Monday, September 29, 2008

Classroom Management Tips

There is a link between student behavior and student learning. The most important person in making sure there is order and cohesive teaching and learning is the teacher. Starting the year out, creating the conditions needed for teaching and learning relies on thinking through the expectations, understanding the levers that will help establish order and capitalizing on the energy of the students as they arrive at the classroom door.

Click on title as we journey through the year in reflecting and continually improving on the learning environment.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Calling All Juniors and Seniors

It is the start of the 2008-2009 school year The college office in room 307 looks forward to working closely with parents and students of the class of 2009 in advising and facilitating the college application process.

There is loads of information from the College Office posted on the location: McKee Money
Click on the site for the latest information about College Applications, scholarships, fee waivers, College Fairs, and Exchange Programs.

Click on the site for information from Room 307 - in order to get ready for the PSAT, SAT, and ACT.
See Ms. Messina or Ms. Rivera in Room 307 in the college and Career Center for all the juicy details.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

5 Levers to Improve Student Learning - The Real Deal

Click on the title for the detailed key points from the straight talk from Chancellor Klein for the steps to improve student learning.
Here is the quick guide:
1. Every teacher must have a strong knowledge of the curriculuum. The key point to remember is that teachers have such a mastery of the content that they provide organized, enriching information, and develop the ability of the students to be independent, critical thinkers.
2. Every teacher needs to be able to differentiate instruction. The key point to remember is that the content must line up with the curriculum and teachers have many ways to help kids get it.
3. Every teacher must use data from assessments to guide how they deliver the content to students and to monitor if students are getting it. The key point to remember is after indicating the skill to the students, there should be a pre-test. Tell the students where they stand. The skill is taught through a rich array of content using different strategies. At the end of the week or two weeks, there is a post-test, and the students realize their level of growth in becoming proficient at that skill or set of skills.
4. Teamwork among professionals is powerful. The key point to remember is that teachers need to meet to look at student work, understand how students perform, and dril down to find out what feedback students need to move their learning.
5. The principal needs to support student and adult learning. The key point to remember is that the UFT Teacher's Center in room 103A is an available place to meet, hash out, practice, and try out lessons with Rita Kelly and Stephanie Malvasio. Students at McKee have block programming in core academic areas and are heterogeneously grouped.
Oh by the way - you know the big lady in room 111, I heard tell that a few of her nicknames are "Lesson Lab Lady" and "Resource Lady."

Friday, September 12, 2008

National Honor Society & National Junior Honor Society

McKee is affiliated with the nation's premier student recognition organization, NHS. McKee's Honor Society chapter heralds commitment to recognizing and promoting student excellence and let students, faculty members, parents and community know the support of the national office, McKee's chapter and its activities.

Students and advisors should visit the website: The society also encourages advisers and students to attend conferences. For further information visit:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008



This workshop will be an exploration of the art of making new mistakes through reading, seeing, hearing, rapping, and most of all writing. Along the way, in the workshop one will encounter the Ecstatic Truth of Werner Herzog, How to Be Perfect by Ron Padgett, the chromo-poems of CA Conrad, Gertrude Stein's Tender Buttons, dispatches from the Spasmodic School, the MCs of Avant-Rap, and much else. Best of all, in the workshop there will be an opportunity to make many new mistakes together, through in-class collaborations, critiques, and performances.

Young writers of any style, persuasion, interest, ability, and borough are all equally welcome. Let's start writing poems that are alive.
The presenter is Chris Martin, the author of American Music and has taught young New Yorkers for the past six years. Open to high school teens. FREE.

The Poetry Project is located at St. Mark's Church-in-the-Bowery
131 East 10th Street at Second Avenue
New York City 10003
Trains: 6, F, N, R, and L.

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Mr. Lucci got this incredible site from a professor which takes just 3 minute to watch:
My reaction upon looking at the video is best summarized by Albert Schweitzer: Truth has no special time of its own. Its hour is now – always.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How Do You Know You Have An Effective Mini-Lesson?

Not quite sure how to pull off a mini-lesson? Don't know what TWPS means or how to do an Interactive Read Aloud.

Our Ms. Kelly, in room 103A - the UFT Teacher Center, gets right down to the real nitty-gritty with step by step instructions.
Click right here:
1. Building an Effective Mini-Lesson
2. Think-Write-Pair-Share
3. Interactive Read Aloud

Reinforcing a Healthy Classroom Climate

To help make every child proficient and prepared for success, here are a few tips to guide students toward demonstrating appropriate behavior:

1. Only call on students who quietly raise their hands and state what the pupil is doing: "Jay has his hand up and is not talking. I'll call on him."

2. Take corrective action if students continue to shout out answers by restating the directions, "The directions were to raise your hands and wait to be called upon before speaking - that's a warning."

3. Stand next to students who are having trouble participating appropriately during a discussion.

4. Have potentially disruptive students model how to behave.

5. Have students Think (for 1 to 2 minutes) - Pair - and - Share it when they all want to speak.

For more information about these techniques click right here -- Ms. Henry's wikispaces.

The tips are courtesy of Lee Canters Classroom Management for Academic Success

Sunday, September 7, 2008

RMHS Has A Chess Club

McKee High School now has a Chess Club. All students and faculty are welcome to join. Meetings are on Mondays and Thursdays in room 202 Period 9. Join any time. For more information and instructions to join, click on the title or right here -- the McKee Chess Club Blog.
The Blog is updated Periodically by Michael Lippa, so check back often for new posts about upcoming events and competitions.

Having Fun in Math Class

I enjoy popping into different classes. I had a delightful time in a math class on Friday, September 6, 2008.

The big revelation: always have many examples of the concept you want students to learn. It works. Make sure that each student is able to understand the mathematical rule. The one example given in textbooks is never enough. The more examples the merrier so that students understand the strategy they have to use for a particular rule - that's the sweet spot.

Neat Ways to Wrap Up the Last 5 Minutes of Class

5 Minutes Before Class Ends: WRAP IT UP


• Have 1 pre-chosen student state the lesson’s objective/aim/swbat
• Have 1 randomly selected student state how you reached the objective
• Have 1 randomly selected student share new information.
• Have 1 pre-chosen student write new vocabulary on the word wall
• Have students predict what they will learn next
• Have students write relevant questions, they didn’t ask in class on a post-it and place it in the “Parking Lot” or designated bulletin board. Let the class take turns answering the "Parking Lot."

For more ideas about ways to have summary activities for a class, click on the title or right here --Ms Henry1 Wikispaces.

Calling all Seniors and Parents/Caregivers of Seniors

Are you checking the McKee Money blog to find out all the latest information about SAT registration, essay contests, sweepstakes, and applications?

Roll your cursor over to the McKee Money blog right now.

Do you know about the Live Auto Shop?

McKee High School has a fantastic live auto shop from 8 to 9:25 a.m. each morning. Mr. Van Wilson runs a tight shop. As long as you bring the supplies, the seniors will do oil changes and a bunch of other auto stuff that is more complicated and difficult for me to remember. My car has never been so well cared for as when it is in the hands of the seniors.

Great Welcome Back Breakfast on Saturday, Sept. 6, 2008

A good time was had by all at the opening Welcome Back Breakfast that occurred on Saturday, September 6, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon.

Want to know what happened? Here it goes. . .
Ms. Jeanne Johnson, the District Representative for Title 1 in Staten Island and our beloved PTA president, went over key points about how Title 1 funds are to be used to help parents enhance the educational experience for the students. The parents voted to have the general membership of the PTa address me about key issues. Other issues covered were the distribution of the Title 1 Parent Involvement Policy, the Parent Compact and how it is a key part of the school's comprehensive Education Plan.

"Roll call of the members of the executive board of the PTA are:
Jeanne Johnson - President
Kath Sanders - Vice President
Gloria Ruggeri - Treasurer
Fran Schiavone - Secretary

Ms. Mullen provided an overview of Ralph McKee High School's progressive discipline, and policy about electronic devices. Mr. Guarnieri talked about the band program. Ms. Ippolito indicated the availability of guidance counselors.

Mr. Van Wilson, representing the faculty, gave a rousing speech about the benefits of attending a school that offers both academic and vocational training. He threw out a challenge to the parents to make sure that there "tax dollars are at work," and to "hold our feet to the fire" regarding the education of their children.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Please Join RMHS at our Welcome Back Breakfast as we start off the new year with information, refreshments and prizes.

Location: Students' Cafeteria
Date: Saturday, September 6, 2008
Time: 10:00am - 12:00pm

RMHS September/October Calendar

September 6: Welcome Back Breakfast for Parents 10:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.
September 9: Registration Deadline for October 4, 2008 SAT
(Register on$45.00)
September 19: Registration Deadline for October 25, 2008 ACT Examination
(Register on$31.00)
September 26: Registration Deadline for November 1, 2008 SAT
(Register on$45,00)
Sept. 30/Oct. 1: Rosh Hashanah (School Closed)
October 9: Yom Kippur (School Closed)
October 13: Columbus Day (School Closed)
October 16: Principal for a Day: Thomas Thatcher
October 15: PSAT Examination for 10th and 11th grades students
(Students Report to their Period 2 class at 8:00 AM/Regular Day)
October 21: McKee Open House—6:30 p.m.—8:00 p.m.
October 23: Parent/Teacher Conference—6:00 p.m.—8:30 p.m.
* Report Card Distribution to Parent/Guardian
October 24: Parent/Teacher Conference—12:30 p.m.—2:30 p.m.
* Report Card Distribution to Parent/Guardian

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Hard Facts About the First Day of School

Every day counts.
797 students are registered
653 students showed up on Tuesday, September 2, 2008.
144 students were missing.

Let's make no child left behind into no child should
think it is okay to be absent.

Community Service Idea

Calling all students. If you need a jumpstart on your community service credit, Councilman McMahon has a campaign office at 31 Water St. It is open from 9am-9pm. Volunteering on a political campaign is a great detail to add on college applications. Just click on the title to find out further details.

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