Saturday, November 10, 2018

In Flanders Fields--100 Years after Armistice

In Flanders Fields
by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row, 
That mark our place, and in the sky, 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly, 
Scarce heard amid the guns below. 
We are the dead; short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields. 
Take up our quarrel with the foe! 
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high! 
If ye break faith with us who die 
 We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

This poem is a rondeau, written by McCrae while a doctor in the trenches; he also died. Many Canadian soldiers volunteered for WWI after reading this. The poem was found in their pockets after they became casualites.


Vincent Loved Autumn

Van Gogh, Poplars near Nuenen, Autumn 1884.
As long as autumn lasts, I shall not have hands, canvas and colors enough to paint the beautiful things I see.
Vincent Van Gogh

Vivaldi: Autumn

Friday, November 9, 2018

Educational Links 11/10/19

13 Brilliant Outcomes Of Project-Based Learning

What Does Personalized Learning Mean? Whatever People Want It To

What Is Sensory Overload?

Should Childhood Trauma Be Treated As A Public Health Crisis?

A Simple but Powerful Class Opening Activity

The Backlash Against Screen Time at School

Teaching Strategies for Disobedient Students

Dealing with disobedient students can be a challenge. Not only can they be disruptive, but many of them also lack motivation to learn. When you have one or more disobedient students in your classroom, their behavior can negatively impact the entire classroom. While there is no one special teaching strategy that will magically make these students behave better, there are a few teaching strategies that can help make a more productive learning environment for your classroom. 

Ideas for Thanksgiving Lessons

1. Thanksgiving – Teacher Resources 

2.  America celebrates Thanksgiving Day today.

3.  Thanksgiving Classroom Ideas 

4. TeachersFirst's Thanksgiving Resources 

5. Drama:  Thanksgiving Day Feast 

6.  Are You Teaching The Real Story of the "First Thanksgiving"? 

7. Middle School Art Activities With 

a Thanksgiving Theme



Thursday, November 8, 2018

Educational Links 11/9/18

Forget “digital natives.” Here’s how kids are really using the Internet

What a Divided Congress Means for Higher Education

Cultivating a Strong Staff Culture

Parts of Speech Quest

Being the Only Person Who Doesn't Speak the Native Language, a Reflection

A Rubric for Digital Portfolio Assessment

Three Ways to Boost Collaboration in Student Projects

There’s no magical formula to make creative collaboration work. However, as the architect, you can design the structures that build creative collaboration among your students. It’s not easy. It will never work perfectly. Yet, ultimately, it worth it as students develop the lifelong collaborative skills they will need forever.

Overcoming Educational Burnout

Overcoming Burnout: Why Overwhelmed Is the New Normal and What to Do About It - PART I


Overcoming Burnout: Why Overwhelmed Is the New Normal and What to Do About It - PART II

Teacher Burnout

Classroom Management: Teacher Burnout Causes & Prevention

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Educational Links 11/8/19

National Conversations Are Classroom Conversations

Commonsense Solutions to Behavior Challenges in Early Childhood Settings

How Teachers Designed a School-Centered On Caring Relationships

9 Things Teachers Need if the United States Ever Wants Another Globally Competitive Generation

9 Apps to Help Teens With ADHD Manage Everyday Challenges

The Library of Congress Makes Thousands of Fabulous Photos, Posters & Images Free to Use & Reuse

A Heartbreaking Choice: Should My Son Have Accommodations for Lockdown Drills?

So far, I’ve only talked about these questions with my husband. But when Benjamin comes home talking about having a lockdown drill, it makes me realize it’s time to talk to him and his IEP team.
On a broader scale, it makes me realize all parents of kids with learning and attention issues need to be having these conversations with our school districts. Having plans in place to help kids who struggle to follow directions, or who have sensory processing issues or other disabilities, is something all districts should be considering.
As for the fear factor? Perhaps we can find ways to address the anxiety most kids may experience around safety drills. But when it comes to our anxiety as parents, I don’t think there are any easy answers.

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.


Teaching Is Collaborating Until You're A Team

1. The Benefits of Teacher Collaboration 

2. Teacher Collaboration Gives Schools Better Results 

3. Making Time for Teacher Collaboration Is Crucial

All this in 30 minutes after school.

4. Maximizing the Impact of Teacher Collaboration 

5. 5 Ways to Get More Out of Teacher-to-Teacher Collaboration 

6. The Benefits of Teacher Collaboration 

7. 5 Ways to Get More Out of Teacher-to-Teacher Collaboration 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Educational Links 11/7/18

What Does Improvement Science Look Like In Real Classrooms?

Getting Rid of the Lecture Bottleneck

Learn What’s Happening in Edtech

When you can't (or don't want to) stick to routines: How to create flexibility within structure

Five Places to Find Free Music and Sounds for Multimedia Projects

Clean, Healthy Classroom Management Techniques

9 Things Teachers Need if the United States Ever Wants Another Globally Competitive Generation

Since so few people are willing to teach under the current conditions, every state in the US is currently experiencing a teacher shortage. States are responding to these shortages not by improving conditions for teachers but often by lowering the qualifications to become a teacher. I don’t know how I can say this any more clearly: We will no longer have talented teachers if we do not take steps to make teaching an attractive profession.Period.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Educational Links 11/6/18

4 Tools for Teaching Teamwork and Collaboration in the Classroom

Dear America: Kids doing active-shooter drills is not normal.

Using Movement Theater And Inquiry To Increase Authentic Learning

Despite popularity with parents and teachers, review of research finds small benefits to small classes

Making Advisory More Effective

Assistive Technology for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues: What You Need to Know

Do Sensory Processing Issues Get Better Over Time?

They may not disappear, but they usually become milder as kids mature, and learn to manage them

Five Poems to Soothe Kids' Toxic Stress

Grandpa was really sick now, thin like a skeleton.

The last thing I remember him saying was, "Did you bring the little dog?"
We hadn't brought Kip because Grandpa was in a hospice, but the pain-killers made him think he saw the chihuahua at the foot of the bed.  Kip had been a faithful friend stationed at the foot of his bed the previous five years at home when Grandpa was bedridden due to cancer.

Melanie, Grandpa and Kip 1962
Technically, Grandpa wasn't our 'real' grandfather. He was our grandmother's second husband. But to me, my sister, and all the many cousins, he was the best grandpa in the whole world. Everyone says that, even over fifty years later. He loved children. He loved us. He spent time talking to us, taking us on walks, teaching us to play the card game 'Casino.' And card tricks, too. All the photos with him showed everyone smiling. He was like that.

I recall watching baseball on television with him. He was a San Francisco Giants' fan. I realized last year that the reason I knew so much about the Giants was because I watched the World Series (1962) with him (the last baseball season Grandpa was at home), before he passed away the following spring. His going left a dark hole in the family.

Literature can ease the stress of a child's serious loss, so the effect doesn't advance to toxic, chronic stress. Literature draws the isolating pain out in the open. We aren't alone in our experiences; universal themes speak to our human condition, too. For me, I somehow found  "The Rainy Day," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, probably in my parochial school library. It soothed my heartbroken, prepubescent soul with lines like "Behind the clouds is the sun still shining" and "Into each life some rain must fall, Some days must be dark and dreary."  Henry knew how I felt. 

#16 Life Doesn't Frighten Me At All by Ian Lantz
Childhood can be filled with fears, even terrors, real and imagined. We don't need to describe the traumas kids suffer. Maya Angelou's "Life Doesn't Frighten Me," infers a child's nightmares and possible real terrors;  the voice in the poem stands up to her fears. A group discussion of a poem allows a student to absorb the comfort at her own pace and need; she can share her fear or not. But the universal experience of fear is acknowledged.

Kids can be demeaned, betrayed, bullied. How can a kid handle that? Students, usually middle-schoolers, respond with shock at the opening lines of'
                                            I'm nobody! Who are you?
                                            Are you nobody, too?

Someone else knows how it feels? I'm not the only one going through this? When you're born into the caste of the rejects--what's a kid to do? Like Emily Dickinson suggests, reject the insult--its the conformists who are to be ridiculed.  To read how the totally unique Emily suggests we do this, go to this link and see all the poem.

Every year I have taught in Southern California, I have students that have had traumatic losses due to violence close to them. Even what we consider to be a cliche can comfort them. Famous sayings and poems aren't famous to kids--its new material.  The well known saying from Tennyson's "In Memoriam" is still valid:
                                           I hold it true, whate'er befall;
                                           I feel it, when I sorrow most;
                                           'Tis better to have loved and lost
                                           Than never to have loved at all.
For the rest of the poem, I always liked the reference to not wanting to be a 'linnet' (caged bird) that was never free to experience 'the summer wood.' Life has joys and sorrows, and we fly to the first despite the eventual descent into the second. 

Our people, our family can uphold us. Langston Hughes' "Mother to Son" speaks a mom's heart. Life's exertion, exhaustion, and unexpected reversals require relentless effort to overcome, often too much for the young  person by himself. Whether its a mother to son, grandpa to granddaughter, teacher to student---there are grown-ups reaching out to you. Someone cares. We can navigate you, one step at a time, past the hidden trip-ups. We know where they are-- we've tripped over a few--but let's get up and keep on climbing.

The comfort from the community;  poets from even two hundred years ago can be a member of that community. A poem can embrace the sad, frightened, lonely soul of a child.

I thought of Grandpa when his Giants won the World Series in 2010, 2012, and 2014.  I couldn't share it with him, except in my heart. That's a comforting thought. I learned that from poetry.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Educational Links 11/5/18

Register for 10 Ways to Support a Child Who Is Being Bullied

How NaNoWriMo Works for Educators

Project-Based Learning

Equity in Schools: What Administrators Need to Know



When It’s More Than ADHD

If you’ve been diagnosed with ADHD, odds are you also exhibit symptoms of anxiety, a mood disorder, sensory processing disorder, or one of these other 7 overlapping, linked conditions. Here’s what you need to know to guarantee an accurate evaluation and productive treatment.