Saturday, March 19, 2016

Educational Links 3/20/16

Quantified Learners: Moving Beyond Assessment 

Getting Ready For National Poetry Month 

Framing and Frontloading Maker Activities 

Why Do Teachers Quit? 

Teaching Kids to Be Kind 

Change Attitudes Toward Bullying: Be An Ally 

Getting a grasp on autism 

“We didn’t realize how bad things were until we started researching it,” says Zucker, a Peabody Award-winning TV news producer whose son was diagnosed with autism in 1996. “We knew children with autism were not able to go to school until 1975. But I had no idea how really awful it was.”

Read more here:




dearest freshness deep down things

In my little garden this week. A wee bit of grandeur.


God's Grandeur

By Gerard Manley Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
    It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
    It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
    And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
    And wears man's smudge and shares man's smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
    There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
    Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
    World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

This poem is considered the first on ecology.

Cheesy Jokes and Serious Thoughts for Easter

Now that's the size candy I'm talking about.
Confession is good for the soul, it is said. And I confess I do love the 'chocolate' holiday season from
Halloween to Christmas to Valentine's Day to Easter. Cadbury has the queen of treats, the Creme Egg, appearing only at Easter. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I'm not alone. It is just too much fun decorating baskets with that eternal Easter grass (it never goes away, it's like glitter), and coloring the eggs the old fashioned way with vinegar, etc. The images of bunnies and chicks and ducklings are cute, even better than Santa who has a list and checks it twice. No unconditional love from him! And this is an outside sport, temps in the 70s, with light breezes, egg hunting, spring clothes and bonnets, blooming Easter Lilies. Well, at least here in SoCal.

Here's an article about how to dress your kid for Easter. The tradition began as  symbolic of a new spiritual start. Now what is it?

I did see a puddy tat!
Not one of Woodstock's, I'm guessing.

The secularization of this holiday makes it acceptable to everyone. Afterall, anthropologists say that all peoples celebrated the return of spring after the difficulties of winter.

Coaxing a smile from Eeyore.
Familiar pop-culture figures dominate all holidays now, and this is a word that used to mean 'holy-day.' Have we lost anything by this transformation?  Is the concept of the sacred now forbidden? Teachers carefully appreciate the separation of church and state in a public school. But everywhere?

Easter is the most secularized of the holidays in the USA, and ironically, the most important for Christians acknowledging the death and resurrection of Jesus. Question: how can we honor the rights of all and permit our students to express their beliefs in public and private?

This is not a student of mine. He is a model.
Here in SoCal this year it has become a fashion statement for middle school boys to wear rosaries as necklaces.

 And not only the latino kids. I've asked some of them what it means to them; sometimes they say it means they are Mexican, sometimes they tell me it is about their faith. Some say they just think it looks cool. So far, this practice has not been considered a dress code violation. In other places, it is dress code.

 Neb. School's Ban on Rosary-Style Necklace Touches on Free Speech Issues, Christian News

So why so serious, MzTeachuh, and where are the silly Garfield jokes? OK, here we go.

What do you need if your Cadbury Creme Eggs suddenly disappear?

You need an eggsplanation.

How is the Easter Bunny like Kobe Bryant?

They're both famous for stuffing baskets.

Did you hear the one about the fifty-pound jelly bean?

It was pretty hard to swallow

The President and the Easter Egg

Why do we paint Easter eggs?

Because it is too hard to wallpaper them.

What does the White House do when there are too many undiscovered Easter eggs on the South Lawn?

Call an eggsterminator.

I am a huge fan of the Cadbury Creme Egg Bunny, and was charmed when I found one I could buy as an Easter Bunny. A stuffed one that cackles like a chicken, not a real one.

So, enjoy these animal actors. Why is there no Emmy or Oscar for animal actors?

MzTeachuh: Movies About Jesus

MzTeachuh: Movies About Jesus

MzTeachuh: Book Review: Song of the Swallows

MzTeachuh: Book Review: Song of the Swallows: "Song of the Swallows," las golondrinas, is a picture book which won the Caldecott Award in 1949 .  Written and illustrated by Le...

Friday, March 18, 2016

Educational Links 3/19/16

The Warning Signs Of Teacher Burnout 

Messy Science: How to Prepare Students for the Real World of Evidence 

ADHD or just immature? 

10 Articles Everyone Should Read to Understand What It's Like to Be a Teacher's-like-to-be-a-teacher 

Rating schools by students' social-emotional skills worth trying, evaluator says 

Transforming Unused School Spaces Into Something Amazing 

Unequal Discipline at Charter Schools 

A new report has charter-school advocates crying foul and their opponents cheering. In the process, the broader point that some schools have seriously questionable student-discipline practices is being lost in the crossfire. This isn’t exactly surprising. Nothing sparks an uproar in education like a charter-school debate, but it’s worth taking a step back to focus on what’s actually going on.  

Emily DeRuy



Thursday, March 17, 2016

Educational Links 3/18/16

How The Language Of Special Education Is Evolving 

16 Apps That Will Motivate Even Your Most Resistant Readers 

STEAM Movement Creates Opportunities for Creativity 

Is Your School Asking the Right Questions About Poverty? 

Books to use in the Classroom During the Election

Seven books for the classroom during election season  - See more at: Books for the Classroom During Election Season

Is It Asperger's Syndrome or ADHD?

 Libraries Are Becoming Modern Makerspaces 

If you could ask Ben Franklin what public institution he would like to visit in America today, I bet he would say the public library. And if you asked him which part of the library, I bet he would say the makerspace. 

Deborah Fallows


Teachable Moment: Raising the Rhetoric

JFK 1961
Eloquence. Higher level thinking. Rational open discussion. American rhetoric--let's remind ourselves of the brilliant heights of thought our fellow citizens have given us. These profound thoughts were articulated to we the people, the common folk, the general populace. Dare I say, the 'undereducated,' as well as the 'intelligensia.' We the people listened, considered, and thought about these ideas.

American Rhetoric's Top 100 Speeches of the 20th Century highlights a diversity of speakers. Brilliant passion, complicated sentence structure, even three or four syllable words! As a student growing up in the 1960s, I was exposed to tremendous higher level thinking, free discussion, complicated language. Let's refuse to be dumbed down! We have access to fantastic thought and passion. The website has hundreds and hundreds of speeches.

Are you prepared to let students browse through this amazing collection of ideas? Here are some interesting choices-- hopefully a fair and diverse group. (And don't forget Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Adlai Stevenson, and even Richard Nixon.)

 Ronald Reagan Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate

Theodore Roosevelt The Man with the Muck-rake  1908

Elie Wiesel The Perils of Indifference 

Barbara Pierce Bush Commencement Address at Wellesley College

Hillary Rodham Clinton 

Remarks to the U.N. 4th World Conference on Women Plenary Session 

 And two of my favorites:

John F. Kennedy

Address at Rice University on the Nation's Space Program

Martin Luther King, Jr.

I Have a Dream

Cannot hear this speech too often.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Educational Links 3/17/16

How to Make Technology Rules for Your Classroom 

ADHD and immaturity: examining the UK context 

Why Sleeping May Be More Important Than Studying 

Pride Advisory Classes: Social and Emotional Support for Every Student 

Rigor, Relevance and Transformation at the Ground Level 

The Hidden Links Between Autism and Genius 

With ESSA, States Should Partner With Districts 

Energizing the collaborative classroom 

Edtech companies should develop kids' social, emotional skills – report 

 The report suggested that developers embed SEL features into their current products, as investors are more interested in edtech with SEL features over SEL-only products. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Educational Links 3/16/17

How to Instill the Love of Reading 

Electing a president:
Lessons for teaching
about the presidential primaries - See more at:
Electing a president:
Lessons for teaching
about the presidential primaries - See more at:

Making Feedback Meaningful 

'The best place for an ill teacher to be is at home' 

Literature Map Helps You Find Authors You Might Like 

Autism Wandering Bill Gets New Look 

Senate Confirms John B. King Jr. as Education Secretary


Dyspraxia by the Numbers 

ADHD Diagnoses? Why the Youngest Kids in Class Are Most Affected

The best thing for worried parents to do is just give the kids a chance to grow up, Chen says. “I think we have to wait for a while. We have to have more time to evaluate their behavior, attention and brain development."



Monday, March 14, 2016

Education Links 3/15/16

What Kind of Group Work Encourages the Most Original Thinking? 

How To Support The Increasingly Diverse Student Populations Present in Your Classrooms 

Competency Based Learning: How Flipped Mastery Makes CBL Possible

Are You Ready for Your IEP Meeting? 

Simplifying Childhood May Protect Against Mental Health Issues 

Designing Useful STEM Classroom Assessments 

Four Positives From Personalized Learning 

The overselling of ed tech 

 If you haven’t given much thought to the kind of intellectual life we might want schools to foster, then it might sound exciting to “personalize” or “customize” learning.  But as I argued not long ago, we shouldn’t confuse personalized learning with personal learning.  The first involves adjusting the difficulty level of prefabricated skills-based exercises based on students’ test scores, and it requires the purchase of software.  The second involves working with each student to create projects of intellectual discovery that reflect his or her unique needs and interests, and it requires the presence of a caring teacher who knows each child well.


Helpful Hints for When Teacher Is Overwhelmed

Time Saving Tips for Teachers

Replacing Classroom Chaos with Control

Understanding the Common Core

Understanding the Common Core
Dealing with Angry Parents

The Teacher’s Guides To Technology And Learning 

How to Get Along With ANY Teaching Colleague 

Classroom Management: 10 Ways to Deal with Difficult Students 

Solutions for Teachers Bullied by Colleagues 

A Curriculum of Concerns

The Irish! Resources for St. Patrick's Day

Illumination from the Book of Durrow

Teachable Moment: How the Irish Saved Western Civilization

Cheesy Jokes and Serious Thoughts for St. Patrick's Day


Teachable Moment: Brian Boru in the Irish (Brian B├│ramha i nGaeilge) 

Alan Stivel and his harp.

Festival of Irish Arts and Music Day 1

Festival of Irish Arts and Music Day 2

Celtic Circle of Joy--Living Your Dream

Festival of Irish Arts and Music Day 3

Festival of Irish Arts and Music Day 4

Festival of Irish Arts and Music Day 5

Here is an excellent resource for Irishness:

Gift of Ireland 

You can follow them on Twitter, too. 

Holidays Around Ireland


Beware the Ides of March!

Shakespeare's Julius Caesar with John Wilkes Booth (l) playing Marc Antony and brothers Edwin (c) and Junius playing Brutus. Maybe Edwin played Cassius.

March 15 used to be the day untenured teachers received noticed they were being let go. The irony was not not lost on anyone.

Here is Marcus Brutus played by Marlon Brando (1953.) There are many excellent film productions of the play; I saw it at the Old Globe in San Diego. As usual, Shakespeare is too cool. 

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, Lend Me Your Ears  

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Educational Links 3/14/16

The Difference Between Gamification And Game-Based Learning

Turn your classroom into an active learning environment 

What Are Creative & Effective Ways You’ve Used Multiple Choice Exercises? 

11 Ways Teachers Can Support Our Kids

How teachers can help ADHD students shine in the classroom by fostering structure, routine, good communication, and fun. 

Teacher HELPLINE: Best News Sites for Kids? 

New Resources On Race & Racism 

Math and Inquiry: The Importance of Letting Students Stumble 

4 Reasons to Start Class With a Poem Each Day

In truth, I could write for hours about the positive experiences that I've enjoyed with students over the past three years of using a poem to start class each day. If this is a strategy that you ever wanted to try, I encourage you take a test drive during National Poetry Month 2016. I suspect that you (and your students) will be hooked!


Celtic Circle of Joy--Living Your Dream

The Irish culture embraces delight, melancholy, whimsy, rage--the full human experience.

 Here is a lovely piece of music inspired by Irish heritage and instruments. As I listen, I can see the spirits dance in the faery rings of the forest.

Lisa Lynne - Circle of Joy 

  Here is Lisa's story and how she lives her dream.

Lisa Lynne Vblog #30 - My passion in life.. 

 Love this rendition by two musicians who are at the beginning of living their dreams.

circle of joy