Meet Kelly Lewis, our March Vizzler of the Month! Kelly is a special educator in an alternate curriculum classroom with Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland.
What do you and your students think of Vizzle?
We love Vizzle, we use it every day! It’s a quick, fun way to supplement instruction, whether it’s independent work, small group, partner work or assessments. Many of my students choose to do Vizzle activities for free time. They love the immediate feedback and the games between lessons in Vizzle NextGen. The data is great! So much information for progress monitoring and writing progress reports on IEP’s.
How do you use Vizzle in your classroom?
We use Vizzle daily in my classroom. During Reading and Writing instruction we have a 3-group rotation and Vizzle is always one of the rotations. Sometimes it is independent work; content specific (Unique) and/or sight word vocabulary practice, it can be IEP driven with student specific lessons, or it can be used to reinforce direct instruction from the standard being taught that day. We also use it for homework, the students have playlists for Tuesday-Thursday and it changes every 2 weeks.
What is your favorite subject to teach?
I really enjoy teaching Reading. I have always enjoyed reading and I like to share my love of books with my students. The functional aspect is so important for everyday life but it is also a lot of fun.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I have always wanted to be a teacher. I come from a family of teachers so I guess it was in my blood. My first teaching experience was in a center-based school and I knew right away that’s where I belonged. I have never taught regular education and have no desire to do so.
What is your daily inspiration?
My students and their parents. Everyday I have 10 students and 20 parents that put their trust in me to keep them safe and inspire them to do their best.
What is the most important thing that makes your classroom work?
Trust, by establishing an environment through structure, expectations and routines that allow students to grow and learn without fear of failure. They learn to trust that I will not let them down and I learn to trust that they will always strive to do their best.
What advice would you give a brand new teacher?
Build relationships, get to know your students and let them know you. Establish a strong foundation that promotes independence and maintain high expectations. I have found that the students always rise to the challenge.
We so enjoyed getting to know Kelly better. She’s an outstanding teacher! We especially appreciate her way of building trust through structure that allows her students to grow. Reminds me of this quote by J. Iron Word, “Trust is like walking across a busy two-way street but, if you hold my hand, I promise not to let go.”