OACE References

  • Mr. Siu Hei Szeto, former principal of Region 2

  • Ms. Jennifer Boone, former principal of Region 3

  • Ms. Nicola Grant, assistant principal of Region 2

  • Ms. Doreen Peart, assistant principal of Region 3

  • Ms. Leonor Aviles, case manager of Region 2

  • Mr. Arnold Arrozal, 2016-17 Region 2 P.S. 81 on-site supervisor

  • Mrs. Marcia Pitt, 2015-16 Region 2 P.S. 81 on-site supervisor

  • Mr. Frantz Lucius, I.S. 227/P.S. 149 on-site supervisor (I have worked for Mr. Lucius as a sub many times at the two sites.)

  • I do not want to publish anyone’s email address online. All can be found in the DOE directory, except for Ms. Boone (former Region 3 principal). I can provide hers or Ms. Peart (current Region 3 assistant principal) can provide it.

    Email: dfenner@schools.nyc.gov

    Special Skills

    Special Skills

    • Proficient in Microsoft Suite;

    • Proficient in Web Design, including HTML, CSS, WordPress and Joomla CMS;

    • Proficient in Photoshop;

    • Knowledge of DOE networking;

  • Proficient Smart Boards and Smart Notebook software;

  • Proficient in Google Chrome Books, Google Classroom and Google Domains;

    • Fluent Spanish: reading, writing, speaking.

    Email: dfenner@schools.nyc.gov


    • BEST Plus: rated “recommended” (highest);

    • Attendance always submitted on time (100%)

    • Post-test Tracker: Regularly updated and submitted (I created Region 2’s post test tracker, which fills out post test levels automatically for teachers.);

    • For two years, I have backed up P.S. 81’s laptops’ BEST Plus data and submitted the backups for the entire site

    • Post-test rates and Educational gains always far exceed OACE expectations.

    Email: dfenner@schools.nyc.gov

    Technology In The Classroom


    My www.PS81OACE.com website gives students a chance to practice outside of class, on a computer or on a Smart phone (because the majority of students listen on their phone, only three dictation activities are loaded at a time. This decreases page-loading speeds. Students can access prior dictation activities using the “Next” button at the bottom of the page.

    Frequency: the website is been updated before every class session, making the entire class (handouts, vocabulary, audio recordings) accessible anywhere. Students have sent me classwork from China, Colombia and Ecuador. They also send it to me if they are absent;


    The iPad allows for unlimited picture vocabulary as well as quick access to past vocabulary: current photo library stored on iPad contains exactly 560 photos, photos are searchable within seconds (demonstration available)

    Frequency: 100% of class sessions;


    The AppleTV allows me to project wirelessly from the iPad as I move around the classroom.

    Frequency: 100% of class sessions;

    Classroom Bluetooth speaker

    The Bluetooth speaker allows the class to hear the dictation activities clearly from anywhere in the classroom. I can also control if from anywhere in the classroom.

    Frequency: 100% of class sessions.

    Over 450 Audio Recordings at Dual Speeds

    I have recorded teachers at my day school for the past ten years. Teachers record the same selection at two different speeds, allowing students the chance to challenge themselves. Since I create all of these recordings, they are mine to post online (which is why I originally began doing it, instead of using audio CDs that come with books).

    Frequency: 100% of class sessions.

    Homework Checks Via Text Messaging

    Checking homework through text messages allows the class to complete work at home and text it to me. This saves valuable class time.

    Frequency: Majority of class sessions.

    Email: dfenner@schools.nyc.gov

    Lesson Planning

    • Only my own personally-created worksheets are used in class;

    • Just two pages are distributed during class. Theses two pages are sufficient for a 3 or 4 hour class;

    • 11-13 activities during each class maintains a high level of interest in the class;

    • Varied modes of differentiated dictation (both the student-choice worksheets and audio are differentiated) are built into each lesson. Some students use their earphones during class because they have chosen the faster version of the audio (pictured above);

    • I have over 450 audio recordings at dual speeds, which give students the chance to challenge themselves with the faster version. These recordings are mine, so I can post them online for the students legally (which is why I began doing my own recordings ten years ago).

    • The beginning 20 minutes of class time are used as a vocabulary and dictation review of past lessons, re-enforcing what the students have already learned (vocabulary is also re-enforced every Wednesday during Bingo*;

    • Change of emphasis on several activities, based on May 2016 class survey. See related: Preparation for Following School Year Based on May 2016 Anonymous Class Surveys;

    • I ask students to buy a 3-ring binder. Each class, I distribute 2 pages with the holes already punched. I like the students to be organized.

    • I give students a class label (pictured above) with the class days/hours, my name and contact info, and the class website (described in this post). I encourage students to contact me if they will be late or absent. They also use the contact info to submit homework. See Homework & Texting section toward the bottom of this post. The school safety agents have always accepted this label as ID to enter the school (as long as the label has the current school year listed).

    Email: dfenner@schools.nyc.gov

    Preparation for Following School Year: May 2016 Online Survey

    In May 2016, I conducted three anonymous online surveys in order to help me prepare for the 2016-17 school year.

    Survey 1

    How often do you go to the class website?

    A lot! πŸ˜€πŸ‘ 39%
    Only during class: 50%
    Not so much: 😭 11%

    Do you like doing the listening activity two times every class?

    Yes: 100%
    No: 0%

    Which class activity do you like best?

    Option 1: Listening Activity: 72%
    Option 2: Ask A Classmate: 11%
    Option 3: Picture Description: 17%

    Survey 2

    Which class activity do you like best?

    Option 1: Ask A Classmate: 18%
    Option 2: Picture Description: 24%
    Option 3: Puzzles: 59%

    What do you want more practice in?

    Option 1: Vocabulary: 35%
    Option 2: Grammar: 24%
    Option 3: Writing: 41%

    Do you ever miss class because you don’t feel like coming?

    Yes: 6%
    Sometimes: 24%
    Never: 71%

    Would you want a 15-minute break* during class?

    Yes: 18%
    No: 82%

    Survey 3

    Which class activity do you like best?

    Option 1: The Weather: 0%
    Option 2: Comprehension from listening: 93%
    Option 3: Bingo: 7%

    Which class activity do you like best?

    Option 1: Bingo: 0%
    Option 2: Puzzles: 53%
    Option 3: Listening Activity: 47%

    The question: Which class activity do you like best? shows up in all three surveys, but with different choices. I’m trying to compare activities to see in order which is the most popular, second, third…

    The surveys give me a clearer picture of student interests in the activities and in the class overall.

    Email: dfenner@schools.nyc.gov

    NYC DOE Bio

    Main Position

    • P.S. 88Q: ESL Teacher: 1994-1998

    • District 24: Project Smart Staff Developer: 1999-2000

    • P.S. 88Q: Technology Staff Developer: 2000-2004

    • P.S. 88Q: ESL Teacher/Tech. Staff Dev.: 2000-2010

    • P.S. 88Q: ESL Teacher/Data Specialist: 2010-2013

    • P.S. 88Q: Full-time Data Specialist: 2013-Present

    Secondary Position

    • OACE: P.S. 81Q: September 2007-Present

  • OACE: QALC Teacher Support: Summer 2016

  • OACE: i.S. 318K: September 2008-June 2009 (I was unable to continue in this position because OACE changed P.S. 81’s class schedule from two nights to three nights.

  • Email: dfenner@schools.nyc.gov

    Observation by Principal Szeto, Region 2: Jan 4, 2016

    Unscheduled observation conducted by Mr. Szeto, Region 2 principal


    When I entered your class at 7:45 PM, you were leading a choral and individual repetition of the key vocabulary words and idioms from your lesson on crime prevention..


    You develop classroom procedures and routines (e.g. group work, think-pair-share, proximity) that promoted and maintained a climate that is conducive to great learning. You moved around the room offering assistance to students in need during the conversation activity. This is a good approach because it builds rapport and enables you to lend support to students on an individual basis..

    You are commended for integrating technology in an ESL setting (e.g. Spotcrime and Podcasts). This practice can promote cooperative group work and impart English skills while also providing technology skills essential for 21st century learners. More importantly, technology can increase the percentage of time students stay on task during independent practice.

    Every student comes into your class with different personal interests, experiences and abilities. You are commended to provide multiple entry points into your lesson (e.g. parking garage, puzzles, cue cards, conversation activities).


    Students should consistently respond in complete sentences to gain exposure in speaking with sentence complexity in mind. Discussion will develop sustained answers when you discourage one-word responses during discussion. It is better to challenge to explain and defend their answers as well as to respond to the answers of their peers in order to promote critical thinking and engagement.

    Email: dfenner@schools.nyc.gov

    Class Activities

    CAL.org (Center for Applied Linguistics) is the creator of the BEST Plus and BEST Literacy exams. All of my class activities are citedΒ by CAL as important for adult English language learners to advance:

    Grammar mini lesson

    We spend five minutes a class reviewing grammatical structures. We focus one just structure over several classes.

    CAL: Grammar instruction should be integrated with reading instruction, with learners’ attention directed to syntactic structures in reading texts. (My class practices these in the dictation activities.)


    Five words and phrases per class (beginning level) and six words and phrases per class (intermediate and advanced levels) are presented toward the beginning of the class. Students will see these word and phrases later on during the dictation activities and tin he puzzles. The words will appear for several weeks during Bingo and likely again during other dictation activities. Also, from 5:40 until 6 pm as students enter, we practice the vocabulary and dictation from a previous class, in order to keep the words we have learned fresh in our heads.

    CAL: Depth of knowledge refers to the pronunciation, spelling, and various meanings of the word; the contexts; the frequency with which a word is used; how it combines with other words.


    There are two versions of the dictation: a slower version, which we do together in class, and a faster version, which allows students to challenge themselves. They listen on their phones from the website.

    I let the students know that hearing the word, writing the word, seeing the word will help them understand people better. When we finish the dictation activity, we read it out loud together (choral readings), so we practice saying the words. Then we listen again. Students are encouraged to listen for the parts they found most difficult.

    I encourage them to listen to the faster version at home, on the website. Since we’ve practiced it so much in class, they should be able to understand the faster version.

    Beginner learners may not know all the words in the dictation activity. I tell them that if they just come to class every day, they will begin to understand more and more, but I encourage them to look up words at home on non-class days.

    Students say that the dictation activities are the most valuable part of the class.

    CAL: Learners complete cloze worksheet, inserting words that have been deleted from the dialogue. And: “Within assessment, across language” correlations … Indicate considerable transfer.

    CAL: Language Experience Approach (LEA). The teacher records text that learners generate from a shared picture or event, drawing out vocabulary that is relevant to the learners. Other activities based on the learner-generated text follow, such as vocabulary development, choral reading, or dictation.

    Dictation & Comprehension

    After we finish the dictation activity, students answer three comprehension questions about the selection.

    CAL: What kinds of listening tasks are appropriate? Answering: the listener answers questions about the text.


    Students complete a crossword puzzle, a jumble puzzle and a word search, based on the current vocabulary.

    CAL: Teachers can provide learners with multiple opportunities to use new vocabulary in interactive situations, using games such as Bingo.

    Class Survey

    Every Tuesday during the first three months of class, students survey their classmates. There are 10 distinct questions so there is minimal overlap of surveys. They record their classmates’ responses in different categories and later report the results to the entire class.

    CAL: Class surveys are fun and effective as ice-breaking activities, especially at the beginning of a course. They also let learners know that class will be more than sitting at a desk and copying the teacher’s words. It is important to do something with the survey information.

    Ask A Classmate

    Students are given the name of a classmate, selected randomly. Students have to ask this

    classmate a series of questions and then record the responses in the third person.

    CAL: Interactive tasks seem to be most successful when they require learners to exchange information. Learners ask questions, listen to answers, and record information.


    We play Vocabulary Bingo every Wednesday. I show a picture representing a vocabulary word used in a phrase or sentence. The students have to find the word on their Bingo card. Students win prizes that I buy at the $1 section at Target.

    CAL: Teachers can provide learners with multiple opportunities to use new vocabulary in interactive situations, using games such as Bingo.


    Each lesson is posted online. Students can review the vocabulary in preparation for class. According to website analytics, six students take advantage of this each week.
    Students can listen to dictation outside of class. I suggest their commute as a good place to practice. As the majority of the students participate in the slower version of the dictation, I recommend they later listen to the faster version, since they now have a familiarity with the text.
    Students can practice grammar with the online quizzes.

    CAL: Teachers should create opportunities for learners to continue their language learning outside of class.

    Homework and Texting

    Students who do work at home (activity sheets or make ups for missed classes) take a picture of their work with their phone and then text me their work. I review it and respond with feedback.

    CAL: Teachers should create opportunities for learners to continue their language learning outside of class.


    Several activities include an opportunity for the students to evaluate themselves. The evaluation is simple: πŸ˜€πŸ‘ – 😐 – πŸ˜– I tell them that they can draw their faces on any activity, in any class.

    I also tell the students that, throughout the school year, they can look back at their evaluations and see their progress. If students see the value of the class, they’re more likely to continue attending.

    CAL: Teachers can help learners identify reflect on their progress and achievements through checklists to track their progress.

    Resource documents found at. www.cal.org:

    English Language & Literacy Learning: Research to Practice

    Activities to Promote Interaction & Communication

    Lesson Planning

    Email: dfenner@schools.nyc.gov