Wonderful Wednesdays!

September, 2019

Great Resources, New Format!

This year's Wonderful Wednesdays are coming to you electronically! Feature articles / resources will be highlighted on the SMORE page with embedded links to the "normal" .pdf version of the newsletter as well as featured resources to use with your classes.


Table of Contents (PDF Document)

Page 1: Features

LEGO Builds the Future

WEP? WAP? What? When?

Page 2: Resources

Curriculum Compacting

Socratic "Smackdown"

ODE Updates

Page 3: Enrichment

Free Rice

Architecture Adventure

Destination Imagination

Page 4: Timeline

Socratic “Smackdown”

Educators familiar with Socrates know the power of his method — having students lead discussions and encouraging depth of thinking through the power of challenging questions and posing engaging problems. A version of this method — often used in ELA and history classes but applicable across the board — the Socratic Seminar has gained popularity not only in “TAG” classrooms but also in classrooms across ability levels. Teachers familiar with this method may not realize that it has recently been improved, updated, and “gamified” — and the materials are free!! Retooled as the “Socratic Smackdown”, the “gamified” version of the method comes complete with “instant replay” cards, “coach cards” discussion strategy icons, and more! For more, explore these:


Video of Socratic Smackdown: CLICK HERE

Link to free Socratic Smackdown resources (from Edmodo): CLICK HERE

Link to additional resources: CLICK HERE

LEGO Builds the Future!

It’s time again! First LEGO League launches its 2019-20 season with an exciting challenge: City Shaper. Through this year’s robot game and research, students learn to think and work like civil engineers. This year’s essential questions, “What does it take to build a better future?” and “Are you ready to build a better tomorrow together?” provide the foundation for students to think through city planning: preparing for natural disasters, organizing public transportation, and creating handicap-accessible services are a few of the many challenges students face during this year’s problem scenario. Throughout the time together, students learn about architecture, construction, engineering (environmental, civil, and structural), and project management, providing bridges to vital careers.


Once again, thanks to Honda, gracious host and sponsor of the First LEGO scrimmage!!


First LEGO scrimmage date: 10/31/2019

Location: Honda in Anna

Time: 9:00am-2:30pm

Reminder: Please send rosters and/or budget funding requests to Erica by September 30th!

Gifted Updates!

ODE has hosted its series of fall regional meetings updating districts on changes to gifted policies and procedures. A few highlights emerged from the recent meeting in Columbus:

Acceleration: Because passing the Algebra I course is now a pathway to graduation, districts are urged to be very deliberate when recommending 8th grade students for placement in Algebra I. Unless the student will continue pursuing an advanced pathway in math, use of the WAP is not recommended.

Note: for subject acceleration, districts must use a variety of data — a district cannot deny an acceleration due to, for example, one test score (i.e. IQ).

Early Entrance (K): After Jan. 1st, district must follow its acceleration policy and use the IOWA Acceleration scale.

ID Date: this is the date the district received scores.


For additional information and/ or to ask questions, contact Erica Baer, Director of Student Achievement: ebaer@mresc.org.

Midwest Regional Educational Service Center

Our Vision/Mission: The Midwest Regional Educational Service Center serves and supports students, families, and districts as an innovative educational partner.