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Sticking to the Guidelines
by Stephanie Capalbo

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

January 26, 2004

As I've been writing my entry papers, I've developed a system for making the most out of what I'm writing, while adhering to the rubric of what the board panel is looking for. I plan the entry with the guideline questions from my "Early Childhood Generalist" guide. Each section for each entry not only provides suggested page lengths, but also several questions to help you describe, react to, and reflect upon in your writing. That helps keep me focused. Each entry also targets several standards. I've highlighted, outlined, and written down key phrases for each of the standards. Although time consuming, that helped me internalize what each standard addressed. When I sit down to write, I have the standards, questions, and ideas readily available, so I'm sure to insert them into each entry. Hopefully, as the entries are scored, the reviewers will see evidence that each question has been answered and that the standards' language has been embedded in the body of each entry. Having the standards phrases written out also has helped me identify evidence of those standards in my daily practice.

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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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