children


Discipline Help Ideas and Resources
by Alan Haskvitz
http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Ringleaders/al.html

Discipline is probably the most difficult of all areas to deal with as it encompasses issues that may be related to a vast array of difficulties that can try the expertise of the most experienced parent and educator. Contributing factors may include personal problems, improve medication, self-esteem issues, and peer pressure.

Indeed, in my 45 years of teaching at every grade level and nearly every subject I have had my fair share of problems all of which were unique in some regard, but needed to be dealt with in a manner that resolved the issues for all involved. With this in mind I put together a variety of free resources that may be of value in being proactive and help to prevent a discipline problem. If you have additional sites that you would like to share please email me at calcascares@gmail.com

Be Proactive
Essentially there are three main ways to deal with these issues starting with being proactive. First, let the students know behavior expectations early. From the start of the year be positive. Always look for ways to reinforce good behavior. Developing rapport with students is also essential. I used an information card that included the usual contact numbers and such items as favorite games, people, family pets, and other information that would enable me to get to know the students better. If students feel you are approachable it helps eliminate problems and also encourages them to confide in you of concerns that would otherwise be kept secret.

Consequences
Consequences are important, but they need to be appropriate and consistent, but always leave yourself room for accommodations depending on the circumstances. The ideal combination is to be firm and fair and calm.

Communicate
Perhaps the most important way to prevent behavior issues is to establish good communications with the student, parent, and administration. Keeping them informed of issues can help prevent an escalation that can take the joy out of teaching. I try to contact parents the first week of school and have a handout for Back to School Night that explains classroom expectations. As well, I document what I have done to keep the parties involved aware of the situation.

Expect the Unexpected/Teachable Moments
One day some students in my classes jumped out of their seats and ran to the back of the room. Some were screaming. Now this could have been a planned event to challenge me, but from experience I knew I had to remain calm. I walked over and saw a large spider had entered the room and caused the students’ reaction. I quickly handled the situation, but the students were unsettled. And so I turned it into a teachable moment by asking them to describe what they had seen and their actions. Some indicated a fear of spiders and were swept up in the reaction of the crowd. The appearance of the spider provided a teachable moment that even extended outside of the classroom. Most importantly it turned what could have been a behavior problem turned into a learning opportunity.

Here are a variety of sites that can provide ideas and resources to help you with discipline related problems. They run the gamut from simple to complex, but each of them does provide insights from teachers, students, parents, and theorists.

This site provides insights an overview of common problems and ways to handle them and includes administrator actions as well.
http://teaching.about.com/od/classroommanagement/

Importance of protecting yourself California Casualty Umbrella Policy
https://www.calcas.com/personal-umbrella

For more a more complete list of free material and ideas on student discipline go to https://mycalcas.com/2016/02/discipline-help-ideas-and-resources-for-teachers/

By Alan Haskvitz
http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Ringleaders/al.html

Autism continues to be a concern for all parties. Perhaps the best way to help with this concern is to communicate ideas and resources. Towards that goal, I have put together some of the most valuable I could find.

First, autism is a brain disorder that impairs the ability to communicate, socialize, and maintain what are considered normal relationships with others. Students with autism may have varied levels of skills, capacities and behaviors. Even the cause of autism is not understood at this time, although medications are prescribed to relieve symptoms. So, you need to treat every autistic-diagnosed student as a distinct individual and take time to read their reports and be aware of any medications and their possible side effects.
The major problem when teaching several students with autism, besides the uneven development in learning, are issues of classroom management, behavior, differentiated instruction, and even how best to use teaching aides.

Finally, you must be attuned to the type of medication our student may be using. A carefully developed Individualized Learning Plan is essential and meeting with the parents necessary to make consistent progress.

Unfortunately, due to its nature, autism success stories are not easily duplicated. Just because one method works in a certain instance does not make it transferable. I recommend you read widely from the resources below and glean ideas that might help your students.

National Autism Center
Offers a great many resources for teachers and parents, including an online library.
http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/

The Autism Society 
A great organization for families looking for resources and research. They designated April as Autism Awareness Month.
http://www.autism-society.org/

Cindy’s Autistic Support is a link site that provides all sorts of tips and advice for parents and teachers.
http://www.cindysautisticsupport.com/

PositivelyAutism
An autism blog with how-to articles and more.
http://www.positivelyautism.com/

Autism on SlideShare
This site provides a list of sideshows that offer insights on autism. This is an exceptional site, but it takes time to navigate the many entries.
http://www.slideshare.net/search/slideshow?searchfrom=header&q=autism

Autism and Asperger Syndrome
This site offers the basics, plus classroom ideas. It’s a good primer on these two conditions and resources for helping those impacted.
http://www.mugsy.org/connor1.htm

Structured Teaching Classroom Ideas (Autism, ASD)
This Pinterest page offers visuals for primary and elementary.

22 Tips for Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders,
Handy and essay to follow ideas for educators and parents.
http://teaching.monster.com/benefits/articles/8761-22-tips-for-teaching-students-with-autism-spectrum-disorders

Autism Fact Sheet
From the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. This site
presents lots of ideas and explanations that can provide insights.
http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm

Read The Autism Teacher
A blog full of good teaching ideas.
http://theautismteacher.blogspot.com/

Autism Resources for Teachers.from the NEA
http://www.nea.org/home/15151.htm

Lessons About Abraham Lincoln: Free
By National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Haskvitz

There is nothing difficult about finding information about President Abraham Lincoln. What is a problem is finding appropriate materials for use in classrooms that students can understand. As such, I have tried to locate those sites that offered an array of resources.

Lincoln’s timeline
http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/

Images of Lincoln over time
A great way to see what the worry did to Lincoln.
http://www.oldmagazinearticles.com/Lincolns_Aged_Face

Lincoln Presidential Library
A great many resources
http://www.alplm.org/

Mr. Lincoln’s Virtual Library
Treasure Trove of Primary Resource Material
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/alhtml/alhome.html

Great collection of material including information on his peers.
http://www.abrahamlincoln.org/#

Simple biography and recommended books.
http://www.americaslibrary.gov/cgi-bin/page.cgi/aa/lincoln

First Draft of Emancipation Proclamation
http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/trt025.html

A more sophisticated lesson plan built around Emancipation Proclamation
http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=246

“The April 27, 1861 edition of Harper’s Weekly features a biography and picture of President Abraham Lincoln, and an incredible description of Mr. Lincoln’s declaration of war on the south. The issue also contains fabulous illustrations of the Battle of Fort Sumter.”
http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1861/april/abraham-lincoln-biography-picture.htm

Important events in Lincoln’s Life
http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~maggieoh/Pd/abe.html

Tad Lincoln, Tyrant of the White House
http://www.heritage-history.com/?c=read&author=sweetser&book=tenboys&story=tyrant

Robert Todd Lincoln
Lincoln’s first born son.
http://www.biography.com/people/robert-todd-lincoln-20989843

A quick reference guide to the entire Lincoln family.
http://www.archives.com/genealogy/president-lincoln.html

A nice free printout book for younger children about Lincoln
http://www.enchantedlearning.com/history/us/pres/lincoln/books/tab/

Lincoln Crossword Puzzle
http://www.civilwar.org/education/contests-quizzes/crossword-puzzles/abraham-lincoln-crossword-puzzle/abraham-lincoln-crossword.html

Lincoln quotes
http://www.great-quotes.com/quotes/author/Abraham/Lincoln

The physical strength of Lincoln
http://www.lincolnportrait.com/physical_man.html

Historical places associated with Lincoln
http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/sites/sites.htm

Lincoln related music
http://www.loc.gov/collection/alfred-whital-stern-lincolniana/?q=sheet music&fi=subject

Printable script for a gameshow that asks the audience to pick the real Abraham Lincoln
http://socialstudies.com/c/@_aDT73d7tWR.s/Pages/article.html?article@SHL177

Lincoln lesson plans
A great variety
http://www.proteacher.com/090158.shtml

Failures in Lincoln’s life.
A great way to get students to think about overcoming adversity and rejection.
http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/education/failures.htm

A unique site where the students can watch video clips and answer questions.
http://www.americanwriters.org/classroom/videolesson/vlp14_lincoln.asp

A PBS lesson plan site
More of a webquest than a link site, this plan is based on Lincoln’s Civil War years.
http://www.pbs.org/civilwar/classroom/lesson_lincoln.html

Large link sites for many grade levels
http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/education/curriculum.htm
http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/education/educate.htm

Speeches of Lincoln
http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/speech.htm

Selected Writings of Lincoln
http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/speeches/writings.htm

For older students
A unique collection on stories related to Lincoln.
http://tinyurl.com/ptszrf3

A range of lesson plans
http://edsitement.neh.gov/teaching-abraham-lincoln

Using the Community to Improve Test Scores and Learning
by Alan Haskvitz
National Teachers Hall of Fame
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Haskvitz

haskvitz111

The St. Lawrence River was close to the school and so I walked the students in my special needs class to its banks. Most of the students had seen it everyday of their lives, but had never seen it. I took them close to the shoreline and had them look at the small fish and close their eyes to listen to rush of the water. I threw a piece of driftwood into the water. A student with a watch stood 100 meters downstream and called out the length of time it took to travel that distance. I threw another piece this time further out and they did the same. When we returned I showed them how to measure the speed of the river and noted that this is what sailors did in olden times to check their speed. The students found the water moved away from the shore. I asked them to draw the feeling the sound of the river gave them. After the spring thaw, the students returned to the river and instead of the fish there was trash and they didn’t like it.

In these two field trips a lifetime of environmental learning took place. Upset at what they had seen they turned to the community, created posters to display in stories, took photos, and wrote letters. The people responded and the primary goal of all learning was felt by all as the students were empowered to use what they had learned to make changes in society.

So too, my life as a teacher with a hidden agenda began. Today, nearly 40 years later I am now teaching social studies at a middle school and my agenda is still being followed, but no longer hidden thanks to the many teachers and organizations who have found that the community and the students need not be mutually exclusive.

My students have been involved in countless other activities to educate and improve the conservation of resources. Many times my students have been ahead of their times. In 1988 my students wrote a letter to the United Nations asking for a Day of Atmosphere Awareness. The return letter from Arthur Zegelbone promised that the United Nations was aware of the “greenhouse effect” and that there was going to be a World Environment Day on June 5th in Brussels. As we know, little was done since that time, but the students saw the problem and took action. A few years later they wrote and passed legislation that required all state funded building in California to use xeriscape landscaping to conserve water. The bill had overwhelming support. But that wasn’t enough.
After the first encounter with the United Nations they put together an entry that Target selected as one of the best environmental programs in the nation and they traveled to New York to contact members about their concerns. Target and the local water district paid for the trip and expenses.

The students noted the large amount of wasted paper at the school and came up with a method of self-sorting the trash. Not satisfied, they started a conservation club that recycles most everything at the school from printing cartridges to eye glasses. They hold community outreach events to educate adults and students from other schools as well. They started a Monarch butterfly garden to provide a safe home for these migrating butterflies as well as a Feed the Homeless garden that was fertilized using compost from a bin they had won at a country sponsored environmental conference. The recycle bins came from the city.

Nothing the struggle of the grey wolf, they raised funds to sponsor a young pup at Wolf Mountain Sanctuary. Noting that toilets were one of the main uses of water in a household they worked with the local water district to provide water displacement kits for city residents with the goal of saving six million gallons of water a year. To help residents understand the beauty of using landscaping that didn’t require a lot of water they designed and maintain a demonstration garden that shows these plants to residents.

Of course, some of their ideas met dead-ends because those in charge didn’t understand the value of their ideas. Supported by many water districts in the Western United States, they promoted the idea to taking a large trailer containing environment friendly plants to display at malls and major events. In that way, the garden would come to the people. The idea lost the competition, but the students learned a lesson about the difficulty of getting others to see the need to conserve.

Noting that need they decided to see how such changes were made. They decided to find out what was required for citizens to vote and were shocked to discover that they couldn’t understand the voting poll rules. They got a copy of the rules, rewrote them. and asked the Country Registrar of Voters to look at them. The Registrar accepted them and the changes were implemented making it easier for people to vote. They did the same with the state voter registration forms. Millions of California voters were impacted by their efforts.

They worked with the local police department to do safety belt checks and earn the community honors from the National Highway Safety Association. The police also taught the students how to fingerprint and they did this for all incoming students.

Working with local leaders they created a website that enabled communities to compare themselves to other communities in several key areas such as library books, business license fees, medical care facilities, and park space among others. It was judged to be of such value that the students were sent to Italy to represent the United States in international competition.

The students worked with the city landscape staff and came up with a plan which was presented at a City Council meeting. The plan was designed to save the city several million dollars in just a few years.

Making current events more meaningful, the students devolved and printed a newsletter that contained the highlights of every day’s events and faxed it to the local maternity wards where the nurses duplicated it and gave it the mothers of those children born on that day.

There is much more, but the most vital thing I have learned is that having students apply their learning to real world concerns make the lesson more meaningful for them and thus improves society. Perhaps most telling is that despite doing all these projects my student’s test scores have gone up dramatically. My first year at the school the state average for social studies was in the 22nd percentile. Getting the students involved in the next three years helped drive the score to the 94th percentile. Today, 25 years later, the state has a new test but the results are the same. Teaching at a school with seven subcategories; four minorities, ESL, low income, and special education, my students have consistently been at the top of the state test results even compared with gifted magnet schools. Indeed, of my 170 students, nearly 99 percent finished at the top of the State’s yearly standardized test. In other words, the community can provide the motivation to help improve test scores.

The point is that teaching students about the environment by using the community is not mutually exclusive from teaching them subject matter. Just as my special education students did 40 years ago, using the environment as a foundation for a learning lesson encourages them to see the importance of what they are studying and self-motivates them. The results are a win-win-win for the students, society, and test scores.

Editor’s Note: Al’s students also helped Joy Hakim write one of her The Story of Us books. And the student’s Powerpoints on the Westward Movement were accepted by the California Oregon Trail Association to be shared with others as well as the DMV. They also worked to put the Parklands Initiate on the California ballot, created a website on The History of Government that a professor at Harvard had high praise for and created a website that helps others with the State social studies standards. They also created story tapes for the Junior Blind. Finally, there interest in cars resulted in their findings on driving more efficiently being posted on the DMV site and they published their own textbooks. He was selected one of the 100 most influential educators in the world and earned the coveted Cherry International Teaching Award, the only classroom teacher so honored. His students have earned trips to Sea World, Disneyland, CNN, Busch Gardens, Washington DC, New York, the United Nations, and Rome where they represented the USA in technology competition.

Bullying Resources for teachers and parents
by Alan Haskvitz
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Haskvitz

What is Bullying
A good place to start with definitions and examples.
http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/

Large link site that has most everything about bullying covered.
http://www.awesomelibrary.org/Office/Counselor/Conflict_Prevention_and_Mediation/Bullying.html

Great site that covers many aspects of bullying.
http://www.bullying.co.uk/

California department of education site of bullies
Great download manual for dealing with this issue.
http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/ss/se/bullyres.asp

Healthy Place
Great site that has statistics on bullying as well as how to deal with it.
http://www.healthyplace.com/Communities/Parenting/Site/articles/school_violence_knoll.htm

Large bullying link site
Has valuable insights and information on legal matters.
http://www.bullyonline.org/schoolbully/school.htm

NEA bullying resources
http://www.nea.org/home/neabullyfree.html

A Learning Activity for Father’s Day
by Alan Haskvitz
National Teachers Hall of Fame

Father’s Day is an opportunity for a fun, yet meaningful lesson, but also time to be mindful that not all children are living with a father. Although there are a variety of activities that largely revolve around creating a poem or a craft that can be given as a gift a more notable lesson can make it learning relevant. Before starting the teacher needs to see which students don’t have fathers at home. These students may elect to send this card to any male in their family. The teacher should discuss this matter with the students first so that there aren’t any hurt feelings. A call home may also be in order.

Once this is accomplished the students create a card such as the one here:
http://myhero.com/go/hero.asp?hero=famousfathers

The My Hero Theme is an excellent one, but the heroic figures that the student uses needs to be their own. Research on five or so of famous male heroes in history enables this activity to be a true learning activity as well.

To start the lesson the students research famous men in history. The make a list of their character traits and what they accomplished. They decide on which five have the traits that the “father” in their live might have. Next give them a blank card. This can be simply cut poster paper, a large index card or something more elaborate. On the front they write the names of the five men and what they accomplished. They can also consider drawing or printing out pictures to place next to the names.

On the inside cover the student writes “Happy Father’s Day” with some art work of their own making.
On the third page that write, You have the traits of these famous men in history. After they list the name they write the trait and what that person accomplished. For example, you remind me of John Muir because you love the outdoors (http://www.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/life/muir_biography.aspx)
and you remind me of John Glenn because you encourage me to meet new challenges
(http://www.biography.com/people/john-glenn-9313269#awesm=~oGevs1ohyfl4Ox)
and you are like Martin Luther King, Jr. because you believe all people are equal
http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1964/king-bio.html

On the back page the student can create a poem to their father.
The result is an activity that is requires new learning and is most appreciated by the parent or guardian because it is unique.

Sites with relevant lessons

History of Father’s Day
http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/fathers-day

Most Famous Fathers in Literature
For older students. They need to read the book,
http://www.shortlist.com/entertainment/books/30-most-memorable-literary-fathers
Or
A short version of famous literature fathers-day
http://kendall-h.hubpages.com/hub/Famous-Fathers-in-Literature

Lessons for all levels
http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson269.shtml

ESL lessons
http://www.eslholidaylessons.com/06/fathers_day.htm

Mainly primary arts and crafts

Link site to a variety of Father’s Day lessons and activities
http://www.henry4school.fr/Celebrations/fathers-day/fathersday.htm#res

Statistics about Fathers
These could be used as the bases for a math activity
http://www.census.gov/search-results.html?q=fathers&search.x=0&search.y=0&page=1&stateGeo=none&utf8=%26%2310003%3B&affiliate=census

Tips on How to Use Pinterest
by Alan Haskvitz

for more free resources go to
http://reacheverychild.com/about-the-author

Whether for school or home, these links can assist you in making your site easier to navigate and more interesting to view. If you have not used Pinterest, the links below are an excellent place to start learning about the process. It is also a great place for veteran users to see what is new. One caveat that should be noted is that Pinterest can be addicting and a teacher needs to keep the end in sight when placing pins. It is easy to drift off topic because a site has some interesting materials. Thus I would limit my posting to those that directly relate to the lesson and remove older ones to keep the site clean. However, keep track of the ones you are removing by placing them on your own teacher site for use in coming years. Use that site as a warehouse of inventory to abeyance for future utilization.

A step-by-step guide to starting
http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/blog/education-today/educators-use-pinterest/

Using Pinterest to add zest to lessons is easy and appeals to students who sometimes are turned off by the rigors of textbook. It does not replace the text, but is a way to make the lessons come alive.

The Teacher’s Guide
http://www.edudemic.com/guides/the-teachers-guide-to-pinterest/

A list of teachers by grade level and their sites. A great way to get fresh ideas.
http://blog.pinterest.com/post/58175180377/say-hello-to-teachers-on-pinterest

A Beginners Video Guide to Pinterest in Two Parts

And

30 Ways for Teachers to Use Pinterest
An excellent section on lessons.
http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/05/30-ways-teachers-can-use-pinterest.html

16 Additional Uses
http://www.onlineuniversities.com/ways-educators-use-pinterest

Best Times to Pin
http://www.mcngmarketing.com/best-times-pin-pinterest/#.UzhdNlc_TCs

26 Best Pinterest Tools
Includes Pinstamatic
http://www.wchingya.com/2013/02/pinterest-tools-pinning.html

37 Things Teachers Should Know About Pinterest
http://www.technologybitsbytesnibbles.info/archives/6848

NEA’s Take on Pinterest
Lots of links to specific subjects and uses
http://www.nea.org/tools/52865.htm

Classroom Management Tricks

A length list of YouTube videos that provide insight into Pinterest
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=using+pinterest+in+the+classroom&sm=3

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