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Jason Clark
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Featured Teacher:  Amy Furletti

Amy Furletti
Math Teacher
Cicero North Syracuse High School
North Syracuse Central School District

Amy Furletti is a math teacher in the North Syracuse Central School District.  She teaches grades 10 through 12 and has been in the district for 12 years, 3 at North Syracuse Junior High and 9 at Cicero North Syracuse High School.  She has 16 years of teaching experience overall.

What are some of the innovative ways you are integrating technology into your curriculum?

Amy doesn’t just teach math; she teaches students to love to learn. She continually seeks ways to improve her teaching and meet the ever changing needs of her students. Today’s students are constantly plugged in, yet schools tend to be a place where students need to power down. Amy is interested in finding creative ways to integrate technology and turn students on to math. This past year, Amy attended training offered through the CNYRIC's Instructional Technology department, where she learned about the the "Flipped Classroom" concept to transform her teaching.  The Flipped Classroom isn’t a specific methodology or checklist. Rather, its main idea is to redirect attention from the teacher to the learner and the learning process. Through trial and error, she gained immeasurable knowledge and skills and found dramatic changes in her students' performance.  Amy created instructional videos using Screencast-o-matic and the SMART Recorder on her SMART Board to demonstrate mathematical concepts.  She posted her videos on Edmodo, a free social learning platform.  Students were able to view the videos at home for homework, freeing up class time for deeper learning and differentiated instruction.  In the event that students did not have Internet access at home, Amy provided DVDs of her videos for students to view offline.  In class, Amy fosters a collaborative culture using the ti-nspire graphing calculator and the Navigator system. This allows her to show students' calculator screens to the whole class and show multiple representations of a single probelm.
How have students benefitted from your technology integration initiatives?
Since she implemented the Flipped Classroom model, Amy saw a marked improvement on her students' Regents exam scores. On the Trigonometry Regents, 1/3 of her honors students scored 95 or better, with 5 students achieving scores of 100.  She also noticed an increase in student-to-student interaction as the Flipped Classroom model allowed for more time in class.  Students improved their communication skills, learned and used higher-order thinking skills, and built more "math confidence."  Further, Amy was able to provide more meaningful feedback during 1:1 time with students, build stronger relationships with them, and place math content into a more relevant context.  She found that her students took more ownership of their own learning, assessed what they had and had not learned, developed a plan for when and how they would learn, and were empowered with the choice to learn. 

Be sure to check out this letter to the editor from Amy's student, Bri Stahrr, to get a first-hand account of the impact of Amy's efforts on student learning.

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