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Ideas and Features For New Teachers
and Veterans with Class

Volume 7, Issue 3
February 2011
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   How Else is Technology Changing Us?   Educational Research Project on Unemployment in Pakistan
NEW! Tony Vincent's Blog: Speech Input in Dictionary and Translate Apps Rad Resources for Science Educators: Animals & Biodiversity Themes on Life: 
"Tips on Love from students"
NEW! Science Activities for Any Setting   10 Days of Writing Prompts   10 Days of Math Problems
School Features:
Sociology of Education
 (part 2)
New Teacher's Niche:
The LEAST Approach to Classroom Discipline: Introduction
Student Teachers' Lounge: Poetry That Can Be Used For Any Class
Book of the Month Club:
Art is Fundamental
  Website of the Month:
  Article of the Week: "Cows on Drugs"

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


Feature Writer

Educational Research Project on Unemployment in Pakistan

by Rozina Jumani

Rozina Jumani is a Development consultant associated with a number of Non governmenetal Organizations(NGO). Prior to this, she was with Aga Khan Education Services Pakistan for 10 years as a Professional Development Teacher and Counsellor. She has done her Masters in Islamic Studies and English from University of Karachi. She is a commonwealth scholar and completed her Masters in Education Planning, Economic and International Development from the institute of Education (IOE), University of London.

As the beginner in the study of economics, I have chosen to write upon general but analytical essay highlighting the causes of unemployment in Pakistan. I would also recommend few suggestions based on informed reasoning to overcome this issue in due course of years, as this issue is pertinent since the birth of Pakistan.

While reading about the issue, I have come across various researches that proved that this issue has implication on the overall economic, social and physical conditions of the People of Pakistan.  The real issue though it seem that there is enormous employment in all parts of country but the reality is we dont get skilled labor for certain work thus there is less productivity in most of the areas and we dont seek the desired results, thus the ratio of unemployment keep on increasing day by day.

Purpose & scope of the study

While reading the literature on the issue, I have come across the integrated phenomenon that education, poverty, unemployment, economic stability are dependent variables and more importantly linked to each other thus when one talks about the poverty in Pakistan, that one is indicating the lack of educational opportunities to the people thus they remain poor. On the contrary, unemployment is raising due to the lack of skilled labor here again the issue is linked with right kind of education and skills to be provided to the people then only the country will flourish.

Causes of unemployment in Pakistan and its effect on common masses 

Based on survey questionnaire, I have sought couple of reasons that have had caused unemployment in Pakistan these include the following:

Lack of technology in agriculture and industrial sectors causing a lot of issue of non-productivity but at the same time seeking technology is leading towards the issue of unemployment as both youth and adult of our country are unaware of the advancement of the technology and this backwardness causing enormous damage. Lack of awareness about newly fertilizers and pesticides, lack of agriculture reform usually ruin the productivity of land thus all people associated with agriculture or industrial sectors remain poor and gradually new skilled people taken over their employability, if they are skilled or educated.

Another major reason of unemployment is lack of educational planning, providing education to the people is the prime responsibility of the country, despite having provincial, regional and federal ministers for education, our country is confront with proper education planning. The coordination between the educational institutions and work industry is the only solution to respond to this issue but the glaring fact is that our country does not even invest on education, thus we dont develop trained workforce those could develop better students who seek opportunities for employability. Though the general attitude of people toward education is getting degree which usually does not lead them for better economic prospects, it is therefore desire to create the balance between theoretical and practical knowledge of concepts and along with academic learning, students will be provided vocational training.

Due to lack of critical thinking based education that opens minds and weak political structure, many entrepreneurs end their family business with bankruptcy. Economic sector does not provide regular feedback to them and this leads to complete collapse of the small or medium business and eventually people lose their employment.

Another issue is over population, and according to the literature, current population rate is 1.8%, which is highest among all in South Asian region. Government does not provide employment opportunities to the people and this continuum of population raise create enormous issue. On the other hand, Pakistan is a developing country and majority of young children are engaged in labor, which also cause problem at international front. Nevertheless, due to over population, young children are forced to work as their parents are either old or unable to cope up with advancement of technology.

The lack of employability leads to another menace i.e. poverty, except for the elite class almost all the people are moving toward poverty line. Government does not do much majors to control the poverty issue, rather at present the shifting of funds from one sector to another is common practice, where Rs.1000/- is provided to each person under economic support program. This quick fixes and lack of long term economic planning7 is widening the gap between poor and rich and those who belong to middle class would lead very soon to lower economic class due to the lack of governance and economic planning.

Lack of transparent process of collecting income tax is another issue; ratio of direct tax is more than indirect tax. Based on various report from media, the leading senators, property owners and bureaucrats have not paid their taxes for many years. This really weakens the systems of governance. Due to lack of taxes, investment on development projects cannot be possible.

According to Gilani Research Foundation survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan, two thirds of all Pakistanis believe economic problems are their prime problems, specifically, inflation (43%) and unemployment (20%); however, terrorism or law and order issues have erupted as a key issue. 32% mention law and order as major problem faced by Pakistan today.

Another issue is West dominated policies, especially the monetary and fiscal policies are also responsible for unemployment in the country. Pakistan has less or no funds to invest on the development projects from where people get a chance to work and earn their livelihood. It is also clear that economic policies are not serving the common person as every year there is a huge deficit shown in the budgets. This ultimately make the country to seek loans from World Bank, IMF and other agencies which bring their vested agenda to be achieved and our country is misused for their interested.

Related to above point, the loans that taken from World Bank, IMF, and other agencies not utilized according to the peoples need. Government officials and bureaucrats have used that money for personal gains and hence betrayed the country and its people. This cause lawlessness, injustice and corruption etc the money that was misused is not recovered thus the development projects were not taken place and the ratio of unemployment is still continued.

Due to corrupt political setup that does not concentrate on the issue of common people rather filling in their own bags with money, overseas Pakistani people and other investors have stopped investing in our country. Thus, middle class and poor class are really facing many difficulties.

Government has increased value added tax on common and basic inputs such as electricity and gas and petroleum products. Despite increasing tax, which is really burden on people, the load shedding of electricity and petroleum products is damaging the lives of common people. Furthermore, it is also damaging the industrial sector as the absence of electricity and gas and petroleum products seriously hit the performance and output of the product. At the same time, due to non-availability of the work, people are losing their jobs thus creating unemployment.

The severity of the loss of the country due to bad governance can be estimated from the following report: By rough estimates a closure in the textile spinning sector alone causes an activity loss of Rs. 2 billion over 12 hours; based on this official circles are welcome to do their own permutations, which will only tell them that closures of up to 120 hours a week in the entire national industrial base (within which textile spinning is roughly 5 percent of GDP and total textile sector accounts for between 10-12 percent) will generate a compounded negative effect on economic activity using a multiple of eight for every rupee lost.

If my mathematics serves me right the monthly loss will amount to nearly 10 percent of the total budgetary lay out, and if you have a quarter (3 months) of such disruptions in a year, it means an erosion of nearly 30 percent outlay - in effect resulting in a negative growth rate!

Part 2 of this series will focus on Recommendations based on the study


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Speech Input in Dictionary and Translate Apps

By Tony Vincent

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

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

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

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

Speech input is finding its way into more and more mobile devices and apps. Dragon Dictation for iOS came out in December 2008 and is probably the best way for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch users to speak into their devices and have it turned into text. The dictated text can then be pasted into other apps. Perhaps future versions of iOS will include speech-to-text across all apps.

iOS's rival mobile operating system, Android, introduced a voice-enabled keyboard with version 2.1. Any time the keyboard is on the screen, Android users can simply tap the speech input icon (or swipe across the keyboard) and then say what they want typed. The device displays the spoken words on the screen.

Android Keyboard

An app that takes advantage of speech input is the Merriam Dictionary app for iOS and Android. Users can search words by voice. This means that you don't have to know how to spell a word to look it up! The app also will pronounce the word, provides synonyms and antonyms, and contains sample sentences. Unfortunately, the free app also contains advertisements.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary App

An even more amazing app that features speech input is Google Translate for iOS and Android. The app translates words and phrases from more than 50 languages. For many languages, you can speak your phrases and hear the corresponding translations. Not only is the great for learning a language, but it could be a helpful communication tool for teachers, students, and parents who speak different languages. Translations can be displayed full screen by holding the device in landscape. Tapping a translation gives you the option to copy the text for use in other apps.

Google Translate

Of course, for speech input to work your device must have a microphone. Those with older iPod touches without built-in microphones can use Apple Earbuds with Microphone or very affordable mics from Amazon and DealExtreme. (sorry first generation iPod cannot use any kind of microphone). Going forward, pretty much all mobile devices will have built-in microphones because of features like speech input.

Microphone for iPod touch




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

Poetry That Can Be Used for Any Class

Poetry need not be confined to the realms of the dust-covered tomes of your high school English department.  And you need not be afraid or intimidated by poetry;  anybody can write fun (and yet educational) poems.  As the following activity will show, this form of writing can bring an invigorating style to your ordinary classroom activities.

Poetry, for those not totally familiar with the conventions of the language-arts classes, is a generic term for forms of writing using highly specific words and phrases to instill images in the readers mind.  Some poetry follows particular forms and patterns, and other types of poetry can be free flowing.  Poetry can be simply individual (though connected) words or phrases, or found in complete sentences.  As you can see, there is no limit to the types of poetry that can be created. 

Short, simple poems require a great deal of student thought, because the kids must carefully choose the best words to fit the poem.  These can be fun for students to write as reviews for tests or the end of chapters.  You could also use them to in place of your normal writing assignments to add variety. 

Feel free to change the poem form to suit your activity or class.  For example, you may want to change the number of details or examples, or the number of lines.  If you have creative (or advanced) students, you may even want to require the lines to rhyme. 

Here's a short, simple poem form:

Name the topic

List three details, facts, or examples

Creatively describe each

Restate the topic in a new way


A Poem for Science:

The Water Cycle:

Water molecules, H-2-0,

Down goes Rain, Hail, Snow,

Raised up to the sky by the sun,

In clouds they gather for fun,

Ready to drop once more,

Changes in matter are a chore!

A Poem for P.E.:

Gym Class:

Run, jump, play!

We exercise every day.

Indoors or out,

We love to yell and shout!

Phys-ed is our favorite class.

Here's another simple form for those of you with language-arts savvy:

1 Noun (your TOPIC)

2 adjectives that describe your Noun

3 verbs (your Noun in action)

1 adverb for each verb (describe each action)

A real-life example of your Noun, a simile or metaphor, or a synonym for your first Noun


Green, Old

Walking, eating, swimming

Slowly, peacefully, gracefully

Natures little armored car


Slim, Bright

Growing, sprouting, flowering

Upward, outward, gently

A little sun on the Earth

Have your students add hand-drawn pictures to accompany the poems, and youve got authentic, artful work that is ready to put up in your room or hallway for parent-teacher conferences. 



Be sure to check out our website for the FREE teacher Who-I-Want-To-Be plan and other great Freebies for new teachers. Simply click the following link: http://www.starteaching.com/free.htm

Interested in FREE writing activities you can print out and use immediately in your classroom? Simply click the following link to our writing page: http://www.starteaching.com/writing.htm

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  Tech / 21st Century Teaching Corner

How Else is Technology Changing Us?

by Mark Benn
Instructional Technologist

Mark Benn earned his Masters of Integration of Technology from Walden University. Previously, he 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.  

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.

Move over skill sets, times are changing! 

Think back to your elementary days when you had to spend a lot of time learning to alphabetize words. Think of all those spelling lists and tests you had to study and take. 

Now dont get me wrong, these skills are very important. But, lets think about this. Could these skill sets become useless because of technology? 

If you ever watched Star Trek, you saw them talk to the computer instead of typing. Are we getting close to that point? Check out Merriam Webster Dictionary for the iPhone, iTouch, or iPad.


Now if this doesnt wet your appetite enough, check out the app Dragon Dictation.

Its a free app that allows you to speak whatever you want and then put it in an email or send it to your Twitter or Facebook account. 

As I said before, times are changing, are we ready to embrace and use the changes?

Your browser may not support display of this image.  

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




  StarTeaching Feature Writer

Rad Resources for Science Educators

Focus on Animals & Biodiversity

By Helen de la Maza

Helen de la Maza is a Curriculum and Instruction Consultant in southern California with almost 15 years experience in the field of education. She has written curricula and taught science, environmental science, and environmental education to students ranging in age from 4 to 85 years! 

She believes that learning the process of scientific thinking can help students think critically and be careful observers of the natural and human-made world. 

Helen earned an MS in Wildlife Science, an MA in Curriculum and Instruction, California single subject teaching credentials in Biological Sciences and English, and a multiple subject credential. When she was in graduate school for her MS, she realized that "interpreters" were needed to communicate between the scientific community and lay people. Much of her work has been focused on doing this through teaching, training, and writing.

The Internet and World Wide Web provide the opportunity for massive amounts of information to be distributed to a wide audience. In fact, so much information is available that it is overwhelming to sort through! As a Science Educator you barely have enough time to plan your curriculum and assess your students, let alone spend hours surfing the web looking for great resources. That's where I come in - providing excellent information, media, and lessons to your students that are already available on the web. 

Ill do the searching for you and highlight every couple weeks some Rad Resources for Science Educators. Feedback is appreciated! Email me at: delamazah@earthlink.net

American Museum of Natural History Biodiversity Counts (Grades 6 12)

Welcome to Biodiversity Counts! This special resource collection takes students into the field
and engages them in life science research: the inventory of plants and arthropods outside their
own backdoors. Resources in this collection include lesson plans, profiles of scientists and
Museum staff, essays, and Web-based interactives that help students explore, analyze, and apply
their field observations.

Animal Diversity Web

This website is University of Michigan Museum of Zoologys online virtual museum with a
searchable encyclopedia of animal natural history, distribution, classification, and conservation
biology. Huge collection of images that can be used under educational fair use copyright laws.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Biodiversity Curriculum

Adapted from Biodiversity Basics, 1999, a publication of World Wildlife Fund's Windows on
the Wild biodiversity education program.

North American Mammals

The Smithsonian Institution presents a searchable database of the approximately 400 living
mammals of North America. The database may be searched by species, geographic location,
conservation status and family tree. For each mammal, visitors can view several renderings and
photographs and can also read a short scientific and narrative description. Many of the mammal
monographs include a sound clip and links to additional information. Visitors can create their
own printable field guides.

The Wild Ones Teacher Connection

This is your access to The Wild Ones growing curriculum library. Curriculum plans have been
submitted by member teachers and members of Wild Ones Advisory Council and were published
in The Wild Ones print newsletter The Teacher Connection. Some of the curriculum is offered in
Spanish and English.

World Wildlife Funds Windows on the Wild Biodiversity Education Program
Direct link to download entire 45 MB curriculum: http://eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/




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Sociology of Education

(part 2)

Courtesy of K12Academics.com

The sociology of education is the study of how public institutions and individual experiences affect education and its outcomes. It is most concerned with the public schooling systems of modern industrial societies, including the expansion of higher, further, adult, and continuing education.

Education has always been seen as a fundamentally optimistic human endeavour characterised by aspirations for progress and betterment. It is understood by many to be a means of overcoming handicaps, achieving greater equality and acquiring wealth and social status. Education is perceived as a place where children can develop according to their unique needs and potential. It is also perceived as one of the best means of achieving greater social equality. Many would say that the purpose of education should be to develop every individual to their full potential and give them a chance to achieve as much in life as their natural abilities allow. Few would argue that any education system accomplishes this goal perfectly. Some take a particularly negative view, arguing that the education system is designed with the intention of causing the social reproduction of inequality

The sociology of education contains a number of theories. We'll give a description of each theory in each of the next newsletters, beginning with Structural Functionalism below.

Structural Functionalism

Structural functionalists believe that society leans towards equilibrium and social order. They see society like a human body, in which institutions such as education are like important organs that keep the society/body healthy and well[4]. Social health means the same as social order, and is guaranteed when nearly everyone accepts the general moral values of their society. Hence structural functionalists believe the aim of key institutions, such as education, is to socialize children and teenagers. Socialization is the process by which the new generation learns the knowledge, attitudes and values that they will need as productive citizens. Although this aim is stated in the formal curriculum, it is mainly achieved through "the hidden curriculum", a subtler, but nonetheless powerful, indoctrination of the norms and values of the wider society. Students learn these values because their behavior at school is regulated [Durkheim in until they gradually internalize and accept them. Education must, however perform another function. As various jobs become vacant, they must be filled with the appropriate people. Therefore the other purpose of education is to sort and rank individuals for placement in the labor market. Those with high achievement will be trained for the most important jobs and in reward, be given the highest incomes. Those who achieve the least, will be given the least demanding (intellectually at any rate, if not physically) jobs, and hence the least income.

According to Sennet and Cobb however, to believe that ability alone decides who is rewarded is to be deceived. Meighan agrees, stating that large numbers of capable students from working class backgrounds fail to achieve satisfactory standards in school and therefore fail to obtain the status they deserve. Jacob believes this is because the middle class cultural experiences that are provided at school may be contrary to the experiences working-class children receive at home. In other words, working class children are not adequately prepared to cope at school. They are therefore cooled out from school with the least qualifications, hence they get the least desirable jobs, and so remain working class. Sargent confirms this cycle, arguing that schooling supports continuity, which in turn supports social order. Talcott Parsons believed that this process, whereby some students were identified and labeled educational failures, was a necessary activity which one part of the social system, education, performed for the whole. Yet the structural functionalist perspective maintains that this social order, this continuity, is what most people desire. The weakness of this perspective thus becomes evident. Why would the working class wish to stay working class? Such an inconsistency demonstrates that another perspective may be useful.

Look for more in part 3 of this series!




Article courtesy of K12Academics.com



MythMichigan Books
Novels by Frank Holes, Jr.

Dogmans Back!

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

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

  A mysterious police report of an unsolvable death in Manistee County

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

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

A secret governmental agent investigates the grisly aftermath of Sigma

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

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

Welcome to Dogman Country!

Now Available!

Click Here For The
Tales From Dogman Country Website


Now Available!

Year of the Dogman Website
Now Available!

Haunting of Sigma Website
Now Available!

Nagual: Dawn of the Dogmen Website 
Now Available!
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The Longquist Adventures, written for elementary students, is excellent for teaching mythology and classic stories to young children.  




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





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

The LEAST Approach to Classroom Discipline:


Robert R. Carkhuff

The LEAST approach to classroom discipline is a simple survival strategy for the teacher.  It is a response to teachers urgent pleas for quick and easy methods they can use in the face of mounting discipline problems.  Succinctly stated in the words of one teacher, We must survive before we can grow.  It involves the least methods that should be employed to facilitate and maintain classroom control.  LEAST is an acronym for the following activities of the teacher: 

L- Leave things alone when no problems are likely to ensue
E- End the action indirectly when the behavior is disrupting classroom activities
A- Attend more fully when you need to obtain more information and/or communicate
S- Spell out directions when disruption and/or harm will occur
T- Track student progress when following through to evaluate and reinforce behavior.


What have you as a classroom teacher done in each of the following or similar situations?

1.  Although the bell to start class hasnt rung yet, most of your students are in their seats and youve begun taking attendance.  Two students arrive at the last minute.  Instead of coming in quietly, they jostle each other in the doorway, both of them full of energy and in obvious good spirits.

2.  In the middle of one students thoughtful response to a discussion question, another student interrupts without bothering to raise her hand.

3.  Several students in one of your classes have established themselves as wise guys.  All they seem to do is crack jokes and make rude comments despite the fact that youve told them before to knock it off.

4.  Youre writing something on the board when, without warning, the class breaks into uproar.  You turn and find that two students have begun a fistfight in the back of the room.

5.  Theres a lot of tension between the white and the black students in your class, tension which reflects the racial turmoil in the school in recent weeks. 

6.  During a laboratory period, when there is considerable student movement in the room, you become aware of a scuffle.  The other students are also aware and watching the mounting problem and you.  As you move toward the disturbance you see that Lindas tongue is pointed toward Irene, as in I dare you, and Barbaras knife is pointed toward Linda.  Linda is so intent on Irene that she doesnt see Barbara.


The common concern in all these situations, of course, is classroom discipline.  The LEAST approach will help you examine what you have done, why some things worked well, and why in other cases you blew it. 

Every teacher knows that little can be accomplished in class unless students are willing to work constructively on their own and cooperatively together.  Yet in recent years many teachers have been caught up in disciplinary extremes:  either letting students have their own way or imposing rigid controls that never seem to work.  This report outlines an orderly approach to classroom discipline, avoiding the extremes.  Nothing is unique or new, but it provides an organized plan for dealing with problem situations in such a way that they do not become magnified. 

The fundamental principle out of which the LEAST approach has grown is as simple as it is profound:  If the teacher is to reach the goal of managing classroom behavior without creating an adversary relationship with students, he or she must use the least amount of guidance and control necessary to achieve the specific results desired.  No more disciplinary overkill.  No more do your own things helplessness.  No more forced decisions on the spur of the moment.  Just minimum teacher action for maximum class control. 




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



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

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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

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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"Tips on Love"
Taken from REAL Students

Themes on Life

How do kids view love?


Once I'm done with kindergarten, I'm going to find me a wife.
- Tom, 5


On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
- Mike, 10


You should never kiss a girl unless you have enough bucks to buy her a big ring and her own VCR, 'cause she'll want to have videos of the wedding.
- Jim, 10

Never kiss in front of other people. It's a big embarrassing thing if anybody sees you. But if nobody sees you, I might be willing to try it with a handsome boy, but just for a few hours.
- Kally, 9

It's never okay to kiss a boy. They always slobber all over you... That's why I stopped doing it.
- Jean, 10


It's better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need somebody to clean up after them.
- Lynette, 9

It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I'm just a kid. I don't need that kind of trouble.
- Kenny, 7


No one is sure why it happens, but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That's why perfume and deodorant are so popular.
- Jan, 9

I think you're supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn't supposed to be so painful.
- Harlen, 8


Like an avalanche where you have to run for your life.
- Roger, 9

If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don't want to do it. It takes too long.
- Leo, 7


If you want to be loved by somebody who isn't already in your family it doesn't hurt to be beautiful.
- Jeanne, 8

It isn't always just how you look. Look at me. I'm handsome like anything and I haven't got anybody to marry me yet.
- Gary, 7

Beauty is skin deep. But how rich you are can last a long time.
- Christine, 9

What's New @ StarTeaching?


Welcome to our first February issue.  This month, our web partner Tony Vincent shares great apps that utilize sound and voice input, supported by tech writer Mark Benn who shares a great video.  Our Featured Writer Rozina Jumani starts up a series on an Educational Research she's done in Pakistan.

Our Website of the Month features Weebly, and we have an excellent art book for our Book of the Month.  There is also a second article on the LEAST method of class discipline you won't want to miss.  

Look for more real math problems from Mary Ann Graziani and the Article of the Week from Frank Holes, Jr.  And we round out the issue with articles on poetry and a collection of Rad Resources from Helen de la Maza.  Be sure to join up on our FACEBOOK page for StarTeaching for more reader interaction as well as constant, updated streams of educational information.  

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



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Check out our collection of FREE online resources, including the SQ3R sheet for reading and the Paragraph Graphic Organizer for writing.  These are forms you can fill in online and print, or have your students fill them in and print them for class!
NEW!  Book Report Organizer
SQ3R sheet
Paragraph Graphic Organizer


cities,couples,dates,embraces,embracing,Europe,European,flirting,flirts,Fotolia,hugging,hugs,kisses,kissing,love,people,Photographs,relationships,romances,Valentine's Day

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all."

~Harriet Van Horne

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Educational Links

Feature Writers
Mark Benn:
Educational Technology
Mary Ann Graziani:
Mathematics Education
Helen de la Maza:
Science Education
Chris Sura:
English Education
Munir Moosa Sewani:
World Education
Salima Moosa Sewani:
World Education
Rozina Jumani:
World Education
Yasmeen Jumani:
World Education
Dr. Peter Manute:
Student Teachers and 
Job Finding
Kim Taylor-DiLeva:
Sign Language
Christina Riggan:
School Features
Michael Kett: 
Magic in the Classroom






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Articles & Archives

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Click to see over 1000 prompts

10 Days Of


If you could be any animal, what would you be?


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Why is it important to dream?


How can our dreams become realities?


Describe a dream you have for your life.  What makes it great? 


What goals can you set to help reach your dreams?


 What is ONE new thing you've learned in class this week?

Click to see over 1000 prompts


10 days of writing prompts


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Writing Process Articles

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




Be sure to check out our

Art is Fundamental: Teaching the Elements and Principles of Art in the Elementary School

By Eileen Prince



Coming Soon:

More Article of the Week

Technology & Teaching: Seamless Integration into Curriculum

Writing Process and Programs

Classroom Management


Are You Looking For a Teaching Job?

Need a position in a K-12 school, administration, or a coaching job?  Our website has just gained access to a specialized service just for our members and newsletter readers.  Job listings, application and interviewing tips, and priceless information, at your fingertips!

Click here if you want to find that Teaching Job!

10 Days of 
Math Problems
by Mary Ann Graziani

Day 1 $0.57 0.6 =
Day 2 A gift bag costs $0.79. If Rose buys 5 gift bags, how much will it cost?
Day 3 Chase bought 7 oil paintings. If each oil painting cost $904.77, how much did Chase spend in all?
Day 4 How much does it cost to buy 8 silver coat racks that cost $63 apiece?
Day 5 Nate bought 8 cans of corn. Each can of corn cost $0.63. How much money did Nate spend?
Day 6 April bought 4 red markers that each cost the same amount. She spent $1.32 in all. How much did
each marker cost?
Day 7 If 2 scarves cost $20 and the scarves both cost the same amount, what is the price of each scarf?
Day 8 If 8 surfboards cost $640 and the price of each surfboard is the same, how much does each
surfboard cost?
Day 9 It costs $1,707.80 to buy 5 airplane tickets. If the tickets all cost the same amount, what is the price
of each ticket?
Day 10 Jeanette buys 6 picnic tables for $254.10. The tables all have the same price. What is the price of
each table?


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





Tech-Ed Articles

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




Science Activities For Any Setting
By Helen de la Maza
Insect Life Cycle
Scavenger Hunt
(click for PDF)


Plant Life Cycle Hike
(click for PDF)

Click HERE to see all of 
Helen's Science Activities


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Inspirational Quotes
& Photos

Check out our entire collection of inspirational quotes and photos from our 5 years of newsletters.  








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.


Article of the Week
"Cows on Drugs"
Click here to download the PDF
"Proper Grammar"
Click here to download the PDF


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