Robyn Cromwell, Teaching is touching one life at a time.

Robyn Cromwell, Teaching is touching one life at a time.

This page will be used for sharing information about teaching and all of the components included.

21/11/2020

I spend a lot of time reflecting on my teaching. I was having a conversation with a coworker one day this week where we were discussing our lives and how we grew up. My coworker asked me if I thought my life influenced me to become a special education teacher. I really hadn't thought much about it, but I suppose it makes sense. I was never in special education, but I can relate to some of these students. I know what it is like to not have the "cool" clothes or the latest toys. I know what it is like to not always have the best food or the ability to have or do all of the fun things other kids got to do. I spent a lot of time thinking about that conversation after that day and I realized that even with all the obstacles in my way, I never gave up trying to be a better person than I was the day before. I really do not know what made me want to teach special education teacher, but I do love my job and try very hard to be the best teacher my students have. I hope all of my students, past and present, know how much I am cheering them on with everything they do in life. My students may be in special education, but I hope that they do not let that stop them from reaching for their dreams.

21/11/2020

For one of my graduate classes, I had to create an assignment incorporating technology into my classroom. I chose to use Google Classroom for my special education students in my room. The first step was introducing it to my students and teaching them how to get on to classroom and navigate their way around. One day my lesson included a video link, the students clicked on the link and one student thought it was magic. This students' enthusiasm was enlightening. Something that I took for granted, a child showed me that it truly is magical how you can click on a link and basically have the world at your fingertips. My students love being able to use classroom, even though we are all in the same room. One student said it makes them feel like they are just like everyone else. Sometimes it is the little things that make the biggest impact.

21/11/2020

Assistive technologies are something that every teacher can use in their classrooms. Many people think that assistive technologies are only for special education students and that is far from the truth. Sometimes hearing devices are used to aid those who have hearing difficulties, sometimes speech to text is used for those who struggle with writing or typing. I know of students who were not in special education, but still used these assistive technologies. I also know of students who were in special education that used iPads to communicate their basic needs. Assistive technologies can be used anywhere and in any classroom. In my classroom, we use speech to text and text to speech quite regularly. Text to speech allows my students to listen to the text instead of reading it which helps those who comprehend better when hearing the information. This allows the student to listen to the classroom text and still participate with their class.

13/11/2020

At one point in my teaching, I had a student complain about having to write a summary about something they had read. I asked them what they would like to do instead, and they told me "something fun". I said, "ok" do something fun, but it still has to contain the same components of the written summary. That student came back the next day and WOW! I was amazed, that student created a slideshow with animations, transitions, music and words. The summary was superb and I had tears. I told the student how proud I was that they created something with so much detail and was able to summarized the book perfectly. This showed me that you never know what a student can do until you let them do it.

13/11/2020

Using social media in classrooms has become the norm for a lot of classrooms around the world. Being a special education teacher, I am not able to use social media to share things that my students do or goals they have reached. If I could share these things, I would make sure all of the parents of my students know how proud of their child I am each and every day. I would share the moments when a student gets high scores on an assessment, or when something finally makes sense. My favorite moments are when students realize that they CAN do something that they thought (or were told) that they couldn't.

13/11/2020

This post is all about gaming... or game type websites that promote learning. The first one that came to mind is prodigy. I know there are teachers and students everywhere that love this website. The students can play a type of video game while still learning math. Another website that promotes learning through play is abcya. This website has multiple games in many different academic areas. Kids are learning by playing games and they do not see it as learning, they just like playing the games.

13/11/2020

Virtual K-12 schools are becoming more and more popular. I see ads for these schools on tv all the time and know some families that use them for their children. Technology usage is allowing more schools to utilize online learning and many colleges are using it as well. I attended college completely online in my own home. Even the typical k-12 schools are using technology more and more. This year, teachers have been thrown into using technology because schools have had no choice but to go virtual. This means creating virtual classrooms, lessons, learning how to still meet the needs of all learners through different platforms. Many teachers have had to learn how to use Canvas, Google Classroom, Moodle, etc. It has definitely been a challenge, but teachers are making it work. I think virtual schools are great for some families. I think of missionaries, or those who travel a lot for business. Having your children attend online schools could open up the possibility of your children traveling with you.

13/11/2020

Our school takes plagiarism very seriously. There is a section in the handbook that spells out the consequences for plagiarism. It is discussed in nearly all English classes even as low as 6th grade.

13/11/2020

easycbm.com
This is a website that can be used to assess students in math, reading fluency or reading comprehension. Students can take the assessments online or they can be printed out. The scores are then entered and the website provides individual reports that show how the student is doing over time.

10/11/2020

One thing I have used to help students share their creativity is by having students use Google Slides to create a slideshow presentation. This can be done for any class and the students really seem to enjoy it.

10/11/2020

Communication with parents is huge for me. As a parent, I know how important it is to know what is going on with your child in school. I use a number of different ways to communicate with my parents. I always ask my parents if they prefer email or phone calls. I email them on occasion just to provide an update. Sometimes it is to share happy news, sometimes not so happy news, and sometimes it is just to make them aware of something that is going on or will be going on. I have also spoken to a lot of my parents on the phone and sent things through the mail. Some parents even have my cell phone number, because it is the only way to reach them. I have set up conversation logs using Google Docs with some of my parents so they can get a daily update on homework, behaviors, etc.

10/11/2020

I teach in a special education classroom and some of my students struggle with their computers. This year, I am using Google Classroom more than in the past, so I have had to teach my students how to use this tool, how to access the classwork and how to turn it in when completed. This is not easy for some of my students, but I feel it will be beneficial in the long run.

10/11/2020

Looking at my attitude for using technology in classrooms has been positive for the most part, depending on what is being used and how it is being used. I think student computer usage is great, but needs to be monitored very carefully. Students are using computers in school at very young ages and if we are not teaching them how to correctly use the machine we are asking for trouble. Students could end up posting information online that could lead to trouble or students could end up on a bad website. As teachers, we are using technology in our classrooms everyday. I use an elmo and projector and student computers every single day and for different subjects. I also use resources that I get from different places on the internet. One thing I am always careful of is the websites I use for resources. I choose websites that are safe, reliable, and have research based materials.

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