Newsletter

2019

eMINTS March Newsletter

eMINTS Newsletter: March 2019

Tad Brinkerhoff Succeeds Christie Terry as Director of eMINTS

Lava Ridge Intermediate in the News!

lavaridge_pic

Lava Ridge Intermediate School, in Santa Clara, Utah is special for their involvement in the eMINTS i3 grant program. Now, they are taking an active role in state politics as well!

Students at Lava Ridge Intermediate have been working hard on a special project: to propose an official state reptile to the Utah state legislature. About 70 students from Mrs. Lund’s Science classes and Mrs. Robins’ Language Arts classes began working back in October, starting with individually researching reptiles that could be used to represent the state. “Students then engaged in a debate, using scientific argumentation, to determine which reptile would have the best chance of becoming Utah’s official state reptile,” said Lava Ridge science teacher Alison Lund.

A student vote was held, and the Gila monster was the overwhelming winner, Lund said, noting that numerous other choices on the ballot included the chuckwalla, desert tortoise, zebra-tailed lizard, western banded gecko, desert collared lizard, Great Basin rattlesnake, Mojave Desert sidewinder and regal ringneck snake. The students then teamed up to find additional research and create presentations about why they thought the Gila Monster should be named as the Utah State Reptile. They learned more about the Gila Monster, the legislative process, and even got to see a Gila monster brought to the school by Cameron Rognan from Red Cliffs Desert Reserve. Each group then had the opportunity to present to a class at Lava Ridge and before a panel of judges. After the judging was completed, Mrs. Andrus helped the finalists practice their debate and presentation skills.

On Monday, February 25th, the 11 finalists were able to travel to the State Capitol Building in Salt Lake City. There they were treated to a tour of the building, presented to the House of Representatives and then four students presented before the House Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee. The students succeeded in convincing the committee members and House Bill 144 unanimously cleared the legislative hearing. On March 1st, HB 144 was presented to the house of Representatives and passed with 56 yes votes and 8 no. Our next step is to present before the Senate committee. Overall this has been an amazing learning experience!

For more information about the Gila Monster and to follow our progress, visit our website at: http://lavaridge.net/student-station/gogogila/.

Cheri Maxwell is the Learning Coach and SpEd Department chair at Lava Ridge Intermediate, which houses 6th and 7th grade students. She started her eMINTS journey when her school was awarded an i3 grant and became an eMINTS certified Affiliate Trainer last year.

2019 Innovation Institute

Sched Square Event Info (8)

Join your #emints PLN at the 2019 Innovation Institute taking place June 12 & 13, 2019 in Springdale, AR. Now in its fifth year, the Innovation Institute has become the place to connect with other educators, discover innovative school and classroom practices, and transform the teaching and learning experience. With AWESOME keynote speakers, Alice Keeler and Manuel Herrera, and more than 100 sessions to choose from, you are guaranteed a transformational professional learning experience. Did we mention our southern hospitality…continental breakfast, food trucks, and THE BEST prizes around?! Come & explore how you can customize the learning experience, inspire our future designers and creators, and help all learners achieve their maximum potential. Best of all, registration doesn’t get any more economical; $50 to attend one day or $85 gets you 2 days of professional development. Learn more and register at http://bit.ly/2019i2sdale.

3M Young Scientists Challenge

Young Scientists Challege

This challenge is open to students in grade 5-8.
Students should identify a solution to an everyday problem that directly impacts them, their families, their communities, and/or the global population. The student must create a one- to two- minute video that…

  • explains the problem and how it impacts them, their families, their communities and/or the global population;
  • describes a new innovation or solution that could impact or solve the problem;
  • explains the science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics behind their innovation; and
  • illustrates how their innovation could both address the everyday problem they’ve identified and have a broader impact locally or globally.
  • Students innovation can solve any problem that inspires them, across any industry – from manufacturing, energy, safety, healthcare, transportation, electronics to automotive, construction and design to communications, personal safety to professional cleaning; however, students are not limited to these areas of focus. Entrants can find additional inspiration online at www.youngscientistlab.com.

USSSC 2019

jjrs-usssc-project

The 2019 United States Super STEM Competition is heating up and it’s time for you to get your team registered. Registration is open through March 31, 2019. Get all the information here and reserve your spot to shine!

2017

Meet an eMINTS Teacher: Holly Linneman

Meet an eMINTS Teacher

Holly Linneman, Multi-grade Intermediate (Grades 4-6) Teacher, Windsor Street Montessori School, Columbia, MO

1604-linneman-emints-teacherHolly Linneman is in her seventh year of teaching at the Windsor Street Montessori School in Columbia, MO. She is currently teaching the multi-grade intermediate group (grades 2 through 4). Holly began her eMINTS4All professional development program in summer 2014.

Holly deliberately connects her students’ interests and talents to their learning by discussing the major topics and concepts that will be covered during the year with them. Her students play a significant role in determining how the units are presented and taught. Students discuss their interests as a group and as individuals. If some of their interests are not already contained in the major topics and concepts planned to the school year, Holly incorporates their interests into the curriculum. Holly uses weekly one-on-one conferences with her students to continue learning about their interests and talents so that she can continuously personalize their learning experiences.

Students in Holly’s classroom experience high levels of ownership in their learning. Holly believes that students become engaged in their learning by beginning with ownership in their classroom. Holly related how her students were somewhat distressed to learn that their Fall Open House was to be a “parents only” event. Her students wanted to be on hand to show their parents around their classroom and explain how they learned each day. At their request, Holly helped her students use an app called “Audio Boom” to ensure that their voices were part of the Open House. The Audio Boom app allowed students to create QR codes that were strategically placed around the classroom. When parents scanned the codes with their Smart Phones, the app played a short recording by a student describing that area of the classroom and how it contributed to student learning.

Holly also scaffolds her students’ sense of ownership in their learning as she and each of her student build rubrics for projects they are working on. Her students start with more structured experiences in grade 4 and gradually build to becoming more autonomous learners by grade 6.

Reaching out to peers and others is an essential element in Holly’s professional growth plan. She believes that the only way to get better at something is to have a sounding board composed of people you trust.

This teacher profile was originally featured in the white paper Connections and Convergence: eMINTS and Personalized Learning by Monica Beglau and Christine Terry. To view this paper, click here.

2016

Meet an eMINTS Teacher: Sue Adams

img_14171Meet an eMINTS Teacher

Sue Adams, K-8 Gifted Education, Southern Boone School District, Ashland, MO

Sue Adams is in her 21st year of teaching. She has taught learners at a variety of levels including college, high school, and now primary, elementary and middle school. She has a background in Health and Physical Education and is currently teaching K-8 Gifted Education in the Southern Boone County School District in Ashland, MO. Sue is finishing her third year of professional development in the eMINTS Comprehensive program.

Getting her gifted students to participate in planning their own instruction has been a challenge. Sue often finds that gifted students are uncomfortable with planning what they want to learn because they have rarely been asked to do so. She overcame her students’ reluctance by breaking the task of planning their own learning down into smaller pieces. She started by presenting an interesting topic, such as Rube Goldberg machines, to students and getting them to think about creative ways that they might want to investigate the topic. She then moved her students into thinking about how they would demonstrate what they learned and how they would present their findings. From there, Sue engaged her students in creating rubrics to evaluate the many different products they came up with. Giving students options in a way that is carefully scaffolded with the desired goals and objectives in mind has been a successful way for Sue to reach her overall goals with her students. “My goal, and why eMINTS has been so important for me, is to constantly push my students to the edge of their learning.”  

Sue describes how student engagement in her classroom might appear to be “chaos” to the casual observer. However, what is really happening is the social and emotional engagement and growth that occurs when her gifted students get the opportunity to be together as learners. The students already all have an internal love of learning so getting them motivated is not a problem. Rather, the goal is to get her gifted students to reflect on their learning in ways that help them better understand themselves. Sue related that her eMINTS professional development helped her to examine the questions she was using as prompts for her students’ reflections. She was getting the same superficial responses until she changed the questions she asked her students, requiring them to think more critically.

Sue believes every learner, gifted or not, can be introspective about their learning at a level that is meaningful to them. She feels that it is up to the teacher to ask the types of questions that push students to engage in deeper introspection.

Another key feature of helping students to reflect on and personalize their learning is ensuring that the end products they create are presented to an authentic audience. Whether students are presenting to peers, to students who are younger or older than them, or their work is being published online in the form of YouTube videos or other methods, Sue finds her students striving harder to perfect their work.

Sue gave an example of a unit centered on creating an “Inventor’s Fair” to showcase how she uses technology tools. Students had to learn about and define the process of invention by studying several different inventors’ successes and failures. Using an app that allows students to summarize and share their findings about specific topics using digital “sticky notes,” Sue’s students had a visual model and used it to figure out how to organize what they learned from their research. They quickly determined that notes with information about an inventor’s birth date or place of residence had little to do with what they were interested in, namely, how the inventor’s successes and failures contributed to the students’ understanding of the process of invention. Students were engaged because they were focused on what they were doing and the digital tool enhanced their conversations and collaboration. Sue recalled, “It was what every learning day should be!”

Sue feels that peer collaboration through eMINTS and Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) has made her a “braver” teacher because it gives her the confidence to take risks knowing that if she needs feedback, it is always available in a collegial atmosphere.

Sue’s advice to others on the journey towards personalizing learning for students is to strive to break those old teaching habits that are rooted in the cycle of the teacher always being in control or being the one who is right.

This teacher profile was featured in the white paper Connections and Convergence: eMINTS and Personalized Learning by Monica Beglau and Christine Terry. To view this paper, click here.

Come see eMINTS at #MOREnet2016!

See eMINTS at #MOREnet2016!

Join eMINTS from October 10-13, 2016 in Osage Beach, MO for the 2016 MOREnet Annual Conference. eMINTS staff will be presenting in room 76 on Oct 10 and Oct 12. See the full eMINTS room schedule at https://goo.gl/MCei8Y!

For more information and how to register, visit the MOREnet Annual Conference registration site at https://goo.gl/lBfQH0.

1609-emints-morenet-2016-verticalbanner

2016

Meet an eMINTS Teacher: Holly Linneman

Meet an eMINTS Teacher

Holly Linneman, Multi-grade Intermediate (Grades 4-6)

1604-linneman-emints-teacherHolly Linneman is in her fifth year of teaching at the Windsor Street Montessori School in Columbia, MO. She is currently teaching the multi-grade intermediate group (grades 2 through 4). Holly began her eMINTS4All professional development program in summer 2014.

Holly deliberately connects her students’ interests and talents to their learning by discussing the major topics and concepts that will be covered during the year with them. Her students play a significant role in determining how the units are presented and taught. Students discuss their interests as a group and as individuals. If some of their interests are not already contained in the major topics and concepts planned to the school year, Holly incorporates their interests into the curriculum. Holly uses weekly one-on-one conferences with her students to continue learning about their interests and talents so that she can continuously personalize their learning experiences.

Students in Holly’s classroom experience high levels of ownership in their learning. Holly believes that students become engaged in their learning by beginning with ownership in their classroom. Holly related how her students were somewhat distressed to learn that their Fall Open House was to be a “parents only” event. Her students wanted to be on hand to show their parents around their classroom and explain how they learned each day. At their request, Holly helped her students use an app called “Audio Boom” to ensure that their voices were part of the Open House. The Audio Boom app allowed students to create QR codes that were strategically placed around the classroom. When parents scanned the codes with their Smart Phones, the app played a short recording by a student describing that area of the classroom and how it contributed to student learning.

Holly also scaffolds her students’ sense of ownership in their learning as she and each of her student build rubrics for projects they are working on. Her students start with more structured experiences in grade 4 and gradually build to becoming more autonomous learners by grade 6.

Reaching out to peers and others is an essential element in Holly’s professional growth plan. She believes that the only way to get better at something is to have a sounding board composed of people you trust.

image004image005

2015

Sign up for eMINTS Email Updates