Saturday, March 23, 2019

Educational Links 3/24/19

The Big List of Student Contests and Competitions

Decluttering Your Classroom

Will new standards improve elementary science education?science instruction, 

Why Writing Is So Painful for Kids with ADHD

Why Teacher-Student Relationships Matter

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Basics

Student Complaints as Teachable Moments

Students’ critical comments may throw new teachers off, but they can be useful for sparking engagement and learning.

Friday, March 22, 2019

What is Personalized Learning?

8 Tips For Successful Implementation of Personalized Learning + Infographic

Educational Links 3/23/19

Scaffold Reflection for Deeper Metacognition and Better Feedback


26 Must-Watch TED Talks to Spark Student Discussions

Tips for Calming Anxious Kids

“I Think With My Feelings and See With My Heart:” A Child’s-Eye View of ADHD

7 April Fools’ Pranks for Teachers That Will Melt the Minds of Students

How to help struggling young readers

 The end of third grade is a turning point for young readers; it’s where skilled readers take off, finally able to competently read a variety of texts, and struggling readers teeter off track, often unable to ever catch up. This crucial juncture and its far-reaching implications for those who don’t meet the mark is why some educators are focusing their literacy efforts on the school years that come before third grade — hoping through innovation to offset what could be a terrible and lasting deficit in children’s reading skills.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Educational Links 3/22/19

Changing How The World Sees Disability One Photo At A Time

Accountability, education reforms and a failure to embrace technology are all blamed for teachers' excessive overtime

Challenging The Average

Chief Privacy Officers: The Unicorns of K-12 Education

Creative Ways To Get Kids To Thrive In School

Why do teachers work more overtime than anyone else?

Accountability, education reforms and a failure to embrace technology are all blamed for teachers' excessive overtime.

Vincent: Not Wandering Lonely As A Cloud

Vincent Willem van Gogh, Dutch, 1853 ‑ 1890. Oil on canvas, 19 1/2 x 39 1/4 inches (49.5 x 99.7 cm). Cincinnati Art Museum, Bequest of Mary E. Johnston
My first daffodil this year.

Daffodils are starting to blossom in my part of the world, and always remind me of Wordsworth's famous poem, 'Daffodils,' also called, 'I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud.' It is the narrative of an introspective poet taking a countryside hike and as he walks over a slight hill, encounters the serendipity of thousands of daffodils.

Here is a thoughtful piece of Impressionistic music:

Debussy - Reverie

Vincent illustrates a similar encounter with a couple. Love the warmth of Van Gogh.

I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud

By William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed—and gazed—but little thought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils. 
Check out the excellent resource that is the Poetry Foundation-- and maybe introduce a 'Poem of the Week,'  which is the quickest way to get to the top Bloom's Taxonomy.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Educational Links 3/21/19

Exaggerated Emotions: How and Why ADHD Triggers Intense Feelings

Autism Studies Are  a Boys’ Club

A cap on charters would only cap family choices

Are Principals Perfect? If You Ask Most of Them, the Answer Is Yes

Counselors Couldn’t Keep Up With Our Growing Mental Health Crisis, So Peers Stepped Up

Two New Resources to Empower Students with Disabilities and Their Peers in Higher Education

Teaching Coding to Kids: What Programming Language Should We Use?

What makes any programming language a good language for teaching kids to code? Are there any criteria to help pick a language?

The Sky Is Cheap Entertainment: Worm Moon! Robins Rejoice!

According to, this full moon is called the Worm Moon because: "At the time of this Moon, the ground begins to soften enough for earthworm casts to reappear, inviting the return of robins and migrating birds.

See the 'Super Worm Moon' Rise with the Spring Equinox Today!

Why Is It Called A “Worm Moon”?

Woman Harmony With The Moon - Sacred Moon Native American Music

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Educational Links 3/20/19

Dear White Teachers: You Can't Love Your Black Students If You Don't Know Them

6 Strategies for Finding Your Calm

7 Skills Students Will Always Need

Micro-Cloud Learning Series Part 2: Technology Components of a Micro-Cloud Architecture

More Kids Than Ever Are Dealing With Test Anxiety, and We Need to Help

The Difference Between IEPs and 504 Plans 

I’m a Neuroscientist. Here’s How Teachers Change Kids’ Brains.

Teachers change brains. While we often don’t think of ourselves as brain-changers, when we teach we have an enormous impact on our students’ cognitive development. Recent advances in educational neuroscience are helping educators understand the critical role we play in building brain capacities important to students’ learning and self-control.

MzTeachuh's Meditations: Sheltered in the Arms of God

When you are missing your loved one.

Ben Speer - Sheltered In The Arms Of God (Live)

I feel the touch of hands so kind and tender. They're leading me in the paths that I must trod. I'll have no fear for Jesus walks beside me For I'm sheltered in the arms of God. So let the storm clouds rage high, The dark clouds rise, They won't worry me; For I'm sheltered safe within the arms of God. He walks with me, And naught of earth shall harm me, For I'm sheltered in the arms of God. Soon I shall hear the call from heaven's portals Come home my child, It's the last mile you must trod I'll fall asleep And wake in God's sweet heaven For I'm sheltered in the arms of God. So let the storm clouds rage high, The dark clouds rise, They won't worry me; For I'm sheltered safe within the arms of God. He walks with me, And naught of earth shall harm me, For I'm sheltered in the arms of God.

Book Review: Song of the Swallows (March 19 when they return to Capistrano)

"Song of the Swallows," las golondrinas, is a picture book which won the Caldecott Award in 1949. Written and illustrated by Leo Politi, the story highlights Hispanic customs in San Juan Capistrano, California, that blend nature, Catholicism, and the history of California from a child's perspective.

Juan is the main character, a boy of about seven or eight years old. He attends the school by the Mission, and is a friend of the bell ringer/gardener, grandfatherly Julian. Julian is the only adult mentioned in the book, the Mission is the only setting. The story occurs in the timelessness of childhood, so we don't really know if the illustrations depict the 1940's or not. There is no clue by the clothing, activities, or countryside. The Mission and garden are not dated. There are no automobiles, but even today in coastal California, you might go miles without seeing a motorized vehicle. And there is no clue from the birds; swallows don't follow fashion dictates. One of the main attractions of "The Song of the Swallows" is this untainted marvel-of-childhood quality.

Julian tells Juan about the settling of California by Father Serra and the Franciscan friars. Every fourth grader in this state (myself included) studied this period of California history, and created model missions, maybe even visiting a Mission. There are over twenty missions up and down the California coast, with many cities named after the nearby Mission, i.e., San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and, of course, San Francisco.  I've seen a few and the facilities are well maintained and beautiful.

There is no controversy in this book about the treatment of the Indians by the Franciscans.
A 1985 stamp immortalizing Father Junipero Serra

The following link is a balanced biography of Father Serra.

Father Junipero Serra also has a statue in the United States Statuary Hall, in Washington, D.C.

Politi's portrayal of Mission San Juan Capistrano.

You can purchase this model of San Juan Capistrano for a Grade Four project.

Julian, the St. Francis look-a-like.
Julian, in little Juan's eyes,  is portrayed almost St. Francis-like with the beautiful garden and hummingbirds, pigeons, sparrows and other birds being comfortable around the gentle soul.

Juan learns of the mystery of the swallows. How do they know to arrive on St. Joseph's Day? (March 19.)  It has nothing to do with Joseph, the stepfather of the Savior  (of Jesus, Mary and Joseph fame.) It just coincides with the season the swallows migrate to their familiar habitat.

Happy birdie family, happy boy.
Juan wonders about the nests
Why is there a St. Joseph's Day? In the worship schedule for Catholics, each day has one or more saints honored throughout the year at daily Mass with a feast day, or worship service. For example, many communities have the blessing of the animals on October 4, the feast of Francis of Assisi, to honor his saintly lifestyle that was so peaceful that it is said that even wild animals were gentle with him and birds would perch on him. Francis also propagated peace, forgiveness, and taking care of the poor.  Francis lived in twelfth century Italy, and wrote some lovely prayers.

Happy kids enjoying the beautiful Mission and the birds.
 As the birds get comfortable, the child personifies the male and female birds as the nest is built, the female incubates the eggs, and the male serenades her with sweet, twittering song. Then both the parents diligently feed the hatchlings, like a happy family.

 The children thoroughly enjoy the presence of the birds, the  spring season, and the safety and contentment of the belief system supplied by the Mission. It is interesting, though, in  the story that parents, priests, nuns, teachers or any other adult besides Julian, the grandfatherly gardener, do not make an appearance. Not even an older brother or sister.

In due time, the swallows migrate to a mysterious island for the winter. The human inhabitants of Capistrano will wait for their return. Juan and the other happy kids are very excited when the birds return. The birds actually fly to Goya, Argentina.

The swallows leave Capistrano on their mission to a mysterious island.

Leo Politi
 Leo Politi, although an Italian-America, wrote warmly of the Hispanic culture in Southern California. He authored several children's books. I met him when I was in college in Los Angeles. He was very encouraging to a young English student.

This year in San Juan Capistrano, the swallows are sort of hiding from the big to-do that the residents of Capistrano throw on March 19, St. Joseph's Day.  Now the occasion is kind of a mixed metaphor, with a large variety of traditions celebrated, but still a beautiful day out in a remarkably lovely part of the world.

Pat Boone - When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano 

This is a wonderful, cheesy song about the swallows returning to Capistrano by Pat Boone recorded in the 1950's, with great pictures of the little birds.
Singing with Pat.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Educational Links 3/19/19

Building Teens Into Strong Readers — By Letting Them Teach

The Warm Demander: How to raise expectations (and have students rise to meet them)

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

31 Surprising Facts About Learning

Expecting Too Much-and Too Little? of Literacy Teachers

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence for Kids With Learning and Attention Issues

7 tips for navigating the shift to open educational resources 

Moving from traditional textbooks to open educational resources can improve accessibility to information and save students millions. But a speaker in a recent webinar hosted by say there are a few considerations administrators should keep in mind as they take on the shift to OE.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Educational Links 3/18/19

It’s Time To Think Differently About Writing In The Classroom

Education software survey

Teaching Students to Paraphrase

Stifled Creativity and Its Toxic Impact on the ADHD Brain

31 Surprising Facts About Learning

Who Is Taking Care of Teachers?

A Rise In Depression Among Teens And Young Adults Could Be Linked To Social Media Use

A study published Thursday in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology finds the percentage of U.S. teens and young adults reporting mental distress, depression and suicidal thoughts and actions has risen significantly over the past decade. While these problems also increased among adults 26 and older, the increase was not nearly as large as among younger people.