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Volume 3 Number 2

Harry & Rosemary Wong say, "...effective teachers do not employ tricks of the trade, the latest fad, or untested opinions..." This month the Wongs feature Liz Breaux, a most effective teacher...
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
Around the Block by Bridget Scofinsky
Ask the Literacy Teacher by Leigh Hall
The Visually Impaired Child by Dave Melanson
Seussational Reading Excitement - NEA's Read Across America: Too Much Reading Fun for Just One Day!...
The 100th Day of School
100th Day Activities
Television--Don't Trash It--Control It
Remediation Doesn't Work
Behavior Management Tips
Children and Stress
Children Do Grieve
Infuse Test Preparation With Life-long Learning
Technology Integration Has No Hope of Succeeding!
Technophobia to Technophilia
Cooperative Learning
Why All Students Need Fine Motor Skills
Teaching Gayle to Read (Part 3)
The Role of EFL learners' Heterogeneity in Terms of Age in Their Use of Communication Strategies
The Importance of the School Administration to Student Achievement
Using Non-Fiction to Motivate Reluctant Readers
Quantity over Quality--The Problem with Writing Instruction in Our Schools
Tips for Substitute Teachers
From "I Don't Care" to "I Did It!"
Rules for Secondary Classrooms
Block Scheduling
Special Days This Month
The Lighter Side of Teaching
  • YENDOR'S Top Ten
  • Exceptional Normalcy
  • Schoolies
  • Woodhead
  • Handy Teacher Recipes
    Classroom Crafts
    Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
    Featured Lessons from the Lesson Bank
  • Famous Black Americans
  • Valentine Village
  • Upcoming Ed Conferences
    Letters to the Editor
    Chatboard Poll
    Arecibo Radar Gets 11th-Hour Reprieve
    Planetary Society Offers New Scholarships
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    About Rachel P. Ricucci...

    Rachel P. Ricucci is a 30 year-old full-time Substitute Teacher with a C.E. in English, currently taking the alternate route to teaching. She has recently been working at the middle school level in Parsippany, NJ. She has worked with children ranging from age two to seventeen years old. Rachel plans to put her experience to work in writing more about education and teaching.

    She enjoys the arts, spirituality, cooking, and reading. A native of Northern New Jersey, Rachel currently live in Bergen County, NJ.

    Today Is...

    Compiled by
    Ron Victoria

    February 1 is ... Serpent Day
    February 2 is ... Purification Day
    February 3 is ... Cordova Ice Worm Day
    February 4 is ... Create A Vacuum Day
    February 5 is ... Disaster Day
    February 6 is ... Lame Duck Day
    February 7 is ... Charles Dickens Day
    February 8 is ... Kite Flying Day
    February 9 is ... Toothache Day
    February 10 is ... Umbrella Day
    February 11 is ... White Tee-Shirt Day and Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day
    February 12 is ... National Plum Pudding Day
    February 13 is ... Get A Different Name Day and Dream Your Sweet Day
    February 14 is ... Ferris Wheel Day and National Heart to Heart Day
    February 15 is ... National Gum Drop Day
    February 16 is ... Do A Grouch A Favor Day
    February 17 is ... Champion Crab Races Day
    February 18 is ... National Battery Day
    February 19 is ... National Chocolate Mint Day
    February 20 is ... Hoodie Hoo Day
    February 21 is ... Card Reading Day
    February 22 is ... Be Humble Day
    February 23 is ... International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day
    February 24 is ... National Tortilla Chip Day
    February 25 is ... Pistol Patent Day (Samuel Colt)
    February 26 is ... National Pistachio Day
    February 27 is ... International Polar Bear Day
    February 28 is ... Public Sleeping Day
    February 29 is ... National Surf and Turf Day

    Teacher Feature...

    Tips for Substitute Teachers

    by Rachel P. Ricucci

    Sub's Savvy Suggestions

    Wouldn't it be helpful if a Substitute could be handed a printed black-and-white sheet of all of the teachers' photos in the school, first and last names, subject, room number, etc. (kind of like those framed photos of doctors that you see on hospital walls, categorized by practice). This way, the Sub can get an idea and put a "name to a face" when someone says "Oh, you have to Sub in Mrs. McCan's class today." Well, I only know her as see my point. It takes all the work out of it. Memorizing names is hard; memorizing two names, Mrs. McCann and Peggy and knowing when to use them (politically correct) in different settings is difficult and occupies too much space in anyone's precious mind. I could use that space for other things, people!

    Frank Facts

    To a second grade class---I was trying to make a point by saying something like this: "When you're done with the assigned work, please come up for a worksheet that any Bob or Mary can do when they're done." In this class, certain students did certain assignments; all were not at the same level. One student piped up and said (puzzled, but serious), "But, we don't have a Mary or a Bob in this class." :) Moral: You have to be careful what you say--the simpler the better. Don't use cliches, phrases, outdated expressions or any talk of that nature. This can be funny, but we have to try to avoid confusion with the elementary grade students.

    The "Video" Day: Clever Ways to Keep Students "Interested" in a Video

    1. "Act" extremely interested/curious about the video. Watch it carefully yourself.
    2. Tell the students that this is an "interesting" video and ensure them they will like it. Tell them to "enjoy it" after you've pushed the play button.
    3. Make interested "faces" throughout the video. Mild laughter is also acceptable during certain adult segments/humor. Some observant student will see you doing this and think there must be something worth catching if the teacher is engaged.
    4. Take notes on the video (lots) and tell the students that you did just this (show them--they get very impressed that the "teacher" did the class work, too). The idea is, they will try to compete with you and keep busy and thinking. See if they can come up with a few points about the video (at least 5-6) and write the points in full sentences. Or, have them go to town and come up with unlimited information and tell them this will count as "extra credit." Make it a challenge...a game. Fun and learning is sure to happen this way!

    Classroom "Class"

    It's very true that classrooms are much more sophisticated these days. When I was fairly new to subbing, I would try to think back to when I was a student and how the teachers treated the kids and reacted to various comments, behaviors, and situations. Unfortunately, that was all I had to go by, and for me, well, that was almost twenty years ago! A perfect example: One day, I reprimanded a student for having made a paper object, which looked somewhat like an airplane or something. He seemed to be toying with it. He looked at me like I was crazy, and said that he was doing research on this paper decoration which is called "origami". Boy, did I feel foolish...from annoying paper airplanes (completely unacceptable) to crafting tricky origami designs (perfectly acceptable). I guess I needed to "get with the program!"