Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Great things came from the '80s...

I am so excited to have gained a few followers, and so many comments and visits to my page! Thank you all!

So, as I am trying to get my motivation up for the *last day* before winter break, I find myself on YouTube, searching my favorite clips. Although my students would make a strong argument that "BBC Talking Animals" or "Funny Cats" are the best videos out on the web, I always end up watching a few tried and true segments that never fail to motivate me. Rick Lavoie is one of my favourite speakers to watch - as a teacher of kids with Learning Diabilities, I can definitely relate to anything this man talks of. My students are all some combination LD and ADHD, social skills challenges, low (or no) working memory, and slow processing. Needless to say, I have taught some V.E.R.Y bright and unique children - all of which  just learn differently. I could talk and talk of this subject, but for now I will leave you with this clip from Rick Lavoie's F.A.T. City Workshop - there are so many clips, but this one is on the topic of reading, decoding, and spatial challenges. Let me know what your take is on what Rick Lavoie has to say. His examples are very interesting, and although he makes some generalizations and over-the-top examples, I find it pretty darn interesting... not to mention all the e x c e l l e n t '80s attire and hair-styles. ;)

If you are like me, and will spend a bunch of time watching 'related videos' when you find something good, you MUST check out Rick Lavoie's clip entitled "When the Chips are Down". Fabulous stuff!
Here are a few favourite websites of mine:

Do you find it hard to keep all of your individual kids' needs in mind while you are teaching? Is your schooling system in support of using academic time to work on some time-consuming, but very much needed strategies for learning? I am from up north in Canada, and I would love to hear some of your thoughts from different countries & systems! 

~ Christine


  1. Hi Christine:

    I LOVE F.A.T. City! I find myself quoting Rick Lavoie all the time! ("Driving which was formerly an associative task...")

    Do you teach in a self-contained class or are your kids mainstreamed or fully-integrated into general ed classes?

    At least a fourth of my kids have ADD, LD, serious emotional issues or some other disability label. (Two years ago I had more kids with IEPs in my classroom than one of our special ed classes!)

    We have some push-in time from the education (resource) specialist, but otherwise, we are on our own to make it all work. I just try to make my lessons as multi-modal as possible--and pull small groups whenever I can. Alas, it is never enough.

    Wishing you a happy holiday season...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. Hi Kim!
      Wow, it has been almost a month since this post - I truly took a vacation last month ;)Sorry for the late reply!

      My school specifically targets kids with learning disabilities, ADHD, and social skills challenges, so the classes all have students on IPPs. We are super lucky to have smaller class sizes at my school, which helps a lot with bringing their reading and math closer to grade level. That is so great that you try to pull small groups when you can - isn't it true that there never seems to be enough time... support... etc.?! I think sometimes we oversee such a big picture that it never seems like we can get enough done, but when we look at the little accomplishments - we really are making a difference ;) Thanks so much for your comment!

      Wishing you a fabulous 2012!!
      ~ Christine

  2. My class is a mixture of Gifted students, learning disabled students, students with Dyslexia, students with ADD, and/or ADHD, and some are even a mixture of several of the above (I have one w/Dyslexia, ADD, and they are Gifted. Our school also gets kids from a shelter, so I have quite a mixture. A few years ago, I had an Autistic child and I've also had some Emotionally Disturbed kiddos. For the most part, these kids are in my class the majority of the day and I am only certified in Gifted and Talented. I have my teaching degree in Texas, as well as my Masters of Education, and the only training or classes I have had for the other disabilities has either been a few hours of professional development and mostly on-the-job, you just figure it out on your own. I have an aid for maybe 30 minutes a day to help with my Special Ed kids. The Special Ed teacher says that I am really good with Special Needs kids, but I just go with my gut and do my best. I am in a regular public school, and we are expected to provide individualized instruction for all of these children. I just do the best that I can, but I'm not always sure it's enough.

    I am so glad that you posted these websites. I watched the video you posted and I browsed through the websites quickly. I will have to take time to really read some of the articles when I have more time.
    You joined my blog and left me a message to check yours out and so I did and I am joining yours! Thanks so much for the invite and the wealth of information!