About Image


Teacher Guide

Environmental Concerns in the Community

By Mary Howland, Beth Fensterwald, Steven Caringella
Meet the Authors

"How do we become aware of local environmental concerns and what can we do to make a difference?"
 Overview


 Understandings
and Standards


 Activities


 Resources


 Student Guide



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510.635.0585
info@my-ecoach.com

Contact Us
Meet the Authors

Mary Howland
char797@aol.com

Palo Alto, CA 

River Glen School

San Jose Unified School District


Title:
Teacher
Subjects:
English/Language Arts
Math
Reading
Grades:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
My Philosophy
Schools, curriculums, and classrooms need to be flexible enought to respond to student needs. Students have different ways of learning and different strengths. Teachers need to have the ability to adjust their lessons and coursework to meet the needs of their students, so that all students can be successful. Schools also need to work with parents and the community to integrate and support the learning taking place in the classroom.
My Community
I teach in a neighborhood near downtown San Jose which is a large urban community.
My Environment
I teach in a K- 8 Spanish Two-way immersion program. Forty percent of the students are English-dominant when they enter, forty percent are Spanish-dominant, and twenty percent are bilingual. About 45 % of the students receive free lunches. The school is a magnet program within the San Jose Unified School District which is a fairly large district.
My Roles and Responsibilities
I'm a resource specialist and work with students with learning disabilities. There are 32 students in my program who work in my room in small groups of no more than six students at a time. Although I have a few students in first through third grades, most of my students are in fourth through eighth. Most of my students work two or more years below their grade level.

Beth Fensterwald
Beth_Fensterwald@sjusd.org

San Jose, CA 

Almaden Elementary

San Jose Unified School District


Title:
Technology Coordinator
Subjects:
Science
Technology
Grades:
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Philosophy
The field of education is like a shifting dune. Slowly it advances, evolves, changes shape. The challenges today for teachers and students are more complicated than ever, but current educational theory, informed by Bloom and many others, provides a firm footing in the shifting sands of educational and my personal philosophy. Best practices include doing, seeing, listening, thinking, explaining--striving to understand the big picture over so many little facts in an ever-complex world. Through project-based learning Iíve discovered the heightened engagement students can have in their own learning process when combined with skillful coaching, teaching, and assessment. Developing those techniques is my ongoing goal. Sprinkled, of course, with patience and humor.
My Community
Almaden Elementary is a small, public Title 1 elementary school located in the Almaden Valley area of South San Jose, adjacent to a busy shopping area and major intersection. Though located in an area of heavy development, a creek flows nearby, providing a living laboratory for hands-on learning and scientific inquiry. This creek offers a rare opportunity for our students to experience nature and conservation efforts, an adjunct to our curriculum through the BioSITE program sponsored by the Childrenís Discovery Museum of San Jose. A stoneís throw away is Pioneer High School, which provides student volunteers for both BioSITE mentoring and on-campus assistance through their service learning projects.
My Environment
We are part of San Jose Unified School District. We have approximately 400 students and a teaching staff of 18. We have one of the few remaining bilingual programs in our district and half our students attend bilingual classes. We have Reading First coaches for both English learners and English speakers, and have a math coach working with us this coming year. Our computer lab and classroom computers, all networked, provide rich opportunities for integration with technology.
My Roles and Responsibilities
In addition to providing technical support to the school, I develop technology curriculum for all grade levels and work with teachers to successfully integrate technology with classroom teaching. In addition to teaching computer classes for grades 4/5, I will be providing science enrichment this coming year. I also oversee our BioSITE program which is described in pictures on our school website, which I created and maintain.

Steven Caringella
scaringe@musd.org

Milpitas, CA 

Thomas Russell Middle School

Milpitas Unified School District


Title:
Mentor
Teacher
Administrator
Technology Coordinator
Instructional Designer
Consultant
Subjects:
Foreign Language
Technology
Grades:
7, 8
My Roles and Responsibilities
I teach Spanish at Russell Middle School in the Milpitas Unified School District.  I teach one year-long period of Spanish to eighth graders and four periods of Spanish elective.  All of the students are using Thinkquest.org to participate in an online language and culture exchange with a school in Peru.

I teach technology integration classes for educators at the Krause Center for Innovation at Foothill College in Los Altos, CA. For information about the classes I teach and the dates and times they are offered, go to http://caringella.my-ecoach.com/

I also give presentations at various CUE and California League of Middle Schools conferences on the use of Thinkquest.org in collaborative online student projects.