Michael D. Eisner College of Education wordmark

Late November 2015 e-Newsletter

Welcome to the Late November 2015 issue of our college newsletter. We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and are looking forward to an exciting holiday season and restful winter recess.

The MDECOE Winter Wonderland Party will be taking place on December 17, and we hope you will all attend and take part in the door decorating contest. See the event flyer and door decorating contest rules for more information.

Happy Thanksgiving


Rebecca Mieliwocki speaking alongside an ASL interpreter

School Professional Development Available

Are you tired of boring professional development? Do your typical presenters lecture you to death? Are you looking for information that is research-based and yet imminently practical and include “use-tomorrow” strategies? The Center for Teaching and Learning has a Speaker’s Bureau that is perfect for you! Mr. Steve Holle is the coordinator of professional development and he is frequently out in the field, making connections between schools and expert topics and speakers. Let us know what your needs are and we will be happy to come talk to you about how we might be able to support your school! Email Steve Holle at holle@csun.edu, Wendy Murawski at wendy.murawski@csun.edu, or the Center for Teaching & Learning at ctl@csun.edu.

Drawing out the Best with the CTL

The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) was proud to host Jon Pearson on November 17th at California State University, Northridge. Jon is a nationally known expert on creativity and presented his workshop entitled "Drawing the best out of common core." He mentioned that the word "draw" is used throughout the common core standards 138 times, such as "drawing inferences" and "drawing connections." Mr. Pearson clarified that teachers and students do not need to be able to have artistic ability in order to use drawing to help with comprehension and retention of material. He used a variety of examples during the workshop to demonstrate how the brain remembers in pictures more than in text. He emphasized that it is more important for students "to get the picture" rather than just "getting the point." The CTL was thoroughly pleased with the energy, information, and engagement throughout the workshop and encourages those who want to learn more to go to Jon’s website at www.createlearning.com. If you want to be notified of other CTL activities and workshops, be sure to get on the CTL listserve by sending your email address to ctl@csun.edu and putting “Please add me to the CTL listserve” in the reference line.

Center for Teaching & Learning
Dr. Kathleen Rowlands

Dr. Kathy Rowlands has just returned from Minneapolis, MN where she presented a roundtable called "Creating Opportunities for Distributed Leadership: Strengthening Professional Practice at Your Writing Project Site" at the National Writing Project’s 2015 Annual Meeting, and presented "Rethinking Rhetorical Purpose in a World of 'Text Types'" as part of a session called "the art of Adaptation: Teaching Texts rhetorically" at the National Council of Teachers of English annual convention.

Sally SpencerSue SearsVanessa GoodwinNancy-Burstein

Every year, thousands of students with disabilities leave high school without the skills they need to succeed in their adult life. Data confirms that 65% of students with disabilities, including those with learning disabilities, read below the 20th percentile in eighth grade, and are at high risk for drop out during high school. Drs. Sally Spencer, Sue Sears, Vanessa Goodwin and Nancy Burstein, in CSUN's Department of Special Education, were recently awarded a grant from the Department of Education to take on the challenge of improving outcomes for this underserved and highly at risk population.

Read more about their grant

Lately, Steve Holle has been working with Junior Achievement and their innovative High School Heroes program. Junior Achievement's (JA) High School Heroes Program (HSHP) affords a unique opportunity for high school students to experience hands-on teaching in an elementary school classroom. After completing comprehensive training by a JA representative, participants received a grade-level appropriate teaching kit containing all the necessary materials to successfully deliver five common core standards-based interactive lessons.

Read more about it and see pictures of the event

Steve Holle
Dr. Wendy MurawskiDr. Tamarah Ashton

In November, Dr. Wendy Murawski presented for the Education Service Center region 4 in Houston, Texas on co-teaching at an advanced level. She and Dr. Tamarah Ashton also co-presented for the Special Education Administrators of Arizona in Phoenix, Arizona on co-teaching, modeling what they preach. Wendy also presented on "Differentiation in the AP Classroom" in Santa Barbara, and did 2 webinars on differentiation – one for Higley Unified and one for Florence Unified, both districts in Arizona. She is also excited to be wrapping up her time on the Presidential line for the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children.

Wendy also just published a peer-reviewed journal article entitled "An Administrator's Guide to Co-teaching" in the Dec 2015 issue of Educational Leadership, 73(4), 30-35.


Have you received your copy of the TCARE newsletter? TCARE is a free national newsletter geared for new and student teachers, as well as any educators who would like more ideas and motivation. You can directly download the newsletter by going to http://www.csun.edu/sites/default/files/T-Care-Volume-1-Fall-2015.pdf. Please feel free to share the newsletter liberally with your friends and colleagues. If you'd like future copies of the TCARE to come directly to you, please email the Center for Teaching and Learning at ctl@csun.edu and put "Please send me the TCARE newsletter" in the reference line. Also, feel free to regularly check the CTL website at www.csun.edu/ctl for information on upcoming conferences, presentations, opportunities, and research.

Dr. Deborah Chen

Deborah Chen, of the Department of Special Education, has several new publications.

Chen, D., Calvello, G., & Friedman, C.T. (2015). Parents and infants with visual impairments (2nd ed.). Louisville, KY: APH.

Chen, D., & Neilsen, A. (2015). First look: Vision screening for infants [video]. Outreach Project, Kansas State School for the Blind https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_8MWXvtv_s


  • December 8, Last Day of Formal Instruction
  • December 9-15, Final Exams Week
  • December 11, Thesis/Dissertation Final Submission Deadline
  • December 15, Door Decorating Contest Deadline
  • December 17, Winter Wonderland Party
  • December 22, Last Day of Fall 2015 Semester
  • December 25 - January 1, Campus Closed for Winter Recess


Please give us your thoughts on the monthly e-newsletter. We will strive to use your feedback to help improve future issues.

College of Education faculty and staff assembled