Teacher Evaluation and Special Education Settings


Section 30-2.9 of the Rules of the Board of Regents provides that, in order to be certified as lead evaluators, administrators must be trained in nine elements. One of the required components is: “Specific considerations in evaluating teachers and principals of ELLs and students with disabilities.” In our initial Lead Evaluator Training, at OCM BOCES, we address this topic specifically with the help of the Regional Special Education Technical Assistance and Support Center (RSE TASC). Recently, this year’s cohort did just that. This component, however, has not received the attention that it should in the continuing training we provide for Lead Evaluators who have been previously certified. Continue reading

Next Generation Science Standards

I felt it was important this month to focus my blog on what is currently happening in NYS with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). A draft Statewide Strategic Plan for Science has been collaboratively developed by the New York State Education Department, members of the SocialClassroomScience Content Advisory Panel, the Statewide Leadership Team (Science), and representatives of the NYS Science Education Consortium to guide a comprehensive approach toward improving P-12 science education statewide, while specifically addressing a mission and vision that incorporate six critical components simultaneously – Standards, Curriculum, Professional Development to Enhance Instruction, Assessment, Materials and Resource Support, and Administrative and Community Support.  Continue reading

“Did you just say I have a disability?! An I-E- what, you say?!”

How to Own Their Individualized Education Program in 10 easy steps

How many times have we worked with students that are aware they have these big meetings every year, but are not quite sure why? We know the purpose of the Committee for Special Education (CSE), but do our students? Have you ever asked yourself how many of your students actually know that they have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and why? How many of them know what an IEP is? More importantly, how many of your students know they have a disability? Continue reading

Teaching Social Studies = Inquiry (C3 + ?)

The New York State K-12 Social Studies Field Guide was released last week and the idea of inquiry is a prominent feature of the document, especially as it defined in the C3 Framework. In fact the word “inquiry” or “inquiries” is used 32 times in the Field Guide! Inquiry and research also figure prominently in the Common Core Literacy Standards for Writing. So what are we talking about when we discuss inquiry in the social studies classroom? What does it look like? What does it mean for teachers? One of the C3 Framework’s Senior Advisors and Contributing Writers, S.G. Grant offers his thinking on that topic. (Grant 2013) Let’s see what he has to say… Continue reading

Roaming Around the Known

At this time of year, literacy teachers are thinking about the best approach for fostering students to be active learners from the first day of their Reading Recovery® (RR) series of lessons. Teachers are closely analyzing and interpreting valid and reliable assessments to begin reinforcing one of many key concepts in a literacy lesson. The first key concept explored for every child selected in the Reading Recovery program is commonly known as Roaming Around the Known (RATK). This concept is about using what the child already knows based on the Observation Survey Assessment tasks results. Continue reading

Clarity and Relevance

Recently, I read an article in Educational Leadership entitled 4 (Secret) Keys to Student Engagement by Robyn Jackson and Allison Zmuda. The article promotes ways teachers can capture true engagement in the classroom. What struck me most was a brief subtitle asking the question, “Compliant-Or Engaged”? I paused in my reading and thought about the “well-behaved” classes on which I used to pride myself. The kids did their work; they raised their hands; they were respectful; but, were they engaged? This got me thinking about the dangers of mistaking management for engagement, which then prompted me to ask the question, how do we design instruction that promotes engagement- real authentic engagement? Not a subdued space where nice kids turn in their work on time, but where students grapple with the learning in a busy, messy, sometimes noisy way? How do we get there, and more importantly, how do we sustain that energy? Continue reading

Authentic Audiences: Making Connections with the Community

Finding Common Ground LogoBlogger and Instructional Technology Integrator, Mike Arsenault, says it best when it comes to connecting up with your community to make a Project-Based Learning (PBL) experience authentic for your students: “My advice to teachers looking to add external partnerships within their schools is simple…ask for help.” Continue reading