OCM BOCES-Responsive Classroom® Blog: Using Video to Deepen Classroom Practice

Recently I was lucky enough to attend professional develop for my own personal growth. Jim Knight spent two days with us around his book Instructional Coaching. Research suggests that PD is more successful when followed by instructional coaching. How often do we as educators follow professional development with instructional coaching to foster and guide higher levels of application of practices learned during a professional development experience? In the Responsive Classroom courses, teachers learn instructional practices that support building positive learning communities that are effectively managed and developmentally responsive to foster engaging academics every day for every child.   At the end of the training educators are encouraged to goal set for classroom application of their learning. Jim Knight discussed the importance of giving teachers choice regarding what and how they learn and have opportunity to reflect on professional learning. A memorable quote from Jim Knight was, “Part of your job is to get better at your job.” Continue reading

That’s a Wrap!!

As we wrap up the old year and get ready for the new let’s take a moment to reflect on a few of the insights from our special education bloggers this past year.

Payette_Janel_150pxJanel Payette,

How Sweet It Is(n’t): Part II

A few years ago, I blogged about something near and dear to the hearts of many: sugar. The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) had just released in early 2014 results of the first nationally representative study that examined diets high in sugar. The lead author from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called the results “sobering” and here’s why:

Previous studies have linked diets high in sugar with increased risks for non-fatal heart problems, and with obesity, which also can lead to heart trouble. But in the new study, obesity didn’t explain the link between sugary diets and death. That link was found even in normal-weight people who ate a lot of added sugar.

This was not good news for those of us who like to indulge our sweet tooth. And, unfortunately, the bad news does not end there….. Continue reading

Professional Learning Community Continuous Improvement

I recently revisited the text Learning by Design by Cassandra Erkens and Eric Twadell. The authors share a model having seven leadership practices for highly effective Professional Learning Communities leaders. Core to these practices are:

  • creating and sustaining collaborative relationships
  • aligning systems
  • facilitating shared responsibility.

Furthermore the model has the element of building coherence and clarity as the basis or foundation. Surrounding the core is:

  • modeling practices and expectations
  • reflection on leadership effectiveness of self and others.

Continue reading

Making ambitious practice public: A science-focused lesson study conference summary

This blog by Kate Echevarria was originally posted on the Smithsonian Science Center Blog.

The Smithsonian Science Education Center is excited to host guest bloggers Sharon Dotger, Associate Professor of Science Education in the School of Education at Syracuse University, and Jessica Whisher-Hehl, Science Coordinator for OCM BOCES’ Center for Innovative Science Education!

Our biographies:

Sharon Dotger is an Associate Professor of Science Education in the School of Education at Syracuse University. She is a lesson study researcher and a practitioner, hosting or participating in more than a dozen open research lessons with teachers in the last decade. Additionally, she has rewritten her on-campus methods course to embody as many features of lesson study as possible and is always on the lookout for more opportunities to make lesson study come alive for her students. Sharon has presented about lesson study in the United States and abroad and supervised lesson study research studies with five doctoral students.

Jessica Whisher-Hehl is the Science Coordinator for OCM BOCES’ Center for Innovative Science Education. Jessica supports K-12 science in 23 school districts by providing professional development and leading an elementary science curriculum materials program. As New York State is in the process of adopting new science standards based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS, Jessica is tasked with leading the region in the implementation of the new standards. A major component of this effort includes transitioning the elementary science curriculum materials program, which serves over 1000 classrooms, to the new units being developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center. Jessica is currently a doctoral candidate in Science Education in the School of Education at Syracuse University.

A Vignette: A class of fourth-grade students are using hand generators to make observations of change before and after an “interaction”. Their teacher circulates among them, asking clarifying questions about their thinking and encouraging them to add ideas to their science notebook. Surrounding the perimeter of the classroom, 40 teachers and administrators are carefully taking notes about the students and their thinking. At one table, four children are passing the generator among them: Continue reading