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Ideas and Features For New Teachers
and Veterans with Class

Volume 6, Issue 24
December 2010
StarTeaching Store Advertise with us Previous Articles Submit an Article FREE Reports Feature Writers Tech Center New Teacher's Niche

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

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

What's New @ StarTeaching   To the Learning Bank We Go!   Wanted: Great Teachers
NEW! Hank Kellner: 
"Write What You See":
Poetry is Alive and Well
Tech/21st Century Corner: 
The Apple iPod as a Great Learning and Resource Tool
From the Admin Desk: The Danger of Standing in the Middle of the Road
NEW! Science Activities for Any Setting   10 Days of Writing Prompts   10 Days of Math Problems
School Features:
Accreditation (part 2)
New Teacher's Niche:
Classroom Wrap-Up Ideas
Student Teachers' Lounge: Duties of a Responsible Teacher
Book of the Month Club:
Your First Year As An Elementary School Teacher
  Website of the Month:
  Themes on Life: 
"A Message of Thanks For Teachers"
Article of the Week: "Tried As An Adult"   Winter 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.

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



To The Learning Bank We Go

By Joe Pagano

As a former teacher of high school mathematics, I understand the day-to-day frustrations that any teacher might experience, particularly when trying to teach a subject like mathematics. The first day of class was always interesting. As teacher, I felt like the enemy who was bringing messages of death and despair to the students. I could see in many of their faces how dreaded a subject this truly was. But I would win them over. Yes, one by one I would quench their fear and instill new hope.

If you want to be successful as a teacherany teacheryou have to refrain from playing the fear trump card. Unfortunately many math teachers do this, thinking that this will set the tone for the year and keep the students in line. This is not the way to go. Remember. You are on difficult turf. Most students despise math because it frustrates the heck out of them. They feel hopeless, lost, and confused most of the time when trying to work through this strange domain of variables, number systems, and word problems. Instilling fear in them will only make the problem worse.

Rather, you need to try alternative learning strategies. Now I know youve had this concept rammed down your throats a hundred or more times and I dont mean to be like another administrator who forgot what it was like to be in the classroom. The truth is you can only lead a horse to wateryou know the rest. So what kind of alternative strategies do you try? After all, youre dealing with teenagers whose racing hormones keep their thoughts grounded on things other than math, English, and social studies.

What about integrating two different subjects, the so called cross learning approach. What about integrating math and English through the use of poetry. Now this definitely sounds interesting. What if you could open a lesson by reading a poem on mathematics which teaches a lesson on the subject, or gives some good food for thought? By taking this approach, youre getting away from the textbook for at least a day and integrating a completely new approach to learning this dreaded subject. Moreover, youre getting the kids to learn something about reading poetry as well. Could you see the startled expressions on their English teachers faces when they find out whats going on in your math classroom? Now this is an idea that you can take to the bankthe learning bank.

About the author:

Joe is a prolific writer of self-help and educational material and an award-winning former teacher of both college and high school mathematics. Under the penname, JC Page, Joe authored Arithmetic Magic. As a result of this publication, Joe was invited to be a guest on the television show the Book Authority. Joe is also author of the charmingly pithy and popular ebook, Making a Good Impression Every Time: The Secret to Instant Popularity; the seminal collection of verse, Poems for the Mathematically Insecure, and the creator and scriptwriter of an upcoming DVD series that is both visionary and highly educational. The diverse genre of his writings (novel, short story, essay, script, and poetry)particularly in regard to its educational flavor continues to captivate readers and to earn him recognition.

Joe propagates his teaching philosophy through his articles and books and is dedicated to helping educate children living in impoverished countries. Toward this end, he donates a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every ebook. Joe makes himself available for speaking, consulting, teaching and inspiration. For more information on Joe, his teaching style, as well as information on how to purchase his books or other writings, please visit his website www.mathbyjoe.com.


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Using Photography To Inspire Writing XI

By Hank Kellner

Poetry is Alive and Well

A veteran of the Korean War, Hank Kellner is a retired educator who has served as an English Department chairperson at the high school level and an adjunct Associate Professor of English at the community college level.

For several years he published "Kellner's Moneygram", a newsletter for photographers. He also owned and operated Simmer Pot Press, a small press specializing in cookbooks, for several years.

Kellner is the creator of many photographs and articles that appeared in publications nationwide; the author of extensive reading comprehension materials for a publisher of educational materials, and a former contributing editor to Darkroom Photography magazine. His current publication is Write What You See: 99 Photos To Inspire Writing (Cottonwood Press, due out January, 2009)

Born in New York City, Kellner now lives in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Visit his blog at hank-englisheducation.blogspot.com.

To date I've received more than 100 poems for possible inclusion in my upcoming anthology, Reflections. Submitted by teachers, students, and others, these poems range from pithy haiku to eloquent odes. Here's a poem I received from eighteen-year-old Rose Scherlis, a student at Beacon High School, Newton, Massachusetts. Her teacher is Doug Holder.
        In addition to "Skateboarding," Rose submitted two other poems  titled "The Dog with No Name" and "The First Morning."
        If you would like to submit poems for consideration, please contact me at hankpix(at)yahoo(dot)com for guidelines. I welcome submissions from students, teachers, and others.
        By the way, Reflections isn't one of those buy-the-book-after-we-publish-it deals. Rather, it's an anthology designed to be used in the classroom. My goal is to provide a series of poems and photos that will serve as inspiration for class discussions and follow up writing activities.

Sometimes I skate,
Glide, soar, weave, jump,
Duck under heavy, mournful branches
Decorated in fragile autumn leaves
Like so many brilliant orange faeries
Until I reach my destination:
An abandoned bridge to read under,
A coffee shop or candy shop,
Or just an empty lot to carve across.                                                                   
Sometimes I skate
As fast as I possibly can
Until the world blurs into a colorful blend
Of distractions, possibilities, ideas.
Until day turns to night and,
Sunsets sparkle across the horizon like
Vivid necklaces of pink and red.
Until I lose track of time,
Lose track of everything,
Lose track of myself.
Sometimes I skate.


Poetry Is Alive And Well

Judging by the many excellent submissions I've received for possible inclusion in my upcoming anthology, poetry is alive and well in the nation's classrooms.
      Here's an example by eighteen-year-old Kristen Dawn Wilson, a student at Allen County Scottsville High School, Scottsville, Kentucky. Kristen's teacher is Lisa Logsdon. The photograph is by Julia Stein, a recent graduate of Blake High School, Silver Spring, Maryland. Julia's teacher is Kerri Blankenship.


Destroying the Walls

I was trapped there.
Trapped in the nothingness.
Trapped behind the walls
that were built to guard my heart.
I was my own prisoner,
ignoring my own screams,
lost in a fictional land,
trapped in disillusioning dreams.
Last night I awoke
from the fire in my soul,
and each thought fed the flame.
The walls had to go.
With my bare hands.
with my healing heart,
with this new anger,
I tore those damn walls apart.
Now I feel.
Now I weep.
Now I scream.
Now I run.
Now I fly.
Now I escape,
ridding myself of both
sorrow and hate.

Copyright 2009 Hank Kellner

These poem/photo combinations are from Hank Kellner's upcoming publication, Reflections: A Collection of Poetry, Photos, and More.


Hank Kellner is the author of Write What You See: 99 Photos To Inspire Writing. Published by Cottonwood Press ( I-800-864-4297) and distributed by Independent  Publishers Group, Write What You See includes a supplementary CD with photos. 8 x11, 120 pages, perfect binding, ISBN 978-1-877-673-83-2, LCCN 2008938630. $24.95. Available at bookstores, from the publisher,  and on the Internet at www.amazon.com and other websites. Ask your school or local librarian to order it.Visit the authors blog at http://hank-englisheducation.com. The author will contribute a portion of the royalties earned from the sale of this book to The Wounded Warriors Project.


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:



From the Administrator's Desk: 
Leadership for Today's Administrators

The Danger of Standing 
in the Middle of the Road

By Jerry Judge, Educational Consultant

Jerry Judge is a Affiliate Professor with Grand Valley State University.  Prior to this he was a High School principal at L'Anse , Kalkaska and Royal Oak for a total of 25 years. During his tenure in education he has observed many changes and has had the opportunity to work with many outstanding teachers in Northern Michigan. His position with Grand Valley is to work with educators on leadership and writing articles on leadership for all educators. 

Have you ever heard the saying, When you stand in the middle of the road you get hit from both directions?

We all try to receive input in making a decision. We have parent advisory groups, school improvement teams, student councils and building faculty committees. But the responsibility ultimately falls on you, the building principal. 

I have observed administrators who continually cannot reach a decision on an item and continually put it off. During my experiences as an an administrator I have found it necessary to let people know how I stand on a item.  Regardless of how many people are involved in a decision, it is your responsibility for the consequences. 

There are some items that can take time before a decision is reached; some other decisions must be made on the spot where a committee is readily unavailable. On these decisions you cannot waiver back and forth, you must make a decision on the spot based on your knowledge and experiences. 

When you find yourself in the middle of the road look both ways and get on one side or the other. 

When you do make decisions, take responsibility for your decision and you will find yourself on the right side of the road.


Grand Valley offers a Masters in Educational Leadership in Boyne City and Cadillac. If you would like to find out more about our program feel free to contact me at: jjudge2935@charter.net  or call me at 231-258-2935.

Many of the topics we will present will be for teachers seeking and administration position and for recently appointed administration. I will also receive comments from those who have just completed their first year as administrators. Since the program in Northern began eleven years ago we have placed over 60 GVSU graduates in administration positions.



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

Duties of a Responsible Teacher
by Munir Moosa Sewani

Munir Moosa Sewani is one of the most famous, prominent and creative names in the field of Education for the past 9 years. He is a Master Trainer In Special Education, Post Graduate, Teacher Educator and a Teacher. He is a Freelance Writer and Photographer, in addition to his role as a featured writer for StarTeaching's newsletter for nearly four years now. He is an author of the famous self-published storybook for children titled "The MORAL STORIES FOR CHILDREN" and has also written a Biology book for Secondary Classes. He has written more than 75 articles dealing with social, health, educational and cultural issues, which are internationally recognized and published in famous world wide websites, newsletters, magazines and newspapers. 

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

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

Teachers are the leaders of every nation. They are the role model of their students. Their responsibilities towards their profession are increasing day by day, as students are highly concerned about what is taught to them by their teachers. Teachers are the only one, who molds the future of their students by imparting quality education.

Entering in the field of teaching is not a cup of tea for every one.  Only those can survive in this profession, who are responsible and understands their duties and performs it effectively.

Teachers are no doubt willing to enhance their teaching skills all the time, but they have some responsibilities towards this profession too.

Being professional, every individual teacher should perform their duties with loyalty and sincerity.

Few of the responsibilities being a teacher, which I have learnt in my teaching experience is given below:

                    They should help in developing the school curriculum.

                    A teacher should assess, record and report on the work of pupils on weekly/montly basis.

                    Its the responsibility of a teacher to have an interactive discussion with every student family in order to know child psychology properly.

                    A teacher should prepare pupils for examinations and grade them wisely.

                    A teacher should be punctual in school.

                    A teacher should provide advice and guidance to pupils on issues related to their education.

                    A teacher should maintain class diary and lesson plan folder.

                    A teacher should convey all the issues related to their students with the heads.

                    A teacher should allocate activity budget effectively.

                    A teacher should check ups and down in the progress of their students time to time.

                    They should Promote and safeguard the health, welfare and safety of pupils.

                    They should take continuous training for their professional development.

                    They should always be ready to face liabilities without any hesitation as they are accountable to their heads, which is the part of teaching profession.

                    A teacher should contribute towards good order and the wider needs of the school.

                    A teacher is responsible for the leadership, good management and strategic direction of colleagues.

                    A responsible teacher should try to teacher their children according to their level of understanding.

                    An effective teacher should communicate properly with their staff members and students.

                    A responsible teacher should give extra time to their teaching. If any student needs help then he/she should try to help their student individually after school hours.

                    A responsible teacher designs extra curricular activities, which suits the student ideas and explore students creativity.

                    A responsible teacher should practice what they preach.

                    Teachers have a responsibility to work co-operatively with colleagues and others to pursue the overall objectives of the service.

                    A teacher should give additional time for the preparation of their lesson plans and must be pre-planned a day before teaching it to students.

                    A teacher should attend every parents meetings and should first negotiate the positive and then some negative aspects of the student, without any concealment.

                    They should forward and share their pre-planning materials with the other class teacher without any hesitation.

                    A teacher should use their professional judgment in relation to the prioritization of tasks.

                    Teachers have a right and a responsibility to contribute to the development of a quality service. They have a professional commitment to develop their skills and expertise in classroom practice and other related matters through an agreed program of continuing professional development.

                    A teacher should document and maintains  pupils disciplinary records as well.

                    A teacher should not shift their job until students final term examination ends.

Last but not the least,

All the teachers should take this noble profession seriously, because the rein of future is in their hands. They are the one who prepares leaders for the future generation to raise our country head internationally.


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



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Are You Looking To Be Published?

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  TECH/21st Century CORNER

The Apple iPod As A Great 
Learning and Resource Tool

By Ken Cheong

There is no doubt that the Apple iPod has become a common item amongst today's youth as a great music player. But is the iPod more than just a music player?

In fact, the iPod is more than a music player. It is also a great teaching and learning tool as well. And it is guaranteed to help you learn fast. 

Audio Books 

Besides music, the iPod also plays audio books. These are essentially books that has been converted into a audio format and saved as a MP3 file. From a technical angle, there is no difference in the file format between a music or a book and you can download and play the same audio book off your computer or your iPod. This opens you to a whole library of 'books' for your iPod. 

These can include many great books found in public domains and downloaded for free. There are also many good commercial 'books' that you can purchase for a small price. These audio books are great as you can play them over and over again in the car, on the train or even on the plane. It's a good way to kill time and gain knowledge at the same time. 

The best thing about audio books is that you do not need to read. Let the book read to you and this can be a great enhancement for learning while driving or while sitting in a shaky bus or train. 


Have you also heard of podcasting? If you have not, these are simply audio files published by individuals or companies covering interest topics ranging from music, technology, current affairs, news, politics, cars, sales and marketing, electronics, fashion to many other interesting niche areas. 

They then put up these audio files in certain podcast stations on the internet. 

Most podcast are free and you can download and treat them just like audio books. Similarly, you can subscribe and organize these podcast on your computer iTunes and then synchronize them to your iPod. It's also a great way to gain knowledge while driving or taking transport to school or work. 

What is gaining fast popularity today is video podcast. Video podcast are essentially video files that can be downloaded and again, it covers a great genre of subject. (As a matter of fact, I am learning about designing my own podcast by watching a video podcast of this subject.) 

However, you can only watch a video podcast on your computer or on the latest iPod video model. All earlier models of iPod will not be capable of playing video. With the iPod video, you can also output the video signal to a normal TV and watch the entire podcast on TV as well. 

What's more, you can watch them, stop them, rewind them or repeat these audio or video podcasts as often as you like. What better way to learn? 

So who says that iPods are meant for music only?

Ken Cheong / Katherine Xie have 4 iPods starting from the 2G model. Katherine runs a popular website, http://www.smart-ipod-ideas.com, that gives tips on iPods as well as showcase quality iPod accessories from Japan. 


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/ 

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




 Guest Writer


Hiring Practices at the Elementary School 

By Carolyn Sackett, 
Former Elementary Principal

This elementary is great! As the former principal, I took great pride in the diversity of instructional methods used by my teachers.

In the consideration of hiring practices it is always important to remember that each principal seeks different characteristics in their candidates. The thing to remember about me is that first and foremost, I am considered a risk taker: I like to try new ideas, I really do not think there is one correct way to solve a problem, and I am a woman. With these parameters set, I will attempt to answer a few questions.

What do I look for in a potential teacher?

Remember that in most schools there is no single person who screens potential candidates. The interview team scores each candidate on selected criteria. In our school this criteria is appearance, friendliness, poise-stability, personality, conversational ability, alertness, information about work field, experience and drive.

Appearance means well groomed, neatly dressed and minimal perfumes, you never know who may be allergic to your favorite fragrance. For friendliness strive for the medium, warm but not too overwhelming. Poise means surety of oneself;  ask questions when you do not understand, and answer every question to the best of you ability. For the best conversational ability score stay on the point and show some emotion. Show alertness by being well rested, listen carefully to what is said, and avoid redundancy. 

"In the consideration of hiring practices it is always important to remember that each principal seeks different characteristics in their candidates." When demonstrating field work knowledge be honest, but answer each question with a reference to what you have experienced. This shows the ability to apply what you know to new situations. 

It also recalls your actual experiences to the interviewers' minds. Drive is your opportunity to call attention to how much you have achieved and demonstrates your goal setting ability. You are expected to be nervous, but confident in your own abilities. 

What is the hiring process for this school district?

At the elementary, teacher hiring is done by a committee of teachers from the same grade level as the position to be filled. This committee is facilitated by the principal who will act as a tie breaker if necessary. Questions are decided upon before the interview, based on the interests of the committee. 

All the candidates are asked the same questions, but each separate position may have different questions. Candidates are screened using their resumes and any background knowledge we may have.  "You cannot predetermine what someone wants, so let your resume tell the best story about you, as simply as possible."

If possible drop your resume off at the principal's office and ask to meet her/him, as it helps to have a face to put with the name. Initial interviews are scheduled for one day, with follow-up interviews within the next two days. When the committee has chosen a final candidate, references have been checked, and the candidate has given assurance of employability, then a final interview is scheduled with the superintendent. 

What do I look for in a resume?

Personally, I like the KIS method. Keep It Simple! I have seen some fabulous resumes, but I still check references. The interview is the main hiring technique, and always will be. You cannot predetermine what someone wants, so let your resume tell the best story about you, as simply as possible. When a principal has 200 resumes to go through, longer is not better! Tell about your experiences and what makes you the best person for a teaching position. Portfolios are another controversial item. Always bring your portfolio to an interview, however, do not be insulted if there is not time to look at it. Initial interviews do not allow much time, and your spoken word gives the committee more information about you.  

Education/experience needed for this position?

As a new candidate it is always hard to hear that experience is the best teacher. Get into classrooms as often as you can, in as many different situations as you can. Find out about yourself as a teacher by comparing  "your way" of teaching to everyone else's way. Remember teaching is a very personal work. If your way does not fit into the school where there is an opening, believe me, you really do not want to teach there. 'Highly Qualified' just about guarantees an adequate education, but experience shows the application of that education. Remember, this is my opinion! I have met committee members who check grades and universities, I am just more experience orientated. 

Why should students attend school in my district?

This elementary is great! As the principal I take great pride in the diversity of instructional methods used by the teachers here. At each grade level your student can find a match for his/her personality and learning style. As a staff we care about the individual child and their family. We welcome parents into our school and appreciate the chance to work with the family in the education of their children. The staff is highly qualified, including our aides, and all stay abreast of new instructional methods. 

Never let anyone tell you that teaching is easy. With luck you will have around twenty children who rely on you for their acquisition of knowledge.  "to take each child from where they are academically and help them move forward is the reward of teaching"

More important they rely on you to form much of their academic self-confidence. They each have their own different way of assimilating knowledge. Their brain growth is at different points, and they come to school with different attitudes toward the educational process. They are not miniature adults, nor do they act or learn like adults. To expect that is to fail in education.

However, to take each child from where they are academically and help them move forward is the reward of teaching. The reward is in satisfaction, not in salary.



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(part 2)

Courtesy of K12Academics.com

Accreditation of Certified Bodies

Organizations which certify third parties against many official standards are themselves formally accredited by the standards bodies, hence they are sometimes known as "accredited certification bodies". The accreditation process ensures that their certification practices are acceptable i.e. they are competent to test and certify third parties, behave ethically, employ suitable quality assurance and other measures etc.

Examples include accredited test laboratories and certification specialists that are permitted to issue official certificates of compliance with physical, chemical, forensic, quality, security or other standards.

Without accreditation, anyone would be able to issue certificates and bad practices or incompetence might discredit the certification process as a whole. The flip side, of course, is that accreditation and formal processes incur additional costs.

National Accreditors

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.

Look for more in part 3 of this series!


Article courtesy of K12Academics.com




MythMichigan Books
Novels by Frank Holes, Jr.

Dogmans Back!

  The legends of the Michigan Dogman come alive in six haunting tales by folklore author, Frank Holes, Jr.  Based upon both mythology and alleged real stories of the beast, this collection is sure to fire the imagination!

  Spanning the decades and the geography of the Great Lakes State , Frank weaves:

  A mysterious police report of an unsolvable death in Manistee County

A terrifying encounter in the U.P.s remote Dickinson County

A BLOG, begun as one mans therapy, becomes a chronicle of sightings from around Michigan

A secret governmental agent investigates the grisly aftermath of Sigma

A pioneer family meets more than they expected on the trail north

A campfire tale of ancient betrayal handed down through the Omeena Tribe

Welcome to Dogman Country!


Click Here For The
Tales From Dogman Country Website


Now Available!

Year of the Dogman Website
Now Available!

Haunting of Sigma Website
Now Available!

Nagual: Dawn of the Dogmen Website 
Now Available!
Now Available!
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

Classroom Wrap-Up Ideas

The closing activity for your class is just as important as the opening activity. 

Opening your lesson is always important to focus your students for class. And a good wrap up activity is great for summarizing and closing your lesson. Early on in my teaching career, I focused on teaching 'coast to coast', right up until the end of the hour. Often my lessons ran until the bitter end, with students scrambling to pack up and rushing to their next class. Later on (as I got better) I began using wrap ups to close the lesson, summarize what the students learned, and provide a launching pad to the next day's lesson.

In English class, for example, the students will often complete short writing assignments as 'tickets out the door'. I've included a few short prompts at the end of this article that you can use (or feel free to adapt) in your own class. Some prompts take the form of short paragraphs, some are in the form of a quiz designed by the kids, and we even have some that are in a creative writing style.

Wrap-ups can take many forms. There are some teachers who simply ask questions of the class before students are released. If a student answers correctly, that student is allowed to pack up and perhaps even leave (depending on your school's policies). After a few questions, allow the remainder of the students to go on the next correct answer. You can take volunteers for the answers or use a random choice technique.

Other teachers choose to have students write before they leave. Short writing prompts are great. These should only last a few minutes, and be easy for you to grade/correct/take credit if you choose to. An easy way to check the writing is by length - a certain number of required words or lines. Some writings take the form of answers to questions, so you can check the number of correct responses. Another powerful way is to have students create their own questions in the form of short quizzes. Students can make up true/false, multiple choice, fill-in-the-blanks, short answer, or other types of quizzes.  Always have students include the answers.

There are even games you can play with your students as wrap ups.  Some store-bought games can easily be adapted and fit to your classroom. Simply change the game data by inserting your own questions and class curricular information. You might even create and develop your own games to play in class. As always, remember to factor time into your activity. You'll be able to get to only a few students in the time you have, so create a plan to randomly choose students or keep track of who has already participated. That way every student has an equal opportunity to participate.

Wrap-ups can be easy to design and implement in your class. And your students can have fun too using their creativity. The teacher must make a commitment to doing these every day. Then the procedure is in place for students and teacher alike. Wrap-ups are great for reviewing class material not only that day but over past classes. And they make an excellent transition to the next class.


Use this link to access this writing assignment on our website for your own classroom use:



Part 6 of this series will discuss commonly asked questions regarding the writing process and paragraph/essay writing.


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"A Message of Thanks for Teachers"
By Donna Fargo

Themes on Life

Thanks going out at the end of the year...

A Message of Thanks
To All the Great Teachers
In This World

Thank you for being such wonderful teachers,
exemplary role models, and caring people. Thank you
for knowing your subjects and sharing your knowledge.
Thank you for not being afraid to treat students like real people.

Thank you for showing acceptance,
approval, and appreciation. These are all gifts that are
so important to a student's development and that your students
will always remember, just as they will also
Remember you.

Words of encouragement, a little respect, simple gestures
of kindness from a teacher promote the perfect
climate for students to study, learn and grow.
Your attitude translates into a spirit of friendliness and
good will towards others in an atmosphere of creative
freedom, joy and ease, and you foster this feeling in your

I salute the good work you've done. I appreciate the people you
are, and I think you for your positive influence. You have passed
on invaluable instruction and wisdom and created pleasurable
moments associated with learning that will
Always be sweet memories.

Thank you for answering the call to be teachers.
Thank you for the enduring impression you've made
In the lives you have touched.

Every community needs people like you.
Your contributions are immeasurable.
Your lessons are permanent.
You improve our world.
You are so important.


What's New @ StarTeaching?


Hello readers!  Welcome to your second December issue of Features For Teachers for 2010. We've reached the final issue of our sixth year, and we're excited to head into yet another year of providing excellent educational articles for our readers!   

This month, we showcase some great articles from  Jerry Judge, Munir Moosa Sewani, and Hank Kellner, as well as guest writers Joe Pagano, Carolyn Sackett, and Ken Cheong.

As always, we have free activities (from Helen de la Maza and Mary Ann Graziani) and articles with practical ideas and techniques to be applied directly into your classroom.   

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