Professional Development: Inquiry & Interviews

In the spring of 2013, I led a PD session focused on using iPads for instruction. In this session, I shared how my students used iPads to conduct interviews as part of an inquiry project. I drew connections between the Common Core Learning Standards, inquiry, and technology. Download my presentation here: Inquiry and Interviews


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Project-based Learning Curriculum for iPads

Words and Images

In one unit for the NGE English class I taught in 2011-2012, we focused on how some writers use images to evoke meaning, and some artists use words to do the same. We read a poem called “Left,” by Nikky Finney, and watched a video of herself reading the poem while images were displayed. Then, we went on an in-house field trip to the student art gallery and looked at Deena Qadir’s senior art project, much of which incorporated words and language. Deena shared her thoughts and experiences with the 9th grade students. Download here: Words and images

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The Centering Course

From 2010-2012, I taught an innovative, interdisciplinary course that served as the “home base” for the Ninth Grade Experience. This course was loosely based on the Theory of Knowledge Course that is at the heart of the International Baccalaureate Program. In order to teach this course, I visited the classrooms of each content-area teacher on our team to learn more about the themes and ideas that might help us to draw connections across the curriculum. Then, I designed lessons, activities, and units that engaged the students in these “big ideas.”

Centering description

Centering course: (contract, lesson plans, units, and student work)

Student Reading Blogs

While teaching at Queens High School for the Sciences, my students all kept online blogs. You will find a few examples below. Students were given some suggestions for the kinds of posts they could write, they were free to be creative and make connections. They were also required to leave comments on each other’s sites, as the aim was to have students interact outside of the classroom about topics relevant to literature.

Catherine’s blog

Shanda’s blog

Benjamin’s blog

Highlights from 10H at North Shore HS

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10th Grade Honors English

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 9.08.10 AM10th Grade Honors English

World Literature: Local Concerns and Global Questions




What can literature teach us about the world and ourselves?


My goal as your teacher is to create a communal environment for reading, writing, thinking and learning. We will explore a body of literature that spans various time periods and cultures, while honing the technical skills required of an advanced secondary education. Throughout the year we will always return to our essential questions in order to explore literature as the craft of storytelling and wordplay, but also as primary sources that have the ability to teach us about culture, politics, and history.



In addition to our whole-class study of the concepts and texts listed below, each student will also be required to submit an original work of literary criticism based on the writing of one author. The students will choose an author, independently read 2-3 full-length texts by that author, research literary criticism published about the author, and develop their own scholarly response.



Each unit of study for the year will focus on the literary concept of the hero in different times and places. Here are some of the texts we will be studying this fall:


In Classical Times: Ancient Greece

  • Core Text: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles (play)
  • Supplemental texts will include Medea, Euripides (play); Mythology, Edith Hamilton (non-fiction); Apollo, George Balanchine (ballet); Ancient Greek Vases & Sculpture


In Medieval Times: England, Persia, Japan

  • Core Text: Macbeth, William Shakespeare
  • Supplemental texts will include excerpts from One Thousand and One Nights, The Tale of Genji, & Sir Gawain and the Green Night


In Romantic Times: America, England, Russia

  • Core Text: Frankenstein, Mary Shelly
  • Supplemental texts will include excerpts from “Nature,” Ralph Waldo Emerson; poetry of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Lord Byron, and John Keats; and excerpts from Tales of the Late Ivan Petrovich Belkin, Alexander Pushkin.


In “Magical” Times: Russia, South America, Cross-Cultural

  • Core Text: Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya
  • Supplemental texts will include “Metamorphoses,” Franz Kafka, Life of Pi, Yann Martel