English


Online Educational Games
by National Hall of Fame Educator Alan Haskvitz
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Haskvitz

Games are an interesting way to teach concepts and provide rigor. They also enable early finishers to challenge themselves. Here are a few of the better sites.

146 Educational Games
http://mrnussbaum.com/educational-games-for-kids/

English and Mathematics
You need to registr
http://www.education.com/games/educational/

Alpahabet Related Lessons
http://www.apples4theteacher.com/coloring-pages/interactive-alphabet/

Games and Puzzles by Subject Matter
http://www.theproblemsite.com/games/

Primary Level Games
http://www.abcya.com/

FunBrain.com
Very popular site with a lot of content
http://www.funbrain.com/kidscenter.html

Mixed Subject Matter
http://www.knowledgeadventure.com/

Quiz Hub
K-12 online games revolving around subject areas
http://quizhub.com/quiz/quizhub.cfm

Math and English Games
http://www.syvum.com/online/games.html

Huge link site using apps
http://www.techlearning.com/default.aspx?tabid=100&entryid=7263

Educational Web Adventures

Science related links by topic, grade level
http://www.eduweb.com/portfolio/portfolio.php

Science and wildlife oriented.
http://www.eduweb.com/portfolio/portfolio.php

Math and English remedial work lists
Good for review
http://webster.commnet.edu/grammar/quiz_list.htm
Math related games
http://www.cut-the-knot.org/index.shtml

Sophisticated science games — mainly physics
“This site contains interactive plasma physics topics, ranging from electricity, magnetism, energy, and fusion. Please visit the “Virtual Tokamak” and our “Virtual Magnetic Stability Module” to learn about Plasma and Fusion Containment. “
http://ippex.pppl.gov/

NLVM for Interactive Mathematics
Terrific interactive math site with great learning activities — this is a must visit.

Discipline: training that perfects the mental faculties

Ten Skills Every Student Needs and You Probably Don’t Have Time to Teach
by National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Haskvitz

After 40 years of teaching there comes a time when you want to just yell at the curriculum designers and textbook publishers that they have the cart before the horse. Teachers need to be allowed to spend more time teaching students how to learn and less on preparing for a test which measures nothing applicable in the real world.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I feel that every teacher would love to really teach students how to get ready for the challenges ahead of them and use the curriculum as a stepping stone to that goal. Over the years my students always were at the top in the State in terms of standardized testing. Indeed, some of them had perfect scores. The problem was I was teaching them how to take the test. Fortunately, I as able to shorten the material required for the course by removing those elements I though were essentially chaff so that I could teach them essential skills. Essentially, I started by teaching them how to discipline themselves. This worked so well that I still get letters from students, some decades after they were in my class, thanking me for teaching them for life. I have never gotten a letter thanking me for teaching them the Monroe Doctrine.

Here is the list and it far from complete, which are skills that need to be taught. Feel free to comment and add your own.

Learning how to Learn

Developing a love for learning is essential for any educator. It is the most important lesson a teacher can impart to a student and it is also the most difficult. A teacher may have to face a variety of hindrances from lack of parental care, nutritional and emotional problems, and even severe mental concerns. Regardless, there needs to be an effort and the best way is to become a facilitator by prodding, motivating, and providing a diverse array of learning materials to challenge the student to learn for themselves. Most often the textbook, frequently filled with data with little relevance to the student, is the main focus of instruction. And, perhaps, that is the way it must be if the goal is a test that measures improvement in the acquisition of this data. The teacher can feel confident as he or she has covered the material by sticking to the textbook. Motivational, hardly, but that is how teachers are frequently judged. There is another way to do this, but it is time consuming and requires a multitude of rubrics. Providing a variety of materials and having the students learn from them is an arduous task. However, once it is done a teacher can spend the rest of years modifying, adding, and individualizing lessons to meet the needs of the students. ReachEveryChild (cited below) provides a variety of sources for this free material and is an excellent place to start individualization.

The second part of learning how to learn based on whether the student is an auditory, visual or kinetic learner and how to use these to their advantage. It is impossible for a teacher to use all of these methods when presenting lessons, but a student can create their own lessons to help them acquire the knowledge. In my classes I have students create poems, songs, graphic organizers and the Cornell note taking system. In this way there is a variety of methods for them to learn. I insist they use my linking and three transfer method of learning as well. The linking method makes them link what they are learning to other things they have learned and create a “learning tree” of it that they add to throughout the year. The three transfer method is to have students read the material, take notes on it, and transfer that material to another mode such as notecards. I also recommend presenting the answer to a question and have them supply the question. This is an excellent test of finding out what they know. It can be used in all subjects.

What is Valid

If you have time, giving the student a variety of short articles to read and asking them to figure out what would be the best way to judge this material is very worthwhile. This process should also include a study of the various types of propaganda, how to evaluate a website for bias, and stereotyping. That is a lot to swallow and so it is best as part of a school-year long program. If you are teaching social studies an ideal unit could be the differences of opinion between the South and the North about slavery. Learning how to learn is not just about the acquisition of skills, but for the student to acquire the ability to judge the material. One of the best tools to get students to read is Sherlock Holmes and the Sign of Four. As the students read the article they keep track of the characters and reach various conclusions as the teacher hands them the next page. The lesson makes them detectives, but more importantly allows them to learn for life. Seldom are we giving all the answers, but we must make decisions by what we know and judge what is valid.

Speed Reading, not just reading.

It isn’t any secret that the first basic skill is reading. But not just reading, but speed reading. Close reading will follow much more quickly if students can learn how to read rapidly. Reading for facts and reading for pleasure can both be more enjoyable if a student acquires the ability to focus on several words at one time. I taught second graders how to read over a 1000 words per minute at their grade level. The usual improvement was always 200 to 400 words per minute more and this was for language arts and social studies materials. Interestingly the comprehension improves as the speed level doubles as the student concentrates on the material. It is a win-win, but it most be reinforced until it becomes a habit and it takes at least 30 days for it to become a habit. Be warned that some students are resistant to it and so online speed reading sites can help them challenge themselves at their own rate.

Write at Grade Level +

The first thing on teaching a student to write is to explain the types of writing based on the purpose. Taking notes while on the phone or writing a compare and contrast essay may be different in length, but the ingredients are the same. However, for longer works you need to teach the student to write at grade level. I have the students write a one page paper on their favorite vacation either real or imagined. Next, I have them underline all the one syllable words. After that they circle any word that they have not known since primary school. The Fry Formula is applied and the students record their writing scores. They is always silence as the students realize that they are writing at several grades below grade level. Now, that isn’t necessarily bad, but it does force them to expand their vocabulary and that is good. I always have a few Thesaurus books on hand and show them how to use them. The results are immediate and the students not only improve their writing, but improve their thinking and organizational skills as well as they strive to improve. My article (citation below) provides an in-depth look at this successful practice that has enabled my students to win numerous writing competitions.

Teach Them to be Journalist

This vital profession is based on training that every student needs. The ability to communicate, to judge facts, and to influence others with their work. There is no other profession that is so vital for students to learn from because it is essentially what they are going to do nearly every day of their life. A good journalist seeks out evidence and judges it. They write using the who, what, when, where, why, and how approach. They use the inverted triangle that helps them organize facts. Finally, it teaches them to be curious and ask questions and, very importantly, take good notes.

Teach Them to be Lawyers

Perhaps, oversimplifying, but lawyers earn them living by researching and providing evidence that their cause is correct. This requires an examination of evidence and organization. This is another valuable trait that can help students of all ages. For example, was George Washington was a good president? Can you prove it? Can you provide evidence that he was not so good? Some may call this critical thinking, but that type of thinking can not really be utilized until a student is able to have a variety of experiences that enable them to make a critical decision. Thus using the basic skills of an attorney in proving a point and providing evidence to that end are skills they are going to need to write essays persuasive and expository essays and in life.

Be Accountable

At the beginning of the school year I ask the students to look around the room and, without naming names, tell me how many other students they would hire to work for them based on the knowledge that they wanted good workers. After that I ask them to write that number down, fold the paper, and place it in a basket. I take out the numbers and place them on the board to come out with an average. In almost every case it is ten percent of the students or less. That means that the others already have a reputation of not being good workers. The reason for this is that many students simply do not hold themselves accountable. Immediate gratification, poor parenting, the need for quick teacher assessment with little assessment of the assessment, all help feed a “who cares” mentality. This results in large scale cheating with little fear of consequence. Research has overwhelming shown that rewards must be intrinsic to be a lasting value. If students are to be held accountable there must be a reward system that works and entices parent buy-in.
People Skills

We aren’t talking about cooperative learning, we are talking about the ability to get along with others regardless of differences. We are talking about good manners, social skills, negotiating skills, and the ability to work together to create a common goal. Skills as basic as how to talk to people on the phone, how to ask permission, or even showing remorse or concern are missing and yet vital for life.

Handling Emergencies
Handling emergencies is also seldom taught at school. Yes, fire drills are held, but what value are they to the student when a fire really occurs elsewhere? My students wrote and had published in the American Fire Journal the problems with school fire drills in the hopes of enlightening others. School administrators essentially ignored it because it wasn’t an area to be tested. Sad, because the issues the students brought up were important. For example, why does the fire extinguisher stay in the room during a fire drill? Why do the students stand up in rows when an explosion could knock them over? Who knows where the dangerous chemicals are? What do the various colored helmets that firemen wear mean? Needless to say, handling emergencies is a vital skill. Why doesn’t every student know CPR? How to stop bleeding? Or to identify a person having a “fit” and knowing how to act? Taking this a step further, how to teach students not to panic and to learn how to identify people should be taught. But, who has the time?

Skills for life

Setting realistic goals, identifying propaganda and bias, budgeting time, operating a computer and touch typing, triage work assignments, handling money and investments, observation skills, where to find information and measure its accuracy, and learning how to listen can all be incorporated in the curriculum. Each of these carry lifelong importance and all can and have been taught within the curriculum if there is time. There are free units of study on almost all of these areas available. The teacher needs to be given the time and flexibility to personalize them for their class.

Before I get off my high horse I must add one more thing and that is for the student to learn how to be happy. My friend Larry Martz, an editor with Newsweek, wrote in his book Making Schools Better, about the small bite principle. This is a simple plan where small strides can result in large gains. An educator who just takes one of these ideas to heart could make a huge difference knowing well that it is at least as significant as anything on a standardized test.

Why Students Cheat
http://www.teachers.net/gazette/NOV08/haskvitz/

Making Schools Better
http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-8129-1939-4

Car Rating Site
http://autos.jdpower.com/

Government fuel economy site
http://fueleconomy.gov/

How to Improve Student Writing
http://reacheverychild.com/blog/2014/not-so-secret-formula-improves-writing

Student speed reading lessons
There are others
http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles/stancliffe59.html

Using the Inverted Triangle
http://www.multimedia-journalism.co.uk/node/2097

Abraham Lincoln: Lessons and Links

for more great resources go to

 http://reacheverychild.com/

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 that cover everything from the basic timelines and quotes to literacy encouraging lessons.

Here is a site that has the bones of an excellent lesson. It shows the great strength of Lincoln and the students always enjoyed it trying to figure out how much a barrel of whiskey weighed as written in the article.

http://www.abrahamlincolnsclassroom.org/Library/newsletter.asp?ID=19&CRLI=96

Others ideas could include research about his failures and the changes in his face as the stress of the presidency and his personal life had on him. Printing out a series of pictures from the first to the last is quite compelling and clearly show how the war took its toil on him. Here are the locations for that assignment:

Lincoln’s pictures through time are below or you can show the students this video

Early photo

Students should read about the research that went into identifying this photo.

http://www.lincolnportrait.com/#

First known photo 1846

http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/lincpix/first.jpg

1859

http://www.mrlincolnandnewyork.org/photo_credits.asp?photoID=175&subjectID=2&ID=10

1860

http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/lincpix/stand.jpg

1861

http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/lincpix/linc-3.jpg

1862

http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/lincpix/pink.jpg

1863

http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/lincpix/b63.jpg

1864

http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/lincpix/1864-1.jpg

1865 for five dollar bill

http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/lincpix/chair.jpg

Last photo taken

http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/lincpix/last.jpg

The following are additional links to quality resources:

The Lincoln Institute has a site with lesson ideas for teachers

http://www.abrahamlincoln.org/teachers/index.asp

An article from 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..A must see site that fits the Common Core requirements.

http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1861/april/abraham-lincoln-biography-picture.htm

Easy to understand story of Lincoln’s Life

http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~maggieoh/Pd/abe.html

Printable script for a game show that asks the audience to pick the real Abraham Lincoln

http://socialstudies.com/c/@_aDT73d7tWR.s/Pages/article.html?article@SHL177

Lincoln lesson plans and activities

http://www.proteacher.com/090158.shtml

Timeline of Lincoln’s Life

http://www.historyplace.com/lincoln/index.html

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

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

Guided reading

By National Hall of Fame Educator Alan Haskvitz

For young and ESL readers guided reading presents a supportive and remediative form of learning to read that offers students the benefits of sharing accomplishments and overcoming weaknesses. It takes time to set-up, needs consistency, and a lot of time, but once the method is mastered it can nearly run itself if the necessary resources are available. Below are some of the best ones I could find about reading and guided reading.

Help for slow learning child

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/slowlearners.html

Strategies for motivating readers

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/motivating_readers.html

 

Phonics and teaching reading

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/phonics.html

Videos about guided reading

http://www.watchknowlearn.org/SearchResults.aspx?SearchText=guided+reading

A fairly comprehensive site

Most everything you need to know here from questioning skills to the time allocation.

http://www.oe.k12.mi.us/balanced_literacy/guided_reading.htm

A good how-to site

http://olc.spsd.sk.ca/de/pd/instr/strats/guided/guided.html

An excellent site for those just started using guided reading

It includes a full range of helpful resources.

http://www.tips-for-teachers.com/Guided%20Reading.htm

A good wiki article

It explains how to do it and provides lesson ideas.

http://wik.ed.uiuc.edu/index.php/Guided_Reading

Making Guided Reading Multi-level

Introduces the four block method.

http://www.wfu.edu/education/fourblocks/block1.html

The Significant Benefits of Guided Reading

With Specific Instructions on How to Use Guided Reading

http://righttrackreading.com/guidedreading.html

Amelia Earhart Day

by National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz

On July 24th the country is celebrating the achievements of Amelia Earhart. This teachable moment can result is some excellent lessons that can be integrated across the curriculum.

How to use teachable moments

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/teachable-moments.html

Here are some sites that have quality resources. I might recommend to older students a comparison of Earhart and teacher astronaut Christa McAuliffe.

Biography of Amelia

http://www.ellensplace.net/eae_intr.html

Biography of Christa

http://www.framingham.com/history/profiles/christa.htm

Official site for Earhart

http://www.ameliaearhart.com/

Review of Earhart’s accomplishments

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1658.html

Women in Flight Using Music

Sophisticated lesson with resources needed. Good ideas.

http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/3897

Other women in flight

http://www.ninety-nines.org/index.cfm/women_in_aviation_history.htm

Women in Flight

Great historical information about flight.

http://www.uh.edu/engines/womfly.htm

Scholastic Lesson Plans

http://teacher.scholastic.com/earhart/

Women in Science

Huge biography list including interactive challenge.

http://www.astr.ua.edu/4000WS/

Wright Brothers and aviation links

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/wright_bros.html

Transportation Links

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/transportation.html

Space Links

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/challenger.html

Women in history

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/womens_history.html

And

http://www.reacheverychild.com/history/womans/index.html

Videos

Video about Earhart Video

http://www.watchknow.org/Video.aspx?VideoID=3116

Aviation History Video

http://www.watchknow.org/Video.aspx?VideoID=13210

Wright Brothers Videos

http://www.watchknow.org/Video.aspx?VideoID=3410

http://www.watchknow.org/Video.aspx?VideoID=3411

http://www.watchknow.org/Video.aspx?VideoID=3413

http://www.watchknow.org/Video.aspx?VideoID=3415

http://www.watchknow.org/Video.aspx?VideoID=3416

And

http://www.watchknow.org/Video.aspx?VideoID=3424

Songs that teach

By Alan Haskvitz

http://www.reacheverychild.com

Research has clearly shown that music is a great way to help students learn concepts. Indeed, it is part of the multiple intelligences that Howard Gardner has developed. Here are some terrific sites where you can download lyrics that help teach most every subject.

A large listing of all types of songs. A great place to start.

http://www.reacheverychild.com/arts/music/index.html

Language Arts Songs that Teach
English Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling

Very complete site

http://www.songsforteaching.com/grammarspelling.htm

Always Fun: Schoolhouse Rock

http://www.schoolhouserock.tv/

Songs and poems for elementary

From Canada

http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems.html

Elementary songs including math jingles

http://www.teachingheart.net/sing.html

Their, there, they’re song
http://suzyred.com/there.html

Spelling Rules
http://www.gardenofpraise.com/spell1.htm

Math Songs and Poems

http://www.mscc.cc.tn.us/webs/vyoung/songs/Main_Pages/Tables.htm

Musical Multiplication
http://www.gardenofpraise.com/multi.htm

Continents Song

http://www.hawaii.edu/hga/Lessons/mapmake/CONtinentS.html

Songs that teach science

Printable

http://www.richmond.k12.va.us/schools/munford/Library/sciencesongs.pdf

Songs that teach history

http://www.classroomclassics.com/filecabinet/htmlfiles/G3.html

Songs that teach the states

And more about geography

http://www.mrsjonesroom.com/songs/50states.html

50 State capitals song

http://www.pedagonet.com/blog/2006/05/50-state-capitals-song.html

Bill of Rights and Historical Documents Songs

http://www.classroomclassics.com/filecabinet/htmlfiles/G11.html

Children’s Songs

Not necessarily for teaching

http://kids.niehs.nih.gov/musicchild.htm

Using the Beatles to teach ESL

http://www.nifl.gov/nifl-esl/2002/1453.html

ESL worksheets

http://www.esl-galaxy.com/articles/Using%20English%20videos%20and%20music%20in%20EFL%20article.htm

Language Arts Songs

http://suzyred.com/music.html

Always fun and catchy, but not all about school oriented subjects.

Animaniacs Mega Lyrics File

http://www2.cruzio.com/~keeper/AMLF.html

Biographies

By Alan Haskvitzhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Haskvitz

List of author sites

http://www.reacheverychild.com/language/authors/author2.html

English sites in all areas

http://www.reacheverychild.com/language/english/index.html

Current world leaders

http://www.reacheverychild.com/socialstudies/leaders/index.html

How to write a biography

http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=401

Nice rubric for biography writing

http://www.amalnet.k12.il/meida/english/rabin/engi0073.htmHistoric Figures from an English perspective
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/The Biographical Dictionaryhttp://www.s9.com/More current biographiesUse with caution as a lot of Hollywood is here.http://www.biography.com/Index of biographies by last name and yearsSuffed full of bios, but bland.http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/BiogIndex.htmlBiography.com: Bio4KidsCheck out the meet the people and biography sections. Lot’s of good stuff.
http://www.biography.com/bio4kids/Personal biography makerLots of hints to stimulate person biography writinghttp://www.tedpack.org/bioguide.htmlAnd personal outline helper

http://www.virginia.edu/publichistory/bl/education.php?view_module&module_id=7

Bellington Public Schools: The Biography MakerExcellent and a must visit.
http://www.bham.wednet.edu/bio/biomaker.htmCreating timelines of a lifehttp://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=26

Biography links

Don’t forget the BioCube link where the students follow a formula to study biographies and write them as well.http://www.readwritethink.org/student_mat/student_material.asp?id=57

Autobiography, Biography, Personal Narrative, and Memoir
Lesson plans and teaching ideas

http://www.webenglishteacher.com/biography.html

Picture Book BiographyFor younger students

http://www.lessonplanspage.com/LASSPictureBookBiographyUnit68.htm

Pizza biography ideas and more Worth a quick look.http://www.educationworld.com/a_tsl/archives/04-1/lesson016.shtml

How to write a biography for teachers and older students

http://www.mccarthycreative.com/writing/how2_11.htm

 Biographical book reportFor younger studentshttp://www.atozteacherstuff.com/pages/4264.shtml

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