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Emily Caldarelli bio

Emily Caldarelli (RI '16)

Teacher

Paul Cuffee Lower School
Providence, RI

At the time of the Award, Emily Caldarelli was:

Teacher
Paul Cuffee Lower School
Providence, RI


Biographical Information

In Emily Caldarelli's fourth-grade classroom at Paul Cuffee Lower School, a charter public school in Providence, students work together calmly and are engaged and clear about their objectives. They regularly provide one another feedback and compliments in daily morning and closing meetings. Caldarelli, called "a master facilitator" by colleagues, offers predictable routines, creates smooth and seamless transitions between activities, and uses non-verbal signals to which all students respond quickly, maximizing the class’s learning time.

Caldarelli uses a variety of instructional strategies to help students take control of their learning. She asks them to verbalize the purpose of each activity, models her thinking out loud, provides sufficient time for students to think and respond, marks student contributions on anchor charts, and encourages students to pursue independent learning opportunities. Caldarelli prioritizes the Common Core State Standards and aligns her lesson design directly to them, including structured classroom talk, reading and writing in-depth about content, and learning how to ask questions that probe higher-order thinking. She integrates assessment into her instruction by asking students to monitor their own understanding through group-authored feedback sheets. Caldarelli also collaborates with specialists for project-based learning. A project on the branches of government, for example, required students to build something, write a research paper, and present their research to the class. The project engaged the whole class; even one extremely shy student became engrossed in her subject (presidential pets) and was excited to share her discoveries with her peers.

A fixture in the Paul Cuffee School community, Caldarelli is the fourth-grade team leader and serves on the School Improvement Team, the Climate and Culture Committee, and the Response to Intervention (RTI) team. She led two exciting initiatives at the school: the implementation of the Guiding Education in Math and Science Network (GEMS-Net) science curriculum, which involves collaboration with scientists and educators at the University of Rhode Island, and the incorporation of the EngageNY math curriculum aligned to the Common Core. Anecdotal results are showing improvement in students' scientific writing, research, and mathematical thinking. A natural collaborator, Caldarelli has led professional development on social and emotional learning as well as sharing strategies for responding to behaviors in the classroom. She is seen as the liaison between teachers and administrators, and takes on the important role of mentoring new teachers.

Caldarelli imparts her communication skills to her students, teaching them to advocate for themselves and voice their opinions. For example, she created the Glasses Club in which students who wear glasses eat lunch together and celebrate looking different. Caldarelli visits students and their families at home, writes parents postcards, emails, and letters, and makes phone calls throughout the year. The class has a non-negotiable homework policy, but if students do not complete their work while at home, Caldarelli makes time for it during the day, stressing responsibility, flexibility and follow-through. One thing she never does, though, is keep kids in at recess—she knows how important wiggle time is for young learners. Her values extend beyond the school walls, too. She took initiative in the school's Empty Bowl fundraiser, a service learning committee project that gathers food for a local food bank.  

Caldarelli, who lives in Providence, earned a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and psychology from the University of Miami in 2004.

Press release: Fourth-Grade Teacher Emily Caldarelli Named 2016-17 Milken Educator Award Recipient


Related Connections

Article: The Milken Educator Award, One Year Later

Article: The 2017 Milken Educator Awards Forum: Reactions

Article: Spotlight: Emily Caldarelli (RI '16)

Educator Quote:

"[Professional development] takes a lot of time and dedication. It's important to plan purposeful lessons, spend time reflecting, and..." (read more)


Emily Caldarelli Newsletters

Ohio's 64th Milken Educator, plus Spotlight on RI, CT
Jan 27, 2017

New Milken Educators in RI, CT, NJ
Oct 21, 2016


Emily Caldarelli In The News

5Q: Emily Caldarelli
Providence News Business  |  Jan 06 , 2017  |  Providence, RI

The Rhode Show: Local Teacher Wins National Award
WPRI-TV  |  CBS  |  Oct 27 , 2016  |  Providence, RI

Teacher at Cuffee Charter School Wins Milken Award
Providence Journal  |  Oct 18 , 2016  |  Providence, RI

RI Fourth Grade Teacher Surprised with Prestigious Award
WPRI-TV  |  CBS/FOX  |  Oct 18 , 2016  |  Providence, RI

Providence School Teacher Wins Milken Educator Award
WJAR-TV  |  NBC  |  Oct 18 , 2016  |  Providence, RI

Providence Educator Receives National Award, $25K Cash Prize
Providence Business News  |  Oct 18 , 2016  |  Providence, RI


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