Laryssa Kramarchuk

Chemistry Teacher
Frank McCourt High School

My Teaching Philosophy

Teaching is not a one sided profession where the teacher lectures and the students meticulously take notes. I like to think of my classroom as a place where both the teacher and the students  form a community of learners.  My classroom is built on the idea of “noble failures.” I frequently remind my students  that science is an exploratory process based on trial and error. It is our role, as teachers, to provide them with the skills and practices they need to conduct a scientific investigation. Accordingly, if we want students to think scientifically we need to teach them how to ask questions, define problems, and plan and carry out investigations. Many students forget that the content we know today was made possible because other scientists questioned the world around them.

Building Block Spotlight: Problem Solving

At Frank McCourt High School our students learn how to solve real world problems using the project based learning model. Being a school that believes in real world learning we challenge our students to use a multidisciplinary approach to solving problems. In this particular course, Integrated Math and Science 10, our focus is on chemistry and algebra2/trig/geometry. Our ultimate goal is to develop our students’ critical thinking skills and use the knowledge they learn in their classes and apply it to their lives.

What I'm Working on

  • Developing my students’ critical thinking skills 
  • Aligning skills learned in 9th grade and 10th grade to enable  students to build on their previous understanding, rather than re-learning skills
  • creating opportunities for students to problem solve and apply their knowledge to real world problems using the project based learning model
  • Improving students’ ability to ask question, define problems, planout investigations, and execute.
  • Figuring out the best strategies for working with students with varying levels of 21st century skills mastery and creating authentic assessments that shows their progress