Van Nest Academy
900 Van Nest Avenue
New York, NY
From Danielson's component 3b, to CCLS Speaking and Listening standard 1 to the NYCDOE Quality Review Rubric indicators 1.1 and 1.2, questioning strategies, discussion techniques and developing thinking classrooms are all awash. Never before has it been more important for students to be actively involved in learning, with deep thinking partners and questions to stimulate their learning. Find out how some of our schools are meeting this challenge.
At PS 498, teachers are using all types of strategies to encourage questioning and discussion. As part of the on-going support at PS 498, Creative School Services conducted workshops based on Danielson 3b- USING QUESTIONING AND DISCUSSION TECHNIQUES, where teachers studied the three components;
Whereas many teachers do so many great strategies already, our aim was to make them both more consistent to scaffold them through all grades. Teachers discussed the components and then identified current practices before being introduced to a number of ideas that could be a great benefit to both teachers and students.
The Education Specialist is working with teachers in their classrooms to maximize the use of teachniques so that all students are active classroom participants answering the best questions that teachers can ask.
Van Nest Academy was officially born in 2010 in a new school building on Bronxdale Ave in the Bronx, but this year, more than ever, Principal Carol Ann Gilligan is one very excited young lady. By the end of this school year, she will emotionally watch the first ever graduates from Van Nest Academy walk from her school to commence their high school education. Commencing with grades K, 1 and 6 in year 2010, grades K, 1, 2 and 6, 7 in 2011, the school moves to the next phase with grades K, 1, 2, 3 and 6, 7 and 8 this year. So an early start for everyone was always on the cards!
On August 13th, the enthusiastic staff at PS 498 regrouped after their very short summer vacation to ready themselves for this most important school year ever! What better way to begin than through tribal warfare and cooperative combat?
This was VNA SURVIVOR 2 and with lots of new faces (as the school grows so does the staff) everyone camped in the school library ready for the challenges ahead. Old teams reformed with new members. The staff were divided into four tribes and created their own personas, including: tribal attire, tattoos and secret handshakes that epitomized their values and vision. They were then pitted against each other in tasks of dexterity and teamwork. and were pitted against other tribes, the clock and the unfamiliar tasks that required lots of thought, ingenuity, skill, teamwork and...well, jiggling!
Organized and refereed by Brian Green from Creative School Services, the staff...old and new, were put through their second year of tribal challenges to learn about the importance of team challenges and the imperative nature of cooperation.
They worked tirelessly on the contests that confronted them which included:
HANKY PANKY- throwing tissues for their issues,
READY SPAGHETTI- the great soda can challenge,
SEPARATION ANXIETY- sorting M & M's without eating them all!
SCHOOL SCAVENGER HUNT- what exactly is a marble Lila?
VNA GRADUATE FACEBOOK- what will this student really be like?
TEXTING CHALLENGE- finding the fastest texter at VNA, and,
JUNK IN THE TRUNK- best left to the video to describe.
After three grueling hours, with victories to all tribes, one team stood supreme! For the second year in a row, Orange Tribe, complete with new members, emerged with a record number of leis to claim supremacy. As a school, all members were superb and now stand bonded and ready to take on the challenges of this very special school year.