Visit our Website at: www.starteaching.com

Ideas and Features For New Teachers 
and Veterans with Class

Volume 5, Issue 4

February 2009

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

Happy New Year, and 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?  Would you like to be published to over 25,000 readers each month?

Our Newsletter is now posting openings for a SCIENCE FEATURE WRITER to write a regular column with science problem solving activities.  

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


Some Practical Tips While Teaching In Secondary Classes


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. 

Being a teacher, I know it is very important to engage students in learning at all stages. However, many students' attention have a limited span especially in the secondary classes; they fed up and get bored quickly comparative to those in other age levels. It has also verified that after 8 minutes of constant speaking, listeners can be  frustrated to stay alert until the end.  Therefore, it is very important for teachers of all levels to enhance students retention power as much as possible because low energy levels won’t allow students to take interest in teaching, learning, and performing tasks effectively.

A passionate teacher always keeps this in mind that children of any age require fulltime engagement. This can be done through various means by bringing innovative teaching strategies into the classroom. As Christensen, Garvin & Sweet mentioned, “To teach is to engage students in Learning.”  However, the engagement of students is possible in various ways. Thus there should be some way forward to keep our classes lively and interactive.  The following are some of the practical “Tips” where teachers could help their students to enjoy learning:

  1. It is healthier to start our class with a 'Recap' activity; this would help learners to link with the learned concept as a “reinforcement”
  2. It would be more appropriate to highlight key terminologies on the board with some visual designs. As a result, students could learn that piece of information with some sort of symbols up visually for a longer time.
  3. Often, front-seated students get more of the teacher's attention, while those sitting in the back have less of a chance to get the teacher’s eye contact.  Therefore, seating arrangements should keep on changing accordingly.
  4. It would be more appropriate to relate ideas with student’s practical life where they can find suitable and meaningful connections and relate learning with practicality.
  5. Whatever discussions or information is shared among students in a class by teachers, we can instruct students to describe learning  in their own words, pictures, rhyme, poems, or in some way related with any metaphor.
  6. While distributing notes, or marking answers from the book, if the teacher just highlights the key points, that will also enable students to relate and recall some on the major points.
  7. Taking notes is also a good strategy to remember about the class events; therefore encourage students to take notes.
  8. Once a while the teacher can give several topics to the class and instruct them to work in groups/pairs and present information in their own words (this will  be the greatest help for them) 
  9. The teacher’s own motivation and enthusiasm can play significant role.
  10. Often it seems that teachers assign a task after delivering the lecture. If this proposed assignment can be mentioned before initiating the lecture, I believe students would pay most of their attention throughout class, knowing they have to perform their role after the session.
  11.  As teachers, it’s necessary to keep on changing our strategies as needed, because monotonous ways don’t attract learners; hence we should also look for new methods and strategies in regard to pedagogical aspect (how to deliver the content).
  12. After the end of the session/lesson, teachers may ask students about “the learning of today” which will help them to recall and rethink.
  13.  If two-way communications take place, student’s retention and interaction power can be increased easily.




How Do We Create Educational Equality Out Of Thin Air?

By: Caitlin Franco

Caitlin Franco is a New York State Certified Teacher with a Masters Degree in Education Policy from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary English Education from Stony Brook University . She is the co-founder of Equality Charter School in Bronx , New York and has worked as an English teacher in 6th-12th grade classrooms, testing coordinator, and coordinator of data and assessment in both charter and traditional public schools.

Two colleagues approached me in the spring of 2008 and asked if I would be interested in planning and opening a charter school with them. At that time, we were working together in a charter school, one that was failing to fulfill its mission and was failing to keep my faith in the charter world. Before our confidence in the charter system was completely lost, we decided to give it a go ourselves.

We pooled together our collective experience and knowledge base to create a charter school in the most “charter friendly city” in the nation, the Big Apple itself. However, as we worked to create a school from scratch, I struggled with how we would establish a balanced educational program – one that provides an education of excellence, comprised of high quality instruction, with one that offers equal access for all students. How do you create a perfect environment for educational equality out of thin air? The answer to that question, and the result of our labor, is Equality Charter School.

Throughout these articles, I will document our experiences as administrators. This will be comprised of our struggles and, hopefully, our numerous successes as we build a school from thin air but also our own humble vision of a successful school. I only ask you to be open minded and to keep my personal hope for this project at the forefront of your thoughts… that we will create an environment that provides for true educational equality for all students.

Before we embark on this journey together, I will share with you something that inspired me, and continues to inspire me; it is my connection to the name Equality Charter School . In my graduate school days I read Keeping Track: How Schools Structure Inequality by Jeannie Oakes (2005), a book that forever changed me. All of the issues regarding inner city education that touched my inner core were articulated to perfection by Oakes’ words. She gave me the words that I had been looking for so long to find. It is my “go-to” when I feel my faith wavering or my vision being obstructed…


In our search for the solution to the problems of educational inequality, our focus is almost exclusively on the characteristics of the children themselves. We look for sources of educational failure in their homes, their neighborhoods, their language, their cultures, even in their genes. In all our searching we almost entirely overlook the possibility that what happens within schools might contribute to unequal educational opportunities and outcomes. We neglect to examine the content and processes of schooling itself for ways they might contribute to school failure. In our quest for higher standards or superior academic performance we seem to have forgotten that schools cannot be excellent as long as there are groups of children who are not well served by them. In short, we cannot have educational excellence until we have educational EQUALITY.

The thought that our public school system is designed in a way that prevents entire populations of students from accessing quality education is truly horrifying to me; but true equality in education is possible. Within this juxtaposition of emotions that I feel, I find in me the drive and vision to be a part of this possibility of true educational equality.

Information about Equality Charter School can be found at  http://test.equalitycharterschool.org/flash.html and Caitlin can be contacted personally at caitlin.franco@equalitycharterschool.org ecslogo



Ask Dr. Manute

Dr. Manute is a well-renowned world traveler, guest speaker, and educational consultant.  

Dr. Manute holds multiple degrees in several educational fields. He has taught in both stateside and international school communities.  He has extensive experience (25 years) in school administration.  He also has worked at the university level, supervising teacher interns and teaching undergraduate courses.

As part of our Reader Response selection (asked for by our subscribers), we are pleased to have Dr. Manute answer questions from our readers.  

 You can  contact Dr. Manute through the form at the end of this article.  Thanks!

I recently received a question regarding classroom management:

Dear Dr. Manute:

I need some advice regarding classroom management.  I teach social studies 9 and 10.  I began the year on a strong note but lately the students seem to lose their focus quickly and are easily distracted and become off task.  This leads to management problems, help!

- G. Bingman, Virginia

Dr. Manute's response:

Effective classroom management is not a sprint, it is a marathon.  Once routines have been established and are in place, teachers need to be consistent and constantly examine the tone and climate of their classroom.  Remember, effective teachers are always reviewing their lessons and delivery to make decisions for change.  This also includes classroom management.

Now back to your question: the first thing I would review is your lesson plan.  What type of delivery are you using, do your plans reflect a student-centered classroom where students are actively engaged in the learning process or is it teacher-centered with the students playing more of a passive role?  A proven technique is to teach in small segments, changing up your delivery in each.  An example is: begin with a short question and answer, and then move to a short video, perhaps followed by a small group activity.  Of course, lesson plans must follow your curriculum.  Using your creativity is also a must.  Think about when you were on the other side of the desk - what classrooms did you absolutely dread?  What teachers were your favorite and why? 

By utilizing some of these techniques you may be able to bring the students back on task and focused.  Remember, whatever you do, be consistent and don’t lose your focus.

Good luck and good teaching!

Dr. Manute


Have questions to pose to StarTeaching?
Submit your questions to Dr. Manute on Educational Issues!  Simply fill in the form below:



Type in your question or query below:



Join our Online Community!

Receive weekly articles right in your email and 
discuss educational issues with other teachers from around the world.  

Check it all out and sign up through the following quick link:






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:


Do You Have Great Ideas, Tips, or Techniques to Share with Our Readers?  
Are You Looking To Be Published?

Submit Your Articles On Our Website At:   http://www.starteaching.com/submit.htm


  School Features


Courtesy of K12Academics.com

Looping is a process used in education in some elementary schools. When a class loops, this means that the class has the same teacher in two consecutive years. For example, a teacher who teaches a third-grade class in one year could teach the same students the following year for the fourth grade.

One school, DeGrazia Elementary School, which offers a looping program describes looping as helping to increase student learning for the following reasons:

1. Research shows it gives students 4 to 6 weeks of added instructional time. By having more time in the year, we are able to focus on the individual needs of each student.

2. The students will develop strong peer relationships that will result in positive dynamics with fewer behavior problems.

3. The teacher becomes familiar with each child's strengths and weaknesses. Many young children have anxiety over change. With looping, they know the teacher, their peers, and how the class is structured from the first day of school.

4. By being together for 2 years, the students feel more comfortable and will take more risks in learning new things.

Another reason this is done is if there is one less teacher for one grade than for the grade before it. It is done to save money on hiring an additional teacher. For instance, if there are three third grade teachers and two fourth grade teachers, one third grade teacher may have his or her same class again for fourth grade.

Article courtesy of K12Academics.com



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


Which larger shape could be made if the two sections are fitted together?

Be Sure to Check Out 
Our Website Store for Specials:



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.  

Look for Western Odyssey this summer!

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

Designing And Running A Medieval Fair
(part 2)

by Frank Holes, Jr.
Educational Consultant

Running large events, such as a medieval fair, at school is often too much for most teachers to attempt. However, with careful planning, and some well directed help, you can orchestrate a successful, educational, and memorable experience for your students.

Running large events, such as a medieval fair, at school is often too much for most teachers to attempt. However, with careful planning, and some well directed help, you can orchestrate a successful, educational, and memorable experience for your students. This article, second in the series, describes how you can utilize the help of outsize sources.

Bringing in outside help required making contacts with locals who had the skills we needed. We found the leader of the local archery group who volunteered to bring in bows, arrows, and targets. Our local scoutmaster was pleased to show and model primitive cooking techniques (most camp cookery isn't much different than the medieval methods.) A local church choir agreed to come in and sing and perform a medieval skit. And several parents who belong to craft groups were honored to be able to share their skills with the kids.

A great share of the details were researched on-line. Authentic costumes and dress were developed by looking at examples on the internet. Banners and heraldry, customs, meal etiquette and menus, weapons and armor, and peasant life were all thoroughly researched online by our students.

Well before the fair, our students worked through the curriculum. The social studies class completed their chapters on the medieval European time period. English class read exerpts from the tales of King Arthur and Robin Hood (you can find many printable copies online). Both classes practiced SQ3R reading skills on several handouts dealing with medieval culture and civilization. Science class completed their reports on historic European inventors. Even our math class supplemented story problems with medieval aspects. Art class created the students' costumes and medallions, and built the castle backdrops and scenery.

Our food menu was developed after carefully researching on-line. We first checked on foods that wouldn't be available, either because they hadn't been developed yet, or they were native to the new world and hadn't been discovered during medieval times. We then checked out recipes and dishes that we could realistically prepare. See the links below for more information.

We did have to make a few concessions, based on what we could get.  Even though we weren't completely authentic, we were very close. For example, instead of meat pies, our cafeteria food supplier had pasties. Instead of fruit pastries and turnovers, we ordered fruit pies. We avoided the necessary foods. We also found several side dish recipes for students to make at home. The parents brought in the dishes in the morning, and our kitchen staff kept them warm until lunch. In the overall scheme of the day, we provided an excellent balanced meal based on medieval traditions. You can see the entire menu at the end of this article.

But the biggest change in personnel was the contact we made with a group of medieval re-enactors. It took several phone calls and emails to finally locate a couple who were interested in meeting with us.  They listened to our plans and ideas, and not only made suggestions, but also volunteered to visit school several times during the marking period. They taught our students about heraldry, symbols, and medieval weapons, food, and dress. They also worked with the students on creating appropriate clothing. They suggested making simple 'tabards', loose-fitting over shirts that acted like combination vest and cape. Hanging to just above the knees, the tabards were tied with twine around the waist. The girls made simple headbands with flowing material over simple dresses.

The students also needed an insignia, a heraldry symbol on a colored background. Our elementary art teacher was kind enough to offer clay and glazing for our students to make pottery goblets and insignia to wear around their necks. This was a fun diversion over several Friday afternoons, our students working with elementary students and their kiln.

In the art classes, students made banners and tapestries, displaying aluminum punched and decorated shields. Students also created background elements to hang on the gym walls, transforming boring painted cement walls into an old-fashioned castle wall made of various sized and colored rocks.

Donated appliance boxes from a local warehouse store were transformed into castle walls and towers by painting stone blocks, windows, doorways, and battlements on them. Students used gray paint to create the stone and black paint for the chinking. Visual elements such as archways made of curved blocks and cracked or broken sections of stone added to the reality of windows and doorways.

These boxes were then placed around the gym in strategic locations (for example to cover up the baskets and volleyball equipment). Boxes that were still sturdy and intact could be built up one atop another to form towers and give the illusion of height. You need not cover every square inch to give the illusion of being in a castle; spread the decorations around and let your students' minds do the rest.

Another project we do is to create tapestries to hang as dividers between stations. Students bring in old bed sheets and our best artists paint castle scenes on them. We've collected half a dozen of these tapestries over the past few years, trying to add a few each year. The nice thing about this is you can fold them up and save them for future events. Some tapestries show suits of armor, treasure chests, castle walls and windows to the medieval world.

Set up the site the day or two before, and have a plan for decorating and traffic flow. We divided up our students into equal groups and developed a traffic flow pattern so they rotated to each group in an orderly fashion. We wanted a central location for our feast, right in front of the acting/presentation area (since feasts were accompanied by songs and music, dancing, skits and plays, and other forms of merriment). For us, we wanted to be in front of our stage, located on the long side of our gym. Since we were using our middle school gym, we had to reserve it several months ahead to avoid conflict with sports practices. In general it was not a problem, as long as coaches and janitors knew well ahead of time.

Look for more in the next segment!

Be sure to check out our website for the FREE teacher Who-I-Want-To-Be plan. Simply click the following link:

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




Rozina Jumani is a Development consultant associated with a number of Non governmenetal Organizations(NGO). Prior to this, she was with Aga Khan Education Services Pakistan for 10 years as a Professional Development Teacher and Counsellor. She has done her Masters in Islamic Studies and English from University of Karachi. She is a commonwealth scholar and completed her Masters in Education Planning, Economic and International Development from the institute of Education (IOE), University of London.

All teachers will surely agree on the reality of dealing with diverse learners (who have different intelligence levels) in their day-to-day teaching: no doubt, it sometimes helps the facilitator to bring varieties in class to respond to various needs; on the other hand, it sometimes diverts the focus of the class as well.  

Educationists firmly believe when students don’t get interaction and an environment of learning with fun, they usually get depressed and begin ill-behavior. A conscious teacher always keeps in mind the effective use of teaching which could be done through different teaching methods including a variety of teaching strategies. However these approaches bring out the learning environment as C.R.Christian and D.A Garvin mentioned, “To teach is to engage students in learning.”  Although the active engagement of learners is possible through various ways, all the suggested strategies have meaningful effects that facilitate students to take part in such activities and enjoy learning.  

Morally, teachers are responsible to engage their pupils in the learning experience, particularly in relation to the quality of the instructions and activities. No doubt, the ultimate purpose of any activity is learning, which can be obtained through doing. Hence it may be either ‘Minds-on’ or ‘Hands-on’. Hands-on” learning by doing is a powerful idea, and we know that engaging students actively and thoughtfully in their studies pays off in better learning”. (Rutherford, 1993:5) Hand-on activities include arts & crafts, creative writing, role play, drama, problem solving.  “Minds-on” activities usually have students engaged in imagination, mind mapping, concept mapping, reflective thinking, brainstorming, higher order questioning, discussion, Think-Pair–Share, interviews, PMI, and analytical thinking. A qualified teacher may link these activities with proper lesson management and organization where learning takes place during the lesson to maintain pupil attention, interest and involvement. 

Having said that, the function of classroom activities is to maintain misbehavior at minimum level and sustain their interest. It also provides opportunities for children to explore & engage with the content in a creative and dynamic way. Furthermore, it encourages learners to express their thoughts, feelings, and responses. Jean Piaget (1896-1980) believed learning occurs by an active construction of meaning, rather than by receiving it passively. He states “when we, as learners, encounter an experience or situation that conflicts with our current way of thinking, a state of imbalance is created”. When a teacher allows learners to  construct their own knowledge, it automatically enhances their critical thinking which further leads him or her to take decisions  for their  self-development.  

No doubt this whole process makes learners motivated and active and takes them toward the constructivism where learners themselves partake in learning and make meaning.

This approach fosters in them the use of critical thinking; enabling students to learn through constructing their own understandings that make them active and motivated learners. 

Also, the constructivism theory suggests a simple and effective sequence called “the 5 E Model” where participants initiate their learning through personal Engagement, and Explore new knowledge through inquiry and experiences and connect their knowledge by Explanation. Moreover they practice and apply new context thorough Elaboration. Thus their understanding could be assessed through Evaluation even during the process or while getting the end result.

Here the most important question arises: ‘Why do we need to do all such things in our classes?' The most suitable response is that our teaching should move around the holistic development of the child or learner who is the center of attraction and if in case, as teachers, we couldn’t attract these children towards learning, then surely we ruin their natural instinct to learn and discover life.

Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no single magical formula to motivate learners or students towards learning. Many external and internal actors affected student's motivation and they were willing to work and to learn (Bligh, 1971; Sass, 1989); their interest in the subject matter, perception of its usefulness, their desire for greater achievement, self-confidence and self-esteem, as well as patience and persistence. Moreover, not all students are motivated by the same values, needs, desires, or wants; some students will be motivated by trial and error, other influenced by case studies, etc.

Researchers have begun to identify those aspects of the teaching situation that enhance students' self-motivation (Lowman, 1984; Lucas, 1990; Weinert and Kluwe, 1987; Bligh, 1971). To encourage students to become self-motivated independent learners, instructors can do the following:

    • Give frequent, early, 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 the material.

    • Create an atmosphere that is open and positive.

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

     Keeping in mind the milestones of every physical and cognitive age, it is also important how learners participate in learning within and outside classroom.  Also important are the types of tasks assigned to make their learning more meaningful. Vygotsky has discussed two types of student’s development in his thesis, "Zone of Proximal Development” as cited by Crowl, Kaminsky & Poldell (1997:71), “The level of actual development is the level at which an individual can function independently, whereas the level of potential development is the level at which the person can perform when working with a teacher or a group of students”

As a teacher and learner myself, it is my conviction and experience that when we perform teaching as a conscious act, we not only enjoy but also become satisfied. It all depends upon the teacher who could be motivated intrinsically and/or extrinsically and can MAKE A DIFFERENCE in students' lives and their own lives as well.  


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


Are There Other Teachers in Your School or District Who Would Love to Receive Our Newsletter?

Be sure to pass along our website and newsletter!


"A Gift of Love" 

Author unknown

Themes on Life

What does our countenance show the world?

"Can I see my baby?" the happy new mother asked. When the bundle was nestled in her arms and she moved the fold of cloth to look upon his tiny face, she gasped. The doctor turned quickly and looked out the tall hospital window. The baby had been born without ears. Time proved that the baby's hearing was perfect. It was only his appearance that was marred.

When he rushed home from school one day and flung himself into his mother's arms, she sighed, knowing that his life was to be a succession of heartbreaks.

He blurted out the tragedy. "A boy, a big boy...called me a freak." He grew up, handsome for his misfortune. A favorite with his fellow students, he might have been class president, but for that. He developed a gift, a talent for literature and music. "But you might mingle with other young people," his mother reproved him, but felt a kindness in her heart.

The boy's father had a session with the family physician. Could nothing be done? "I believe I could graft on a pair of outer ears, if they could be procured" the doctor decided. So the search began for a person who would make such a sacrifice for a young man. Two years went by. Then, "You are going to the hospital, son. Mother and I have someone who will donate the ears you need. But it's a secret" said the father.

The operation was a brilliant success, and a new person emerged. His talents blossomed into genius, and school and college became a series of triumphs. Later he married and entered the diplomatic service. "But I must know!" He urged his father. "Who gave so much for me? I could never do enough for him."

"I do not believe you could," said the father, "but the agreement was that you are not to know...not yet." The years kept their profound secret, but the day did come . . . one of the darkest days that ever pass through a son. He stood with his father over his mother's casket. Slowly, tenderly, the father stretched forth a hand and raised the thick, reddish-brown hair to reveal that the mother had no outer ears.

"Mother said she was glad she never let her hair be cut," he whispered gently, "and nobody ever thought mother less beautiful, did they?"

Real beauty lies not in the physical appearance,
but in the heart.

Real treasure lies not in what that can be seen,
but what that cannot be seen.

Real love lies not in what is done and known,
but in what that is done but not known.

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


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.



Email us at editor@starteaching.com

Hit Counter

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

Some Practical Tips While Teaching In Secondary Classes

The Administrator's Office:
How Do We Create Educational Equality Out Of Thin Air?

Ask Dr. Manute: Classroom Management

Enhancing Students' Participation Through Practical Classroom Activities

School Features: Looping

New Teacher's Niche:
Designing And Running A Medieval Fair
(part 2)

Themes on Life:  
"A Gift of Love"

10 Days of Writing Prompts

10 Days of Math Problems

Winter Book Sale for Teachers

Book of the Month Club:
School Leadership That Works


Sign up for our 

Don’t be just a Guest! Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter, delivered right to your inbox! FREE tips, ideas, and articles.

Subscribe Now!

"Solitude is as needful to the imagination as society is wholesome for the character."

~James Russel Lowell

StarTeaching Links: 

(Click to access our website)

StarTeaching Newsletter Articles & Archives

Submit an Article for our Newsletter

Special, Limited-Time Offers

FREE Special Reports

Technology Center

Educational Links





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.

Submit an article to this newsletter by emailing:


Or click the following link:


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


See StarTeaching's 
entire collection of over 800
Writing Prompts
click here!

10 Days Of


What does SOLITARY mean?


Why do many people like to be alone at times? 


Are people SOLITARY or are they meant to be in communities?  Why or why not?


Describe 5 jobs in which a person works totally alone.


Write down THREE questions you need answered from class this week. 


What is LOVE?


Why do people fall in LOVE?


What are 5 ways to tell that people are in LOVE?


Describe 5 ways to show someone you love him or her.


What is something useful you learned in school this week?   

See StarTeaching's 
entire collection of over 800
Writing Prompts
click here!


Are there other teachers in your district who would enjoy this FREE newsletter delivered to them bi-weekly? 

YOU could qualify for FREE offers when referring others.

Click the quick link below for more information:

Teacher Referral


is brought to you FREE 
by the support of our sponsors:

Griswold Mountain 
Brewing Company

Distinguished Products for 
Distinguished Handcrafters

Specializing in Homemade and Handcrafted products since 1996

Check out our selection of homebrew recipes, ingredients, and equipment on our website:

Mastering Basic Skills software:


Year of the Dogman

A New Novel by Frank Holes, Jr.
Now Available!
click here for more info

Are you interested in advertising with us?
Want to reach an audience of thousands each month?  The StarTeaching newsletter is sent out twice a month, and advertising is available on our website.
Click the link below for more information:
Advertise with Us!




Be sure to check out our

School Leadership That Works

 by Robert J. Marzano



Coming Soon:

The Writing Process for Every Classroom

Technology & Teaching: The Latest Wave

Preparing for Student Teaching

Teaching and Pedagogy


Are You Looking For a Teaching Job?

Need a position in a K-12 school, administration, or a coaching job?  Our website has just gained access to a specialized service just for our members and newsletter readers.  Job listings, application and interviewing tips, and priceless information, at your fingertips!

Click here if you want to find that Teaching Job!

10 Days of 
Math Problems
by Mary Ann Graziani

  Use the following Chart for this week's problems:
1 I 16 XVI
2 II 17 XVII
4 IV 19 XIX
5 V 20 XX
6 VI 30 XXX
7 VII 40 XL
8 VIII 50 L
9 IX 60 LX
10 X 70 LXX
11 XI 80 LXXX
12 XII 90 XC
13 XIII 100 C
14 XIV 500 D
15 XV 1000 M
Day 1 Convert 647 to a Roman numeral
Day 2
Convert 802 to a
Roman numeral
Day 3
Convert 178 to a
Roman numeral
Day 4 Convert 925 to a Roman numeral
Day 5

1.     Convert 452 to a Roman numeral

Day 6

1.     Convert 481 to a Roman numeral

Day 7

1.       Convert 475 to a Roman numeral

Day 8

1.     I Convert 1659 to a Roman numeral

Day 9
Convert 1223 to a
Roman numeral

Day 10
Convert 2340 to a
Roman numeral

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





Winter Specials!
Books for Sale!

(Affiliated with Amazon.com)




Home | Newsletter Articles & Archives | FREE Special Reports | Special, Limited Time Offers | Submit An Article For Our Newsletter

Website design by Carrie's Creations Inc. ©2005