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Friday, April 25, 2008

You've made it through another week. It's time to rest your brain, have some fun, explore some new resources Kick back and start your weekend off on a light note!


Dozens of new postings this week, same as every week! Among the great resources you'll find this week

Fred Jones's Tools for Teaching
Jones introduces "PAT" (Preferred Activity Time) to ease transitions between classroom activities.

Vicki Cobb's Show-Biz Science
Learn why you shouldn't hold your nose around garbage.

Teacher Appreciation Week Is Coming Up
Dozens of ideas for recognizing the week, May 4-10.

For more practical content, explore this week's updated Channel pages:
Lesson Planning      Administrator's Desk      School Issues
Professional Development              Technology Integration
Be sure to visit our partner Web site too:


Which of these statements best describes the state of the library or media center in your school building?

Our library/media center is one the better ones I've seen.
Our library/media center is showing the effects of tightening budgets.
A large infusion of capital is needed to update our library/media center.

School Libraries
Take a Hit

A recent Arizona Republic article detailed how some school libraries in that state are being hit hard by district budget cuts. School libraries are among the first places many districts look to make cuts. In district leaders' eyes, library cuts are "an easy fix," said Sara Kelly Johns, president of the American Association of School Librarians. "They're looking at what programs are mandated instead of what programs are effective," Johns told the newspaper. All educators know that this situation is not isolated to Arizona. It is happening everywhere -- in spite of the amount of research that links libraries and media centers to high student achievement. You can take a look at some of that research, which is detailed in the Education World article Strong Libraries Improve Student Achievement. See the Arizona Republic article.


Funny Teacher Rant
Do you sometimes feel overwhelmed by the job of teaching? You think you've seen it all, but new programs keep coming down the pike, new demands are placed on classroom time, new strategies are encouraged (or required) by higher ups You feel like you're no longer in control. You're just a puppet of the administration. We hope you don't feel as bad as the woman in this funny teacher rant we caught on YouTube. This brief sketch sums up the feelings of educators in a way that can't help but make us all laugh with recognition. The rant is produced by the comedy troupe Wavelength, which often performs at educator conventions and in-services. To learn more about Wavelength, see the Education World article Group Brings Waves of Humor to Professional Development.


Since April is Math Awareness Month, let's close out the month with one more fun tool to enhance classroom math instruction. If you have yet to use the Timer-nator with your students, you'll want to take a look right now. Use this game as a fun classroom competition or an activity that kids do on their own, in pairs, or in small groups. The Timernator, part of the Cool Math 4 Kids Web site, provides a quick and easy way for kids to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. Just choose the operation, select the appropriate level, and click to GO button. How many math-fact problems can students answer correctly before the timer ticks away 60 seconds? All kids will enjoy and learn with this fun math-practice tool that has more classroom applications that we can count!

EducationWorld has reviewed thousands of sites of interest to educators. Be sure to visit our Site Review Archive. You might also visit our Sites to See themed listings.


Read All About It!
Tyrone rules the school. He's king of the monkey bars, a math machine, and a science whiz. He has lots of friends and loves school. Except for one thing...Tyrone doesn't like to read. It wouldn't be so bad if his teacher would just get the hint. But no -- every day after lunch, she whips out another book. Boring! Then one day, something really strange happens during reading time. It happens again the next day and the next and the next until story hour is the most exciting part of the day. Read All About It! (Harper Collins) is getting a lot of publicity because it is written by America's First Lady and her daughter, Laura and Jenna Bush. The Spanish edition.


Maybe Monday will be a good day to approach your school or district leaders about attending one of these upcoming conferences put on by well-known national associations.

Growing Gifted in the Sunshine State
The annual conference of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) will be in Tampa, Florida, from October 29 - November 2, 2008.

Above and Beyond
The annual conference of the National Middle School Association (NMSA) will be in Denver, Colorado, from October 30-November 1, 2008.

Your Community. Your Opportunity. Your Conference.
The annual conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) will be in Dallas, Texas, from November 5 - 8, 2008.

For a more complete list of upcoming conferences, see Education World's Conventions and Conferences Center.

If your national non-profit organization's conference should be listed here, send an email to [email protected]. We will be happy to include it in our rotation so long as it is open to all educators and/or administrators (not only members).


A Substitute's Predicament

We all know that substitute teachers have one of the most difficult jobs in the school

One day as I was walking through the hallways of the school where I work, I saw a substitute teacher standing outside his classroom with his forehead against a locker. As I neared, I could hear him muttering to himself, "How did you get yourself into this?"

Knowing that he was assigned to a difficult class, and feeling I might be able to offer some moral support, I approached. "Are you okay?" I asked. "Can I help?"

He lifted his head and replied, "I'll be fine as soon as I get this kid out of his locker."

Now go and enjoy your weekend!