The Broach Buzz

Helping at Home: Using Commercials as a Learning Tool

by The Broach School of Jacksonville on 10/11/13

Helping at Home: Using Commercials as a Learning Tool

Author: Shelley Causey, Director of Technology



Watch this commercial by clicking Here


Students are exposed to media virtually 24 hours in a day, seven days a week.  It is important that we embrace the media instead of being afraid of it. These days, watching television together has become one of the few moments during the week when a family spends time with each other.  Use commercials and advertisements as a way to start a conversation with your school-aged child.  As parents, we often assume that our kids know what commercials are and what their purpose is, but do they really get it?


Here’s how you can help:


Ask your child what a commercial is.  Discuss with them why it is created and who makes commercials.  This gets their minds thinking beyond just what is rolling across their eyes.  Try to help guide their answers instead of telling them they are wrong or giving them the answer.  Once they begin to understand, then you can discuss the content of the commercial by asking them “why did they chose these characters in the commercials?” “what words are important?” “who is the audience?”.  You might be surprised at their answers!  For more questions, visit The Center for Media Literacy.


Using every opportunity outside of school as a learning tool will only enrich their understanding and help them gain critical thinking skills.  For additional information on using commercials for learning, click here.


Check out PBS kids as a fun, additional resource by clicking here.

How to Talk to a Child with Disabilities- People Before Descriptions

by The Broach School of Jacksonville on 10/04/13

How to Talk to a Child with Disabilities- People Before Descriptions






As educators, our job is to empower and uplift our students on a daily basis.  One simple way to ensure we do this is through our language.  


Person-first language is just that; putting the person, instead of disability, first.  Learn more about the definition of person-first language here.


Students experiencing disabilities are just like their peers; the way we talk about them and treat them is what makes them feel “different”. In a school setting, the last thing we want to do is make them feel less important or devalue them.  Therefore, person first-language introduced school-wide would help benefit all students by learning how to speak to and about other people in a respectful manner.  Click here to take the People First Language Pledge.


For example, saying “the low kids in the class” insinuates the kids themselves are low.   No parent wants to hear someone call their student “low”.  Using person first language, one might say “the kids with low test scores”.  In this case, the test scores might be low and the negative connotation of the word “low” is placed on test scores instead of the child.  


For a longer list of examples and of how to use person-first language, click here.


Simply put, we should all watch our language and the way we word our conversations with others.  In doing this, we are less likely to make people feel they are less than us or different if they are experiencing a disability.  In fact, we should all focus on the ABILITY instead of disABILITY.


“Back to School” Routines to Help Special Needs Students Thrive.

by The Broach School of Jacksonville on 08/09/13



All children do better in school when there is structure and routines, but this is especially true with children with learning disabilities and special needs.  The lazy days of summer are almost over and it's time to start preparing your family for the start of school.  Here are a few suggestions to help you and your children get back on schedule to start the school year off successfully.

1.   Schedule Your Child's "Well Check-up"
If you haven't done this already, Carespot is still running a $10 off special for school and sports physicals.  To find out a Carespot facility near you Click Here!

2.   Start Going to Bed Earlier
By moving up your child's bedtime in increments at least two weeks prior to school starting, you are adjusting their bodies to the new wake up time for school.
The CDC, Center for Disease Control, recommends the following amount of sleep needed each night for a child based on their age.

Ages 1-3 years:    12-14 hours of sleep per night.
Ages 3-5 years:    11-13 hours of sleep per night.
Ages 5-10 years:  10-11 hours of sleep per night
Ages 10-17 years:  8.5-9.5 hours of sleep per night.

To read more on the benefits of sleep Click Here!

3.   Lay Out Clothes the Night Before
This is especially helpful if the child gets to help in picking out the outfit so there isn't a fight about what to wear in the morning.

4.   Shower and Bath the Night Before
Not only does this save time but it helps a child's body to relax.

5.   Have a "Wind Down" Routine an Hour Before Bed
This includes adolescents too. Eliminate all caffeine and sugar at least three hours prior to bedtime.  Try reading or quiet music instead of TV or computers. One Mom has the coolest idea for what she does with her daughter before bedtime.  To read about it, Click Here!

6.   Wake Up the Same Time Everyday 2 Weeks Prior to School Starting
Just like adults, a child's "body clock" adjusts over time.  So don't expect children to jump out of bed on the first day of school if you haven't worked up to it.

7.   Prepare a Good Nutritional Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it speeds up your child's metabolism.  It is like putting gas in the car, your child needs fuel for the day. There are so many ways to get great recipes with TV and the internet. Here is a list of nutritious meals that I found Here!

8.   Prepare Lunches the Night Before
Anything you can do the night before school always helps with the rush to get out the door, but finding a variety of different nutritious meals that your children will actually eat is also the challenge.  The Food Network has some great recipes Here!

We all want happy kids and children that are well rested and not stressed will do better at school in general.  Routines and structure helps special needs children to thrive and gives them a pattern to follow that develops good behaviors.
We hope your first day of school is a great one!

The Broach Buzz Blog provides information that can be helpful for families with children with special needs or disabilities or that are struggling in school.
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