Archive for December, 2008


Quote of Month:
Thomas A. Edison who happened to have obtained patent for electric light bulb on January 20, 1880:snowmen
“If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.”

Teacher Trash Talk:

After the long winter break, it is necessary to reestablish the routines. It is amazing how quickly pupils lose memory. This also affords the teacher who has had some control issues to get a new beginning. It usually does not take long before every one is back to the routine, Now begins the long haul to the next break. January to February to March to April. Some school districts have established set times for the Spring break while other schools hold to the Easter schedule. For the Northern tier of schools, cold and snowy days are not uncommon.

As much as it is important to clean the cobwebs from the brain, it is also a time to consider resolutions for up coming year. These should be considered in at least three levels: family, personal and work. Stop smoking, lose weight, spend more time with family, go out to dinner once a week- these are personal and family resolutions. BUT this blog is about teaching and that is work related. It is a good time to reflect on the past and how to build into the future. The past cannot be changed but the future is open for change. Experienced teachers reflect on some new approaches or a new textbook or a new course or a new committee. Beginning teachers will most probably spend time hoping for a fresh beginning. If the past was a nightmare or not living up to the expectations desired, here is the opportunity for a new start. Routine-Routine-Routine!! That is the name of a good teaching situation. Kids from K to 12 need routine. They need to know what to expect and what, when, where and how to succeed in this classroom. Communication is a skill that needs development. It is important not to spend too much time on school work. It is very important to enjoy a vacation.

This Month’s Highlight Events

  • 1st
    Paul Revere was born in Boston, 1735
    Flag maker Betsy Ross was born in Philadelphia, 1752
    Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, 1863
  • 7th
    The first presidential election was held, 1789
    President Millard Fillmore was born, 1800
  • 10th
    President Richard M. Nixon was born, 1913
  • 14th
    Congress ratified the Treaty of Paris formally, 1784
  • 15th
    Martin Luther King, Jr., was born 1929 (19th this year)
  • 26th
    Chinese/Lunar New Year (Year 4707 Cow)
  • 29th
    President William McKinley born, 1843
  • 30th
    President Franklin D. Roosevelt born, 1882

This month is:

Hot Tea Month
National Oatmeal Month
National Soup Month
National Blood Donor Month
(2nd Week) Letter Writing Week

Ideas for Subject Areas

Magnificent Social Studies Adventures

  • January 20 Inauguration day
  • Presidential Births:
    -January 7- Millard Fillmore
    -January 10- Richard Nixon
    -January 29- William McKinley
    -January 30- Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Major American Historical Events
    -Births of Paul Revere and Betsy Ross
    -First Presidential election
    -Treaty of Paris ending the American revolution ratified
    -Martin Luther King born January 15, celebrated on 19th this year
  • Chinese or Lunar New Year on January 26
    -Year 4707, Year of the Cow

Great Science Investigations

=January is the middle of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere and the middle of Summer in the Southern Hemisphere
-Winter/Summer solstice, affects of tilt of Earth and Sun’s rays
=Winter meteorological measurements provide great interest in measuring temperature, air pressure, precipitation (type and amount), cloud types. Using this, predict the next day’s weather. Maintain a weather log and collect data.

Monthly Math

=Great time to integrate math work with science. Use data collected to make graphs and illustrate purpose of graphing.
-Convert temperatures from Fahrenheit to Celsius.
-Use graphs constructed to make predictions. Predict weather for next month.
(Old Farmers Almanac- uses historical weather data to predict year’s weather. (show a copy and compare predictions with actual events.)

Language Arts

=The second week of January is National Letter Writing Week.
-Types of letters
-It is Blood Donor month- letter appealing for blood donations
=Great month to integrate with Social Study events
-Reports on presidents, Paul Revere, Treaty of Paris, Emancipation Proclamation, Martin Luther King

Fine Arts

=Winter scenes to draw, black and water
=Mozart’s 302nd birthday this month, a little classical music

Physical Education

=Indoor exercise

Do you know…

That this the time of year that outdoor gardeners plan out gardens, order seeds and plan a calendar of indoor plantings.
§ A long term activity is to begin growing plants this month in the classroom. Each pupil can plant their own seeds and care for their plants. As age increases, activities, such as measuring height, weight, leaf growth can be collected as data. Graphing and data interpretation can be learned.

Questions That hunt Answers:

  • What plants would be best to grow in a classroom?
    § This reader loved marigolds! In all grades, it can be a “Mother’s Day’s” project begun early. Depending on the plant chosen:

    • How long does seed planting to seed germination?
    • How long from germination to flower development?
    • What conditions are needed to cause flowering, if any?

Explore the Web:

Resources for the Presidential Inauguration


December 12, 2008 at 11:15 am Leave a comment

December 2008
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