Meriden Public Schools

I'm Charged Classrooms

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Meet our I'm Charged! Educators

Congratulations to our newest I'm Charged! Educators Lauren Bernacchia, Francesca Macias, Lauren St. Jernquist, John Barry Elementary School; Carla Victoria Wallace, Benjamin Franklin Elementary School; Jade Palmer, Thomas Hooker Elementary School; Ed Tartaglia,Lincoln Middle School; Jillian Thorpe, Washington Middle School; Laurie Struble, Maloney High School; Katie Doyle, Platt High School

Elementary

Mariah Abatan
Hanover
Grade 2

Mariah provides opportunities for students to deepen their understanding outside of the classroom through digital field trips. Through these virtual visits, her students have experienced chocolate making in Hershey, PA, learned about Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta, GA and visited the campuses of Kent State and Georgia State Universities, Mrs. Abatan’s alma maters.

Nicole Abercrombie
Roger Sherman
MLT

Nicole engages in ongoing professional development by attending conferences including the UCONN iPad Conference, where she presented in 2012 and 2013 about using iPads and models of blended learning in an elementary classroom. Nicole has also presented at the National Catholic Educators Association (NCEA) and the Connecticut Educators Computer Association (CECA).

Ashley Bacote
Israel Putnam
Grade 4

Ashley has leveraged technology to communicate with both students and parents.  Using Remind, Google Classroom and MobyMax, she maintains an open dialog and sends important notices to parents.  Parents are able to quickly communicate any concerns, comments or questions.  Students collaborate with classmates and earn badges to foster motivation.

Amy Baumgartner
John Barry
Kindergarten

Amy leverages technology in a blended learning model to teach the students at a pace that is effective.  Google classroom activities involve working on differentiated word work activities based upon the students' independent levels. Students work in groups and collaborate when they need assistance during independent and group work and enter first grade having mastered many technology skills.

Lauren Bernacchia
John Barry
Grade 5

Lauren has created a classroom space that allows students to work in a variety of groupings (skill, preference, level).  At all times, students are able to move with a purpose in a respectful, non-disruptive manor that allows them to remain engaged and comfortable while they are learning.  Students are provided flexible seating option which promote a high level of focus throughout all instructional areas.

Adam Bryers
Roger Sherman
Grade 4

Adam contributed to the MPS learning community by developing a shared Google Classroom for all Grade 4 teachers. Here, teachers share resources, ideas, projects, assessments, and modified assignments that connect to the curriculum.

Evelyn Ciaburri
Israel Putnam
Grade 4

Evelyn is a level 2 Google Certified Educator. She creates bedtime stories to engage students and families, build a love reading and improve comprehension.  She records a different staff member or student club reading their favorite picture book, and then posts questions for parents to ask children about the story.

Carol Cotter
Nathan Hale
Grade 2

When planning for weekly lessons. Carol frequently searches for new online resources. She has found additional information text selections and used virtual tours of Plymouth Plantation and other places to enrich units of study. She is always looking for brief video clips to illustrate something we’ve read about in class.

Carolyn Domagala
Thomas Hooker
Grade 4

Carolyn uses classroom space creatively to create engaging learning environments allowing for student mobility.  Separate centers - reading, writing, small group work area, rug area, and library - allow students the opportunity to explore topics both independently and collaboratively.  Flexible desk arrangements optimize the work area.  

Tara Drenzek
Nathan Hale
Grade 4

Tara assesses student progress using digital tools for timely feedback and to inform instruction using Google Forms. Results are graphically shared with the class. Add-ons such as Flubaroo and Awesome Screenshot allow her to share actionable feedback with students.

Blair Gawel
Israel Putnam
Grade 3

Blair uses myON to  assign cross-curricular projects. For example, students studying weather in science also complete a project on the water cycle on myON. For students achieving at a higher rate or faster pace, Blair assigns enrichment projects. Students can work alone or with a partner to choose a topic, research it, and create a presentation in any format they wish. Once they are complete, they share their research with the class.

Lynda Gelineau
Casimir Pulaski
Grade 2

Lynda effectively uses multiple grouping strategies including five Guided Reading Groups and Choice Activity Groups that include: STEAM Problem Solving, Listening to Reading, Read with a Friend, Creative writing, word work, ST Math, Moby Max, and partnered numeracy centers.

Veronica Germe
John Barry
Grade 1

Veronica created a program called "Tech Buddies" with her colleagues.  Tech Buddies pairs grade 5 classrooms with grade 1 classrooms to support technology use at all grade levels.  Buddies create and present projects together while learning new skills.

Francesca Macias
John Barry
Grade 5

Francesca has partnered with fellow I'm Charged teacher Lauren St. Jernquist to implement Tech Buddies, where older students teach younger students how to use technology. Teachers co-plan lessons tied to the grade level curriculum and review lesson objectives with student “teachers”. A station rotation model maximizes learning time and provides opportunities for 1:1 support. In addition to improving technology skills, the Tech Buddies program has had a positive impact on fostering  a collaborative school culture.

Amy Manware
Thomas Hooker
MLT

Amy uses technology to provide meaningful learning experiences for students by allowing them to create student-led projects with complete flexibility over the topic, pace and path of their learning.  With Mrs. Manware as a facilitator student “techsperts” have developed their own Google Gigglers Club to support other students and staff within the school.

Dawn Martorelli
Roger Sherman
Grade 4

In addition to email, Dawn leverages technology to communicate with students and parents through Class Dojo to text parents and to communicate with students their points earned within the class. She also uses Remind to text parents any announcements from both the school and the classroom.

Tereasa Kirschner
John Barry
Kindergarten

Tereasa  created a computer choice board which allows students choice and flexibility of what and how they want to do their digital word work during literacy center time. Each month pictures of programs are put on the board for students to choose from. Some include Google Classroom word work assignments, Recap, myON, and Imagine Learning. Students are also able to work on the iPad using Osmo which works on word work and literacy skills.

Jade Palmer
Thomas Hooker
Grade 1

Jade has worked with her colleagues to implement student-led workshops for parents.  Students create slide shows to highlight personal successes in the classroom.  Parents and families are invited to visit the classroom during the school day and see first-hand how students are using technology to improve learning.

Jaclyn Radtke
Israel Putnam
Grade 4

Jaclyn's students are seated in groups and are grouped both homogeneously and heterogeneously. Students may work in pairs and choose a spot in the classroom, whether that be at a work table, in scoop chairs, bean bags, or on the floor. This allows them to sit in a space in which they are comfortable and can work to the best of their ability.  Students use digital content resources on a daily basis which can be assessed from both school and home.  This also allows her to review assignments, make comments, and adjust the assignment if needed. 

Krista Scalo
Benjamin Franklin
MLT

Krista utilizes multiple grouping strategies based on student choice and data. Choice boards guide students to complete required work, but provide opportunities to explore areas of interest and flexibility in how to demonstrate learning. Working with her colleagues, Krista also uses student tech buddies to support student learning through collaboration.

Christopher Smith
Thomas Hooker
Grade 5

Chris effectively integrates digital content in the classroom including Kahoot, Edmodo, MysterySkype, Arcademics, MobyMax, Imagine Learning and myON.  myON’s vast library has increased engagement during intervention times and encouraged more reading from home.

Lauren St. Jernquist
John Barry
Grade 1

Lauren has partnered with fellow I'm Charged teacher Francesca Macias to implement Tech Buddies, where older students teach younger students how to use technology. Teachers co-plan lessons tied to the grade level curriculum and review lesson objectives with student “teachers”. A station rotation model maximizes learning time and provides opportunities for 1:1 support. In addition to improving technology skills, the Tech Buddies program has had a positive impact on fostering  a collaborative school culture.

Carla Victoria Wallace
Benjamin Franklin
Grade 2

Carla leverages digital tools such as myON to promote reading and research skills.  Students create nonfiction books, posters and informational articles on topics ranging from animals and the environment to famous women in history.  Carla has shared her own experience as a published author to engage students in the publishing process and promote reading and writing.

Secondary

Randall Dehnel
World Languages
Maloney High School

In Randy's Spanish classes, digital content is created by both the students and teacher. His flipped classroom tutorial videos and digital content in Moodle provides students with anytime, anywhere access. Students produce videos and create websites to showcase what they are learning in class.

Carrie DePetris
Lincoln Middle School
Science, Grade 8

Carrie allows students to demonstrate mastery in multiple ways by using student menus to introduce new learning, as well as review previous learning. Tasks are broken down by learning target, and students are able to demonstrate their learning with text or paper-based tasks, online tasks or hand-on activities. Students complete tasks at their own pace, but are encouraged to work to their ability. Students also design their own labs based on the curricular content.

Kathleen Doyle
Platt High School
Spanish

Katie uses the learning management system Moodle to provide students opportunities for anytime, anywhere learning.  Through the use of forums students access authentic cultural content that relate to their own experiences.  She has also used Google Expedition virtual reality experiences to immerse students in the cultures they are studying.

Lianne Gerety
Lincoln Middle School
ELA Writing, Grade 6

Lianne has provides opportunities for students to deepen their understanding outside of the classroom by taking several virtual field trips, webquests, blogging with other classes within the district, exploring the world using Google World Wonders, and uses Google Classroom providing students access to assignments from home.

Joe Laskowski
Platt High School
Mathematics

Joe has implemented a “flipped mastery” model of instruction with his Algebra 1 classes. His self-created videos available anytime/anywhere on Moodle, support students as they progress through content at their own pace and allow him to provide personalized support.

Aileen Parciasepe
Lincoln Middle School
Science, Grade 6

 Aileen provides opportunities for students to deepen their understanding outside of the classroom through virtual field trips including "Celebrate Space Week with Lockheed Martin Scientists," which relates the unit on gravitational forces, earth, moon and sun systems. She's created webquests and hyperdocs to engage students in meaningful learning experiences, as well as to allow students the opportunity to deepen their understanding about phenomenon and concepts which would be difficult to access by normal means, or due to other extraneous variables.

Dorri Mendes
Washington Middle School
Music

Dorri uses Google Classroom for assignments and communication. She posts music and rehearsal tracks with at home practice assignments.  Students record themselves (audio only) practicing with Screencastify and post the audio file to Google Classroom. To demonstrate the process for students, she created her own "how-to" video using Screencastify. 

Tara O’Neill
Lincoln Middle School
Science, Grade 7

Tara works to improve not only her own professional practice but also supports colleagues.  Tara has presented several district-wide professional development workshops, is a member of the district-wide Technology Committee and participated in a panel discussion at Meriden’s 2015 Blended Learning Summit, which was attended by 35 districts from throughout the northeast.

Kelly Roman
Platt High School
English

Kelly assesses student progress using digital tools for timely feedback through the use of online assessments including Moodle quizzes, Google Forms, Socrative and Quizlet.  The data is used to both shape the direction of the current class, as well as future classes and assignments.

Lynn Siebert
Lincoln Middle School
Science/Math
Grade 6

To provide students the opportunity to deepen their understanding outside of the classroom, Lynn has created dozens of videos that provide step by step explanations of difficult concepts and engage the students through humor and guest appearances by the family dog.

Laurie Struble
Maloney High School
Biology

Laurie has developed Moodle courses and uses grouping to differentiate assignments.  Through Moodle's workshop activity, students provide peer to peer feedback across instructional groups.  Students also earn badges for submitting work in a timely manner.

Ed Tartaglia
Lincoln Middle School
Writing, Grade 7

Ed leverages project-based learning to allow students to demonstrate mastery in multiple ways.  Students have created videos, advertisements, newspaper front pages, informative posters, essays and graphic organizers.  Additionally, he has used NoRedInk for daily "do nows" that are personalized for the student while reinforcing curricular content.

Mark Thornton
Platt High School
Social Studies

Mark frequently asks his students to deepen their understanding outside of the classroom. Students use Twitter to share resources, engage in discussion and ask questions.  The 2016 Presidential Campaign has sparked several Twitter Chats.  #democalypsePHS #mpsdebates #phsgopo

Jillian Thorpe
Lincoln Middle School
Social Studies
Grade 6

Jillian utilizes Google Expedition virtual reality experiences to immerse students in geographical features around the world.  Without leaving the classroom students can climb Mount Everest, explore the pyramids in Egypt and even dive in the Great Barrier Reef.