The following presentations were given at the Fall, 2010 PDS Retreat. 

A:  “Teaching with Clickers: Classroom Performance System,” Heidi Chaves, Technology Curriculum Mentor, Lancaster Central School District.

See how clicker technology can be used before, during and at the end of lessons to monitor and adjust pacing, content, grouping and delivery. CPS capabilities include use of teachers’ written questions, ExamView and PowerPoint as well as multiple reporting formats. Clickers keep every student engaged and provide teachers with instant feedback on the effectiveness of their instruction. 

B: “Guided Math Groups: Using Formative Assessment,” Abby Grupka and Andra Dowling, Elementary Teachers, Lancaster Central School District.

This session will demonstrate how to use assessment to drive your math instruction. Learn how to plan, manage, and execute small group mathematics instruction based on the individual abilities of your students.   Let assessment work for you and your students!

Click for additional materials:  Planning Sheet   Anecdotal Notes   Pre Test   Post Test   Tabulation Sheet

Also, for more information on guided math groups please email Abby Grupka and Andra Dowling at


C: “Developing Common Formative Assessments (CFAs) at the District Level:  A Collaborative Process,” Sally Weidler, Director of Elementary Education, Lancaster School District; Andrea Johnson, Second Grade Teacher, John A. Sciole Elementary; and Katie Smith, Third Grade Teacher, Hillview Elementary.

Lancaster Central School District's K-3 program has developed CFAs that are used by all classroom teachers across grades 1-3 with Kindergarten piloting their CFAs in January, 2011.   This has been a three year endeavor involving administrators and teachers and driven by the results of the regional Deep Curriculum Alignment (DCA) project.  The presentation will include how the CFAs evolved, the trials and tribulations, and the successful outcomes of using CFAs to drive instruction.


D: “Create, Publish and Share Phase III:  The More You Read, the More Things you Will Know (Dr. Seuss),” Coralee Smith, Associate Professor elementary Education and Reading, BSC and Michelle Brown, Administrator, West Hertel Academy, Buffalo and Ashley Bakowski, Lindsay Barry, Vincent Barry, Kristin Clark, Marissa Devito, Vanessa Fleming, Lindsay Houser, Shalyn Kanaley, Staci Lorich, Brian Mayle, Leann Pilarski, Lori Potteiger, Maureen Remus, Reed Schall, Sarah Trimm, Jing Jing Zhao,Teacher Candidates.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know.  The more you learn the more places you’ll go.” Dr. Seuss, I Can Read with my Eyes Shut!  The Create, Publish and Share Project, now in Phase III, are a collaborative effort, combining the energies of the EDU 312 Teacher Candidates and West Hertel’s mentoring teachers.  The projects consists of creating an original 16 page book based on national, as well as NYS Standards in math or science and is geared toward the reading level of students in grades 1-6, including bilingual students.  Copies of the original books are available in the BSC Butler Curriculum Library and in West Hertel Academy Library.

Click here for the presentation:  Create Publish Share.ppt

E: “Developing Awareness of Cultural Diversity Through Multicultural/Global Literature,”  Fran Paskowitz, Principal Hoover Elementary School; Susan E. Busch, Reading Specialist Ken-Ton School District; Suzanne Salzler, Full Time Lecturer, Buffalo State College and Alexandra Benson, Matthew Bucholz, Emily Marvin, Buffalo State College Teacher Candidates.

In our rapidly growing, culturally diverse society, it is important to foster multicultural education both in our schools and homes.  This education on both fronts will enable students to acquire the knowledge and skills which are necessary in participating in various cultural interactions.  In this presentation, the teacher candidates will show how they developed an awareness of good multicultural and global literature, and how they then used this literature as a basis for creating a Multicultural/Global Literature Fair where students and their families were able to not only identify with their own culture but also gain a plethora of information about other cultures.  The reading specialist will discuss the involvement of the entire staff with this project and how and why particular cultures were chosen.  There will be a power point presentation, pictures, and various displays from the fair.

G: “Global Book Project: How a Global Book Hour Impacts Children, Families, and Community Partners,” Pixita Del Prado Hill, Associate Professor Buffalo State College with Amy Pastore and Chef Jason, Wegmans, Mary Cummings, BSC faculty, and participating families.

Through a partnership with Wegmans, the Buffalo State Elementary Education & Reading Department sponsored a weekly book hour for children and families at the Amherst Street Wegmans on Buffalo’s West Side.  Each week focused on a different country as teacher candidates conducted read alouds with a corresponding activity, Wegmans supplied a healthy snack, and children received a book to take home as their own.  This presentation will explore the role of the global book hour on children, parents, a community partner, and college faculty.


H: “Global Book Project: Changes in Teacher Candidate Perception Through Participation in a Service Learning Project,” Kim Truesdell, Associate Professor Buffalo State College; Jessica Elggren, Graduate Student; Katie Sclafani, Graduate Student; Elena Rizzo, Teacher Candidate.

Through an introduction to literacy methods course, teacher candidates participated in a service learning project that involved selecting and reading high quality global literature for children and conducting read alouds for families on Buffalo’s West Side.  This presentation will discuss teacher candidates’ increased familiarity with global issues, the development of read aloud skills, and a greater understanding of family roles in literacy development.


I: “Responsive Literacy Instruction for At-Risk Students,” Maria A. Ceprano, Professor Buffalo State College and Nancy A. Chicola, Associate Professor Buffalo State College.

Over the span of a semester, 15 teacher candidates dually enrolled in EDU 310W and EDU 311W, engaged in bi-monthly letter exchanges with 1 to 2 fifth graders identified as being at risk. The challenge for teacher candidates was to engage the students in communicating on topics connected to the school’s prescribed social studies curriculum. Content analysis of the written exchanges revealed improvements in critical thinking and writing associated with social studies content. Please join us as this successful project is presented and student responses are shared.

J: “A Digital Home: Your Classroom on the Web,” Susan Wilson, kindergarten teacher, and Christopher Shively, third grade teacher; BSC faculty.

As teachers continue to design instructional lessons and units that leverage technology, it becomes more apparent that a classroom teacher needs a web site.  A classroom web site should be used for instruction, publication and assessment.  There are two approaches to this challenge: 1) build the classroom web site with many different web resources, or 2.) use a single product called TeacherSites, that enables teachers to build an interactive web site with relative ease.  In this presentation, Sue and I will showcase our personal web sites and show you how we use them in our elementary classrooms. In addition, how TeacherSites is used with teacher candidates will be demonstrated. 

K:  ''Intervention Connections," Christine Tredo, Buffalo State College, Heidie Caraway, Heidi Lipka, Staci Lorich, and Melissa Steen, BSC Teacher Candidates.

As a response to intervention, participants will each discuss how they assisted a struggling reader in their PDS using a variety of intervention strategies. The preparation, procedure and process will be explained and exemplified.

Click here for the presentation:  Tredo.ppt

L: “Assessing student learning ... what do we need to know, understand and be able to do!” Barbara Battaglia, Director of Instructional Data, Assessments, Research. Ken-Ton School District.

This session will provide the participants with a brief overview of the important structures and processes needed for data teams to assess learning. The processes and structures can apply to summative and formative state and local assessments. Connections with the collaborative inquiry cycle and Professional Learning Communities will be referenced. Building capacity for data driven dialog will be integrated into the presentation.

Click here for the presentation: What Do We Need to Know.ppt

M: “Helping Students in Inclusive Settings Self-Manage Academic and Personal Behaviors Using Electronic Performance Support Systems (EPSS),” Kevin J. Miller, Ed.D., Associate Professor, EXE Department Chairperson, Buffalo State College.

Includes an introduction to EPSS and demonstrates the KidTools Support System (KTSS) free software programs available to help teachers effectively design programs to facilitate the development of appropriate academic and personal behaviors. KTSS includes a library of tools provided as easy-to-use templates for children to personalize and use independently in school and home settings. Authentic case studies incorporating KidTools in the classroom will be shared along with information on how to access the free software.

Click here for the presentation:  Miller.ppt

N: “Multimodal Booktalking Project,” Anne Marie Perrault, Assistant Professor Library and Information Studies University at Buffalo, Sharon Raimondi, Director Joint Doctoral Program in Special Education at UB, Professor, Buffalo State College.

Twenty-first century learners face a world where they need to be proficient in not only text-based literacy, but also multimodal literacies and the accompanying skills of analyzing, evaluating and producing information.  Digital booktalks are creative projects involving a mix of audio narration, text, video, and music intended to spark interest in a book/story and encourage others to read it. Digital booktalks are also a way to help reluctant readers to improvement in reading comprehension as well as motivation towards reading.  This presentation designed for school library media specialists and general and special education teachers will describe the journey of an eighth grade class in their creation of digital booktalks. How the school library media specialist and the special education teacher can collaborate to increase students’ expertise in information literacy and multimodal resources will be described. Several booktalks will be shared.


O:  Reflections on Teaching and Leading within a Testing Culture: Remember, You Don't Have to Become One of "Them," Dr. Richard Jetter, North Tonawanda City School District (Spruce Elementary School) Building Principal.

This presentation will inform you about current research and stories about real struggles from those who teach and lead within a culture that focuses on NY State Assessment results.  This presentation is interactive in nature and will challenge you to confront your own attitudes about making instructional decisions in order to creatively work and teach within an accountability culture.  Teachers and school leaders ultimately have incredible power even within the politics of education.   

Click here for the presentation and handouts:  Jetter.ppt     Handout 1     Handout 2 

P: “Emerging Technology Trends in Education,” Ken Fujiuchi, Emerging Technology Librarian, Butler Library, Buffalo State College.

A talk about technology trends published in the 2010 Horizon Report, as well as other technologies like iPads, e-books, and personal devices that will affect how we teach in higher education.


Q: “Understanding Regrouping Through Technology and Hands-On Centers,” Melinda Cuddy, Buffalo State EDU312 Instructor; Nancy Sarkees: 2nd grade teacher, Niagara Falls; grant writer; Christina Magnuson: Ex. Ed. teacher, project participant, Lauren Falsetti: BSC EDU 312 Teacher Candidate.

Learn how to increase student's understanding of mathematical regrouping through the use of technology and interactive centers. Through the work of the mentoring teachers and Buffalo State teacher candidates, the second grade students used computers and centers created for this project to increase their understanding of regrouping, place value, and mathematical vocabulary. They created 'how to regroup' books online.

Click here for the presentation:  Cuddy.ppt