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CTSOs Engage Students: FBLA-PBL Students Compete Among the Best

Every summer the best and brightest FBLA-PBL members convene at the National Leadership Conference to compete in business-related competitions and chart their future career paths.

In June 2017, Kearah Kraus, Alyssa Kreg and Christina Masnyy, a team of FBLA students representing Fife High School in Tacoma, Washington, took first place in the Introduction to Business Presentation competition. This competitive event recognizes members that demonstrate the ability to deliver an effective business presentation with the aid of technology. READ MORE

Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda

To learn more about how CTSOs engage students in CTE, ACTE members can read the February 2019 issue of Techniques online today. And be sure to come back to PAGES each Monday, Wednesday and Friday through February, when we’ll feature a new CTSO.

CTSOs Engage Students: SkillsUSA Students Practice Personal, Workplace and Technical Skills

Career-ready starts here.

SkillsUSA’s bold mission is to empower its members to become world-class workers, leaders and responsible American citizens, while improving the quality of our nation’s workforce. Members put the mission into action as they carry out chapter activities and practice personal, workplace and technical skills grounded in academics.

SkillsUSA’s Chapter Excellence Program fosters the development of these skills by benchmarking chapter programming and providing recognition. This year’s top three winners came from Georgia, North Carolina and Arizona. READ MORE

SkillsUSA

To learn more about how CTSOs engage students in CTE, ACTE members can read the February 2019 issue of Techniques online today. And be sure to come back to PAGES each Monday, Wednesday and Friday through February, when we’ll feature a new CTSO.

CTSOs Engage Students: Business Professionals of America, Servant Leadership, Service Learning & Inspiring Agents of Change

Leadership is about service.

Robert Greenleaf taught us that good leaders must first become good servants. We are given opportunities every day to extend our hand. With more than 45,000 members across the country, Business Professionals of America (BPA) is committed to developing and empowering rising student leaders to discover their passion and change the world.

Many people know BPA as a CTSO focused on business, marketing, finance and IT. There is also a strong leadership development component that puts an emphasis on service to others. READ MORE

Business Professionals of America

To learn more about how CTSOs engage students in CTE, ACTE members can read the February 2019 issue of Techniques online today. And be sure to come back to PAGES each Monday, Wednesday and Friday through February, when we’ll feature a new CTSO.

Teaching Strategy: The Carousel

“I wish all students would participate in the discussion.”

If that sounds familiar, you might want to try this strategy.

The ability to engage students with hands-on learning activities has long been a strong advantage for career and technical educators. However, the excitement that students experience in the lab often does not follow into classroom learning. When an instructor announces, “Let’s head back to the classroom.,” the response is an audible groan from students. Their bodies slump. The students find lab activities more engaging than classroom instruction.

To fix this problem, leverage lab attributes that create engagement to design classroom lesson plans. Consider how:

  • Labs allow every student to be actively engaged (equity)
  • Labs allow for students to openly discuss ideas as needed
  • Labs allow for freedom of movement
  • The teacher serves the role of facilitator
  • There is a de-emphasis on grades (learning for the sake of learning)

Equity, Engagement and Productive Talk

Emphasize the power of speaking and listening between students — what is known as productive talk. Productive talk is speaking that leads to learning. It happens during conversations in which students do most of the talking, while teachers guide them to listen to each other, explain their thinking, question and challenge each other’s ideas, and revise their own opinions based on input from others.

Productive Talk Improves Literacy

When people participate actively in conversation, their brains sync, mirroring and anticipating the neural activity of the others in the conversation (Stephens, Silbert and Hasson, 2010). Engaging in conversation as we learn, rather than simply listening to new information, helps make this neural activity more likely. As we learn, our brains forge and strengthen new pathways through which information can travel.

The Strategy in Action

How long will it take?

20-30 minutes, depending upon how long you want to debrief students.

When should I use the Carousel teaching strategy?

As a pre-assessment or a review game of a broad, multifaceted topic. When you need to get everyone involved, instead of hearing from the same few students each time.

What’s the gist?

An extended, active version of Think-Pair-Share, the Carousel gets everyone moving around the room to write and discuss various topics.

How It Works

  1. Post 4–5 large sheets of paper around the room, with plenty of space between them. On each paper, write a different question or statement that can elicit a broad range of responses.
  2. Divide your students into 4–5 teams, and give each team a different colored marker. Each group begins at one of the posted questions.
  3. Set a timer for two minutes (or another amount of time). Instruct students as follows: “When I say go, you will have two minutes as a group to write as many intelligent points as you can on your board. When I call time, every group will take their marker and rotate to the left, just like a carousel.”
  4. When groups rotate, instruct students to read through what the other group(s) wrote. If a student or group disagrees with something written previously, they are encouraged to draw a line through the statement and respond. After that, students begin to post their own additional thoughts.
  5. Continue rotating until all groups have responded to every question. Then facilitate a class discussion. All it takes to get great conversation going is a couple of lines drawn through comments of another color.

Students encouraged to respond and defend their own words are more invested than if they were just listening to the arguments of others. By responding first in a group with short, written statements, students feel safe to critique and defend their own ideas and are more likely to discuss their ideas aloud afterward.

Example Prompts from an Automotive Classroom

  1. List everything you can think of that relates to Geometry (This is to connect to prior knowledge and emphasize the role of geometry involved with upcoming content on suspension and brake systems.)
  2. List everything you can connect to the concept: alignment.
  3. List every detail you know about wheel bearings. (This serves as an excellent pre-assessment tool, to gauge student knowledge on this topic.)
  4. How many ways can we connect tires to brakes? (This serves to launch the new learning and gives the instructor time to use what students already have told him to lead the discussion.)

Final Thoughts

Productive talk will flourish when your classroom culture promotes learning for its own sake. Decades of research, from 1933 onward, have made it clear that grades are often problematic (Kohn, 2011). Reliance on grades reduces students’ interest in the material, the quality of their thinking, and their intrinsic drive to take intellectual risks (Kohn, 2011). Risk-averse learners “downshift” their brains into a kind of survival mode, looking for the right answer instead of seeking understanding.

People do better creative work and engage more readily in learning when they know that what they’re doing is relevant beyond a quantitative assessment. When we use external rewards to motivate others, we may unintentionally undermine their intrinsic motivation (Pink, 2011) and risk extinguishing their love of learning. Especially in career pathways work, it is important for students to internalize and embrace the intrinsic value of the learning that could become their lives’ work. A class discussion will be more dynamic and productive when students, freed from a preoccupation with their own achievement, can take interest in the topic itself.

Sandra Adams is a teacher and instructional coach with the Career Academy, Fort Wayne Community Schools. She co-wrote the ACTE-supported book But I’m NOT a Reading Teacher!: Literacy Strategies for Career and Technical Educators with Gwendolyn Leininger. Contact her to learn how you can implement the Carousel and other innovative teaching strategies in your CTE classroom.

For more from Adams, find her at ACTE’s CareerTech VISION next week where she will be on site to sign her book, But I’m NOT a Reading Teacher! Adams will also deliver two educational program sessions: “The Technology Integrated CTE Classroom: Embedding 7 Future Survival Skills” on Friday, Nov. 30 and “Creating Equitable Access to IT Courses” on Saturday, Dec. 1 during the STEM is CTE Symposium.

REFERENCES
Kohn, A. (2011). The case against grades. Retrieved from http://alfiekohn.org/article/case-grades/.
Pink, D.H. (2011). Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us. New York, NY: Riverhead Books.
Stephens, G.J., Silber, L.J. & Hasson, U. (2010). Speaker-listener neural coupling underlies successful communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pcm/articles/PMC2922522/.

iTeachU: Building Upon National and State CTE Teacher Recruitment Efforts

For more than two decades we have heard alarms, warning of the shortage of secondary teachers in content areas such as agriculture education and family and consumer sciences… In response, national initiatives emerged to address the need to recruit teachers into these career and technical education (CTE) fields. The National Association of Agricultural Educators (NAAE) (2018) began the Tagged to Teach Ag initiative in 2009 and turned a spotlight on the need to recruit and retain professionals in that space.

A Kansas-based campaign coined “Say Yes to FCS” was adopted in 2014 by the National Association of State Administrators of Family and Consumer Sciences (NASAFACS) (Randel & Spavone, 2016). The American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS) hosts online resources to fill the FCS teacher pipeline. These campaigns and others have heightened an awareness of the need for teachers in these fields of CTE.

Statewide CTE Teacher Recruitment Efforts

Capitalizing on the buzz created by the national Tagged to Teach Ag and Say Yes to FCS campaigns, statewide recruitment efforts are underway to recruit the next generation of CTE teachers in South Dakota.

Each year, South Dakota FFA members who plan to attend South Dakota State University (SDSU) to major in agricultural education are invited to participate in the event, which mirrors an athletic signing. The student, their agriculture teacher and SDSU faculty sit at a table and sign a framed letter of intent to teach agriculture.

South Dakota has undertaken additional statewide efforts to recruit family and consumer sciences teachers… In addition to the traditional means of recruiting, SDSU implemented iTeachU in 2011. The one-day, annual event on campus is a joint effort between the agricultural education and FCSE faculty in the department of teaching, learning and leadership, and introduces participants to a career in teaching while simultaneously providing a glimpse into college life.

Associated faculty take on the logistical roles of organizing and planning the iTeachU program, while current SDSU students facilitate the event. This joint effort between faculty and students with diverse interests is purposeful. At SDSU, several of the core education courses are cross-listed between these disciplines, and many students, pursuing degrees to become agriculture and/or FCS teachers, will attend classes taught by both faculty throughout their time as students. These shared classroom experiences help students recognize the CTE connection that agriculture and FCS share.

ACTE members can read the full article, “iTeachU: Building Upon National and State CTE Teacher Recruitment Efforts,” in the November/December issue of Techniques today. Watch your mailboxes for the print edition to appear this week!

Not a member? Join! ACTE is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers.

ACTE Student Trophy Design Contest Winners Set Standard for Excellence

ACTE is committed to providing career and technical education (CTE) students with opportunities to develop the skills they’ll need for success in a global economy. One such opportunity, the Student Trophy Design Contest, encourages secondary, postsecondary and adult CTE students in 3D design or CAD courses to develop and submit a trophy design that reflects the prestige of ACTE’s Excellence Awards program. Designs are then judged by ACTE staff and Stratasys Ltd. — a manufacturer of 3D printers and production systems — on visual appeal, function and structural integrity.

“Stratasys is pleased to partner with ACTE to create this contest for the students. It is clear that the educators are doing an outstanding job immersing the students in additive manufacturing and computer-aided drafting,” said Jesse Roitenberg, national education manager for Stratasys. “The trophy entries we have judged over the past three years are phenomenally designed and could not be created by any other manufacturing process.”

We are proud to announce that the winners of the 2018 ACTE Student Trophy Design Contest are Rashi Kejriwal and Shreya Santhanagopalan, of Ellicott City, Maryland, supported by their teacher, David Lucania.

The winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship prize, a one-year lease of a 3D printer (courtesy of Stratasys) and materials, and a trip to ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2018 in San Antonio, Texas, where they will be recognized at the Awards Banquet. And here, an exclusive interview.

The Mount Hebron High School juniors, Kejriwal and Santhanagopalan, sat down with Techniques to discuss their interests in STEM now and in the future, and how they were inspired to enter — and ultimately win — the 2018 ACTE Student Trophy Design Contest.

Talk a little about yourself and your background, your school, your experience with CTE, and your plans for the future.

Rashi Kejriwal: I’m a junior in Howard County, Maryland, at Mount Hebron High School and I’m enrolled in the Project Lead the Way (PLTW) engineering classes at our school. Personally, apart from PLTW, I have always had a background in STEM. For example, I completed an assignment in elementary school in which students were tasked to design and build a city… Through these and other activities I have developed a strong interest toward multiple fields in engineering. In the future I want to pursue a career in which I can learn and contribute to society.

Shreya Santhanagopalan: I am also a junior at Howard County, Maryland’s Mount Hebron High School. From a young age, I was brought up to love engineering tasks and figuring out solutions to difficult problems. I began to learn to code when I was in fifth grade; in middle school I learned to create multiple apps with guidance. I am still exploring options for my future but I take great interest in computer science and engineering, and I plan to attend college until I receive a Master’s degree in my chosen field.

How and why did you decide to enter the ACTE Student Trophy Design Contest? What inspired your winning design?

Shreya Santhanagopalan: Rashi and I were intrigued when our teacher, Mr. Lucania, brought up the ACTE Student Trophy Design Contest in our shared Project Lead the Way class. After weeks of planning, in and outside of school, we had developed seven different design sketches…

Rashi Kejriwal: We combined the top portion of one remaining design with the bottom portion of the other to create our final design.

What guidance did your career and technical education teacher provide?

Rashi Kejriwal: When it came time to build the trophy, Mr. Lucania’s mentoring, along with the use of AutoDesk Inventor and its unique features, helped us turn our dreams into reality.

The trophy designed by Kejriwal and Santhanagopalan will be presented to ACTE’s national award winners at the Awards Banquet on Wednesday, Nov. 28. Check out the full list of finalists and make your plans to celebrate CTE on the first night of ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2018, Nov. 28–Dec. 1, in San Antonio, Texas.

ACTE members can read the full interview, “ACTE Student Trophy Design Contest Winners Set Standard for Excellence,” in the October issue of Techniques today. Not a member? Join! ACTE is the largest national education association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares youth and adults for successful careers.

PAGES will feature excerpts from articles published in Techniques and wholly original content.

Launching PAGES, a Techniques blog

Hello, world! Welcome to PAGES, a Techniques blog.

Since joining the staff of ACTE in 2017, I have worked for this day. We’re live! PAGES will feature excerpts from articles in print and wholly original content (interviews, case studies, news items and more) based on the theme of each new issue. We’ll talk about topics trending in career and technical education (CTE). And we’ll highlight stories of educators and programs doing the work to ensure our students graduate college- and career-ready.

From PAGES it is my hope you will find increased value in Techniques online, expanded opportunities for engagement and even more stories of CTE success. Written for career and technical educators by career and technical educators, Techniques addresses the issues ACTE members care about most, providing input you can trust when making decisions for your classrooms, programs and school systems — in print and on the web.

Are you interested in writing for PAGES?

Let’s collaborate! View the 2018–19 Editorial Calendar and reach out via email to discuss your ideas. At conferences, in conversation with students and on the Expo floor at VISION, think of Techniques (and PAGES) often. Bring me your stories, because they are the stories that matter to CTE educators like you.

Check back next week for a preview of our celebration in San Antonio: ACTE’s CareerTech VISION 2018.