Saturday, March 16, 2019

Educational Links 3/17/19

Simple Relationship-Building Strategies

Learn What’s Happening in Edtech

5 Tips For Teaching With Art In Any Subject Area

Survey: Students Say Schools Don't Give Them Skills They Need to Succeed After Graduation

The Best Ed-Tech Research: 5 Key Lessons for Educators

I was in special ed as a kid, and I share that with my students

7 Easy Ways to Volunteer for Earth Day With Students

How Can Schools Prioritize For The Best Ways Kids Learn?

The education world is full of incremental change -- the slow process of individuals learning about new strategies and approaches, trying them out, improving on their skills, and hopefully sharing their learning with colleagues to continue growth. While that process is necessary and good, if the changes to education are all in the service of doing the same thing better, they may be missing the point. The world has changed since education became compulsory and the current moment necessitates an education system that isn’t just better, but different.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Educational Links 3/16/19

How Improving Student Feedback and Teaching Data Science Restored Our Classroom Culture

'Teaching is breaking. Is anyone out there listening?'

The Hottest Chat App for Teens Is … Google Docs

As more and more laptops find their way into middle and high schools, educators are using Google Docs to do collaborative exercises and help students follow along with the lesson plan. The students, however, are using it to organize running conversations behind teachers’ backs.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Educational Links 3/15/19

Where On Google Earth is Carmen Sandiego? - A Great Geography Game

Flipped Classroom 101: Challenges, Benefits & Design Tips

How To Add Feedback To Student Writing On Google Docs

Teachable Moments: How Four Educators Learned to See Their Students Differently

, music therapy


Micro-Cloud Learning Series Part 1: The Digital Divide in Education

Music That Focuses the Brain

Research suggests that the soundtrack to your child’s homework should comprise these 21 songs, proven to change the electromagnetic frequency of brain waves for optimal focus.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Educational Links 3/14/19

An illustration of a student surfing a wave on top of a book

A Game-Based Approach to Test Prep


Classroom Management: STOP Being a Perfectionist

How Mastery-Based Learning Can Help Students of Every Background Succeed

Pupils not concentrating? Get out the superhero costumes

Research suggests that dressing up as your favourite superhero might have more benefits than you might have realised, says Grainne Hallahan

Nature, My Garden and Me

It is looking like Spring around here! So glad I dug those holes and planted those bulbs last summer!




Grape Hyacinth!

Teeny Tiny Iris

Teachable Moment: In Praise of First Ladies--As Different As They Are

This is totally non-political. In reading this post, I doubt you could tell who I plan to vote for or not; who I have voted for or not; or who I may have written in or plan on writing in. This has nothing to do with politics. This post is in praise of a small group of women who have served the country as First Lady, and we should take note.

Melania Trump visiting a school in Africa.
 Melanie Trump is the second naturalized citizen to be First Lady (the first being John Quincy Adams' wife Louisa from England.) Ms. Trump is from Slovenia. The emphasis of this First Lady involves helping children.

The "Be Best' platform will focus on three main issues facing today's children that Mrs. Trump said are of particular concern to her: physical and emotional well-being, social media use, and the opioid abuse. 
 “I feel strongly that as adults, we can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.”

Michelle Obama, wife of the 44th president, Barrack Obama, has focused on helping kids be healthier through the Let's Move! program. Kids across America have learned to love healthy food through improved lunches. I recently had a second grader tell me how he loved squash. Cool. Check out the Let's Move! site--it is really special.

" I am determined to work with folks across this country to change the way a generation of kids thinks about food and nutrition." Michelle Obama

Laura Bush, wife of the 43rd president, George Bush, was a librarian--it follows that literacy would be her focus as First Lady. She has worked hard not only for Americans, but she has particularly declared the rights of girls for education worldwide.

Her foundation works for libraries in the USA.
"Once a child learns to use a library, the doors to learning are always open." Laura Bush

Center for Southern Folklore

As First Lady and wife of the 42nd president Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton worked to begin Save America's Treasures--is a United States federal government initiative to preserve and protect historic buildings, arts, and published works.

Save America's Treasures

  The arts are not a luxury. They are an integral part of our lives as individuals and as a nation.” Hillary Clinton


Barbara Bush, wife of George H. Bush, 41st president, established Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy, empowering children and their parents to succeed,
through  family literacy programs, young children are prepared to start school ready, and parents are given a second chance to improve their literacy skills. You may recall she is a children's book author, the proceeds went to Mrs. Bush's Literacy Campaign.

Millie's Book: As Dictated to Barbara Bush 

"I strongly believe that if every man, woman, and child could read, write and comprehend, we would be much closer to solving many of our nation's serious problems." Barbara Bush

Nancy Reagan, wife of  Ronald Reagan, the 40th president, was the First Lady through most of the 80s. She began the well-known program "Just Say No," an anti-drug program aimed at students.

 "Say yes to your life And when it comes to alcohol and drugs, just say no." Nancy Reagan

Rosalyn Carter, wife of the 39th President, Jimmy Carter, supported many causes, but
her prime interest was in the area of mental health, and assisting caregivers through The Carter Center Mental Health Task Force.

"I believe that one of the most important things to learn in life is that you can make a difference in your community no matter who you are or where you live." Rosalyn Carter

Betty Ford, wife of the 38th president, Gerald
 Ford, was remarkable in her candor about personal challenges. She supported recovering from substance abuse, as well as openly discussed her challenges with cancer and alcoholism. She established The Betty Ford Center for substance abuse and addiction. 

My makeup wasn't smeared, I wasn't disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic? Betty Ford

Pat Nixon, wife of the 37th President, Richard Nixon, as First Lady was enormously effective supporting volunteerism worldwide and, in fact, volunteered personally. She encouraged a "national recruitment program" to enlist thousands of volunteers to carry out a wide variety of community services. One of her missions was to inspect ten "Vest Pockets of Volunteerism" programs that addressed pressing social problems that fell outside of purview of legislation.

"Our success as a nation depends on our willingness to give generously of ourselves for the welfare and enrichment of the lives of others."

My makeup wasn't smeared, I wasn't disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?
Read more at:

My makeup wasn't smeared, I wasn't disheveled, I behaved politely, and I never finished off a bottle, so how could I be alcoholic?
Read more at:
Lady Bird Johnson, wife of Lyndon Johnson, the 36th president, encouraged the beautification of the nation's capital through the planting of flowers, in particular, by starting the Society for a More Beautiful National Capital and she was instrumental in promoting the Highway Beautification Act, which was nicknamed "Lady Bird's Bill.

"Where flowers bloom, so does hope."Lady Bird Johnson

Jackie Kennedy, wife of the 35th president, John F. Kennedy, is quite famous for supporting the Arts and renovating the White House. Her televised 'White House Tours' were quite a phenomena in the early 1960s. through her efforts, the White House was declared a museum. 

"Everything in the White House must have a reason for being there. It would be sacrilege merely to redecorate it—a word I hate. It must be restored, and that has nothing to do with decoration. That is a question of scholarship." 

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

We're all Irish on St. Patrick's Day--and since the Irish diaspora was over  600 years long, and the Irish lived long and prospered wherever there was a Catholic church worldwide--it's probably true we're all Irish. Geneticists say that Genghis Khan was the foremost contributor to Y chromosomes worldwide, followed by O' Neill of the Nine Hostages (Irish).
My grandmother was completely Irish, her mother immigrating from the Old Sod, so I have been successfully indoctrinated about the Isle of Saints and Scholars. Trust me, no demeaning stereotypical jokes about the Irish in my growing up. Sister Francis Eileen, O.P., was the principal of St. Louis Bertrand's School in Oakland, California, and her lilting Irish brogue came over the P.A. system every morning. She was cool, all the nuns I had were cool; I never had a negative experience in parochial school. Many were from Ireland, many were Irish Americans like my sainted grandmother. And I was in that school both when John F. Kennedy ran for president, was elected, and was assassinated. Powerful stuff.

I am so thankful I didn't have to unlearn prejudice and bias--my Oakland elementary school was perfect. The only almost-bias I had to unlearn was that not everyone was from my church.

I was stunned when I heard my first negative joke about the Irish. Didn't they realize we saved western civilization? 

The Isle of Saints and Scholars-to be sure

And I didn't even say, "Pog Mo Thoin." Which shows a lot of maturity and restraint.

Ethnic jokes and teasing are a form of bullying--so kids and adults really need to knock it off. Are we that desperate to feel superior? The quiet kid in the back of the room won't be able to stand up for herself in the midst of  biased-based laughter. Bullying includes those jokes about physical appearance, churches, where you're from, and let's throw in sports teams since kids are so sensitive about them. Kids should have the right to be in school without bullying or humiliation of any type. Grown-ups, too.

 So, anyway, here are the jokes. (That's pretty Irish of me:  stick up for the underdog and then tell jokes.) 

Green, and Garfield provides the orange

How did the leprechaun get to the moon?

In a shamrocket.

Why is Ireland like a bottle of wine?

Because it has a Cork in it.

What would you get if you crossed a leprechaun with a Texan?

A pot of chili at the end of the rainbow.

No relation to Bono. Or the Edge.
What kind of music does a leprechaun band play?
                                      Shamrock and roll.

What do you call a leprechaun's vacation home in Fort Lauderdale?

A lepre-condo.

 Love Irish music. O'Sullivan's March, The Chieftans.
My gggrandmother (later immigrated to Kansas)  was a Sullivan leaving from Cork in 1844, and who survived a coffin ship to Grosse Isle Quebec.

Top o the mornin' to ya, from Betty O'Boop

Setting Up Routines for Your Class

Until we get it right.

Five Important Classroom Procedures

Design and Establish Effective Classroom Routines for a Successful School Year

But try not to make it as long as the Law of Moses.

Creating Classroom Rules and Routines

Rules and Routines in the Classroom

Rules, Routines, and Standards in Elementary and Secondary Grades

Rules and routines keep your class running smoothly so that you have more time for teaching academics. Here are some ideas for establishing, using, and reinforcing rules and routines.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Educational Links 3/13/19

Flipped Classroom 101: Challenges, Benefits & Design Tips

A Principal’s Day, According to Brain Science

The Most Important Question Every Assessment Should Answer

How Schools Can Face The 'Bad Habits' That Inhibit Meaningful Changes

Research scholars to air problems with using ‘grit’ at school

How Mastery-Based Learning Can Help Students of Every Background Succeed

The Problem with Finding the Main Idea

This report shows how systemic assessments of student learning that isolate skills like “finding the main idea” encourage teachers to place an unhelpful emphasis on the teaching of these “skills”. Drawing on examples from the United States, the report explains why this approach fails to lead to improvements in student learning. Nevertheless, student assessment can be both aligned with high standards and help to encourage the kinds of effective teaching practice that support student learning. 

Monday, March 11, 2019

Educational Links 3/12/19

How do I develop a positive classroom culture?

12 Leadership Fundamentals


In Defense of the Arts in Education

Response: 'Be Authentic' in Teacher Job Interviews

The Difference Between Dysgraphia and Expressive Language Issues

A Class Library That Represents All Students

A good classroom library is full of books that students want to read. But a classroom library should also be a place where all students can readily find books that reflect their own families, cultures, and experiences. In this way, intentionally curating a diverse classroom library is an essential and meaningful step teachers can take to be inclusive.