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Teacher and Student Testimonials
Principal Genevieve Stanislaus of New York City’s Life Sciences Secondary School found the specific identifications helpful. “Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses, and all the categories carry positive tones,” she said. “I like how [the categorization] empowers students to be the most effective with the gifts they have.”
Simple vs. Exploratory Questions
As ESL teacher Richard Ciriello of New York City’s Lower East Side Preparatory School pointed out, exploratory questions are “very effective for getting the students to think more about whatever the topic.”
“Using COACH questions is a good way to determine that students understand tasks and work completely and thoroughly,” was Kim Tretter’s reaction, who teaches 10th and 11th grades at Life Sciences Secondary School. She noted, “It also helps the teacher to see where students need work and which students need extra clarification or attention.”
The GELVE Model of Contextual Listening
“One thing I love about this approach is that you begin to listen with your eyes,” said Life Sciences Secondary School teacher Libby Wickes. “It allows you to extend the dialogue while the focus remains on the student.”
The Wave Formula
Life Sciences Secondary School teacher Lydia Caprarella found the wave formula particularly useful. “I am able to observe the class as a whole and troubleshoot,” she noted. “As I begin to adjust my proximity and height level to groups that need assistance, I can more readily be on their level to see what their individual or collective concerns are, what their papers say, and so on. Also, by adjusting my stature, I am not the all-seeing, all-knowing teacher; I am someone who can offer guidance without intimidation. I can then pull back or ‘crest’ again to watch for more problems.”
Levels of Listening:
“It helped me to fully comprehend what my peer was asking me,” stated Deyshawn Thomas, a 10th grader at Life Sciences Secondary School in Manhattan.
Darryle Cooke, a teacher at Queens Academy, was enthusiastic about the concept of workstations: “The aspect of going to various stations to find supporting information allows students to be exposed to different perspectives.”
“My skills improved a lot more than I thought they could with the use of the GOPER model,” stated Kristal De los Santos, a 10th Grader at Life Sciences Secondary School in NYC. “An example of this is my best friend and I were having problems. We used the GOPER model, worked it out, and we couldn’t be more happier.”
“What worked for us while using the GOPER model is that it helps us think about our decision more clearly and thoughtfully. Using this model, it will help in numerous ways,” reflected Deyshawn Thomas, Life Sciences Secondary School 10th grader.
“While using the GOPER model, I noticed that this systematic approach to problem solving relieves all the confusion and the hassle,” asserted Romaine Hall, a 10th grader at Life Sciences Secondary School in NYC, adding, “I was able to focus.”
“While trying the GOPER model, my skills improved. When my friend Daquan had a problem, I made him understand his options, a plan to resolve, taking away and eliminating any problems,” observed Nana Owusu Sarpong, a 10th grader at Life Sciences Secondary School in NYC.
Jeff Hopper, 4th Grade Teacher, Alice E. Grady Elementary School, Elmsford, NY, was enthusiastic: “I implemented the GOPER goals this morning with one of my students… It helped her focus, understand, and I think we came up with a good plan of action.”
3 Step Process of Problem Solving
According to Darling Jimenez, “I felt that this process was very useful because it allowed me to use my past experiences to solve a current situation. This method is very effective because one utilizes what one has learned in the past and taking it into effect.” This 10th grade student at Life Sciences Secondary School in NYC continues to state, “It allows for a degree of progressivism in the individual, since one records past trials and utilizes the lessons learned from them to solve new and similar problems. I was able to apply something from the past, which I feel was most effective.”
Jose Corniel, a 10th grader at Life Sciences Secondary School in NYC, shared the following: “What worked for me while trying the 3 Step Process of Problem Solving was my resiliency and the ability to get to the depth of the conflict. At first I was unfamiliar with them and I wasn’t able to get through to the person. But after a series of questions, I managed to get to him.”
“While using the 3 Step Process of Problem Solving, the step that worked the most was using a similar past problem and applying the solution to the current problem. Dr. Stix and I acted out two examples, one being the problem of being late and trying the fix it. Solutions from the past included being more determined and using an alarm clock,” volunteered Abid Anwar, a 11th grader from Life Sciences Secondary School in NYC.
Classroom Extension: Katie Gardner, a teacher at PS91 in the Bronx extended this approach. “I applied the Laser Coaching method to a teaching strategy and it was great! We analyzed a humorous poem that had two voices; a kid who doesn’t want to go to school and the mother who is asking him to get out of bed. When designing the lesson, I touched my head, my heart, and wiggled my fingers. In doing so, I asked the class to take the two roles from both perspectives and to change its voice from motherly, to humorous, to a mean one. We discussed the three levels of ‘What was this person thinking?’ to ‘How do you think each felt?’ to ‘How would you react if you were in this situation?’ It was an amazing lesson that was so much fun!”
“Many times we wish we had a magic answer or solution,” says Myrtha St.Juste, a teacher at Queens Academy. “With Laser Coaching, we can get through tough situations.”
Sara DiBenedetto, a teacher at Queens Academy, shared her observation: “It is a good technique because if successful, you can get a change in behavior from the student without having judged them.”
“This is my favorite strategy because I can see the students being excited and willing to participate… when teaching Supreme Court cases and about foreign policies,” observed teacher Paula Rosa-Gerstein from Queens Academy.
According to Abbu Hinckson-Martin, a teacher at Queens Academy, “This is a very good strategy to use for teaching how to cooperate in negotiating contracts or highlighting a particular position. This strategy also stimulates critical thinking.”
Jeff Hopper, a 4th Grade Teacher at Alice E. Grady Elementary School, shared his thoughts: “I tried the Stix Discussion with my reading group…where they passed the notes over their shoulders…my kids loved it!”
“The Stix Discussion helps them understand that arguments and factual analysis can be generated for any type of position, no matter how absurd or out of the mainstream it is,” recalled Darryle Cook, a teacher at Queens Academy.
Saji James, a teacher at Queens Academy points out, “It really gave all the students the opportunity to interact, discuss, and present their viewpoints. The use of clerks is also a good idea. It gives the main speaker additional ideas to help argue their viewpoints.”
Robert Wagner Middle School 7th grader Lauren Schneider thought the Magnetic Debate strategy was valuable. “It enabled me to feel as though I was a part of history, present at actual historical events, making the same decisions and taking into account the same considerations that led these real people to take the steps they did,” she said.
Tess Nanavati thought the interactive nature of the Negotiations and Settlements strategy was especially appealing. “I learned to think and act like a person from that time period who is trying to make an important decision,” said the Robert Wagner Middle School 7th grader. “It wasn’t just copying something off the board-I was actually part of it.”
Vote on It!
According to 7th grade student Andrew Schulz of Robert Wagner Middle School, the Vote on It! Strategy was eye-opening. “It made me more aware of where I come from and how [the United States] became what it is today,” he said. “It made me aware of who I am and what rights I have as a citizen.”
“This strategy’s ability to create discussion about leadership helps the students begin to look at their own opinions as well as others,” was an opinion offered by Darryle Cook, a teacher at Queens Academy.
The Mystery Boxes
The Mystery Boxes strategy encourages students to approach content from a novel perspective. “The projects were creative, so we had to be creative to do them,” said Emily Chuk, a 7th grade student at Robert Wagner Middle School. “We had to be artistic and think, because lots of the time the answers weren’t just in the book.”