Saturday, December 10, 2016

Educational Links 12/11/16

Six Must-Have School Spaces for Project-Based Learning

Is It OK to Let My Child With Dyslexia Use Spell-Check?

‘We have 20th century teachers educating 21st century students: we must improve professional development’

'There is a strong case for giving students as many opportunities as possible for extended prose – "write" across the curriculum'

The Price of Innovative Leadership in 2017

As leaders in districts, Superintendents are responsible for driving change, making tough decisions on budgets and appeasing various stakeholders (our boards, parents and the like). And when it comes to edtech, it is increasingly important for us all to take the necessary—and sometimes unpopular—risks to recognize more consistent and positive outcomes for our students.

Bob Dylan Must Be Santa?

Bob Dylan - Must Be Santa 

Friday, December 9, 2016

Educational Links 12/9/16

The Yin and Yang of Inclusion

The Middle Way to Happier, Smarter Teens

5 Absurd Myths About Critical Thinking

Choosing Between Shelter and School

Classroom Management Tips for Teacher Workouts

Media literacy class ever evolving

How To Ensure Students Are Actively Engaged and Not Just Compliant

Engagement is a crucial part of learning, but ensuring students are actively engaged is more complex than whether a student is paying attention or not. As technology has made its way into the classroom many educators describe how attentive students are when on devices, but a quiet, outwardly behaved student is not the same thing as one that is truly engaged. The kind of engagement that leads to learning is three dimensional.

...To Face Unafraid The Plans That We Made...

Winter Wonderland - Tony Bennett

with the Count Basie Big Band

 "Winter Wonderland"

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening,
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight,
We're happy tonight,
Walking in a winter wonderland.
Gone away is the bluebird,
Here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song,
As we go along,
Walking in a winter wonderland.
In the meadow we can build a snowman,
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown
He'll say: Are you married?
We'll say: No man,
But you can do the job
When you're in town.
Later on, we'll conspire,
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid,
The plans that we've made,
Walking in a winter wonderland.
In the meadow we can build a snowman,
And pretend that he's a circus clown
We'll have lots of fun with mister snowman,
Until the other kids knock him down.
When it snows, ain't it thrilling,
Though your nose gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play, the Eskimo way,
Walking in a winter wonderland.
Walking in a winter wonderland,
Walking in a winter wonderland.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Cheesy Jokes and Serious Thoughts About Christmas

    What has four legs, a red nose and flies?   Rudolf the Red-Nosed Roadkill.

What is Frosty's favorite dinner?

Spaghetti and snowballs.

                                          Where doe Santa keep his red suit?    In his Santa Clauset.

 Knock, knock.

Who's there?


Earl who?

Earl I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.

                                                     Why does Santa use reindeer to pull his sleigh?

                                Because the elephants kept crashing through the roof.

What is the best Christmas carol in the Twilight movies?

I'm Dreaming of a Bite Christmas.

What has a red suit, a white beard and rows of razor sharp teeth? Santa Jaws.

What would you call your wedding anniversary if it was December 25th?

A Marry Christmas.

Who had a beard, webbed feet and wrote "A Christmas Carol?"

Charles Duckens.

What do you call being caught in a chimney with a fat man?

Santa Claustrophobia.

 What happened when the family cat swallowed some tinsel?

He needed a tinselectomy.

Knock, knock.

Who's there?


Anna who?

Anna partridge in a pear tree.

Question: Why was Santa's little helper depressed?
Because he had low elf esteem.

What is Santa's favorite American state?

Question: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
Answer: Frostbite.

Where does Christmas come before Thanksgiving?
In the dictionary. 

This is for English teachers. 
Q: What do you call Santa's Helpers?
A: Subordinate Clauses

What is the snowman’s breakfast?
Answer: Frosted flakes!

How do snowmen greet each other?
 : Ice to meet you!

You just had to know eventually I would get to the funny cat pics.

Now for the serious talk. Christmas is a full on holiday--it smells good (catch that scent from the cinnamon pine cones?), looks sparkly and cute (lights up again), feels cozy  (snuggly blankets in front of the fire with hot cocoa or wassail), tastes yummy (yeah, bite the head off that gingerbread man!), sounds great (all types of music singing cheer and closeness and holiday, etc.) It is entertaining with endless gifts,  movies and music and fun.

Except for that annoying bell the Salvation Army persists in ringing at the front of stores. That is so annoying to be bugged to give to the less fortunate. The homeless, or impaired, or orphaned--is that my business? 

Shouldn't we have a right not to have them bug us? Isn't that the separation of church and state? I don't need all that Jesus stuff at this holiday, like giving to the poor, or kindness to strangers if I don't wish to. Peace and forgiveness. That's my business. Condemnation for behavior that's nobody's business but mine. And I shouldn't have to be reminded on a public street. At school Jesus and all that radical Christian stuff has been eradicated. When can I finally have a secular holiday?

Well, first of all the very word holiday is rooted from holyday.  A day to meditate on the spiritual side of life. Christmas means Christ worship in the old days. He is still memorialized as the greatest teacher who ever lived, the proclaimer of brotherhood, kindness and conscience. All the major religions admire him. Why is he considered so irritating to some Americans?

He was an all or nothing sort of person. You were with him or not. He was who he said he was or not. No in between. Forgiveness, purity, mercy. Very, very hard precepts. It is hard to hang with Jesus. Its all or nothing with Christ.

Students in public schools who profess Christianity are in danger of having their civil rights violated by some administrators and staff who find the message of Christ to be very irritating--not only those horrendous ten commandments, but that part about not lusting or lying  and giving to the poor and such. These leaders will nail kids for even saying, 'Merry Christmas.' 

Not much holiday spirit there. Or tolerance. I've observed it first hand towards kids and staff. I was told even playing Handel's Messiah was against the separation of church and state. So, I chose to play it anyway, thinking you have to take a stand sometimes. Might as well be Handel. No problems arose. No lawsuits.

It is our obligation as a democracy to extend tolerance to all. Even the annoying, I-Am-The-Only-Way Jesus, and his followers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

[little tree]

[little tree]

By E. E. Cummings

little tree

little silent Christmas tree

you are so little

you are more like a flower

who found you in the green forest

and were you very sorry to come away?

see          i will comfort you

because you smell so sweetly

i will kiss your cool bark

and hug you safe and tight

just as your mother would,

only don't be afraid

look          the spangles

that sleep all the year in a dark box

dreaming of being taken out and allowed to shine,

the balls the chains red and gold the fluffy threads,

put up your little arms

and i'll give them all to you to hold

every finger shall have its ring

and there won't be a single place dark or unhappy

then when you're quite dressed

you'll stand in the window for everyone to see

and how they'll stare!

oh but you'll be very proud

and my little sister and i will take hands

and looking up at our beautiful tree

we'll dance and sing

"Noel Noel"

Educational Links 12/8/16

Final ESSA Accountability Rules Boost State Flexibility in Key Areas

Obama Administration Releases Final Testing Regulations for ESSA

7 Great Ways to Encourage Your Grade-Schooler’s Writing

Inclusion Gains Traction Outside The Classroom

Teaching Children to be Inclusive

The Value of Hands-On Learning

Resources for Teaching English-Language Learners

From literacy instruction to arts and technology integration, explore strategies for engaging English-language learners.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Educational Links 12/7/16

A School Decides to Keep its “Dangerous” Swing 


5 of your trickiest teacher co-worker problems solved

TEACHER QUIZ: Can You Name These Quotes from Legendary Children’s Books?

4 Truths About Teaching English Language Learners

The majority of communities in the United States have English language learners (ELLs) and consequently, the great majority of teachers are engaged in identifying how to serve this group of students. Here are a few highlights of what I’ve learned ELLs really need from more than 20 years of working closely with them in public schools.

...and the soul felt its worth...

Nativita, Giotto @1305

These lyrics are so beautiful, every year my weary world rejoices. Tradition says St. Francis of Assisi created the nativity scenes (creche) and wrote this song. I don't know, but it seems like something he might do, being the poet he was. This artist, Giotto, was a contemporary of St. Francis.

I double dog dare any angel to hit a brighter, higher note than Mariah in this rendition.

ᴴᴰ Mariah Carey - O Holy Night

"O Holy Night"

O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
'Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees

O hear the angel voices
O night divine!
O night when Christ was born
O night divine!
O night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains He shall break, for the slave is our brother.

And in His name, all oppression shall cease

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord!
Their name forever praise we

Noel, Noel
O night, O night divine
Noel, Noel
O night, O night divine
Noel, Noel
O night, O holy night

Teachable Moment: Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941

FDR's 'Day of Infamy speech

1. American Rhetoric--resources for speeches 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation

2. “Remember Pearl Harbor!” - December 7, 1941 

3.  A Day of Infamy:Analyzing FDR’s Pearl Harbor Address 

4. Lesson Plan Library: Pearl Harbor

5.  Attack on Pearl Harbor Teacher's Guide 

6.  Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 

7.  TeachersFirst's Pearl Harbor and World War II Resources

Remember December 7th attacks on Pearl Harbor: Tour Hawaii's historical sites

Monday, December 5, 2016

Educational Links 12/6/16

Resources for Teaching and Learning About Pearl Harbor

The Stoplight Method: An End-of-Lesson Assessment

Faculty Advice: 7 Things All Prospective Teachers Need to Know

App of the Week: STEM goes underwater

10 Offers of Wisdom From Fictional Characters

Why Parents and Family Think About ADHD in Preschool

LD & Asperger’s: Key Differences?

Regardless of a child’s diagnosis—whether LD, Asperger’s Syndrome, or both—fundamental educational principles provide the keys to success. Parents and educators should search for schools that offer consistent understanding, individualized accommodation, and compassion. Settings with those attributes will always be the right settings for students with unique learning profiles.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Educational Links 12/5/16

10 Messages Every Teacher Should Send To Parents

Have You Hacked These Cognitive Tools?

Eight Good Educational Web Tools Free Today

You Know Your Child Has ADHD When...

What Types of Sound Experiences Enable Children to Learn Best?

Secure Students’ Hearts or You Don’t Have a Shot at Their Brains

Teachers' Moral Imperative to Challenge Political Hatred

Do mobile devices stunt social-emotional skills?

As more of our lives are consumed with digital technology — social media, texting and smartphones — is it any wonder that our children are growing up with electronic gadgets as companions?
A report on media consumption by the nonprofit Common Sense Media said teens spend an average of nearly nine hours a day using screen media, and children between ages 8 and 12 consume an average of almost six hours a day.

You better watch out, you better not cry--Tough Love From The Boss, Bruce Springsteen


Bruce Springsteen - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town - 2007 


Tranquil Afternoon--Art, Music and Maybe a Faun

'North Woods' by Richard Kozlow, 1988. But I don't know if the woods in Michigan have mythological creatures or not.

 'Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun' (complete), by Claude Debussy, with an animated graphical score.

I love this animation guy.

This is to honor the greatest, bravest faun of all times, Mr. Tumnus.

Mr. Tumnus the Bold

Yes, I'm trying to trick you into reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe to your class. Or maybe they would like to popcorn read it.