Thursday, February 26, 2015

Adam Said aka Young Lucid

Check out this neat article in the Staten Island Advance about a young entrepreneur who is displaying his skills as a DJ. His name is Adam Said, aka Young Lucid. He will be graduating McKee High School June 2015. Click here or copy and paste the link into the browser: 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Saturday School and PM School

1.    Saturday School will begin this Saturday, February 28, 2015 and will end on June 20.
Dates include:

Saturday School hours are from 8 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. The dates are:
·        February 28
·        March 7, 14, 21, 28
·        April 18, 25
·        May 2, 9, 16, 23
·        June 6, 13, 20 (2 hours/finals)

Classes will run from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The doors will close after 8:15 a.m. Your son or daughter that is enrolled in Saturday School must attend in order to receive credit for 54 hours of instruction.

PM School will begin on March 2 and end on May 5.

In order to get the 54 hours in, classes will be held Monday, Tuesday & Thursday from 2:45-5:00 (2 hours and 15  minutes each day)

·        March 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 12, 16, 19, 23, 24, 26, 30, 31

·        April 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 23, 27, 28, 30

·        May 4, 5

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Two McKee HS Construction Students Accepted Into Division of School Facilities Internship

Congratulations to Joed Diaz and Zimzam King for being accepted into the Division of School Facilities Internship (DSF).
To be accepted into the internship, the students were vetted by their Constructional Technology instructor, Mr. Dennis O'Connell. Next, resume in hand, the students "dressed for success" traveled from Staten Island to Mark Twain Junior High School, which is 2 hours. They arrived at 12:30. The interview was scheduled at 1 p.m.
First impressions are powerful. When the interviewers saw the two young men walking down the hall, a half hour early, looking crisp, radiating knowledge, energy, and focus, the interviewers said aloud, "you're from McKee."
Note how the interviewers greeted them: Not "what school are you from?" Not, "Who are you young men?" Not, May I ask why you are here?" It is a powerful life lesson that when education, opportunity and preparation combine together, doors open.

Monday, February 9, 2015

IS 51 Visits McKee on February 9, 2015

Approximately 20 students from IS 51, and two guidance counselors visit McKee to pair up with students within each CTE program. Students were given an overview of the systems in place that equip them with academic and technical skills to advance them through Ralph R. McKee. We at McKee ensure that our students are college and career ready.
In Construction.

 In Pre-Eengineering/Drafting learning about the software program used by architects and drafters: AUTOCAD.

In Software Engineering class

 In Graphics Design/Commercial Art class.
In Automotive Technology class

In Construction Technology class.

Go Mr. Gordon

Congratulations to Leo Gordon for receiving the Learn Key Award and the Adobe Teacher Excellence Award at the annual UFT CTE Teacher of the Year Ceremony for 2015. This instructor is also currently has an apprentice, Michael DiMartino, and training him to become a Graphic Design/Commercial Arts instructor. Go Green and Gold.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Effective Pointers for the Start of the Spring Term

Here are key points to act upon.

1.    Do NOT put any materials on the UNI-VENT. Blocked uni-vents are a FIRE HAZARD.

2.   In the Classroom
The strong start in any school year is establishing the rules, fairly applying the rules, and being consistent as much as possible with the rules.
·        Use your Danielson Framework/CCLS aligned lesson plan as a blue print.
·        Remember the ladder of referral.

3.   What are the expectations for an Effective Classroom?
a.   Greeting students - monitoring entrance into the classroom. Opening exercise. Routine established for handling late book and bath room pass. Expectations said at each major point in a lesson

b.   Overarching Essential question posted in the classroom for the unit, marking period, or term.

                                         i.    Essential Question on PowerPoint/SMARTboard
1.    CCLS stated on board / chart paper
2.   Routine to collect homework established

c.   Learning Target: I can . . .
                                         i.    Check out the first article, pages 3 and 4 in particular for a quick review as to the power of a learning target.

                                       ii.    Check out the 2nd attachment for sample Learning Targets for all subject areas.

d.   Motivation – 5 minutes in the form of a visual, audio selection, journal entry or connection to the lesson. The audio selection can be a music or video clip aligned to the subject matter.
                                         i.    Use or edit a short article from Google News or The Learning Network (See below)

e.   Mini Lesson  in which the content is discussed and the skill modeled. – Use Vygosky:
                                         i.    I do – student watches
                                       ii.    I do – student helps
                                      iii.    Student does – Teacher helps
                                      iv.    Student does – Teacher watches/evaluates

f.   Students process and demonstrate what they know in applying the skill through various grouping strategies: turn and talk, think-write-pair-share, gallery walk, etc.
                                         i.    In order to ensure that learning tasks and activities challenge student thinking, provide opportunities for students to annotate or “mark” both print and visual texts, such as political cartoons.  Visit for a description of an instructional strategy that engages students in both annotation and paragraph composition.

                                       ii.    A standards-based learning target  on the topic of political cartoons: I can  interpret political cartoons by analyzing the cartoonists' use of elements such as symbolism, exaggeration, distortion, caricatures, stereotypes, labeling, analogy and irony. Check out

                                      iii.    Practice differentiation every day. Embed a slide with the steps in your PowerPoint/SMARTboard presentation. Check out The Tools on the school website:  There is a treasure chest of instructional practices.

g.   Quick formative assessment of student comprehension: hand cards, thumbs up/down, red light/yellow light/green light; clickers:  
                                         i.    For quick videos for ideas:
                                      iv.    Have a mid-summary

h.    Plan your group work. Students physically sitting in groups and working on his or her own to answer is worksheet – is NOT group work.

i.   Differentiated Instruction:
                                         i.    Check “The Tools” for Ideas and Icebreakers.
                                       ii.    Steps for the activity should be pre-posted on chart paper, PowerPoint and/or handout
                                      iii.    Circulate the classroom. Check on their Cornell Notes.

j.    Use Costa’s Levels of Questioning.
                                         i.    Students respond to one another through conversation or question starters.
                                       ii.    Have students “pass it on,” repeat, comment or expand on the answers of other students
                                      iii.    Have your list of questions on a clipboard or poster size in the classroom.
                                      iv.    Generate text dependent questions using the 5 step process: -preview vocabulary, -chunk, -identify toughest passage and get ready to chunk and/or scaffold, - generate questions, -review.

k.   End of Lesson Summary – provided by the students answering what did they learn, how did they learn it, why is it important.
                                         i.    Summary should be completed in their Cornell Notes
                                       ii.    Use an Exit Pass

l.     Homework assignment

4.   Sub Lessons: Please provide three days of sub lessons for each of your classes in a sub lesson folder to your respective assistant principal.
Make sure all copies and required materials are available in the submitted sub lesson folder.

5.   Quick Bulletin Board Idea
a.   A good sampling of Cornell Notes based on a rubric makes a sharp bulletin board inside the room!.

First Day as an SVA Graphics Arts Teacher - Introducing Mr. DiMartino

Check out our latest Success Via Apprentice (SVA) Graphics Arts Teacher, Mr. Michael DiMartino, (left - just visiting; right - first day of class) co-teaching with Mr. Leo Gordon in room 409.  I stopped by and took a picture on Tuesday, February 3, 2015.  I could not stop smiling.  Wait - dig this - one of the students (eyes as round as saucers) in the sophomore class asked Mr. Gordon, "Mr. Gordon, you taught Mr. DiMartino? Michael gives his classic quiet smile. Mr. Gordon says, "Yes. I'm just that old. Here's what is so neat about this unique opportunity. This gentleman will be able to facilitate your being able to critically problem solve through the full range of issues you encounter as you progress through the different projects.

Way cool moment. Plus, Mr. DiMartino has joined the ranks of being perceived by a teenager as being an "adult - who actually, at one point, sat in the same seat I am now sitting in this class."

Check out McKee at CareerCon

Representatives from all of the Staten Island high schools went to a CareerCon fair held at S.i. Tech High School. Students attended select workshops, listened to a motivational and presented to businesses their understandings regarding the technical and vocational selections they major in their respective educational institutions.
All 7 CTE programs from McKee were at Career Con. As you can see our display was quite detailed, colorful, and our students demonstrated their soft and hard skills.
Mr. Gordon with a rotating video display of work from Graphics students 

Members of Pre-Engineering class & Cisco

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Members of Pre-Engineering class displaying 3-d creations from modeler and blueprints

Close up of work on video display from Graphics Design students

Animation in Graphics Design class

Coding on display from the Software Engineering Class

Members of the SEP class

Students from the Automotive Technology class

Salon management on display

Pre-Engineering students

Apture Multimedia