Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Mock Job Interview

Today we had a mock interview.  I was an administrator and had to design questions based on the cooperative learning model.  I interviewed three different groups of my colleagues.  It was interesting to design the questions and then see what the responses of my colleagues was.  In some instances the answers were not what I had envisioned.  It was a great experience to design questions because I now feel that I have a better grasp on some of the questions that I will be asked in the future on my own interview.  A few things that I learned from this process and advice that I have for my colleagues.

1. Always dress professionally and wear appropriate length clothing.

2. Answer the whole part of the question.

3. Stay on topic.

4. Use hard stock paper to print your resume.

5. Use a firm handshake.

6. Study the school and their mission statement.

7. Come with thoughtful questions to ask the interviewers. 

Check out this video for more interviewing tips!


Sunday, April 26, 2015


As this semester finally comes to a close, I feel I am breathing a sigh of relief.  This semester was not only challenging and work intensive, but I also learned a lot about myself as a future teacher.  The fieldwork for this class provided me with so much valuable information that I will take with me into the future.  It was great to learn how to write direct instruction, guided inquiry, and cooperative learning lesson plans, as well as to teach these to an excited and enthusiastic group of students.  That is something that I will never forget, and really has helped me to become a better teacher.
In addition to fieldwork, I have also learned so much about teaching social studies, and teaching in general.  The five principles of powerful teaching and learning are something that can be applied to all content areas, not just social studies.  I have learned the importance of these elements and how to look for them to make sure they are in all of my lesson plans.  In my future classroom, I plan to incorporate fun and engaging activities that allow my students to gain a deeper understanding of all of the aspects of social studies.  I would like to create a classroom of students who are curious, kind, and always want to learn more.  I also would like to incorporate a lot of technology in the classroom.  This class has shown me some of the many great educational technologies that are available and I cannot wait to use them!  I do not think that there has been a single failure for me this semester.  I have worked hard, completed my assignments on time, and I feel that my hard work is reflected in the work that I produce.  

Overall, this has been a great semester and I have learned so much.  I feel that I am ready to begin student teaching in the fall and cannot wait to see how I do!  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Global Education Reflection

What else is considered social studies?  This question may leave a person struggling for an answer.  Throughout this semester, I have learned that social studies is so much more than just dates and facts.  Experts suggest that social studies also covers topics such as character and moral/value education, citizenship and civics education, student service projects, global education and humanities, and anti-violence education.  Incorporating these additional aspects of social studies into the curriculum will enable students to become better citizens in society and allow students to gain an understanding of different cultures, diversity, empathy, tolerance, and so much more.  For this project, Brittany and I chose to focus on global education and humanities.
            What exactly is global education?  The Global Teacher Project (n.d.) identifies that global education studies the many different cultures and countries in our world, the many issues that they face, and helps to develop a deeper understanding in our students about the impact that our actions have on these cultures and countries.  Incorporating global education and humanities into the social studies curriculum is imperative to fostering the growth of kind, tolerant, and empathetic students.  In global education, students will learn about the different countries and cultures of our world.  They will learn about the issues that they face—such as lack of running water, lack of education, starvation, poverty, etc.—and begin to understand how they can have an impact on these societies and become global citizens.  Prior to embarking upon this project, I had an understanding about what global education meant and why it is so important.  Different societies and cultures around the world is something that I am interested in and like to learn about.  However, one thing that I did not realize is that acceptance and understanding of different cultures is something that students need to be introduced to and learn about.  Additionally, they need to learn how to become global citizens and see how their actions can impact the global society.  Teaching global education is important because global education “develops skills and attitudes which enable people to take responsibility for their own lives and the world we live in and become active global citizens” (The Global Teacher Project, n.d.).
            To complete this project, Brittany and I looked at a lot of different websites and articles online.  We discovered so much valuable information it was almost difficult to include it all.  In addition to information, we also found a wealth of resources providing example lessons, ideas for lessons, and ways to incorporate technology in the classroom to expand student understanding of global issues.  Skype in the Classroom (2015) has a lesson on it called "Global Citizenship: Classroom Cultural Exchange” in which a school is reaching out to other schools in the nation, and worldwide, to connect via Skype for a cultural exchange.  This is such a great idea to allow students to meet other students on the other side of the globe through the use of technology and could be used with any grade level.  Another great resource for lessons to be used across any grade level is TeachUNICEF (2015).  TeachUNICEF (2015) has an abundance of resources that gives educators tools to infuse global citizenship education into their existing curriculum in meaningful ways.  This resource can be extremely valuable for teachers who are unsure how to begin teaching global education and citizenship which is an important part of social studies education.
            Now that we had gained a better understanding of why it is so important to teach global education and humanities, we wanted to find a way for educators to be sure that their students have a solid understanding of the topic.  Throughout our research we stumbled upon the Global Education Checklist (Czarra, 2001).  This checklist is a tool educators can use with both elementary and secondary students to ensure that these students are being exposed to global issues, global cultures, and global connections (Czarra, 2001).  Furthermore, global education connects directly to the New York State Learning Standards for Social Studies, specifically Standard 3 – Geography, which states that “students will use a variety of intellectual skills to demonstrate their understanding of the geography of the interdependent world in which we live—local, national, and global—including the distribution of people, places, and environments over the Earth’s surface” (New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework, 2014).  In addition to the New York State Learning Standards, global education connects to the NYSED Curriculum and Instruction Standard 3 for Geography (NYSED, 2009).  Not only does global education connect directly to the NYS Standards, it also adheres to the five principles of powerful teaching and learning in that it is meaningful, integrative, value-based, challenging, and active (National Council for the Social Studies, n.d.).  Global education teaches students about the different countries in our world, their cultures, and the challenges that they face.  Global education is meaningful and value-based and fosters the growth of empathetic, caring, global citizens as students gain an understanding of how their actions impact the world around them.  Therefore, teaching global education is necessary to the educational development of both elementary and secondary students and fostering individual growth as global citizens.    


Boss, S. (2010, November 17). Around the World in Five Days: Lessons from the Global
Education Conference. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from

Bracey-Sutton, B. (2006, August 8). The Global Teenager Project: Promoting Worldwide
Education Through Technology. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from

Czarra, F. (2002, January 1). Global Education Checklist. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from

Global Citizenship. (2015, January 1). Retrieved April 15, 2015, from

Gray, L. (2015, January 1). Lucy Gray's Page. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from

Hicks, D. (n.d.). The Global Teacher Project. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from

Lindsay, J. (n.d.). Flat Classroom. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from

National Council for the Social Studies. (n.d.) Principles of teaching and learning.  Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies.  Retrieved March 20, 2015 from

New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework. (2014, November 1). Retrieved April 15, 2015,
from State Education Department

Parisi, L. (2011, March 1). Home. Retrieved April 15, 2015, from

Smith, M. (2015, February 24). Global Citizenship: Classroom Cultural Exchange. Retrieved

Social Studies Standards. (2009, October 5). Retrieved April 15, 2015, from

Tavangar, H. (2014, April 4). Make Earth Day a Global Learning Day. Retrieved April 15, 2015,

TeachUNICEF. (2015, January 1). Retrieved April 15, 2015, from

Weil, Z. (2014, June 10). How Do We Educate Global Problem Solvers? Retrieved April 15,
2015, from

What are Global and International Education? (n.d.). Retrieved April 15, 2015, from

What Else is Considered Social Studies

For the What Else is Considered Social Studies, Brittany and I chose to focus on Global Education and Humanities, and what it means to become a global citizen.

Check out our project on Glogester!

Listen to what it means to be a global citizen.

You can find some great lesson plans on TeachUNICEF.  Check them out in the video below.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Reflection on Cooperative Learning Lesson

Although it has been a while since our fieldwork teaching sessions, I am finally now reflecting on our cooperative learning lesson.  Our lesson had some great ideas, however, now that I know a little bit more about cooperative learning there are some things that I would change.  We used QR codes and had the students visit stations to use iPads and the QR codes to learn more about three important people in the Colonial Hudson Valley.  Where we went astray is that we used people that the students had not met before.  This made the time that they had to research the information and record notes in their graphic organizers crucial.  To top it off, there was not enough time or iPads to go around.  We ended up with three groups  of about five students each.  Unfortunately, with the way the room was set up it was just not a feasible execution.  We ended up running out of time before the students could even create their project for the lesson.  Dr. Smirnova gave us a lot of feedback about this lesson and now we know what we would need to change in order to have the best lesson we could.  The QR codes and guided notes were a great way to students to access and record information.  However, in the future I would select individuals that the students already had learned about and this lesson would expand upon their knowledge.  Additionally, I would have each group only research one person.  Then, they would share what they learned about that person with the rest of the class.  This would make this lesson a truer Jigsaw type lesson.  Overall, the students seemed to really enjoy using the QR codes and interacting with one another.  As I had stated before, fieldwork this semester has been a complete learning experience and I look forward to adapting this current lesson and making it the best it can be.   

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Cost-Benefit Analysis

When it comes to economics, the basic problem and the key to understanding all comes down to scarcity and decision making.  In economics, scarcity refers to limited resources such as land, labor, and capital (Investopedia, 2003).  When resources are scarce, people must make choices based upon the resources they have to satisfy their wants.  Since there is a scarce amount of resources that are available, consumers, businesses, and governments have to make choices about where to apply the scarce resources.  This could mean giving up something for the sake of using the resources elsewhere (Riley, 2011).  The whole idea of weighing the resources that are available against the needs and wants of a company, consumer, or government is called the cost-benefit analysis.  The cost-benefit analysis is an approach in which businesses weigh decisions.  In this approach, all of the benefits are put on one side of the balance and all of the costs are put on the other, whichever side weighs more wins (The Economist, 2009).  Scarcity and decision making is a key point to understanding the economic principle, therefore, it is important that students are taught this important concept which drives our economic society.  Teaching the cost-benefit analysis in the classroom would be fairly easy.  The students could be given a limited number of tangible items and a list of things that could be built with those items ranked from most important to least important.  They could weigh the benefit of allocating those resources to build only one of the important items or several of them.  Another option is to give students a certain amount of money and the prices of groceries and a video game that they want.  Have the students weight the benefit of buying the video game over the groceries and vice versa.         

The Economist - Cost-benefit analysis. (2009, September 15). Retrieved April 7, 2015, from

Riley, G. (2011, September 13). Study Note - The Basic Economic Problem: Scarcity and Choice. Retrieved April 7, 2015, from

Scarcity Definition | Investopedia. (2003, November 25). Retrieved April 7, 2015, from

Monday, April 6, 2015

More about my Artifact Bag

These are the artifacts that I used for my Artifact Bag

These are the books that I used for my Artifact Bag.

Here is the list of websites that I used.

History & Background. (2015). Retrieved April 5, 2015, from

Here you can find my PowerPoint Presentation.

Here is my lesson plan for using my project in a 3 - 5 grade classroom!

Artifact Bag

As one of my project for class, I created an artifact bag containing three items that have the appearance of being artifacts from a historical time period.  Fuhler, Farris, and Nelson (2006) indicate that “using artifacts, from primary source documents to items that can be held in one’s hand, is a motivational strategy that can tie readers to a variety of genres and bring a period of history to life in the process” (p. 646).  Using artifact bags is a successful way to entice children about a particular time period or aspect of social studies.  Additionally, using artifact bags allows children to make connections and discoveries about the past.  Our group for fieldwork focused on the colonial Hudson valley, specifically when the colony was owned by the Dutch and called New Netherland.  I was able to connect the artifact bag lesson to the New York State Common Core State Standards for ELA and Social Studies for grades three through five. 
            In order to prepare my artifact bag, I searched through thrift shops trying to find items that would resemble the historical time period the students we learning about – in my case, the historical Hudson Valley.  I was able to find a small stainless steel cup, a red leather bracelet, and I also purchased some tulip bulbs.  In addition to the artifacts, I also found two books from my local library and three websites that would provide the students with more information in which to make their conclusions about the artifacts.  I chose the stainless steel cup because the people of New Netherland would have had such an item in their home, or used it to trade with.  The red leather bracelet resembles something a Native American might have worn or used to trade with.  I chose to use tulip bulbs because the Dutch brought tulips with them over from the Netherlands to New Netherland.  The two books that I chose to use with these items provide the students with images and information in which to look through.  The two books are Life in New Amsterdam by Laura Fischer and The New York Colony by Martin Hintz.  I also selected three websites to be used with the artifact bag.  Two are from the New Netherland Institute and one is about the Tulip Festival that takes place in Albany, New York and honors the Dutch heritage of this region.  I selected these particular books and websites because they are student friendly and
will provide the students with additional information to make conclusions about their artifacts.   
            In the lesson, the students will first be presented with the artifacts.  They will unwrap the artifacts and begin to discuss the artifacts in their group.  The students will be answering the 5Ws about each artifact and will write their summary and conclusions about all of the artifacts, as well as indicate what more they want to know.  After the students unwrap, examine, and analyze the artifacts for a few minutes, they will then unwrap the two books that are included in their artifact bag.  Finally, students will be able to access the websites provided to them to make their final conclusions and fill in their graphic organizers.    
Making the artifact bag was a very rewarding experience.  At first I was daunted by task of finding artifacts from the 1600s.  However, it did not take me long to realize that I could use objects found today that resemble items from the 1600s and incorporate those into my project.  Furthermore, I ordered countless books to be sent to my local library and searched through them until I found that ones that would work best with my artifacts.  This task showed me how easy it is to make authentic learning possible – taking only a little time, effort, and creativity.  The meaning and connections the students will make through exploring the artifacts, looking through the books and websites, and making conclusions about the artifacts is well worth it. 
Artifact bags not only allow children to hold and touch a historic object, but they also ingrate reading, writing, and searching for information into the process.  Through use of the artifact bag, I am using a project that ties together many aspects of the curriculum—such as reading, writing, and social studies—while allowing students to have an authentic and meaningful interaction with the topic they are learning about (Fuhler, Farris, & Nelson, 2006).  Not only does the artifact bag allow for authentic and meaningful learning across the curriculum, it also incorporates the five principles of powerful teaching and learning.   The National Council for the Social Studies indicates that social studies teaching and learning is powerful when it is meaningful, integrative, value-based, challenging, and active (National Council for the Social Studies).  In order to provide a powerful social studies experience to students, it is imperative that these principles be followed.  By providing students with a meaningful experience that is integrative, challenging, active, and based on value, students are able to make connections, activate their prior knowledge, and gain a deeper understanding of what they are learning.  The artifact bag project definitely adheres to these fives principles as students are able to have a meaningful, active, engaging, and challenging experience as they examine and analyze the artifacts, make conclusions, and summarize their findings.       

Fulher, C. J., Farris, P. J., & Nelson, P. A. (2006). Building literacy skills across      the curriculum: Foraging connections with the past through artifacts. The Reading Teacher, (59)7, 646-658.

National Council for the Social Studies. (n.d.) Principles of teaching and learning.  Expectations of Excellence: Curriculum Standards for Social Studies.  Retrieved March 20, 2015 from

What did they own? (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2015, from

Fort Orange. (n.d.). Retrieved April 5, 2015, from

History & Background. (2015). Retrieved April 5, 2015, from

Fischer. L. (2003). Life in new amsterdam.  Chicago, IL: Heinemann Library.

Hintz, M. (2006). The new york colony. Mankao, MN: Capstone Press.