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Lights! Action! Camera!
by Nicole Chiarello

Nicole Chiarello is working toward National Board Certification as an Early Childhood through Young Adulthood Exceptional Needs Specialist.

November 3, 2003

Well, I finally got the camera set up in my room. (I was supposed to be able to use the camera every Thursday, but with four other people in the building going for their Boards, that's been tough.) I made sure I spoke with my class before the camera arrived. I explained that I was trying to become a better teacher, and that part of that involved sending videotaped lessons to some people so they could watch me teach.

The students had many questions about the camera when it arrived. Is it on? How do we know if it's on? Why are you videotaping us again? I chose to not turn the video camera on that day. I found the children were somewhat interested in it in the beginning, but by the end of the day, they didn't seem to remember the camera was there.

That night I went home and reread the videotaping section of the National Boards binder. The section gives such hints for videotaping as setting up the camera away from windows, checking sound quality with external microphones, and putting the tripod to the side of the classroom to get the best view. The guidelines also recommend watching the first lesson that you videotape without the sound turned on -- looking for things like your body language and your student's body language during the lesson.

The next time I have the camera in my room, I'll turn it on and check the quality of the videotaping.

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Meet Nicole Chiarello

Nicole Chiarello received her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University at Buffalo, of the State University of New York, in May 1994 and her master's degree in special education, learning and behavior disorders from Buffalo State College in December 1996. For the remainder of the 1996-1997 academic year, Nicole worked as an inclusion teacher at Niagara-Wheatfield Senior High School in Sanborn, N.Y. For the past six years, she has taught a district-wide special education program for three-to-five students with emotional and behavioral concerns at Bradford Elementary School in Westerly, Rhode Island. Nicole was named Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year in 2000. She is currently serving on a district team focusing on social, emotional, and behavioral concerns in the classroom.

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