Don’t you love to walk into Wal-mart during back to school season? I do. I want to buy 10 boxes of crayons for 25 cents even if I don’t need them. And who can pass up spiral notebooks for 20 cents? Well, in the spirit of back to school season which is soon encroaching, I thought I would whip up a list of teacher discounts for you. Teacher discount days make back to school season so much more fun!
- Office Depot is hosting the event August 5th-11th, 2012. During this week you will enjoy a hefty 20% off of your purchase with your star teacher discount card. If you wait until August 11th from 9-11 you will also enjoy a teacher breakfast, and giveaways in my area. If you live somewhere other than near me in good ole’ Arkansas, you need to put in your zip code here to find out when the event will be held.
- At Staples’ back to school event they will be giving away free gift bags to the first 100 customers. Click here to find out when the event will be held in your area. (I especially love staples for their crazy shaped paper clips–ones that look like purses, high heels, flowers, animals, etc.!)
- Mardel’s will be holding their education sale on July 19th, 2012. They will be offering 20% off of all of their educational products and school supplies. They will also be extending their hours from 8 a.m. -10 p.m. You may also register to win an iPad!
- Big Lots (news to me) also has a teacher appreciation day. They will be hosting one Saturday, August 11, 2012. To find a Big Lots store near you click here.
- Office Max offers lots of goodies for teachers as well on their event day. You get a free tote bag and coupons. Also, they are offering 25% off of everything you can fit inside your tote bag. To find out when their event is held, click here to input your zip code. Sign up for a teacher discount card when you go to enjoy 25% off. (I am especially impressed with the way Office Max emailed me the details of their teacher appreciation sale after reading on my blog that I was unable to get details of their sale by calling the store.)
Make sure you bring your teacher id when you go! Happy shopping!
During Obama’s State of the Union Address he spoke of lofty initiatives to:
- Keep kids in high school until they are 18
- offer rewards and incentives for teacher effectiveness instead of seniority
- improve teacher quality by improving teacher preparation programs
- partner businesses with community colleges
- end tuition tax credits
- make college more affordable by keeping tuition rates the same and ending federal funding if the universities increase their tuition
- replace ineffective teachers
- Give schools flexibility instead of teaching to the test, creatively teach students to learn…(and how will this happen since there will still be a test?)
See the full article at Huffington Post.
In John Stossel’s recent report on public education, he conveys how the government school monopoly does not trust education to the free market even though the free market has made everything else in America great. Opposing teacher’s unions argue that the parents aren’t real ‘customers’ because they aren’t knowledgeable enough about education. Stossel’s report implies that if we trust public education to the teachers unions as we have before we will get more of the same–increased funding yet no results shown in improving student achievement. Teacher’s unions continue to advocate that they are ‘for’ improving education, yet some teacher’s unions are explicit in their thoughts such as one teacher’s union leader who stated, “When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children.”
To read more click here.
In case you haven’t heard the monumental news, Obama made a major decision in education last week. Some see this ploy as merely a political move especially since he didn’t give Congress the time to edit the current No Child Left Behind law, but nonetheless it affects the national educational landscape. His decision is giving states the choice to opt out of the No Child Left Behind law in exchange for waivers from certain aspects of NCLB. If a state chooses to opt out of NCLB (at least 45 states are expected to opt out), then they will receive flexibility with federal spending and with school improvement accountability. In order to receive this flexibility, the state must have adopted the common core standards in math and literacy, develop a test to show accountability of common core standards, and measure the performance of teachers and principals factoring in student achievement.
Surprisingly 31,737 of the 98,916 schools were labeled failing in 2009. Because this is such a large number of schools, Obama’s decision is to help the bottom 5% of schools that are failing instead of all 31,737 schools, which is an insurmountable number of schools to help. Since the change to NCLB decision was not a bipartisan effort and the House and Senate did not contribute to this effort, critics are concerned that the Secretary of Education is taking too much national control.
John Kline the chairman of the Heritage Foundation recently discussed federal legislation which is on the horizon. This legislation will eliminate federal funding programs that do not allow school systems to spend money in the areas that they most need. Right now federal education funds are dispersed in different categories. For example, a school may be brimming with interactive whiteboards (smart boards) and other technology, however what the school really needed most was an additional interventionist to help struggling readers. Federal funds may not be allotted for this particular need, and so the school continues another year with their need unmet—but with plenty of technology! The good news is that educators can now look forward to legislation that will counteract this pitfall in federal education funding. View John Klein\’s Video
Happy Memorial Day!
As a result of the millions of dollars in philanthropy Bill Gates has poured into education many advances in educational technology have been made in the U.S. Some examples of what Gaters has contributed to are as follows. Video games are being developed by Quest Atlantis to help students become proficient in math, science, and literacy. Sal Khan, a former hedge fund manager, began developing You Tube videos to help his younger cousin in school. These videos received much more anticipation that Khan expected. So much attention that Gates’ children viewed them to help them with their math. Google and Gates then both helped Khan develop the Khan Academy. Some teachers are using Khan’s videos as homework for students to watch while they spend class time in a tutoring like atmosphere. Online learning is gaining popularity in India and in Florida as students retain more information with the differentiated one on one instruction a computer provides. Studies have shown students still need adult supervision of their learning in a computer lab, so if teachers are less depended upon for instruction, their title may become intellectual coach or research assistant. For more about this topic, follow the links:
Donald Trump’s lack of political correctness is refreshing in a culture where political correctness is the mode of operation in the political arena. Who knows? Maybe a lack of political correctness is just what America needs a jolt of. Reading the blunt truth of Trump’s views of education couldn’t help but bring a smirk across my face. He says what other politicians seem to avoid–the cold hard truth. Here is one of his quotes from his book The America We Deserve, “Our schools aren’t safe. On top of that, our kids aren’t learning. Too many are dropping out of school and into the street life-and too many of those who do graduate are getting diplomas that have been devalued into “certificates of attendance” by a dumbed-down curriculum that asks little of teachers and less of students. Schools are crime-ridden and they don’t teach. How long do we think the U.S. can survive schools that pretend to teach while our kids pretend to learn? How can a kid hope to build an American Dream when he hasn’t been taught how to spell the word “dream”? To read a few more of his quotes visit: http://www.ontheissues.org/celeb/donald_trump_education.htm.
To reward your students, try smellys. Students love smellys. Smellys are when you put a happy face on the back of a child’s hand using scented chapstick or the like. If you have several flavors of chapstick, students will want all of the flavors on their hand. For example, if you have banana, cherry, and chocolate, students could progressively gain all of the scents during a day for their good behavior to accumulate the scent of a banana split.
I have personally witnessed two teachers use this in their classes and it works exceptionally well. The novelty will wear off after time, but it works well for students at this point in the year when summer break and friends are all that is on children’s minds.
- Buy a feather boa.
- Tell your students to put their heads down on their desks and close their eyes.
- Tell them when you pass by and touch them with the feather boa they can line up.
This seems to have a magical effect because feathers are quiet and those who are in line are in suspense waiting to see who will be feathered next.
This has proven to be an effective method to have students put their names and dates on their papers. Before taking up papers each time say, “Class, put a smiley face beside your name, and put a star beside your date.” Students all want a smiley face and a star at the top of their papers, so they will all put their names and dates on their papers. You will no longer have to tell students to put their names and dates on their papers in a frustrated monotone voice because they will do this. When students get accustomed to putting smiley faces and stars, you can change what you ask them to put beside their name and date and associate it with something they are learning. For example, have students put parallel lines beside their name and perpendicular lines beside their date if your class is studying geometry.