Saturday, April 1, 2017

Teachable Moment: Who's the Greatest Rock Poet? (National Poetry Month)

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, painting by Julian Lennon when in pre-school

I must say I prefer John Lennon as the greatest rock poet, even though Bob Dylan probably should wear that crown, especially since he has now won the Nobel Prize for Literature! But Lennon, being an artist as well, created poetry of metaphorical paintings and the colors and images soaked with profound emotional intensity. We have recordings of poets reading their work--T.S. Eliot and the Wasteland, Robert Frost and his Snowy Evening. But nothing so dynamic as John Lennon--and his beautiful, accusatory, angry, agonized voice-- singing his personal journey of life with his friends (the Beatles) collaborating musically like Impressionist artists of rock. 
 Who's the Greatest Rock Poet? Nomination #1 
Bob Dylan

Greatest Rock Poet (#1 Nomination Again) 

John and Julian Lennon

Who Is the Greatest Rock Poet? Nomination #2

Who Is the Greatest Rock Poet? Revisiting #2  


 Who Is the Greatest Rock Poet? Nomination #3 

Paul McCartney 


Jimmy Paige and Robert Plant

Who Is the Greatest Rock Poet? Nomination # 4

Pete Townshend


Who Is the Greatest Rock Poet? Nomination #5 

George Harrison

 Who Is The Greatest Rock Poet? Nomination #6

Neil Young


The Greatest Rock Poet, Nomination #7




Who Is The Greatest Rock Poet? Nomination #8 

Bruce Springsteen



Who Is The Greatest Rock Poet? Nomination #9

Mao (1972) Andy Warhol (print)

  Always wanted to match this painting with these lyrics.

Who Is the Greatest Rock Poet? Nomination #2 



The Beatles: Revolution (live)

John Lennon

You say you want a revolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well, you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know that you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
All right, all right

You say you got a real solution
Well, you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well, you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money
For people with minds that hate
All I can tell is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
All right, all right

Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

You say you'll change the constitution
Well, you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well, you know
You better free you mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know it's gonna be all right
All right, all right
All right, all right, all right
All right, all right, all right


Educational Links 4/2/17

Emotional Regulation for Kids With ADHD

11 online tools & apps for dyslexic students

USA Today: Students need to know this for media literacy

The Hottest New Educational Products of 2017

Teacher encouragement has greatest influence on less advantaged children

Study: A Teacher's Encouragement Gives Students a Lasting Boost

Why School Stress is Toxic for Our Kids

Chronic stress at school can make kids (particularly those with ADHD or LD) dread going — and change their brains for the worse. But parents and teachers can help alleviate the stress that is stopping these bright kids from succeeding.

National Poetry Month: Poem #1

The Curious Blackbird by Maureen Ida Farley

Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird

Wallace Stevens

Among twenty snowy mountains,
The only moving thing
Was the eye of the blackbird.
I was of three minds,
Like a tree
In which there are three blackbirds.
The blackbird whirled in the autumn winds.
It was a small part of the pantomime.
A man and a woman
Are one.
A man and a woman and a blackbird
Are one.
I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.
Icicles filled the long window
With barbaric glass.
The shadow of the blackbird
Crossed it, to and fro.
The mood
Traced in the shadow
An indecipherable cause.
O thin men of Haddam,
Why do you imagine golden birds?
Do you not see how the blackbird
Walks around the feet
Of the women about you?
I know noble accents
And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
But I know, too,
That the blackbird is involved
In what I know.
When the blackbird flew out of sight,
It marked the edge
Of one of many circles.
At the sight of blackbirds
Flying in a green light,
Even the bawds of euphony
Would cry out sharply.
He rode over Connecticut
In a glass coach.
Once, a fear pierced him,
In that he mistook
The shadow of his equipage
For blackbirds.
The river is moving.
The blackbird must be flying.
It was evening all afternoon.
It was snowing
And it was going to snow.
The blackbird sat
In the cedar-limbs.

The Beatles - Blackbird

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Educational Links 3/31/17

Turning BYOD Student Devices Into Learning Tools

Differentiated Instruction in the Secondary Classroom

Free Digital Library Offers News, Poetry, Short Stories and More

Endrew F. Case Decided: Supreme Court Rules on How Much Benefit IEPs Must Provide

How Can Educators Strike a Balance Between Blended and Social-Emotional Learning?

Five Attitudes That Make Teachers More Effective and Enjoyable

5 Biggest Barriers to Education Technology

It’s hard to imagine going hours without using any sort of common technology in the course of our daily lives, but that’s exactly what happens in many classrooms across America. While education technology has grown as a field over the past few years, many schools and classrooms struggle with adopting new technology. Teachers and administrators face a multitude of hurdles and a general lack of support for education technology initiatives. For example, 71% of teachers in a 2015 survey said they think their school district needs an office dedicated solely to technology use in classrooms.

Spring! Vivaldi, Monet and Tulips

Claude Monet Tulip Field with the Rijnsburg Windmill

I was hoping to give you just a little blast of Spring--the brilliant blue sky after a spring shower, the shocking, vibrant red, yellow, purple of bulb flowers blaring after the winter grey, the enthusiastic chirp and twitter of the birds now activated for the season like an army just getting out of boot camp. I can just about do it with Monet and Vivaldi--but I can't send you the still-chilly-but-not-freezing breeze on a finally sunny day or the scent of earth unfreezing. You'll have to go outside for that.

Vivaldi Spring 
My contribution to the jamboree.

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?

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?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Educational Links 3/30/17

4 good computer habits every teacher should have

Are High School Students With Disabilities Prepared for Life After School?


How a New Supreme Court Ruling Could Affect Special Education

Building Empathy for the “Other” Through PBL

A Toolkit for Students in Crisis

I’ve learned a few tricks over many years of working with emotionally reactive students—kids who feel emotions intensely and have difficulty managing them. Each time I acquire a new skill, I put it in my toolkit, my figurative database of different techniques to try in situations when students are in crisis. These students do not yet possess self-regulation strategies to help themselves, so my job is helping them out of the immediate moment. One technique does not work for every student, so I take the pragmatic approach and just keep rolling through my toolkit of tricks until I find one that’s effective.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Educational Links 3/29/17

Earth Day: Lesson Plans, Reading Lists, and Classroom Ideas

Engage Educators in Their Personal Learning

How to Keep Students with Disabilities Safe in Lockdowns, Evacuations, and Other School Crises

Disengaged Teachers: A Problem We Need to Solve

5 Teaching Strategies to Facilitate Independent Reading

10 things every white teacher should know when talking about race

Sharing the Depth of Knowledge Wheel With Students

In my experience, students like using the DoK wheel to figure out how it aligns with their assignments. They also enjoy using it to develop their own questions to ask their peers. These kinds of activities ask students to critically think about what kinds of questions they will ask, and in doing so, engage in rich metacognitive learning experiences.
This can be particularly empowering as students are increasingly faced with the rigors of high stakes testing. Many assessments require students to critically analyze texts, make inferences, prove their responses using textual evidence, develop a claim or analyze an author’s claim, and make comparisons.

g about race

Monday, March 27, 2017

Educational Links 3/28/17

9 Teacher-Tested Ways to Encourage Creativity in the Classroom

You Can’t Cover Everything

School Closures: What Do They Mean for Students and Communities?

What Students With Learning Differences Really Want Us to Know

How Kids Benefit From Learning To Explain Their Math Thinking

Embrace the Messiness of Learning


I don’t know which side of the fence you are on in regard to inclusive education. And for all intents and purposes…it does not matter. This post could just as easily have been called, No…Really…I’m Not Crazy…Inclusive Education Works! Usually when I talk to people who are not familiar with the idea of having students with disabilities (including significant disabilities) in the general education setting they say they are having a hard time “wrapping their head around it” or want to see “what it actually looks like”. So…just for those of you who need to see it to believe it, I have picked out five videos that will most definitely change your mind about whether inclusive education is really a good thing or not (or at least they should).

April is Poetry Month--Here's A Headstart


1. National Poetry Month Is Here Again! 

2. Celebrate National Poetry Month with FREE POETRY! 

My pocket, my favorite poem.

poem in your pocket day

4. Poems at Home 

5.  National Poetry Month 

6.  The Poem Farm 


 8. Grand Slam: Performance Poetry Engages Students 

9. Getting to Know Your Students Through Poetry

10. National Poetry Month: Useful Resources for Teachers and Students 

Here are my poetic posts up to 4/13 (will bring this current soon):

11. MzTeachuh's Poetry Corner 

Poet of Poets