Thursday, August 15, 2013

Animal School (Video) (A Must See!!!)

Good Morning, Friends!

Happy Feast of the Assumption to all of my Catholic readers.  Today is my first day "off" this week and I look forward to taking the kids to Mass and then back home for a quiet day spent together.  

The little boys have been having some rough evenings.  In-Service schedules are intense...they require nearly full-time participation even though I'm a part-time employee.  This has meant piecemeal-ing babysitting services and disrupting the normal routine and flow of our days.  My middle child actually struggles with this more than the youngest....but the youngest feeds off the middle...and so evenings are a mixture of tears, defiance, tantrums, etc.  Definitely looking forward to next week when our actual "school routine" gets underway and I'm back in the home for the majority of each day!  This week has been a clear reminder that my children are not ready for me to be away from the home for more than a couple of hours each day...even if they think they are!  :)

Anywhoo...yesterday was another wonderful in-service.  My morning was spent learning about how to better serve ELL (English Language Learners) students.  Having spent 4 years teaching in a ELL and Title 1 Building, I am very comfortable with meeting the needs of this type of learner.  And while we don't have a lot of ELL learners at St. Paul, it's important to remember that if we even have just ONE, we need to meet that child's needs.  

In addition, the teaching methods and tools used to deliver content to the ELL learner are just as applicable and appropriate for every type of learner in the classroom.  Many of the suggested delivery methods are just good teaching practice, plain and simple.  

What I love about teaching in a Catholic setting, is that we are able to make that immediate Faith connection that overcomes any language barrier!  Looking into the face of Christ in each and every parent and being the hands and face of Christ to every ELL parent and their child really makes a huge difference in the delivery of services.  

And again, my number one task as a St. Paul employee is to help these little children get to heaven!  

The afternoon was spent learning how to better serve the needs of my Special Education students.  My head is swirling around with terms like "accomodations", "modifications", "scaffolding", etc.  Again, many of the ways we modify or accomodate for the special needs learner is just good teaching for any child.

As the year progresses, I look forward to sharing some of the ways that you can support your emerging or struggling reader as well as ideas to support mathematics instruction, especially problem solving.  Think manipulatives, manipulatives, manipulatives!

Finally, I leave you with this video titled "Animal School".  I had never seen this and it moved me to tears.  (If you're a crier, I might suggest having a kleenex on hand!)  I think that this video sums up how a lot of homeschoolers feel about the education system (both private and parochial).  

I pray that I never make a child feel like a "bee"..."polar bear"..."eagle".

Children are as unique as their fingerprints and a gift from God.  As educators we must ALWAYS strive to help every child develop their God-given gifts and talents regardless of what that looks like!


P.S.  I am not endorsing or promoting this website.  I just thought they made an awesome video.


  1. are such a wonderful in touch with each of your child's sweet souls.

    And may I also add...a wonderful excited and devoted to helping your new students this school year.

    Enjoy your Feast of The Assumption, dear friend!

  2. What a great post, Valerie! Thank you for sharing it ALL.
    My youngest son is dyslexic and while I am a reading specialist, I ALWAYS look for more efficient/better ways to approach learning with him. I have found absolutely nothing on the market AT ALL that will help support/remediate his issues. AT ALL.
    I really have to fine tune and tailor and redo everything for him ( which is a benefit of 1:1 instruction ) b/c with all I have on hand and all I have bought the materials are not suited to HIM. I've tried it all and at this point, I am using a piece meal plan of recording his books for him, reading to him, helping him keep logs of words with certain phonic patterns, using bis and pieces of certain workbooks here and there, and using a little Glass Analysis and Recipe for Reading along with a little Barton ..all with an OG "style."
    There's just not one "thing" that works. It took me along time to find that out and now I've just been going with what he needs as an individual and not subscribing to one method. I just hope I am not "missing" something and that I'm preparing him to be an independent learner. He IS an independent kid and very perseverant, luckily. His comprehension, Thank God, is excellent and is ability to apply info, too.
    In fact when ppl he meets hear him talking, they are surprised b/c he is small for his age ( thin, a little shorter than 'average') and yet his vocab usage is quite advanced. I chalk that up to reading to them from the day they came home from the hospital...seriously, I have not sat down with them ever, to drill vocab.Well, I'm starting to now, with my older son as he enters high school level.. we are doing some intense volc to prep for SAT and life in general...SAT is years away though. It's a case study in how important reading is...but you know that of course. I will def be reading with interest, your posts on rdg remediation and the curriculum choices that you share.
    THANKS! Enjoy your Sunday and I am so happy for you that this coming week will ease the family into a more routine schedule! It all sounds great.


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Your kind words are appreciated! As Mother Teresa said, "Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."