Animating All Students


Gregory van Zuyen reports on the way Terry Thoren and Rudy Verbeeck are using cartoons to help teach language skills and learning habits in class

One of the many challenges facing educators at this time of year is getting students back into the right behavioral mode for learning. It’s natural for students to slip out of “school habits” during the summer, but reinstating good learning practices can be time-consuming and frustrating. Unfortunately, there’s now so much pressure on teachers to stick to the curriculum on a day-by-day basis that there’s little time to ease students back into the educational rhythm.

Terry Thoren, the former CEO of Klasky Csupo, Inc. — the animation studio behind Nickelodeon’s world-famous Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys — is working with business partner Rudy Verbeeck to produce WonderGrove Learn an education website intended to be used in the classroom by educators to teach social skills, functional life
skills and bilingualism.

“We produced the twelve new back to school lessons to help make the transition back-to-school easier for students and educators alike. Because teaching appropriate behavior during the first few weeks of school encourages better behavior throughout the entire school year, the lessons are a strong foundation for our year-round tool for success,” explains Thoren.

These back-to-school lessons address critical challenges that educators face when students transition to the first few weeks of a new school year. Each animated video models behavior for students in pre-K through second grade, such as “listening when the teacher is talking,” “using polite words,” “lining up quietly,” and “how to handle a bully.”


Continue reading Animating All Students by Gregory van Zuyen for Language Magazine.


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