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TEACHING AND COACHING:
What I didn’t know and what I couldn’t know!
By Dr. Mike Kanitz, coach and educator
Dr. Mike (Coach) Kanitz has been involved in
athletics and education for 58 years at the high school,
collegiate, and semi-professional (coaching) levels. He was
recently honored with his induction into the Michigan Amateur
Football Hall of Fame. He believes strongly in the
interconnection of schooling and athletics.
Coaching and teaching are the same thing in reality.
To distinguish them as separate entities would be a mistake. After
thirty some years in the classroom, I can honestly say that starting out
as a young teacher/coach was very difficult. What I didn’t know and
couldn’t know was that my Quarterback would some day be my realtor, my
Guard would be my dentist, and one of my Centers would be a car
dealer/owner I would buy two cars from. A star Defensive Back would make
the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List and a Defensive End would become the
warden of the Watergate prison.
I say ‘my’ because of the energy invested in each
and all of these youngsters as students and athletes. The oilman who
visits two weeks per year at his million-dollar condo near my apartment
was my manager. I never should have yelled at him that much! When my
children were small and the school secretary would say to me, “You
just wait until your children are in high school.”
I couldn’t have known! Her kids were in high school and I couldn’t
have known the burden of parenting teenagers! While I was heavy into
discipline, I didn’t know discipline was a form of love or respect. As
a young teacher I didn’t know that you never take anything youngsters
do personally. I incorrectly thought they were stabbing me in the back
when they broke “my’ rules. I wasn’t the smartest coach/teacher,
but I really was dumb!
Teaching would have been even more rewarding for me if I had understood
that delaying gratification in seeing the fruits of one’s labor was
part of the career choice. There is no immediate feedback for the
tremendous energy put forth by a teacher. A coach gets a winning season
some of the time and a teacher gets a peaceful semester some of the
time. But, most of the time, the rewards come a long time after the work
is applied. I didn’t understand that dynamic and that led to the
pressure and frustration of trying to get it right!
I always thought batting 300 was something special. How did I not know
striking out was 700 percent of the time? How did I not know the space
rocket was off course 90 percent of the time on its way to the moon? Why
did I think it took off and went straight to the moon, orbiting on its
How come I wasn’t told that success in future life
has only one statistically significant correlation. And that is
involvement in co-curricular or extra curricular activities. I assumed
future success was related to academics and grades!
Did they try to tell us that teaching wouldn’t be all roses in those
teacher-education classes? Was I not listening?
Late in my career I finally figured it out. Teaching was a journey, not
a destination! When a person gives the self-permission to enjoy the
journey, everything seems to change. The individual stops sweating the
small stuff, because everything is the small stuff! Teaching is a gift
you keep giving back, not something you keep for yourself. When I
learned that secret, teaching became a real joy.
I wish I wasn’t a slow-learner!
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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:
of these modules runs at three different levels, from easy to
At each level, the individual's performance is depicted as
A feedback has been built into the software for all these 18
levels depending on the marks one scores during the
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
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
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.
HERE to order your own copy today:
What Is It?
By Mark Benn
Middle School Teacher
we use our brain for all learning, what is meant by brain-based
learning? Brain-based education is defined in three words. The
three words are Engagement (the active engagement), Strategies
(of purposeful strategies), and Principles (based on principles
We as educators need to think
about learning and how it works. We need to consider the nature of the
brain in making decisions on our pedagogy. Eric Jensen (2008) states:
"Brain-based education considers how the brain learns best. The
brain does not learn on demand by a school's rigid, inflexible schedule.
It has its own rhythms." This understanding of the brain is fueling
movement to redesign learning worldwide.
Have you ever felt so tired in the afternoon that you'd like to just
take a nap? You just hit your low energy level. Our biocycles influence
many things such as alertness and memory.
Eric Jensen states in his book Brain-Based Learning, The New Paradigm
of Teaching: "The essential understanding here is that the
brain is not designed to work as "on or off". Its intensity
and capacity vary throughout the day and night...This understanding
means that it's not very well designed to be focused, locked in, and
riveted on classwork for six hours a day. You can entice it to do that
for a short time, but its natural rhythm is activity and rest (or, if
you wish, focus and diffusion)."
Let's take a look at these rhythms, and see how they might affect
learning in our classrooms.
- Ultradian: <20 hours
(90-110 minutes), high to low to high energy
- Circadian: 24 hours: at
night, it's sleep time
- One's peak of nighttime
sleep and daytime drowsiness follows a regular 12-hour cycle. You
are at your groggiest time about 12 hours after the midpoint of your
previous night's sleep
- Attentional cycle-As this
90-minute high/low biocognitive cycle alters blood flow and
breathing, the brain alternates between more efficient verbal and
spatial processing abilities (Khalsa, Ziegler, & Kennedy, 1986)
- Hormones-Every two hours
hormones are released into the bloodstream that can alter our mood
and impact learning
We, as educators, can use
strategies in the classroom to deal with the adverse affects of these
- Movements like stretching or
marching helps refocus attention
- Encourage students to stand
and stretch without looking for attention if they feel drowsy
- Use portfolios as
assessments because they reflect learning over a longer period of
- Block scheduling at the
secondary level-with 90 minutes. It allows a teacher to provide a
time for students to relax quietly for 10 minutes
- Cross-lateral physical
activity can stimulate both sides of the brain and energize thinking
- Young learners-limit
content, lectures, and cognitive activities to 5-10 minutes each
- Adolescents-limit content,
lectures, and cognitive activities to 10 -15 minutes each
- Adults-no more than 25
- After each of these learning
times conduct activities such as pair shares, or model building
- Provide downtime
Once again, it's something we
educators need to think about, then make changes where we can. If you
want to learn more check out Eric Jensen's books: Deeper Learning,
Introduction to Brain-Compatible Learning, and Brain-Based Learning.
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 32 years with one
daughter and two sons. In the summers, Mark works for
Mackinac State Historic Parks in the as a historical
|StarTeaching Featured Writer
|Mark Benn is a leading expert in using technology
in the classroom.
You can feel free to contact him on email
or at his blogsite: http://www.furtrader.blogspot.com/
Order your own iPod Touch Today with the links below:
In the United States, unaccredited degrees may not be
acceptable for civil service or other employment; criminal
penalties sometimes apply should such a degree be presented in
lieu of one from an accredited school. The use of such degrees
are restricted in Oregon, New Jersey, Indiana, Illinois, North
Dakota, Nevada and Washington where improper usage can result in
misdemeanor charges punishable by fines. For instance, the state
of Washington passed a bill in March 2006 "prohibiting
false or misleading college degrees.". The state senate
"unanimously amended and approved a bill that would make
issuing or using a false degree a class C felony, a crime of
fraud that could warrant five years in prison and a $10,000
fine" unless the degree were accredited or otherwise
recognized. Oregon has a procedure in which unaccredited schools
can apply for authorization from the state, which maintains a
list of approved and exempt unaccredited schools which are
permitted there. An Oregonian wishing to use an unaccredited
degree not approved by the state must make it clear that the
school is not accredited.
Some state laws allow authorities to shut down large illegal
operations of unaccredited schools or diploma mills. In November
2005, a group of operators in Seattle was caught running several
diploma mills. The group was indicted after a Secret Service
investigation. In 1998, Tyndale Theological Seminary was fined
$173,000 for issuing degrees as a seminary without a license.
There are 52 recognized national accrediting bodies. The
national accreditors include a variety of religious,
professional, and vocational accreditors, and get their name
from their common policy of accrediting schools nationwide or
even worldwide. Requirements for accreditation vary from each
national accreditor according to the specialty.
In general terms, the national accreditators may be divided
into those that accredit academic programs leading to a degree,
those that accredit vocational programs leading to preparation
for a career, and those that offer specialized and professional
accreditation as an add-on to other accreditation.
The major national accreditors for academic programs include
the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC) for
nationally accredited distant learning institutions, and the
Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools.
Accreditation bodies for institutions that focus on
developing career-oriented skills include the Accrediting
Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of Technology(ACCSCT),
Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training,
Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges of
Technology, Council on Occupational Education.
Of the specialized and professional accreditors, the most
visible is perhaps American Dental Association, Commission on
Dental Accreditation. Also prominent among the specialized
accreditors is the American Bar Association because its
accreditation is a prerequisite to sitting for the bar exam in
all of the states except California. Next would probably be the
Association of American Medical Colleges for medical schools,
and The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business
for business schools.
Religious schools may seek regional accreditation or a
secular national accreditation, or they have the option of four
different specialized agencies, which include Association of
Advanced Rabbinical and Talmudic Schools (AARTS), Association of
Theological Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS),
Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), and
Transnational Association of Christian Colleges and Schools (TRACS).
These groups specialize in accrediting theological and religious
schools including seminaries and graduate schools of theology,
as well as "normal" universities, which teach from a
religious viewpoint and may require students and/or faculty to
subscribe to a Statement of Faith.
The remainder of the accrediting organizations are formed by
groups of professional, vocational, or trade schools whose
programs are industry/profession specific and at times can
require technical oversight not provided by the broader
accrediting organizations (i.e. the Commission on Opticianry
Accreditation, the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy
See more about regional Accreditation and
un-accredited institutions in our next issue!
Novels by Frank Holes, Jr.
Now Available! 3rd Book in the Dogman Series:
Of The Dogmen
’s legendary Dogman returns in
Nagual: Dawn of the Dogmen by Frank Holes, Jr.
The third book in the series is a masterful blend of
fantasy and folklore, delving into the pre-dawn history of the
mysterious creature and then rushing forward to the present day.
The supernatural beast is seen from two fronts.
The first encounter, part of a 1700s French fur-trader’s
dream, chronicles the cultural clash between the indigenous,
prehistoric civilizations and the Nagual, the half-man,
half-canine skin-walkers, a clash where only one side can survive.
We then return to the modern day as the Dogman rampages
across the fields and forests, the farms and camps of Grand
. The supernatural
beast is hunting for the remnants of its stolen, ancient treasure
that will give it immortality and unlimited power.
Can two young camp counselors put an end to the chaos
without losing their lives?
Here For The
Nagual: Dawn Of The Dogmen Website
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
. 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
. This darker, far more
sinister prequel to Holes’s first novel fully establishes his hold
upon the imaginations of readers all over the
. June 1987 ushers in the
hot, dry summer season, but something else far more horrifying has taken
up residence in the deep wilderness in
. 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?
of the Dogman Website
Here For The
of Sigma Website
Here For The
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:
A CLASS SET
A Place for New Teachers, Student Teachers, and Interns
a LEAD to Open Your Writing
The LEAD is an advanced writing technique we
work on extensively with our students. It can be used for
writing in any subject area.
The lead may even be an excerpt or scene from a story, book, movie,
or TV show. These are good because your reader may have read or watched
the scene already. This creates a connection, a bond, between the reader
and the writing by sharing common ground.
The key to a lead is to provide a short story your audience can relate
to the subject of your writing, or to the mood or tone you wish to
establish. You may want the reader somber, compassionate, joyous, or
The lead does act as an attention getter, drawing your readers into the
writing. It also connects the reader's personal experience to the
writing. The quicker and more deeply you can connect to the reader, the
greater the chance your writing will be read and your message will be
However, the lead is different from your topic sentence. A topic
sentence introduces the subject of the writing, and sets up the
structure of the paragraph. The lead, on the other hand, is independent
of the content of the paragraph. It could be removed from the writing
without affecting the overall message (it could be totally deleted and
the paragraph would still maintain its integrity). It is used to set the
mood or tone in the reader, or to elicit a response toward the overall
The leads may be as short as a sentence fragment, or as long as several
sentences (maybe even a paragraph) in length. Sometimes we require
specific lead lengths, and other times we leave it open to the students
The lead must be extremely vivid, using specific actions and descriptive
words to effectively paint a picture in the reader's mind. You cannot
use enough adjectives. The lead should also leave the reader wanting
more. We sometimes use fragments to leave the reader hanging. This is
accomplished by an ellipsis ( ... ) after the last word of the fragment.
The lead is an advanced technique in writing, and its proper use shows a
maturity in the author's style. We strongly encourage you and your
students to practice story telling and narrative forms of writing.
Have students start small, using single sentences and fragments, and
then working up to more complex leads. This, we've found, also impresses
the scorers on those high stakes state/national tests. You'll find
your students writing becoming more rich and complex as they master this
Here are a couple of leads: "The gigantic, drooling hound snarled
and barked as it backed me up against the rough bark of the oak
tree." (descriptive essay on fear)
"The dark, angry clouds pushed their way across the gray sky as the
crisp wind bit into my skin." (survival story)
"As I ran, gasping for breath, through the midnight blackness of
the eerie forest, I could hear the snapping and cracking of branches as
my pursuer closed the distance ... "(scary narrative)
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
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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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"Lessons From A
Our faith is tested so many times...
I recall as a young child bringing bouquets of brilliant yellow
flowers to my mother. It didn't matter that the stems felt sticky
or that both my parents cursed the presence of these flowers in
the lawn. I thought they were beautiful!
And there were so many of them! We spent hours picking the flowers
and then popping the blossoms off with a snap of our fingers. But
the supply of dandelions never ran out. My father or brothers
would chop off all the heads with the lawn mower at least once a
week, but that didn't stop these hardy wonders.
And for those flowers that escaped the honor of being
hand-delivered to my mother or the sharp blades of the lawn mower,
there was another level of existence.
The soft, round puffs of a dandelion gone to seed caused endless
giggles and squeals of delight as we unwittingly spread this
flower across the yard.
As I worked in my garden last week, pulling unwanted weeds out of
the space that would become a haven for tomatoes, corn, peas and
sunflowers, I again marveled at the flower that some call a weed.
And I thought, "If only I had the staying power of a
If only I could stretch my roots so deep and straight that
something tugging on my stem couldn't separate me completely from
the source that feeds me life. If only I could come back to face
the world with a bright, sunshiny face after someone has run me
over with a lawnmower or worse, purposely attacked me in an
attempt to destroy me. If only my foliage was a nutritious source
of vitamins that help others grow. If only I could spread love and
encouragement as freely and fully as this flower spreads seeds of
The lawns at my parents' homes are now beautiful green blankets.
The only patches of color come from well-placed, well-controlled
flowerbeds. Chemicals have managed to kill what human persistence
I hope you and I can be different. I hope that we can stretch our
roots deep enough that the strongest poison can't reach our souls.
I hope that we can overcome the poisons of anger, fear, hate,
criticism and competitiveness. I hope that we can see flowers in a
world that sees weeds.
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In This Week's Issue
(Click the Quick Links below):
and Coaching: What I didn't Know And What I Couldn't Know!
Brain-Based Learning! What Is It?
Writing A LEAD To Open Your Writing
"Lessons From A Dandelion"
Accreditation (part 2)
10 Days of
Days of Math Problems
Book Sale for Teachers
of the Month Club:
If You Don't Feed The Teachers,
They Eat The Students
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THE PLACE FOR ALL
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?
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All articles will be proofread, and may be edited for
content and/or length.
10 Days Of
What is CURIOSITY?
Why are people curious?
Write down 10 things you are
Describe THREE ways you can
satisfy your curiosity in an appropriate manner.
List 5 important facts we
learned this week in class.
Are boys or girls more curious
about things? Why do you believe so?
Why is it important to be
curious about your world?
What are THREE things you are curious about at
Describe THREE jobs that involve
Pose 5 questions based on
information we learned in class this week.
10 days of writing prompts
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BOOK of the MONTH
You Don't Feed The Teachers, They Eat The Students
By Neila A. Connors
Preparing For the Upcoming Year
Technology & Teaching:
Seamless Integration into Curriculum
Process and Programs
10 Days of
by Mary Ann Graziani
The Park’s swimming pool is 12
meters long and 10 meters wide. What is the area of the the pool?
The park’s swimming pool is 12
meters long and 10 meters wide. What is the perimeter of the pool?
The public beach is 5 kilometers
long and 2 kilometers wide. What is the area of the beach?
The public beach is 5 kilometers
long and 2 kilometers wide. What is the perimeter of the beach?
The museum building is 500 yards
long and 400 yards wide. What is the area of the museum?
The museum building is 500 yards
long and 400 yards wide. What is the perimeter of the museum?
Can you replace the ? with the
right sign to equal 60?
80 ? 8
? 9 ? 6 ? 12 = 60
Solve the variable x in this
X + 33 = 99
Solve the variable X in this
10 X =80
Solve the variable X in this
22 + 33 + X +100