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Ideas and Features For New Teachers
and Veterans with Class

Volume 7, Issue 21
November 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   Tech Corner: Wii For Teachers   Understanding Mathematic Disability (part 2)
NEW! Tony Vincent's Blog: Project-Based Learning & iPads At St. Stephen's Teaching Literacy to ESOL Learners (part 1) Themes on Life: "Thankful Thoughts"
Science Activities for Any Setting   10 Days of Writing Prompts   10 Days of Math Problems
School Features:
NCEE (National Center on Education & the Economy
New Teacher's Niche:
The Writing Process: Journal Writing (part 1)
Student Teachers' Lounge: Building PowerPoint Presentations
Book of the Month Club:
Steve Jobs Biography
  Website of the Month: Voice Thread   Article of the Week: "Cast Adrift in the Milky Way"

Remember to bookmark this page and to visit our website for more great articles, tips, and techniques!

Also, feel free to email this newsletter to a friend or colleague!


Would you be interested in becoming a Featured Writer for the StarTeaching website?

Our Newsletter is now posting a opening for a Social Studies / History Writer interested in a monthly column focusing on Historical Events and Education.

We are also looking for an administrator interested in sharing 21st century leadership skills and ideas in schools.  

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



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Featured Articles

Understanding Mathematic Disability (part 2)

by Salima Moosa Sewani

Salima Moosa Sewani has been in the field of teaching for 8 years. She is running her own Learning Center and also working with the Exceptional People in Pakistan. She is a Master Trainer and has done many teaching certifications. This is part 2 of this special report.

Cognitive Development

Students with a math disability may have trouble because of delays in cognitive development, which hinders learning and processing information. Such developmental problems may lead to the problem in understanding relationships between numbers, solving word problems, understanding number systems, etc.


Visual-spatial problems may interfere with a childs ability to perform math problems correctly. This may include place value sums, trouble in interpreting maps, misaligning numerals in columns for calculation, etc.

A learning disability in mathematics can be identified in the area of mathematics calculation (arithmetic) and/or mathematics problem solving. A child with a learning disability in math calculations may often struggle learning the basic skills in early math instruction where the problem is rooted in memory or cognitive difficulties. A learning disability in solving math word problems taps into other types of skills or processes.

What Can Be Done?

Here are some of the tips, which I feel are good enough to deal with challenging students:

Provide a lot of real calculating to ensure understanding takes place before moving into the abstract concepts.

When working on problem solving or word problems, provide opportunities to use real life situations or items to assist with visualization.

Teachers can also use different activities and worksheets to explain math sums to the students sequentially. Practical demonstration might also help a child to learn many skills in a much higher capacity.

Teacher/ counselor behavior should be normal with such children.

Separate curriculum should be designed with fewer burdens for such students in a class.

Provide opportunities to use 'pictures, words or graphs' to help with understanding.

Relate all problems to a real-life situation as much as possible.

Appreciate such students and always motivate them to say yes to every work.

Use different computer games and activities as well, which might create an interest in a child to learn and participate actively.

Arithmetic weakness/math talent

Some learning disabled students have an excellent grasp of math concepts, but are inconsistent in calculating. They are reliably unreliable at paying attention to the operational sign, at borrowing or carrying appropriately, and at sequencing the steps in complex operations. These same students also may experience difficulty mastering basic number facts. 

Interestingly, some of the students with these difficulties may be remedial math students during the elementary years when computational accuracy is heavily stressed, but can go on to join honors classes in higher math where their conceptual prowess is called for. Clearly, these students should not be tracked into low level secondary math classes where they will only continue to demonstrate these careless errors and inconsistent computational skills while being denied access to higher-level math of which they are capable. Because there is much more to mathematics than right-answer reliable calculating, it is important to access the broad scope of math abilities and not judge intelligence or understanding by observing only weak lower level skills. Often a delicate balance must be struck in working with learning disabled math students which include: 

  • Acknowledging their computational weaknesses
  • Maintaining persistent effort at strengthening inconsistent skills;
  • Sharing a partnership with the student to develop self-monitoring systems and ingenious compensations; and at the same time, providing the full, enriched scope of math teaching
  • The written symbol system and concrete materials

Math learning difficulties are common, significant, and worthy of serious instructional attention in both regular and special education classes. Students may respond to repeated failure with withdrawal of effort, lowered self-esteem, and avoidance behaviors. In addition, significant math deficits can have serious consequences on the management of everyday life as well as on job prospects and promotion. Therefore, it is the duty of a teacher to deal with such challenge effectively through their skills and knowledge.


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Project-Based Learning & iPads at St. Stephen's

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.

Read the short article that appears in St. Stephen's Today, a publication of St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School in Coconut Grove, Florida. The school is focusing on project-based learning and provides an iPad 2 for each of their students in grades one through five. You can access the original article here.

Preparing Our Students for Their Future
by The Technology Team at St. Stephen's Episcopal Day School  (Jenny Diaz, Hilary Haber, Felix Jacomino, Joy McIntosh, Liz Scholer, and Inge Wassmann)

St. Stephens has embarked on an exciting new initiative this year in keeping with our Vision Statement to prepare our students for the 21st Century. A focus on Project Based Learning has begun in a yearlong series of on-campus professional development workshops.  A one-to-one iPad program for Grades 1 to 5 lends itself well to meeting these goals.

What is Project Based Learning? Project Based Learning is a teaching method where students are given a driving question or challenge, and after research, analysis, teamwork, and problem-solving, present solutions to their classmates. The projects help students learn key academic subject matter and practice 21st Century skills such as collaboration, communication & critical thinking.  Unlike an activity that can be completed in a short class period, projects may take days, weeks, or months to complete. Instead of just covering material, the teacher develops projects that allow for students to uncover the topic themselves.

During the 2010-2011 school year, Felix Jacomino, Director of Technology,  and Inge Wassmann and Hilary Haber, Technology Teachers, attended numerous workshops and conferences including Mobile Learning Experience the Florida Educational Technology Conference, and the International Society for Technology  in Education Conference, as well as various workshops through Independent Schools of South Florida and the Dade County One-to-One Technology Forum, to research the best ways for us to reach our goals in technology anywhere, anytime learning using mobile devices. They met several consultants on their trips, but were most intrigued by Tony Vincents background and experience and felt he was the best fit to help guide St. Stephens. 


Tony Vincent is a Learning and Technology Consultant who began his career as a fifth grade teacher.  He began using mobile learning in his classroom in 2001 when each of his students received a Palm handheld. He became a consultant in 2006 and has become a highly sought-after, hands-on educator who has worked with teachers and students all over the world.  He is personable and practical and makes teaching and learning fresh and fun.

Tony first visited St. Stephens prior to the start of school.  He worked in large and small groups to demonstrate the use of iPads on many levels. On his most recent visit, Tony taught lessons in both Grade 4 and 5 in Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies.  In Grade 4 Math, student practiced estimating skills through Google maps and a discussion of travel. As part of their Imagine It unit on Risks and Consequences, Grade 4 students watched a show video on the moon landing which prompted a discussion on the risks and consequences that astronauts experience. They used the Eagle app to "land" on the moon using the correct velocity and proximity for touch down. They completed the activity by creating a web on the Idea Sketch app. Grade 5 learned note taking skills using Noterize as it pertained to their current Native American unit, and they used it later in the day in their Sacred Studies class.

In addition, he held a workshop for the entire faculty on Project Based Learning.  He is scheduled to return three times during the school year, for 3 or 4-day sessions. He is customizing his expertise to meet our needs.

The introduction of iPads in Grades 1 through 5 gives these students the tool to connect, communicate, collaborate, and create throughout the school day. Mobile devices can play a great role in Project Based Learning giving students the access to learning when and where it is needed. The use of exciting handheld technology motivates students, and projects can lend themselves to student voice and choice. 

"The iPads have brought a whole new dimension of learning to the classroom, authentic engagement and motivation.  Active learning is taking place!" said Silvia Larrauri.

Beginning in Grade 1, students will create electronic portfolios of their work.  Electronic portfolios are a creative means of organizing, summarizing, and sharing information, ideas, projects and artwork for other students and families to see.  Each year, the students will  add to their portfolios, having a collection of work they can take with them.

When a student publishes his work, its no longer just the teacher viewing his work.  There is a broader audience base. Now, classmates, parents, extended family, regardless of location, and other students from around the world can read, comment on, and collaborate with ideas that were previously limited to the classroom.  said Felix Jacomino.   

An iPad is a toolbox that gets filled with tools such as apps, is a portal to communication and collaboration with others, and when guided by teachers who have been appropriately trained, students become truly engaged and motivated critical thinkers. Working with Tony Vincent and our Technology Team, our teachers will receive the professional development and support to successfully carry out our goals.



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

Building PowerPoint Presentations

PowerPoint is a fantastic program that can make your classroom presentations come alive. It is at a basic level an interactive slide show. For advanced users, it can include timed transitions, video clips, and audio elements.

A digital projector and a computer can enliven your presentations and make note taking easier. The use of technology also captures and keeps the students (or your audience's) attention.

PowerPoint (or a comparable software product) allows information to be displayed in a fun, interactive manner. It ties text, graphics, and animation seamlessly in an easy to use format. You have total control, from choosing text sizes, fonts, and colors, to creating graphics of all shapes and colors, and even to adding pictures, clip art, sounds, and animations. You also determine the page layout by simply moving any item wherever you want on the slide.

You begin with a blank slide on which you will arrange your data, whether it be text or graphical elements.

Having used PowerPoint for many years, I have some suggestions for you.

1. Use at least size 16 font, and think seriously about size 20 or 24 font. This is so youw words and letters are large enough to see from everywhere in your room.
2. Be careful with color schemes. A creative slide may actually be hard to see when projected. Use light colored (white/yellow) text and graphics on a dark background, and use dark text and graphics on a light background. Avoid red/blue combinations, and others like these that tend to blend into each other. Always test your presentation before giving it so you can ensure it will be seen properly.
3. Don't bother using sound unless you have a good set of speakers. The audio will use up valuable memory and is useless unless you have speakers. And many times the novelty wears off and your audience will tire of the repetitive sounds.
4. When your students are using graphics and photos, check that the sizes are appropriate. Expanding (enlarging) a photo can reduce its resolution, making it grainy and hard to see clearly.
5. Animations and slide transitions are neat and fun, but don't overdo them. Choose one slide transition to use throughout the presentation so your audience knows the next slide is here. The same goes with animations: keep them simple and appropriate. You want to impress the audience with your information, not the 'gadgets' you use to soup up the PowerPoint.

The program also includes several templates where you can just click and insert the text or graphics you want. The best way of gaining proficiency is to play with the program. That's right, pretend you're a kid and try everything out. There's no way you can break it. Check out all of the menus and buttons. If you do become confused, find a third grader who can help you out (at that age, many kids are already proficient and still love to show you how to do it). There are many tricks, shortcuts, options, and neat ideas you can try. You'll find ones you like and that fit your personality or your presentation.

Most of the 'equivalent' programs for various platforms (Mac/Windows/Linux) are close enough for you or your students to be proficient on any machine. At our school, we regularly switch between Macs and Linux computers, and our students have quickly mastered both the basics and more advanced techniques. Remember, you as the teacher don't need to know exactly every detail of the program. You can rely on (or challenge) your students to find the little intricacies of the program. The big thing is for you to have your students use the program, and you'll learn alongside the kids.

PowerPoint is very easy to use. With just a little bit of computer familiarity, you can be creating professional and creative presentations.


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

Wii For Teachers
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.

Have you ever been interested in having an interactive whiteboard, but the cost was overwhelming. Look no further, watch this video to see how to make one, and then the following link provides accessories for the project. With this information you can build an interactive whiteboard for less than $50.

Low-cost multi-touch whiteboard using Wii remote:

www.wiiteachers.com  a great website that provides accessories for inexpensive whiteboard.


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

Teaching Literacy to ESOL Learners (part 1)

By Christina Riggan

Twenty three of my twenty five years of teaching in public schools was with ESOL students from all over the worldfrom Asia to South America to the Middle East . At one point I had students who spoke thirteen different languages in my classroom, in addition to the English-only speaking students. My job was to teach them English; and to teach them to read and write, learn math, science, social studies, etc. on top of the challenge of learning another language

You may believe that I started out trained, certified, and with some experience with ESOL kids, or different cultures, but you would be incorrect. My first experience occurred in the second year of my teaching career when the Hispanic Kindergarten teacher next to me came to my room, and asked me to take the new student assigned to her class. He spoke only Japanese. She said, I teach Spanish. I dont know what to do with him. Of course, neither did I, but I took him anyway.

I had no teaching experience with other cultures, or teaching English to others, but I had always loved history, cultures, and languages and their people. I taught the young boy that year for Kindergarten and his younger brother the following year, and learned by the seat of my pants. His parent invited me to dinner before they left to return to Japan . One valuable thing I learned about Japanese culture: Dont eat everything on your plate. It means that they havent fed you enough food. Of course, to Americans it is meant as a compliment to the hostess. So therein lies the conundrum for cultural misunderstanding, and a good laugh, if everyone has a good sense of humor. These same parents have sent me a Christmas card faithfully for twenty years.  

Later, the next year, my district paid for twelve additional college course hours for my training in linguistics. I received my certification through training, not a test. To be fair to the district I worked in, they had little to no experience with ESOL students and their families. But when faced with an influx of students, they did the right thing and paid for training for their teachers. As unprepared and as untrained as I was initially, some situations I see occurring now are even worse. Usually they begin with districts unwilling to spend the money and time on training and preparing teachers properly, and teachers resentful of the extra burden from students who may need more than the teacher can supply.

Additionally, even though there is additional work, preparation, and training required for ESOL teachers, few teachers receive stipends. I have even heard some ridiculous folks say Anyone can teach ESOL. It is simply good teaching.

No, not just anyone can teach ESOL. It demands training and preparation. You needed a certified math teacher for your math classes; you need trained and certified personnel for one of the most important jobs in public school: teaching English and literacy.

So I will offer to you my Five Principles of Teaching ESOL Students, gained from twenty plus years working with these students and their families, my training, and my professional development and reading. This is certainly the short and sweet versionhoned down for this article.  


FIRST PRINCIPLE: Remember that they are scared to death, may cry, may vomit, tremble, run away, throw temper tantrums, or not speak for a year, OR MORE. You get the idea.


1.      Be loving, patient, welcoming, smile, and be friendly.

2.      Discuss compassion and empathy with your students beforehand.

3.      Create a learning environment that encourages success for everyone.

4.      Help them make friends.

5.      80% of communication is nonverbal, so you can communicate. Use nodding heads, hand signs, pictures, mime.

6.      If you resent the child, (or the extra work he/she requires) he/she will know.

7.      Art and drawing are the first written universal languages of communication--begin there, and use it as a tool to gaining language.

8.      Play, fun, games, and laughter are universal childhood pathways to learning--

       be smart and use them to your advantage to teach ESOL learners

Look for Principles #2-5 in the next issue!


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NCEE (National Center on Education & the Economy)

Courtesy of K12Academics.com

The NCEE, or National Center on Education and the Economy is led by Marc Tucker. The NCEE in its many forms was instrumental in the implementation of Standards-based education reform, previously known as Outcomes-based education or Performance-based education. The paper "America's Choice: High Skills or Low Wages" outlined a model that a new educational performance standard should be set for all students, to be met by age sixteen. This standard should be established nationally and benchmarked to the highest in the world. Students passing a series of performance- based assessments that incorporate the standard would be awarded a Certificate of Initial Mastery. This certificate would qualify the student to choose among going to work, entering a college preparatory program, or studying for a Technical and Professional Certificate, which would be explicitly tied to advanced job requirements. These standards would not be intended as sorting mechanisms, but would allow multiple opportunities for success; the goal would simply be to ensure achievement of high performance standards for the great majority of the nation's workforce. The states would ensure that virtually all students achieve the Certificate of Initial Mastery. The NCEE is evidently the origin of the certificate.

At the peak of its influence, the NCEE would enter into contracts with districts and states educating over half of all public school students. By the mid 1990s however, most states would sever contracts with the New Standards Project, an arm of the NCEE, and establish their own standards and examinations such as WASL, AIMS, TAAS, and MCAS. Oregon would establish, and later abandon plans for not only a CIM, but a Certificate of Advanced Mastery. The No Child Left Behind Act would further require states to give a standards-based test to show progress in education improvement.

The NCEE New Standards project published ambitious examples of standards expected of projects in different grade levels. For example, a pair of fourth graders was expected to work with a professional carpenter to produce a design for a bike trailer complete with a 3-view and 3D drawing, and a parts list complete with cotter pins and a counter-sink drill bit. At the high school level, a student took an electric motor donated by the local power company, and with some help with welding from the shop teacher, engineered and constructed an electric car in his spare time outside of his academic classes.

Today, few states and education officials give full credit to Marc Tucker and the NCEE for first laying out the design the comprehensive education reform model followed by most US school systems in the 2000s.


Article courtesy of K12Academics.com



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Novels by Frank Holes, Jr.

Dogmans Back!

 A masterful blend of science fiction, fantasy, and folklore, the DOGMAN EPOCH: SHADOW and FLAME 
is an epic tale in its own era, stretching from the present day to far beyond 
the history of humanity.


Tying the Dogman legend to the 2012 Mayan doomsday prophesy, a secret governmental agency races to solve 
the ancient puzzle and save the world 
from destruction, all the while 
dodging a hidden enemy


10,000 years in the past, the Nagual and their sorcerer chieftain begin their conquest of the native civilizations. Can the great Guardians stand against the evil onslaught, or will the looming end of the Third Age of the Sun prove the downfall of humanity?

Welcome to Dogman Country!

Now Available!

Click Here For
Dogman Epoch: Shadow and Flame Website


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Year of the Dogman Website
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Tales From Dogman Country Website
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Nagual: Dawn of the Dogmen Website 
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Haunting of Sigma Website
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

Journal Writing, part 1

This is the first in a series on developing Journal Writing in your classroom, a writing technique that is applicable to any grade and any subject area.

We use the journal writing style for several applications in class.  The number one goal of mine is to provide students with a place to record their thoughts and to reflect on their lives.  I also advocate writing activities that can (and should) be done on a daily basis.  I really believe students need to write a lot and often; they become better writers with a lot of practice.  You can't expect students to be good at writing if they only write a few times each month or marking period.  But I also don't believe students need to formally write essays each time either.  Journaling is one way to break up the monotony of the formal style.

Creating journals is a very easy and fun activity that gives the students ownership of the journal. Pass out ten or so pieces of regular lined paper to each student.   I always keep a basket of lined paper at the front and back of my room anyway, so students can add pages to their journal at any time they need.  Then pass out colored construction paper for the front and back covers.  Each student receives three fasteners to hold it all together.  A suggestion is to NOT punch holes in the covers, as the fastener heads sometimes slip through, and the journals can fall apart.  I allow the students to decorate their covers with anything, as long as it's tasteful and appropriate for school.

Students must be given the freedom of choosing their own topics if they wish.  However, I always provide a topic for the students to use if they are unable to generate their own ideas.  Students are allowed to use my topic, or to change any part of it.  I'll share a few of my classroom journal topics in the follow up to this article.  Any idea can be changed into a journal topic - I usually add a few guiding questions for students to consider when making their responses. 

Some students also enjoy writing on the same topic for more than one writing session.  I even have some students who are writing stories, and complete chapters or stanzas during class time.  They may take a break once in a while and write on a different topic, but they usually end up back at their story.

Students are not allowed to stop and think for more than a few seconds - this is a writing activity, not a stopping and thinking activity.  And their grade is based on the amount they write, not the amount they think. "I really believe students need to write a lot and often; they become better writers with a lot of practice."

So what are the rules for a journal write?  Basically you get to decide!  Just keep them consistent and students will know what you expect within the first few writes.  In my class, students are allowed to choose the genre, such as poetry, drama, or prose.  They are encouraged to try out different styles.

Since the journaling is actually a form of active brainstorming, I don't worry about complete sentences, spelling, or mistakes in grammar or mechanics.   These are the guidelines we use, but you can feel free to adjust them to suit your class and needs.


In the follow up article, I will explain the easy grading system that is set up to MINIMIZE the amount of teacher work.  This stress-free system allows your students to write more and write often, without the massive paper stack for you to grade at home.  I'll also provide some of my sample topics to get you started.


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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"Thankful Thoughts"
Compiled By Tyron Edwards
Themes on Life

Can you see something special in the most unusual places?

Taken from The New Dictionary of Thoughts, A Cyclopedia of Quotations
Originally Compiled by Tyron Edwards, November 2002

"The private and personal blessings we enjoy, the blessings of immunity, safeguard, liberty and integrity deserve the thanksgiving of a whole life."
- Jeremy Taylor

"Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow. A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves."
- H. W. Beecher

"If one should give me a dish of sand, and tell me there were particles of iron in it, I might look for them with my eyes and search for them with my clumsy fingers and be unable to detect them. But let me take a magnet and sweep through it and how would it draw to itself the almost invisible particles by the mere power of attraction. The unthankful heart, like my finger in the sand, discovers no mercies. But let the thankful heart sweep through the day and as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour some heavenly blessings, only the iron in God's sand is gold!"
- H. W. Beecher

"Best of all is it to preserve everything in a pure, still heart and let there be for every pulse a thanksgiving, and for every breath a song."
- Gesner


What's New @ StarTeaching?


Welcome to our first September issue, the second in our Back-To-School series, getting you energized into the new school year.

This month our web partner Tony Vincent shares a visit he made to a classroom that uses handhelds. Christina Riggan discusses ESOL students.  And our tech writer Mark Benn shares some fabulous Wii resources for teachers.

Look for more real math problems from Mary Ann Graziani, Article of the Week from Frank Holes, Jr., and great teaching ideas for great teachers everywhere.  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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"To find what you seek in the road of life,
the best proverb of all is that which says:
'Leave no stone unturned.'"

~Edward Bulwer Lytton

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Click to see over 1000 prompts

10 Days Of


What is something important we seek in life?


Why do we search for meaning in our lives?


How and why have you searched for something important?


Describe a time someone has been on a search for something.  Why did it happen?


How can a search for something in your life end up improving the lives of others?


Whast does it mean to 'leave no stone unturned?'.


Describe a time when someone has left 'no stone unturned.'.


How could you leave 'no stone unturned' when you are preparing for school exams?


Which of your classes requires you to 'leave no stone unturned' the most?


 Describe the most difficult class you've ever had.  Why did you have to 'leave no stone unturned' to pass?

Click to see over 1000 prompts


10 days of writing prompts


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Steve Jobs

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Coming Soon:

More Article of the Week

Technology & Teaching: Seamless Integration into Curriculum

Writing Process and Programs

Classroom Management


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10 Days of 
Math Problems
by Mary Ann Graziani

Day 1 There are 690 silver necklaces at the jewelry store. Dustin and his sisters buy 499 of them for a present. About how many silver necklaces are left at the jewelry store?
Day 2 There are 89,249 short words and 74,499 long words in Tamara's mystery novel. About how many words are there in all?
Day 3 553 of the 855 buses in the bus storage garage leave on their morning routes. About how many are left?
Day 4

Audrey and her classmates went on a trivia quiz show. They earned 817 points in the music category and 164 points in the literature category. About how many points did they earn in all?

Day 5

Kevin bought 4 packs of red bouncy balls and 2 packs of yellow bouncy balls. Each package
contained 18 bouncy balls. How many more red bouncy balls than yellow bouncy balls did Kevin

Day 6 Diane has an orange rope and a blue rope. The orange rope is 11 meters shorter than the blue
rope. Diane also has 3 meters of duct tape. The blue rope is 17 meters long. How many meters
of rope does Diane have in all?
Day 7 Latoiya's Pizza sells small, medium, and large pizzas. Yesterday, they sold 10 small pizzas. They sold 11 more medium pizzas than large pizzas. How many total pizzas did Latoiya's Pizza sell yesterday?
Day 8 The school cafeteria has 10 round tables and 13 rectangular tables. Each round table has 8 chairs, and each rectangular table has 4 chairs. How many chairs are there in all?
Day 9 Marc took a train from Chesterton to Riverside by way of Watertown and Salem. The train went 4 kilometers from Chesterton to Watertown. It was 15 kilometers from Watertown to Salem and
10 kilometers from Salem to Riverside. How many kilometers was Marc's train ride?
Day 10 There are 4 red pens in Kylie's desk drawer. There are 4 more black pens than red pens. There are also 8 more blue pens than red pens. How many pens are there in all?


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




Tech-Ed Articles

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* 21st Century Learning
* Integrating Technology
* Computer Literacy
* REAL activities you can use!




Science Activities For Any Setting
By Helen de la Maza
Germinating Seeds in the Dark
(click for PDF)

Sound Mapping
(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.  




Voice Thread




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
"Cast Adrift in the Milky Way"
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"Got Chocolate Milk?"
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