Archive for the 'stephanie nicoletti' Category

Assessments, Assessments, Assessments!

parker-big-red-duofoldBy Stephanie Nicoletti

Assessment is a major component of teaching and learning but in order for the assessment to be productive in terms of student achievement, the teacher needs to think about the purpose of the assessment. A summative assessment is considered assessment of learning and is given to identify what students have learned. In an interdisciplinary approach the assessment could be performance based, or in more traditional settings, a general end of unit test.

Education has shifted over the years to assessment for learning and assessment as learning. These types of assessments have increased student test scores but challenged teacher practices over the years. Assessment for learning allows the teacher to screen the specific skills students need and determine what the next steps should be. Assessment as learning puts the students in charge of their learning through self-reflection and self-assessment. When teachers think about the reason for their assessments, student learning is much more successful.

All three assessment types can be crucial to student achievement when done correctly. After reading our text and other outside sources, what I am finding is that it does not seem that one type of assessment process, whether it be as, of, or for learning, is better than the other, but what the teacher does after or during the assessment process is most important. After research and reflection, these three types of assessments can work off one another to provide ample student success.

 

Let’s Talk Reading Logs

books-933333_960_720By Stephanie Nicoletti

The 2017-2018 school year has begun, and I have had fresh, smiling, first grade faces in my class. My students have been eager and ready to learn– and their excitement is contagious! One of my favorite things about the beginning of the school year is watching how excited the kids are to explore books. It is always one of my goals to ensure that their love of reading continues.

In first grade reading at home is the most important “homework” students can have. This year we are sending home reading logs to make sure students are reading at home. My only worry is that the logs will start to make students hate reading-or are they too young to see reading logs this way? I know when I was in high school (and even now) I would never fill out a log to track my reading or reflect on it, but I still love reading. I don’t want student’s love for reading to be diminished at a young age.

Maybe the discussion should not be around holding students accountable at home, but how do we create reading environments that allow our students to be passionate readers and learners, even at a young age.

A Connected Summer

relaxing-1680432_1280By Stephanie Nicoletti

As I sit here on my patio, I am thinking, “what in the world should I write about this week– it is summer and I haven’t seen students in almost two months!” Then it dawns on me: no, I have not seen my students in almost two months, but I have connected with them this summer. In the beginning months of summer my little buddy who could not quite leave school on the last day contacted me through his mother’s email (she told me that last day that might happen). Also, our school uses the student portfolio app “Seesaw.” I decided that we could make it a “Seesaw Summer.” I will send parents any work or fun activities they may want to do throughout the summer, and they can upload it to the app. Another great way to stay connected to students over the summer!

Just this past week it was my birthday. While I was getting many birthday wishes from various friends and family members, I happened to open my school email and see an email from a parent. The email was wishing me a happy birthday and was signed from her daughter, whom I had this past year. And finally, during the summer one of my colleagues was calling me, I answered and she said “Miss Nicoletti? Are you busy? I am here with someone VERY special that would just love to talk to you.” Again, she ran into another one of my students at the pool who was dying to call her first grade teacher.

Now I am not writing this post to just tell these stories, but to again stress that while we may be relaxing and enjoying ourselves over the summer and various break, our students are thinking of us, and some are even counting down the days to come back to school. I am only going into my fourth year of teaching, but I have never been in contact with so many of my students before in one summer. I am so excited to see them shine in second grade. I am forever grateful for the relationships I built with them in first grade that allowed them to feel comfortable enough to connect with me over the summer. If you want to do something “perfect” next school year, make it building relationships.

The Last Day of School

1000w_q95By Stephanie Nicoletti

On Friday there was a certain buzz going around the school, the kids came in with happy faces and even teachers were grinning ear to ear; it was the last day of school. During our closing circle on the last day I told my students that I enjoyed every minute with them and absolutely loved watching them grow over the school year.

Each year I always get sad during our last closing circle, your students become a part of you after spending a year together. This year I even had a little one who had tears streaming from his face when the bell rang, he was so upset he did not want to leave the classroom. This made me sad of course, but it also made me realize that all of the work teachers do over the summer to prepare for the following school year does not go unnoticed.

I was making a list this morning of all of the things I wanted to accomplish this summer before the school year starts. The list is long and daunting, but then I remember the tears that were in my classroom on the last day and remind myself that everything teachers do, no matter how daunting it may seem, is always for the students. While this summer will be fun, relaxing and refreshing for students and teachers alike, do not forget to remember your students who are itching to come back to school!

Technology: Your Secret Weapon at Work!

images (2)By Stephanie Nicoletti

Last month I explained how when used correctly, technology can be your secret weapon. It can, and I am hoping to shed some light on that! I will explain how I used technology as my secret weapon in our first grade classroom.

Writer’s Workshop can be a tough time for young writers since their writing skills are still developing. When we started our “All About Writing” unit I wanted to make this as engaging as possible for my students, because in years past they have really struggled with this unit. Students were paired up on iPads and created nonfiction books on the app, BookCreator. Students selected topics they know a lot about, wrote down at least three details, and then began to create their All About Books. The students had to appropriately use various text features, correct details, and photos that were researched. This was very engaging for first-graders, crossed literacy and writing skills in one project, and finally gave students a sense of ownership for their learning. This is just one way I used technology as my secret weapon in our first grade classroom, with this mindset the learning opportunities are endless for our students!

Check out our published ebooks below!

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuAej1ssHL8x989YwttaTsmbWG6VVK303

 

Technology in the Classroom: Your Secret Weapon!

snBy Stephanie Nicoletti

I recently just finished a class on educational technology. We discussed, learned, and even implemented different ways to use technology in the classroom. Through these discussions and reflection among staff, many often see educational technology as “just one more thing to do.” I am here to argue that it should not be that stressful to implement technology into the classroom, try to change your mindset and see technology as your secret weapon! One of my favorite quotes states, “Technology does not work when the technology is basically just worksheets on steroids.”  You won’t use technology for every, single, lesson, but if you can incotporate it, it will provide:

  • More engagement with students
  • Efficency in your classroom
  • New experiences students could not get anywhere else

I am not here to say technology is all students should be on at school, but when they create when using technology the opportunities are endless! Next month I will show off some of the things my first graders did with iPads that support this very argument and maybe give you some inspiration. Let’s just say writer’s workshop got much more engaging!

Feedback as a Learning Experience

feedbackBy Stephanie Nicoletti

As teachers we are always trying to teach our students that receiving feedback is a learning process. We work to make feedback meaningful for students and therefore we expect the feedback we receive as educators to be meaningful as well.

We tell students that every piece of feedback is to help them further their learning and that they should take this feedback as something to grow from. Educator receive feedback continuously, whether through students, co-teachers, and evaluators. In just a short time teaching I have found that we are often the most hard on ourselves and when we receive feedback, we do not use it as a growing tool like we tell our students. A lot of times educators shut down when they receive feedback that is maybe not exactly what they hoped or wanted to hear.

With that being said, one of my goals for 2017 and the rest of this school year especially, is to take feedback and learn from it. Don’t let feedback “freak you out” use it as a tool to learn, grow, and better your practices, I know I will!


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