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Attendees at EDxEDNYC can choose to attend whatever sessions they want during the day. 



Sidewalk Math


Join us as we use sidewalk chalk to create public displays of math and give back to the local community. Society tells us that you're a "math person" or not. Math has inherent fear and anxiety associated with it. We can combat this by making math accessible, public, and fun through sidewalk math. In this way, math teachers can use their rich knowledge of the subject (and their students) to be advocates and push back against the raging stereotypes surrounding math and math education. We can change the narrative.


Brian Palacios is a National Board Certified Teacher who teaches public school schools students math in the Bronx.



Brian Palacios


Mike Brown

Culture Killing: The Death of Marginalized Cultures in Educational Curriculum

Participants learn to highlight student culture in daily lessons and create culturally empowering moments that students will never forget. Molefe Kete Asante laments the fact that “an African-American or Hispanic person [student]-in order to master the white cultural information-has had to experience the death of his or her own culture”. And on our best day, we as educators are yet unknowing participants in that cultural death as we stand in front of students to teach what we ourselves were once taught…but no more. Through partner activities, independent reflection, and critical group discussion spanning all core subjects, teachers in this session will learn to highlight student culture in daily lessons and create culturally empowering moments that students will never forget.


Mike Brown, a native of New Jersey, studied Psychology at Hampton University and later earned his Master’s in Educational Leadership at Boston College. He has spent the last 18 years fighting for high quality education for racially and economically marginalized students. His desire to positively impact the life trajectories of black and brown students took him to a classroom of 30 as a teacher, a school of 400 as a Principal, and currently a network of 1,900 as the Chief Schools Officer at Freedom Preparatory Academy in Tennessee.

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Amanda Beck

Cultivating Curiosity in the Classroom:
Developing Student-Driven Inquiry


Ever thought "How do I get my high school students to ask bigger, better, more curious questions?" Let's see if we can figure that out! Cultivating Curiosity is a session designed to get teachers thinking outside the box in order to determine the best way to support student learning through developing their own questions. In our test heavy curriculum it can be difficult, but not impossible to give students the freedom to lead their own learning through developing questions and conducting inquiry. Students need to be taught how to ask questions and that it is OK not to find answers. This is especially important in Science but applies to all disciplines. This conversation will consist of discussion about the hows and whys of teaching students to question and brainstorming possible solutions. We will present findings of our PLC on student questioning based on work at Gramercy Arts High School and it will also include a demonstration of the QFT or Question Formulation Technique based on the book "Make Just One Change" by Rothstein and Santana from the Right Question Institute ( We will also discuss how to manage the fear of giving up control in the classroom and making sure that all standards and curriculum is covered.


Amanda Beck is a Special Educator in NYC and a 2020 candidate for MS in Educational Leadership. Her interests lie in improving student engagement through student choice and technology as well as improving professional development for educators. Ms. Beck became a special educator following a career in arts management and opera singing.



All sessions will be posted this week!


Vincent Deas

Activating Activist


Education and the fight for educational equity will be this generation's civil rights movement; how do we leverage teaching as activism. Teaching is a form of activism and to do the work of an activist, just as with the work of a teacher, one must have the historical and racial literacy necessary to understand the people, policies, and practices that have created the current conditions for all marginalized people. In both this country and abroad, we must understand these structures roots to navigate and facilitate the creation and development of equitable systems for all people today. The creation and maintenance of Activating Activist and its continued function will assist teachers in becoming more culturally competent and responsive. More responsive to not only the needs but also more importantly to the realities of their students. By the end of the session, participants will be able to have critical conversations around social consciousness, race, power, privilege, gender, and inequity. Participants will and be able to not only create spaces for, but also facilitate conversations around these topics in a way where marginalized and oppressed identities, voices, and opinions are central. What is activism? Moreover, how do we evoke the social-political consciousness and fervor needed to activate the activist in us all?


My name is Vincent Deas and I am a proud father, an innovator, a thinker, and most importantly, a child of the African Diaspora dedicated to the liberation of Black people. I have had the honor and privilege for the past three years to work as a program coordinator for NYC Men Teach, the nation’s boldest effort to diversify the teaching force.

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Dr. Kia Turner

and Lisa Benson

Conversations in the Group Chat: What Parents Want

Teachers to Know About Creating an Inclusive Classroom


In this session participants will learn how to create inclusive classrooms spaces where students with disabilities are seen and can thrive. Participants will have a round table discussion complete with call to action. Over the course of the workshop they will examine their personal bias, dissect the impact on culture/climate for unseen populations, learn how to combat bias, and walk away with a plan for empowering all students to be 21st century learners.


Dr. Kia Turner is a teacher, professor, author, and advocate from Kansas City, MO. She spent more than a decade in the classroom working with high needs communities, and now is professor of urban education at Park University. She uses her experiences with children and families at risk to better prepare teachers to go into those same classrooms.


Lisa Benson is a substitute teacher, parent, and diversity advocate with more than 20 years of experience in community engagement. After a personal experience with workplace bias, she went on to earn her certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University and uses that knowledge to better advocate for herself, her children, and other marginalized groups.

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Using Game Theory in the Classroom


This workshop aims to explore mathematical games of strategy which can be brought to students in order to make learning math fun and engaging. This session will be geared towards STEM educators, but is also open to any educators with an interest in learning more about the topic. The focus of the session is Game Theory, an interdisciplinary field with applications to mathematics content, economic theory, and the social and political sciences. Our goal is to expose educators to specific games of strategy (Hex, Nim, and Sprouts) which they can explore and ultimately share with their students.


Alexander has been teaching mathematics at Francis Lewis High School for the past eight years. Teaching students is his passion, and he has an insatiable thirst for knowledge. He is a Math for America Master Teacher Fellow, an adjunct at CUNY Queens College, and a doctoral student studying the use of web-based homework in mathematics education.

Violetta Pinkhasova is a mathematics teacher at Francis Lewis High School. She has taught for 7 years. Violetta is currently an MfA Master Teacher Fellow, which is her second fellowship with MfA.

Alexander Lord

Violetta Pinkhasova

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Promoting Conversation in the ESL Classroom


Exploring different ways to get our beginner and intermediate English language learners engaged in meaningful conversations in class. Everyone will have a chance to provide their ideas on how to get their students talking in class. I will then facilitate the conversation around the impact of creating a culture of conversation in class. Finally, we will see how we can turn regular activities into games that can serve to promote conversations in class.


Franklin Santana, ELL Coordinator at Hudson. MA in TESOL & Bilingual, & Linguistic Education. 16 years of teaching experience in NYC.

Franklin Santana

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Irene Yannascoli

Sarah Stahl

The Power of Yes: How Our Planning and
Management Can Welcome All Students


Do you find yourself stuck in battles with students that seem unnecessary? Join our conversation about how creating a policy of saying “yes” to students can help create better buy in, more excitement for class activities, and better attendance. Curious to hear more? Say yes and join us! Educators make choices that often reflect their own values and identity. Saying “yes” and incorporating choice gives us the opportunity to recenter students in the conversation and to meet them within their own power. It sends the message that their values and identities matter and that the curriculum is not a rigid structure imposed on them. Rather, it’s a unique educational experience designed just for them.


Irene Yannascoli teaches English and Humanities at Frank McCourt High School. A native New Yorker, she began her teaching career in prisons and jails in Washington State, and then came home to the city to try her hand at public school. After short stints in the Bronx and at a traveling international school, she found her home at FMHS. She loves the collaboration and encouragement to take risks that she receives there, and she especially loved collaborating with Sarah Stahl. Outside of work, she is a yogi and poet. She and her husband are currently restoring an old home.


Sarah Stahl has been an English teacher for the NYC DOE for 13 years. She is passionate about student-centered and problem based learning, a skill-set she honed during her six years at Frank McCourt High School. During this time she and Irene worked closely together to engage in responsive teaching practices. Constantly looking for a way to deepen her teaching practice and expand her teaching tool kit, Sarah embarked on a new challenge in 2018. For the past two years she has been an English teacher at English Language Learners International Support Preparatory Academy (ELLIS Prep). As a transfer school for an 100% ELL new immigrant population, ELLIS has given Sarah an opportunity to expand her student-centered responsive pedagogy to students who bring immense life experience and resiliency to their education.

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Samantha Black

Rethinking Lesson Design for Today's Social Studies


A shift in mindset for lesson planning and implementation are needed to respond to the instructional and assessment expectations of the Social Studies Framework and new GHGII and US Regents. Using a design thinking process we can consider the "user" from a position of empathy when designing learning opportunities to cognitively engage our students.


Samantha is a district administrator for Social Studies in Farmingdale, NY. Working with teachers and administrators from kindergarten through grade 12, she works actively to support curriculum design and experiential learning for students to develop the skills and practices of the Social Studies relative to content in a developmentally appropriate ways. As a secondary school Social Studies teacher for many years, Samantha recognizes the challenges related to preparing our students for college, career, and civic readiness. As a building and district administrator, she leads professional learning for teachers. Samantha is works actively engaging in responsive leadership and teaching and ensuring that students' needs drive our practice.

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Joy Nolan

Unlearning: Getting Free of Old Ideas and Practices to Create Truly Student-Centered Schools


Mastery-based, Culturally Responsive, Student-Centered Learning: In this session, we will dig into areas of unlearning we need to do in order to move toward a more racially just and student-centered approach to school. We will examine, discuss and rethink constraining beliefs, practices and policies regarding grades and grading, groupings, schedules, standardized tests, student identities, discipline, expectations and educator roles. What ideas and practices are holding back your practice as an educator, your school, your students? Let’s explore and rethink, together.


Joy Nolan is Director and co-founder of Mastery Collaborative (MC), a community of New York City public schools that use competency-based, culturally responsive education shifts. The MC is a program of NYC Central Department of Education's Office of Leadership, within the Division of Teaching and Learning. This community of schools works together to create more responsive, racially just, student-centered schools.



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CJ Reynolds

How Social Media Can Help Your Class

Have the Best Year Ever


As a high school English teacher social media has completely changed the way I am able to connect with my students, their parents, and teachers from around the world. It has also helped to changed the narrative of what is thought of when they think of the students that come our of inner city Philadelphia. In this session, I will share how using sites like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter can help you to build relationships with student’s families and help you to be the best teacher you can be. Whether you are interested in sharing classroom moments, honing your craft, or finding speakers and experiences for your students, this session will help you to make this school year one of the best years ever.


CJ Reynolds teaches high school literature and The History of Hip-Hop in West Philadelphia. He is also the creator of the YouTube channel, Real Rap with Reynolds. A channel aimed at helping new and burned out teachers be the teacher they always wanted to be. As an educator CJ's bare bones teaching philosophy is simple, in the classroom "relationships are king" and the job of a teacher is "always only ever about the students.



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Samantha Kohl  + Avrien Anderson

Get Lit for Culturally Relevant Libraries



As an educator, have you struggled to find books that reflect the identities and lived experiences of your students? Join us on our mission to bring culturally responsive literature to all classrooms. This conversation is rooted entirely in the fact that culturally responsive literature is a matter of educational equity. Our aim with this session is to build community among those who feel a sense of urgency when it comes to building inclusive classroom libraries, and to empower educators to leverage their collective expertise and that of our students and their communities, so that we can create the right solution together.


Samantha is an English teacher turned entrepreneur who knew there had to be a better way to find literature that was relevant to all of her students. Most recently, she taught in Aurora Public Schools, the most diverse district in Colorado, where students come from more than 130 countries and speak more than 160 different languages. Given this context, one of the most pressing challenges she faced was finding books that reflected the rich diversity of her students. As a result, she founded Novela -- a project that aims to help teachers build inclusive classroom libraries. Samantha and her team are dedicated to ensuring all students have access to literature that exposes them to many different narratives and allows them to imagine infinite possibilities for themselves.

Avrien is an English as a New Language (ENL) and U.S. History teacher at Bronx Early College Academy in the South Bronx. Previously, Avrien has taught in central Illinois, and northern Austria.  It is now her great pleasure to serve in a neighborhood that is wonderfully diverse - 31% of the population being foreign-born.  Avrien is dedicated to a teaching ideology that focuses on creating equity and access for students who traditionally have not had access to resources based on their race, gender or socio-economic class.  One of Avrien’s priorities as a teacher is to creating an engaging, culturally relevant, and fun learning environment that helps students not only meet their educational classroom needs, but to build personal responsibility and a sense of community within her classroom.  Avrien works to help students explore their community, while also providing opportunities for students to expand their knowledge of the world around them.  The school she currently works in is 99% Black and Hispanic, but Avrien faces challenges in finding culturally diverse and relevant literature to build her classroom library, which is why she is dedicated to and passionate about the mission of Novela.





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Sugene Kwon + Tara Cox

Debunking the Myth of Colorblindness in the Classroom


Very often children are told, “We don’t see color.” They’re falsely led to be believe that we are all the same. This workshop aims to debunk common misconceptions through case studies, children's literature and media developed around the realities of identity and stereotypes. Participants in this workshop will be presented with strategies designed for elementary students and encouraged to reflect on their own identities in the social context of our diverse society. Curriculum will be discussed and vetted by participants so they can leave the workshop with concrete next steps for launching a social justice campaign in their own classrooms.


Tara Cox is an experienced special educator and founding teacher at the Brooklyn Green School located in NYC's district 16. She has been honored as a NYU Astor Fellow in London and is a 2019 candidate for a Masters in Educational Leadership. She is passionate about teaching and learning and teaches pre service teachers as a part time adjunct at New York University. Her interest lie in empowering student achievement through responsive practices that center equity. Tara identifies anti-racism and social (race, class and gender) equity as the driving ideologies in her pedagogy.


Sugene Kwon is an experienced assistant teacher at P.S. 40 Augustus Saint-Gaudens in Manhattan. She is a certified teacher with an educational degree from NYU. With a passion for education, Sugene is no stranger to presenting at educational conferences. She was chosen to present at the NYU Metro Center Decolonizing Education Conference in 2018. Currently, Sugene is enrolled in the Masters of Education program focused on Curriculum and Teaching at Columbia University. In her program, she is working on an action research project about the power of empathy among children in the classroom.




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Angela Filarakos, Andrew Stephens

There Are No Wrong Questions, Only Inquisitive Minds


Students are naturally curious, inquisitive and eager to learn about the world. The toddler mind is a question-generating factory. If you've ever indulged a preschooler in conversation, you know a seemingly innocuous “Why?” can turn into an interrogation scenario. And yet, research shows as we get older, the tendency to ask questions steadily declines. What happens? Well, in a word: school. This too is supported by research. By the time students are eighteen, they are asking less than half as many questions as the average three-year-old! However well-intentioned our efforts are to prepare our students to be college and career-ready in a 21st-century world, the heart of learning truly stems from childlike curiosity. As educators, it is our duty to foster that curiosity throughout a child’s academic life: when inquiry stops, learning stops. So how do we as educators support students to keep asking questions? One answer could be QFT.


My name is Angela Filarakos. I've been at Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance for over five years now where I teach 9th and 10th grade English. There's something special about Bedford Stuyvesant's community and I l love being a part of it. Aside from teaching I have a passion for theater and art. I try to incorporate that as much as possible in our classroom culture, our lessons. I've had to honor and good fortune to win Bed- Stuy's Best award two years ago, which was truly amazing as I didn't think I'd win an award, but thanks to my Bed- Stuy community and family I was recognized with other teachers and principals in our district. Education is so empowering that I hope I at least model that to my students so that they keep questioning, and owning their thinking while cultivating their own voice.


My name is Andrew Stephens, but my students call me Mr. A. For the last three years, I've been a science teacher at Brooklyn Academy of Global Finance in Bed- Stuy, Brooklyn where I've taught conservation and animal science at Queens Zoo and English in Costa Rica and (remotely) in China and Taiwan. I believe education is essential to self empowerment and takes many forms that transcend the boundaries of our traditional paradigm.

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Jesse Colantuono + Phil Linder

Designing Curriculum for Diverse Learners:

Revealing the What, How, and Why of the Process


Our goal is to help teachers improve awareness of decisions they make for the students in front of them. Curriculum provides guidance for some but it becomes a mechanism of control for others and there are times we need both or neither. It is important to recognize these instances in our teaching and respond appropriately. Reveal the Process attempts to address the what, how, and why of curriculum design and execution throughout a year or a career. Teachers will reflect on their planning process to identify what has pushed and pulled them to make decisions about curriculum models. Within those curriculum models they will explore how they are addressing the things they believe need to be in curriculum. They will explore their voice to address why certain content, activities, and experiences need to be in curriculum for the students and where the opportunities are.


Phil is in his 9th year as a teacher and began working at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies in 2013. He is a cofounder of EDxEDNYC. Phil is the husband of a beautiful wife and has an indisputably handsome dog. 

Jesse is a Social Studies educator who has taught for fifteen years in the New York City Department of Education. As a curriculum writer of the Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Grade editions of Passport to Social Studies, as well as the upcoming Civics for All curriculum he has unique insight into the planning process. He believes that a competent educator can change the lives of a student and hopes to support teachers meet the needs within their classroom.



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Striving for Inclusivity and Equity in the

Upper Elementary Math Classroom


Interested in uncovering the inequities that exist in your mathematics classroom? Not sure how to create a rigorous mathematics tasks that engage all learners and lead to universal success? Are you teaching mathematics in the upper elementary grades and struggling to reach all the learners in your classroom? If you answer yes to any of these questions, we welcome you to our session “Striving for Inclusivity and Equity in the Upper Elementary Math Classroom".


Aquilla Raiford-Smith has been a teacher with the New York City Department of Education for over 15 years. Her current primary role is as a 4th and 5th grade math and science teacher at The Brooklyn Brownstone School. She is also the District Master Teacher for Community School District 16.


Amanda Richards is a founding teacher of the Brooklyn Brownstone School. Over the past 15 years Amanda has served as a special education teacher in various settings, Kindergarten through 5th grade. She is currently the school’s Special Education Liaison and Peer Collaborative teacher.

Aquilla Raiford-Smith

Amanda Richards

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Teaching with Passion!


Let's talk about how we bring our passions to our pedagogy in order to engage our students with the materials we love. How can we get students to love the things we love? This conversation will center around using what you love to maximize student engagement into your curriculum. Teachers will brainstorm activities they can integrate into their units that utilize their passions in order to engage students.


Mike Ponella is an educator with 10 years experience as both a Special Educator and English Educator. He works at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies. 

Mike Ponella

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Josh Gottesmann

Understanding Autism:

A Guide for High School Teachers


A conversation about the academic and behavior strategies for teaching teenagers with autism in a general education high school. In the 1940s when the term Asperger’s Syndrome was first introduced as a ‘mild’ form of autism, approximately 1-2 children per 10,000 had autism. In the most recent report from the Center of Disease Control 1 in 68 school-aged children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with more and more children getting diagnosed, it’s imperative to have conversations for teaching students with ASD in a general education high school. Specifically, the discussions will center around the experiences of a NYC educator’s successful implementations of academic and behavior management strategies over the past 10 years in NYC high schools. The conversation will be engaging and will feature anecdotes, lesson recordings, and demonstrations. The facilitator will also discuss how ASD students should transition into college life and the job market during the final year of high school.


Joshua Gottesmann is a tenth-year New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching special education at 751M in the Lower East Side section of Manhattan. Gottesmann grew up in Brooklyn and completed his schooling through the New York City public school system. Gottesmann joined the New York City Teaching Fellows program shortly after graduating from Baruch College where he earned a B.A. in history and earned his M.S. in education from Pace University through the NYCTF program. Gottesmann is a two-time recipient of the TeachNet Grant for demonstrating effective technology integration across the curriculum with a special emphasis on early childhood and environmental projects.

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Project-Based Learning for Social Change


Bringing authentic, project-based learning into the classroom can help students explore issues within their own communities while also increasing engagement and ownership of learning. In this session we will look at a real project carried out by 12th graders this year. We will explore the importance of small group mentoring classes, how to leverage technology for authentic research, and imagine what our own project based classrooms can look like in the future.


Adam Markowitz is an English teacher currently in his 8th year of teaching. He is passionate about project-based learning, and can't wait to discuss with you!

Adam Markowitz

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Karoline Kaon

Classroom Economy Empowering Students


Humans need incentives to do things and why not do that with cash-money? (BTW All materials for this system are FREE). If you want to see your students maximize their learning and improve their behavior, classroom economy is a must-have tool. Join our conversation on how emulating society in the classroom can keep students motivated and feel like they control their learning. But like all societies, there are flaws and I am here share my experience but more importantly facilitate a conversation about how we can tailor the system to our own classrooms. This is an opportunity for educators to also engage in a mini “show and tell” about the systems you use in the classroom to incentivize our students. This conversation will have examples from elementary grades but 7 - 12 teachers are encouraged to join us. Bring your ideas, electronic devices, and a smile!


Karoline is a general education teacher at PSMS 161. With a background in TESOL, most of her teaching experience has been abroad. Karoline went on a Fulbright in Taiwan and hopes to teach in a Chinese dual language classroom. Karoline loves cooking with her husband. She is also a new mom looking forward to cooking with her newborn son, Wylie! 



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Innovative Non-Traditional Fitness Games for All Learners


Learn several innovative non-traditional, cooperative learning games that promote skill development, tactical awareness, accuracy, and strategic understanding while also developing problem solving, teamwork, and social emotional learning . Also experience several student-tested, teacher-approved instant activities that get students moving and actively engaged quickly, regardless of skill level. Practice using quick assessment tools to monitor student learning and give feedback to students. This session is sure to get you and your students actively engaged.   


Vanessa DiServio is a physical education teacher at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies. 

Vanessa DiServio

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Carmela Sivio


Literacy is a fundamental pillar by which people navigate the world. Often times, our students do not see how literacy is a crucial component of the sciences. The session will be a true depiction of how to embed literacy in a science classroom, that goes beyond having students simply provide textual evidence to support a claim. The session will focus around student led, inquiry questions, specifically around gender and reproductive hormones. We will navigate different sources, discuss and write an argument. So, come prepared to be a student for the day!


Carmela Sivio is a Peer Collaborative Teacher who strives to support students via the cultivation of rigorous instruction, both within her own classroom and the classrooms of her peers. As teaching is her second career, Carmela has found that her big WHY is driven by the need to "disrupt" the norms of a traditional science classroom; to push the intellectual boundaries of her students so that they can navigate the world, using advocacy and perspective to be the change makers they were born to be!


ROOM 333

What Do You Get When You Cross

Living Environment with Literacy?

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