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Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Powerpoint Presentation on "Critical Thinking and Logic"

Short Story Analysis: "The Tell-tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe

by Edgar Allan Poe                         


         The persona of this short story, the “I” here, is narrating how and why he has killed the old man, who he/she has taken care of, in his room.

         Even though this persona has loved the aforementioned old man who has never done anything wrong, he/she has still proceeded to kill him because of his very wide blue eye, with a film over it, and which resembled a vulture’s eye, that chilled the persona’s bones.

         Three police officers are now in the old man’s house to investigate because a shriek has been heard by a neighbor at the time of the murder. The persona tells the officers that the shriek has come from him/her in a dream, and that the old man is not in the country.

         After the officers have searched the entire house, they, including the persona, sat on individual chairs, and the chair of the persona is on the spot where he/she has been buried the old man underneath. The four men exchange pleasantries, as the officers are satisfied and are convinced that there has been no foul play.

         However, the persona starts to become uneasy when a low, dull, fast sound is heard, and it steadily increases in volume, until the persona shouts, "Villains…dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the planks! Here, here! --It is the beating of his hideous heart!"



1. The persona/ narrator- the “I” who kills the old man
2. The old man
3. The three police officers

B. PLOT - Linear

  a)  Introduction
  The story opens with the persona wondering whether he/she is mad

  b)  Rising Action
   Things start to heat up when the idea of killing the old man comes into the persona’s mind.

   c)  Climax 
    On the 8th night, the persona finally satisfies his plan of murder.

          d)  Falling action 
          Things start to “fall” when the police officers search the house and nothing says that there has been “foul play.”
        e.) Denouement

           In the end, the persona admits the crime after hearing a sound that has grown louder and louder.


a)  place – in the old man’s home 

b)  time- eight days, and the old man is killed on the 8th night

c)  weather conditions- fine

d)  social conditions- middle-class

 e)  mood or atmosphere- eerie

         The Point of View used in this short story is the First Person - The story is told  by the protagonist, the narrator or persona, the “I” here.


         For me, the literary devices used in this story are Symbolism and Irony. The old man’s eye here symbolizes evil that the persona is so afraid of. But, there is Irony when this persona uses an evil deed to shut off the evil eye.


         In my opinion, the theme Crime does not pay is applicable to this story. -- ARV

The Tragic Death of My Favorite Singer Ric Segreto

         I could not forget that day, Sept. 6, 1998. It was the day that my favorite singer passed away. I was in the hospital that time because my bag of water just broke and the labor pains started coming. -- ARV

source of the video--

Monday, April 25, 2011

On Being a Special Education Teacher: A Simple One-Quarter IEP on Gross Motor Skills for an Autistic Child with Mental Retardation and Developmental Delay

Goals / Objectives
Sample Activity/ lesson
Special Provisions/ Services
Evaluation Criteria

1. *** will be introduced to the skill of watching and listening to the teacher and he will eventually learn to follow receptive commands


*** will be asked to watch and listen to the teacher as she sings and dance (with actions)  –“Here We Go the Mulberry Bush.” Then he will be asked to sing and dance (with actions) with  the teacher.

6 weeks

Family members will help to implement this activity through playing of nursery songs videos at home

*** demonstrates willingness to watch and listen to the teacher for the first two weeks when songs and actions are introduced with many promptings.

*** demonstrates recall or recognition of the lyrics by trying to sing parts of the song and demonstrating a few actions of the song during the second two weeks with the help of some promptings by the teacher.

*** demonstrates 80% mastery of song lyric recall (through trying to sing) and actions in the fifth week, with several  promptings

*** demonstrates mastery even part of the song's lyrics and actions independently with at most 3 promptings by the teacher.

2. *** will be taught how to climb up and down the stairs one step at a time
*** will be guided to step up and down the stairs at school, at first with the teacher holding his right hand, and eventually with no assistance, but still with teacher at his back
6 weeks

Family members will support this by allowing him to climb up and down the sala set and bed at home with guidance at first
*** shows confidence

On Being a Special Education Teacher: SESSION PLAN AND FEEDBACK FORM


Name of Child:   ***            Date: February 20, 2009
Setting: Classroom      Time In: 1:00  PM     Time Out: 3:30 PM

ACTIVITY 1: Massage  
*** liked to be massaged. At first, he was hypoactive, so only a slight pressure was applied. After several weeks, he started becoming a little hyperactive, so there was more massage pressure, and such helped him to calm down.
I learned that before actually proceeding to the activity or lesson proper, there should be an “introductory” or “preview” part, and this is the most crucial part since it is supposed to catch the learners’ attention
ACTIVITY 2: Exercise
For the kids to develop and improve their motor skills. At the start of classes, *** was just standing there even when physically guided and prompted by the teacher. But as the weeks passed by, guiding him to do the exercises was easier.
As the weeks progressed, I learned that a child can learn to catch up with the given exercises through physical guiding and also prompting. These exercises are easy for the adults to do, but for these kids, time is needed.
*** immensely enjoyed this activity.
To catch the learners’ attention, the way to present the activity must be light, fun, and easy to understand, using the simplest words.
Push In
*** did not want to join.
In the entire schedule, I learned that this is the most important. The proper activities in connection with the children’s respective needs in the Assessment and IEP must be adhered to.

On Being a Special EducationTeacher: Play Therapy

What is Play Therapy?

Play therapy, an effective technique wherein children's natural manner of expression, play, is utilized as a therapeutic way to help in coping with trauma, problems, or emotional stress..

What are the Stages of Play?

1. Solitary Play
A kid is inside a room with other kids, but he/she is playing alone

2. Parallel Play
  Kids are playing together in the same room, but they are not doing the same thing.

3. Associative Play 
Kids are doing or playing the same activity or game, but they are not together or connecting with each another

4. Cooperative Play
 Kids are working together, and with each other, to play the same game.  

The Prepositional Phrases in the Song "Top of the World"

Top of the World
by the Carpenters

Such a feelin’s comin’ over me

There is wonder in most everything I see

Not a cloud in the sky

Got the sun in my eyes

And I won’t be surprised if it’s a dream

Everything I want the world to be

Is now coming true especially for me

And the reason is clear

It’s because you are here

You’re the nearest thing to heaven that I’ve seen

(*) I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation

And the only explanation I can find

Is the love that I’ve found ever since you’ve been around

Your love’s put me at the top of the world

Something in the wind has learned my name

And it’s tellin’ me that things are not the same

In the leaves on the trees and the touch of the breeze

There’s a pleasin’ sense of happiness for me

There is only one wish on my mind

When this day is through I hope that I will find

That tomorrow will be just the same for you and me

All I need will be mine if you are here  --ARV

On Being a Special Education Teacher: Getting a Student's Learning Profile

As of February 28, 2009


On Being a Special Education Teacher: Taking Note of A Student's History



     NAME                           :     ***
     DATE OF BIRTH          :     ***
     AGE                               :     5 years and 3 months
     GENDER                        :     Male
     ADDRESS                      :     ***
     WORKING IMPRESSION:     ***  was diagnosed as having Autism 
     Spectrum Disorder and Severe Mental Retardation by Dr. *** on January 21, 2009
     NAME OF PARENTS     :    ***


              Mrs. *** gave birth to *** on October *, 2003, at the ***, under the care of Dr. *.  *** was born very healthy. He looked perfectly normal. He was very cute  (he looks mestizo like his two sisters and one brother). Over time, during his infancy, his grandmother noticed some differences which were then compared with his siblings when they were also his age. At four months of age, MRI was performed on him and the doctor’s assessment then was that he had cerebral palsy. At age one and a half, he had sessions with a Physical Therapist, and he learned walking by himself at age two.


               This is the first time *** entered school. Both of his parents are already abroad, with his three siblings. His father is working as a company supervisor there, and despite the considerable earnings, putting *** to a regular Sped school is not yet one of the priorities as of now. They spent a big amount of money relocating there and currently, they are “tightening” their budget. His aunt, who is the one who takes him to and from school, said that once such budget becomes okay, they will follow Dr ***’s recommendations for him to have daily Sped classes and  three times a week Occupational Therapy sessions.  --ARV

On Being a Special Education Teacher: A Personal Assessment


NAME OF CHILD     :       ***

BIRTHDAY             :       ***

HOME ADDRESS     :       ***

ASSESSED BY        :       Annabelle Villanueva

           *** is the youngest among four children. His father is a company supervisor abroad. His mother and three siblings are already with his father. His parents were the first to go there, followed by his three siblings just last year. His papers were not approved by the embassy because of the declaration there that he is a special child. It was then put into writing that he would be under the care and supervision of his grandmother.

           Upon birth, *** looked perfectly normal. He was a very cute baby (he has mestizo features just like his two sisters and one brother). Slowly, his grandmother noticed some differences which were then compared his siblings when they were still babies. At four months, they had MRI performed on him and the doctor’s assessment then was that he had cerebral palsy.

            As he was growing up, the progresses he made in the developmental milestones were far different—much slower—than his three siblings. Since then, up to the present, he has not yet developed his speech, has not responded yet to his own name when called, has not harnessed his grip due to weak hand muscles, has not run unguided though he has learned walking by himself, has not developed strong muscular power like most children his age, and has not socialized/played regularly with other children (due to weak motor skills).


             When I first met ***, I observed that his weak motor skills were the first noticeable.  Hence, after that, I checked what items were applicable to him in a motor skills checklist downloaded from the internet (attached herewith). We noted that his motor skills are in the range  of a 1- 2 year old kid, far from his age. Some expected motor skills at age 1 and most of those at age 2 are not yet achieved at present.

               Since then, every meeting, I further observed he would not look at me when called; though he has fleeting eye contact and he would turn to the direction (and look at his laughing classmate, then he would laugh too), he could not talk yet, though one-syllable words, “ma-ma, da-da” were heard once, his actions are slow due to weak reflexes, his hands could not hold the toys well,  and could not lift a chair yet (during “pack-away chairs” time), but he would hold our hands when “Row, Row, Row, Your Boat” is sang to him, with “rowing”  actions with him, he would laugh when tickled, and he had no close interaction with his classmates.

              He could sit still on his chair for long periods of time, but would occasionally stand up.

              During snack time, he would pick his crackers with “softness”  in his fingers. He could sip from a straw, but his drinks had to be put on his hands, and his hands guided.  He loved to wash his hands, with assistance in the opening and closing of the faucet, and the getting of soap. He could not yet wipe his face alone.

              One time, a classmate grabbed his milk drink while he was sipping it. He had no reaction whatsoever, he just looked at that classmate for a moment, then stared blankly at the ceiling ( he would do this staring at the ceiling a few times during class sessions).

              He could walk unaided, but could not do brisk walking and running by himself. He could not go up and down the stairs by himself yet.
              During home visit, he was watching some lively children’s music videos which he loved to watch often. I noticed that he tried to imitate what the video’s characters were doing, for example, in the portion of the song “Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush,” ….”this is the way we wash our face…, he made a “washing” motion  with his hands to his face. He was laughing and smiling as he as watching, standing up in front of the TV.  At eating time, he was given a spoon, and he held it with an awkward grip. He could not yet eat by himself,  could not yet go to the bathroom by himself, could not yet change his clothes alone.

              The Developmental Problems checklist I downloaded from the internet would be presented in the next home visit.


               My initial assessment showed that ***, aged 5 years, has the mental age of a 1-2 year old. His gross motor and fine motor skills are very delayed due to weak muscles; he could not grasp properly; his grip is weak; hence, toys cannot be held in the proper manner (though he likes to play, as shown in his laughter when played with), he has no speech yet, no interaction/social relationship with other children, no cognitive as well as emotional development yet, and no self-help skills yet. From my research and from close observation, I noticed developmental delay, speech and language delay, no hearing loss (but hearing problems were not ruled out), no head-banging/hand-clapping/repetitive motions, and he has motor delay. I did not refer to the Autism Rating Scale because he has fleeting eye contacts.

              In conclusion, *** has global developmental delay and severe language delay. In another guide from the internet, the Diagnostic Tests for Developmental Problems are made:

  1. General appearance and observation
-      *** has no abnormality of shape in features of face and body
-      He is not alert; he seems weak; he has no major interaction with us
-      He is not obese
  1. Physical Examination
-      When looked at physically, ***’ looks are normal

The following have been recommended:
              -   Check-up by a developmental pediatrician
-   Neurological examinations
-      Visual acuity
-      Assessment of vision and hearing
-      Speech pathology assessment
-      Blood tests
-      Liver function tests
-      Thyroid function tests
-      Urine tests

* His progress would be monitored during class days and home visits. Assessment tools and keen observation would be used/done every step of the way. -- ARV


Special Education: A Lesson Plan for Demonstration Teaching


Name: ***

Age: 5 years and 3 months

Area/ Domain: ADL/ Gross Motor

Pre-requisite skills: Going up and down the stairs without
assistance, but with his holding the
banister (As he grows up, he will then
learn how to do so without holding the

Diagnosis: Autism Spectrum Disorder with Severe
Mental Retardation

CONTEXT: The subject is a child with Severe Mental 
Retardation connected to Autism Spectrum
Disorder. He also has delayed development-
very weak Fine and Gross Motor Skills, no
speech yet, no Cognitive and Emotional
Development yet, and no Self-help Skills
yet. Three months ago, he had no Social
Skills yet, but, currently he can already
engage in parallel play. Now, he cooperates
in activities and tries his best to perform tasks
given to him. The main focus will be ADL Skills
targeting the Gross Motor domain.



At the end of the 15-minute lesson, *** will be able to perform the following tasks with 70% accuracy:

a. Go up the stairs while holding the banister
b. Go down the stairs while holding the banister


Going up and down the stairs without assistance/ somebody holding his hand

Location: Classroom

Proximity: *** is standing at the foot of the stairway. The teacher is standing behind him, near enough to assist him when the need arises. He is facing upwards, ready to go up the stairs one step at a time; then after reaching the top-most step, he faces downwards, ready to go down the stairs one step at a time, still with teacher behind him, following him every step of the way.

Prompts: Verbal, Gesture, Positional

Reinforcements: Placing of a big toy near the top-most step of the stairway/ a colorful small pack of candies at the low-most step of the stairway, Clapping of hands after several steps done, Social praises


A big toy and a colorful pack of candies


a. Motivation

To get *** to do his task, the teacher will begin by showing him
the big toy and the small pack of candies which he will get as
prizes after completion of the said task. Then the teacher will lead
his right hand to the first step of the stairway.

b. Presentation

The teacher will place the big toy near the top-most stair and the
small pack of candies at the low-most stair step (as soon as he
starts going up). Then he will be told, “Okay, ***, you now go up
the stairs. Get the toy up there, that’s yours.” When he is at the
top, “Now, ***, go down the stairs, get these candies, they’re
yours, too.”

c. Application

With Positional Prompting, *** will go up the stairs by himself, as
well as go down.

d. Generalization

Let *** master the said skill by verbal, gesture, and positional
prompts before doing such skill, allowing him to discover how to
go up and down the stairs with more ease than ever. As time
passes by, he will slowly master this skill, until eventually he can   
already go up and down the stairs all by himself, without the use
of the banister. Since this skill is so useful at home, and outdoors,
the family members, most particularly his grandmother and his
aunt, will be advised that follow-through at home frequently
is very essential, with prompts at first, then, slowly, over time,
the number of prompts will diminish.

e. Evaluation

Let *** go up and down the stairs while holding the banister. His
initial fear of going up even the first step two months ago is totally
gone. No more trembling of knees, no more hesitation. Confidence
in doing this skill is now shown.  -- ARV

*** finally learned how to go up and down the stairs by himself: 

On Being a Special Education Teacher: The IEP


An IEP, Individualized Education Program, is essential for a child with special needs. The Sped teacher, preferably in collaboration with other experts in the field, should make an IEP tailor-fit to the concerned child's needs.

For a child who does not have an IEP yet, it is best to focus on the ADL or Activities of Daily Living, self-help tasks to make him/her less dependent on the parents, guardian, or caretaker.

 The IEP that I made for a child who had developmental delay was personally implemented and indeed, I saw dramatic changes in him. Even one single change, no matter how small, is very fulfilling enough for a Sped teacher like me.                          --ARV

Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Original Tagalog Poem (Tula): "Maraming Salamat, Panginoon"

Nung una kitang makilala,
binalewala kita
Kasi noon ay napakasaya ko
kasama ang aking esposo

Pero nung ako’y kanyang iniwan,
Kita’y muling nasilayan
At buhat nun ay litrato mo na ang aking itinago
sa pitaka ko para mabigyan ng lakas ang aking puso

Maraming salamat po, o Panginoon ko
Ang kaligayahang nadama ko buhat nang kita’y makilala ulit
ay sa katauhan ko’y bumalot na nang husto
at habang buhay ko, ang kasayahang ito’y ibibitbit

Sa pagmamahal mo’y wala na akong mahihiling pa
Habang tumatagal ay minamahal na rin Kita
Habang ako’y nabubuhay ay lagi kitang susundin,
mamahalin, at rerespetuhin

Maraming salamat, o Panginoon naming lahat, Panginoon ko
Ang kaligayahang nadama ko buhat nang kita’y makilala ulit
ay sa katauhan ko’y bumalot na nang husto
at habang buhay ko, ang kasayahang ito’y ibibitbit

Masayang-masaya ako ngayon at dahil sa Iyo ito
Maraming salamat, Panginoon   --ARV

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Short Story Analysis: "A Night in the Hills" by Paz Marquez Benitez

by Paz Marquez Benitez


         Gerardo Luna, a jewelry store salesman in his 30’s, has always dreamed to go to the forest which he regards as a beautiful place. One day, when Ambo, an orchid gatherer who buys some jewelry for his wife’s store, tells Gerardo about living in the forest for weeks at a time, the latter gets more interested, and tells his wife about it. However, his wife is eyeing only the business aspect of such idea. Hence, he never mentions his dream again.

         Then Gerardo’s wife dies. At last, he can fulfill his long-time dream, especially that Ambo has come again, with stories regarding newly opened public land on a forest plateau. So, the two of them plan to go to the forest.

         Before actually going to the planned trip, Gerardo’s Ate Tere is not so keen on the idea. She wants him to marry Peregrina who will surely take him the minute he proposes.

       Ambo and Gerardo go to the hills, and it is among the foothills where they spend noontime. Gerardo is tired and sweaty, and he asks for water, which, according to Ambo is ten minutes away. They walk and walk, and along the way Gerardo experiences nature in a manner that is not that wonderful for him.

         Finally they enter the dim forest. Gerardo is uncomfortable on his bed of small branches and twigs. He cannot sleep that night; he thinks of his wife, not fondly, though. He also thinks of God. He is oppressed by nostalgia.

         There is an eerie light in the forest, and Gerardo hears strange sounds that are caused by tree worms. Then he hears water from afar. All in all, he feels that he will never understand the forest.

         Gerardo goes home, first getting his house’s key from his Ate Tere. There he meets Peregrina whom he tells “Pereg, as soon as I get these clothes off I shall come to ask you a question that is very—very important to me.”
         As she smiled eagerly but uncertainly into his face, he heard a jangling in his hand. He felt, queerly, that something was closing above his hand, and that whoever was closing it, was rattling the keys.


1. Gerardo Luna - a jewelry store salesman in his 30’s, Protagonist, Developing
2. His wife – Antagonist, Flat, Static
3. Ambo - an orchid gatherer who buys some jewelry for his wife’s store, Flat, Static
4. Ate Tere or Sotera – Gerardo was a younger brother to the former mistress of her also younger brother, Flat, Static
5. Peregrina – Flat, Static

B. PLOT - Linear

     a)  Introduction

Gerardo Luna is being introduced, with the mention of his secret long-time dream of going to the forest.

b)  Rising Action

He tells her wife about such dream, but she brushes it off; thus, he forgets about that dream. Then she dies.

c)  Climax 

   The peak of this short story is when Gerardo is finally in the forest, and he experiences things that he has never though the forest has.

       d)    Falling action 

          Things start to “fall” when Gerardo realizes that the forest is not exactly what he has always dreamed.

       e)    Denouement

         When he goes back home, Gerardo feels he should get back to reality.


a)  place – in Intramuros, Manila, Philippines

b)  time- a long time ago

c)  weather conditions- fine

d)  social conditions- Gerardo has a nice job

 e)  mood or atmosphere- light


       The Point of View used in this short story is the Omniscient Limited - The author tells the story in third person (using pronouns they, she, he, it, etc).  We know only what the character knows and what the author allows him/her to tell us. We can see the thoughts and feelings of characters if the author chooses to reveal them to us.


         For me, the literary devices used in this story are Symbolism and Irony. Gerardo’s dream of going to the forest symbolizes the freedom he has always longed for. Meanwhile, this dream is ironic because the forest is not what he thinks it is.


         In my opinion, the theme things are not always as they appear to be is applicable to this story. 


         The conflict here is Internal, that of Man vs. Himself. Gerardo has always dreamed of going to the forest, and he has kept this within himself.  --ARV

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