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So far kzukswert has created 9 blog entries.

Philosophy of a Reform-Minded Teacher

Over the course of the last few months, I have had the opportunity to learn about classroom management strategies, dive even deeper into the state and national science standards, and develop a more concrete understanding of what it means to be a reform-minded science teacher. The Get Real! Science Cohort and I had the opportunity to reflect on our daily and weekly student teaching placements and read about the most effective teaching and management practices, and then implement said practices. Moreover, we established an even deeper understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These standards, which I am happy […]

The Art of the Interview

On Monday, April 10 the 2017 cohort took part in a series of mock interviews with administrators from Rochester metro area districts. We would like to begin by thanking: Dr. Thomas Hall, principal of Brighton High School; Timothy Heaphy, principal of Eastridge High School; and Donna Horn, Director of Science, Technology, Health and Family Consumer Science at Rush-Henrietta. These administrators took their time out of the day to assist us in our preparation for future interviews, and for that we very grateful. We also had the opportunity to interview with Andrea Cutt, our advisor, teacher, and all around swiss […]

The Forgotten Pipeline

Up until last night (April 7th), in the state of New York, a child as young as 7 could be charged with a delinquency, and any child by the age of 16 could be charged and tried as an adult. The debate launched the Raise the Age Act, which luckily passed last night. Under the act, with a few case by case stipulations, children will no longer be tried as adults at the ages of 16 and 17; instead, New York, like 48 other states (North Carolina is still excluded), will try 18 year olds and older as adults.

Although I […]

Restoring Reflection Time

Hello Fellow Readers!

The end is near! The Get Real! Science (GRS) cohort and I are in our final days of our second and last teaching placement. We have been diligently planning an innovative science unit, a comprehensive plan that was developed with Wiggins and McTighe’s framework of Backward Design and one that involves reform-based science practices. These innovative units are a culmination of the best science practices we have learned within the last year and, very fittingly, are being implemented in our final days of our student teaching placement. As we dive into our lessons, however, we must also resurface […]

Leadership and Teamwork in the Classroom

For all educators reading this post, have you ever had a moment when a student does something for another student that just melts your heart? Those moments make our jobs worth every second of planning, photocopying, and management. This past week in one of my classes, one in which has a particularly high population of students with 504s and Individualized Education Programs (IEP)s, I witnessed one of those heart warming moments.

One of my more accelerated students voluntarily took the time to work one-on-one with another classmate, one who is classified with an IEP, has significant behavioral issues, and works with […]

Learning Outside of the Classroom

This past week, during the President’s Day break, I had the opportunity to travel to Ithaca, NY to visit the Museum of Earth. While in the museum, I explored each exhibit, traveling back in time, going through Earth’s geologic history starting with the Precambrian eon and ending with current day. Each exhibit inspired me with new ideas on how to teach fossils and evolution to my students, topics that we will be covering in the upcoming weeks. More importantly though, the day at the museum reminded me of the ability and significance of learning outside the classroom.

Although field trips are […]

By |February 24th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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Unit Planning: Implementing UbD and Backward Design

This week in class, we spent a generous amount of time planning our slowly approaching unit bundle. The assignment entails preparing a minimum of a six-lesson unit to teach in our second placements. In previous weeks we began our initial planning process by exploring our topics, finding the corresponding standards (the current New York State Common Core Standards, the preliminary, new 2017-2018 New York State Standards, as well as the national standards captured in NGSS, the Next Generation Science Standards). During these earlier weeks we also followed the Understanding by Design (UbD) template developed by Wiggins and McTighe (2011) to guide […]

Tackling Groups and Achievement Gaps

Having a classroom of diverse learners – diverse in learning styles, socioeconomic status, cultural backgrounds, language, and accommodations – is often embraced and appreciated in the classroom. However, it also requires considerable scaffolding and differentiating to accommodate the needs of every student. What techniques could a teacher implement to fit the needs of all of his or her students?

Now at my second placement, I am seeing a seasoned teacher tackle this exact issue. Specifically, three levels of learning achievement in a mainstream science classroom are merging into two. How then, can a teacher strike a balance between those lagging […]

By |January 27th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

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Reflecting on Reform-based Science Learning

Happy 2017!

My apologies for not blogging recently, or frequently in the past few months. With the holidays over and the new year up and running, my blogging will become more consistent. Over the past four weeks, I have been full time student teaching at an urban high school in the Rochester City School District. With only one day left of teaching my Living Environment students, I want to take this time to reflect on my experiences and share a few reform-based pedagogical techniques I have learned along the way.

One technique entails clarifying content knowledge for students, while also allowing […]