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"Why is This Model of Learning Not Standard Across the Nation?"

Monday, February 05, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Trustey STEM Teaching Fellows RISE Summit

I recently had the privilege of joining my colleagues from the Notre Dame Center for STEM Education for the third annual RISE Summit in Palo Alto, California. The RISE Summit is an opportunity for Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows–some of the nation’s most outstanding STEM teachers who take part in a multiyear professional development program through the Center–to gather, reflect, collaborate, and grow. As if a trip to California in January was not enough on its own, I was overjoyed by the enthusiasm, curiosity, and determination of the 56 Fellows. I learned so much from these outstanding teachers throughout our short workshop on blended learning, and I wanted to share one of the most important takeaways and one of the most interesting discussions from our session.

Program for Inclusive Education: Why You Should Apply

Monday, February 05, 2018 by The PIE Team

Program for Inclusive Education - Why You Should Apply

It’s early February...that time of year when you are in the thick of teaching, thinking about the content you still need to cover and ensuring all students make sufficient progress. Maybe you are asking...what’s next? The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) offers professional development in meeting the needs of ALL students in your Catholic school classroom!

Why ACE? 7 Reasons, Factors, and Motivators

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 by Caroline Rooney, ACE 25 Intern

Caroline Rooney Why ACE? 7 Reasons, Factors, and Motivators

Entering into a new community can be an intimidating experience. But sitting in ACE Chaplain Father Joe Carey’s family room at the beginning of the year, I felt at home with the other ACE Interns as we talked about our discernment processes. Talking to FJ, surrounded by my incredible classmates and ACE community leaders—some I knew and some I had just met— we all laughed, listened, and spoke with one another as if we had been long-time friends. I vividly remember feeling so profoundly struck by each person’s vocational journey that guided them to say “yes” to ACE. Inspired by that night and the passionate responses of my ACE community members, I came up with the seven (my lucky number) reasons, factors, and motivators that guided my vocational discernment:

Blended Learning: "The Right Thing for Your Students"

Monday, January 22, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

ACE 23 Maggie Schmid Blended Learning The Right Thing for Your Students

It’s pretty common for teachers to assure us that they are doing blended learning, only for us to quickly discover that they are really just using technology in their classroom without actually changing the way students learn. It is far less common, however, for teachers to accidentally implement blended learning without doing so intentionally – but that is exactly what happened for the star of today’s post, Maggie Schmid.

8 Resolutions for the 2018 Inclusive Classroom

Thursday, January 11, 2018 by Dr. Sean J. Smith - Faculty, Program for Inclusive Education

8 Resolutions in 2018 for the Inclusive Classroom

As 2018 begins, resolutions abound of healthier eating, less spending, and more family time. I’m sure we have all made one or two for the new year. In light of resolutions, the Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) would like to offer eight strategies and tips for teachers to make inclusion in your classrooms possible: 8 Resolutions for the 2018 Inclusive Classroom. Dr. Sean J. Smith from the University of Kansas is a professor and researcher of special education and a member of the PIE faculty team. He provides insightful and practical ways to ensure success for ALL students, including those who struggle and/or are diagnosed with differences. Many thanks to Dr. Smith for his contribution and blessings to you and your schools for 2018!

~Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.; Director of the Program for Inclusive Education

Exciting News for the Higher-Powered Learning Team

Monday, January 08, 2018 by Elizabeth Anthony

Higher-Powered Learning to Minneapolis

Our blended-learning team is absolutely thrilled to announce our new partnership with the GHR Foundation to implement blended-learning programs in schools in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis! We have been contemplating expanding our work outside of the Notre Dame ACE Academies for some time now, and we could not resist the opportunity to work with the amazing GHR team (and in Fr. Nate’s hometown, no less!).

Gracias por todo, Chile. Regresaré.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Brittany Borman, ChACE 16

Today was our last day with students of the school year. They frantically scribbled their answers on their last final exam of the year (Lenguaje, or Spanish Language, in the case of the 8th graders whose test I was proctoring). One by one, the students in my classroom finished their tests, turned them in, and left the room. Several students left with a sigh of relief, some with shouts of “Terminé!” and one boy even walked out singing his own personal theme song. By finishing that exam, the 8th graders had closed a chapter of their lives. Done with 8th grade, done with middle school, now they were looking forward to the future.

Every Child Deserves to be Welcomed, Served, and Celebrated

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Christie Bonfiglio, Ph.D.

Program for Inclusive EducationPhoto Credit: Beth Foraker, National Catholic Board on Full Inclusion

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

As 2017 draws to a close, I am reminded of this passage from the Gospel of Matthew. The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) has had an invigorating 2017, traveling the country and partnering with Catholic schools to pursue the mission of inclusive education. Our work has just begun, and PIE continues to ask, seek, and knock on behalf of ALL students.

How to Measure Success Without Academic Achievement

Monday, December 11, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

This piece was originally published by EdSurge on November 22, 2017.

EdSurge How to Measure Success Without Academic Achievement

The question of how to measure success in life is one typically left to philosophy classes or late nights at the bar. It is a complex, perhaps unanswerable question. In the words of the cast of Rent, how do you measure a life?

A Personalized Path to Long-Term Learning Goals

Monday, November 27, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Meaghan Crowley Sullivan Blended Learning

This blog tells the stories of many teachers who have taught in traditional classrooms for years (as many as 36!) before transitioning to the blended-learning model. This transition is often fraught with concerns and challenges that were not part of the classrooms of the past: how can all of my students be working on different things? Can first graders really learn on their own? And what will happen to my role as the teacher?

We Can Do Hard Things with Great Joy

Monday, November 20, 2017 by Lindsay Will, M.Ed.

We Can Do Hard Things with Joy

Joy is very infectious; therefore always be full of joy!
- Mother Teresa

There are a lot of scary things going on today in our world. One thing after another can shake us to our core and make us fear for our children growing up in today’s conditions. Simply watching the news can evoke such sad feelings, making us question our contributions to the world and how they’re helping to solve all of these problems that exist. Seeking clarity and joy in a world that seems so full of pain, I began reading The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

Alec Torigian: No More Tears

Tuesday, November 14, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Alec Torigian Blended Learning

When I emailed ACE legend Alec Torigian to ask if I could feature him in a blog post, this was his response:

“I am so not a model of successful or smooth blending of learning at this point, but if you want the vantage point of a dude who randomly tried because he knew his kids deserved it and plans to get much better, then I'm in.”

Collecting Hope in the Wake of Hurricane Harvey

Wednesday, November 08, 2017 by Amanda Walsh - ACE 23, New Orleans

Amanda Walsh Collecting Hope Hurricane Harvey

When my second graders at St. Joan of Arc School in New Orleans heard about Hurricane Harvey, the news struck them particularly hard. Many of them have relatives in Houston, and the images of the flooding and destruction were difficult to comprehend. After my principal asked our classrooms to figure out how we could help, we decided that we wanted to do something besides hosting a classroom food drive. We created a community action plan, which included asking not just our friends and family members for donations, but also asking our neighbors.

If It Ain't Broke...Go Blended?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Melodie Wyttenbach Nativity

Most of us have heard the tales about Catholic schools with low enrollment and poor academic performance that adopt blended learning as a final effort to remain open and offer a high-quality education to more students. But we don’t often hear about schools that already have high-performing, full classrooms and challenge themselves to innovate. In fact, it is easy to understand why the leader of such a school might think, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Breaking the Blended Learning Rules

Monday, October 16, 2017 by Elizabeth Anthony

Breaking the Blended Learning Rules

When we design professional development sessions, trainings, or classes, we always toe the very delicate line between (1) making blended learning seem very simple by presenting a limited view, and (2) totally overwhelming the participants by presenting every possible iteration of the annoyingly broad term, “blended learning.” We try to help teachers adopt a specific approach to blended learning that we believe maximizes student learning and enhances the human dignity of both students and teachers without boxing the teachers into a single model.

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