Hello from Southeast Iowa!

Summer has been a super busy time for the Great Prairie Region of Iowa.  The AEA has provided many great opportunities for learning and professional development.  Between Number Talks, using Kathy Richardson Developing Number Concepts materials, using Michael Battista Cognition-Based Assessment and Teaching materials, and the SOAR Fraction training, many area teachers are excited and ready to tackle the challenges of teaching Math in the fall.   

There are also several upcoming chances for professional growth in the area of Math coming this fall for teachers, coaches, and administrators in the Great Prairie Region.  Nationally known author Eric Jensen will be presenting October 15 and 16.  Dr. Jensen is an expert on the topics of brain-based learning and students in poverty. His presentation at the AEA this fall will be on Students in Poverty.

The GPAEA will be conducting training for SOAR Fraction Diagnosis and Intervention on Oct 25 and 26 in Burlington and January 14 and 15 in Ottumwa. There will be a cost of $20 per person to pay for the binder of materials.

Mike Mattos will be at the GPAEA on October 23rd.  Mike Mattos is an internationally recognized author, presenter, and practitioner who specializes in uniting teachers, administrators, and support staff to transform schools by implementing response to intervention (RTI) and professional learning communities (PLC’s).  Educators who have attended Solution Tree PLC trainings will remember his inspirational and motivational message.

With the continuation of Teacher Leadership in Iowa, many of our area schools are working together to advance their knowledge and skills on Coaching Cycles.  Julie Wright with Diane Sweeney Student-Centered Coaching will be spending time observing and coaching the area coaches.  This feedback really helps the coaches grow in their leadership capacity and be even more of an asset to the staff in their home districts.

As a new member of the ICTM Board, I am excited to get to meet and work with so many outstanding educators in the Great Prairie Region and beyond.  I look forward to bringing all this knowledge back to my home district of Fort Madison where I am entering my 3rd year as a K-12 Math Instructional Coach and my 26th year as a Math educator.  Be sure to come by and see my session Using Three-Act Tasks in the Math Classroom at the ICTM Conference in October.  Follow me on Twitter @jayyouelleyeee or contact me at julie.yurko@fmcsd.org.  

                                                                        —Julie Yurko