Congratulations to Melissa Ranslow Beland, who’s the 8th of ten teachers to win a Spirit SD Learning Center!
Beland’s creative entry took a “day in the life” style approach of a Spirit boombox, describing the diversity of her students needs as she’d work through a typical day in the classroom.
“How would I use a Spirit Boombox Learning Center in my classroom? I would use it for more than just a learning center, I would use it as a reinforcement technique, a behavioral component and a communication device.
“I’d use the Spirit as a reinforcement technique, a behavioral component and a communication device.”
As a special education teacher, we are often overlooked by the administration in needing new technology. They will often give us an old cassette player (Walkman), with a pair of broken headphones and tell us that will have to do for now. Well, my day encompasses meeting the needs of so many different students, both special education and general education that we are always looking for ways to incorporate more technology into the lessons. I start my day with in an inclusion classroom with my autism and LD students. This system, being portable, would allow not only my autism students to participate in morning work (stories on tape, followed by simple picture sequencing activities), it would allow my LD students (many of whom have ADHD) to block out the surroundings and focus on the story that is being read to them. They are often so distracted by who is coming in the room that they do not fully focus on their work, which makes it difficult for them to complete a strong reading response.
After my short time in the room, I move to my smaller self-contained room for the remainder of the day. While teaching math, my autism students will earn various choice time activities and many choose music. This would allow me to let them listen to many of the educational songs we have, while they are receiving their rewards for positive behavior. I would also use it to help block out the sounds of those students not making the best choices and disrupting the class. This would hopefully alleviate some the of the “mimicing” behavior that often takes place during these times. I would also use it to work on Fluency using Read Naturally, as well as have students record themselves and listen for self-corrections and fluency.
There are so many more uses for the system, including sharing the resource with my co-teachers in the general education classroom. Having kindergarten, first and second grade students with disabilities is always a rewarding, although sometimes difficult, task. This new technology would help make this task a little easier as well as show the students they can earn positive rewards and work with their peers at the same time.”
Congratulations and thank you Melissa again for participating in the 10 Spirit SD Classroom Learning Centers in 10 Days contest!