As we all begin a new school year, we are involved in many different transitions. Some of us are new to the school, many of us have new colleagues, and most of us will be facing new students on Tuesday.  Our students are also involved in transition: new schools, new teachers, new friends, and new expectations.

In April of 2011, Educational Leadership published by ASCD devoted the issue to the the changes students face at various points in their schooling career.

The issue in its entirety can be found here.

Some of the articles may be of particular interest to different groups.  Highlights include:

Paving Paradise: How 5-year-olds really learn

Supporting Early School Success:The dramatic changes students go through in the first few years of school

The Ups and Downs of 3rd Grade

The Leap into 4th Grade

Demystifying the Adolescent Brain

Moving up to the Middle

Here is to a new and exciting school year and all of the exciting transitions swirling around us.

Best of luck meeting your students and starting your classes next week!



Professional Development Anyone?

The PD calendar is up to date with lots of great things happening both at AES and regionally.

A few highlights for the coming semester at AES

  • Restitution in the ES and for any other interested parties, just contact Susan Young for more information
  • Mark Church for Visible Thinking in the ES
  • Erma Anderson for Math and Science K-12
  • Taylor Mawley K-12
  • Bambi Betts for Leadership Training K-12
  • Teachers College for Reading Workshop in the MS
  • Buffalo State Master’s courses will be taking place throughout the year
  • CoETail – Certificate of Educational Technology courses though Buffalo State will also be taking place throughout the year.

There are some upcoming regional events if you are interested they should be registered for soon.

  • Google Apps for Teachers: Sept. in Singapore
  • European 1:1 Learning Institute – Sept. in Frankfurt
  • Technology and PD – Sept. in Yokohama
  • Learning 2.012: Oct. in Beijing
  • NESA Leadership: Oct. in Dubai
  • NESA Fall Training: Oct. in Dubai

If you know of regional PD you think others might be interested in, please let us know and we will be sure to share this on the blog.

Happy professional development!

New Book Club Book: Why Don’t Students Like School?

If you are interested in reading Daniel T. Willingham’s Why Don’t Students Like School? we have just received 10 copies of this book in the Curriculum Office.  The book looks at the science behind how kids learn and how we as teachers can use this information for improved instruction.  From Amazon:

“Cognitive scientist Dan Willingham focuses his acclaimed research on the biological and cognitive basis of learning. His book will help teachers improve their practice by explaining how they and their students think and learn. It reveals-the importance of story, emotion, memory, context, and routine in building knowledge and creating lasting learning experiences.”

We will have the book club after Spring Break and the book is fairly short at 215 pgs.

Please let Stacy in the Curriculum Office know if you are interested and she will get back to you with possible book club times.

Happy reading!

Professional Development Opportunities for Summer

Just back from winter vacation and we are already thinking about summer?  We ARE teachers right???

Actually, we started thinking about summer PD before the winter break even started and we have posted this document on the blog under the Professional Development tab titled Summer Professional Development Opportunities.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about any program or opportunity in particular. We will continue to add new PD to this document as it becomes available. Let the summer planning begin!

Georgia Heard and the Common Core

Georgia Heard visited AES this past year to work with MS Humanities teachers on the writing workshop model.  She is a poet and a founding member of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.  She recently spoke with Choice Literacy to discuss her first impressions of the Common Core and thoughts on the Common Core in relation to poetry, non-fiction reading, and assessment.

Listen to this podcast to hear what Georgia is saying about the Common Core and how best to approach using the document.  She offers advice and issues to consider as schools move forward with implementation of the Common Core Standards.  The podcast is 12 minutes long and there is also a transcript of the podcast available on the website.

Photo Attribution: Stenhouse Publishing

Introducing the Common Core

In 2009 48 states, two territories, and the District of Columbia came together to create the Common Core State Standards (CCSS),  in Mathematics and English Language Arts, an unprecedented effort in a nation where there is no national curriculum. As it stands currently, 44 states have adopted and are implementing the CCSS and a host of organizations and consortia are now at work creating assessments aligned to the common core and teacher support materials to implement the CCSS across most of the nation. The committee continues to develop Common Core State Standards in both Science and Social Studies, though the release of these documents is at least a few years off.

We wanted to share a few resources regarding this effort, as through our curricular review process both Math and English Language Arts have been considering the documents and their implications on our work as an international school whose mission states we, ” provide a quality American education that enables students to be inspired learners and responsible global citizens through the collaboration of a dedicated faculty and a supportive community.”

This video provides an introduction to the whole CCSS initiative:

If you would like to know more about the Math Common Core:

If you would like more information on the ELA Common Core:

Additionally this article (Building on the Common Core) explores, once you have the Common Core in place, then what?  They make the strong point that instruction also needs to change, and though this is directed more toward a US teaching audience, there are powerful points made regarding teaching and learning and how the CCSS can set the groundwork for improvement in US schools.

And lastly, though all of the talk about the Common Core centers primarily around ELA and Mathematics, this article (What Students Really Need to Know) reminds us, well, there really are a lot of other things students need to know, do well and be exposed to in the K-12 educational experience if a US-style education is to be competitive and relevant.

Please feel free to use the comment box below to engage in a conversation with other teachers at AES regarding the Common Core. And as always, if you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact the Curriculum Office.

Welcome to the AES Curriculum Blog

This intention of this blog is to provide a central place for AES faculty to locate all information related to curriculum, professional development, and resources.

The Curriculum Office will continue to maintain the resource page on Atlas. Additionally, this blog now provides a place for your ‘timely’ documents, articles and information.   Check out the professional development calendar. Please navigate the subject tabs at the top to find the information and resources you need. If you see something that should be changed, could be done better, or you have something you would like to add, please contact Stacy Stephens in the Curriculum Office with that information.

We will use the blogging function of this site to share the current research and thinking related to the work we do each day in our classrooms with our students.

We hope you enjoy and find this blog useful.  Happy curriculum adventures in blogging!