Final Project: Proposal

To whom it may concern.

As a first year teacher here at CP High School I want to express my earnest appreciation for my experience here. Over the past few months I have been thinking of ways to make our environment more conducive to successful data verified outcomes.

After careful  consideration, I have concluded that we could improve the level of success in the classroom if we did the following:

1. Provided additional multimedia resources to address the need for various supports and multiple access points.

Concern: Students have variant learning styles and require multiple access points. I have concluded that students specific needs are not always addressed. Traditional differentiation techniques can at times be limiting, engaging one group of students

Proposal: I recommend designing our classroom structure around the flipped-classroom method. Many schools have embraced this technique because it allows students to receive instruction in the form of a video. The video can be replayed as many times as the student deems necessary. Specific sections of the content can be reviewed for specific clarification.

Students could then com to the classroom setting with additional questions. The class can be turned into a creative workshop where assessments are completed and group work is introduced.

Cost: Next to nothing. We already spent a king’s ransom on camera’s and film editing equipment. There are several teachers who have experience with video editing.

2. Created an interdisciplinary committee for curriculum planning. (Specifically for 9th Grade Sciences and ELA)

Concern: After reviewing our school-wide living Environment and Earth science Regents scores, our science team discovered a disturbing trend in the data. While our overall test score averages were higher than the citywide averages, further analysis of specific questions reflected below city averages. Our students tended to perform poorly with questions that required extensive reading. These results are synonymous with my classroom data. 

Students willingly admit that they will try to answer “shorter questions” but guess questions that require an increased level of reading comprehension.

Proposal: Our 9th grade students are all taking either Living Environment or Earth Science. Both subjects require a moderate level of literacy and have vocabulary-rich content. The 9th grade ELA course doesn’t end in a Regents, providing those instructors with some degree of latitude. I propose the development of interdisciplinary content and activity planning sessions where science educators can provide relevant scientific articles that allow for additional exposure to the necessary vocabulary for the science courses. Certain topics (such as the Human Impact on the Environment) can be explored with varying levels of depth.

We routinely discuss expanding literacy in the science classroom, maybe it’s time to consider introducing science content to an English academic setting.

Prior to implementation, all invested parties  should establish a time frame to collect all the necessary data to see if this can be the a permanent platform for curriculum planning and development.This endeavor would require little or no additional costs to implement. School Administration and/or Grade team leaders would just have to provide the necessary space and opportunity to have these meetings.

The Rennie Center for Education & Policy, (in partnership with Edvestors) conducted a research study called “Schools on the Move.” The purpose of this study was to analyze the data driven results and to explore the benefits of collaborative teams.

From that published study I noticed the following passage:

"In one school, grade-level teams implemented interdisciplinary projects to foster the improvement of critical reading and analysis skills among students across all subjects, while subject-area teams focused on key curricular issues (e g , the implementation of Common Core State Standards) Teachersuse team meeting time to discuss new curricular materials and issues of vertical alignment (eg, what concepts students need to master in a lower grade to ensure success with an upper grade/level curriculum) One school leader noted that the additional time for vertical planning has led to “amazing results” across grade levels and content areas."

This endeavor can be approached in a number of ways, and should a committee be created for the purpose of exploring its viability, then I would be interested in participating.

3. . Provided new teachers (three years of experience or less) with additional professional developments on effective differentiation implementation strategies.

"We need to develop a robust set of tools - strategies and routines - that help us address student variance. It's easy to come to rely on two or three "trusty" instructional strategies like worksheets and lectures.”

-Carol Ann Tomlinson

Concern: The implementation of cohesive differentiation  strategies for new teachers is usually a stressful ordeal.  One that they usually shoulder alone.  New teacher face the same levels of expectation as it relates to cohesive, student-centered planning. Our science team (all new teachers) were provided with a more than adequate level of content support. The assumption should never be that teachers have adequate access to to the supports necessary to design engaging lessons that provide multiple access points an

Proposal: To ensure new instructors are exposed a set of  effective prove differentiation strategies, I propose the following:

  1. A viable platform and protocol for peer inter-visitation. If implemented correctly, visiting teachers would enter another classroom with a specific focus. This would allow teachers to self-assess to identify areas where they need to develop and to address those need informally amongst their peers.
  2. PD conducted by outside consultants that would introduce new strategies that would prove useful to the experienced instructor and the rookie teacher.

4. Enhanced the effectiveness of content instructional outcomes by increasing the effectiveness consultant & coaching support scheduling. 

Concern: While I can fully appreciate the impact that the weekly metamorphosis consultant visits provide, I believe that the 3 periods used weekly for planning, classroom observation and debrief are too frequent too allow for optimal development. Add to that the additional 3-4 period weekly coaching with our CUNY partners, and the weekly period of lesson planning and assessment development and with my mentor. We also have science team meetings and class collaborative co-planning meetings. This is be costly as far as prep and planning periods are concerned. (And you must consider that teachers who are students as well are subject to additional observations and debriefs. 

Proposal

  1. Collaborative teacher assessments might allow for targeted areas for growth that are coordinated amongst all the consultants. Since the science teachers all share the same mentor, maybe he could coordinate and interface with the consultants. 
  2. When there are areas where all client teachers could benefit from the same instruction or developmental interventions, then utilizing the existing science team meeting platform might  allow for a more streamlined schedule.
  3. I recommend that we limit the number of consultant visits to one a week. Since we meet for three periods with the consultant team per visit, taking time to focus on the recommendations of that visit without the addition of another visit in the same week would prove beneficial.

I would be happy to discuss theses proposals in person. The purpose of these recommendations are to improve our effectiveness as educators in the classroom.

 

Thank you for your time and your earnest consideration,

 

Ron Celestin

Living Environment Educator

    • Gerald Ardito
      Gerald Ardito

      Ron,

      This is a very good proposal. It is thoughtful, thorough, and specific. I especially liked how you tried to provide meaningful and achievable solutions to challenges you observe in your school.

      It will be interesting to see if you get a chance to present your ideas at some point. Please keep us posted.

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