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The Apple iPod As A Great
Learning and Resource Tool
By Ken Cheong
There is no doubt that the Apple iPod has
become a common item amongst today's youth as a great music
player. But is the iPod more than just a music player?
In fact, the iPod is more than a music player. It is also a great
teaching and learning tool as well. And it is guaranteed to help you
Besides music, the iPod also plays audio books. These are essentially
books that has been converted into a audio format and saved as a MP3
file. From a technical angle, there is no difference in the file format
between a music or a book and you can download and play the same audio
book off your computer or your iPod. This opens you to a whole library
of 'books' for your iPod.
These can include many great books found in public domains and
downloaded for free. There are also many good commercial 'books' that
you can purchase for a small price. These audio books are great as you
can play them over and over again in the car, on the train or even on
the plane. It's a good way to kill time and gain knowledge at the same
The best thing about audio books is that you do not need to read. Let
the book read to you and this can be a great enhancement for learning
while driving or while sitting in a shaky bus or train.
Have you also heard of podcasting? If you have not, these are simply
audio files published by individuals or companies covering interest
topics ranging from music, technology, current affairs, news, politics,
cars, sales and marketing, electronics, fashion to many other
interesting niche areas.
They then put up these audio files in certain podcast stations on the
Most podcast are free and you can download and treat them just like
audio books. Similarly, you can subscribe and organize these podcast on
your computer iTunes and then synchronize them to your iPod. It's also a
great way to gain knowledge while driving or taking transport to school
What is gaining fast popularity today is video podcast. Video podcast
are essentially video files that can be downloaded and again, it covers
a great genre of subject. (As a matter of fact, I am learning about
designing my own podcast by watching a video podcast of this subject.)
However, you can only watch a video podcast on your computer or on
the latest iPod video model. All earlier models of iPod will not be
capable of playing video. With the iPod video, you can also output the
video signal to a normal TV and watch the entire podcast on TV as well.
What's more, you can watch them, stop them, rewind them or repeat
these audio or video podcasts as often as you like. What better way to
So who says that iPods are meant for music only?
Ken Cheong / Katherine Xie have 4 iPods
starting from the 2G model. Katherine runs a popular website, http://www.smart-ipod-ideas.com,
that gives tips on iPods as well as showcase quality iPod
accessories from Japan.
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Ways To Evaluate Educational
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.
I am conducting a series of workshops in Florida and was
asked to share a rubric to help teachers evaluate educational apps as
part of the workshop. In 2010 Harry Walker developed a rubric,
and I used his rubric (with some modifications by Kathy Schrock) as the
basis for mine.
I kept in mind that some apps are used to practice a
discrete skill or present information just one time. Others are creative
apps that a learner may use again and again, so it's a challenge to
craft a rubric that can be used for a wide span of purposes. I tried to
make my rubric work for the broadest range of apps, from drill and
practice to creative endeavors, while stressing the purpose for using
My rubric also emphasizes the ability to customize content
or settings and how the app encourages the use of higher order thinking
skills. Admittedly, there are good apps that are not customizable and
focus on lower order thinking skills. Factor
Samurai, for example, is a fantastic game for identifying
prime and composite numbers. It would be nice if the app had flexibility
to adjust difficultly, but it's still a good app if it is relevant to
the learning purpose.
Here's what I chose to spotlight in my rubric:
The app’s focus has a strong connection to the purpose for
the app and appropriate for the student
App offers complete flexibility to alter content and settings
to meet student needs
Student is provided specific feedback
App encourages the use of higher order thinking skills
including creating, evaluating, and analyzing
Student is highly motivated to use the app
Specific performance summary or student product is saved in app
and can be exported to the teacher or for an audience
An app’s rubric score is very dependent on the intended
purpose and student needs. The score you give an app will differ from
how others score it. Again, apps that score low may still be good apps.
But, it is handy to score apps if you are making purchasing decisions
and/or have multiple apps to choose from.
Download the Education
App Evaluation Rubric.
Perhaps more useful than a rubric is a checklist, so I
developed one. I based my checklist on one created by Palm Beach County
Schools and Edudemic.com. The checklist addresses both instructional and
technical aspects of an app. For simplicity of purchasing, my list
favors free apps and apps that do not have in-app purchases. Don't get
me wrong, there are certainly fantastic paid apps.
The bottom line is what makes an effective app is one that
does what you need it to do. And it's even better if it does it an
inexpensive and engaging ways. There probably isn't an app that would
receive all checks on my list, but in general, the more checks, the
better the app is for education.
Here's my list:
- Use of app is relevant to the purpose and student
- Help or tutorial is available in the app
- Content is appropriate for the student
- Information is error-free, factual, and reliable
- Content can be exported, copied, or printed
- App’s settings and/or content can be customized
- Customized content can be transferred to other devices
- History is kept of student use of the app
- Design of app is functional and visually stimulating
- Student can exit app at any time without losing
- Works with accessibility options like VoiceOver and
- App is free of charge
- No in-app purchases are necessary for intended use of
- App loads quickly and does not crash
- App contains no advertising
- App has been updated in the last 6 months
- App promotes creativity and imagination
- App provides opportunities to use higher order
- App promotes collaboration and idea sharing
- App provides useful feedback
Download the Educational
App Evaluation Checklist.
I welcome your comments as my thinking about what makes a
good app, my rubric, and my checklist are all a work in progress.
Other educators have also put thought into
evaluating educational apps. I'd like to point you to more rubrics and
Evaluation of an iPad/iPod App is a yes/no checklist and has
a place to write a summary of the app. It's by Kathy Schrock.
Mobile App Review Checklist is from Palm Beach County Schools
and Edudemic.com. It provides a yes/no checklist within Curriculum
Compliance, Operational, and Pedagogy categories.
Application Selection Rubric is from eSkillsLearning.net and
is a simple chart with criteria like aligned to Common Core
Standards, Levels of Difficulty, and Various Modes of Play.
Apps for Special Needs is a detailed rubric specific for
selecting apps for students with special needs. It's by Jeannette Van
App Assessment Rubric for Librarians is from the Chicago
Public Schools Department of Libraries. It's a Google Forms template you
can use to collect app assessments.
Maybe more significant than evaluating the app itself is
evaluating how the app supports instruction that infuses technology to
create a powerful learning environment. The Arizona
Technology Integration Matrix is a rubric for teachers to
assess their level of technology integration across five elements of
meaningful learning environments.
Arizona's matrix is based on the Florida
Technology Integration Matrix. Like the Arizona version, Florida's
features detailed explainations, videos, and lessons.
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
Emergency Lesson Plans:
Everyone gets those situations in life where
an emergency has come up, and you don't have the time (or
sometimes the ability) to get a good lesson plan in to school
for your students. Maybe you have a family emergency or a
disrupted travel plan and you just cannot get into school to
leave detailed lessons. That is why it is essential for you to
have an emergency lesson plan available and handy.
The emergency lesson plan should be able to be used at ANY point in
the year. It doesn't have to fit in with what you're currently doing
(nor should it - it is to be used when you cannot leave normal sub
plans). The lesson should be related to your normal curriculum, but it
could be a supplement or a enrichment activity.
Get a folder (or a three-ring binder), and label it appropriately on the
outside cover. There are even folders you can purchase (some schools
even make these available to teachers) labeled 'sub folder' or
'emergency plans'. Also make sure you have an appropriate spot for your
emergency folder on or in your desk area. Some schools will ask you to
keep an emergency plan in the office. In either case, make sure it is
easily accessible by a substitute teacher.
Think about keeping class activities to 10 to 15 minute increments. This
way the sub will have better control of your kids. Students have
difficulties adjusting to changes in their routines, and you don't want
to have to return to discipline referrals.
Keep the information organized and easily accessible for a sub.
Remember, the sub won't know where you normally keep things, and they
can't read your mind. Spell out exactly what you want done, where it can
be found, and what you want done with it when they're finished.
Make sure you have made enough copies of any worksheets so the sub
doesn't have to. And be sure to leave answer keys. Many subs will
actually even grade your assignments for you if you ask them in your
Get this done early in the year, and you can save yourself many
headaches later, not to mention worries about what will happen in your
room if you are unable to be there.
EMERGENCY LESSON PLAN IDEAS:
Language Arts: Include short writing activities involving students
opinions. Thus they don't have to have 'background' information, and
they can write from their own experiences. Parts of speech review can
include mad-libs or easy, fun worksheets.
Math: Leave a calculator activity. These could even be puzzles or
partner games. Or give review problems.
Science: Copy a science article and have students read carefully and
answer questions. Make speculations and use the scientific method. Or
have students create the plans for a lab activity.
Reading: Leave students a copy of a short story or article, and
questions to answer. You could even set up a 'test-taking' exercise, and
discuss appropriate answers and strategies.
Social Studies: Map activities are great for emergency plans. You can
even set up a one-day unit on any area/region of the world, including
your own town or city.
Everyone gets those situations in life where an emergency has come up,
and you don't have the time (or sometimes the ability) to get a good
lesson plan in to school for your students. Maybe you have a family
emergency or a disrupted travel plan and you just cannot get into school
to leave detailed lessons. That is why it is essential for you to have
an emergency lesson plan available and handy.
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
The Ultimate Math & Science Homework Helper
By Mark Benn, Instructional
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 K–12 marketplace. Our website is:
You've got to check out the website I'm showing below. This
gives homework help for virtually any science or math textbook in the
country! Students can simply type in the page number of their
book, and every question is detailed, showing the steps to find the
answere. Use this link to read about it, and check out the instructional
the Reluctant Reader
By Katie Shuler
Do you have a child that does
well in all academic areas of study, but for whatever reason can’t or
won’t read? If so, you aren’t alone. Parents and teachers constantly
struggle with reluctant readers, and finding ways to get them to want
Some children struggle with reading
fluency. If they are
reading very slowly, or not able to really put sentences together, that
definitely isn’t motivating. You could try having more time for
reading aloud. Having parents, or older siblings, read to children helps
them hear what they are trying to accomplish with reading fluency. Also,
along with reading aloud, you could have your children read along with
audiobooks. Having the words in front of them, while listening to how
they are read, would be an excellent learning exercise.
If it’s not reading fluency
that is hindering your child’s ability to read, maybe they need to
work on their reading
vocabulary. Building a
strong vocabulary is certainly a big benefit when it comes to reading,
but there are so many other areas in life where it’s just as
important; writing, critical thinking and verbal expression – just to
name a few. There are several ways your child can work on their
vocabulary. They play games, both board games and online games. They can
use flash cards (hey, they work for math facts!); even a good crossword
puzzle can lead to improvement.
Sometimes a child can
read but won’t. In this situation, you may want to consider letting
them chose what to read. If they like comic books, give them a stack. If
they like playing video games, have them read the game guides to their
favorite games. If they enjoy cooking, have them thumb through recipe
books and cooking magazines. If your goal is to jump start their desire
to read, then forcing them to read something they don’t enjoy may not
Another thing to consider?
Technology. Sounds crazy, but giving my oldest an ereader made the
biggest difference! He had the hardest time wanting to read. The books
he was interested were very large and he always felt uncomfortable
holding them. He would also get easily intimidated by how many pages
he’d read versus how many were left. Once he started reading with the
ereader, he no longer had to worry about a heavy book, or setting it
down and losing his place, etc. He also no longer felt encumbered by how
much he had to go to the end. We went from “how much longer do I have
to read?” to “can I just read for a little longer?” in an instant.
One last note; be patient. I
discovered with my youngest that the more I pushed, the more he
rebelled. I got to a point where I realized that I needed to back off a
little…for his sake and for my own. I started letting him take the
initiative. Six months ago, my seven year old could barely get through a
book targeted for Kindergarten aged children. Now he is reading chapter
books aimed at second and third graders, which is right on target with
where he is “supposed” to be.
|Katie Shuler is a computer
junkie, workbook hating, TV watching, iGadget addicted, secular
homeschooling, soccer mom. A not-so-country girl, living in
very country small town, she has been homeschooling her two boys
(ages 7 and 12) since 2005. You can get a little glimpse of her
when you visit her blog: You.
Katie's Homepage: katwonkas.blogspot.com
Optimism to the Pessimistic Child
Any advice for the child who sees the world as half empty?
Parents can attest to the fact that some
children see the world through an optimistic lens while others
from a pessimistic outlook. To the former, life’s challenges
are viewed as opportunities to stretch one self and defeats are
taken in stride, easily assimilated and placed in perspective.
The pessimist prevents disappointment by restricting experiences
or not putting maximum effort into goals due to a belief that
things won’t work out. Parents are stymied by this child’s
gloominess despite attempts to point out the positives in life.
If your child sees their world as
half-empty read on for ways to coach optimism:
Educate yourself about the psychological
process of interpretation error whereby a prevailing thinking
bias distorts the perception of ambiguity. Think of it as somber
subtitles that appear in one’s field of vision each time an
event has an uncertain outcome. Imagine statements such as
“I won’t have a good time” or “I may as well not bother
trying” sucking the enthusiasm out of life, along with the
capacity to push oneself to the limit. Now imagine that your
child is bombarded by such harmful thinking a lot more than they
verbalize. Pessimism can be likened to a hovering cloud of doubt
that rains on our children’s spirits and provides a false
sense of familiar safety.
Understand that the development of
optimistic thinking involves a broad range of experiential and
internal factors. A child’s accomplishments and successes
within the academic, social, activity, and interests spheres of
life are not enough to chase the cloud away. The older child
must accept they hold a pessimistic bias, identify it when it
erupts into their thinking, and practice disrupting it with a
different train of thought. Don’t expect them to replace it
with rosy optimism but if they can arrive at a neutral mid-point
in their thinking this is a good start. For instance, “I
won’t know unless I try,” rather than “This is going to be
Practice “optimistic evaluation” of
future and past circumstances as life presents the family with
uncertainty and adversity. Although disappointments and trying
situations are inevitable they need not be used as evidence for
the validity of pessimism. Point out how often one can see the
ripples of good fortune that began with an undesirable outcome.
For instance, the tickets were sold out for the must-see movie
but as a result the family unexpectedly bumped into old friends
at the restaurant and your child renewed one of their favorite
friend connections. Similarly, parents need to monitor their own
pessimism since these character traits can be handed down.
Gently educate and encourage your
pessimistic child when you hear the familiar refrain of their
cloudy outlook. Ask them, “Can you rewrite those words in your
mind?” as if you are editing one of their school papers.
Point out how important positive thinking is for their future
goals since it impacts upon confidence and competence and
thereby the many doors of opportunity that await them in life.
Consider the possibility that anxiety may be lurking under the
surface of their pessimism since it often serves as fuel for
this type of thinking. If so, address the anxiety with
|Dr. Steven Richfield is
an author and clinical psychologist in Plymouth Meeting,
PA Contact him at 610-238-4450 or email@example.com
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
The Many Benefits
of Sustained Silent Reading
The benefits of classroom reading are many.
Children (especially young children) have a natural love of
reading. However, we at the middle school often see students who
either struggle with texts or are turned off to reading. A great
way of regenerating that interest is through sustained silent
reading in your classroom.
This topic has been hotly debated recently in the International
Reading Association newsletter. I'm not trying to enter this debate.
This article will simply describe what we in our school have observed
and detail what we've done in our classes that has worked for our
First off, let your students choose what they read, whether it is a
book, magazine, or whatever. It makes a huge difference in peaking their
interest. Teachers already give (and require) plenty of specific
readings through activities, literature, and in textbooks.
Students need the opportunity to read about what interests them, and
this can occur when you allow them to choose what they want to read.
By all means, continue with your regular activities, but find a way to
give your students time (in class is best) to read on their own.
It is very important for you as the teacher to model reading to your
students. Read the entire time your students are reading too. Don't let
this time be wasted on grading papers, checking email, or doing any
other administrivia. If you want your students to take the time
seriously, show them you are taking the time yourself and are enjoying
the activity. Regardless of what the kids may say to you, they will
imitate your behaviors in your class. You have this great opportunity to
be a positive role model!
Just as in practicing writing and their skills through the week, you as
the teacher need to schedule in time for sustained silent reading.
When I'm covering a piece of literature, for example, my class may read
in a variety of ways. We may read aloud, I may read to the class, or we
may play 'popcorn' around the room as students choose others. You
probably have other out-loud reading activities you use too. These are
great, and I always recommend them. But you should always give students
time to read silently too. It doesn't have to be a lot, but I do
recommend at least ten minutes, though not more than twenty. Think in
terms of attention spans: plenty of time to become engaged in the text,
read for a bit, and yet stay focused. Obviously some students could lose
themselves in a book for hours on end, but not all kids have such a long
attention span. Start with ten minutes and work upward, adding a few
minutes each time.
In addition to literature we all cover in class, I also set up a regular
library time so students can select their own books. We'll stay in the
library for, again, about twenty minutes. I give students between ten
and fifteen minutes to look over the shelves and 'try on' a book. Its
like trying on clothing. This trial version is very important so
students can start deciding if this is the book for them. If it
doesn't hook them in the first ten minutes, I suggest they try again.
I'll try to make suggestions based on what I think the students'
interests are. Sometimes we talk about what they like, what their
interests are. Students are not required to check out a book, but they
must 'try out' at least one book at each visit.
We designate each Friday after our vocabulary quiz for sustained silent
reading. Students may read their library book, another book of their
choice, or even a magazine from the rack in my room (I typically collect
old magazines from everywhere and keep them in a large rack in class).
Old magazines include the old stand bys - Reader's Digest, National
Geographic, and Sports Illustrated. But I also gather Teen magazines,
food and cooking, gardening, hunting and fishing, and video game
magazines, among others. This way there are a large variety of topics
for students to choose from.
The bookshelves in my room also have old reference materials and some
outdated textbooks I've scrounged from other teachers. Some of your
students will enjoy looking through drafting texts, recipe books, or
science books, and you'd be surprised at the number of kids who love
maps in social studies, history, or geography text books.
I've noticed a difference, especially in the attitudes of my students
toward reading. Students given choices through the year were more
engaged in the assigned readings through the year. Often, students
(especially struggling students or low readers) have told me they enjoy
reading, or they've found a topic or author they want to read more
about, or the readings I did assign were some of the only ones they
actually read (that year or in several years). Comments like that last
one are bittersweet, because though I'm glad the student has regained
the interest in reading, I'm sorry it took so long and the student was
turned off in the first place. Sustained silent reading and allowing
students to choose their own texts can be very powerful and beneficial
to your students. You can be the teacher who makes a difference to your
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
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
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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School or District Who Would Love to Receive Our Newsletter?
Be sure to
pass along our website and newsletter!
"Happy St. Patrick's
the time of year when spring, and with it the color green, has
sprung around the world.
St. Patrick - The
Patron Saint of Ireland
WHO WAS ST. PATRICK?
St. Patrick was a Christian missionary credited with the
conversion of Ireland from paganism. He lived from the late 4th
century A.D. to the mid 5th century A.D., so long ago that it's
difficult to separate fact from legend.
St. Patrick was born in either Scotland or Wales, the son of
Roman parents living in Britain. When he was about fifteen or
sixteen, he was captured and enslaved by an Irish chieftain
during a raiding party across the sea. He spent several years
enslaved in Ireland, herding and tending sheep and swine. It was
during his captivity that St. Patrick dedicated his life to God.
Legend has it that St. Patrick escaped captivity and Ireland
after a dream in which God instructed him to journey to the
Irish coast where he found a ship that returned him to his
After years of religious study, he became a priest. In a
document attributed to him known as "The Confession",
St. Patrick heard the voice of the Irish in his dreams,
"crying to thee, come hither and walk with us once
more." Eventually, Pope Clemens commissioned St. Patrick as
bishop to preach the gospel to the Celtic people. Arriving back
in Ireland, he commenced an incredible mission, travelling
across the country, preaching and baptizing, ordaining priests
and bishops, erecting churches and establishing places of
learning and worship, despite constant threats to his life. It
has been said that he and his disciples were responsible for
converting almost all the population of Ireland to Christianity.
LEGEND OF THE SERPENTS
The most famous legend about St. Patrick is that he miraculously
drove snakes and all venomous beasts from Ireland by banging a
drum. Even to touch Irish soil was purported to be instant death
for any such creature. However, this legend is probably a
metaphor for his driving the pagans from Ireland, as snakes were
often associated with pagan worship.
WHY THE SHAMROCK?
Finding that the pagan Irish had great difficulty comprehending
the doctrine of the Trinity, St. Patrick held up a shamrock
(similar to a three-leaf clover) to show how the three leaves
combined to make a single plant, just as the Father, Son, and
Holy Ghost combined to make the holy Trinity. The Irish
understood at once, and from that time the shamrock has been the
symbol of the land. Irishmen wear it in their hats on the
WHY MARCH 17th?
It is the death of Saint Patrick, and his recognition as the
patron saint of Ireland, that led to the celebration of March
17th as Saint Patrick's Day. In Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is a
holy, religious time with praying, singing and dance. Outside
Ireland, St. Patrick's Day is primarily a secular celebration of
all things Irish.
There are conflicting versions of the first North American
celebration. One source says it was held in Boston in 1737 by
the Irish Charitable Society, and later in Philadelphia and New
York by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the Ancient Order
of Hibernians. Another source states that on March 17, 1762, a
group of Irish-born soldiers, en route to the local tavern of
renown to honor their patron saint, staged the first parade in
colonial New York, complete with marching bands and colorful
banners. Bystanders and passerby's joined the promenade, singing
Irish ballads and dancing down the cobblestones. The event was
so popular it has been repeated annually since then.
WHAT ABOUT WEARING GREEN?
Ireland's nickname is "The Emerald Isle" because the
grass on the hills is so green. Everyone wears the color green
on St. Patrick's Day to honor The Emerald Isle. If someone
forgets to wear green on St. Patrick's Day, those who are
wearing green are allowed to give the offender a pinch as a
reminder. However, if you pinch someone who is wearing green,
that person gets to pinch you back ten times! Some of the
biggest St. Patrick's Day parades are in Chicago, Illinois, New
York City, and Savannah, Georgia. The city of Chicago goes so
far to celebrate that they dye their river green!
For more Great St. Patrick's Day fun, facts and links visit http://www.blackdog.net/holiday/pat/
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