Saturday, December 19, 2020

Educational Links 12/20/2020

How Can Virtual Tutoring Help Students During Distance Learning?

 Teaching Emotional Regulation to Students

School districts balk at California’s new Covid worker safety regulations

Childhood As ‘Resume Building’: Why Play Needs A Comeback

3 Questions to Contemplate Before Adopting New Technology

Tools that increase teacher efficiency and help strengthen bonds with students are the ones that are most worthwhile.

The Future Is Now In Education

The Future Is Now In Education: The Classroom and the Cloud: A Bright Forecast for 2020decentalized educaiton,

Tired of the Same Ole, Same Ole Christmas Carols? Get Steamrolled


Mannheim Steamroller - Christmas - Full Album

Special compositions used in hospitals? Everyone is familiar with the sounds of Mannheim Steamroller but did you know Chip has innovated a system that plays special compositions used in hospitals as Mayo Clinic? listen to Chip explain Ambient Therapy.

Bob Dylan Must Be Santa?

Bob Dylan - Must Be Santa 

Friday, December 18, 2020

Educational Links 12/19/2020

5 Things We've Learned About Virtual School During the Pandemic

California teachers' unions affirm opposition to opening schools without more safety precautions

Finding joy amid tragedy, California families look ahead with hope

How to Help Kids Who Are Too Hard on Themselves

The Christmas Dilemma

Teaching elementary students about religious and cultural holidays is tough, but in schools across the nation culturally responsive teaching is opening up new possibilities.

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.

Interesting Arts and Crafts for Diverse Winter Holidays

Lights of Winter: Winter Celebrations Around the World

Advent Calendar 

Winter Solstice 

 Create a Stained Glass Rose Window 

Christmas Activities for Middle School Students : Christmas Crafts new year, ephiphanyv=JwszFzZ0W-4

December Holidays Lessons & Resources, Grades 6-12 




Kwanzaa Crafts and Activities 

Pongal Arts and Crafts 

New Year's Day Art and Craft Projects 

Children's Arts & Crafts for Epiphany

Read more :


Movies About Jesus

Jesus is honored among all major religions as a teacher, ethicist, prophet, or mystic. This is the season for those who believe in the orthodox principles of Christianity, in the deity of Jesus and remembering His birth, passion and resurrection. There are also many groups of Christians who may not agree on all the details of this faith, and their kids might be in your classes. It takes a delicate touch to provide respect for all kids' beliefs during discussions of major religions.

We respect the rights of all people to have beliefs. I am not recommending showing films about Jesus or not showing them in your class; that is a decision for your school.

But beginning in Middle School, at least in the State of California, there are many passages from the Bible, and the New Testament in particular, that are considered worthy of literary consideration. The Book of Job, the Psalms, the Sermon on the Mount, parables. The King James version, which recenlty celebrated its 500th birthday, is considered a masterpiece itself. It is said Shakespeare made a contribution to it.

And this is a pretty good time of year to show portions of the Jesus story if you're going to. Even the History Channel, liberal bastion of cable TV, frequently shows the television film of "Jesus of Nazareth" in entirety, Jesus being a central person of historical interest. That's why this is the year 2015.

Mary, the mother of Jesus in "The Passion of the Christ."
Jesus, although He was Jewish,  is usually portrayed looking like a European, generally with a British accent, except for "The Passion of the Christ," which was in Aramaic (the Hebrew spoken at the time of Jesus) with subtitles. That's a pretty amazing idea and accomplishment, if you can find it in you heart to forgive Mel Gibson for being a flawed human and all after he produced that remarkable movie. The production has accuracy in costuming, music, and portrays basic Catholic theology, except possibly about Pontius Pilate, the Roman who deserved no sympathy for his decision.

"The Passion of the Christ" 2004
"The Passion of the Christ," is bone crushing in the accuracy of suffering. The perspective of Mary the mother of Jesus is unique in this movie version, and serves to present why many Christians have a special devotion to her. What age of child should see this? I can't say, but it is very intense, particularly when Mary flashes back to Jesus falling as a little boy as He carries the cross. Use your own judgement.

"The Kings of Kings" 1961
"The Greatest Story Ever Told" 1965

Several Bible-themed movies came out in the sixties with blue-eyed Jesus actors quoting the King James Bible. Jeffrey Hunter was in the "Kings of Kings," a remake from the Cecil B. DeMille's 1927 version. 
Max von Sydow played Jesus in 1965 in "The Greatest Story Ever Told." The films are sympathetically presented, especially toward poor little misunderstood Judas, who is frequently the most interesting character. These films have a respectful mood if not accuracy, and for the viewer who is looking to connect with the words of Jesus quoted in the Bible, these films are very effective. Children who are familiar with the story should be okay with the crucifixion scenes which are not too graphic, but kids have to be prepared.

As children watch a film about Jesus, it is very intense. Jesus is a lovable and sympathetic character whether He is considered in a religious sense or not. Kids really have to be prepared for the story to transpire. I was invited by a friend to a theatre full of viewers from her Baptist church to see "The Passion of the Christ." All adults, all in tears (both men and women) by the end. It is just a really tough and sad story for both believer and non-believer.

"Jesus of Nazareth" miniseries 1977

My preferred film about Jesus to view with children is the television miniseries, "Jesus of Nazareth." (1977). It is frequently on television at the Christmas and Easter seasons. Visually, there are lots of references to famous works of art, and the music is sort of mysterioso in a supernatural sense that a good something, maybe a miracle, is going to happen; that something supernatural isn't always sinister. Jesus is compassionate, powerful and somehow one-of-the-guys while being divine. Peter is great with his bumbling, yet strong and sincere personality. Mary was a little young being portrayed by Olivia Hussey. Judas was indecisive until he was creepy and betrayed his best friend. I personally don't think Judas was sorry after he did that. Laurence Olivier portrayed Nicodemus.

Nicodemus quoting Isaiah 53 as Jesus is on the cross.
 Being a miniseries, the important parts of the story are portrayed because there is time for them. The Sermon on the Mount is well worth sharing with kids, particularly since important modern leaders such as Ghandi and Martin Luther King reference this, and other portions of Jesus' statements. One of my very favorite scenes from any film is this portrayal of Jesus giving a parable (which are also part of the standards for literature.) Peter and Matthew the tax collector also have a moment.

Jesus hangin' with His homies, for which He was criticized severely.

Here is the Prodigal Son, put up on youtube.

 The person who put up this video also included a little music, not from the film.

I would like to share a song that I still find marvelous. This was written during the Jesus Movement of the early 1970s and presents the case for Christianity at its most basic and radical. Which pretty much describes the Jesus Movement, and how Jesus happened in my life then, too.  Enjoy.

"Jesus Is All That We Need."
 Gary Arthur
The Way

Good ole fashioned Jesus music from good ole fashioned Jesus People @1972

Who Laughs This Way, "Ho, ho, ho!"?

This video is such a mixed metaphor --I wouldn't know where to begin. But it is a revelation (I'm guessing since all the tapes were released) that Nixon moonlighted as a reindeer. There's a mental picture for you.

Bob Dylan - Must Be Santa

Who's got a beard that's long and white?
Santa's got a beard that's long and white
Who comes around on a special night?
Santa comes around on a special night
Special night, beard that's white
Must be Santa, must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus
Who wears boots and a suit of red?
Santa wears boots and a suit of red
Who wears a long cap on his head?
Santa wears a long cap on his head
Cap on head, suit that's red
Special night, beard that's white
Must be Santa, must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus
Whose got a big red cherry nose?
Santa's got a big red cherry nose
Who laughs this way, "Ho, ho, ho!"?
Santa laughs this way, "Ho, ho, ho!"
Ho, ho, ho, cherry nose
Cap on head, suit that's red
Special night, beard that's white
Must be Santa, must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus
Who very soon will come our way?
Santa very soon will come our way
Eight little reindeer pull his sleigh
Santa's little reindeer pull his sleigh
Reindeer sleigh, come our way
Ho, ho, ho, cherry nose
Cap on head, suit that's red
Special night, beard that's white
Must be Santa, must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon
Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen
Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton.
Reindeer sleigh, come our way
Ho, ho, ho, cherry nose
Cap on head, suit that's red
Special night, beard that's white
Must be Santa, must be Santa
Must be Santa, Santa Claus

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Educational Links 12/18/2020

Testing Students This Spring Would Be a Mistake

Kids With Autism See IQs Rise With Age, Study Finds


Students remain in distance learning because we lack school-specific Covid-19 data

Teachers in High-Poverty Schools Penalized Unfairly on Observations, Study Says

15 Examples of Student-Centered Teaching

How to Better Support Middle and High School Students With Dyslexia 

These students need to know their teachers understand their struggles and believe that they can be successful in the classroom.

Learn About Learning Disabilities

a condition giving rise to difficulties in acquiring knowledge and skills to the level expected of those of the same age, especially when not associated with a physical handicap.

What are Inclusive Special Education Programs?

Helping Children with Learning Disabilities

Inclusion is a term used to describe one option for the placement of special education students in public schools. These inclusive programs are sometimes referred to as mainstreaming, which is the selective placement of students with disabilities in regular education classrooms.

What Are Classrooms Like for Students with Learning Disabilities?

Successful Strategies for Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities

It is thought that learning disabilities may be caused by hereditary, teratogenic factors (for instance, alcohol or cocaine use during pregnancy), medical factors (premature birth, diabetes, meningitis of mother or offspring), and/or environmental factors (malnutrition, poor prenatal healthcare).

National Center for Learning Disabilities

Types of Learning Disabilities

What are the treatments for learning disabilities?

Research and Knowledge

There was a time when society didn’t have a word for “dyslexia.” People didn’t know what “learning disabilities” (LD) were or the best ways to teach kids to read or do math. But thanks to the work of pioneering researchers, there have been enormous advances in understanding learning and attention issues. Teaching has improved. More and more kids have educational programs that work. Advances in research and knowledge have helped countless students learn and succeed in life.

Fret Not

and don't forget to delight thyself in the Lord!

fret not
do good
commit thy way
cease from anger
wait upon the Lord
the meek shall inherit the earth
the Lord upholds the righteous
show mercy
the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord
depart from evil do good
speak wisdom

The Holy Bible (KJV) _ Psalms 37 

MzTeachuh's Christmas Music Playlist

Cheer up--it's Ella singing 'Sleigh Ride'

...and the soul felt its worth... 

...To Face Unafraid The Plans That We Made... 


 Paul McCartney Rewrites the Christmas Song 

 Laughing All The Way 

What Child Is This?

 Feliz Navidad! 

Silent Night in Irish 

You're Still A Mean One, Mr. Grinch 

 Run, Run Rudolph! 

Civil War Era Christmas Carol--True Story 

Victorian poor. 

Some Children See Him

A Soalin' 

Christmas Music For Feeling Sorry For Yourself

A Charlie Brown Christmas: the Music