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Ideas and Features For New Teachers 
and Veterans with Class

Volume 2, Issue 1

January 2006



A Happy New Year to you all from the staff at StarTeaching.  

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!  


Preparing for Emergency Situations

by Frank Holes, Jr.


We know emergency situations can (and will at some point) happen in your class. It may be minor, such as a student becoming sick in your room, or even a practice event like a fire drill or tornado drill. Hopefully you won't encounter a real life-threatening emergency. But you should always be prepared for such instances.

Fire drills are probably the most common situations you will encounter. The best way to handle these is to teach your students what to do in the event of a drill or an actual evacuation. Yes, you can teach this to your students. Fire drills are to be surprises only WHEN they occur, not a surprise in WHAT to do. It is good practice for your students to know exactly what the procedure to follow is. The most important part is to be sure YOU fully understand the school's fire drill procedure and you can confidently teach it to your students.

Making sure all of your students are accounted for is your main responsibility. Thus, your attendance taking is very important. You want to make sure you have a means of carefully checking attendance when you and your students reach your destination. Have your grade book, attendance sheets, or a class roster easily accessible and always in the same location so you can grab it as you leave the room. I use the class roster file on my handheld because it's always with me.

Teach your students to exit the room carefully yet quickly. Instruct them in which direction to turn from your doorway, and what exit is to be used. Always have your kids line up and stay organized so you can take attendance easily.  "Take time to carefully read through and understand these procedures, so when an emergency does occur, you can confidently lead your students."

And let them know why it's important to maintain composure and control, not playing or wandering around. If you are new to the building, your students will probably already know where to go! The trick will be getting them there quickly and maintaining order.

You'll want to let the students know how to react to different situations. They may find themselves in the hallway heading back from the library, in the rest room, or involved in a group activity in a far corner of your classroom.

Obviously more urgent matters will constitute true emergencies, and it is very difficult to prepare for these. Hopefully your school has a comprehensive plan to cover bomb threats, intruders, inclement weather, and other emergencies. Take time to carefully read through and understand these procedures, so when an emergency does occur, you can confidently lead your students. The students will respond to you when you give direct, confident directions.


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My Philosophy of Education

By Linda Fineout
Spring Arbor University, MI

Linda Fineout is a teacher-to-be, working through the teacher education program at Spring Arbor University.  This was adapted from her appreciation of Dr. Seuss' Oh The Places You'll Go.

The things that you are, the things you can be 
These all shape my Philosophy! 

I love these kids, I love to teach 
It’s their mind and spirit I want to reach. 

Learning is fun, fabulous, and great! 
All these kids – they’re all first rate! 

Co-operative groups, Centers and such – 
Oh, we will learn ever so much! 

To read, to read, is a wonderful thing 
What knowledge and power, reading will bring! 

What is it, these children need to do? 
Dear Parents, let them read to you. 

Vision and imagination, set it free 
Let them be whatever they want to be! 

Positive thinking is the rule for the day 
I will listen to kids and all that they say. 

I will not allow fighting, bickering and such 
Teamwork, together, we’ll accomplish so much! 

I’ll strengthen their strengths and let them be strong, 
I’ll teach them values, and right from wrong. 

I’ll model for kids what I want them to do 
But I’ll be open to ideas that are brand spankin’ new! 

Kids are special! I must nurture them so 
Support, security, safety, they’ll know! 

I’ll have fun with my kids, but challenge them too 
So they’ll be motivated and self-confident in all that they do. 

Out of the box thinking, that’s what I love! 
Over and under and way up above! 

I’ll soar with my students, you come and see – 
See what my students will grow up to be! 

Responsible, caring, and oh so smart 
My kids and I, we’ll do our part 

Technology, writing, yes even math 
Lifelong learners, we’ll be, come follow our path! 

I will love them and guide them and then set them free! 
To grow up, take flight and you will see 

The best, the most fabulous adult they can be 
What a wonderful present from you to me!




Website of the Month:

Tony Vincent's 

Our very first WEBSITE OF THE MONTH award is presented to Tony Vincent's site, Learning In Hand. This is a site our school has been using for several years as we've been implementing handhelds into our curriculum.   This is a premier site for learning about educational technology, what's out there, and how can it be implemented into your classroom.

Learninginhand.com is a website that was originally designed to support teachers using handhelds in the classroom. 

Tony Vincent was formally a fifth grade teacher in Willow Creek Elementary in Omaha, Nebraska. He is now their tech teacher which frees him up to speak around the country about the power of handhelds in the classroom. 

The site provides multitudes of links, lesson plans, and practical instruction on integrating handhelds into the classroom. He has now expanded the site to include podcasting and blogging with helpful instruction and links in integrating these tech tools into the curriculum, also. 

Check this site out, you'll be glad you did.  Simply click the link below:




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"Big Difference"
Author Unknown

Themes on Life

If you're in a position of authority, will you be a 'boss' or a 'leader'?

The Boss drives his men, 
The Leader inspires them..

The Boss depends on authority, 
The Leader depends on goodwill..

The Boss evokes fear, 
The Leader radiates love..

The Boss says "I", 
The Leader says "We"..

The Boss shows who is wrong, 
The Leader shows what is wrong..

The Boss knows how it is done, 
The Leader knows how to do it..

The Boss demands respect, 
The Leader commands respect.


What's New at StarTeaching

Monthly Updates to our Website


Be sure to check out our website by clicking the link below:


It's loaded with great tips and techniques by teachers for teachers.  You can find articles from the past newsletters, as well as special reports and 'freebies'.  

Beginning this January, we will be bringing you a Website of the Month, and a Book Review.  These will alternate in our bi-weekly newsletters.  And these Websites and Books will be kept on record on a special page on the website. 

Once again, we're trying to give you access to the best in the teaching and education field.  

One 'freebie' that's gaining popularity is the SQ3R worksheet.  You can just print it off the website and use in immediately in your classroom.  

Make sure to BOOKMARK our website so you can keep up with more changes and additions through the year.  And feel free to share our site by EMAILING it to a friend.



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In This Week's Issue 

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Preparing for Emergency Situations

Philosophy of Education

Website of the Month

Themes on Life:  
"Big Difference"

10 Days of Writing Prompts

Holiday Book Sale for Teachers

What's New at StarTeaching


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"Be always at war with your vices, 
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and let each new year find you 
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Benjamin Franklin

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10 Days Of


Why do people make New Year's Resolutions?


How are you going to be a better person in the New Year?


If you could change THREE things about yourself this year, what would they be and why?


What are FOUR ways you can improve yourself as a student in the next semester?


Write down FIVE important things you learned today in class.


Why is it important for people to have goals?  


What is the difference between a goal and a dream? Give TWO examples.


What is a goal?  How is a goal achieved?


Describe THREE goals you have for the month of January.


What are THREE questions you still have about today's lesson?


10 days of writing prompts


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Coming Soon:

Opening Activities for Class

Technology & Teaching: Setting up for Handhelds

Building Positive Relationships

Creating Web Pages & PowerPoints 
in class


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