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Dr. Julie Sarama and Dr. Doug Clements’ pre-K math curriculum, Building Blocks, is being implemented throughout New York City. Building Blocks is a part of a $25 million study in New York City, looking at ways to raise educational outcomes for children in poverty. New York Department of Education Deputy Chancellor, Josh Wallack, is expecting Building Blocks to be used by 13,500 children in 750 district and community-based classrooms in the city by fall 2015. An even larger majority of students are expected to be using it within the next three years.

The New York Department of Education will spend $6 million in the coming year on the Building Blocks roll-out. Through the use of puzzles, games, art projects, and songs, teachers will be able to work with preschoolers to help the learn about seeing the world mathematically through numbers, shapes, and patterns. Early math skills are seen as a strong predictor of future school success. The curriculum has shown excellent results in Boston, Buffalo, and Nashville, but teachers must be trained to feel comfortable and competent with the curriculum to effectively facilitate Building Blocks.

If you have a Wall Street Journal account, you can read more about the New York City Building Blocks roll-out here.

Morgridge Curriculum and Instruction professors and Kennedy Institute staff, Dr. Julie Sarama and Dr. Doug Clements, are a part of a team working to advance math and science skills in early childhood learning. With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Dr. Sarama and Dr. Clements have developed the Connect4Learning (C4L) curriculum. Through C4L, preschool students are getting the opportunity to spend more time engaging in fun activities that promote science and math. C4L aims to educate pre-K students with a holistic approach that integrates academics, social and emotional development, and play in the classroom.  A key element to their research is video analysis of the program in action; this allows for program growth and provides ways to create better support for diverse student bodies.

Dr. Sarama and Dr. Clement’s work on C4L has been showcased in a new Science Nation video created by NSF. The video features their work at the All Souls School in Englewood, CO, which has adopted the C4L project. Through the use of sea creatures, pre-K students at All Souls School are learning their numbers and shapes. The highly engaging activities not only promote science and math-based learning, but are also fun for the students.

MCE Grad Starts Twitter Phenomenon: I WISH MY TEACHER KNEW- Photo 2

I Wish My Teacher Knew – Kyle Schwartz

#iwishmyteacherknew (I Wish My Teacher Knew) has become a nationally trending hashtag on twitter and other social media platforms. Kyle Schwartz (@kylemschwartz), a graduate of the Morgridge College of Education’s Denver Teacher Residency program, and third grade teacher, started the Twitter sensation. What began as a simple assignment where students were asked to finish the sentence “I wish my teacher knew…” has garnered the attention of both educators and the national media.

Schwartz’s students at Doull Elementary in Denver wrote such insightful and heartbreaking responses to her question that she began sharing some of them on Twitter. Since the initial posts the hashtag has gone viral and enormous support has been pouring into Denver area schools. The phenomenon has been featured on ABC NewsThe Today ShowThe Washington Post, and many other major media outlets.

There are a number of ways you can help support Denver area schools. Please check out Schwartz’s DonorsChoose.org page, below. You can also visit Denver area Goodwill locations and drop off books for 7News’ Books for Kids initiative.

Donate To donorschoose.org/kylemschwartz Learn About 7News’ Books for Kids initiative

The Morgridge College of Education (MCE) Alumni Board and College of Education Student Association (COESA) hosted the Spring Signature Event on Tuesday, May 5th. The event, which focused on the release of Carrie Morgridge’s new book Every Gift Matters, included a book signing, interview, and student Q&A session.

Carrie Morgridge, Vice President of the Morgridge Family Foundation, sat down with DU Chancellor Rebecca Chopp to discuss the purpose of the book. In Every Gift Matters, Carrie shares stories about the act of giving as a vehicle for positive change. A well-known philanthropist, student advocate, and creator of innovative professional development for teachers, Carrie is a firm believer that “teachers deserve to be treated as professionals.” Her book explains the importance of the phrase “every gift matters” and that teachers can be empowered through small and large donations alike.

The evening included a chance for MCE students to have an intimate discussion with Carrie and Bob Sheets, MCE Alumni board member. During this unique opportunity, students learned about foundation giving and fundraising as they reflected on their own community participation.

The evening concluded with Carrie empowering participants to give back. The Morgridge Family Foundation handed out gift cards to DonorsChoose.org; a site where the donor gets to identify a project that speaks to them and donate to it.

On Friday, May 1st, the Queer & Straight Student Alliance (QSSA) held an official Coming Out celebration at Morgridge, with lots of student support, food, and games.

QSSA is a new student organization established by students for students. The organization has a primary audience of students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Queer/Questioning, and/or Ally (LGBTIQA), but also welcomes all students from the Morgridge College of Education and other DU graduate programs. The student group was initially formed during the 2013-2014 academic year, when then-students Jenna Brownfield and Nick Ota-Wang and current student Sarah Blizzard, identified the need for a student group within the Morgridge College of Education.

The purpose of QSSA is to help create a space for LGBTIQA identified students to meet and connect within the college and have an avenue for dialogue. If you’re interested in attending a QSSA meeting, they will continue to be held every two weeks during the remainder of the Spring Quarter. To learn more about QSSA visit their Facebook page and join the QSSA Facebook group. If you’d like to be in the know about the happenings of QSSA and other LGBITQA student organizations at DU, subscribe to their listserv. QSSA can also be reached via email at mceqssa@gmail.com.

QSSA will soon be recruiting for leadership positions for the 2015-2016 academic year. If you would like to learn more send QSSA an email.

Inspired by  Dan Savage’s YouTube sensation; the It Gets Better Tour is a nationally renowned collaboration between the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, Speak Theater Arts, and the It Gets Better Project. The Morgridge College of Education (MCE) invited the tour to our college to hold several events for MCE community Members, Local Elementary School Students, and the Greater Denver Community.

The week’s events included a morning session with students from the Ricks Center for Gifted Education and MCE Community members. In true Ricks’ spirit, students engaged in an array of difficult discussions about their own experiences with bullying. Discussions were interspersed with musical performances that livened the experience and had many participants clapping along.

Educators from across Denver participated in an evening session which included a panel discussion. Tour members presented counter-bullying techniques like their signature The It Gets Better World Cafe. World Cafés are developed in local, intimate venues, to facilitate  community dialogue which examines the LBGT experience.  Audience members were invited to attend the next Denver Café.

Two big themes included standing up for your peers when you see bullying and the impact that a single teacher can have on a student who is being bullied. MCE and the It Gets Better Tour are united in empowering educators to support children involved in these difficult encounters.

Blizzard 100x100

Sarah Blizzard

The 28th annual National Association of Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP) Conference was held in New Orleans on April 8 – 11. The conference’s purpose is to bring graduate education management (GEM) professionals together to share and gain insight on a range of topics including, admissions policies and processes, career and staff development, graduate student support and financial aid, legal and ethical issues, marketing and recruitment, and student services. The theme of this year’s conference was, GEM Defined, A New Kind of Rhythm.

Morgridge College of Education Admissions Counselor and Higher Education EdD student, Sarah Blizzard, presented at this year’s conference. Her presentation entitled, Identifying Inclusive Admissions Practices for Transgender & Gender Nonconforming Graduate Students, created dialogue around admissions practices for creating inclusive spaces for Trans* and gender nonconforming graduate students, specifically related to language. Sarah’s presentation is extremely timely as many institutions are having conversations around ways to better serve and be more inclusive of non-binary gender identities. As she discussed in her presentation, applications, forms, statements, and policies are most often what prospective students see when inquiring about grad school; “The language we use and the culture(s) we demonstrate can change whether or not someone applies to our institution.”

Importance of language

A slide from Sarah Blizzard’s NAGAP presentation

Language is important and impacts whether or not students feel welcome/safe in our campus environment. To further engage in this conversation or to learn more email Sarah at Sarah.Blizzard@du.edu.

The University of Denver Morgridge College of Education was well represented at the 2015 American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting. This year’s AERA meeting was held April 16-20, in Chicago, IL, with the theme: Toward Justice—Culture, Language, and Heritage in Education Research and Praxis.

With faculty from Child, Family, and School Psychology (CFSP), Higher Education (HED), and Curriculum Studies and Teaching (CST), as well as HED doctoral student Kristin Deal and Project Director at the Kennedy Institute for Educational Success, Doug Van Dine, at the conference, MCE made a great impression on Chicago.  Below is a list of the MCE faculty presentations:

HED Presentations:

  • Weaving Scholarship and Policy Making to Promote Inclusive Excellence in Traditionally White Higher Education Institutions — Dr. Frank Tuitt, Kristin Deal, et al.

 CST Presentations:

  • Black Girls and School Discipline: The Complexities of Being Overrepresented and Understudied Nicole M. Joseph, et al.
  • Blacks’ Mathematics Education before Brown: An Examination of Mathematics Curriculum in Industrial Schools in the Segregated South, 1854 – 1954 — Nicole M. Joseph
  • Which kindergarten Common Core domains are most predictive of later mathematics achievement — Dr. Douglas H. Clements, Dr. Julie Sarama, et al.

CFSP Presentation:

  • Preschool Teachers’ Perceptions of Shared Book Reading Strategies that Promote Content Vocabulary Learning in DLL Children Sharolyn D. Pollard-Durodola, et al.

The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Katherine A. Ruffatto Hall, Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification.  The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED certification is the standard for authenticating a building’s green features.  Katherine A. Ruffatto Hall is the 73,568 square-foot home of the Morgridge College of Education (MCE).  This $21.4 million building, constructed in 2010, offers state-of-the-art facilities for students, faculty, and staff.

The goal of all new construction at the University of Denver is to build to the principles of Sliver LEED standards.  However MCE and its stakeholders wanted to achieve an even higher level of certification.  This week, Katherine A. Ruffatto Hall met that important benchmark, Gold LEED certification.  All building space, both inside and out, were integral components in achieving this certification.  Every area was scrutinized for opportunities to make the building greener.  Some Gold Leed Certification features of the building include; utilizing high performance glass in all windows to reduce UV and infrared transmission in the building; having a building design that allows 93% of all regularly occupied spaces within the building to view the outdoors; water efficient landscaping that reduces water consumption by 50%; recycling stations provided throughout the building; carpeting that meets the requirements of the carpet and rug institute’s “green label plus” program throughout the building;  and low-flow and dual-flush plumbing fixtures that reduce water consumption by 30%.  Attaining Gold LEED certification is a real world application of MCE’s mission to be a force for positive change in the lives of individuals, organizations, and communities, by providing innovative and engaging spaces for learning.

On Thursday April 9th the Morgridge College of Education hosted the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST) Annual Technology Deep Dive. DSST boasts some of the state’s most impressive educational statistics including a 100% acceptance rate to 4-year colleges or universities over the last seven years for all of its graduates.

Attended by educators, MCE Faculty, and community members, the Deep Dive showcased how DSST uses data and technology to build some of Colorado’s most successful schools.  Leaders from DSST presented on many topics including the ways in which DSST faculty and staff use networks, technology, and data environments to empower students, families, teachers, and school leaders.

Join The Alumni Board of The Morgridge College of Education for the Spring Signature Event: A Discussion with Carrie Morgridge, Author of Every Gift Matters and Chancellor Rebecca Chopp, Chancellor of the University of Denver.

Carrie Morgridge is the author of Every Gift Matters and the Vice President of the Morgridge Family Foundation. For the past fifteen years, Carrie and her husband, John, have worked tirelessly to leverage their foundation’s funds, spark innovation, and fuel transformation. She graduated summa cum laude from International Academy of Design and Technology, giving her an edge on design innovation. Carrie is an aggressive athlete, finishing nine ironman competitions. She is recognized nationally for her work as a philanthropist, student advocate, and the creator of innovative professional development for teachers.

The event will feature an interview and Q&A session with Carrie Morgridge and Chancellor Chopp, a reception, and book sales/signing for Every Gift Matters.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Katherine A. Ruffatto Hall

Interested in becoming a librarian, archivist, or information professional? The Morgridge College of Education’s Library and Information Science Program can get you there. In a climate where information and cultural heritage professions are constantly changing, our faculty are focused on keeping pace with the latest technology and trends. Not only do faculty bring a wide array of experience, skills, and innovation, they connect students to the vibrant and engaged community of practitioners in the area.

Information is everywhere. Having a degree in Library and Information Science will open the doors to an almost infinite variety of professions. Technically-minded individuals have opportunities to work in the fields of web design, data curation, digital libraries, or digital archives. Those interested in connecting directly with people can find a place in community outreach, information literacy, youth librarianship, or reference. The career opportunities are limitless.

What Graduates are Doing?

Library & Information Science at a Glance James RogersSenior Special Collection Librarian – James W. Rogers has many responsibilities at the Denver Public Library including managing the daily operations of the Western History/Genealogy Department, photo sales, reference desk, and WHG’s digital strategy.

Library & Information Science at a Glance Chris CoughlanInformation Architect – Chris Coughlan works as an information architect for the digital strategy, design, and development agency Aten Design Group. Aten creates user-centered digital experiences for cause-driven organizations, such as Colorado Public Radio, UC Berkeley, Human Rights Watch, and the World Wildlife Fund.

Library & Information Science at a Glance Maria HuggerProduct Manager, Collection Development – Maria Hugger works for EBSCO Information Services as Product Manager of Collection Development tools, such as the H.W. Wilson Core Collections.

Library & Information Science at a Glance Natlia TingleAssistant Professor – Natalia Tingle is an Assistant Professor at the William M. White Business Library at the University of Colorado Boulder where she serves as a subject specialist for instruction and reference in the business disciplines.

Learn More About the LIS Program

MCE Child, Family, & School Psychology alum, Dr. Melissa Reeves, was recently elected to serve as President of the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) for 2016-17. Dr. Reeves, an adjunct instructor for Winthrop University and a pre K-12 school psychologist, is a two time recipient of the NASP Presidential award (2006 & 2011). She has received numerous other accolades including the NASP Crisis Interest Group Award for Excellence (2007 & 2011), the Cheery Creek School District Golden Heart Award (2006) and the University of Denver, College of Education Leadership in Learning Alumni Award (2006).

Dr. Reeves has conducted more than 200 workshops and presentations and works with schools on establishing a positive and safe school climate that focuses on prevention programs and positive discipline measures to decrease behavioral incidences while increasing academic achievement. As the co-creator of the NASP PPREPaRE School Crisis Prevention and Intervention curriculum, she developed the first nationally disseminated school crisis prevention and intervention curriculum. She is also an accomplished author, having co-authored three books: School Crisis Prevention and Intervention: The PREPaRE Model; Identifying, Assessing, and Treating PTSD at School; and Comprehensive Planning for Safe Learning Environments: A School Professional’s Guide to Integrating Physical and Psychological Safety: Prevention through Recovery, in addition to co-authoring numerous journal articles and book chapters.

We are proud of NASP President, Dr. Melissa Reeves, and all of her accomplishments.

 

Morgridge’s Dr. Douglas H. Clements, Professor in Curriculum Studies and Teaching and Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning at the Kennedy Institute, co-authored the report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth to Age Eight: A Unifying Foundation. The report, released through The Institute of Medicine (IOM) and The National Research Council (NRC), explores the science of child development, focusing specifically on the implications for professionals that work with children birth through age eight. Dr. Clements and his colleagues offer recommendations with a goal of developing a workforce unified through the foundations of the science of child development and early learning. Their research and recommendations promote shared knowledge and skills that are needed to provide consistent, high-quality support for the development and early learning of children from birth through age eight.

Check out the Report

The Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (ELPS) program at the University of Denver’s Morgridge College of Education in partnership with the Daniels College of Business (DCB) has been named by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) as an identified provider for the School Turnaround Leadership Grant Program. The University of Denver Turnaround School Leadership Program is a tiered system of leadership development that includes the ELPS MA program for aspiring turnaround leaders (Turnaround Fellows) and a professional development program (Turnaround Leader Success Program) for existing principals, principal supervisors, district staff, and other stakeholders. Districts, charter schools, and the Charter School Institute can apply to CDE for funding to have eligible teachers, principals, and district staff participate in this comprehensive program that will prepare and support leaders to improve the performance of students in the lowest-performing schools and districts in Colorado.

ELPS, a frequent recipient of national awards and grants for its efforts in innovative and effective school leadership preparation, already provides a foundation for turnaround leadership competencies through the certificate programs: Executive Leadership for Successful Schools (ELSS) and the Ritchie Program for School Leaders (Ritchie). The collaboration with DCB will build on this foundation and deepen competency development for the turnaround environment through the additional coursework of the ELPS MA with a focus on entrepreneurial, re-culturing, business, and innovation leadership. The Turnaround Leader Success Program will provide an additional layer of support for building leadership capacity throughout schools/districts.  The ELPS-MA program is a 2-year, 7-quarter program; students are eligible to apply for CO Principal licensure at the end of their first year. The Turnaround Leader Success Program will be customized to meet the unique needs of participating districts/schools and the work of the Turnaround Fellows.

By increasing partnerships with school districts, charter schools, and the Charter School Institute, the program will focus student learning on the unique needs of low performing schools. Specifically, those of special education, low-income students and their families, and English language learners; developing leaders ready to make a difference in the community.


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