Kicking Off a New School Year at East

Hello and Welcome to the 2017-2018 GR!S class blog! Our cohort is very excited to share our experiences this semester: and that begins with our journey at East. Join us (James and Olivia) as we explore pedagogy, advocate for change and work toward becoming reform-minded science educators who employ culturally responsive teaching and inclusive education practices.
East EPO Partnership with The University of Rochester
To provide a little background: The University of Rochester shares an Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) with East School in Rochester, NY. The mission of the EPO states:
“Our mission is to prepare all students for a successful […]

By |September 15th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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John Kessler Talks Climate Change to Chicago Sun-Times

John Kessler, a friend of the GRS program, was recently spotlighted and quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times regarding his work on the Great Lakes and climate change. He recently completed a week-long tour collecting data about microbes and their methane emissions in order to gather data about its impact on climate change. Given the current political climate, Dr. Kessler summarized his relationship with science in the following words:
There’s skepticism about science.  It’s our job to slowly and methodically go through and talk about science … and communicate what we know and don’t know.
You can read the full article by […]

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 […]

Snow days and “seat time”

Just as a record-warm February lulled us into a false sense of Spring, a snowy March swept in like, well, a snow storm. Two snow days and a two-hour delay later, some of my students lost over two and a half hours of Earth Science last week. The snow days arrived at the end of our unit on Rocks and Minerals. Initially, the students were destined for a rock lab and final rock and mineral lab quiz. However, as snow days erased instructional time from the calendar, I had to make adjustments. The new question became, “How do I […]

By |March 26th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

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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 […]

High Inquisitor

Greetings readers!

Please transport your self into a magical world of J.K. Rowling’s creation and revel in it’s awesomeness. Now remember those pages (or minutes for movie fans) that were painful to read because Dolores Umbridge made Harry’s and the readers life a living hell. We sat there smacking our heads because what she was saying and the things she was doing seemed so outlandish and ridiculous that they had to be fiction. While some were obviously just that, the punishing blood quill for instance, other things may not have been as outlandish as one might think. Please watch the […]

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 […]

March 6th Class Blog

Tis the season to write our Innovative Unit plans! This week the GRS Cohort focused on building best practices into our six-day innovative units. We started our day by responding to key questions about how we could best support our all of our students and engage them in meaningful experiences as scientists. This picture shows our thoughts about strategies we could use to increase opportunities and access of science learning. 

Along the same vein we then discussed and traded strategies to infuse our lesson plans with cross-cutting concepts and scientific and engineering practices. As a cohort, we examined each of the scientific […]

By |March 10th, 2017|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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Vet tech, not vet?

Context: The following conversation occurred at a rural public school in western New York, in a town with a relatively low average household income:

– “She wants to be a veterinary technician.”

– “Not a veterinarian?”

– “We have to be careful about encouraging students to pursue realistic goals.”

When a teacher and I had this conversation, I struggled to wrap my head around what he was trying to tell me. I thought to myself, “Shouldn’t we, as teachers, encourage all of our students to pursue ambitious career goals? Why would we encourage this student to become a vet tech, when she could be […]

By |March 4th, 2017|Uncategorized|1 Comment

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February 27th Class

This week in class we teamed up with another group of students to tackle the challenge of lesson planning for language learners. First, the science students were exposed to what it feels like to be completely out of our element even when talking about science because we had a lesson given to us in a different language. After we worked together as groups and tried to get through the questions and quick quiz we switched back to English and discussed the difficulties of what we had just done. Then with combined groups, science and TESOL candidates, we started to […]