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Ideas and Features For New Teachers
and Veterans with Class

Volume 8, Issue 18
September 2012
StarTeaching Store Advertise with us Previous Articles Submit an Article FREE Reports Feature Writers Tech Center New Teacher's Niche

Welcome back to our StarTeaching newsletter, 
Features for Teachers, packed full of tips, techniques, and ideas for educators of all students in all levels.

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

What's New @ StarTeaching   Why Online Education Is Growing   Teaching and Coaching: What I Didn't Know and What I Couldn't Know
NEW! Hank Kellner: 
"Write What You See"
Tech/21st Century Corner: 
IXL Math Website
Building Positive Relationships Around Your School - School Librarians
Science Activities for Any Setting   10 Days of Writing Prompts   10 Days of Math Problems
Homeless Education (part 3) New Teacher's Niche:
Third Day of Class Writing Assignment
Student Teachers' Lounge: Using Random Student Cards in Class
Book of the Month Club:
At Play: Teaching Teenagers Theater
  Website of the Month:
Teachers Pay Teachers
  Themes on Life: 
"Sleep When The Wind Blows"
Article of the Week: "Are Americans Smarter Than Ever?"   Autumn Book Sale for Teachers      

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.

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



Why Online Education 
Is Growing

By Michael Lenzen

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

Distance education of one sort or another has been around for a long time. Correspondence courses helped people learn trades on their own free time, while radio or taped television courses educated students in remote areas. Now, with the rapid expansion and evolution of the Internet, online education has become a reality. What began as a convenient means of offering internal training to employees via corporate intranets has now spread to the general public over the worldwide web.

Online-only colleges and career schools have flourished, and traditional ground-based universities are moving courses and degree programs onto the Internet.  It’s now possible to earn a degree from an accredited college without ever setting foot on campus, and more people enroll every year.

Evidence of Growth

The Sloan Consortium, a non-profit foundation, conducts yearly surveys investigating online education. Their most recent report captured the online learning landscape as it stood in 2007-2008, revealing that

  • 20% of all US college students were studying online at least part-time in 2007;
  • 3.9 million students were taking at least one online course during Fall 2007, a growth rate of 12% on the previous year;
  • This growth rate is much faster than the overall higher education growth rate of 1.2%.

Higher Education: Meeting The Need For A Skilled Workforce

Higher education in general has grown greatly. Census data shows that in 1980, only 32% of US adults under 25 had earned a degree or completed any college coursework. By 2000, this number had jumped to 52%. Prosperity has played a role in this growth: as median incomes have risen over the past several decades, more people have been able to afford to send their children to college. Political support for putting people into college education, via Federal funding such as Pell Grants and loans, has also helped increase access to higher education.

However, the main driver behind the increase in higher education is the huge change in the overall economy of the US over the last fifty years. Changes in technology and globalization of the economy means the once-large manufacturing base of the United States has dwindled. Those jobs accounted for 40% of workers in 1950, but by 2000 had shrunk to include only 18% of the workforce. Most workers are now employed by the service sector, where more specialized skills are often a necessary requirement for finding a job. As a result, some post-secondary education is now seen as critical for workplace viability by a majority of the population.

Online Education: Meeting The Needs of the Skilled Workforce

And a majority of the population is now online: in 1997, less than 20% of US households had Internet access. By 2007, that percentage had grown to 61.7%. Internet access took only 7 years to reach 25% of US households, compared with 35 years for the television and 46 for household electricity. As with music, television, and newspapers, higher education needs to move to where the people are if it wants to expand its user base. Also, traditional campuses are having trouble maintaining facilities that meet the growing college population’s needs.  While the cost savings of running an online degree program aren’t tremendous (or at least aren’t a driving concern for university officials), it’s generally easier for colleges to move programs online than it is for them to build extensions to their campuses.

The sagging economy has also been good for online education.  The Sloan Consortium’s findings revealed that many institutions expect more working adults to turn to continuing education to build new skills or enhance existing ones to better their chances in the job marketplace, and also to avoid paying higher fuel costs as commuter students.

This is probably a safe bet: nearly 90 million adults participate in some form of continuing education every year even during good times, according to Census data. The convenience of being able to complete a degree without giving up employment makes online education attractive to working adults. As those adults strive to continue earning, they’ll want to continue learning.

Colorado Technical University
is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association (30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2400, Chicago, Illinois 60602-2504) www.ncahlc.org.

CTU does not guarantee employment, salary, or performance of graduates.


By Michael Lenzen
If you’re looking for an online school that offers a number of career-focused and industry-current online degrees, your search ends here. Learn more about the difference of Colorado Technical University.


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Feature Writer

Using Photography To Inspire Writing

By Hank Kellner

Hank Kellner is a retired teacher of English who has served as a department chair at the high school level and an adjunct associate professor of English at the community college level.

He is the former publisher of Moneygram, a marketing newsletter for photographer.  He is also the creator of many photographs and articles that have appeared in publications nationwide, the author of extensive reading comprehension materials for a publisher of educational materials, and a former contributor to Darkroom Photography magazine.  His self-syndicated series, Twelve Unknown Heroes of the American Revolution appeared in more than fifty newspapers and magazines nationwide.

Kellner's most recent publication, Write What You See: 99 Photos To Inspire Writing, is marked by Prufrock Press.  His blog appears regularly at hank-englisheducation.blogspot.com.

The purpose of Hank's most recent work, Reflect and Write: 270 Poems and Photographs to Inspire Writing, is to inspire student writing through the use of poetry and photography.  

Most of the poems and photos have been submitted by students, teachers, and others nationwide, though some are directly from Hank.  Although Reflect and Write: 270 Poems and Photographs to Inspire Writing has not yet been published, all of its contents are copyrighted.  Teachers are free, however, to download selected contents for use in their classrooms.

Each selection will include a poem, a photograph, a direct quotation, and four trigger words.

We at StarTeaching kindly thank Hank for his permission to use the materials.



By Elizabeth Guy

Listen up, girls!
Men don’t understand women,    
But it’s not their fault.
It’s just the rules of the game.
Remember, Martians and Venusians
Have widely different brains.

He doesn’t get
Why she loves shopping,
Or why she wears
Those come hither clothes
And then says, “Don’t you dare.”

He just doesn’t get all that makeup,
The lipstick, the liners, the hairspray,
The perfumes, the creams for her skin,
Ten different polishes for her nails,
A purse you could cram a car in.

Always changing her clothes
And changing her mind!
It makes a guy want to shout.
It just doesn’t make sense to a man.
What’s all the darn fuss about?                         

Nope, guys don’t understand girls
With their fripperies, fidgets and frills.
They just don’t get it.

But remember—
Girls don’t seem to
Understand guys.


Photo # 33 by Molly Bennett

Photo # 33A by
Hank Kellner
“American women expect to find in their husbands a perfection that English women only hope to find in their butlers.”  
- W. Somerset Maugham
Fripperies    provocative shopping   understanding


By Kym Sheehan

We named it The Singing Bridge.
Its small expanse connects and divides us.
Spanning the creek that leads to sleepy coastal
It’s been silver, grey, and green.
Peeling layers of paint are speckled with rust,
While starbursts of burnt sienna
Surround the rivets holding it together. 

Oh, but it still sings!
When we drive across, its metal floor serenades us.
As we bounce, it hums louder and louder.
Then SMACK! We hit pavement.
Once across, a quick left and we park by the docks.
The odor of brackish water fills our nostrils.
We ignore the “Live Lobsters” sign and trudge
Down the bank
To the water’s edge. 

High tide with no boat traffic.
The surface water glistens;
But there’s darkness below
As a breeze caresses the bridge,
While all the while it sings
And makes beautiful music.



Photo 34 Kym Sheehan


“I stood on the bridge at midnight./As the clocks were striking the hour.”

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
connection    link
 odor   darkness

Copyright 2009 Hank Kellner

These poem/photo combinations are from Hank Kellner's upcoming publication, Reflections: A Collection of Poetry, Photos, and More.


Hank Kellner is the author of Write What You See: 99 Photos To Inspire Writing. Published by Cottonwood Press ( I-800-864-4297) and distributed by Independent  Publishers Group, Write What You See includes a supplementary CD with photos. 8 ½ x11, 120 pages, perfect binding, ISBN 978-1-877-673-83-2, LCCN 2008938630. $24.95. Available at bookstores, from the publisher,  and on the Internet at www.amazon.com and other websites. Ask your school or local librarian to order it.Visit the author’s blog at http://hank-englisheducation.com. The author will contribute a portion of the royalties earned from the sale of this book to The Wounded Warriors Project.


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:



Feature Writer

Building Positive Relationships Around Your School (part 3):  Your Librarian

By Dr. Peter Manute

This is the third article describing why you should 'get in good' with your school librarian.

A good librarian, or media specialist as they are being called in many schools, is certainly an asset to your district. 

The traditional librarian role has been changing rapidly, even over the past ten years.  With great changes in technology and communication, a media specialist must readily handle the tremendous variety of computer hardware, software, and all of those 'connective tissues' - the cables, wires, peripherals, and even the controls of every piece of equipment from vcrs to dvds to camcorders.

The internet has revolutionalized the world's communication and the way we research.  Libraries are moving away from thousands of tomes to computer terminals where entire buildings of information and texts can be found.  Many books and periodicals are now found on-line.  E-books, with their low cost and easily-updated versions, are quickly gaining both popularity and a share of the literary market.  Hand-held computers, which utilize E-books and downloadable text books, are being used around the country.

Your librarian / media specialist can help you with projects you may wish to have students do in class.  These can include basic book reports or research papers, or they may be elaborate multi-media presentations using PowerPoint or other computer programs.  In many cases, libraries are also school computer labs, and if you can get in good with your librarian, you may be able to schedule optimal times for your class. Librarians may also be the ones to check out tech materials, such as vcrs, dvds, and cameras. 

All in all, it is worth your time to get to know your local librarian, and build a positive relationship.  They can make your teaching life easier and more productive.


Grand Valley offers a Masters in Educational Leadership in Boyne City and Cadillac. If you would like to find out more about our program feel free to contact me at: jjudge2935@charter.net  or call me at 231-258-2935.

Many of the topics we will present will be for teachers seeking and administration position and for recently appointed administration. I will also receive comments from those who have just completed their first year as administrators. Since the program in Northern began eleven years ago we have placed over 60 GVSU graduates in administration positions.



Student Teachers' Lounge: 
For The Things They Don't Teach You In College

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.

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



Do You Have Great Ideas, Tips, or Techniques to Share with Our Readers?  
Are You Looking To Be Published?

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  TECH/21st Century CORNER

IXL Math Website

Shared by Mark Benn

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 K–12 marketplace. Our website is: www.vartek.com

Today, I'm sharing a really cool website full of interactive activities for all grades of math.  Check out the link below:

IXL Math Website

Great BLOGS to read on the changes in the way students learn

Doug Johnson The Blue Skunk Blog
Ian Jukes The Committed Sardine
David Warlick Two Cents Worth
Will Richardson WeBloggEd
Kathy Schrock Kaffeeklatsch
Tony Vincent Learning In Hand



Mark Benn received his Masters of Science in Educational Media Design and Technology from Full Sail University in 2010.

Mark Benn earned his B.S. from Western Michigan University and his Elementary Certification from Northern Michigan University.  He is a 25 year teaching veteran of 5th and 6th grade students at Inland Lakes Middle School in Indian River, MI.

Prior to teaching, Mark spent 11 years as Department Manager for Sears, Roebuck and Co. dealing with emerging technologies.  He has been married to his wife Bonnietta for 32 years with one daughter and two sons.  

StarTeaching Featured Writer

Mark Benn is a leading expert in using technology in the classroom.  
You can feel free to contact him on email at mbenn@inlandlakes.org or at his blogsite:  http://www.furtrader.blogspot.com/ 

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




 Guest Writer  


What I didn’t know and what I couldn’t know! 

By Dr. Mike Kanitz, coach and educator

Dr. Mike (Coach) Kanitz has been involved in athletics and education for 60 years at the high school, collegiate, and semi-professional (coaching) levels. He was recently honored with his induction into the Michigan Amateur Football Hall of Fame.  He believes strongly in the interconnection of schooling and athletics.

Coaching and teaching are the same thing in reality. To distinguish them as separate entities would be a mistake. After thirty some years in the classroom, I can honestly say that starting out as a young teacher/coach was very difficult. What I didn’t know and couldn’t know was that my Quarterback would some day be my realtor, my Guard would be my dentist, and one of my Centers would be a car dealer/owner I would buy two cars from. A star Defensive Back would make the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List and a Defensive End would become the warden of the Watergate prison.

I say ‘my’ because of the energy invested in each and all of these youngsters as students and athletes. The oilman who visits two weeks per year at his million-dollar condo near my apartment was my manager. I never should have yelled at him that much! When my children were small and the school secretary would say to me, “You just wait until your children are in high school.”

I couldn’t have known! Her kids were in high school and I couldn’t have known the burden of parenting teenagers! While I was heavy into discipline, I didn’t know discipline was a form of love or respect. As a young teacher I didn’t know that you never take anything youngsters do personally. I incorrectly thought they were stabbing me in the back when they broke “my’ rules. I wasn’t the smartest coach/teacher, but I really was dumb! 

Teaching would have been even more rewarding for me if I had understood that delaying gratification in seeing the fruits of one’s labor was part of the career choice. There is no immediate feedback for the tremendous energy put forth by a teacher. A coach gets a winning season some of the time and a teacher gets a peaceful semester some of the time. But, most of the time, the rewards come a long time after the work is applied. I didn’t understand that dynamic and that led to the pressure and frustration of trying to get it right! 
I always thought batting 300 was something special. How did I not know striking out was 700 percent of the time? How did I not know the space rocket was off course 90 percent of the time on its way to the moon? Why did I think it took off and went straight to the moon, orbiting on its way?

How come I wasn’t told that success in future life has only one statistically significant correlation. And that is involvement in co-curricular or extra curricular activities. I assumed future success was related to academics and grades! 

Did they try to tell us that teaching wouldn’t be all roses in those teacher-education classes? Was I not listening?

Late in my career I finally figured it out. Teaching was a journey, not a destination! When a person gives the self-permission to enjoy the journey, everything seems to change. The individual stops sweating the small stuff, because everything is the small stuff! Teaching is a gift you keep giving back, not something you keep for yourself. When I learned that secret, teaching became a real joy. 

I wish I wasn’t a slow-learner!



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Homeless Education
(part 3)

Courtesy of K12Academics.com

Homeless Children and Education

The original federal Act, known as simply as the McKinney Act, provided little protection for homeless children in the area of public education. As a result, the State of Illinois passed the Illinois Education for Homeless Children Act, which was drafted by Joseph Clary, an attorney and advocate for the Illinois Coalition to End Homelessness. Clary then worked with national advocates to ensure that the protections afforded to homeless children by the Illinois statute were incorporated into the McKinney Act. That point, the McKinney Act was amended to become the McKinney-Vento Act. That Act uses the Illinois statute in defining homeless children as “individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence.” The Act then goes on to give examples of children who would fall under this definition:

    (a) Children sharing housing due to economic hardship or loss of housing;
    (b) Children living in “motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camp grounds due to lack of alternative accommodations”
    (c) Children living in “emergency or transitional shelters”
    (d) Children “awaiting foster care placement”
    (e) Children whose primary nighttime residence is not ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation (e.g. park benches, etc)
    (f) Children living in “cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations…”

Following the Illinois statute, the McKinney-Vento Act also ensures homeless children transportation to and from school free of charge, allowing children to attend their school of origin (last school enrolled or the school they attended when they first become homeless) regardless of what district the family resides in. It further requires schools to register homeless children even if they lack normally required documents, such as immunization records or proof of residence. To implement the Act, States must designate a statewide homeless coordinator to review policies and create procedures, including dispute resolution procedures, to ensure that homeless children are able to attend school. Local school districts must appoint Local Education Liaisons to ensure that school staff are aware of these rights, to provide public notice to homeless families (at shelters and at school) and to facilitate access to school and transportation services.


Article courtesy of K12Academics.com




MythMichigan Books
Novels by Frank Holes, Jr.

Dogman’s Back!

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

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

  A mysterious police report of an unsolvable death in Manistee County

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

A BLOG, begun as one man’s therapy, becomes a chronicle of sightings from around Michigan

A secret governmental agent investigates the grisly aftermath of Sigma

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

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

Welcome to Dogman Country!


Click Here For The
Tales From Dogman Country Website


Now Available!

Year of the Dogman Website
Now Available!

Haunting of Sigma Website
Now Available!

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




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





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

Third Day of Class Writing Assignment

The writing process is important to focus on for all teachers.  The Third Day Assignment gets our kids into the swing of essay writing for the year. 

This is the first real attempt by our students to write a paragraph under the rules and guidelines for their grade level. The topic is easy, because it asks them to describe something they learned during the first two days of school. There are dozens of things students learn those two days, in school (classes, passing periods, lunch time, recess) and out of school (at home, at practice, at clubs or organizations, with their families or friends).

Brainstorming and organizing are key to the first paragraph, so we spend a great deal of time in discussion of the topic. It is important that each student has a concrete example to use in his or her paragraph. Have students fill out the graphic organizer, and go over it with them. Even pair up students if necessary. Teach the prewriting at this point and work hard at it so the students can go through this step quickly in the next writing assignment coming up in a few days.

Be sure to allow a generous amount of time this day for the extended teaching of the prewriting and the students' attempt at writing out a paragraph. Now we know some students will be good at this and really fly through it, and that's fine. Make sure those students have a secondary assignment to work on when they're done. Your real task is getting those middle-of-the-road and below average writers kicked in. Keep the time period risk free and encourage your kids, but also prod and push them to finish. Regardless of how much they completed, be sure to collect ALL the essays at the end of the class period.

Keep in mind that this is the first attempt by your students, and there will be a few pretty good ones, several ok ones, and probably a lot of bad ones. Keep the encouragement going. You want the kids to give you an excellent effort, even if it is a poor product. It's much easier to improve the writing than the student's effort.

Interested in FREE writing activities you can print out and use immediate
ly 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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Sleep When The Wind Blows

Themes on Life

How are you prepared for tough times...

Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast.  He
constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.

As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals.  Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer.

"Are you a good farm hand?" the farmer asked him.

"Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man.

Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him.

The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work.  Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore.

Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. 

He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up!  A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!"

The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot.

Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins.  The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred.  The shutters were tightly secured.

Everything was tied down.  Nothing could blow away. 

The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.

MORAL: When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically,  you have nothing to fear.

Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life?

What's New @ StarTeaching?


Hello readers!  Welcome to the second September Issue of Features for Teachers in 2012!   

This month, we bring another great poetry/photograph selection from Hank Kellner from his upcoming book, Reflect and Write. We also wrap up our series on Homeless Education, and include articles on writing, online education, and building positive relationships.

As always, we have free activities (from Mary Ann Graziani and Frank Holes Jr.) and articles with practical ideas and techniques to be applied directly into your classroom.   

And be sure to check out our article archives on our website: www.starteaching.com 

And be sure to check out our FACEBOOK page for StarTeaching for more reader interaction and constant, updated streams of educational information.  

Thanks again for your continued support!  ~Frank Holes, Jr.


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"Never let life's hardships disturb you ... no one can avoid problems, not even saints or sages."

~ Nichiren Daishonen

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Educational Links

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






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Articles & Archives

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Click to see over 1000 prompts

10 Days Of


What is a dress code?


How are dress codes created?


What are dress codes based on?


Why are dress codes necessary in schools?


How does the way you dress at school determine your academic success?


Do you believe dress codes are necessary?  Why or why not?


Should schools regulate student uniforms?  Why or why not?


How can a dress code still not violate a student's right to expression?


How can a dress code limit a student's right to expression?


 What is your favorite class so far?  Why?

Click to see over 1000 prompts


10 days of writing prompts


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Writing Process Articles

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




Be sure to check out our

At Play: Teaching Teenagers Theater

Elizabeth Swados



Coming Soon:

Preparing for Student Teaching

Technology & Teaching: 21st Century Teaching and Learning

Writing Process and Programs

Article of the Week


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

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See All Weekly Math Problems from 2007-2009!

click here for the math archives!

10 Days of 
Math Problems
by Mary Ann Graziani

Day 1 How do you write 4.2 × 105 in standard form?
Day 2 How do you write 48000 in scientific notation?
Day 3 How do you write 4.16 × 106 in standard form?
Day 4 How do you write 83472.9 in scientific notation?
Day 5 How do you write 36 in scientific notation?
Day 6 How do you write 9.42 × 107 in standard form?
Day 7 How do you write 502400 in scientific notation?
Day 8 How do you write 1.495 × 102 in standard form
Day 9 How do you write 7.93 × 10-2 in standard form?
Day 10 How do you write 5.82 × 103 in standard form?


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




Tech-Ed Articles

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




Science Activities For Any Setting
By Helen de la Maza
Sound Mapping
(click for PDF)

Soil Percolation
(click for PDF)

Click HERE to see all of 
Helen's Science Activities


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Inspirational Quotes
& Photos

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





Learning in Hand is an educator's resource for using some of the coolest technologies with students. Tony Vincent
Tony is a teacher who wants to make education effective, relevant, and fun. He knows handhelds are small computers that can make a big difference in classrooms!  He hopes Learning in Hand inspires and motivates teachers to use technology that students crave.


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Fully endorsed by Frank Holes Jr., editor of Starteaching




Using Photography To Inspire Writing
By Hank Kellner

Visit his blog at: hank-englisheducation.



Article of the Week
"Are Americans Smarter Than Ever?"
Click here to download the PDF
"Murder in Texas?"
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