FEATURES  FOR   TEACHERS

Visit our Website at: www.starteaching.com

Ideas and Features For New Teachers 
and Veterans with Class

Volume 2, Issue 7

May 2006

   

 

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Preparing for Your Student-Teaching Experience 

by Frank Holes, Jr.
Middle School Teacher

 

Your student teaching experience is a very important step in your teaching career.  In fact, your entire outlook on teaching and learning can be affected by your success during this period of your life.  This series of articles will help give you excellent 'insider information' on what they didn't teach you in your college classes.  

There are many questions you'll want to pose to yourself far in advance of your student teaching experience. It is important to think carefully about them, as they will help to guide the actions and decisions you make. What kind of teacher do you want to become? Are there other teachers who have been a positive influence on you? Who have been your role models? Are there teachers you've had whose style you want to emulate? Are there teachers you know you don't want to be like? What has worked for some teachers that you want to implement in your own practice?

Who do you see yourself as? What style will you create for your own teaching? How will you balance the subject matter with the care for kids? How do you want the students to see you? How do you want your students to remember you five, ten, or twenty years later on? Will they remember you as a positive influence on them? Could you potentially change their lives?

Create a plan to become your dream. Do it now. Talk with teachers you admire and respect: those you want to model yourself after. Discuss the techniques and ideas that work for them, and use or adapt what you feel is useful. You can also check out the FREE teacher "Who I Want To Be" inventory available on our website. It gives ideas, provides guidance, and helps to create a plan for starting out on your teaching career.

Click here to see the "Who I Want To Be" teacher plan on our website.  

Meeting your mentor teacher as early as possible is very important. The two of you must form a bond, a cohesive unit in the classroom. Your co-op teacher will become the most important contact for this point in your career. They provide you not only with support, guidance, and structure, but also critique. Your co-op teacher's evaluation and recommendation is vital to your resume and to interviewing.

Planning will become very important to every aspect of your life, from school to your personal life. One huge difference is planning for class. Not anymore are you just setting up an activity or a day's lesson plan. Now you must think in terms of the long haul. It becomes a campaign where you must have an overall picture of what you'll cover with your students.

Also within this overall framework, you must have weekly and then daily plans. You'll also have to reflect daily and adjust and (re-adjust) your plans depending upon how each lesson or activity goes (or doesn't go!) The daily grind is often interrupted by school-wide activities, fire drills, and those 'teachable moments' that happen on the spur of the moment. You'll need to be flexible and able to adapt on a daily (or even hourly) basis. But that's a part of teaching!

Another concern many new teachers and student teachers have is becoming involved in extra-curricular activities. There are several ways to look at this. First, it is a good idea to become involved in extra-curriculars at your school. These are good resume' builders, and your involvement shows potential employers you are a team player and willing to go the extra mile for your school and job. Extra curriculars also set you up in a new and different relationship with those students. They are able to see you in a different role too, and many times you're able to create in-roads with students whom you might not otherwise make a connection. Of course, taking part in extra-curriculars means more time and efforts put in, especially when you're already pulled in all directions. However, it is in your best interest to find an activity you can join, even if just as an assistant.

You will also need to carefully plan your personal time while student teaching. In addition to the increased teaching and planning load, your time will be further divided by your college, which undoubtedly has course work or projects for you to accomplish. There are always hoops to jump through. If you have a family, you'll be pulled in even more directions as you find the new balance between home and work.

Be sure to check out our website for more great information, tips, and techniques for new teachers, student-teachers, and interns in teacher prep programs. Simply click the following link: http://www.starteaching.com/free.htm

The next articles in this series will focus on your responsibilities both in the classroom and to your university.  We will look into developing and setting up your class, working with curriculum, as well as tips and techniques that will give you great success!

 

 

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A prosperous spring to you all from the staff at StarTeaching.  

Remember to bookmark this page and to visit our website for more great articles, tips, and techniques!
http://www.starteaching.com

Also, feel free to email this newsletter to a friend or colleague!  

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The Apple iPod As A Great 
Learning and Resource Tool

By Ken Cheong

There is no doubt that the Apple iPod has become a common item amongst today's youth as a great music player. But is the iPod more than just a music player?

In fact, the iPod is more than a music player. It is also a great teaching and learning tool as well. And it is guaranteed to help you learn fast. 

Audio Books 

Besides music, the iPod also plays audio books. These are essentially books that has been converted into a audio format and saved as a MP3 file. From a technical angle, there is no difference in the file format between a music or a book and you can download and play the same audio book off your computer or your iPod. This opens you to a whole library of 'books' for your iPod. 

These can include many great books found in public domains and downloaded for free. There are also many good commercial 'books' that you can purchase for a small price. These audio books are great as you can play them over and over again in the car, on the train or even on the plane. It's a good way to kill time and gain knowledge at the same time. 

The best thing about audio books is that you do not need to read. Let the book read to you and this can be a great enhancement for learning while driving or while sitting in a shaky bus or train. 

Podcasting 

Have you also heard of podcasting? If you have not, these are simply audio files published by individuals or companies covering interest topics ranging from music, technology, current affairs, news, politics, cars, sales and marketing, electronics, fashion to many other interesting niche areas. 

They then put up these audio files in certain podcast stations on the internet. 

Most podcast are free and you can download and treat them just like audio books. Similarly, you can subscribe and organize these podcast on your computer iTunes and then synchronize them to your iPod. It's also a great way to gain knowledge while driving or taking transport to school or work. 

What is gaining fast popularity today is video podcast. Video podcast are essentially video files that can be downloaded and again, it covers a great genre of subject. (As a matter of fact, I am learning about designing my own podcast by watching a video podcast of this subject.) 

However, you can only watch a video podcast on your computer or on the latest iPod video model. All earlier models of iPod will not be capable of playing video. With the iPod video, you can also output the video signal to a normal TV and watch the entire podcast on TV as well. 

What's more, you can watch them, stop them, rewind them or repeat these audio or video podcasts as often as you like. What better way to learn? 

So who says that iPods are meant for music only?

Ken Cheong / Katherine Xie have 4 iPods starting from the 2G model. Katherine runs a popular website, http://www.smart-ipod-ideas.com, that gives tips on iPods as well as showcase quality iPod accessories from Japan. 

Article Source: http://www.Free-Articles-Zone.com

 



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Our Website Store for Specials:

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Website of the Month:

Sheppard Software:
Online Educational Games
& Quizzes

Our May WEBSITE OF THE MONTH award is presented to, Sheppard Software:
Online Educational Games and Quizzes
. Students in our social studies classes at both the middle school and high school are using this site to practice their geography skills.  However, there are great games and quizzes in other subjects too.  

The Sheppard Software site is a great resource for both students and teachers.  It is broken up into two basic areas, the Online Games and the Daily Quizzes.  

The Games area contains several interactive games to both teach students and test their knowledge.  Our social studies classes use these games, in particular the geography map games, to learn countries and capitols on each continent.  It also includes a US map with states and capitols, as well as Canada and Mexico.  Your students can also try their skills at the entire world.  

  The Quiz area includes facts and information on a variety of subjects, including animals, math facts, health and fitness, and history.  The science area has a quiz on the periodic table similar to the geography maps.  There are even questions on SAT/GRE vocabulary and medical and technological terms.  Each quiz includes the answers so your students can learn as they go.  

Check this site out, you'll be glad you did.  Simply click the link below:

http://www.sheppardsoftware.com

 

 


 

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"Tortoise and the Hare:
Who Won The Race?"
Author Unknown

Themes on Life

Everyone's heard this tale before, right?  But lets look a bit deeper into the story and see if it indeed stops where we remember it.

Once upon a time a tortoise and a hare had an argument about who was faster. They decided to settle the argument with a race. They agreed on a route and started off the race.

The hare shot ahead and ran briskly for some time. Then seeing that he was far ahead of the tortoise, he thought he'd sit under a tree for some time and relax before continuing the race. He sat under the tree and soon fell asleep. The tortoise, plodding on, overtook him and soon finished the race, emerging as the undisputed champ. The hare woke up and realized that he'd lost the race.

The moral of the story is that slow and steady wins the race. This is the version of the story that we've all grown up with.

But recently, someone told me a more interesting version of this story. It continues:

The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some soul-searching. He realized that he'd lost the race only because he had been overconfident, careless and lax. If he had not taken things for granted, there's no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. The tortoise agreed.

This time, the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. He won by several miles.

The moral of the story? Fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady.

But the story doesn't end here.

The tortoise did some thinking this time and realized that there's no way he can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted. He thought for a while and then challenged the hare to another race, but on a slightly different route. The hare agreed. They started off.

In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast, the hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The finishing line was a couple of kilometers on the other side of the river. The hare sat there wondering what to do. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along, got into the river, swam to the opposite bank, continued walking and finished the race.

The moral of the story? First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency.

The story still hasn't ended.

The hare and the tortoise, by this time, had become pretty good friends and they did some thinking together. Both realized that the last race could have been run much better. So they decided to do the last race again, but to run as a team this time.

They started off and this time, the hare carried the tortoise to the riverbank. There, the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back. On the opposite bank, the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together. They both felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they'd felt earlier.

The moral of the story? It's good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies but unless you're able to work in a team and harness each other's core competencies, you'll always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you'll do poorly and someone else does well.

Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership, letting the person with the relevant core competency for a situation take leadership.

There are more lessons to be learned from this story. Note that neither the hare nor the tortoise gave up after failures. The hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure. The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as hard as he could.

In life, when faced with failure, sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and put in more effort. Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try something different. And sometimes it is appropriate to do both.

The hare and the tortoise also learned another vital lesson. When we stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against the situation, we perform far better.



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What's New at StarTeaching

Monthly Updates to our Website

 

Be sure to check out our website by clicking the link below:

http://www.starteaching.com

It's loaded with great tips and techniques by teachers for teachers.  You can find articles from the past newsletters, as well as special reports and 'freebies'.  

We've updated our Technology Page.  In addition to great articles on integrating technology in to classes, you'll find step-by-step directions for creating student web pages and Power Points.  

One great new freebie on the tech page is Mark Benn's Computer Literacy Terms worksheet you can print out and give to your students or make into an overhead sheet.  There are two worksheets, so you have one for beginners and one for more advanced students.

http://www.starteaching.com/technology.htm

 

See more of our Freebies as well as Special Reports on our website by clicking the quick link below:

http://www.starteaching.com/free.htm

Make sure to BOOKMARK our website so you can keep up with more changes and additions through the year.  And feel free to share our site by EMAILING it to a friend.

http://www.starteaching.com

 


Email us at editor@starteaching.com

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In This Week's Issue 

(Click the Quick Links below):

Preparing for Your Student-Teaching Experience

The Apple iPod As A Great Learning and Resource Tool

Website of the Month

Themes on Life:  
"Tortoise and the Hare: Who Won The Race?"

10 Days of Writing Prompts

Spring Book Sale for Teachers

Book of the Month Club

What's New at StarTeaching


 

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All articles will be proofread, and may be edited for content and/or length.

 

10 Days Of
Writing 
Prompts 

Day
1

Why do we need laws?

Day
2

What are FIVE important laws we need to follow?

Day
3

If you were the president/governor, what laws would you want enforced?

Day
4

Why is it a difficult process to create new laws?  How does this protect our rights?

Day
5

Make up a short, 5 question fill-in-the-blank quiz to cover this week's class information. 

Day
6

Why is it important to behave appropriately when you're on a field trip?

Day
7

If you were the teacher, describe TWO different places you'd take your class on a field trip.

Day
8

What can you learn on a field trip that you cannot learn in your regular classroom or school?

Day
9

Why do schools take students on field trips?  Do they have to be 'educational' trips?  Why or why not?

Day
10

Write down THREE questions you still have about what was covered in class this week.  How can you get these answered?

 

10 days of writing prompts

 

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Be sure to check out our
BOOK of the MONTH



Teaching Makes A Difference

by 
Carol Cummings

 

 

 

Coming Soon:

Designing and Running a Medieval Fair

Technology & Teaching: Setting up for Handhelds

Discipline Procedures in School

Creating Web Pages in class


 

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