September 2003

Administrators | General | Grades K-2 | Grades 3-5 | Grades 6-8 | Grades 9-12

Monthly Newsletter from TEAMS Distance Learning and MathStar

Greetings Friends!

Welcome to the challenges of another school year. We find we are all tightening our belts a little more than ever this school year with funding cuts and program cuts in all phases of education. We must definitely become more creative than in the past as we strive to teach what we know and (under new constraints) learn as we go.

I am visiting with the latest addition in our family: a precious new grandson. As I marvel at his peaceful perfection and stare at the many facial moods and expressions of the newborn, I find myself wondering what the world will be like as he matures. Will he be able to walk or ride his bike to school in safety? Will he enjoy the same freedoms as in the past? Will he ever learn to cook, or just to microwave? How will his formal education differ from his parents’ schooling? Will he learn to read real books or primarily read online? Will he be able to travel to exotic places or simply go on virtual tours?

I love how every moment is a new beginning, whether it be a new life, a new school year, a new grade level or different assignment. I have learned to take advantage of those new beginning moments to breathe deeply, appreciate what I do have, and look for the unique gifts in others. As an educator, you have much to contribute to the world of education, so learn all you can, in all the ways you can, the best way you know how, and as you focus on positives you will change lives for the better, one student at a time.

Here are this month’s resources:


Administrator’s Home Page
From Inspiring Teachers Publishing Company, administrators can find articles and resources of particular interest to them. Includes monthly features, ideas for staff development, and a mentoring kit.

An Assessment for K-12 Schools
Co-nect provides this research-based assessment to help you identify your school’s strengths and challenges so you can plan for school improvement.

Comprehensive School Reform Program Office, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, U.S. Department of Education. Scientifically Based Research and the Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) Program . Washington, D.C.: Author, 2002.

Hewlett-Packard Trade-in Program
When you upgrade to new computer systems, HP will take any product, any brand, and let you apply it toward the purchase of new HP products.

“No Child Left Behind” Act/ ESEA
NEA presents an overview of the recent revisions to the Elementary Secondary Education Act of 1965 entitled No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Obstacles threatening student improvements are indicated on the site.

Professional Development: Learning from the Best
A toolkit for schools and districts based on the National Awards Program for Model Professional Development.

What Works Clearinghouse
Established by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences in 2002, this clearinghouse is designed to provide educators and policymakers with a dependable source of scientific evidence of what works in education.

When Parents Object to Classroom Practice: Resolving Conflicts Over Techniques, Materials
Article by Scott Willis offering helpful tips to share with teachers about dealing with conflicts arising when parents voice concern about what goes on in the classroom.

Why We’ve Failed to Integrate Technology Effectively in Our Schools
Article from eSchool News Online describing some of the challenges faced in technology integration in the classroom.



Back to School Resources for Any Grade
A host of ideas adaptable across many grade levels offered by the Teachers’ Corner.

Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month
Sept. 15- October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month. Here are tips and activities from Education World.

Character Education Lesson Plans
Find lessons with general themes helping students choose between right and wrong, between wise choices and unwise choices as they think through consequences of their actions.

Create a Customized Calendar
Create and print a classroom calendar customized for your needs.

Creative Connections Project
Sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts, this project links K-12 Classrooms with partner classes from the Amazon Rain Forest, Africa, the Galapagos Islands, the Arctic, and China through e-mail and the Internet. Registration fees are required, but a variety of options are available depending on your choice of participation.

Educational Software Cooperative
More than 25 topics of downloadable educational software- some freeware, some shareware, and some at cost to explore, download, and use with students.

Establishing a Homework Policy
Gisele Glosser shares some tips for homework requirements on her Math Goodies site.

Forms and Letters
Teacher Tools offers sample forms and letters in the areas of discipline, academics, and communication as well as attendance forms, tardy logs, phone records, and more.

Graphics/ Free Clip Art
Find educational clip art for all events, themes, and occasions.

Helping Your Students with Homework
A guide for teachers concerned about homework issues with lots of tips for getting homework done.

Start the year out with this interactive incentive for completing and turning in homework.

Macintosh Shareware and Freeware
Free or low-cost software that teachers can use in their classroom for MACs presented by Cindy O’Hora.

Mars: Closest Encounter
Did you get a good look at Mars during our close encounter last month? Here are images from the Hubble Space Telescope taken during the closest approach between Earth and Mars in almost 60,000 years.

Mathematics Topics
Contains many resources for elementary and secondary teachers and students compiled by Internet 4 Classrooms.

Network Coordinator’s Workroom
Step by step instructions for troubleshooting both IBM-compatible PCs and Macintosh computers.

Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Professional Development
Long Beach Unified School District in California provides a wealth of teaching resources in all curricular areas.

Origami Paper Folding
CD for purchase demonstrating how to fold numerous origami figures and shapes. Site contains photos of the finished designs.

Scientifically-Based Research
U.S. Department of Education Seminar on Scientifically-Based Research by S. Raudenbush. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education, 2002.

Shedd Aquarium
Sea adventures for K-12 indexed by grade level or by topics. Find online exhibits, Lesson plans, interactive adventures, and fact sheets about sea plants, animals, people and places in both English and Spanish. Site sponsored by Shedd Educational Adventures (SEA).

Special Minds
Books and resources for teachers and parents working with children with learning disabilities, special needs, ADD/ADHD, behavior challenges, and more.

Taming the Paper Tiger
Start the year off right by getting your filing system organized and easy to use.

Tapped In!
Be sure to check out the schedule of the After School Online forum with guest speakers and hosts for online professional development discussions at Tapped In! Participation is free, learning is guaranteed, and there is assistance for newbies all along the way.

Teachers’ Parking Lot
Clip art, animations, and more for teachers.

Teacher Tools
Puzzles, charts, maps, rubrics, forms and letters, and more.

WebQuest Portal
Matrix of Examples from K level through grade 12 across all subject areas, from art music to English, health & PE, life skills/ careers, math, social studies, science, professional skills and technology.


Grades K-2

Back to School Section
KinderKorner provides detailed information to help you set up and get the school year started. Find blackline masters, lesson plans, thematic units, organizational ideas and more, as well as numerous items to purchase.

Bulletin Board Ideas and Tips for the K-3 teacher
Find photos of creative bulletin boards especially for the primary classroom.

Count Us In!
Sponsored by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, this site features fifteen counting math games designed to help young children understand basic number concepts. Each game has directions and some have difficulty levels to choose from.

Find great resources for Pre-K through grade 2, most available to purchase.

The Idea Box
Primary ideas and activities indexed alphabetically.

Learn to Read Online: The Reading Game
Free registration for a limited time: Enjoy the reading activities, the teacher handbook, and reading lessons to help your young children learn to read.

Michelle’s Kindergarten Place
Find resources and thematic units for Kindergartners, supply lists, sample parent letters, photos, and more.

Miss Soulliard’s Creative Classroom Corner
This creative second grade teacher shares bulletin board ideas along with some helpful classroom management tips.

Our Bulletin Boards
Photos of primary classroom bulletin boards presented by a first grade teacher, Mrs. Teague.


Grades 3-5

Archimedes Lab Kenetic Illusions
Look at optical illusions of all sorts: subjective, linear, rotational, and more from Archimedes’ Laboratory. Check out other sections of the site for puzzles you can make, tessellations, tricks to create and more.

Clockworks: from Sundials to the Atomic Second presents instruments used to measure time over the centuries. Explore sundials, clepsydras, astrolabes, sandglasses, pendulum clocks and more.

Jan Brett’s Activities Page
Talented author and illustrator, Jan Brett, offers these ideas, project starters, coloring pages, bulletin board ideas, calendar pages, and more indexed alphabetically for you classroom use.

Read Together
Enjoy reading aloud online with your child as he or she works through various reading levels.

Science Questions and Answers
A collection of 196 questions and answers covering earth and planetary science topics. This might be a great place to go for a science question or fact of the day. Offered by the USGS Earth Science Information Center.

Theme Clusters
Presented by the Science Learning Network of the Science Museum of Minnesota, find units including the Tropical Rainforest, Science Props (scientific concepts), Student Designers (inventions), Journey North (Monarch butterfly), discovery tools and shapes.


Grades 6-8

Classroom Displays and Bulletin Boards for Grades 5-6
Great ideas for classroom door and bulletin board displays appropriate for intermediate level students.

Day One and Beyond
Rick Wormeli has written a book that is a great resource for all middle school teachers. He provides practical ideas and methods for setting up and managing your classroom- from discipline to homework, from grade books to substitute teacher plans. Tips from this source will help you successfully teach young adolescents.

First Days of Middle School
MiddleWeb provides these resources and tips designed for new middle school teachers (but helpful to veteran teachers as well) including sections on classroom management, tips from Harry & Rosemary Wong’s book, ice breakers, getting-to-know-you activities, assigning classroom chores, and more.

Selected resources from MiddleWeb including grading procedures, grading software, tips for handling late assignments, recent research, and more.

Middle School Math Teachers Place
The Math Forum provides resources for the middle school classroom.

Numerous “Of the Day” Links
Start your day with a new quote, a new brain teaser, a new algebra problem, a new science exploration, and more all found at this compilation of daily/weekly sites.

Starting Again in the Middle: Executive Summary
Report from the Michigan League of Human Services and Center for Prevention Research and Development describes the progress of Michigan’s young adolescents, their teachers, and school administrators. Their discoveries are shared by middle school students all over and may be helpful to other educators, as well.


Grades 9-12

High School Math Teacher’s Place
Resources for high school math teachers including lesson plans, software reviews, Internet activities and projects, and more.

Language Arts Warm-ups
Basic skills warm-ups to help review important lessons during attendance and other housekeeping duties.

TeacherGuides to Secondary Literature
Find guides with teaching tips for many classic literary works.,email-h

High School WebQuests

American Liberty Quest
WebQuest for secondary language arts and social studies classes, designed by Carolyn O. Burleson.

Atlantis Quest
Controversial topic for a high School English or social studies classroom as students are challenged to find out whether the story of Atlantis is fact or fiction.

Are You Prepared if Disaster Strikes?
WebQuest for 9-12 graders involving health, life skills, and community service. Designed by Carolyn O. Burleson.

Commonality in Diversity
WebQuest for high school Humanities classes designed and presented by Carolyn O. Burleson. Students examine diversity and commonality of various cultures.

Find a Need and Fill It
This WebQuest requires students to find a service that fills a need in their community, and present it to a funding agency for support in bringing it about. The goal is to actually follow through and make a real-world difference in the community.

The Goal Reaching Process
WebQuest for high school students and adults who are faced with decisions to make regarding careers.

A Quest for Peace in the Middle East
Investigation and exploration for 11th grade world history classes.

Technology in the Work Force
Your older brother and some of his friends just attended a job fair, and none of them were hired. You have determined that that is not going to happen to you. What skills and qualifications will be required in the 21st century workforce? How can you prepare yourself?


Are you ready to look into distance learning courses over the Internet? Do you need professional growth hours, continuing education credit or do you just want to keep up with current recommended teaching practices? Check out TeachStar Academy’s courses found at:

If you plan to change district email or know you will be changing your email address over the summer, please let me know as soon as possible.

Do you know anyone who might want a copy of this free newsletter? Please forward it to your teaching colleagues. Encourage them to sign up at: /documentation/support/carole/subscribe.html
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I always enjoy helping you find the resources you need. Please let me know if you'd like me to search for anything in particular. Thanks to many of you who have sent me suggestions for Web sites to include in our TEAMS resources. There are new sites appearing daily on our pages.

Wishing you all the best throughout the coming year.


Margie Burton, Web Cybrarian

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