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Gathering Doesn’t Have to Be Gourmet

Tuesday, February 05, 2019 by By: Shawn Hall, ACE 24 - Indianapolis

Shawn Hall - ACE 24 Community Indianapolis

Cooking has been a source of joy throughout my life. While cooking feels like a daunting task to many, I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home where I learned my way around the kitchen. At an early age, I picked up the fundamentals of cooking from my dad, and we still enjoy cooking together when I am home. When I learned that community dinners would be an essential part of the ACE experience, I saw this as another stepping stone on my path toward culinary greatness. Teaching middle school math and science would just be my day job (just kidding, Sister Gail).

In-Sites for Inclusion: Better than Pinterest!

Thursday, January 31, 2019 by Christine Bonfiglio, Ph.D.

The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) advocates for best practices in meeting the needs of all learners. With many resources available at the click of a mouse, PIE encourages you to look for and implement frameworks, strategies, and interventions that are backed by research and proven to be effective. The following resource provides a synthesis of websites featuring evidence-based practices. It is PIE’s gift to you for 2019. Many thanks to my national colleagues and members of the PIE faculty for their combined authorship on this resource: Dr. Michael Faggella-Luby of Texas Christian University and Dr. Sean J. Smith of the University of Kansas.

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

4 Keys to Giving Great Feedback

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

4 Keys for Great Feedback

Frequent, specific feedback is shown to be one of the most powerful ways to improve teacher instructional practice and, ultimately, student growth. But what does helpful, growth-promoting feedback look like? The best feedback conferences are framed as comfortable, open conversations. This shouldn’t come as a surprise: when you are confiding in a friend or someone you are comfortable with, you allow yourself to be vulnerable and open to advice. According to Bracken and Rose's 2005 book, When Does 360-Degree Feedback Create Behavior Change? And How Would We Know It When It Does?, great feedback should have the following characteristics:

The Infamous “What Should I Do with My Life?” Question

Monday, January 28, 2019 by Maggie Blake - ACE 24, Washington, DC

What Should I Do With My Life? Maggie Blake

“What should I do with my life?”

I've faced this question at two particular moments in the last few years. The first time I approached this question was during the semester that I spent studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland. One day, on a train ride to a town in the west of Ireland, I got an email that set off little alarm bells in my brain: “Apply for the ACE Internship & Early Admission!” I deleted the email immediately. My sister had been a member of ACE 21 and I had seen just how challenging the ACE experience was for her. Why would I voluntarily choose to go through two years of challenge and stress?

Higher-Powered Feedback

Monday, January 14, 2019

Higher-Powered Feedback

Most teachers know the critical importance of feedback in the classroom. Regular feedback delivered in dialogue with students has been shown to be one of the most powerful ways to improve student learning (and we’ve written about how blended learning enables students to receive more frequent feedback here). In the Higher-Powered Learning Program, the teachers are our students, and we apply many of the same principles of student learning to these teachers’ professional development.

A Small Wonder

Thursday, December 20, 2018 by By: Jackie Winsch, ACE 24 - Philadelphia

Jackie Winsch - A Small Wonder - ACE Teaching Fellows Philadelphia

“A small wonder where minds soar and hearts touch.”

Just before you reach Saint Laurentius School's vibrant blue and yellow school door, these words greet you on a sign outside the school. A local school in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia, Saint Laurentius's 125-year history continues to fuel a changing and evolving geographical area with tradition, community, and faith-filled education.

December Retreat 2018: A Photo Essay

Thursday, December 13, 2018

December Retreat 2018 Photo Essay

Each year, ACE teachers gather in Mable Falls, Texas, for our annual December Retreat. December Retreat serves as a weekend of rest, reunion, prayer, and celebration. This year’s December Retreat theme, “Disciples with Hope to Bring”, draws from the Constitutions of the Congregation of Holy Cross.

12 Days of Christmas for Inclusion

Monday, December 10, 2018 by Christine Bonfiglio, Ph.D.

In the season of giving, the Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) would like to propose the following gift ideas for your students. If you follow the traditional 12 days of giving, your students will experience an inclusive classroom all throughout the year. PIE has linked one popular resource with each of the 12 days of Christmas. Wishing you peace and joy this holy season!

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


Monday, December 10, 2018

Higher-Powered Learning For the Kids

One of the ACE Teaching Fellows’ favorite sayings is “FTK,” which stands for “for the kids.” Everything we do, we do on behalf of the students we serve. So how is the Higher-Powered Learning Program impacting students?

Leader Feature: Bridget Kramer

Monday, November 26, 2018

Higher-Powered Learning Program Bridget Kramer

In the few short months we have known Bridget Kramer, we have seen her take full ownership as she leads a new initiative while remaining steadfast in her commitment to all of her other responsibilities as the leader of a beautiful school. Learn more about the key steps Bridget has taken to advance the Higher-Powered Learning Program and cultivate a positive school community for teachers, parents, and students in today’s post.

The Blessings of Being a "Volleyball Aunt"

Thursday, November 15, 2018 by By: Dana Deradoorian - ACE 24, Tucson

Dana Deradoorian ACE 24 Tucson Volleyball Aunt


The volleyball players on the court shout and roar, the substitute players repeat with equal gusto, and finally the crowd in the stands echo the cheer one last time. Another perfect serve, another ace, another point for the St. Augustine Wolves!

3 Ways Your Small-Group Instruction May Be Failing

Monday, November 12, 2018

3 Ways Your Small-Group Instruction May Be Failing - Higher-Powered Learning

In recent years, small-group instruction has become one of the hottest topics of education. Because blended learning enables small-group instruction, it is extremely important to us. Many people assume that a lower student-to-teacher ratio automatically leads to higher quality instruction, which leads to more effectively meeting students’ needs. But is that really the case?

Saints and Scholars Welcome

Tuesday, November 06, 2018 by Kitty Harrington, ACE 24 - Mission

Kitty Harrington Saints and Sinners

When you enter the fourth-grade classroom at St. Joseph School in Edinburg, Texas, the first thing you’re likely to notice is a large sign that reads “Saints and Scholars Welcome.” This sign, along with the bunting around the room that is covered in images of canonized saints, serves as a reminder–a reminder not just to the nine-year-olds who arrive each morning, but also to me as their teacher: the purpose of this sacred place is greater than we realize, and we are not alone on our journey to fulfill this purpose. We look to the saints as role models throughout the year, and in religion class we learn their life stories: laughing at their misadventures, crying for their tragedies, and wincing at each lost limb.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving for PIE

Monday, November 05, 2018 by Amy Matzke & Jessica Gardella - Lourdes Academy, Daytona, FL (PIE 1)

PIE Thanksgiving Prayer

The Program for Inclusive Education (PIE) is grateful for the many educators that work tirelessly on behalf of all students in Catholic schools. During this season of Thanksgiving, we ask for many blessings upon our inclusive educators and the students, schools, and communities they serve. We extend a special thanks to PIE 1 completers Amy Matzke and Jessica Gardella for their guest authorship and moreover, their dedication to our shared mission to welcome, serve, and celebrate all students!

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

Teacher Feature: Rachael Hillman

Monday, October 29, 2018

Rachael Hillman Higher-Powered Learning

We are thrilled to feature for the very first time a classroom from one of the Higher-Powered Learning Program schools in Minnesota! Read on to learn more about one of the most innovative classrooms in the program and what Rachael Hillman has learned in her first few months of blended learning.

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