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Video series, conferences aid Mount education students

April 24, 2014

Newburgh, NY -

Video aids education students

Justin Lewis of Spring Valley N.Y., a Mount education student who will graduate this May, teaches the uses of hip-hop in music the classroom.

Teachers in training at Mount Saint Mary College are sharpening their techniques early on through a video series spearheaded by professors David Gallagher and Matt Hollibush, of the Mount’s Collaborative for Equity in Literacy Learning (CELL).

The series, which demonstrates how to use various kinds of instruction, appears on YouTube and the Mount Saint Mary College website. It was filmed at the Bishop Dunn Memorial School in Newburgh.

Video aids education students

Communications major Amanda Cavaciuti of Mahopac, N.Y., films Donna Perk ’02 implementing important teaching techniques for her class.

“Video is incredibly important for helping people see the implementation of strategies,” explained Gallagher, who hopes students from many colleges will utilize the films.

“Viewers get a window into a great classroom, with real students and real teachers.”

The sessions focus mainly on literacy strategies, including writing and comprehension techniques and read-alouds. Literacy is important in all areas of education, notes Gallagher.

General techniques, such as reciprocal teaching, are also explained and demonstrated.

“We want to focus on best practices,” Hollibush explained. “We can use the videos to critique what teachers are doing well, and what can be improved.”

Video aids education students

During Family Literacy Night at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, Laura Mowat of Cornwall, N.Y., a graduate student and Mount’s payroll coordinator, shows young readers a caterpillar.

Watching the videos can help students prepare for the new Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA) guidelines, said Gallagher.

“I think it will definitely help students build reflective skills on teaching,” he explained. “The instruction in the videos is also connected to the Common Core, which we are preparing our students to teach towards.”

Mount Saint Mary College education professors also provide a number of additional advantages to their students. They recently collaborated on a trio of conferences aimed at teachers, pre-service professionals, and students.

At Family Literacy Night – provided by CELL at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center – close to 300 local children of all ages and their families were enthralled by a variety of activities, including storytelling workshops, poetry stations, bilingual books, and literature-inspired performances from Mount education professors and students. Speakers included literacy expert Patricia A. Edwards, professor of language and literacy in the department of teacher education at Michigan State University; and Laconia Therrio, professional storyteller.

Video aids education students

Writer/illustrator Bryan Collier signs copies of his books at the recent Conference on Literacy: Family, Community, School: Literacy Connections, at Mount Saint Mary College. Photo by Lee Ferris.

Other CELL programs include Mount “book clubs” offered at the Newburgh Armory Unity Center. College volunteers help their young students to explore books that reflect various cultural backgrounds and interests of the Newburgh community. Children actively share their own ideas and stories as well.

In “Engaging Challenging Youth with Children’s and Young Adult Literature,” students from the Mount and other area colleges explored the educational use of graphic novels with “comics”-like illustration; children’s and young adult literature; art conversations; drama and reader’s theater; writing; poetry; blogs; choral reading; and hip-hop.

Guest presenters included Karen Romano Young, author of many children’s and young adult books and graphic novels; Merle Rumble, author of “I Too Have a Voice: Black Boys Engaging with Literature Depicting Black Males”; Wendy Gladstone-Brown, assistant professor of teacher education at Marist College; and Jane Gangi, associate professor of education at Mount Saint Mary College and author of “Genocide in Children’s and Young Adult Literature: Cambodia to Darfur.”

A collaborative effort among MSMC, Marist and New Paltz faculty, CELL, and the Mount chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, the conference was sponsored by the Association of New York State Educators of Emotionally Disturbed (ANYSEED). The Mount’s Carolyn Brauer and Jennifer Wutz prepared and facilitated for the event.

The 21st Annual Conference on Literacy at the Mount examined the ways families, communities, and schools meet the literacy needs of all students. The keynote speakers were writer/ illustrator Bryan Collier, whose works include “Knock, Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me,” the winner of the 2014 Coretta Scott King Award; and literacy expert Patricia A. Edwards. Workshops included “Promoting Literacy with Technology: The Potential for Parents, Teachers, and Kids to Collaborate,” “Diversifying the Common Core Text Exemplars: A Collaboration,” and “Integrating an Author’s Visit into a Common Core Based Guided Reading Lesson.”

Mount Saint Mary College, 60 miles north of New York City, is ranked a Top-Tier Regional University by U.S. News & World Report, and offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs preparing students for careers in healthcare, business, education, social services, communication/media and more.