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The ACE Blog

A Lesson Worth Remembering

Monday, April 10, 2017 by Conor Fitzpatrick - ACE 22, Brownsville

Lesson Worth Remembering Brian Collier

Something was different as we walked into Dr. Collier’s Social Studies Content class during that first ACE summer. 

"I'm not going away" - Serving by Staying

Thursday, April 06, 2017 by Erica Vesnaver

Serving by Staying

Last week, as ACE teammates from across America gathered together for our annual spring retreat, we were both embraced and pushed by the words of Father Timothy Radcliffe, O.P. Throughout the day, he shared stories and reminders from the Bible, challenging us to think about ways in which we bring hope to the children and families we serve. A week later, we are still doing further reflection on his call to bring hope through praying, singing, and staying.

A National View of Blended Learning in Catholic Schools

Monday, March 20, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Blended Learning in Catholic Schools

Though this blog is primarily focused on the work we do, we also want to highlight some of the most exciting blended-learning implementations in other Catholic schools across the country.

First, a disclaimer: it is exciting to be part of an effort that is gaining momentum virtually every day, but this constant growth makes it impossible to stay up-to-speed on all of the implementations of blended learning in Catholic schools across the nation. Having said that, we hope to highlight some of the most significant advances of blended learning in Catholic schools and to paint a picture of what this space looks like today.

Embracing Flexibility and Freedom with Blended Learning

Monday, March 13, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Mary Kate Veselik Holy Angels

This is the first in a series of posts that will highlight some of our remarkable teachers and share their perspectives on blended learning. Mary Kate serves as the second-grade teacher at Holy Angels Catholic School. You can contact Mary Kate at .

Why Hunger Can be a Good Thing in Your School

Wednesday, March 08, 2017 by Fr. Nate Wills, C.S.C.

Fr. Nate Wills Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program

Feeling hungry is the worst. Like most of us, when I’m hungry, I’m cranky, single-minded, and I usually start talking in caveman/Cookie-Monster-speak: “me want food.” There’s actually some science behind the power of this feeling (happy reading!), and all of us know how all-consuming hunger can be. When you’re hungry, you can think of little else than simply getting food.

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

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

 mg 9592

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.

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