Monday, March 15, 2010

Regional Robotics Competition Arrives At Javits Center-NY1

Check out the neat mention of McKee High School on NY1 over this past weekend, March 13-14, 2010.

Click here to see: Regional Robotics Competition Arrives At Javits Center -

BTW: The alliance of Stuyvesant H. S. with two other teams came in 1st. The alliance of McKee H. S. with two other teams came in 3rd.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Questions to Consider

Whether planning one's lesson or about about to engage in a data inquiry team meeting, click here to see questions to consider.

The point is to be mindful of the learning process for students.

In engaging in this type of dialogue with one's colleagues, it also pushes one's thinking about learning.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

EXIT Cards

A great method to find out if the students understood what they learned in the lesson is to use EXIT cards or EXIT slips.

Click here for a very informative website focusing on Best Practices in using exit slips.

Click here to check out two different EXIT slips.
The first is the classic four point summary
The second is the DLIQ Summary which is a model used in AVID.

What would I do?
-Print it out on bright colorful paper.
-For a "greener option" print it out on a transparency or project it onto a screen.
-To add a little panache - make it so that it can be an interactive component on the smartboard at the end of a lesson.

Questioning Technique - AVID Style

Click here to use Costa's Levels of Questioning. The question starters are favored by proponents of AVID.

Costas has 3 levels of questions. The point is to encourage higher order thinking.

Start with Level 1 questions and throughout the lesson, one is moving up to using Level 2 and Level 3 questions.

Effective Questioning Techniques

Click here to see Effective Questioning Techniques.

During class, both the teacher and the student should practice using questions that increasingly expand their ability to do analytical and critical thinking.

How would you use the PowerPoint?
I would laminate each page. I would then use the data I have from the previous class based upon EXIT cards. I would then have the laminated questions for the group based upon their understandings from the previous day.

Another idea - make 6 copies of the Effective Questioning Technique PowerPoint. Laminate. Each group now has a complete set. Each student within the group is responsible for asking one question from one style of question to the entire group and recording the answers.

How does one practice?
Just do it.
Start easy with a knowledge based question and then move up the ladder of questioning techniques. (For the high falutin'terms: Maslow's Hierarchy OR Costa and Kallick's Habits of Mind. Make it your mission to use knowledge to analytical questions. Do it for a week. You get the point.

The teacher should not be the only one asking questions. Students should be able to ask questions of each other and their should be a session where students hear and see models of complete responses.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Nicest Smile:
Miles Boyd
Maleka Diaz

Best Eyes:
Frank Festa
Joelle Connors

Most Likely to Succeed:
Hussain Hamache
Kristin Spinelli

Funkiest Hair:
Troy Welch
Caitlin Spinelli

Best Athletes:
Atigi Moore
Julissa Correa

Class Flirt:
Earl Linsey
Norissa Espiritu

Class Clown:
Timothy Lloyd
Caitlin Spinelli

Nicest Hair:
Pedro Cruz
Rebecca Boljonis

Best Dressed:
Steven Hernandez
Rebecca Boljonis

Cutest Couple:
Andrew Harding
Joelle Connors

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Daily Walk Thru - Overview

It is always a privilege to enter classrooms. The daily walk thru that was conducted on March 3rd, 2010 was very informative.

Here are the top three practices that make me kick up my heels in glee and are exemplary:
1. Students engaged in structured opportunities to speak about content knowledge, concepts and issues.
2. Teachers assisting students to elaborate and build on the ideas of other students.
3. Teachers organizing the classroom so that students know the specific duties, tasks, or assignments they must complete. There is a buzz - literally it is a "hive" of focused activity while the teacher walks around and monitors or conferences with students.

Here are the top three pedagogical practices that make me "shudder":
1. Students copying vocabulary from a textbook.
2. Students grouped in large clusters. In each cluster only 1 student knows what to do.
3. No rubrics explained or connected to the assignments. There are bare bulletin boards inside the classroom. The impression is that students did not do any work in the past 4 weeks of the spring term.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Staten Island Career Coaches Kick Off

We had a lovely kick off for the Staten Island Career Coaches today, March 4th, 2010. Check out their blog:

They did a compelling presentation of their life stories to the students. They spoke to 30 seniors during 1st and 2nd period and then 30 juniors during 4th and 5th period. Then they had break out sessions in which they spoke to their small groups about their goals and interests. The Staten Island Career Coaches are an outgrowth of the program, principal for a day.

The Staten Island Career Coaches will be doing 2 more seminars and then they will evaluate to see what will be the next steps in creating a viable job shadowing experience. The next sessions will be March 11th and March 18th. It is so cool.

As soon as I get pictures, I will then post them.

Apture Multimedia