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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Hank Kellner

Archive | Biography | Resources | Discussion

Using Photography To Inspire Writing VII
Reaching into the negative, using photographic icons and other creative uses of images to prompt written reflection.
by Hank Kellner
author of
Write What You See: 99 Photographs To Inspire Writing
author's blog
May 1, 2009

“Sometimes dreams alter the course of an entire life.”
Judith Duerk, American psychotherapist-author

If you’re like me, you probably have a love-hate relationship with your computer. On the one hand, it can sometimes drive you crazy. On the other hand, it allows you to do things you couldn’t easily do otherwise. For example, in less than a second you can convert a positive image to a negative one. And after you’ve done that, you’ll be able to use your negative image in many different ways to help students overcome their reluctance to write.

For example, you could combine your image(s) with a poem to stimulate group discussion that will lead to written assignments. You could ask your students to write about one or more of the dreams they may have had. You could encourage them to speculate as to the meaning of dreams. Or you could simply show them a “dream” photo linked to an appropriate poem and allow them to write whatever comes to mind.



         A Dream

A dream slipped into my room
The other night while I slept.

Who are you, dream?”
I asked softly.

“I am you,” she said.
“I am who you are,
And who you were,
And who you want to be.”

“Then stay with me,”
I whispered. “For if it’s true
That you are me,
Then surely I am you.”

Jerry Kato


How To Connect Seeing with Writing

Valerie Reimers is a Professor of English in the Department of Language and Literature at Southern Oklahoma State University. Reimers has developed an assignment that asks her students to discover convergences between visual images and verbal texts as they create both. First, she directs them to create photographs and, without looking at them, immediately write journal entries describing what they saw and hoped to capture in the photos. “In this way,” she writes, “the students connect seeing with writing.”

A few days later, Reimers directs the students to view printed versions of their photos, describe in writing what they see in their images, and compare/contrast their descriptions with the journal entries they had written earlier.

For the third and final part of the assignment, Reimers requires the students to submit a portfolio consisting of three sets of photos and written entries for evaluation and to share with their classmates. “Doing well on this assignment,” she concludes, “doesn’t depend on photographic skills. Rather, it depends on the careful choosing of subjects and the effort put into writing about them.”

To receive a more complete description of this assignment, contact Dr. Reimers at

Using Iconic Photos

In the Humanities Division at Fullerton College, Fullerton, California, Bruce Henderson uses iconic photos created by photojournalists during the Vietnam War to stimulate students’ thinking and writing. “One of the images I present is the image of a Buddhist monk who has set himself on fire at a Saigon intersection,” he writes. “This leads to a discussion about the nature and effectiveness of protest, as well as to an inquiry into the situation(s) about which the monks were protesting.” Henderson also uses the iconic photo of the national police chief of South Vietnam executing a bound “suspect” during the Tet offensive, as well as the unforgettable photo of a naked girl fleeing her napalmed village to stimulate discussion and writing in his classes.

Photos from Magazines

Mary Lang is an Instructor in the English and Humanities Division at Wharton County Junior College, Richmond, Texas. Lang directs her students to bring in 3-5 photographs from magazines. Then she asks them to choose a photo and use it to write a narrative or a series of narratives based on the image they have chosen. Occasionally, instead of asking the students to choose a photo, Lang creates a lottery in which the students “win” photos other than those they have selected themselves. “This has worked very well,” she writes. Lang indicates that she uses this technique to encourage students to write not only narratives, but also other forms of writing. “For example,” she concludes, “I’ve found that it works very well as a journal assignment.”

Continued on next page »

» More Gazette articles...

About Hank Kellner...

Hank Kellner is a retired educator and the author of Write What You See: 99 Photographs to Inspire Writing. Original Edition. Cottonwood Press. I-800-864-4297 Cottonwood Press is distributed by Independent Publishers Group. Includes supplementary CD with photos. 8 ½ x11, 120 pages, perfect binding, ISBN 978-1-877-673-83-2, LCCN 2008938630. $24.95. Visit the author’s blog at

The author will contribute a portion of the royalties earned from the sale of this book to The Wounded Warriors Project.

Click here for additional information about the book.

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