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Volume 3 Number 4

Harry & Rosemary Wong remind us, "Leaders lead and they lead by caring enough about the success of their teachers that they will roll up their sleeves and model instructional leadership."...
Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Online Classrooms by Leslie Bowman
The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
Ask the Literacy Teacher by Leigh Hall
Visual Impairments by Dave Melanson
Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
Reflecting Upon Read Across America
Earth Day Compilation
The World in Lights
Take a Seat at the Bottom of the Class
Starting Children on Science
Tips for teachers being bullied!
Mr. Choose-A-Chart
Teaching Perseverance Through Adversity-A History Lesson
It's An Early Spring!
Memo to Staff: Our Computer System Crashed-We Have No 'Backups'-You're Not Getting Paid for a Month!
Keep Your Online Community Alive!
Curricular Science the 'Curry' way!
Geography Awareness
Principal of the Year Ray Mellberg
eBook Technology
Respect Means...
Creative Uses for Digital Cameras in the Classroom
Teaching Gayle to Read (Part 4)
Young Lawyers Ementoring Magnet Students
The Welcome Mat of a High School On-Line Community
Plato Lives...
The Asphalt Classroom
26 Teaching Tips for the Dog Days
Using Storytelling in the Classroom
Recapturing the Courage to Teach
To Leave No Child Behind
If you say you CAN'T, it means you WON'T
Something Nice a Student Did Yesterday...
When Your Child Comes Home Messy
Praise vs. Encouragement
People Don't Play...
Apple Seeds
Special Days This Month
Poem - Song of a Second April
The Lighter Side of Teaching
  • YENDOR'S Top Ten
  • Culprit Management
  • Schoolies
  • Woodhead
  • Handy Teacher Recipes
    Classroom Crafts
    Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
    "Why Do We Have Night" from the Lesson Bank
    Upcoming Ed Conferences
    Letters to the Editor
    The School Web Page: A Vehicle for Innovation
    Eighth Emerson Prizes Awarded in Boston
    Student Nanoexperiments Will Help Future Astronauts on Mars
    The 11th Annual National Institute for Early Childhood Professional
    International Conference on Computers in Education
    SESSIONS ANNOUNCED: Congress in the Classroom 2002
    Teacher Network United States Mint
    DEADLINE: Civic Education Grants
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    About Christine Jackson...
    Christine Jackson has been a classroom teacher for the past eight years. She was selected as one of the first teachers to participate in the TLCF grant. She was also on the original CADRE that brought integrating technology teaching into the classroom. After that, she was assigned to a special position to teach administrators for the State of Nevada "How to Integrate Technology Back into the Classroom". She will be completing her Master's in Education with a concentration in On-line learning in the summer of 2002. She is currently working with a small K-12 school district to implement a distance learning program.

    About Beverly Fierro...
    Beverly Fierro is a Life Skills and Health teacher at a large urban high school. In addition to her classroom duties, she also serves as a Department Chair. She has represented her department as a School Based Management Board member, Curriculum Council and Finance Committee member, and active member of the Digital Technology Committee. She received certification from Tom Snyder Productions after completing training as a member of the Technology Teachers Cadre, and now trains faculty members. She is the first faculty member to receive certification in Online Teaching and Learning, and is currently completing her Master's in Education.

    Teacher Feature...

    The Welcome Mat of a High School On-Line Community:
    A High School How-To "Meet and Greet"

    by Christine Jackson and Beverly Fierro


    The two most important aspects of extending the welcome mat online are the discussion thread and the creation of an environment that encourages students to engage in critical-thinking discourse. The facilitator of discussion threads initially provides a welcome mat while building a caring environment for the students where they feel safe sharing their ideas. For many students, virtual learning is perceived as a "totally safe environment, where abnormal appearances or mannerisms don't matter. They have a good time and learn at the same time." (Droste, Virtual High School)

    Student Biographies

    This is the initial assignment. This is where the stage is set for the course. It is very important that the students are able to identify with other students, feel a part of the group, and feel welcomed by the facilitator. The biography assignment needs to include the following elements:

    • Describe to the class who you are so that other students get a visual picture of you
    • Describe the activities that you enjoy
    • Describe yourself as a metaphor, i.e. a butterfly, a building, a tool
    • Describe what you like to do in your spare time
    • Name two things that would surprise your classmates
    • Name one thing that you would like to get out of this course-besides credit

    The biography assignment should be followed by an assignment that requires collaboration. This forces the student to take a greater interest in classmates in order to select their optimal partner.

    The Creation of an Inviting, Dynamic Online Environment

    The goal is to present students with controversial topics requiring active dialogue. In keeping with the national trend towards inclusion of global ethics in the curriculum, a topic pertaining to moral/ethical dilemmas can aid in meeting the objective. The site used for the Life Skills students, provides a menu of ethical issues from which either the teacher/facilitator or the student can select. The high school student needs to have the expectations clearly spelled out. The facilitator needs to provide a rubric for the assignment which includes expected number of posts, their length, and acceptable content. It is also possible to engage more reticent students by allowng them to choose sides within groups, contributing to pro or con viewpoints. This is a better alternative when working with students who are acquiring English language skills(Ryan 2001).

    Providing students with a topic for discourse that generates enthusiasm requires attention to timely subjects. If the chosen topic is historical or adult in content, there will be less interest, and therefore, less interaction. Finally, a word processed summation not only provides students with further opportunity to maintain their keyboarding skills, it also provides them with a tool for self-assessment as they reflect on their experience. (McKenzie 1998).



    Kearsley, Greg, and Shneiderman. Ben, (1999), Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning Retrieved November 2000 from:

    Roblyer M. D, Ekham, Leticia l, Professor, State University of West Georgia (2000), How Interactive are YOUR Distance Courses? A Rubric for Assessing Interaction in Distance Learning, From Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume III, Number II, Spring2000 Retrieved September 7, 2001 from

    Ryan, Stephen B. (2001), Overcoming Common Problems Related to Communicative Methodology, The Internet TESL Journal, Vol. VII, No. 11, November 2001, retrieved February 9, 2002 from

    Shafer, Ingrid (2001). Center for Global Ethics Retrieved September 7, 2001 from

    Institute for Global Ethics (1995-2000). Retrieved September 7, 2001 from

    McKenzie, Jamie (1998). Emerging from the Smog: Making Technology Assessment Work for Schools. From Now On, The Educational Technology Journal, Vol 7, No 5, February 1998. Retrieved November, 2001 from


    On-Site Insights...

    People Don't Play...

    by ~§Jude§~
    on the Teachers.Net Chatboard

    Well, it has been an interesting last couple weeks at work. It appears the kiddos are getting spring fever a little early. I wanted to share a conversation I had with a young might find it useful. This young man is actually quite a neat kid. He comes with a lot of baggage, and is known for his "fly off the handle" style of conflict resolution. He has had difficulties of late with kids "igging" (antagonizing) him. The conversation went like this....

    Me- Hey "Mike" can I speak with you for a second...

    Mike- sure, man Ms. So&So "John" keeps "playing" me. He keeps getting up in my face and talking junk. I really don't wanna get kicked out, but he keeps igging me and igging me.

    Me- well, Mike what do you do when he "iggs" you?

    Mike- I tell him he better back off, cause if he don't I gonna call my boys and...

    Me- Oh, I see. Hey, let me ask you a question?

    Mike- sure

    Me- If you and your boys wanted to go to the park and play ball....which ball would you prefer- a ball freshly pumped with air, or one that was flat?

    Mike- uh, the one with air (with a "DUH?!" expression on his face)

    Me- Oh really, why is that?

    Mike- Uh, cause flat balls don't bounce

    Me- Oh, I see... And tell me, why is bouncing important to the game?

    Mike- (now really thinking I am a fool) Because, when you try to push it down and it doesn't come back is no fun.

    Me- Oh ok, let me see if I understand. If you push a ball down and it doesn't come back lose interest.

    Mike- yeah

    Me- But, if you push it down and it pops back up, then you just "bounce" it again...right?

    Mike- Yeah

    Me- So what you are saying is...people do not play with balls that don't bounce.

    Mike- Yes, what is your point?

    Me- Hey Mike, pretend you're a ball and John is the player... what kind of ball would you be?

    Mike- (with light bulb over his darling angelic head) Um, one that bounces?

    Me- Right, and what did we say people do with balls that bounce?

    Mike- keep playing with them...

    Me- So if you want John to stop "playing" you, what do you need to stop doing?

    I am guessing you all can figure where we went from here...but now when I see "Mike" starting to "bounce" I remind him "people don't play with balls that don't bounce"