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Ideas and Features For New Teachers 
and Veterans with Class

Volume 4, Issue 23

December 2008

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Features for Teachers, packed full of tips, techniques, and ideas for educators of all students in all levels.   

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Does Experiential Learning
Facilitate Learners to Construct
Their Own Knowledge?

By Yasmeen Jumani

Yasmeen Jumani has been a teacher Educator for the past 11 years.  She has done her Masters in Islamic History from the University of Karachi.  She has a Master in Education from Hamdard University, Institute of Education and Social Sciences, A VT certificate from AKU-IED along with an advance diploma in (PTEP) Professional Teacher Education Program from IIS and AKU- IED. 

She may be contact at yrjumani@gmail.com

Undoubtedly the attendance of students can be quantified very easily in any of the class by the teacher but it is a great disappointment when they are mentally absent while important negotiation been carried out.

But this greatly depends on the mode of teaching — whether it is child-centered or teacher-centered approach. No doubt, the child-centered approach focuses on the involvement of children through an exchange of ideas during the teaching-learning process, whereas the teacher-centered approach focuses on the teacher’s behavior towards his or her students.

There is a Chinese proverb, “I hear, I forget. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.” Experiential learning is that process of learning which invites the learners to partake and decide what they wish to learn. Until the student plans out what is it that has to be discovered, elaborated, identified, experimented upon, etc., active learning cannot take place. The American Heritage Dictionary of English Language describes learning as “the act, process, or experience of gaining knowledge or skill”. The Webster definition describes learning as “the cognitive process of acquiring skill or knowledge: “the child’s acquisition of language” however, there could be a variety of responses about “simply doing” or “the activity or participating in the experience.”

In the words of John Dewey, “Experiential learning takes place when a person involved in an activity looks back and evaluates it, determines what was useful or important to remember, and uses this information to perform another activity.”

Dewey in his book The School and Social Progress (1907) advocates the gap between the two. ‘School’, known as a learning institution, merely emphasizes on the cognition rather than application. He thinks that discipline is acquired through experience and it comes from within. Today’s schooling is not providing ample opportunities to engage into constructing their own discipline, rather they are promoting behavioral responses.

He proposes ‘active inquiry learning’, a methodology for the children to develop knowledge, skills and attitude that further enable them to seek holistic development. Thus experiential learning infuses in them an ability to be self-developed and self-disciplined.

Socrates was known for using an oral questioning procedure and dialectical reasoning in his teaching. He would ask a question, receive an answer, and then ask another question to compel the student to think about the defects, limitations, or contradictions in the first answer. This method used by Socrates became the foundation of educational techniques, designed to motivate the learner to think carefully, to test himself, and to improve his knowledge.

According to Robert fisher (1990), “Thinking involves critical and creative aspects of the mind, both the use of reason and the generation of ideas. Thinking is involved in a mental activity that helps to formulate or solve a problem to make a decision or seek understanding.” Thus learning is seen as the creation of knowledge through the transformation of experience.

On the other hand, Dewey’s experiential learning is indeed an advance form of learning where learners are involved in a particular process to reach a point by creating experiences where they could contrast their own knowledge. During the whole process the quest for seeking new meaning would bring on a curiosity to explore and identify the skill to present knowledge.

The pedagogical approach enables learners to partake in the process embodied in constructivism (Jonassen, Peok and Wilson; 1999). On the other hand, constructivism rests on the notion that instead of absorbing or passively receiving knowledge that is out there, learners should gain thorough experiential learning — personal involvement, self-initiated deep thinking where they can actively construct knowledge by integrating new information and experiences into what was taught.

The pedagogy that is based on the constructivist theory such as class discussion, group presentation, project work is supportive in stimulating students’ creativity and fostering their learning.

My own teaching approach was based on constructivism where teaching strategies such as think-pair-share and group presentations, project work, role-plays, and skit presentation were commonly used.

Experiential learning opens new windows in teaching. Despite the fact that it is a time-consuming and effort-requiring teaching approach, it also creates the capacity in facilitators to strengthen the classroom environment by improving classroom attendance and the participation level with the ensuring of harmony between the facilitators and the learners.

According to Nayak and Rao (2002), “Effective learning in a classroom is negated if there is no enabling of professional caring and a dedicated and peaceful environment as learning is associated with a change in behavior as a result of experience and practice.”

Bligh (1971) reports that “students are more attentive, display better comprehension, produce more work, and are more favorable to the teaching method when they work cooperatively in groups rather than compete as individuals.”

Researchers identify the following aspects that encourage students to become more self-motivated:

• Give frequent, early and positive feedback that supports students’ beliefs that they can do well.

• Ensure opportunities for students’ success by assigning tasks that are neither too easy nor too difficult.

• Help students find personal meaning and value in their work.

• Create an atmosphere that is open, positive, and conducive to learning.

• Help students feel that they are valued members of a learning community.

Thus experiential learning sets up learning situations where the participants are involved in learning through listening, reflecting and applying by raising questions that are then answered with more questions that make one think further about the topic at hand.



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Relation of Color with
Child Psychology

By Munir Moosa Sewani

Children love color; in fact, we all love color. Color is the brightest site of childhood. Children love all types of colors and give an instant response to it. However, children's response differs from adults' reaction. If you are to communicate with children, color should become your ally. But you need to use the color language correctly. Children use a limited palette, which becomes wider as they grow up. 

Color is the first characteristic that children can distinguish. All of us have heard that very young children perceive only black and white colors (light and darkness). Some young parents will paint the nursery black-and-white, buy black-and-white toys and other stuff. But in the period from six weeks to two months, the situation undergoes radical changes. First, children start to distinguish the red color. Later they start to perceive other bright colors, and yellow among them. 

Little children are attracted to bright colors. Numerous academic research shows at what age children's preferences change. Many children under 10 call red (or pink) and yellow their favorite colors. But having grown beyond ten, they start preferring blue. We consider it to be with the process of growing up and the appearance of the ability to perceive different hues of mood. 

Color preferences are closely connected with the gender. Numerous researches show that most little girls prefer pink, lavender or violet. Little boys like black and other dark colors more than girls. The question has risen if those preferences are innate or acquired. Adults accustom little girls and boys to like certain colors by choosing their clothes and toys. It's hard to give the exact answer, but we are inclined to consider color preferences to be innate. It's a difficult problem to be solved later in the future. 

Do toys manufacturers know about it? Walk about a toy department - you'll see that they are quite well aware of children's color preferences and they use color to attract children's attention and to sell their products.  As a company working for adults, they use the same strategies - color characteristics of the trade mark, emphasizing certain features with the help of colors. 

Speaking about emphasizing certain characteristics by means of colors, gender identification is only one example. If you see some product in bright colorful packaging, then the manufacturer wants to affect children and means them to be the target audience. Some parents think that manufacturers too cynically play on children's feelings. But remember how many times color has motivated children to take some positive action. 

Color is the great mean to manipulate children and teenagers. This mean is used differently and it brings different results. Not only sellers and manufacturers use children's interest towards colors. You also can use it to teach, motivate and inspire the new generation. 

Color language and children

First, let's consider how children get acquainted with colors. They learn to distinguish them long before they know the names of colors. The point out right objects before they are able to say 'red', 'yellow' or 'green'. Children learn colors' names at the age of 2-5. Girls usually memorize colors names earlier than boys. Of course, all children develop differently, as the process of growing up is connected with the state of nervous system. 

If you want to help children learn to distinguish colors, try to do so that children learn colors associating them with the subjects of corresponding color. Here are typical associations, understandable for an average child 

Yellow - bananas, lemons, sun 

Red - apples, tomatoes 

Blue - jeans, sky 

Green - peas, grass, leaves 

Grey - an elephant 

Brown - a bear, tree bark 

Researches show, that, for example when you show a blue apple to a child and ask him what it is, it takes him or her more time to recognize it. Sure if you happen to communicate with little children, you know what may happen. A blue apple may seem funny to them. It testifies that a child develops the sense of humor, ability to laugh at clumsy and wrong things. 

Once a child learns to recognize and name colors, it helps him or her to learn new information. Parents always want to teach children safety regulations. We discovered that emphasizing certain qualities by means of color helps children to remember what is dangerous. Remember that a human's eye notices the combination of yellow and black, and brain automatically perceives this as a sign of danger. Use these colors to mark the things that you don't want your children to play with. You may also mark those rooms in your house in which your children mustn't go, those that are dangerous - like stairs or the cellar. When your children grow, you still can use colors for teaching them. Certain research showed that children with attention problems cope with the task better when stimulated with colors. Improvement was as significant as when using drugs. It means the color can be used in medicine. Color can also be used in food if your child doesn't like to eat the same boring, dull food with the same golden brown color. But beware to use food color rather than an artificial one. 

I would also request teachers to add colors to their children life by giving them many more activities of coloring, and by decorating the class and the physical environment of the school with a lot of bright color. On this regard, I would also like to request the curriculum development authorities throughout the world to use color pictures in books so that children can read books with much more interest than many are now.

Munir Moosa Sewani is one of the most famous, prominent and creative names in the field of Education in the past 8 years. He is a Master Trainer In Special Education, Post Graduate, Teacher Educator and a Teacher. He is a Freelance Writer and Photographer, in addition to his role as a featured writer for StarTeaching's newsletter for more nearly two years now. He is an author of the famous self-published storybook for children titled "The MORAL STORIES FOR CHILDREN" and has also written a Biology course book for Secondary Classes. He has written more than 40 articles internationally on many websites and numerous newsletters dealing with social, health, educational and cultural issues, which are internationally recognized and published in most of the famous world wide websites, magazines and newspapers.

He is also a Social worker, private tutor, career counselor, musician, lyrics writer and have multi- dimensional talents.

His future plan is to write dozens of informative books and articles and to work for education and media also, in order to develop the sense of understanding many dimensions of life through his creativity.

You can contact Munir Moosa Sewani at: munirmoosa@yahoo.com




Are We Moving Into A Post-Literate Society?
Part 3

By Mark Benn
Middle School Teacher

Mark's latest articles deal with the change to 21st Century Learning.

Are we moving into a POST-LITERATE society?

Since a larger percentage (possibly 80-90%) of students today are visually oriented learners, and as I said last time, we should begin with a visual introduction to our lessons let’s take a look at the use of online games and interactive activities.

There are many online games that allow students to practice skills for grades one through eight and even higher. Even though some of the games are similar to work they would do on a worksheet the students find it more interesting just because it’s on a computer. Other games provide learning opportunities that could never be done in a classroom. A few of the sites are: 

STUDENT RESEARCH RESOURCES http://www.geocities.com/EnchantedForest/Tower/1217/math.html
INTERNET FOR CLASSROOMS http://www.internet4classrooms.com
I KNOW THAT http://www.iknowthat.com
NATIONAL LIBRARY OF VIRTUAL MANIPULATIVES http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/vlibrary.html
SHEPPARD SOFTWARE http://www.sheppardsoftware.com/Geography.htm
JEFFERSON COUNTY SCHOOLS (K-8) http://classroom.jc-schools.net/basic/
ACADEMIC SKILL BUILDERS http://www.arcademicskillbuilders.com/
MR. NUSSBAUM SCHOOL ACTIVITIES http://www.mrnussbaum.com/

Another area to explore, then use are interactive simulation sites. Science study is growing more every day with many skills on line that once again could not be done in the classroom except out of a book, that doesn’t reach the students of today. Some sites are: http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/index.html

There are also whole lessons online that are interactive and keep students engaged. I use lessons on area, perimeter, percentages, decimals, fractions, and angles. These sites are located at: http://enlvm.usu.edu/ma/nav/index.jsp
http://www.amblesideprimary.com/ambleweb/mentalmaths/angleshapes.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/numbers/

The best way to find more sites is to do an advanced google search using key words such as educational, interactive, games, online, and then more specific such as space, multiplication or sixth grade. It’s important that you try whatever you want to use first. Also, monitor what the students are doing when on the computer. Make sure they understand in advance what they are suppose to be learning and when completed discuss what they found.

The key to students learning is to get them engaged. I know you will find that they are more engaged when given the chance to go online. 

Here are a few great BLOGS to check out:

Great BLOGS to read on the changes in the way students learn

Doug Johnson The Blue Skunk Blog
Ian Jukes The Committed Sardine
David Warlick Two Cents Worth
Will Richardson WeBloggEd
Kathy Schrock Kaffeeklatsch
Tony Vincent Learning In Hand


Mark Benn earned his B.S. from Western Michigan University and his Elementary Certification from Northern Michigan University.  He is a 21 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 33 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/ 


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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
5. Parallel processing
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. 

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.

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.

Click HERE to order your own copy today:


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No Child Left Behind (part 1)

Courtesy of K12Academics.com

The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Public Law 107-110), commonly known as NCLB, is a United States federal law that reauthorize's a number of federal programs that aim to improve the performance of America's primary and secondary schools by increasing the standards of accountability for states, school districts and schools, as well as providing parents more flexibility in choosing which schools their children will attend. Additionally, it promotes an increased focus on reading and re-authorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965.

The effectiveness and desirability of the Act's measures continue to be a matter of vigorous debate. On May 3, 2005, Utah governor Jon Huntsman signed a measure into state law that allows that state's districts to ignore provisions of the law that conflict with that state's programs, making it the first state to enact such a law. The Department of Education has threatened to withhold federal education funding as a result.

This act is the latest of a number of federal laws implementing education reform. The best known law previously was Goals 2000, which was essentially federal codification of the principles of Outcomes Based Education, and which helped prompt many states to adopt Performance Based Tests such as WASL and CLAS, along with other controversial methods of teaching reading, mathematics, and science. Key to OBE was the concept taken from TQM of measuring quality and implementing processes which would result in continual improvement. One of the key architects of NCLB was Sandy Kress, who was also instrumental in the Texas version of OBE, the TAAS test.

The act is the result of bi-partisan cooperation between, among others, Senator Edward M. Kennedy's, and President George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind proposals. Several of the proposals were based on the reform strategies instituted by President Bush during his tenure as governor of Texas.

The act began as House Resolution 1 in March 2001 during the 107th Congress. The 670 page act was eventually passed by the House of Representatives on December 13, 2001 by a vote of 381-41. It passed in the Senate by a vote of 87-10 on December 18, 2001. It was signed into law by President Bush on January 8, 2002 at Hamilton High School in Hamilton, Ohio. On hand for the signing ceremony were Democratic Rep. George Miller of California, Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Secretary of Education Rod Paige, Republican Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, and Republican Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire.

Teachers' unions such as the National Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers have opposed NCLB reforms almost from inception, and have worked to both weaken the law's provisions and to turn around public perception of the law and its necessity. The unions question NCLB's effectiveness as presently written and funded, and note a number of difficulties school districts face in implementing its provisions. Supporters of NCLB's reforms on the other hand claim that union opposition may have more to do with the fact that key provisions of the law will have the effect of reducing union income as unionized school districts with failing schools are forced to reconstitute and teachers are in some cases no longer forced to join unions or allowed to bargain collectively even if they opt for union membership. In inner city school districts where public school students consistently under-perform, this union resistance to NCLB has often pitted the teachers' unions against parents who see their children's low performance as indicative of poor instruction. The teachers' counter-argument often stresses research[citation needed]suggesting that a student's home environment plays a larger part in determining his or her test scores than does the school environment.

In 2004, the U.S. Department of Education entered into a contract with Ketchum Inc. to promote the law. A $240,000 subcontract was provided to the Graham Williams Group which included political commentator Armstrong Williams promoting the act via his television show and additionally television and radio advertisements. USA Today reported that his contract included the stipulation that he "regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts." Rep. Miller, a member of the House Education Committee, called the contract "a very questionable use of taxpayers' money" that is "probably illegal". Armstrong said that he "wanted to do it because it's something I believe in", but later said "my judgment was not the best. I wouldn't do it again, and I learned from it." The same public relations firm that arranged Williams' contract also produced a video promoting the No Child Left Behind Act designed to come across as a news story. The advertisements were pulled after a similar ad for the new Medicare ad was challenged by the Government Accountability Office for being 'covert propaganda', which is against federal law. The firm also provided the Department of Education with monthly rankings of reporters based on how they cover the law.

Despite the fierce controversy about the law among educators, a Gallup survey found as many as seven in 10 Americans say they don't know enough to have an opinion about No Child Left Behind. The same is true for parents, where 55 percent say they don't know enough to say whether the law is improving local public education or not. Broadly speaking, opinion surveys have shown strong public support for the concept of setting and enforcing standards in public schools, including the use of testing. But a recent survey by the nonpartisan group Public Agenda found that parents now view other issues, like school funding and discipline, as more pressing.

Look for more in Part 2 of this article, coming next month!


Article courtesy of K12Academics.com




MythMichigan Books
Novels by Frank Holes, Jr.

Now Available!
Now Available!
Now Available!
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.  

In The Haunting of Sigma, Frank Holes, Jr. returns fans of the legendary Dogman to the wild world of cryptozoology in Northern Michigan .  This darker, far more sinister prequel to Holes’s first novel fully establishes his hold upon the imaginations of readers all over the Midwest .  June 1987 ushers in the hot, dry summer season, but something else far more horrifying has taken up residence in the deep wilderness in Kalkaska County .  The Dogman, a supernatural combination of canine and man, has returned to wreck havoc upon the tiny, sleepy community of Sigma.


Based upon the epic Greek tale of The Odyssey, yet set in the American Wild West, The Longquist Adventures: Western Odyssey chronicles the journey of a young boy and his guide through a perilous world of dangerous encounters and fantastic creatures.  It is a world of gun fights at high noon, stampedes on the great plains, stagecoach robbery, and an ultimate showdown with a ruthless, powerful gangster aboard a turn-of-the-century paddlewheel in the San Francisco Bay.  Can the time-traveling boy and the law-abiding Marshal restore order to the chaos of the American West gone truly wild?
Click Here For The
Year of the Dogman Website
Click Here For The
Haunting of Sigma Website
Click Here For The
Western Odyssey Website


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


The Longquist Adventures, written for elementary students, is excellent for teaching mythology and classic stories to young children.  

Western Odyssey, the first novel in the series, is now available!

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

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.

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

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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

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"House of 1000 Mirrors"
Author Unknown

Themes on Life

All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?

Long ago in a small, far away village, there was place known as the House of 1000 Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could. 
To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. 

As he left the House, he thought to himself, "This is a wonderful place. I will come back and visit it often."

In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. 

When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him. 

As he left, he thought to himself, "That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again."

All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?




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

Experiential Learning

Relation Of Color and Child Psychology

Tech Corner: 
Are We Moving Into A Post-Literate Society? Part 3

New Teacher's Niche:
Student Biographies And Interviewing

Themes on Life:  
"House of 1000 Mirrors"

School Features:
No Child Left Behind (part 1)

10 Days of Writing Prompts

10 Days of Math Problems

Winter Book Sale for Teachers

Book of the Month Club


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Do you have a great TEACHING TIP or ACTIVITY to share?

Are you using an innovative TECHNIQUE in your class?

Have you created WRITING PROMPTS that you’d like to add to our WEEKLY CALENDAR?

We welcome, and are always looking for teachers to share successes, stories, and ideas with our readers.

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10 Days Of


Why do people enjoy giving gifts?


List 10 gifts you would like to receive. 


What are THREE important gifts you plan to give this year?


Why is it important to give gifts?


Describe THREE jobs that will use something we learned in class this week. 


What gifts do you plan to give to your parents this year?


What gifts do you plan to give to your friends this year?


How can giving gifts be a means of thanking someone?


How is friendship a gift?


Write down 10 facts you've learned in school this past week. 


10 days of writing prompts


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Be sure to check out our

Getting To Yes,
Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

 by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton



Coming Soon:

Designing and Running  A Medieval Fair

Technology & Teaching: Seamless Integration into Curriculum

Getting Ready for the Second Semester

Classroom Management


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10 Days of 
Math Problems
by Mary Ann Graziani

Day 1

1.    A math student interviewed 50 fifth graders. 41 said they like peanut butter sandwiches, 35 liked jam sandwiches and 30 liked both on their sandwiches.

How many students liked neither?
Day 2

1.   Michelle opened her math book and found that the sum of the facing pages was 243. What pages did she open to

Day 3 Which number should come next in the series?
1 - 1 - 2 – 3 - 5 - 8 – 13
Day 4

4.   Which makes the best comparison?
PEACH is to HCAEP as 46251 is to

Day 5 Mary, who is sixteen years old, is four times as old as her brother. How old will Mary be when she is twice as old as her brother
Day 6

How many lines appear in the drawing below?

Day 7 Which one of the numbers does not belong in the following series?
1 - 2 - 5 - 10 - 13 - 26 - 29 – 48
Day 8 Ralph likes 25 but not 24; he likes 400 but not 300; he likes 144 but not 145. What number does he like?
Day 9 What is the missing number in the sequence shown below?
1 - 8 - 27 - ? - 125 – 216
Day 10 How many four-sided figures appear in the diagram below?

Be sure to visit Mary Ann Graziani's website to pick up a copy of any of her THREE books for sale




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