Position: Special Education Teacher
District: Denver Public Schools, Colorado
Walking into Tracy Shellooe’s classroom, one thing is clear, this is a space that values students, above all. A veteran Rethink user, Tracy and her team of paraprofessionals have integrated Rethink into almost every facet of their daily activities to support students. During the 2015-2016 school year, the team has seen academic growth in their students that Tracy attributes to her team better addressing behavior and supporting student needs based on frequent progress monitoring and the use of individualized reinforcement strategies.
In Denver Public Schools, one of the core values, district-wide, is students first. To find the above mentioned successes, Tracy started with training herself and staff using the Rethink Training Center modules. This laid the groundwork for fostering responsibility and accountability toward the daily work they do with students.
Paraprofessionals own data collection procedures and have collaborated extensively with Tracy to ensure quality data is collected not only within the classroom but in inclusive settings. There are even weekly data meetings that allow the team to discuss student progress and make instructional shifts to best address current student needs.Tracy also uses Rethink’s printable resources to allow students to pick their own token board. They have a community space that shows what each student is working for during instructional time and have fostered independent decision making by allowing students to choose what they are working for. This visual space has proved very reinforcing and fosters learning not only on the individual level but also for the class, as a whole. Tracy’s students have improved time on task, are excited to learn and participate because of the reinforcement they’ve individually chosen.
Finally, as a veteran Rethink user, Tracy shares advice with anyone using Rethink in their classroom. “Take it one step at a time and allow yourself to make mistakes, you will find new ways to incorporate Rethink into your classroom every day. This is an invaluable asset in our classroom.” Tracy and her team’s belief that students feel safe in their learning environment has truly proven itself through the amazing work they have done with students and the progress they have made! Great job team!