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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Breaking News...

Gazette Newsdesk

Teacher News, Events, & Opportunities

On-line Kids' Activity Book for The Vascular System; Secure Surfing for Kids and a Rebate to Schools; Literacy Tutor Volunteers Needed; American Hiking Society Vacations; International News Newsletter
From the News Desk
February 1, 2008

From the Society for Vascular Surgery:
On-line Activity Book Teaches Children How to Care for Their Vascular System

An on-line vascular health activity book that teaches children, aged 5 – 12 years, how their vascular system works is available on here .

"Blood buddies” teach children how the vascular system delivers oxygen and nutrients throughout their bodies and why they need to eat well and maintain an active lifestyle to keep it healthy. It stresses the importance of exercise, healthy eating, and not smoking through games and coloring pages.

According to the National Institute of the non-for-profit Child Health & Human Development, the percentage of children and teens that are overweight has more than doubled in the past 30 years. This startling statistic has crucial consequences for the future for these children,” said K. Wayne Johnston, M. D., president of the Society for Vascular Surgeons. “If they grow into obese adults, they face a greater chance of having vascular diseases such as stroke and peripheral arterial disease. Vascular surgeons want to do what we can to help parents and schools teach youngsters about the health risks of obesity and smoking. If they understand how their bodies work they may be more likely to take good care of themselves.”

This activity book uses entertaining learning tools including a maze, word search, penny game, secret code, and other activities to explain how a vascular system works, why it is important to good health, and how to maintain healthy habits.


Secure Surfing for Kids and a Rebate to Schools, a Canton, MI based web community for children’s Internet safety, announces the release of CLASSROOM FUNDS, a program designed to raise money for U.S. classrooms. Leander Richmond, Site Administrator, has agreed to give back 40% of each paid monthly membership to the school chosen by each parent. Each school would be responsible for contacting for inclusion to their database. The sponsor will then distribute that information to each parent. The CLASSROOM FUNDS Program, scheduled to launch January 3rd, 2008, offers students of all ages access to, a secure Internet community. Schools sponsoring the program will receive back 40% per membership, per month, which is paid to the sponsor on a bi-monthly basis. A school of 500 students could raise up to $12,000 a year to help fund classroom educational materials such as science or media projects.

Website: Email:

From Watertown, MA Project Literacy:
Tutor Volunteers Needed - Project Literacy

Project Literacy at the Watertown, Massachusetts Public Library is seeking volunteers to help tutor adults in English for Speakers of Other Languages or Adult Basic Education.

Tutors do not need teaching experience, nor do you need to know another language. Training is provided. Next training session is in March.

At Project Literacy is creating a network of teachers, tutors, and adult students. Skills needed: a desire to work with adults who are learning a language, and patience. Retired teachers are especially encouraged to volunteer

For additional information, call Project Literacy at (617) 924-8797 or email


From the American Hiking Society:
American Hiking Society Volunteer Vacations

This year, instead of spending spring break striving for the perfect tan, adventure-minded college students have a more exciting option: hitting the hiking trail.

Beginning in March, American Hiking Society offers week-long Volunteer Vacations geared toward college students, allowing groups the unique opportunity to help build and maintain trails in America's national parks and forests. No previous trail work or seasoned hiking experience is required; just a desire to get outside, volunteer and perhaps earn college credit in the process.

Students can explore Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida, help expand a new ten-mile segment of the Arizona Trail in Coronado National Forest or hike the California coast while maintaining trails in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, among other opportunities. These cost-effective outings range in physical exertion levels from moderate to challenging and are an exciting way to enjoy a break from the books. Several trips are offered throughout March, and others can be designed to accommodate different schedules.

Students who sign up before February 29 will receive a 10% discounted registration fee. College credit agreements must be made through students' institutions prior to the trip. Visit the online schedule of trips at, and act early; trips fill up fast.

Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America's hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience.


Commercial-free Newsletter for Ages 9 - 16 focuses on International News

Newsademic is written and edited in an easy-to-understand format for readers aged 9 – 16. The newspaper focuses on the current international news stories which shape and affect the world we live in. It does not include advertising. Neither does it feature stories on the celebrity culture, sport, pop music or computer games.

The focus is on international news events - the ones that shape and affect the world today. Newsademic is distributed every two weeks as a PDF file by email. It can be printed out and read as a paper copy or read on screen in a searchable HTML format. Each issue also features a book, film, CD or DVD review, Glossary and Sudoku prize competitions.

Complimentary sample copies of Classroom Activities as well as both British and American English editions of the newspaper are obtainable from

We currently have school subscribers in over 50 different countries. Although we offer ‘paid for subscriptions’ it is possible to sign up for a free-of-charge shortened publication (which includes classroom activities. Free searchable HTML archived versions of Newsademic can also be accessed via the web site.


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