EngageOK Teachers - December 2019

December 2019

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister joins students at the Uncover-Discover STEM Lab at the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum in 2015. For years, students have been using large touch-screen tables to work independently, then come together as a group to find solutions to challenges.

25th Bombing Anniversary Offers Lessons in Resilience

Dear Teachers,

In the history of our nation, one of the great stories of hope and resilience is that of the Oklahoma City bombing. April 19 will mark the 25th anniversary of the horrific day that resulted in courageous Oklahomans coming together on a mission of rescue, recovery and justice. Now is the perfect time to share the lessons learned from tragedy with your students. The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum offers a variety of free resources to help.

logoBeginning at your school, students can participate in an augmented reality program, where they will use tablets to interact with 3-D buildings, videos, overlays and more to help them connect with the story of April 19, 1995, prior to visiting the memorial and museum. 

At the museum, students can honor the victims, survivors, rescuers and all who were forever changed that day, as well as participate in hands-on interactive lessons in the Uncover-Discover STEM Lab. They will also gain an understanding of the meaningful symbolism in the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial. This all leads to students being inspired to positively impact and strengthen their communities – to be Called2Change.

Students can also participate in the memorial’s 19th Annual Student Essay Contest and share their perceptions of how their community and nation have changed in the past 25 years.

I encourage you to download free lesson plansschedule a field trip or register for the Memorial Kids Marathon. To learn more about additional resources and 25th anniversary special events, please visit www.MemorialMuseum.com.

With respect and gratitude,
Joy Hofmeister, State Superintendent of Public Instruction


2020-21 Budget Request Advances to Legislature

policyThe Oklahoma State Board of Education has approved a Fiscal Year 2021 budget request of $3.29 billion for common education, which includes an increase of nearly $220 million over last year. The request seeks to restore critical instructional funding, including funds to reduce class sizes and hire additional teachers and school counselors.
The request includes an increase of $117.9 million to the state funding formula. Rising health insurance benefit costs for school teachers and staff account for an additional $32.8 million. The budget request also includes $19 million for a School Counselor Corps, an additional $6 million for instructional materials and an additional $42.6 million for Support of Students and Teachers, a line item that directly impacts classroom programs and investments, including:

  • Alternative education programs to reduce dropout rates and increase graduation rates
  • School support to provide resources that facilitate rapid school and academic improvement
  • A competitive grant pool that will increase district access to a variety of reading, math, robotics and other student success programs
  • Sooner Start Early Intervention program for children age birth through 36 months with developmental delays
  • Mentor stipends for new teachers

The budget request now goes to the state Legislature, which will convene its regular session in February. View the complete FY21 budget request.

Claremore eighth-grade English language arts teacher Brooke Lee is stunned to hear Gov. Kevin Stitt call her name as the recipient of the 2019-20 Milken Educator Award.
View more photos. Photos courtesy Milken Family Foundation.

Claremore Teacher Wins $25,000 National Award

LeeClaremore teacher Brooke Lee was surprised with the Milken Educator Award last month at an all-school assembly at Will Rogers Junior High. With State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister by her side and still trying to process what just happened, Brooke shared some thoughts with her students and colleagues. “I would not be getting this if it were not for you all,” she said to her fellow educators. “You truly have been instrumental in my growth as a teacher.”

Brooke, who teaches eighth-grade English language arts and is a leader in professional development at her school, was stunned when her name was called as the recipient of the national award that comes with a unrestricted $25,000 cash award.

Children Deck Out Museum for Christmas Tree Lighting

joyState Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister compliments students from Loretha Golden’s first-grade class from Moss Public School on their homemade decorations at the Governor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. View all of the photos.

Classes from 25 schools across Oklahoma participated in the annual Governor’s Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony last week. Traditionally held at the Capitol, the event took place at the nearby Oklahoma History Center. Children in first- through fifth-grade decorated 4-foot trees on the first floor of the museum and were joined by the Governor, First Lady and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister. Watch the video on Facebook.








formativeFive Easy Steps to Formative Assessment

Formative assessment is an essential part of planning for and differentiating instruction. The Formative 5 is a series of techniques that can be used in any math classroom to help you understand what students are learning and what steps to take to ensure students master the material.

  1. Observations: Watch and record how students are progressing on a given concept.
  2. Interviews: Confer with students (one-on-one or in small groups) briefly and “in the moment.”
  3. Show Me: Ask students (in small groups or individually) to demonstrate their mathematical thinking through written, hands-on and/or oral responses.
  4. Hinge Questions: Check for understanding from small groups or whole class to determine next steps in instruction.
  5. Exit Tasks: Sample student performance based on the focus of the lesson.

To learn more about the Formative 5, check out these resources. How do you use the Formative 5 in your classroom? Submit your thoughts here.




Free Training & Resources

REGIONAL TRAUMA TRAINING: Join 2019 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Becky Oglesby and OSDE Executive Director of Counseling Beth Whittle for free regional trauma training specifically tailored to teachers. Workshops begin in February and will be held in Sapulpa, Oklahoma City, Woodward, Lawton, Atoka and Claremore. Learn about the basics of trauma and how it affects learning, as well as how to utilize art as a regulation technique. For more information, click here.

codeFREE CODING RESOURCES: Join students and educators across the country by partnering with Girls Who Code to bring computer science opportunities to elementary, middle and high school girls in your community. Girls Who Code Clubs are free after-school programs for girls to join a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models and use computer science to change the world. Learn more by checking out a Clubs Overview or by joining an upcoming Girls Who Code webinar.

TRASH POSTER CONTEST: Enter the annual Statewide Trash Poster Contest from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. All Oklahoma kindergarten through 12th-grade students are eligible. Deadline is Jan. 31.

kindnessSOCIAL/EMOTIONAL RESOURCES: Teach Kindness is free evidence-based SEL curriculum to foster kindness and improve school climate in grades K-8. Teach Kindness offers resources over a four-week period of the school’s choosing. Teachers will receive ongoing access to kindness-building lesson plans following the successful completion of the program to encourage students to be more empathetic and manage their emotions and actions. For more information, click here or email Steve Hahn of the Parent Child Center of Tulsa.

Win Awards & Scholarships

NBCTNATIONAL BOARD SCHOLARSHIPS: Oklahoma teachers can receive scholarships to pursue National Board Certification. Recipients will receive $1,300 for the NBCT application process. Support and mentoring will be provided as well as a $500 materials stipend. Deadline is Jan. 24. For more information, click here.

COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG: Fellowship applications are now available for Oklahoma fifth- and eighth-grade teachers interested in attending the 2020 Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute in the restored capital city of 18th-century Virginia. The fifth-grade institute is scheduled June 6-12, and the eighth-grade institute is scheduled June 13-19. Deadline is Feb. 1. For more information, click here

PAEMST AWARDS: Nominate a deserving K-6 mathematics or science teacher within your district to win $10,000. The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government for mathematics and science teaching. Nomination deadline is Mar. 1. For more information, click here.

News From Across the State

icumiSTATE ENROLLMENT UP: For the first time in history, Oklahoma public school enrollment exceeds 700,000 students. To read the story, click here.

GENERATION CITIZEN: Alcott Middle School students in Norman are participating in action civics to improve their community. To watch the video, click here.

ARDMORE FINE ARTS: Ardmore City Schools’ commitment to the fine arts is raising ACT scores and getting their kids ready for college and careers after high school. To watch the video, click here

zeeckSHAPED MY LIFE: Tracey Zeeck, founder of Bumbershoot Public Relations in Oklahoma City, tells her story of a teacher who believed in her and how it put her on a trajectory to succeed in life. To watch the series of bite-sized videos, click here.




trauma summit
Join State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister as she welcomes Dr. Bruce Perry with the Child Trauma Academy to speak on Feb. 17 at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City.
For more information and to register, click here.

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Last updated on December 17, 2019