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What is Constructivism?

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Captivating Classes With Constructivism

Applying Standards-Based Constructivism

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Parent Involvement

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Technology In Support of Student Centered Learning

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Participant Quotes
"We were expecting to gain a few tidbits on teaching, but we left with strategies that have the potential to change the culture and attitude of our school forever."
...4 Teachers from Brooklyn College Academy, grades 9 - 10

"Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to share in this awesome learning experience."
...Math Teacher, Cape Coral, Florida

"This conference was the best educational experience I've had since I left college. I've been to seminars, clinics, and all kinds of workshops, but this conference was more value than anything I've experienced. In the past week, I reflected more on my teaching practices than I've ever done since I began my career."
...Teacher of Middle School Science, St. Lawrence County, New York

"I was awed by your effort to make each person at the conference feel valued."
...Middle School Teacher, ELA, State of Delaware

"We had an amazing experience at the conference!"
...Social Studies Teachers, New York City, New York

"I want to say how much I enjoyed the week. The level of learning just continues to rise every year!"
...Staff Developer, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

"Our team became a cohesive group of educators that truly have the kids at heart. We are going to really try to get together on a regular basis to discuss and encourage each other with things learned at this conference."
...Elementary Teacher, St. Lawrence County, New York
Classroom Management
Record Keeping
Community/Parent Involvement

Technology in Support of Student Centered Learning

Institute members Pat Flynn, Don Mesibov, Mike Smith, and Paul Vermette were privileged to be asked to present the key-note address at the Delaware Instructional Technology Conference, April 28, 29, 2004. Following are suggestions they compiled in preparation for the conference, and the powerpoint presentation used as part of the key-note address.


How and where can one access lesson plans and thematic units?

Educator's Reference Desk

The resources at askeric.org have moved to this new location. This new site includes more than 2000 lesson plans, and offers information related to the 5 major topics listed above. These topics are addressed in the web site's links: Counseling, Educational Levels, Evaluation, Family Life, General Education Reference, Specific Populations, Subjects, and Teaching. Of special interest is its link, Educational Technology, which is a must visit for those interested in implementing technology into their teaching as it offers 8 pages of links that integrate all aspects of teaching and technology.

K-12 Lesson Plans and Web Sites

This web site includes 17 pages of links to various sites that integrate subjects through various means and levels of technology. The site's final link, Web Quest: Index of Lessons, was developed by Bernie Dodge and the lessons serve as an excellent model of how to integrate Internet resources into instruction. (Note: Click on "Top", Middling", or "New" to see matrices of web quests).

Marcopolo: Internet Content for the Classroom

This web site has three primary links: Teacher Resources that includes lesson plans, student activities and reviewed web sites; Professional Development that includes MarcoPolo training, materials, and ISTE alignment; and State Network that identifies alignment of MarcoPolo resources to various State Standards. This site provides high quality, standards-based Internet content and professional development to K-12 teachers and students throughout the United States.

What are some technological activities that teachers can do to help present the material?


This web site has links to 19 pages of requests for pen pals from students and schools around the world. It also has links to chat rooms and an array of excellent lesson plans that can be accessed in a user friendly manner. The site is updated on a regular basis.


This web site is very user friendly. Visitors can search an alphabetical list of countries and join as members of the Exchange.

USA Today K-12 Education ONLINE

This is a great site that offers daily lesson plans, Special Features, free educational resources, career educational opportunities, and a link to an application form to honor teachers from around the world. This is a must visit!

The New York Times Learning Center

This web site is geared to students in grades 6-12 and is easy to navigate. Links include such topics as: news summaries, daily quizzes, lesson plans, education news teacher resources, on this day in history, classroom subscriptions and newspapers in education.

Other ideas to implement technology in the classroom:

Have students access databases such as Eric and EBSCOhost to collect research articles.

Have students create a school newsletter and send it out electronically.

Have students create a classroom web site with links to appropriate sites.

Have students create an annotated bibliography of web sites for various assignments.

Have students involved in a mentoring project with students in lower grades by showing them how to search for web sites and correspond through email.

Have students search out jobs and then create a mentoring program with workers in that particular field and correspond through personal contact and email.

Hook up students with college students to expand on this.

Designed by biology teachers Becky Buckingham (Lisbon, NY) and Karen Cook (Massena, NY).

This activity addresses standards in technology and biology. As you will see, this same process could be used to address standards in any discipline along with technology.


Massena students will review ecology;

Lisbon students will learn taxonomy/biotic relationships including predator/prey symbiosis.

Students in both schools will demonstrate competence with e-mails and related technology.

Here’s how Pal Tag works:

Students will look for articles on current events or listen to the news and summarize information relating to the topics being studied.

Then, one student, Tom, from Massena, prepares a brief description of himself and, along with his summary from the news, he sends an e-mail to a counterpart in Lisbon. The counterpart then sends a self description and news summary back to Tom. Tom now shows Jane, another student in his Massena class, how to use the e-mail and Jane then sends her description and news summary to another student in Lisbon. Each day, one student in each school sends a description and news summary to the other district until everyone in the class has been taught to use the e-mail, has taught another student how to use the e-mail, and has researched and sent a description and news summary to a student in the other school.

As a culminating event, the two classes of students will meet at the beach/park in June for a day of biology related activities designed by the students within a structure created by the teachers. (The agenda for the culminating event is available upon request.)

How can teachers vary their modes of presenting material?

Power Point Design Tips

This web site offers a host of PowerPoint design tips as well as a link to Teaching with Instructional Technology.

PowerPoint 97 Basics

This is an excellent site that provides detailed descriptions of all aspects of using PowerPoint 97. It also provides a sample PowerPoint presentation.

Develop I-Movies using digital movie cameras

Have students use Adobe Acrobat and Publisher to develop newsletters etc.

Use digital cameras and incorporate photos in presentations

Have digital pictures of students on file to allow teachers easy access to use them for worksheets, bulletin displays, remembering students' names. (In a constructivist environment, students are often not in a regular seating plan so teachers are unable to use a set seating plan to put names to faces.)

Create a web site that has links to the material being presented and access through the Internet- Film clips can also be downloaded from links that require very little disk or cd- rom space.

How Can I Understand & Implement Multiple Intelligences?

Tapping in to Multiple Intelligences

This site describes all 9 intelligences and explains the benefits of teaching to various intelligences. It also has an interactive component that allows the viewers to answer questions and understand their strengths and weaknesses regarding Multiple Intellligences.

How can teachers gain a better understanding of teaching to diversity? e.g. Multicultural Calendar?

The World Fact Book

This web site allows the user to search all countries alphabetically. It also displays the flags and maps of the countries. It is user friendly and lists a variety of categories such as geography, people, government, and economy.

McGraw Hill Multicultural Supersite by Paul Gorski

This web site features a definition of multiculturalism, intercultural activities and a host of excellent links that covers lesson plans and resources across all subject areas. It is a must visit!

Multicultural Pavilion

This is an excellent web site that has links to awareness activities, action research, quips and quotes, definitions, a multicultural awareness quiz, multicultural calendars, poetry, and a multicultural song index.

Cultural Profiles Projects from Canadian Citizenship and Immigration

This web site provides comprehensive descriptions (in French and English), of more than 90 countries. The user can search alphabetically by country and subheadings include: landscape and climate, past history, family life, work, healthcare, spirituality, education, food, government, holidays, and art and leisure. A number of photographs each subheading.

Where are the Standards found?

Developing Educational Standards All States

This web site offers alphabetical searches by State and Subject areas for the educational standards.

New York State Academy for Teaching and Learning: New York State Learning Standards

This web site allows the user to search for Standards across the various subject areas and at different levels.

Developing Educational Standards: Delaware

This is a link from Developing Educational Standards: All States. The site provides links to a number of educational interests related to the Standards.

What sites are available to assist teachers and students with spelling, punctuation, and grammar?

The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

This is a must visit for anyone who is concerned about correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. It is very user friendly and allows the visitor to search various subject areas and offers numerous tests and explanations. This is a must visit for all.

OWL: Online Writing and Grammar

This is another excellent for spelling, punctuation, and grammar. In addition to providing tests, examples, and explanations, the site offers an well organized list of links to all aspects of writing.

What software programs are available to teachers to assist students with varying abilities?

Ohio Distinctive Software

There are many companies that supply educational software. One of the most reasonable ones is Ohio Distinctive Software with software bundles (4 CD's that include 5 subjects for $10.00) that range in ability from 3-years old to adult. This site is the homepage for the company and it provides information on all of its educational software.

The Scholastic Store

This is the homepage for Scholastic software. It displays an in-depth list and description of its educational software products.


This web site offers independent reviews of numerous educational software products. A scale of 1-5 is used to rate software for educational value, kid appeal, and ease of use. The site also provides links to bestseller lists, educational tools and price lists.