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Computer Science Opportunities Exist for Alabama Teachers and Students
November 18, 2014 | Comments
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A+ College Ready has a long-standing commitment to promoting Computer Science professional development and implementation across the state of Alabama. Through the help of Dr. Jeff Gray at the University of Alabama, several teachers across the state are experiencing success in their own classroom in creating and implementing Computer Science-related opportunities for their students. The following upcoming events provide further opportunities for teachers and students to engage deeply with Computer Science concepts and practices.

The Hour of Code during CS Education Week – December 8-14, 2014

During the first week of December 2013, over 18,000 Alabama students (and over 20milion internationally) participated in the Hour of Code, which provided a first experience of computer programming for students. The event is back again with even more activities planned. For example, one school from every state will receive a $10k gift, and one class in the US will be flown to DC for a very special high-profile event. Furthermore, many celebrities (e.g., actors and musicians) and famous computer scientists (e.g., Bill Gates) will be linked live to several classrooms.
This year the hour of code takes place during the week of December 8-14. More information about the Hour of Code can be found at: http://csedweek.org/

Code.org K-5 Professional Development Workshops 

Throughout Alabama, Code.org is sponsoring several free professional development workshops for K-5 teachers (primarily 3rd-5th grade) to introduce a new curriculum for computer science that is aligned to multiple standards. The curriculum provides an online environment for students to learn computer programming in a fun way, as well as kinesthetic “unplugged” activities to demonstrate concepts of computation.
At each free workshop, participants receive the following:
-           7 hours of professional development with a completion certificate from Code.org
-           A 200 page textbook focused on the K-5 curriculum with many exercises and activities
-           A Code.org “Swag Bag”
-           A catered lunch
-           Access to free online course management resources on Code.org to monitor the progress of a whole class
To find out more about these workshops, please visit the following web page at Code.org and watch the video: http://code.org/educate/k5
There are several other workshops scheduled across Alabama. There is also strong interest to find hosts for workshops in Montgomery and Mobile and other school districts interested in hosting an event. Please contact Dr. Jeff Gray (gray@cs.ua.edu) if you would like more information about an upcoming workshop, or would like to bring a workshop to your area.
Below are the dates for upcoming workshops. We hope to schedule a lot more in other parts of the state soon:
December 5, 2014: Mt. Brook Schools
December 8, 2014: Tuscaloosa City Schools
December 11, 2014: Pelham City Schools
December 12, 2014: Pelham City Schools
January 26, 2015: Hoover City Schools
January 29, 2015: Huntsville (at UAH)
January 30, 2015: Decatur
February 4, 2015: Tuscaloosa City Schools

NSF Grant to Support Professional Development for CS Principles (a new College Board AP course)

The National Science Foundation has awarded a $1M grant to the University of Alabama and A+ College Ready to provide year-long professional development to high school teachers in preparation for a new College Board AP exam in computer science. Over 50 teachers will receive a stipend for their participation, equipment funds for their school, and travel expenses to attend face-to-face PD. There are also opportunities and funds available for students of the participating teachers. Each participant will be engaged in a community of practice with peer teachers across the state who are also preparing to offer this new course. The new CS Principles course counts as a math elective for high school graduation in Alabama and will be an official AP exam in the 2016-2017 school year.
More details are available in the attached flyer. Applications for the 2015 cohort are due in early January 2015 with notifications sent out in early February. For more information, contact Dr. Jeff Gray (gray@cs.ua.edu) or Mary Boehm (marydboehm@bellsouth.net).
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AP Science and English Teachers Recognized For Extraordinary Growth
November 17, 2014 | Comments
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At the recent 2-Day trainings for AP science and AP English, several teachers were recognized for leading their students to exceptional success on AP exams. Teachers also participated in intensive professional development led by nationally recognized AP Science trainers. A+ College Ready recently announced the results that Alabama is ranked first in the nation in qualifying score growth in AP math, science, and English exams. The following awards help illuminate how these results were achieved.... [continue reading]
Students at A+ College Ready Schools Recognized for Outstanding Performance
November 5, 2014 | Comments
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Several students at A+ College Ready schools were recently recognized as semifinalists in the 51st annual National Achievement Scholarship Program. Sponsored by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, the National Achievement Scholarship Program recognizes Black American high school students for outstanding academic achievement and community involvement.  [continue reading]
AP Math Teachers Recognized For Extraordinary Growth
October 10, 2014 | Comments
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At the recent 2-Day AP Math training at Samford University, several teachers were recognized for leading their students to exceptional success on AP exams. A+ College Ready Math Content Director, Kitty Morgan, presented awards to teachers from across the state for beating national averages on AP exam sections, as well as for greatly increasing the number of students earning qualifying scores.  [continue reading]
AP Students: Enter for your chance to win $50 #whyItakeAP
September 29, 2014 | Comments
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A+ College Ready works to dramatically increase the number of students in Alabama taking math, science, and English AP courses, earning qualifying scores on AP exams, and attending and succeeding in college. However, we want to know what excites YOU about taking an AP course! [continue reading]
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