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Features For New Teachers
Volume 6, Issue 5
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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?
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
C. Smith, Grand Rapids, MI
Dr. Manute responds –
The layoff notice I received 30 years ago wasn’t 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 Ford’s 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.
The layoff notice I received 30 years ago wasn’t 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 Ford’s 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,
Yours in education,
CREATE IT IN YOUR HAND, SHARE IT WITH THE WORLD
some of my 30 minute talk at Handheld
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 didn’t 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, I’m afraid that even if they were available in the 80s, most of my teachers wouldn’t have used them in very engaging ways.
As 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, don’t 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. It’s 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. There’s just got to be some good ones for students, right?
Of 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. Bloom’s 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 Bloom’s Taxonomy for the 21st Century. What’s the highest order thinking skill? Creating.
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 wasn’t exactly assigned by the teacher, but I didn’t 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 that’s 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.
I’d like to share with you three kinds of products that can be created on an iPod touch or iPhone: Comics, Animations, and Audio Podcasts.
Comics 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.
You can also save screenshots of what’s on your iPod’s screen. Hold down the Sleep/Wake button on top of the device and quickly press the Home button. The screen will flash and you’ll hear a camera sound. The screenshot is now in your Saved Photos album.
I think it’s fun to take screenshots inside of Google Maps. Sure, you can take screenshots of the satellite view, but it’s 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. Here’s I’m 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 I’ve 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.)
For even more fun, I could save my comic to photo or save a classmates comic to then use an app like Ali’s 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, you’ve got yourself an animation.
Planning and drawing a animation can take time, but it’s 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, they’ll watch their own creation over and over again.
Flipbook and Flipbook Lite are two of a handful of animation apps for iPod touch. It’s tricky to draw without a stylus and there’s 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.
The 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 aren’t 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, there’s 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.
The 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. That’s great because the blogging service Posterous lets you post podcasts by email! Simple email the recording from Voice Memos to your Posterous email. It’s 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. It’s 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 don’t 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.
Twelve-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 school’s 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 isn’t always the case when they do a ‘worksheet.’”
If you’re interested in iPods, I have created a podcast called Learning in Hand: iPods. Like Jason’s 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.
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,
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Using videos with today's students can be very rewarding when we just follow these guidelines.
PRIMARY FIELD DECIDER SCALE
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 email@example.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
PART 2: IBR TEST
Analyze the picture and select the best suitable answer:
2. Analyze The Picture and give your answer in the space provided:
PART 3: SITUATION ANALYSIS
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?
PART 4: MT
Would you like or dislike performing the activities given below:
Please write L or D after every answer:
PART 5: RST
Tick the scale that applies to you.
1. Your ability to speak in a way that convinces others of your point of view.
2. Your ability to clearly explain complex matters verbally.
3. Your ability to entertain others when you speak.
4. Your ability to speak in public to a group of people.
5. Your ability to write a convincing argument.
6. Your ability to write very clear instructions.
7. Your ability to write in an entertaining manner.
8. Your ability to compute numbers quickly in your head.
9. Your success with mathematics at school.
10. Your ability to analyse issues in a logical and systematic way.
11. The extent to which you find yourself naturally analysing what people say and deciding whether it is logical and consistent.
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.
13. Your success with sciences at school.
14. The extent to which you find yourself analysing the form and design of objects in the world.
15. Your ability to visualise something in your mind and reproduce the visualisation in an artistic form or design.
16. Your sense of direction and your ability to find your way around in the world.
17. Your ability in technical and mechanical things and in understanding how things work.
18. Your ability to understand how things like engines or buildings fit together and your ability to make or fix them.
19. Your ability in sports and as an athlete.
20. Your ability to create new and innovative products and services to meet the needs of others.
21. Your ability to sing, or to play, write or conduct music.
22. Your ability as an effective listener
23. Your ability to teach skills and knowledge to other people
24. Your ability in taking care of, helping, healing and meeting the needs of others.
25. Your ability to prioritise your daily activities and then carry out your tasks according to the priorities you set.
26. Your ability to work harmoniously as part of a team.
27. Your level of computer literacy with software such as word processing, spreadsheets/databases, internet/email and other specialist software packages.
28. Your ability and willingness to learn new skills and knowledge quickly.
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
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
Effects on a School
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
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 today’s 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.
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).
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Preparing For the Spring
Technology & Teaching: Seamless Integration into Curriculum
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