Visit our Website at: www.starteaching.com

Ideas and Features For New Teachers 
and Veterans with Class

Volume 5, Issue 19

October 2009

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

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

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?

Our Newsletter is now posting a opening for a creative educator interested in designing a set of weekly science activities for students and teachers to use.  

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


  StarTeaching Feature Writer

Mathematics Newsletter Project

By Frank Holes, Jr.
Middle School Teacher

This year I've been asked to teach an eighth grade math course.  As a long-time English teacher who loves writing and reading, I can tell you this was far from thrilling.  But with my strong background in writing, reading, and technology, I thought of an end-of-the-unit project that I could sink my teeth into.  

Sure a 100 point test is a fine way of evaluating the students' understanding of the math concepts in the chapter.  It is the traditional method of evaluation.  But is it the only way?  Of course not!

With that in mind, I set up a project for my students to create a newsletter that displays the information they learned during this first unit.  We used the Apple PAGES program, but there are of course many different software programs and templates available.  I also put together an assignment sheet with a grading rubric.  It was basically a checklist for the kids (just like our FCAs in writing!)

I wanted to see several items, so these were required.  First, the newsletter needed an official title with my student as the author.  Also required were pictures, photos, and clip art that helped to illustrate the various main points of the newsletter.  I had the kids list the unit's objectives and the important vocabulary words & definitions from our class notes.  

Unlike many other math teachers I know, I've had my students do a bit of freewriting during this first six weeks.  We used these to create two required paragraphs for the newsletter: "What I learned during this first unit" and "How this year in math compares to last year."  These were important feedback items for me to see how class was going from the students' perspective.  

Once the required items were addressed, I wanted to give the kids some choices. I asked them to choose four of eight items.   Some of these included:

*  Find a picture of a GRAPH online and write a caption describing what it shows

*  Find a picture of a TABLE online and write a caption describing what it shows

*  Write a paragraph describing a job or career that uses something we learned in the first unit

*  Write a paragraph describing how something we learned can be useful in another class

*  Create two problems that illustrate the Distributive Property

*  Create two problems that illustrate the Order of Operations

The newsletter project took about a week to accomplish.  Since I only have 1 computer per every two students, I was able to split the class and re-teach concepts to those students who needed additional work (as determined by my 100 point traditional unit test).  We reviewed in small groups while the other half of class worked on their newsletters on the computers.  I kept a copy of the newsletters and the students also printed out a copy to take home.  They make great communication pieces with parents!

That's what they get for asking an English teacher to teach math!  

See more of Frank's articles at:



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


  TECH/21st Century CORNER

Learning 2.0

By Mark Benn
Middle School Teacher

Mark's latest articles are focusing on 21st Century Learning and the latest research to drive 21st Century Teaching. 

When I think about Learning 2.0, I think initially about what learning is in the first place. I believe that learning has happened when a person can take the knowledge or skill they have learned and apply it elsewhere when needed. I’m reminded of what’s called the Cone of Learning, first developed by Edgar Dale in 1946. This has been a controversial idea due to the fact that some things have appeared on the cone that are not credited to him, and know one knows where the additional facts came from. But when I look at what the cone says, from my observations in the classroom, it makes sense.  Notice how the doing (application) is at the highest level of remembering.     

Your browser may not support display of this image.  

Now when you apply what this shows to learning 2.0 and what is happening on the web it meshes. This is exactly how learning is taking place on the web at the highest level (doing).  You can find this cone at http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/ agexed/sae/ppt1/sld012.htm. 

A research paper dealing with Learning 2.0 published in EDUCAUSE Review, vol. 43, no. 1 (January/February 2008) by John Seely Brown and Richard P. Adler called Minds on Fire: Open Education, the Long Tail,

and Learning 2.0 makes some great points. They talk about the Cartesian view of knowledge and learning that has been around in education for the last 100 years. I quote: “The Cartesian perspective assumes that knowledge is a kind of substance and that pedagogy concerns the best way to transfer this substance from teachers to students. By contrast, instead of starting from the Cartesian premise of “I think, therefore I am,” and from the assumption that knowledge is something that is transferred to the student via various pedagogical strategies, the social view of learning says, “We participate, therefore we are.” This is certainly what we are seeing when it comes to Learning 2.0 and how people are operating. Another idea they put forth is that fact that and again I quote: “We now need a new approach to learning—one characterized by a demand-pull rather than the traditional supply-push mode of building up an inventory of knowledge in students’ heads.”  

My goal in my classroom is to continue to use web 2.0 more and more. I already use Google Docs, Voice Thread, blogmeister, and epals. I plan on using wikis and xtranormal. I’m also going to continue to work with my new principal to get my school up to speed.   

I really like the video Learning to Change-Changing to Learn located at: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=tahTKdEUAPk. This was a call for change by people who are out in the real world. These are CEO’s and leaders of education that know what’s going on and why we need to change our model of learning.  

We have the tools, now it’s time for the administration, teachers, and government leaders to get a clue as to why No Child Left Behind doesn’t work and make the changes, no matter how uncomfortable they are. Let’s all step out of our comfort zone, the web is waiting, but the students aren’t. 

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 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/ 


iPod Touch

Order your own iPod Touch Today with the links below:


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




  StarTeaching Feature Writer

Evaluation of Reading Activities (Pre, While and Post) for Upper Primary Classes IV, V and VI highlighting the use of those activities by the teachers in the classroom (part 3)
By Rozina Jumani
Educational Consultant

This is the third in a multi-part series displaying Rozina Jumnai's research findings. 


Before responding to the subsidiary question it would be better to take a brief view about the textbooks used during the study.

Advance with English Book 1-3 were taken as a sample in the study. Three authors namely D.H.Howe, T.A.Kirkpatrick and D.L.Krikpatrick had written these books in the year 1997. Each textbook has one student’s book, a work book where mostly grammar items are mentioned for practice purpose. Each textbook has 13 – 14 units, based on communicative language teaching as, there are activities for reading, writing, speaking, and very fewer activities for listening are mentioned.

Section One:

Does each unit of textbooks contain a variety of pre, while and post reading activities?

While reviewing the textbooks, I identified that no such thing as pre, while or post reading exercises mentioned in the English text book. In fact no instructions were given there, but pictures in each chapter along with its title could be placed as pre-reading activities as Grellet (1981) and Nuttall (1982) mentioned in their books.

While in the interview session with both teachers and students, it was learnt that teachers employ variety of activities for pre, while or post. This reveals that costly branded books used in Hong Kong or else where also lack the systematic language learning schemes for ESL/EFL learners.

About Pre- reading activities employed in the classes, student comment that,  First teacher told us the topic and the meaning that what actually we want to study and the teacher explain the topic. If the topic is so hard, teacher explains in Urdu also so we can understand.” (SI – AA)

Another student responded, “Take out the book and open the page number. If teacher is teaching ‘the thousand and one night, so she is saying what do you understand with the word ‘the thousand and one night’ and the children say this and that.” (SI – MS)

While asking same question to teachers, one of them shared that, Sometimes we discuss pictures, sometimes questions for examples lesson ‘stamp collection’ so that we start findings with their hobbies, when we got the questions, pictures and then we start our lesson.” (TI – MN)

Another teacher of the view that, In books they are some, like in the book of class 7 we have activities but in the class 6 book we don’t have any. We have to motivate the students to come up to the topic. Example: problems of city like pollution, what happens when you go to a wedding automatically, questioning.” (TI – SA)

Highlighting the importance of pre-reading activities, another teacher shared that, “Sometimes we use to discuss the pictures without giving them the heading, ask them what would be this topic, so they answer the questions in this way their thinking abilities were sharpened.” (TI – SN)

All above examples also shared by Grellet (1983) and Nuttal (1982). No doubt, text books do not mention ‘pre-reading activities’ but teachers employed few activities those were mentioned in the books and others they created on their own.

While responding to the questions whether while reading activities were mentioned in the textbooks, the answer was ‘negative’. It was observed, that each text was written using coherence and cohesive devices in mind therefore, it was difficult to identify instructions for while reading activities in those textbooks.

Teachers employed quick questions to check whether students had understood the text or not, as mentioned, “By asking questions I asked them to think about the questions, which promote their thinking and the way they answer increases their ability to think.” (TI – SA)

Another teacher mentioned that “Of course, after lesson we ask them questions sometimes during lessons also so it shows that they understand the lesson, they respond very well after that we have some activities.” (TI – MN)

The purpose of while reading activities is to examine the whether the reader is able to skim, scan though text or picture, responding to that question, students said, Yes, because some children don’t know how to read so she give chance to them also that to read and they know how to read the books.” (SI – SZ)

Advance with English is crammed with post reading activities, including follow up activities, even those sections ‘reading for information’, ‘guided compositions’, ‘dictation activity’, ‘vocabulary sections’ etc all are employed as post reading activities.

Regarding the use of post reading activities, a student said, “One teacher say to find the moral and I also finding the moral and questions which are related and easier to do this. When the topic is easy I can find otherwise, we ask from teacher.” (SI – AA)

Teachers’ views about post reading activities were: “It depends we use variety of methods, questions, summaries of that chapter exercise.” (TI – MN)

Another teacher said that, “For the reading comprehension mainly by questioning, mostly those activities which are mentioned in the textbooks, as for the reading program, I take them to library and ask the questions about the stories.” (TI – SA).

It has been proved that all three textbooks of ‘Advance with English’, do not clearly state which activities belong to which part of the lesson, therefore it is teachers’ prerogative to choose as per their wish as they have no restrictions.  

Section Two:

Are these reading activities interesting and contextually relevant?

Before responding the quality of the activities, it is important to take a brief overview about the chapters of each book i.e. book 1, 2 and 3 of Advance with English.

In book 1 Advance with English, there are 13 chapters or lessons, among hem two chapters The Monster, The amazing Arthur seem culturally inappropriate, the rests of the chapters including The golden Touch, What Makes Me Energy, The thousand and one night liked by most of them are story-based therefore student like them most but the chapter learning to swim, as students did not go for swimming therefore, they did not enjoy that topic.

In book 2 of Advance with English, only three to four relate with students’ lives for e.g. Stamp Collecting, The lady with the lamp, The road crossing code and A fabulous new colour, the rest of chapters are either history based or science based, those are full of factual information.

As those books Advance with English were written in 1997, no one reviewed it and even after five years students are studying the old facts for instance, the lesson Cricket at Zaman Park, it had no relevance with current happenings, chapter like stop those hiccoughs, Hong Kong’s Spiderman create boredom as they were yesterday’s history besides they were not culturally appropriate.

In Advance with English book 3, besides two to three lessons the rest illustrate the misery, pain and destruction. Lessons like Emergency, Fire, Hijacked, and The day the world below, share depressing picture about the life. Students only enjoys lesson We can’t all be successful  and Animal intelligence, yet they followed those textbooks happily as their teachers engage them in practical activities and helped them whenever they feel difficulty.

Collecting the responses from students about their favourite topics, they said:
The thousand and one night because it gives us moral it gives us good moral. (SI – RR)
I like Failing is not the end, in this chapter there is a moral about children that failing is not the end it’s a beginning if we practice we can also get good marks in examinations.’ (SI – TT)

As student shared how they study those difficult, culturally inappropriate lessons:
“She helps and explains that actually what is happening in the chapter if we don’t understand the chapter at all, then she  make us understand that what is happening in this chapter”(SI – MR).
Yes, she told the meaning of the chapter if you don’t understand, she ask us to buy pocket dictionary and see the actual meaning of the word”. (SI – TT)

To comment about the activities of those text books, it was observed that same pattern has been followed in all three books, even there is no variety among reading activities. Each unit has quick questions, class room discussion, and new vocabulary section.

While interviewing teachers, whether they are happy with those text books, their responses were:
Pictures are good but there is repetition of same work so students loose their interest” (TI – TP)
 Repetition of examples, students feel easy with these books, they don’t get challenging activities in this book, and mostly ready made things are there” (TI – TP)

The limitations of the English language series for upper primary classes are clearly stated above, that clarify that none of the book encompasses the reading improvement programs, it was also revealed during interviews that teachers prepare contextual dummy for upper primary section, until these books get changed with the new one in new academic session.

Part 4 of this series will detail Rozina's research conclusions and recommendations.  


Be Sure to Check Out 
Our Website Store for Specials:


School Choice (part 2)

Courtesy of K12Academics.com

School Choice in the US:

Charter schools are public schools with more relaxed rules and regulations. These relaxed rules tend to deal with things like Teacher Union contracts and state curriculum. The majority of states (and the District of Columbia) have Charter School laws. Minnesota was the first state to have a charter school law and the first charter school in the United States, City Academy, opened in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1992.

Dayton, Ohio has between 22-26% of all children in Charter Schools. This is the highest percentage in the nation. Other hotbeds for Charter Schools are Kansas City (24%), Washington, D.C. (20-24%) and the State of Arizona. Almost 1 in 4 public schools are Charter Schools in Arizona and about 8% of total enrollment.

Charter Schools can also come in the form of Cyber Charters. Cyber charter schools deliver the majority of their instruction over the internet instead of in a school building. And, like charter schools, they are public schools, but free of many of the rules and regulations that public schools must follow.

Magnet schools are public schools that often have a specialized function like science, technology or art. These magnet schools, unlike charter schools, are not open to all children. Much like many private schools, the students must test into the school.

A tuition tax credit is similar to most other familiar tax credits. Certain states allow individuals and/or businesses to deduct a certain amount of their income taxes to donate to education. Depending on the program, these donations can either go to a public school or to a School Tuition Organization (STO), or both. The donations that go to public schools are often used to help pay for after-school programs, schools trips, or school supplies. The donations that go to School Tuition Organizations are used by the STO to create scholarships that are then given to students. These programs currently exist in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

Arizona has probably the most well known and fastest growing tax credit program. In the Arizona School Tuition Organization Tax Credit program individuals can deduct up to $500 and couples filing joint returns can deduct up to $625. About 20,000 children received scholarships in the 2003-2004 school year. And, since the program has started in 1998, over 77,000 scholarships have been granted.

When the government pays tuition to a private school on behalf of the parents, this is usually referred to as a voucher. Vouchers currently exist in Milwaukee, Cleveland, Florida, and, most recently, Utah, Colorado, and the District of Columbia. The largest and oldest Voucher program is in Milwaukee. Started in 1990, and expanded in 1995, it currently allows no more that 15% the district's public school enrollment to use vouchers. As of 2005 over 14,000 students use vouchers and they are nearing the 15% cap. It should be noted that school vouchers are legally controversial in some states; in 2005 the Florida Supreme Court found that school vouchers were illegal under the Florida Constitution.

In the U.S., the legal and moral precedents for vouchers may have been set by the G.I. bill, which includes a voucher program for university-level education of veterans. The G.I. bill permits veterans to take their educational benefits at religious schools, an extremely divisive issue when applied to primary and secondary schools.

In Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639 (2002), the Supreme Court of the United States held that school vouchers could be used to pay for education in sectarian schools without violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. As a result, states are basically free to enact voucher programs that provide funding for any school of the parent's choosing.

The Court has not decided, however, whether states can provide vouchers for secular schools only, excluding sectarian schools. Proponents of funding for parochial schools argue that such an exclusion would violate the free exercise clause. However, in Locke v. Davey, 540 U.S. 712 (2004), the Court held that states could exclude majors in "devotional theology" from an otherwise generally available college scholarship. The Court has not indicated, however, whether this holding extends to the public school context, and it may well be limited to the context of individuals training to enter the ministry.

Part 3 will detail school choice for homeschooling



Article courtesy of K12Academics.com



MythMichigan Books
Novels by Frank Holes, Jr.

Now Available!  3rd Book in the Dogman Series:

Nagual: Dawn Of The Dogmen

Michigan ’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 Traverse and Benzie Counties in northern Michigan .  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?

Click Here For The
Nagual: Dawn Of The Dogmen Website

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

Emergency Lesson Plans:
Real Lifesaving Tools!

Everyone gets those situations in life where an emergency has come up, and you don't have the time (or sometimes the ability) to get a good lesson plan in to school for your students. Maybe you have a family emergency or a disrupted travel plan and you just cannot get into school to leave detailed lessons. That is why it is essential for you to have an emergency lesson plan available and handy. 

The emergency lesson plan should be able to be used at ANY point in the year. It doesn't have to fit in with what you're currently doing (nor should it - it is to be used when you cannot leave normal sub plans). The lesson should be related to your normal curriculum, but it could be a supplement or an enrichment activity.

Get a folder (or a three-ring binder), and label it appropriately on the outside cover. There are even folders you can purchase (some schools even make these available to teachers) labeled 'sub folder' or 'emergency plans'. Also make sure you have an appropriate spot for your emergency folder on or in your desk area. Some schools will ask you to keep an emergency plan in the office. In either case, make sure it is easily accessible by a substitute teacher.

Think about keeping class activities to 10 to 15 minute increments.  This way the sub will have better control of your kids. Students have difficulties adjusting to changes in their routines, and you don't want to have to return to discipline referrals.

Keep the information organized and easily accessible for a sub. Remember, the sub won't know where you normally keep things, and they can't read your mind. Spell out exactly what you want done, where it can be found, and what you want done with it when they're finished.

Make sure you have made enough copies of any worksheets so the sub doesn't have to. And be sure to leave answer keys. Many subs will actually even grade your assignments for you if you ask them in your plans.

Get this done early in the year, and you can save yourself many headaches later, not to mention worries about what will happen in your room if you are unable to be there.


Language Arts: Include short writing activities involving students opinions. Thus they don't have to have 'background' information, and they can write from their own experiences. Parts of speech review can include mad-libs or easy, fun worksheets.

Math: Leave a calculator activity. These could even be puzzles or partner games. Or give review problems.

Science: Copy a science article and have students read carefully and answer questions. Make speculations and use the scientific method. Or have students create the plans for a lab activity.

Reading: Leave students a copy of a short story or article, and questions to answer. You could even set up a 'test-taking' exercise, and discuss appropriate answers and strategies.

Social Studies: Map activities are great for emergency plans. You can even set up a one-day unit on any area/region of the world, including your own town or city.

Everyone gets those situations in life where an emergency has come up, and you don't have the time (or sometimes the ability) to get a good lesson plan in to school for your students. Maybe you have a family emergency or a disrupted travel plan and you just cannot get into school to leave detailed lessons. That is why it is essential for you to have an emergency lesson plan available and handy.

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


Click below to check out the NEW Amazon.com Kindle

Your favorite books, magazines, and newspapers on Kindle, instantly downloadable with 3G wireless.

Kindle weighs only 10 ounces and is 1/3 of an inch thick, yet it holds over 1500 books!

Order your very own Kindle by clicking the link below:


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!

"Nails In The Fence"
Author Unknown

Themes on Life

Controlling your temper...

There once was a little boy who had a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him that every time he lost his temper, he must hammer a nail into the back of the fence.

The first day the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence. Over the next few weeks, as he learned to control his anger, the number of nails hammered daily gradually dwindled down. He discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally the day came when the boy didn't lose his temper at all. He told his father about it and the father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper. The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone.

The father took his son by the hand and led him to the fence. He said, "You have done well, my son, but look at the holes in the fence. The fence will never be the same. When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like this one. You can put a knife in a man and draw it out. It won't matter how many times you say I'm sorry, the wound is still there."

The little boy then understood how powerful his words were. He looked up at his father and said "I hope you can forgive me father for the holes I put in you."

"Of course I can," said the father.

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):

Mathematics Newsletter Project

Tech/21st Century Corner: 
Learning 2.0

Evaluation of Reading Activity Research 
(part 3)

New Teacher's Niche:
Emergency Lesson Plans

Themes on Life:  
"Nails In The Fence"

School Issues:
School Choice (part 2)

10 Days of Writing Prompts

10 Days of Math Problems

Back To School Book Sale for Teachers

Book of the Month Club:
Why Don't Students Like School


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!

"Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight."

~Benjamin Franklin

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.


10 Days Of


How do you handle losing someone or something important to you?


What does it mean to lose something? 


Describe 3 ways you can cope with the loss of something important to you.


Describe a time you've lost something important.  How did you move on with your life?


How can we use something we learned in class in your home?


Why is it important to be able to handle a loss?


Describe THREE people who could help you cope with a loss.


What positives can come out of dealing with a loss? 


How can you bounce back after a loss?


 What is a new skill you've learned so far this year that you can apply to any class?


10 days of writing prompts


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

Why Don't Students Like School?
A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom

By Daniel T. Willingham



Coming Soon:

Preparing For the Upcoming Year

Technology & Teaching: Seamless Integration into Curriculum

Writing Process and Programs

Classroom Management


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

Day 1 2/3 of my students play the piano.
1/2 of the students who play the piano also play the vioilin.
1/4 of those students also play the flute.
What fraction of my students play all three instruments?
Day 2 A wading pool is half filled with water.
When 12 more gallons of water are added, the pool is 7/8 full.
How many gallons of water can the wading pool hold?
Day 3 On a shopping trip, Henry spends 1/3 of his money at the Sport Court .
He then spends 1/3 of the money he has left at June's Tunes.
Finally, he spends his remaining $20 at Troy 's Toys.
How many dollars did Henry have at first?
Day 4 There are 36 students in Mr. Al Gebra's math class.
5/6 of the students passed the test.
The same number of boys and girls failed the test.
4/9 of the students are girls.
How many boys passed the test?
Day 5 Amy sold 3/4 of her comic books for 80 cents each.
She had 5 comic books left.
How much money did Amy collect?
Day 6 Two numbers are in the ratio 5: 7.
The difference between the numbers is 12.
What is the larger number?
Day 7 The ratio of the cost of a DVD player to the cost of a movie is 9:2.
A DVD player costs $63 more than a movie.
What is the cost of a DVD player?
Day 8 Armand cuts a piece of wire into two smaller pieces that are in a ratio 7:5.
The shorter piece is 40 cm.
What was the length of the original piece of wire?
Day 9 Two numbers are in the ratio 7: 9.
The difference between the numbers is 10.
What is their sum?
Day 10 There are 22 more boys than girls at the school play.
The ratio of boys to girls is 5:7.
How many students were there altogether?


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






Back To School 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