Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.

Thanks to Education World for use of my Mrs. Waffenschmidt illustration.
Click on icon to go to my website:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Incentives in the Classroom. Do you use them? If so, Please Share...

Some will say that teachers shouldn't offer incentives in their classroom, I am not one of them. I think just like adults appreciate being recognized for their efforts, it helps to have some type of incentive program in the classroom.

I used "Golden Tickets" which seemed to work well in my classroom. Students received 10 golden tickets for 90 above on quiz/tests), they received 3-5 golden ticket points for class participation ,3-5 points for for helping another student(chapter notebooks, study buddy, etc.).I also awarded golden tickets for Jeopardy winners or other games as well as golden tickets for best cooperation during group work.Students who watched Jeopardy 3 times a week or the evening news 3 times a week could also receive golden ticket points. Every 5 weeks, I also awarded 50 points to the highest average, 35 for the second highest and 25 for the third highest average in my social studies class. I also did the same for those students who showed the most improved average for 5 weeks.Students used the tickets to "buy" candy treats, to "buy" less homework questions, to add points on chapter notebook grades/tests,to purchase a free book,etc.

What kind of incenties do you use in your classroom?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Inauguration Day, Monday, January 21, 2013
The oath  that each President takes on Inauguration Day.“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”United States Constitution, Article II, Section I

The Constitution states that the Presidential Inauguration is to take place on the 20th of January. Sunday is not to be used for this day so President Barack Obama will have a private oath taking on Sunday with the official celebration and ceremony to be done on January 21st. The ceremony takes place on the steps of the US Capital Building with Chief Justice to the Supreme Court, John G. Roberts, Jr., administering the oath of office to President Barack Obama. The Chief Justice will also administer the oath on Sunday, too.The President will use two Bibles for the inaugural ceremony- one once owned by Abraham Lincoln and the other once owed by Martin Luther King.

The theme of the 2013 Inauguration Day is “Faith in America’s Future.

Fun Facts:
In the Inaugural speech by President John F. Kennedy, the President said what would become a famous quote,” And so my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country.”(1961)
President William J. Clinton was the first president to have his inauguration seen live on the internet.
The longest inauguration speech was done by William Henry Harrison. The speech was 8445 words and given on a very cold day in 1841. Sadly, Harrison caught  pneumonia and died a month after taking office.
President Barack Obama is the first president to be sworn in twice over a two day period. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.  made a mistake in reading the oath of office for which  the President repeated. The second day, he was sworn in again, using the correct words from the oath.
President Jimmy Carter became the first president to walk and not take a limo from the Capitol steps to the White House, after being sworn in as President in 1977.
Thomas Jefferson was the first President to have his inauguration in Washington, DC.
It was so cold on Inauguration Day in 1985(10 below) that Ronald Reagan’s oath was not done on the US. Capitol steps but inside the Capital Rotunda.

Learn more interesting facts about Presidential Inaugurations:

Extension Activities:
If you were President,what are three issues that you would work to solve in your term?

Write a poem about the job of a President.

Make 5 questions from the information provided and exchange with another student to answer.

Learn more about the Capitol Building. and

Find out different monuments that can be found in Washington, DC, that have been built for a President of the United States. (For example: Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial). Draw a picture of the memorial and write 4 facts learned about the memorial.

Learn about the White House with this fun/informative webquest:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

In the News...What's in a Name?(learn about the country of Iceland)

In the News: What's in a Name?
Did you know that in Iceland, there is a list of approved names to be given for all girl and boy babies? The Personal Names Register lists 1,853 accepted female names and 1,712 male names.All babies' names must stick to this list. Names that start with letters of the Icelandic alphabet can only be used. For example, names that start with the letter C can not be used as the letter C it is not part of the Icelandic 32 letter alphabet. Names must also follow the rules of Icelandic grammar.This is how it has been done for hundreds and hundreds of years and no one has questioned this practice...until now.

A 15 year old girl named Blaer Eidsdottir(her first name means "light breeze" in Icelandic) wants to keep her given name.  Because it wasn't an approved name for a girl, she has been registered as Stulka(meaning "girl")on official papers.  Blaer has decided to sue the government of Iceland for the ability to legally be called Blaer.Her mom supports her daughters actions.What do you think?


It is the custom of Iceland to have a list of approved names.  It is a custom in China and Japan to bow to greet one another. It is a custom to stick out your tongue as a sign of respect in Tibet. What is a custom?  Brainstorm additional customs of the world.   Draw/color an illustration of a world custom.

What are some unusual names you may have heard? Should people be able to give "any" name to a baby? Why, why not?

Pretend you are Blaer. What would you say to the court as to why you should be allowed to have the name Blaer.  Pretend you on on the court. What might you say as to why Blaer should not be allowed to use the name Blaer.

Gail and a Friend in Iceland

Reykjavik, the capital city of the country of Iceland.

Learn more about Iceland at this link:
Gail Hennessey