May 2009
Vol 6 No 5

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.6 No.5 May 2009

Cover Story by Matt Levinson
Schools and Facebook: Moving Too Fast,
or Not Fast Enough?
Schools can draw a line in the sand, with zero tolerance rules written into school handbooks, or they can shift with the changing sands of social networking and utilize social networking and Facebook to enhance teaching and learning.

Harry & Rosemary Wong: Effective Teaching
Teachers Are the Greatest Assets
On the first day of school, the teacher across the hall commented to me that my students are "always so good!" It's not the students; it's the procedures that have proven to work. The First Days of School helps me to manage my class, so that I can be an effective teacher.

»Comedy Highlights from Room K-1! Sue Gruber
»What Will Your Students Remember? Leah Davies
»My Mrs. Krikorian Todd R. Nelson
»Discipline Is a Liberating Word Marvin Marshall
»The Busy Educator's Monthly Five Marjan Glavac
»Help! Too Much Talk! Not Enough Work! Barbara Pressman
»Mayan Sites and Paris Easy on the Purse Josette Bonafino
»The Little Things that Count in Our Schools: Doing Something Different, Simple and Powerful Cheryl Sigmon
»Teacher Morale Matters Dorothy Rich
»Team Management - It’s in the Cards Rick Morris
»Teaching and Learning for the 21st Century Hal Portner

»The Document Camera: A Better Way to Present! Joe Frisk
»Need a Teaching Job? Here’s Where to Find One Alan Haskvitz
»Make Twitter an Ally in the Classroom! Alan Haskvitz
»Teaching Is... Bill Page
»Celebrating True Heroes Graysen Walles
»Digital Pens & Touch-Screens Tim Newlin
»12 Ways to Improve and Enhance Your Paraprofessional- Teacher Experience Susan Fitzell
»May 2009 Writing Prompts James Wayne
»Using Photographs To Inspire Writing VII Hank Kellner
»How to Increase the Number of Physics and Chemistry Majors Stewart E. Brekke
»Bibliotherapy Booklist for Elementary Students Lisa Bundrick
»8 Ways to Make Math Magical at School Steve Sherman
»5 Brainteasers Steve Sherman
»What Will You Do For Shy Kids? Marjie Braun Knudsen

»Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes Barb Stutesman
»Today Is... Daily Commemoration Ron Victoria
»The Lighter Side of Teaching
»Photo Tour: 3rd Grade Classroom
»Teacher Blogs Showcase
»Carol Goodrow's Kids Running Printables
»Dolch word activities, end of first grade test, first grade memory book, map and geography lessons for all levels, IEP progress, and graduation ceremonies songs
»Video Bytes; Are You Going to Finish Strong?, Antarctica, Ted Talks - Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?, How Big Is Will?, The Sling Shot Man, Styrofoam Cup vs. Deep Sea
»Live on Teachers.Net: May 2009
»New Teacher Induction Programs
»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 Matt Levinson

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Matt Levinson, Sue Gruber, Leah Davies, Todd R. Nelson, Marvin Marshall, Marjan Glavac, Barbara Pressman, Josette Bonafino, Cheryl Sigmon, Dorothy Rich, Rick Morris, Hal Portner, Joe Frisk, Alan Haskvitz, Alan Haskvitz, Bill Page, Graysen Walles, Tim Newlin, Susan Fitzell, James Wayne, Hank Kellner, Stewart E. Brekke, Lisa Bundrick, Steve Sherman, Steve Sherman, Marjie Braun Knudsen, Barb Stutesman, Ron Victoria, Rita Sheffield, Carol Goodrow, and YENDOR.

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Josette Bonafino

Global Travel Guru
Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

Mayan Sites and Paris Easy on the Purse

This month we’re discovering some uncrowded Mayan sites and ways students can see the best of Paris on a budget.
by Josette Bonafino
Regular contributor to the Gazette
May 1, 2009

Dear Global Travel Guru,

I am really interested in introducing my Spanish class to the Mayan world but am a little weary of the crowds and commercialization of Chichen Itza. Where else can we explore this ancient and mystical culture in relative peace?

Nellie Brian
Bakerfield, CA

Dear Nellie,

According to a 2007 report entitled “System of Competitive Intelligence, Yucatan,” approximately two million people visit Chichen Itza annually; that’s almost 5,500 tourists each day. With that kind of traffic, don’t count on any spiritual connection to this ancient civilization; instead, bet on expensive trinkets for sale with your fried plantains and bus loads of American students annoyed that they had to leave the famous adolescent playground of nearby Cancun.

Instead of the Yucatan Peninsula, head south to the Republic of Guatemala and into the ruins of Tikal. These Mayan ruins are some of the civilization’s best preserved, offering glimpses of pyramids, temples, palaces, roads and even a court for a Mesoamerican ball game. When visiting Tikal, make your hub at the nearby town of Flores. Its historic downtown, located on an island in the middle of Lake Petran Itza, was the last Mayan settlement to fall to the Spanish Conquistadors in 1697. If you want to get a greater sense of what daily life was like for the ancient Maya, head to the town of Chisec, on the way to Guatemala City. Its population is 95% Mayan, and the villagers speak their native language of Q’eqchi.

Farther south in neighboring Honduras lie the ruins of Copan. Known as the "Athens of the Maya World," Copan is regarded as the most artistically advanced and elaborate of all the Mayan cities as you will discover in the intricate artwork of its temples, pyramids and altars.

If Mexico must be on your itinerary, check out the ruins of Palenque in the southernmost Mexican state of Chiapas. While not as large as Tikal or Copan, the remnants of this Mayan kingdom are equally exquisite and unique in their own right. The base carvings are well preserved as are the temples that sit atop the various step pyramids. Of particular note is the aqueduct that was built to allow the Otulum River to weave through the structures and under the main plaza.

Finally, regardless of the Mayan destination you choose, bring bug spray. Unless you’re traveling in the winter, mosquitoes in this part of the world are a force to be reckoned with. ¡Buen viaje!

Global Travel Guru

Continued on next page »

» More Gazette articles...

About Josette Bonafino...

The Global Travel Guru, courtesy of Josette Bonafino, also appears in Language Magazine.

Josette is the founder and Director of Culture Quest Tours, an educational tour company that specializes in custom-tailored travel programs. Since 1993, Culture Quest has worked with hundreds of American high school and college groups traveling to Europe, Latin American and beyond.

Josette is also the founder and Executive Director of MYX: Multicultural Youth eXchange, a nonprofit organization that works to increase tolerance among young people worldwide by using art-based projects to explore diverse cultures and social issues relevant to all youth.

A native Philadelphian and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Josette is an avid traveler and frequently spends time in Iceland and Montserrat where she and her husband own homes.

The Global Travel Guru welcomes all travel questions at

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