Marcia Lautzenheiser has been teaching special education, grades K-3 for 14 years at Sandia School in Apple Valley. Marcia has a regular California credential as well as a special education credential, RSP Certificate, and a Master’s degress in special education.
In order to teach this population effectively, many visuals are necessary. Science offers visuals, and Marcias teaches several areas of Earth Science. She has snakes, worms, butterflies, bugs, as well as borrowed “stuffed” items such as a coyote, a bobcat, hawks, owls, a fox, and other items in her room at different times for her students to experience. This sparks the students’ interest and desire to know more. She uses the stuffed animals as a way of having her students build on their reading, writing and research skills about the creature that they want to learn more about. Along with education and information, the students learn to respect all creatures and the environment it lives in, as well as its place in nature and the desert or ocean. Her studnts also learn that we are all interconnected and that by keeping our environment free of pollution and trash, we are protecting the animal’s environment at the same time.
Through MEEC, Marcia’s students have been involved with learning and writing about electricity, and Nikes Reuse-A-Shoe Workshop. Her enthusiastic students have turned this environmental lesson into a school wide program which includes recycling shoes, paper in the classrooms, and milk cartons in the lunch room. She has even taken her class to the MRF in Victorville to answer a student’s question, “where does all the trash go?” “The visual impact was terrific”, said Marcia, adding that “the resources that are available to us through MEEC make teaching and learning so much fun!”