TCHERS' VOICE / Professional Learning

Student Empowerment Practices

In New York City, a team of folks are sharing promising practices across the city by providing peeks into classrooms to allow educators to observe, learn, and garner new ideas. Watch the videos below and let us know what you think!

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 empowering students through thinking and writing, student voice, and developing literacy.

Thinking & Writing

Schoolwide Implementation of the Hochman Writing Program
New Dorp High School

Thinking and Writing from NYC Public Schools on Vimeo.

Educators at New Dorp High School apply the Hochman Method of writing to every discipline, helping students become better writers and build critical thinking skills. These methods empower students by giving them greater access to deeper content knowledge, and increasing their accountability to one another as a community of learners. As a result, students feel confident growing and learning because they have the tools to organize and communicate their ideas.

The Work of Play

Early Childhood Education
Central Park East II

Central Park East (CPE) II is a pre-K-5 school located in East Harlem that is centered around their student’s desire to make meaning of their worlds as members of an intellectual and social community.  

Each day students participate in Work Time, a period when they can independently select a place in the classroom to experiment with materials and explore ideas, all while developing oral language and interpersonal skills. While the work feels playful, this thoughtfully provisioned structure meaningfully engages all students in rich and varied learning opportunities.

Developing Literacy

Supporting Language Acquisition in Early Childhood
P.S. 170, The Esteban Vicente Early Childhood School

Developing Literacy from NYC Public Schools on Vimeo.

Educators at P.S. 170 support language acquisition in the early childhood grades by collaboratively analyzing student work and selecting highly engaging instructional methods that utilize peer-to-peer communication. Students are supported in using Tier II vocabulary to express their ideas and interpret one another’s ideas, resulting in students who become stronger problem solvers and skilled collaborators who have greater agency over their learning.

Thought Starters

  • In what ways do students, teachers, and the instructional materials interact to support student learning?

  • In what ways does each school empower students to take ownership of their learning? How does this contribute to student achievement?

To see these promising practices in action, register for a 2018-2019 Showcase visit by viewing the 2018-2019 Showcase Schools flyer. You can also learn more about the Showcase Schools program by visiting their website, emailing, or checking out their other videos on Teaching Channel.


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