FEATURES  FOR   TEACHERS

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Ideas and Features For New Teachers 
and Veterans with Class

Volume 4, Issue 7

April 2008

StarTeaching Store Advertise with us Previous Articles Submit an Article FREE Reports Feature Writers New Teacher's Niche Tech Center  
   

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

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Remember to bookmark this page and to visit our website for more great articles, tips, and techniques!
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Also, feel free to email this newsletter to a friend or colleague!  

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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 in8 designing a set of weekly science activities for students and teachers to use.  

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

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School Band Fundraisers

By Kimberly Reynolds

Talk about your hard workers! Band groups are awesome when it comes to putting forth the effort it takes for fundraising success. The key is making sure they have the right fundraiser that will leverage all that energy.


In this article, we'll consider three band fundraisers that:
*Take some effort
*Are perfect for medium-sized groups
*Produce excellent results
Citrus Fruit:
One band fundraiser that fits the easy fundraiser formula is selling cases of citrus fruit shipped direct from the Florida groves.

Here, the band members use an order-taker brochure to explain the offering to prospective supporters.

You really need to go door-to-door or sell from a merchant table to achieve the kind of numbers where you'll raise substantial funds. This is perfect for a band group with enough members to canvass entire neighborhoods by working in pairs.

Customers can choose from Navel Oranges, Tangelos, Tangerines, Red Grapefruits, and mixed cartons. Order sizes range from ten pounds all the way up to forty pounds.

A common size is 2/5 of a bushel or 20 pounds. Generally, you can expect to pay roughly $8 for this size and make a profit of $4 each. These are rough prices because citrus fruit can vary in price based on weather patterns and availability.

Citrus fruit is a wintertime offering with availability best between mid-November through mid-April. There are discounts for large orders and bonuses for ordering a whole truckload.
Christmas Wreaths:
Another band fundraiser that's a good fit is selling Christmas wreaths via an order-taker brochure.

It's another late fall fundraiser that takes advantage of a holiday "must have" decoration.

Since they're made fresh, you can get an early jump on the retail stores and conduct your fundraiser as an order taker before Thanksgiving.

There are a number of offerings in addition to the traditional door wreath.

Suppliers also offer door swags, mantelpieces, centerpieces, candle wreath packs, and fresh cut holly. Prices range from $17 up to $50.

Profits are approximately 40% of the selling price on most items, so it makes a great band fundraiser because the total revenue is high.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how quickly your band profits can add up with an aggressive marketing campaign. You need to set some high goals for each band member, such as ten sales each before Thanksgiving.

Delivery is easy, with each wreath sealed in a plastic bag to preserve freshness. Get your orders in early and allow two weeks minimum for delivery.
Coffee Fundraiser:
A third band fundraiser that produces great results is a coffee sale. Like the other two fundraisers we've already discussed, a large selection of pre-bagged coffee products are sold via an order-taker brochure.

Your supporters can select from twenty or more flavors. Most suppliers have small "dollar bags" or the better selling half-pound package.

Usually, the cost for a half pound of quality coffee is $3, and the retail price is $5 or $6. You can offer a choice of whole bean, or ground varieties.

The idea here is to tap into the market for something that almost every household buys regularly, then expand upon it with multiple flavors.

Their names conjure up images of a cup of coffee wafting delicious aromas throughout the kitchen - flavors like Hazelnut, Toasted Almond, Hawaiian Coconut, Butterscotch, or Morning Glory.

Again, success is best achieved by presenting your offering to large numbers of prospective supporters. Set up a table at any event that draws a large crowd. Offer samples from tiny paper cups. Get the word out to as many people as you can.

Your band group works hard. Make sure you pick a band fundraiser that works just as hard by being impossible to resist. 

About The Author: Kimberly Reynolds writes about fundraising ideas and tips on band fundraisers on her website. Find hundreds of fundraiser ideas on her website:  http://www.fundraiserhelp.com/fundraiser-ideas.htm

 

 

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Each individual can assess his/her performance any time by clicking on "history", which gives complete details of date and time of taking the tests, marks scored each time and even time taken to do the test. This builds the confidence level and encourages more participation to eventually culminate in improvement and enhancement of memory and concentration.

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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.  

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  TECH CORNER

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Web 2.0 What Can It Do For You?

By Mark Benn
Middle School Teacher

Mark's current articles detail the new Web 2.0 

A while back I wrote about Web 2.0 and what it was all about. It's now time to revisit this issue and get more practical about its use. 
 
To refresh your memory, Web 1.0 was basically static. You went to the Internet to get written information or pictures. The only interaction you had with the Internet was the reading you did. Along came Web 2.0, and with it a move from static to interactive. Today, you are no longer just a consumer, but can become a producer as well. Students today see the Internet as a part of them and their daily lives as they interact with it. So how can we make it a part of the everyday classroom? 
 
1. Documents-In our school, a student opens up Microsoft Word and works on their document. When they save it, it goes into their network file until they need it later. The problem with this is, what if they want to work on it later at home? Sorry, it can't be done. Or what about the student that does work on a document at home and then emails it to school. Once at the school they can't open it up properly because of the application they used at home. How about moving from one system to another, meaning from Linux to Mac to PC? This causes plenty of headaches. What if I told you all this could be solved. We are beginning to shift our students to Web 2.0 applications. All my students have opened an iGoogle account. It's free and easy to do. 
 
step 1-open google 
step 2-choose Sign in at the upper right 
step 3-then choose Create an account now at the middle right 
 
Once you've opened an account, make sure you confirm the email. In your iGoogle account choose Add Stuff at the top right. Then type in google in the Search for Gadgets section. Choose Google Docs. Make sure you are using Foxfire, Internet Explorer, or Safari 3.0 for your browser. Once set up you are now ready to compose and save any documents you want. All the problems of before will be gone. A student can get to their work any time and print it from any computer. 
 
The account also has Spreadsheet and Presentation applications. These don't have all the bells and whistles of Microsoft Office, but they do the job. Another place to go is
www.zoho.com. Once again, it is free and has even more applications. Both Google and Zoho are continuing to improve their applications. 
 
2. Blogs-Blog is short for Web Log. The best way to describe it is an online journal. You, as the teacher could post and have students comment on it. Research has shown that students write better when they know others will see it. That has certainly been the case when I've done blogs. There are many sites out there, but the one I use is
www.classblogmeister.com.This site is designed for teachers. A student's blog is not published until you, the teacher, has approved it. You can make comments and then send it back for editing before it is published. The other thing is, you can teach students how to make good comments on other blogs. Once again, these comments don't go anywhere until you've approved them. 
 
3. Videos-Have students make videos on what they've learned and upload them to
www.teachertube.com. Make a How to video and make it available for your students to use. The good thing is the fact that this is not a site that's blocked in schools. 
 
4. Wiki-I know you are probably saying, what is that? A wiki is a collaborative tool where students can work together on the same project at the same time. Create a wiki and participants can go to the wiki at their convenience to add, change, and edit content. You can add images and web-links to the document. There are many sites available for this. I've used
http//voicethread.com/#home . This is a site for K-12 educators to use with their students. The difference that this site offers is voice. Check out the site to see examples of what can be done with the students. This is a site for even the younger students to use and be creative. 
 
 
We live in a different world where the Internet is a vital part of it. I've only touched on some of the possibilities.  We, as educators, need to bring real world application into our classrooms, instead of turning our students off to learning with our 20th century ways. Check it out and give it a chance, because your students will be more engaged, and with proper engagement comes learning. 

Mark Benn earned his B.S. from Western Michigan University and his Elementary Certification from Northern Michigan University.  He is a 20 year teaching veteran of 5th and 6th grade students at Inland Lakes Middle School in Indian River, MI.  He is currently working on Masters of Integration of Technology from Walden University. 

Prior to teaching, Mark spent 11 years as Department Manager for Sears, Roebuck and Co. dealing with emerging technologies.  He has been married to his wife Bonnietta for 32 years with one daughter and two sons.  In the summers, Mark works for Mackinac State Historic Parks in the as a historical interpreter.

StarTeaching Featured Writer

Mark Benn is a leading expert in using technology in the classroom.  
You can feel free to contact him on email at mbenn@inlandlakes.org or at his blogsite:  http://www.furtrader.blogspot.com/ 

 

Check out our selection of past articles, including more about groups and stations, from previous issues at:

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Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
(part 1)

Courtesy of K12Academics.com

The phrase "obsessive-compulsive" has worked its way into the wider English lexicon, and is often used in an offhand manner to describe someone who is meticulous or absorbed in a must have either obsessions or compulsions alone, or obsessions and compulsions, according to the DSM-IV-TR diagnostic criteria. The Quick Reference to the diagnostic criteria from DSM-IV-TR (2000) describes these obsessions and compulsions:

Obsessions are defined by:
1. Recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are experienced, at some time during the disturbance, as intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress.

2. The thoughts, impulses, or images are not simply excessive worries about real-life problems.

3. The person attempts to ignore or suppress such thoughts, impulses, or images, or to neutralize them with some other thought or action.

4. The person recognizes that the obssesed thoughts, impulses, or images are a product of his or her own mind.

Compulsions are defined by:
1. Repetitive behaviors or mental acts that the person feels driven to perform in response to an obsession, or according to rules that must be applied rigidly.

2. The behaviors or mental acts are aimed at preventing or reducing distress or preventing some dreaded event or situation; however, these behaviors or mental acts either are not connected in a realistic way with what they are designed to neutralize or prevent or are clearly excessive.

In addition to these criteria, at some point during the course of the disorder, the sufferer must realize that his/her obsessions or compulsions are unreasonable or excessive. Moreover, the obsessions or compulsions must be time consuming (taking up more than one hour per day), cause distress, or cause impairment in social, occupational, or school functioning. OCD often causes feelings similar to that of depression.

Bobby Rcci sometimes does. Modern research has revealed that OCD is much more common than previously thought. An estimated 1 in 50 adolescents and adults are thought to have OCD. However, because of the condition's personal nature, and the lingering stigma that surrounds it, there may be many unaccounted-for OCD sufferers, and the actual percentages could be even higher.

The typical OCD sufferer performs tasks (or compulsions) to seek relief from obsession related anxiety. To others, these tasks may appear odd and unnecessary. But for the sufferer, such tasks can feel critically important, and must be performed in particular ways to ward off dire consequences and to stop the stress from building up. Examples of these tasks: repeatedly checking that one's parked car has been locked before leaving it; turning lights on and off a set number of times before exiting a room; repeatedly washing hands at regular intervals throughout the day.

Symptoms may include some, all or perhaps none of the following:
Repeated hand-washing.

Specific counting systems — e.g. counting in groups of four, arranging objects in groups of three, grouping objects in odd/even numbered groups, etc.

One serious symptom which stems from this is "counting" your steps, e.g. you must take twelve steps to the car in the morning.

Perfectly aligning objects at complete, absolute right angles, etc. This symptom is shared with OCPD and can be confused with this condition unless it is realized that in OCPD it is not stress-related.

Having to "cancel out" bad thoughts with good thoughts. Examples of bad thoughts are:

Imagining harming a child, and having to imagine a child playing happily to cancel it out.

Unwanted sexual thoughts. Two classic examples are fear of being homosexual or fear of being a pedophile. In both cases, sufferers will obsess over whether or not they are genuinely aroused by the thoughts.

A fear of contamination; some sufferers may fear the presence of human body secretions such as saliva, sweat, tears, or mucus, or excretions such as urine or feces. Some OCD sufferers even fear that the soap they're using is contaminated.

A need for both sides of the body to feel even. A person with OCD might walk down a sidewalk and step on a crack with the ball of their left foot, then feel the need to step on another crack with the ball of their right foot. Also, if one hand gets wet, the sufferer may feel very uncomfortable if the other is not.

There are many other possible symptoms, and one need not display those above to suffer from OCD. It is important to remember that one must be diagnosed by a doctor to officially suffer from OCD in medical terms; furthermore, possessing the symptoms above is not an absolute sign of OCD.

Article courtesy of K12Academics.com

K12Academics.com

 

 

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

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Student Biographies And Interviewing

Our biography project begins with careful planning long before the actual class implementation. The first step is to set up the access to information. We arrange our time with our local librarian so she's well aware of the project expectations. She always thinks of details we need, and she's really good about setting out autobiography/biography books and materials for us.


The students each check out an autobiography/biography book from the library. I require teacher's permission and approval before check out.  I do allow students to use outside books, but they must still be brought in to be approved.

We allow students to 'test drive' the books for a one-week span. If the subject is just too boring or awful for the student, I do allow them to change books (though the due date stays the same!) The most important aspect to me is the reading of the book; we'll take time every day during the project to quiet read in the classroom. I want to stress the importance of the reading of biographical text, since it's much different than the fictional works they normally read.

You can also skip ahead of the reading of the book and move right into the fact finding session. If you have internet access and an updated encyclopedia you can find most or even all of the facts abut your subject. But make sure your students are reading the books too. This is important to get an overall, rounded-view of their character. Be careful that your students have chosen biographies and not historical fiction or the various 'diary' books out there now!

This next step is to identify what information you want your students to find about their subject. We call this our 'fact-finding' stage. We complete a note taking sheet which organizes the students' research.  You can find a copy of our 'fact-finding' worksheet on our website.  There are basic facts to find such as personal and family information, employment, and education.

Then there are the facts which must be uncovered, such as mentors they had, who they have influenced, their impact on society, and why they'll be remembered in history. Lastly, I'll have students complete several short writing assignments extending the new knowledge.  Sometimes students create interview questions and formulate fictional answers based on what they think the person would say. Another idea is to create a fictional conversation with that person which is held around a dinner table or around a campfire. There are many applications you can create to use the students' facts.

Finally, you need to consider what the students will do with their completed research. We have had students create PowerPoint documents and give in-class presentations. We have had them create posters to display their findings. This year we're putting our research onto each student's website along with any multi-media that is available to us (such as clip art, photos, audio and/or video clips).

Most years, we will have students pair up and interview each other.  Students find out personal information about each other, such as basic family and friends, schools and education, and where they've lived.  They pose questions on likes/dislikes, favorites, and goals for the future. You can go ahead and create a short sheet of sample questions, then allow students to create their own as the interview goes on (also check out our website for a FREE printable copy of the interview sheet we use in class). Allow each student about 10-15 minutes to ask questions and write down answers, then have students trade roles.

Now you have enough information to create student biographies (or give the data sheets to the owners and have students create autobiographies). We will write these up in a narrative form to tell a life story, but we've also done projects like PowerPoints, web pages, and posters. One favorite is cutting out t-shirt shapes out of paper and having students write on them and decorate them with photos, drawings, and clip art. These are then presented to the class and hung in the hallways.

The biography project is not only required in our curriculum, but it is also fun for the students. It is also a great means of incorporating an informational text (non-fiction) into your class curriculum.


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"Is Packaging Important To You?"
Author Unknown

Themes on Life

How are our blessings packaged?

A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.


As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man's name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, "With all your money you give me a Bible?" He then stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.


Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and a wonderful family, but realizing his father was very old, he thought perhaps he should go to see him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make the arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.


When he arrived at his father's house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he was reading, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer's name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words….."PAID IN FULL".


How many times do we miss blessings because they are not packaged as we expected? Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

 

 


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In This Week's Issue 
(Click the Quick Links below):

School Band Fundraisers

Tech Corner: 
Web 2.0 - What Can It Do For You?

New Teacher's Niche:
Student Biographies And Interviewing

Themes on Life:  
"Is Packaging Important To You?"

Obsessive - Compulsive Disorder (part 1)

10 Days of Writing Prompts

10 Days of Math Problems

Spring Book Sale for Teachers

Book of the Month Club


 

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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

What is a 'Life-Changing Event'?

Day
2

Describe THREE life-changing events that could affect you.  

Day
3

How can a natural disaster be a life-changing event?

Day
4

How can moving be a life-changing event?

Day
5

Create a short, 10 question TRUE/FALSE quiz to cover this week's class information.

Day
6

How has the internet changed over your lifetime?

Day
7

Describe FIVE important aspects of the internet that you use on a daily basis.

Day
8

How is the internet used in your classes at school? 

Day
9

What are THREE ways you wish you could use the internet in class?

Day
10

 Describe THREE bits of information from another class that relates to something we studied this week.

 

10 days of writing prompts

 

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Year of the Dogman


A New Novel by Frank Holes, Jr.
Now Available!
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BOOK of the MONTH


Performance Appraisals
Made Easy

By Dr. Lisabeth S. Margulus

 

 

Coming Soon:

Preparing for Student Teaching

Technology & Teaching: Seamless Integration into Curriculum

Getting Ready for Next Year

Setting Up Your Classroom


 

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10 Days of 
Math Problems
by Mary Ann Graziani

Day 1

Colored pencil Pattern:

red, yellow,  
red, yellow, blue,  
red, yellow, blue, green.

The pattern continues, adding pink, orange, purple, and white colored pencils. 
 
How many colored pencil are there in all?

Day 2

ADDITION SQUARE

 



 

 

 



 



 



An addition game for two players.
Only the numbers 0-1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12 can be used and each number can be used only once. The player who goes first is not allowed to begin the game with the middle square. The goal of the game is to be the first one to get three digits in a row either vertically, horizontally, or diagonally where two of the digits can be added to equal the third digit.  The order of the digits in the row is of no importance.
Day 3 There are two numbers. Their sum is 15. Their difference is 3. What are the two numbers?
Day 4 What is the number  if you multiply by 1 and then subtract 5 and it is -3?
Day 5 What is  the number if you divide by 9 and then subtract 2 and it is -1?
Day 6 What is  the number if you subtract 8 and then subtract -7 and it is -3?
Day 7 What is the number if you multiply by 33 and then subtract -88 and it is 1309?
Day 8 Some fifth graders at Logan School took a survey asking students whether they felt a lot of worry, a little worry, or no worry. The survey showed that 1/5 felt a lot of worry, 1/2 felt a little worry, and 3/10 felt no worry. There were 9 students that felt no worry. How many students took the survey?
Day 9

A basket contains 5 apples. Do you know how to divide them to 5 kids so that each one has an apple and one apple stays in the basket?

Solution:
4 kids get an apple (one apple for each one of them) and the fifth kid gets an apple with the basket still containing the apple.

Day 10

Using four sevens (7) and a one (1) create the number 100. Except the five numerals you can use the usual mathematical operations (+, -, x, :), root and brackets

 

 

 

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