Case Study

VandenBerge Middle School

Engaging Special Needs Students

VandenBerge Middle School

Being a teacher is never easy, but when your students do not learn like most kids and conventional teaching methods simply don’t work, the challenges are compounded. For special education teacher Michelle Farnum, keeping her students engaged with the reading, math, and functional skills is a constant challenge. In order to maintain the focus

of her students, Michelle must keep them actively, and often physically, engaged with the lesson material and responding to new ideas. For this reason, Farnum began investigating interactive whiteboard technology as a way to improve her classroom engagement.

She often starts class by engaging her students in an activity about the day’s weather and asking what clothing is appropriate for it. Her students then drag in images of coats and snow to illustrate their conclusions. She also involves them in the learning process by having them cross out days of the week on a projected calendar, and follow math lessons both on their own worksheets.

After 14 years of teaching with whiteboards and chalkboards, Farnum finds the eBeam system helps her keep both herself and her students active in the classroom and out from behind desks, as well as more engaged with lesson material. “With the eBeam system, students can actually interact with the presentations—it gets them up and moving.” This interactivity has proved valuable to the learning process of her students, and to her own enjoyment of teaching.