Webinar on connecting children to nature August 24

August 5, 2017

The Role of Youth Leadership & Stewardship in Connecting Children to Nature
Thursday, August 24, 2017 2:00–3:00 pm EDT

Cultivating youth leadership & stewardship can be a valuable tool for city leadership to equitably connect youth to nature. Through strategic youth leadership activities, youth in cities can be more connected to nature and take a leadership role in ensuring younger children are able to experience the benefits of nature connection. In response to the disconnect many youth living in urban environments experience from parks and open spaces, elevating youth stewardship in a city can be a tool to empower youth to see themselves as change-makers in creating accessible public lands. Learn from several cities within the CCCN cohort on strategies they employed to strengthen youth leadership & stewardship in their cities.

Featured Speakers:

Bennett Knox, Parks Administrator, Parks Administrator,
Louisville Metro Parks & Recreation

Sonya Sankaran, Consultant at Madison Dane County Public Health

Pegah Rahmanian, Executive Director, Youth in Action


From ODE: Science test questions and other resources

August 3, 2017

From the Ohio Department of Education:

A partial release of items from the spring 2015, 2016, and 2017 Science Ohio State Tests is now available in the Ohio’s State Test portal.  These items give educators insight into the kinds of questions students experienced, and they are a useful tool to inform classroom instruction.  Both teachers and parents may use this resource to help students know what to expect.

Included with each item in this release are the associated learning standard(s) and the scoring rubrics. Examples of student responses also are available to illustrate actual work and the corresponding points earned on the student examples.

Online Practice Tests Are Now Able To Be Scored

The student on-line practice tests accessed through Ohio’s State Test Portal now feature real-time item-scoring to allow a student immediate feedback on each item. The item score will show how many points the student earned for the response; how many points are possible for the item; and information about why the student’s response was correct or incorrect. The practice tests will not provide test scores (e.g., no scale score, no performance level) or item scoring information for test administrators.  If the Practice Test Sign In page does not appear after selecting the Student Practice Site, try using a different browser, such as Firefox or Google.

To obtain scores on these practice test items, users need to select the End Test icon on the top row of the screen. This icon only appears on screen when the user reaches the last question in the practice test session. Constructed response items are not eligible for scoring by computer. A scoring rubric is available in the Item Release Scoring Guide for each set of these practice items. For released constructed response items, educators can use the scoring rubrics as tools for providing feedback on written student responses.

New Item Types Available for Online Tests

A pair of new item types, Inline Choice and Gap Match, are now available for online Ohio’s State Tests. These new item types will be eligible to appear as field test items during the 2017-2018 school year. Field test items do not count for or against a student’s overall score. To help teachers and students become familiar with these new item types, the practice test for each grade level or high school course feature an example of each new item type.

A video tutorial demonstrating the functionality of each new item type is available in the test portal. Students can access tutorial videos for each of the various item types, including the newly added Inline Choice and Gap Match item types through the test portal any time before or after testing. During testing, students can access the tutorial videos through the testing platform.


Skype a Scientist matches scientists with classrooms around the world

July 31, 2017

Over 1700 scientists are available to videoconference with classrooms. For more information, visit the Skype a Scientist website.


Upcoming OSU Extension school gardening events

July 31, 2017

2017 Youth/School Garden Bus Tour
Friday, September 8, 2017
Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center
2201 Fred Taylor Drive
Columbus, OH 43210

The school garden bus tour will take you to the following locations:

  • Granville High School—This tour will feature a large scale school garden operation including raised beds, low tunnels, aquaponics system, garden to table dining services, a land lab and more.
  • The Columbus Jewish Day School—The focus of this tour will be gardening on a smaller scale, with service learning as an important goal.
  • Franklin Park Conservatory-At Franklin Park we will enjoy lunch and learn about the new youth garden being implemented by the Conservatory with some ideas that can apply to school gardens.
  • Howlett Hall Rooftop Garden at The Ohio State University—Although not a school garden, this inspirational garden will enlighten tour participants to the fact that the sky really can be the limit when it comes to gardening.
  • Highland Youth Garden—This amazing community garden in the urban core serves several nearby schools while educating youth about gardening.

OSU Extension Franklin County School Garden Conference
Friday, October 13, 2017
Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center
2201 Fred Taylor Drive
Columbus, OH 43210

*Garden-based Nutrition Education
*After-school Gardening
*Hands-on Activities

4-H Project Green Teacher

This ten-week fall school gardening series with two optional events and one make-up session, will culminate with a 4-H Project Green Teacher certification and the potential to earn 26 contact hours. The school garden bus tour and school garden conference are optional events that have discounted fees for participants. Area educators, non-profit, and Ohio State Extension personnel will present sessions that range from engaging stakeholders, garden nutrition, pollination, integrated pest management, site selection, sustainability and more. The course runs for two hours on Wednesday nights from September 8 to November 29.


From ODE: Survey on state standards changes due July 18

June 21, 2017

From the Ohio Department of Education:

Based on feedback from hundreds of Ohio teachers and parents, improvements are pending to Ohio’s Learning Standards in science, social studies and financial literacy. The Department asks you to share your thoughts about proposed changes through a survey, now open through July 18.

A review of the standards began in November, when the Department asked teachers, parents and community members for suggestions. Based on this input, advisory committees representing education organizations selected some standards for revision. Educator working groups then proposed the changes we present in the survey. Those taking the survey will see the rationale for the suggested revisions, which primarily clarify text or change the grade levels at which students learn subject-related skills and knowledge. The survey also asks for feedback on newly proposed high school anatomy and physiology standards, which teachers asked for in the fall.

This survey is part of an effort to fine-tune all of Ohio’s Learning Standards based on teachers’ experience with them during the past few years. Learn more here.


Applications for ODE standards alignment panels due June 16

May 24, 2017

(From the Ohio Department of Education)

Dear Science Educators,

 The Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is currently accepting applications for participants in the July 2017 Alignment Study process.  The purpose of each alignment study is to verify the alignment of the assessment items to the Ohio Learning Standards for content and difficulty. Alignment studies are part of the Peer Review process that provide additional evidence for the validity of the state assessments to the United States Department of Education (USDOE).

During the July meetings, Ohio content expert stakeholders from across the state will meet in panels to make judgments about the alignment of test questions to the content and rigor of Ohio’s Learning Standards in English language arts and mathematics grades 3 through high school and science grades 5, 8 and high school Biology.

Hotel accommodations are provided for participants who travel 45 miles or more to the meeting site. All hotel and mileage reimbursements will be covered. Substitute reimbursements are also available to districts if necessary. This stakeholder participation is considered voluntary so there is not a stipend for being a panelist.

Further information for potential participants, including meeting dates, is available in the FAQs at https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/OHED/bulletins/19c6fee. If you are interested in participating in the ODE Alignment Studies you may complete the online stakeholder committee nomination form located at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H7KF2C2.

Applicants are asked to describe their experience in education, including their expertise with Ohio’s Learning Standards in Ela, math and/or science and to identify their grade level and content area assignment preferences.  Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM ET on Friday, June 16th. Applicants selected to participate will be notified by Monday, June 26th. For more information about Ohio assessment stakeholder committees please visit the following web page: http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Testing/Assessment-Committees

We hope you will consider applying to be part of this exciting opportunity. If you have questions that cannot be answered by one of the FAQs, please contact:

Marie-Elena (Lana) Hall, Ed.D.

Associate Director, Office of Curriculum & Assessment



INFOhio free online summer activities for Grades 4–5

May 23, 2017

Camp INFOhio contains five days of reading, activities, and experiments centered on STEAM topics. STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Math. Kids can try their hand at code breaking, conduct science experiments with items they find in the kitchen, learn about roller coasters before designing their own, and create their own musical instruments.

For more information, visit the INFOhio website.