Teacher Appreciation Day

Just wanted to extend a sincere Thank You for all you do in our classrooms everyday.   This year has brought change, excitement, success, and challenges.  Through it all, student learning and development has remained the focus.   I have had the privilege of working with many of you, and have experienced excellent and innovative learning lessons for students.  Congratulations on a successful and rewarding year so far…and thank you for all you do with our students.


Moving Forward with Common Core Training

All schools in Greece have been moving forward with the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards.  At the secondary level, teachers have been exploring connections between Common Core Standards by content, combined with the practices and skills of each discipline area.

For example,  teachers have started to analyze the five practices of social studies identified by NYS, and connected them to Common Core skill development.  At Arcadia, social studies teachers in grades 6-12 have started to explore vertical alignment in terms of essential content, CCLS skills, and targeted social studies practices; “Doing History.”


At Athena Middle School, staff worked through both tiered vocabulary training, as well as text-dependent questions activities.  Both are at the heart of CCLS across all content areas.  Click on the links below to view each PowerPoint, as presented by Principal Dave Richardson.

Text Dependent Questions – PowerPoint outlining the creation, process, and evaluation of Text-Dependent Qs.

Tiered Levels of Vocabulary – A second PowerPoint that summarizes the different tiered levels of vocabulary and how to effectively implement these in classrooms.

That’s it for now…please email with questions or comments: matthew.schultz@greece.k12.ny.us



Evidence Guide for Common Core…

One way we can strive to include Common Core activities in our classrooms is through a simple checklist.  Below is a link to an evidence guide for implementing Common Core activities in social studies.  There are similar ELA Common Core guides at achievethecore.org.  This guide for social studies is based on those.  The guide is broken down into three parts, and focuses on the following three pedagogical strategies:

1) Building knowledge through content-rich non-fiction texts and documents.

2) Progression of reading and writing supported with textual evidence.

3) Integration of social studies themes and practices, as identified by NYS.

There are indicators for each of these three areas, withing lessons, across the school year, and even beyond the classroom.  Another great aspect of this guide is that it connects Common Core practices with the NYSUT Teacher rubric used in APPR evaluations in Greece.  By no means should this guide be used solely for evaluation purposes, but it does provide teachers with a great amount of evidence that relates to all 7 different standards in the NYSUT rubric.

Evidence Guide for Common Core Standards

Any questions, please email (matthew.schultz@greece.k12.ny.us).


A Few Common Core Resources to Check Out

Hi all,

NYLearns.org is a relatively new website dedicated to curriculum management and standards based system.  You will find many different resources, including a searchable standards database.  This database (located in the “standards” tab) allows you to search any curriculum across all grade levels.  You can even select standards by course.  Even better than that, it contains symbols that you can click  on to connect content standards to Common Core Standards.   For example, if you view standards, and select by subject and grade level, there are social studies standards that relate to Common Core.  All you need to do is click the Common Core icon, and it brings you to the related standard in ELA or Common Core.  This will definitely be a webpage we can use to integrate these standards.

Just a quick post here to include some new Common Core resources from EngageNY.org.  Below you will see links to documents that relate to sample NYS assessments with the new Common Core focus.  Also, explore the evidence gathering lists for implementing Common Core strategies into lessons in your classrooms.   Most of this relates to ELA, but of course we can use these resources in our social studies classrooms as well.

ELA Sample Common Core Assessment Qs – Grade 3

ELA Sample Common Core Assessment Qs – Grade 4

ELA Sample Common Core Assessment Qs – Grade 8

Evidence Guide for Common Core Planning; ELA K-2

Evidence Guide for Common Core Planning; ELA 3-5

Evidence Guide for Common Core Planning; ELA 6-12

Of course, if you have questions or comments, please email: matthew.schultz@greece.k12.ny.us

Enjoy – Matt

New Resources

Hi all,

I’ve updated the pages of this blog to include many new resources.  The specific updates are under the “All Things Related to PLCs”, “RtI and Differentiation”, and “Research Based Instruction.”  As well, a new page, entitled “APPR and SLO Work” now has many resources for you to look through.  As usual, if you have questions or you want to see something new or different, let me know.

More to follow soon…

Matt (matthew.schultz@greece.k12.ny.us)


Updated Resources – Check Them Out

Social Studies Crew and Others,

Please check out the links to the right – there is a lot of information based on the topics listed.  Graphic organizers, articles, videos, and teacher and student resources for elementary and secondary levels.  If you have things you’d like highlighted or included for others to view and use, please email them to me at matthew.schultz@greece.k12.ny.us.  

I will begin to create a bank of resources and ideas from teachers in Greece, for teachers in Greece.

Election day is tomorrow, November 6th.  For 11th and 12th graders (US History, CIA and AP Gov students), all are welcome to attend our November Madness event at the Arcadia Library from 7-10pm.  Information is below in the post entitled “November Madness Resources.”

Thanks…Have a good week.


Differentiation in Social Studies Classrooms

Hi all…

Part of the new process of instruction is evaluating students through formative assessments on a daily basis.  We all know the term “differentiated instruction”, but having a few key strategies that work in any content area can help level, or differentiate,  learning for all students in the classroom.  Formative assessments provide data, and that data can be used to identify appropriate levels of activities, tasks or assessments in class.  I’ve attached both a powerpoint summary that focuses on five methods of differentiated instruction, as well as a one-page summary sheet.   Feel free to use as you wish.  A few teachers have used the choices boards strategy with great success already.

Differentiation as RTI PowerPoint

Differentiation One-Page Summary