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Progress, Not Perfection: Mid-Year Check-In for Holy Angels

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

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The return from Christmas break brought feelings of nervous excitement for the teachers at Holy Angels and our staff here at ACE. January is a big month for our Notre Dame ACE Academies–and for many other schools across the nation–because students take the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) mid-year assessment. MAP is a widely-respected online assessment that students take three times per year to measure their growth. The test is particularly accurate because it is adaptive, meaning the questions get easier or harder depending on the student’s answers to previous question. At the end, NWEA provides teachers with really specific information about student progress and skills that teachers can use to inform their instruction.

It's Time to Mold Some Clay

Thursday, February 23, 2017 by Bridgette McDermott - ACE 22, Dallas

“What did you do over the long weekend, Miss M?” asks Sarah, one of my fourth-graders, as she hurries into our classroom on Tuesday, February 21. I smile and pause, struggling to find the words to answer her question. Maybe it’s the lack of coffee in my system, but I find myself truly speechless in this moment. My mind begins to wander, reflecting on the beautiful gift of the weekend and the transformative power of the ACE journey.

Individuality and Responsibility in a Blended Classroom

Monday, February 13, 2017 by Sean Wolohan

Sean Wolohan Blended Learning

This post is the first in a series about teaching in a blended classroom written by Sean Wolohan, the fifth- and sixth-grade math and science teacher and Blended Learning Coordinator at Holy Angels Catholic School in Indianapolis. If you would like to hear more from Sean, please comment below or email him at . You can also find him on Twitter @sean_wolohan.

Trabajos de Verano: Summer Jobs

Monday, February 13, 2017 by Christine Frea (ChACE 16)

Each year ChACE teachers get the privilege of chaperoning one of the summer service trips organized for Saint George's high school students, Trabajos de Verano and Misiones. Trabajos de Verano is centered on sharing visions of life and faith through community work, while Misiones focuses on serving the local Church through evangelization. I had the privilege of participating in Trabajos de Verano, in which we traveled to the remote city of Molina, where the economy is sustained by agriculture and livestock. During our two-hour journey, the immense steel skyscrapers of Santiago quickly faded and dusty rural roads, single story homes of the Chilean countryside replaced them.

An Ode to the Life I Never Planned

Friday, February 10, 2017 by Mary Grace Mangano - ACE 22, Chicago

Mary Grace Mangano ACE Teaching Fellows

I didn’t plan on being a teacher. I didn’t plan on being responsible for sixty-four little lives every day. I didn’t plan on working twelve hours or more each day and weekend.

Meeting the Needs of All Students with Grace and Dignity

Thursday, February 09, 2017 by Beth Dunlap, M.Ed.

Meeting the Needs of All Students with Grace and Dignity Beth Dunlap

Are you looking for the skills to inclusively serve ALL students in your classroom?

Have you thought about whether to apply to the Program for Inclusive Education (PIE), but are concerned about managing your time?

Consider this encouragement from Beth Dunlap, M.Ed., a colleague who juggled with grace the many constraints of teaching, life, and graduate work in order to have a profound impact on the lives of her students.

Many thanks to Beth for this contribution, and for her commitment to celebrate the God-given potential of all students. 

Why Holy Angels?

Monday, February 06, 2017 by Fr. Nate Wills, CSC

Why Holy Angels? Fr. Nate Wills

Holy Angels Catholic School is the first whole-school blended learning pilot in a Notre Dame ACE Academy. It is an amazing school with wonderful students, loving families, a rich tradition of Catholic education, and committed teachers. But one question we receive over and over again is “Why Holy Angels?” Why now? Why this Notre Dame ACE Academy? And why blended learning?

Motivating a Hunger for Knowledge, Not Grades

Thursday, February 02, 2017 by Monica Kowalski, Ph.D.

Monica Kowalski Motivation Theory

In the field of educational psychology, experts have many different theories of motivation. One of my favorites is ‘Achievement Goal Theory’. This theory deals with the reasons that people choose to pursue certain tasks, or the types of goals behind their behaviors. Achievement Goal Theory specifies two distinct types of goal orientations: mastery goal orientation and performance goal orientation.

5 Reasons You Should Apply to ACE Teaching Fellows

Monday, January 23, 2017 by Alex Kruszewski

I want to teach in Catholic schools

1. You will be CHALLENGED.

ACE calls our Teaching Fellows to embrace challenge: we are challenged to find ways to reach our students and to help them grow academically while also creating a sense of family in our classrooms and schools. This dual focus on heart and mind might just be the challenge you are looking for! Our ACE Teaching Fellows welcome the challenges of their classrooms and communities, creating opportunities for change with individual students and schools. Read “The Middle School Roller Coaster”, the story of Darby Evans (ACE 22) and her time in an English Language Arts classroom in Fort Worth, Texas. Many of our graduates have also leaned on their ACE experiences to tackle larger issues beyond the individual classroom. Jenny O’Donnell (ACE 16) has helped find new ways for St. Adalbert Catholic School to improve instruction and earn an A grade from the Indiana Department of Education. Read her story ”Seeking Challenge: Using Knowledge to Create Change” to see how the challenge of ACE Teaching Fellows can prepare you for future successes.

Risky Business

Thursday, January 19, 2017 by Katie Bodie, ACE 20 - Corpus Christi

First day of school

During the spring of my second year as an ACE teacher, I interviewed at a school that did not yet exist. I taught my demo lesson to the principal and president instead of students. I toured an elementary school and struggled to picture what it would look like with high school students walking the halls. Although it was difficult to predict what the first year may hold, I was drawn to Cristo Rey Dallas immediately.

Blended Learning and Social Justice

Thursday, January 12, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Notre Dame ACE Academies Higher-Powered Learning Blog

Warning: I was a Philosophy major, and old habits die hard. Please indulge my philosophical musings before we jump into more actionable information.

At the heart of Christianity lies the belief that every human being is created in the image and likeness of God. This central tenet of our faith should influence all of our actions, but we all know there are some instances in which this principle is easier to uphold than others. 

3 Final Lessons from 2016

Thursday, January 05, 2017 by Mary Pullano - ChACE 15; ACE 20 - St. Petersburg

Mary Pullano ChACE 15 Final Lessons from 2016

The end of the year 2016 marks the end of my experience of the ACE in Chile teaching program. I have learned so much! Moving to the southern hemisphere turned most of my preconceptions about the country upside down. I knew that I was signing up for an adventure when I said yes to ChACE, but I had absolutely no idea what unexpected experiences and extraordinary people were ahead of me. I want to highlight some of the “teachable” moments that have helped me to grow as an educator and as a person. 

Creating the Body of Christ

Monday, January 02, 2017 by Will Rigali - ACE 21, Corpus Christi

Will Rigali ACE 21 Corpus Christi ACE Teaching Fellows

Three months before my 22nd birthday, I did something that I always aspired to do: I earned a degree from my dream school, the University of Notre Dame. I was full of energy, full of life, and full of myself. It is an accomplishment that I will cherish until my very last breath. In those four years, I spent a great deal of time focusing on myself as I worked to become a polished young professional ready to enter the stratosphere of millennial society.

If I Could, I'd Still Choose You

Monday, December 19, 2016 by Theresa Steinmeyer - ACE 23, Tampa


Eight months after resolving to move back home to Chicago after college, I’m standing with one of my community members in front of a fourteen-foot plastic alligator at an official Florida Welcome Center rest stop. Over the past day and a half, we’ve driven through three states I’ve never seen before, cycled through the soundtracks of half a dozen musicals, and survived our first dinner at Waffle House. And yet, the most intimidating encounter is still a week away: our first First Day of School, when I’ll meet the 140 sophomores and juniors listed on my rosters.

What is Higher-Powered Learning? - Part 2

Saturday, December 17, 2016 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Learning Blog Notre Dame ACE Academies

So now you have met the team behind Higher-Powered Learning (HPL), but you may still be wondering, “what is Higher-Powered Learning?” If you’re reading this post, you probably understand the reference to the “higher power.” We used it in our name to communicate our primary commitment to “the art of leading the young to wholeness, in the image of Jesus Christ” (Blessed Basil Moreau, C.S.C.). 

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