. Ann Tomlins, Director of Fine Arts

    Dr. Linnea Van Eman, Coordinator of Gifted & Talented


    Danielle Neves, Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction

    Archived Editions

    Volume 2, Issue 1: September 2015

    Volume 2, Issue 2: October 2015

    Volume 2, Issue 3: November 2015

    Volume 2, Issue 4: December 2015

    Volume 2, Issue 5: January 2016

    Volume 2, Issue 6: February 2016

    Volume 2, Issue 7: March 2016

    Volume 2, Issue 8: April 2016