Greetings from Project MAST2ER

Spring Issue

In this issue...

  • Coping with restless students: 30 Tips for Quieting a Noisy Classroom
  • What to do when good lessons go bad
  • That crazy ride that is first year teaching
  • Teacher Candidate Forums: Data-based Decision Making
  • NSTA 2016
  • NCTM 2016
  • Mentor Training: Kagan Coaching
  • Looking ahead to Summer 2016: Project MAST2ER goes out with a bang!

The First Year of Teaching can feel like a fraternity hazing: Does it have to be that way?

NSTA 2016: Destination was Nashville for 3 Mentors this Spring

Mentor Teachers Kim Barber, Cindy McMillen, and Darrell Waag attended the National Science Teachers Association Conference. along with Project MAST2ER Implementation Coach, Jean Michielli-Pendl. Despite being a bit shortened due to weather delays in Chicago, the attendees found a lot to see and do at the conference and in Nashville.

Jeannie writes about one noteworthy experience:

"I had the opportunity to attend a special session by Northrop Grumman at the Adventure Science Center. The session was an "out-of-this-world experience". We were able to view a film, that has not yet been released, about the James Webb Space Telescope and it's much anticipated launch. After the filming we were invited to a panel discussion with astrophysicists and the head engineer! It was a great way to kick off the entire conference. If you are interested in seeing and using the film, please contact Jeannie. As a participant, the film which is about 30 minutes was sent to the 160 teachers fortunate enough to be a part of the engaging experience."

3 Mentors attend NCTM in San Francisco in April

The National Council of Teachers of Math conference was attended by Project MAST2ER Mentors Amanda Pacanowski, Aaron Pietro, and Karin Snyder, also accompanied by Jean Michielli-Pendl.

Jeannie describes an excellent session she attended:

"One of my sessions that was quite engaging was Learning from Students' Productive Struggle. The two presenters were Nashville natives Leslie Texas and Tammy Jones from Texas and Jones Consulting. They had us working on math word problems that were differentiated for the different math abilities. And one thing they gave us that was my take-away was a placard that said, 'I'm done or I'm stuck'. The placard had a few questions to help the group move forward if stuck or think deeper about their solution."

One of the Featured Speakers that really made an impact on many participants was Dan Meyer, who is an expert on deeply engaging students in mathematics. His talk focused on questioning techniques, which seemed to be a theme running through the conference.

Featured Speaker Dan Meyer Speaks on Engaging Students in Math

Aaron Pietro highlighted some of Meyer's main points at our Mentor Forum this week. He explained that Meyer encouraged teachers to have students think about the basics of numbers and forms and discuss what they know and what they can find out as a jumping of point for a lesson. He also described another session where the presenters emphasized the need to get students arguing and discussing numbers in a way reminiscent of the inquiry method so prevalent in science. Just as teachers have been encouraged to infuse literacy into mathematics, the presenters would like to see numbers and numeracy throughout other subject areas.

With Sustainability in Mind: Final Mentor Training will Focus on Coaching

The goal with any educational grant is to see our impact continue even after the grant is over, and Project MAST2ER is no different. We hope to continue helping new teachers more effectively work with their English Learners by empowering our Mentors to act as SIOP, Kagan and Cognitive coaches.

This summer, Project MAST2ER Mentors from Jamestown, Dunkirk, and Fredonia will have the opportunity to be trained in SIOP and Cognitive coaching by our amazing trainer, Karen. Mentor trailing will be held in the SUNY Fredonia Science Center (Room 126) August 15-18 from 9am-4pm. Any Menotrs who would still like to sign up, please email

Dr. Gradel on Data-based Decision Making

The last two Teacher Candidate Forums focused on Data-based Decision Making this year, and we were fortunate to be able to tap the expertise of Dr. Kathy Gradel. Her workshops, which focused on collecting and analyzing data, as well as giving targeted and effective student feedback, gave Teacher Candidates and Mentors who attended a lot to think about.

Summer Training Schedule

Kagan Win-win Discipline June 27-June 29

  • JCC North Conference Center, rooms 117, 118, & 119

Kagan Brain-Friendly Teaching June 30-July 30

  • JCC North Conference Center, rooms 117, 118, & 119

Mentor Training August 15-18

  • Fredonia Science Center, room 126

Kagan Cooperative Learning August 22-26

  • Dunkirk High School cafeteria