For Teachers

Professional Development Resources

Thanks so much for visiting my site.  This is where I house all of my materials for all of the course I teach at the NYC iSchool.   I love to talk about my work and share materials, so if you’re interested in anything you see here, please feel free to contact me! Below is a list of the courses I teach and things I am interested in:

Algebra 1:  I have created a 9th grade algebra one course using the NYSED and CC algebra standards that is a Regents Prep course.   I try to make my lessons as varied as possible by incorporating gamifaication, hands on projects, problem solving and group work into my units.  I firmly believe that Algebra is the gateway to success in upper level education and thus treat it very seriously. I want all of my students to have a strong foundation in algebra and have some fun along they way!

Bridge Building This is a quarter long (~25 lessons) elective course that teachers basic information and history of bridges,  basic physics and building principles and allows students to work in pairs to design and build a model truss bridge.   When designing this course I had a hard time finding materials for an elective class and would be happy to share them with anyone!   I also think that this class could be edited down into a project for a math or science class with a little tweaking.   Please contact me, I’m happy to help you make this your own!

Paper Engineering: In this class students will be exploring five topics:   origami, slice and stack forms, and paper roller coasters. Students work in pairs though three of the four possible projects.  They have 3 weeks to complete the project at their own pace and the write up or reflection that goes with it.   No matter what project the kids are working on they and I are always thinking about the ISTE student standards for STEM (STEAM) learning.   I try to push them to be creative and articulate their though processes as they are working.   Every project is collaborative and involves critical thinking.  At the end of each project the students fill our an individual mastery assessment of their own progress on the standards. The class is a little crazy and hectic, but the students really enjoy it and make wonderful things!

Pop Up DesignThis is my favorite makerEd class I teach.  Students work independently to learn about pop up mechanisms, create a prototype book, design and write their own story and create a mini pop up book on their own!  This class requires so much though and spacial reasoning!  Students are thinking mathematically as they plan their design and construct their books, but they don’t even realize it!  It’s wonderful to see students who know nothing about pop-up construction at the beginning of the quarter leave the class with their own pop up book!

Senior Projects: Senior Projects at the iSchool is the end of a three-quarter long Area of Focus program. Students begin by taking a Critical Thinking class in a subject they are interested in and develop a focus question that they will work with during their senior year.  In Research and Writing, students learn what real research means and research their focus question and write a literature review.   After learning about their question and answering it the best they can they come to Senior Projects in the second quarter of their senior year to create an original artifact in reaction to their research.   The project range from home made books to mini documents!  They are very interesting and impressive!

Mastery Based Learning: I firmly believe in MBL.  I think that a letter or numerical grade provides very little information for students, families and teachers.   A Mastery Based Learning system allows all interested parties to see a much more detailed picture of a student’s knowledge.    I believe that a MB classroom does not look very different from a ‘normal’ classroom.  The lessons are the same and the assessments are just a little different.    Each of my tests comes with a mastery ticket on which the kids analyze their work to see which of the mastery topics they have mastered and which they need to still work on.   Tracking the data is a little tricky, I use Excel, and I promise, I’m not a wiz, all of this can be done with very basic excel skills.  To learn more, go here.

Flipped Classroom + Blended Learning:  The 21st century style of learning is here to stay!  Blended Learning!  If you’re a teacher who hasn’t started making videos yet- go download educreations and start today!   Having students watch videos outside of class has three major pros :  gives you more time to do fun stuff in class,  allows you accelerate your curriculum by teaching in and outside of the classroom and allows absent students  or struggling learners to catch up by going back to watch videos!

The NYC iSchool:   The NYC iSchool is a small, public high school in lower Manhattan. Founded in 2008, the school is based on a belief that students should be working on developmentally appropriate, interdisciplinary, real-world work.  With this in mind the teachers at the iSchool create and teach Modules –  courses like Sixteen, iNews, Medical Mysteries, and Poetry Cafe-  in which the students work collaboratively to engage in real world like scenarios to execute a final product that has an outside, authentic audience.    Students also take traditional classes- like Algebra, US History and Writing,  as well as quarter long elective classes- like Bridge Building, Paper Engineering, Shakespeare, Robotics, Physics of Super Heroes, Painting NYC etc-. Our school has a strong advisory program, where groups of 10-15 students are paired with one teacher and stay with that teacher through their four years at the iSchool.  Advisors act as advocates for their advisees, cheerleaders, homework helpers, as well as other rolls.

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