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Featured Teacher: November 2014
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Mr. Johnsteven Melfi
Math Teacher
Onondaga Central Jr./Sr. High School
Onondaga Central School District


Mr. Johnsteven Melfi is a teacher at Onondaga Central Jr./Sr. High School in the Onondaga Central School District (OCS). He teaches Algebra II/Trigonometry with honors and Geometry with honors. His teaching career began 18 years ago at Bishop Grimes, and he has been at OCS for the past 16 years.

Follow Mr. Melfi on Twitter: @jsm0525

What are some of the innovative ways Mr. Melfi integrates technology into his curriculum?
This is Mr. Melfi's second year flipping his classroom. He records all of his lessons using present.me. At the end of each video, students reply to a Google Form to help Mr. Melfi assess the students' level of understanding. This practice allows him to see how students are doing before each class and provides a starting point for classroom instruction. Mr. Melfi participated in the CNYRIC's online professional development class, Leveraging Technology for the Common Core Classroom. As a part of the course, he learned about Padlet, a collaborative tool for sharing sticky notes, files, and links. Now, after students watch his instructional videos, they share some HOT ("Higher Order Thinking")questions via Padlet, which allows everyone to write down their questions in one spot.  He also began using Google Classroom this year, which allows him to share his instructional videos, check for understanding forms, as well as post and collect assignments. According to Mr. Melfi, "The best thing about Google Classroom is that when students have questions they can post and other students or myself can answer." Mr. Melfi is a trailblazer at OCS Jr./Sr. High.

How have students benefitted from Mr. Melfi's technology integration initiatives?
The impact on Mr. Melfi's students has been demonstrated through improved test scores and a deeper understanding of mathematics concepts. On the June 2014 Regents, Mr. Melfi's Algebra 2/Trig students received the followong results:
  • 88% passed with a 65 or better
  • 53% passed with a 85 or better
  • 44% passed with a 90 or better
  • 19% passed with a 95 or better
His students have never earned scores like this before; to have more than half of his population score an 85 or better is just amazing. According to Mr. Melfi, most high school math teachers will agree that the Algebra 2/Trig Regents is one of the most difficult Regents Exams. Further, the flipped classroom and the use of this technology allows for students to receive a more individualized math education because his face-to-face class time is being used effectively. This results in students understanding the content at a higher and deeper level. In addition, it challenges students to learn how to take charge of their learning and manage their time, becoming resourceful learners.

Read more about Mr. Melfi's Flipped Classroom at Syracuse.com.

 
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