Social Capital

I always knew I wanted to be a teacher growing up. I remember watching my fourth grade teacher writing across the chalkboard and being in awe of her. I thought to myself, ‘I want to be just like her when I grow up.’ The moment I said it out loud, the wheels were set in motion. I was surrounded by teachers, parents, friends, etc. who encouraged me and pushed me to fulfill my dream.”

I had the social capital to make my dream become a reality. Social Capital is defined as the networks of relationships among people Continue reading

Rigor and Relevance in PBL – How do we get there?


© OCM BOCES Instuctional Support

I was in a coaching session with a team of middle school teachers that had been trained in the Buck Institute for Education’s (BIE) model of Project Based Leaning (PBL) and we were reviewing their PBL plan when a teacher asked, “How do we know if the products we are thinking of would be the best choices for this project?” As a visual learner, I quickly thought of an easy way to show the importance of the alignment between the standards, the driving question (DQ) and the public products in PBL. To get to a Gold Standard level of PBL, we know that this is an important aspect of creating an engaging project that is rigorous and relevant for students. Continue reading

Professional Learning Communities

Several years ago, I was introduced to the concept of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) when I attended a PLC at Work conference in Syracuse in July, hosted by OCM BOCES. My colleagues and I saw how PLC would address so many of the issues in our district. We were pumped with this new information and could not wait to get started. In fact, we were so anxious to get started we worked a week in August with the intent to roll out a PLC in September. I realize now that we were rather naïve in our thinking of PLC—treating it like a thing, a quick-fix strategy—and that we were ready to implement without planning for implementation and how to sustain growth in our organization. If I were to go back in time and work with my former colleagues, I would recommend that we collaboratively plan using the following questions proposed by Solution Tree around foundational PLC themes: Continue reading

Math Fluency-Is There a Speed Limit?

When I was in elementary school in the 1950’s there was a reading program called SRA. Looking back after all these years, the intent of this program, it seems to me, was to increase reading speed and comprehension. My buddies were a level ahead of me, so I tried to read faster to catch up with them, but my comprehension suffered. The faster I tried to read, the more frustrated I became. As a result, during my career as a high school math teacher, I was very apprehensive of anything that even hinted at doing something fast. Continue reading

Meet the Mid-State RBERN Team!

Dear Educators of ELLs,

We hope that the start up of the 2016-2017 academic school year has been successful. We at Mid-State RBERN are incredibly excited about the new year. This year promises to be a year of great opportunities as Mid-State RBERN strives to explore ways to better support your districts’ ELL-specific needs. New pathways that have opened so far this year include the establishment of a satellite office at BT BOCES ISC to serve the Southern Tier region as well as being identified as a NYSED CTLE sponsor. In addition, Mid-State RBERN welcomes new resource specialists Carla Miller, Mikian Royer, Mandi Sanchez and Sara Peters.  Our new team members bring a wealth of expertise and knowledge. I have listed their bios and photos for your reference.

miller_carla_300pxCarla Miller: Teacher Trainer
Carla brings ENL expertise from within the Southern Tier Region along with a background leading ENL research and Professional Development on Continue reading