The Assassination of William McKinley

Lincoln, Kennedy, and who?  William McKinley???  Find out all about this forgotten assassination from our American Class this past week!

Also be on the watch for what McKinley’s final words were prior to the emergency surgery to extract the assassin’s bullets!

 

When Student Enthusiasm Fades, Teacher Enthusiasm Must Soar

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Remember all of those first day smiles filled with the anticipation of the first day of school that you witnessed in the faces of your students?  Remember their excitement as they met new friends?  Recall the joy of seeing their new classroom, new books, and so much more?

If only that excitement of the first day of school could last the duration of the entire school year.  

However, very quick the realization of the work ahead sets in for many students.  Daily work, quizzes, tests, projects, and essays soon appear and the joy turns to thoughts of being overwhelmed.  

For students, parents, and teachers alike the excitement soon turns to the grind.

Continue reading “When Student Enthusiasm Fades, Teacher Enthusiasm Must Soar”

American History Plans

I am so excited for the upcoming school year, and the content I will be teaching for American History II.  Our complete focus will be on the time period from World War I through World War II.  It is going to be incredible!

A couple highlights from the picture.

History Theme:  Our theme for this year’s history study will be, Rise

Year at a Glance:  Our course of study is all laid out on the Rise Word Chart.  The larger the word, the more emphasis that lesson will receive throughout the year.

Our Monthly Lessons to Buy a Ticket For:  I like to lead to a major lesson every month.  It gives us purpose, and it keeps our minds on track.  I dub these lessons, “A lesson you would buy a ticket for!”  This concept is from the incredible education book, Teach Like a Pirate.  

If you are interested in a closer up shot of the monthly lessons or the year plan, just drop a comment in the comment section!

As always, be passionate and keep growing!

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Easter Monday?

Creating an Easter Sunday Mindset in our Classroom the Entire Year

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He is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!

The euphoric, emotional high that is felt by Christians throughout the world on Easter Sunday morning is intangible.  On one day of the year, we unite together proudly proclaiming a risen Savior.  

Perhaps, you had an extra-special focus on our Savior’s actions throughout Holy Week in your classroom as it all culminated with a joyous worship service on Easter Sunday.

When we think of Easter we think of joy, victory, enthusiasm, and an inward reaction to run and go tell others the Good News!  

Wouldn’t it be great if we took that same attitude and emotion that we feel on Easter Sunday, and have it permeate our classrooms throughout the entire year?  Having that attitude of joy and victory and enthusiasm in all that we do.

That mindset always begins at the top.  Yes, teachers, I’m looking at you.  You are the one who sets the tone of your classroom.  What type of tone are you setting?  It is one of joy?  Is it one of that no matter our weakness, we are victorious through Christ?

Students notice the smallest of imperfections from their leader, their teacher.  If you are often stressed out, they will notice.  Do you come to school with tired eyes?  They notice.  Do you stand to yourself rather than smile and laugh with the other faculty and staff at lunch or recess?  They know.  Are your lessons taught with the enthusiasm and importance?  Oh boy do they notice.  

Continue reading “Easter Monday?”

Our Curriculum Needs a Super Bowl

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It is the weekend of the big game, and its finally here!  The entire season has been leading up to this point.  All of those long hours watching the preseason, regular season, and playoffs will finally going pay off with the big game.  All of the analyzing, preparation, and reflecting is over.  The time is now, this is the weekend!

Just like football fans look forward to the big game each and every season, we, as teachers, can build to that same crescendo each year in our classroom.

The crescendo that we build to can take on many different forms in our individual classrooms.  The big idea is that we have individual lessons sprinkled throughout the school year that our curriculum builds to in order to reach a climax.

Much like a good book, students love the anticipation of a good story arc.  A story arc in which you have plenty of groundwork and anticipation leading to an unbelievable resolution.  Subject areas in which this can be successfully done are subjects like history, science, God’s Word, Reading, and more.

A wise teacher once stated, “If students had a choice to sit in my classroom, would they?”  While the goal of education isn’t entertainment, our goal should be excitement and passion for learning.  At the end of the day, don’t we want students to be passionate about what they are learning?  While each and every goal can’t always be successful, our overall goal remains.

Last school year we spent six months learning about ancient Rome.  I realize this is not possible for every school.  As a history teacher, I love being able to dig miles deep into a topic rather than just scratching the surface.

Continue reading “Our Curriculum Needs a Super Bowl”

Bringing Literature & Writing to Life

Having a challenging time bringing some life to your literature and writing classes this last month of the school year?

One of my favorite activities to use is a comic strip creator available through PC, Apple, or Android.

We just created our own comics last week in literature class.  The students created their own graphic novel written in the style of the popular thriller series, Goosebumps.  The students loved it, and it has caused some of them to delve into the series further.

Check out this handy graphic organizer, and start your students on their own comic today!

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Boys Don’t Need SuperDad, They Just Need Dad

In my years of teaching, coaching basketball, and being involved in the lives of teens I learned one thing that dwarfs everything else I learned. Boys and young men need dads. Most importantly, they need to know that their dad is “there.”

Being “there” doesn’t mean you have to be at every game, every practice, every up and down, every event. However, being “there” means that they can depend on you. That they know you care. That you love spending time with them. That, when the time comes, you are willing to drop everything just to see or be with them.

First, some staggering and sobering statistics. Most of these statistics pertain to single-parent households where the dad is not present in the child’s life.

  • Fatherless children are at a dramatically greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse, mental illness, suicide, poor educational performance, teen pregnancy, and criminality, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Center for Health Statistics.
  • Over half of all children living with a single mother are living in poverty, a rate 5 to 6 times that of kids living with both parents.
  • 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
  • 72% of adolescent murderers grew up without fathers. 60% of America’s rapists grew up the same way according to a study by D. Cornell (et al.), in Behavioral Sciences and the Law.
  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes according to the National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools.
  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes according to a study by the Center for Disease Control.
  • A large survey conducted in the late 1980s found that about 20% of divorced fathers had not seen his children in the past year, and that fewer than 50% saw their children more than a few times a year.
  • In a longitudinal study of 1,197 fourth-grade students, researchers observed “greater levels of aggression in boys from mother-only households than from boys in mother-father households,” according to a study published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.

Continue reading “Boys Don’t Need SuperDad, They Just Need Dad”