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Volume 3 Number 9

U.S.Coast Guard AVDET 157 welcomes the opportunity during deployment to the South Pole to communicate with classrooms across the United States. Throughout the voyage, aviation personnel will correspond with schools that are interested in Operation Deep Freeze...
Teachers.Net Teams with U.S. Coast Guard Operation Deep Freeze from The Editor, Kathleen Carpenter
Homework as an Issue in American Politics by Etta Kralovec & John Buell
Preparing for the One Year Anniversary by David J. Schonfeld, MD
The Anniversary of September 11th: Teachers' Guide for Talking to Your Students from the National Center For Children Exposed To Violence
Books About September 11, 2001 by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor
Privacy in a Technological Age by Dr. Rob Reilly
Relational Discipline by Bill Page
Teachers Are Individuals Too by Bill Page
Veteran Educators Share Tips for New Teachers Compiled by Jerry Taylor
Learning Centers - 3 Helpful Threads from the NEW Learning Centers Chatboard
Bits and Pieces - Various Small Articles by The Teachers.Net Community
  • For School Administrators and Teachers:
    A Book and Planting Activity for Beginning the School Year
  • Ideas for Open House
  • Breaking the Ice in 7th Grade
  • Book Recommendation
  • Favorite Kid Quotes
  • Uses for Old Business Cards
  • What Makes a Truly Great Principal? A chatboard survey initiated by "TLC"
    A Word Wall Story by Louise/2/Albuquerque
    Teaching Gayle To Read (Part 7) by Grace Vyduna-Haskins
    Girls Will Be Girls: Raising Confident and Courageous Daughters by JoAnn Deak
    Dear Old Golden Rule Days, Chapter 3 - Music by Janet Farquhar
    Emphasis On Testing Leads To Sacrifices In Other Areas by Alfie Kohn
    Pension Loophole Exploited by Allen Pusey - The Dallas Morning News
    Focus on After-School Time for Violence Prevention from: ERIC Clearinghouse
    Beyond Books: Making the Most of Today's Library Resources by Cindy Rogers
    Master Teachers Have Healthy Self-Esteems by Glenn Dietzel
    Distance Learning and Disabled Students by Jeff Redding
    September Columns
    September Regular Features
    September Informational Items
    Gazette Home Delivery:

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    This Month's Bits and Pieces Quick Links:

    For School Administrators and Teachers:
    A Book and Planting Activity for Beginning the School Year

    Ideas for Open House

    Breaking the Ice in 7th Grade

    Book Recommendation

    Favorite Kid Quotes

    Uses for Old Business Cards

    Best Sellers

    Oh, the Places You'll Go!
    By Dr. Seuss

    $11.90 from
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    by Kevin Henkes

    $5.99 from
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    Read All About It!: Great Read-Aloud Stories, Poems, and Newspaper Pieces for Preteens and Teens
    by Jim Trelease

    $11.16 from
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    Hey! Listen to This: Stories to Read Aloud
    by Jim Trelease

    $10.50 from
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    Browse the latest 25 posts from the Primary Elementary Chatboard:

    Bits and Pieces...

    For School Administrators and Teachers:
    A Book and Planting Activity for Beginning the School Year

    Submitted to the Teachers.Net Lessons Bank

    by Cindy Flesher

    Begin by reading the book, Mrs. Spitzer's Garden to your staff. They will love it and see the connection to teaching students. This book is wonderful for refocusing our teachers on the task at hand, nurturing and teaching our children and meeting all of their needs.

    After reading the book, I give each teacher a little baggie filled with 3-4 [flower] bulbs inside. They are then instructed to plant these in a designated area at our school with their class. This will be our visual reminder that teaching children is just like growing flowers: some are like wildflowers and will grow anywhere you put them, others need more attention and gentle care. Others are bright and showy, saying, "Look at me!" and still others are silvery and quiet, the color of the earth.

    Mrs. Spitzer's Garden
    by Edith Pattou, Tricia Tusa (Illustrator)

    $11.20 from
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    Bits and Pieces Quick Links

    Ideas for Open House

    from The Editor

    Interested in making Open House more interesting and effective this year? Browse these collections of interesting and unique open house activities members of the Teachers.Net community have posted in the Lessons Bank.


    If you have a good idea to share, please submit it to the Lessons Bank for others to read!

    Bits and Pieces Quick Links

    Breaking the Ice in 7th Grade

    by Justin, on the Middle School Chatboard

    I am looking for new ways to break the ice with my 7th grade students this year. Any ideas?

    Tina responded: I have three things which I plan to do this year, all of which I have NEVER done. 1) I plan to read Oh, The Places You Will go by Dr. Seuss. In our school 7th grade is a very important year. This is the first year they have moved around for classes and their grades, attendance, and test scores will be used to get them (or not) into the high school of their choice for 9th grade. (They apply in fall of 8th.) This book is great to start the discussion of goals for the year, why we need them and why we have the rules that we do. Then we go into the rules, procedures etc. that are expected of them in my class. 2) I plan to read Chrysanthemum by Henkes then start a discussion about the uniqueness of this little girl's name (everybody is unique in some way, etc.) and then the students will do an acrostic poem of their name and present it to the class. I plan to hang them in the hall as a display for open house. 3) A ME Bag-Bring in a brown lunch bag, decorated, and containing some things that will "teach us about you." I present mine first to model for them. They will present this and their acrostic at the same time. I teach science and math but I am big into language arts hence the read alouds. I also think that kids are NEVER too big to be read to and I show them that from the beginning to set the tone for the year. Hope this helps!

    John responded: I often do an activity that will allow me to quickly learn the students' names and get to know a little about them. (In our school they usually know one another pretty well).

    I play a memory game. Each student says his/her name and favorite type of ice cream. Then much like "I'm going to the grocery store..." the second person says, "He is --- and his favorite ice cream is --- and I am --- and my favorite ice cream is ---."

    After all of the student have done this, I go last. I get to put each students' name with a face, and I know a little about them as well (at least the favorite ice cream).

    Starla responded: I have my students form small groups and each of them learns one fact about every student in their group. After a few minutes everyone joins back together and one at a time each student introduces him/herself and then the other individuals in the group. Students learn each others names and interesting facts about each other.

    Bits and Pieces Quick Links

    Book Recommendation

    by Ann/2nd/CO

    I just have to tell you about a cute book I found that lends itself very well to teaching inferencing. Have you seen Stella Louella's Runaway Book by Lisa Campbell Ernst? Stella loses her book which is due by 5:00 p.m. She asks everyone about it and people lead her to it, but give their opinion of the book. The carpenter said he hated with the chairs got broken; the postman said he liked the part when they took the walk; the cook said she liked the part about making porridge and so on. The book never tells you that the lost book is The 3 Bears and I tell the kids we are using our inferencing skills to figure it out. It is a nice introduction to teaching that skill.

    Stella Louella's Runaway Book
    by Lisa Campbell Ernst

    More information

    Bits and Pieces Quick Links

    Favorite Kid Quotes

    posted by "Just Taking a Break"
    on the Classroom Humor chatboard

    [playing with Donatello the teenage mutant ninja turtle] "When my mommy was a little girl, Donatello was a painter."

    "It's not called cheating... it's called winning!"

    "What do you mean they didn't have Barney when you were a kid? He's a dinosaur; he's been around for billions of years!"

    "Davarius is calling me white!!" (The school was 90 per cent African American)

    When I was student teaching, a child clearly wanted to talk to me and my cooperating teacher-- but then she backed away. When my cooperating teacher turned around, the child whispered in my ear, "I was going to tell you I like you better than Mrs. Jones, but then I remembered my manners."

    "I used to be good at baseball when I was three, but then I was 4, and you know your eye hand coordination gets worse as you get older." I responded, "Yeah, before you know it you'll hit the big zero-five and it's really all downhill from there." ;o)

    "I'm not a virgin; virgins are nerds."
    "Who told you that?" I asked.
    "Tommy said so--and he's six."

    When I came into classes as a support teacher:
    "I didn't particularly enjoy the class yesterday, and I don't think that you should come back."

    "I've had the craziest week with my boyfriend." (This was a first grader.)

    "I'm sorry that we were mean to you; I hope that someday you can forgive us."

    "My mommy told me that she's seen my daddy naked."

    Bits and Pieces Quick Links

    Uses for Old Business Cards

    posted by "An Anonymous Reader"

    I have about 450 old business cards that I hate to throw away but have no use for. Any ideas as to what to do with them?


    Use them for a writing activity. Students choose a card and write a story or paragraph from that person's point of view. Have them tell what they do each day at their job, even if they don't really know. It would be interesting to see what the kids think a CEO might do. They could write about what kind of education is necessary to fill their position. Just an idea! [posted by ldteacher/IN]

    What about letting your students use them for bookmarks? They could decorate the blank side. [posted by Vir ]

    You could send them to me. :-)

    Seriously, don't throw the cards away! Because they are all the same, old business cards are really useful. They can be used to make all sorts of card games, for educational purposes.

    e.g. Happy families, with classes of words for reading, classificaiton in biology, family vocab for foreign languages, etc.

    Pelmanism. eg For tables practice, you could have the children write (6 x 7) on one card, then (42) on another. Then they take turns turning over two cards, and then turinging them back again, trying to collect pairs. Or, for foreign languages, the English on one card and the foreign equivalent on its pair. For history, a date and the name of the event, perhaps. And so on.

    You can use them with a basic game of Snakes and Ladders. eg Have a pile of cards. Turn one over and read the word on the card. Or have your partner look at a card and read it for you to spell. Or the tables revision again. Or cards for practice on any concept you want. When you have "done' the card, you get to shake the dice and move up the board. Attaching a board game to basic practice such as this helps with motivation.

    Perhaps you could make phonics dominoes. Or math or FL dominoes. If you have a look at the catalogs of companies that sell teaching games, you'll get lots of ideas, I'm sure.

    And someone else mentioned flash cards. With so many cards, each child in your class could cut them in two and make his/her own set of tables cards, or whatever.

    Students often like to help with the making of this sort of thing. I don't know whether you are in a school where a foreign language is taught. But if you truly can't use the cards, you might offer them to the language teachers before you throw them out, as they are really useful for making cards for vocab practice, if nothing else. [posted by Mattie]

    When I get any, I use them for games -- board games, jeopardy, etc. for custom made algebra problems. [posted by Bitsy NC]

    flash cards--store in Altoids tins (anon.)

    Bits and Pieces Quick Links