Partnership News
October 2014
In This Issue
Partnership Update
Featured Resource
Educator Lessons
Opportunities for Educators
Quick Links

 

The spaces where education takes place in our Valley are alive with activity this fall. We highlight a few of these places--and the people in them who make education happen--in this month's newsletter. From Museums10 to the Computer Science Society of Mount Holyoke College to the Western Massachusetts Mathemathics Partnership to the schools themselves, educators and learners come together in varied circumstances to create challenge and foster discovery. I hope you enjoy reading about them. Feel free to contact me with any comments or ideas.   

 

All the best,
Marla Solomon
Director, Five College Partnership Programs
413-542-4018 
Photo by Joe Smith
Partnership Update 
The Western Massachusetts Math Partnership (WMMP) launched three new professional learning communities (PLCs) on algebraic thinking this fall, one each in Amherst, Easthampton, and a new WMMP PLC location, Westfield. 90 educators from 16 school districts are participating. Each PLC is facilitated by a trio of educators representing the elementary, secondary, and post-secondary grade levels. We received news in August that our NSF proposal for a five-year project was not funded, but the WMMP's on-going work is clearly valuable to the region's educators. This fall, the PLCs are made possible by a contribution from the Five College Consortium matched to a per-teacher fee contributed by school districts. Many thanks to the school district administrators supporting this work. The WMMP is now working on a new funding proposal and long-term partners remain committed. If you are interested in participating in a future WMMP PLC or receiving WMMP news, join the WMMP listserv
 
Five Colleges has received $180,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities for our second NEH Summer Institute for Teachers on Native American history, Native Americans of New England: A Historical Overview. University of Massachusetts Amherst historian Alice Nash is directing the project, which will bring primary and secondary school teachers from around the country to Amherst July 6-24, 2015. During the three-week institute, participants examine the history of Native American peoples in New England from before the onset of European colonization through the present day, discovering how the past and the present are linked. The Institute is particularly suited for History and Social Studies teachers but all teachers are welcome to apply. Visit the project website for more information and to apply. Please feel free to recommend the program to colleagues. Application deadline is March 2, 2015.

Save the date! On March 5, 2015, Five College Partnership Programs will host the first in a series of Education Policy Dialogues. The purpose of the Dialogue series is to bring the Five College community and our region's K-12 educators together to dive deeply into current issues and policies in K-12 education. On March 5, Pasi Sahlberg, author of Finnish Lessons, and Maria Jos´┐Ż Botelho, Associate Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture, College of Education, UMass Amherst, will facilitate a conversation among educators, students, community members, and researchers focused on equity in our schools. If you are interested in helping plan this event or to suggest questions for future Dialogues, please contact Marla. Check the Partnership's webpage in January for more specifics.  
 
The Partnership is working with MassPoetry and poets and poetry faculty members in the Five Colleges to help bring a regional Student Day of Poetry to western Massachusetts in December 2015. If you are interested in having your school or class participate, contact MassPoetry. If you'd like to help plan the event, contact Marla. Stay tuned for more information in future newsletters.
Featured Resource 
Museums10
In a region nationally known for its educational resources, the Museums10 collaborative fosters lifelong learning through
art, culture, science and history. Together, the ten museums offer diverse exhibitions, collections and programs that empower people of all ages and backgrounds to better understand themselves and the world around them.

The Museums10 educators' group, each educator bringing the special expertise of his or her museum, works extensively with K-12 teachers and schools to help teachers take advantage of the museum collections for core curriculum development and student research. Since August 2014, for example, the Museums10 educators have been supporting the Amherst-Pelham Regional School District's (ARPS) Integrated Arts Initiative (AIAI).

The Amherst Integrated Arts Initiative,
which includes visual, literary, performing, movement/kinesthetic and technical arts, is an approach to teaching in which students demonstrate understanding through interdisciplinary experiences. Museums10 educators are helping to broaden the scope of interdisciplinary learning experiences the teachers are able to provide through workshops where classroom and specialist teachers connect with specific museums to develop curricular projects utilizing arts resources. John Bechtold, director of performing arts for ARPS, and Michael Morris, assistant superintendent, are leading the AIAI for the Amherst schools.

To contact a museum educator or to investigate Museums10 educational resources, click here.  
Educator Lessons

In this issue, we celebrate the collaboration between the computer science students of Audrey Lee-St. John and a middle school computer science teacher, Lisa Manzi. Dr. St. John is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at Mount Holyoke College (MHC). Nerdscholar named Audrey one of "40 under 40" outstanding educators with these words about her career: "St. John began teaching computer science at Mount Holyoke six years ago after earning her Ph.D. from UMass Amherst. She is heavily involved with students and the campus community, having led programming marathon sessions in video game design and wearable electronics. 'The spark of excitement that I see in a student's eyes,' Audrey says, 'inspires me to be the best teacher, advisor, and mentor that I can be.' "  

 

The Computer Science Society (CCSoc) of Mount Holyoke College, for which Audrey has served as advisor, is actively reaching out to K-12 students and teachers. According to its website, CCSoc "strives to academically, professionally, and socially support current and prospective computer science students and to promote computer science and engineering on campus, in the Five College consortium and in the surrounding South Hadley community." As a recent example of the Society's work, MHC student Eva Snyder reached out to Lisa Manzi, computer science and technology educator at Michael E. Smith Middle School in South Hadley, MA. Lisa, a computer science enthusiast and teacher with an active website on computer science to help both students and parents learn, is always searching for new ways to improve her students' understanding and love of technology, and to develop their skills in using and creating it. Eva, along with two other MHC CS students, Shani Mensing and Alyx Burns, facilitated a session with Lisa's eighth graders on creating a light-up electrical circuit greeting card. "The kids really enjoyed it," says Lisa.  

 

The collaboration among Dr. St. John, her students, and Ms. Manzi is of course only one of many examples of cross-generational collaboration going on in the Five Colleges and their communities, sparking the interest of young people in their possible futures as innovators, professionals, and scholars. Thank you, Eva, Shani, Alyx, Lisa, and Audrey, for your important contributions.

Opportunities for Educators
 
The Springfield Public Schools has immediate openings for licensed and experienced ESOL teachers to join their team. For more information, contact Lucy Perez.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Massachusetts is seeking a creative and enthusiastic curator to champion the Museum's strong and growing exhibition and collections program. The ideal candidate will bring passion, energy, scholarship, and a spirit of collaboration to this young and vibrant institution, the only full-scale museum in the U.S. dedicated to the vast world of children's book art. For more information and to apply, click here. 
 
Come out on November 3, 2014 from 4:00pm-5:30pm at Holyoke Community CollegeKittredge Center, for a round table discussion regarding diversity in STEM. For more information and to RSVP, contact Marie Silver
 
On November 13, 2014, at the University of Massachusetts, Dr. Angela Valenzuela will give a talk on University-School-Community Relations: Doing Transformative Work through Impactful Partnerships. She will share her work in the field of helping universities to find ways to work in and with communities as part of a social justice agenda for school and community transformation. A meet and greet will be held at 5:30pm for K-12 teachers and administrators and other interested in college-community partnerships, followed by Dr. Valenzuela's lecture at 6:15pm at the UMass Campus Center. For more information, contact 
Korina Jocson.

Enchanted Circle Theater, in partnership with the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, presents an Institute for Arts Integration (IAI) Workshop Series, for K-5 educators as well as art and music teachers to come learn arts integration techniques that engage students in content learning, and boost their creative and critical thinking skills. Series takes place Sundays November 16, 2014, January 11 and March 15, 2015. Apply by October 31 by clicking here

The UMass Amherst History Department's is proud to announce this year's Feinberg Family Distinguished Lecture Series. The 2014-2015 theme for this endowed biennial lecture series on pressing social issues is Migration Matters: Rethinking Immigration in the Modern Americas. For more information on the series, click here.

  

The UMass STEM Ed program is holding a Saturday seminar series for Science and Engineering during the Spring of 2015. Questions? Email Mort Sternheim. To register, click here.

 

Send relevant announcements of opportunities for educators for this newsletter to Marla Solomon.