Mar 28, 2012

14 07 2012

Hi everyone!

First I’d like to thank you all for going to the website and sending faxes to your political representatives. We have been funded – the funding has been cut but we are in the budget.

Next, I found this infographic from OpenSite very interesting and thought you might too! Enjoy it…


Mar 22, 2012

14 07 2012

Hi everyone,

It’s been a VERY busy month! I just returned from Albany with Marybeth Rotheim (Unqua) that focused on Common Core, the APPR, and SLO’s. We listened to Ken Slentz (NYS Dept of Ed) and Glen Jeffers (NYSUT). We learned a great deal but there is much more that we all need to be aware of. Teacher Centers are committed to keep you informed

As happens every year, teacher centers need to fight for their place in the budget and we once again ask that you send a fax to your legislator. The Assembly included us but the Senate left us out. At the Committee of 100, one Senator said, “Oh, I though teacher centers were in the budget. They’re not?” We need to remind them.

Time is critical – if you could just click on the following link, will be brought to the following page. It will only take about 30 seconds of your time.

As always, thanks for your help!

Feb 15, 2012

14 07 2012

Google   Google   Google

The Building Blocks for Educational Collaboration

Did you know???

Google has a new look – crisper and cleaner, but still the premier tool for collaboration among teachers and students
Students can use Google Apps to:
  • Collaborate with classmates or students globally using docs, presentations and spreadsheets
  • Work from anywhere, anytime – everything is saved “in the cloud” so “My dog ate my homework!” is no longer an excuse!

Teachers can use Google Apps to

  • Create a paperless classroom
  • Work collaboratively with students as well as teachers

Click HERE to see 32 ways that Google Apps can be be used in your classroom!

Join us for a 15 hour inservice class that will count toward your 175 hours to learn more about Google Docs. 
The class begins on Wednesday, February 29th!

And then of course, I wanted to honor you all with the following video – enjoy a well deserved February break!

Jan 27, 2012

14 07 2012

Now this looks cool!

Dear NYS Teacher
We invite you to join the more than 1.7 million students
and tens of thousands of educators participating in the Alliance for Excellent
Education’s (Alliance’s) first-ever Digital Learning Day on Wednesday, February
1, 2012. Visit
to stay connected, get updates, and receive exclusive information on what you
can do to support this effort by taking less than five minutes to sign up and
join the wave of innovation and momentum that is building for this
groundbreaking event.
This national awareness campaign is designed to celebrate
innovative teachers and highlight instructional practices that strengthen and
personalize learning for all students. The Digital Learning Day campaign
explores how digital learning can provide teachers and students with the
opportunities they deserve in an effort to build or become part of a workforce
that is ready to succeed in college, a career, and life.
Celebrations and activities of all varieties are
happening cross the country at the state, district, and classroom levels. In
addition to the national campaign, twenty-nine states and the District of
Columbia are hosting their own statewide activities to support digital learning
efforts within their states. On Digital Learning Day, a virtual national town
hall meeting will be held in Washington, DC along with a live webcast starting
at 9:00 a.m. (ET). By developing these tools and hosting the first-ever
national Digital Learning Day on February 1, 2012, the Alliance strives to
build momentum for a wave of innovation that changes policies, shifts
attitudes, and supports widescale adoption of these promising instructional
practices nationwide.
How can you participate?
1.      Make a plan
to celebrate Digital Learning Day at your school with your students. Go to the
Teacher Toolkit for idea from us and teachers like you at
The Awesome Ideas link provides templates you can customize that may give you
some ideas to get started.
2.      Sign-up at
to participate and add your participation to the thousands of teachers
celebrating Digital Learning Day with their students.
3.      And, you
are encouraged to watch the live town hall meeting being streamed via the Internet
on February 1, 2012.  You can view this
on your own, with colleagues, or as a class. Please make sure to register at
to get the directions, bookmark the link, and test your system before the live
webcast on February 1 at 1:00 PM Eastern Time.
Hope you can make it,

Jan 3, 2012

14 07 2012

Hi Everyone!

Happy New Year and welcome back. Hope you had a great break!

NY Times Learning Network has some really great lessons that you may be interested in taking a look at. The particular one that I am linking to is a year in review in RAP! 

The Year in Rap: 2011 from Flocabulary on Vimeo.

Along with the video, the NY Times has included a news quiz. Click on the link to visit the site. There are many other lesson plans in various subject areas that very well may interest you.

Looking for Interactives? 
Visit SAILOn, a collaborative effort of nine public school districts in the Houston, Texas area. There are even interactives for MUSIC (something I don’t find that often)!
SAILOn is a collaborative effort of 9 public school districts in the Houston, Texas area:

Spelling City is another interactive website that you may find helpful. The basics are free although there is a premium membership available. Go to to explore….

Have a great week!

Dec 20, 2011

14 07 2012

Hi everyone,

ELEMENTARY teachers – I really think you’ll love this! I was reading posts in the Thinkfinity Community and this particular one caught my eye so I though I’d share. The category is Top Tools 2011 and the author of the post is Barbara deSantis.

I still like LittleBirdTales – while
it is similar to Voicethread, I find that my elementary folks (or folks who feel they are tech challenged) find it
easy to use.  

Click here for an example of a tale from the public gallery.

As always, this is a FREE tool! To get to Little Bird Tales, go to 

Once again, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukah!


Dec 12, 2011

14 07 2012

The holidays, the tests, the new standards, the stress!

Here’s a video to remind you just how very special you are!

For LOTE….
I finally found something that I think you will find useful (at least I hope you do). This site uses music to teach – take a look and let me know what you think. As always, it is FREE!

And Spotlight lessons from Verizon’s Thinkfinity
Click to go to Beyond the Story – A Dickens of a Party (a lesson from Read-Write-Think for Grades 6-8)
Click to go to A Christmas Carol (a lesson from Read-Write-Think for Grades 7-12)
Click to go to Frosty the Snowman Meets His Demise (a lesson from Science Net Links: An analogy to Carbon Dating for Grades 9-12)

Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy Hanukkah!


Nov 21, 2011

14 07 2012

Collegial Circles for Inservice Credit and Professional Development Hours

Hi everyone!

I was looking at my calendar last weekend and was shocked to see that Thanksgiving is already here! How does that happen? I’m not ready! Oh well, I guess as with so many things in our lives we have to get ready.

The other thing I wanted to talk to you about are collegial circles. You veterans know what they’re all about but some of our newer teachers may not be aware that both inservice credit AND credit toward those 175 professional development hours needed for the State can be acquired through collegial circles. Teachers have conducted collegial circles in Inteactive SMART Board lessons, the writing process, the reading workshop, and I could go on and on.  How about a collegial circle working with the Common Core?
What is a Collegial Circle?
A Collegial Circle is a group of people who come together on a
regular basis around a common goal, need, interest, or question. A Collegial Circle
involves shared decision making, voluntary participation, and commitment over
time. MTRACT’s Collegial Circle Program provides teachers with structured time for reflection on classroom
practices. The program enables teachers to take responsibility for identifying
a need for professional growth, and establishes a formal support process for
sharing expertise and for problem solving through a group process.

How is it conducted?
Each group (not individual) must submit a Collegial Circle application found on My Learning Plan MTRACT which we will forward to the Assistant Superintendent for approval. After your plan of action is approved, your group will meet for a total of fifteenhours (1 inservice credit) or seven and one-half hours (1/2 inservice credit). A facilitator must be selected and it becomes that person’s responsibility to maintain focus, keep records and notify group members of meeting dates, etc. Groups must plan to meet in sessions ranging from 1 to 2 ½ hours each. A log of all
sessions will be kept by the facilitator, including dates, times, attendance, and brief summaries for each meeting including ideas shared and action taken. Active participation is expected and attendance will follow established Teacher Center attendance policies. Upon completion of the group meetings, each participant must submit a personal
evaluation accompanied by examples of the impact on the classroom
resulting from this program. This is to become part of the final project to be submitted. This information, as well as the final project, must be sent to M-TRACT and will be forwarded to the proper administrators for approval.
Twitter and Socratic Questioning
I attended two MTRACT workshops this month – Twitter because I never could understand what those # signs were and what was the point anyway? Was I ever wrong! What a tool for teachers to use with their students. Jarrett Fifield did a tremendous job showing us how to use Twitter with students for research. I never realized what a powerful educational tool Twitter is. 
I have to say Dr. Fasano kept us mesmerized with the Socratic questioning workshop. It was amazing to see how starting with one question could trigger a discussion enabling students to be in charge of their own learning! I encourage you to take this workshop when offered again.
Besides the two workshops I spoke of abovethere will be a Webquest course with Rena Drezner, and another Intel Assessments after the Christmas break. Keep in touch – let me know of workshops you would be interested in attending or teaching.

Most importantly, however, I want to wish all of you a very, very


To those cooking, I empathize and to those visiting, have fun and PLEASE help clean up the dishes! My philosophy is I cook, you clean! Enjoy….


Nov 7, 2011

14 07 2012

As Veterans Day approaches, I wanted to share some videos and activities you may wish to use in their honor:

Here are some links from Verizon’s Thinkfinity that you may want to share with your students
From Wonderopolis: a short explanation along with video entitled “What is Veterans Day?”
From Read Write Think: calendar event, classroom activities and lessons for grades 3 – 12. Just click here for “Veterans Day is celebrated in the United States today
From the Smithsonian: “The Price of Freedom: Americans at War” includes a History Mystery, lessons and videos including first person accounts as well as World War II cartoons.
Have a wonderful week,

Sept 26, 2011

14 07 2012

Hi Everyone,

Breast Cancer Walk
Sunday, October 16th is the Breast Cancer Walk at Jones Beach. Entry forms will be placed in your mailboxes to join the Massapequa team. Come and enjoy the ocean air while honoring one of your loved ones. If you can’t come, please consider donating. Go to for further information.

Video Tips
Video has become commonplace in our students’ lives. The following article in TechLearning, Photo Ops: 10 Innovative Ways to Use Visual Media has some great ideas on how to integrate video to motivate students.

Think about having your students create a tutorial on a specific concept in your class and post it on your website. Not only do students love showcasing their own work, but teaching it will help them internalize it.
Did you know….
You Tube now has an educational site? Go to and take a look!

Do you think video editing is too difficult? Absolutely NOT!!! Magisto, is a FREE digital editing application that will do all the work for you! Just upload your video and the application will scan and pull out those repetitive or boring lulls to create a great video. Choose your music and you’re a professional!

MTRACT has a digital video camera that is here for your use. The video is streamed directly to the hard drive and a simple USB plug will transfer the files to your computers so there is no need for any memory cards.