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Q&A: Using books
barcodes and DVD's to
CR readers share ideas
about reading and writing
25 crazy tongue-twisters
with activities to match
action can you take?
Students teaching Internet
skills to seniors: a win-win
Using primary sources to
study the US Constitution
CR’s school web site
Kick off your summer with our top-ten list of ways to
have Math fun in the sun. See What’s Working p.11.
works to help K-12 teachersand administrators bysharing the success stories,techniques, resources,
You are not expected to “grade” this response,
An alternative-school teacher links writers
although your comments could be helpful to
the writer. Practice makes permanent and thisassignment will assist you in your writing skills
Matthew T.V. Pawlak, Hamilton
and in your editorial ways. Good luck to each
Alternative School, South Bend,
of you and write from your heart. Our Universe
desires us to connect. Here is our chance.
I have the opportunity to teach college writingat a maximum-security Indiana state prison.
Encouraging readers with
Working with writers in my alternative high
school and those incarcerated, I came up with
An Accelerated Reading teacher shares an
a journal assignment to assist both sets of stu-
dents with editing and commenting appropri-
Carol Molz, Clark Davidson
ately on other writers’ work. Students at the
correctional facility ended up looking forward
School, Goddard, Kansas:
to receiving “their” kids’ journals and the high
We do an “A.R. Book Pick of the Month,”
school students liked reading the comments
which helps in reaching many different levels
of readers. After tryouts and consideration of
schoolers were reticent to comment for vari-
other factors, the top readers in class are cho-
sen at the beginning of the year to read to other
All in all, this has been a unique opportunity
classes. Some criteria in choosing students are:■ Reading with feeling and expression
for all of us, and the high school studentslooked forward to the next day’s comments
VIEWS YOU CAN USE…
from their fellow students. The offenders thor-
oughly enjoyed feeling they were making adifference in high school students’ lives in
Additional students may try out during the year
writing. Following is the assignment as given.
Our Universe requires
Readers take the book home for two nights to
us to connect. Here is our chance. Students at
not only practice reading orally, but to make up
four questions about the book and include four
City State Prison will share their thoughts and
multiple-choice answers. They take the book
feelings through their hand-written, reflective
home again to practice before their assigned
responses. This is NOT a pen-pal milieu nor
reading day. After everyone in this group has
is this meant to traffick information (the
practiced the book and returned their ques-
teacher will be previewing ALL writing). This
tions, I make up an A.R. test. I make 10 to 12
assignment is only for you to establish your
questions, and of those questions, five are on
thoughts in writing and share those thoughts
with someone else, a complete stranger in es-
sence, who may share your vision and belief
Everyone in the class will do a book report and
(or who may not, which is fine as well), who
art project on our chosen book. We use a hall-way wall to display our book jacket, reports
and accompanying art project. As a class we’ll
rect errors in grammar, spelling and sentencestructure. This assignment is educational in
write the beginning of the report together. Then
each student finishes individually, explaining
what they like or dislike about the book. This
allows the more proficient readers/writers to
express themselves, as well as giving less pro-
write a reflective response to the statement,
ficient students a non-threatening environment
question, quote or comment of the day; for
example, Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Bud-dhist monk, said, “It is not until we have a
After the book jacket, reports and art project
toothache that we realize that not having a
have been displayed, the readers go to assigned
toothache is happiness”; or from an Indian
classes throughout the building to read our
yogi, “Before speaking, consider whether it is
book. This year we are reading and sharing
an improvement upon silence.” These reflec-
with 15 second- and third-grade classes. This
tive responses will be shared by students in
program has served well both the competent
reader and the struggling reader. It has been
grammatical or informational) will be pro-
enthusiastically received since inception by
both the students and their parents.
WhatTheyre SayingLawyers have no tolerance
First Lady puts teacher shortages
for zero tolerance
on her agenda
Zero tolerance has become a one-size-fits-all solution to
We’re really desperate. A lot of big school districts al-
all problems that schools confront. It has redefined stu-
ready have teacher shortages and older teachers will
dents as criminals with unfortunate consequences.
be retiring so it’s very important for everyone to valueteachers like we should value teachers. I hope we can
—The American Bar Association, in a new report calling
encourage young people to choose teaching as a ca-
reer… [Teaching is] the most profound profession.
Moving away from the SAT?
—First Lady Laura Bush, announcing a plan to re-
We feel that it will be a strong step toward equity in
cruit new teachers at the nation’s colleges and mili-
higher education. Removing the SAT as an admission re-
quirement would open up the doors to students of colors,especially students whose first language is not English.
The reading teacher’s true goals
What is it we really want children to be able to do in
—Kristina Perez of testing-reform group FairTest, quoted
order to show that they are successful readers? We
in the San Diego Union-Tribune
about the University of
want them to be able to pick up a book, read it for fun,
read it for information, read it because they want to,
Time for full-day kindergarten?
and read it because they enjoy the reading process.
Then we will know we have done our job and by our
The question of whether to extend the kindergarten day is
actions made each child feel special.
actually more complicated than one would think. If youextend the day, you have to have more teachers, more
—International Reading Association President
supplies, more transportation, more everything. It really
Carmelita K. Williams, writing in Reading Today
has little to do with education and everything to do withlogistics.
Expanding the definition of
[Still,] it’s inevitable. The all-day programs are going to
A much broader menu of “good” schools than reform-
reshape kindergarten as we know it. It will be more uni-
ers offer is needed. In these years of testing frenzy,
form like the first grade. I know some people don’t want
schools that are democratic, arts-based and progres-
that to happen, but if we’re going to connect kindergarten
sive still dot the academic landscape. They are in al-
to the first grade, we have to do it.
ternative schools, charter schools, schools-within-a
—Nancy L. Karweit, a former early childhood researcher
school. But because they lack rigorous assessments
at Johns Hopkins University, quoted in the Washington
tied to standardized test scores, they are viewed as de-
viant and in need of correction rather than workingmodels of the rich and historic goals of tax-supported
Freaked out by freak dancing
public schooling. The victory of market-oriented
Many school administrators are less than thrilled with
reformers has brought us to the unfortunate point in
this latest spin on teenage self- expression, and are strug-
our two-century history of U.S. public schools
gling with how to manage it. Some schools have banned
where the best schools are the ones with the highest
freak dancing; others have turned up the lighting at
dances, cracked down on some forms of attire, or dis-patched chaperones with flashlights to prowl the floor
—Stanford professor Larry Cuban, writing in the
and pry apart offending youngsters. Some have drawn up
guidelines to snuff out only the most potent forms. Oneschool outside Tacoma, Washington, for instance, nowforbids dancing that includes “bending over past a 45-de-gree angle.”
—Catherine Gewertz, writing in Education Week
the new dance style that has teens grinding into each
administrative sites, all running on high-
Students teach seniors
ordered it to pay $62,000 in damages to a
how to surf
violated, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
with a high-tech learning opportunity for
Will one e-book replace
every text in a student’s
nior citizens how to log onto the Internet.
through error-strewn, out-of-date texts—
helped the folks at Kit Clark Senior Ser-
included a parody of an assistant princi-
lishers, fearful of yet another report slam-
Court judge found that the district over-
Christian Science Monitor
stepped its authority in punishing a stu-
A follow-up trip to the nonprofit service
checkers and instituted extra layers of re-
agency revealed that the seniors were en-
joying their new skills. After receiving a
The site in question “included electroni-
online versions of its printed texts, fea-
cally altered photos that placed the image
and Vy Nguyen and said, “I couldn’t have
tual errors, once discovered, will be cor-
character having sex,” the paper reports.
the visual resolution of handheld text de-
step. This is e-mail. Instant chatting is
resulted in judgments against districts in
the past, even at the U.S. District Court
Millions log on to
Three out of four two- and four-year U.S.
threatening and successful lawsuits.
online presence, the AP reports. In 1997-98, some 1.4 million students were takingdistance-education courses for credit, ac-
Student wins $62,000
Florida passes on
judgment in Web site
prosecution of school
soared into the millions as e-learning has
If you’re planning to punish a student for
the creators of a site that “contained al-
Thurston School District learned that les-
If his work as superintendent of the
Surf these Web sites
Houston Independent School District isany indication, new Education SecretaryRod Paige should be a strong supporter
How would you do on the SAT today?
You can attempt to answer recent SAT I
verbal and math questions by taking an interactive quiz offered by Time.com
reports. “The rate at
A free literary guide to Romeo & Juliet
is available from Vidbook
. The site promises a
corner of that district, was tremendous,”
“scene-by-scene summation, with key passages from the play and links to the full
text. Pictures and video amplify each page, and occasional commentary is pro-
vided by a panel of Shakespearean scholars.”
directs PT3, a national tech training pro-gram for educators. Currently, Houston
Don’t type those URLs. Go to www.curriculumreview.com
boasts one of the nation’s largest ed-tech
and link to any Web site mentioned this year!
teachers,” the St. Petersburg Times
re-ports. Even though the state concluded
CR reviews your school’s Web site
the site did not run afoul of obscenitylaws, officials at Springstead High
Spalding High School, Griffin, Georgia
School were still considering filing civilsuits against the site owners. And when
the school complained to the Internet ser-vice provider hosting the parody pages,
“We are a new transition high school and we are proud of
our new Web site,” writes principal Todd J. McGhee. “Our technology
director informed us that you recognize Web sites and offer sugges-
tions for improvement. We would welcome any advice that you could
give us to improve our site. I would also appreciate any positive rec-ognition for our Webmaster, Mr. Jeff Tharpe, math teacher at Spalding
Yet another way to
legally battle offensive
This is an appealing, happy site. The center of the homepage
student Web content
features a blue-shaded, black-boxed picture of a cheetah, the school’s
Two students at Ohio’s Strongsville High
mascot. Paw prints can be spied atop the various section links. A nice
innovation here: Underneath the photo, in a very prominent spot, the
school marks the week’s student birthdays. Obviously security-con-
scious, they only identify the children by first initial and last name.
Web site, the Cleveland Plain Dealer
The top of the homepage features a strip of photos featuring groups of
students and teachers at work and play, just underneath links to vari-
ous site sections, including a search function.
the students, and named the parents asco-defendants for failing to provide
The page is chock full of useful information—including a listing of
upcoming athletic events, a time-and-temp box provided by
AccuWeather, and an interactive poll. When we visited, users were in-
said their case would address free-speech
vited to “Vote for your Favorite SHS Teacher.” Yet with all that, the
issues. One of the teens allegedly entered
page isn’t overly crowded or busy-looking. There’s a cohesive graphic
sensibility at work here—even the animated cheetah running under
stealing a student’s calculator, and called
the weather box fits the theme, if not the exact look, of the rest of the
for her firing. The chat room was located
page. Near the bottom, users will find e-mail links to both the princi-
at a site owned by the other student. The
pal and the Webmaster. All this and regular updates, too, as evidenced
by the “last updated” info at the foot of the page. That might also be a
“get people’s attention, that this is a new
good spot to let visitors know the location of the school—our only
criticism on the front page (although it’s only one quick click to a
school map located inside the site). Like that map page, which in-cludes detailed driving directions, the rest of the site presents the info
ISP shuts down
users need concisely and completely. Kudos.
school rumors site
Would you like CR
to review your school’s Web site? Email the URL,
plus a bit of info about what makes your page special, to pegmuntz
. Or fax your request to 800-314-4770.
across Southern California,” had its plugpulled by its Internet service provider re-cently, the L.A. Times
reports. With thou-
that their children are perfectly safe,” said
senior editor Jeff Fox. “Our results sug-
gest they should not rely solely on filter-
singled out for attack. The site’s Denver-
Web filtering software
fails to block 20 percent
terms of service agreement states that it
of offensive sites
will not host “content that could be rea-
offered poor protection, Consumer Re-
concluded, Cyber Patrol, Cybersit-
good protection. The full review is avail-
able at http://www.consumerreports
I N E D U C A T I O N
Mark Cinco de Mayo with a
“Cinco de Mayo, May 5th, is a national holiday for
side and then two on the other side. Ask students
Mexico—second only to September 16, Indepen-
if they think this ratio is equivalent. Show
dence Day,” notes educator Jessica Shaw. “It was on
Mexico, France, England and Spain on a world
this day, in 1862, that 2,000 poorly trained Mexican
map. On a map of Mexico, show the town of
peasants, under the command of General Ignacio
Puebla. On a U.S. map, identify areas in which
Zaragoza, bravely and fiercely fought for their free-
many of the citizens are of Mexican ancestry.
dom against a regiment of 6,000 French soldiers
Florida, New York.) Write these on the board.
Today, Cinco de Mayo celebrations are one way in
D. Numbered Heads Together:
Number off stu-
which people celebrate the friendship of the United
dents into groups of five or six. Give each group
States and Mexico. The Cinco de Mayo victory is a
5-6 questions relating to the Battle of Puebla. After
special symbol for all Mexican people who cel-
they work together so everyone knows the answers
ebrate their rights of freedom and liberty, honor-
and can explain them, call out a number; the student
ing those who fought, against the odds, for these
with that number will answer for the team orally.
One person from each group will get to answer each
The following five-period Cinco de Mayo unit
time. The class will discuss each group’s answer.
developed by Shaw will help students to: recognize
Sample questions: 1.
What do you think motivated
that countries have celebrations unique to them;
the group of Mexican peasants to fight against the
know why Cinco de Mayo is recognized as a na-
superior forces of the French soldiers? 2.
tional holiday in Mexico; recall facts from the
know of anyone else who would defend their rights
events on May 5, 1862; compare and contrast the
this way? Do you believe that it is sometimes the
opposing viewpoints of the Mexican and French
best way to solve a problem? 3.
What made Napo-
sides; identify three celebration activities of
leon III think he could conquer the Mexicans and
Cinco de Mayo and understand their signifi-
control the people? Do you think he did it for the
cance; recognize that the United States, and the
people of France or for himself? 4.
Why do you
world, are made up of cultures other than their
think it’s important to celebrate this holiday, even
own; and recognize and be able to use various
though the French eventually conquered Mexico
and ruled for a few years? 5.
Do you think women
should have the right to fight in battle? Explain.
Have the class brainstorm holidays
E. Language Integration:
Teach some Spanish
with which they are familiar and activities that
words relating to Cinco de Mayo. Talk about cog-
accompany them. List these on the board.
nates. Practice pronunciation and learn the mean-
B. K-W-L Chart:
Start a class K-W-L chart. Ask
ings. Provide students with a list of these words.
students what they already know
about Cinco de
Tell children to look for new Spanish words all
Mayo, if anything, and what they want to know
Have students start individual charts using the list
F. Writing Activity:
Have students write in their
you’ve started, along with their own ideas. Every
journals. Choices: 1. Write a story using their new
time they learn
something new relating to Cinco de
Spanish vocabulary words. 2. Write as if they are
Mayo, they should record it on their chart.
Mexican peasants before or after the battle—what
After giving a historical overview
are they feeling and doing? 3. Write about three of
of the events leading up to the Cinco de Mayo vic-
the activities included in the celebration of Cinco de
tory, explain that all countries have celebrations
Mayo and why these activities are done.
unique to them. Give children a visual representa-
Post the following at the front of
tion of the ratio of French army soldiers to the
the class: These words were written shortly
Mexican peasants by calling six students up into one
Benito Juarez, in a proclamation to the Mexican
cones. Attach these cones to the piñata with tape.
people: “The government of the republic will fulfill
Pour a moderate amount of glue on a margarine
its duty to defend its independence, to repel foreign
tub lid. Scrunch squares of tissue paper around the
aggression, and accept the struggle to which it has
eraser of a pencil. Using the pencil, dip the
been provoked, counting on the unanimous spirit of
scrunched square into the glue and press on the
the Mexicans and on the fact that sooner or later the
piñata. Cover the entire piñata with tissue paper
cause of rights and justice will triumph.”
squares. Attach strips of tissue paper as streamers.
General Lorencz, to his government: “We are so su-
Use the knife to cut out a small piece of the
piñata. Fill the piñata with candy, stickers, or other
perior to the Mexicans in race, in organization, in
surprises. Attach one end of the wire to either side of
discipline, in morality, and in refinement of sensi-
the opening, and then replace the small piece and
bilities, that as of this moment, at the head of our
glue back in place. 5.
Hang the piñata, or tie it on a
6,000 valiant soldiers, I am the master of Mexico.”
Have students compare these statements. Have cards
I. Viva la fiesta!
Divide the room into activity cen-
posted in the corners of the room that say “Strongly
ters: Tortilla making/Tortilla eating contest; Making
Agree, Strongly Disagree, Agree, and Disagree.”
tissue paper flowers; Learning the “Raspa” (you’ll
Pose the following statements one at a time: 1.
need a tape of Mexican songs); Making maracas
ideals and values are the only things that determine
(place beans in paper bags and decorate); Making
your outcomes in all things. 2.
It doesn’t matter
sombreros; Breaking piñatas. At fiesta’s end, stu-
what the chances are: only your attitude matters. 3.
dents will write a one-page paper summarizing all
It’s better to be prepared and not sure of yourself
they have learned during Cinco de Mayo week.
then to be unprepared but sure of yourself.
Get two 45” square pieces of
Have students go to the corner that represents their
butcher paper for each child, string, newspapers,
view for each statement. Have the students in the
wheat paste, tempura paint, brushes, scissors, and se-
same corners discuss why they feel the way they do
Prepare wheat paste for papier-mâché by
and then one person from each corner will share the
mixing flour and water to a consistency slightly thin-
group’s ideas. Children may change their minds af-
ner than cake batter. 2.
Cover one square of butcher
ter talking to the group or listening to someone
paper with a thin layer of the mixture and press it to-
else’s reasoning. Next, ask students the following
gether with the other paper square. 3.
three questions and have a small class discussion. 1.
squares are still damp, place them on a child’s head
What sort of ideals and values does each man seem
and shape the crown of the sombrero. 4. Secure the
to have? 2.
How could each man’s attitude have
base of the crown around the child’s head with the
affected the outcome of the battle and the war?
Remove the sombrero from the child’s
Which man turned out to be right?
head, stuff the crown with newspaper and lay it on a
Piñatas are a big part of Cinco de
flat surface. Smooth out the brim, trim off the cor-
Mayo. Explain that piñatas originated in Italy; by
ners and turn the brim up at the edges. Let dry com-
the middle of the 16th century, the piñata had filtered
Decorate sombreros with paint and se-
into other countries. In Spain, the piñata was first
used for religious purposes such as the first Sunday
Gather 2 1/2 cups corn tortilla
of Lent. The breaking of the piñata was a somber
mix, 1 cup water, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, electric
occasion. Spanish explorers carried the piñata to
skillet, fork, spatula, knife, wax paper, and a clean
Mexico nearly 400 years ago. The piñata in Mexico
had religious significance, but it was used for happyoccasions as well (mostly at Christmas). Besides
Mix the tortilla mix with just enough water to
this difference, piñatas in Mexico began to be
make the dough stiff enough to roll into a large ball.2.
Divide the dough into many small balls. 3.
elaborately decorated. Eventually, piñatas were used
the small balls with hands on squares of wax paper
for all festive occasions in Mexico. Divide students
and press evenly flat to about ¼” thickness. 4.
into groups of 5 or 6. Each group will make a piñata
tortilla off wax paper onto the lightly oiled electric
to hit at during the culminating activity.
skillet. Cook for 10 seconds on one side, flip over
Making a piñata:
You’ll need a balloon, newspa-
and cook for one minute on the other side, then flip
per strips, wheat paste, squares and strips of colorful
again and cook for 20 seconds more. 5.
tissue paper, glue, tape, knife, one foot of wire, mar-
tillas from the skillet and wrap them in the dish towel
garine tub lids, pencil and construction paper. 1.
to keep them warm. Lightly spread tortillas with but-
Prepare wheat paste for papier-mâché by mixing
flour and water to a consistency slightly thinner than
Making tissue paper flowers:
cake batter. Cover the entire surface of an inflated
rectangles of various colors of tissue paper. Pinch the
balloon with strips of newspaper dipped into the
short edges of a rectangle together in the middle and
paste mixture. Allow to dry completely. 2.
half circles from construction paper and bend to form
ting right foot forward. Fourth count, stay put, don’t
place a 2-inch square of contrasting colored tissue pa-
move! Repeat until chorus begins. Set Two: The
per on top. Twist the end of a pipe cleaner around the
pairs of children link right elbows and skip around
two pieces and fluff out the tissue to make petals.
each other. This lasts for eight counts. Now reversefor eight counts. Continue until the chorus ends and
Doing La Raspa:
Separate children into pairs and
then repeat La Raspa steps in set one.
arrange them in a large open circle. There are twosets of steps, one set for the music preceding the
chorus and the second set to follow during the cho-
Consider student journal entries, responses to
rus. Set One: First count, jump up in place and put
discussion questions, responses to guided discus-
your right foot forward with toes pointing out. Sec-
sion and corners activities, individual K-W-L
ond count, jump up in place again, putting left foot
charts, student comparisons of holidays, and the
forward. Third Count, jump up in place again, put-
All about alliteration
Help students identify and use alliteration with some wonderfully wacky exercises, which start with the
following list of tongue twisters:
Angela Abigail Applewhite ate anchovies and artichokes.
Norris Newton never needed new noodles.
Bertha Bartholomew blew big, blue bubbles.
Patsy planter plucked plump, purple, plastic plums.
Clever Clifford Cutter clumsily closed the closet clasps.
Quinella Quist quite quickly quelled the quarreling quartet.
Dwayne Dwiddle drew a drawing of dreaded Dracula.
Randy Rathbone wrapped a rather rare red rabbit.
Elmer Elwood eluded eleven elderly elephants.
Shelly Sherman shivered in a sheer, short, shirt.
Floyd Flingle flipped flat flapjacks.
Trina Tweety tripped two twittering twins under a twiggy tree.
Greta Gruber grabbed a group of green grapes.
Uri Udall usually used his unique, unusual unicycle.
Hattie Henderson hated happy healthy hippos.
Vicky Vinc viewed a very valuable vase.
Ida Ivy identified the ivory iris.
Walter Whipple warily warned the weary warrior.
Julie Jackson juggled the juicy, jiggly Jell-o.
Xerxes Xenon expected to Xerox extra x-rays.
Karl Kessler kept the ketchup in the kitchen.
Yolana Yvonne Yarger yodeled up yonder yesterday.
Lila Ledbetter lugged a lot of little lemons.
Zigmund Zane zigzagged through the zany zoo zone.
Milton Mallard mailed a mangled mango.
Have students: Select 10 twisters and il-
about famous people with whom you are familiar.
lustrate them; Extend 10 twisters by adding more
Make up twisters about popular products you use.
adjectives and adverbs; and Complete five twisters
Share these in class by reading aloud or passing pa-
of their own. Other suggestions: Make up twisters
Searching for onomatopoeia
Onomatopoeia is the imitation of natural sounds in
poeia words that you can. Swap lists between
word form. These words help us form mental pic-
groups. The other group should write a person’s
tures about the things, people or places that are de-
name, a place or a thing that first comes to their
scribed. Sometimes the word names a thing or ac-
tion by copying the sound. For example: Bong!
For homework, find at least five examples of onomato-
poeia in the comic strip section of the newspaper.
Have students work in groups of three or four.
Students should write five descriptive sentences that
Brainstorm for five minutes. List all the onomato-
contain at least one example of onomatopoeia. Re-
write the sentences and put a blank where the ono-
scribes the action and include as many onomato-
matopoeia word is located. Exchange the paper
poeia words as you can. Students should get in
with a neighbor and fill in the blank with an ono-
groups of four and let the author read their para-
matopoeia word. Compare the sentences. See if you
graph. See if the students can choose the picture that
changed the meaning of the sentence.
Students should bring in two pictures from maga-zines that show action. Write a paragraph that de-
Learn about crystals by making rock candy
Rock candy is just crystallized sugar, after all. For
do it without a candy thermometer. Don’t stir after
this tasty experiment, you’ll need 2 cups water, 5
cups sugar, a pie pan, string or bamboo skewer,
Pour the hot liquid into the pan. The string should
candy thermometer, foil, and some patience.
be 3/4 inch under the surface of the sugar water.
Stretch the string across a pie pan so it
Cover the pan with foil and don’t touch it for a
is suspended across the top. You’ll have to weight
week. In seven days, lift out the string or stick and it
the ends so that it does not touch the bottom of the
will be covered with sugar crystals.
pan. Or you can punch holes in the edge of the pan
You can also pour the liquid into a jar. Punch a
and tie the string. You can also lay a skewer across
bamboo skewer through a plastic coffee-can lid.
Lay the lid over the jar so the skewer hangs down
Dissolve the sugar in the water and cook until it
the middle of the liquid. Do not let the skewer touch
reaches 250 degrees. This temperature is also called
the bottom of the jar. In seven days, lift out the
hard ball, and most cookbooks will tell you how to
skewer and it will be covered with sugar crystals.
Bring the Solar System to life
“The Solar System is a very abstract concept for
planet and direct him/her to the correct place.)
primary-age children,” notes Sally Spooner of
Begin the experiment by having children walk in
Sunset Elementary School in Cody, Wyoming.
their path or “orbit” around the sun. Stress that the
“This activity was designed to show children the
planets never leave their own orbits. This travel
ideas of ‘revolution’ and ‘rotation.’” It uses role
around the sun is called “revolution.” After the chil-
playing to demonstrate the planets’ connection to
dren have orbited the sun once, bring in the added
concept of “rotation.” While moving around the sun,
As a result of this activity, students will be able
the children should also start to spin around like
to: Make models to represent the planets in com-
tops. (Caution them against becoming dizzy.) This
parative size; Use their models to demonstrate
revolution and rotation of the planets around the
Tell children that it takes one year for the earth to re-
sun; and Give definitions of “revolution,” “rota-
volve around the sun, and it takes one day for the
earth to rotate on its own axis. Point out that “rota-
One yellow punch ball, nine balloons of
tion” or spinning on one’s own axis takes much less
different colors, chalk or string to mark orbits, re-
time than going all the way around the sun, or “revo-
source materials to check orbits of the nine planets
lution.” Give all children in the class a chance to
Children will blow up a yellow punch
ball to its fullest, as well as balloons of nine differ-
After returning to the classroom, demonstrate the
ent colors to sizes representing the nine planets.
principle just learned with the globe. Let someone
Take the class outside or go into the gym. Have
spin the globe and walk around a “sun” to show “ro-
nine paths marked on ground or floor with string or
tation” and “revolution.” For children who have
chalk. Have one student hold each balloon. Another
trouble keeping “rotation” and “revolution” straight,
student will hold the yellow punch ball, which rep-
here’s a tip: the middle sound of “rotation” has the
resents the sun. The “sun” stands in the middle of a
same vowel sound as “day,” and it takes the earth one
circle. The other children take their places on the
day to rotate. This same type of activity can be used to
marked paths. (Give each child the name of his/her
show the relationship between the moon and the earth.
In his own words:
George Washington and the U.S.
This lesson addresses George Washington’s leader-
ship in forging a new government for the United
George Washington to Henry Lee, October 31, 1786
States after the break from England in 1776. The
historical period covered by the documents in the
lesson ranges from a few days after the Declaration
George Washington to James Madison, Jr., Novem-
of Independence in 1776, to late May 1790, when
Rhode Island became the last of the 13 colonies to
ratify the new Constitution. Washington’s own
words illustrate the events leading to the establish-ment of our national government, and the crucial
December 26, 1786http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/lessons/
Reviewing the events lead-
ing to the split between England and the Americancolonies, including the formal Declaration of Inde-
pendence on July 4, 1776. Distribute an excerpt of
the Letter from George Washington to General
Artemas Ward, July 9, 1776, in which he requests
that the message of the Declaration of Indepen-
Consider such questions as: What evidence of eco-
dence be shared with all colonial troops. Excerpt:
nomic problems among the states is seen in the let-
ters? What is the nature of the “commotions” to
which Washington repeatedly refers? What impact
Full letter: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/
does Washington think Shays’s Rebellion will have
on the image of the United States in foreign coun-
tries? What, as reflected in his own words, isWashington’s personal view of this domestic crisis?
Use the timeline at http://memory.loc.gov/
to briefly review
Students can prepare a group presentation to share
social, economic, and political events in the years
excerpts of their document with their classmates.
1776-1790. After winning the War for Indepen-
Each group should report, in turn, according to the
dence, what were some of the challenges faced by
date of their correspondence. Place a large timeline
George Washington and his countrymen? What
on the board, and ask one member of each group to
were some of the perceived weaknesses of govern-
write a key phrase from their letter that captures
ment under the Articles of Confederation? What
George Washington’s growing sense of alarm
and exasperation regarding developments inMassachusetts. Students should take notes dur-
In order to investigate George
Washington’s concerns about the weaknesses ofthe Articles of Confederation and the revolt known
George Washington played a key role in the draft-
as Shays’s Rebellion, divide the class into six
ing of the Constitution of the United States. In or-
groups of students, and ask each group to read and
der to investigate how deeply involved he was in
highlight key passages from excerpts of one of six
the political and philosophical development of the
document, divide students again into six groups,and distribute to each group excerpts of one of six
August 22, 1785http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpedu/
George Washington to Lafayette, March 25, 1787
George Washington to David Humphreys,October 22, 1786
George Washington to James Madison, Jr., March
Convention from his vantage point as an eyewitness
to the events? What evidence exists of the famous
George Washington to David Stuart, July 1, 1787
compromises that occurred there? What doesWashington’s correspondence reveal regarding the
struggle in each of the states over the ratification of
George Washington to Lafayette, February 7, 1788
Students can report out key passages from their
group’s document, presenting the material accord-
ing to chronological order. Students should take
George Washington to Lafayette, May 28, 1788
notes during the presentations, and write a sum-
mary of Washington’s unique role as a participant
and commentator during the writing and ratification
of the Constitution of the United States.
Ask each student to read
Letter from George Washington to Marquis de
Lafayette, June 3, 1790, at http://memory.loc.gov/
Consider such questions as: To whom was the
document written? What role, if any, did this corre-
reading the letter, students can write an essay re-
spondent play in the American Revolution? What
counting the events of 1785-90 that were illumi-
was the person’s relationship to Washington? What
nated in the lesson activities. They should compare
is Washington’s view of the federal convention to
and contrast George Washington’s attitude regard-
be held in Philadelphia beginning in May 1787?
ing the future of the United States at different
What does he insist must happen there? How does
Washington characterize the proceedings of the
Top ten ways to have Math fun in the sun
With summer vacation near, the timing is perfect
Students rank six different brands of suntan lo-
for these 10 sunny activities from Linda Hobbs, a
tion from best buy to worst buy, using prices
teacher at Richards R-5 School in West Plains,
Missouri. Just ask students to wear or bring sum-
Footprints in the sand: Students trace their
right foot on centimeter graph paper and find
Estimate the number of shells in a jar.
Each student brings a beach towel. We sit on
Groups receive a small snack tray of various
them, find their areas and perimeters, and cal-
pieces of fruit. They find the fraction or per-
culate how many of a certain towel would be
centage that each kind of fruit is of the whole.
needed to cover the entire floor of the room.
Design a hat or cap for the beach. Create a
Have an inflatable alligator visit the class-
print or radio ad for your cap. Set a price.
room. Before he is blown up, students give es-
timates about the dimensions of various parts
cap? If your profit is 40 percent of the price of
of his body after he’s inflated. Then measure.
each cap, how much will you make by selling100 caps?
Have each student bring a pair of sunglasses.
Plan a trip to any beach—direct air flight from
graphing opportunities include distances to
home. Find the total distance of the trip, the
each beach location, favorite things to do at
travel time, and the number of gallons of fuel
the beach, areas of various tropical islands,
Frisbee throw: Students estimate the distance
they can throw and then measure. Groups canfind the average of their throws.
For educators only
sidebars, captions, labels and headlines.
, teens who acquire the goal-setting
Making the library a
motivation, self-confidence, and self-es-
concentrate better, and are more satisfied
class assignments by setting up organized
help get-to-it-later teens become goal-set-
homework centers. That’s the message of
Creating the Full-Service Homework
creative exercises, practical tips, words
Center in Your Library
. Author Cindy
For educators only
Read up on disasters
Forces of nature such as volcanoes, hurri-
to: identify and articulate goals; set real-
ies, describes what constitutes an effec-
tive homework center: a separate space in
obstacles and roadblocks; build a support
the library, with set hours, clearly defined
children’s books as a springboard, Inves-
system of helpful peers and adults; think
services, and an assigned staff member.
tigating Natural Disasters Through
positive, celebrate success and learn from
Computers are helpful, but not essential.
offers grade 3-6
their efforts. (Free Spirit Publishing: 217
teachers and students a participatory ap-
and responsible to oversee the program.
fers all the necessary materials for setting
For educators only
up a homework haven in your library.
are dedicated to understanding natural di-
Foundations of reading
sasters including volcanoes, earthquakes,
The third edition of Linking Reading As-
sessment to Instruction: An Application
chapter includes a brief historical account
Worktext for Elementary Teachers
A world of reading
of a natural disaster, followed by a scien-
the four components of reading that chil-
tific explanation of the natural forces at
Improving the nonfiction literacy skills of
children’s books, and several critical-
reading programs. Windows on Literacy
theory in reading instruction to classroom
texts are aimed at
practice by providing, in each chapter, a
Help teens set goals
istering, scoring and interpreting reading
and shopping with Dad, Windows on Lit-
features 120 titles, 40 each for
sizes the use of assessment and diagnosis
emergent, early and fluent readers. Read-
launches with 30 social
rather than for simply giving grades.
science titles in six series: American
Communities Across Time, Civilizations
Past to Present, Travels Across America,
ing to research presented in What Do You
Kids Make a Difference, Voices from
Really Want? How to Set a Goal and Go
and Seeds of Change in
Navigating the racial
These titles are de-
Don’t type those URLs
texts and features, such as tables of con-
individually face social and cultural is-
Cactus: Traditional Stories from Mexico
gives readers a glimpse into the living
legacy of Mexican folklore. After anoverview of Mexico’s history from the
Teacher Appreciation Week
, May 6-12, provides an opportunity to recognize
the efforts of educators. For a free, 40-page catalog of 200-plus gifts and fes-
times, Angel Vigil explores the fascinat-
tive materials for Teacher Appreciation Week, call Great Events Publishing at
888-433-8368, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Huichol bead and yarn art, folk masks,folklórico dance costumes, and Mexicanfolklore. A collection of stories follows,
subject fully for classroom presentation.
including classic tales, pourquoi creation
day. The fifth novel in the series, Ankiza
follows a tall, attractive African-Ameri-
and resistant materials units, and looks at
where the subject fits into the school cur-
students and adults, the tales may also be
along with their mutual friend Maya.
riculum. It includes tips on planning les-
and health and safety issues. (Routledge,
tions of some of their friends, including
dressed to Ankiza causes a private matter
Zero in on deadly
to escalate into a public affair, and soon
YA readers learn about public health cri-
ses of the past, present—and, possibly,
tion. All are compelled to ask themselves
the future—in Rosen’s new series Epi-
History. The first eight titles in the series
cover The Plague
Learn About the Earth, Fossils, Earth-
quakes, Volcanoes, and More
. Each 64-page hardcover
traces the disease from its historic origins
or is transmitted and courses of treatment
For educators only
startle. For instance, “Individual cases of
tinents on a molten mantle of molasses.
They identify rocks and mineralsthrough scratch, streak, dip, and mag-
sugar, salt, and alum crystals, “fossiliz-
ing” plastic insects and small shells in
and textiles. It requires students to work
glycerin soap, ice, and plaster of Paris,
both practically and theoretically, to in-
“real-world” context and relevance and
For educators only
students. It also should be interesting, ex-
citing and fun. Learning to Teach Design
Ode to old Mexico
and Technology in the Secondary School
A beautiful tapestry of traditional tales,
history, folk arts and dance, Eagle on the
Anything you have in your
Education technology can add
DVD or laserdisc collection,
value to printed books
you could look at your books
and classroom projects and
An interview with Sharon Porter
link them together with this
A library media specialist at La Grande Middle School in La Grande, Oregon,
Sharon Porter hasn’t once lost her excitement for teaching kids in a 30-year ca-
reer. She recently began linking her library’s printed book materials with elec-
up in our library that kids can use all of
tronic media—including laserdiscs, DVDs and audio CDs—using Bar’n’Coder
software from Pioneer. By cross-pollinating the library’s text and multimedia re-
sources, Porter has reinvigorated her school’s library and heightened the learning
rections up on the walls in case I’m not
experiences of her students. For more information, e-mail Porter at
. In addition, lesson plans and activities that in-
tegrate DVD and laserdisc technologies can be found at the Pioneer Tools 4
Is it a big challenge to
Teachers site at http://www.tools4teachers.com/
keep print text vital for
It’s harder these days, with them being so
With this set-up, you create
author Virginia Euwer Wolff. It’s about a
barcodes that link to
tion a little easier in other ways than just
but World War II disrupts their activities.
programs on DVD, laserdisc
One of the girls on the team is Japanese-
thetic learners; they need to touch things.
and audio CD?
Yes, and then the kids just run a scanner
ther in the downing of the USS Arizona.
over the barcode and the segment plays.
middle school don’t quite have the back-
to load the disc in an out—that activity
How did you get the idea to
lost her father would be mad at her Japa-
link the educational material
stored on DVDs and
laserdiscs with the library’s
didn’t understand the character’s motiva-
tion. So I made a barcode linked to video
How did you get involved in
amassing so many DVD and
would bring the book into the library and
say, “I’d like to see this footage.” They
encountered. I encountered a lot of really
just like the character in the book. That’s
put that real-life imagery into fiction.
barcodes up linking to actual pictures of
And then it was off
to the races.
gave their presentations, they would read
So it was a natural transition
their research, show their illustration, and
to employ the ancillary
better reproductions of art on the screen
than the art books in the library did. If
there to putting barcodes on everything.
there’s a rendition by, say, one of the Im-
well. For kids that are hearing-impaired,
We’ve had them on T-shirts of the solar
this gives them a tool to have captioning
a black-and-white drawing in a book.
pect of these titles can be helpful to kids
ture was a book called Bat 6
, by Oregon
also barcode music, so if there’s a book
about creating a multimedia
station with barcoding?
fact, some of my students did a biography
leave them set up. The hardest part about
was the most beautiful piece. I could not
believe the sensitivity the kids used in do-
How much would it cost a
school library to set up one
station that’s just for laserdiscs, one
parents and others; it was just lovely. This
of these multimedia stations
with the barcode capability?
How has technology
scanning. So kids can go up to the station
changed the school
and expect all the cords to be in place. Itcuts down on a lot of frustration when it
What other types of high-
librarian’s job in the past
tech learning software and
hardware have you
What portion of your budget
Everything I learned in library school, I
introduced into your library
goes toward education
don’t use anymore. Of course, the basic
to enhance your students’
technology as compared to
teachers, that hasn’t changed too much.
everything. In has freed us up to do better
it’s hard to walk both worlds, print and
media projects here at the middle school.
they use to give a presentation. They can
myself to stay in the book world, too.
Do you see any downside?
laserdisc players, so they can incorporate
other. It’s real hard to walk that line.
have several computer stations in our li-
Do you think e-books will
ever replace the printed
Do you have any advice for
librarians or classroom
attachment to print. I don’t think that will
age into the computer and then edit it as
teachers who are thinking
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NOTICIAS DEL GREF. 7-5-06 HEMOS COLGADO EN LA WEB.- El enlace con la página web de la CNMV. Estamos tratando de facilitar al asociado la conexión con los portales de las instituciones financieras fundamentales. Próximamente esperamos hacerlo con la de la AEB, estando a la espera de la respuesta de la del Banco de España. EL INVERSOR PARTICULAR Y LOS HEDGE FUNDS. Editorial de EXPANSIÓN.2-5-06.
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