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Volume 3 Number 3

Harry & Rosemary Wong ask, "Is it possible that a school district would have no openings at a time of worldwide teacher shortages? But more importantly, why were there no openings in the Medford School District?"...
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 Cheryl Ristow
Ask the Literacy Teacher by Leigh Hall
Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
Every Day is Read Across America Day!
Music is...
Ten Pennies and Ten Dimes
Swinging on the Education Pendulum
Literature Circles
Internet Based Interaction in the Classroom
How to Create A Bad Acceptable Use Policy Document (And Have It Survive)!
Safety on College Campuses
The Montessori Mystery
Playing Baseball in the Classroom - A Flexible, Adaptable Game to Motivate Your Students
Whither Not Social Studies!
When Bright Kids Say, "I'm Bored!"
Book Review: Comprehension Instruction
Teacher Social Groups
Retaining Principals
Today I Learned
Things You NEVER Thought You'd Have to Say…or Hear
What Was Your Most Unforgettable Show and Tell?
How Do You Deal With Middle School Students' Apathy?
Why Reading Scores Across the Nation Have Declined
Apple Seeds
Special Days This Month
Poem - Searching for the Gold
The Lighter Side of Teaching
  • YENDOR'S Top Ten
  • A Challenging Foot Feat
  • Schoolies
  • Woodhead
  • Handy Teacher Recipes
    Classroom Crafts
    Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
    Featured Lesson from the Lesson Bank
  • Here Comes the Train
  • Upcoming Ed Conferences
    Letters to the Editor
    Chatboard Poll, What changes has your district made in an effort to raise test scores?
    Action Against Hunger Project
    Explore Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest
    Third Annual Music Education Survey Gets Underway
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    About Jay Davidson...
    Jay Davidson has been teaching in San Francisco since 1969; he teaches first grade. He is the author of Teach Your Children Well: A Teacher's Advice for Parents, which is available for $12.95 at

    He can be reached through his Web site at
    His column appears Thursdays in the Daily News.


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    Teacher Feature...

    Music is...

    by Jay Davidson

    When school budgets are revised and something has to be cut, it is frequently music, which is seen as a frill, despite the fact that it is integrous to most cultures. The study and appreciation of music, though, is significant in the way it connects to many other parts of the curriculum.

    It is important for parents to champion the teaching of music in the public schools because once it is cut, it is rarely reinstated. My school district eliminated elementary school music teachers in the early Seventies and has never reinstated them.

    Music is mathematics.

    The rhythms, beats, and notes are directly related to the mathematical way that notes are divided fractionally. A young person who does not understand fractions in a strictly mathematical context but who is studying music may "get it" with the explanation of whole, half, quarter, eighth, and other subdivided notes.

    Music is social studies. The musician develops a relationship with his audience. Ensemble musicians cooperate in the practice and performance of their selections. The songs sung and instruments played reflect the cultures from which they come. Music tell us about the time period in which it was created, which also makes it a means of understanding history. The mutual enjoyment of composers and musicians brings people together.

    Music is a foreign language. The symbols for notes, rests, clefs, time measurement, and tempi are a language that must be understood in order for the music to be performed properly. Performers who do not speak a common cultural language can communicate through music. And yet listeners can enjoy music without understanding the notes on the page or the cultural language used.

    Music is physical education.In the playing of instruments, body muscles coordinate with the eye. Music used as an accompaniment to dance and aerobics enhances those activities.

    Music is science. Acoustics is the science of sound. Instruments and voices produce waves and vibrations.

    Music is enduring . Compositions speak to audiences via performers across the ages.

    Music is an aid to intrapersonal knowledge. The musician must continually evaluate what she is doing, through practice and performance, to be sure that she is conveying the intent of the selection.

    Music is magnetic. It can be a means through which the entire school experience is made accessible to children. Maybe you or a friend found that the academic aspects of school did not offer you the meaning that you were looking for. You may have found that your experience in drama, art, band, or student government was the connection you needed to keep yourself connected to school. There are many students for whom music can serve as that bridge. If it weren t for music, there would be no interest in school - no reason to stick around.


    Teacher Feature...

    Ten Pennies and Ten Dimes

    by Jay Davidson

    Money is a great means for teaching math because it is easily available and useful. Children are motivated because this is a medium that they want to understand.

    You can do a lot with ten dimes and ten pennies. I start here because our number system is built on the understanding of ten.

    Begin by counting pennies, which reinforces the concept of counting by ones. In addition to saying the number words, I would have paper and writing tools handy so that children can write the numbers or see them when you write them. Also have the children handle the coins.

    Saying the numbers, writing and looking at the numbers, and handling the coins will be useful because some children learn predominantly by what they hear, some by what they see, and some by what they touch.

    When children understand this, count by tens using the dimes. If you write the numbers, some children will see that the pattern of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, etc. is repeated in 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60.

    Once your child is secure with the dimes and pennies, see how she does with this. Put the dimes and pennies in a bag you can't see through. Reach in, pull out one coin at a time, and add each coin to the total. If you pick a penny, you have to add one more to the running total; if you pick a dime, you have to add ten more.

    Doing this, if you pick dime, penny, dime, penny, dime, penny, the counting goes 10, 11, 21, 22, 32, 33. Those same six coins could be chosen in a different order, though, and then the counting might be 1, 2, 3, 13, 23, 33 or 1, 11, 21, 31, 32, 33. It all depends on the order of the coins being taken out of the bag. With ten pennies and ten dimes, a colleague who teaches high school math tells me there are 110 different possible combinations for counting the coins to 100.

    Visit for more information about Jay Davidson.