Constitution Day Resources

Alan Haskvitz

The law mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on Constitution Day, September 17th

Here are resources to make that possible.

Pearl Harbor Day Lesson Plans and links

Alan Haskvitz

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese submarines and planes from aircraft carriers launched an early-morning attack on the American naval base at Pearl Harbor. The attack included nearby military airfields. About 3,000 naval and military personnel were wounded or killed, and eight battleships, 13 other navy ships and 200 aircraft were damaged or destroyed.

With this attack, the Japanese formally entered World War II on the side of Germany and Italy. And it was the catalyst for the United States’ engagement on the Allied side.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt described Dec. 7, 1941 as “a date that will live in infamy.” On the anniversary of this event, help students and others grasp the significance using these free links and resources.

For more free resources go to

Getting Ready for Back to

School for Teachers

Planning for the first day of school summarizes the fun and challenge of teaching. Not knowing what to expect, you must be prepared for everything. With that in mind, I have rounded up the best resources I could find, tested them and present them here for your review.

Here’s an interesting way to start the first day in most elementary classrooms. Take a digital picture of each student to use for your anecdotal records and, if you have time, to place in a student-made frame. Using a few craft sticks and some white glue, the students can make and decorate their own frames. Next, attach the photo and a label with the date and “First Day of Class.” They can be sent home that first day or kept to the end of the year.

Here are other quality sites and important information for all teachers that have proven to be the best over the years.

For more free lessons and resources go to

The International Polar Year

Home pages

Nice link site

National Science Foundation

Free email updates about polar related funding, lessons, and more. Takes a while to navigate.

Links and lessons for elementary teachers

NASA Lesson all grade levels

Gander Academy’s Polar Bear Links

Cool Artic Doctor Stress Test

Interesting Antartica lesson plan

Quite elaborate

Snow and ice lessons

Elementary Polar Bear themes

The importance of the Artic

Animal Habitats: The Polar Regions

Nice unit of study with good printouts

Environmental issues

Global Warming Basics

Global warming and the polar regions,9171,1176980,00.html

Global warming and polar ice melting

Tips on preventing global warming

Martian Polar Lessons

For those students who want to go beyond

Links to world organizations dealing with polar issues

Polar webcams

By Alan Haskvitz

I have been a teacher for 30 years and will lose $800 a month due to the “offset”. If my wife dies first, over $1800 a month.

Being a teacher is a noble calling. Working with children, helping touch the future, seeing a child learn and grow under one’s guidance are all terrific and significant possibilities when you become a teacher. However, if you wish to teach in a public school in much of the United States you can pretty much kiss off those 40 plus Social Security quarters you paid into once you become a teacher or work for the police or fire deparment. By law they may only get one third or less of the benefits they qualify for because they served the public.

They have a fancy name for it, Social Security Government Pension Offset and the Windfall Elimination provision, but what those in power decided was that if you get a public subsidized pension from your employer, you can’t get the full benefits of your Social Security pension. What is even worse for many is that if your spouse is listed as your beneficiary on your public pension, and if he or she qualifies for Social Security, their Social Security benefits will also be impacted. The surviving teacher will not get them.

If you have worked in any occupation and paid in for at least 40 quarters to Social Security there is a real possibility that when you become a teacher you can count on over $1000 a month being deducted from your Social Security for the rest of your life.

Is that what you want for your family?

I highly recommend that you NEVER become a teacher at a public school where this is the reality. All that good feeling and noble deeds could cost you over $12,000 a year. With most teachers retiring with an average of 20 more years to live that means a loss of $120, 000 to $240,000 or more. That is a stiff price to touch the future.

Consider yourself warned, as is required by law. is more about the law.,1,7225323.story

For the best selection of free teaching resources on the web go to

Global Warming  Lessons and Links

By National Hall of Fame Educator Alan Haskvitz

Whether or not you believe there is a global warming trend or not, the teachable moment it represents it a major plus for integrating lessons in math, science, language arts, social studies, and economics. Here are some quality sites that offer free resources. Hopefully, you took advantage of the free copy of An Inconvenient Truth that was featured on Reach Every Child earlier this year. I shared my copy with the entire school.

Air and Weather sites

Transportation sites

To give background on why transportation is vital and its history.


Global Warming themes and lessons

A large link site.


Global Warming link site with the emphasis on definitions and articles,email-gs_15

Academic links

Some very good work here for a great debate.

Unit of Study

An Inconvenient Truth’s Lesson Plans

Photos of impact of global warming

Click on the boxes at the top of the site.

Global Warming: Does it Exist?

And other links that cover all grade levels.

Global Warming International Center

Alternative Actions

From the always excellent Constitutional Rights Foundation

EPA Site on climate


Teacher’s Guide to Global Warming

Global Pollution Map

Air Quality Maps by State

Updated daily

Environmental Ratings of Car Companies

A good way to integrate current events, science, and math.


Graph of global warming last 1000 years

Small math unit on impact of Global Warming

Nothing you couldn’t do yourself, but a nice template to follow.

There is no global warming and debate site


President Bush on Global Warming

And a rebuttal to the President’s comments

Ask the Climate Guy


Prepare for high stakes test with test-making sites

by Alan Haskvitz

for additional free resources go to

Online tests are one of the best ways to prepare students for mandated state and federal exams.  These sites provide samples of older tests that can be used in class.  I have found these to be a powerful tool for preparing my students for high stakes tests because students’ confidence increases as they become used to the pressure and format.

The following sites offer a variety of tests by subject area.  It’s best to spend some time looking for those sites that cover your subject matter, regardless of grade level, as many states have different curriculum patterns.

Quiz-making sites
REC resources
State-released tests

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