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Volume 6, Issue 19
October 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   Computer Literacy Terms
 (part 2)
  A Colorful Starting Point With Technology
NEW! Tony Vincent's Blog: Collecting and Organizing Voice Memos Learners, Learning, and Curriculum: The '5 E Model' Themes on Life: 
"Peace of Mind"
NEW! Science Activities for Any Setting   10 Days of Writing Prompts   10 Days of Math Problems
School Features:
Tourette Syndrome (part 3)
New Teacher's Niche:
The Writing Process (part 6)
Student Teachers' Lounge: Modeling Student Behavior
Book of the Month Club:
Improving Teacher Quality
  Website of the Month:
www.tweentribune.com
  Article of the Week: "Vitamin D and Kids"

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Feature Writer

A Colorful Starting Point With Technology

by Chris Sura

Chris Sura, upon earning his Bachelors at Western Michigan University worked for Central Michigan University in Housing before teaching at River Valley High School. When he moved to Houghton Lake where he currently teaches, Chris completed his Masters in Education at Central Michigan University. A member of the Crossroads Writing Project through Ferris State University, he facilitates a conference on Professional Writing every summer and does online instruction through Kirtland Community College. He is married to Heidi, his wife of twenty years, and has two kids, Christopher and Grace. Chris writes poetry and fiction and has self published a book of poems. 

You can visit Chris at his website www.surawordz.com

As technology is integrated more into the classroom, some of the basics to grammar can be reinforced. Much of the learning can be done through any number of grammar and punctuation drills, games and quizzes provided by software and websites. They are great learning tools, but can, sometimes, pull the learning away from a students own writing. One way to connect the basics of grammar with a students own writing and even add a little fun is to use colored text and colored highlighting.

These two simple functions are a part of most word processing programs. Making use of them will only take a few minutes of class time. Plus, they will add a new dimension to the learning process.

The basic color spectrum for text has red, green, blue, yellow, orange and black. After having a student write a paragraph on a topic, have the student make all the nouns green and change all the verbs to red. This activity goes quickly, but it also slows the student down enough to take a closer look at his/her writing. With the color-coding, a peer editor or teacher can then instruct the student to check for subject-verb agreement, complete sentence or punctuation in a compound sentence.

Once the work is checked over, it is as easy as select all to put it into one color before printing.

I recall in Language Arts classes underlining a subject, double underlining the verb and triple underlining the direct object. One can apply this with three colors on the computer.

The possibilities with connecting students with grammar and punctuation can be as numerous as the number of possible color combinations. It would be easy to adapt using colors to check Content Focus Areas or use of supporting detail in a re-write exercise.

If you are in a position where students can submit their documents electronically, and you can open them to comment, how about using colored highlights for errors. Highlight compound sentence errors in yellow, fragments in green and minor grammar errors in blue. With these color-coded errors, a document can be sent back to the student for another self edit check. The student would be clued in that there is an error, but he/she would have to apply his/her grammatical knowledge to fix it.

The key thing with using color is that it will keep the ownership of the work in the students hands as it assist it the learning process. With continual use, the awkwardness of selecting text and changing color will speed up. Yet, the act of using these functions, will keep the student working with his/her own work.

Printing with color texts and highlights is expensive. Most schools have a limited number of color printers, let alone the cost for toner and cartridges. However, as more schools integrate technology into more assignments or online classes, the ability to turn in work via email or attached files will be easier to accomplish. So let us go boldly, and with color, forward.

 

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Collecting and Organizing Voice Memos

By Tony Vincent
www.learninginhand.com

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.

Learning in Hand Podcast Episode #23: Collecting & Organizing Voice Memos explains how to sync voice memos from an iPod, iPod touch, or iPhone. Using Smart Playlists in iTunes, see how students and teachers can sync and automatically organize recordings. This process is essential in classrooms where teachers collect reading fluency samples, student reflections, and podcast segments.

Download, watch on YouTube or Vimeo, or view in iTunes all 6 minutes 12 seconds of Episode #23 for tips, how-tos, and ideas for collecting and organizing voice memos.

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Download the handouts mentioned in the episode:

Syncing with iTunes Handout
Emailing to Posterous Handout

Transcript:

This is the Learning in Hand Podcast. I'm Tony Vincent and this is the show where I share tips, how-tos, and ideas for handhelds in teaching and learning. Episode 23, Collecting and Organizing Voice Memos recorded August 2010, happens now!

iPod, iPod touch, and iPhone have the the ability to record voice memos. If your iPod doesn't have a built-in microphone, you can attach one like the Blue Mikey, Thumbtacks, or earbuds with mic.

I covered lots of information and uses for voice recording in Episode #14. There are many occasions where teachers want students to record audio. Whether it's to assess reading fluency, share reflections, record segments for a podcast, document a field trip, record a musical performance, or archive a discussion or interview, the teacher will most likely want to transfer the recording from the device to computer for listening and sharing.

Voice Memos can be transferred to iTunes by syncing. When synced, a Voice Memos playlist will appear if you don't already have one. All recordings are placed in this folder. By default, recordings are named by the date and time the recording started.

Once copied to iTunes, the recording is in two places: iTunes and the handheld. If you delete a voice memo on the handheld, it isn't deleted from the Voice Memos playlist in iTunes. But, if you delete a voice memo from iTunes, it is deleted from iPod touch the next time you sync.

That Voice Memos playlist isn't well organized. All you is see the date, time, and length of the recording. This is no good for the teacher who is collecting reading fluency samples--or collecting any kind of recordings. I'd like to show you how to use Smart Playlists in iTunes to automatically sort Voice Memos into playlists for each student. This makes it easy for teachers and students to find their own work.

First, set up a Smart Playlist for each student:

  1. Choose New Smart Playlist from the File menu.
  2. Set the rule to Artist contains and the student?s name. Click OK.
  3. Complete the steps above for each student.
  4. For each smart playlist, click View Options from the View menu. Remove all checkmarks except Artist, Time, and Comments.
  5. When a voice memo is added and Artist is changed to the student?s name, it will automatically appear in the student?s smart playlist.

So then here's how it works:

  1. A student records using the Voice Memos app on iPod touch. The student should say his or her name at the beginning of the recording.
  2. Connect to the computer. The recording should appear in iTunes? Voice Memos playlist. You may have to click Yes if a dialog box appears asking if you would like to copy voice memos to your iTunes library.
  3. Select the Voice Memos playlist.
  4. Click View Options from iTunes? View menu. Checkmark Artist and Comments and click OK. Also select as List from the View menu. (These actions only have to be done once).
  5. Play the recording and listen for the student?s name. Press Pause and click the recording?s Artist. Change the Artist to the student?s name. Be consistent about spelling and whether you use last names or initials.
  6. Optionally, click under Comments to add any additional information about the recording.
  7. You may delete the items in the Voice Memos playlist after you have added Artist information. This way the Voice Memos playlist shows only recordings that have not yet been tagged with a student?s name.
    You can place your smart playlists into a folder. Create a folder by choosing New Playlist Folder from the File menu. Name the folder. Then drag and drop each student?s playlist onto the folder. This is really handy for computers that are shared among multiple classes.

Having sorted recordings is helpful for collecting portfolio artifacts, grading, and easy access for students to incorporate into their projects.

There are of course variations to the process I've shown you. For example, if only one student uses each iPod, you can name each iPod the same as the student. When synced, the iPod's name is shown in the Artist's field and will automatically sort without you having to listen for a name.

Another way to collect and organize recording is to have student email from their iOS handheld to Posterous. Watch episode #21 for more info. At learninginahand.com/23 you'll find a handout with the steps for using Posterous for collecting student-made recordings. You'll also find a handout with the steps for setting up Smart Playlists like I've shown in this episode.

That's it for Episode 23. For a transcript and much more about iPods, iPads, and podcasting, click on over to learnininginhand.com. Thanks for watching!

 

 

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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.

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

Modeling Student Behavior -

Whether you as a teacher realize it or not, you are the best model of behavior in your classroom. A large part of your proactive behavior plans should include your own behavior you demonstrate to the students every day.

You must set expectations for your students, demonstrate the behaviors, and be vigilant to correct the kids. Don't waver on your expectations; inconsistencies will only confuse the students and cause you more problems.

If you stay calm, collected, and in control, your students will exhibit the same behaviors. The same is true about enthusiasm; if you are excited about your lesson and truly believe in its importance, the kids will respond in kind. Conversely, the kids will know when you are tired, bored, don't want to be there, or are 'winging it.'

If you are late to class, or don't start on time, the kids will pick up on it and be more likely to do the same. The same is true about the way you dress, the way you act, the language you use, and your 'body language'.

If you want your students working from 'coast to coast', or from bell to bell, you need to set the expectation of activity all hour. Start with a warm up, and ensure the kids are doing it. Keep them busy on activities with transitions between each. Don't let there be any down time. Work them to the end of the period, and have them pack up when you say so, not whenever they want to.

If you want your students to quietly read in class, but you are spending that time working on other things, it sends the message that you don't value the activity personally. Modeling the skill for the kids reinforces your belief that it is important. It show you as a lifelong learner who values the skills you're teaching them.

The same is true for writing. Students rarely have the chance to see real people writing - for many, the only examples (and role models) are their classmates. Work along with your students. Now this doesn't mean you have to do this the entire time. You must also supervise, coach, monitor, and actively support their learning. But you can spend at least a few minutes 'at their level'.

Be a positive role model for your students. Don't just explain and show the behavior; be the example day in and day out.

 

 

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  Tech / 21st Century Teaching Corner

Computer Literacy Terms 
(part 2)-

By Mark Benn, Middle School Teacher

Mark Benn teaches math and ELA at Inland Lakes Upper Elementary School in Indian River, MI. He completed his Masters of Science from Full Sail University on June 4, 2010, and he can be reached via email at mackinacfurtrader@gmail.com.

Computer Literacy 2     

Match these words to their definition or explanation located below:

search engine directory plug in player
URL domain page file image file
sound file video file chat room instant messaging
internet security popup cookie virus

1.       This is the address you type into your internet browser. It is called the Universal Resource Locator.    _______________

2.       This is the ending of an address that tells what category the address is located such as .com, .gov, .edu, .net, .org    _______________

3.       A list of things on the internet.     _______________

4.       A way of finding things on the internet.     _______________

5.       A file that ends with .GIF, .JPG, or .PNG     _______________

6.       A file that ends with .WAV, or MP3    _______________

7.       A file that ends with .MOV, .QT, or .MPG    _______________

8.       A file that ends with .HTML, or .HTM      _______________

9.       A small program added to the browser to make multimedia programs function.  _____________

10.   Free programs that help multimedia work. Examples would be Quicktime, Adobe Acrobat, or HyperStudio     _______________

11.   Something that causes problems on a computer.   _______________

12.   Something that shows up on top of another page.  _______________

13.   A program that protects a computer from attacks that come from the internet.         _______________

14.   The way a Web site owner tracks who uses their web site. This file identifies the particular computer.      _______________

15.       A site where people can talk through typing on the internet. This spot is open to anyone to join in.          _______________

16.       This is a private chatroom where only people that are invited can chat.       _______________

 

 



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  StarTeaching Feature Writer

Learners, Learning, and Curriculum: The '5 E Model'
 (part 1)

By Rozina Jumani & Yasmeen Jumani.

 

Learners, learning and Curriculum: Strategic approach to internalize the underpinnings of the curriculum through 5 E Model Theoretical perspective of understanding various notion on Curriculum planning

Keeping in mind the milestones of physical and cognitive age of learners, it is important to highlight how learners participate in learning within and outside school.  Whatever they come across, it adds into their learning and this scaffolding provided by teachers will lead to meaningful learning as Vygotsky discussed in his thesis, Zone of Proximal Development. Through ZPD, Vygotsky endorses that The level of actual development is indeed the level at which an individual can function independently, whereas the level of potential development is the level at which the person can perform when working with a teacher or a group of students

It is also evident by research and many reports that students do not participate in the class only when much stimulus is not available to retain their concentration for long or classroom activities are not challenging.  Thus they tend to revert their attention on ill-doing activities or disturb the learning environment consciously or unconsciously and it becomes worse when they begin to bunk the classes. Reflecting on the above scenario, a reflective teacher must intend to revisit his or her teaching plan as according to C.R.Christian & D.A Garvin, To teach is to engage students in learning. This issue therefore leads us to another tangent of examining our current planning and teaching strategies in schools, where the classroom environment is built, but what type of teaching input is provided for students learning by teachers.

However, morally responsible teachers are responsible to engage their pupils in the learning experience by providing Minds-on and/or Hands-on activities that complement the concepts dealt in Curriculum. Few readers might ask, what activities include in Hands-on activities? These include creative writing, role play, drama, problem solving, art & craft etc where as Minds-on activities consist of imagination activities, mind mapping, concept mapping, reflective thinking, brainstorming, higher order questioning, discussion, think-Pair-Share, PMI - analytical thinking, etc. All trained teachers may link these activities with their lesson to develop a challenging atmosphere for learners who enjoy resolving problems and seeking solutions by applying their reflective and critical thinking; this will further enhance their interest level in the class thus the whole experience become extremely rewarding.

Though curriculum is meant to seek holistic development of learners, these activities allow learners to construct their own learning. There could be various ways one can ensure the constructionist model of learning, but here based on our action research notion at various schools in urban areas, we would like to suggest 5 E Model that has become pivotal in the teaching experience both working with students and teachers at training programs. This model consists of Engagement, Explore, Explanation, Elaboration, and Evaluation.

Look for more about the '5 E Model' in the upcoming Part 2 of this series.

 

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Tourette Syndrome
(part 3)

Courtesy of K12Academics.com

References to Tourette Syndrome in Pop Culture

The entertainment industry has often depicted those with TS as being social misfits whose only tic is coprolalia, which has led to the general public's misunderstanding of TS sufferers as "people who can't help yelling swear words a lot". However, this is merely a clinomorphism, as coprolalia is a relatively rare symptom compared to other types of tics. An infamous incident of disinformation about coprolalia and Tourette's involved Dr. Laura Schlessinger

In fiction
* Matchstick Men's protagonist (Nicolas Cage) is a neurotic con artist with Tourette's and OCD.

* The Tic Code stars Gregory Hines as a saxophone player with TS who befriends a 10 year old boy who wants to be a jazz pianist (and also has TS). Written by Polly Draper, and produced with her husband Michael Wolff who has Tourette's in real life.

* In Niagara, Niagara, Robin Tunney plays a unconventional girl with TS who goes on a road trip with a guy she meets in a drugstore.

* In Wedding Crashers, John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) excuses Jeremy Grey's (Vince Vaughn) cursing at a wedding as a case of Tourette's.

* In The Wedding Singer, when Adam Sandler's character states that his nephew "...might have Tourette's, we're looking into it" after the aforementioned young nephew walks up to his Adam's fiancee and says "Linda, you're a bitch"

* In Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 3, Episode 10, "The Grand Opening", with only days until the opening of his new Restaurant, Larry hires a new chef with Tourettes syndrome

* In The Boondock Saints, an elderly pub bartender suffers from Tourette's.

* In Not Another Teen Movie, a girl who tries out for the cheerleading squad has Tourette's.

* In The Big White, the wife has Tourette syndrome.

* In Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, one of Deuce's (Rob Schneider) crazy dates is a character with Tourette Syndrome who continuously yells curse words to people on the street.

* In What About Bob, Bob (Bill Murray) pretends to have Tourette Syndrome

* In The New Guy, Dizzy Harrison/ Gil Harris (DJ Qualls) has tourette syndrome.

* In Dirty Filthy Love, Michael Sheen, Shirley Henderson. tells the story of Mark Furness (Michael Sheen) with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Tourette's negotiating his way through divorce, his best friend's matchmaking efforts and a woman who introduces him to therapy, filth and unconditional love.

* In The Simpsons, Season 4, Episode 7, "Marge Gets a Job", Ms Krabappel is recounting all the diseases and illnesses Bart has claimed to have to excuse himself for a test. The last excuse she says "and that unfortunate case of Tourette's Syndrome" to which Bart tries to pretend he still might have it by cursing and rambling. The mention of Tourette's caused many complaints upon the episode airing and the line was changed to "and that unfortunate case of Rabies". It has been claimed that the syndicated version was changed back to the original line but the episode on The Simpsons DVDs season 4 set retained the rabies line.

* Marty Fisher in Shameless has Tourette's.

* An episode of the television show Quincy, M.E. has Quincy arguing with the drug companies, lawyers and the Food and Drug Administration to promote research into the syndrome.

On the Internet
Danny, the subject of the web site, is promoted to have a form of Tourette's Syndrome. Although many believe this is not true, the videos on the web site suggest that he may in fact have a form of Tourette's, but his alcohol problem (he's drinking in many of the videos) might have a great deal to do with his outbursts as well.

In Music
The grunge band Nirvana recorded a song on the In Utero album titled "tourette's"a song with the lyrics intensely shouted rather than sung, perhaps to mimic the syndrome

 

Article courtesy of K12Academics.com

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

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The Longquist Adventures, written for elementary students, is excellent for teaching mythology and classic stories to young children.  

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

The Writing Process
(part 6)
Class Paragraph Writings

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

Writing paragraphs in our school's program means following a specific rubric. We teach the students to use the same format and steps. Paragraph writing for us means drafting, which will be full of mistakes and correctible areas. When first introduced, students will be practicing writing paragraphs every day until they master the format we use.

The first step is brainstorming. We require a specific number of 'triggers' for each topic. Students generally choose between making a web or a list to visually show their brainstorming. For example, our 7th graders must include eight triggers, while seniors must have at least fifteen. You and your school will decide what is appropriate. Then all triggers are ORGANIZED by order of importance, chronological order, etc. Students are asked to number the triggers 1-8. Of course, students are always encouraged to write down more triggers (sometimes we even offer extra credit for more triggers!). We also encourage students to freewrite as brainstorming. Students look over their prewriting and start using their organized triggers to form the ideas presented in the paragraph.

Students then create a topic sentence (T.S.). This is an introductory sentence which captures the reader's attention and gives the reader an idea of what the paragraph is about. We require students to restate the topic in the T. S. This begins to create flow (the connectedness of ideas and transitions) by using several words in the topic.

At least three body sentences follow (we require six in the 7th grade). These will include details and examples, as well as data in the form of facts or statistics. Make sure these all support the topic sentence. The body sentences also will include a personal life experience (PLE) which connects the topic to the writer's life or to a real-life situation (7th graders must have two sentences for each PLE). The body sentences must connect to the topic sentences, and be sure their details flow in a logical manner.

Finally, wrap up the paragraph with a CLINCHER STATEMENT. This again restates the topic, brings closure to the paragraph, and summarizes the ideas presented.

COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: How much time do we give students to write out a paragraph?

A: The paragraph structure was developed in response to the demands of the MEAP test (Michigan's high takes test) as well as to our own school's curriculum and class needs. We wanted a structure that could be easily learned and remembered (by both students and staff). It had to be versatile enough to use at any grade level or course. And it needed to allow for students to make it their own - we believe it promotes students' creativity, writing style, and voice while giving them a structure that nearly guarantees success. Thus, it had to be written in a fairly short span of time to allow for students to proof and edit. Brainstorming & organizing should take no more than five minutes (most of our students can do it in under a minute with practice!). The whole paragraph can be written in fifteen minutes or less (again with practice). We NEVER let these go home, and they're always due in class. Students cannot take their MEAP tests home to finish, remember! Time frames start out longer at first, but then we shorten the time as they become more proficient.

Q: How much do you worry about mistakes in spelling, grammar, mechanics, etc.?

A: Remember, this is drafting. We always encourage the students to be careful about what they write. However, we want them focusing on the structure and the logical flow of ideas. Corrections can be made if/when we revise and proof for a final copy.

Q: Does the PLE have to come at the end of the paragraph?

A: Certainly not! It should be inserted where it makes the most sense in the paragraph. Think about how that story will fit in the flow of ideas in the paragraph. PLEs can even occur in the beginning of the paragraph; we call these LEADS.

Q: Can a topic sentence or clincher be more than one sentence in length?

A: We try to keep these at one sentence in our younger grades, but as students become more mature writers, it is expected that they will attempt and experiment with developing their own personal style. If a middle school student asked about this, I'd ask back, "Why do you need more than one sentence?" If there is a compelling reason, I wouldn't have a problem.

 

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http://www.starteaching.com/writing.htm#writingideas

 


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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

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"Peace of Mind"
Author Unknown

Themes on Life

The things we learn from the most unusual of places...

Once Buddha was walking from one town to another town with a few of his followers. This was in the initial days. While they were travelling, they happened to pass a lake. They stopped there and Buddha told one of his disciples, I am thirsty. Do get me some water from that lake there.

The disciple walked up to the lake. When he reached it, he noticed that some people were washing clothes in the water and, right at that moment, a bullock cart started crossing through the lake. As a result, the water became very muddy, very turbid. The disciple thought, How can I give this muddy water to Buddha to drink! So he came back and told Buddha, The water in there is very muddy. I dont think it is fit to drink.

After about half an hour, again Buddha asked the same disciple to go back to the lake and get him some water to drink. The disciple obediently went back to the lake. This time he found that the lake had absolutely clear water in it. The mud had settled down and the water above it looked fit to be had. So he collected some water in a pot and brought it to Buddha.

Buddha looked at the water, and then he looked up at the disciple and said, See what you did to make the water clean. You let it be ... and the mud settled down on its own and you got clear water... Your mind is also like that. When it is disturbed, just let it be. Give it a little time. It will settle down on its own. You dont have to put in any effort to calm it down. It will happen. It is effortless.

What did Buddha emphasize here? He said, It is effortless. Having 'peace of mind' is not a strenuous job; it is an effortless process. When there is peace inside you, that peace permeates to the outside. It spreads around you and in the environment, such that people around start feeling that peace and grace.

 

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