January 2009
Vol 6 No 1

Current Issue » Cover Page Cover Story Harry & Rosemary Wong Columns Articles Features
Back Issues
Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.1 January 2009

Cover Story by Alfie Kohn
It’s Not What We Teach;
It’s What They Learn
"I taught a good lesson even though the students didn't learn it,” makes no more sense than "I had a big dinner even though I didn't eat anything.”

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
The Sounds of Students
Learning and Performing

»Six Easy Resolutions for 2009Sue Gruber
»Learning the Value of DiversityLeah Davies
»Flash Nebula is in the house! Will standardized tests detect him?Todd R. Nelson
»Teaching is an art, not a science.Marvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly FiveMarjan Glavac
»Dear Barbara - Advice for SubsBarbara Pressman
»5 Ways to Activate Your Natural Teacher CoachKioni Carter
»Global Travel GuruJosette Bonafino

»PRINTABLE 2009 Multilingual, Multinational Calendar Tim Newlin
»Thoughts on the Use of Failure as a Teaching Technique Bill Page
»Traits of a Good TeacherAlan Haskvitz
»January 2009 Writing PromptsJames Wayne
»Let's Get Started with SmartboardMarjan Glavac
»Using Photographs To Inspire Writing IIIHank Kellner
»Phonemic Awareness: Letting The Horse Pull The CartGrace Vyduna Haskins
»Reading Strategies: Teaching Students to VisualizeLisa Frase
»Teaching the Alphabet to Diverse LearnersHeidi Butkus
»The Metaphor Of Collaboration - What's missing from group work?Ambreen Ahmed
»A Taste of InspirationSteven Kushner
»Activities & Games for Foreign and First Language ClassesRebecca Klamert
»Four Years of High School Math and Science Should be a National PolicyStewart Brekke

»Apple Seeds: Inspiring QuotesBarb Stutesman
»Today Is... Daily CommemorationRon Victoria
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Some Rooms
»Printable Worksheets & Teaching Aids
»Lessons, Resources and Theme Activities: January 2009
»January Lesson Plans Especially for Preschool, Kindergarten & Early Primary
»Video Bytes: Dr. Martin Luther King, One Minute “I have a dream” speech by Daniel Stringer, Crystal Photography – Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley, FDR Fireside Chat on the Banking Crisis – March 1933, President Elect Barack Obama Reassures Americans – Thanksgiving 2008, T-Netter ron nj aka “Man of Steel” plays Sleepwalk, Big Dog Robot
»Live on Teachers.Net: January 2009
»T-Net chefs share their favorite warm-up-winter recipes
»Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


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

Cover Story by Alfie Kohn

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Alfie Kohn, Sue Gruber, Kioni Carter, Marvin Marshall, , Marjan Glavac, Todd R. Nelson, Leah Davies, Barbara Pressman, Tim Newlin, Bill Page, James Wayne, Hank Kellner, Josette Bonafino, Grace Vyduna Haskins, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Lisa Frase, Alan Haskvitz, Heidi Butkus, Ambreen Ahmed, Steven Kushner, Rebecca Klamert, Stewart Brekke, Artie Knapp, and YENDOR.

Submissions: click for Submission Guidelines

Advertising: contact Bob Reap

Subscribe for free home delivery

Sue Gruber

Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers
Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

Six Easy Resolutions for 2009 (page 2)
by Sue Gruber, M.A.
Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers

Continued from Six Easy Resolutions for 2009 page 1
January 1, 2009

Resolution #4

Have more fun at school.

We spend an incredible amount of time at school. Why not resolve to make that time more fun? Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:

  • Start a book and magazine exchange. Pick a spot in your staff room—it could be a shelf, a basket or a box. Label the designated spot Book and Magazine Exchange. Take a minute at home to look through your bookshelves and magazine pile. Grab a few books and magazines that you’re finished with and take them to school. Pop them in the box to get the exchange started. You might want to add a sign above the exchange area that tells how it works. For example, “Bring books and magazines that you are finished reading. Help yourself to some new reading material. Bring the books and magazines back when you are finished.”

    The book exchange jumpstarts interesting lunchtime conversation. It’s fun to hear what people think of different books. We’ve had books on tape and even a DVD or two circulate through the book exchange at my school.

  • Packing lunch every day gets old. Try a staff potluck lunch every now and then. This year I inherited the job of organizing monthly potlucks at my school. Just for fun I casually posted this potluck list in September:
  • Staff Potluck Lunches

    September Tofu Delight

    October Everything Pumpkin

    November Festival of Legumes

    December Fun with Fruitcake

    January Diet Fun—Celery & Water

    February All Chocolate, all day

    March Parsnips, Rutabagas & other mystifying root vegetables

    April Spam—The meat that deserves respect

    May Organ Meat Extravaganza

    June Cocktails

Of course it didn’t take long for the questions to start! At our first staff meeting I unveiled the “real” potluck schedule. There was a collective sigh of relief! However, a few teachers were so attached to the “fake” list that it is still posted. The “real” list is below along with a sample sign up sheet to post a week or so before the potluck:

Staff Potluck Lunches

Sept. 17 Sandwich Extravaganza

Oct. 15 Salad Bar

Nov. 12 Pasta Party

Dec. 10 Chili Round Up

Jan. 14 Soup Soiree

Feb. 11 Casserole Carnival

Mar. 18 Baked Potato Bonanza

Apr. 22 Brunch and Beyond

May 13 Burrito Fiesta

Sample sign up sheet:

Pasta Party—November 12th

Please sign your name and write what you are bringing!

Cooked Pasta:

1.___________________ 2.____________________

3. __________________ 4.____________________


1. __________________ 2.____________________

3. __________________ 4.____________________

5. __________________ 6.____________________


1. __________________ 2.____________________

3. __________________ 4.____________________

Other (Bread/Butter, Parmesan Cheese, etc.):

1. __________________ 2.____________________

3. __________________ 4.____________________


1. __________________ 2.____________________

3. __________________ 4.____________________

Clean Up (you don’t have to bring food!!!):

1. __________________ 2.____________________

Article continued on next page

» More Gazette articles...

About Sue Gruber...

Sue Gruber, M.A.
Barbara Gruber Online Courses for Teachers

Sue Gruber taught the upper grades for years. In a moment of wild abandon, she decided to take the plunge and teach the grade she feared most—kindergarten! Sue just wrapped up her eleventh year in kindergarten and loves it. Who knows, the next grade level change might be to sixth grade!

Sue Gruber and Barbara Gruber, a mother-daughter writing team, have created dozens of products for Frank Schaffer Publications, Scholastic, The Education Center and other publishers. Barbara is a former teacher who was employed by Frank Schaffer Publications from l980 to l996. She developed and presented curriculum seminars nationwide for K-6 teachers.

Sue and Barbara launched Barbara Gruber Online Courses for Teachers in 2002. They personally write each course with today’s students and busy teachers in mind. Teachers can do coursework completely on their own, or, if they wish, interact on line with others. They can earn one, two or three semester units from University of the Pacific. Barbara and Sue provide practical strategies and ideas that can be put into action immediately without creating more work for teachers. Barbara and Sue have created exactly what teachers are looking for—teacher-friendly courses at affordable prices. You can find out about their courses at

Sue teaches full time, manages Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers and loves writing for the Teachers.Net Gazette. She lives in Sonoma County with her husband and son. Barbara consults for Barbara Gruber Courses for Teachers; however, she has “retired” from the business. Retirement for Barbara means she’s busier than ever in Healdsburg, California on a 25-acre working farm called Healdsburg Country Gardens. She and her husband are grape growers for local wineries, have three guest houses for visitors and host wine country weddings.

Barbara & Sue Gruber Columns on Teachers.Net...
Related Resources & Discussions on Teachers.Net...