Loredana Barbato: Low entry points for learning but high ceilings for success

Year: 2018 – Province: Ontario

Certificate of Achievement Recipient

Loredana Barbato

St. Anne Catholic School
1000 The Rapids Parkway
Sarnia, ON N7S 6K3

School telephone: 519-542-2710
School website: http://www.st-clair.net/sas/


Subjects and grades taught: English, Math, Science, Language Arts, Religion, Social Studies, French and Health, Grade 2

Lori Barbato began her career in a small school for young people who had had encounters with the justice system. She has gone on to apply the lessons she learned there—about engaging students for success, building relationships and providing consistency—in her Grade 2 classroom.

Teaching approach

Lori provides a wide range of opportunities for all students to be actively engaged in hands-on learning using tasks and tools. These activities allow for low-floor entry points and a high ceiling for student success.

In the Classroom

  • Immerses students in projects using the latest technology and incorporating the arts and reading: recently students studied the water cycle and then created a scientifically accurate display of what they had learned out of plasticine; other children gave polished presentations using Google Slides
  • Takes the time to learn how to use digital technologies and then incorporates them into classroom learning: students develop coding skills and then demonstrate them to others, including, recently, school board trustees
  • Leads school social justice club: members collected household goods for the school priest to take to Nigeria and funds for their sister school in Kenya; they also study issues such as homelessness and child labour and invite speakers on these topics to the school, and participate in WE Day in Toronto
  • Celebrates families' home cultures and their children's milestones: a multicultural feast is an annual occurrence in the classroom, while preparations for students' First Communion receive special attention, including a school-wide event organized by Lori and her Grade 2 colleagues

Outstanding achievements

  • Collaborated with fellow educators on a website full of task templates for all strands of math in grades 1–5; was key to presenting this work to the school board and at a provincial conference; her participation brought technology resources and math manipulatives to the school
  • Led a workshop for board teachers featuring demonstrations of coding activities; participants could see coding in action, making it easier for them to take these activities into their classrooms
  • Helped develop teacher leadership learning program with a focus on math, and helped promote, organize and present learning sessions for parents on math and language arts

Rave reviews

"If you were to ask St. Anne students their favourite thing about Ms. Barbato, many would say her amazing personality. She is positive, kind, energetic and always looking for new opportunities to enrich our student body."