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SD Department of Education
Jan. 2019  

Photo of Crystal McMachen TEACHER FEATURE:
Rapid City math teacher coaches colleagues

Crystal McMachen teaches math at Southwest Middle School in the Rapid City Area School District. She is a coach in the South Dakota Department of Education’s Virtual Math Coaching program, which is accepting applications for a new cohort through Friday, Jan. 18. Learn more about how to apply in this month’s article, titled, “K-12 math teachers: Apply for free coaching by Jan. 18.” [http://stage.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/zebra/news/19/Jan/page2.html]

Why are you passionate about teaching math?
I have always enjoyed working with kids, and math was my favorite subject in school. That is why I initially wanted to be a math teacher. Since then, I have found that making math the class that students like to come to and learn about is a challenge, and I LOVE challenges. I find it exciting and rewarding to see students get excited about learning new math concepts and seeing that math isn’t something scary, but something that can be fun!

You’ve coached in previous cohort(s), correct? How long have you been involved, and what drives you to stay involved?
I have been with the virtual coaching program since the start. This will be my fourth cohort. My district used to have math coaches who would support us within the classroom. I had one coach who really helped me learn and grow as a teacher. I really valued her input and the advice she gave me. I know I am a better teacher because of her. I want to be able to help others the way my coach helped me.

The coaching program requires teachers to watch video of themselves teaching. Why is that valuable?
Video is a powerful tool. When you are teaching, it is hard to concentrate on everything that is happening within the room. You are worried about your students, what they are doing and learning, your teacher moves, and everything else that teaching involves. When you record yourself, you are able to step back and concentrate on you and your focus. Video doesn’t lie, and watching yourself is an excellent way to reflect on your instructional moves.

What kind of feedback have you heard from teachers who were initially reluctant to watch themselves?
The first time watching yourself is tough. People tend to concentrate on how their voice sounds or how they look. But after that first viewing, you can concentrate on you and your teacher moves. Teachers have also liked watching their students from a bird’s eye view. You are able to see what they are doing while your attention isn’t directly on them.

How has the program evolved?
I feel the process has become more streamlined. Watching video of a coach’s lesson has been added to the process so both the teacher and coach are able to self-reflect and go through the learning progression.

If I’m a math teacher considering signing up for virtual math coaching, how will my students and I benefit?
Both the teacher and students benefit through the Virtual Math Coaching program because teachers become more aware of their instructional moves. The time we have with our students is precious, and we want every moment to count. With the Virtual Math Coaching program, the teachers can improve their own practice, which in turn benefits the students.

How have you seen teachers grow through this program in the past?
I have seen teachers work on a specific goal, such as the level of questions they ask or getting more student talk into a lesson. Through the process, teachers have reflected on their videos, brainstormed with me on solutions that would work with them in their own classroom, and then applied these in their next video.

How do coaches and teachers get to know each other/build rapport through the program?
Since the teacher and coach may live on different ends of the state, they get to know each other through one face-to-face meeting and then the rest is through phone and email. I have also used video chats.

What would you say to someone who says, “I know this would be a valuable opportunity, but I don’t feel like I have the time to do it.”
We have all been in professional development meetings or courses that felt like a waste of time since it didn’t pertain to us. This is 100 percent individualized. The teacher gets to watch their own teaching and reflect on what they need, with the support of a coach who is also a teacher who understands the day-to-day struggles. Plus, John Hattie’s research proves that watching video and reflecting on your own practice has a high positive effect on student learning.

What are some tips/advice you could offer for math teachers at various grade levels to improve their professional practice?

  • Reach out to colleagues—don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. Sometimes we get stuck in our day-to-day routines and don’t realize we are in a rut. Brainstorming with others can help light that spark.
  • Listen to your students—they will tell you how they learn best.
  • Join a professional organization such as the South Dakota Council of Teachers of Mathematics and attend conferences. The SD STEM Ed conference is coming up and it is open for all K-12 teachers. There are sessions for everyone!

How do you reflect on your own teaching?
I reflect on my own teaching by videotaping myself and by looking at student data. During the Virtual Math Coaching program, participants use a Swivl, which is a robot that helps record your class. While I have access to the Swivl, I will record and watch little chunks of my teaching.

When I don’t have a Swivl, I rely on my student data. I will look for patterns in the answers that students give, and this helps me find my next steps. I also talk to my colleagues a lot. I ask for their advice or will go over student answers with them to help me find new ways of presenting information to help correct misconceptions that we find in the students’ work.

Dr. Ben Jones Dr. Ben Jones to lead Department of Education

Dr. Ben Jones joins Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration as Interim Secretary of Education. In his previous role as Dean of Dakota State University’s College of Arts and Sciences, he oversaw more than 50 full-time and adjunct faculty members. In this role, he revitalized numerous programs to better equip students for modernized careers, launched innovative programming and improved course content through interdepartmental collaboration.

Read more at http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=24072.

Space SD CTE teachers honored at national conference

The joint Association for Career and Technical Education/National Association of Agricultural Educators Convention took place recently in San Antonio, Texas. Kudos to the two South Dakota educators who were honored at this event!

Sara Colombe Sara Colombe, an agricultural educator at Hoven High School is one of a select group of agriculture teachers nationwide who received the 2018 Teachers Turn the Key professional development scholarship from the National Association of Agricultural Educators. As a scholarship recipient, Colombe attended the NAAE annual convention in San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 27-Dec. 1, 2018.

The Teachers Turn the Key scholarship brings together agricultural educators with two to four years of experience and immerses them in three days of professional development that addresses issues specific to the early years of teaching agriculture. Participants also get the opportunity to become involved in NAAE leadership and network with other NAAE convention attendees. TTTK awardees come away from the experience with a long-lasting peer cohort and tools to help them have successful careers as agricultural educators.

Colombe encourages her students to get involved within the general community of Hoven. Students in her Fundamentals of Agricultural Structures class constructed a new play sink and oven for local kindergarteners. Others helped local businesses by moving and assembling shelving in a local secondhand store. Within a greenhouse, students in her leadership class helped kids from the elementary school gain hands-on experience with plants.

Students in Colombe’s agriculture courses also have the opportunity to develop leadership skills through their participation in the national FFA organization. Throughout the year, FFA members participate in various public speaking contests and career development events, organize fundraisers such as local fruit sales, and support local farmers by making snack bags for them during harvest time.

“I decided to become an agriculture teacher because it encompasses my passions for agriculture, education, and positively influencing others,” Colombe says. “My goal as a teacher is to expose and prepare my students for the vast opportunities in the agricultural field. This challenges me to provide my students with authentic activities which encourage students to develop essential skills for their chosen career and reduce the labor shortage in the agriculture community.”

In addition to attending professional development, each of the TTTK scholarship recipients was recognized at a general session during the NAAE convention. RAM Trucks sponsors the TTTK program as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

Noelle Swanson Noelle Swanson, an agriculture teacher at Northwestern Area High School in Mellette, is one of 21 individuals nationwide who was selected to participate in the 2018 XLR8 Institute – a professional development program which began at the 2018 National Association of Agricultural Educators’ annual convention in San Antonio.

The XLR8 program was developed by NAAE to help agriculture teachers in their seventh to fifteenth years of teaching address common issues that cause them to leave the profession, such as burnout, work/life balance, and stagnant professional growth. The program’s goal is to accelerate the selected teachers’ careers through yearlong professional development.

Selected participants engaged in rigorous professional development sessions at the convention. Topics addressed included setting priorities, work/life balance, and moving careers and agriculture programs forward over the next several years. This year’s cohort will continue their experience throughout the upcoming year with virtual learning experiences, online collaboration through the NAAE professional learning community, Communities of Practice, and by connecting through a variety of social media tools.

The goal is not only to retain XLR8 participants in the teaching profession, but to give them the tools to help other mid-career teachers. The XLR8 program is sponsored by CSX and Herman & Bobbie Wilson as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.

math game K-12 math teachers: Apply for free coaching by Jan. 18

The South Dakota Department of Education is launching the next cycle of the Virtual Math Coaching program beginning in winter/spring 2019 and continuing through the 2019-20 school year.

Virtual Math Coaching is a free professional learning opportunity.

Any math teacher, teaching kindergarten through 12th grade, who is in or beyond their third year of teaching may register to participate in the program.

This program provides teachers with the opportunity to ask questions, discuss challenges, collaborate on lesson plans, and share math lessons with their math coach, an experienced South Dakota math educator. In addition, teachers will receive personalized and specific feedback reflecting on goals for increasing student discourse and improving instruction and student learning.

How to participate:
  • Fill out this registration form [https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdWy-1GGBm56mBbTJ5d9n-J5-1xcHrJjNVk_oDAY_FZfdxIww/viewform]
  • Deadline to apply is Friday, Jan. 18
Program expectations:
  • Attend one regional face-to-face kick-off event in March:
    • March 4, Sioux Falls
    • March 5, Pierre
    • March 7, Rapid City
  • The purpose of this event is to introduce coaches to teachers, share this cohort’s teaching focus, and practice using the coaching process and coaching technology.

    Both substitute and mileage costs will be reimbursed. Lunch will be on your own.

  • Complete one coaching cycle between coaches and teachers before May 2019:
    • Watch and reflect on one classroom lesson shared by the math coach.
    • Participate in a virtual discussion and give feedback to the math coach.
    • Share lesson plans and record one math classroom lesson and participate in one virtual coaching cycle (upload video, reflect on and discuss lesson with math coach, receive feedback, and begin planning for next steps) with this recorded lesson.
  • Virtual Coaching commitment:
    • Complete coaching cycles beginning in March 2019 and continuing through the 2019-20 school year.

Questions? Please contact the department’s math specialist, Stephanie Higdon [stephanie.higdon@state.sd.us].


Presentation proposals for Mentoring Summer Academy
due Feb. 28

The Department of Education is seeking proposals for breakout sessions at the 2019 Mentoring Summer Academy. More than 700 new teachers and mentors who are participating in the statewide mentor program will attend this event scheduled for June 5-6 in Sioux Falls.

The purpose of the Mentoring Summer Academy is to provide a time of celebration, reflection, and professional development. Presenters will be reimbursed travel expenses and will receive $150 per session for their work. The Mentoring Summer Academy will be held in Sioux Falls at the Denny Sanford Premier Center June 5-6, with the breakout sessions on June 6.

Proposals are due by Feb. 28. Find more information on the Proposal Application page [https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SDSummerAcademy19]

english Make a game of PD with English Learner Bingo

The South Dakota Department of Education’s Title III Office has created a professional development opportunity for teachers to gain renewal credits while learning about English Learners and academic language for all students. The opportunity is open to all K-12 teachers: content teachers, classroom teachers, special education teachers, ESL teachers, etc.

Participants don’t need to sign up. Simply complete the required activities as explained on this English Learner Bingo Board [https://sdtitle3.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/DOE-EL-BINGO-PD-FINAL.pdf] and submit documentation by May 1.

  • Save the Bingo Board to your computer or print it out.
  • Complete the activity described in a box, then initial and date that box.
  • All resources needed are on the Padlet link on the Bingo Board.
  • If asked to, post a short message on the Padlet.
  • Take second semester to complete all activities on the board.
  • Scan and send the completed board to Yutzil Becker [yutzil.becker@state.sd.us] by May 1 to receive a CEU Contact hour certificate.

Questions? Email Gwyneth Dean-Fastnacht [Gwyneth.Fastnacht@k12.sd.us].

History teacher Nominate a great history teacher for special recognition

Nominations are being accepted for two awards honoring history teachers:
  • State Historical Society History Teacher of the Year(nomination deadline Feb. 25)

    Nominations are being accepted for the 2019 South Dakota K-12 History Teacher of the Year, one of the Governor's Awards for History coordinated by the South Dakota State Historical Society. The society seeks to pay tribute to a teacher who excels in teaching the history of South Dakota. All elementary and secondary teachers are eligible.

    Nominations need to be submitted on an official nomination form, which can be obtained by contacting Jeff Mammenga at 605-773-6000 or Jeff.Mammenga@state.sd.us or by visiting the State Historical Society’s Events & Educational Opportunities webpage [https://history.sd.gov/aboutus/eventsanded.aspx] and clicking on “History Awards.” Completed nominations must be received by Feb. 25. Nominated teachers will be asked to fill out an application form that needs to be returned by March 21.

    The Governor's Awards for History will be presented Saturday, April 27, during the awards luncheon at the State Historical Society’s annual history conference in Pierre.

  • Gilder Lehrman National History Teacher of the Year (nomination deadline March 31)
    Read more at https://www.gilderlehrman.org/content/national-history-teacher-year.

Annual reminder: CPR and AED training resources on DOE website

CPR is not a graduation requirement; however, all districts need to incorporate into district curriculum the skills necessary to perform hands-only CPR and awareness in the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator). The South Dakota Department of Education must annually make school districts aware of available resources for use in providing this instruction, which can be found on the department’s CPR Resources for Schools webpage [http://doe.sd.gov/octe/cpr.aspx].

Stakeholders from various state and nonprofit agencies and health/physical education teachers have compiled these resources and contacts for districts to access when implementing CPR training.

A certified teacher is not required to be an authorized CPR or AED instructor to oversee this instruction. However, any CPR course that results in the students earning a completion card must be taught by an authorized CPR or AED instructor.

The Department of Education is also required to annually collect and report to the South Dakota Legislature information regarding how CPR is being taught in schools. This information is gathered annually via an electronic survey. Read this year’s survey results [https://doe.sd.gov/octe/documents/18-CPR-Surv.pdf] on the DOE website.

Any questions concerning the CPR/AED requirements can be directed to Teresa.Berndt@state.sd.us.

Team Nutrition
USDA Team Nutrition offers resources for teachers

Team Nutrition education materials [https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/nutrition-education-materials] are designed to help schools integrate nutrition education into classroom learning and include materials for home, cafeteria, and community connections. In addition to being standards-based, materials are child-, teacher-, and parent-tested through extensive research including focus group testing, in-depth interviews, and field testing.

USDA Team Nutrition offers a variety of free nutrition education resources for teachers to incorporate fun and interactive learning about nutrition in the classroom.

New! Fueling My Healthy Life [https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/fueling-my-healthy-life] – resources for middle school students

  • Explore lesson plans including "Starting Right with Breakfast"
  • Learn how students can earn Fueling My Healthy Life digital badges
  • Take a quiz online to find out "What Does Your Breakfast Say About You?"
  • Watch interactive videos on starting smart with breakfast and breakfast around the world

Spread the news about healthy eating [https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/nibbles] - USDA has great resource newsletters created for child engagement

  • Access or download fun and engaging newsletters for children
  • English and Spanish versions available
  • Great for teachers and parents
  • Hands-on activities to print and distribute

Access additional resources by selecting the “Resource Library” link from the Team Nutrition homepage [https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/] and searching by topic or audience.

Questions about Team Nutrition materials? Email teamnutrition@fns.usda.gov, call 703-305-1624, or contact the South Dakota Department of Education’s office of Child and Adult Nutrition Services at 605-773-3413.

Team Nutrition is an integrated, behavior-based, comprehensive nationwide plan for promoting the nutritional health of the nation’s school children. The South Dakota Department of Education administers the Team Nutrition program in South Dakota through Child and Adult Nutrition Services.

No Smoking. No Vaping
E-cigarette prevention resources available

The South Dakota Department of Health’s Tobacco Control Program recently created resources to assist schools and communities with addressing the growing problem of youth e-cigarette use in South Dakota. Find them on DOH's Tobacco Prevention and Control Program webpage [https://doh.sd.gov/prevention/tobacco/], under the Resources heading.

The resources include an E-Cigarette & Vaping Handout [https://doh.sd.gov/documents/Prevention/tobacco/E-CigaretteVapingHandout.pdf], a guide featuring reliable information for schools, educators, parents, adults, health professionals and youth. The electronic version includes embedded hyperlinks to various resources. The PDF version [https://doh.sd.gov/documents/Prevention/tobacco/E-CigaretteVapingHandout_ForPrintONLY.PDF] is meant to be printed and includes website addresses fully spelled out.

A recorded South Dakota E-Cigarette Webinar [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMWJOk70PIo&feature=youtu.be] is also available on the topic of youth e-cigarette use in South Dakota. Feel free to play the webinar for a group of people, share it with others via email, or simply watch it, learn from it, then put together your own presentation based on the information shared. The Department of Health requests that you please complete this brief survey [https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ecigarettewebinar] after viewing the webinar.

SD Arts Council
Applications open for SD Arts Council funding opportunities

South Dakota schools are among groups invited to seek grant support from the South Dakota Arts Council to assist in funding arts projects and programs throughout the state. The application deadline for Project Grants and Artists in Schools & Communities grants is March 1. Learn more about these and other opportunities below.

South Dakota schools may be interested in the following opportunities:

  • Project Grants [https://artscouncil.sd.gov/grants/project.aspx] assist nonprofit organizations in the presentation of a single arts event or a series of similar and related arts activities that benefit the general public. Organizations may request up to $5,000 in funding, covering no more than 50 percent of the cash expenses of the project. Applicants have until March 1 to apply for grant support for projects and activities that will occur July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020. Project Grant applicants should begin the process by visiting the SDAC’s new Applicant Portal [https://artscouncil.sd.gov/grants/ApplicantPortal.aspx] to review the Guide to Grants, eligibility requirements, granting criteria and the application procedure before beginning the application process.
  • Artists in Schools & Communities: [http://www.artscouncil.sd.gov/aisc/index.aspx] Place professional artists in residencies of one week or longer in schools and communities to encourage and supplement existing arts programs. Set fees with matching grant. Artists must come from roster provided by SDAC. Applicants have until March 1 to apply for grant support for projects and activities that will occur July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020.
  • Educator Grants: [http://www.artscouncil.sd.gov/grants/educator.aspx] Projects, professional development, curriculum, supplies, or program development. Up to $1,000 non-matching. Apply 45 days before start date (application form available via grant link). Funds go directly to educator.
  • Excursion Grants: [http://www.artscouncil.sd.gov/grants/excur.aspx] Transportation for SDAC-sponsored events. Half of costs, up to $500, matching grant. Apply at least 15 days before event (application form available via grant link).
  • Professional Development Grants: [http://www.artscouncil.sd.gov/grants/professdev.aspx] Provides up to $500 to school to match funds provided for PD. Apply at least 30 days before proposed activity (application form available via grant link).
  • Touring Arts: [http://www.artscouncil.sd.gov/ta/index.aspx] Fees negotiable. Artists must come from roster provided by SDAC. Single performance or presentation or one- to two-day workshop. No deadline, no application. Contact artist directly to check grant availability.

Questions? Contact the South Dakota Arts Council at 605-773-3301 or sdac@state.sd.us.

Upcoming Events

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

CTE Improve 2019
Jan. 22, Rapid City
Jan. 23, Pierre
Jan. 24, Aberdeen
Jan. 28, Mitchell
Jan. 29, Sioux Falls
Jan. 30, Brookings

Board of Education Standards
Jan. 28, Pierre

Explicit Instruction for K-12 Educators
Jan. 28, Rapid City
Jan. 29, Aberdeen
Jan. 30, Sioux Falls

The OSEU for Fourth Grade Teachers – Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms
Jan. 29, Mission

National ESEA Conference (formerly National Title I Conference)
Jan. 30-Feb. 2, Kansas City

SD Technology Education Association meeting
Jan. 31-Feb. 2, Pierre

SD STEM Ed Conference
Feb. 7-9, Huron

SDMyLife Overview
Feb. 11, Rapid City
Feb. 27, Sioux Falls

SDMyLife Overview Webinar
Feb. 19
Feb. 20

2019 South Dakota Special Education Conference
March 19-20, Deadwood

TIE Conference
April 7-9, Rapid City

State Historical Society History Conference
April 26-27, Pierre

Save the Date: SD Dept. of Education Annual Conference
May 29-30, Pierre

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