With Impatience Comes Ingenuity



It is amazing the ingenuity that comes with impatience. Today my new class was measuring permeability of sand, soil, and gravel. While measuring the permeability of sand, one group grew impatient after 8 minutes of holding their water-filled sand over a beaker and waiting for the water to travel through the medium. So they built the contraption above and started working on questions in their lab while waiting. When they did this, I decided to grab the teachable moment while it was there.


I drew everyone’s attention to the contraption. I asked the group to explain why they made the cup holder. They responded because they were getting tired of holding the cup while it drained. So I pointed out the scientific and engineering practices they engaged in; defining a problem and designing a solution.   I complimented them on their creativity, while the rest of the class built the same contraption so they could work on the questions in their lab.


The building of the contraption reminded me of the importance of engaging students in the practices of science to create a deeper understanding of content. Although building the contraption was not originally a part of the lab, nor did it increase the understanding of permeability, it did engage the students in the scientific and engineering practices. This in turn involved the students in the design of their own learning, creating a more in-depth understanding.

Topics Review Extended

Last week, Ryan had an amazing blog reviewing our April 1st, 2015 Topics in Teaching and School class. I wanted to build upon that post and provide information that would help line up specific classes to categories within each section. We were told by the professor that you can use blog posts as artifacts OR you can screen shot something a presenter did and connect it to something you applied in class. Hope this helps!


  1. Learning Principle: The teacher candidate understands how all children learn and develop, and can provide learning opportunities that support their intellectual, social and personal development. The teacher candidate understands that learning involves active engagement in culturally valued activities with knowledgeable others and the construction of new knowledge.

2.1. Candidates understand human development and how it is affected by context

2.2. Candidates understand that all students construct knowledge through active engagement in culturally valued activities and know what is appropriate for their students to learn, based on their age/grade level and the strengths, experiences and resources of their family/community background

2.3. Candidates are able to provide learning experiences that take into consideration the students’ development level and draw on the strengths and resources available in students’ prior experiences, as well as the school, family, and community contexts in which they live

  • UDL (10/8) – how different students learn (2.2, 2.3)
  • ELL (10/1, 3/18) – culturally valued activities, how students learn (2.2, 2.3)
  • Arts Integration (10/15) – learning opportunities that support intellectual development and across modalities → strengths in resources as well as prior experiences (2.2,           3)
  • Mindfulness (3/25) – social and personal development (2.1)
  • LGBT (10/22) – being aware of how much social and emotional support a student may/may not have (2.1)



  1. Equity Principle: The teacher candidate understands how students differ in their approaches to learning and creates instructional opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners. The teacher candidate understands the role each of us plays in the maintenance and transformation of social and educational practices that engender inequity and is committed to promote equity and social justice.

3.1. Candidates understand equity and social justice principles, including everyone’s right to have an opportunity to learn and what constitutes equitable and socially just behavior and treatment for themselves and others

3.2. Candidates are committed to high moral and ethical standards and respect and value their students’ differences in contexts and approaches to learning

3.3. Candidates are familiar with some of the cultural, linguistic and learning differences and/or disabilities their students may present and their implications for the classroom

3.4. Candidates are able to provide learning experiences that are culturally relevant and address the strengths and needs of all students

  • UDL (10/8) (3.1, 3.2, 3.3)
  • ELL (10/1, 3/18) (3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4)
  • Arts Integration (10/15) (3.2)
  • LBGT (10/22) (3.1, 3.2, 3.3)
  • Mindfulness (3/25) (3.3)
  • Classroom Management – safety as an equity principle (3.1)



  1. Pedagogy Principle: The teacher candidate understands the link between content and pedagogy. As such, the teacher candidate understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage all students’ development of critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills that are appropriate for specific topics and subject areas, as identified by the relevant professional organization(s). The teacher candidate is able to use and problematize the various technologies available to facilitate learning.

4.1. Candidates are familiar with a wide array of instructional strategies consistent with professional, NYS and WS program standards, and understand their potential uses, values and limitations for achieving specific learning goals

4.2. Candidates are able to use a variety of teaching and learning strategies and classroom structures to achieve the learning goals articulated in relevant professional, NYS and WS program standards

4.3. Candidates understand the potential values as well as problems and limitations of using technology in instruction


  • UDL (10/8) (4.1) – using many instructional strategies
  • SMART (2/4) – (4.3) – idea of students interacting with the SMART board




  1. Learning Community Principle: The teacher candidate uses an understanding of individual and group motivation and behavior to create a learning environment that encourages positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self-motivation for all students.

5.1. Candidates understand what may encourage or hinder student’s motivation and engagement in learning, based on an analysis of research and practice

5.2. Candidates are able to construct comfortable and safe classroom environments for all students

5.3. Candidates are able to construct a classroom environment that supports student motivation and learning and the creation of a “community of learners”

  • LBGT (10/22) (5.2)
  • Mindfulness (3/25) (5.2)
  • Classroom Management (9/17) (5.2, 5.3)
  • Crisis Management
  • SAVE and DASA


  1. Communication Principle: The teacher candidate understands the key role played by language in teaching and learning. The teacher candidate uses knowledge of effective verbal, nonverbal, and media communication techniques to foster active inquiry, collaboration, and supportive interaction in the classroom.

6.1. Candidates understand the role of language in teaching and learning.

6.2. Candidates are familiar with and proficient in a wide variety of modes and vehicles for communication that can support learning and inquiry for all students

6.3. Candidates are able to use effectively a variety of modes of communication to make ideas accessible to all students and foster inquiry

6.4. Candidates construct curriculum activities that incorporate oral, written, visual, and electronic texts as tools for interaction and communication across multiple contexts, and that facilitate all students’ critical analysis of such texts.

  • ELL (10/8) (6.1, 6.26.3, 6.4)
  • Arts Integration – arts to communicate ideas and understanding
  • UDL (10/1, 3/18)



  1. Planning Principle: the teacher candidate plans instruction based upon knowledge of subject matter, students, the community, and curriculum goals.

7.1. Candidates are able to align instruction with learning goals consistent with professional and New York State standards

7.2. Candidates are able to implement lessons according to a well-defined and high quality plan

  • data-driven instruction – reflect on formative assessment and adjust planning for the future


  1. Assessment Principle: the teacher candidate understands and uses formal and informal assessment strategies to evaluate and ensure the continual intellectual, social and physical development of all learners and to inform instruction. Assessment is embedded in authentic learning activities that are for real audiences and real purposes.

8.1. Candidates understand the multiple purposes of assessment and are familiar with a variety of assessment and evaluation strategies, their purposes and potential uses

8.2. Candidates are able to use a variety of assessment and evaluation strategies, including some that are embedded in authentic learning activities and have real audiences and purposes, to monitor, assess and provide guidance to student learning over time.

8.3. Candidates are able to use assessment to inform instruction by making links between their teaching and student performance and by adjusting their practice as a result of analysis of and reflection on student assessment data.

8.4. Candidates are able to have a positive effect on their students’ learning

  • UDL menu (10/8) (8.1, 8.2)
  • Data-Driven Instruction (3/11) (8.3, 8.4)
  • Arts Integration (10/15) – (8.1, 8.2) different ways of showing what you know; student-centered, etc



  1. Professional Practice Principle: the teacher candidate is a reflective practitioner who continually evaluates the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (students, parents, and other professionals in the learning community) and who actively seeks out opportunities to grow professionally, including staying up to date with research, theories, and best practices in his/her field and participating in their professional communities.


9.1. Candidates are committed to continue to learn and improve their practice throughout their teaching career

9.2. Candidates are able to reflect on their practices, constructively use critiques of their practice, and draw from theories and research results, in order to make necessary adjustments to enhance student learning

9.3. Candidates recognize the key role played by professional organizations and the importance of participating in these learning communities; this includes knowing and using relevant standards generated by these organizations (including professional ethics standards)

  • people usually list what listservs they are on or professional organizations they are part of or PDs they went to (workshops at the placement site with CT)
  • Subscribing to certain journals
  • Perhaps you could use working in public schools/charter schools as a reflection of what is the best setting for you as a teacher (2/18, 2/25)



  1. Community Principle: the teacher candidate fosters relationships with school colleagues, parents/caregivers, and agencies in the larger community to support students’ learning and well-being.

10.1. Candidates value and seek out parental and community involvement

10.2. Candidates are able to communicate effectively with parents/caregivers and colleagues

  • Working with parents (11/5) (10.1, 10.2) → there is a source Marcy posted on BB that is good for this one also
  • Classroom Management (9/17)
  • ELLs (3/18) – coteaching (10.2)


Cohort Biographies: A Collaboration of Talent

Collaboration was a word we may not have fully understood, or misconceived, as we walked into our first methods class together as a cohort.  Beginning this program, we met three professors who were able to fully embody and provide a wonderful model of collaboration.  Slightly nervous, yet excited about what we got ourselves into, we all began to create our own form of collaboration that has helped all of us take the most from our experiences as Warner grad students.  Embracing the spirit of collaboration we experienced in our first methods course (which was then witnessed throughout the others) was probably one of the best tools provided to us as first year teachers.  Through collaboration we will be able to improve our practice and grow as educators.


In the spirit of collaboration, reminiscing about our time in GRS, and because we are all working on our biographies for graduation, Ceb and I worked together to make funny biographies for each of the cohort members.  We hope you enjoy them.  Be sure to check out both blogs because I did a biography for Ceb and he did one for me.


Alanna-born on a hiking trail, Alanna always had a love of nature and science and the nature of science…but it wasn’t until the ripe age of 34 did the teaching of science call to her.  Realizing she was so old, she quickly applied to the U of R’s center for the elderly. Her poor sight caused confusion and she accidentally applied to the Warner School of Education. In the program Alanna flourished as a science educator, bringing her back to that feeling of youth once again.  After the program Alanna intends hug trees during the summer and get to bed before 10 pm.


Ryan-prior to attending U of R, Ryan sought to write his own laws around quantum physics but unfortunately nature would not obey them. Due to the frustration caused by the experience of working as a physicist, Ryan decided to get into teaching instead. Following his time at Warner, Ryan intends to spend 5 years training his students to build their own spaceflight craft that will allow them to constructively build upon knowledge from outside the classroom environment and visit those aesthetically pleasing green people from the Star Trek.


Jill– following the footsteps of her idol and soul sister, Taylor Swift, Jill has always wanted to positively impact the lives of the youths. It was at Warner she met another soul sister, sharing a  love of T-Swizzle and chemistry.  Jill knew she couldn’t just shake her off, it was the collaborative partnership of a lifetime. Following the program, Jill intends to work with urban youth by teaching them the joys of chemistry and subjecting them to the musical stylings of Ms. Swift.


Jessica-Once lost in the dark depths of a chemistry lab, Jessica found her expertise was needed elsewhere. She traded her lab coat for a bag of Cheetos and a copy of Understanding by Design, and got to work.  During her time at Warner, Jessica not only expanded the horizons of the students she worked with, but she also encouraged her soul sister Jill to break through her own barriers and become one with nature.  With the goal to never return to the dusty dungeons of the lab, through her teaching, Jessica looks forward to continually challenging those around her in trying out new experiences.


Eric– Enduring years of physical punishment through playing rugby and wrestling, Eric thought he might try his hand at mental punishment, and decided to get into teaching. Since starting the program, Eric has had over 4,000 conversations with his fellow cohort members. On his off time, Eric enjoys watching dry British comedy which tirelessly tries to integrate into his teaching practice. After Warner, Eric will be returning to NYC while bringing a little bit of Rochester with him.


Ceb-Once quoted saying “if she doesn’t know how alleles affect her eye color, than she is not the girl for me,” Ceb has always had a deep love for biology. However, it was through the virtual world the Ceb developed his true identity as a scientist, and for a brief moment his talents were lost to cyberspace. Fortunately, a highly regarded professor at the U of R saw Ceb’s potential as a teacher and pulled him from the depths of his gaming world. After the program, Ceb is looking forward to teaching urban youth in the Rochester area.