We are proud to introduce our twenty-ninth Sunday Spotlight, featuring Angela Bazzo who is an 8th Grade Math and Science Teacher in Ohio. Enter Angela’s classroom you’ll be greeted by a giant Pikachu and fun Pokemon themed decorations.. Angela loves how digital assessment has transformed her classroom and reduced the time she would otherwise need to spend grading. And she loves helping students learn new things! We hope you enjoy the interview with Angela!
8th Grade Math & Science Teacher
North Royalton Middle School
North Royalton, Ohio
7 years working in education
“I’m working really hard with my kids testing-wise. Every time they take a test I feel like they are very motivated to do well as a class. That’s never happened to me before. I feel like they are very concerned about how their class did compared to other classes and I feel like this year I’m doing a much better job at supporting them as a team, and not a class.”
Get to know Angela Bazzo
What do you love about working in education? What motivates you?
I like the fact that it’s different every day. The kids have different personalities and teaching is amusing and different all day.
I like that I am able to teach new things to people. I like that kids leave learning something new every day. I hope that they leave having learned something!
Why did you become a teacher?
I became a teacher because I always liked working with people. I grew up taking dance classes and I grew up wanting to be a dance teacher because I loved teaching other kids new dance steps. When thinking about what career I could have that involved helping other people I just thought teaching would be great.
Then when I went to high school I had a math teacher in 9th grade that was awesome. She was so caring and had something about her that made me think “Wow- I want to do what she does.”
What is your “Edulastic story”?
I came across Edulastic at the OMLA (Ohio Middle Level Association) conference. I was sitting at the standards-based session and they were talking about how they pull questions from Edulastic. When they mentioned it, I decided to check it out and thought “OMG this is awesome.”
So I brought it back to my TBT for science. We had just started a new curriculum last year for standards-based learning. I showed Edulastic and all the AIR-based type questions to my TBT. We started using it for science, maybe in January of last year.
And then my math colleague and I wanted to find a way to get our math questions online. I brought up Edulastic and we got our assessments online and so far all of our summative assessments have been online and it’s been working really well.
Describe your favorite Edulastic “aha” moment.
For me, as of right now, today, I feel like I am loving every minute of it. After the first test we there was frustration getting used to certain parts of the program. Now it’s the third quarter of the year and now that I can whip up a test quickly, to me, persevering through it I love it and I think people are crazy that they have to sit and grade papers for 6.5 hours and I love that I don’t have to do that anymore!
I would say that my ah-ha moment was the 4th time we used it. My colleague and I were able to really understand how it worked and had figured it out!
What are your teaching/learning goals this year?
I’ve been really trying to focus on differentiation this year. That’s been the main focus- what I can do for high achievers, low achievers and average kids. For example yesterday, I had four stations but split the students into groups/stations based on how they were doing.
Sum up your teaching philosophy!
Everyone can learn- it just takes a different path to take them to where they need to be.
Tips for new Edulastic users:
Persevere. Just keep trying. It takes time to get it perfected. Every time I’ve used it, it gets easier and easier. Once you get past those first two assignments- especially if it’s your own personal assignments, keep doing it. It helps when you have people around you that support you doing it. It’s nice when I have team members that are also working with Edulastic so you can catch up on how things are going or get new ideas.
Favorite Edulastic question type?
Graphing- because of math. Also Drag and Drop
Favorite snack while using Edulastic
Peanut Butter Pretzels
Coffee or Tea?
Coffee (One cup!)
Spring or Fall?
I am an all-time huge fan of Harry Potter. Currently reading the Red Queen Series and I like that too.
Best tactic for getting the class quiet?
Gimme 5 – hold up hand and say 5 4 3 2 1…
Must- have classroom Decor:
I have Pikachu everywhere! My room is Pokemon themed.
Greatest accomplishment in the classroom this past year:
I’m working really hard with my kids testing-wise. Every time they take a test I feel like they are very motivated to do well as a class. That’s never happened to me before. I feel like they are very concerned about how their class did compared to other classes and I feel like this year I’m doing a much better job at supporting them as a team, and not a class.
Favorite time of the school year and why:
The end of the first quarter. (October)
Kindest compliment you have received from a student or teacher?
I coach cheerleading at the High School and I saw a few kids and they told me “I miss you so much. You were so fun and we don’t do anything cool.” I like the fact that they say “We miss you so much” To me it makes it seems like I did something.
Funniest student moment?
Today- I took somebody’s phone during class time and I was about to give it back to her at the end of class and then there was a notification that someone else in class had added her on Snapchat during class time too.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I like to go to zumba class and cook or just hang out, watch the bachelor, and coach cheerleading.
What was your favorite job?
My favorite job growing up was being a zoo camp counselor.