I am a full-time teacher in the REACH program, which is a self-contained special education program that currently has six students. The REACH program is an intensive, specialized program that is focused on increasing student learning, engagement and behavior using a multi-sensory, multi-faceted approach. The focus of the classroom is reading and mathematics along with social skills and self-advocacy.
My position is unique and I am very fortunate because I have been teaching the same group of students for three years now.
This allows me to know and understand my students' needs very well. I am able to see their academic, behavior and social gains and they have made so much progress! I have taken a group of multi-age, multi-grade students and fostered a classroom culture that encourages acceptance, fosters independence, develops friendships and creates a love for learning.
My students love to learn with hands-on approaches, using manipulatives to demonstrate understanding. They love to use high-interest readers to learn about topics. I use an approach of hands-on learning as much as possible in my classroom.
The students in my classroom use Chromebooks that are provided by my school daily. However, to properly engage with the Chromebooks we need headphones to wear. I have students who like to chew on headphone cords and can be destructive. I have personally purchased several pairs of headphones throughout the school year. These headphones are virtually indestructible because they are made out of a flexible plastic. The headphones also do not adjust. The adjusting feature on headphones gets broken a lot in schools so it will be great for that feature to be eliminated.
These technology items will increase my students' participation and engagement in the classroom.
My students also need a wireless mouse. It is difficult to get learners to use the keypad on the Chromebooks. It has too much room for error and accidentally clicking around. For students who are still developing fine motor skills, an actual mouse is key.
One thing we will begin studying is how to use a debit card. Students will use their Chromebooks to engage in financial literacy projects to learn the process of a debit card because many think it is a "magic money card.” Having technology tools to study financial literacy will be beneficial for the REACH Room.
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