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Teaching Economics at the Middle
by Marian Holes,
Retired Middle School Teacher
Economics in the
Middle School seems such a difficult subject to me. It’s part of
our content standards and tested on the high stakes proficiency
test in the 8th grade so it truly must be presented to students.
Yet, it’s not well covered in our typical M.S. history text or
for that matter, in my own college curriculum. I find myself
searching constantly for ways and means to present Economics to my
Concrete examples and hands-on activities must be
part of the economics curriculum. Vocabulary also must be learned in
terms of a middle school students’ world. And, give our young
consumers credit. They know quite a lot about money, choices and the way
a free market system works. They just don’t know they know it because
of the vocabulary! That’s our job as educators to take what they
recognize, help them translate it into accepted econ vocab and
principles, and apply it to economics to situations they observe or
experience in society. Now that TRULY sounds like a daunting task!!
I choose to start with vocabulary. My students like to hear “things”
to do as we started with a workbook. As we read through our economics
workbook, all the italicized (economic) words went on the word bank
list, with definitions, of course.
The word bank eventually evolved into flashcards. Now
it’s an activity kids really like. We stay each other, review or quiz
each other, all the while sorting flashcards from the “don’t know”
to the “know that” piles. Flash card review is an activity before a
test, when they finish something and are waiting for everyone else to
get done, or as a fun game to end the class period. Using the vocab word
in their own sentence checks for understanding. Can they use their
sentence, deleting the econ vocab word, and have their partner figure
out the word? Can they give an example for each word? Practice as a
single proprietor, in a partnership, or in a (class-size) corporation.
Using the vocabulary of economics in as important. When a student comes
to class and needs a pencil, stop class for a couple of minutes and do a
needs (demand) supply demonstration. Throw in a little advertising (my
pencil writes the BEST answers), stir up some some competition (who else
has a pencil to lend), set up a price (2 shoe deposit) and watch for
supply and demand. Kids love it; it makes what they’re learning real.
They recognize a surplus brings price down; a shortage could drive
prices up, and supply or demand everywhere.
Advertising is another great vocab word to demonstrate. Choose a
product, and have partners do an ad. How will they convince customers
their vision is best? Point out responsibility of the consumers from
fraudulent advertising or unsafe products. How was the ad firm a
consumer itself as well as a producer of a service? What is the
difference between goods and services? Can advertising be proprietor,
partner, or corporation?
Proprietors, or better yet, partnerships could randomly select a
flashcard and develop their own demonstration of its meaning. What a
great opening set for today’s lesson if a couple of students shared
the vocab definition by acting it out. Try partners determining profit,
or a corporation giving dividends to first preferred stockholders, then
general stockholders. Demonstrate limited vs. unlimited liability. Let
everyone have an opportunity to act out vocab words.
What a difference it makes when your students focus on the concepts and
not puzzle over your words when you explain Economics. Start with vocab
and help students make it their own!
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Clone an iPad or iPod Touch
Hand is an
educator's resource for using some of the coolest technologies
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
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.
Melissa Dills is an Ohio kindergarten teacher and has a
of iPads in Kindergarten. Melissa recently contacted me
with this question:
I currently have 5 ipads in
my kindergarten classroom. I back up my 'original' one on
iCloud and it pushes out the apps to the other four. My
question is do you know of a way to get them to go into the
appropriate folder They are just going onto the screen instead of
the folder I put it into on my original. Thanks for your great
website. It is very helpful!
It's very convenient to enable Automatic Downloads of
apps in the Store section of Settings on iOS devices. This
automatically downloads new purchases (including free) made on other
devices and in iTunes. You just need to be signed into the same
iTunes account on all of your devices. Don't worry; you don't have
to input the account's password each time an automatic download
happens (that would be annoying).
As Melissa points out, apps
are indeed automatically downloaded, but they are not placed into
folders or even necessarily onto the same Home screens. Currently
Apple does not provide a way to synchronize folders among devices.
Other settings, like wallpaper and sounds, are also not synced and
have to be set up manually on each device. With older students,
teachers can have them place apps in folders and make settings
consistent across devices.
In Melissa's situation with
younger students and only five devices, she could set up one
of the iPads as a master. That means she would move apps
into folders or onto specific Home screens and configure settings.
After she has the iPad exactly the way she wants it, she will
connect to iTunes, right-click the iPad's name in iTunes' sidebar,
and choose Back Up.
After back up is complete,
Melissa will disconnect the master iPad. Then, she'll connect one of
her other four iPads, right-click the iPad's name in iTunes'
sidebar, and choose Restore from Backup.
iTunes will ask Melissa to
choose a backup to restore onto the current device. She'll of course
choose the backup of the master iPad.
It will probably take some
time for the restore to complete. When done, this iPad will be a
clone of the master. That means all apps will be in the same
folders, Home screens will be identical, and settings will match
exactly. I suggest that Melissa rename the iPad so that
it's not confused with the master iPad.
Melissa can restore her other
three iPads from the master's backup as well. Afterwards, all five
of her iPads will be set up identically. Because iTunes allows you
restore only one iPad at a time, Melissa probably won't want to go
through this process very often. She'll probably still rely on
automatic downloading of apps and manually putting into folders
unless she has downloaded a large number of apps that would take
lots of time to sort.
Now, this method of restoring
from a backup of a master device will replace all data with that
from the master. That means images, recordings, and any high scores
will be erased from the other devices.
from a backup can also save teachers time if they customize an app.
For example, Learn
How to Spell from Grasshopper
Apps is fully customizable. You can use the sets of words that
are included in the app. But even better, you can add your own
words, complete with your own images and voice recordings.
It can take lots of time to
make customized sets of words within the app. In a classroom like
Melissa's where there are a small number of iPads that can be used
as a center, it saves a lot of time and repetition to use the
cloning method above to copy the customized sets from a master iPad
to other devices. Perhaps one day Grasshopper Apps will update their
apps to save customized lists to iCloud so they can be easily copied
to other devices. Until then, restoring from a backup is the way to
copy the app's data from one device to another.
Canby Schools in Oregon have
deployed hundreds of iPod touches using this restore from
backup technique. Joseph Morelock has written how they do it in the
wiki article Imaging
iPod touch Devices Using iTunes Restore.
Order your own iPod Touch Today with the links below:
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:
of these modules runs at three different levels, from easy to
At each level, the individual's performance is depicted as
A feedback has been built into the software for all these 18
levels depending on the marks one scores during the
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
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
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.
HERE to order your own copy today:
For The Things They Don't Teach You In College
Pods and Classroom Setup
up small learning groups, or communities, in your class requires
planning, not just in your instruction, but also in the physical
space of your room.
I decided to change my teaching style from a teacher-centered, lecture
format to a student-centered, project format, I had to seriously
contemplate how my room and its instructional resources were arranged.
knew I wanted to set up student 'pods' of four to five students.
Four makes a great sized group, but five is starting to push it.
These sizes also fit with the number of computers I had
available. Each pod needed
one computer for the group to use, as well as work space, achieved by
placing desks next to each other forming a table.
placed the pods at the outside walls for a few important
was to get some elbow space between students and groups.
'traditional' classroom and the 'student-centered' classroom
are very different both in philosophy and in the
wanted to eliminate interaction between groups so students could
concentrate on their own group's activities.
Secondly, this arrangement allowed me to monitor the computers at
all times. Third, this
setup created better traffic flow through the room, since students would
often need to move back and forth to the central resource center.
set up the resource and presentation center in the center of the
classroom. This is where I
keep student file cabinets (the short types), dictionaries &
thesauri, school supplies, and art-type supplies.
combined this storage area with my podium, overhead projector, and the
other tech equipment like vcr or dvd players,
previously taught in the traditional manner, I've found the
pod setup, or student-centered class, to be both a challenge
and a benefit to student learning."
projectors, and the like.
This allows for easy student access to all resources,
and I can effectively use all of my wall space when I need to
'traditional' classroom and the 'student-centered' classroom are very
different both in philosophy and in the application. The basics of
setting up your classroom to reflect the learning environment you've
envisioned must be thought through carefully before jumping right into
previously taught in the traditional manner, I've found the pod setup,
or student-centered class, to be both a challenge and a benefit to
student learning. Now that I've had a chance to compare them, my
students and I prefer the pods.
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
/ 21st Century Teaching Corner
Audience Feedback for the Teacher
By Mark Benn, Instructional
Benn earned his B.S. from Western
Michigan University and his Elementary Certification from
Northern Michigan University. He is a 20 year teaching
veteran of 5th and 6th grade students at Inland Lakes Middle
School in Indian River, MI. He finished his Masters of
Integration of Technology from Walden University.
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 the Mackinac State Historic Parks as a historical
Here's an excellent article I encountered recently with a new app
designed to give the teacher / instructor feedback from the student
audience. Use this link to read about it, and check out the video below:
By Debbie Cluff
The set up of a classroom is very important to how a classroom is being
managed. The teacher needs to make sure his/her classroom is arranged
for the students to be productive. The teacher also needs to make sure
their classroom has a positive environment for the students as they
enter the classroom. Another key fact a teacher needs to consider is
that their classroom needs to be ready for learning everyday. This is
because in order to manage a classroom with proper discipline, a product
and active classroom set-up is important. The students need to be placed
in an arrangement that will keep them focused on the lesson and not
deter them from learning. In this paper, we will discuss and provide
ways for a lower elementary classroom to be set up.
Our map shows the classroom is arranged in centers. The students will
sit in groups of six in four different groups. The reasoning behind the
groups is that the students will be able to learn how to work with
others. The students will also be able to motivate each other to do
their work. The desks are arranged in the middle of the classroom so it
will allow the teacher to walk around the room freely. Plus the teacher
will be able to control the students in a more compact area. The setting
of the desk will also help students to stay on task.
In the corner of the classroom is a “cozy” reading nook which will
contain the classroom library. This area will provide a “home”
feeling and help the students to feel relax when they are in this area.
The reading nook will also be a place for students to go to when they
have completed their work and want to read a book in a cozy are. If a
child is able to feel at home in the reading nook this can cut down on
behavior problems for the teacher. In the reading nook, this area is a
quite place. The reading nook is not located in the same area as
everything else in the classroom. By having the reading nook in the
corner of the classroom, it will help to promote reading in the
The listening center and computer station will be placed on the outside
of the classroom. The centers will be facing the walls because the
students will be rotating to the varies centers within the classroom.
Plus, while students are at their centers they will need to be able to
concentrate on their work. Also, located on the outside of the classroom
are the storage areas for Science, Math, Art and Writing materials. This
storage area allows the students to have a centrally located area to
receive and place materials for Science, Math, Art and Writing. Plus,
this area will help the teacher to keep his/her classroom organized.
The student’s desk will also serve as centers. During center time
students will be able to move around the whole room to gain information.
At each group their will be a different theme for students to learn
about. By having the centers on both the inside and the outside of the
classroom will enable the teacher to focus the students’ attention to
their center activity instead of just rotating around the room. This
will keep the flow of the classroom and will not give the students time
to mess around maintaining classroom structure and discipline.
Teacher’s Desk Location
The teacher’s desk is located in the back of the classroom. The reason
of this arrangement is that this will help the teacher to promote a
student – centered classroom. By having the desk located in the back
of the classroom the teacher will have full sight of his/her entire
classroom at all times. Plus, the teacher will only use the desk for
paper work. The rest of the time the teacher will be in the same area as
Print Rich Environment
Not only is the arrangement of the desk important to the classroom but
the motivation the classroom has to offer the students. To have a
print-rich-environment, the teacher needs to have posters and signs that
help to promote literature in the classroom. By having posters and signs
on the classroom walls and bulletin boards will help the students gain a
great deal of experiences with the different types of literature. Plus
the students can do a read around the room, while sitting in the reading
nook. By providing a print-rich environment, the students will be placed
in a positive learning atmosphere that promotes learning thus preventing
In conclusion, the arrangement of the classroom is a very key part of
how well the students will learn and interact with their classmates and
their teacher. If a classroom is disorganized and clustered, then it
will be kind of hard for a child to work and learn new skills. Plus, the
teacher needs to take time to make sure his/her room is set up for
learning because no matter how well your lesson plans are completed and
ready to be presented. If the students do not feel comfortable in the
room then the lesson plan will be presented in a way the teacher wanted
Social anxiety is an experience of fear, apprehension or worry
regarding social situations and being evaluated by others. People vary
in how often they experience anxiety in this way or in which kinds of
situations. Anxiety about public speaking, performance, or interviews is
Arguably the most important clinical point to emerge from studies of
social anxiety disorder is the benefit of early diagnosis and treatment.
Social anxiety disorder remains under recognized in primary care
practice, with patients often presenting for treatment only after the
onset of complications such as major depression or substance use
disorders. Improvement is lower for those with more severe social phobia
and with comorbid disorders, such as avoidant personality disorder and
depression. The patients who achieve full resolution are usually far
fewer; there are still many who, after receiving treatment, are unable
to function in the long-term without anxiety symptoms.
Research has provided evidence for the efficacy of two forms of
treatment available for social phobia: certain medications and a
specific form of short-term psychotherapy called cognitive-behavioral
therapy (CBT), the central component being gradual exposure therapy.
Selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a
class of antidepressants, are considered by many to be the first choice
medication for generalized social phobia. These drugs elevate the level
of the neurotransmitter serotonin, among other effects. The first drug
formally approved by the Food and Drug Administration was paroxetine,
sold as Paxil in the US. Compared to older forms of medication, there is
less risk of tolerability and drug dependency. However, their efficacy
and increased suicide risk has been subject to controversy.
In a 1995 double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, the
SSRI paroxetine was shown to result in clinically meaningful improvement
in 55% of patients with generalized social anxiety disorder, compared
with 23.9% of those taking placebo. An October 2004 study yielded
similar results. Patients were treated with either fluoxetine,
psychotherapy, fluoxetine and psychotherapy, placebo and psychotherapy,
and a placebo. The first four sets saw improvement in 50.8 to 54.2% of
the patients. Of those assigned to receive only a placebo, 31.7 percent
achieved a rating of 1 or 2 on the Clinical Global
Impression-Improvement scale. Those who sought both therapy and
medication did not see a boost in improvement.
General side-effects are common during the first
weeks while the body adjusts to the drug. Symptoms may include
headaches, nausea, insomnia and changes in sexual behavior. Treatment
safety during pregnancy has not been established. In late 2004 much
media attention was given to a proposed link between SSRI use and
juvenile suicide. For this reason, the use of SSRIs in pediatric cases
of depression is now recognized by the Food and Drug Administration as
warranting a cautionary statement to the parents of children who may be
prescribed SSRIs by a family doctor. Recent studies have shown no
increase in rates of suicide. These tests, however, represent those
diagnosed with depression, not necessarily with social anxiety disorder.
However, it should be noted that due to the nature of the conditions,
those taking SSRIs for social phobias are far less likely to have
suicidal ideation than those with depression.
Although SSRIs are often the first choice for treatment, other
prescription drugs are also commonly issued, sometimes only if SSRIs
fail to produce any clinically significant improvement.
In 1985, before the introduction of SSRIs, anti-depressants such as
monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) were frequently used in the
treatment of social anxiety. Their efficacy appears to be comparable or
sometimes superior to SSRIs or Benzodiazepines. However, because of the
dietary restrictions required, high toxicity in overdose, and
incompatibilities with other drugs, its usefulness as a treatment for
social phobic's is now limited. Some argue for their continued use,
however, or that a special diet does not need to be strictly adhered to.
A newer type of this medication, Reversible inhibitors of monoamine
oxidase subtype A (RIMAs) inhibit the MAO enzyme only temporarily,
improving the adverse-effect profile but possibly reducing their
Benzodiazepines are a short-acting and more potent alternative to
SSRIs. The drug is often used for short-term relief of severe, disabling
anxiety. Although benzodiazepines are still sometimes prescribed for
long-term use in some countries, there is much concern over the
development of drug tolerance, dependency and recreational abuse.
Benzodiazepines augment the action of GABA, the major inhibitory
neurotransmitter in the brain; effects usually begin to appear within
minutes or hours.
Some people with a form of social phobia called performance phobia
have been helped by beta-blockers, which are more commonly used to
control high blood pressure. Taken in low doses, they control the
physical manifestation of anxiety and can be taken before a public
Research has shown that a form of psychotherapy that
is effective for several anxiety disorders, particularly panic disorder
and social phobia is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). It has two main
components. The cognitive component helps people become aware of and to
change thinking patterns that keep them from overcoming their fears. A
person with social phobia might be helped to question how they can be so
sure that others are continually watching and harshly judging him or
her. The behavioral component of CBT seeks to change people's reactions
to anxiety-provoking situations. A key element of this component is
gradual exposure, in which people confront the things they fear in a
structured, sensitive manner. The aim is also to learn from acting
differently and observing reactions (behavioral 'experiments'). This is
intended to be done with support and guidance when the therapist and
patient feel they are ready. Cognitive-behavior therapy for social
phobia also includes anxiety management training, which may include
techniques such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation exercises, which
may be practiced 'in-situ'. CBT may also be conducted partly in group
sessions (Cognitive behavioral group therapy), facilitating the sharing
of experiences, a sense of acceptance by others and undertaking
behavioral challenges in a trusted environment.
Some studies have suggested social skills training
can help with social anxiety. Whether specific social skills techniques
and training are required, rather than just support with general social
functioning and exposure to social situations, does not seem to be
Interpersonal Therapy has been shown to have efficacy
for depression and a small study of the therapy in the treatment of
social phobia suggests it may also work with social phobia.
Novels by Frank Holes, Jr.
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
, Frank weaves:
A mysterious police report of an unsolvable death in
terrifying encounter in the U.P.’s remote
begun as one man’s therapy, becomes a chronicle of sightings
governmental agent investigates the grisly aftermath of Sigma
family meets more than they expected on the trail north
campfire tale of ancient betrayal handed down through the Omeena
to Dogman Country!
Here For The
Tales From Dogman Country Website
of the Dogman Website
of Sigma Website
Nagual: Dawn of the
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:
A CLASS SET
A Place for Teachers New To The Craft
And Running A Medieval Fair
Running large events, such as a medieval
fair, at school is often too much for most teachers to attempt.
However, with careful planning, and some well directed help, you
can orchestrate a successful, educational, and memorable
experience for your students.
This article, second in the series, describes how you can utilize the
help of outsize sources.
Bringing in outside help required making contacts with locals who had
the skills we needed. We found the leader of the local archery group who
volunteered to bring in bows, arrows, and targets. Our local scoutmaster
was pleased to show and model primitive cooking techniques (most camp
cookery isn't much different than the medieval methods.) A local church
choir agreed to come in and sing and perform a medieval skit. And
several parents who belong to craft groups were honored to be able to
share their skills with the kids.
A great share of the details were researched on-line. Authentic costumes
and dress were developed by looking at examples on the internet. Banners
and heraldry, customs, meal etiquette and menus, weapons and armor, and
peasant life were all thoroughly researched online by our students.
Well before the fair, our students worked through the curriculum. The
social studies class completed their chapters on the medieval European
time period. English class read exerpts from the tales of King Arthur
and Robin Hood (you can find many printable copies online). Both classes
practiced SQ3R reading skills on several handouts dealing with medieval
culture and civilization. Science class completed their reports on
historic European inventors. Even our math class supplemented story
problems with medieval aspects. Art class created the students' costumes
and medallions, and built the castle backdrops and scenery.
Our food menu was developed after carefully researching on-line. We
first checked on foods that wouldn't be available, either because they
hadn't been developed yet, or they were native to the new world and
hadn't been discovered during medieval times. We then checked out
recipes and dishes that we could realistically prepare. See the links
below for more information.
We did have to make a few concessions, based on what we could get.
Even though we weren't completely authentic, we were very close. For
example, instead of meat pies, our cafeteria food supplier had pasties.
Instead of fruit pastries and turnovers, we ordered fruit pies. We
avoided the necessary foods. We also found several side dish recipes for
students to make at home. The parents brought in the dishes in the
morning, and our kitchen staff kept them warm until lunch. In the
overall scheme of the day, we provided an excellent balanced meal based
on medieval traditions. You can see the entire menu at the end of this
But the biggest change in personnel was the contact we made with a group
of medieval re-enactors. It took several phone calls and emails to
finally locate a couple who were interested in meeting with us.
They listened to our plans and ideas, and not only made suggestions, but
also volunteered to visit school several times during the marking
period. They taught our students about heraldry, symbols, and medieval
weapons, food, and dress. They also worked with the students on creating
appropriate clothing. They suggested making simple 'tabards',
loose-fitting over shirts that acted like combination vest and cape.
Hanging to just above the knees, the tabards were tied with twine around
the waist. The girls made simple headbands with flowing material over
The students also needed an insignia, a heraldry symbol on a colored
background. Our elementary art teacher was kind enough to offer clay and
glazing for our students to make pottery goblets and insignia to wear
around their necks. This was a fun diversion over several Friday
afternoons, our students working with elementary students and their
In the art classes, students made banners and tapestries, displaying
aluminum punched and decorated shields. Students also created background
elements to hang on the gym walls, transforming boring painted cement
walls into an old-fashioned castle wall made of various sized and
Donated appliance boxes from a local warehouse store were transformed
into castle walls and towers by painting stone blocks, windows,
doorways, and battlements on them. Students used gray paint to create
the stone and black paint for the chinking. Visual elements such as
archways made of curved blocks and cracked or broken sections of stone
added to the reality of windows and doorways.
These boxes were then placed around the gym in strategic locations (for
example to cover up the baskets and volleyball equipment). Boxes that
were still sturdy and intact could be built up one atop another to form
towers and give the illusion of height. You need not cover every square
inch to give the illusion of being in a castle; spread the decorations
around and let your students' minds do the rest.
Another project we do is to create tapestries to hang as dividers
between stations. Students bring in old bed sheets and our best artists
paint castle scenes on them. We've collected half a dozen of these
tapestries over the past few years, trying to add a few each year. The
nice thing about this is you can fold them up and save them for future
events. Some tapestries show suits of armor, treasure chests, castle
walls and windows to the medieval world.
Set up the site the day or two before, and have a plan for decorating
and traffic flow. We divided up our students into equal groups and
developed a traffic flow pattern so they rotated to each group in an
orderly fashion. We wanted a central location for our feast, right in
front of the acting/presentation area (since feasts were accompanied by
songs and music, dancing, skits and plays, and other forms of
merriment). For us, we wanted to be in front of our stage, located on
the long side of our gym. Since we were using our middle school gym, we
had to reserve it several months ahead to avoid conflict with sports
practices. In general it was not a problem, as long as coaches and
janitors knew well ahead of time.
Look for more in the next segment!
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"Insights on Love"
In a survey of 4-8 year olds,
kids share their views on love. But what do little kids know
about love? Read on and be surprised that despite their young
and innocent minds, kids already have a simple but deep grasp of
that four-letter word.
Love is that first feeling you feel before all
the bad stuff gets in the way.
When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and
paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her
all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's
When someone loves you, the way she says your name is
different. You know that your name is safe in her mouth.
God could have said magic words to make the nails fall off the
cross, but He didn't. That's love.
Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving
cologne and they go out and smell each other.
Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your
french-fries without making them give you any of theirs.
Love is what makes you smile when you're tired.
Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes
a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is ok.
Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop
opening presents for a minute and look around.
Love is hugging. Love is kissing. Love is saying no.
Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are
still friends even after they've know each other so well.
Love comes from people's hearts, but God made hearts.
What's New @
Welcome to our first February issue. This month, our web partner Tony Vincent shares
tips on how to clone an iPad or iPod Touch, while tech writer Mark Benn
shares an awesome app for audience feedback for teachers and/or
Our Website of the Month features the
ever famous Grammar Girl, and we have some great follow-up articles on
our series on the Medieval Fair and Social Anxiety There are also great articles for new teachers and student
Look for more real math problems from Mary Ann
Graziani, science activities from Helen De la Maza, and the Article of the Week
from Frank Holes, Jr. Be sure to join up on our FACEBOOK page for StarTeaching for more reader
interaction as well as constant, updated streams of educational
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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