National Bullying Prevention Month

Did you know that October is National Bullying Prevention Month? National Bullying Prevention Month is a nationwide campaign founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center. Educators and communities across the nation raise awareness about bullying and promote bullying prevention.

The Maine Education for Association reported these facts and finding about bullying in their newsletter:

  • Bullying occurs once every seven minutes in schools across America. In fact, one in every three students reports being bullied weekly, in person, via email, or through social media.
  • When NEA surveyed members a few years ago, nearly 100 percent of respondents said it was their job to intervene when they saw bullying occur.
  • Research by GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) shows that vulnerable students, who often are targeted for bullying because of their race, ethnicity, or LGBTQ status, can generally name at least one supportive adult in their schools, but it takes six or more supportive adults to make a difference when it comes to bullying.
  • GLSEN’s Ally Week, September 25-29, is a student-driven program in which students and educators who are LGBTQ lead conversations about what kind of support, understanding, and encouragement they need from their allies.

So, what can you do to stop bullying and promote acceptance in your classroom? PACER’s NBPC provides these and other various ways to get involved in promoting bullying prevention:

  1. Join the cause- Historically, bullying has been viewed as “a rite of passage,” but National Bullying Prevention Month is now a nationwide call to action — providing schools, parents and students with the educational resources and support to better respond to bullying behavior.
  2. Provide resources and reminders to students- PACER offers various resources for students and teachers, including FREE “Kids Against Bullying” bookmarks that can be printed or ordered (plus shipping and handling). A daily reminder of the cause will help children remember the importance of preventing bullying.
  3. Make it a known campaign- Tell everyone that your school and community are participating in National Bullying Prevention Month by alerting news media, sharing on social media, campaigning around town, etc. Get the word out there!
  4. Let victims know that they are not alone-  Make it a priority to promote empathy and compassion for those being bullied. Encourage them to talk about it, address it, and let children know that there are people who are there for them no matter what. Children always need a hero.
  5. Create a communal art project- Allow students to be artistic and work together on a banner, poster, sculpture, video, or anything else that relays the anti-bullying message. Allowing kids to work together on one project will form a sense of community and belonging within all children, as well as allow them to have their ideas and voices be put into the initiative.
  6. Wear orange- NBPC has dedicated orange as the color of National Bullying Prevention Month, and PACER will soon be coming out with a line of t-shirts and other orange items promoting the cause.

 

By working together as a community and nation, we can end bullying among children and teens and promote a more accepting and welcoming environment for all. While teaching and/or interacting with students and children, especially during the month of October, remember the importance of promoting a bully-free environment and incorporate these tools and lessons with everyday experiences. For more resources and to learn more about PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, visit their website.

Praxis Core Review Sessions Fall 2017

The UMF Learning Commons hosts multiple Praxis Core review sessions for students who would like some extra assistance preparing for the test. These sessions will be held as followed:

Writing- Multiple Choice Monday, September 18th 7-8 PM Ed Center 107
Math- Functions & Algebra Wednesday, September 20th 7-8PM Ed Center 106
Writing- Informative Essay Monday, September 25th 7-8 PM Ed Center 107
Math- Geometry Wednesday, September 27th 7-8 PM Ed Center 106
Writing- Argumentative Essay Monday, October 2nd 7-8 PM Ed Center 107
Math- Stats & Probability Wednesday, October 4th 7-8 PM Ed Center 106

Students are also welcome to visit the Learning Commons during tutoring hours (M-Th 12-2, Su-Th 7-9) for individual help.

An excellent online resource is the Learning Express Library. Once you create a free account, you can search for ‘PRAXIS Core’ to call up  4 different practice PRAXIS tests in Writing and Math.

#UMFReadtoME: UMF students and faculty participate in a state-wide literacy initiative

The Maine Department of Education has launched a state-wide initiative challenging parents, educators, and anyone who interacts with children to spend at least fifteen minutes a day reading to children in order to increase their literacy. Various UMF students and faculty participated this year at three different locations, making an impact on many young children in the area.

Kathryn Will-Dubyak is an assistant professor of literacy education in the elementary education and early childhood division and has been working here since August of 2016. She collaborated with Julie Farmer, the director at Sweatt-Winter, and Tracey Williams, the principal at WG Mallett School to organize read-in sessions at each school on February 16th and 17th. Sweatt-Winter had eight participants that spent a total of one hour reading to the children, and Mallett had sixty participants that read to all of the students for about 45 minutes. Participants included UMF students, professors, and staff. The UMF Women’s Softball Team also took on the #ReadtoME challenge and visited Phillips Elementary School to read to children there. When one of the softball players explained that she might struggle with pronouncing some of the words, a first grader said, “Well, if you don’t know a word, remember to slow down and sound it out!” How inspiring!

“This is a great program organized to encourage the power to reach to children early and often and to spread the word on social media,” said Professor Will-Dubyak. “The children loved it. Chompers came and some children read to him, which they really enjoyed!”

#ReadtoME is an annual event, so if you are interested in taking on the challenge keep an eye out for next year’s events! “Stay tuned,” said Professor Will-Dubyak, “we are going to make it bigger and better!”

For more information about the #ReadtoME challenge, visit the Maine DOE website here, or search for the #ReadtoME or #UMFReadtoME hashtags on Twitter.

Praxis Core Prep Sessions

PRAXIS Core prep sessions led by Learning Commons tutors will take place on the following days. These sessions will be repeated at the end of the semester.
All sessions will meet in Ricker Addition 217 at 7pm.
Monday, 2/6 Writing: Multiple Choice
Tuesday, 2/7 Math: Functions and Algebra
Monday, 2/13 Writing: Informative Essay
Tuesday, 2/14 Math: Geometry
Monday, 2/27 Writing: Argumentative Essay
Tuesday, 2/28 Math: Stats and Probability

Leadership Series Workshops

Are you interested in developing your leadership skills, learning about your personal leadership strengths, and learning with local community members about how to be come a leader in your community?

UMF’s Partnership for Civic Advancement is facilitating a new leadership series, including panel discussions, workshops, site visits and networking events focused on helping you to tap into your leadership potential and embrace opportunities to practice your leadership skills.

Check out their website for more information and to stay up to date on the next workshops! The next two workshops are:

Wednesday, November 2nd at 6:30 p.m. in room 103 of the Kalikow Education Center: 

“Gotta Get Through This:  Skills You Can Use to Manage Yourself and Your Life”
There are so many things to do and people to please!  This workshop is an opportunity to assess where your stress comes from and give you some new skills to help you get everything done.  Open to all students.  Attendance counts toward earning Leadership Certificate.

and Monday November 28th in the morning (time TBA) meeting in the Partnership Office and leaving from there:

“Get on the Bus”
Open to all students, but limited seating is available – reservations are required.  Attend this session to learn about leadership through service by visiting and interacting with regional health and human service providers.  Attendance counts toward earning Leadership Certificate.

EdCamp Western Maine

EdCamp Western Maine is scheduled for February 4, 2017 at Mt. Blue High School!!! EdCamps are teacher-led professional development experiences in which teachers share their expertise (in this case, about technology) and learn together about new trends and innovations in education. Come meet like-minded educators, network, share and learn!
Sign up early to make sure you’ve reserved a spot!

For more information, or to sign up, visit the EdCampWMe website today!edcamp

Teach in Alaska Seminar

Ever considered moving to Alaska? Here’s your chance to learn more! A repersentative from the Lower Kuskokwim School District in Bethel, Alaska will be at the University of Maine at Farmington on Oct. 17 to talk about moving, living, and working in Alaska!

alaska

Visiting Author: Chris Van Dusen

On September 27th students and community members gathered in Lincoln Auditorium to meet visiting author/illustrator Chris Van Dusen. Chris is a children’s book author and illustrator known for his works Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee, A Camping Spree with Mr. Magee, If I Built a Car, and many more! The event was hosted by UMF’S Association for the Education of Young Children (AEYC).

During the visit, Chris covered a lot of his work, starting with the books he illustrated for in the past, including Kate DiCamillo’s Mercy Watson stories. He then transitioned into discussing If I Built a Car, written and illustrated by Chrauthor-visit-2is himself. He went through the planning process of the book, changes his editor wanted to make, and how he moved forward with those changes.

This event was open to UMF students and faculty, as well as members in the community. The audience included professors, faculty, UMF students, parents, and children of many ages. Chris took the time to answer questions and sign autographs for his fans.

When asked if there will be any other visits of this nature in the future, UMF’S AEYC President Ranae Carlson seemed hopeful. “We definitely hope to
have future author events, but for right now, nothing is set in stone,” she said.  “We try to make our events applicable to people other than education students but I think anyone can benefit from hearing what authors, specifically those in Maine,  have to say! It’s like having a celebrity on campus!”author-visit-1

The UMF Teacher Education program would like to thank Chris Van Dusen, the AEYC, and those who attended for making this such an enjoyable event for all!

Playgroup Opportunities

Opportunity #1:

Attention parents/caregivers of infants & toddlers: Come play with your young children as you observe and support their amazing development!

We are now registering families for a UMF Monday evening playgroup starting mid-September. This playgroup is for children under three years of age and is based on a model called PIWI (Parents Interacting with Infants).

The playgroup’s focus is parents’ observations of and interactions with their young children. The weekly sessions are facilitated by Dolores Appl, a UMF professor and her students, who are preparing to be teachers of young children. Each week the students plan meaningful learning activities based on the interests of the parents and children attending. The groups are free and enrollment is open to all families of infants and toddlers. However, registration is required.

If you would like to register or want more information, please contact Dolores at 778-7507 or dappl@maine.edu.

 

Opportunity #2:

The Department of Early Childhood Education offers 3 morning playgroups for families with young children. Playgroups run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 9-11am at our site at 112 Maguire Street. Caregivers/families sign-up to attend one of the three sessions each week (either T, W, or TH). Groups are mixed age, with children ranging in age from birth to 3 years old. A variety of different types of caregivers attend the program with children including dads, moms, grandparents,and child care providers.

Professor Patty Williams’ ECH 250 students help to facilitate the groups. They offer a variety of play-based developmental learning opportunities for children and their caregivers to explore. It is also a great way for parents in the community to meet, socialize, and connect. We also offer a circle time and snack. There is a $10 once yearly registration fee for the program, with scholarships available for those who may find the fee a barrier to attending the program.

If you or someone you know might benefit from this program, please contact Patty at patricia.h.williams@maine.edu. She is registering families for the program right now. In particular, they have several openings in the Thursday playgroup that they are looking to fill.