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Ideas and Features For New Teachers
and Veterans with Class

Volume 8, Issue 15
August 2012
StarTeaching Store Advertise with us Previous Articles Submit an Article FREE Reports Feature Writers Tech Center New Teacher's Niche

Our Back-To-Back, Back-To-School Issues, packed with excellent articles on getting yourself and your students back into school mode! 

Look for August Issue 16 and September Issue 17, coming soon

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

What's New @ StarTeaching   Tech Corner: Re-Thinking Teacher PD   Teaching As A Career
NEW! Tony Vincent's Blog: Project Based Learning Teaser Effective Classroom Management is About Getting Pupils to Follow Your Instructions Every Time Themes on Life: 
"The Old Fisherman"
NEW! Science Activities for Any Setting   10 Days of Writing Prompts   10 Days of Math Problems
School Features:
Trends in Teaching Physical Education
New Teacher's Niche:
Using Random Student Cards in Class
Student Teachers' Lounge: The Changing Face of the Traditional Book Report
Book of the Month Club:
Teaching Kids To Spell
  Website of the Month:
Mastery Connect
  Article of the Week: "Rotator Cuff Surgery"

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

Teaching As A Career

By: Munir Moosa Sewani

Education is considered as ďThe Green PassportĒ of our future.

A person who gets a professional qualification and acquires a high degree gets ready acceptance worldwide with an open arm.  The profession which was on, is on, and would be continued forever is the profession of teaching, which is one of the most noble and leading of careers in todayís world.

The growing demand of teachers is hovering in every field of life internationally, whether it's school, college, university, organization, Multinational company or else where.  Teaching is the only profession which gives the greatest and the multi-dimensional opportunities of career to an individual.

The developing countries now recognize that teaching requires the dedicated leadership of professional specialists to mold the future of the next generation.

Teaching is the specialized field of education, and it requires proper education, training and inborn adoration for children. Itís not an easy profession. Time has gone when those who did not get good job opportunities shifted themselves in the field of teaching in order to earn livelihood. Today, teaching is the professional liberal art field. Teaching requires skills that can be brought out by taking professional certifications or degree courses.

Teaching involves being with children or with colleagues to design syllabi or problem solving too.

In the field of Education/Teaching, you can become a Principal , Vice Principal, Deputy Head Teacher, Section Head, Co-ordinator, Supervisor, Teacher Educator, Educational Psychologist, Student Counselor, Curriculum Developer or Researcher, Special Educator, Language Co-ordinator, Recruitment Manager, Writer, Programme Officer, Montessori Directress, Lecturer, Subject Specialist, Journalist and so on.

Its not a profession of last resort; itís a profession of dedication.

Pay scale

A person who adopts a career in education gets the starting salary from 3000 rupees to 300 thousand rupees nationally and anywhere from 1000-50,000 dollars internationally.

Qualification requirement:

The best qualification which suits a teacher is at least Graduate or Post Graduate with specialization in the subject over which they command (like education, psychology etc.)

Certificate courses are additional advantages for the post of Teacher and Asst Teacher.

For Montessori directress, at least Certificate/Diploma in Montessori is the pre-requisite along with some internship experience in high profile school.

For the primary and elementary level, command over early childhood, education, art, music, and physical activities are necessary along with graduation.

In the same manner, Diploma courses in Special Education or Teacher Education is the pre-requisite for the position of Deputy Head or Special or Teacher Educator.

Likewise, professional degrees like B.Ed and M.Ed is the required degree to become professional lecturer, professor, writer, program officer, etc.  There is Masterís Degree in Teacher Education as well, which is nowadays in demand to qualify for many high salaries.

For Researchers, Head Principal, or Educational Psychologist, in many cases a PhD in their subject is the required qualification.

Where they can join?

They can join any Private/Governmental institution, school, college, university, educational publishing house, Montessori, Government Research Departments, and Media.

Remember that continued training is necessary to meet the future challenges.

Confidence, teaching methodology, pre-planning, and communication skills, reading and writing skills, and clear language are the features of the great educationalist.

A few of the careers in the field of education is described below :

Education Consultant/ Counselor:

They assesses the needs of the professionals and advise an individual/ professional to choose the right career. Education consultants also develop policies and program initiatives within an area of professional specialty.  

Special Education Teacher/ Educator

They are the ones who design curriculum, and teach according to the special needs of students. They are the ones who work with students who have a variety of disabilities such as deaf and dumb, mild, moderate, severe, profound, borderline, cerebral palsy, mental retardation etc.

Special education teachers instruct their students in basic life skills and basic education.

Career Counselor:

They are the ones, who give the true and efficient guidance to the students in order to evaluate their talents and to choose the desired career according to their talents and creativity. Student counselors evaluate the students' abilities and interests and guide them to take proper decisions.

Principal/Vice Principal:

They serve as an Administrator of a school or college. They are the ones who develop rules and regulations, designing and promoting programs and activities. They also promote educational and professional development of the students and staff. They also evaluate teacherís skills and polish these time to time by arranging Certificate Courses for them.


They design and formulate the curriculum according to the age level of students.

They also manage research projects.

They are the ones who use a variety of methods such as interviews, questionnaires, etc on specific issues and prepare report and theses.

They also analyze and present data in a meaningful manner.


They are the ones who not only write curriculum books, but they are the ones who write articles and also help in formulating teaching curriculum.

Head/Assistant Teacher:

They teach their students with an inborn adoration and also groom their skills time to time by attending workshops or teacher training courses.

They are the ones who evaluate students' strengths, instruct them and teach them effectively.

Master Trainer/ Teacher Educator:

They are the ones who train teachers. They develop instructional materials and educational content. They are the one who also assess a teacherís capabilities.

They also provide guidelines to the schools/ colleges and also design suitable activities for students.

Operational Managers:

They work on a wide range of issues, such as strategic planning, competitive positioning, performance management, student and teaching hiring and firing, alumni relation, etc.

Munir Moosa Sewani is one of the most famous, prominent and creative names in the field of Education for the past 11 years. He is a Master Trainer In Special Education, Post Graduate, Teacher Educator and a Teacher. He is a Freelance Writer and Photographer, in addition to his role as a featured writer for StarTeaching's newsletter for five and a half years now. He is an author of the famous self-published storybook for children titled "The MORAL STORIES FOR CHILDREN" and has also written a Biology book for Secondary Classes. He has written more than 100 articles dealing with social, health, educational and cultural issues, which are internationally recognized and published in famous world wide websites, newsletters, magazines and newspapers. 

He is also a Social worker, private tutor, career counselor, musician, lyrics writer and have multi- dimensional talents. His future plan is to write dozens of informative articles and to work for education and media, in order to explore hidden creativity.

You can contact Munir Moosa Sewani at: munirmoosa@yahoo.com



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Project-Based Learning Teaser

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.


I made a three-minute video for teachers in Fulton Country, Georgia who are coming to a project-based learning workshop I'm leading next month.  I thought maybe others would like to see the video as well, so I've posted it on Vimeo and YouTube.

I love that project-based learning gives us a framework to authentically use technology with students. It doesn't matter much what kind of tech is available. Students just need resources and guidance to question, investigate, share, and reflect.

Read and watch more about project-based learning with iPad and iPod touch on my PBL page. Just know that the video is a couple years old now and could use some updating...




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


The Changing Face of the Traditional Book Report


Are your students bored with your old book reports? Looking to jazz up your old presentations? There are a number of great ideas to change your old assignments and bring them into the modern day.

We want our students to enjoy reading, and to read outside of class, but we don't want to bore students with the same old reports they've been doing for years.

Don't get me wrong, I like my students to find some specific pieces of information. They will always be required to find info on characters, setting, and plot. And I like to have them include their evaluation of the book, what they learned and to whom they'd recommend this book.

Beyond the basic fact-finding is the presentation. There are many ways to jazz these up too. Your students could make commercials or infomercials trying to sell their books. These could be live in class, online, or recorded on video. Include music and graphics or special effects.

Students could create a project to represent a scene from their story. This might be a model, a diorama box, posters, banners, or other art projects using various art class media.

You might allow students to take an important scene from the book and bring it to life. Reader's theater, puppet shows, and skits can be performed in class or videotaped earlier.

Students can vary the old display 'poster' by showing off artifacts in a shadow box. Find items around the house that represent the story's character, setting, or events and set them up in an interesting display.

Another idea is to use presentation software such as PowerPoint. Have your students create different slides detailing what they learned about characters, plot, setting, mood, and other literary devices from their books.

Another neat program we started using this year is the GarageBand from Macintosh. This enables students to create their own music using basic templates of different sounds, instruments, beats, and rhythms. Students have created short songs that impart the mood and tone of their books, and we can then present these to class or add them to web pages or PowerPoints.

If you've assigned a biography or autobiography, you might have students make a website describing the life and beliefs of the individual character. You could have students create a 'mock' interview with their character, writing in the answers that person might have given.

There are many ways to change your old book reports so they're more interesting. And you can incorporate technology easily in these projects. Don't be afraid to try out something new. You can often rely on your students to help you when it comes to technology. And you'll be making class much more interesting for your students.

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

Re-Thinking Teacher PD

By Mark Benn, Instructional Technologist

Mark Benn is a Technology Integration Coach for VARtek Services, Inc. Having just completed almost 25 years as an educator for Inland Lakes Public Schools, and having received a Masters of Science in Educational Media Design and Technology from Full Sail University in 2010, he now works in a position that supports teachers of K-12 classrooms in the southwest Ohio region that are interested in integrating technology into their learning environments. VARtek Services mission is to be the best provider of managed technology solutions for enhanced learning in the KĖ12 marketplace. Our website is: www.vartek.com

Here's a thought-provoking article that will have you re-thinking the way you structure professional development:





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




  StarTeaching Feature Writer

Effective Classroom Management is About Getting Pupils to Follow Your Instructions Every Time

By Rob Johnson

Article courtesy of EdArticle.com:   www.edarticle.com 

When we are put in stressful situations the directions and instructions we give out to pupils who are annoying us are often very unclear and often impulsive. As such they virtually guarantee conflict when they are stated.

Children become confused unless the instructions we give them are very specific - especially when they are in a state of anxiety themselves.

Vague instructions give them choice, and if you want them to behave in a certain, specific way, you need to tell them exactly what that specific way entails - choice is the last thing you want to give them.

Let's not also forget that a large proportion of pupils in our classes are EBD, ADHD or on the autistic spectrum and as such, have a genuine need for unambiguous, precise instructions.

The following example illustrates this need perfectly:

At the first EBD centre I taught in, the pupils (11-14yrs) were allowed on the yard at break to play football.

These sessions were a living nightmare for whoever was on duty because even when the boys were given explicit instructions to "walk down to the yard quietly", they were unable to contain themselves for more than a few steps before tearing off shouting and yelling at the tops of their voices and running wild in the school grounds.

The solution to this problem came when I remembered that the same 'chunking' method I used in class with these boys, whereby their work was broken down into smaller, more manageable tasks, would be necessary in all their activities if they were to be kept under control.

The instructions, which sound incredibly pedantic, broke the short 200 yard journey into very small segments and went something like this...

"Stand silently behind your chairs." (wait for them to stand in silence before giving next instruction) "Walk across the hall to the fire door and wait in line." "Go though the doors and walk down the corridor to the outside doors. Wait in line at the doors, don't go through them." "Now walk to the gate and wait in line."

.. and so on.

At every stage, if a child misbehaved in any way they were sent back to the previous door to have another go at following the instructions properly. And in their eagerness to get to the yard, they complied every time!

Whenever a child continued to play up, they were calmly reminded that the consequence of their silliness was that they were missing their break. Again, this usually resulted in a compliant child without the need for tantrums from either the staff or the pupil concerned.

These extremely tight, precise instructions transformed break-times from a living hell into an enjoyable activity for everyone. The boys appreciated the tight boundaries because they could have a full 20 minutes of football - whereas before, they weren't even getting a game started; and the staff were no longer having to spend 20 very stressful minutes chasing wild boys round the grounds, and then a further hour calming them down in class.

By giving directions that are specific and unambiguous, we alleviate the need for us to raise our voices or get annoyed and we eliminate all tension from the situation.

The key is that the child's options are reduced to a minimum and they know exactly what is expected of them and exactly what they have to do in order to succeed. Isn't that better than repeating a vague command over and over again, becoming more exasperated and frustrated each time we are ignored?

Here's another example to show how vague instructions are such a waste of time...

On the way back from the yard at break one day, Mark was deliberately lagging behind, bouncing the football.

"Come on Mark, quick... Hurry up Mark, lessons have started... Mark! Break's over Mark!... Come on... Quickly Mark!... Mark!... Stop that and hurry up!"

After a few minutes of totally ignoring the first yells from the teacher Mark eventually complied perfectly with the final request - "Stop that and hurry up" - by standing still and bouncing the ball as fast as he could, with a sly grin!

Mark then proceeded to enjoy the undivided attention of two members of staff as they altered their approach from friendly cajoling and encouragement to aggressive shouting and frustrated threats. The incident tied up all three of them for the whole morning as Mark became more and more abusive and aggressive - incensed at the unfair punishment he believed he was receiving.

Had the teacher altered her instruction slightly at the beginning, the situation could have been very different. By giving one clear, specific direction and an explanation of the consequence for not complying, she could have remained in total control, Mark could have returned to lessons and the other member of staff would have been free to teach his lesson.

"Mark break is over. You need to bring the ball here now otherwise you will be paying time back next break."

You'll see how this incident could have been resolved calmly and efficiently - even if Mark had still refused to follow the instructions when you read The Three Requests Technique in my new ebook - "Magic Classroom Management - How To Get The Most From The Worst Kids In School"

To discover more effective classroom management tools as well as a free mini-course visit www.Classroom-management.org.

Rob Johnson is the author of Magic Classroom Management - How to get the most from the worst kids in school.

He is Deputy Head Teacher at a special school in the UK and has been working with challenging young people for 15 years. Copyright 2007 Rob Johnson www.classroom-management.org


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Trends in Teaching Physical Education

Courtesy of K12Academics.com

Physical education (often abbreviated Phys. Ed. or P.E.) or gymnastics (gym or gym class) is a course taken during primary and secondary education that encourages psychomotor learning in a play or movement exploration setting.


Physical education trends have developed recently to incorporate a greater variety of activities. Introducing students to activities like bowling, walking/hiking, or Frisbee at an early age can help students develop good activity habits that will carry over into adulthood. Some teachers have even begun to incorporate stress-reduction techniques such as yoga and deep-breathing. Teaching non-traditional sports to students may also provide the necessary motivation for students to increase their activity, and can help students learn about different cultures. For example, while teaching a unit about lacrosse (in, say, Arizona, USA), students can also learn a little bit about the Native American cultures of the Northeast and Eastern Canada, where lacrosse originated. Teaching non-traditional (or non-native) sports provides a great opportunity to integrate academic concepts from other subjects as well (social studies from the example above), which may now be required of many P.E. teachers.There are four aspects of P.E. which is physical, mental, social, and emotional.

Another trend is the incorporation of Health and Nutrition to the physical education curriculum. The Child Nutrition and WIC Re-authorization Act of 2004 required that all school districts with a federally funded school meal program develop wellness policies that address nutrition and physical activity. While teaching students sports and movement skills, P.E. teachers are now incorporating short health and nutrition lessons into the curriculum. This is more prevalent at the elementary school level, where students do not have a specific Health class. Recently most elementary schools have specific health classes for students as well as physical education class. With the recent outbreaks of diseases such as swine flu, school districts are making it mandatory for students to learn about practicing good hygiene along with other health topics. Today many states require Physical Education teachers to be certified to teach Health courses. Many colleges and Universities offer both Physical Education and Health as one certification. This push towards Health education is beginning in the intermediate level, including lessons on bullying, self esteem and stress and anger management.

In America, the physical education curriculum is designed to allow school pupils a full range of modern opportunities, dozens of sports and hundreds of carefully reviewed drills and exercises, including exposure to the education with the use of pedometer, GPS, and heart rate monitors, as well as state-of-the-art exercise machines in the upper grades. Some martial arts classes, like wrestling in the United States, and Pencak Silat in France, Indonesia and Malaysia, are taught to teach children self-defense and to feel good about themselves. The physical education curriculum is designed to allow students to experience at least a minimum exposure to the following categories of activities: aquatics, conditioning activities, gymnastics, individual/dual sports, team sports, rhythms, and dance. Students are encouraged to continue to explore those activities in which they have a primary interest by effectively managing their community resources.

In these areas, a planned sequence of learning experiences is designed to support a progression of student development. This allows kids through 6th grade to be introduced to sports, fitness, and teamwork in order to be better prepared for the middle and high school age. In 1975, the United States House of Representatives voted to require school physical education classes include both genders. Some high school and some middle school PE classes are single-sex. Requiring individuals to participate in physical education activities, such as dodge ball, flag football, and other competitive sports remains a controversial subject because of the social impact these have on young children. It is, however, important to note that many school budgets have seen cutbacks and in some cases physical education programs have been cut - leaving educators and students to address these needs in other ways...

Technology Use in Physical Education
New Technology in Physical education is playing a big role in classes. One of the most affordable and effective would be a simple tape recorder. With the use of a tape recorder you students can see the mistakes their making in things such as a throwing motion or swinging form. Studies show that students do find this more effective than having someone just telling them what they are doing wrong and trying to correct it. Educators also found the use of other technologies such as pedometers and heart beat monitors very successful, using them to make step and heart rate goals for students.

Other technologies that can be used in a Physical Education setting would include projectors, GPS and even Wii systems just as Wii Fit and Dance Dance Revolution. Projectors can be used to show students things such as proper form or how to play certain games. GPS systems can be sued to get student active in an outdoor setting and Wii systems like Wii Fit can be used by teachers to show students a good way to stay fit in and out of the classroom setting

Article courtesy of K12Academics.com



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  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.ís remote Dickinson County

A BLOG, begun as one manís 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

Using Random Student Cards in Class

Much has been said and written lately about providing students with choices. I'm all about any methods which will improve student involvement in class, giving them ownership in their learning. There are many ways to give students choices, options, or just to provide random results and change up the monotony. This article will discuss how to use random results in typical class situations.

Ever wonder if you choose certain students more (or less) often in class than others? Or would you like to be able to completely call on students at random?

A great technique is to make and use an index card deck with your students' names on the cards. On the first day of any of my classes, I pass out blank lined index cards (we use the 3 x 5 size) to all the students. I then have them fill these out with information we can use later on in class. Then I collect them and keep them separated by class with a rubber band. Then I can quickly access the names of all of my students. This helps for learning their names quickly too.

The random calling technique will increase your students' attention, since any one of them could be chosen at any time without you playing favorites or ignoring anyone. Always try to choose several students each time you use the cards, and everyone will quickly understand that they may be the next person called. No student wants to be embarrassed, so they will all formulate some type of response to give in case their card is drawn next. What information needs to be on the cards? That depends on what you want to know about your students. I ask for at least their names, parent's names, and phone contact numbers.

In one upper corner, write in the student's hour (I also like to circle the number) so you can sort them out easily later. Other useful information could include text book or calculator numbers, birth dates, and even students' interests or hobbies. How often do I use the cards? Several times each hour! We use the cards in warm ups so everyone has a random chance of being picked. The cards are used for choosing random teams or groups. They are great for class discussions, since students cannot just be quiet and disappear; every discussion question can be answered by several students in succession, who must either build on previous information given or generate a new line of thinking. I also use them to ask questions before students are dismissed. If the question is answered correctly, I let that student leave early.

The cards can be shuffled each time you use them, or you can leave the order and pick up there again later, ensuring you've called on every student before repeating.

Now, can you stack the deck? Of course! Because you hold the cards, only you know if you've chosen truly at random. This is useful when you just know a student isn't paying attention, or if you want to check understanding by a specific student.

Should you worry about students who still seem to never be called upon? That does happen, but it will even out as the year goes by. I've had the opposite happen too, where a student was actually chosen three times in a row, even though I shuffled the deck each time!

Student hobbies or activities can be great for making connections to class material. As a warm up or sponge activity, for example, use your cards to randomly call on students to state how what they learned in class could be applied to or connected to their hobby. The cards are great for choosing students to read aloud in class. And as the teacher, you can still stack the deck to match up appropriate students with a paragraph's difficulty level. I also try to assess student's reading ability by choosing particular passages I want them to read aloud. Then I make sure the student's card is chosen.

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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"The Old Fisherman"

Themes on Life

It's what's on the inside that counts...

Our house was directly across the street from the clinic entrance to the Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. We lived downstairs and rented the upstairs rooms to out patients at the clinic. One summer evening as I was fixing supper, there was a knock at the door. I opened it to see a truly awful looking man.

"Why, he's hardly taller than my eight-year-old," I thought as I stared at the stooped, shriveled body. But the appalling thing was his face--lopsided from swelling, red and raw. Yet his voice was pleasant as he said, "Good evening. I've come to see if you've a room for just one night. I came for a treatment this morning from the eastern shore, and there's no bus 'til morning."

He told me he'd been hunting for a room since noon but with no success, no one seemed to have a room. "I guess it's my face...I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says with a few more treatments..."

For a moment I hesitated, but his next words convinced me: "I could sleep in this rocking chair on the porch. My bus leaves early in the morning." I told him we would find him a bed, but to rest on the porch.

I went inside and finished getting supper. When we were ready, I asked the old man if he would join us "No thank you. I have plenty." And he held up a brown paper bag. When I had finished the dishes, I went out on the porch to talk with him a few minutes. 

It didn't take a long time to see that this old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body. He told me he fished for a living to support his daughter, her five children, and her husband, who was hopelessly crippled from a back injury.

He didn't tell it by way of complaint; in fact, every other sentence was prefaced with a thanks to God for a blessing. He was grateful that no pain accompanied his disease, which was apparently a form of skin cancer. He thanked God for giving him the strength to keep going.

At bedtime, we put a camp cot in the children's room for him.   When I got up in the morning, the bed linens were neatly folded and the little man was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but just before he left for his bus, haltingly, as if asking a great favor, he said, "Could I please come back and stay the next time I have a treatment? I won't put you out a bit. I can sleep fine in a chair."

He paused a moment and then added, "Your children made me feel at home. Grownups are bothered by my face, but children don't seem to mind." I told him he was welcome to come again.

On his next trip he arrived a little after seven in the morning. As a gift, he brought a big fish and a quart of the largest oysters I had ever seen. He said he had shucked them that morning before he left so that they'd be nice and fresh. I knew his bus left at 4:00 a.m. and I wondered what time he had to get up in order to do this for us. 

In the years he came to stay overnight with us there was never a time that he did not bring us fish or oysters or vegetables from his garden. Other times we received packages in the mail, always by special delivery; fish and oysters packed in a box of fresh young spinach or kale, every leaf carefully washed.

Knowing that he must walk three miles to mail these, and knowing how little money he had made the gifts doubly precious. When I received these little remembrances, I often thought of a comment our next-door neighbor made after he left that first morning. "Did you keep that awful looking man last night? I turned him away! You can lose roomers by putting up such people!"

Maybe we did lose roomers once or twice. But oh! If only they could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear. I know our family always will be grateful to have known him; from him we learned what it was to accept the bad without complaint and the good with gratitude to God.

Recently I was visiting a friend who has a greenhouse. As she showed me her flowers, we came to the most beautiful one of all, a golden chrysanthemum, bursting with blooms. But to my great surprise, it was growing in an old dented, rusty bucket. I thought to myself, "If this were my plant, I'd put it in the loveliest container I had!" My friend changed my mind. 

"I ran short of pots," she explained, "and knowing how beautiful this one would be, I thought it wouldn't mind starting out in this old pail. It's just for a little while, till I can put it out in the garden."

She must have wondered why I laughed so delightedly, but I was imagining just such a scene in heaven. "Here's an especially beautiful one," God might have said when he came to the soul of the sweet old fisherman.  "He won't mind starting in this small body."

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