About EngagedVoices

Too many of our students finish high school only to find they're not prepared for college or the workforce. New York is implementing a comprehensive effort to help turn that around. Our goal is to help students develop a deeper understanding of subject matter, learn how to think critically and apply what they have learned to the real world -- in short, to get them ready for life after high school.

All across the State, New Yorkers - from parents to educators to legislators to business and community leaders - have been hard at work to support the changes in instruction necessary for every student to be ready for college and career. EngagedVoices is a chance to share these perspectives from the field- the successes, challenges, ideas and struggles- so that we can learn from each other and together, we can help every student succeed.

Date:
Thursday, March 5, 2015

students in classroom

 

Fifth Grade teacher Steve O’Connor shares how he is using and adapting EngageNY’s open curricular resources to not only meet his students’ academic needs but also to create interactive websites for teachers and parents across NY state and the country. Take an inside look into his classroom, hear from his students and then check out his websites at homeworkhelp5.com and ccss5.com.

Author:
Jennifer Hanno, High School English Teacher, Carthage Central School District
Date:
Sunday, March 1, 2015

Jennifer HannoZora Neale Hurston once referred to research as “poking and prying with a purpose.” Oh, I did a lot of poking and prying when teaching the research process but it was mostly me poking them into doing research and prying a paper out of them. Admittedly, it was my least favorite unit of instruction. I tried to feign enthusiasm, but the truth was I dreaded the unit every year.

Author:
Lauren Diamond, first grade teacher, East Moriches Elementary School and Emily Peterson, Librarian and Professional Development Coordinator in East Moriches School District
Date:
Friday, February 6, 2015

East Moriches first gradeA child’s early years in school are critical to building their literacy skills so that they are prepared for greater success as they grow.  As many studies have suggested, gaps in students' reading skills after the third grade become exacerbated and can even impact students' chances of graduating from high school.

Starting in 2012, East Moriches began trying out a new approach to literacy using the Core Knowledge resources on EngageNY and by the 2013-2014 school year, we not only became more comfortable with the materials as teachers but saw significant differences in how our students were learning.

Author:
Peter Schmitt, Middle School Math Teacher, Lower Manhattan Community School
Date:
Sunday, January 11, 2015

Hear from Math Teacher Peter Schmitt and take an inside glimpse into his classroom.  

Middle School Math Teacher Peter Schmitt explains how math has changed with the Common Core Learning standards in this short video blog.  In his Lower Manhattan Community School classroom, students are not “passive participants” using step-by-step strategies taught by the teacher and spending significant time solving “skill and drill” problems. 

Author:
Toni Stevens-Oliver, Fourth Grade Teacher, Thornell Road Elementary School
Date:
Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Stevens Blog Photo StudentsWhen I took a look at the Social Studies Framework on EngageNY last spring I must admit my first response was “Oh no, more change!  I love fourth grade Social Studies just as it is!” But after taking a deep breath and diving in I was impressed with how it took the former New York State Standards and shifted the lens a bit, refocusing our study on not just the content, but also transitioning to a more inquiry-based approach using primary sources and non-fiction texts.  While previously I used these resources as part of a more teacher-directed instructional approach, I now strive for my students to be at the center of the inquiry process, reconciling evidence and drawing their

Author:
Andria Finch, High School English Language Arts teacher, Franklin Central School District
Date:
Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Andria FinchAs a 15-year veteran teacher of Secondary English Language Arts, I challenge myself daily by asking: how can I help my students not only grow in their reading ability, but also analyze the content they're reading and learn how to build their knowledge from the content?  Students enter my class at a wide range of ability levels in reading and some enter tenth grade as struggling readers. Research has pointed to the critical importance of reading ability throughout a students’ educational experience and has even been shown as predictive of such outcomes as graduating high school on time.  It has also been determined as an essential link to socioeconomic opportunity and civic involvement.

Author:
Michelle Helmer, Instructional Coordinator at Ripley School District and the former Staff Development Specialist at Erie 2 BOCES
Date:
Monday, November 17, 2014

Classroom - Helmer

Over the last few years working through the transition to the Common Core standards, I have been relentless in a quest to capture evidence of student learning. I have collaborated with classroom teachers, district administrators, and regional leaders in my current role as a district instructional specialist and former BOCES staff development specialist. I have seen amazing results from hard working educators and the students they serve.  

Author:
Jennifer Phelps, Math Coach for Grades Kindergarten through Six, Watertown City School District
Date:
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Jennifer PhelpsIt is no secret that math in classrooms looks different today.  Many of us, who are now teachers, learned math when we were students through a series of algorithms or formulas that were often memorized. Today, students are using mathematical models to understand the backstory of how numbers work.

Author:
Mary Kerins, Principal, Kalfas Elementary School, Niagara Falls City School District
Date:
Thursday, October 9, 2014

Students at Henry J. Kalfas ElementaryIn an earlier post, I describe how the transformation to the new standards along with the supportive professional development and resources provided by EngageNY.org and the Network Team institutes changed the conversations educators were having within our school, which helped strengthen our practice as teachers and leaders. But, perhaps even more interesting are the changing conversations happening with students as I visited the classrooms.

Author:
Mary Kerins, Principal, Kalfas Elementary School, Niagara Falls City School District
Date:
Friday, October 3, 2014

Mary KerinsJust like most educators at the beginning of every school year I pause to reflect on the previous one.  Looking back what has stood out most is how much my building has changed starting with my role as a school principal.

With the transition to the new standards, many have spoken about the shifts in teaching and learning and the role of the teacher.  Much less attention has been paid to what this means for principals and our leadership roles in the transformation.  Over the last few years, our school has embraced the change process and focused on our central challenge: to understand how to keep getting better.