MTRACT has Moved

9 10 2012

Hi everyone,

Hope you had a relaxing Columbus Day weekend.



We have new “digs”! We are still in McKenna but located in Room 202. Enter through the front and go upstairs – our room faces Spruce Street.

Remember that MTRACT is YOUR teacher center and although our location may have changed we still have much to offer.

NEW THIS YEARiPads ! We have 10. Call ahead to reserve one.

And of course, we still have the following for you to borrow:

  •       SMART Senteo Interactive Response Set
  •       SMART Doc Camera
  •       SMART Airliner Wireless Slate Boards
  •       Digital Cameras
  •       Digital Movie Camera
  •       Dell Laptop (wireless)
  •       Mac Laptops
  •       iPod Tune Talk Stereo
  •       Snowflake Microphones (noise canceling)
  •       Plantronics wireless headset with microphone

Taking Classes? Come to our library:

  • Books straight from ASCD (don’t buy them – borrow them)
  • Journals
  • Teachers Helper Magaziner


 Don’t re-invent the wheel:

Collegial Circles that have been completed for various subject areas

 Better yet – create your OWN collegial circle for INSERVICE and to count toward your 175 HOURS!!!

And you know about the equipment

  •       Hot Laminator
  •       Binding Machine
  •       Button Maker
  •       Poster makers – color and black and white
  •       Letter cutout maker

Our hours will be changing. More information on that will be forthcoming. Just make sure you always call before you come.

Have a great week,


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….


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.


Oct 13, 2010

14 07 2012

Hi and welcome back!!! By now, we have all had some time to settle in – I hope you had a great summer as well as beginning of the school year!

I know many of you have had SMART Board training – don’t forget MTRACT has Airliner Wireless Slate Boards, Doc Cameras and a Senteo Interactive Response System for your use. Just call ahead to reserve.

Click here for a REALLY NEAT SITE for videos – it’s called Encyclomedia – check it out!

You should have received our newsletter by now so you know that we have not been funded and unfortunately find it necessary to charge for classes, laminating, and posters. The cutout maker is free – just bring your own construction paper.

Certified teachers who seek an additional certification in Students with Disabilities at the same developmental level can fulfill certification requirements through the NYSUT Education & Learning Trust.

ELT courses that address the four required competency areas are:
Curriculum and Instruction
SED 661: Cooperative Learning for SWD

Managing the Environment
EDUC 503M: Methods & Materials SWD

Assessment, Diagnosis, and Evaluation
EDUC 516M: Curricular Assessment and Behavior Management

Foundations of Special Education
ENY 729: Inclusion: Education for All* *(available online)

Click here for more information and then fill in the following form if you are interested.

Oct 27, 2009

14 07 2012

Hi everyone,
Our SMART Doc camera is ready for you to borrow. So what is a SMART Doc camera you might ask? Well it pretty much replaces your ELMO and can connect to your SMART Board.


Do you want to magnify a page for your class to see?

Would you like to insert that page into your SMART Board? Just use the screen capture tool. Now you can add notes, arrows, whatever you choose without marking up the original. Click to watch the video on incorporating SMART tools with your DOC camera.

Science teachers – you know how difficult it is to present an experiment to the entire class? Put your petrie dish or leaf or whatever you choose under the SMART Doc Camera and it will display on your SMART Board. You can zoom in or out as you please – you can take a picture (screen capture) and it’s already in your SMART notebook just waiting for you to add notes! Click to watch a video for science ideas

You do NOT need a SMART Board to use the SMART Doc camera – a whiteboard and projector will work. To capture images, you would need the SMART notebook software.

Click to watch the video for more information!

Oct 9, 2009

14 07 2012

Hi everyone,
Here we go for another three-day weekend…ENJOY it! By now you should have received the Power Point that Eileen Blum (FF) made for us. Thanks so much, Eileen!

I told you that we have many new toys for you to borrow in order to integrate technology easily into your classrooms. One of those items is a wireless airliner that can be used with your SMART Board. So what is it???? The airliner is similar to a tablet that students can use to write on with a special pen. What they write will appear on the SMART Board!!! Neat, huh? You might want to take a look at the airliner’s features. Just click here for more information.

Have a GREAT weekend,

Aug 25, 2009

14 07 2012

Hi everyone,
Welcome back! I hope you had a really great summer vacation!

Our graduate courses are posted on the M-TRACT website and inservice will be posted shortly. If you have an idea for a new inservice course that you would either like to instruct or feel would be beneficial, please contact me. It takes all of us to make a successful teacher center.

The technology staff was busy all summer setting up your new computers and many more SMART Boards. I had very good feedback on the SMART Board boot camps as well as the in-service SMART classes. Once you start using your boards, you’ll wonder how you ever taught without them! You can look forward to more SMART training throughout the year – both district and inservice.

The M-TRACT staff will be busy setting up our new cut-out maker – ask your liaisons for more information and keep posted to our blog as to when it is ready for your use. In addition, we will have many new technology tools for you to borrow including a digital video camera, two digital cameras, SMART doc cameras, a MAC laptop as well as PC laptops. Use them to enhance your lessons!

I look forward to a successful new year and as always am here if you need anything – just email your questions and input!

Thanks and have a great year,