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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Volume 11, Issue 49, December 10


This weekly newsletter is published by Education World®, the largest FREE resource on the Web for teachers and school administrators.

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December 10, 2013
Volume 11, Issue 49

This Week's Featured Story:
Nelson Mandela Discussion Guide


Lesson Plans
Professional Development
Education Headlines

This week's newsletter is brought to you by the University of St. Thomas.

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This week's newsletter is brought to you by Studentreasures.

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Lesson Plans

Timely and Practical Lesson Ideas

Nelson Mandela: Discussion Guide and Resources
Use our timeline and resources to open discussion and celebrate the remarkable leader’s role in ending South African apartheid.

Fun Winter Crafts for the Classroom
Having a few winter crafts in your back pocket can turn any snowy day into an opportunity for students to create.

Helping Others During the Holidays: Great Ideas
Studies show that youth who are taught to help others at a young age continue those practices through adulthood.

Surprising Origins of Modern-Day Christmas Traditions
Grade 9-12 students learn how today’s Christmas celebrations draw inspiration from diverse cultural and religious customs.

Polar Express Activities and Lessons
During the December holiday season, connect the well-known book and movie to your curriculum.

Internet Scavenger Hunt: Snowflakes and Snow Crystals
Kids learn the science behind these frozen marvels.

Search for more lesson plans by subject.
Explore our full collection of Lesson Plans of the Day.

This Week’s Teacher-Submitted Lesson Plan

Mad Math Desk Derby
Students review and practice math facts by playing a fun game. (Grades K-8)

See more Teacher-Submitted Lesson Plans.

This Week’s Early Childhood Resource

Make a Kwanzaa Drum
Kids make their own colorful instruments to celebrate the holiday.

See more Early Childhood Activities.

Bookmark our home page, EducationWorld.com, and come back often to find new content posted daily.

Professional Development


Promoting a “Healthy Mind Diet” for Students
Mental well-being requires daily “nutrients” such as goal-oriented tasks, creativity and aerobic exercise.

Reflections on Nelson Mandela
Explore Mandela’s memorable words and try these classroom activities.

Site Review: Learning Ally
Learning Ally is a nonprofit organization aimed at helping dyslexic students with reading.

Why We Need to Teach Students to Focus
Digital technology isn’t going away, but if students don’t learn to concentrate, they’ll have a hard time succeeding.

Strategies That Work: Puzzles
Use the appeal of puzzles to sharpen students’ thinking and problem-solving skills.

In a Sub’s Shoes: A Chance to Teach and Learn
A split-assignment day let me observe some quality teaching and work with students individually.

To access more great content, check out our Professional Development Archive and our Professional Development Channel Page.

Highlighted Columnist

Ruth Sidney Charney: Using Language to Empower Children
Three simple structures support encouraging language: reinforce, remind and redirect.

See more Professional Development Columnists.

 Explore the Education World Community

The new Education World Community, a FREE professional network for educators, offers teachers and administrators the opportunity to meaningfully interact with others in the field. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out this powerful resource.

 Join today!



Tech in the Classroom: EduCreations
This online tool works with the iPad, letting teachers and students create videos that instruct on a given topic.

Screen-Capture Software in the Classroom
Here are four great ideas for taking advantage of this simple technology in the K-12 classroom.

LinkedIn Changing College Application Process
Younger people now can create accounts and make themselves visible to colleges and universities.

iPad App Review: History Here
Here is an interactive guide to thousands of historic locations across the United States.

Site Review: Learn It in 5
Learn It in 5 is a comprehensive how-to instructional video library for teachers using technology in the classroom.



M. Night's Fight for School Improvement
With his book I Got Schooled, film director M. Night Shyamalan has become an unlikely voice for school reform.

Winter Pool Party or Beach Party
Plan a fun indoor reading event. Invite kids to dress in beach clothes and bring in towels and beach chairs.

Storytelling as Professional Development
As part of a professional learning community for new administrators, discuss lessons learned from day-to-day decisions.

Teacher Observations: What Are You Really Looking For?
Identify effective teaching strategies and note these specific behaviors when conducting observations.

To Close or Not to Close: A Superintendent’s Winter Worry
Get tips from four superintendents on making that early-morning decision.

Shop ‘Til You Drop: Fun Places To Shop
Where do you shop for gifts and other items to liven up staff gatherings or reward students? Here are some ideas.

Education Headlines

Are Ohio Students Safe at School?
Ohio law requires all school buildings — from pre-schools to high schools — to submit a school-safety plan to the attorney general and update it every three years.

Kansas Ed Board to Take Up School Handwriting Standards
Kansas State Board of Education members will decide this week whether the state's new handwriting standards will encourage schools to make sure that fifth- and sixth-graders can write legibly in cursive.

Florida Students 'Happy' at School Despite Lagging PISA Scores
Florida's students lag behind most of the developed world when it comes to math and science, but at least they're generally "happy" with the quality of their public education.

Minneapolis Schools Look at New Ways to Discipline Students
Facing federal scrutiny, Minneapolis schools are considering revisions to a discipline policy that is intended to keep order in classrooms but has imposed heavier ­ penalties on black and American Indian ­students, especially boys and special education students.

School Bans Christmas Trees, the Colors Red & Green
An elementary school in Frisco, Texas is believed to be the first in the state to violate "The Merry Christmas Law" after they banned Christmas trees and the colors red & green from an upcoming "winter" party.

How Schools Can Work With Parents
We know from decades of research that involving parents and families in the education of their children is strongly linked to positive academic outcomes - ranging from increased school readiness and higher reading and math scores to higher graduation rates.

Public-School Advocates Fear Pending Revision of Pa. Charter Rules
Its sponsors say it is an urgently needed and long-overdue package of reforms for a burgeoning system, but critics contend that Pennsylvania's hotly debated charter-school bill would speed the decline of some conventional public schools.

Seeing the Toll, Schools Revise Zero Tolerance
Faced with mounting evidence that get-tough policies in schools are leading to arrest records, low academic achievement and high dropout rates that especially affect minority students, cities and school districts around the country are rethinking their approach to minor offenses.

Other Items of Interest

Community Discussion of the Week

Developmental Assets: How do you build students’ emotional intelligence and empathy?

Want to be considered for Teacher of the Day?

Think about your successes and challenges in the classroom, plus a few interesting facts that make you unique. Find a clear "head shot" photo of yourself and click here to submit!

School-To-Home Communication

Now, New.SchoolNotes.com is the FREE platform that can help keep you, your students, and their parents "on the same page."

You can post homework, create and share flashcards, keep a calendar of upcoming events, and upload documents, images, and favorite URLs all to YOUR page! Students and parents can automatically receive notification when you update your SchoolNotes page.


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