school


Libraries: The Heart of the School is Disappearing
by
Alan Haskvitz
http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Ringleaders/al.html

According to recent research, the library and a qualified librarian can directly help in the improvement of student reading levels. Add to that the Common Core requirements for additional reading and writing using a variety of sources and you a clear cut case to keep the library at the heart of the school.

With cutbacks centered on libraraisn and libraries in many states, the reserch from Colorado and Pennsylvania makes it clear that the most important factor, outside of the classroom, was having a full-time librarian and this was particularly true at facilities that deal with groups that have low-income students as well as those with reading problems.

Unfortunatley, this research has not been enough to motivate some districts where funding is sparse. For example, in Los Angeles Unified School District half of the elementary and middle schools don’t have a librarian and in New York only half of the high schools have a librarian.

This map shows how far reaching the lack of funding for libraries goes. Some of the sites noted portray a dismal picture and is a must visit for teachers and parents.
https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=117551670433142326244.000482bb91ce51be5802b&dg=feature

On the other hand, this site shows how much money a library and technology center can save
http://www.maine.gov/msl/libs/advocacy/savings.htm

Resources for Librarians and teachers
Excellent list from everything from lesson plans to book publishers
http://www.sldirectory.com/

Outdated School Libraries:
What Can You Do to Update Yours?
Where to look for grants and how to make over existing libraries.
http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin181.shtml

Free Classroom Resources for Women’s History Month

This site is excellent and contains free resources, lessons and ideas to help motivate students at all grade levels and subject areas.

https://mycalcas.com/2016/03/classroom-resources-for-womens-history-month/

Using vehicles to create student interest in math and Language Arts
by National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Haskvitz

Using vehicles is an excellent way to motivate students and to help ready them for real life buying decisions. The following links deal with the various manufactures where students can write for information, obtain pricing information and to harvest compare and contrast data for Common Core related essays.

A listing of all DMV offices.
Finding the office that deals with your state and others can provide information on how old one needs to be to drive as well as the various license fee data that could be used for Common Core math problems. I have used driver manuals to motivate students to read.
http://www.dmv.org/

Data on fuel economy
This federal site would enable students to select a variety of vehicles and there fuel mileage. This could be used for math as well as to provide statistics for an essay on the best or worst type of vehicles in terms of fuel costs.
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/

A link site to manufacturers who sell cars in America
http://search.ezilon.com/united_states/business/automotive/auto_manufacturers/

A listing of vehicle websites worldwide
http://autopedia.com/html/MfgSites.html

National Motorists Association
A great source of information on driving and the law.
http://www.motorists.org/

A listing of car value prices
A good place to find statistics for math problems about the prices of cars and motorcycles.
http://www.nadaguides.com/

Where cars are made by location
Great way to teach geography.
http://www.caranddriver.com/features/a-graphic-representation-of-whats-really-made-in-america-feature

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

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

Do Students or You Know about Their Digital Footprints?
By National Hall of Fame Teacher Alan Haskvitz
for more free resources go to http://reacheverychild.com/search results.aspx?searchtext=haskvitz

Do students know about their digital footprints or do you? The answer is most cases is no. Those caught up in the excitement of seeing their name or image on the screen forget that this isn’t just a passing fad, but forever. With technology altering the way we teach and the way students learn it is mandatory that educators take a look at what a digital footprint is and how students can limit it.
Even the term, digital footprint, means very little to some students. So the best place to start is to explain how people learned to track as a way of finding animals. Thus the term footprint means that they are, in fact, the animal being tracked. The digital term is easier for students to understand as it means anything that they do that requires the use of technology. In other words a digital footprint is the traces that they leave on the Internet.

The biggest mistake is that students and others don’t understand that hitting the delete button does not remove the image one it has been placed online. It remains there forever, including in their own computer. Just as the history of where you have gone is traceable so can the images and comments that appear on everything from Facebook to Twitter to emails and beyond. This leads us to the first rule: Don’t put your name on anything. Use pseudonymous.
Next, have students make a list of all their accounts and all the people that they communicate. They should make sure that all setting when talking with these individuals is on privacy in their security settings. Having the students use
http://lifehacker.com/this-infographic-shows-you-how-to-delete-yourself-from-1536935719
should help in this regard. This will also show them sites that they no longer use and these should be deleted.

The next step is to have them check their passwords for each account and make sure they are not using the same one. This avoids having all their accounts compromised. As well, there should be an absolute promise that the materials sent are only to those on a need to know basis. Don’t send out mass mailings. Having a good username that is different for each account is also a help.
When sending pictures don’t send the names of the people in the photo or where it was taken. Those people who don’t know who in is the picture can ask.
Next, have an email for each account. They are free, in most cases, and although they make it more of a burden to handle passwords and user names, they can also serve to help you control what is going out and make it far easier to handle incoming messages as they go to specific accounts. Limit the email accounts to five or six so it is easier to check your messages.

It is important that you understand what cookies are and how they are used by companies. First, they make loading faster, but they also provide a history of where you went and what you were looking for and this information is kept to build a picture of you. This happens regardless of whether or not you are using a privacy setting and is used by most everyone such as YouTube and Google. It is not used by ReachEveryChild, which does not use cookies. Here is a list of search engines that don’t track your use and may be of value as an alternative to the more popular ones.
http://www.howtogeek.com/113513/5-alternative-search-engines-that-respect-your-privacy/

Indeed, the use of major tracking search engines can also impact your searches as they seek to provide you the information you may want first. It is almost impossible to limit this. This link explains that concept:
http://dontbubble.us/

It is difficult to avoid this especially as some eduction sites require a log-in. Again, that is why http://www.reacheverychild.com is so unique as no log-in is required. To avoid cookies you can check out this site:
http://www.howtogeek.com/63721/how-to-block-all-cookies-except-for-sites-you-use/

You may also want to download https://www.ghostery.com/ and others such sites to avoid such tracking.
Ultimately, it comes down to self control and making sure the student knows that the Internet can be used as a tool for good and evil. Even the IP address on the computer used can be tracked

http://www.wikihow.com/Block-Your-IP-Address and so it is valuable that it is made clear that the simple act of placing a message and/or photo on the worldwide web could be used by potential employers and others to get a profile that may not be flattering and those who have ulterior motives may also be lurking.
The bottom line is make sure that all sites that are used and all messages are sent with caution and if you are using the Internet for searches.
Videos that explains the concept

Student/Parent education sites
http://www.commonsensemedia.org/videos/digital-footprint
http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/04/a-great-guide-on-teaching-students.html

Places where you can check some of your leavings
Don’t be surprised.
https://pipl.com/
http://www.zabasearch.com/
http://www.123people.com/

A lesson on digital footprints
Very complete
https://sites.google.com/site/digcitizenshipadventures/managing-your-digital-footprint

Statistics on digital footprints
Very important to show how few people actually check.
http://www.pewinternet.org/2007/12/16/digital-footprints/

A large link site
http://cybraryman.com/digitalfootprints.html

Where to Find Teaching Jobs
by National Hall of Fame teacher Alan Haskvitz
http://reacheverychild.com/about-the-author

Finding a job isn’t easy. It took me two years of being a substitute until something came along and even that proved to be a deadend. Even when I was teaching I was constantly applying for jobs that I felt were more to my strengths. I taught in ten school districts before finding one with good administration and support. I went from Newfoundland to Ontario, Canada, to several districts in Southern California before I found a school where I felt at home. And even there I had to endure some of the worst administration imaginable. So never give up if you think you are in the right position.

If I would have had this list of resources when I started out I could have shortened my job hunting experience a great deal, but nothing really prepares you for a new job outside of asking others about the school and doing your homework.

Timing is very important. Most districts have hired by the start of the new year, but some find themselves in a great need for help due to staffing shortages, teachers moving away, or transfers. Don’t give up because the school year has started. I have also listed overseas teaching sites that might be of interest to those willing to travel and work under different conditions.

Be cautioned to look before you leap. There is no free lunch. For example, if you are teaching overseas and the job you get is not as planned you may not have recourse.

Due to the nature of job listing and the uneven quality and quantity of positions it is essential that you go through the process slowly and don’t deal with those that charge a fee unless you feel it is worth it. Some sites may ask you to register first and that information may be used by others so I suggest you have a separate email account for job searches in case spam comes a calling. Above all, your first choice should be to use the career center at the university where you completed your educational training program. This service is sometimes available online.

Jobs by state
A massive collection of links to every state
http://www.uky.edu/Education/TEP/usajobs.html

Government Link site
http://exchanges.state.go87ol0%5B=v/education/engteaching/eal-jobs.htm

Job listing by state and subject
http://www.teachers-teachers.com/teacher-membership.cfm

Jobs by subject, area, and more
http://www.edjoin.org/advancedSearch.aspx

More jobs listed by grade, subject
http://www.teachingjobs.com/

This site also offers you an opportunity to upload your resume’. Check details closely or you can just do a job search.
http://www.educationamerica.net/

You can sign-up for job alerts and more
http://www.schoolspring.com/

Education Week listings
http://www.agentk-12.org/

Teaching overseas jobs

From US Government
Information and contact data.
http://www.state.gov/m/dghr/flo/c21946.htm

Information on teaching overseas
http://www.gooverseas.com/teaching-jobs-abroad

Australia
http://www.teachers.on.net/

Great Britain
http://www.tes.co.uk/
http://www.uteachrecruitment.com/

Next Page »