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Volume 3 Number 10

"Everybody loves hummingbirds, and they are wonderful tools to excite students about learning."

That quote from a classroom teacher is the basic premise of Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project...

Meet our Antarctic Guide - A conversation with
USCG LT Marshall Branch
by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
The Responsive Classroom: A Practical Approach for Teaching Children to Care by Dr. Belinda Gimbert
Attitudes Toward Numbers Through History by Daniel Chang
Classroom Photos by Members of the Teachers.Net Community
How Many Environments Does a Child Have? by Judith Rich Harris
The Hurried Child, Book Review by Sonja Marcuson
There IS a Printer and a Xerox Machine in Your Classroom That You Can't See! by Dr. Rob Reilly
What's Your Name? by Joy Jones
The funny thing about control: Or to gain control you have to give up control by Karin Ford
Through the eyes of a child - Reflections on teacher and student motivation by Sheree Rensel
Non-Conventional Techniques in Teaching Science by P R Guruprasad
Word Wall Tips from the 4 Blocks Mailring
Teaching Gayle To Read (Part 8) by Grace Vyduna-Haskins
Operation RubyThroat by Bill Hilton Jr.
Dear Old Golden Rule Days, Chapter 4 - Creative Writing by Janet Farquhar
Simple Science Center Ideas from the Early Childhood Mailring
The Freedom Box, Technology for the Blind and Visually Impaired by Dave Melanson
Librarians, Deaf Students and Hearing Students by Linsey Taylor
Pumpkin Math and Writing Activities by Michele Nash
Take Home Literature Activity Bags by Paulie
Favorite October Activities for the Classroom from Teachers.Net Mailrings
Fun Facts
October Columns
October Regular Features
October Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

Fun Facts

In English pubs, ale is ordered by pints and quarts. So in old England, when customers got unruly, the bartender would yell at them mind their own pints and quarts, and settle down. It's where we get the phrase "mind your P's and Q's"
Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim, or handle, of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. "Wet your whistle" is the phrase inspired by this practice.
In Scotland, a new game was invented. It was entitled Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden....and thus the word GOLF entered into the English language.

Click here for more Fun Facts

Teacher Feature...

Pumpkin Math and Writing Activities
by Michele Nash, Gr. 2

We do an activity called Pumpkin Math! Our PTO donates 5 pumpkins to our classroom. We also recruit 4 or 5 parent volunteers to facilitate groups of students.

Each parent has a group of 4 students and 1 pumpkin. The groups do the following.

  1. Estimate if the pumpkin in their group is the largest, smallest or the in-between size of all of the pumpkins in the room.
  2. Estimate the weight of your pumpkin.
  3. Estimate the number of seeds in your pumpkin.
  4. Do a group writing activity that begins with MY pumpkin looks like_____________________
  5. Tell how you would measure around the pumpkin. What materials/tools would you use?

After this is done...they then

  1. Measure height, distance around, distance across the WIDEST SEAM of the pumpkin, length of stem. (measure in inches and
  2. Weigh the pumpkin
  3. Cut hole in the top of pumpkin, scoop out the pulp and seeds. WEIGH THE PULP AND THE SEEDS WEIGH THE EMPTY PUMPKIN
  4. Measure the thickness of the pumpkin meat
  5. Estimate the number of seeds after you scoop them out.
  6. Count the exact number of seeds. (groups of ten)
  7. Compare estimates to actual measures/counts
  8. Write a thank you note for the pumpkins to the PTO
  9. Write a thank you note to the pumpkin

This whole process takes about 1 hour give or take 15-20 minutes, depending on the groups.

The parents are completely in charge. I just go around and answer procedure questions when needed.

One another day I may have my students graph their data etc.


We do a Pumpkin Head writing activity.

The kids have to design a pumpkin to look like their face. They attach freckles, yarn hair, glasses, draw on or glue eyes etc. They really do turn out rather cute!

The thing to remember is to NOT to put a hole in it or it will rot very quickly. Everything should be glued or drawn on.

The kids then do a writing activity telling how their head was turned into a PUMPKIN HEAD. I have the kids hold the pumpkin head in front of their own face, and I then take a picture of them. It really does look like they have a pumpkin for a head.

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