21 EMULOV • 01 EUSSI • 9102 LIRPAEducation
Pgs. 3-5 Movement in Leanring
Pg. 6 Resources
Pg. 7 About the Author: Aubrey Kidd
Pgs. 8-9 Interview: Corine Pugmire
Pgs. 11-13 Are Educational Applications Beneficial to a Child's
Pg. 14 Resources
Pg. 15 About the Author: Madi Thomas
Pg. 16 Interview: Angela Johansen
Pgs. 18-20 Inclusion for All
Pg. 21 Resources.
Pg. 22 About the Author: Brooke Anderton
Pgs. 23-24 Interview: Ali Whisnant
Pgs. 26-27 Technology in Assisting with Special Needs
Pg. 28 Resources
Pg. 29 About the Author: Eve Heri
Pgs. 30-31 Interview: Cynthia Harrell
Pgs. 33-35 The Daily Five
Pg. 36 Resources
Pg. 37 About the Author: Ellen Panek
Pgs. 38-40 Interview: Julia Austin-Prime
Pgs. 42-44 Smart Boards in the Classroom
Pg. 45 Resources
Pg. 46 About the Author: Ashley Heins
Pgs. 47-48 Interview: Nicole Frushour
MOVEMENT IN On another note, teachers can take
control of some opportunities that arise
LEARNING in the classroom to give students a
break from their diligence during their
by Aubrey Kidd school day without the assistance of
others to keep the students under
In a classroom where young students have control. Though having these activities
been sitting in their seats and their teacher has often may be overwhelming, having
been lecturing up on the board for over thirty them every once in a while, is better
minutes, behavior tends to strike up and than not having them at all.
attention spans begin to fade. Movement is
not only important but essential in the Giving students breaks or
classroom environment for children and opportunities to move around, like
people of all ages. “…studies show that children playing an educational game that has to
who are more active exhibit better focus, faster do with the lesson, will give them a
cognitive processing, and more successful chance to loosen up and distress. This
memory retention than kids who spend the will teach them that it’s okay to take a
day sitting still. Keeping the body active break and that our bodies truly need it.
promotes mental clarity by increasing blood
flow to the brain, making activity vital to both As adults, we take lots of breaks and
learning and physical and neurological health” or opportunities to move around when
(Abdelbary, 2017). The benefits of movement working vigorously on something
are clear and straightforward. Movement because we know we will do better on
benefits the students not only by giving them the task at hand when we give our brain
a simple break from sitting too long but by and body a chance to release itself.
increasing their mental health. Once we’ve had a break, we can get
back to work and better focus ourselves.
One reason why so many teachers have It’s the same way for children. “… physical
neglected movement in the classroom over engagement helps children build the
the years is because it is too much stress for a foundations of their social skills,
single teacher to handle. If there were more particularly for children who are
“hands” then it would be easier to construct naturally shy or have difficulty with
movement-based lessons and activities that certain developmental areas. Kids can
could be considered overwhelming for a single learn empathy by sharing and build self-
teacher in the classroom. “The problem is that esteem and leadership skills by
there aren't enough hands. Many educators strategizing and working as part of a
know how important movement is, but don't team” (Abdelbary, 2017). According to
have the classroom support to safely handle Abdelbary, daily activities that include
active children throughout the day” movement help us in many physical
(Abdelbary, 2017). aspects including an increase in blood
and oxygen flow, an aid in boosting
balance, motor and brain function, and
a positive effect on our mental well-
being. The so-called “brain-breaks” are
not simply downtime for students, but
they are short periods of time that
increase productivity and reduce stress.
Let’s talk more about a child’s brain.
According to Montessori, in the first 6 years
of a person’s life, 98% of their brain
develops. Movement of your body is one of
the most important roles in the formation
of nerve cell networks in the human brain.
Montessori speaks of four other vital
reasons why children need movement in
their early years. Those reasons include:
allowing children to connect the concept
to action, encouraging exploration, helping
in their physical growth, and being an
essential factor in their intellectual growth
(Montessori, 2017). Implementing
movement into a child early on sets them
up for a better future, not only in their
education but in their life in general.
Learning how to take breaks and move
around at a young age will be a huge
benefit to not only the student but
teachers they will have in the years to
come. Having a more self-sufficient
student in the classrooms takes a load of
stress from teachers.
Another helpful aspect of movement
in the classroom is the positive effect that
it has on the children’s learning
environment. The simplicity of a minor
change or shift in the typical routine of
each day can help the students focus more
and increase motivation in their learning.
“Active instruction can wake-up the brain.
Quiet stretching can calm and refocus the
brain if over-activated” (Hruska, Clancy,
2008). Either leading and or using activities
called brain breaks that include stretching
or even meditating can reduce the
students stress which will then help them
use the “higher order thinking areas of their
Along with simple movement in the
classroom to help the students focus and be
less fidgety, implementing exercise in the
student’s school day has several benefits.
Some teachers have included random breaks
for jumping jacks, push-ups or other exercises
to “wake-up” the students’ brains, and the
students get excited about it. “Improving on-
task behavior and reducing classroom
management challenges are among the most
obvious benefits of adding physical activities
to your teaching toolkit” (Wilson, 2014).
From exercise to games to simple activities
that include movement, clearly, it is an
essential part of not only education but
learning and life in general. Movement is
essential for our brains and bodies to function
properly and it’s no mystery why it is so
effective in the classroom, especially in the
learning environment of young children.
Movement gets them excited and ready to
learn. A famous quote that perfectly
exemplifies the important on movement is,
“She writes things with her movements that I
for the life of me could never write with a pen.”
Abdelbary, M. (n.d.). Learning in Motion: Bring Movement
Back to the Classroom. Retrieved August 9, 2017, from
Hruska, B., & Clancy, M. E. (n.d.). Integrating Movement
and Learning in Elementary and Middle School. Retrieved
May, 2008, from
Montessori, M. (2017, March 24). Why movement is
important for early child development? Retrieved from
Wilson, D. (n.d.). Move Your Body, Grow Your Brain.
Retrieved March 12, 2014, from
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The core of what led me to teaching is simply my love for children. I have six nieces
and two nephews. Now that I’m married, I can add three more nieces and a
nephew to that list. I’ve loved watching over and teaching children how to do
things since I myself was a child. I babysat all summer long in my middle and high
school years. I worked at a daycare my senior year of high school. I even got the
opportunity to coach the Junior Cheerleading team in my hometown my junior
and senior year of high school and it was one of my favorite experiences. I believe
that every child is capable of learning. It is a matter of the teacher being willing to
adhere to the specific needs of a child and learn their different personalities and
styles to best know how to teach them. What works for some may not work for
others. I believe that if you teach with love, kindness and respect, the students will
learn just that and use it in return.
INTERVIEW: The absolute easiest thing about
being a kindergarten teacher is loving
C O R I N E P U G M I R E the kids. It’s so easy to cheer them on,
to want the very best for them, to
March 4, 2019 work extra hard so that they feel your
Aubrey interviews former Kindergarten individual love for them. Kindergarten
teacher at Central Elementary in Sugar City, is the very best. It was easy for me to
Idaho get on their level and think of ways to
make learning fun and engaging.
1. As a teacher that has had experience with 3. How many years did you teach
young kids, in what area were you most kindergarten and what was the most
successful in teaching the students? rewarding part of your job?
Like most teachers, I spent a good amount of I taught kindergarten for 5 years. The
time with my students simply teaching them most rewarding part of my job was
expectations, the flow of the room, routines, the students and their families. I still
procedures, and helping them feel safe and have strong relationships with so
comfortable in our classroom environment. I many of my former students.
worked very hard at my classroom Watching a child learn and grow is
management skills. I think that my success in like watching the magic. It is fulfilling
this area naturally led to the success of the to my soul.
students in all academic areas. When students
feel like they are safe to ask questions, safe to 4. In what ways did you implement
participate and try new things, they will be Common Core State Standards into
more successful in reading, math, science, art your classroom?
etc. I was most successful at managing my
classroom and helping my students feel safe. It All of our school curriculums used
really is the foundation of deep learning.
Common Core State Standards, so
2. What would you say is the hardest thing
about being a Kindergarten teacher? What is every lesson we taught was adhering
the easiest thing?
to those guidelines. The most notable
The hardest thing about being a kindergarten
teacher is meeting the needs of a diverse was our math curriculum, which used
group of learners. Some students come to
kindergarten reading on the first day of school, Common Core Standards to teach
while others cannot recognize a single letter. It
is difficult to make sure that all of the students numbers and math to the children
are being challenged in their own way. I used
small groups and centers to try and provide on a much deeper level than I had
more individualized learning opportunities.
Even when it was successful, it was still difficult learned it as a child. It was sometimes
to do well given the ratio of students and the
time we had. Usually, I had between 20-22 difficult for the parents to see the
students and no classroom aides.
value of teaching math in a new way,
but I saw the benefit it had on the
kids. Common Core math was more
hands-on, discovery-based, and
taught the kids how to think and
solve problems in a variety of ways as
opposed to simply memorizing facts
or formulas. 8
5. What is your best advice about how I can prepare
now to become a teacher?
I think the two most important parts of being a
successful teacher are classroom management and
communication with the parents. If you can be good
at those two things, your students will soar. Take an
extra classroom management class, read books,
implement routines and structure into your
classroom. Kids thrive when they know what is
expected of them. They love knowing exactly what to
do when they come into their classroom. It helps
them feel safe so they can learn. You can be an
amazing instructor, but if you have no management
skills, then you really can’t teach. Pay attention in your
classroom management classes and learn from good
mentor teachers how they set up, teach, and practice
My second piece of advice is to have good, open,
positive communication with the parents. Especially
for kindergarten parents. Your students are their
babies. My experience is that when parents know that
you love their child and are doing things with the
child’s best interest in mind, that parent is much
more willing to support and help you. There is not
enough time at school for you to help every child
individually. They need support at home. Make all the
extra effort to build relationships with a child’s family
6. What is your best advice on how to communicate
with the parents of your students?
As soon as I get my classroom list, I call each parent, They know I love and care for their
introduce myself and tell them how genuinely excited child. Instead of defensive parents, I
I am to be their child’s teacher. I send each child a have parents who really feel like we
letter in the mail before school starts. I send notes, were all on the same team in trying
texts, emails throughout the school year to let the to help their child. Even when that
parents know cute, kind, funny things their child says looks like discipline or difficult
or does. I encourage parents and families to be a part conversations.
of our classroom. I open my room up for volunteers to
help run centers, reading groups, and share talents. By 9
focusing on positive communication, when problems
come up that need to be addressed with the parents,
it is easy to talk to them about it.
BENEFICIAL TO A
By Madi Thomas
There has been a great debate on whether or not Most jobs require that every employee
educational or “learning applications” are actually have some technology or computer
beneficial. There are many great benefits such as background knowledge before starting a
they are stimulating and fun, they prepare job. Having these skills at a young age
children to use technology and they create give students a great advantage for the
individualized learning. Although, there are some future.
negative effects with the use of learning apps as
well, such as, it can disrupt reflective and creative Lastly, applications create an
thinking according to Lamar University ("How Do individualized learning plan for each
Apps Affect Student Learning? | Lamar student. “An app can appeal to many
University", 2016). It is all about finding a balance different types of students. Additionally,
when using technology and learning children can go at their own pace rather
applications because technology is always than have to follow the teacher's rate of
advancing and will not be going away anytime instruction. Having the opportunity to
soon. learn without a teacher's direct influence
encourages students to value
Educational Applications have become a very independent study” (Loveless). For most
large trend within the last ten years. Most parents students that may be visual learners, an
and teachers have been using them to help application can really benefit those types
children get some extra educational aid. “While of students. An application is very hands-
students are not always interested in a lecture, on. By playing games and using bright
they may find themselves curious about a
particular subject due to an app. Using 111and fun colors, a child is able to retain the
education apps is a way to promote interest in
topics that students might otherwise disregard” information better.
(Loveless). This has been a great support to
teachers in the classroom. They are able to
engage some of the students that may have
more difficulty sitting still or becoming
interested in school.
Using technology or applications also prepares
children to learn how to use a computer. Having
children start to use iPads or computers when
they are young prepares them with the skills to
use technology in the classroom as well as in
most of their careers later in life.
They are also able to get the extra
practice they may need by learning at
their own pace, rather than the pace
of the classroom. Because applications
are also fun and very exciting, students
want to study more on their own.
Learning is thrilling and entertaining,
and independent study can increase.
We know that no good thing comes
without some negative side effects.
According to Dr. Daniel Goleman Ph.D.
of Emotional Intelligence argues that
“children may not develop necessary
self-control and empathy for other
people if they do not learn to pay
attention in a school setting”
(Loveless). The use of applications or
technology in the classroom can be
part of the reason for this. Students are
becoming more and more distracted
in the classroom with mobile devices.
This not only includes their own but
the ones in the classroom as well.
Students find ways to use these school
resources to watch videos or play
unrelated games instead of learning.
Students may also develop what
Lamar University likes to call “app
mentality.” “App mentality limits the
types of thinking that teachers want
students to engage in. When students
use apps to avoid boredom, for
example, they are not engaging in
reflective thinking. Without this
reflection, students fail to make
connections in their learning” ("How
Do Apps Affect Student Learning? |
Lamar University", 2016). This idea of
always having an application for
everything is causing students to not
use what they have learned to figure
out their problems. If there is not an
application that can help them fix
their problem then, it is not worth
fixing as well. 12
Students need to have this reflective So, what do we do with all of this
learning in order to become great information? Do we stop letting our
problems solvers and become students use technology or do we
independent. embrace it and risk having these negative
side effects become prevalent in our
This same mentality also affects their student’s lives? I believe in a having a
creative thinking as well. Katie Davis and balance. Technology is constantly
Howard Gardner worked together on a advancing and will continue to be a part
project called Developing Minds and of the next generation of learning. There is
Digital Media for several years. They no avoiding or escaping it. We need to be
wanted to understand how applications able to embrace some parts of it. In most
were affecting the minds of our youth. classrooms, applications and technology
These are the findings from a study that use can be very stimulating and helpful
was taken to see how applications for those students that may need it. It is a
affected a student’s creativity. “Davis and way to have great individualized learning
Gardner analyzed artifacts created by for them when a teacher or aide is not
middle- and high-school students always available. Everything must be
between 1989 and 2011…. When Davis and taken in small doses. Educational
Gardner looked at students’ fiction applications are the most beneficial when
writing, however, they found a different they are used at appropriate times, for a
trend. They analyzed middle- and high- short amount of time. They do not replace
school fiction writing from a school in the teachers or parents. They are only an aide
South and one in the Northeast. The more to help our students get the best
recent samples, they found, failed to push education they possibly can.
literary boundaries as far as the earlier
works. ‘They tended to be more traditional
stories. They had less fantasy elements
than the earlier pieces. If the author was a
middle-school student, then often the
protagonist was a middle school student.
Often the story took place in a school,’
said Davis. The newer writings lacked
‘genre play.’” (DiMaria 06/16/15). The results
from the study were shocking. Students
do not live in a fantasy world because it
has already been created for them by
someone else. There is no need for them
to push the boundaries of creativity
because they can find what they are
looking for almost instantly in today’s
DiMaria 06/16/15, F. (n.d.). Is the 'App
Mentality' Killing Students' Creativity?
How Do Apps Affect Student Learning? |
Lamar University. (2016, March 15). Retrieved
Loveless, B. (n.d.). Retrieved from
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
My name is Madison Thomas. I was All of these experiences combined
born and raised in Pocatello, Idaho. really sparked my interest in the field
Growing up in a small rural town has of education. I love the idea of being
given me the opportunity to want to able to help people reach a deeper
be adventurous. I love all things knowledge of things around them as
outdoors like fishing, camping, hiking, well as help them achieve their
and exploring. I am also a student at learning goals. Seeing someone really
Brigham Young University-Idaho come to know and understand the
studying Elementary Education. I material being taught is such a
absolutely love to learn. I have fulfilling experience, one I hope to
traveled to different parts of the world continue to have the rest of my life.
seeking information about different
cultures, countries, and people. I have 15
been to 5 countries including,
Canada, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland,
and England. I also have been to all
the states in the Western Part of the
United States as well as Alaska. Each
new place I visit is like walking into a
You never know what you are going to get
until you explore all of the options. I love to
explore every part of a country. I go on every
tour possible, learning about the history,
culture, and quirks of every country. Learning
is exciting and exhilarating and I can't wait
to share that with others.
I have been around children my whole life.
My mother ran a daycare out of our home
from when I was two years old until I was
nineteen years old. I also nannied the most
adorable child for two summers, he was
diagnosed with Autism at the age of three
and Celiac Disease at the age of six. In the
summer of 2018, I began to teach English
online to adults as well as some children.
What made you realize your passion for teaching?
When I was in 5th grade, I had a teacher that was probably trying to be kind and
encouraging but she did the opposite. I have an older brother. Everything came natural to him
educationally. He never had to study. I never knew what it was like to be a good student
because everything came so natural to him. I never studied or did anything and was constantly
getting bad grades. Instead of encouraging me and showing me skills to get better grades, my
teacher pulled me aside and said “You know not everyone is supposed to go off to college and
not everyone is supposed to be getting good grades. Just do the best you can.” She then
continued to bribe me with candy bars in order to get my work done. I took what she said as
“You’re stupid and you are never going to college.” So I never did my work. It hit my self esteem.
I’m sure she meant well, but ever since then I hated school. It wasn’t until my senior year of
high school that I had a teacher that showed me he cared. He is the most stern teacher you
will ever meet, but he just showed support. That’s when I decided that I wanted to be a
teacher. I never wanted my class to feel what I felt in 5th grade.
What has been the toughest challenge being a developmental kindergarten teacher?
I get overlooked. A lot of the parents will go to the other kindergarten teachers to talk about
their children. I don’t get class pictures. Most of the children that I get in my classroom don’t
have the means to pay for a picture. I don’t always get the support that I need. The kids also do
all of the other parties in the other classrooms. My name gets forgotten by parents because I’m
just their child’s support instead of their actual teacher.
What’s been the greatest reward?
Watching the students grow. When you see their ah-ha moments and you see their growth
happen right before your eyes, it's so fulfilling. It makes me so happy to see that they are going
to have a pretty good start to their educational career.
How has being a working mom been a challenge?
It definitely kicks my butt. There are some days where I give all my patience to the students
and I feel like I have nothing left to give to my children.
What has been a reward for being a working mom?
We live in a small enough town that I am able to be close by if my children need anything. I am
able to kiss their scraped knee instead of a teacher. They can come to my classroom if they
aren’t feeling well and I can make them feel better.
If there was one thing you could do differently during your college years, what would it be?
I would be in the classroom a lot more. I would have subbed or volunteered. The more you can
get into the classroom the better your teaching will be.
MARCH 19, 2019
INTERVIEW: by Madi Thomas
Angela Johansen is a
ANGELA teacher at Central Elmentary
School in Sugar City, Idaho. She is a
JOHANSEN mom to 5 beautiful children. She
16has been teaching for 5 years
Our job is not to
prepare students for
something. Our job
is to help students
INCLUSION Para-educators, special education specialists, the
principal, the classroom teacher, and parents
should all be involved in helping the child succeed.
FOR ALL An African Proverb once said, “It takes a village to
raise a child”. I full heartedly believe that. Children
should be surrounded by many wonderful adults
A Current Teaching Trend who can correct and guide them on their path to
By: Brooke Anderton success. When a child is in an inclusive classroom,
they will benefit from working with multiple teachers
and adults to help mold their young minds.
Carl A. Cohn, Ed.D., executive director of the
California Collaborative for Educational Excellence,
points out, “For too long we have been we’ve been
Does your school value inclusion in the looking at every difference...it often doesn’t
classroom? Many schools today are hopping on necessarily work to the advantage of kids who need
the all-inclusive education train, creating a very to be educated with their gen-ed peers and not
diverse classroom experience for all. Let’s dig broken off from the system” (Team, 2016).
deeper into what exactly inclusion is and the Educators are finally looking at the similarities of all
benefits of how inclusion may affect a child’s kids, seeing past differences and finding what each
school experience. child needs to succeed.
What is the trend of inclusion? Because inclusion is a fairly new practice, there is
When you hear a teacher or colleague mention not enough data on the subject to conclude if
an inclusive or integrated classroom, they are inclusion has produced higher graduation rates or
referring to a classroom where children with other similar studies. However, there is information
disabilities are placed in a general education about the here and now and what inclusion has
classroom with non-special needs students done for both the special needs and general
(Gibbons, 2016). Katie from the Wisconsin education children.
Education Association Council (WEAC) defines
inclusion as “a term which expresses a
commitment to educate each child, to the
maximum extent appropriate, in the school and
classroom he or she would otherwise attend”
(Schultz, 2014). For years, educators believed
that the best way to help all students would be to
segregate special education and general
education students. Nowadays, that is not the
only belief. Inclusion in a school setting involves
bringing services and aids to the child instead of
taking the child out of the classroom and
bringing them to the services. When using the
inclusion approach, a team of general education
teachers and special education teachers work
together to meet the child’s needs.
What are the benefits of inclusion?
There is a plethora of research today that shows
the benefits of inclusion in a classroom. A
mother with an autistic child commented on the
benefits she valued from inclusion for her child.
Talking about any special need child she says,
“your child will be taught the same curriculum as
their peers and have the same academic
advantages offered to them, which they may not
be given in a special education classroom”
(Gibbons, 2016). They will learn how to function
in a regular classroom which will ultimately give
them a greater opportunity to pursue a
university if they desire to do so (Gibbons,
There are some reservations that parents have
about inclusive classrooms, such as it only is
benefiting the children in non-academic
situations such as art, music, and physical
fitness (Blazer, 2017). However, these concerns
are minuscule compared to the benefits.
Another benefit is that all students in an inclusive classroom will be enriched from interacting with one
another. At first, some students may not understand why the special needs students may act a certain
way. However, throughout the year, the students will learn compassion and understanding of their
classmates (Blazer, 2017). They will learn patience and social skills with other students with
disabilities. They will learn to embrace their differences and make friends anyways.
How do I include everyone?
Are you a general education teacher who is expected to have an inclusive classroom? Well, here are
some tips to help you encompass all of your students and have each one benefit from your instruction.
· Plan your lessons backward
o When you plan your lesson backward you ensure that the objective will be met and the Common
Core State Standard will be taught. You will be more successful and be using your time more
effectively in the classroom, and you can ensure that you are meeting the needs of both your general
and special needs children.
· Apply Bloom's Taxonomy
o Remember, Blooms tells us that our goal as teachers is to help our students learn to create things
on their own. We want them to apply the information that they have learned in our classroom to a
plethora of other things outside the classroom. We want to teach them how to function in real life, in
real situations. Helping our students achieve the highest level of Blooms will accomplish this task.
· Apply Howard Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences
o As teachers, we want all of our children to succeed. In order to do this, we need to give them many
opportunities to show us their strengths. Every child has different strengths. Howard Gardner proposes
the theory that there are many forms of intelligence; visual-spatial, linguistic-verbal, interpersonal,
intrapersonal, logical-mathematical, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, and naturalistic. By including all of
these bits of intelligence into your teaching, each child (including the special needs children) will find a
strength of their own. This will build the moral of your children and help them realize that everybody is 19
unique and special.
· Apply differentiated lessons in the classroom
o As mentioned above, all children are different and unique, and therefore they learn differently. Using
differentiated lesson plans in your curriculum will help reach more students.
· Incorporate social skills in your teaching
o All children need to be taught social skills. That is what half of going to school is all about! Building
social skills can be fun for all children if taught in the right way. A way to include special needs and
general education children in learning social skills is by playing games together. There are plenty of
educational games that you can have in your classroom such as Uno, Apples to Apples, Scrabble, etc.
In conclusion, the new trend of inclusion in school is increasing everywhere. Students from general and
special education are reaping the rewards of this newer learning method. Special education students
are gaining more independence and feeling more included, while general education students are
learning more acceptance and compassion. Both students flourish with differentiated instruction and a
lower teacher to student ratio. Enhance your students’ learning experience whether your school
practices inclusion or not by putting into practice the tips mentioned above.
Blazer, C., & Miami-Dade County Public Schools, R. S. (2017).
Review of the Research on Inclusive Classrooms: Academic and
Social Outcomes for Students with and without Disabilities; Best
Practices; and Parents’ Perceptions of Benefits and Risks.
Information Capsule. Volume 1701. Research Services, Miami-
Dade County Public Schools. Retrieved from
Fennell, Z. (2016). Support and Advice for General Education
Teachers on Inclusion. Retrieved from
Schultz Stout, K. (2014, September 15). Special Education
Inclusion. Retrieved from http://weac.org/articles/specialedinc/
Team, U. (2016). 5 Benefits of Inclusion Classrooms. Retrieved
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I was born and raised in the beautiful
pacific northwest. Specifically, Olympia
Washington. Because of this, I LOVE the
outdoors. I enjoy camping, swimming,
hiking, and going to the beach. I also
enjoy playing games with my family,
taking pictures of nature, playing soccer
with my friends, and traveling. One of
my favorite places to vacation is
Disneyland! I love music, laughing, and
smoothies on a hot (or cold) day. I
decided to go into elementary
education because I adore kids and love
learning. I want to make a difference in
children’s lives. I want to be one of the
reasons they enjoy coming to school
every day. I want to help instill a love of
learning in them. I believe in the power
of positivity, and want to create a happy
environment where my students feel
safe to explore and grow! I know that
children are much more capable than
we give them credit for. I know that
children can do anything they believe
they can and I want to be their number
one fan cheering them on in whatever
their goals may be! I cannot wait to be
February 25, 2019
Brooke Anderton interviewed Ali Whisnant, a 6-8th-
grade math teacher at Aspire Middle School in
Olympia Washington. Ali has been teaching for
about 20 years.
Question: How has common core had an effect on
Answer: “Do you want a certain spin on this? Like
a positive or negative one?” Said Ali.
“I want honesty,” I said. “Tell me your raw emotions
on the matter.”
“Okay,” said Ali. “Well, I feel like common core has
removed academic freedom; there is so much that
you have to teach kids in one year, that any kind of
remedial need is nonexistent. For example, one of
the standards for 6th-grade math is decimal long
division. If a kid in 6th grade does not know how to
divide, they surely cannot divide decimals. But
there is no room to reteach that. Thinking about
when I first started teaching to today, everything
has totally changed. There is no freedom to review
things. And I don’t think that is good teaching.”
Question: What is the hardest experience you
have encountered while teaching and how did you
Answer: “By far the hardest thing I encounter every
year is kids that don’t have a lot of support at home.
This causes them to not care about school. I have
kids who are 11 years old and already mentally
checked out. A lot of the time it is not their fault!
They usually don’t consciously choose to not care
anymore. It usually stems from poverty, education
not being valued in their home, mental health… it
could be from all sorts of things. I have a kid right
now who has not turned in one assignment…..
ever. I have to remind myself that this isn’t a
Add a little bit“So what do you do about it?” I For example, some teachers don’t leave on Fridays
asked. until they are done with the next week's preparation
“I am still trying to figure that out. In general, so they have all of Saturday and Sunday with their
you find ways to help those kids learn while family.
they are in class. You support them as much Some people say they will work until 5 pm and then
as you can. You also don’t hold those kids to be done. I would really try to establish your
the same standard as other children… that boundaries early on and maintain those for the rest
wouldn’t be fair.” of your career. People get burnt out fast and they
Question: What is the best way to work with stop teaching because of it. Make sure you save
parents? time and energy for your family at home. That is the
Answer: “I always try to remember that parents best advice I wish I got as a new teacher."
are their first teacher. Parents will always be
their kids' most important teacher. I tell parents 24
that a lot. I try to let parents know that they are
important in teaching their kid. Also, letting
them know that you are on the same side as
them really helps (even with the difficult kids).
You let the parents know you want their kid to
be successful. You lead every meeting with
something great about their kid. Even the hard
kids. That’s how you get their support.”
Question: What do you think of technology in
the classroom? How have you integrated it into
Answer: “Technology is their whole world now.
It’s our world. We use technology for
everything; from PowerPoints to research to
entertainment, literally everything. The sad
truth is, if we don’t use technology in the
classroom, they won’t learn. We have to find
ways to incorporate technology, daily. Of
course, there needs to be a balance, but we
need ways to deliver the message using our
new resources. The problem is weeding out
the junk and finding what is helpful and
effective. You really have to dig deep to find
the things that are actually worth yours and
Question: What can I do now to prepare to be
a successful teacher?
Answer: “Learn how to put limits on yourself.
Teaching can be consuming. You can let this
profession take too much of your personal
time. That is where people get burnt out. Have
some rules and parameters that you set for
not on the
same day or
in the same
Another benefit from technology is that
T E C H N O L O G Y I N there is a variety of different things that can
be used depending on what needs each
A S S I S T I N G W I T Hstudent has. “ Many of these devices allow
for personalization, so even simple things
like adjusting the size of the text or the
SPECIAL NEEDS volume level can make a
difference...Personalized and independent
By: Eve Heri lessons on a device can also decrease stress
and anxiety” (“How Do Special Education
Students Benefit from Technology”, 2018).
Technology is a big resource used by many in Not only do these devices help progress
the classrooms, work, and in our daily lives. children’s learning, but it also helps them
There are many programs that can be used to have less stress and anxiety. The article talks
help benefit children in their learning. While about how we can put different
there are many programs that don’t have an assignments and lessons online so that
educational purpose, there are plenty that can special education students are still working
be implemented in the classroom to help with their peers. It says, “ This, of course,
benefit students. Many teachers have started leads to greater social inclusion, positive
to use computers, videos, and other websites self-esteem, and confidence. It also allows
as a part of their teaching. There has been some special education students to be
some debate on whether technology is assessed along with their peers” (“How Do
beneficial to special needs students in the Special Education Students Benefit from
classroom. Whether it is distracting or Technology”, 2018). This shows the
stimulating for these students. importance that we are creating
technology to improve learning not just to
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin progress students, but also so that the
wrote an article about, The Use of Technology students are able to learn aside their peers.
in Special Education, talks about the There doesn’t need to be a divide between
advantages of technology in the classroom. the students because of different learning
Students are able to express themselves levels.
better and where they struggle, technology is Having educational games are good to
able to help them. In the article, it says, “With have in the classroom. I have seen in
technology, teachers can individualize classrooms when they have centers, one of
learning and teach in smaller groups” (“The them is computers. On the computers, the
Use Of Technology in Special Education | students log in and there are different
Utpb Online”, 2017). Some of the technology educational games on there.
that is used in a classroom for special
education according to the University of Texas
is; communication boards, text-to-voice, voice-
recognition technology, tablets, and apps.
These are really important things to recognize
that can be used in a classroom because they
are beneficial to students.
.There are different levels of learning for the In this article it also says, “While
students and it keeps track of how far the personalized and blended learning
students have gone on their levels. When the techniques can be used throughout a
students are doing the games they are learning school building, teachers have found that
and helps progress their schooling. Not only is these techniques are particularly useful in
it fun, but the students become a bit special education classrooms” (“How
competitive with each other based on how far Technology Is Changing the Special
they have gone on the levels. I’ve seen this be Education Classroom”). These techniques
beneficial in the classroom, where there are are used in so many different ways to
some divides between the students but they benefit the students. In a classroom, there
are able to cheer each other on in games or can be special needs students learning at a
compete against one another. The differences lower level than the general education
between the students disappear because they students but still learning the same
either have a common goal or they want to information so that there can be a
beat each other. Either way, it drives them discussion at the end.
together in a common goal which helps bond Technology can do wonders for the
the students. On the computers they are classroom if it is used properly. While
playing games that consist of typing, learning technology can never replace teachers and
word recognition, and letter recognition. For that bond that they create with students, it
the special needs students in this class, they can help foster their learning. There are
are learning a lot through the games. It gives times when teachers or parents can get
them something to focus on for a while beside frustrated when a special needs student is
worksheets or hearing a teacher talk. If they are not understanding what you are trying so
more of a visual learner, then this is a perfect hard to teach them. Sometimes, they need
center rotation. Having differentiation in the a different way of learning it. This can be
classroom for students is important because through smart boards, videos, or
then teachers are able to see how they best educational games. Differentiation is a
learn and incorporate more of that type of huge part of teaching and should be
learning into the lessons. incorporated into an everyday classroom.
An article from Front and Central talks about Technology can teach in a way that is
blended learning. It says, “Blended learning easier to understand for the student. The
combines the usage of these self-leveling visuals can make it easier to understand
programs with traditional group lessons in the and the typing games can help students
classroom” (“How Technology Is Changing the who have a hard time writing. There are
Special Education Classroom”). This article also many aspects to technology in the
talks about having the students learn the same classroom, but if it is used wisely and
material but at different levels and then they monitored then it can be very beneficial to
take a quiz on the material. Then the class the students and their learning.
comes together and has a discussion about the
material. While they are learning at different 27
levels they have common ground about what
they are learning and can dive deeper into the
information. By teaching this way the student’s
learning is personalized but it doesn’t make it
super hard on the teacher, and they still all
learn the same material.
How Do Special Education Students Benefit from
Technology? (June 13, 2018). Retrieved from
How Technology Is Changing the Special
Education Classroom. Retrieved from
The Use Of Technology in Special Education |
Utpb Online. (September 15, 2017). Retrieved
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I’m Eve Heri from Torrance, California.
Growing up, my parents always
involved me in playdate groups and I
got to know a lot of people. This is
where my love of special education
started. One of the boys that were in
the group had special needs, and I
had never noticed a difference
between him and the other children.
We became fast friends. Then, in
kindergarten, I met another boy with
special needs and became friends
with him. This sparked my interest in
working in the special education
field. Later on, I did my senior high
school project on Asperger’s which
confirmed my interest in choosing
my major of Early Childhood Special
Education. I believe that every child
has the right to an amazing
education. Seeing the progress
students make and the light that fills
their face when they understand
something new is what motivates me
to be an educator. Working with
special needs children has been such
a blessing and a wonderful learning
experience. I am so excited to
continue in working this major!
INTERVIEW: How did Common Core State Standards
affect how you taught your special needs
C Y N T H I A H A R R E L L kids?
I don’t like Common Core for special needs
March 14, 2019 kids. Common Core says it’s going to be for
Eve Interviewed Ms. Harrell, a first-grade kids to think their own way, but they still
teacher, Central Elementary School don’t do that. The special needs kids
processing is so slow that to give you a reason
as to why they are doing it could take 10
How many years have you been a minutes. It took 10 minutes to get 1 math
special needs teacher? Why did you problem done with 2 lower kids the other
choose this field? day. Waiting for them to tell me the reason
Officially, this is my 6th year at Central for everything would take all day. I like the
Elementary, and 3 years back in the 80s. idea of it but the idea is completely the
I chose this because of my brother who opposite of what it purports to be. I grew up
is severely dyslexic and had teachers doing Common Core without it being labeled
telling him he was a waste. They never that. “Just do it” is a common theme. Most
looked into it, he was the class clown teachers don’t do that but Common Core
and they gave him a hard time. forces you to get out of the “just doing” the
process with no reason. That’s how I usually
As a special needs teacher, what was teach anyways, I explain the reasoning for it.
the biggest learning curve that you had
to work with? Does having special needs kids integrated
Working with other general ed teachers into a normal classroom more beneficial or
was the hardest part. They weren’t harmful for both sides?
cooperative in trying to get schedules I’m going to be the odd duck special ed
done, and they weren’t willing to give it teacher. There are those kids who can
up. This year the hardest is patience. I function in a normal classroom but are slower
worked with an ODD kid which is and need more prompting. There are
Oppositional Defiant Disorder. It is students who are on the edge, some days
defiance for defiance sake, they are very they function really well and then there are
violent. This boy would tell you how he days where they don’t function well. The ODD
would kill you by 8:45 every morning in kid should not have been in a general
detail of how he would do it. education class. The other students should
not have had to hear him threaten them or
see him come in everyday pretending to
shoot them. IDEA says to have the least
restrictive environment for special needs kids.
But sometimes the general education
classrooms, that are supposed to be least
restrictive, are more restrictive for the more
aggressive students. It doesn’t do them any
good and doesn’t give everyone else the
education that they deserve.
Does technology help special needs students, or is it more distracting for them?
I use at least one video per day in one of the subjects. I get tired of hearing my voice and
so do they. There’s a difference between telling them about a giraffe and actually seeing
one, I'll use Youtube and Magic School Bus. Educational programs that are on their level
and allow them to learn on their level then yes, I believe that it is beneficial. If I let it
happen too often then they become dependent on it and that’s when it’s not beneficial.
If a child has a hard time writing, then typing on the computer may be better for them
which is a good way technology can be used.
What’s the best way to work with parents who have children who are special needs? Any
specific things that were really difficult to work with?
Not to lose your cool with them. They have to be your team member, but some are tough
because some of the reasons they are special needs, not all of them, is because the family
is so dysfunctional that they don’t have the support that they need. Some parents you
will see once or twice, but some you will never see. Sending notes home is good but most
special needs kids won’t give the notes to the parents. So texting and Classroom Dojo
works really well to communicate with parents. Communicate often when their behavior
is out of the norm. With the ODD student, I would have been on the phone every single
day because of his behavior and I was the first few weeks of school. The parents and I
made an agreement that if it was out of the norm that I would call, but not to assume
that if I didn’t call that it was a fantastic day. If threatening was the norm every day, then I
Denial is the hardest part. When there is a room full of instructors throughout the day
that can tell the parents all the same things and the parents deny it is hard. At some
point, you have to say you let them know but you can’t force them to accept it.
Depending on what you’re telling them there can be a reason for denial. When you are
telling a parent that their child is autistic there is a death that occurs. Those parents on
the very day that their child was born, all the dreams and goals that had for them is
different. They have changed now. Seeing it from a family perspective as I have, it’s so
much harder. I have to remember that sometimes when I’m at my boiling point with
some of the students, they are giving me everything they can.
What’s the best way for me to prepare myself to work with special needs kids?
Be around them, understand that sometimes they are giving everything they can give
you especially when it’s not remotely close to what you need. Read up on everything you
can. Read about autism and ADHD because you are going to see both. If you can’t see
multiple forms of it then you have the oddity class. Usually, you will have at least two and
they all won’t be medicated and they all don’t need to be. Know sensory issues because
it’s a part of autism and ADHD. If they are banging something over and over, they have a
sensory issue so maybe send them to take books somewhere. You are not going to learn
everything, but reading up on everything you can will help you.
always tells me to
follow my dreams,
but she won’t let
Help your students
reach their dreams by
staying awake in class!
to keep your class
active and alert.
THE DAILY The Daily 5 does not contain any specific type
of curriculum which makes it easy to adapt to
FIVE any school, district or national standard. In the
2014 second edition of their book The Daily 5:
By Ellen Panek Fostering Literacy Independence in the
Elementary Grades, Boushey and Moser stated,
Helping students develop reading “it is about creating instructional routines with
skills is crucial to their journey in students through focused teaching, student
becoming independent learners. modeling, and practice” (Boushey, G., & Moser,
Students in the United States spend J. 2014). The Daily 5 is a time when students
around 1, 260 hours annually in a cycle through different stations and are
classroom. How can teachers use time required to complete certain tasks. It consists
wisely in the classroom to plant a love of five short instructional classes. They are: 1.
of reading in their students? The Daily Reading to Self. 2. Read to Someone. 3. Listen
5 is a new teaching trend that pushes to Reading 4. Work on Writing. 5. Word Work.
students to be responsible for their The themes of these stations never change but
own learning. In 2006 Gail Boushey the material the students work on will change
and Joan Moser released their first upon teacher discretion.
edition book, The Daily 5: Fostering
Literacy Independence in the The 5 Stations
Elementary Grades. This book Read to self is the first step. During this station,
introduced a new and effective literacy the students pick their own books to read.
program to implement in upper They should be allowed to pick their own
elementary school classes. The beauty private spot to read in the classroom.
of the Daily 5 is that while it is aimed Read to someone is next. Here, the students
for elementary grade levels, it can be partner up and usually read a book or story the
modified and used for any grade or teacher has previously selected for them. They
class. will take turns reading to each other. If they
finish early, they can read by themselves.
What is it?
According to the creators, Gail
Boushey, and Joan Moser, it is, “a
literacy framework that instills
behaviors of independence, creates a
classroom of highly engaged readers,
writers, learners and provides teachers
with time and structure to meet
diverse student needs” (Sisters, 2017).
During the listen to reading time, (Boushey, G., & Moser, J. 2014) stated Boushey and
students can use a computer, laptop, Moser. Studies go even further to show that with
cd, tablet or whatever technology the more choices comes a higher success rate. Linda
teacher deems appropriate to use. They Gambrell wrote in her book, Seven Rules of
will follow along with their finger to the Engagement, “It appears that students who are
words of the story. allowed to choose their own reading material are
Work on writing is open to teacher more motivated to read, expend more effort, and
discretion. Teachers can incorporate gain a better understanding of the text (Gambrell,
other elements during this time like 2011).
grammar or comprehension skills. Along with giving students the freedom to
Students can compare and contrast in choose, the Daily 5 forces students to become
their writing, respond to a prompt or accountable for their learning. They must pick a
even do a free write on a book of their spot in the classroom, where they can learn free
choice. from distractions. They will get out of the stations
Word work is a time to be creative and the work that they put in. Having success and
let students have some fun. Some seeing their progress will be motivating to them.
examples are: cut and sorting words, Having constant transitions makes some
bead it (string letter beads together to educators wary of trying out the Daily 5 in fear
form a word), match vocabulary words that their class will lose focus and get out of
etc. control with each transition. With practice and
Teachers have the liberty to adapt, smart classroom procedures, the students will
change or improve upon any of these benefit from getting up and physically moving to
activities as they seek to provide the the next station. It provides a mental transition for
best education possible for their them and a quick brain break which allows them
students. to refocus and get ready for the next task. The
The 6 Core Beliefs Daily 5 is built upon these six core principles in
Students must be instructed well and order to guide teachers and students alike in their
given the tools to succeed in their Daily 5 learning.
stations. The Daily 5 was built upon six Benefits
core principles. These principles are trust Still unsure if implementing the Daily 5 would be
and respect, community, choice, worthwhile in your classroom? Let us look at some
accountability, brain research and more benefits the program has to offer.
transitions. Productive and meaningful Students are constantly moving around, and this
learning requires that students and provides a built-in brain break.
teachers have a relationship of trust. This
relationship requires nurturing in a
positive classroom environment. While
participating in the Daily 5, students will
need to support each other, answer
questions and be seeking opportunities
to be classroom leaders.
This program also provides lots of choices.
“Choice has been identified as a powerful
force that allows students to take
ownership and responsibility for their
Due to the fact that the Daily 5 Summary
stations are mini-workshops, “Each The Daily 5 is a literacy structure that allows for
workshop, which we call a round… differentiation in the classroom. It provides
runs for the length of time our consistency and support for the students. It is an
students have the stamina to remain integrated literacy instruction and classroom
independent…Once we see our management system for use in reading and
students stamina for the work session writing workshops. Students are in control of their
waning, we stop the class and have own learning as they cycle through the five
the students put away their materials” different stations. Across the United States
(Boushey, G., & Moser, J. 2014). As a educators are pleased with the progress in their
teacher, you can decide how long class as they chose appropriate material and
students will stay at each station. At activities for their students. The Daily 5 is mutually
first, it can be a matter of a few beneficial for teachers and their students.
minutes, but with more practice, the
students will be able to stay longer at 35
Teachers are open to using research-
based instructional strategies. As a
Principal of over 20 years, John Konen
said, “With this focus staff
development can cross all curriculum
areas, professional development plans
for the individual teachers, grade
levels, and even whole school can be
created” (Konen, 2016). Teachers and
schools will not spend hundreds of
dollars on a strict curriculum but
rather put those funds into finding
and using new teaching strategies. It
also gives educators time to
differentiate instruction for students.
They are given the freedom to divide
the students into appropriate groups
that will enhance learning in the best
The greatest benefit this program
imparts upon the class is the skill set
to become independent readers. They
will be taught how to pick a book that
interests them, read through it,
comprehend it and learn from it.
These circuits teach students how to
learn new words through context
clues, provide guidelines when they
get stuck on a certain part and more
Boushey, G., & Moser, J. (2014). The daily 5 fostering
literacy independence in the elementary grades.
Cox, Janelle (2012). Classroom Activities that Efficiently
Implement the Daily 5. Retrieved from
Gambrell, Linda (2011). Seven Rules of Engagement:
Whats Most Important to Know About Motivation to
Read. International Reading Association.
Konen, J. (2016, December 03). 5 Reasons Why Daily 5 Is
the Best Reading Structure out There. Retrieved from
Sisters, The Two (2017). Daily 5. Retrieved March 19,
2019, from https://www.thedailycafe.com/daily-5
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Each child has unlimited potential. I saw the truth of this statement as I worked for two
years as a paraprofessional. Working in a class for children with severe autism proved to be a
life-changing experience for me. During my first year with the students, I played a critical
part in helping a student find his voice and learn how to speak. Seeing him through this
difficult journey sparked my interest in the field of Special Education. It was a hard and
challenging task for this student, but with educated and consistent parents and
professionals, he was able to speak by the end of second grade. Being able to help students
realize their potential and reach their goals motivates me currently in my studies as a
Special Education major at Brigham Young University, Idaho.
I grew up outside of San Francisco, California and love the Bay Area. I have two amazing
brothers who have influenced me and my love for sports. Playing basketball, soccer or bike
riding are some of my favorite pastimes. In my free time, I also enjoy hiking in new places
and being outdoors. One of my biggest accomplishments was summiting the tallest
mountain in the continental United States- Mount Whitney in 2018.
I lived in South America in Chile for a year and a half while serving a religious mission. I
learned how to speak Spanish and developed a deep love for the people and culture of
Chile. Learning a second language has given me new skills to be able to better assist
children in their process of learning English. I look forward to continuing my education here
at Brigham Young University, Idaho. Learning about Special Education is a delight and I am
eagerly preparing for my future career.. 37
March 14, 2019
by Ellen Panek
Interview with Julia Austin-Prime Speech
Language Pathologist, MS, CCC-SLP, currently
works as a SLP for the Granite School District in
1. What made you want to get into Speech However, marriage never happened for
Language Pathology? me until late in life so the timing was
right to pursue this direction even as
I have always been fascinated with language lengthy and expensive as it was! I
and how the brain works and wanted a made it a priority over everything else
career helping people of all ages, and a in my life and was willing to go to any
career where there were plenty of jobs! In school that would accept my
fact, while I was doing my student teaching application plus devote my whole life
with severe children, an SLP came in to to getting good grades in graduate
integrate language during cooking time and school as there was no time for
it was then I made the decision that I wanted anything else in my life.By the time I
to be an SLP, but it just took a while for that finished my second degree, I was 30
to happen. First, I was an elementary/special years old and my life had taken a
ed double major with only a year left to finish different direction then what I had
so a career change was not practical at the anticipated as a youth. Sometimes, I
time as I wanted to get married and have a think we fall into a career pathway
family so opted to finish my degree in the depending on our own individual
area I had already started, but after journeys and the events that take place
graduating when all the jobs were already along the way, but the journey could’ve
filled and taking a job as a substitute teacher been much shorter if I had known what
and then a secretary for a government I wanted to do at a much younger age!
organization, I found myself still single and I also think that sometimes there are
still unsure about my career choice. That’s no right or wrong paths, as many
when I started applying for SLP graduate directions can lead to success and
programs, not knowing that bc I had a happiness.
different undergraduate degree it was going
to take another 3 1/2 years to finish all the 38
prerequisite courses and graduate work
before I could even work in the field!
2. What has been your favorite part of your job?
I have loved working with both adults and children in various settings while helping them to
improve their communication or swallowing/feeding impairments. Most have made
progress and this has been the most rewarding part of my work.
3. What is the hardest part of your job?
The most difficult part about my job as an SLP has been the caseload, meetings, and
paperwork in both the medical and school settings I’ve worked in. In the hospital, the
paperwork i.e. charting, reports, billing, and care plans can keep you at work until late in the
evening after sitting in meetings, completing medical assessments. As well as, seeing several
patients and then depending on the department you work in, you find yourself working on
rotating weekends while only getting 1-2 weeks of vacation off a year. Then there’s the
pressure of daily productivity and maintaining steady caseload counts in order to maintain
In the schools, you can carry a caseload of 60-90 students spread out over 2-4 schools that
you have to schedule during the week. Then, with students constantly coming and going,
parent and school team meetings, district meetings, individual therapy prep time and all
the special ed paperwork and testing that goes along with the role of being an SLP, you can
find yourself working late many days of the week in order to get everything done! Then,
because you are support staff and are not a regular or special ed teacher, you are sometimes
given a closet or stage to work in because office and classrooms are given to teachers first
since they are the priority staff (I have a closet at one of my schools). Sometimes, unlike the
respect SLP get as a hospital professional, it can seem as if you are not always a highly
valued professional in the school setting like the classroom teacher. Scheduling students
and groups can also be challenging in the school system.
4. Where have you worked and which place has been your favorite? (ex: hospital, school)
I have worked 18 years full-time in the school system, in New Zealand for 5 years, and full-time
in the hospital. While working in the school system I have always worked hourly on my own
terms either in the hospitals, nursing homes or home health. There was a period of time
where I worked part-time as a school SLP and part-time at home for the airline industry and
that was also a good experience. So, as you can see, there are options.
I currently work full time as a school SLP with speech only, resource and severely
handicapped students between two schools, with a caseload of nearly 70 students. In
addition, I also work hourly as a medical SLP for a local rehab agency. I plan to work another
10-12 years before retiring or just working hourly. There are things I like about both medical
and school SLP roles. Adult medical rehab is my favorite type of therapy work, but there is
little time off for a personal life. Then, working with children is also rewarding and you get
more time off in the summer. Both settings can be demanding and both require a high level
5. Does your job require any type of continuing education?
An SLP is required to complete 20 hours of continuing education per year to maintain your
professional educator and medical lists. There are many opportunities built into my job with
the school district, and free community continuing ed workshops that come up at one of
the universities a couple of times a year.
My school district also has opportunities to work on teacher lane change endorsements for
increased salary raises and enhancement of your skills. Our district offers the ESL, gifted,
reading and most recently, the educational technology endorsement. The local university
also offers summer courses towards a lane change and the Utah State Board of Education
offers online courses as well. These are all offered for much less than what you would pay for
regular university credit courses. I’m currently working on a 2-year educational technology
endorsement and have only been paying $42 a class for university credit and have been
excited about all the skills I’m developing in the meantime. I have loved how my district has
made continuing education and professional development so accessible to all educators.
6. What advice would you give to someone just starting in your career path?
An SLP is a great career with many options, but it takes a lot of dedication to get there and it
is a very demanding, busy and sometimes a chaotic role, but there are also lots of rewards. I
would say it’s best to weigh out all the pros and cons of this type of work to determine if it’s
a good fit for you at this time of your life! Do you want to be at one school with a smaller
caseload or do you mind going to multiple schools and working with many children? Can
you put your life on hold to do a 3+ year graduate course right away or would an online or
once a week course in a different field while working as a teacher be a better option while
starting a family? There are no right or wrong answers and every professional role is valuable
and worthy. If you decide that being an SLP is for you, just remember that every first job in
each new setting is going to be overwhelming. So be patient with yourself and remember
that it takes time to learn your new role and feel comfortable once you make the change
from being a student to a professional, and start applying all the information you have
learned over the years. Whatever you decide, you are going to be successful and happy as
your career pathway unfolds.
Did you know? Two Wongs CAN make a right?
Starting your first year of teaching? Need help
implementing classroom procedures? This
book is the one for you!
You can purchase The Classroom
Management Book by Harry K. Wong
and Rosemary T. Wong for $23.45 at
your neighborhood bookstore.
SMART BOARDS 42
by Ashley Heins
In the past, recent years’ technology has been
advancing and constantly changing at a rate never
before seen. Technology can affect life in both a
positive or negative way. Therefore, it is extremely
important to use technology in wholesome matters
that will be able to positively affect our lives and
others. Teachers have a special privilege to work with
future generations and have the opportunity to
expose children to technology in positive manners.
Technology will have the ability to enhance
relationships between teachers and students, where
students can learn how to use technology in
appropriate and effective ways. Using SMART Boards
in the classroom is a highly effective way to succeed
to enrich students’ educational development. In order
for teachers to understand the benefits that SMART
Boards can provide in the classroom, teachers will first
need to know how SMART Boards work, how they
create interactive experiences, and provide
SMART Boards can play a huge role in the
classroom environment to help children learn, but
how do SMART Boards work? The SMART Board is an
interactive whiteboard, which is connected to a
computer and works with a projector. The projector
will be able to display what is open on the computer.
Now, rather than using a mouse or keyboard, the
SMART Board is a touch screen, which allows you to
manipulate anything on the screen using your fingers.
“The computer can then be controlled from the board
itself by touching the SMART Board screen, either
directly with your finger or one of the incorporated
electronic pens” (Preston and Mowbray, 2008, p. 50).
Using the SMART Boards in the classrooms will take
an extra step in creating interactive tools for students
to use and learn from.
Teachers who use SMART Boards in their classroom can provide their students with
curriculum information that reaches the multiple different learning styles, which some
include visual and kinesthetic. “The SMART Board provides teachers and students with a
whole new interactive learning environment to share ideas, information, images, animations,
audio or video” (Preston and Mowbray, 2008, p. 51). Creating a classroom environment which
includes technology will be able to provide academic and digital learning to all students. As
teachers provide SMART Boards in their classrooms, students will learn and be aware of how
technology is used. The objective of have a SMART Board in the classroom and putting it to
use is designed to reinvigorate and engage students.
SMART Boards will provide students with opportunities to become interactive with the
materials they are learning in the classroom. Most children today have been exposed and are
used to mobile devices like smartphones and tablets before they could even crawl. Therefore,
using technology in the classroom provides students that hand-in-hand interaction, which
will help further their development in ways that students want and are used to learning.
However, it is important for teachers to remember to teach technology as a privilege and not
take it for granted. It is necessary to use technology in the classroom, such as SMART Boards
when appropriate and not to abuse it. According to Giles and Shaw (2011), “With a SMART
Board, it is easy and fast to arrange words, pictures, and symbols, making it especially helpful
for visualizing possibilities when manipulatives or supplies are limited” (p. 37). Using SMART
Boards to connect the curriculum information between the real world is now effortlessly
available for teachers to use and provide for their students.
For example, in a classroom setting for science, students are learning about fossils.
Using a SMART Board in the classroom will easily allow the opportunity for each of the
students to get the chance to become interactive with a step by step process of what fossils
are like. “Additionally, each child was able to “build” a fossil in sedimentary rock in a timely
manner by simply dragging and dropping bones into place on the Board as opposed to
cutting and pasting paper pieces” (Giles and Shaw, 2011, p 37). This will provide students to
see what it is actually like to build fossils. The integration of using SMART Boards in the
classroom will help boost the students’ comfort level as they are able to interact with the
materials for deeper understanding, which provides them with success in concepts being
Using SMART Boards in the classroom will provide students with opportunities for
deeper meaningful learning. As students are able to learn at a deeper meaning, the higher
the chances are they will stay engaged throughout the lesson. Integrating technology in the
classroom especially SMART Boards will help students stay engaged and give them more
meaning to their educational development. “If technology is absent in our schools, students
will struggle to become literate in our society” (Giles & Shaw, 2011). Providing meaningful
learning to students will not only help them in the classroom but in society as well. It is
important for teachers to know how to create a meaningful learning environment for each of
the students. It is determined that through SMART Boards it will give teachers the ability to
provide their students with in-depth engaging activities that will be more meaningful for a
variety of students and diverse learners at any grade level.
As the curriculum materials become
relevant for students it will give them the
chance to enhance the interaction with their
classmates and instructors by encouraging
collaboration and in-depth discussion.
Integrating technology, especially SMART
Boards into the classroom is an effective way
to connect with each of the students for
purposeful learning. “In addition, SMART
Boards provide access to a wide range of
digital resources to help explore and construct
knowledge of key scientific concepts by
incorporating short, focused interactive
segments before, during and/or after firsthand
exploration” (Martin and Daughenbaugh, 2014,
p. 91). As teachers use SMART Boards in their
classroom, it will have the ability to empower
learners. Using SMART Boards will be able to
support and encourage student participation,
which will foster student engagement and
assist students to better contextualize subject
material to become more meaningful.
In conclusion, technology has changed
the way the world is functioning and children
are constantly being exposed to the digital
world they are surrounded in. Therefore, it is
extremely important for teachers to be willing
to learn and use technology appropriately in
their classrooms. Teachers will need to be
prepared and knowledgeable about the use of
having interactive SMART Board technology
and the benefits it will create. As teachers use
SMART Boards in their classroom, it will
provide significant improvements to their
students’ educational development. Students
will be able to respond positively to
curriculum lessons that are being taught
through the interactive and meaningful
opportunities that SMART Boards will provide.
As the teachers are able to learn how SMART
Boards work, the interactive hands-on
experiences students will have will provide
Giles, R. M., & Shaw, E. L. (2011). SMART Boards Rock.
Science and Children. Retrieved from
Martin, S., Shaw, E., & Daughenbaugh, L. (2014). Using
Smart Boards and Manipulatives in the Elementary
Science Classroom. TechTrends: Linking Research &
Practice to Improve Learning.
Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-014-0756-3
Preston, C., & Mowbray, L. (2008). Use of SMART Boards
for teaching, learning and assessment in kindergarten
science. Teaching Science: The Journal of the
Australian Science Teachers Association. Retrieved
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
My name is Ashley Heins! I am from Aurora, Colorado. I made the decision to become a
teacher when I was only sixteen years old, while I was working as a preschool assistant
teacher. There is nothing better than watching a student's expression as they get an answer
right, or when a concept finally clicks in their mind. At that moment all the time and effort
you put in as a teacher is worth it. Students are amazed when they can do something all on
their own and you are just happy to know that you were a part of that. I want to continue to
help children and do my best to make a difference in their lives. My interests include any
activity that is outdoors, I highly enjoy playing volleyball and skiing. I enjoy trying new things
and going on adventures. I have played the piano for the past fourteen years and enjoy
music. I have strong comprehension and retention skills, which follows great
communications skills. I am a self-motivating person with an outstanding, friendly, and
bubbly personality. I believe that teaching is a life-long learning process and regardless of
one’s years of experience, there is always room to improve. I firmly believe that education is
an individual and unique experience for every single student who enters the classroom. I
proudly believe that being a teacher is a lifestyle and not a mere forty-hour-a-week job. As a
future teacher I am going to be entrusted with the education of young minds, therefore I
will facilitate learning and growth academically, personally, and ethically into the
classroom, where each of the students can progress in their lives. I believe that every
student has the ability to learn and the right to the same kind of education as everyone
Q. What kinds of qualities do you think students look for in teachers?
Students look for/need teachers that build relationships. This need may come out and
be shown in different ways such as behavior. Teachers need to be knowledgeable,
understanding, and able to wear many hats. As a teacher, you’ll need to be an educator,
a mom, a nurse, a scientist, a mathematician, a librarian, a friend, and a listener. Students
look for someone who is kind, approachable, and caring.
Q. What personality traits do teachers need to be successful?
Teachers need to be flexible and able to wear many hats. Teachers need to be patient
and caring. You need to be able to build meaningful relationships with all students; even
the difficult ones because they are the ones that need it most. As a kindergarten teacher,
I believe you need to have a personality that is free-spirited, young at heart, and carefree.
You need to be flexible with your teaching. Most of all, you need to be able to have fun
with what you are doing. Students need teachers that love what they are doing; if they
can see that you love it, they will love it more.
Q.What is the hardest experience you have encountered and how did you handle it?
Behavior is by far the hardest experiences I have encountered as a teacher. Defiance,
anger, and violence in children will make your skin crawl. The story behind the behavior
will usually break your heart. I have had students that are emotionally traumatized and
have mental health issues; these students will act out, throw chairs, and disrupt your
learning environment, but they need love and understanding. Keeping your children safe
is priority #1, but these students need someone to work with them daily and to not give
up on them. You may be the only smiling face or I love you they hear that day. I handle
these behaviors by giving students resources to help them calm down such as my calm
down corner and fidget bucket. I take time to get to know them, find out their triggers,
and help them find ways to redirect their behavior.
February, 25, 2019
Ashley’s interview was held with Nicole
Frushour, who is a current kindergarten teacher
working at Yale Elementary School in Aurora,
Q.How do you approach discipline and what role does it play in learning?
Discipline is not a one size fits all strategy. I have multiple discipline strategies that I use in
my classroom. Relationships first. Knowing the child will help you understand where the
behavior is coming from and what they need to learn from their behavior. I use a clip chart
and class dojo in my classroom. I give warnings and positive expectations. Make expectations
clear; tell children what they need to do not what they shouldn’t do. If I have a child move
their clip down, I immediately look for the changed and corrected behavior to reward the
child and allow them to move their clip back up. Instead of saying “Don’t roll around on the
carpet” I will say “Please give me 5! Sit on your pockets with your hands in your lap.” Always
approach discipline as a learning opportunity. They cannot change the behavior if they do
not know what they did wrong or are not given the opportunity to fix it. I never use recess as
a punishment; I believe that children are not given enough play time and opportunities to
release their energy. They need the unstructured play time.
Q.What do you think of technology in the classroom and how have you integrated it into your
I am a big fan of technology in the classroom! I am fortunate to have Promethean boards
and 10 iPads in my classroom. We use various types of technology to enhance our learning.
We watch and listen to videos to build background knowledge. On our iPads, we use apps
such as SeeSaw, Epic, Teach your monster to read, Freckle, Prodigy, and ABC Mouse.
Technology is an engaging way to enhance learning. Who doesn’t like to learn while playing
games?! I use iPads as a center where they get a choice, and technology is one of them.
There are many expectations that need to be made clear when using technology in your
Q. What is the best way to work with the parents/guardians?
Build a relationship. A friendly hello at pickup or drop off. Use a tool such as a dojo or folders
to keep in contact with parents so they know what is happening with their child. Take the
time to contact parents and tell them positive things about their children. The better
relationship and communication you have with parents, the easier it will be if you need to
contact parents about issues or behavior. I make it a weekly goal to email all parents and tell
them something positive about their child. I find that using class dojo is a great and easy way
to keep parents informed. You can communicate and they can see positive and negative
points that their children accrue and why. If they have questions, it’s easy to give them
Q. What can I do now to prepare to be a teacher?
In your practicums and student teaching, give yourself every opportunity to do and to learn.
Observing is great, but you will not truly learn until you are able to do. In college, you learn
how to teach reading, math, and science, but you will not learn classroom management or
parent communication until you are in it. Read professional development books. Truly,
teaching is a profession that will be different every year. You will never have the same class or
the same behaviors. You can make a perfect classroom management plan, but it will never
go the way you expect. Think about your teaching philosophy; how do you plan to manage?
How do you plan to discipline? How are you going to build relationships? How are you going
to organize? These are great things to think about. Know your philosophy, but be open to
change and to grow as a teacher. 48