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Ideas and Features For New Teachers 
and Veterans with Class

Volume 3, Issue 20

October 2007


Welcome back to our StarTeaching newsletter, 
Features for Teachers, packed full of tips, techniques, and ideas for educators of all students in all levels.  

Remember to bookmark this page and to visit our website for more great articles, tips, and techniques!

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

SQ3R Sheet
Check out our NEW FREE online resources, including the SQ3R sheet for reading 
and the Paragraph Graphic Organizer for writing.  These are forms you can fill in online and print, or have your students fill them in and print them for class!

Paragraph Organizer

Would you be interested in becoming a Featured Writer for the StarTeaching website?

Our Newsletter is now posting a opening for a creative educator interested in designing a set of weekly problem solving activities for students and teachers to use.  

Email your resume and letter of interest to:  editor@starteaching.com

Variety is the Mother of Learning

By Hany Salah
Senior Teacher, Egypt

Mr. Hany Salah Al-sherbiny is a senior teacher in Ahmad Lotfy Secondary School, Sinbellawain, Dakahlia, Egypt.  He has composed 30 essays on methodology, supervisory work and education included in his book "In Search of Distinction".

"Even the two halves of your face aren't  the same" While you are teaching, pay attention to the different types of intelligences dominating your students' learning. When you assess your students' learning, measure multiple forms of intelligence.    The lines below deserve something more than a quick look:

*Naturalistic Intelligence Learners are able to recognize, categorize and draw upon certain features of the environment.

*Bodily Kinesthetic Learners are able to use the whole body to solve problems.

*Musical Intelligence Learners are able to perform, compose and appreciate musical patterns.

*Interpersonal Intelligence Learners are able to understand the intentions, motivation and desire of other people.

*Intrapersonal Intelligence Learners are able to understand themselves, appreciate their own feelings, fears and motivations.

*Logical Intelligence Learners are able to analyze problems logically and carry out mathematical operations.

*Visual Intelligence Learners are able to recognize and use patterns of wide space and more confined areas.

* Linguistic Intelligence Learners are able to learn languages and respond positively to spoken and written language.

For sure, there are other classifications of learners. And the more you vary your techniques, the better your students learn. The progress of your students rests on your shoulders as a flexible teacher who tends to say "I always teach my student his way, not my way." Additionally, one learns what one likes so through rooting positive attitudes towards English into your students, whose intelligences are not the same, enhances their proficiency.


Looking for more ideas on writing?  See our website by clicking the following link:



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. Also be sure to check out our Who-I-Want-To-Be teacher plan for preparing yourself to enter the educational profession.  Simply click the following link: http://www.starteaching.com/free.htm

Want to check out the articles in our Student-Teaching series?  Check out our special Student-Teaching page through the following link:  http://www.starteaching.com/studentteachers.htm


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Third Day of Class Writing

By Frank Holes Jr.
Middle School Teacher

The writing process is important to focus on for all teachers.  The Third Day Assignment gets our kids into the swing of essay writing for the year.  

This is the first real attempt by our students to write a paragraph under the rules and guidelines for their grade level. The topic is easy, because it asks them to describe something they learned during the first two days of school. There are dozens of things students learn those two days, in school (classes, passing periods, lunch time, recess) and out of school (at home, at practice, at clubs or organizations, with their families or friends).

Brainstorming and organizing are key to the first paragraph, so we spend a great deal of time in discussion of the topic. It is important that each student has a concrete example to use in his or her paragraph. Have students fill out the graphic organizer, and go over it with them. Even pair up students if necessary. Teach the prewriting at this point and work hard at it so the students can go through this step quickly in the next writing assignment coming up in a few days.

Be sure to allow a generous amount of time this day for the extended teaching of the prewriting and the students' attempt at writing out a paragraph. Now we know some students will be good at this and really fly through it, and that's fine. Make sure those students have a secondary assignment to work on when they're done. Your real task is getting those middle-of-the-road and below average writers kicked in. Keep the time period risk free and encourage your kids, but also prod and push them to finish. Regardless of how much they completed, be sure to collect ALL the essays at the end of the class period.

Keep in mind that this is the first attempt by your students, and there will be a few pretty good ones, several ok ones, and probably a lot of bad ones. Keep the encouragement going. You want the kids to give you an excellent effort, even if it is a poor product. It's much easier to improve the writing than the student's effort.


Frank Holes is a middle school teacher and the editor of StarTeaching.
You can contact him at: editor@starteaching.com


Check out our selection of past articles, including more about school features, 
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Mastering Basic Skills software:


There are six modules designed to test the basic ability of an individual in terms of Memory & Concentration. Needless to say this is the most important basic skill for not just to survive but also to thrive in this competitive environment. Each of the six modules tests the six variants of Memory & Concentration in an individual, namely: 1. Picture recognition
2. Paired Associate Learning
3. Immediate Recall
4. Serial processing
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6. Recognition and Recall
Each of these modules runs at three different levels, from easy to difficult.

At each level, the individual's performance is depicted as Scores Obtained.

A feedback has been built into the software for all these 18 levels depending on the marks one scores during the test. 

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Essentially, this software is a SELF AWARENESS tool that surely motivates the individual to realize one's capability and seek or be receptive for improvement. Also, if repeatedly done over a period of time works as Training tool to enhance their capability.
This software package is specifically designed to help young children to learn basic skills that will help them in school.  Continued follow-up will give these young learners success as they mature.  

Three versions of the software exist: Individual Software on either CD or Online,   Family Version Software, and an Institutional Software package.

StarTeaching wholeheartedly supports and endorses this software.  It will make a difference with your child or student.


Year of the Dogman
A new novel by Frank Holes, Jr.

Part mystery, part science fiction, Year of the Dogman is an imaginative, compelling, and adrenaline-pumping adventure. Author Frank Holes, Jr. takes no prisoners in creating a diabolical creature that leaves the forest to prey on the hapless hamlet of Twin Lakes in Northern Michigan . When night falls, the nocturnal beast, Dogman, scares the living daylights out of anyone he happens upon as he searches for a timeless treasure stolen from a Native American tribe. In the midst of the chaos, a young teacher is forced to put two and two together no matter how high the cost to rid the village of the treacherous man-beast who thrives on destruction and terror.  

The Dogman, a creature of MythMichigan, is an excellent example of modern-day folklore to study in your classes.   


Order your copy by clicking the link below.

We now have special offers on Classroom Sets of our Novel.  Click here for more information:



New Teachers' Niche: 
A Place for New Teachers, Student Teachers, and Interns

Classroom Wrap Up Ideas

Opening your lesson is always important to focus your students for class. And a good wrap up activity is great for summarizing and closing your lesson. Early on in my teaching career, I focused on teaching 'coast to coast', right up until the end of the hour. Often my lessons ran until the bitter end, with students scrambling to pack up and rushing to their next class. Later on (as I got better) I began using wrap ups to close the lesson, summarize what the students learned, and provide a launching pad to the next day's lesson.

In English class, for example, the students will often complete short writing assignments as 'tickets out the door'. I've included a few short prompts at the end of this article that you can use (or feel free to adapt) in your own class. Some prompts take the form of short paragraphs, some are in the form of a quiz designed by the kids, and we even have some that are in a creative writing style.

Wrap-ups can take many forms. There are some teachers who simply ask questions of the class before students are released. If a student answers correctly, that student is allowed to pack up and perhaps even leave (depending on your school's policies). After a few questions, allow the remainder of the students to go on the next correct answer.  You can take volunteers for the answers or use a random choice technique.

Other teachers choose to have students write before they leave. Short writing prompts are great. These should only last a few minutes, and be easy for you to grade/correct/take credit if you choose to. An easy way to check the writing is by length - a certain number of required words or lines. Some writings take the form of answers to questions, so you can check the number of correct responses. Another powerful way is to have students create their own questions in the form of short quizzes. Students can make up true/false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blanks, short answer, or other types of quizzes.  Always have students include the answers.

There are even games you can play with your students as wrap ups.  Some store-bought games can easily be adapted and fit to your classroom. Simply change the game data by inserting your own questions and class curricular information. You might even create and develop your own games to play in class. As always, remember to factor time into your activity. You'll be able to get to only a few students in the time you have, so create a plan to randomly choose students or keep track of who has already participated. That way every student has an equal opportunity to participate.

Wrap-ups can be easy to design and implement in your class. And your students can have fun too using their creativity. The teacher must make a commitment to doing these every day. Then the procedure is in place for students and teacher alike. Wrap-ups are great for reviewing class material not only that day but over past classes. And they make an excellent transition to the next class.

Interested in FREE writing activities you can print out and use immediately in your classroom? Simply click the following link to our writing page: http://www.starteaching.com/writing.htm

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. Also be sure to check out our Who-I-Want-To-Be teacher plan for preparing yourself to enter the educational profession.  Simply click the following link: http://www.starteaching.com/free.htm

Want to check out the articles in our Student-Teaching series?  Check out our special Student-Teaching page through the following link:  http://www.starteaching.com/studentteachers.htm


Book of the Month Club:

The First Days of School

by Harry K. Wong & Rosemary T. Wong

Our October BOOK OF THE MONTH award is presented to The First Days of School, by Harry and Rosemary Wong.  This book is the absolute 'Bible' for getting yourself started into teaching.   With over 2.3 million copies sold, this teaching handbook is the most recognizable and best selling book in the education field.  

This is it, the big one, the indispensable one, THE BOOK for teachers, regardless of what area you teach, what age or grade level, or what school you teach in.  This book is for the brand new teachers and student teachers, and yet it has all of the important aspects of teaching that veterans know and understand.  Even for 'seasoned' teachers, reviewing the ideas and concepts in Wong's book each year reminds us and reaffirms us why we are in the educational profession and how we make such an important impact on the lives of our students.  

Each chapter includes many pictures, illustrations, graphics, and quotes to give simple directions for becoming an effective teacher.  Step by step instructions help to guide new teachers into setting up their classes, developing effective discipline systems, and professionally developing themselves.  It definitely is the most important book any new teacher can get his or her hands on!

Regardless of what subject matter, what grade level, or whatever school I'm at, there will always be a copy of Harry Wong's book on my school bookcase.  I look it over each summer before school starts, and I will constantly use it as a guide and handbook through the year, even after my many years of teaching.  

“The First Days of School is written to help all teachers 'jump-start' by beginning school successfully.” (The First Days of School, p.ii) 

“What teachers do is nothing short of a miracle that humbles and inspires us all.  For what you do, know that you are respected, indispensable, and loved.” (The First Days of School, p.xiii) 

You can order a copy of The First Days of School by clicking the link to our affiliate, Amazon.com 

Have you read The First Days of School?  Do you have comments you’d like to share with our readers about this book? Email your responses to editor@starteaching.com. Please type in BOOK CLUB READER RESPONSE in the subject line. Responses will be posted on our website with the StarTeaching Book of the Month Club.  All responses will be proofread, and may be edited for content and space before publication.

We welcome articles and book reviews from our readers.  Do you have a great educational book to share with our readers?  Write up a summary, along with the pertinent book information, and email it to us at  editor@starteaching.com. Please type in BOOK CLUB SUMMARY in the subject line.  Book reviews will be proofread and may be edited for content or space.



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"A Determined Spirit"

author unknown

Themes on Life

The actions of just one person can be huge... 

Once upon a time, a small bird named Tasoo lived in a vast jungle. One hot summer day, a terrible wildfire erupted and the flames devoured many trees and animals living in the jungle. Other birds flew high into the sky and far away to safety, but Tasoo couldn't bear to leave her precious jungle home to burn. Day and night, she flew with all her might back and forth to the river, filling her tiny beak with water to drop on the raging fires. Tasoo's rare heart of courage and unshakable determination moved the heavenly gods to shed tears, and a great rain poured down upon the jungle, extinguishing the flames. And so it is that even the smallest actions of a determined spirit can change the world.



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In This Week's Issue 
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Variety is the Mother of Learning

School Features:
Third Day of Class Writing Assignment

New Teacher's Niche:
Classroom Wrap Up Ideas

Book of the Month Club

Themes on Life:  
"A Determined Spirit "

10 Days of Writing Prompts

10 Days of Math Problems

Back To School  Book Sale for Teachers

Website of the Month


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10 Days Of


How are students pressured to wear particular types of clothing?


Describe Three fashion trends that influence what clothing you wear.  


Why is it good to donate your older clothes to needy people?


How would you influence other people to begin a fashion trend? 


Write a short story that describes something we learned in class this week.


Why is it important to stand up for what you believe in?


What are FIVE important beliefs you have?  


Why do people feel so strongly about their beliefs?


Are beliefs right or wrong?  Why or why not? 


Create a short FIVE question true/false quiz to cover this week's class information.


10 days of writing prompts


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Year of the Dogman

A New Novel by Frank Holes, Jr.
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Website of the MONTH



Coming Soon:

Designing and Running a Medieval Fair

Technology & Teaching: Exactly What Are Our Kids Learning?

Discipline Procedures in School

Teaching the Writing Process


Are You Looking For a Teaching Job?

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10 Days of 
Math Problems
by Mary Ann Graziani

Day 1


Tom took money out of his saving account and bought a basketball for $9 and a soccer ball for $9.  He then took out $8 more from his savings account and now has $26.  How much money did he have before he bought the basketball?
Day 2


Rachel put change
in her piggy bank. 
She put 3 pennies, 4
quarters, 3 dimes,
and 2 nickels.  What
is the probability of
picking out a

A dime?
A quarter? 
A penny?

Day 3


If there are 250 apples split up equally between 50 crates, how many apples does each crate hold?

Day 4


Barbara drinks 1 cup of juice.  Samantha drinks ¾ more juice than Barbara.  Nancy has ½ cup more juice than Samantha.  Pam has ¾ cup more than Nancy .  How much juice did they drink altogether?

Day 5

Multiplying Integers:

Remember:  Positive x positive = positive
 Positive x negative = negative      Negative x positive = negative      Negative x negative = positive

Solve:  - 4 x – 2 =

Day 6

40 x -2 =

Day 7

-80 x 4 =

Day 8

-20 x -30 =

Day 9 Integers: Solve the Integers:

1 + -4 + 10 + -5 =

-5 + -9 + -2 + -6 =

Day 10


Mark has to find the perimeter of a rectangle.  The top and bottom of the rectangle is 12 inches, and other sides are 4 inches.  What is the perimeter of the rectangle?




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