• All Work and No Play: A Call for a Movement Toward Requiring Extracurricular Involvement

      Giblin, Thomas R.; Passarell, Charlie; The College at Brockport (2013-05-15)
      Many school districts across New York State have been severely impacted by budget cuts, and extracurricular activities are normally the first programs eliminated in order to save money. This senior thesis paper seeks to prove the benefits of keeping extracurricular activities at schools, as well as the added benefits of making extracurricular activities a student requirement. This thesis explores several schools within different demographics that have strong extracurricular programs, and explains how that correlates to improved academic achievement, social skills, community involvement, and desirability to potential colleges and employers. In addition, it addresses the potential argument of there being no proven causal relationship between extracurricular activities and academic outcomes, and gives a valid counterargument. This thesis also proposes possible amended block schedules for schools that wish to include mandatory extracurricular activities within their school day, including one schedule with an extracurricular block at the end of the day, one with that block at the beginning of the day, and one with that block in the middle of the day, and explains the benefits, disadvantages, and practicality of each. Conclusions from the evidence in this thesis suggest that the benefits of requiring extracurricular activities outweigh the potential difficulty in practicality and funding that a school district may face.
    • Becoming an Adolescence Inclusive Teacher at The College at Brockport

      Murray, Christine; Eick, James; The College at Brockport (2010-05-01)
      Congratulations on choosing the career of an adolescence inclusive teacher. There are many rewarding and humbling experiences you will gain here at The College at Brockport, and in the schools where you will observe and student teach. The purpose of this guide is to provide you an outline of what to expect in the next two years of your Brockport experience.
    • Common Core Canon vs Literary Canon: What Works, What Doesn’t, and What Teachers Can Do About It

      Giblin, Thomas R.; Siddall, Emily; The College at Brockport (2017-05-17)
      The Common Core Canon is both a blessing and a curse to teachers across the nation, who are adapting to the new curriculum that the Common Core has brought to the forefront. These teachers are dealing with multiple moving pieces that are not easy to cope with, including novels that do not fit the classes to which they are assigned, skills that are challenging to teach without student engagement, and new standards to keep track of. As such, teachers have formed strong opinions about these new challenges and successes, but there are not many venues for teachers to get to express their opinions. For this thesis, I took the opportunity to go to these teachers and ask for their opinions. These teachers chose to remain anonymous to avoid any issues that may arise from their opinions, but they gave unguarded answers which helps the reader to understand how teachers truly feel about the Common Core. I chose to connect my opinions and experiences to their quotes, so that I could further understand the challenges that teachers faced. It allowed me to see how teachers look at these challenges, and how I will be able to rise to meet them in my future as a teacher. Creating the unit plan also allowed me to take these opinions and create an example that proves that teacher choice can work.
    • Digital Literacy in the English Classroom: A Common Core Standards-Based Unit Plan

      Giblin, Thomas R.; Smith, Austin H.; The College at Brockport (2015-12-17)
      This thesis provides several lesson plans, anchored in Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World to teach digital literacy to a tenth grade English class, aligned with the Common Core Standards.
    • Disabilities in Middle-Grade Literature

      Norcia, Megan; Mufford, Heather; The College at Brockport (2018-05-04)
      This Honors Senior Thesis explores textual themes regarding disability in literary works featuring protagonists with a disability. In particular, it analyzes the role of literature as a way to provide exposure to and connection with the life experiences of a protagonist with a disability. The author then uses that information to generate insight into how she should approach her own creative writing project—a young adult novel portraying the lived experience of a 13-year-old male protagonist with bipolar disorder. The author focuses her attention on three works: Izzy, Willy Nilly (Cynthia Voight, 1986), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (Mark Haddon, 2003), and El Deafo (Cece Bell, 2015). Each book depicts a protagonist with a specific, named disability (amputation, ASD, and deafness). She examines how these works express or reject media-perpetuated stereotypes about disability, such as “victim/helplessness” and “inspirational/heroic”. She then offers suggestions about how she will avoid such pitfalls in her own work.
    • Gifted Education Program Structures in Erie County: Lake Shore Schools

      Wilkens, Christian; Geraci, Jessica; The College at Brockport (2012-05-12)
      Research in the field of gifted and talented education has been general and focused on government policy and general practices. There has been a lack of focus on the structure of existing programs. The current research aims to determine whether parents and students receiving services through gifted education programs are satisfied with their educators, program structure, and quality of education received. Parents and students completed paper surveys and commented on facets of the ALPHA (Advanced Level Program for Heightened Achievement) program in Lake Shore Central School District. Overall, responses were very positive, though parents cited some changes they would like to see made to the program. Further research should be conducted in multiple districts to determine what parents and students expect to gain from gifted programming, and what they feel they are actually gaining.
    • Hands-On or Hands-Off: Effective Elements of Elementary Social Studies Hands-on Lessons

      Wright, Allison; Jackson, Justin; The College at Brockport (2011-12-01)
      In today’s American school system a hole has begun to form in elementary schools as social studies education has been on the decline, or in some cases, cut out entirely in order to allow more time for mathematics and literacy instruction. Modern educators have begun to acknowledge this gap and want to develop new ways of instructing social studies as a way to keep the subject current, interesting, and effective. Hands-on learning may be one solution for this issue. The purpose of this study was to describe what happened in regard to students’ understanding of and engagement in social studies content when presented in a hands-on teaching style. One fifth grade inclusive classroom, one fourth grade inclusive classroom, and one self-contained fourth grade classroom were taught using hands-on social studies lessons in a rural school district in Western New York. After utilizing a variety of hands-on lessons and activities, and researching the existing literature there is on hands-on learning as it relates to social studies instruction, five themes of effective hands-on lessons emerged that may aid elementary teachers in their creation of these types of lessons: Collaboration, Open-Ended, Meaning, Experience, and Timing (C.O.M.E.T.).
    • How Does Using a Student Interest Inventory Benefit Teachers and Teacher Candidates?

      Wade, Carol H.; Redinger, Laura; The College at Brockport (2017-12-15)
      Using a Student Interest Inventory and interest-aligned mathematics problems, this article connects interest alignment with student performance. The findings from this pilot study reveal students’ performance increased when interest-based problems were incorporated into their mathematics curriculum. These findings serve to inform teachers wishing to increase student performance and engagement in their classroom. They may also inform teacher candidates completing the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA), particularly with Task 1.
    • Mindfulness in Schools: Promoting Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom

      Veronesi, Peter; Ordiway, Kaitlin A.; The College at Brockport (2016-04-05)
      Currently in schools there is a gap in social and emotional learning, even with an increased emphasis on character development in K-12 schools. There is a growing consensus that students should be taught more than just content in the classroom. Schools should develop well-rounded students capable of handling anything life throws at them. But as mental health issues, conduct problems and increased stress levels are on the rise, schools are currently missing the mark when it comes to their students. Mindfulness, the conscious awareness of the present moment and how you and the world around you fit into that moment, is the key to bridging this gap. Mindfulness has several applications in the medical and clinical fields and is now making its way into the educational field. Implementation of a mindfulness program will teach students how to control their emotions, and attention while building an identity and resilience. This thesis will review sources about mindfulness and its applications and use this research to argue that mindfulness should be added to the K-12 curriculum and will improve students overall wellness and ability to function in school and in life.
    • Peer Interactions: Same-Age Interactions of Students with Developmental Disabilities

      Davis, Emily; The College at Brockport (2012-05-01)
      With the contemporary call for inclusive education, educators and parents are seeking to provide equal opportunities for students in and outside of the classroom. The students who are ignored are those who are enrolled in “life skills” courses that remove them from mainstream education. In this removal, these students are unable to build peer-relationships with students of their own age. These interactions are not only critical to the well-being of the communities at large, but also the rights and responsibilities to providing all types of students with an opportunity to make social connections with students of their own age. Through personal interviews with parents who have enrolled their children with developmental disabilities in an after-school program to enhance the children’s social skills, this study shows the essential role that same-age interactions play in the lives of students with developmental disabilities.
    • Social Studies Instruction in Elementary Classrooms following NCLB and CCSS

      Ashton, Jennifer; Kuhar, Matty; The College at Brockport (2016-02-19)
      The purpose of this study is to take a closer look at how NCLB and the Common Core Standards have affected social studies instruction in one elementary school in Western New York.
    • Social Studies: The Lost Art of Being Social

      Wright, Allison; Singh, Teresa I.; The College at Brockport (2012-12-01)
      The content area of social studies has in recent years been replaced within the educational curriculum across the country. This paper discusses how the slow removal of studying the socialization of mankind from the education system is directly linked to the decline in societal values, citizenship and a sense of value. Through a brief overview of how education was established in America to specific programs and misconceptions in teaching social studies, this paper delves into finding out the importance of teaching social studies. My research revealed that social studies are a vital organ within the body of education. My findings ultimately show the systems of education have always been viewed in some aspect or another for the betterment of society. This concept is not new nor is little written about the impact if ignored, but fewer today are looking back to the past to help find answers to the present day issues of our schools, teachers and students. Until more administrative heads re-examine the fundamentals of education our children and our own futures are faced with a dismal society. For if removing that which teaches us the past, how then can we learn to live in the future free from repeating the mistakes of the past?
    • Teaching Writing for Students with Learning Disabilities in an Inclusive Classroom Setting: A Curriculum Development Project

      Zhang, Jie; Golley, Ashley M.; The College at Brockport (2015-04-01)
      Students with learning disabilities often struggle with writing. They lack the appropriate strategies to use while writing, which leaves them frustrated and unwilling to continue writing. Teachers need to find strategies that will help their students become more engaged and excited about their writing. Finding effective strategies for planning, composing, and revising writing pieces will help students with learning disabilities become more proficient writers. Some strategies that can be used are graphic organizers, TREE, mentor texts, and CDO. These are different planning, composing, and revising strategies that can be taught to help the students become more effective with their writing. Being able to write proficiently is an important life skill that everyone needs to learn. Helping students with learning disabilities develop better writing skills will help them become more successful students and will lead them to a better future. In order for students with learning disabilities to become better writers, they need to be given appropriate strategies in planning, composing, and revising written pieces. This project provided information on students with learning disabilities, writing, and strategies that can be used to help these students become successful writers. Lesson plans and commentary aligned with the Educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) were incorporated to show how these strategies can be used.
    • The Integration of Culture into Foreign Language Classrooms

      Rossi, Frank; Marcal, Michael; The College at Brockport (2010-12-01)
      The integration of culture into foreign language education is a necessity in order to teach students in the best manner possible and allow them to learn a second language correctly and successfully. Culture is the driving force behind learning other languages. Culture can be defined as “anything and everything humankind has invented” and varies from country to country and household to household (Pfister 4) Students need to learn about foreign cultures for a number of reasons such as understanding others’ viewpoints, personal encounters with foreign cultures, and to put the language into context. Not only is the teaching and learning of culture very important in schools but it is required by national and New York State standards. The national standards for foreign language are: communication, comparisons, connections, communities, and culture. The New York State standards for foreign language are: communication and culture. By having culture as one of the five national standards and one of the two New York State standards for foreign language, teaching culture is required and clearly important that it is taught to all students. To demonstrate how culture can be integrated into the foreign language classroom, below are ten lesson plans that have both culture and other aspects of the Spanish language in them. The first five lessons are related to the culture of Mexico and the last five lessons focus on Spain’s culture.
    • The Positive Effects of Immigrant and Hispanic Families’ Participation in their Child’s Education

      Barski-Moskal, Ewelina; Wilson, Kerianne; The College at Brockport (2018-04-29)
      The recent increase of children from immigrant families into the United States has fostered numerous questions on their academic achievement in the American school system. According to research, these immigrant families experience various barriers that hinder building positive, beneficial relationships with school personnel. Through literature-based research one can note why and how parents become involved with their children’s education as well as the benefits of parental involvement in academic achievement. The findings of this research suggest that increasing communication between immigrant and Hispanic families with school personnel, encouraging learning at home, and providing culturally relevant experiences can positively increase a child’s academic achievement and self-efficacy in the classroom.
    • Thinking and Learning: Teaching English Language Learners

      Rossi, Frank; Kerr, Jessica H.; The College at Brockport (2012-04-26)
      In response to a continually changing demographic in U.S. schools, this paper looks at the current needs of English Language Learners from an instructional standpoint. The author seeks to provide insight and understanding into the metacognition of English Language Learners as well as a cultural awareness for working with these diverse learners. The overall goal of the paper is to demonstrate various ways educators can use this knowledge of English Language Learners to meet the needs of their students and help them reach their academic potential.
    • Video Games and the Classroom: A Learning Connection

      Cimbricz, Sandra; St. James, Erin; The College at Brockport (2014-05-10)
      Today, many adolescents invest significant amounts of time and energy playing video games, even when games are difficult, tedious, and complex. This phenomenon has led educators to wonder: What import if any do video games hold for learning and instructional design in classrooms, grade 9-12? Two scholarly works in particular explore this topic, including What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy (Gee, 2007) and “Cracking the Code of Electronic Games: Some Lessons for Educators” (Alexander et al., 2010). This paper explores the learning principles behind games as noted by these two scholarly works and how these principles can be used in the secondary English classroom to foster motivation, engagement, and successful learning among adolescents.