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Star Wars Can Teach History?

x wingIt is one of the most beloved film franchises of all time, and now Star Wars has been examined and presented as a means to teach world history. A new book entitled Star Wars and History claims that the epic space story parallels many earthly historical events. Star Wars creator George Lucas has denied any intentional links to actual events, but admits that due to the films' overall narrative of good vs. evil and war and rebellion, it would be impossible to avoid any similarities.

Nonetheless, authors Nancy Reagin and Janice Liedl have created an interesting way to present world history to students via a pop-culture phenomenon that is almost universally loved. CNet sat down with Liedl for an interesting look behind the making of the book. Read the interview here.

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My Kung Fu is Better Than Your Kung Fu!

Greetings~

I want to share a creative way to motivate and focus your students during math instruction. I call it Kung Fu Math.

First~ I created a series of belts or levels that the students aspire to and have them write it in their notebooks.

Then~ I tell them that everytime they get a math problem correct they earn a tally or "notch" towards the next stripe or belt. Everytime a student earns three notches they move up a stripe or belt (my...

Happy Birthday~ Statue of Liberty-125...

The Statue of Liberty~ our country's most famous landmarks~ is getting a birthday present to celebrate her 125 birthday. Webcams~ five of them~ have been installed on her torch. Since 1916~ the torch area of the statue has been closed to the public. With the web cams~ Internet viewers will be able to once again~ see the birds-eye view of the harbor and read the tablet she...

Is there room for Career Exporation in...

With so many curriculum demands on teachers today~ do we have time to add career exploration(something popular back in the 80s)? I think young people need to be exposed to different career choices and careers can be incorporated into the subjects being covered. For example~ if you are covering the ancient Egyptians~ you could share the work of an archaeologist. Having kids discuss the different characteristics needed to be an archaeologists~ perhaps go on a dig using a chocolate chip cookie...

A New Way to Check Homework

I want to share a new way to go over homework. I use my CPS remote control system and have students punch in their answers to random questions. The class has its homework out~ then students click in their answers~ with the option of revising them as they go along. I quiz them on just a few questions from each page to check understanding--in my opinion you can get a sense if the students "got" the homework without going over every problem. The CPS system then grades the homework~ and I...

Gail Hennessey's Website for...

I was watching Weekend Today and the topic was~ "Is cursive writing something we should still be teaching in school?When I first starting teaching 6th grade~ back in the days of being self-contained~ I remember planning for 15 minutes of cursive penmanship instruction. The students usually copied a famous quote or a funny tongue twister. Then~ as more and more responsibilities were placed upon the day~ penmanship went on the sidelines. The alphabet~ which was posted~on a bulletin board~ was...

Teaching Kids About Money

One criticism of education (and there are many :)~ is that schools fail to teach kids about money. If you haven't come across a money system created by fifth-grade teacher~ Rafe Esquith~ you need to read his second book "Teach Like Your Hair is on Fire." There's a lot of good ideas in that book~ but the money system is something I believe should be taught in all classrooms across... the country.
Essentially~ the kids...

Why have lunch with students?

Why I have lunch with students?
I eat lunch with my students on most days. While some educators think that is crazy and others perceive it as not wanting to eat with the other teachers~ I wanted to share why I think it is important. First~ if you're teaching from bell to bell~ there is very little downtime to chat and get to know...

Superhero Day

I want to share an idea that worked really well for me.

A few weeks ago~ I had the students come to school dressed like a super hero of their own creation. I was dressed like a villian~ black cape~ black mask. I also used a voice scrambler to sound like Darth Vader.

The class then competed against mein a series of challenges that tested math~ vocabulary and science skills. Every time they got an answer right~ they got a point. The same went for me. While the...

The Gifted Gauntlet

I am thinking about trying the following idea:

Set the room up like a maze or gauntlet~ using curtains~ sheets~ etc. My students then have to navigate the maze and pass a series of tests before preceding to the next section. I want to set the tests up so they test students on nationally established standards for gifted students~ like determining their strengths and choosing the learning style that best works for them.

I would have parents help adminster the...

Gail Hennessey's Website for...




"Your time is limited~ so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma-which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important~ have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."...

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