Saturday, April 7, 2018

Educational Links 4/8/18

5 Powerfully Positive Teaching Strategies

Anatomy of School Bullying

What are appropriate consequences for bad behavior?

Strategies for Creating a Successful Online Classroom

Are your students podcasting yet?

Why I Had to Develop a Unique Learner Profile to Meet the Needs of My Students

Helping Kids with Processing Issues

Helping a child whose processing speed is slow comes down to modifying the rate, tone, and complexity of what you say. This allows the child more time to make sense of what he’s hearing. Although it sounds simple, doing that can be challenging.

Teachable Moment: Earth Day--April 22

Celebrate Earth Day

Earth Day: Teaching Students to Preserve the Environment
Earth Day activities at UNLV, 2014

Earth Day Teacher Resources

Keith Haring, artist

12 Meaningful Earth Day Activities for Every Grade

Earth Day teaching ideas

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

The annual event—which started in 1970—provides students with an opportunity to explore a range of subjects, whether science-based investigations, thematic reading, or creative arts projects. To help teachers brainstorm some ways to incorporate Earth Day into the curriculum, we’ve compiled a list of resources that offer lessons, ideas, tips, and activities that are perfect for Earth Day. There’s a bit of everything, including lesson plans, tools, resources, and student reading lists.

MzTeachuh: Do I Have to Go to the IEP meeting? I'm Not Specia...

MzTeachuh: Do I Have to Go to the IEP meeting? I'm Not Specia...: That confusing enough for you? Am I required to attend IEP meetings if I am not a Special Education teacher?   I've been asked th...

MzTeachuh: National Poetry Month: Poem #8

MzTeachuh: National Poetry Month: Poem #8: i carry your heart with me    by E. E. Cummings i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)i am never without it(anywhere ...

MzTeachuh: National Poetry Month: Poem #7

MzTeachuh: National Poetry Month: Poem #7:    “Hope” is the thing with feathers - (314) By Emily Dickinson “Hope” is the thing with feathers - That perches in the sou...

Thursday, April 5, 2018

National Poetry Month: Poem #6

Diverging roads.

The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
 Robert Frost 

Educational Links 4/6/18

15 Questions To Ask When Introducing New Content To Students

5 Things to Know About the Oklahoma Teacher Walkout

Government Report Finds Racial Disparities In School Discipline

Ten Ways to Use Google Earth In Your Classroom

ADHD or Immaturity? What the Research Really Means for Parents

MLK's Legacy in the Classroom: Truncated and Tidied Up

Five steps to faster, better lesson planning

What Do Teachers Need to Truly Challenge Every Kid in the Classroom?

Permission Granted: How School Leaders Can Support Teachers

Teaching is tough—it’s incredibly hard work and can be very taxing. There is increasing stress and work on teachers today, as evidenced by the high attrition rate that we see across the country.
Part of the stress that teachers feel is from outside influences, such as parents, government, district initiatives, and mandates, just to name a few. Additional stress comes from within the school—conflict with other staff members, student issues, lack of resources, and lack of support. As a school leader, how do we help teachers to combat this stress so they can thrive in our schools and not just survive in them?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Teachable Moment: Dr. Martin Luther King

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. galvanized the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950's and 1960's due to his remarkable courage and unsurpassed eloquence.  He was right: those who were on the opposing  side of the argument were revealed as hideous, sadistic monsters. They still are. 

Unspeakable atrocities preceded and follow Dr. King's time of leadership. His actions and words still call forth men and women, boys and girls of all demographics to seek equality in America. And the price could be high.

When Dr. King gave his immortal, 'I Have A Dream' speech, he ignited dreams among all ethnicities, genders, religions, and students.  Hearing it is a profound experience. Please have your students listen. It is probably the most important speech given in the twentieth century, and given by a future winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Here is a resource to hear the "I Have A Dream" Speech on American Rhetoric.

Teachable Moment: "I Have A Dream" Speech Anniversary Today 

Here is an excerpt from my blog "Books to Soothe Kids' Toxic Stress"

A third grader, small for his age, could really run fast during practice for his elementary school's Olympic Day. It was his way to shine. His tennies were worn out, so Teacher got him a new pair at  Wal-Mart. He made the school proud. This school district was low income, and located near a federal prison, therefore many families were in the area to be living nearby to visit relatives. The little boy also worked very hard at reading, writing, and math, including those impossible fractions. After the January 19th holiday, he asked Teacher, "Why don't they make Dr. Martin Luther King bedsheets? They make them for Superman." He had chosen the better hero.
This is a true story, and I hope the little guy is now a grown, happy, and functional adult, since I last had him at school in 1995.  He had the odds against him, but hopefully some encouragement from reading in school has remained with him.

This story of Dr. King and his profound words will be like miracle grow to the young soul, no matter what color his skin may be.

Teachable Moment: Book Review: Martin's Big Words 

There are excellent resources to inform students about Dr. Martin Luther, King. 

March on Washington: Throngs mark 'I Have a Dream' anniversary

March on Washington's 50th anniversary commemoration draws tens of thousands

 And some posters and quotes.


Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

 The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education.

 I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.

 We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive.    

 Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality... I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.

 Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?' 

 I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

MLK aged seven. Do you have one in your first grade? Maybe your eighth grade class, or your American History class?

National Poetry Month: Poems # 4 and #5


By Langston Hughes
What happens to a dream deferred?

      Does it dry up

      like a raisin in the sun?

      Or fester like a sore—

      And then run?

      Does it stink like rotten meat?

      Or crust and sugar over—

      like a syrupy sweet?

      Maybe it just sags

      like a heavy load.

      Or does it explode?

Mother to Son
By Langston Hughes
Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps
’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.

Educational Links 4/5/18

Family STEAM Night

Fresh thinking about data entry can reduce the burden for educators

Why Teachers are Walking Out of the Classroom

Monet Was Here - Take a Google Earth Tour of Monet's Works

Unleash the Power of Storytelling With These New AR and VR Tools

Using creative classroom design to promote instructional innovation

Reach Your Students With Poetry (No, Really!)

 Learning & Attention Issues Signs & Symptoms

Does it sometimes seem like your child’s teacher and her doctor are speaking different languages from you—and each other? See the different ways different people may talk about your child’s learning and attention issues.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Educational Links 4/4/18

ReCall Study Time - An Extension to Get You Back on Task

3 Ways I Use Dialogue to Help Students Understand Writing—and Each Other

Grades Suffer When Class Time Doesn't Match Students' Biological Clocks


April Tips and Training for Teachers

Teaching Strategies for Critical Thinking Skills

What’s the Rush?: We Can’t Hurry Child Development!

The fact is, child development cannot be accelerated. Moreover, there’s no reason to try to accelerate it. The research shows that usually by third grade, and certainly by middle school, there’s no real difference in reading levels between those who started reading early and those who started later. And the research shows that children who begin in sports when they’re developmentally ready catch up to and even surpass those who started early.

National Poetry Month: Poem #3

Photo by Shane, Wargave, England

 Summer Song

Wanderer moon
smiling a
faintly ironical smile
at this
brilliant, dew-moistened
summer morning,–
a detached
sleepily indifferent
smile, a
wanderer’s smile,–
if I should
buy a shirt
your color and
put on a necktie
where would they carry me?

- William Carlos Williams

Monday, April 2, 2018

Educational Links 4/3/18

3 Ways Schools Are Transforming Recess and Improving School Culture


Tech Tools are No Shortcut to Learning But Can Boost STEM & Arts Learning

How Civic Engagement Helps Students See Their Capacity to Make Change

Students With Special Needs Face Suspicion After School Shooting

Three Earth Day Resources

Five Ways to Sustain School Change Through Pushback, Struggle and Fatigue

Teaching through projects, interrogating the value of grades, attempting to make learning more meaningful and connected to young people’s lives and interests, thoughtful ways of using technology to amplify and share student work. These are just some of the ways teaching and learning are changing. 

Spring Books for Early Readers from Reading Rockets

Waiting for Wings
By: Lois Ehlert
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Every spring, butterflies emerge and dazzle the world with their vibrant beauty. But where do butterflies come from? How are they born? What do they eat — and how? With a simple, rhyming text and glorious color-drenched collage, Lois Ehlert provides clear answers to these and other questions as she follows the life cycle of four common butterflies. Complete with flower facts and identification tips, as well as a guide to planting a butterfly garden, this butterfly book is like no
Olivia Saves the Circus

By: Ian Falconer
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Olivia remembers her trip to the circus very well. The performers were out sick, so she had to do everything. Step into the ring with Olivia, where the lights are dim, the color soft, and a little girl's imagination is the main attraction.
Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!

By: Candace Fleming
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Try as he might, Mr. McGreely cannot outwit three clever and hungry rabbits as they feast on his vegetable garden — muncha, muncha, muncha! But there's always something to be grateful for as both the gardener and the rabbits learn in this funny, alliterative tale.

Charlie Needs a Cloak

By: Tomie dePaola
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader
Charlie's sheep keep nibbling on his cloak, and now it's all tattered and torn. So, he shears his sheep, cards and spins the wool, weaves and dyes the cloth, and sews a beautiful new red cloak to keep him warm when winter comes.
Countdown to Spring

By: Janet Schulman, Meilo So
Illustrated by: Meilo So
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader  
Soft illustrations complement the rhythmic text in this gentle w

Social and Emotional Learning-- How Do You Feel About That?

Empathy: The Most Important Back-to-School Supply 

 Empathy starts with putting yourself in someone else's shoes -- a key step in understanding perspectives that differ from your own. This isn't just a nice thing to do; it's an essential, active skill. It's foundational to embracing differences, building relationships, gaining a global perspective, conducting richer and deeper analysis, and communicating more effectively.

 As a further suggestion, living through literature creates empathy, such as journeying through 'The Story of My Life' by Helen Keller. All literature, and poetry, can serve this purpose.

Start Empathy Videos 

We know that a child who masters empathy at the age of six is less likely to bully ten years later, and that, for students, having one supportive relationship with an adult outside the family can be the difference between success and failure as an adult.

As educators, we need to support opportunities to be the 'one supportive adult relationship' outside the home through clubs, tutoring, sports, in-class support--however we can create a productive bond with a student to provide emotional support for healthy development. We need to 'be there' for the kids. 

Social and Emotional Learning 

Why educators must help students develop the skills to manage their emotions, resolve conflicts nonviolently, and make responsible decisions.

Can schools provide students (and teachers) with insight and support to develop empathy thus limiting bullying and violence to the end of growing tolerance, camaraderie and global teamwork? We surely must try.

It's Time for Social and Emotional Learning for All