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TEACHERS.NET GAZETTE
MARCH 2001
Volume 2 Number 3

COVER STORY
Teachers.Net celebrates 5 years this month! Read about how teachers across the planet have visited and contributed to shape this most dynamic of collaborative educator projects!
COLUMNS
Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
Alfie Kohn Article
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Jan Fisher Column
BCL Classroom by Kim Tracy
ARTICLES
Reform Demands on Educators
Bullies: Advice for Teachers
Around the Block With...
Are Black Children Treated Differently?
The Cherub
Brain Awareness Week
Celebrating Dr. Seuss
The Issue of Violence in Our Schools
Rethinking How We Raise Teenagers
Contextual Clarity Before Curricular Concept
Early Mainstreaming for Visually Impaired
How Do You Stop a Bully?
Technology Integration
Is Distance Learning For You?
Short Fiction Paradigm Shift
The Unsinkable Sub
Things I Learned From My Daughter
Preventing Rules From Falling Apart
REGULAR FEATURES
Web News & Events
Upcoming Ed Conferences
Letters to the Editor
New in the Lesson Bank
Humor from the Classroom
Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
Gazette Back Issues
Gazette Home Delivery:


Send Us Your Web News...
Have a teacher news story or announcement you'd like to see published on our Web News column? Send it to us at editor@teachers.net and we'll include it in an upcoming issue of the gazette.


Software Mirrors State Assessment Tests

Optimum cuts down on teacher workload in preparing students.

Across Ohio and Illinois, as students prepare for the Illinois Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) and the Ohio Proficiency Test (OPT), those statesí teachers and parents are becoming aware of new software that helps students prepare.

Optimum Interactive Software, created by Photonics Graphics, has a new CD rom-based software tool that provides sample tests mirroring the state-mandated ISAT for grades 3, 4 and 5, and the OPT for grades 4, 6 and 9.

"Students can answer the questions on the computer screen and let the computer score their work," says Larry Pogue, technology coordinator. "Each CD is a valuable assessment tool." Developed with input from the Ohio and Illinois State Boards of Education, the Illinois and Ohio editions are the first two in a series of state editions.

Many say the sample tests are so similar to the actual state-mandated tests, that students gain confidence and are less nervous about taking the required test in the Spring. "The feedback on incorrect answers is excellent," says teacher Rosann OíReiley. "Itís put into words that (the student) would use."

Optimum founder Christie Brown introduced Ohioís state-specific software in 1997 to help teachers assess student needs as they relate to state-mandated tests. "This software allows teachers to troubleshoot problems while effortlessly tracking student progress," she says. "The computer does the grading and takes on the extra workload, leaving the teacher with a concise OPT or ISAT lesson plan for each student." The result is teachers are better able to address studentsí weak areas prior to administering the state assessment test in April.

Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, Optimum mirrors the ISAT and the OPT in content, length and format. With questions written by Ohio and Illinois teachers and tested by students, test-takers receive immediate feedback per question, or choose to be graded upon completion of each content area. Eventually, the state-specific practice tool will be available in all states where state assessment tests are required. For more information, call 1-888-281-5000, or visit Optimumís website at http://www.optimumtest.com.


Global e-Learning Conference

Global e-Learning 2001
Whistler, British Columbia, Canada
May 18-20, 2001

This ground-breaking event will be the first international conference to focus exclusively on the global implications of the international trade in e-Learning products and services and the growth of e-Learning in emerging markets and the developing world.

Leading speakers will focus on three areas:

  • Global e-Learning Technology Issues

  • Global e-Learning Regulatory / Political Environment

  • Global e-Learning Investment Opportunities
This event is targeted at senior executives, knowledge officers, government officials, education institution administrators, training managers, e-Learning professionals and venture capitalists / investors with an interest in the e-Learning sector.

To keep the format highly interactive, attendance will be limited so you will want to register early!

Click here for more information


New Resource Book For Teachers

With release of its book, Partnership Education in Action: A Companion to Tomorrow's Children, the Center for Partnership Studies focuses its effort to transform the educational system by providing a resource for all teachers, administrators, and homeschoolers who want to integrate Partnership process, content and structure into their existing curriculum. Discover how to place the concepts of Tomorrow's Children: A Blueprint for Partnership Education in the 21st Century by Riane Eisler into an accessible form for classroom use and find administrative direction in moving schools toward the Partnership model.

Partnership education is a new educational paradigm that embodies equity, environmental and social sensitivity, gender-fairness, multiculturalism, and a more accurate and hopeful picture of what being human means. This model of education reduces violence, supports a spirit of inquiry, encourages service, and makes learning come alive. By incorporating this model of education into the classroom, both girls and boys are helped to realize their untapped human potentials - and plant the seeds for a peaceful, caring, and sustainable future.

Partnership Education in Action: A Companion to Tomorrow's Children will be available in March 2001 for $15.

For more information, contact The Center for Partnership Studies at 520-546-0176 or e-mail cpsdel@aol.com. To learn more about Partnership, go to the web site at http://www.partnershipway.org.


Paint Can Camera Giveaway

Hi folks,

I'm a professor of photography at Hartwick College in upstate NY and have designed an innovative pinhole camera & darkroom kit. Instead of advertising I've decided to give away a camera to a school every week. Interested teachers should get in touch with a short note about their program and their school address.

Best wishes,
Jim Kosinski
zinski@telenet.net
Starlight Cameras
http://www.paintcancamera.com


This Month's Cool Site

This month's cool site is Merriam-Webster Online. This 100% free resources offers a fast and lean access to the world's most famous dictionary and its companion thesarus, along with a suite of other cool tools and mind-expanding resources. For those with a pasion for webpage programming, the site offers cut-and-paste HTML code which allows you to put a free dictionary search box on your web site. If you really want to be cool, you can add your own dictionary link to your browser's toolbar for light-speed access to definitions. Integrate the most powerful tool in the English language into your Microsoft Word, Windows and Macintosh programs, and even your Palm Pilot. Looking for a fun way to expand your vocabulary? Check out the site's Word Games, Word for the Wise, and Word of the Day resources.

 



Merriam Webster Online

 
Teacher News & Events From The Web....
March Teacher News from the Web:


News From the Teachers.Net Community

Births

    Congrats to nan!
    Congrats to nan, Grandmother of Madyson Michelle
    born March 1st at 12:50 p.m.
    She weighed 7lbs 8oz and was 19 3/4" long


  • nan, became grandmother March 1
  • Shelley/Manitoba due in April
  • hana due May
  • kris/Australia due in spring
  • kdw due in spring
  • Melly due in spring
  • Stewart, father to be, in spring
  • Diet Coke/Ohio- due July 4th
  • kaybee due November 10

    Birthdays
    3/01:  Randy/2/AK
    3/01:  Paula R.
    3/03:  Jack/pong/NY
    3/03:  Susan/2nd/NY
    3/03:  cj
    3/03:  Erika/6-8/CA
    3/09:  Jen/5/OH
    3/09:  Ron
    3/10:  Kristi
    3/10:  Marjie/CA
    3/10:  Terry/KS-ST
    3/13:  Phizzy
    3/14:  Carolyn/Tn
    3/19:  ~SEA~
    3/19:  Diane/MA
    3/20:  ~Niki~
    3/21:  ŖŚrb~Tx
    3/24:  Jane/4/tx
    3/24:  Brann
    3/26:  Putter
    3/26:  Julie/K/IA/D2BT
    3/27:  Ratman
    3/30:  Valerie: S
    3/31:  Diane B
    3/31:  Linda/4/NJ

    Professional
    Ginny Hoover's new book, The Gifts of All Children, (coauthored by Carroll Killingsworth) will be released at the end of April. The book expresses the idea that all children have gifts that deserve to be recognized, acknowledged, and if possible at school--refined. Also at the end of April, Mrs. Hoover's "Ginny's Hookups for Six Traits" will be published and "Ginny's Hookups for Six Traits--Lower Grades."

    Visit Ginny's Eclectic Middle School (GEMS) for more information about Ms. Hoover's books.

    Sunnie (Leslie Bowman) received her post graduate certificate in Teaching and Learning Online from California State University - Hayward in December.

    To announce your wedding, births, or other news to the Teachers.Net community, email the announcement to kimtracy@teachers.net.
     


    Timeforkids.com Announces Women's History Month Resources

    Timeforkids.com is creating a mini-area to help kids explore and celebrate Women's History Month. Launching March 5, the area will include:

    • Why Women's History Month?

    • A look at the history of the celebration and the people who helped shape it.

    • Women's History Milestones

    • A timeline of key moments in women's history.

    • Get the Picture - An activity in which kids answer questions about Womens' history in order to build a "Picturing Women's History" virtual album of famous women and their accomplishments

    The news, information, exploration destination for kids on the Web, Timeforkids.com is the cyber-sibling of TIME for Kids magazine, the classroom edition of TIME magazine. For more information about these activities, please contact Joel Schwartzberg, Editor of Timeforkids.com, at 212-522-0948.

    Visit Timeforkids.com Women's History Month Resources
     


    Weekly Reader's Science Spin

    Stamford, CT, February 22, 2001 -- Weekly Reader: The Largest Newspaper For Kids In The World(tm) offers Science Spin, a monthly publication that helps teachers update their science curriculum and brings timely news of life, earth and physical science to the classroom.

    "Science Spin brings news that enables students to see how science is happening all around them, right now," says Managing Editor Bill Walter. "It uses photography, interesting facts, and interactive techniques that engage the students." Every issue includes a Teacher's Guide to expand on the information.

    For instance, the Teacher's Guide for the February 2001 Senior Edition issue of Science Spin expands on an article about snowflakes with these fascinating facts:

    • On average, 105 snowstorms sweep through the United States each year. Almost every area of the United States has received snow, even Florida and Texas.

    • Each year, 1024 snow crystals form in Earth's atmosphere. That's the number 10 followed by 24 zeros.

    • Snowflakes are made of many snow crystals. Most snowflakes are less than one-half inch across. Under certain conditions, usually requiring near-freezing temperatures, light winds, and unstable atmospheric conditions, much larger and irregular flakes close to two inches across can form.

    • Snow can form at a variety of temperatures. In order for snow to form, the temperate has to be near or below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though 32 degrees Fahrenheit is the highest temperature that snow can form in, it can form in much colder temperatures. Usually, the temperature during most snowstorms is between 15 degrees Fahrenheit and 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

    • Based on records kept by the National Weather Service between 1961 and 1990, Rochester, New York is the snowiest city in the United States. On average, 94 inches of snow fall in Rochester each year.
    Science Spin is published as a four-page supplement to Weekly Reader and offered 7 times throughout the school year. It is available in three versions designed for curricula from kindergarten/one and two/three through grades four/five/six. Every issue is accompanied by a Teacher's Guide. Weekly Reader, with a classroom circulation of 7 million for grades Pre-K through 6, also publishes nine educational products for middle and high school students, including: Current Science, Current Events, Read, Know Your World Extra, Writing!, Current Health 1 & 2, Career World, and Teen Newsweek.

    Weekly Reader, which has been bringing important news to America's classrooms for 73 years, can also be found on the world wide web through its new Galaxy website for kids, teachers, and parents (http://www.weeklyreader.com).

    For additional information about Science Spin, and a complimentary copy, contact Carol Zimmerman at: (203) 705-3415 or e-mail: Czimmerman@weeklyreader.com.
     



     
    SCHOOLISFUNNY.COM launches website that puts the humor back into education; solicits student contributions

    New ezine website, Schoolisfunny.com, offers a satirical look at American school culture. Schoolisfunny is the Internetís first school humor website built on kidís tales, experiences and observations that shed comedic light on one of Americaís oldest institutions - the Public School system. Kids submit school stories, participate in surveys, and read about comic events in schools everywhere.

    School is Funny is the creative product of two teachers and a reformed wildlife researcher. Co-President, George Shea, is an innovative technology teacher and writer whose work with kids reveals the comic dynamic between teachers and kids. Co-President, Tim Tyler, is a talented 5th grade teacher whose unique perspective from the classroom sees the irony and satire in the educational system. Chief Technical Officer, Jenny Peterson, is a wildlife researcher turned webmaster. Her study of wildlife behavior has morphed into showcasing the comic behavior of teachers and students in a fresh and professional website experience.

    School is Funny offers students the opportunity to publish on the web and celebrated kidís writing talents and creative wit. Whether itís asking for no-nonsense advice from Phyllis the Lunch Lady, a veteran in cafeteria wisdom, laughing about the grimy underbelly of all schools in "Tales From the Janitorís Closet," or sharing Bus Horror stories, Schoolisfunny offers kids ages 9-14 a healthy forum to share the common experiences that make school funny. Schoolisfunny is a sanctuary for the smart Alec at the back of the class, and a storage bin for everything that has ever been scribbled in the margins of a notebook, chanted in the back or a bus, or hurled across a classroom.

    Each monthly issue features new surveys, student contributions, and feature articles. Additionally, "The Parentís Corner" and "Teachersí Room" provides teachers and parents with tips on utilizing humor in the classroom and at home. Based on the conviction that laughter lubricates the neurons, Schoolisfunny promotes higher levels of learning through tickling the tibia. SchoolisFunny is dedicated to publishing and promoting good humor, good writing, and cultivating good kids.

    For more information, contact:
    http://www.Schoolisfunny.com
    George Shea, Co-President (603) 427-5027 gshea@schoolisfunny.com
    Tim Tyler, Co-President (207) 324-4117 ttyler@schoolisfunny.com


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