To view the Retreat Photo Gallery, please visit:!i=2835330722&k=jtL4jJ9

  The Presentations of the 2013 PDS Retreat:    


Keynote Speaker, NYS Teacher of the Year, Greg Ahlquist

Mr. Ahlquist, the 43rd New York State Teacher of the Year, is a teacher at Webster Thomas High School, Webster, New York. Mr Ahlquist has been teaching in the district for twelve years and is the winner of the district’s Oak Tree Award for teaching. He currently teaches sophomore AP World History and AP European History in the same high school that he attended.  He has also taught Humanities and a Holocaust elective in the recent past.  For the past 14 years, he has been an adjunct lecturer at SUNY Geneseo teaching mainly Humanities but also courses in the History Department and two Latin courses. 

Mr. Ahlquist received his Bachelor’s Degree in History with a minor in Medieval Studies from SUNY Geneseo in 1995 graduating Summa cum Laude.  After earning a Master’s Degree in History from Syracuse University, he received teacher certification at SUNY Brockport.  Continued interest and research in history has led to two published articles on medieval history reflecting a passion that he passes on to his students each day.  Viewing his role as a guide, Mr. Ahlquist works with his students to create intellectual and creative space for them to understand not only history but how those patterns and trends shape today’s world and events.

Mr. Ahlquist also believes strongly in partnering with students and modeling active citizenship and a concern for social justice through several annual community events that help the hungry as well as raise money and awareness in the fight against Leukemia (an annual event t hat has raised nearly $100,000 in 12 years).  Mr. Ahlquist notes that all parts of his teaching and service are rooted in a growth mindset and his firm belief in the incredible potential of all students to learn. 

Mr. Ahlquist has used his innate gifts for instruction as a foundation to be a teacher leader in Social Studies and in the AP program. He has the ability to be an interdependent leader within the district as shown by his teacher leader position and his leadership in the district initiative to increase the number of students challenging themselves to enroll in Advanced Placement courses.

 Handout: Growth Mindset


        Special Presentation: 

Everybody Dance:  Creating Comfort with a Kinetic Classroom 

Joy Guarino 

The education system in America should strive to include dance in the mainstream curriculum. Creative movement is a remarkable form of dance for teaching and learning cognitive and affective skills and improves physical, mental, and social and emotional health. With an understanding of the basic tools, every teacher can design consequential lessons.

Joy Guarino is an Associate Professor of Dance at SUNY Buffalo State teaching a variety of studio technique classes, dance history, dance education, and choreography.  She has developed courses, conducted research, and presented internationally on kinesthetic learning, dance/movement integration, and youth development. As a practitioner and consultant in the arts-in-education profession, she is committed to finding creative and practical ways of designing and implementing meaningful children’s arts programs.

Introduced to the arts at a very young age, Professor Joy evolved into an active member in the WNY arts community as a performer and choreographer of dance and musical theater.   Her passion guided her career path and she earned the Master’s of Fine Arts degree in dance from Temple University. Upon graduation, she joined the faculty at Russell Sage College in Troy, NY. She has performed and choreographed for dance and theater companies based in Philadelphia and in the Capital District and became actively involved in NYS Arts Education. When she returned to Western NY, she continued to work as a teacher, dancer, and choreographer and became involved both personally and as a mentor for her students in the extensive arts-in-education community. Her advocacy for children and association with regional non-profit arts organizations led her to several positions as a dance and youth development professional. She continues to enjoy working with artists and students all over New York State; achieving extensive knowledge and  experience in the field. She holds a NYS Teacher’s Certification in Dance.


Gallery Walk and Breakout Sessions

5th Graders at School 28 Stand Up and Make Changes

Rosemary Arioli, Linda Antonio, Emily Olley, Jonathan Brady, Chelsea Lafayette

The 5th grade students at Henry Hudson School 28 in Rochester investigated how they can stand up and make changes in their environment.  The iPads and apps helped to document their story as they progressed through the year in a year-long service project that began in the fall with research planting and planning and ended in the spring with a trip to the park.  In the Gallery Walk, see the artifacts that document student learning in a project aligned with the Common Core State Standards for informational text and writing.

A.  Windows to the World of Writing:  A Fourth Grade Collaborative Project with the Darwin Martin Complex, St. Amelia School, and SUNY Buffalo State

Carla DiChristina-Longo, Jed Likos, Cynthia Silverstein, Penny Silverman, Lisa DellaPenta, Shaun Bellavia

After learning the history of the Darwin Martin Complex and architect Frank Lloyd Wright from the museum docents, fourth grade students were given a tour of the complex and instruction on replicating art glass windows based upon the ideas and commission of a "client”.  The students then creatively wrote about their artwork, played the roles as junior docents and gave tours of the complex to family and friends.  Their windows and writing were displayed in the Greatbatch Pavilion, marking the first time artwork of children was allowed on display.  (Session 4, Room B/C)

B.  Math Manipulatives for Us

Coralee Smith, Christina List, Amy Nikiel, Whitney Blackley, Megan Sears

This project will allow teacher candidates to utilize math manipulatives for teaching strategies within their PDS classrooms. Teacher candidates will practice and develop skills using math manipulatives at home first and then integrate them within the classroom.  (Session 4, Room A)

Math Manipulatives Presentation

C.  Creativity, Compassion and Collaboration:  How Storytelling Can Inspire Students to Change the World

Drew Kahn, Eve Everette

Using devised theater as a model for instruction, SUNY Buffalo State's The Anne Frank Project will share how the process of creating original plays mirrors the essential components of diplomacy, conflict resolution and community building.  Methods will be shared from the project's experiences in local schools, Buffalo State's theater department and travels to Rwanda, Africa.  (Session 3, Room B/C)

D.  “Towards the Development of Twitteracy:” How Urban Learners Use Twitter to Transform Literacy Education in Buffalo

Jevon D. Hunter, Heidie Caraway, Madison Ackerman, Katarina Silvestri, Francesca D’Auria, Anthony Carrerro, DaJane Houston, Edward White

Our multimodal, multi-voiced presentation shares insights from the implementation of Twitter in a local high school English Language Arts (ELA) classroom and the kinds of transformative digital literacy engagement, participation, and assistance that occurred.  The presentation will include high school students, a high school ELA teacher, SUNY Buffalo State literacy specialists, and a Buffalo State faculty member.  We will address how digital social networking sites can productively impact student outcomes, pedagogical development, clinically-rich experiences, and expansive forms of learning through the lens of literacy.  (Session 1, Ballroom)

Twitteracy Presentation

E.  “Learning to (T)App for English Learners:” How Buffalo State Literacy Specialists Use Mobile Apps to Serve English Learners in Rochester

Jevon D. Hunter, Madison Ackerman, Katarina Silvestri

During our panel discussion, attendees will learn how SUNY Buffalo State Literacy Specialists collapsed distance and time and used mobile apps to impact the literacy development of English Learners who attend school in Rochester, NY.  Literacy specialists will discuss selected mobile apps that enhance the literacy engagement and participation of English Learners.  Moreover, we will explain the importance of having future literacy specialists develop sound digital literacy pedagogies as a way of serving elementary-age students.  Our panel presentation complements the work of our practitioner colleagues from Rochester, NY who will present their work on mobile apps.  (Session 2, Ballroom) 

Learning to (T)App for English Learners Presentation

F.  Creating Social Justice Curriculum to Redress Social Injustices

Jevon D. Hunter, Liza Acanfora, Phylicia Brown, Scott Valenta, Dylan Malone

Drawing from critical multicultural education and culturally relevant pedagogy, our panel discussion will illustrate elementary-level, social justice-oriented curricular projects designed to redress forms of social injustice.  Our panel will demonstrate how controversial topics could be taught at the elementary level in productive and dynamic ways.  We will show how social justice-focused curriculum can align with the CCLS, while simultaneously developing critically aware and engaged students who become social actors and transformers of their lived realities.  (Session 3, Ballroom)

Social Justice Project Presentation

G.  Engaging and Motivating English Language Learners in Literacy through the Use of iPads

Rosemary Arioli, Jevon Hunter, Jessica Ventura, Marisol Martinez

This presentation will highlight the impact of iPads in a bilingual classroom, and how students’ motivation and engagement in writing developed over time. Attendees will hear three students at different language proficiency stages describe the different use of apps and writing improvement. Moreover, audience members will learn about the ways students began to see themselves as authors, explaining the most engaging aspects of the apps employed. Student written pieces will be shared with a special emphasis on the writing growth English Language Learners experienced.  (Session 4, Ballroom)

H.  Inspiring Our Young Writers

Rosemary Arioli, Heather Martens, Jeremy Ventura an in-depth look at the connection between reading and writing in two urban first grade classrooms. In particular, we explore the evolution of the writing component of our balanced literacy program and its alignment with the Common Core State Standards. Our focus was to inspire and motivate our young writers as they engaged in a variety of reading and writing experiences throughout their day. Consistent with CCSS competencies for students, we foster independence, utilize technology, and facilitate higher-order thinking in our quest to develop “21st century learners.”  (Session 1, Room B/C)

I.  It Truly Takes a Village to Align with the Common Core: Teacher Candidates, Global Children's Literature, Families and the Local Grocery Store—What an Impact!

Kim S. Truesdell, Pixita del Prado Hill, Katie Sclafani

Since 2010, the Global Book Hour has partnered with Wegmans Stores to promote family literacy and global awareness through the use of high quality children’s literature.  As GBH moves to a second location at a West Side laundromat, the program is using innovative approaches to prepare teacher candidates, children, and families for the Common Core.  This presentation will document how this unique PDS partnership has been aligned with the CCLS and how teacher candidates have broadened their understanding of culture and diversity to respectfully interact with a diverse population of children and caregivers, along with learning the skills involved in introducing, reading and completing follow-up activities in literacy.  (Session 3, Room A)

J.  Reconsidering Children’s Visual Culture: Interdisciplinary Approaches and Uses of Media Technology

Michelle Bae

This presentation will focus on the role and importance of children’s visual culture.  Informed by popular media culture, visual culture is a key site where youth express the complexities of their everyday social and cultural lives. Understanding visual culture allows educators to more clearly understand the ways children communicate about and understand their world through the production of images.  This production of images can entail the use of both traditional art media as well as digital technology. This presentation will provide educators with an interdisciplinary understanding of, and practical approaches to, the development of curriculum.  (Session 1, Room A)

K.  Buffalo Science Teachers' Network (BSTN): Lessons Learned from Setting up and Maintaining a Virtual Middle Level Science PDS for 10 Years

Robin Harris

This presentation will provide a description of the Buffalo Science Teachers’ Network, how we worked, who was involved, and our amazing data.  Updates on what members are doing now, how they collaborate, and how they provide leadership and mentoring to the Buffalo Public Schools will be included.  (Session 2, Room A)

BSTN Presentation

L.  Teaching and Learning with iPads: A Special Educator’s Perspective

Susan Wilson

There are numerous advantages in using Apple iPads to enrich the learning of students with special needs. As a special educator, iPads have increased my efficiency and productivity levels, particularly with regard to IEP goals and objectives. Teachers who carefully select apps can readily collect data used to document IEP progress.  Apps to be reviewed include: 24x7digital’s Teach Me series, Early Ascent’s Reading Raven and Injini’s Write My Name.  (Session 3, Room D/E)

M.  The Power of Parent Involvement:  An After-School Family Literacy Program

Theresa Janczak, Keli Garas-York, Nicole Buchanan, Jessica Snyder

Parents are their child’s first and most important teacher. Research suggests parent involvement has been linked with greater academic achievement, lower rates of absenteeism, and higher graduation rates. Unfortunately, parent involvement within urban schools has historically been low when compared to suburban and rural schools.  This presentation will present the results of six, afterschool literacy workshops designed to increase parent-school involvement and raise parental awareness regarding grade level expectations.  Using description research methodology, presenters will present the results per workshop relative to parental attendance, satisfaction, and grade level awareness of literacy expectations.  (Session 2, Room B/C)

N.  Developing Undergraduate Student Research

Wendy Paterson, Jill Singer

The Office of Undergraduate Research administers a variety of programs to promote and enhance opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research, scholarly activities, and creativity. This session is meant to encourage greater participation of faculty, staff and students in the School of Education in the many excellent programs supported by the Office of Undergraduate Research. In this session you will have the opportunity to discuss with Director Jill Singer how to best develop your research team, apply for support and elevate your “good ideas” to high quality research in education.  (Session 2, Empire Room)

O.  Keeping Up with NYS Certification Changes

Patricia Recchio

The only constant in life is change, and New York State Teacher Certification is no exception to this rule.  The New York State Education Department, with the approval of the New York State Board of Regents has approved several changes to the requirements for Teacher and School Building Leader Certification.  Patty Recchio, Teacher Certification Officer at Buffalo State, will review the upcoming changes, which include Teacher Certification Exams and Workshops requirements.  A brief overview of the new exams and workshops, along with the timeline for implementation of each will be included.  This session will be especially helpful for those teacher candidates graduating beginning 2014.  (Session 3, Empire Room)

P.  Leadership in a PDS School: Winchester and Beyond

Laura Klenk, Ebone Hennings, Scott Musial, Jenna Phillips

In this session we will describe some of the ways we observe children assuming leadership roles in a "Leader in Me" school. Teacher candidates from Winchester Elementary School will discuss what they learned about this approach to character development, and will describe how they have used this information in subsequent field placements.  (Session 2, Room D/E)

Q.  Introduction to Second Language  Accommodations in the Regular Classroom

Mary C. Cummings

This presentation will focus on some simple things that a classroom teacher can do to help meet the needs of second language learners and assure equal access in the regular classroom setting.  An overview of common terms and vocabulary will also be included.  (Session 1, Empire Room)

R.  10 Things Administrators Can Do to Support High Quality Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten Programs

Kate Dust, Reva Fish, Laura Klenk, Wendy McLeish, Adena Sexton

High quality early childhood classrooms give all children a strong foundation a strong foundation for academic success in a standardized, mandated world.  We will identify ten key quality indicators for prekindergarten and kindergarten programs.  All invited to attend.  (Session 1, Room D/E)

S.  Transforming Pedagogical Content Knowledge through Technology

Sherri Weber, Jing Zhang, Christopher Shively

Based on years of observing their previous teachers and professors, graduate students enter educational programs with preconceptions about how to teach.  Technology has the potential to transform content for diverse learners (Rose & Meyer, 2002; Angeli & Valanides, 2008), but most graduate students do not know how to teach with technology (Ertmer, 2005). This presentation will explore how graduate students increased their ability to help diverse learners and thus, their pedagogical content knowledge. Blogs, Wikispaces and Storybird will be the featured technologies.  (Session 4, Empire Room)

T. Student Poster Session—SUNY Buffalo State Teacher Candidates

Teacher candidates from various programs will present their research and projects in a poster session.  (Please see Poster Session Program for details.) (Session 4, Room D/F)

The Global Book Hour Experience — Jasmine Davis, Madeline Otero

Word of the Week: A Service Learning Project to Help Elementary Students Increase Academic Vocabulary — Tericia Bowen-Scott, Alicia Struble

Book Buddies: Building Leaders through Literacy — Kayleigh Witkowski, Brittany Fehskens, Jessica Sobczyk

Using a School Newspaper to Meet the Common Core and Integrate Social Studies — Ginger Bidell

Finding Your Voice through Online Discussion - Ginger Bidell

Bringing Struggling Students to their Full Potential: A Tutoring Project — Allyson Trolley, Dylan Malone, Vanessa Williams, Maria Ceprano

Math RtI:  Using a PDS to Enhance and Study a 2nd Grade Math RtI Program — Dave Henry, Mary Lavin, Sally Kocher, Abigail Nieves, Hilary Berbach, Brittany Fehskens, Scott Valenta, Kayleigh Witkowski

Chillin’ in Chile — Micaila Herd, Anna Morton, Kelsey Griffin, Nancy Chicola

Vocabulary Instruction for Young English Learners: A Comparative Study between the United States of America and Zambia — Katarina Silvestri

The “Greater Than Me” Network — Richard Hoey, Danielle Jarosz, Amy Marciniak, Greg McClure

Letters, Letters, Pen Pal Letters — Marie Reyes

Technology…The New Beginning — Nicholas Galfo

An Analytical Look into Teacher Candidate Growth in a PDS — Ryan O’Rourke

The Life of a Graduate Student: PDS Involvement and the Development of my Culturally Responsive Teaching — Brittany Fehskens