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Ideas and Features For New Teachers 
and Veterans with Class

Volume 5, Issue 1

January 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 and an ADMINISTRATOR to write a regular column on challenges facing 21st century schools.  

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

Drug Education -
An Emerging Concept
for Teachers

By Munir Moosa Sewani

  One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade. (Chinese Proverb)

Children are the symbol of peace and victory, and childhood is a period of innocence. Children's growth cannot be estimated from their height, but it requires examining their patterns of behavior and changes in their attitudes to judge their development. A child, who babbles "ba ba ma ma" grows very rapidly in today’s world. Societies are changing and so the children.

Children spend most of their day at home, followed closely by time at school and then with their friends. But as the children grow, it’s been observed that they spent most of their time outside home with their friends. Whether the friends are reliable or not is one major concern.  Children at their early ages, especially when they are in their teens, cannot judge friends well, as they consider a friend as a friend, regardless of any bad traits. As the world is changing, attitudes and behaviors are also altering. Children are adapting every new thing instantaneously, which lures them. They emulate many things instantaneously, without letting others to know it.

It is being observed that parents, as well as teachers, are mostly unaware of the bad habits in which their children are partaking or about to be involved in. Out of many bad habits, drug abuse is commonly found among youth around the globe. Drug abuse is initially practiced in the form of glue, inhalants, cigarettes, alcohol, beer, sedatives, syrups containing codeine, pain relievers, any drink containing caffeine, etc., Your child may later substitute it from cocaine, Hashish, Marijuana, Depressants, Steroids, etc. Such a habit of drug abusing is commonly practiced in parks or at different places, where it is almost impossible for a teacher or parents to reach.

The question is: why do children get into drugs? What are the real causes behind the curtain? Why children do adopt such deadly habit?

An informal research was conducted by me, and the following genuine reasons were found, which trigger children to use drugs:

Friend circle
Peer Pressure
Child Abuse
To expose high status
Look cool
Corporal Punishment
Net Chatting to strangers
Relieve boredom
Forget painful memories
Advertisement, etc

The reasons may be uncountable and it requires a lot of grass root research to be conducted to find other reasons. A teacher can get help from the world renowned Drug Free World Association, USA . This organization has done extensive research in this regard and is promoting drug education worldwide by the support of valuable donors.

All children want to look cool and they want others to notice them. Children want to perform unusual acts to grab others' attention as well. Confidence, friendship with others, outspoken, extroversive, party animal, etc are some of the traits found in most of the teens, but when you observe some other traits like fear, anguish, hyper-activity, changes in sleeping patterns, excessive behavior problems, abusive language, mostly sitting alone in a locked room, alterations in mood, drastic change in study patterns and poor grades, excessive impulsivity, changes in eating pattern, etc., then you can initiate a search for the real matter.

A teacher should not loose hope and should take the responsibility by taking one bold step of caring for their students like their own children. Often children are neglected at home or they outburst their frustration in the form of using drugs.  Children always need someone listening and caring for them. I have dealt with many people online who left their drug habit because of respect, quality guidance and support provided.

Whatever is concealed from the parents is sometimes expressed by the children to their teachers, if they really trust you. I had two former students who were using drugs, and I was unaware of their habits, until one day, I caught them up. Instead of informing their parents, who would have started beating them, the best possible step I took was to counsel the students. I believe that whatever we want to talk about or to resolve should take place face to face. These students were in fear. I kept my promise not to disclose that news to their parents. After five sessions of counseling, I got to know the reasons of their involvement in drug abuse. “A” was addicted to cigarettes as his group of friends brainwashed his mind that a 'man' should smoke. A man who didn't smoke, according to his friends, would be called names and described as 'feminine.' That emotional blackmail turned him to use drugs, and gradually he was addicted. “B” started using drugs because he saw his father using drugs since he was 13. He constantly watched his father’s patterns until one day his friend took him to his home and they both drank wine and enjoyed smoking. Since that day, he started using wine and smoking occasionally.

In a nutshell, counseling is one of the best solutions to solve bad habits in your children. It requires a lot of skills to create a trust. First of all, create a bond of trust by inviting a child to be your friend. Once they trust you, they can explore and share their lives with you and could also listen to your sayings. I recommend all teachers adopt a positive attitude in order to explore the reasons behind using drugs.

When you counsel any child, being close to them as warmth and support is the only tool which can lead to get towards the reality. Tell them that you will keep all the information confidential and try to share any realistic stories if you or your relatives were once involved in drug abuse and how you or they overcome the problem. You may also find some stories at www.drugfreeworld.org

One more skill a teacher can try is to create a dynamic relation, as the outcomes would be more realistic. For that, a teacher can make small groups among classmates and later give them some brain storming activity or topic to discuss, such as "what are the harmful effects of drug?" "How can we create a drug free society?" etc. You can even arrange an essay competition or poster competition and then display it for spreading this noble message. Invite their parents to show their children's efforts. One technique which I used was to make a small card with a tag “DO NOT SMOKE; THIS HOUSE IS SMOKE FREE.” Children colored it and later it was guided to stick it to their main entrance door. It really worked and the parents’ appreciated that effort. The schools should include some chapters in the curriculum related to the harmful effects of drugs which would help young minds to shape positive attitudes at their early ages.  

In the same manner, why not to arrange some workshops? Here workshop doesn’t means boring lectures. Instead, try to arrange s  game show or activity session to make your effort fruitful. Children love participating in activities, so such interactive workshops would be an effective tool as well.

Remember, drug addicts are not bad, the habit is bad. So try to make your child aware of drug hazards as early as possible to create better and healthier citizens and to improve their quality of life.


Munir Moosa Sewani is one of the most famous, prominent and creative names in the field of Education in the past 9 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 than 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 book for Secondary Classes. He has written more than 40 articles dealing with social, health, educational and cultural issues, which are internationally recognized and published in famous world wide websites, newsletters, magazines and newspapers. 

He is also a Social worker, private tutor, career counselor, musician, lyrics writer and has multi-dimensional talents. His future plan is to write dozens of informative articles and to work for education and media, in order to explore hidden creativity.

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


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Teaching - A Challenging
And Reflective Profession

By Salima Moosa Sewani

Salima Moosa Sewani has been in the field of teaching for 8 years. She is running her own Learning Center and also working with the Exceptional People in Pakistan. She is a Master Trainer and has done many teaching certifications.

Teaching is a profession of learning and growing intellectually. The learning of a teacher only takes place, when s/he agrees to bring changes and to accept criticism from others. When I started teaching, with time I understood that I had many flaws, which I accepted whole heartedly. I was a person, who always looks for improvement. Gradually I realized that I became a better teacher, and that happened because of taking feedback from others and by being conscious of the effectiveness of my teaching style and strategies. During my vast teaching experience, I always followed this quote,

“To reach the highest, always start with the lowest.”

From the issue of curriculum to the issue of lesson planning; from the identification of children with learning problems to the issues related to teachers' de-motivation, I came across many challenges.

After the completion of my Montessori training dated back in 2001, I joined the Progressive Public School for teaching practicum. There, I came across one challenging student. On the last month of my teaching practice, one child with tantrums entered my class. Within no time, he started a tantrum, shouting in the class. He was moving like a pendulum without any fear of a teacher’s presence. When I tried to make him sit, he hit me and spat on me. When I gave him an activity to paste a picture, he tore his and others' activity sheet. The whole class was distracted due to his aggressive behavior. I was very confused as to what to do and how to control his behavior. I scolded him, but it didn’t work. Maybe my strategy to deal with him was wrong. I used many techniques to tackle him, but he didn’t respond to any strategies. I detected few of his problems which helped me to categorize the major solution of problems. First was his lack of understanding. He was never able to follow the instruction given by me. The second problem was his chronological age. The average age of the class was 4 to 5 , but he was 10 years old.  It showed that the normal milestone progression of his development was delayed.  The third problem was his learning capacity, which was almost zero as compared to the other children learning, which was average. His fourth main problem was his hyper-activity - he didn’t sit on his seat. I tried to make him sit beside me by holding his hands, but all the time, he broke his arms free and ran away from class. I used to chase him, because he used to run all over the school and kick anyone who grasped him. After a week, there were no changes felt by me and my efforts ended in smoke. I tried to explain this to my headmistress, but she didn’t accept my assertion and gave the same statement that "it’s your duty to manage him in class."

At that time, I was working with the Aga Khan Rehabilitation Centre. I had taken a few trainings of Inclusive Education, which helped me to identify that he had a behavior problem. I consulted his parents. Initially the mother didn’t accept that the child had a behavior problem but after convincing, the parents accepted that their child was hyperactive since childhood. The mother of the child was uneducated and the father was busy in his big business.  That’s why they never initiated a consult with any psychologist to modify his behavior.

Behavior problems and what is normal behavior in a child is determined by the child’s age, physical and emotional development, personality and what is socially and culturally acceptable in his or her surroundings.[1]

I came to know that this was his fourth school and the previous schools expelled him due to his behavior problems due to which his educational development delayed.  Afterwards, I talked to the headmistress and discussed the whole scenario. She agreed and allowed me to start the parents' counseling. Being a reflective practitioner, I encouraged his parents to send him to any other school where he could learn and adjust in a proper environment. There were some schools in Karachi which were catering such children. His parents agreed. I was fortunate that my decision was right! Today, he’s studying in a normal school. If I wouldn’t have sent him to the relevant school, he might have lost his years without learning any thing. 

The second issue which I would like to raise is the challenges that teachers face. During my teaching practicum for STEP, I decided to teach class seven. I saw the lesson plans and the files of the preceding year. I saw that there was no proper lesson planning being done by the teachers. The teachers told me that they used to teach students from the curriculum book rather than initiating any proper planning.

“The teacher is the good leader of the class and future generation. The teacher has to play a variety of roles which will assist to growth and development of student personalities”

Then I asked the previous students and took their feedback which gave me an idea that there were no activities for any lesson. The teacher taught in a theoretical way. No audio visual aids were being used.

Being a reflective teacher, I worked a lot and developed a few lesson plans according to the students' level and need. Teaching should be practical and revolutionary, so I used effective and innovative strategies in which students participated to the extent possible. Every day I energized my students by using different stories and activities. I used library books to integrate my lessons with the Quran, Ginan and Farman. The strategy to teach students with integrated activities worked a lot and they all showed tremendous interest and participated fully with enthusiasm.

I am happy to adopt the teaching profession. It has given me a platform to learn a lot. I am trying my level best to fulfill the expectations of my students and to prepare them for the challenges which will be faced by them in the future ahead.




Are You Hindering Your
Student's Cognitive Ability?

By Mark Benn
Middle School Teacher

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

I have a very interesting video for you all to check out below:

Riverview elementary really teaches math
(Please have patience while our tech support fixes the video below.  Until then, check it out through the link at the end of this article.  Sorry for the inconvenience.)

I want you to stop and think, are you hindering your students’ cognitive abilities? In other words, does the way you deliver learning to your students (pedagogy) help or hinder their cognitive growth?

Up to a week ago, I never would have thought about this idea. Then an e-mail from a colleague showed me an online news article that changed my thinking. After reading the article and watching the video it changed my perception when it comes to cognitive ability. When I saw third graders doing order of operations, negative numbers, and coming up with algebraic equations for solving problems, and reading about what first graders could do in math, I came to the realization that I shouldn’t sell students short if (and that’s an important if) they are given a solid foundation in math that allows them to explore.

Does this apply only to math?  Could there be other areas in our curriculum that we inadvertently hold students back? Check the article and video out and see what you think.  Go to:



While you're at it, 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/ 


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





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 2)

Courtesy of K12Academics.com


Adequate Yearly Progress

No Child Left Behind requires States to create an accountability system of assessments, graduation rates, and other indicators. Schools have to make adequate yearly progress (AYP), as determined by the state, by raising the achievement levels of subgroups of students such as African Americans, Latinos, low-income students, and special education students to a state-determined level of proficiency. All students must be proficient by the 2013-2014 school year. An escalating set of assistance is provided to students who are in schools that repeatedly do not improve.

Schools receiving Title I funds that do not meet AYP requirements for two consecutive years will be identified "in need of improvement" and required to offer parents the option of sending their children to another public school within the district. Upon being identified as "in need of improvement" the school is also required to develop or revise an existing school improvement plan which must be approved by the district. If the school does not meet targets the next year, supplemental educational services such as tutoring and after school programs must also be offered in addition to the option to transfer. If the school continues in "in need of improvement" status the following year it will be required to take corrective action such as removing relevant staff, implementing new curriculum, decreasing management authority, appointing outside experts to advise the school, extending the length of the school day or year or restructuring the school's internal organization. Only schools receiving Title I funds are subject to these sanctions.

Student Testing

The progress of all students will be measured annually in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and at least once during high school. By the end of the 2007-2008 school year, testing will also be conducted in science once during grades 3-5, 6-9, and 10-12.

Scientifically Based Research

The phrase "scientifically based research" is found 111 times in the text of the No Child Left Behind Act. Schools are required to use "scientifically based research" strategies in the classroom and for professional development of staff. Research meeting this label, which includes only a small portion of the total research conducted in the field of education and related fields, must involve large quantitative studies using control groups as opposed to partially or entirely qualitative or ethnographic studies, research methodologies which may suggest different teaching and professional development strategies.

Teacher Quality

The No Child Left Behind act requires that by the end of the 2005-2006 school year all teachers will be "highly qualified" as defined in the law. A highly qualified teacher is one who has fulfilled the state's certification and licensure requirements.

New teachers must meet the following requirements:

* Possess at least a bachelor's degree
* At the elementary level they must pass a state test demonstrating their subject knowledge and teaching skills in reading/language arts, writing, mathematics and other areas of basic elementary school curriculum.
* At the middle and high school levels they must pass a state test in each academic subject area they teach, plus have either an undergraduate major, a graduate degree, coursework equivalent to an undergraduate major or an advanced certification or credentialing.

Teachers not new to the profession must hold a bachelor's degree and must pass a state test demonstrating the subject knowledge and teaching skills. These requirements have caused some controversy and difficulty in implementation especially for special education teachers and teachers in small rural schools who are often called upon to teach multiple grades and subjects.

Parent Involvement

In order to better inform parents, states are required to issue detailed report cards on the status of schools and districts. Under the law, parents must also be informed when their child is being taught by a teacher who does not meet "highly qualified" status. Schools are also required to include and involve parents in the school improvement planning process.

Public School Choice

Schools identified as needing improvement are required to provide students with the opportunity to take advantage of public school choice no later than the beginning of the school year following their identification for school improvement. NCLB authorized – and Congress has subsequently appropriated – a substantial increase in funding for Title I aid, in part to provide funding for school districts to implement the law’s parental choice requirements.

Look for more in Part 3 of this article, coming soon!


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

Journal Writing (part 1)

by Frank Holes, Jr.

This is the first in a series on developing Journal Writing in your classroom, a writing technique that is applicable to any grade and any subject area.

We use the journal writing style for several applications in class.  The number one goal of mine is to provide students with a place to record their thoughts and to reflect on their lives. I also advocate writing activities that can (and should) be done on a daily basis. I really believe students need to write a lot and often; they become better writers with a lot of practice. You can't expect students to be good at writing if they only write a few times each month or marking period. But I also don't believe students need to formally write essays each time either. Journaling is one way to break up the monotony of the formal style.

Creating journals is a very easy and fun activity that gives the students ownership of the journal. Pass out ten or so pieces of regular lined paper to each student. I always keep a basket of lined paper at the front and back of my room anyway, so students can add pages to their journal at any time they need. Then pass out colored construction paper for the front and back covers. Each student receives three fasteners to hold it all together. A suggestion is to NOT punch holes in the covers, as the fastener heads sometimes slip through, and the journals can fall apart. I allow the students to decorate their covers with anything, as long as it's tasteful and appropriate for school.

Students must be given the freedom of choosing their own topics if they wish. However, I always provide a topic for the students to use if they are unable to generate their own ideas. Students are allowed to use my topic, or to change any part of it. I'll share a few of my classroom journal topics in the follow up to this article. Any idea can be changed into a journal topic - I usually add a few guiding questions for students to consider when making their responses.

Some students also enjoy writing on the same topic for more than one writing session. I even have some students who are writing stories, and complete chapters or stanzas during class time. They may take a break once in a while and write on a different topic, but they usually end up back at their story.

Students are not allowed to stop and think for more than a few seconds - this is a writing activity, not a stopping and thinking activity.  And their grade is based on the amount they write, not the amount they think.

So what are the rules for a journal write? Basically you get to decide! Just keep them consistent and students will know what you expect within the first few writes. In my class, students are allowed to choose the genre, such as poetry, drama, or prose. They are encouraged to try out different styles.

Since the journaling is actually a form of active brainstorming, I don't worry about complete sentences, spelling, or mistakes in grammar or mechanics. These are the guidelines we use, but you can feel free to adjust them to suit your class and needs.

In the follow up article, I will explain the easy grading system that is set up to MINIMIZE the amount of teacher work. This stress-free system allows your students to write more and write often, without the massive paper stack for you to grade at home. I'll also provide some of my sample topics to get you started.  Check out our many back issues for writing prompts, or see the link below:


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 the FREE teacher Who-I-Want-To- Be plan and other great Freebies for new teachers. Simply click the following link: http://www.starteaching.com/free.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



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"Last Respects"
Author Unknown

Themes on Life

What causes change in your life?

One day not too long ago the employees of a large company in St. Louis, Missouri returned from their lunch break and were greeted with a sign on the front door. The sign said: "Yesterday the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away. We invite you to join the funeral in the room that has been prepared in the gym."

At first everyone was sad to hear that one of their colleagues had died, but after a while they started getting curious about who this person might be.

The excitement grew as the employees arrived at the gym to pay their last respects. Everyone wondered: "Who is this person who was hindering my progress? Well, at least he's no longer here!"

One by one the employees got closer to the coffin and when they looked inside it they suddenly became speechless. They stood over the coffin, shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul.

There was a mirror inside the coffin: everyone who looked inside it could see himself. There was also a sign next to the mirror that said: "There is only one person who is capable to set limits to your growth: it is YOU.

You are the only person who can revolutionize your life. You are the only person who can influence your happiness, your realization and your success. You are the only person who can help yourself.

Your life does not change when your boss changes, when your friends change, when your parents change, when your partner changes, when your company changes. Your life changes when YOU change, when you go beyond your limiting beliefs, when you realize that you are the only one responsible for your life.

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

Drug Education - An Emerging Concept for Teachers

Teaching - A Challenging And Reflective Profession

Tech Corner: 
Are You Hindering Your Student's Cognitive Abilities?

New Teacher's Niche:
Journal Writing (part 1)

Themes on Life:  
"Last Respects"

School Features:
No Child Left Behind (part 2)

10 Days of Writing Prompts

10 Days of Math Problems

Winter Book Sale for Teachers

Book of the Month Club:
Say It Like Obama


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10 Days Of


What will be your most difficult exam this semester?  Why?


Would you rather take an exam or do a project for class?  Why? 


Why do schools give exams to students?


Do you think that exams really demonstrate what a student has learned over the semester?


Write down FIVE important things you've learned in school this week. 


What job would you like when you are done with school?


How will you have to prepare yourself for the job of your dreams?


Describe 5 important facets of your dream job.  Why are these important to you?


How can you set your goals now to reach that dream job later on?


Create a short story where the main character must use something we learned in class.


10 days of writing prompts


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Year of the Dogman

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Say It Like Obama
The Power of Speaking With Purpose and Vision

 by Shel Leanne



Coming Soon:

Designing and Running  A Medieval Fair

Technology & Teaching: Seamless Integration into Curriculum

Writing Process and Programs

Classroom Management


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10 Days of 
Math Problems
by Mary Ann Graziani

Day 1

1.    In 4 X 4 panmagic squares, the rows, columns, and every diagonal, including the so-called 'broken' diagonals, sum to 34.  Find the missing numbers to complete the panmagic squares:

13  2   __   3 
12  7    9   6
 1  __   4  15
 8  11   5  10
Day 2


3   13  2  __
6   12  7  __
__   1  __  4
10   8  11  5
Day 3
16  3  __   2
 9  6  12   7
 4 __   1  14
5 10   8  __
Day 4


 2  __   3  __
 7   9   6  12
14   4  __   1
11   5  __   8
Day 5
 8  __   5  10
13   2  __   3
12   7   9   6
 1  __   4  15
Day 6
10   8  __   5
 3  __   2  16
 6  12   7   9
15   1  __   4
Day 7
 5   10   8   __
16    3  __    2
 9    6  12    7
 4   __   1   __
Day 8
11  5   __   8
 2 16    3  13
 7  9    6  12
__  4   15   1 
Day 9
  1   12   6   __
  8   __   3   __
 11    2  __    5
 14    7   9    4
Day 10
__   1   12   6
10   8   __   3
 5  11    2  __
 9   4   14   7

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