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Ideas and Features For New Teachers
and Veterans with Class

Volume 6, Issue 15
August 2010
StarTeaching Store Advertise with us Previous Articles Submit an Article FREE Reports Feature Writers Tech Center New Teacher's Niche

Our Back-To-Back, Back-To-School Issues, packed with excellent articles on getting yourself and your students back into school mode! 

Look for August Issue 16 and September Issue 17, coming soon

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

What's New @ StarTeaching   Two Great Sites For Digital Storytelling   Reader Response:
Ask Dr. Manute
NEW! Tony Vincent's Blog: Slide2Learn Ustream Session The Call For Smaller Class Sizes Themes on Life: 
"Don't Quit"
NEW! Science Activities for Any Setting   10 Days of Writing Prompts   10 Days of Math Problems
School Features:
School Discipline (part 4)
New Teacher's Niche:
The Writing Process (part 2)
Student Teachers' Lounge: Building Positive Relationships with your Office Secretaries
Book of the Month Club:
Teaching Matters: Motivating and Inspiring Yourself
  Website of the Month:
Ether Pad
  Summer Book Sale
for Teachers

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!


Would you be interested in becoming a Featured Writer for the StarTeaching website?

Our Newsletter is now posting a opening for a Social Studies / History Writer interested in a monthly column focusing on Historical Events and Education.

We are also looking for an administrator interested in sharing 21st century leadership skills and ideas in schools.  

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



Ask Dr. Manute

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

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

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

Hello readers -

Dr. Manute is currently out of the country on official Department of Education business overseas.  He will resume the Reader Response section again in late August.  

Please do continue to submit your questions and queries for Dr. Manute, and he will respond to them upon his return stateside.


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



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Slide2Learn Ustream Session

By Tony Vincent

Learning in Hand is an educator's resource for using some of the coolest technologies with students.Tony Vincent

Learning in Hand is written by Tony Vincent. Tony taught fifth grade in Omaha, Nebraska for six years, and three of those years his students were pioneers in educational handheld computing. Then, as technology specialist at Willowdale Elementary, Tony brought the newest technologies into classrooms. Whether it was digital video, blogs, email, podcasts, or handhelds, Tony helped Willowdale teachers and students understand the usefulness of new technologies. Currently, Tony is self-employed as an education consultant. He conducts workshops, presents at conferences, and writes books based on his teaching experiences and passion for new technologies.

Always excited to share, Tony has documented much of what he knows about handheld computing and podcasting on his website, learninginhand.com. There you'll find useful software collections, the best webs links for handhelds, complete lesson plans, and an informative blog.

Tony is a teacher who wants to make education effective, relevant, and fun. He knows handhelds are small computers that can make a big difference in classrooms! He hopes Learning in Hand inspires and motivates teachers to use technology that students crave.

I had the opportunity to present "Creating Podcasts and Narrated Slideshows in Your Hand" to educators attending the Slide2Learn Mobile Learning Event in Shepparton, Victoria, Australia. I was 8,000 miles away in Phoenix, so I spoke to the conference-goers through Ustream. Check out the 45 minute recording.

Description: Pod touch and iPad and their vast  library of apps make it possible for teachers and students to create compelling audio and video podcasts. Learn how educators and learners can plan, record, edit, and publish audio podcasts without the need for a desktop or laptop computer. Furthermore, explore the possibilities  when multiple apps can be used to create narrated slideshows where students can interact with content and show their learning in a multi-sensory way. The slideshows they create can be shared on the web and viewed on other devices. Learning is in hand when you create and share media on an iPod touch or iPad!

The recording starts with a few technical issues, but we get past them. While watching, see if you can spot my cat Dewey. Just like in past broadcasts, he loves to try to be a part of of the show.

iOS Apps Mentioned:

  • Idea Sketch: Free mind-mapping and outlining.
  • Voice Memos: Built-in app for recording. Microphone required.
  • Photos: Built-in app where photos are saved and where they can be imported into other apps.
  • iDoodleIt: Free drawing app.
  • Glow Draw!: Draw with glowing colors on a black canvas.
  • Color Magic: Color parts of a black and white photo.
  • Comic Touch: Add speech bubbles to an image.
  • Pixter: Combine photos into a scrapbook-type image.
  • Photoshop Mobile: Crop, color, and enhance photos.
  • SonicPics: Record a narration over a series of images.

Websites Mentioned:




iPod Touch

Order your own iPod Touch Today with the links below:



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:



Student Teachers' Lounge: 
For The Things They Don't Teach You In College

Starting Off Your First Year -
Building Positive Relationships Around Your School with your Office Secretaries

By Frank Holes, Jr., Educational Consultant

This is the second in a series of informational articles focusing on preparing for your first year of teaching.  Look for more in upcoming issues!

Your office secretary is vital to the running of your school. Not only does your secretary handle office duties including answering the phone, typing reports, memos, and newsletters, and keeping & organizing supplies, but also may have responsibility for handling minor discipline problems, watching students in the office, scheduling students & classes, first aid & nursing, attendance, and dealing with parents.

This is the first representative of your school to all visitors, and the secretary essentially sets the attitude of the office. To students, they can be a counselor or advisor; to parents, they can be a welcoming committee. To teachers, the secretary can be a helpful hand.

Your office secretary is the communications hub of the school, responsible in many cases for every detail in running a school. They often set up meetings, make the important phone calls, and schedule events.

It is very important for you as a teacher to develop and keep a positive relationship with your office secretaries.

They keep you up on events and important information around the school. Many times they will do office tasks for you if you ask them nicely.

Most secretaries do far more in a school than they could ever get paid for. They do their job with little thanks, and yet most dont show they like the attention of appreciation. It is very important to remember them on holidays (such as Secretaries Day) and other special occasions.

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

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

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 Teaching Corner

Two great sites for Digital Storytelling 

By Mark Benn
Middle School Teacher

Mark Benn teaches math and ELA at Inland Lakes Middle School in Indian River, MI. He completed his Masters of Science from Full Sail University on June 4, 2010. He is the educational/ technology writer for an online newletter called Star Teaching. He can be reached via email at mackinacfurtrader@gmail.com.

Here are a couple of great websites I found to use Digital Story Telling in your class:

StreetSide Stories


StoryTelling and the New Media Narrative

Your browser may not support display of this image.  

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




  StarTeaching Feature Writer

The Call For Smaller Class Sizes

By Mary Ann Graziani


Mary Ann Graziani is a Michigan Certified Teacher with a Masters Degree in Elementary Education. She is married and has two sons.  She loves to read and write, and enjoys passing on that love to the children that she teaches.   Her philosophy is teaching and entertaining children at the same time.

She has published an educational book for elementary school-aged children using high frequency sight words, and is in the process of publishing an entire set that goes with that book.   She has also written a math tale that teaches customary units of measurement to elementary school-aged children in an entertaining storybook tale.   You can  contact Mary Ann at: mgrazi@wowway.com

Most teachers would agree that they prefer smaller classes to larger ones. This is no surprise since smaller classes are easier to manage, allow the teachers to cover more learning material, and provide daily feedback to students more easily. In smaller classes, it is easier for the teacher to pinpoint students who require remedial help and they have more time to adapt teaching strategies to a students individual needs. 

According to an article in Education World, Charles M. Achilles, a professor of educational administration at Eastern Michigan University states, Conclusive evidence has shown the benefits of class sizes of 1:15, especially in the primary grades. Since the early 1980s, a large-scale project in Indiana, a major experiment in Tennessee, numerous smaller studies and evaluations of projects that use low adult-to-student ratios have found that youngsters in small classes (1:15 or so) as compared to youngsters in larger classes obtain higher test scores; participate more in school; demonstrate improved behavior; and retain many benefits of early class-size reductions in their later years of schooling (Hopkins, 1998). 

To address this problem there have been many class size reduction programs initiated in many schools throughout the nation. Today, however, with educational budget cuts in many states, there would not be enough money to fund class size reduction programs adequately. When student - teacher ratios are high, teachers are unable to meet the needs of all students and budget cuts make class size reduction programs impossible. 

There are solutions that are simple and require no money or commitment from anyone other than the teacher themselves. When used, they can make managing a large class more simple. 

Solution 1: Classroom management plan. When presented with a large group of students, the most important thing is to manage the classroom. There must be a way to gain the students attention immediately, without having to yell or shout. Rules, and consequences for breaking each rule, must be decided, posted, and strictly adhered to. Students can be involved in helping develop the rules and consequences. They can be decided together as a class on the first day of school. Consequences for each rule should be posted and followed each and every time the rule is broken. It is imperative that all students be held accountable for following the rules at all times. The teacher must be seen as fair. If even one student is allowed to get away with something, then the whole discipline plan falls apart and the teacher loses management of the class. When planning out rules and consequences, the teacher should include the administration in his/her ideas so they can help enforce the ! rules. Often, a school will have rules that apply to every student and teachers support each other by encouraging students to act within these guidelines. Hopefully, it will never come down to having to enforce rules. Dr. Harry Wong states the number one problem in the classroom is not discipline; it is the lack of procedures and routines. . . A vast majority of the behavior problems in the classroom are caused by the failure of students to follow procedures and routines (Wong, 1998). A teachers classroom management plan, therefore, must consist of how things are to be done in the classroom, starting from the moment they walk in the door. A procedure might be: walk in, put your backpack in your cubby, sit at your desk, and write a page in your journal. Eventually these procedures become habits and things will run smoothly. The first few weeks of school may require the teacher to remind students several times what the procedures are, but it will pay off in the long run ! (Wong, 1998). 

Solution 2: Encourage students to work independently. Students who work independently of the teacher are more successful. The fact that the teacher does most of the work at school explains why there is little learning in school (Wong, 1998). This is especially true when trying to teach a large number of students. A teacher will become exhausted trying to keep the kids in line and focused on a lecture. If, instead, the teacher gives students activities to work on; they learn more. They not only learn from each other, they learn by doing. This frees the teacher up to walk around and assist. The research says that the person who does the work is the only one doing the learning (Wong 1998). Students can act as teacher assistants by being given various jobs within the classroom. This will also help the students be more independent and responsible. Students may have jobs such as feeding the class pet, taking the attendance cards to the office, monitoring the clean up o! f toys, collecting homework, cleaning the chalkboard, etc. These jobs will give the students a sense of pride in their classroom, while taking some small but necessary tasks away from the teacher. 

Solution 3: Keep Parents Included: Give them copies of lesson plans, or form a calendar of main lesson topics, which they can follow (i.e. September topics: Johnny Appleseed, signs of fall, subtracting 3 digit numbers). Make sure parents are aware of special dates like conferences or open house. Invite them and make them feel welcome. One of our teammates keeps her lesson plans posted on the wall of her classroom, because parents are always asking what the topics of discussion are. Parents like to supplement the topics at home, and also send theme related show-and-tell items with their children. Parents and teachers working together is the best scenario for any child. A teacher should do all he/she can to keep parents in the loop with what is going on in the classroom. Parents are their childrens first and most influential teachers (Wong 1998). 

Another way to help parents stay involved is through weekly newsletter sent home on Fridays. This is a simple solution that a teacher can implement into their classroom. One easy way to manage the newsletter is to let the students design and write it. This is one way to give the gifted and talented students something that is educational and fun to work on. This will keep them from becoming bored and disinterested in the class. It will also give the teacher additional time to work with the students who may need extra help in various academic areas. 

An additional method of communication with parents is to set up a website where parents can log on and keep up daily with what is going on in school. Sometimes the newsletter will just sit on the counter all weekend and not be read. Parents, who work long hours, often have some free time at work where they check personal email or surf the web. If a teacher sets up a classroom website and keeps it updated, parents can keep abreast of school happenings. Also, this helps in divorced families, because both parents have a way of keeping up with what is going on in school. If a parent only sees their child every other weekend, they will appreciate a way to keep up with their daily lives. Maintaining a website is not difficult or time consuming. It may make a huge difference in the lives of your students. This is another area where students who are doing well academically can have a fun and have an educational project to work on. Allowing students to help maintain the website will provide the same benefits as students creating the newsletter, and additionally, will integrate technology into the curriculum. 

The benefits of creating a newsletter and website will provide a method of communication for the parents, so they can keep track of what is going on in school. Most parents put their kids on the bus in the morning and dont see them again until dinnertime. When they ask their child what did you do in school today? the answer they get is usually brief, something like not much or the usual. Even worse is, nothing. As teachers, we want parents to be interested in their childs school. We cannot expect this from them if they dont even know what is going on. This excerpt was taken from research done by the National Education Association on why it is important for parents to know what is going on in their childs school: 

Here are just some of the reasons it is important for parents to be actively involved in their child's education:

1.When parents are involved in their childrens education at home, they do better in school. And when parents are involved in school, children go farther in schooland the schools they go to are better (Henderson and Berla).

2.The family makes critical contributions to student achievement from pre-school through high school. A home environment that encourages learning is more important to student achievement than income, education level or cultural background (Henderson and Berla). 

3.When children and parents talk regularly about school, children perform better academically (Aston & McLanahan, 1991; Ho & Willms, 1996; Finn, 1993).

4.Three kinds of parental involvement at home are consistently associated with higher student achievement: actively organizing and monitoring a childs time, helping with homework and discussing school matters (Finn, 1998).

5.The earlier that parent involvement begins in a childs educational process, the more powerful the effects (Kathleen Cotton and Karen Reed Wikelund. "Parent Involvement in Education," Research You Can Use. NW Regional Educational Laboratory).

6.Positive results of parental involvement in their children's schooling include improved achievement, reduced absenteeism, improved behavior, and restored confidence among parents in their children's schooling (Institute for Responsive Education. The Home-School Connection: Selected Partnership Programs in Large Cities. Boston: Author.) (National Education Association 2003).




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School Discipline
(part 4)

Courtesy of K12Academics.com

Problems with School Discipline

Methods of maintaining discipline in schools are not always successful. The misbehavior of children is common in all schools, although most schools managed to keep this within tolerable limits. Occasionally, however, poor disciplinary management within school can cause a more general breakdown in order.

In modern years this has been popularly characterized by violence against teachers and other children. This is, of course, not a new problem. The public schools of eighteenth and nineteenth century England, for instance, were subject to a number of violent armed uprising and violence against teachers was a common phenomenon throughout the nineteenth century. Even low levels of indiscipline at school can result in a detrimental working environment for children and good teaching will often depend on good school discipline.

Effective discipline requires the consent, either explicit or tacit, of parents and pupils. Whilst few children will enjoy punishment, most will submit to it providing it is perceived as being equitable.

Moreover, to be effective, punishment should never appear arbitrary. School hierarchies award teachers great power over their students and the perceived abuse of this power to punish children in arbitrary ways can be the source of much resentment and hostility.

Problems with school discipline has also led to a reduction in the number of people willing to become teachers, especially in high schools or schools regarded as being difficult. Student misbehavior and rudeness is the leading cause of teacher resignations. In some areas and countries, this has led to a severe teacher shortage, with classes either not taught, or taught by an unqualified person. In some schools, a senior class, for example, may have up to a dozen different teachers in a single year, as the replacements decide to leave rather than deal with student behavior. Many countries are now trying to offer incentives to new teachers to remain in such schools, but with very limited success.

The effects of classroom discipline can be compared to emotional abuse, the teacher in the role of abuser and students in the role of unwanted victimization. Merely a game of power and domination.


Part 5 will focus on zero tolerance policies


Article courtesy of K12Academics.com




MythMichigan Books
Novels by Frank Holes, Jr.

Now Available!  2nd Book in the Longquist Series:

Viking Treasure

Avast ye scurvy dogs,
there be danger on the high seas!

The realms of blood-thirsty pirates and powerful Norse raiders collide in Viking Treasure, the exciting second book in The Longquist Adventures series.  Our young hero finds himself on a Viking merchant ship bound for long, lost treasure buried in the new world.

Not fully trusting his one-legged mentor, the time-traveling boy must rely on his own wits and ideals to escape terrifying, colossal beasts and unexpected, treacherous mutiny.  Can he survive in a world where nothing is what it seems?

Click Here For The
Longquist Adventures Website

Now Available!
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 Holess 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. 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-traders 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.   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
Nagual: Dawn of the Dogmen 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.  


We now have special offers on Classroom Sets of our Novel.  Click here for more information:




New Teachers' Niche: 
A Place for Teachers New To The Craft

The Writing Process
(part 2)

This is the second article in a series on using the writing process in class. 


Writing Terminology

There are a number of important terms we use for commonality.  It is important to use the same terminology to unify our efforts and so students are all on the same page.  Its easy for students to be confused when teachers do not use the same terms.  It may seem natural for us teachers, but it is often difficult for students.  
Thinking of ideas and writing these down on your paper before you begin the actual writing
This sentence wraps up, provides closure, and concludes the writing. It tells the reader what you have told them.  At advanced levels, this sentence will also provide a Theme for writing
This is an extended writing assignment utilizing at least two (or more) paragraphs working together to expand and discuss a topic with more specific detail and examples. 
Writing activity in which students transfer their thoughts on a topic into a written or textual form.  This may be sentences, a paragraph, or an essay format.  Mistakes and corrections are expected so students can improve.
These are the facts, examples, and statistics that make up a Support.  These can be in the form of information from charts, graphs, and even quotes.  
Focal Correction Areas, these are the specific areas in the rubric for students to focus and work on for a particular work.  We begin with FCAs on form and format, then move on to other areas as students master these.  
Revising for content.  This is where students should look to add, remove, or change their ideas 
A Personal Life Experience at the beginning of an essay to hook the reader and relate the writing topic to a related concept outside the classroom.
The interconnectedness of the ideas in a piece of writing.  Ideas should flow logically  from one to the next, and the reader should follow the presentation without difficulty.  
This is the activity of thinking about what they have brainstormed and developing a plan for writing.  
This is the students' voice in the writing, a sentence where students incorporate a real life experience  or a related concept which directly connects to the writing topic
This is the basic 'skeleton' or structure of the paragraph or essay.  
The work and thinking that occurs before the students actually start their writing.  This consists of two parts, Brainstorming & Organizing
These are sentences which support the Topic Sentence, and include several details that back opinions or answers stated by the writer
A sentence at the beginning of a paragraph or essay that grabs the reader's attention.  Common hooks will pose questions, give a startling statement, provide unusual facts, or tell a story (a Lead)
Checking over your work for mistakes in spelling, grammar, mechanics, and usage, and then fixing them.  
A life lesson, moral, or message that the reader should learn from reading the paper.
A group of related sentences that work together to present a response to a writing topic.  At a basic level, Paragraphs must include a Topic Sentence, Supports, and a Clincher.  
A final copy of your work, free from errors and ready for a real audience to view it.  
This sentence introduces the topic of your writing.  It tells the reader what you are going to tell them.  At advanced levels, this sentence will Hook the reader's attention and provide the focus for writing.
A guarantee of getting an 'A' on the assignment.  This is the set of criteria used to grade a piece of writing.  Students and teachers both know the rubric ahead of time so both understand the expectations. 
Students working with a piece of writing or text to 
Sound, tone, and individuality in a piece of writing.  Voice includes personal experience and creative writing.  It should be as if the student was reading the work aloud.  



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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"Don't Quit"
Author Unknown

Themes on Life

An old classic about the importance of perseverance

When things go wrong as they usually will,
When the track you're climbing feels all uphill,
When you're salaries are low and your debts are too high;
You would want to smile but you'd have to sigh.
When care is making you down a bit,
Rest if you need to but do not quit.

Life is hard with its own twists and turns,
As sometimes everyone of us learns.
When many a failure turns inside out,
When you could have won if you had turned about.
Do not give up even when steps are slow,
You just may succeed with another blow.

Success comes from failure on the inside to out,
With that silver tint in the clouds of doubt,
You may never tell how close you are,
It could be near even if it feels so far,
So stick to with your greatest, strongest and hardest hit,
It's when things seem worse that you should not quit!

What's New @ StarTeaching?


This month, we have a number of great online resources for you!  Our web partner Tony Vincent shares some excellent handheld websites including Ustream.  Mark Benn shares two sites for Digital Storytelling. And our Website of the Month features EtherPad, a FREE online real-time datapad for collaboration anywhere in the world. 

We're also featuring articles on school discipline, and continuing articles on the writing process and preparing for that first day of school.  And be sure to join up on our FACEBOOK page for StarTeaching for more reader interaction as well as constant, updated streams of educational information.  

Of course, you should also check our website for a number of updates and re-designed pages.  We're starting to collect quite a few articles from educational experts all over the world.  See these archives on our website: www.starteaching.com



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Michael Kett: 
Magic in the Classroom






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Click to see over 1000 prompts

10 Days Of


What do you plan to do with the last few weeks before school begins?


What are THREE ways you can get yourself ready for school?


Describe how your attitude affects how well you prepare for school.


How can your parents help you get back into the 'school mode'?


What is something you learned this week that can help you prepare yourself for school?


If you were going to describe yourself as a 'season', which would it be and why?


Which season do you like the best?  Why?


What season would describe your best friend?  Why? 


What seasons would describe your parents or siblings?  Why?


 Why is it important to be able to look at your life in a different way?  How can this help your attitude?

Click to see over 1000 prompts


10 days of writing prompts


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Writing Process Articles

Check out the entire collection of writing articles, including:
* Paragraph Writing
* Essay Writing
* Journaling
* FREE printables you can use!




Be sure to check out our

Teaching Matters: Motivating and Inspiring Yourself

By Todd and Beth Whitaker



Coming Soon:

Preparing for Student Teaching

Technology & Teaching: 21st Century Teaching and Learning

Writing Process and Programs

Article of the Week


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!

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10 Days of 
Math Problems
by Mary Ann Graziani

Day 1 How would you write 34 as a Roman numeral?
Day 2 What number does the Roman numeral  XXXVIII  represent?
Day 3 What number does the Roman numeral  XVIII
Day 4 How would you write 26 as a Roman numeral?
Day 5 What number does the Roman numeral  XXXIII represent?
Day 6 What number does the Roman numeral  XXIV
Day 7 How would you write 18 as a Roman numeral?
Day 8 How would you write 9 as a Roman numeral?
Day 9 How would you write 19 as a Roman numeral?
Day 10 How would you write 35 as a Roman numeral?


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





Tech-Ed Articles

Check out our entire collection of technology articles, including:
* 21st Century Learning
* Integrating Technology
* Computer Literacy
* REAL activities you can use!




Science Activities For Any Setting
By Helen de la Maza
Soil Percolation
(click for PDF)


Pop The Top
(click for PDF)


Click HERE to see all of 
Helen's Science Activities


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Inspirational Quotes
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Using Photography To Inspire Writing
By Hank Kellner

Visit his blog at: hank-englisheducation.



Learning in Hand is an educator's resource for using some of the coolest technologies with students. Tony Vincent
Tony is a teacher who wants to make education effective, relevant, and fun. He knows handhelds are small computers that can make a big difference in classrooms!  He hopes Learning in Hand inspires and motivates teachers to use technology that students crave.




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