The Presentations of the 2012 PDS Retreat

Please check back, as presentations will be added as they are received.


To view photos from the retreat, please visit:


New York State Teacher of the Year, Katie Ferguson, presented the keynote address.  To view a powerpoint of her address, click here.


A:  Year of the City and the Community Academic Center

Maureen McCarthy, Meg Dee, John  Siskar 

The Buffalo State Community Academic Center opened its doors in November of 2011 in the heart of Buffalo’s West Side at 214 Grant Street.  The CAC is dedicated to supporting youth and families through direct programming at the Grant Street location, supporting programs with community partners, and enhancing the network among local organizations.  Learn about the programs that have developed with community partners including the Buffalo Public Schools, and discuss future directions for the CAC as Buffalo State begins its Year of the City.

To view the powerpoint presentation, click here.

B:  Activities to Promote Better Nutrition and Financial Literacy for Middle School and Secondary Students

Nanci Monaco

This presentation will focus on concrete activities teachers can use to promote healthier selections of foods at the grocery store and at restaurants by their students.  Also addressed will be scrutinizing label contents, promoting better informed consumers, the use of taxes/tariffs by the government to discourage consumption of unhealthy products, product bans such as Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on large soft drinks in New York City, etc.  Financial literacy activities will look at the overreliance on credit, "rent to own options, “layaway” policies, the importance of credit scores, excessive bank charges on small accounts, etc., with the idea of shaping financial literacy at a young age.

C:  An International PDS Experience: Learning about Language and Culture in Santiago, Chile

Pixita del Prado Hill, Alicia Bowman, Nicole Clapsadle, Casey Orth, Jaquilla Vinson 

After a semester-long field experience working with English language learners in Buffalo, seven teacher candidates traveled to Santiago, Chile to become language learners themselves in order to explore pedagogical issues associated with language and culture.  The presentation will describe the program, discuss candidates’ reflections on their learning, and ask participants to consider ways teacher candidates might examine language and culture in their developing practice.

To view the powerpoint presentation, Part 1, click here.

To view the powerpoint presentation, Part 2, click here.

D:  Zambia WOW!

Hibajene Shandomo, Nancy Chicola, Meaghan Angelhow, Jenna Fanara, Kelly Jasinski, Andrew Pacifico  

Plan to engage in the Zambian Experience through the eyes of teacher candidates, graduate researchers, and faculty guides.  Learn about learning in Zambia through a video journal that provides a Window on the World (WOW) of teaching at Libala Basic School and research projects at five Lusaka schools.  Additional cultural experiences that enhanced our world view will be presented.

E:  K-16 Service Learning in the Classroom and Community

Gary Welborn, Laura Hill Rao

This presentation will define service-learning and explain how it is different from volunteerism. Presenters will share examples of projects at the K-12 and higher education levels and provide suggestions for how to implement service-learning for teachers.

To view the powerpoint presentation, click here.

F:  Next Generation Science Standards: A look Forward into Changing Science Instruction

David Henry, Joe Zawicki

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) will be released this fall.  These new K-12 science standards are rich in content and practice, arranged in a coherent manner across disciplines and grades, and will provide all students an internationally benchmarked science education.  The NGSS are based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education developed by the National Research Council.  This presentation will give an overview of the NGSS, demonstrate examples of teaching at different levels of a learning progression, discuss how the NGSS will change science curriculum and instruction and answer questions.

G:  Get Up and Roar! It is Science Galore!

Coralee Smith, Michelle Brown, Ann Thomas

Explore hands-on, minds-on science for kindergarten students created by Buffalo State teacher candidates. View kindergarten students’ self-created science data gathering pages. Handouts of  the science experiences will be available.

To view the powerpoint presentation, click here.

H:  “There’s an App for That?!” More Computer Apps for Learning, Teaching, and Productivity

Jevon Hunter 

During this highly interactive, hands-on presentation, participants will play with some of the most productive apps for mobile devices and computers that support student learning, classroom instruction, and professional productivity.  WARNING!  Those participants attending this session must be prepared to share their favorite apps, as part of this presentation will be “Show & Tell.”  So bring your mobile devices and be prepared to leave smudge marks on your screens!

I:  Change on the Horizon: An Overview of the Proposed Changes to the NYS Teacher Certification Exams

Patty Recchio

Buffalo State’s Teacher Certification Officer will review the most current information regarding the proposed changes to the NYS Teacher Certification Exams.  New exam titles, testing frameworks, timeline for implementation, and preparation materials will be discussed. 

J:  Leader in Me

Kathleen Brachmann, Dawn Voelker, Cooper Carlson

The faculty and staff of Winchester Elementary in the West Seneca Central School District embarked on a journey in leadership inspired by their reading of Stephen Covey's book The Leader in Me.   In the summer of 2009, the staff was trained in Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People which springboarded into the faculty and staff teaching these habits to the student body utilizing the Leader in Me process. This process helps prepare students, the next generation of leaders, to meet the great challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. By teaching practical,  principle based leadership skills, students are increasing their ability to think for themselves, take initiative, get along with others and solve problems.  The 7 Habits have become the foundation of Winchester’s culture as it guides, develops and energizes effective ways to communicate, cooperate,and appreciate the unique talents of any individual.

K:  A Recipe for Urban Literacy Success: Using Your School Librarian and a Professor

Sherri Weber, Laura Thomson

This session will lay out a practical framework for school librarians, teachers, and parents to implement in order to increase reading achievement, student self-efficacy, and parent involvement.   The detailed framework from King Center Charter School’s program will be presented along with snapshots of their current PDS literacy program.

L:  GIRR: Getting Independent Reading Right

Heather Martens, Jeremy Ventura

GIRR is an in-depth look at how independent reading, in two first grade classrooms, evolved throughout the school year using an instructionally-informed approach that is aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards.  Our focus was to increase the effectiveness of the independent reading component of our literacy program by using books that “sparkle,” making  time to confer and share and providing students choice between reading and responding to literature.  Consistent with the CCLS competencies for students, we foster independence, utilize technology, and facilitate higher-order thinking in our quest to develop “21st century learners.”

M:  Hello Pen Pal: From Buffalo, New York to Lusaka, Zambia

Hibajene Shandomo, Meaghan Angelhow, Holli Diez, Jenna Fanara

Three urban elementary classrooms in Buffalo became pen pals with children in  three urban elementary classrooms in Lusaka, Zambia to provide students with a broader view of the world, develop social and cultural awareness, and expand content knowledge about each other’s homes. In addition, the project served as a preparatory activity for Buffalo State teacher candidates to develop cross-cultural professional relationships with Zambian teachers.  This presentation will report the project’s impact on participating children, teacher candidates, and mentor teachers.

N: Thinking Locally, Acting Globally Looking Forward

Kim Truesdell

This presentation will show highlights of the Buffalo State-Wegmans Global Book Project, to illustrate and update the PDS Consortium community regarding the program’s development.  This update includes the International PDS/GBH in Santiago, Chile and exciting initiatives that are being planned, such as the Global Book Project Spanish Language and Latino Culture Club and a visit from our partner Universidad Mayor teacher candidates in the coming year. 

O:  Poster Session: Linking Theory and Practice, Undergraduate and Graduate Teacher Candidates    

Student research projects will be presented by both undergraduate and graduate teacher candidates on a wide range of topics.  Teacher candidates are especially encouraged to attend to both support colleagues and learn how they might get involved in student research themselves.