Maine DOE Announces 4th Annual Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge

Summer vacation is a welcome break from the daily school routine for children and parents alike, but the summer months can be detrimental to students’ learning if young minds do not remain active. Summer learning loss is a well-documented phenomenon, particularly with respect to reading achievement.  Students can lose up to three months of reading progress during the summer if they don’t keep reading.  When combined across a child’s PK-8 school career, this can result in 1-2 years of lost reading progress.

Fortunately, the summer slide can be prevented or greatly reduced when students continue to read on a regular basis. By encouraging children to read for enjoyment from a variety of resources and to explore topics of interest, they continue to practice applying the skills they have learned, build their vocabulary, and widen their knowledge of the world.  For students who are not yet reading independently, or just beginning to read, reading to and with parents is equally beneficial.

Once again this year, the Maine Department of Education is collaborating with the Freemasons of Maine to sponsor the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge for students in grades PK-8.  The Maine Freemasons have generously donated 48 bikes with helmets as prizes for the Read to Ride Summer Reading Challenge.  During the first three years of this initiative, thousands of Maine children completed the challenge of reading 500 minutes during the summer vacation.  Maine DOE hopes to see this number grow even higher during the summer of 2019.

Any school with students in the PK-8 grade span may register to participate. Participating schools will collect documentation from students who have completed the challenge. They will hold school level drawings to select two students (one boy and one girl) whose names will be entered into the state level drawing to be held on September 25, 2019.   Schools are encouraged to participate in this challenge, to coordinate it with any other summer reading challenges/programs they offer, and to consider soliciting their own local level prizes for students who complete the challenge.  Find details and the link to register your school at the Read to Ride Challenge website.

Questions may be directed to Maine DOE’s Elementary Literacy Specialist, Danielle Saucier at danielle.m.saucier@maine.gov.

 

 

 

Science Standards Revision-LD 283

On April 19, 2019  Governor Mills signed LD 283, which contained the revised Science and Engineering standards in the Maine Learning Results. The revised standards are an adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, which represent significant shifts from the previous version. The revised standards call for students to build core knowledge by making sense of observable events that use science to explain or predict. The three-dimensional nature of the standards promotes students “doing” science over passively listening to lectures. The standards also foster students’ ability to communicate scientific arguments and explanations. The revised standards replace breadth with depth of scientific ideas and practices.

The signed bill is currently going through the Maine Administrative Procedure Act to officially become law through the Secretary of State’s office. It is anticipated that the law will go into effect near the end of this school year. This timeline allows schools to begin planning for implementation during the summer of 2019. To help support schools as they transition to use of the revised standards., planning is underway here at the Department of Education to provide a series of professional development opportunities around the state in 2019 and 2020, as well as online resources.

For questions regarding the standards review process please contact Beth Lambert at beth.lambert@maine.gov.

For questions regarding science education please contact Shari Templeton at shari.templeton@maine.gov.

Classroom Highlight: Comprehensive Computer Science at Lyman Moore Middle School

Submitted by AJ Rog and Sean Wasson, Computer Science Educators at Lyman Moore Middle School in Portland, Maine.

Lyman Moore Middle School is in the Portland Public School District. It is home to 480 students in grades 6 through 8. Over the last 20+ years Portland has become a very diverse city with an influx of refugees and asylum seekers from around the world. Thanks to this welcome change to our city, our school is currently home to students from 28 different countries with at least 15 different home languages being spoken.

Sean Wasson and I (AJ Rog) feel privileged to be the two computer science teachers at Lyman Moore. We are able to reach approximately 85% of our students. Our classes run on an alternating day schedule, allowing their semester of content to stretch across the entire year. This schedule engages our students in two semesters of computer science content throughout their 6th and 7th grade experiences. During their time in the CS program they are given access to coding, problem solving skills and design thinking. Our students leave middle school with a high level of understanding of JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and circuit boards.

When our students enter 8th grade they are given some choice in the elective classes  hey take. Sean and I offer multiple choices over the 3 trimesters ranging from movie making,  TEAM Windmill Challenge, Web Design, Puzzles and Cyber Security, Video Game Design,  nd Circuit Boards. These classes have allowed our students who want to go further in the STEAM fields an opportunity to do so.

Our ultimate goal is to have 100% of our middle school students take CS and to collaborate closely with the three city high schools in order to recommend high school CS placement and encourage students to continue their CS journey. We also see CS curriculum as a path toward equity and engagement. Because of the demographics of our school we are positioned to encourage those students who have historically been  underrepresented in Computer Science (e.g. girls and students of color) to focus on, build skills in and find inspiration in CS. In addition we provide opportunities for students to  engage in skills and knowledge that will serve them beyond the classroom. In our ever digitizing world, our students will leave middle school equipped to creatively tackle problems using the CS lens.

Washington County Educator Profile: Mathy Terril

Submitted by Sarah Woog from the The Washington County Consortium. 

Meet Mathy Terrill, Social Studies Teacher, A.P History Teacher, History Department Head, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teaching Fellow, National Honor Society Advisor, Gay Straight Transgendered Alliance Advisor, Student Assistant Team Co-Advisor, Homecoming Coordinator, Varsity Cross Country Coach, Varsity Track and Field Assistant Coach, and Overall Ridiculously Busy and Dedicated Educator at Washington Academy.

Mathy and I met at her home in Machias over the weekend so I could interview her for this profile. I usually come to such interviews with questions prepared, but this time I was stumped. Mathy does EVERYTHING. How could I structure the interview to highlight her deep commitment to education in Washington County without leaving anything out? Truth is, I couldn’t. So I asked her what she is most proud of. She told me two things: her work as a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teaching Fellow, and the Prom Dress Boutique she puts on as advisor for the National Honor Society at Washington Academy.

Mathy has been a United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Teaching Fellow for three years. She goes to Washington, D.C. every summer for a week to connect with other Fellows and gain resources and study practices for teaching the Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Washington Academy and to support other teachers in bringing Genocide Studies lessons to their classrooms. Mathy has shared her work at Harvest of Ideas for the past three years and continues to work with teachers throughout the school year to develop age-appropriate curriculum in an effort to bring these important lessons to students beyond Washington Academy.

The Prom Dress Boutique is an annual event held on a Saturday morning in April each year at Washington Academy and has been covered by many news outlets including the Bangor Daily News, Machias Valley News Observer, and WABI News Channel 5 (here is a story from this years event). Hundreds of dresses have been collected by donation throughout the years and are made available to students to pick from, as are shoes and accessories. Mathy and the National Honor Society set up the cafeteria at Washington Academy as a boutique, complete with dressing rooms, and organize the fantastic inventory on racks by size so area students may come and experience prom shopping without the prohibitive price tag typically associated with such fun.

One of the best things about Mathy is her eagerness to share. Part of her enthusiasm for her work comes from her belief that all our kids deserve the opportunities she brings to Washington Academy. you can reach out to Mathy (m.terrill@raider4life.org) if you’d like to incorporate Genocide Studies into your classroom. Somehow she’ll find the time to help you. She always does.

Employee of the Week: Stacey Bean

Stacey Bean, Maine DOE Contract/Grant Specialist for the Office of Special Services is being highlighted this week as the Maine DOE’s Employee of the Week! Learn a little more about Stacey in this brief question and answer below:

What are your roles with DOE?

I manage various contracts within the special services department of DOE.

What are your roles with DOE?

I really love my team, I work with some great people, all working towards the same goal.

How or why did you decide on this career?

Special education is close to my heart my older sister has special needs and I like being able to help with that in any way. This is why I was interested in the Special Services team.

What do you like to do outside of work for fun?

Outside of work, I love being outdoors. Going for walks and camping with friends and family 😊