march 2011, Volume 81

Dimensions On-Line



Florida ASCD Announcements


Florida ASCD Events


Grants & Awards


Noteworthy News

Curriculum Corner

Technology Bytes

Professional Development Opportunties

ASCD Connections

Contact Us

Florida ASCD

Board of Directors

Executive Board


John Nash



Alina Davis



Pat Melvin


Past President:

Paul M Terry



Alina Davis



David Magee


Executive Director:
Kim Pearson


Directors by Region

(region map)


Region 1

Sallie Payne


Region 2

Pat Melvin

Sharon Kochlany

Kelley Ranch


Region 3

Ralph Barrett

Marcy Kysilka

Mike Mizwicki


Region 4

Allan Dornseif

Ana Tsambis


Region 5

Julie Williams

Region 6

Dona Depriest

Carlos Viera


Florida ASCD Mission

To provide a venue that attracts a diverse membership committed to the improvement of teaching, learning, and leadership.


Florida ASCD Goals

  • Provide a forum for collaboration to improve education.

  • Deliver programs in a variety of formats, which meet the needs of Florida educators.

  • Provide a communication network that links Florida educators.

  • Support and encourage research and development activities designed to enhance educational practice.

Florida ASCD Beliefs

We Believe that...

  • collaboration fosters a quality educational system.
  • an ever-changing world necessitates life long learning
  • dialog among people promotes understanding and vision for a common purpose.
  • sound decision making in democracy is founded on an informed society.
  • diversity strengthens society.
  • learning occurs in an environment that fosters safety, love and trust.

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Welcome to Dimensions On-Line, the electronic edition of Dimensions. Dimensions On-Line is e-mailed to all members. It contains news of interest to Florida ASCD members and Florida educators. This newsletter is a benefit of your membership in Florida ASCD.

Florida ASCD Announcements



New Members

Florida ASCD would like to recognize and welcome all of the new members who have recently joined Florida ASCD as well as those members who renewed their membership with our organization.


Frances Adams
Helen Bekerman
James Brown
Gerad Carrier
Adrian Cline
Carlos Flores
Laura Hill

Fredda Johnson
Brian Marchman
Sharon Moffitt
Loretta Moreau
Kathryn Niedbalec
Bonnie Plucinski

Joanne Schwab
Lynn Spadaccini
Christine Stearns
Angela Walker
Dana Warner
Carl Williams


Members in the News

Have you had a recent event to share with others in Florida ASCD (like a job change, promotion, retirement, award or recognition received, unique travel experience, etc.)?  We would like to include your information in the next Electronic Dimensions. Send it to us: fascd@fascd.org


Board or Directors Needed

Looking for a way to enhance and broaden your educational experiences? If so, we have the position for you! We are looking for interested educators to join our board of directors. We are specifically looking for board members from the panhandle. If you are interested, please email Kim Pearson at fascd@fascd.org.


Florida Educational Leadership
The editors of Florida Educational Leadership were pleased to see early positive reactions from readers. Watch for a survey coming soon to give some specific feedback to the editors.

The next electronic issue will be coming out soon and will be focused on Research in Education. There is still time if you have an article about research that you and/or a colleague did. You may have recently read a book about some particular research that would be of interest to your fellow educators. In either case, an article or book review about research in education would make you a recognized author. 

The editors also look for articles from teachers, principals, administrators about their jobs and perspectives on education. A section on student voices has become a popular venue for students to have articles published in a journal that is read nationally as well as in Florida. If your students have written an especially provocative and interesting article please send it to us.

All articles should be sent to Marcy Kysilka at: kysilka@bellsouth.net


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Florida ASCD Events


Habits of Mind - Professional Development Institute - Presented by Art Costa




Florida ASCD would like you to mark your calendar now! Art Costa will be joining us, October 22, 2011 for a full day PDI on Habits of Mind at NOVA Southeastern University Tampa Campus. He will discuss his Habits of Mind and help teachers, administrators and district staff find ways to infuse these habits into their curriculum, instruction and school structure. For more information, please click here.


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Grants & Awards


Questbridge: College Prep Summer Program
Questbridge, a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving high-achieving low-income students resources during the college application process, is accepting applications for its College Prep Program for high school juniors. Maximum award: full scholarship to summer program, college admissions counseling, and attendance at college preparatory conferences. Eligibility: qualified low-income high school juniors. Deadline: March 29, 2011.http://www.questbridge.org/access/collegepreptext/


NAGC: Passow Classroom Teacher Scholarship
The National Association for Gifted Children annually awards the A. Harry Passow Classroom Teacher Scholarship to teachers of grades K-12 who have shown excellence in teaching gifted students, the ability to meet the needs of gifted students, and commitment to furthering the development of their teaching skills. The scholarship is designed to reimburse/defray the costs of continuing education for up to two eligible teachers currently teaching gifted students in a variety of educational settings ranging from a homogeneous or full-day special class to a heterogeneous classroom. Maximum award: $2,000. Eligibility: teachers K-12 who have been members of NAGC for at least one year. Deadline: April 18, 2011.


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Noteworthy News


The Florida Department of Education has launched three new social media outlets Just for Teachers!  We are now on Facebook, Twitter, and Wordpress!
To access our new sites visit the links below:
Blog - www.teachersfl.wordpress.com
Twitter – www.twitter.com/teachersfl
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=726112111#!/pages/Florida-Department-of-Education/178971822143590

Florida’s Education System Named Fifth in the Nation
The Sunshine State has received a fifth place national ranking on the 2011 Quality Counts: Uncertain Forecast report issued by Education Week. The annual report tracks state policies and performance across key areas of education and assigns each state with an overall point total to signify their education standing in the nation. This year’s move to fifth, up from eighth last year, 10th in 2009 and 14th in 2008, rests prominently on Florida’s continuing improvements in student achievement. According to the report, Florida is one of the best states in the country in terms of improvement in National Assessment of Educational Progress scores and narrowing the achievement gap between low-income students and their peers. The report also indicates that Florida’s improvement in its graduation rate and the number of students passing Advanced Placement exams is outpacing almost every other state in the nation. Thank you Florida teachers for your hard work and dedication to student success! For more details about Florida’s performance on the 2011 Quality Counts report, visit http://www.edweek.org/ew/qc/index.html

Use of response to intervention expands beyond special education
More schools are using response-to-intervention methods to raise achievement among all learners in various subjects. The RTI framework, which has roots in special education and early reading, aims to identify and target students' learning problems with research-based interventions before they become larger issues. Supporters of RTI methods say they benefit all students. Some critics say the process takes too long and requires careful implementation to be effective with students who need the most academic help. Education Week (premium article access compliments of EdWeek.org) (3/2) http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/03/02/22rti-overview.h30.html?tkn=NZCEVuzVbT%2BuVDgkRjkyry2V0dA/1mJF5to4&cmp=clp-sb-ascd

Unions are facing unprecedented challenges
Public-service unions are clashing with lawmakers about pay, benefits and collective-bargaining rights across the Midwest as they fight the biggest challenge to their power since President Ronald Reagan fired striking air traffic controllers in 1981. Republicans are aiming to limit the bargaining and dues-collecting power of unions for autoworkers and carpenters in states such as Michigan, where they have proposed making it a right-to-work state. The Wall Street Journal (2/23) http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704071304576160721023104538.html?mod=dist_smartbrief


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Curriculum Corner

Understanding the formative-assessment process
The formative-assessment process can greatly improve student learning if teachers clearly understand it, writes the author of an upcoming ASCD book on the subject. W. James Popham explains in this article that testing is only one part of the process, which also should include decisions on how and what to test and whether adjustments to the curriculum should be made based on the findings. By misconstruing formative assessments as a particular type of test, teachers may diminish the potential impact of the process, he writes. Education Week (2/23) http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2011/02/23/21popham.h30.html?tkn=PSCCGmSb/B5QkuTaRS6t7BoT2I7Q/Q9NdgMl&cmp=clp-sb-ascd

Focus on reading, progress assessments keep Oklahoma school on track
Educators at Eugene Field Elementary School in Oklahoma City credit a focus on reading instruction and regular progress assessments for helping students learn. "The testing has really worked to our advantage because we're not teaching something we don't need to. We're not wasting any time," one teacher said. The school has consistently scored at or above average on state tests, though 100% of its students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches and many also are English-language learners. The Oklahoman (Oklahoma City) (2/21) http://newsok.com/eugene-field-elementary-school-has-handle-on-literacy-training/article/3542638

Student-centered learning strategies for the classroom
Math teacher Paul Bogdan offers some teaching suggestions that are focused on student-centered learning, rather than lectures. One strategy involves students executing teacher-written lesson plans, which allows them to collaborate and begin to teach themselves, Bogdan writes. Other ideas include teaching students how to take effective class notes and using open-book testing. Edutopia.org/Betty Ray's blog (2/18) http://www.edutopia.org/blog/student-centered-learning-activities-paul-bogdan

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Technology Tidbits

Hybrid-learning charter targets at-risk middle schoolers
A new charter middle school will aim to serve at-risk students in Utah this fall with a blended-learning curriculum that will be the first of its kind in the state. Alianza Academy will aim to narrow income- and race-based achievement gaps by combining online learning with face-to-face instruction and regular field trips. The charter will operate at four schools and target the middle grades, which, one educator says, is when many students begin to lose interest in school. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (2/26) http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/home/51299710-76/students-charter-alianza-utah.html.csp

Technology helps keep students on track in Michigan county
A teacher cell-phone program is just one of numerous ways schools in Jackson County, Mich., are integrating technology into the curriculum. Teachers participating in the program use school-issued cell phones to be available to students for homework help during certain hours after school. One teacher has students send her a picture of how far they've progressed in solving a math problem. The schools also are using electronic-response systems and other interactive tools, plus Nook e-readers with students who have special needs. The Jackson Citizen Patriot (Mich.) (2/27) http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2011/02/schools_embrace_technology_in.html

Technology allows students to take on global storytelling project
Fourth- and fifth-graders at a New Jersey elementary school participated in a worldwide technology project in which they collaborated on numerous stories with students from 200 schools in 21 states and eight countries. For the "Global Progressive Story" project, each class wrote one paragraph at a time of a five-paragraph story with the final stories posted online. The project was aimed at honing students' 21st-century skills, such as technology use, digital literacy, critical thinking, problem solving and social skills. NorthJersey.com (Hackensack, N.J.)/Ramsey Suburban News (2/24) http://www.northjersey.com/news/business/town_business/116795763_Theirs_is_more_than_a__progressive__writing_exercise__It_s_advanced.html

Florida looks at taking school textbooks completely digital by 2015
State education officials rolled out a five-year proposal this week that calls for all students in K-12 to use only "electronic materials" delivered by Kindles, iPads and other similar technology by 2015. "This project reinvents the way students learn and will revolutionize instruction in Florida," says the plan presented to the state Board of Education Tuesday. Both Senate and House education committees will have hearings on the subject today. The St. Petersburg Times (2/17/11) http://www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/florida-looks-at-taking-school-textbooks-completely-digital-by-2015/115213

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Professional Development Opportunities

International Reading Association (IRA) Convention
Orlando, Florida will be the host for the IRA Annual Convention this year May 8-11, 2001. The IRA convention creates a charged and creative learning environment dedicated to YOUR needs. Bump into someone you know, strike up a chat with someone you don’t… this is where YOU can connect! Start planning now by visiting the convention preview at http://www.iraconvention.org. There you can find everything you will need to get started with easy-to-navigate info, registration, and searches. Need funding? Check out the preview section dedicated to funding tools and resources.

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ASCD Connections


Introducing ASCD EDge™ and Florida ASCD EDge
The new ASCD EDge™social-networking community creates an online forum where any educator can set up a free profile and network with other educators, sharing educational best practices via media, chat, discussion forums, interest groups and one-on-one interaction. Connect on important topics like student motivation, differentiated instruction and whole-child education. Sign up for ASCD EDge™ today. Then join Florida ASCD on Edge as well as the Florida Educator Advocates.

ASCD is searching for a new class of Emerging Leaders
Keep your New Year's resolution to challenge yourself professionally by joining ASCD's 2011 class of Emerging Leaders. ASCD is now accepting applications from educators interested in influencing education policy and practice through unique ASCD leadership opportunities. Learn more about the program and hear from past Emerging Leader Peter Badalament on the ASCD.org website. Applications must be submitted by April 15. Learn more.

Connect with ASCD on Facebook
Are you dreaming of a chance to meet ASCD author Robert Marzano face-to-face? Tune in to ASCD's Facebook feed for opportunities to win free resources, weigh in on discussions started by colleagues and experts, and, of course, enter our latest contest for a chance to join Robert Marzano for happy hour. Find ASCD.org on Facebook.

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Contact Us


Florida ASCD Electronic Dimensions is published as the newsletter of Florida ASCD, publishing announcements, coming events, awards, short articles and items of interest for and about Florida ASCD members.  Items for publication should be sent to Florida ASCD headquarters at the address below. Views expressed are not necessarily the official position of Florida ASCD. Any product announcements appearing in Florida ASCD Electronic Dimensions are paid advertisements. They do not reflect an endorsement by Florida ASCD.


Please send comments, articles, announcements, and suggestions for future topics to the Editor:


Kim Pearson, Executive Director, Florida ASCD

11511 Pine Street

Seminole, FL 33772






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