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Institute for Learning Partnership

Master of Science Degree in Education 2014 Cohort

The UW-Green Bay master’s program is designed for educators who are actively employed in PK-12 classrooms and other educational settings or business/industry. The program, which started in 1998, is based on the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards and linked to educators’ practices. Educators work together as a community of learners and develop skills as reflective practitioners and in action research.

The cohort includes the following: Sarah Lynn Benjamin, First Nations Studies graduate; Cassandra Lynn Byerly, second-grade dual language teacher, Fort Howard Elementary School; Rebecca Jane Conn, first-grade bilingual teacher, Danz Elementary School; Cherie Kay Elm, Oneida; Francisco Javier Espinosa, second-grade bilingual teacher, Fort Howard Elementary School; Nathaniel Lein Jackson, third-grade bilingual teacher, Danz Elementary School; Emily Kate Krueger, English Language Learner, Froebel Early Learning Center; Joanna Marie Herrmann, bilingual instructional coach, Fort Howard Elementary School; Erika Isabel Nieto, third-grade bilingual teacher, Fort Howard Elementary School; Heidi Linn Pletcher, fifth-grade teacher, McAuliffe Elementary School; William Joseph Recka, third-grade teacher, Luxemburg-Casco Elementary School; Nathan Allen Riehl, instructor, EMT Program, NWTC; Christine Lynn Tipps, writing instructor, NWTC.

Reflections from two of the master’s candidates:

“The Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning master’s program at UW-Green Bay allows me to incorporate and enhance my teaching practice in my everyday work as a bilingual instructional coach. I thoroughly appreciate the collaborative nature of this program and the strong sense of community I feel being a part of it. IMG_5205By having this partnership with my colleagues, I am able to expand my understanding across multiple realms regarding education and our schools today, which directly impacts the teachers and students I support every day.” – Joanna Herrmann, Bilingual Instructional Coach for K-5 teachers and students at Fort Howard Elementary School


“My experience thus far in the Master’s Degree program in Applied Leadership for Teaching and Learning has been extremely interesting and rewarding.  My fellow cohort members are a diverse mix of students; some from varying levels in the field of education and the rest from other fields.  Their experiences, both in and out of the realm of education, allow us to participate in lively conversations and debates about education today.  We have all had the opportunity to learn from one another about topics from multi-cultural education and the history of education in our country to the state budget and vouchers. This has given me so much to think about when I come back to my own second-grade students. IMG_5156-Cassandra By sharing this experience with educators not only from the elementary grades, I am able to relate what I am teaching to what my students will need to know and be able to perform by the time they reach the levels that my other cohort members teach.  The conversations with my cohort members have taken me out of the “tunnel vision” of second-grade dual-language curriculum, and allowed me to think about how my student’s learning toward middle, high school and beyond, will progress.  I am so excited to move forward with this cohort throughout the master’s degree program, as I know that we will have many opportunities to continue learning from one another.” — Cassandra Byerly, second-grade –Dual Language Teacher, Fort Howard Elementary School


Congratulations on National Board Certification

Reflections from participants:

“Completing the portfolio for National Board Certification has helped me reflect on instruction and to analyze the validity of what I am teaching. Instead of doing what I’ve always done, I’m questioning the practicality of the information as well as its relevancy to World Language standards. This has resulted in lessons that are more engaging and meaningful for students. I would definitely recommend this process to other educators. Meyer, Paula (NB)2It brings the standards to the forefront of lesson planning and unit design; the focus becomes student learning. Self-reflection and the changes that are made as a result are profound. The UW-Green Bay workshops were very helpful. Useful tips presented to the group as a whole helped me as I wrote my entries. Having time to ask questions in the large group was beneficial, as many times the information applied to all of us. I am certain I would not have been successful without attending these and other workshops. It is an extremely challenging process and without support would be nearly impossible to complete.” – Paula Meyer, NBCT, 2014


“I could not have done this without the workshops from the Institute for Learning Partnership. The workshops helped me stay focused and helped me pace my progress. They were instrumental in helping me interpret the parts of each of the portfolios. The mentors were great at helping me find a way to succeed in this process.” – Michael Aprill, NBCT, 2014



“Although it may be a daunting process and one that takes a firm commitment and sense of resilience, going through the National Board Certification process has positively impacted my teaching, and therefore the learning of the students in my classroom. Marisa Steppe (NB)2I would highly recommend pursuing National Board Certification to other educators, as it truly encourages you to take a hard look at what you already do well, what you can do better, and what you have not yet tried.”–Marissa Steppke, NBCT, 2014



World Music Drumming

“Drumming plays a significant role in the education Grant (David)2of students at Monroe Elementary School and one non-verbal fifth-grade boy is an exceptional drummer, so having the drums in the school strongly supports students’ education,” said Bourgeois.

Here are some of the reflections from sixth-graders about drumming:

Carlie Murphy — “My favorite part of drumming is learning about other people from different places and cultures around the world.  We get to play their songs and tell their stories through our music.  There are so many interesting cultures and each song is a different story of that culture.  I love hearing from the people that created the music and came up with the song.”

Emma Sickinger — “I’m glad we have the drums in the music room all year long now.  Mr. Bourgeois can use the drums with all of the kids grades 1-6.  They are used every quarter of the school year.  It makes music fun and you feel like you are in a real life drumming circle from Africa.”

Michael Paltzer  — “I’ve learned that other cultures look at music differently than we do.  I like keeping a really steady beat.  When you put all the drum parts together our class sounds like 100 people playing.”

Daniel Cookle — “I like going home and practicing the drums parts on my lap.  When we play the drums outside the breeze feels so good and it’s great to be a part of nature.  I’ve learned our drums are made out of different materials than other cultures who make them out of natural wood and skins from animals.”

6th grade drumming class

6th grade drumming class

Reading with the Daily 5 Approach

The grant supplied the necessary equipment for teaching reading with the Daily 5 approach.Daily 5 from Suring (Grants) 8

“With the money we received through the grant we have been able to purchase supplies that we normally would not have been able to get with our regular budget,” said Stegeman.

They purchased support items including an iPad, iTunes gift cards to purchase educational apps, a CD/tape player, books on CD for a listening center, special writing journals, and student-sized whiteboards.

“With the support of the Institute for Learning Partnership grant we have been able to bring our reading lessons to a new level,” said Stegeman. “The impact on our students has been wonderful. They are more independent and self-initiating in all of the language areas.”

The students were able to create stories, listen to each other’s stories, practice spelling and reading, and the teachers are able to use the iPads to administer the STARS test.

These thoughts from students support the impact of the grant in their classroom:

Libby — “I love using the iPad. It is fun to tell stories on it and then listen to them.”

Johnny — “My favorite thing to do in Daily 5 is to listen to the books on CD. We learn how to use   the CD player ourselves.”

Gwen — “It is fun to write and color in our writing journals. I like to write lots of sentences.”

Claire — “It is fun to write on the whiteboards. Sometimes we get to color on them, too.”


Grant Provides Inspiration to Talented Young Musician

She applied and received a $5,000 Institute grant to purchase the violin, which would be awarded to a selected student who demonstrated responsibility, diligence and commitment to excellence on his or her instrument, but would not have been able to afford it. The instrument would be given to the student as a “loan” for the school year and then returned at the close of the school year for maintenance before it would be awarded at the closing recital at the next summer Bootcamp program, thereby, establishing an opportunity for all students to strive toward.

The outstanding student, who wins the violin, will participate in the Summer Strings Bootcamp program. The Bootcamp is an intensive three-week lesson program that serves students from culturally diverse backgrounds, with two private instrumental lessons per week, sectional and ensemble classes, music literacy class concluding with an evening recital. Student Zac Clark was the first award recipient.

“Being selected made me realize that our instructors saw me as being better than I thought,” Clark said. “It has helped me in my confidence. It has made me proud of who I am as a violinist and it has inspired me to want to continue to improve my skills on the violin.”

Inquiry-Based Science Curriculum Invigorates Students

According to Johnson, the students enjoyed the integrated, hands-on approach to learning science.

“They embraced the role of scientist as they observed land and water organisms in eco-towers and in an actual river and pond,” Johnson said. “They were excited to use their knowledge and understanding of electricity to build working flashlights and to wire a dollhouse.”

The project has had a positive impact on students’ learning as indicated by data.

“After using the Einstein Kits, data showed significant growth in students’ knowledge and in their attitude toward science,” said Carstens. “The students loved the hands-on, inquiry-based approach to learning science and the chance to work collaboratively with their peers. The exploratory approach to learning helped them think critically and develop a deeper understanding of the concepts.”

One of the students summed it up, “I like it because it makes you feel like you’re a real scientist and you’re doing experiments that scientists do.”


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Students working on Motion & Design Einstein Kit