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Finding a Usable Video
by Stephanie Capalbo

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

January 19, 2004

My classroom lately has seen a flurry of science and math lessons -- with an ever-present video camera running to capture all the highs and lows. Believe me, we had both! When the time came to watch all the videos, I found I had several from which to choose. It took me a while, however, to actually put the videotapes into the VCR. I was so worried that I wouldn't have an appropriate 15-minute clip for my entry that avoidance seemed like the best solution. Several of my colleagues had taped me during various lessons, so that too was a factor. Would they have captured what they needed? Would the sound quality be good? When the time came, I pushed play and hoped for the best. One colleague was so intrigued by the lesson and what the students were manipulating that she never taped any heads. It was 40 minutes of headless conversationgreat conversations -- just headless.

Let's just say that seeing oneself on tape is a sobering experience. When I was done critiquing myself and my facial expressions and my tone of voice, I actually got down to the business of looking for the evidence I needed -- on a tape with heads. Amazingly, that was easier than I thought. I actually found two videos for my science and math entry from which to choose. What a relief. Now begins the fun of analyzing the selected video!

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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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