Mind Mapping or Connected or Linking Learning
by National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz

This teaching method encourages outside the box thinking as well as teamwork. It is essentially
a thinking flow chart that maps ideas and links them in such a way as to enable educators to use integrated lessons and build upon previous learning. The creation represents the ideas of individuals and is arranged around a common theme or word. This method can be used to generate new thinking as well as cover all levels of Bloom’s taxonomy from listing to analyzing. An exceptional tool to start a lesson and to bring students into the mix.

Note: I should note that Tony Buzan has the trademark and is credited with starting mind mapping. However, I called it “linking learning” and was doing this in my classroom in the 1960s. Unfortunately, I was busy in the classroom and did not have the foresight or skill to share and publish it.

The most important part of this approach is that it allows the student to make connections more easily and relate a great many facts to one word. Users can see data from a variety of viewpoints and make connections that go far beyond what the teacher may add as they bring their own knowledge to the table.

Mind mapping enables them to see knowledge in a visual manner and allows them to organize data more easily. Remember not to be too specific when you start out and have students do this in group work is excellent and promotes thinking and sharing.

It is advantageous to use the board to provide examples of this method. Writing a dog on the board and ask students to voice ideas about what could be linked to that noun. The results could be as simple as breeds to relatives to equipment to movies. Now point to one word and ask how that relates to the others. In very little time they will make the “connections” and be able to link it to other learnings, even those in other subject areas.

To start the individuals on a project at a basic level you can use a family tree and have the students add the names of their closest relatives or those they are living with. Next, they add a detail about each one. After a few minutes, they will be adding more data. Next, ask them to make connections based on where they live, hobbies, jobs, etc. When they finish they will have compiled a basic connection of mind mapping paper. The users are now ready to write about what they learned.

I highly recommend you take a look at the resources listed and try to make one yourself before taking it to the class. It is especially effective in dealing with students and pocess limited writing skills as it helps them build their sentences step-by-step. It also enables students to see the materials using images that are easier for many of them to make connections. The use of color as well helps students track ideas. A real plus is that this connections strategy also helps improve recall/memory.

An explanation

A basic site for using mind mapping.

How to use Coggle video
This is similar to mind mapping.

A video on various mind mapping tools with several examples. A good starting point.

Top 30 Free Mind Mapping Tools

Freemind download site
As Coggle, this resource makes creating maps easy.

A huge selection of mind mapping images.

Basic starter site

YouTube videos on the subject
Some of these are well done and others are

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

Strategies for motivating readers


Phonics and teaching reading

Videos about guided reading

A fairly comprehensive site

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

A good how-to site

An excellent site for those just started using guided reading

It includes a full range of helpful resources.

A good wiki article

It explains how to do it and provides lesson ideas.

Making Guided Reading Multi-level

Introduces the four block method.

The Significant Benefits of Guided Reading

With Specific Instructions on How to Use Guided Reading

Teachers and Classroom Discipline

by Alan Haskvitz

National Teachers Hall of Fame

Classroom discipline if probably the most difficult thing for a teacher to master. However, although it may be tiresome there are a few rules that might provide help. First, don’t be a buddy. Secondly, contact the parents frequently for all reasons, good and bad. Third, talk with other teachers about your concerns. It is not a sign of weakness to ask for ideas. Fourth, avoid putting a student or yourself in a corner. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask administration for help. This all sounds so easy, but it never is and there are many times when you go home and can’t leave your work at school. I suggest you check out the stress sites below as well as keep a diary of what happens each day at school, good or not so good. At the end of the school year take a look at what you have written. It may reveal some insights into what worked and what didn’t but more importantly it might just reveal that you may have let a few bad days nullify a lot of bright ones.

Here are some good resources that provide a lot of valuable ideas.

Stress sites

New Teacher Help

Resources for teachers in all areas

Horace Mann offers valuable services in case of an assault

What is your classroom management style?

Take the test.

How to use your time between classes and in the classroom to help control problems.

Set limits

How to use your voice and body to control classes.

Teaching responsibility

Dr. Mac’s site

You must go here and see the oodles of ideas,

Over 400 links to behavior and class management sites

How to make rules

Dealing with the student who does not care

An excellent review of the literature. Check out the summary and what works and does not work.

Controlling escalating behavior problems and possible interventions

Avoiding verbal confrontations

Some good insights from a young teacher including grading ideas.

Ways to check your program and see if it is working

You can handle them all

A terrific site with over 100 potential behavior problems and ides on how to handle them.

Example of letter sent home at start of year.

A nice compilation of information from setting up the classroom to meeting with parents.

Importance of time on task

School safety links

Advise from veteran teachers.

No holds barred here.

Huge array of classroom management links

Ideas about bathroom breaks

Talking about sex in a non-health classroom

Class rules

Examples for each grade level.

Ten activities for creating classroom rules

Information on bullying

Large selection about dealing with bullying

Positive Reinforcement site

Has examples and a quiz.

Rules for working with Paraeducators

Teachers’ organization provides information on behavior and when to contact an attorney.

How to document student behavior


Management problems for children with special traits such as ADD

Classroom adjustments for special education

Working with shy students

Frequently asked questions

Classroom Management and Discipline Sites

Classroom Discipline Help

Tips for new teachers

Student discipline and the new teacher

An interesting article about the frustrations of teaching, especially without a good preparation program.

General articles from teachers

Teachers are always the best sources for information on student discipline.

American Federation of Teachers

Suggestions and tips

Teacher to teacher suggestions

Short slide show on essence of student discipline

Suggested Reading List

Good start for setting up a program

Research on Discipline

Simplified explanation of needed steps to follow

Guide to School Discipline

An example of a school district code

From Canada: A Zero Tolerance Program

Washington State Booklet for Parents

Excellent collection of teacher ideas and articles

Classroom Art  Resources

All free

Arts and Crafts Lessons and Links


Kids and Art

Unique Art Lesson

What it looks like

A listing of national standards for the arts from the Kennedy Center

And Lesson Plans


Art Terms

A dictionary for older students.
Use Critical Thinking to Solve Crime

Using art, of course. Great way to create other lessons as well.

British site

Newsletter, holiday art, printables, crafts and a whole lot more.

Diverse, with the emphasis on younger folk.


Large Printable Selection

For Elementary


Kids Architecture

An interactive that offers a basic understanding of building and materials.

Large Link Site

Includes nice index that includes museums, ancient art, modern art, and more. Takes a while, but worth it to find unusual resources.



Submit student work


Not an art museum

This site is for art teachers. Includes ask the teacher, exchanges, art lessons, and more.


Art and music lessons for all levels

Highly interactive site. Good attention holder.



Middle and High School


Dictionary of Artists

Includes examples of their wor


Art videos

Nearly 1000 of them

From WatchKnow
Crayon site

Crayola has created this site that features a lot of nice color pages among other things.

For primary level.


Great Art Blog

Lots of examples and how to do it segments.


Recycled Art

An interesting site that lists of materials needed and what can be made from them.
Mystery Art

For older students. You solve a puzzle to learn about art and art history.


Comic maker

An interactive cartoon making site. This is excellent for students if given direction as the theme of the comic.


Puppet link page

Scrapbook resource sites


A general site for teachers and parents

Deals with art as it relates to a child’s development. Has ideas and a blog.

Best educational free resource site

These sites can provide teachers with free resources to help them reach children in a variety of subject areas. They also can help provide remediation and/or accelerated learning opportunities. There are a lot of Internet sites that offer such materials, but only a few that are directed at the k-12 educator and without charge.

A note, you may have to register for some of these sites. Always make sure that the registration is only for the site and won’t be sold. I have noted that was good to register on sites I frequent because they provided me updates that I would have missed otherwise. Either way, I suggest you create an email address for just such sites and not use your personal one.

If you have additional sites to recommend please do so.


Annenberg Media

Videos arranged by grade level and there are a lot of them. Good quality.

Awesome Stories

This is a site that has videos that relate to stories, especially trials and biographies. A good collection, but limited in range.

Khan Academy

About 1800 good quality videos mainly in science and math. Mainly for older students.

You Tube Educational

This link is supposed to be limited to videos that are related to teaching. Very large collection, but uneven quality and the meaning of education is truly challenged.

BBC Learning Zone Clips

Search by topic or subject. Has length of video in search engine, which is good. Since this is a British site the material is directed to that user group. A goodly amount of videos. Worth a look.


You can post your videos or access the collection. You can also upload videos. Lots of ads. Also has audio and photo sections.


This is also a non-profit site that offer videos. The difference in this site is that it also offers lesson plans and more. This is a large site that tries to offer a variety of services to teachers besides videos.

YouTube Education

This site does not offer a good enough category selection process for most teachers to find material quickly.

History Channel

First rate videos and well done, this site is excellent for science, technology, and history teachers. Search engine takes a while to master due to large number of videos.


The sections are not well defined and its takes time to find the right video from the collection. Limited selection.


Famous people past and present. Good material, but many are for older students.

BBC Learning Channel

There are videos and much more here. It takes time to navigate this site, but the materials, both videos and interactive lessons, and of quality.

Classroom clips

This site has a limited number of videos. It also has audio clips.


While not all the content on this site is free, teachers can still find some great animated videos on a wide range of topics on this site for use in the classroom.


This site has a limited amount of podcasts and interactive videos in the basic subject matter areas. Some videos have test questions.

Teachers’ TV

This site has a limited number of videos and categories based on subject matter, use in class, and grade level.

How Stuff Works

This site has a fair size collection of diverse videos from history to entertainment. A lot of ads. Also, the index is fairly simple and it takes a while to find what would be right for your grade level.


This site is for older students and contains some non-educational material that has little value. Overall, the strength is in science for Exploratorium. Only categorized by subject and title.

EASE History

A small, but interesting site with videos and photos of political campaigns and historical events among others. Limited content and weak search engine.

The Archeology Channel

Videos of activities using interactive map of the world. Very limited content and videos may be over ten minutes in duration.

Peoples Archive

Videos of a variety of people, some famous, some not so much. This site might be used to help students show how hard work can pay off or to help them learn to take notes for a biography. Autobiographies are listed.

Steven Spielberg Archive

A tremendous site that have footage of the German treatment of Jews and the Holocaust. Some videos don’t have sound. Spend time on this site and you are going to find unique and important videos to share with your students. Compelling,

Folk Streams

A small collection of collected folklore and history videos. Well worth a look for social studies and music teachers. Some films are very long, but worth a look.

Digital History

A large site for those teaching history, with some videos. The videos tend to be for older students.

History Matters

There are a few videos for older students here. The majority are very specific, such as the history of the Chinese in Tucson and there are a collection of images that might prove helpful.

Social Studies Video Dictionary from Georgia.

A nice, but limited collection, mainly history and geography related.

PBS Video

Public Broadcasting Videos

A great many videos with a variety of topics and well done.

National Geographic Video

A major collection of videos on geography and environmental related videos. All first rate.

The Discovery Channel

This site has a variety of good videos, but the site is difficult to navigate. First rate materials.


Mainly political videos and current issues.

Free Documentaries Site

This is very interesting in that teachers can play entire films or parts from exceptional documentaries about a variety of topics. A must visit for teachers of older students. Some content may not be appropriate.

Top Documentary List

This site also has a good variety of documentaries and a better search engine. Mainly for older students. Some topics may be too graphic for classes.

How To Videos

These are about five minutes in duration and cover a great many topics that could be useful to teachers from sports to science. They are all based on the idea of one does something such as hold a football or paint.

Wonder How To

Not many for the classroom, but some good ideas. Worth a look.

Howcast : If you want to know how to do something, this site is a great place to start looking for instruction.


This site has a few educational videos in the how to area.

Best 100 Teaching Videos

A lot of videos, but many are not good quality. The ones that are are worth a look.

Teachers Domain

Has a selection of videos in the main subject areas. Weak search engine so you have to work hard to find the video you are looking for. Quality appears good, but some sections are limited.


A majority of these videos are done by students and the quality is uneven. The site offers a great deal of help for teachers wanting to upload and/or make videos.

PBS Kids Video

More entertainment. There are a fair amount of videos here for very young children. Poor search engine and slow to load.


National Science Foundation

Science related videos for older students. Mainly interviews and explanations.

NASA e-clips

Not many, and as you would expect, they are space related, but very well done. Use the search engine to save time as the website is difficult to navigate. For all grade levels


Space related and well done.

A nice collection of videos on science for older students. Good quality. A fair amount are lecturers. The length of time of the video is also used in the search engine. Sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute so many videos are medical in content.


This site has a good selection of science videos, but is limited in other areas. Also has games.

Green Energy

This site has videos related to green technology. Some might be of value to teachers, but most are more technical in nature.


A nice site with lots of videos about animals and the environment. Great for adding depth to lessons on

endangered biodiversity. Interactive material, too. Snow tracks are good lesson on critical thinking.

Vega Science

Videos of scientists, research projects and more. For older students.


Most of these videos are for older students and sophisticated. There are a lot of subject areas, but no classification by age.

Nova Teachers

Limited number of videos that are mainly science related. For older students. Nova Science.


Math TV

Excellent site with videos that help explain math concepts. Good for remediation and introduction.

Futures Channel

I am featured on some of these videos and so there may be a bias in my comments.

It is good quality applied math and science videos, but the search engine is poor. The videos are for middle school students and up in age.


Mainly math related videos, but some general ones, too. Limited number and uneven quality.


Short videos on various math concepts. A must visit for math teachers.

For Older Students and Teachers

Cosmo Learning

Courses, images, and videos are located here. Many lectures for older students.


Video lecturers for the main part.


A limited number of videos with older students in mind.


These are videos of lectures and they can be quite long and sophisticated and inspiring. For older students.

OV Guide

More of an online video guide for entertainment, this site also has educational video listings. Mainly for older students.

John Locker

This site has videos that are basically for older students. Some interesting titles, but limited in the number and range. Good quality,

Channel N

This really isn’t for students, but may be of interest to teachers as it deals with interesting aspects of behavior.

Academic Earth

University lectures on a variety of subjects. Some are very long. For advanced high school students.

This site has some videos on education and teaching. However, they are basically lecturer for educators.

Quest Gallery

A small number of videos about research and ideas about teaching.

Teachers TV

This site has videos about teaching. Fairly long videos ,and some deal with school wide concerns as well.


Some good videos here, but it takes time to find them and some are too difficult for younger students.

Teacher Training Videos

A small, but interesting collection of videos to help teachers with technology and other areas. This is the first site that had the Storybird site that I use in the classroom.

Free online movies

Public domain videos. Limited and uneven quality.

Songs that teach

By Alan Haskvitz

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.

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

Very complete site

Always Fun: Schoolhouse Rock

Songs and poems for elementary

From Canada

Elementary songs including math jingles

Their, there, they’re song

Spelling Rules

Math Songs and Poems

Musical Multiplication

Continents Song

Songs that teach science


Songs that teach history

Songs that teach the states

And more about geography

50 State capitals song

Bill of Rights and Historical Documents Songs

Children’s Songs

Not necessarily for teaching

Using the Beatles to teach ESL

ESL worksheets

Language Arts Songs

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

Animaniacs Mega Lyrics File

Preschool and Daycare resources

By Alan Haskvitz

Here is a list of preschool and daycare resources that can help provide new ideas and promote a better understanding of the preschool child.

A general list of good sites

Kindergarten links

Patriotic lessons


Online games

Lesson plans

Lots of links, but some may be too advanced.

Primary link site


Free Printable calendars


Healthy children site

Strategies for motivating readers


Teachers and the law

Government information on daycare and preschool topics

Parents guide to reading readiness

How to talk with a preschool teacher

Common medical problems

A nice sldie show on preschool problems with suggested solutions

Cultures and traditions activities.

Matching activities

Preschool Lessons and activities suitable

Very good selection

Printable activities, crafts, lesson plans, themes and coloring pages

Free songs, crafts, games, snack ideas, and learning activities

Very useful site tht has worksheets, plans, and law sites.

Physcial Education Central’s Preschool lesson plans – 19k –

Black history activities

Free video on how to teach Preschool Gymnastic Lessons

Preschool Themes

Worksheets and lesson plans

Huge link site to all types of resources from toilet training to drama actitives and more.

Free online games

Create your own

Money printables and worksheets

Large link site

Dealing with preschool peer pressure

Resources for parents/teachers of preschoolers who have a learning problem

Dealing with stealing

Dealing with Separation Anxiety in Preschool Children

Dealing with Preschool Temper Tantrums. By Margaret Risk

Valuable article on how to deal with preschoolers.

Coinsider printing it out for parents, too.

Huge link site to child behavior help

Dealing with bullying