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Ideas and Features For New Teachers
and Veterans with Class

Volume 6, Issue 5
March 2010
StarTeaching Store Advertise with us Previous Articles Submit an Article FREE Reports Feature Writers Tech Center New Teacher's Niche

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

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

What's New @ StarTeaching   Primary Field Decider Scale   Reader Response:
Ask Dr. Manute
NEW! Tony Vincent's Blog:
Create It In Your Hand, 
Share It With The World
Tech/21st Century Corner: 
The Obvious Isn't Always Obvious
Themes on Life: 
"The Carrot, The Egg, And The Coffee Bean"
NEW! Science Activities for Any Setting   10 Days of Writing Prompts   10 Days of Math Problems
School Features:
New Teacher's Niche:
Building Respect With Students
Student Teachers' Lounge:
Crosswords And Word Puzzles
Book of the Month Club:
The Book Whisperer
  Website of the Month:
Discovery School PuzzleMaker
  Spring 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



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Ask Dr. Manute

The Doctor is in!!!  After his brief stay overseas, Dr. Manute is pleased to be back stateside answering questions from our readers.  

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!

I recently received a question regarding pink slips:

Dear Dr. Manute,

Recently I became aware that teachers would be pink slipped or laid off in our district.  Obviously I know what being laid off means but what about the term 'pink slipped'?  Where does it come from?  Are layoff notices actually pink?  Can you provide any insight into this?

C. Smith, Grand Rapids, MI

Dr. Manute responds

The layoff notice I received 30 years ago wasnt pink, it was on white school letterhead and very professional.  The information I could find about the term pink slip goes back to the early days of the automobile industry.  The story goes that in Henry Fords auto plant his workers were monitored on their job performance weekly and given a written notice.  If their work was satisfactory the rating was on white paper and they kept their job.  On the other hand if work was unsatisfactory their rating was on pink paper and they lost their job, or were pink slipped.  If this is actually the origin, then the term has lasted around a hundred years and is clearly understood by all.  Usually layoffs happen to the younger teachers, those just starting in the business.  It is a very traumatic situation and really hurts.  Hopefully the education business will get better and layoffs will be a thing of the past. 

Yours in education,

Dr. Manute


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



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Create It In Your Hand,
Share It With The World

Courtesy of Tony Vincent,
Learning in Hand Blog

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.



Below is some of my 30 minute talk at Handheld Learning 2009 in London.
The presentation is called
Create It in Your Hand, Share It with the World.

Create it in Your Hand Title

I decided to become a teacher when I was in sixth grade. From then on I studied each and every teacher I had and analyzed each and every activity they had me do. As a student I vowed to remember what I liked and didnt like like when I was finally the one in charge.

I was lucky enough to have Palm computers for my fifth grade students in 2001. I would have very much liked a handheld computer when I was 12 years old. Though, Im afraid that even if they were available in the 80s, most of my teachers wouldnt have used them in very engaging ways.

Palm Apps SlideAs a teacher, I tried hard to use the handhelds in my classroom as creatively as possible. Of course I wanted to make learning fun. Boredom is the enemy of learning. We had about 50 apps we used on the Palms. Most all of the apps were drill and skill apps. Which, dont get me wrong, were great. My handheld-equipped students learned their multiplication tables, historical figures, and science vocabulary faster than they would have with ordinary tools. Even with thousands of Palm apps, it was sometimes hard to find or adapt apps to move beyond drill and practice.

My favorite handheld today is the iPod touch. Its amazing to compare the number of iPod touch and iPhone apps to the number of apps for the Palm Operating System. Ten years after the launch of the Palm OS, we have 30,000 apps for Palm devices. After little over a year since the launch of the App Store for iPhone and iPod touch, we have 85,000 apps, with and average of 46 new ones being added each day. Theres just got to be some good ones for students, right?

Name Tag Web AppOf course, many of them are silly or frivolous. In fact, this name tag on the screen is actually a web app for iPod touch. Just point your mobile browser to mkaz.com/nametag and input your name. Presto! You are now holding a very expensive name tag.

But peeking into the App Store, there are plenty of apps for learning. Multiple-choice quizzes, flash cards, math games, and the like are plentiful.

Benjamin Bloom ranked thinking skills from lower order to higher order in 1956. Blooms Taxonomy helps teachers classify the objectives we set for students. Like we just saw, there, are plenty of titles in the App Store that address lower order thinking skills, like remembering, understanding, and applying.

Anderson and Krathwohl have slightly reworked Blooms Taxonomy for the 21st Century. Whats the highest order thinking skill? Creating.

New Bloom's SlideCreation VerbsThree Products Slide

Creating is reorganizing elements to form a new functional whole. In order to create, you have to evaluate. But in order to evaluate, you must be able to analyze. In order to analyze, you have to understand. And to understand something, you must be able to remember things about it. So, creating is the ultimate activity.

As a student and as an adult, I love to create things. In sixth grade I produced a video about the U.S.s Strategic Defense Initiative. It wasnt exactly assigned by the teacher, but I didnt care. I wanted to learn how to make a movie and share it with my classmates. As you can see, there are lots of verbs associated with Creating. I enjoyed planning, producing, and broadcasting that video.

American writer John Updike wrote, Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or doing it better. We can kind-of-sort-of make our students care by holding grades over their heads. But thats not authentic. Educators can invent activities (or have students invent activities) that are creative and that they will be excited to share with an audience.

Id like to share with you three kinds of products that can be created on an iPod touch or iPhone: Comics, Animations, and Audio Podcasts.

Comic Touch ExampleComics are a great way to synthesize information. The combination of images and text can be fun to plan and fun to read. Comics may sound like fluff, but consider that last year Google commissioned a comic book to tell the world about why they are making the Chrome web browser and the technologies inside of it.

Comic Touch and Comic Touch Lite are two of a few iPod touch apps where you can create comics. You can import any saved image into Comic Touch and layer text bubbles on top of it. There are also some limited special effects you can apply to the image. Where can you get images?

You can save images from the web. Mobile Safari makes it easy. Simply tap and hold an image and the Save Image option will appear. The image will be saved into your Saved Photo album, which is accessible in Comic Touch.

I want to share my comics on my website. I have to think about copyright--I should have permission to use copyrighted images. So I use Creative Commons licensed images. You can search for images that are labeled for reuse using Google Image Search. However, you have to choose to do an Advanced Search from the Classic view first. Then you can select to only search for images that are copyright friendly. I suggest bookmarking the Advanced Image Search page or saving it as an icon to your Home screen.

Screenshot SlideYou can also save screenshots of whats on your iPods screen. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button on top of the device and quickly press the Home button. The screen will flash and youll hear a camera sound. The screenshot is now in your Saved Photos album.

I think its fun to take screenshots inside of Google Maps. Sure, you can take screenshots of the satellite view, but its much more fun to go into Street View and take screenshots. Whenever I have a pin on the screen, I can tap the orange and white Street View icon to go into street view. Heres Im in Washington D.C. taking photos of the Supreme Court Building.

I can use these images from my virtual field trip in a comic. Another comic-creation app is Strip Designer. Strip Designer lets me have up to three panels in my comic.

Let me show you a comic I made using images from Street View and images Ive saved in Safari. My goal is to tell about the three branches of the U.S. government and their role in a particular issue. I chose mandated health insurance as the issue. I ended up with three two-panel comics. I was able to save them in high resolution and email them to myself. If I was a student, I could email them to the teacher. The teacher could then put them up on a class website. Or, many blogging and photo services allow for posting directly from email. The comic I just made in my hand is just an email away from being published for the world to see! (Watch a video that explains how I made the comic.)

US Government Comic

Jigsaw SlideFor even more fun, I could save my comic to photo or save a classmates comic to then use an app like Alis Jigsaw Puzzle to turn the comic in a jigsaw I can put back together by dragging the pieces around my screen.

So comics are a fantastic way for students to piece together their learning and share it with others. Now on to animations.

A favorite Palm app of my students was Sketchy. We could draw directly on the screen, duplicate the frame, make a change, and then duplicate the frame again until a masterpiece was created. When played in a row, youve got yourself an animation.

Planning and drawing a animation can take time, but its time well spent. The learner is interacting with content in a creative way and he or she enjoys sharing the final creation with others. Heck, theyll watch their own creation over and over again.

Flipbook and Flipbook Lite are two of a handful of animation apps for iPod touch. Its tricky to draw without a stylus and theres no text tool. But there are useful features like layers and onion skinning. Then, when done, users can publish the animation to Flipbook.tv, where the file can be viewed by others and saved as mp4 video files. View samples.

Like comics, animations are great way for students to sythesize their learning and present it to others.

Record SlideThe third kind of product people can create on iPod touch are audio podcasts. There are a variety of apps for recording audio. The catch is that iPod touch lacks a built-in microphone. There are mics that attach to the connector on the bottom of the device. Or, you can buy earbuds with a build-in mic like the iPhone has.

When making audio recordings, I usually like to record directly into my laptop so I can edit and arrange the audio as I record. But, in classrooms where there arent enough computers or students need to record in the field, iPod touch can be made into a little podcast studio.

Let me play a short clip from a field trip I took recently. (Download the clip.) In Tucson, Arizona there is the Sonoran Desert Museum. Yes, theres a museum in the desert about the desert. It was a really hot summer day. I took a break under a tree and felt a light, cool mist. I thought maybe the museum rigged up something for their guests to keep cool. I asked a couple docents under the tree where the mist was coming from...

I used an iPod to make a sound-seeing tour of my trip. I was forced to describe what I saw during my excursion.

Trimming Option SlideThe Voice Memos app is a pretty straight-forward app for voice recording. Besides a trimming option, it has a handy feature of being able to email recordings as an attachment. Thats great because the blogging service Posterous lets you post podcasts by email! Simple email the recording from Voice Memos to your Posterous email. Its automatically posted to the blog and has a news feed so it can be subscribed to in iTunes.

Now, schools probably want to screen audio recordings before they are posted. Instead of emailing Posterous, students email to their teacher who could then post it after approving the content. Its exciting that something recorded during a field trip can be instantly published online.

Comics, Animations, and Podcasts are just three of many creative endeavors that can be done on an iPod touch or iPhone. In fact, you dont need an Apple product to create--other phones and handhelds have similar apps. But the key is letting students create. Letting them create something they care about because they are sharing with, educating, or helping others. Another key to success is letting students choose what kind of product they are going to create--give them a choice of making a series of comics, an animation, or podcast.

12 Year Old Tony VincentTwelve-year-old and thirty-four-year-old Tony Vincent both enjoy having choice. Giving choice engages learners because everyone likes to have a say in what they do. After using these apps for a while, students will get a sense of what they like to create--let them choose!

I worked with a school in Phoenix last month and I received an email from one of the high schools English teachers. After showing how to create comics with students, Jason wrote, It all of a sudden has become important to my students to get the information right, which isnt always the case when they do a worksheet.

If youre interested in iPods, I have created a podcast called Learning in Hand: iPods. Like Jasons students, it is important for me to get the information right in my podcast because I know that thousands of teachers download what I've created and shared. I learn so much in the process.




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

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Crosswords and Word Puzzles:
A Great Way To Review In Class

Many of us enjoy the challenge of a good crossword puzzle in our local papers when sitting down to breakfast on the weekends or passing the time when traveling. But did you ever think about the benefits of using crosswords and other word puzzles in class?

Crossword puzzles are said to be the most popular and widespread word game in the world. However, according to George Elliott of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament,
http://www.crosswordtournament.com/more/wynne.html, this serious adult pastime has a relatively short history. To paraphrase Elliott, "The first crosswords appeared in England during the 19th century. The first known, published crossword (December 21, 1913 in the Sunday newspaper the New York World) was created by a journalist named Arthur Wynne, who is usually credited as the inventor of the popular word game. Wynne based his crossword on a similar, though much older game (played in ancient Pompeii) called Magic Squares or word square, which was a group of words arranged so the letters read alike vertically and horizontally. These word squares were printed in children's puzzle books and other periodicals. During the early 1920's other newspapers picked up the newly discovered pastime and within a decade crossword puzzles were featured in almost all American newspapers."

Crossword puzzles require two fundamental vocabulary skills: 

1) knowing the definition of the word and 

2) knowing how to spell the word correctly. 

This can be a great way to review important terms and words for any class, from foreign languages, to math, to science, to language arts. By varying the number of words, and the size of the letter boxes, crosswords can be used at any grade level. Even lower elementary students can fill in these puzzles, and many children love the interesting shapes and connections between words.

Crosswords are not difficult to create, especially with the help of your handy computer. There are several on-line websites that allow you to input your vocabulary word list and definitions (clues). Good programs also allow you to customize the puzzle, changing the puzzle's overall dimensions, box sizes, title, and even colors. One easy to use puzzle making website is located at

Once there, you simply choose the type of puzzle you wish (you can even see examples of the different types of puzzles, including math puzzles, mazes, and word searches among others)

Crossword puzzles are fun for students, and they provide a welcomed break from finishing review worksheets, studying vocabulary lists, and answering questions from the textbook.

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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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

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  TECH/21st Century CORNER

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The Obvious Isn't Always Obvious 

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. 

Videos are certainly a part of technology and part of every classroom. With today's students being more visually oriented and not as word oriented in their learning, educational videos and video streaming are great tools. 

The question is: Are our students prepared to learn from these tools? Do they have the skills to work through all that a video brings forth from sounds, music, visuals, and whatever else multimedia can bring? Do we, as teachers, prepare them for what they are about to see, or do we just give them the topic and turn on the show?

As teachers, we need to think about how we approach the use of this tool. When we announce that we are going to show a video, every student ought to be able to ask us the question: What do you want me to learn from this?  We need to be able to answer that question every time. If not, we shouldn't be showing it. We need to help the students focus on what is being learned.

Even before all this takes place, we need to teach the students how to learn from a video and how to handle multimedia. One good way is to take an educational video, or any video for that matter, and show a 30 to 60 second section. Then get feedback from the students about what they just saw. Repeat this procedure over and over. Discuss what was important, not important, or just background. We need to teach them how to discern what is important and what isn't. This practice should not be a one time event. You will see them grow in their understanding and learning through feedback in their note taking and class discussion.

Video length is also important to consider.  Today's students can only handle about 30-35 minutes, at best, regardless of age, when it comes to educational videos. For younger students, keep the length to 15-20 minutes. If it takes two days to show it, that's fine. Our goal is for them to learn, not be overwhelmed or bored because they lost focus.

Using videos with today's students can be very rewarding when we just follow these guidelines.

Your browser may not support display of this image.  

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:




  StarTeaching Feature Writer

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Primary Field Decider Scale
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 content writer for StarTeaching's newsletter for more than three 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

Dr. Muhammad Hameed-ur-Rehman is one of the most prominent and veteran personalities in the field of education. He is a Doctorate in Education, currently associated with Hamdard University, Karachi, Pakistan as an Asst. Professor and is in charge of the M.Phil/PhD program. Several students are associated with him for their thesis / dissertation work.


Developed by: Munir Moosa Sewani, Supervised by: Dr. Hameed ur Rehman 

For most of the students, choosing the right field is a daunting task. Although the teachers and education counselors are putting in a lot of effort to solve the queries of students, still, these students are puzzled in selecting the right fields to embark upon. Unfortunately, all the standardized tests are only providing students with a list of fields they can move on with, but the element of measuring one's potential is missing. It is very important to make students aware of their own potential and interests to make the best decisions earlier in life. Keeping in view the demand, the test was designed for the students of UAE a year ago. After an extensive research, the test has been amended and now it can be used anywhere around the world. A pilot test was recently conducted among the sample of 50 students. On the basis of the results, the counseling of the students was conducted at my residence. The success ratio of the test was 92.8%. Students found it very interesting to access their own potential. Thus, the results will help the teachers and education counselors to counsel students with a much greater success rate. This test does not claim that it will prove to be a mantra for your success; however, it will surely be helpful for individuals and for the teachers/ counselors to make the best decisions on the basis of students potential and skills. Thus, so far, the test is genuine and I hope that the students and teachers will find it very fruitful. 

Note: It is very important for the respondents to fill all the items. Once filled, send in your hard copy with all your details to munirmoosa@yahoo.com. The cost of evaluating each document is 20$, however, 50% discount is being provided to the readers of Star Teaching, exclusively.

PART 1: FAT (Field Analysis Test)

It is a short-term test, which has been designed for the students to know their interest so that they could take a wise decision to carry out

Select at least one and at most two for the questions given below: 
1. Which one of the following would best describe your interest?

Movie and Music 
Surfing Net 
Web Designing 
Playing Games 
Experimenting Things 
Playing Mind Games 
Making Creative Things 

2. Which one is your Favorite subject?

Commercial Geography 
Pakistan Studies 
Home Economics 
Art and Craft 

3. Which Subject you hate the most in your school life.

Commercial Geography 
Pakistan Studies 
Home Economics 
Art and Craft 

4. What were your results in your Secondary school classes

Very Good 

5. Select the trait that applies you the most.

Reasonable and Reliable 
Responsible, Organized and Calm 
Open Minded 
Short Tempered 

6. Whom do you inspire the most?

Athletic coach 
Hair stylist 
Physical therapist 
Web Designer 
Social worker 
Movie Director 
Food service manager 

7.How many hours could you spend on studies?

Less than 1 hour

1-3 hours

3-6 hours

6-9 hours 



Analyze the picture and select the best suitable answer:

I see a face in the card

I see a scary face in the card

Things look like they're whirling around in the card

It looks like we're looking down on people or something in the card

I see a mask in the card

I see a flower in the card 

2. Analyze The Picture and give your answer in the space provided:

Example: A young woman is waiting for someone.


Karim studies in class 6. Till class 5, he secured top positions in academic, as well as extra curricular activities, but this year, he is not showing keen interest in his studies. Teachers complain that he is dumb, while his parents know how brilliant he was during the previous years. Can you suggest the ways to help him out?


Would you like or dislike performing the activities given below:

Please write L or D after every answer:


Paint a wall

Solve your brother or sister or friend math sums

Design a card for your friend

Suggest your friend about hard working

Use money lavishly

Help your parents in their work

Monitor a machine on an assembly line

Repair household appliances

Do internship, if get a chance

Write an article

Guide students for the future

Love elders and sick people

Buy groceries

Assemble electronic parts

Drive a truck to deliver packages to offices and homes

Paint houses

Perform lawn care services

Handle calls

Change the decoration of your house

Select best color for wall painting

Write a song or compose music

Perform social work

Spray trees to prevent the spread of harmful insects

Test the quality of parts of scooter or car, before buying

Love to read books

Buy a pet

Mess kitchen and experiment new things

Better idea to brought Pakistan Film Industry back to its original position

Help poor and needy people

Study human behavior

Participate in Science Exhibition

Diagnose and treat sick animals

Study the personalities of world leaders

Know the better solutions to the problems of education in Pakistan

Know the names of few medicines

Study the structure of the human body

Accept mistakes

Loose hope



If one shop is closed, find other to buy ice cream

Like to be in touch with current affairs

Love to pluck flowers

Avoid self medications

Play a musical instrument

Draw pictures/ painting

Act in a play

Play a part as a team leader

Write scripts for movies or television shows

Click photographs

Edit movies

Pose for a photographer

Supervise the activities of children at a camp

Injection by a doctor, when ill

Do volunteer work at a nonprofit organization

Help people who have problems with drugs or alcohol

Collect donations for poor people

People know you

Counsel people who have a life-threatening illness

Teach disabled people work and living skills

Attending workshops

Manage a supermarket

Sell products to earn good profits

Start your own business

Sell automobiles

Bargain from shopkeepers

Know the prices of latest computers and other gadgets

Check assignment/ class work before submission

Look for freebees

Spend time building own website

Spend time on net

Submit assignment on time

Calculating monthly expenditures of you family

Take notes during a class

Keep all certificates/ degrees in safe

Keep daily diary for routine check

Handle customers


Tick the scale that applies to you. 

1. Your ability to speak in a way that convinces others of your point of view. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

2. Your ability to clearly explain complex matters verbally. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

3. Your ability to entertain others when you speak. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

4. Your ability to speak in public to a group of people. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

5. Your ability to write a convincing argument. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

6. Your ability to write very clear instructions. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

7. Your ability to write in an entertaining manner. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

8. Your ability to compute numbers quickly in your head. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

9. Your success with mathematics at school. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

10. Your ability to analyse issues in a logical and systematic way. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

11. The extent to which you find yourself naturally analysing what people say and deciding whether it is logical and consistent. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

12. The extent to which you are drawn to find out why things are the way they are, and to seek to understand the underlying reasons. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

13. Your success with sciences at school. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

14. The extent to which you find yourself analysing the form and design of objects in the world. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

15. Your ability to visualise something in your mind and reproduce the visualisation in an artistic form or design. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

16. Your sense of direction and your ability to find your way around in the world. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

17. Your ability in technical and mechanical things and in understanding how things work. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

18. Your ability to understand how things like engines or buildings fit together and your ability to make or fix them. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

19. Your ability in sports and as an athlete. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

20. Your ability to create new and innovative products and services to meet the needs of others. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

21. Your ability to sing, or to play, write or conduct music. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

22. Your ability as an effective listener 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

23. Your ability to teach skills and knowledge to other people 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

24. Your ability in taking care of, helping, healing and meeting the needs of others. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

25. Your ability to prioritise your daily activities and then carry out your tasks according to the priorities you set. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

26. Your ability to work harmoniously as part of a team. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

27. Your level of computer literacy with software such as word processing, spreadsheets/databases, internet/email and other specialist software packages. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent

 28. Your ability and willingness to learn new skills and knowledge quickly. 

Bad Fair Good Excellent


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Courtesy of K12Academics.com

A Bully is an individual who torments others, through verbal or physical abuse, or through methods of coercion.

In colloquial speech, bullying is most often used to describe a form of harassment perpetrated by a child who is in any way more powerful upon weaker peers. Researchers accept generally that bullying contains three essential elements:

The behavior is aggressive and negative
The behavior is carried out repeatedly
The behavior occurs in a relationship where there is an imbalance of power between the parties involved

Bullying can occur in situations including in school or college/university, the workplace, by neighbors, and between countries. Whatever the situation the power structure is typically evident between the bully and victim. It seems to those outside the relationship that the bully's power depends only upon the perception of the victim, with the victim being too intimidated to put up effective resistance. However the victim usually has just cause to be afraid of the bully due to the threat and actually carrying out of physical/sexual violence, or loss of livelihood. Bullying is behind most claims of discrimination in the workplace.

Persistent bullying may have a number of effects on an individual, and in the environment where bullying takes place.

Effects on Individuals
* Reactive Depression, a form of clinical depression caused by exogenous events
* Posttraumatic stress disorder
* Anxiety
* Gastric problems
* Unspecified aches and pains
* Loss of self esteem
* Relationship problems
* Drug and alcohol abuse
* Suicide (also known as bullycide)

Effects on a School
* High levels of truancy
* High staff turnover
* Disrespect for teachers
* High level of absence for minor ailments
* Weapon-carrying by children for protection
* Legal action
o Against the school or education authority
o Against the bully's family

Bullying is repeating an act of abuse, whether it be verbal or physical, to show power over another person. Usually a combination of intimidation and humiliation is used. Some techniques are:

* Calling the victim names and stating the victim is useless at whatever they do
* Spreading gossip and rumors about him/her
* Threats of job loss and disciplinary action for unspecified reasons
* Constant negative criticism for unspecified allegations
* Taking the victim's possessions or taking control of the victim's work
* Demoting the victim without just cause
* Making the victim do what they do not want to do with a threat of violence or disciplinary action if they refuse
* Actually following through with a threat on one occasion to ensure the victim will comply with all future orders
* Cyber bullying through the use of various information technologies
* repeated physical assault on a person, even when the assault is not damaging to life or limb
* blackmail
* getting a victim into trouble with authority
* making derogatory remarks about a person's family, (particularly mother), about one's home, personal appearance, sexual orientation, religion, race or nationality.
* physical attacks can include wedgies, noogies, swirlies etc


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-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.  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 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.


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 Viking Treasure, the hit sequel, this summer!

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

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Building Respect With Students 

By Dave Hare, Middle School Teacher


It has been said that, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care".  This is also true with kids.

Kids are people too and they deserve respect as people that you would give to any adult.  When I was a student, I was expected to respect my teachers and the adults of school by my parents, but todays kids do not have that same expectation on them.  This means that we, the teachers, must swallow our pride and show respect to the kids first in order for the kids to respect us.  This seems backwards, but there is no use fighting that battle (maybe we can discuss this in a future article!)

As soon as you show respect to the kids, they become less defensive and open to your teaching, advice, ideas, and recommendations.  Word gets around the kids of the school that you are a fair person because you care.  I believe that you can show that you care for kids when you show them that they deserve to be respected as people.  This has allowed me to be able to manage my classroom more effectively too.  

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" The kids know that I respect them and that I expect them to respect me back.  They know that the "lines have been drawn" in terms of proper behavior in class.  

So, I have set rules based on what I believe is respectful.  This goes over much easier when the kids feel respected by me, the teacher.  I only send kids to the office when a student has crossed too many lines and I just need him/her out to maintain my own composure.  This has not happened in a few years (Knock on wood).

Respect shows that you care and when the kids know you care, they will respect and listen to you, and you will have an easier time in your classroom management no matter what level you teach.

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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"The Carrot, The Egg, 
And The Coffee Bean"
Author Unknown

Themes on Life

How do you handle adversity?

 A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

It seemed that, as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil, without saying a word. In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "Tell me, what do you see?"

"Carrots, eggs, and coffee," the young woman replied. The mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity - boiling water - but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak.

The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened! The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

"Which are you?" the mother asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?" Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong but, with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit but, after a death, a breakup, or a financial hardship, does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour.

If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?


What's New @ StarTeaching?


This month, our web partner Tony Vincent shares some excellent creative ideas for students using the iPod Touch handheld.  There are a number of apps he recommends using for the classroom.  

Our Website of the Month features the PUZZLE MAKER from DISCOVERY SCHOOL.  Learn more about it in our Student Teacher's Lounge section.  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.  

Editor Frank Holes, Jr. is very proud to mention that the legends behind his Folklore Thrillers will be featured on the History Channel's Monster Quest program this month.  Our world-wide debut will be on March 24th at 9:00 pm.  The episode is called the American Wolfman, and it will feature the myth and legend of the Michigan Dogman, the subject of Frank's three novels.  Be sure to check it out!

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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What is a myth?


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Describe THREE different myths that explain how something in nature came to be.


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Do people need myths in our culture?  Defend your answer.


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The Book Whisperer:
Awakening The Inner Reader In Every Child

By Donalyn Miller



Coming Soon:

Preparing For the Spring

Technology & Teaching: Seamless Integration into Curriculum

Writing Process and Programs

Classroom Management


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10 Days of 
Math Problems
by Mary Ann Graziani

Day 1 Jaclyn bought 2 rolls of paper towels. She got 50.28 meters of paper towels in all. How many meters of paper towels were on each roll?
Day 2 An aquarium owns 4 identical tanks. All together, the tanks can hold 525.1 gallons of water. How much water can each tank hold?
Day 3 A 6-story building is 81.3 feet tall. How many feet tall is each story?
Day 4 Khalil went to the hardware store and bought 2 identical wooden boards. When Khalil placed all the boards end-to-end, the line was 0.91 meters long. How long was each board?
Day 5

1.      Bobby's science class weighed 7 identical balls on a scale. The combined weight of the balls was 13.37 kilograms. What was the weight of each ball?

Day 6 For a new neighborhood, 0.96 acres of land will be split into 2 lots. How many acres of land will each lot have?
Day 7

1.      A factory used 218.25 kilograms of tomatoes to make 9 batches of pasta sauce. What quantity of tomatoes did the factory put in each batch?

Day 8

1.      An apple juice factory produced 703.2 gallons of apple juice in 6 days. How much apple juice, on average, did the factory produce each day?

Day 9 Colin bought 3 rolls of paper towels. He got 198.3 meters of paper towels in all. How many meters of paper towels were on each roll?
Day 10 3 people will equally split 145.5 acres of land. How much land will each person get?


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

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Science Activities For Any Setting
By Helen de la Maza
Experimenting With Ants
(click for PDF)


Microhike Outdoor Activity
(click for PDF)



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Inspirational Quotes
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Discovery School
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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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