February 2008
Vol 5 No 2

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.5 No.2
February 2008
Cover Story:
Rethinking Homework
By Alfie Kohn
Daily homework is the rule in most schools. Why not make it the exception?

»Coaches Are More Effective than Mentors
»Sources for Below Grade Level Reading
»To Promote Responsibility, Elicit Rather Than Impose
»The Busy Educator's Monthly Five for February
»Filtering the Web: Mission Impossible?
»Hot Tips to Stay Healthy; High Speed Sub Plans

»Fighting "February Slump"
»Make That Presentation a Winner!
»Sports Done Right
»Celebrate Dr. Seuss with Read Across America
»Maslow - Alive and Well in the Classroom
»25 Ways to Obtain Children's Attention
»The Year of the Earth Rat - The Chinese Zodiac

»Featured Lessons: February 2008
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Book Review: Three Cups of Tea
»Video Bytes: NCLB, Whiteboard, and More
»Creative & Critical Thinking Activities
»Editor's Pick: Travels With Music
»Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes for Teachers
»Teachers.Net Craft Favorite: Picasso Faces
»Today Is... Daily Commemoration for February 2008
»Live on Teachers.Net: February 2008
»Chatboard Poll: Do schools need to change, and how?
»Preparing for Your Student Teacher
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


The Teachers.Net Gazette is a collaborative project
published by the Teachers.Net community
Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Editor in Chief

Columnists & Writers: Alfie Kohn; Harry & Rosemary Wong; Cheryl Sigmon; Dr. Marvin Marshall; Barbara & Sue Gruber; Marjan Glavac; Dr. Rob Reilly; Barb S. HS/MI; Ron Victoria; Brian Hill; Leah Davies; Susan Rismiller; Hal Portner; Karen Hawkes; Emmy; Tim Newlin; Chuck Brickman; Barb Gilman; Grace Viduna Haskins

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Editor's Pick

Travels with MusicTM - Series One

Regular Feature in the Gazette
February 1, 2008
This month we were intrigued by Travels with Music™ - an engaging, interactive program in which students of all ages learn about the music, instruments and traditions of 15 diverse world cultures, and play games related to what they learn on the DVD.

First stop: Peru.

Did you know that in Peru there is a percussion instrument made from the jawbone of a real donkey? It’s called quijada, or “donkey’s jaw,” and in the hands of a virtuoso, it is a powerful tool for making music. When Africans were brought as enslaved people to Peru, their instruments were taken away, along with the rest of their native culture. So the Afro-Peruvians made music with whatever they found around them. The culture served a critical purpose, and it found a way to survive, even to this day.

This is just a taste of what users will discover on their journey through Travels with Music – Series 1.

Travels with Music is an educational software program that uses music as the universal language, as a common denominator to unite diverse ages, cultures, backgrounds, and interests, thus stimulating true cross-cultural communication. Travels with Music offers an interactive exploration of 15 unique world cultures through 30 units of study, with master musicians as guides, through interactive games, over 300 unique videos of interviews and performances, and music you won’t find anywhere else. Cultures featured in Series 1 include: Indonesia, Philippines, China, Pakistan, Nigeria, Senegal, Morocco, Peru, India, Lebanon, Israel, Bulgaria, Trinidad, and the USA. Over the next few years, Travels with Music Series numbers 2 – 7 will each visit 15 new musical cultures, and users will be able to collect the entire library of original source material to share with students and families.

Teachers and curriculum directors worldwide have been using the program not only as adjunct resource material but also to integrate directly into their core curriculum. Content can easily satisfy standards in an impressive range of subjects: Social Studies, Language Arts and ESL/ELD, History, Geography, Diversity Training, Citizenship, Arts, World Cultures, Science, Conflict Resolution, and of course, Music. Since our launch a year ago, classrooms around the world have been taking advantage of Travels with Music, from kindergartens in Germany to the University of Redlands in California which has made it mandatory viewing for all college freshman as part of a ‘cross-cultural diversity appreciation’ course. All orders come with a downloadable 80-page teacher’s guide that makes it possible to find any specific video content for a particular class or lesson plan.

The program is available (1) as an online subscription to the interactive program, (2) as an interactive DVD-ROM for computers, or (3) as a set of four full-screen DVD-Videos for television. Special discount rates and site licenses are available for schools.

George Lucas, in Edutopia (March ’07) declares: “Travel the globe with this diverse collection of rare video footage and audio clips; meet the musicians, and play online educational games…[this is] exciting!”

Travels with Music is truly an amazing value, not only as a comprehensive educational tool for all grades, but for entertainment and music enthusiasts as well. We urge you to visit our website to see for yourself. You can watch a demo and preview 2 units at:

Come closer to the world through Travels with Music!

$169.00. Inquire about Educational/Group discounts.

» More Gazette articles...