TEACHERS.NET GAZETTE
Volume 3 Number 10

COVER STORY
"Everybody loves hummingbirds, and they are wonderful tools to excite students about learning."

That quote from a classroom teacher is the basic premise of Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project...

ARTICLES
Meet our Antarctic Guide - A conversation with
USCG LT Marshall Branch
by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
The Responsive Classroom: A Practical Approach for Teaching Children to Care by Dr. Belinda Gimbert
Attitudes Toward Numbers Through History by Daniel Chang
Classroom Photos by Members of the Teachers.Net Community
How Many Environments Does a Child Have? by Judith Rich Harris
The Hurried Child, Book Review by Sonja Marcuson
There IS a Printer and a Xerox Machine in Your Classroom That You Can't See! by Dr. Rob Reilly
What's Your Name? by Joy Jones
The funny thing about control: Or to gain control you have to give up control by Karin Ford
Through the eyes of a child - Reflections on teacher and student motivation by Sheree Rensel
Non-Conventional Techniques in Teaching Science by P R Guruprasad
Word Wall Tips from the 4 Blocks Mailring
Teaching Gayle To Read (Part 8) by Grace Vyduna-Haskins
Operation RubyThroat by Bill Hilton Jr.
Dear Old Golden Rule Days, Chapter 4 - Creative Writing by Janet Farquhar
Simple Science Center Ideas from the Early Childhood Mailring
The Freedom Box, Technology for the Blind and Visually Impaired by Dave Melanson
Librarians, Deaf Students and Hearing Students by Linsey Taylor
Pumpkin Math and Writing Activities by Michele Nash
Take Home Literature Activity Bags by Paulie
Favorite October Activities for the Classroom from Teachers.Net Mailrings
Fun Facts
October Columns
October Regular Features
October Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

Adopt a Soldier

Looking for Something Patriotic To Do With Your Class?

Why not have your class send letters and cards to deployed U.S. servicemen? The Families Attached to Military (FAM) group has an Adopt A Serviceman Project which is soliciting cards and letters for U.S. Troops. For security reasons, the letters are wriiten generically and sent to FAM for distribution. Once your letters reach the sailor, soldier or airman and he or she responds, then you can communicate directly. A representative of FAM says, "This is a great tribute to these guys and gals, showing that we appreciate all that they are doing. Many of them receive NO mail and the letters and cards really put a smile on their faces." For more information: http://www.famglobal.org. Go to the Message Board and click on FAM Projects.


Teacher Feature...

Favorite October Activities for the Classroom
Collected from Teachers.Net Mailrings
http://www.teachers.net/mailrings


My favorite October activity deals with feelings. We discuss the different feelings that are in the stories we've been reading and then each student gets a paper pumpkin with a feeling written on it. They then paint a picture of a pumpkin that "feels" that way. We call their paintings "pumpkin personality portraits" and hang them up. I cut out candycorns that the kids color and write their feeling on and put that in the corner of each portrait so everyone knows the feeling for each pumpkin. Then they write a story about why their pumpkin feels that way. When I take the pictures down I bind the stories together with the picture as the cover.
Submitted by Lynne Kistler

I love doing a study on bats, spiders and skeletons. Of course, the Q-tip skeleton is always a favorite! We do the scarecrow and spider happy hangers this month. Using graphic organizers with your study of bats and spiders is always easy to do and lends itself well to the unit.
Submitted by Shanna Piatt

My favorite activity in October is Baby Pumpkins. Each child receives a small pumpkin and draws on its face, weighs it, names it (fills in the certificate to introduce it to the "grandparents"), and makes it a bed (small box, etc...to carry it in). It is a great way to introduce circumference, weight, mass, etc. Students carry their "babies" everywhere they go. They must get a babysitter if they leave the baby unattended. In order to pay the baby-sitter, students "pay" someone a compliment. It is a great science unit when you talk about plants and life cycles. It teaches responsibility. It teaches students to compliment each other. I work in as many pumpkin stories as I can as well. The project is treated as the egg or bag of sugar projects sometimes used in high schools to teach about responsibility. Enjoy!
Submitted by Rhonda Henson

Favorite Pumpkin Activity
I read Mousekin's Golden House by Edna Miller to the class. It's a great story with beautiful illustrations about a mouse that finds a winter home in a discarded jack-o-lantern. As the winter goes on, the jack-o-lantern "wraps around him" to keep him warm. It is actually decomposing...and decomposition is part of our curriculum. We talk about what could be happening to Mousekin's pumpkin. Our class them cuts out a pumpkin...displays it through Halloween, then puts in the garden at school to watch what happens to it. We keep a "pumpkin journal" through the end of school with drawings and observations about our pumpkin. It ties so well with animal homes (would this really have worked as a home for Mousekin?), habitats, food chains, and decomposition.

It's great...I've built a whole pumpkin unit around this activity!! The only catch is that Mouskin's Golden House by Edna Miller is no longer in print and is hard to find (expensive when you find it!). I lucked across my copy at a thrift store. Our school library had it and didn't know it was a collector's item. Ebay often has copies of it for sale.

Edna Miller wrote a whole series about Mousekin and almost all of them tie to one or more of the above mentioned curriculums! They are worth every penny!!
Submitted by "Dragonfly Sky"


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