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Brian's Class Materials- SPRING 2011 - SEYS 582

SEYS 582 Home

Queens College/CUNY
Education Unit
Spring 2011


SEYS 582 - Standards-Based Curriculum and Assessment in Teaching Science


 Thursday 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm

 Kiely Hall Room 115

Week 1 Week
Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16
Week 17 Week 18


Brian Murfin, Ph.D.,
Office:  Powdermaker Hall Room 135C

Office Hours: 

Wednesday 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Thursday 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
And by appointment

Please send me email to brian.murfin@qc.cuny.edu to arrange an online appointment using either:

Phone:  631 223-8311

Email:  brian.murfin@qc.cuny.edu


 SEYS 582.  Curriculum and Assessment in Teaching Science

3 hr.; 3 cr. Coreq.: the subject-specific student teaching course from SEYS 570.4–574.4. Open only to students in teacher education programs. An examination of curriculum development and assessment for classroom teaching designed to integrate New York State Learning Standards and required testing, such as the Regents exams, into the curriculum. The course builds on the fundamental pedagogical content knowledge in specific disciplines in SEYS 560–564.  Taught in tandem with the student teaching experience to enrich the student teacher’s understanding of curriculum and assessment issues within a working classroom.

Education Unit Conceptual Framework:

This course is being offered by the Secondary Education department which is part of the Education Unit at Queens College. The Education Unit seeks to promote equity, excellence, and ethics in urban education and is committed to preparing teachers and other education professionals who will:

This course is aligned with the Education Unit’s commitment to preparing educational professionals to work in diverse urban and suburban communities. Specifically, the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that candidates will development/demonstrate at the successful completion of this course are directly linked to the Education Unit’s seven principles: 1) discipline specific competencies, 2) learning and development, 3) families and urban communities, 4) diversity, inclusion, democracy and social justice, 5) language and literacy, 6) curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and 7) technology.



         1.  Textbook (required): None  You will not be required to purchase a textbook for this course.  Readings will be assigned using documents in BlackBoard.

         2.  Textbook (recommended):

    • Thompson, J. (2011). Discipline survival guide for the secondary teacher (2nd ed.). San Francisco Calif.: Jossey-Bass. 
    • Check out the NSTA Science Store for books related to your specific area of science and interests

         3.  Supplies and/or tools: None


Week 1 – 2/3/2011 – Student teaching overview, Introduction to the course


  1. Sign up for gmail, access google docs, and our google group, http://groups.google.com/group/seys582-spring2011.
  2. Submit the following form with your gmail address.
  3. Happy New Year Bingo  新年 快樂 Xīnnián kuàilè Bingo
  4. Happy Chinese New Year!  Use the following links to find out when which animal rules over the year in which you were born. 
  5. Brainstorm some ideas for how you might link Chinese culture to a science topic in your area of certification
  6. Assignments for next week:
  7. Meet cooperating teachers, overview of student teaching and requirements
  8. Visit the course web site using the Firefox web browser
  9. Press Ctrl T to open up a new tab, visit the CUNY portal at www.cuny.edu, login, access our course in BlackBoard.  If your CAMS account is not working, you may need to activate it by visiting the following site:  https://cams.qc.cuny.edu/
  10. Complete Pre-Course Survey
  11. Introduce self on Discussion Board in BlackBoard
  12. Go over course outline, goals, assignments
  13. Print out  NYC permission forms to take photos and video for digital portfolio
  14. Visit the New York City Teacher Page http://schools.nyc.gov/Teachers/default.htm
  15. New York City - New Teachers page 
  16. Teacher Development Toolkit
Week 2 – 2/10/2011 – Getting to know your students

Week 3– 2/17/2011 – Becoming familiar with the classroom learning environment

Assignment #1 due  Activities:
Describe your science classroom environment
Readings and Extension activities:
Useful Links:
Week 4 – 2/24/2011 – Writing your Philosopy of Teaching Statement

Week 5 – 3/3/2011 – New York State Learning Standards, New York State Science Curricula

Assignment #2 due

Activities: Week 6 – 3/10/2011 – Required assessments in New York State, Assessment Issue, create a resume
      1. What assessments are required by NYS?
      2. What are some of the issues associated with the required assessments?
      3. What strategies can you use to meet the required assessment?
      4. How might you adapt your teaching to address the assessment issues you raised?
Useful Links: Week 7  – 3/17/2011 - Class is canceled today,NO CLASS.

I will be in my office during office hours from 2pm to 4pm today if you have questions. We will have class as usual next week.

Using Alternative Assessment in Science classes

Week 8 – 3/24/2011 – Web 2.0 and other new technology tools


  1. Set up an online resource for your students.  This could be a web site, blog, wiki, or twitter feed or come other Web 2.0 tool.  Your online resource should help your students review a science topic in an interesting and fun way.  

  2. Weekly update:  successes, challenges
  3. Select your online tool, sign up for account
  4. Plan, set goals, decide on approach
  5. Create content
  6. Post url on Discussion Board in BlackBoard.
  7. Get feedback from colleagues
  8. Pilot test with students
Week 9 – 3/31/2011 –  Setting up your digital portfolio

      Class activities:

  1. Weekly update:  successes, challenges
  2. Use Google Sites to set up your teaching portfolio. 
  3. Begin to assemble a copy of your digital portfolio using labeled files and folders and burn on a DVD.
  4. Examples of portfolios
    • Read the following:

      Useful links:

  5. Electronic Portfolios: Students, Teachers, and Life Long Learners
  6. Electronic portfolios
  7. Examples of WWW-compatible electronic portfolios
  8. What is a digital portfolio?
  9. How to create a digital portfolio
  10. You may also want to sign up for a free NSTA account to create a portfolio and Professional Development plan.
Week 10 – 4/7/2011 – The Private Universe Project

Week 11 – 4/14/2011 –  Weekly updates, Interview highlights, Continue Working on Digital Portfolio and Action Research Projects

NSTA Student Chapter meeting 6:15pm to 7 pm

Assignment 3 due 

Week 12 – 4/21/2011SPRING RECESS - NO CLASS Please Work on Digital Portolio and Review Projects


 Week 13 – 4/28/2011 Please Work on Digital Portolio and Review Projects

Motivating students to learn science
Activities: Readings:

Reading:  Fostering Science Learning in Diverse Urban Settings by Ken Tobin (Link in BlackBoard documents)

Week 14 – 5/5/2011 -Science teaching in urban schools - Joys and Challenges
Useful Links:

Week 15 – 5/12/2011 –  NYS Certification, Questions and Answers, Professional Development Activities, Interviews, Resumes,  and Getting a Teaching Job

Useful links:

Assignment 5 Due

Please complete the course evaluation before the last week


Making Science Fun and Presentations of  Projects

Activities: Useful links:  Assignment 6 Due

Please complete the course evaluation before the last week

Week 17– 5/26/2011 –  NO CLASS

 Week 18 – 6/2/2011 – NO CLASS



 Procedure for submitting assignments:

 1)  All assignments that include text:

2)  If your assignment is on the web, post the url on the Discussion Board in BlackBoard.  iIf your assignment is in the form of an audio, video or image, attach the file to a posting on the discussion board in BlackBoard.

Assignment Description

Due Date

Possible Points

Assignment 1 –  Write a short desription of the school, the community, the student body and the faculty.  


20 (5 points each)

Assignment 2 – Describe in detail the classroom learning environment where you are student teaching. (Physical environment, students, teacher, class rules, contracts, atmosphere, textbooks, review books, other)


40 points

Assignment 3 –  Interview with your cooperating teacher or other experienced science teacher, For the class you are teaching, interview (If you can, you might want to try out http://wetoku.com/ to record the interview) your cooperating teacher and


20 (10 points for questions, 10 points for transcript, video or audio file)

Assignment 4 – Weekly updates on successes, positive events, and challenges (Post before or during Thursday class) (These can be video, audio or text postings)

Due weekly

10 points each week for a total of 160 points

Assignment 5 –  Action Research Project - Goal:  improve student performance on a required assessment .  Procedure:   Design an Exam Review aid - create an original game, poster, model, video, activity, contest, etc. that will help students review for a required assessment such as the Regents exam.  Test out your exam review aid with your students.


100 points for activity

10 points for presentation

Assignment 6 –  Digital portfolio of examples of your work.  Sign up to for a free account to create a portfolio and Professional Development plan. Assemble a copy of your digital portfolio using labeled files and folders and burn on a DVD.


100 points

Participation – Active participation in all class activities. 




Academic Dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension, and expulsion as provided at: 


 H. ADA Statement
Students with disabilities needing academic accommodation should:  (1) register with and provide documentation to the Special Services Office, Kiely 171; (2) bring a letter to the
instructor indicating the need for accommodation and what type.  This should be done
during the first week of class.  For more information about services available to Queens students contact:  Dr. Mirian Detres-Hickey, Special Services Office; 171 Kiely Hall; 718 997-5870 (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.).  E-mail address:  mdetres@yahoo.com or to mirian.detreshicky@qc.cuny.edu

All teacher education programs in New York State undergo periodic reviews by accreditation agencies and the state education department.  For these purposes, samples of students’ work  are made available to those professionals conducting the review.  Student anonymity is 
assured under these circumstances.  If you do not wish to have your work made available for these purposes, please let the professor know before the start of the second class.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.



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Keeley, P., F., Eberle, and J. Tugel. 2007. Uncovering Student Ideas in Science: 25 More Formative Assessment Probes, Volume 2. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press.

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National Research Council (U.S.). (2004). Engaging schools : fostering high school students' motivation to learn. Washington  D.C.: National Academies Press.

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Pellegrino, J., & National Research Council (U.S.). (2001). Knowing what students know : the science and design of educational assessment. Washington  DC: National Academy Press.

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Rising Above the Gathering Storm Two Years Later: Accelerating Progress Toward a Brighter Economic Future. Summary of a Convocation. (n.d.). . Retrieved January 25, 2011, from http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12537

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