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Teacher's Lounge

"I'm Over This Whole Online Instruction Thing"
"I’m really over this whole online instruction thing, which we are still doing to some extent. My students at home don’t take my class seriously and I don’t know how to motivate them"

Virtual But Not
"Parents have been upset or confused about in-person models that have us all in a classroom but that also rely heavily on virtual methods for instruction. Any advice on reassuring parents their children are receiving a valuable educational experience?"   

No Comfort Zone
"Dear Teacher’s Lounge, For the past several months, I’ve been living with the uncomfortable feeling that I have no idea what I’m doing..."

Frustrated Pro
"Dear Teacher’s Lounge, Whether we teach virtually or in a building, I get constantly frustrated by the way that teachers are perceived by the public."

Rethinking Professional Development
"Dear Teacher’s Lounge, I help design professional development for the staff. Teachers are begging for strategies with virtual or hybrid learning models but then they also say they are too overwhelmed when I try to provide resources.

Lost My Groove
"Dear Teacher’s Lounge: With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I’m having a hard time getting into the spirit of the holiday. I am so incredibly tired, and not just of the pandemic."

Testing My Patience!
"This is probably opening the biggest can of worms, but...assessments. My school is requiring us to give standardized tests in the first few weeks to figure out where kids are, but I have to say, it’s kind of crazy. First of all, we’re giving these tests virtually, and I cannot really ensure any kind of test security. "

How can I help my kids be more successful?
"After a month and a half of teaching virtually, I’m looking at student grades and they are frightening. To be quite blunt, kids are failing at a rate and magnitude that I’ve never seen."

Keeping My Smile
"Sometimes I just want to rip off my mask, hug these students, and just say “I love you” to each one of them!"

Effective Seating Arrangements During Pandemic
One upside to our new "social distance" classroom setup is having structured rows vs. tables or clusters of desks. I find I can better control the impact that a student with a negative attitude has on classmates.

Newbie Teacher
"When we went to virtual learning this spring, I felt confident with the technology aspect of teaching. I love working with online applications, and I poured a lot of energy into each lesson. But I got so frustrated every time kids turned their cameras off."

Dazed and Confused
"I am so tired of people talking to me about wellness. It seems totally hypocritical to say that teachers need to prioritize our health, and then throw endless rules and policies at our heads that change by the day. My stress level is through the roof"

High Anxiety
"As we get closer to the start of school, I’m so confused by all the new online tools I have to learn. How can I handle all this stress when I’m not in a building to get help from others?"

Planning Your Retirement
Everyone is concerned about how much money they will need to retire. While that is important, its not the first question you need to ask yourself. The first question to consider is, What am I going to do with the time?

Project Appleseed Grows Parent Involvement
On National Parental Involvement Day 2010, Kevin Walker, the founder of the organization that created the holiday, advises schools not to lament the lack of parental involvement, but to use the day to invite parents to do more.

Edutainers Make Lessons Engaging, Relevant
In coining the term edutainer, Dr. Brad Johnson and Tammy Maxson McElroy arent suggesting that teachers juggle at the front of the room, but rather that teachers should use some entertainer-type skills to help make lessons more relevant and engaging.

Using Quizzes to Measure Teaching Effectiveness
Quick quizzes throughout the day can help teachers assess the effectiveness of their instruction as well as student understanding of the concepts taught. Online quiz-making software can significantly simplify the entire process.

School Photo Day Made Easy
Do your school photos make you cringe? Professional photographer Linda Russell shares with teachers, parents, and students her tips for creating frame-able -- and embarrassment-free -- school portraits.

Using A Star Chart to Teach English Language Learners
I tend to think that helping teachers develop a vision, a way of thinking, a cultural orientation, may be more effective in improving their professional practice than endless checklists and long lists of techniques.

Creating Learning Communities: A Model for Ongoing Professional Development
The professional development model presented here represents an easy-to-implement program that makes disseminating information all the more personal, practical, and applicable.

Creating Learning Communities: Reaffirming our Roles as Lifelong Learners
The process of creating a learning community involves a step-wise, top-down process that recognizes that professional development programs need to combine an element of self-directedness, as well as connect to the collective environment.

Teaching the Mathematics of Music
Drawing parallels between pop music and math concepts is a great way to reinforce cross-curricular concepts while using a strong mental hook to keep students attention. Try these simple ideas to incorporate music or mathematics into your next lesson.

Mindfulness in the Classroom: Five Skills That Influence Your Ability to Work With All Kinds of Learners -- Part 6
Resilience is an essential construct to consider when working with children in an educational capacity because learning and behavioral difficulties can be devastating to a childs self-esteem and identity as a new learner.

Mindfulness in the Classroom: Five Skills That Influence Your Ability to Work With All Kinds of Learners -- Part 5
At the very foundation of all creativity is novelty; being able to bring something new and fresh to what already exists. Creativity should exist in what we think and believe, as well as in our actions.

Mindfulness in the Classroom: Five Skills That Influence Your Ability to Work with All Kinds of Learners -- Part 4
Connection is a product of mastering the skill of being present. It is the ability to observe, interact, and affect the individuals with whom you co-exist. You can connect because you are aware, which makes you emotionally available to the young children in your class.

Mindfulness in the Classroom: Five Skills That Influence Your Ability to Work With All Kinds of Learners -- Part 3
The path toward increasing your ability to be more present in the classroom can be enhanced by taking the time to (a) pay attention/observe, (b) breathe; and (c) be gentle.

Teaching the Mathematics of Music
Drawing parallels between pop music and math concepts is a great way to reinforce cross-curricular concepts while using a strong mental hook to keep students attention. Try these simple ideas to incorporate music or mathematics into your next lesson.

Mindfulness in the Classroom: Five Skills That Influence Your Ability to Work With All Kinds of Learners -- Part 2
The notion of self-awareness is a concept we believe to be salient whenever questions of relatedness to people or the management of people (especially children) is involved.

Mindfulness in the Classroom: Five Skills That Influence Your Ability to Work With All Kinds of Learners -- Part 1
In this series, we will examine the way an educators understanding of his or her mode of being with young children in the classroom can influence his or her ability to support a diverse population of young learners.

Children's Museums "Exhibit" Educational Outreach
If you aren't lucky enough to have a children's museum nearby, you might be surprised to discover that many museums dont just open their doors to actual students and teachers; they also reach out to those who can't visit in person.

A Parent Engagement Model That Works
Parent engagement efforts have resulted in the formation of school/community gardens, increased affordable housing opportunities, safer neighborhoods, better economic opportunities, and increased student achievement.

This Old Lounge
If your teachers lounge leaves something to be desired, learn from expert Evette Ros and talented teachers and community members who have donned their tool belts and remodeled their lounges affordably.

Speak Up or Burn Out: Five Crucial Conversations that Drive Educational Excellence, Part 4
Regularly engaging in healthy crucial conversations can be enormously helpful, not only in avoiding being consumed, but also in restoring much of the meaning and joy that attracted teachers to education in the first place.

Speak Up or Burn Out: Five Crucial Conversations that Drive Educational Excellence, Part 3
Five crucial conversations drive educational excellence while preventing teacher burnout. The last three of those conversations concern uncooperative colleagues, unsupportive parents, and students with discipline problems.

Speak Up or Burn Out: Five Crucial Conversations that Drive Educational Excellence, Part 2
Five crucial conversations drive educational excellence while preventing teacher burnout. The first two of those conversations concern unsupportive leaders and failing teachers.

Speak Up or Burn Out: Five Crucial Conversations that Drive Educational Excellence, Part 1
Teachers can master the stressors in their environment by engaging more consistently and more effectively in five conversations that are common, impactful and, too often, undiscussable.

See Me After Class
New teachers often feel as though they need to do everything right -- and end up feeling as though theyre doing everything wrong. Former first-year teacher Roxanna Elden shares anecdotes and advice from her new book on surviving the first year of teaching.

Eco-Friendly School Supplies
It's time again to stock the classroom with supplies for a year's worth of learning -- and the choices you make can make a difference. Discover some unique, smart, and planet-friendly must-haves for this school year.

The Hiring Process: How to Answer the Tough Questions
Some interview questions are more difficult to answer than others. I’ll address a few of those here -- and offer advice on how to answer them to show yourself in the best light.

Teaching with Rap
Educators from California to New York say that raps lively lyrics, meaningful messages, and familiar beat can be powerful tools for learning.

The Hiring Process: Questions! Questions!
Get ready for job interviews by preparing answers to the questions you might be asked, and practicing how to ask the questions that will give you a realistic picture of the job.

The Hiring Process: Be Prepared
In order to successfully navigate the hiring process for schools, you need to prepare yourself with the right information, dress, attitude, and words.

Education Humor With Regina Barreca: Cheers -- We Deserve It!
Because only rarely do we teachers have cheerleaders welcoming us with pom-poms when we arrive for work, I thought I would do a little brass-band whooping and hollering for OUR SIDE.

Brain-Friendly Teaching: Putting Brain-Friendly Strategies to Work
Marilee Sprenger discusses how to put brain-friendly strategies to work in the classroom and how teachers can avoid their own senior moments.

Brain-Friendly Teaching: From Sensory to Long-Term Memory
"BrainLady" Marilee Sprenger follows a seven-step process for taking information from students sensory memory to long-term memory.

Brain-Friendly Teaching: Strategies to Improve Memory
Neuroscience expert Marilee Sprenger shares what teachers need to know about the brain to help students learn and remember.

Give Yourself a Gold Star! You Deserve it!
Ive decided that teachers need to give ourselves credit We deserve credit for the small, as well as the big, accomplishments. So if you (almost) never accept bribes or rarely file your nails during class, give yourself a gold star!

Friendship for Floating Teachers
Former "floater" Jodi McKay knows the challenges faced by teachers who have no classroom to call their own. To support those educators, she created an online forum that allows floating teachers to share their stories, advice, and more.

Coping With Parent (Over) Involvement
Im hearing from teachers that its as if the kids come to school with home strapped to their backs -- or, perhaps more accurately, strapped to their ankles like house arrest bands. These parents from the 1970s have been referred to as helicopter parents.

100 Report Card Comments
It's report card time and you face the prospect of writing constructive, insightful, and original comments on a couple dozen report cards or more. A daunting task? Not with Ed World's help! Included: 100 positive report card comments for you to use and adapt.

Favorite Colors
Before you can teach the child, you have to reach the child.

The Art of Language
Addressing the language of luck.

Move Up Before You Move In
Dealing with difficult situations.

School Spotlight
Newman Elementary School colleagues learn by observing one another.

Top 10 Reasons to Build Students Moral IQ
Moral Intelligence is what helps youth act right with or without our guidance, and the best news is that this critical intelligence can be taught. Here are 10 reasons why we must build our students Moral IQ.

School Spotlight
Newman Elementary School colleagues learn by observing one another.

Christian Miller was moving uneventfully through his day of subbing third grade. When it was time for the spelling test, students sprang from their chairs to get their blockers. "What are blockers?" asked the surprised sub before teaching his students a lesson in integrity.

Sites to See: Parent Conferences
These ten sites, filled with advice, tips, and practical resources, can help ensure that your parent-teacher conferences are a pleasant and positive collaborative experience for all.

"You Must Remember This"
We asked members of the Education World Teacher Team "If you could give a brand new teacher just one piece of advice, what would it be?" Discover what they told us.

Talking to Your Students
Chick Moorman and Thomas Haller on improving your Teacher Talk vocabulary.

NEA Launches NCLB Reform Effort
Many educators have expressed concerns about the requirements and sanctions of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, and the National Education Association has adopted a plan to reform the law, which it wants Congress to hear.

A Defining Moment
Regardless of when it occurs or the context in which it happens, the first occurrence of a mistake is a defining moment in each educator's career. How a teacher handles the event can set the tone for the rest of the school year.

Summer Reading Picks
What's on your summer reading list? Members of the Education World Teacher and Tech Teams share their favorite books for professional development, personal information -- and pure pleasure.

How to Accentuate Respect and Eliminate Disrespect in Students
The secret of learning new character-building behaviors is that such behaviors are "caught" by watching others do them well. The secret of teaching new character-building behaviors is to tune up the behavior you want to be caught and accentuate it.

End-of-Year Activities
This month, we asked members of the Education World Teacher Team to share with us the activities, lessons, projects, games, and so on that they save for the end of the year, to use either as a culminating activity or to create a memory of the year for their students.

Differentiated Instruction
Differentiated instruction is an approach to instruction in which the teacher adapts the content, process, and product of lessons in accordance with each student's readiness, learning style, and interests.

Five Steps to Teaching Any Character Trait
How do we help students develop strong character? The answer is found in this premise: Character traits are learned; therefore we can teach them. Building students' character, however, involves five steps. Learn what they are and how to accomplish them.

Professional Learning Communities
Professional learning communities are teams of educators systematically working together to improve teaching practice and student learning. Learning communities are characterized by shared values and vision, collaboration, and support. Learn more!

Teaching and Learning Online
Whether you're planning on taking or teaching an online course -- or pursuing an online degree -- you won't want to miss this Teacher Team article, in which our resident experts talk about their online teaching and learning experiences.

Tap In to Tapped In
You've heard about it. You've read about it. Friends and colleagues have raved about the professional development opportunities it provides through ongoing events, groups, and chats. But you still haven't visited yourself. What are you waiting for?

Predictions for Education in 2006
What will 2006 bring for the field of education? Will change sweep through departments of education, state legislatures, and the federal government? Is there anything pending on the parent front? Will teachers shift consciousness? Check out these authors' predictions!

Teachers Have It Easy--NOT
Too many people still regard teaching as an easy part-time job at full-time pay. In Teachers Have It Easy, the authors attack those perceptions, by citing the long hours, sacrifices, and low salaries imposed on many teachers.

My Other Kids
"When a small private school took a chance on me, I spent the first semester scared to death," says writer and educator Gregory Keer. "Every day, I walked into class thinking, 'What if they find out that I'm a fraud?' How are things going now, four years later?

NCLB Up Close and Personal
How has NCLB affected how and what you teach? Has it improved student progress? Closed the achievement gap? Created better students who are better prepared to face the future -- and succeed in it? The Education World Teacher Team tells it like it is.

A Son Became a Soldier, and a Dad Became a Teacher
When teacher and Army National Guard member Brian Harvey was called to Iraq, his first thoughts were for his family, but not far behind was concern for his classes. Then his father, Boyce, made a life-changing decision to teach Brian's classes while he was gone.

A Safe and Orderly Environment
"That's a put-down," John Ash tells his students. "We don't use put-downs. We tell the other person how we are feeling and what we want to happen." Can Ash's strategy help you eliminate put-downs from your classroom too?

Schools Offering Service With A Smile
Greetings, smiles, and eye contact may be standard customer-service training in the retail industry, but now it is moving into schools as well. Some districts are training all staff members, including administrators and bus drivers, to be more customer-friendly.

Who's Fault Is it, Anyway?
Students who fail to make the connection between effort and results attribute their successes and failures to someone or something other than themselves. Successful students see their successes as something they can influence.

Virtual Workshop: The Four Blocks Literacy Model
The Four Blocks Literacy Model, a balanced-literacy* framework for teaching language arts, is based on the premise that all children don't learn in the same way. The program integrates four components of reading instruction -- guided reading, self-selected reading, writing, and working with words.

A Techtorial: e-Portfolio Fever
Discover what an e-portfolio can do for you and for your K-12 students! This techtorial includes an overview of portfolios as well as a simple and quick demo of e-portfolio building.

Parents and Teachers Working Together
How do you establish and maintain a good working relationship with your students' parents? The Education World Teacher Team shares their strategies for increasing parent involvement and ensuring parental support.

Teacher of the Year Targets Education Inequities
Jason Kamras, the first National Teacher of the Year from Washington, D.C., wants people to know that urban children want to learn - they just need the resources and support.  

Tattle Tales
The important issue to help children understand about tattling is not when to report. Nor is it what to report. The critical decision involves who to report to. We must help children learn to report to the right person.

Virtual Workshop: Project-Based and Problem-Based Learning
The difference between project-based and problem-based learning lies largely in their application: Problem-based learning focuses on the problem and the process, while project-based learning focuses on the product.

It's Just Not That Simple
Too many people just don't "get" teaching. Try not to hurt them.

Staff Meeting Idea: Teachers "Stand" for Students
Looking for an inexpensive, powerful way to remind your staff of why they embarked on a career in education? Try "I Stand For...," an activity that asks teachers to rise and name a student for whom they have made a difference. Tips for using this activity included.

The Ten Best Education Conferences
What's the best education conference you've ever attended? The Education World Teacher Team describes their favorite conferences -- and their favorite conference speakers. Included: Ten top conferences and five inspiring speakers.

"You Must Remember This"Teaching with Mnemonics
Using mnemonics to help students "file" information more effectively makes it possible for them to retrieve material more easily. Discover some classic mnemonics and some teacher-created originals. Included: Tips for creating your own memory tools.

Repaying the Kindness of Strangers
Like hundreds of thousands, Laura Dunham's tranquil morning in Sri Lanka December 26, 2004, was shattered by a massive tsunami. Afterward, Dunham was fed and sheltered by local residents, and has returned to that village to help with reconstruction.

Strategies That Work: Stress Relief
Do you ever find yourself dealing with unmotivated, disrespectful, or unruly students? With students from disadvantaged or multicultural backgrounds? With large classes, heavy workloads, or unreasonable accountability standards? With job-related stress? What teacher doesn't? These Education World articles can help.

NETP Offers Action Steps for Success
On Friday, January 7, 2005, the U.S. Department of Education unveiled the National Education Technology Plan. Find out how NCLB started the ball rolling, why today's students are different, and what the DOE says educators must do to meet the needs of today's students. Included: Exclusive comments from National Educational Technology Director Susan Patrick.

Find Your Benefactor
If Santa overlooked your class's Christmas list, it might be time to request a special delivery from an online resource. puts teachers in touch with supporters with materials and supplies to donate. Don't wait until next December to ask for a care package from a benevolent friend.

Kids Can Help Too
Children in the United States and around the world have responded to reports of the recent tsunami in Asia by contributing to the relief efforts in record numbers -- and in unique ways. Learn what they're doing -- and how your students can help too. Included: Where and how to contribute to tsunami victims.

If I Were Secretary of Education
Members of the Education World Teacher Team share with readers their thoughts about U.S. education today as they respond to the question: "If you were U.S. Secretary of Education, what would be your priorities for the next four years?"

Fast and Fabulous Freebies
Need a great idea or a new activityyesterday? The Internet puts free teaching materials at your disposal 24-7, if you just know where to find them. From apple growing to ergonomics, get the 4-1-1 on fantastic freebies you can take advantage of today!

Strategies That Work: Electronic Portfolios
A student portfolio is a representative sampling of a student's work. Hardcopy portfolios have been used to save student work for some time; the use of electronic portfolios, which allow students to save and display sound and video files as well as text and graphics, is a relatively recent, but growing, trend in K-12 education.

Lesson Study: Practical Professional Development
For teachers who have wished for hands-on professional development, lesson study is it. Teachers gather to research, create, try, and evaluate lesson plans to determine if they are helping students learn. Included: A description of lesson study practices.

Keep It Clean
Do you find yourself spending precious after-school time cleaning up your classroom? Have you tried student cleanup and decided it wasn't worth the chaos or loss of learning time? Maybe all you really need to turn class cleanup into a fun and productive activity is a little help from some creativity colleagues.

Anger Management
A single student whose emotions are out of control can sabotage the learning of an entire classroom. A variety of strategies and programs have been developed to help teachers deal with what many consider to be the Number 1 threat to an effective learning environment -- the angry, frustrated, or aggressive student. Learn about some of them.

Power Words: Using Positive Words to Energize Your Students
In the classroom, positive reinforcement is easier to talk about than it is to carry out. Brenda Dyck shares a classroom tradition that celebrates the uniqueness and potential of each child. "What I See in You" time is one of the most special times in her classroom.

Classroom Management
The term classroom management refers to the procedures, strategies, and instructional techniques teachers use to manage student behavior and learning activities. Effective classroom management creates an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning. It is the most important -- and the most difficult -- skill a teacher must master.

Strategies That Work: Parent-Teacher Conferences
When it comes to parent-teacher conferences, it's a toss up as to who least wants to be there -- the nervous parents braced to hear the worst about their beloved child, or the determined teacher prepared to deliver news that isn't always expected or appreciated. The most important survival strategy for both, however, is to be prepared.

Can We Talk?: What Parents and Teachers Want Each Other to Know
Most teachers and parents recognize the importance of parent-teacher communication. Few, however, gleefully anticipate the actual occasions of that communication. If only we understood each other better! Education World answers the question, "What do you want your child's teacher -- or your student's parent -- to know about you?"

Strategies That Work: Tools for Teaching
Dr. Fred Jones, having studied highly successful teachers for more than 30 years, has developed a method of classroom management in which the prevention of discipline problems and training children to be responsible are carried out in a positive and affirming context. His practical, clear-cut techniques are both effective and doable.

Fantastic and Free Materials for Teachers
How can you add to your classroom and curriculum without depleting your pocketbook? Request free teaching materials and other items from organizations that appreciate the services educators perform. Here you will find out how to obtain hard copies of terrific lesson plans, videos, and other resources for your classroom.

Reporter Turned Teacher Recalls First Tough Years
After working as a reporter for 24 years -- including covering the state's child welfare system -- Leslie Baldacci was ready to take on the job of inner city teacher. But she had a lot to learn, as she recounts in her book about her early teaching experiences.

Scholarship Allows Teacher to Experience Japan
Thanks to a Toyota scholarship program, Sandi Bullington and 49 other U.S. teachers to traveled to Japan for intensive study of the education system, economy, and culture. Their experiences will bring an international flavor to their lessons this year.

Strategies That Work: Motivation
The most successful ways teachers can motivate students who are not intrinsically motivated to learn include engaging their interest; demonstrating the relevance of what they're learning; displaying enthusiasm for what we're teaching; establishing challenging, but achievable expectations, and employing a variety of instructional strategies.

Strategies That Work: Bullying
According to noted expert Dan Olweus, bullying affects the social climate and learning environment of the entire classroom. Set the right tone in your classroom this year by making it clear that bullying -- or harassment of any kind -- will not be tolerated.

Strategies That Work: Differentiated Instruction
Differentiated instruction is a teaching approach in which educational content, process, and product are adapted according to student readiness, interest, and learning profile. Discover how research into how students learn led to the changes in how teachers teach.

A Teacher's Back-to-School Supply List
Each summer, teachers send home a list of supplies students will need during the upcoming school year. Until now, little thought has been given to the supplies teachers might find useful. Noted educator Howard Seeman corrects that oversight with his back-to-school list for the well-equipped teacher. Included: Twenty-seven must-have items.

Strategies That Work: Rewards
In a perfect world, the acquisition of knowledge would be reason enough for children to want to learn. In the real world, however, some extrinsic motivation often is required. Learn about some of the incentives teachers use to reward students for good behavior and academic effort.

Drinking Up Inspiring Words
Who hasn't smiled at the memory of a favorite teacher, student, or teaching moment? Teachers and their admirers share inspirational stories in the book, A Cup of Comfort for Teachers.

Sites to See: General Teacher Sites
General teacher sites offer educators everything from lesson plans and curricular materials to professional development opportunities to help with specific classroom needs. A dozen sites chock full of great teacher resources.

What We Learned from Reader Polls
All teachers support tenure. Educators would never agree to a dress code. And, despite the ups and downs, teachers rarely regret their career choice. It's obvious, right? Well, maybe not. Read what Education World learned from its first 17 Weekly Surveys.

Sites to See: Methods and Strategies
Sites featuring teaching methods and strategies provide educators with ideas and resources to sharpen their teaching skills and add oomph to their lessons. Included: Two-dozen great sites for updating your methods and strategies.

Teacher of the Year Aims to Celebrate Teachers, Teaching
National Teacher of the Year Kathy Mellor, an English as a second language teacher in Rhode Island, is eager to spend her term celebrating teachers and teaching and encouraging school-community partnerships to improve education.

Hold an Interest Fair: Broadened "Science Fair" Taps All Subjects, Students' Interests
In keeping with their focus on the individual child, one Ohio school opted to shun the "science fair" in favor of a broader alternative -- the "interest fair." This diverse event encourages participants to investigate and share information about their favorite topics.

Outstanding Young Educator Connects Learning With Life
"Jennifer Morrison is known for using her classroom as a living laboratory for best practices and for sharing research-based knowledge with her colleagues," said ASCD executive director Gene R. Carter. "She is the embodiment of what we envisioned when the Outstanding Young Educator Award was implemented."

No Retiring from Dedication
After 30 years as a third grade teacher, retirement couldn't stop Jill Herrick from being an educator. She founded a mini-grant program to help teachers fund hands-on projects, and an awards program for third graders who "work their tails off."

Strategies That Work: Homework Study Hall
Startled by the number of failing grades his students were receiving, principal David Chambers made making up missed work a mandatory activity. The policy has raised students' GPAs and improved teacher morale. Could it work for your school?

"Let It Slip!" Admit and Exit Slips in the Classroom
Want to know what your students really learned today, and what might require extra reinforcement? Use exit slips! When students respond in writing to what they learn and share it, teachers can target the gaps and keep them on the right track.

What Makes Southdown Elementary a Great School?
Meet the team of educators at Southdown Elementary School in Houma, Louisiana. Each staff member has shared an idea -- a fun lesson, a special strategy, or a bit of philosophy -- that helps paint a picture of why Southdown is such a great place to teach and learn.

Strategies That Work: Making Review Time Fun and Worthwhile
Reviewing for tests can be a dreaded chore for both students and teachers. Education World, however, has gathered resources to help tired educators liven up review time. Students will enjoy these review games, and teachers will see the results in improved test scores.

From "Pretty" to Practical: Using Bulletin Boards to Teach
If you've ever been guilty of ignoring a clearly out-of-date bulletin board or of putting up "anything" that will do, maybe it's time to give your bulletin boards a second look. Experts tell Education World that classroom boards can be more than just "wallflowers" -- they can be tools for teaching too!

Voice of Experience: Planning for a Substitute Was Never This Easy
Unhappy with inconsistent results and lousy reports from substitutes, educator Bob Brems came up with a new strategy for his planned days off. He turns over the teaching reins to one of his students. Included: Tips for planning for student-as-teacher days.

Voice of Experience: Where Have All the Staff Rooms Gone?
As working lunches become the norm in schools, educator Brenda Dyck reflects on a time when the staff room was the hub of the teaching community. Included: Ideas for improving social networks and teaming in your school.

Making a Difference Is What It's All About
Educator Max Fischer reflects on a turning point in his career. He didn't realize what teaching was all about until his eighth year in the profession. No wonder so many young teachers leave before they have five years under their belts!

Viable Unions Depend on You
When Max Fischer was a new teacher he shied away from the teacher union. Today, he is vice president of his local. It is with good reason -- a handful of good reasons, as a matter of fact -- that he says he will always be an active member.

Voice of Experience: Video Time Machine Engages Students, Energizes Curriculum
Teacher Max Fischer uses his video time machine -- a VCR with snippets of movies that offer teachable moments -- to bring Ancient Rome and other parts of his history curriculum to life. Included: Guidelines for selecting video clips.

Voice of Experience: Taming the Three T's
The anonymous quote Hold a tight rein over the three T's -- thought, temper and tongue -- and you will have few regrets got Max Fischer thinking about what happens when teachers let go of their control of any of the three.

Voice of Experience: Summer -- Time to Regenerate
People who joke about teachers having summers off are clueless! In this week's Voice of Experience essay, Max Fischer reflects on the key role summertime plays in restoring tattered psyches, reviving tired lessons, and regenerating passion.

Teacher Diary: April Horrors
Monica reflects on recent stresses and successes as the school year ends.

Voice of Experience: How to Keep the Fire Burning (Or Lessons Learned from Edith, the Kids, and "the Fear")
In this week's Voice of Experience essay, Max Fischer shares how, after almost 30 years as a classroom teacher, he keeps things fresh -- for himself and for his students. Where does he get his inspiration? He says it comes from the students, "the Fear," and Edith!

Teacher Diary: The Experience of a Lifetime
Stephanie accepts the Milken award, and discovers that encouragement is empowerment.

Voice of Experience: Make Time to Teach -- Ten Tools for Reducing Paperwork
What happens when paperwork starts to crowd out time with students? Is there a way to streamline the forms that can take over a teacher's life? Educator Brenda Dyck has found ten online tools that help her reduce paperwork and give her more time to teach.

Shaking Willy's Hand: A Collaborative Project Teaming Teens and 'Tweens
A teacher in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, recently completed a project in which Grade 4 and Grade 10 students collaborated to read, understand, and perform Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Learn how she did it and how you can do it too.

Voice of Experience: Finding New Cheese Requires Adjustment to Change
Change is the most difficult force educators must come to grips with. So many education mandates fail because teachers are the most important -- but often least consulted -- stakeholders in their success. Max Fischer wonders if the recently enacted No Child Left Behind Act will meet the same fate as so many mandates before it. Or, will it be the one that succeeds because it included all stakeholders for the ultimate benefit of students?

Teacher Diary: Teaching and the Test
Monica works to increase her students science scores -- and prays she succeeded.

Voice of Experience: Handling Parent Complaints -- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Seasoned teachers will recognize all three types of parents -- the good, the bad, and the ugly -- described in this week's Voice essay. Less seasoned teachers will learn from educator Max Fischer's thoughts about how to handle all types of parent complaints.

Teacher Diary: Am I Good Enough?
Stephanie weighs the pros and cons of obtaining National Board Certification.

Teaching Study Skills: Ideas That Work!
Faced with poor student performance on tests and assignments, teachers often recognize that the root of the problem lies, not in a lack of understanding, but in poor study skills. Discover how three teachers introduce students to more effective ways of studying.

Awesome Summary Notes Make Studying a Breeze
The Awesome Summary Notes system provides students with an easy and efficient method for organizing information and studying for tests. Included: Directions for creating summary notes and tips for using them for studying and review.

Written Communication: An Educator's Calling Card
Today -- with the proliferation of e-mail, classroom Web pages, and newsletters -- a teacher's writing ability is more important than ever. Max Fischer wonders What do your written communications with parents say about you? Included: Writing tips.

Survivor in the Classroom
Mary E. Noyes, who teaches at Minneota Public School in Minneota, Minnesota, submitted this week's lesson, which presents a series of challenges to students. Could your students survive? (All grades)

Reviving Reviews: Refreshing Ideas Students Can't Resist
Is review time a deadly bore for you and your students? Add a little fun to review time and you might be surprised. Games will spice up reviews, revive interest, and ensure retention! Included: Five activities for use in all subjects, all grades!

Educator Astronaut Program Continues
Undeterred by the tragic loss of the space shuttle Columbia February 1, teachers are continuing to apply for NASA's Educator Astronaut program, which is designed to select and train three to six teachers for future space missions.

Teacher Diary: Hello? Is Anybody Home?
Stephanie reflects on the difficulty of communicating with parents who won't communicate.

Teaching Students to "Go Fourth" Peacefully
Go Fourth, an anti-bullying program based on classroom discussions and exchanges among children around the globe, recently brought teachers, parents, and fourth grade students from East Greenwich, Rhode Island, school to Shaoguan, Guandong province, China, on a mission to promote respect for cultural diversity.

Voice of Experience: Is Student Disinterest Curable?
What happens when students "check out" of the learning process? Is it an educator's job to re-engage them? If so, how can that be accomplished? This week, educator Brenda Dyck reflects on some ways to tackle the sticky problem of student disinterest.

Cheating: How to Prevent It (and How to Handle It When It Happens)
Have you ever considered that there are things you might do to head off cheating before it occurs? Classroom management expert Howard Seeman offers tips for preventing cheating and for handling it if it does happen.

Voice of Experience: The Power of Written Praise
Being roused from a sound sleep by a parent can be a rude awakening. But in one case it got educator Max Fischer reflecting about the power of written praise to raise student achievement. Included: Six reasons to put praise for students in writing!

Helping Kids Deal With the Space Shuttle Tragedy
On Saturday, February 1, 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia broke up over Texas, only a few minutes before its scheduled touchdown. Today, Education World offers resources to help you help your students deal with the Columbia tragedy, and to help them understand the history and goals of the space program.

Show Me the Money: Tips and Resources for Successful Grant Writing
Many educators have found that outside funding, in the form of grants, allows them to provide their students with educational experiences and materials their own districts can't afford. Learn how they get those grants -- and how you can get one too!

Making Parents Part of the "In"-volved Crowd
Parents can be invaluable partners in their children's education, but many take themselves out of the equation because of mistrust, misunderstanding, the demands of work and home, or other factors. Learn how you can overcome those obstacles, get parents involved, and promote better home/school communication!

Teacher Diary: Reflections on Teaching and Learning
In Reflections on Teaching and Learning, Education World's teacher diary series for 2003, three teachers in three different classroom situations take turns reflecting on their professional experiences, problems, successes, and concerns. We hope their reflections will help you as you face your own classroom experiences.

Team Teaching: Teaming Teachers Offer Tips
Education World explores two essential questions -- What constitutes an excellent teaching team? and How can teachers strengthen their teams? Included: Practical tips to share with teaming teachers!

The Author's Picks: Must-Read Books For Young Adult Readers
In recognition of National Children's Book Week, the authors of some of today's best books for children and young adults share their favorite young adult books with you.

The Author's Picks: Must-Read Books For Elementary Students
Are you looking for the best books to read with your elementary school students during National Children's Book Week? This week, those in the know -- the authors of some of today's best-loved children's books -- share their personal favorites with you.

Meeting With the Parents -- Making the Most of Parent-Teacher Conferences
Research has shown that parental involvement is the most important factor in a student's success in school. For many parents, however, that involvement is limited to attendance at parent-teacher conferences. Learn how to make the most of the opportunity!

Class Meetings: A Democratic Approach to Classroom Management
Patterned after family meetings in her own home, teacher Donna Styles established a format for class meetings that enabled her students to share their thoughts and solve classroom issues on their own. In Styles's model, students take turns acting as a discussion leader, while the teacher promotes a respectful atmosphere and participates as a group member. Encouraged by the students' positive response to her approach, Styles decided to share her expertise with other teachers.

Speaking of Education
Are you always looking for just the right words to inspire a new teacher, thank a retiring teacher, liven up a meeting, set the tone for a speech, or make it through the day? Check out these quick quips from people who know whereof they speak!

Admirable Teaching Traits
Almost every educator would agree that teacher quality is the most important factor in determining school quality. But what factors determine teacher quality? In this article from Teaching for Excellence, you'll discover the traits administrators look for in their teachers.

99 Ways to Say 'Very Good'
CareerLab, a "career strategy and human capital management firm," generously granted Education World permission to reprint 99 Ways To Say 'Very Good,' by Arzella Dirksen. CareerLab was more generous than the firm realized, however. The article actually contains 100 ways!

Make It Happen: Awesome Author and Illustrator Visits!
Don't squander a precious resource! Learn how to transform a school author or illustrator visit from an hour of entertainment into a life-long connection to reading and writing. Education World writer Leslie Bulion talked to Toni Buzzeo and Jane Kurtz, children's authors and co-authors of Terrific Connections with Authors, Illustrators and Storytellers, about how to help students get the most out of meeting the folks who write the books kids love to read.

Students Rule With 'Design Your Own Homework'
Teacher Valerie Grimes of Phoenix, Arizona, discovered a unique way to add interest to homework assignments and get parents involved. Whether it is cooking, shopping, or going on a trip, once per month students design their own assignments and report to the group about their activities. The kids say that this technique allows them to be creative and teaches them responsibility. Will it work in your classroom?

And We Shall Morph Again!
Each week, an educator takes a stand or shares an Aha! moment in Education World's Voice of Experience series. This week, as she starts a new teaching job, educator Brenda Dyck reflects on all the times she has had to morph as an educator. She has transformed from a by-the-book early elementary teacher to a tech-savvy teacher of middle school gifted students. Change can be a good thing, Dyck concludes.

'How To' Books for First-Year Teachers
"Where do I get my paycheck? How will I ever find time to do everything? What is the best way to set up a classroom?" Last year, Lynne Rominger, a freelance writer and fledgling high school English teacher, longed for a manual to guide her through her first year teaching. So she co-wrote Your First Year As a High School Teacher and Your First Year As an Elementary School Teacher to answer those and other questions for other teachers just starting out.

Camera Captures School Year
Teacher Martha Richardson includes a disposable camera on her students' supply list for the year -- in return, she gives parents a photographic record of their children's school year.

Planning for Your First Day at School
On the first day of school, the secret to success is in the planning, not the pedagogy. How's your back-to-school planning going? Have you forgotten anything? Our checklist can help!

It's That Time: 25 Great Reasons to Start Thinking About Going Back to School
Could summer break be winding to a close already? Although the calendar still says summer, the first day of school is just days away for many American educators. There is no better time than now to look back at some of the best articles from the Education World archive!

New Paperback Spotlights Students' Best Writing!
The teachers of Greenwood School created Greenthumb Publishing Company to grow better writers. This year, Greenthumb Publishing has sprouted "TWIGS" (short for The Writers Inside Greenwood School), a 150-page compendium of the students' best work. With the help of School Success Press, Greenwood School families will soon have a bookstore-quality paperback of student writing to add to their home bookshelves!

Teachers on the Move:
Relocation Resources for Educators

When a teacher has to relocate, he or she faces a brand-new home, a brand-new school, and perhaps new licensing. Where to start? Right here! Education World editor Sherril Steele-Carlin talks with national experts about relocating without the hassle and headaches.

Asleep on the Job
By guest editor Brenda Dyck

Her yearly Grade-Six Sleepover prompts teacher Brenda Dyck to consider how incorporating fun and humor into teaching may help create memorable learning experiences.

The Educators Guide to Copyright and Fair Use
When it comes to copyright law and the application of fair use exceptions, ignorance is definitely not bliss! Learn how to educate yourselves and your students and avoid making a costly mistake!

New PE Trend Stresses Fitness and Fun
As the amount of physical activity children get in and out of school has declined in recent years, youngsters have become more overweight and less fit. To help reverse that trend, some fitness experts say, physical education classes should be revamped so there is less emphasis on team sports and more on lifelong fitness activities.

Catching Up With Our Bodies: Reflections on Teacher Burnout
Does teaching consume your life? In this candid reflection, teacher Brenda Dyck describes the signs of teachers consumed by the job. Have you experienced some of the signs of burnout Dyck describes? Read what a teacher whose mind and body are in sync might look like.

Do Seating Arrangements and Assignments = Classroom Management?
Spring break approaches and now might be a good time to take a long look at your classroom seating arrangement. Advice and opinions about classroom arrangements and seating assignments abound. Today, Education World explores the possibilities!

Scientists Pan Middle School Physical Science Texts
Are you a middle school physical science teacher? Do you rely on a textbook to provide accurate scientific information, pertinent activities, experiments that work, and the correct answers to student questions? If so, this is a report you can't afford to miss! Included: Tips for middle school teachers on making the most of the textbooks you have!

Preferred Activity Time (PAT) Is Preferred by Kids and Teachers!
Talk with any group of teachers, and you are likely to discover that at least one of them is using PAT ("preferred activity time"), a reward system described by Fred Jones in his book Positive Classroom Discipline. Because this system requires little effort and expense, teachers are taking it up -- and because it is fun, students are eating it up! Whether teachers view the time students earn as free time or educational game time, they all agree that PAT works! Included: Teachers share favorite educational games from their PAT repertoires!

Put an End to Homework Horror!
According to some psychologists and researchers, praising everything children do does not build self-esteem -- eventually the praise becomes meaningless. Instead of continually praising students, teachers should substitute descriptive comments or cite specific improvements in work. Included: Experts debate the question "To praise or not to praise?" -- plus praise pointers!

Can Adults Praise Children Too Much?
According to some psychologists and researchers, praising everything children do does not build self-esteem -- eventually the praise becomes meaningless. Instead of continually praising students, teachers should substitute descriptive comments or cite specific improvements in work. Included: Experts debate the question "To praise or not to praise?" -- plus praise pointers!

Classroom Rewards Reap Dividends for Teachers and Students
All teachers prefer to rely on their students' intrinsic motivation to encourage them to come to school, do their homework, and focus on classroom activities, but many supplement the internal drive to succeed with external rewards. The teachers say rewards -- free time, school supplies, or tasty treats -- can help kids master the expectations of acceptable classroom behavior and scholastic achievement. Included: Ten tips for using rewards in the classroom!

Carrots or Sticks? Alfie Kohn on Rewards and Punishment
Former teacher Alfie Kohn is an outspoken critic of the focus on grades and test scores. In an exclusive e-interview with Education World writer Cara Bafile, Kohn shares his views on classroom rewards and punishment and talks about how teachers can encourage intrinsic motivation. He also tackles the tough topics -- standards, accountability, and high-stakes testing!

International Teaching: What Is It Really Like? (An Education World e-Interview With Four International Teachers)
Have you ever wondered what teaching in London or Paris is like? Would you like to be more than a tourist there? Are you curious about Norway, Turkey, or the Philippines? Would you consider teaching in Kuwait, Indonesia, Zambia, Bangladesh, or Abu Dhabi? Today, Education World writer Glori Chaika interviews four teachers who did more than consider!

Want to See the World? Teach Overseas!
Want to get away from the daily grind? Can you imagine living in an exotic place you've read about in books? For recent graduates -- and seasoned educators -- teaching abroad can be the adventure of a lifetime. A myriad of jobs -- in a myriad of places -- are as close as a mouse click away. Included: Web resources to help you locate that perfect overseas job!

National Board Certification: Tips from Teachers Who Have Done It!
Last year, more than 7,700 people applied for National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification. The number of teachers who applied increased from the year before by 800 percent in Mississippi and 1000 percent in Florida! The requirements for national board certification are not for the meek, however. This week, Education World writer Glori Chaika talks with teachers who have been there, done that. Included: Thirteen tips to help teachers who are considering national board certification -- from the teachers who have been through it!

Harry Wong Addresses National Conference
Education World is at the National Middle School Association convention, being held through Saturday in St. Louis. On Thursday night, Harry K. Wong addressed a general session of the conference. In his keynote address, Wong made a case for the importance of good classroom management as a key to student achievement.

The Pains and Pleasures of the 'Floating' Teacher
Remember that old saying "If life hands you lemons ... "? "Floating teachers" -- teachers who work from carts, not classrooms-- make their own brand of lemonade! Today, five floaters talk about the pains and the perks of teaching from a cart. They prove that you can't sink a good floater! Included: A link to a comprehensive, reproducible guide to " la cart" teaching for teachers and administrators.

Children's Work -- Visibility Leads to Value
Displaying children's work lets them know you value it -- and them. Documenting the process of student work benefits children, engages parents, and guides teachers. Included: Comments about making children's work visible from a researcher at Harvard Project Zero.

Your Search for Bulletin Board Ideas Is Over!
Three educators who searched for bulletin board ideas on the Web and found little have solved the problem for the rest of us! Today, Education World talks about bulletin boards with teachers Kimberly Steele, Kathy Schrock, and Rochelle Chenoweth -- each of whom created a useful bulletin board resource on the Net! Included: Links to ten bulletin board resources for educators across the grades!

How Can Teachers Help Shy Students?
Shyness expert Lynne Kelly recently talked to Education World about how classroom teachers can better understand and help shy students. Included: Eight tips for helping students overcome shyness.

The King of Classroom Management: An e-Interview with Fred Jones
Since 1969, Fred Jones has offered teachers advice about how to manage students and classrooms effectively. Today, Jones-- author of the soon-to-be-released Tools for Teaching, his third book on classroom management-- shares his thoughts about the difficulties teachers face in classrooms today. Included: Jones talks about the failure of the nation's colleges and universities to provide future teachers with adequate training and how legislators make teachers' jobs even tougher!

Back-to-School Guide for Beginning Teachers (and Not-So-New Teachers Too)!
Have you found yourself singing the new-teacher blues -- "So Much to Do, So Little Time?" Change your tune with Education World's Back-to-School Guide for Beginning Teachers. Not-so-new teachers will also find classroom-friendly materials to expand their teaching files in this compilation of online resources from Education World writer Joan Luddy. Included: Resources for getting your feet on the ground, lesson planning tips, assessment ideas, time and behavior management resources, classroom freebies, technology information, humor, and much more!

Education World Introduces First-Year Teacher Diaries
Today, Education World introduces the first in a yearlong series of articles. Two brand-new teachers will chronicle their first professional experiences, both in and out of the classroom. Their exclusive insights are sure to benefit us all!

The First 180 Days: First-Year Teacher Diaries
Shaundalyn Elliott and Rich Henderson are members of this year's freshman class. They are brand-new teachers starting what we hope will be rewarding and satisfying careers. As if being a first-year teacher isn't enough -- Rich and Shaundalyn have invited thousands of visitors into their classrooms this year! Each week, they will share with Education World readers their thoughts and feelings about their first 180 days!

Classroom Management: Ten Teacher-Tested Tips!
Hallway conferences. Pasta discipline. Buddy rooms. Bell work. Those and six other ideas for taming temper tantrums -- and other classroom disruptions -- are the focus of this Education World story! Included: An opportunity for all teachers to share the classroom management techniques that work for them!

Substitute Survival: Tools You Can Use
Are you a substitute -- or potential substitute -- wondering whether you'll survive the challenges that lie ahead? Are you an administrator or a classroom teacher wondering how to help a substitute get through the day? If so, the Education World Online Substitute Survival Kit is for you! Included: Songs, games, lesson activities, and templates to help a sub survive even the most difficult experience!

Pre-K-3 Educators Learn from the Reggio Emilia Approach
"The stronger the start, the better the finish." Those words, Secretary of Education Richard Riley says, should be our motto for early childhood education. Last winter, Riley and 250 other U.S. educators traveled to Reggio Emilia, Italy -- a community widely known for its model preschool education program. Today, Education World explores the Reggio Emilia approach, in which teachers spend a great deal of time listening to children and documenting their thoughts.

Help for Homework Hassles!
Working, caring for siblings after school, participating in extra-curricular activities, watching TV -- all of those things compete with homework for students' after-school time. How can teachers motivate students to do their homework? How should teachers handle kids who just don't care? This week, Education World explores ways to ease homework hassles!

Creating Rubrics: Tools You Can Use
"But I worked all night on that report! How could you give me a D?" Rubrics provide teachers with an objective method for evaluating skills that don't lend themselves to objective assessment methods and they help answer the age-old question, "What did I do to deserve this grade?" Learn how rubrics can guide your students and support your assessments. Included: Three online tools for creating rubrics.

Teachers Learn from Looking Together at Student Work
School reformers say the way to improve education and accountability is by improving the way teachers and students look at student work. Today, Education World examines two collaborative approaches that teachers are using to look at student work. Included: Tips for looking at student work.

Teaching the American Revolution: Scaffolding to Success
A group of Wisconsin middle school students examine the Revolutionary War from both the American point of view and the British perspective while their teacher shares his experience with scaffolding instruction.

Conflict Resolution Education: Four Approaches
Are you "shopping" for a conflict resolution program for your schools? First, you might consider which approach to conflict resolution you will take. In this story, learn about four approaches used in conflict resolution programs. Find out how each actually transforms schools. Included: Resources for learning more about each of the four approaches to conflict resolution education.

Ten Web Sites for Exploring Conflict Resolution in the Classroom
This week, Education World offers ten sites that provide a wide range of practical materials for supporting and instituting conflict resolution programs in our schools.

'Speaking of Classroom Management' --- An Interview with Harry K. Wong
Meet Harry K. Wong, the author of THE FIRST DAYS OF SCHOOL: HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE TEACHER, and learn the secret to your success in the classroom!

Teacher of the Year Andy Baumgartner: On Education, Accountability, and Sleeping Beauty
1999 Teacher of the Year Andy Baumgartner knows how to relate to young children. An enthusiastic educator with 23 years of experience, he is only the second kindergarten teacher to be selected in the award's 48-year history. Baumgartner credits the influence of his family and his own experiences as a parent with helping him to become a successful educator. This week, Education World writer Cara Bafile offers an exclusive interview with the 1999 Teacher of the Year!

Subs Send SOS: Internet Resources to the Rescue!
Your students fire torpedoes; your ammunition is low. Because you're a "sub" ---a substitute teacher--- you assume command as captain of a vessel for only a short term. It's understandable that your crew may doubt your authority, may test you, may even speak of mutiny. Don't lock them up in the brig! Look to the Internet for the tools you need to lead your crew to calm waters. Smooth sailing lies ahead! Included: Tips for finding that full-time job and "life preservers to rescue sinking subs."

TONS of Tips! --- Five Great 'Teacher Tips' Sites on the Web
Education World introduces you to five of the best "teacher tips" sites on the Web. In these sites, you'll find hundreds of practical tips -- tried and tested tips -- from teachers willing to share. So sit back, get ready for a sampling of tips from these sites. Then explore the sites in more depth and find tips to motivate your students, organize your classroom, and much, much more!

Creating a Climate for Learning: Effective Classroom Management Techniques
According to Fred Jones' Positive Classroom Discipline, "The most widespread management technique at home and in the classroom is nag, nag, nag." It's also probably the least effective. Learn how to stop nagging and start teaching. Included: Twelve teacher-tested tips for behavior management!

Advice for First-Year Teachers --- from the 'Sophomores' Who Survived Last Year!
Education World asked the "sophomores" who faced ---and survived--- that dreaded first year to reflect on their successes and failures. First-year teachers, here is their best advice for getting through it!

Growing Bigger Brains: Research Affects How Teachers Teach
"To enhance public awareness of the benefits to be derived from brain research," Congress designated the 1990s as the Decade of the Brain. Now, as that decade draws to a close, Education World takes a look at the results of some of the most recent brain research and explores the implications for you and your students.

Fabulous Freebies: Free Materials for Teachers!
Many companies and organizations offer free educational materials to teachers. Some are terrific. Some aren't. This week, Education World tells you about a few that are worth your time. Included are freebies for younger students, for older students, and for everyone! Topics include diet and nutrition, pet care, money, recycling, and gardening. Also: Free software sites for educators!

MORE Fabulous Freebies: Free Materials for Teachers!
Looking for free teaching materials? Look no more! Education World has checked out lots of free resources and selected the best of the best. We share some of the highlights of these fabulous freebies, and -- of course -- we tell you how you can get your hands on them! Teaching materials for across the grades, including geography resources from the U.S. Geological Survey; an Arthur story-writing kit from the public television folks; science experiments for elementary/middle graders from the Edison Foundation; and a free magazine aimed at helping teens develop skills and character (and to help teachers and counselors help teens to do the same). Check out these great freebies!

The Bilingual Education Debate: Part II
Thirty years after its introduction, bilingual education still generating controversy.

A "Survival Kit" for New Teachers
A new resource, bulging with practical ideas for classroom use, would make a great welcome gift for your school's new teachers! Included: Ideas for building "teamwork" skills, motivating students, and creating reading response journals!

The Bilingual Education Debate: Part I
Thirty years after its introduction, bilingual education is still generating controversy.

Six Hundred U.S. Teachers to Travel to Japan: Want to Go?
Mark you calendar! The deadline for applying to participate in this year's special Fulbright Memorial Fund program is coming up! Read of two teachers' experiences in Japanese schools last year!

Community Service: Opportunity or Exploitation?
What about mandatory community service programs in schools? Are they a wonderful opportunity or are they "slave labor" for students?

"Teachers Talk About Public Education Today"
What do U.S. teachers think about the state of American education? How do their views compare with the general public's perceptions? A new report offers insight.

Inclusion: Has It Gone Too Far?
Inclusion of all children with disabilities in regular classrooms seems to be the law of the land. But is it the right thing for all kids? And how are teachers handling it?

Banning Books from the Classroom: How To Handle Cries for Censorship
Challenges to school materials are a common occurrence. How should such challenges be handled? How can they be avoided?

The Yin and Yang of Learning: Educators Seek Solutions in Single-Sex Education
Girls are characterized as being more collaborative in the classroom; boys are said to be more competitive. Does this mean schools should offer single-gender schooling?

What Is the Right Age to Start Kindergarten?
How old is old enough for kindergarten in 97? Who decides the answer for kids today?