Friday, September 28, 2018

Iowa Teacher Softchalk Lessons Chosen as Lesson of the Week

Congratulations to Doug Mossengren, high school Science teacher from Van Buren Schools  and Wendy Arch, high school  Language Arts teacher from Indianola High School whose Softchalk lessons were chosen as Softchalk's Lesson of the Week.

Each week Softchalk selects a stand out, top notch, lesson from SoftChalk Share and features it across their social media platforms. SoftChalk Share is an Open Education Resource (OER), learning object repository with thousands of free learning materials created by educators.

In Dougs's lesson, "Species Concept", students learn about different species concepts including ecological, evolutionary and phylogenetic. They also learn about the issues with the various concepts and why we don't know the exact number of spec.  See Dougs's Lesson:

Wendy's lesson, "Figurative Language Review", discusses how authors use figurative language to reveal the hidden meanings embedded in the words and phrases used to write their stories. Students learn to define and identify examples of similes, metaphors, personification, imagery, and symbolism..  See Wendy's lesson:


Doug and Wendy learned how to use Softchalk and best practices about lesson design in the Blending/Flipping Your Classroom Cohort professional development. Learn more about this professional development at ( 

Softchalk is available at no cost to Iowa teachers teaching in the State of Iowa. If you are interested in learning more about this tool and getting access to it, contact us via email:, or

Monday, September 17, 2018

Learn how to blend, flip or move your content online

AEA Learning online in conjunction with other AEAs across the State has been offering the Blend Flip Cohort containing 4 courses  on how to transform your classroom to add online learning. These courses for license renewal credit  and graduate credit are meant to deepen your learning around blended and flipped classroom models.  These courses looks at specific examples of blended learning and key components of teaching in such a manner.  Throughout all of the coursework, directions are available in an online platform. This is not about a specific Learning Management System (LMS) but instead about the pedagogical changes and tools needed to blend or flip your content in a rigorous and relevant way.

The four courses are: 
  1. Blending/ Flipping Your Classroom 1: Introduction
  2. Blending/Flipping 2- Blended Instruction
  3. Blending/Flipping Your Classroom 3: Designing Online Lessons
  4. Blending/Flipping 4: Activities and Assessment
To  learn more about the cohort check out this website:   

BF Course 1 is currently schedule at Heartland for 1 license renewal credit October 24, November 15, and December 5 2018. Sign up or find out more. 

BF Course 1 is currently schedule at Heartland for 1 license renewal credit at  Keystone AEA held at Dubuque Oct 27, Nov 2 and Nov 10 2018  Sign up of find out more.

Other beginning courses will be offered Statewide, as they are scheduled the link will be on the website listed above.

If you have questions or comments please contact Denise Krefting or Melissa Wicklund

Iowa Story: Glibert Teacher Blends His MS Technology Classroom

Hear from Troy Staudt, middle school technology teacher at Gilbert Middle School in Gilbert, IA as he talks about his blended learning classrooms. Troy will share why he went this route, what the benefits for students were, and his suggestions to teachers trying this for the first time.

We would LOVE to share your story. If you would like to be interviewed for the Iowa Story of Online, Blended or Flipped Classrooms please contact us.   We have several other teacher video of those who have volunteered to contribute. They can be found on in our Google Community with the filter "Blended Videos from Iowa Teachers.

If you are interested in learning more about professional development for blended learning, here is the information on AEA Online's Blended Learning Cohort.   

6th-8th Grade Illustrative Mathematics from Open Up Resources on Student Personalized Learning System

We are excited to share with you that the content from Open Up Resources 6th grade through 8th Grade Illustrative Mathematics has been added to AEA Learning Online's Student Personalized Learning System ( ).  The content comes from Open Up Resources ( and is available for teachers to use with their students.  

In a problem-based curriculum, students work on carefully crafted and sequenced mathematics problems during most of the instructional time. A typical lesson in Illustrative Mathematics has four phases:

  1. A warm-up
  2. One or more instructional activities
  3. The lesson synthesis
  4. A cool-down
Four instructional routines frequently used in warm-ups are Number Talks, Notice and Wonder, Which One Doesn’t Belong, and True or False. Selected activities are structured using Five Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematical Discussions (Smith & Stein, 2011), also described in Principles to Actions: Ensuring Mathematical Success for All (NCTM, 2014), and Intentional Talk: How to Structure and Lead Productive Mathematical Discussions (Kazemi & Hintz, 2014). 

Teachers can view the content by:
1) Going to the Student Personalized Learning System (
2) Log in with your username and password that you use in the teacher training system ( )
3) Click on Catalog
4) Click on Math and the Statewide Tab
5) Scroll down to Statewide Module to see the individual modules. Click on the far right icon from the module name to preview. There is also a  Statewide Learning Opportunity that contains all of the modules that can be assigned to students at the bottom of the page.
These modules are a compilation of the students resources, teacher resources (introductions, activity synthesis, lesson synthesis, cool down, etc) and audio for each page. The interactives are directly embedded, there are activities that the teacher has the option to grade in the system, glossary items are directly embedded in the work and more. 

If you wish to use these modules with students please contact Denise Krefting (   or Melissa Wicklund (