Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work® Day

RMHS' faculty, staff and their children celebrate Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on Thursday, April 23, 2009.

Thank you Ms. Eberlein for organizing such an eventful day!

McKee's Blood Drive

On Friday, April 24th, McKee's faculty, staff and students participated in the blood drive. 67 pints of blood were donated. Way to go RMHS!


This is the first class of students to receive the infant simulators from RealtyWorks. We were able to do this pilot program due to the generosity of John Tabacco and Patty Caltabiano. As the students cope with the reality of caring for their infant for 72 hours, we will share their progress.
Each student had to receive parental permission to participate in the pilot program.

The students received a “car seat” and bag with blanket, bottle, diapers, and swaddling clothes.

In the class, students also signed their name by the dotted line indicating they accepted the responsibility of caring for their new charge, and chronicling their experiences in a journal.

As a little side note – I was standing by the morning entrance with two other administrators and the Level III. One of the young men who had an infant simulator was walking in at a brisk pace, with a flushed face. He indicated he only got “3 hours worth of sleep.” The young man who is passionate about fixing classic muscle cars from the 60’s indicated that he originally planned to do an oil change after school. He declared loudly as he turned and dashed to class, baby in hand, “that’s not getting done.”

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Ms. Reilly gives a talk to the juniors about how to successfully apply to SUNY colleges and universities. Check out the pictures.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Using a K-W-L Chart and a Semantic Map

K-W-L is a reading/thinking strategy that provides a method for students to list (1) what they know (K) about a topic, (2) what they want (W) to learn about a topic, and (3) what they learned (L) about a topic – plus mapping text and summarizing information. After learning K-W-L with the guidance of a teacher, students can complete this activity individually or in groups.

1. Distribute copies of either K-W-L Chart 1 or K-W-L Chart 2. Teachers guide students in brainstorming ideas and discuss what they know about the topic. Students fill in the K column, what they know about a topic.

2. The teacher leads a discussion to help students formulate questions about what they want to know about the topic. Students then fill in the W column.
3. Students read the selection.

4. Students fill in the L column of the chart listing the things they learned from the reading.

5. Students use the K-W-L worksheet to construct a semantic map, which lists all the information they have learned about the topic.

6. Students use the semantic map to produce a summary.

These ideas are adapted from Strategic Learning in the Content Areas and from McGraw Hill Publishers.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Interacting with the Text Strategies

Good readers and writers have many ways to respond to what they see in a textbook or in a literary work. It is significant to give students an opportunity to choose passages that are meaningful to them from a reading selection and then to react as to why the passages were important to them.

One way to get students to see the connection between reading and writing is through having them complete Activating Schema Charts. A method that I have found to be useful in the classroom is to pair students up. Assign them specific portions of the text. The pair must agree on the passages within the assigned pages that they want to choose or explain why they are able to appreciate the choice his or her partner has made. Students then share out their responses in the whole group setting of the class or within a discussion group. The chart must be complete and correct to receive credit. One can also use a general classwork rubric from

Another method of connecting reading to writing that involves nonfiction or fictional texts is Activating Schema Assignment Templates. The templates are suggestions for scaffolding instruction to help students develop the habit of reacting to what they have read and then writing about it using academic language.

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