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Reviewing for Analysis
by Stephanie Capalbo

Stephanie Capalbo is working toward National Board Certification as an Early Childhood Generalist.

November 3, 2003

The task of learning how to analyze student work is a major focus of each entry in the National Board process. The goal for that analysis is to connect the lesson to evidence in student learning. Doing that allows me to examine the effectiveness of the lesson, possible changes for future implementation of the lesson, and the effects the lesson has on student learning.

First, I practiced the art of analyzing student work -- a process that would be helpful to any teacher trying to better his or her teaching practices -- by applying the following frameworks to students' responses: patterns in student responses, student misconceptions, and the most striking feature of each response. Then, I looked at the insights I gleaned from the activity, and at the feedback I might provide to enhance student learning.

I finally decided to analyze a recent math lesson for submission with my entry. The activity involved using interlocking snap cubes to create patterns. With the framework provided, I was able to take the students' responses to the prompt of "create a pattern" and gain an understanding of each student's knowledge of patterning. In addition, I was able to find and correct the most common student misconceptions of how to create patterns, and to extend the learning to enable students to design more difficult patterns after they had mastered simple patterns.

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Meet Stephanie Capalbo

Stephanie Capalbo received a bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in elementary education from Rhode Island College in May 1995. She became certified in early childhood education in August 1997. For the past six years, Stephanie has been teaching kindergarten at Bradford Elementary School in Westerly, Rhode Island. In the fall of 2000, the kindergarten at Bradford became the first and only kindergarten in the district to receive accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). In 2003, Stephanie was named Westerly's Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year.

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