Professional Learning Teams (PLTs)

A Professional Learning Team (PLT) is a subgroup of master teachers who meet regularly or occasionally to discuss a particular topic.  Many PLTs are content-specific, but this is not a requirement.  Some PLTs listed below may be currently closed for new members or may not be currently meeting; contact the facilitator for more information. Work done in PLTs are generally stored in a shared Google drive found here.

Content Area-Specific PLTs:

  • Algebra 2
  • Chemistry Capers
  • Earth Science
  • Math Break-In Box Building
  • PLADS (Physics Lab and Demo Sharathon)
  • That’s Life (Biology)

Non-Content Area-Specific PLTs:

  • Action Book Club
  • Book Club
  • Creative Classroom Lessons
  • Maker Education
  • Physics Lab and Demo Sharathon (PLADS)
  • Preservice PLT
  • SciGirls
  • Science Literacy

Currently Inactive PLTs:

  • Demonstration Videos
  • Elementary Science and Math
  • Forensic Science
  • Integrating Statistics
  • Problem Based Projects in Math
  • STEM in the Southern Tier
  • Technology PLT

Action Book Club

We are going to read and discuss the book, Teach Like A Champion 2.0, and then practice the 62 different techniques in our classrooms. We will spend time comparing and sharing our experiences first with each other and then with other colleagues.

Facilitators: Elaine Perkins (Elmira), Jim Slattery (Ithaca), Amy Brainard (Binghamton)


Algebra 2 PLT

Collaborate to work on the new Algebra 2 curriculum and delve into the modules and create lessons and activities for understanding. To collaborate on the expanded probability and statistics that is now needed.

Facilitators: Jeremiah and Mary Franklin

Location: Online (via Zoom conferencing)


Book Club

This book club is non-traditional in the sense that the members can pick any book that relates to education. The members are not all reading the same book. When we meet, members will give a review their book:

  1. Summarize the main ideas presented in the book. What evidence did the author present to support the ideas? Personal observations, facts, statistics, scientific research, historical documents?
  2. Is the topic controversial? How? Did the author present both sides of the controversy?
  3. How did the book help you better understand teaching, education policy, and/or your students? What experience do you have with the strategies, techniques, solutions presented in the book?
  4. Could you implement what you read in your classroom? If so, how? If not, why not?
  5. Did the book fulfill expectations? Would you recommend this book to other educators?

Books read so far:

Facilitator: Karin Mann

Location: Vestal High School


Chemistry Capers

A PLT to share and grow our pedagogy as chemistry teachers

Facilitator: Terrie Hunter

Location: Horseheads High School


Creative Classroom Lessons

The Goal of this PLT is to get master teachers together to collaborate on a specific topic of interest with the intent of creating new and engaging lessons that can be classroom tested and ultimately shared with the community through local school programs or larger professional development offerings.

Facilitator: Terrie Hunter

Location: Various


Demonstration Videos – CURRENTLY INACTIVE

Collaborate to design and test problem based projects in the classrooms and share out at the Annual MT conference and create a library of successful projects.

Facilitator: Paul Wiech


Earth Science PLT

The purpose of this PLT is to collaborate and share ideas with each other, kind of like a share-a-thon type setting.  The PLT will also take field trips, guided hikes, and float trips with practicing geologists and other professionals in the field that will provide interpretive experience

Facilitator: Bryan Neubert

Location: Binghamton/Vestal


Elementary Science and Math – CURRENTLY INACTIVE

The purpose of this PLT is to help support elementary teachers in the subjects of science and math. With the current emphasis in our schools on ELA and Math there is less and less time for hands-on science and true investigation. In addition many elementary teachers feel intimidated by science/math. Our aim is to work with elementary teachers to develop hands-on activities that can help to support them while bringing more investigative science/math to the students.

Facilitator: Cathy Jeremko

Location: Varies


Forensic Science – CURRENTLY INACTIVE

The purpose of this PLT is to help support elementary teachers in the subjects of science and math.  With the current emphasis in our schools on ELA and Math there is less and less time for hands-on science and true investigation.  In addition many elementary teachers feel intimidated by science/math.  Our aim is to work with elementary teachers to develop hands-on activities that can help to support them while bringing more investigative science/math to the students.

Facilitator: Stacey Coston

Location: Waverly Middle/High School


Integrating Statistics PLT– CURRENTLY INACTIVE

Statistics is the process by which one distills meaning from data. But how does that process actually work? How can we best integrate the Common Core standards for statistics into math courses, and how can we include more statistics into science courses? This PLT is designed to explore these questions. Bring data that you’d like to figure out how to analyze in a more statistical way, or bring questions you have about existing statistics content in your course. If you currently teach statistics, this will be an excellent opportunity to come up with some interdisciplinary examples to use in your classes, as well as a chance for you to collaboratively plan and share lessons with other statistics teachers.

Facilitator: Benjamin Kirk

Location: Ithaca High School


Maker Education

We will be exploring ways to use Maker Education ideas with our students, whether it be part of a regular school day course, or an extra-curricular activity. We will be exploring Arduino microprocessors, robotics, and conductive inks and threads to incorporate textiles.2 workshops, to start with, on the Arduino

Facilitators: Cathy Jeremko and Deb Ortloff

Location: Union-Endicott High School


Math Break-In Box Creation

Inspired by an hour-long workshop at the annual AMTNYS Fall Conference, we are hoping to create a series of puzzle-like activities that give students in cooperative groups a chance to “break in” to a lockbox within an allotted time period.  This engaging lesson can entail a variety of content-related puzzles, with a whole-class goal of unlocking the “Break-In Box” by finding the combinations to several different padlocks.  The lesson can be used for review or practice with concepts covered in 8th, 9th, or 10th grade Algebra or Pre-Algebra classes. Since the key needed to get into the box is only the combination to a lock, the puzzle that leads students to the combination could be of literally any content or difficulty, creating a highly modular and customizable context for review. The goal of the PLT would be to spread the idea of break-in boxes to other master teachers and to start creating a database of such puzzles.

Facilitators: Benjamin Kirk and Jordan Titus

Location: Ithaca High School


PLADS (Physics Lab and Demo Sharathon)

The express purpose of this PLT is to share both content knowledge as well as to discuss the various philosophical approaches used in teaching high school physics.

Facilitator: Kevin Tye

Location: Varies


Preservice PLT

Our mission is to answer questions about teaching STEM from pre-service teachers. This includes helping them develop teaching strategies, keeping up with state (and other) certifications, and mentoring them in any other way needed. We anticipate that these teachers will be more encouraged to continue in their pursuit of teaching STEM knowing that they have Master STEM teachers as resources.

The Pre-Service PLT will be discussing as a panel on Jan 16th for the “Roundtable” at 3:45 at Cornell’s Annual Workshop for New and Pre-Service Teachers in January 2016. It’s the 15th Anniversary of this Workshop! Over the years, 248 New teachers have participated in this workshop along with 205 Pre-service teachers.

This workshop will take place in Ithaca, NY on January 16th and 17th.

Facilitator: Melanie Anastasio

Location: Corning High School


Problem Based Projects in Math

Collaborate to design and test problem based projects in the classrooms and share out at the Annual MT conference and create a library of successful projects.

Facilitators: Chelsea Northrop and Jordan Titus

Location: Varies


Science Literacy

We plan to research techniques that we can use to improve the literacy of our science students. The outcome will be that we teachers will become more competent in using a range of techniques with our students and as a result our students will be more confident and successful.

Facilitator: Jacqueline Scallan

Location: Varies


SciGirls

The purpose of this PLT is to plan, develop and execute a full day conference for young girls to spur their interest in science and math. We plan to serve approximately 100 girls. This project will work cooperatively with outside agencies. These include as possibilities: WSKG, BU, BCC, Lockheed Martin, BAE, BOCES, other interested teachers (including possibly some elementary teachers, or college students). In the PLT we will work to organize, schedule, apply for grants, plan workshops, secure materials, advertize, and other associated work with implementing a successful conference day. Right now, our focus is for girls in grades 4-8, but we may consider other grades as our resources (time, space, money, manpower)

Facilitators: Cathy Jeremko and Deb Ortloff

Location: Various sites (businesses, universities, natural areas) throughout the region


STEM in the Southern Tier – CURRENTLY INACTIVE

This field-experience-based PLT is meant to introduce Master Teachers to the variety of STEM resources in the Southern Tier Region.

Template for those interested in arranging a “meet-up” or field trip

Facilitator: Chad DeVoe

Location: Various sites (businesses, universities, natural areas) throughout the region


That’s Life (Biology)

A PLT to discuss a specific topic relevant to our teaching or that is an issue for those involved. Examples of agenda items include sharing our most exciting lab and bolstering our ecology units by sharing resources

Facilitators: Elizabeth Roe and Laura Austen

Location: Waverly High School


Technology PLT (aka “Best Technology PLT in the Southern Tier”) – CURRENTLY INACTIVE

Our focus is on how we can use technological tools to better engage, excite, and ultimately prepare our students in an increasingly competitive college market and workforce.  PLT members will experience a myriad of technologies that are available and demonstrate how these tools can be used to increase student engagement, improve home-school connections, and promote collaboration amongst educators.  Our PLT will align with the development of pedagogy as it relates to technology and the 21st century classroom. We will align our work with the International Society for Technology in Education Standards (ISTE) as we integrate technology as a tool to increase and enhance student learning while preparing them for their futures.

Facilitator: Paul Wiech

Location: Trumansburg High School

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