In New York City, a team of folks are gathering promising practices from all over town and providing peeks into classrooms to observe, learn, and garner new ideas. Take a look at the videos below and let us know what you think in the comments, we’d love to hear your feedback!
What is the Showcase Schools Program?
The Showcase Schools program is designed to share promising practices across New York City Department of Education schools. Each Showcase School plans and hosts transformational learning experiences with differentiated activities for educators from across the system. Together, they make the learning of their journey visible, and design activities, guided tours, and artifacts that teach visitors about their practices — as well as the systems and processes that help those practices thrive. By opening their doors, schools show what is possible for students and teachers, inspiring and supporting their visitors in adapting the practices for their own contexts. Through this work, Showcase Schools are contributing to a system-wide effort to achieve equitable outcomes for students.
This three-part video series highlights Showcase Schools that share promising practices that support making student thinking visible, literacy, and curriculum design:
Making Thinking Visible
Schoolwide Instructional Practices for Student Success
P.S. 359 Concourse Village Elementary School (CVES)
Concourse Village Elementary School (CVES) is located in the South Bronx. Its vision is to foster responsible and productive citizens who exercise strong critical thinking and academic skills to achieve lifelong success. Dedicated and passionate educators provide a rigorous curriculum delivered in a nurturing environment supported by families.
At CVES, schoolwide practices such as concept mapping, text annotation, feedback protocols, and shared reading blocks engage students in creating a strong foundation for producing high-level academic work. Watch as the young scholars make thinking visible, building a strong community of analytical and creative thinkers.
Developing a Culture of Reading
East Side Community School
East Side Community School is a 6-12 college preparatory academy located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. East Side sets high standards for each of their students and helps them meet these standards by providing personal attention, a safe and respectful environment, a strong sense of community, high-quality instruction, and innovative learning experiences.
East Side has developed and sustained strategies and structures that promote a schoolwide culture of reading. At their school, they are strongly committed to the role and value of reading across the school day, as demonstrated by their dedicated independent reading time, the design of the library and librarian’s sense of purpose, and extracurricular activities like the principal’s book club. Watch their students delve deeply into the world of literature and ideas in an academic culture centered on books and reading.
Designing Cross-Curricular Thematic Units for Accessibility and Engagement
Yorkville Community School
Yorkville Community School, a K-5 school located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, is home to a diverse community of collaborative thinkers. Their school fosters a child-centered approach to education that encourages all students to achieve high academic standards, meet and exceed their own personal goals, and realize social success. All grades engage in multiple thematic studies, presented using an integrated, cross-curricular approach that emphasizes research, including firsthand experiences in the surrounding neighborhood.
The design of Yorkville Community School’s cross-curricular thematic units ensure academic and social success by making content more accessible and providing multiple entry points for all students. Watch as teachers create research experiences and investigations within the school and around the neighborhood to empower students as confident participants in a caring school community.
To support you in applying what you’ve watched to your own practice, we encourage you to reflect on the following questions:
- In what ways do students, teachers, and the instructional materials interact to support student learning?
- In what ways did each school honor students as individuals with unlimited potential to teach and learn from and with each other? What does this do for students’ learning?