Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We've Enjoyed Some Great Feedback This Year

Feedback from Educon 2.0 conference presentation, Philadelphia, Jan 25-27:

  • Best session for me personally at EduCon !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Initial feedback from Google, March 5:

  • Hello from Google! I work in communications here -- we were introduced to you by Cara Volpe at Teach For America. (I've also CC'ed some other Google colleagues of mine in events and communications.) Cara was telling us about the inspiring things you've done with Google Docs and online collaboration, both in the classroom with students and and the planning stages among your teachers. We think it's such a great story, and we're interested in seeing if news outlets might want to cover what you're doing.

Feedback from Google Development reps, after meeting with Mr. Levy, Mr. Prinstein and Ms. Jenkins, March 25:

  • "You guys are doing more and deeper work with this stuff than any school we've ever come across."
  • Also: "We don't make commercials, but if we did, you all would be in one."

Parent Expo feedback from teachers, May 2:"What did you like best about the Expo?"

  • The smiles on the students’ faces especially the ambassadors.
  • As a partner with MS 339, I was pleased to receive an invitation and be able to attend.
  • How much the students enjoyed presenting and the hard work they put in.
  • Some kids who I did not think would present did so and were excited and really good.
  • Students who I struggled to get to work on their projects coming around to see their work and taking a great deal of pride in it.
  • The excitement of the 6th graders showing off their work to their parents was really great.
  • The school and community came together as one.
  • Nearly everything, but mostly the united spirit of staff members.
  • The students were very good at presenting their work and the work of the class.
  • Level 1 students presenting. Watching my students teach their parents and operate the laptops and manipulatives.
  • Seeing the look on parent faces and how people from the community or VIPs saw the good things that are happening at our school.
  • The student ambassadors. They were the best.
  • The amount of parents that came out to support their children.
  • My entire team stayed for most of the Expo.
  • Parents telling us that they want us to teach their kids forever!!!
  • The students' work.
  • Being able to shine a light on EVERY student. Witnessing parents and teachers engaged in conversation about students that only accentuated the positive was wonderful to see. The camaraderie between teachers, students and parents as a byproduct of all the shared work.
  • The willingness of one presenter in Team Courage to cover for another team presenter who was absent. Of course, his parent was very proud of his son's ability.
  • Students were extremely excited for their parents to come see their work.
  • Parent turn-out.
  • When a parent advised me that he was proud of his kid’s work. He felt that his child was far advanced than what he was at the middle school age.
  • Seeing all the parents pour into 339, led along by their proud students, to see the work and instruction happening in this school. It was inspiring to see all the families walking the halls, admiring the work- and for once, not here to hear about poor grades or behavior!
  • Hearing my students present their work.
  • My principal speaking Spanish. I am so proud of him, and how proud the children were presenting.
  • Seeing all of the students' writing from throughout the year displayed.
  • The way the students took pride in the school.
  • The way the school worked together as a team.
  • Students were engaged in the community building environment of the school.
  • Seeing students explain their favorite papers.
  • Students felt like they are part of a community.
  • All my students wanted to be involved and helped out more than I expected. Many more parents showed up than I thought.
  • I loved watching the kids working together with their parents and siblings. I could tell how proud they were to make good ice cream.
  • The student ambassadors.
  • Students are proud of their work and the community supporting the school.
  • "Teacher, thank you for all your help.”
  • The desire of students to show off their work to their parents.
  • The excitement and ownership the students displayed in regards to their projects and their school.
  • Our school looked fantastic.
  • Everyone working together to make this event great.
  • Watching my students explain their work to their families.
  • The students wanting to explain and show off their work.
  • When we all congregated in the cafeteria and saw how many people had come felt like we were all part of something important.

Great School Quality Review Feedback

When IS 339 had its annual School Quality Review from May 27-28, the reviewer stated that she thought it was the best use of educational technology that she had seen. This is warm praise indeed from someone who has visited so many schools in England and New York.

What the school does well:

  • The school collects and analyzes a wide range of data to understand and meet the needs of the student.
  • The use and development of technology throughout the school is excellent in enhancing both teaching and learning.
  • The principal and his leadership team have a very clear vision for the future development of the school.
  • Teamwork and collaboration are strong features of the school.
  • There are many good opportunities for professional development.
  • Clear procedures allow the school to operate smoothly and create a positive learning environment.
  • Students are enthusiastic, articulate, and enjoy their learning.
  • Interventions and support services are used well in supporting students socially and emotionally, as well as academically.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Video Media Project

Students in Ms. Averbach's classes created this video as a culminating assessment for the ELA media unit. They selected media topics to research, they read articles, wrote blog entries, and crafted editorial essays. But somehow, in the midst of all this awesome learning, they found the time to produce a film for you. This project was written by, acted in, and partially edited by students. We hope you enjoy the show.

Monday, February 25, 2008

School News Blog Takes Off!

Thanks to all those who have read, commented, or contributed to the school's new student run news blog "The 339 Hard Line."

Please, stay tuned! When Project SCAN picks back up tomorrow, we will be up and running with new student-written articles and editorials about what's happening around the building.

If you have an idea you would like to share with the students and teachers of 339, take it to the keyboard! We welcome any and all faculty Op-Eds up to 350 words. Email you writing to me at, and I will post it IMMEDIATELY.

To check out the blog, go to or click on this link. Please, please, please, share the site with your classes and encourage responsible student commenting. We want this site to be 'by students for students' and that will only happen with your support in encouraging student readership.

I also wanted to extend a special thanks to Ms. Heiser and Ms. Jenkins for making The Hard Line a reality and to all of our student writers for working so hard and sharing their ideas.

Celebrating risk-taking in teaching!

Cheers to 8th grade ELA for getting those blogs up! All student blog addresses are located in a Google Doc called "Eighth Grade Blog Tracker 339;" feel free to leave comments to former students!

Congrats to 803/4 and Ms. Dixon Hall for getting Google Docs up and running for editorial writing!

Cheers to Ms. Johns and Mr. Blanchard for getting their 7th graders set up on Blogger over the weekend for field trip reflections :)

Belated - I'm sorry! - but enthusiastic cheers to Ms. Mason-Escoe for a really, really engaging lesson using MTA bus maps and the SMARTBoard. I wanted to participate..

Cheers to Ms. Guzman and her students for their commercials, which now live in iMovie ..

Cheers to the 8th grade Social Studies teachers - Ms. Kaelin, Ms. Stuart and Ms. Tiller - for launching Teaching Matters, and to Ms. Tiller for co-teaching!

Cheers to Ms. Averbach for attending the Digital Documentaries PD over the break!

and .. cheers to staff for integrating instructional technology into classrooms in such a meaningful way. We had a visitor from iTiL in the building right before break, and this was her feedback to us in an email to me and Mr. Levy:

"I wanted to take a moment to thank you for hosting my visit to see how things are going at your school. Because of you and your staff I was able to take meaningful information back to our Office to inform our work. It was great to see all the online and onsite systems, structures, and environments you and your staff have set up to enhance planning, teaching and learning in your school. Christina shared how well the ongoing Monday after school PD sessions have been going as well as the hands-on support delivered upon request during teachers' common prep/planning periods. She also shared how great it has been to work with an AUSSIE consultant hired specifically for his instructional technology expertise and the success she has had with ongoing meetings live and via Skypecasting. I was impressed with the strides shared by you and Christina that were made this year to ensure that technology integration is sustained in your school. Your staff and students definitely benefit from the acknowledgement you provide teachers for their successes using for online Principal Daily Notes, your coaches' Technology Weekly newsletter, your school's Celebration Blog and your student's Celebration page The fact that you are walking the walk with best-practice modeling and a seamless use of innovative structures is quite powerful."