Jennifer Miller-Ray, PhD. is a cognitive scientist, curriculum designer and learning expert specializing in literacy, STEM K-12 integration initiatives, makerspace instructional design, pedagogy, and digital resources. Currently, she serves as an assistant professor in reading in the College of Education at Sul Ross State University. She has designed literacy and makerspace events for NASA launch parties held at the Kennedy space center, NASA STEM camps, and for the Perot Museum. Dr. Miller has received multiple NASA, state, and community grants to fund STEM research programs. In addition, Dr. Miller has developed two Massive Open Online Courses through Canvas's Open Network highlighting NASA MMS Education Outreach programs. Dr. Miller has successfully implemented research initiatives to study student attitudes and perspectives during STEAM camp and in a middle school robotics program the last three years with the University of North Texas. Dr. Miller's research centers around a makerspace project-based learning model in which elementary and middle school students connect curriculum content to informal makerspace activities to make an artifact serving the career role of a journalist, scientist, engineer, or journalist. Recently, her dissertation initiatives, funded through a NASA grant and local library public school program, were highlighted as the innovative research project in the University of North Texas's January 2017 RESEARCH magazine.
Hello! My name is Ashley Halfmann and I am currently a 2nd grade
teacher for San Angelo ISD. This is my 9th year in education
and I have served my district in many
capacities. I have taught Kindergarten, 1st grade, and 4th and 5th grade
English Language Arts (ELA). I graduated in 2010 from Angelo State
University with a Bachelor in Science in Interdisciplinary Studies and in 2018
from Sul Ross State University with a Master of Education in Reading
I have a passion for literacy and have served on many English
Language Arts PLCs and mentor committees. I was involved in Teaching for
Learning curriculum writing, in which, I developed 4th grade ELA
curriculum. I also participate in a summer reading program that supports
and strengthens reading skills of low socioeconomic children. I was awarded Teacher of the
Year in 2016.
As a former writing teacher, I have learned the value of strong writing instruction. This begins with simply allowing your students to write daily. A favorite activity comes from Corbett Harrison called “Sacred Writing Time”. This is a short ten minute part of the day that becomes one of the most important. This time allows students to freely write and draw about anything on their mind. A set block of writing time builds writing fluency, challenges students to be creative and express their ideas in unique ways, and is a great time to practice skills and strategies discussed in writing mini-lessons. Building confident writers in elementary classrooms paves the way for life-long writers!
Waco, Texas– Education Service Center (ESC) Region 12 is proud to announce an exciting new partnership with Sul Ross State University (SRSU), offering students participating in the ESC Region 12 Master Reading Teacher (MRT) certification program the opportunity to apply the practicum and observation components of the program as credit toward SRSU’s Master of Education Reading Specialist Degree program. Participants of the MRT program are also eligible to enroll in SRSU’s M.ED. Reading online at a reduced rate. The partnership will go into effect immediately, allowing students to enroll at Sul Ross as early as the Fall 2018 semester.
“We’re thrilled to offer an opportunity for our MRT students to receive credit toward a master’s degree,” said Denise Bell, education specialist at ESC Region 12 and facilitator of the center’s MRT program. “We’ve long received feedback from participants and program evaluators that the practicum course work is as rigorous as that of college degree programs, so this partnership is really a hard-earned acknowledgement of the work our students have been doing.”
The Master of Education Reading Specialist Degree program at Sul Ross is offered completely online, accommodating the schedules of working professionals and eliminating commute times for educators within Region 12. “We are looking forward to working with SRSU to provide a collaborative network for literacy leadership,” said Dr. Jerry Maze, executive director of ESC Region 12. “We believe this research-based partnership will assist in building a new frontier of literacy in a digital age.”
The reading specialist program addresses reading instruction, the implementation of reading instruction, reading assessment, and language acquisition. Students who successfully complete the ESC Region 12 MRT certification will receive credit for the practicum and observation portion in lieu of completing the SRSU practicum.
“We are excited to provide innovative and flexible online learning opportunities for educators to earn a Master’s of Education Reading Specialist degree with Education Service Center Region 12 and Sul Ross State University,” Dr. Jennifer Miller-Ray, assistant professor at Sul Ross State University said. “Together we will build the next generation of Literacy Leaders to serve our great and diverse learning population across Texas.” Reading Specialists serve in many positions within education including central office administrators, campus reading specialists, supervisors of campus reading programs, language arts and reading curriculum designers, and private practitioners.
Students interested in applying to the Master of Education Reading Specialist Degree program at SRSU should apply online here. For more information about the program, contact Dr. Jennifer Miller (firstname.lastname@example.org – 432-294-8013). Students interested in enrolling in the ESC Region 12 MRT Certification program, or those are currently enrolled, should contact Denise Bell (email@example.com – 255-297-1227).
Residents of bordering New Mexico counties are eligible to pay in-state tuition rates through a tuition reciprocity agreement between Texas State University System components and New Mexico institutions of higher education.
Counties in New Mexico that border the state of Texas are:
Proof of a permanent address in a bordering county must be presented to the Registrar prior to the census date for the term in which the waiver is sought.
NOTE: No such reciprocity agreements exists with Oklahoma, Arkansas, or Louisiana.
I was very fortunate to attend the Summer 2018 NASA MEI conference. During this time, I learned various STEM components and improved my knowledge of Aeronautical and Space Science. Prior to attending, I was having trouble trying to figure out how exactly I would incorporate this material in my future classroom. As an English major, these concepts rarely appear, and that is a huge issue.
STEM is in fact so versatile and should be incorporated cross curriculum. It makes learning more personal and fun. As an English teacher, my job does not end when the book is over. Therefore, incorporating STEM goes beyond the book. It places multiple subjects in the students minds and allows them to extend their knowledge rather than just stay at a base level.
Using STEM extends a student’s knowledge and pushes them to think in a way that they can incorporate their knowledge in the real world. Students can build and strengthen writing and literacy skills that will help them in math, science, technology and beyond. One of the most beneficial aspects of STEM is that it pulls knowledge from multiple subjects and allows students to apply it to prior and future knowledge. Through STEM, teachers can guide students to be effective and a contributor as global citizens.
Rebecca Garcia is currently a graduate research assistant in the College of Education and Professional Studies at Sul Ross State University.
One of the STEM literacy examples that Rebecca participated in is the Do You Know That Clouds Have Names activity sponsored by The Globe Program, a global Science and Education Program. To learn more about Globe activities and to become a trained Globe teacher, visit https://www.globe.gov/join/become-a-globe-teacher.
Last week I have learned many different things about NASA, space exploration, and all the different ways I can use these events in my classroom and as an educator. Not only have I learned more about the insides of the NASA organization, I know about NASA’s future goals of going to the moon, Mars, and NASA’s past accomplishments, which could be used as a history lesson of NASA. Also, I have learned how I can use NASA to motivate my students in many ways. For example, I have learned that students that want to be astronauts can learn from current astronauts and see how they were kids just like them at one point in time. Also, I can encourage females in my classroom that they can be scientists as well and work for NASA and could fill many different roles scientists, astronauts, and could even work on the building of the spaceships. Not all people that work at NASA are scientists or doctors. In fact, NASA hires photographers, social media managers, digital designers, etc. I also learned many different experiments and lessons that I can take into my classrooms and help my students explore the different aspects of space and things that relate to space like spaceships, travel to the moon, and future explorations. I can now help bring real science to life through hands on experiences to help them better their understanding of science and how real science works. This past week I have learned so much! I can’t wait to share that with my students and other people that didn’t have the opportunity to do the NASA MEI program.
Elizabeth is hoping to teach kindergarten in the fall of 2018. She incorporated the 5E Instructional Model for student activities during the NASA MEI program.
Today I learned that some of the characteristics that earth has such as wind, volcanos, water, and impacts other terrestrial planets may have the same characteristics. For example impacts which of course are usually the cause of some form of a meteorite that smashes into the ground causing a crater in the surface of the Earth or Mars or the moon. These impacts all have the same characteristics which help you determine that it is in fact an impact.
We were taught different activities to use in our classrooms that show the students these. As well as expanding on using the 5E model lesson plan!
This allows the students to fully be engaged while exploring. The students have the opportunity participate in trial and error. But as along as the students can give solid evidence as to why they think it is an impact or water or wind then there is no wrong answer. Of course if we are talking about the moon then we know there is no water so there are no rivers and there for those would be volcanic lava flows.
Our preservice teachers have the opportunity to apply to be part of the NASA MEI STEM program sponsored by Texas State University and NASA Minority University Research and Education Project. The program is an intensive professional development program that introduces students to the 5E instructional model, STEM integration, and future-ready skill sets to incorporate in the classroom. Each day our preservice teachers are reflection on what they learned at NASA. This is our first reflection from a series of reflections that we will share with you over the the next week.
As the global population increases, so does the demand for passionate and energized international teachers. In order to meet the United Nation’s goal of irradiating literacy by 2030, the need for for 69 million new teachers is now a priority. As English is an international language, native speakers have a real advantage. Teaching abroad offers many benefits to include cultural experiences, financial incentives, a rich professional experience to add to a resume, a strong global professional learning network,and the chance to make a real impact in the lives of others globally. To help students begin to consider positions internationally, check out the following resources.
Developing strategies to engage diverse students introduces experiences and perspectives that teachers can leverage as a powerful resource for everyone to learn more—in different ways, in new environments, and with different types of people. Each individual in this enormously diverse and ever-changing system has the power to serve as an invaluable resource for all others—students, teachers, and the community as a whole. The growing diversity in . classrooms necessitates and encourages the development and use of diverse teaching strategies designed to respond to each student as an individual. Here are a few resources to help teachers begin meeting the needs of diverse students.