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SD Department of Education
Aug. 2019  

Back to school
Advice TEACHER FEATURE: Building relationships with your students

We asked some South Dakota teachers how they work to build relationships with students as a new school year begins. Thank you to all South Dakota educators for the work you do every day. You make a difference in students’ lives. Make it a great school year!

Because student to teacher feedback is just as important as teacher to student feedback, my first question will be this: "What do you want to learn this year?"
--Gina Benz, English, Roosevelt High School (Sioux Falls)
2015 Milken Educator Award winner

From day one, you need to let your students see your passion and your commitment to them and to helping them learn. Make sure your students know that you will be there for them no matter what and together you will take on new challenges, face setbacks, and learn from both failures and successes.
--Carla Diede, National Board Certified Teacher, math, Harrisburg South Middle School
2017 Milken Educator Award winner

2013 Regional Teacher of the Year Tammy Jo Schlecter gathered input from the whole team at Deubrook Area Schools:
Our Dolphin Nation Team collaborated from classroom to the kitchen and everywhere in between to offer these ideas for the first days of school! Greet students at the door! Conversations are vital. Talk with the students about things they are interested in or are doing. Our staff spend lots of time sharing about our families, our hopes, and dreams. Create a classroom family inside a school family that cares for one another. How we teach is, perhaps, just as important as what we teach. Taking time to stop and talk to our students (and former students) outside our school building is where those relationships are developed and become long lasting! It’s the little things we do that let them know you care about them as individuals!

I take the students’ pictures the first week of school and make a “McMachen’s Mathematicians” bulletin board. I leave it up all year so we can see how they change throughout the school year. The kids love it!
-- Crystal McMachen, National Board Certified Teacher, math, Southwest Middle School (Rapid City)

To build long lasting, strong relationships with students in my class, I make learning fun, listen to them, and take an interest in their lives outside of the school day! When kids know you care, they will trust you and work harder to do their best!
-- Shelly Mikkelson, second grade, South Park Elementary (Belle Fourche)
2015 Regional Teacher of the Year

The first several days of school form the foundation for developing the vital relationships we have with our students. Greeting my students by name with a high five, handshake, and/or hug as they enter and leave our classroom, sitting down with them and having conversations about them, asking them questions about their family and interests, having time purposely built into our day to interact with one another and playing with them both in and outside of the classroom are a few ways that I connect with my students during the first days of school.
--Rachel Schaefer, kindergarten, Elkton Elementary
2018 South Dakota Teacher of the Year

Greet them at the door every day and learn their names and something about them as soon as possible. Don't waste the first day. Get them up doing something in your content area the very first day—preferably something that helps you all get to know each other and builds excitement for your content. If you teach science, do science the very first day!
-- Jessica Zwaschka, chemistry, Spearfish High School
2017 Regional Teacher of the Year

Dyslexia trainings starting in October

Dr. Kari Oyen and Dr. Daniel Hajovsky from the University of South Dakota will offer day-long dyslexia trainings for district/school teams of three to four staff members. The trainers will also provide follow-up consultation on a case of suspected dyslexia in the team’s district to help ensure the training transfers into effective practice. Registration is available via GoSignMeUp:

  • Oct. 11, Rapid City [https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/Course/browse?courseid=12699]
  • Oct. 22, Aberdeen [https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/Course/browse?courseid=12700]
  • Nov. 8, Sioux Falls [https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/Course/browse?courseid=12701]

English Free PD available to build your capacity to work with English learners

The South Dakota Department of Education has partnered with WIDA Professional Learning to offer two free extensive learning opportunities for educators over the course of the 2019-20 school year. Both opportunities are online, so there is no need to travel offsite. These e-learning opportunities are for all teachers and administrators, not only teachers currently working with English learners.

WIDA Professional Learning Option #1: Self-paced, on-demand eWorkshops
Educators will have access to six, self-paced, on-demand eWorkshops beginning Sept. 1, 2019. Professionally developed by WIDA, a trusted name in the field of multilingual learner education and assessment, these eWorkshops cover a range of topics intended for a variety of audiences. We’re excited to offer this opportunity for several reasons:

  • Unlimited enrollment – With no limit on the number of participants, these eWorkshops are ideal for a district looking for high quality professional development for their entire staff.
  • Easy to access – Log in at any time, from any place. No need to spend extra money and time on travel. WIDA’s eWorkshops are a great option for rural districts. A WIDA account is needed to log in. If an educator doesn’t have an account already, they can contact their district assessment coordinator.
  • Professional learning for everyone – Not just for teachers of multilingual learners—everyone from administrators and facilitators to content teachers and specialists can find an eWorkshop relevant to their goals.
  • Actionable content – School leaders, general classroom, and ESL teachers will be introduced to strategies and resources they can put to use in their instruction right away.
  • Flexibility – WIDA’s eWorkshops can be taken individually at an educator’s own pace or utilized by a larger group or professional learning community.
  • Contact hours and graduate credit available – Once a participant completes an eWorkshop, they will be asked to complete a workshop evaluation and survey. Upon completion of the evaluation and survey, they will receive a certificate that they can email to Yutzil Becker [yutzil.becker@state.sd.us] at the South Dakota Department of Education to earn contact hours. Graduate credits will also be available through the University of Sioux Falls. One graduate credit [https://reach.usiouxfalls.edu/modules/shop/index.html?action=section&OfferingID=723248&SectionID=723278] can be earned for completion of 15 hours of workshops; two graduate credits [https://reach.usiouxfalls.edu/modules/shop/index.html?action=section&OfferingID=723162&SectionID=723172] can be earned for completion of 30 hours of workshops.

See this flyer for detailed information on these WIDA eWorkshops [https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2019/Aug/documents/WIDA.pdf].

WIDA Professional Learning Option #2: Webinar Series
The Educator Collaboration to Support Multilingual Learners Webinar Series is designed for teams of two to five educators with diverse roles who work with multilingual learners. It will be open to up to 35 participants, and registration is available on GoSignMeUp [https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/Course/browse?courseid=12665].

Contact hours and graduate credit available – Participants can earn one graduate credit [https://reach.usiouxfalls.edu/modules/shop/index.html?action=section&OfferingID=723218&SectionID=723228] through the University of Sioux Falls or 10 contact hours for these webinars. To earn two graduate credits, participants can combine the webinars with enough of the eWorkshops explained in Option #1 above to total 30 hours.

Questions about these professional development opportunities? Contact Yutzil Becker [yutzil.becker@state.sd.us] with the South Dakota Department of Education.

Announcing vendor and changes to statewide assessment names

The South Dakota Department of Education is updating the names of statewide assessments in English language arts, math, and science as noted below. The goal is to create clarity and consistency, so that assessment names are not tied to vendor or consortium names (i.e. AIR, MSAA, Smarter Balanced Consortium), which can change over time.

  • South Dakota English Language Arts Assessment
    • South Dakota English Language Arts Alternate Assessment
  • South Dakota Math Assessment
    • South Dakota Math Alternate Assessment
  • South Dakota Science Assessment
    • South Dakota Science Alternate Assessment

We are asking that districts implement this name change as well. We are also communicating directly with assessment directors about this name change.

South Dakota will continue to use ELA and math assessment items from the Smarter Balanced Consortium. Science assessment items will come from an item bank developed by South Dakota educators and educators from a pool of several other states.

AIR has been announced as the selected vendor to administer South Dakota’s state assessments beginning in spring 2020 for grades 3-8 and 11 in English language arts and math and grades 5, 8, and 11 in science and science alternate. AIR is the state’s current vendor for ELA and math (since 2014-15), but additionally, AIR will now also administer the science and science alternate assessments.

Translations of the Unpacked Science Standards now available

A team of South Dakota teachers has worked over the past two years to complete the Translations of the Unpacked Science Standards [https://doe.sd.gov/contentstandards/SciTranslation.aspx], which are now available on the South Dakota Department of Education’s website.

The Translations are intended to be a supplemental resource to help K-12 science educators translate the South Dakota Science Standards into classroom practice by representing how a group of teachers, at a given grade level, might bundle performance expectations into instructional units of study.

The documents are comprised of storylines and examples of phenomena, formative assessment, and three-dimensional performance outcomes to aid teachers in designing their own plans for instruction.

Questions? Contact Jennifer Fowler [Jennifer.Fowler@state.sd.us], the department’s science specialist.

Earn stipend for creating quality assessment resources

We’re looking for South Dakota educators to join the State Network of Educators. Participants travel and meet educators from around the country to create resources for the Digital Library [https://sbdigitallibrary.org/], an online repository of formative assessment resources available at no cost to all South Dakota public school teachers. All expenses are paid, and participants receive a stipend upon completion of a resource. Apply now [https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1VOznSqmVd9F91mSAgejgrreWpHXe1y8n7YIwNeB0Jfk/edit].

The Digital Library is a collection of professional learning resources and instructional resources using South Dakota standards to help educators tailor their instruction to students' needs using the formative assessment process. Educators can use these resources throughout the school year to:

  • Advance their use of formative tools
  • Better understand where students are in their learning
  • Identify any misconceptions
  • Make quick adjustments to instruction

Educators who have never logged into the Digital Library can set up an account using their @k12.sd.us email address.

BOR offering new opportunities for teachers

This summer, the South Dakota Board of Regents approved a request from the University of South Dakota to offer its graduate certificate in American Indian education through online delivery. This is the only graduate certificate of its kind in the Board of Regents’ system. Making the coursework available online seeks to meet the needs of educators and practitioners working with Native American communities.

Additionally, to support K-12 teachers in the teaching of mathematics, South Dakota public universities will offer two nine credit-hour graduate certificates in math. The target audience for these certificates is instructors teaching high school students who take a college-level math course for both high school and college credit.

To ensure that instructors teaching math courses for concurrent or dual credit programs have appropriate credentials, all six public universities in South Dakota will offer the new certificates—one in graduate mathematics and one in advanced graduate mathematics.

Regents’ officials said the regional college accrediting body requires dual credit instructors to have a master’s degree and at least 18 graduate-level credits in the subject area being taught. With completion of both nine credit-hour certificates, and a master’s degree in a subject other than mathematics, instructors will hold the needed credentials to teach college-level math to high school students.

The graduate certificates, which will also be available for delivery online, are to be offered starting this fall through Black Hills State University, Dakota State University, Northern State University, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, South Dakota State University, and the University of South Dakota.

SD Indian Education Summit Register for 2019 Indian Education Summit

This year’s Indian Education Summit is scheduled for Sept. 22-24, in Pierre. Keynote speakers include Mandy Smoker Broaddus with Education Northwest and South Dakota State University President Barry Dunn. Register today at http://www.cvent.com/events/south-dakota-indian-education-summit-2019/event-summary-fff8bf7b8e3941739c9d9e19c8950609.aspx.

Read for the Record Request Read for the Record title by Sept. 20

School libraries have an opportunity to join with thousands of other libraries and schools around the country to read the same book to as many kids as possible. This year’s selection is “Thank You, Omu!” by Oge Mora. The South Dakota State Library has a limited number of free copies available for distribution.

The first 150 libraries that register on Jumpstart's website [https://www.jstart.org/read-for-the-record/signup/] by Sept. 20 will receive a free copy of the book from the State Library. A limited number of copies are available in Spanish.

Prove registration by sending a screenshot of your registration confirmation or by forwarding your confirmation email to Laura Kelly [Laura.Kelly@state.sd.us] with the State Library. Please indicate if you would prefer a copy of the book in Spanish or English when sending your registration confirmation.

Read for the Record Day is Nov. 7.

Consider coordinating with libraries in your community, daycares, and other local youth programs to maximize reach. Send photos of your event to Laura Kelly [Laura.Kelly@state.sd.us] as well—the State Library likes to highlight success stories and library events.

Upcoming Events

Except where otherwise noted, details on the following events are available at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/].

2019 IEP workshops
Various dates and locations statewide, summer and fall

East Central Region CTE Exchange
Sept. 18, Sioux Falls

North Central Region CTE Exchange
Sept. 18, Aberdeen

SDMyLife New Users/Refresher
Sept. 19, Rapid City
Sept. 20, Pierre
Sept. 23, Sioux Falls
Sept. 24, Watertown
Sept. 25, Mitchell

Indian Education Summit
Sept. 22-24, Pierre

School Library Boot Camp
Sept. 25, Spearfish, and online

Strengthening relationships with all families with an emphasis on EL/Migrant families
Sept. 30, Chamberlain
Oct. 2, Huron

Educator Collaboration to Support Multilingual Learners: Webinar Series
Oct. 1, Oct. 29, Dec. 3, Jan. 21

SDMyLife Educator & Student View
Oct. 2, webinar, 10 a.m. CDT
Oct. 2, webinar, 3 p.m. CDT

Community Response to Child Abuse Conference
Oct. 3-4, Sioux Falls

SDMyLife Aptitude Assessment and Other Assessments
Oct. 9, webinar, 10 a.m. CDT
Oct. 9, webinar, 3 p.m. CDT

Systems Change
Annual conference, featuring Teacher of the Year Banquet
Oct. 9-11, Oacoma

Dyslexia Assessment in SD
Oct. 11, Rapid City
Oct. 22, Aberdeen
Nov. 8, Sioux Falls

SDMyLife Course Planner/PLPs/Accreditation
Oct. 23, webinar, 10 a.m. CDT
Oct. 23, webinar, 3 p.m. CDT

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