Materials (word document)
Creating awareness of the differences between schools
in New York State.
Motivation: Today we’re going to read about
two schools in New York State and see how they compare to
each other and our school.
students in the read aloud area and tell them that you
are going to read essays that two students in New York
State wrote describing their schools. Ask students to
listen (and, if desired, follow along on paper or overhead)
as you begin reading the text “School #1.”
After reading this text, have students turn and talk about
what they notice about school #1.
Read the text “School #2” as students listen
and/or follow along.
After the reading, tell students that you are going to
discuss these readings. Arrange students into a circle
and have them turn and talk to each other about what they
have heard, making comparisons between the two schools.
After students have had a couple of minutes to share in
pairs, call students back to the group.
Facilitate a whole-class conversation with questions such
as “Would you want to go to each of these schools?”
“How would you describe these schools?” and
“How do you compare them to our school?” Encourage
students to use evidence from the texts to support their
Use a Venn diagram to compare how the schools in the texts
are similar and different.
schools could also be compared using a three-column chart,
with one column for each school, including students’
homework, have students pretend they are a student in
one of the two schools. Instruct them to write a diary
entry telling about their school day.
Grade Levels: 3-5
Ramirez, teacher at P.S. 29 in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn,
is now in her fifth year of teaching and her second year
as a MetLife Fellow in the Teachers Network Leadership Institute
(TNLI). She has served as grade leader, co-chair of her
school leadership team, a member of the school’s hiring
committee, and in the leadership group of the Teachers College
Reading and Writing Project. She has M.A. in Education from
the New York University Steinhardt School of Education.
Her TNLI action research topic last year was on teaching
struggling readers to have deeper conversations.
Frances Schuchman is a teacher at PS 41,
The Greenwich Village School, in Manhattan. She enters her
9th year of teaching and has taught 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades
and will teach 4th grade this fall. Frances recently completed
the Aspiring Leaders Program for Educational Administration
in The School of Public Affairs at Baruch College. She has
an MS in Elementary Education from the Bank Street College
of Education and an MA in Development Psychology from Columbia
University. Frances has been trained as a Math Teacher Leader
through the District Two Math Initiative and has served
in that role at PS 41 for the past five years.