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Current RSE-TASC Reporter

Taking Care of Business: Students are Large and in Charge

By Kit Casey, Transition Specialist

School-based enterprises are popping up throughout the lower Hudson Valley. The enterprises are actually student-driven businesses that provide young people with hands-on work experiences exposing them to a wide range of employment skills. Although school-based enterprises have been around for years, they have gained momentum recently due, in large part, to the creation of the New York State Career Development and Occupational Studies (CDOS) Commencement Credential. The purpose of the credential is to provide high school students with career exploration activities as well as with actual work experiences, helping them to be better prepared for the job market. Last year the New York State Regents approved the credential as a Multiple Pathway option. Eligible students may now substitute the credential for one of the Regents social studies exams....

This month our Bright Spot comes from teachers in Irvington, Tuckahoe, Nyack and Greenburgh/North Castle. It provides a few more examples of Specially Designed Instructional (SDI) strategies teachers are implementing to improve their students’ outcomes.

What were students able to achieve as a result of specially designed instructional practices?

  • Kesha Carra at Greenburgh/North Castle reports that every student in her 8:1:1 class improved time-on-task and focus and attention in lessons.
  • Barbara Schoeller from Irvington reported that all students in her class are able to accurately state lesson objectives in their own words.
  • Ms. Serra in Tuckahoe shared that 80% of students in her class were able to explain how to solve multiple probability problems with 100% accuracy after one lesson.
  • Kenneth Schoeller from Nyack High School reported that 90% of his students solved exponential equations after one lesson, and every student he called on was able to correctly explain the work.

What practices or systems made this possible?

  • Ms. Carra taught her students a simple visual cue, a hand signal, that she would use when she needed their attention or for them to focus.   Students responded and used the signal themselves.
  • Ms. Schoeller taught her students how to “Track-With-Me”, and used the strategy to engage students in choral reading of lesson objectives at the start of each lesson.
  • Ms. Serra taught students a process, “A-B Partners”, through which students practiced explaining their work to each other.
  • Mr. Schoeller provided explicit feedback by echoing student responses and taught students a Think-Pair-Share strategy that increased their opportunities to practice new concepts to mastery.

What can we learn from this Bright Spot?

Students become more focused, productive and independent in their learning when consistent processes and cues are taught, practiced and used consistently in classrooms.


SCHOOL TOOL

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