STEAM + Literacy

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

In 2019, I supervised a group of terrific scholars who were graduate assistants, and most were teachers. The bulk of the work was done by this terrific team. The idea was to create STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) with literacy, then align all of that with Next Generation Science Standards, the Common Core State Standards, digital literacy standards, and Egyptian curricular standards.

The team worked together to produce the units, eventually four in all, and each of those was then reviewed by an independent expert who was not part of the team. While we were never able to spin those off to a website, as planned, I am adding them here with a Creative Commons license so that others can benefit from the great work the development team did. Because these were intended to be digitally available and designed for online access, technically, these are still drafts.

ThemeThe world we live in!
TitleSecuring access to clean water  
Unit Essential QuestionHow could we secure better access to fresh/clean water sources?
Grade Level6-8

The problem:
Water scarcity and desertification are common challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The growing demands of securing more freshwater have impactful effects on demographics and economic development. Families living by the sea coast, and/ or remote places might spend many hours daily lining up to get a few liters of fresh water from the water delivery truck to maintain their day-to-day needs. Can you help them find a more sustainable and convenient alternative to access/ provide fresh water in their area?

CategoryLife Sciences
ThemeFood Security
TitleWe Garden!  
Unit Essential QuestionHow can we improve food production to meet the needs of the growing populations?  
Grade LevelGrade (6-8)

The problem:

With the ever increasing population in Egypt and elsewhere, people need increasing amounts of food. In order to meet the increased food needs in Egypt, we have a lot of options such as importing food, which costs a lot of foreign currency, growing more food or rationalizing our food consumption. The government economic agenda gives priority to different agriculture projects with the aim to enlarge the cultivated area and to guarantee sufficient production of the main crops to satisfy the needs of the growing population. Can you help design a system that facilitates gardening for food production?

Source: https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/14877/Hamza-Mason%202004SAVED.pdf

CategoryLife Sciences
ThemeEnvironmental Awareness
TitleDealing with Climate Change
Unit Essential QuestionHow can we reduce the impact of climate change?
Grade LevelGrade (6-8)

The problem:

July 2019 was recorded as the warmest month in history. In general, it is anticipated that the period between 2015 to 2019 is turning out to be the hottest years in history (World Meteorological Organization, 2019). In Egypt, we continuously feel the summer heatwaves. As there is no hint for any environmental improvement, the climate change problem will continue bringing us more heatwaves and warmer weathers in the years to come. While using air conditioners might look like an immediate solution that helps us deal with the problem, the power used by air conditioners, like most other regular electricity-run devices, actually add to the problem causing climate change. Do you know why? Can you help us have a better solution that might have less negative impact on the environment?

Reference: https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/july-matched-and-maybe-broke-record-hottest-month-analysis-began

ThemeTheme: Transportation
Unit TitleTravel safely!
Essential QuestionHow can we protect passengers in a car crash?
Grade Level6-8

The problem:

The number of road traffic deaths continues to rise steadily, reaching 1.35 million in 2016 (WHO, 2016).  Although automotive and mechanical engineers are innovating many safety procedures to help passengers, these innovations haven’t made their way into enough vehicles to reach their full potential in reducing fatal car crashes. 

Do you remember those days that you spent hours outlining and drawing your dream car? What are the most important aspects in automotive design? How do automotive designers build cars that are speedy and safe at the same time? 

Mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and industrial designers collaborate to develop and enhance motor vehicle structures, engines, and associated systems to ensure optimum wagon performance. In addition, they carry out a series of crash tests to modify their design in order to ensure optimum safety to all passengers in case of accidents. 

The project team was ably managed by Bola Ibrahim with the assistance of these team members:

Hanan Abou Zaied

Hanaa Mahmoud

Alaa Badran

Hemmat Mahmoud

Dr Mohamed ElNagdi

Dr. Thomas DeVere Wolsey served as faculty supervisor

with Gihan Osman and Heba El Deghaidy as Co-PI and PI (Principal investigator)

The project was funded by the office of:

Associate Provost for Research, Innovation and Creativity at The American University in Cairo

The content of the PDFs linked on this page only are

STEAM + Literacy by https://literacybeat.com/2022/10/28/steam-literacy/ is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

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Forward Thinking in Today’s Classrooms

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Teaching the Language Arts: Forward Thinking in Today’s Classrooms is almost out in a new, 2nd edition by Denise Johnson, Beth Dobler, and Thomas DeVere Wolsey. New content, updated features, and now published by Routledge! The link below is an affiliate link; your price won’t change, though. https://amzn.to/3CDy8fg

Literacy Beat in Dublin, Ireland

Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Literacy Beat contributors are presenting several studies at The Federation of European Literacy Associations (FELA) in Dublin, Ireland, July 4 to 6, 2022. On this page, you can download resources and presentation slide decks.

July 4, 2022

Going Beyond the App:
Online International Development to Reach Teachers on the Margins

Nance S. Wilson, State University of New York at Cortland

Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Consultant

Linda Smetana, California State University East Bay

Ibrahim M. Karkouti, The American University in Cairo

Texts for Reading Instruction and the Most Common Words in Egyptian Arabic

Thomas DeVere Wolsey with Freddy Hiebert and Ibrahim M. Karkouti

At AERA 2022 in San Diego, we presented

The authors conducted an analysis at the word level of four Arabic multidisciplinary textbooks in grades one and two in Egypt.  The study sought to answer four questions:  What are the most common words in standard Arabic? How many of the most common words in standard Arabic are used in the textbooks? How dense is the use of common words? How many rare words are used in the textbooks studied? Analysis found that the texts did not make use of any of the rare words found in the corpus, but many words in the texts did not appear in either the reference corpus inclusive of the common words list.  Recommendations for policymakers and textbook publishers were included.

*Thomas DeVere Wolsey, corresponding author

California State University, East Bay

Hayward, CA USA

Tom.wolsey@csueastbay.edu

orcid.org/0000-0002-8970-448X

*Ibrahim M. Karkouti

The American University in Cairo

New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

orcid.org/0000-0001-5900-2682

*Elfrieda H. Hiebert

Textproject

Santa Cruz, CA US

orcid.org/0000-0002-2864-7549

*Dalal Abo El Seoud

The American University in Cairo

New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

*Helen Abadzi

The University of Texas, Arlington

Arlington, TX US

orcid.org/0000-0002-4523-0788

*Fatma Abdelkhalek

New Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

The American University in Cairo

Classroom Observation – Updated

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Recently, colleagues and I in Egypt tested a curriculum designed to improve letter-sound correspondence knowledge among first-grade students in four Egyptian community schools in an after-school program.  The curriculum, called Iqra, intended that students would engage in whole-class, teacher-directed learning. We recorded the class sessions, but we needed to analyze interactions. We chose the time-honored Stallings (1977) instrument. However, to adjust for difference in the cultural context and modern data analysis tools, I created a modified Stallings Snapshot Observation System in Excel. Since there were two teachers in each classroom, the form was modified to accommodate that fact. Since the lessons varied in length, we also divided the video segments into 10 minute sequential chunks. This differs from the original but fit our needs.

I am sharing the Excel template because it may be helpful to others conducting classroom observations, but please share your thoughts and experiences in comments. In the meantime, as the research team completes analysis, I will provide additional observations here.

Stallings in Excel

Bibliography

Engeström, Y. (1987). Learning by expanding: An activity-theoretical approach to developmental research. Helsinki, Finland: Orienta-Konsultit.

Scales, R. Q., Wolsey, T. D., Lenski, S., Smetana, L., Yoder, K. K., Dobler, E…Young J. R. (2018). Are we preparing or training teachers? Developing professional judgment in and beyond teacher preparation programs. Journal of Teacher Education, first published date: April-10-2017 doi: 10.1177/0022487117702584

Scales, R. Q., Wolsey, T. D., Young, J., Smetana, L., Grisham, D. L., Lenski, S., Dobler, E. Yoder, K. K., & Chambers, S. A. (2017). Mediating factors in literacy instruction: How novice elementary teachers navigate new teaching contexts. Reading Psychology, 38(6), 604-651. doi: 10.1080/02702711.2.17.1323056

Stallings, J. (1977). Learning to Look: A Handbook on Classroom Observation and Teaching Models. Wadsworth Publishing Company.

Beyond the App: How to Leverage Technology

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Nance Wilson and I talked with Mike Kranitz of EventSquid about #beyondtheapp #bta Beyond the App: Cause and Conference, which strives to support teachers’ professional development and coach literacy experts in one of the most creative ways possible in response to COVID, and their model may just change the game.

E8: Beyond the App: How to Leverage Technology to Give a Face to Face Experience — Eventsquid

Beyond the App Podcast

“We wanted them to know that they weren’t alone in the things that were causing them to struggle and we wanted them to know that people whose books they read… are also people they can talk and work together with.” – Dr. Thomas Wolsey


“It’s about leveraging the technology that’s out there to think about, ‘Well, what could this do for me that would be better and or different and would allow me to have similar quality practices that I had in the face to face?’” – Dr. Nance Wilson

#technology #EdTech #auc_gse

Shift and Share

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Recently, the Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT) at The American University in Cairo sponsored a virtual symposium themed, Inspiration and Innovation: Conversations Around Emerging Pedagogy in Our Next Normal. The symposium featured faculty presentations called “Shift and Share.” Faculty presented the same presentation three times to ensure that participants were in small enough groups to interact. My presentation (March 10, 2021) was titled “Navigating the River: Teaching and Metacognition for Challenging Times” which you can view below.

A number of really good workshops, plenary sessions, and shift and share session recordings and resources are linked here. Check out the ideas!

Beyond the App Launches Today!

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

It’s here: Beyond the App launches today for middle-grade educators. You can still join us and stretch your teaching muscles this weekend. We begin at noon Eastern Standard Time / 7 PM Cairo Time. Register here https://lnkd.in/gQjiYVP 

and for Egypt here: https://lnkd.in/dBa6ZF4 

#BeyondTheApp #literacyforall #auc_gse

Beyond the App Begins in One Week!

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Ready to Zoom Beyond the App? 

There is just one week left before we engage teachers and teacher educators from Egypt to New York and Mauritius to San Diego. Are you with us? 

Beyond the App
Co-planning with the Experts
Beyond the App invites teachers to interact with experts in online and traditional literacies.
Tim Rasinski

Meet the President of AUC, President of SUNY Cortland, and the Minister of Education in Egypt. 

You will have a chance to interact and ask questions. 

President Erik Bitterbaum
Doug Fisher & Nancy Frey

Register now to save your place. 

Egyptian & Africa teachers, click bit.ly/BeyondTheAppEgypt 

US and Canada, register here bit.ly/beyondtheapp

#BeyondTheApp @TDWolsey Graphic design by Abd-Elrhman Elsadany

I’m Going Beyond the App in my virtual classroom. Find out how.

Register Now for Beyond the App

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey & Nance Wilson

Registration for Beyond the App is open now!

Beyond the App is an interactive online conference for middle grades teachers, teacher educators, parents, and educational leaders. For just $10 you get to work with experts in the field to improve your online teaching of literacy.

You can read more about it in this press release: http://www2.cortland.edu/news/detail.dot?id=a01e318d-2666-4ecd-818c-3f7a144744dc

Visit our website and register (Your registration helps us fund the conference in the future): https://bit.ly/beyondtheapp

If you are registering from Africa, please send a note for special instructions to BeyondTheApp@Cortland.edu

In addition, participants can choose to donate to our EgyptReads! Initiative to put books in school libraries.

Some of our speakers:

Jack C Berckemeyer
Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey
Maha Bali
Vicky Mac Arthur Cardullo
Zoi Philippakos
Troy Hicks
Emily Smothers Howell
Ian O’Byrne
Danny Brassell
Keisha Rembert
Jill Castek
Timothy Rasinski
Julie Coiro
Richard Beach
AND MORE!

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