Saturday, January 28, 2006

Content Delivery: The Thirteen Colonies

Questioning students of any age is a great way to assess and gauge your success, but I like to use questions to guide students to discover information on their own---information that I want and plan for them to discover.

Discovery is an important tool in the classroom. I can provide text pages, notes, and lecture to them all day. They might be able to regurgitate information back at me, but has transfer of knowledge really occurred? Discovery, on the other hand, gives a student ownership of the material and builds motivation because I don’t place the content in the student’s mind. The student logically analyzes information and arrives at a new idea with a group of peers. They own this new idea and discuss it in their own terms. This is true transference. Students take some background knowledge and build on it using logic.

Usually when I question students my goal is to review important bits of information, get them to think differently about a topic, and to lay groundwork for a future unit. Here’s an example of how questioning worked in my classroom this week. EHT refers to me while student refers to various students who joined in on the conversation.

EHT: Where were the Puritans from?
Student: England.
EHT: OK. Somebody else tell me one thing about England’s government.
Student: They have a king.
Student: They have something else too. A P…. A Par…..
EHT: Do you mean Parliament?
Student: Yes.
EHT: Let’s discuss the king for moment. How does the king become the king?

I survey a sea of thoughtful faces. Finally a hand goes up.

Student: The people vote?
EHT: Not quite, but thank you for participating. Do you remember me talking about Queen Elizabeth?

Heads begin to nod. Students begin to speak out without permission. They had enjoyed our discussion a few weeks ago about Elizabeth and how she became queen. I had told them about how she was “married” to England and would not marry Phillip of Spain. This was a good sidebar to the information in their text about the defeat of the Spanish Armada. They enjoyed the fact that Queen Elizabeth had toyed with Phillip and finally told him she would never marry him.

EHT: OK. How did Elizabeth become queen?
Student: She took over after her father died.
EHT: Right. Kings and queens inherit the throne. Does a citizen of England have a say regarding who is king or queen?
Student: No.
EHT: Good. Let’s see where we are so far. We’ve got Pilgrims and Puritans in North America. We have some people in Jamestown. They are English citizens, right?

I get a chorus of “RIGHT”

EHT: Who is our leader today in the United States?
Student: the President.
EHT: How does the President get his power?
Student: From we the people.
Student: People vote.
EHT: Did the Pilgrims, Puritans, or the people at Jamestown elect the king?
Students: NO.
EHT: Do you mean to tell me the English citizens didn’t get to vote for their leader?
Students: No.
EHT: OK. We have English citizens living in North America who have never voted for their leader. They have never experienced the freedom of voting.

I point to the board where I have written Fundamental Orders along with a definition. Fundamental Orders was the first written plan for government in North America by the English. It detailed the plan of government for the colony of Connecticut. Reverend Thomas Hooker is generally given credit as the founder of Connecticut. He was a disgruntled pastor who found fault with the Puritan theocracy in Massachusetts. Hooker was also a proponent of allowing all white men to vote----not just the wealthy or well-connected. The Fundamental Orders allowed voting.

As I point to the board I say, “Englishmen haven’t experienced the vote. So what? What’s the big deal?

I perch on my stool and wait. We have a few false starts and then

Student: Hooker wanted more freedom----he didn’t think it was fair that only certain people made decisions.

This student simply restated what I had on the board.

Student: People in Connecticut could vote like we do today.

EHT: Hmmmmm……..I wonder how the United States got the idea about voting?

Student: George Washington.
Student: Abraham Lincoln?
Student: There was a whole group of people.
EHT: I believe you are thinking about the “Founding Fathers.” We are going to be learning about them soon.
Student: Did George Washington and those people know about the Fundamental Orders?
EHT: Yes.
Student: They got the idea from Hooker. That’s why we vote.
EHT: Yes. The Founding Fathers did read the Fundamental Orders along with a great many other important documents in history. They studied the past to see what came before, they decided what had worked before and what didn’t, and then they used those bits and pieces to form our government.

I walk about over the board and tap where Fundamental Orders is written and say, “That boys and girls is the so what behind this vocabulary term. That is why it is important enough for you to spend your time learning about it.

Students have now taken the dry and stale vocabulary term, Fundamental Orders, connected it to information they already knew, and have arrived at a new and improved idea that I can draw on as we continue our studies. In a few weeks when I begin to speak of the Constitutional Convention I will draw students attention back to this moment in order to question them even more.

Sick? Use Videos to Advance Your Curriculum

Ok. It's Friday. Finally. And I'm breaking my own personal blog rules. I'm blogging off the subject of my blog. I'm blogging off the cuff. Totally unplanned. I guess that is the real purpose behind a blog but I tend to agonize and plan what I type out.

I guess I can forgive myself. It's been a hard week at my school. Is it a full moon? Every teacher I've seen in the hall has told me their team has had a hard week as well. I guess it's finally setting in... that long unending time period between the Christmas holidays and Spring Break. I've been too busy to my darlin husband gave me his coughin, sneezin, nose oozing thing and I've had it since Wednesday.

Don't know about you but in my district I am responsible for obtaining my sub whether I'm sick, if there is a death, or I just want a personal day. I should have called someone last night, but ain't it a pain to be out. Especially this time of year. Spring NCLB testing is looming and every minute is so precious. You don't want to leave "busy" work because you get stuck grading it, but you don't want to leave too much instruction, if any, for the sub. I usually go to work no matter what and "plan" my sick days, but today it was almost impossible to be a decent teacher. My kids knew it. You can't hide a thing from them. One of my sweet darlins came back to my desk, patted my shoulder and said, "Well, I guess you'll call a sub the night before from now on won't you..." So sweet, so honest------I just wanted to kill him.

My kids got to see me at my worse this morning. No makeup, school-colored sweatshirt, jeans, and barely showered. It was very apparently "elementary history teacher" didn't feel well. My kids learned early on to get on with their morning work because Mrs. "elementary history teacher isn't a morning person and she doesn't tolerate slackers first thing in the morning too well. They had seen my illness progress and were more cooperative and attentive than normal.

So....what do you do when you feel like poo, still haven't gotten observed by an administrator, and don't want to loose focus of your regular curriculum? For one thing, whether you are a first year or 31st year teacher be honest with your administrator if they come in for an observation. Tell them you are sick, not on your game, or one of your students is having a problem.

Today I opted for the video option. Oh joy, I teach three groups of American History every afternoon so it would be a fairly stress free afternoon with the exception of watching them. We are currently going over the formation of the 13 colonies. I showed students a Dear America video. I can't remember the title. It's the one set in early the early Pennsylvania colony. A young Quaker girl and her brother are kidnapped by the Lenape indians and adopted by Lenape families. The girl befriends a Lenape brave who turns out to be a an Englishman who was kidnapped as well. They fall in love but he is killed as she is rescued and returned to her family. My kids were mesmorized----even my discipline problems. I sat with them (proximity, proximity, proximty), but could cough, wheeze, and groan to my hearts desire without too much interruption.

After the video I had enough time to answer their main question. Why would the Indians kidnap white people? The main reason is that some tribes, in this case the Lenape, believed that the Great Spirit wanted them to replace their dead family members (members who had died due to the White man) with the English. This practice was carried out through the 1600s and 1700s up to and including the time of the French and Indian War and later during the western expansion.

I was sick, I looked like hell, but I managed to advance my curriculum and have a great place to pick up Monday.

Gee, hope I feel better.....

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Do We Really Need Black History Month?

A resolution has recently passed the United States House of Representatives that calls for the month of January to be designated as Jewish History Month. The representative who sponsored the resolution, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, envisions classroom instruction, public ceremonies, and broadcast announcements similar to Black and Women’s History months in February and March.

Currently many educators across the country are asked to observe at least seven different ethnic observations during the school year. Early in the school year Hispanic heritage is recognized from September 15th to October 15th and Native Americans have their month in November. January is usually filled with events surrounding Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while February and March are reserved for black history and women’s history respectively. Jewish Heritage Week is observed the last week of April or the first week of May while the entire month of May is reserved for Asian-Pacific heritage. A quick search of the Internet reveals that many Italian Americans would like to celebrate their culture during the month of October to coincide with Columbus Day.

Black History Month or African American History Month as it is also known began in the 1920s by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, a college professor, who realized that many aspects of American history was being left out of textbooks and classrooms. To begin his work Dr. Woodson established the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History as well as the Journal of Negro History. The second week of February was chosen by Dr. Woodson because the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln were celebrated during that week. At the time the professor did a brave and wonderful thing. Many inaccuracies existed due to omission and blatent predjudice. For example, many Americans have learned in school that Virginia Dare was the first English baby born on the shores of North America during the English attempts to colonize Roanoke. Many Americans don’t know that the first black baby was born to indentured slave Anthony Johnson and his wife in 1619. Historians have proof that Africans were exploring the Americas several hundreds of years before the Vikings and Columbus. Sculptures of African heads have been found among Olmec ruins in Mexico that date to 700 B.C. Estavanico, a former African slave traveled to the Americas with the Spanish and explored present day Florida, Arizona, and New Mexico before being murdered by members of the Zuni tribe in 1539. Bass Reeves, Clint Eastwood’s inspiration for his role in “Hang Em’ High”, was the first Black commissioned United States Marshall west of the Mississippi. Reeves served until statehood when he lost his job when whites declared blacks could not be law enforcement officers. Many other contributions of African Americans were left out as well. Dr. Woodson began a process that unfortunately took over fifty years before the week long and finally month long observance became well known and commonly observed. Woodson said he hoped the week could be eliminated when black history would become fundamental to American history.

So, do we still need special observances like Black History month and should we as educators be mandated to stop the regular curriculum to have month long add-ins?

Special recognition that separates and spotlights a culture is meant to build understanding and tolerance towards the members of that culture however it can also have the opposite effect. More and more cultures want to have their special time as well. Many teachers report receiving nasty notes from parents wanting to know when their family’s particular culture will be recognized in the same manner. Many times the tension that has been exhibited at home is then brought into the classroom. Students repeat things they have heard their parent’s say at home. This can cause discipline problems for the teacher.

As mentioned above currently seven months of the school year could potentially be filled with observances and special lessons focusing on one particular culture. This schedule leaves two full months to complete nine months worth of state mandated regular curriculum. Special recognition of particular cultures interrupts the regular flow of content that is best completed in chronological order for third through fifth graders. Students in these grades are receiving information about American history for the first time. They already have a hard time dealing with time concepts and discussing events that occurred so many years ago. It is very confusing for them to stop talking about the American Revolution in January because it’s time to recognize Dr. King with an assembly, a video (the same one every year), a few worksheets to color or an art activity, and a timeline of the Civil Rights Movement and a week later bounce right back into the Boston Massacre and the Battle of Bunker Hill.

Special month long observations should be stopped simply because Dr. Woodson’s goal has been met. In the last fifteen years great strides have been made to create classroom materials that have a complete multicultural panorama and contains accurate information. Teachers have a wide range of websites, tradebooks, videos, posters, pictures, and other types of information to use as resources when planning their units that incorporate various cultures and their input into our American story.

Doesn’t it make more sense to teach about a particular culture as it fits into the curriculum? For example, some fifth graders learn about Teddy Roosevelt and the U.S. expansion into the Pacific. Students also learn about World War II. These are perfect times to learn about the people of the Pacific nations they will be discussing in class like the Phillippines, as well as learning about the Navajo Code Talkers and the Tuskegee Airmen. Fifth graders also learn about the second wave of immigration after the Civil War. What better time to discover where these people came from and facts about their cultures. Students can explore how the immigrant cultures blended with the American culture. Fourth graders learn about explorers. If this isn’t the hit parade for famous Spanish and Italians and their contribution to American history I don’t know what is. During March take the particular time period being studied at that time and incorporate important women into the unit.

There is a way to make this work without everything grinding to a halt for what I see by many educators as a half-hearted once a year effort.

Do what you want, but for me and my class we will incorporate Black history and every other kind of history into our studies continuously all year long.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Is History Important?

One reason why history is important it that the past has value to our society. Thousands of people throughout history have gone to great lengths to record history through newspapers, diaries, journals, saved letters, family Bibles, and oral traditions. It is believed that Aborigines of Australia actually managed to hang onto their history for 40,000 years by word of mouth.

History is the narrative of mankind. It provides answers as to how people lived as well as provide for us the roots to certain ideas concerning laws, customs, and political ideas. Have you ever wondered where the rude gesture of pointing your middle finger at people you are annoyed at came from? One origin story states it reportedly began at the Battle of Agincourt where the French demanded the surrender of the English longbow men. The French demand was very simple. The bowmen had to surrender immediately or upon capture they would have their middle fingers cut off. This finger was sacred to the men since it was the finger used in firing the longbow. The English response to the French demands was to raise their middle finger and raise their hands high in the air in unison for the French to view. This enraged the French who attacked immediately but were promptly obliterated by the plucky English. Think about their bravery the next time you are tempted to raise that finger.

The age-old adage, “you can’t know where you are going unless you know where you have been” is actually very true. A true scholar of history, even one educated from online schools realizes history does repeat itself. This repetition has importance in society. It teaches the value of certain social changes and governmental policies. Ideas that were presented in the 1960s can be found in the writings of William Godwin in the 1790s. The Ancient Greeks redistributed wealth which was clearly repeated during the Communist regimes. It didn’t work for the Greeks and it certainly did not work for Communist Russia.

Though the Greeks had strange ideas about wealth they were firm believers that history was something that people could learn from. I began my love affair with history as an elementary student who read each and every biography my media center possessed. I was fascinated with the famous people I was learning about since they had a childhood like me and I was intrigued at the twists and turns their life took on their journey to achieve their goals. I remember particularly the biography I read about Woodrow Wilson. He held my interest because he was born in my home state of Georgia. He provided a character education lesson because he showed great tenacity as he never gave up even after several failed businesses that resulted in a bankruptcy. History provides a wealth of material to teach character education, both positive and negative.

History teaches a wide range of material. It isn’t simply a litany of dead people, places, and dates. I am amazed all the time as I discover links to science curriculum and the arts in the units I teach. You can’t teach United States regions without mentioning that each region has its own ecosystem made up of specific food chains, climates, and physical features. A study of history clearly shows man’s love of the arts and it cannot be denied that once a civilization was able to maintain a steady food supply their creative ideas flowed whether on rock walls, papyrus, or cedar bark. These links provide relevance for students. It assists them to take small chunks of history squares and weave them into a knowledge quilt.

The links that students can discover between history, science, and the arts provides a well constructed framework that bond national and regional past events. This allows for comparisons with contemporary events to provide context for understanding. The American Revolution was basically our first national event. The powers that be in my home state of Georgia like for students to learn the significance of historical events as they relate to our state. Before we get into Georgia’s participation in the Revolution I have introduced the events leading to the war up to the Battle of Bunker Hill. When they realize we are going to talk about Georgia’s participation they get real excited and quickly get really upset. They are very disappointed to learn that Georgia fell very early in the war to the British. They learn that we have some war heroes but the majority of colonials in Georgia were Tories. Georgia was not the hotbed of revolution that Massachusetts or Virginia was. We then embark on a mission to understand why Georgia was not heavily involved in the independence movement.

History when presented properly lends itself to critical analysis. Even young students are capable of reviewing a series of primary and secondary resources and independently determine what happened during an event and why. This independence is a goal we have for all students throughout all disciplines of education. History is a perfect curriculum tool to practice analysis, generalizing, and inference. In fact, the Bradley Commission Report on History in the Schools (1988) states, “…history is the only avenue we have to reach an understanding of ourselves and our society. Without such understanding the two foremost aims of American education will not be achieved---the preparation of all our people for private lives of personal integrity and fulfillment, and their preparation for public life as democratic citizens.”

The question I pose in the title is a no brainer to someone like me. You see, I am one of those people who can be totally consumed by large twenty pound history tomes. I love the intrigue, story-twists, coincidences, and repetition of themes involved in history. I’ll read the history of anything. The history of butter, word histories, Mandarin Chinese, buttermilk, famous cats in history, the history of knitting, obscure African tribal histories, and yes…..American history.

I strongly identify with a character in the Kingsley Amis novel, Lucky Jim, who works in the history department of a fictitious English university when he answers the department telephone by stating, “History speaking!” We are all history every minute of every day. We participate in the history of our families, we add to the history of the corporations and businesses we serve each day at work, and we participate in history as we vote, compose a letter to our congressman or a newspaper editor or attend a demonstration or memorial.

Recently I was looking at a website attached to the University of Utah and a history professor was reporting that he had asked one of his history classes of two hundred students, “Why is history important?” A student spoke up and honestly answered very matter of factly, “It’s not important. It’s about dead people, not about me.” The professor stood his ground during a deafening round of applause from the other students and countered, “Well, I see dead people. I hear dead people and ……so will you!”

Is learning history important? You bet it is!

Begin to encourage a love of history in your students. Remind them each day that they are history by dismissing them enthusiastically with the phrase, “YOU’RE HISTORY!”

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The Moment

As a teacher of nine and ten year olds I understand the importance of gaining and holding attention in the classroom since this is the crux of a successful lesson. Unfortunately, classrooms are filled with many different kinds of attention stealers.

Students tune me out while they communicate with each other by covert note writing, facial contortions, hand movements, and blatant talking. There are noises in the hallway and outside the window. Special Education students who are emotionally disturbed mimic every word I say under their breath or speak out constantly. There are Johnny Jump-Ups who try to visit their book bag or approach me for passes to the nurse or restroom. Then we have the constant wigglers and the standers. Finally, there is the self-appointed Trashman in training who must throw away his/her collection of paper wads during my lesson instead of taking care of it as they go out the door.

Even with all of these interruptions there are moments, however fleeting, when I have them, ALL OF THEM, in the palm of my hand. The moment comes suddenly and with such force I am instantly rattled. Since I am used to doing up to ten things at a time during a lesson I carry on my lecture while I frantically make sense of the moment. My mind registers that the room is so still I can hear my own heartbeat. Can they hear it? Every child's eyes are on me. The shear responsibility of the moment is almost too much to bare. My mind tries to figure out what it is I said to grab everyone's attention. Maybe I can use it again.

The moment is both exhilarating and scary at the same time. This is my time to present the best nugget of content I can. It's time to step up the plate, be all that I can be, and aspire to other assorted cliches.

Suddenly the classroom phone rings. The Trashman is being called to the office for early check-out. The moment rapidly begins to unravel with frightening speed, and then it's gone leaving me in the chaos of my classroom once again.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Awards and Other Nods....

You can find out more about the 2006 Weblog Awards by following this link.

Online Education Database honored me by naming me one of the top 100 education blogs.
Hey, it was nice just to be nominated for the Blogger's Choice Awards. Here’s a listing of all the winners.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Teaching With Historic Places

The National Register of Historic Places and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have invested their time and effort into a well organized web resource for teachers. The purpose of this website is to help teachers "teach with historic places." Check out the wonderful lesson plan ideas and resources presented at

At the heart of the TEACHING WITH HISTORIC PLACES program is a series of short lesson plans that are ready to use in the classroom. Each lesson uses a place listed in the National Register of Historic Places to teach a social studies topic such as the westward movement, industrial revolution, urban development, and social reforms. These lessons link a dramatic story of the place with larger themes and events in history. Learning objectives are given in each lesson, students investigate written and visual evidence to determine facts abou the place and its story, and activities are given that guide students in putting together facts and forming conclusions about the information presented in the lesson. I especially like the picture investigations that can be done at the beginning of the lesson where students view a photo and have to determine what is happening. Through the course of the lesson they determine if their idea was correct or off base.

Many of the places detailed on this site go right along with my fourth grade curriculum. A few of the sites are in the Atlanta area close to my school. Actual field trips could be planned with these sites in mind while virtual field trips from your classroom computer lab could be taken for historic places that are too far away. The lesson plan ideas could be used to build motivation for the trip, provide activities during the trip, and to provide a culminating activing once the class returns to campus.

Teaching with historic places enriches history, geography, and integrates instruction across a number of disciplines. Abstract concepts and broad issues that are studied in textbooks are transformed into tangible realities and intriguing stories about their everyday world.

What a great way to motivate students!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

In the Beginning...

Just who is elementaryhistoryteacher….

I grew up wanting to be a teacher. I would go home from school each day and teach my dolls and stuffed animals everything I had learned that day. My mother encouraged me by buying me a real blackboard, grade book, and allowed me to wear her high heels. My teachers encouraged my play by giving me discarded textbooks and extra activity pages.

I graduated from Woodward Academy, formerly Georgia Military Academy, in College Park, Georgia. You can learn more about Woodward here. There were high expectations for me at home and at school. No one ever helped me much with my assignments. I was expected to figure things out on my own. When I was off to college I expressed interest in obtaining an education degree, but my father wasn’t too keen on the idea of paying for a degree that would not garner a higher wage for me. Dad wanted more bang for his buck. I changed my major to law.

For a time I went to school at night and completed the second year of my education while I worked as a junior clerk for the State and Superior Courts for a county north of Atlanta. I helped people research the old documents in the record room, indexed deeds, and collected traffic fines. Occaisionally when I wasn’t too busy I would look at my own family records. I would sit stare at the old fashioned scrawl denoting the sell or purchase of a plot land for one my ancestors. I would run my hands over the pages and think that someone back in the 1800s had run their hands over the same pages….maybe even my ancestor themselves.

Eventually I got a job with a law firm. There were four partners and they all had their own areas of expertise. One lawyer handled real estate and tort cases, another handled divorces and state court matters, a third lawyer handled criminal cases, and the fourth attorney, my boss, handled collection matters. I learned a lot working for him and quickly found myself a one girl show handling calendar calls, filing law suits, compiling reports for clients, and maintaining several accounts worth thousands of dollars. I was fairly ruthless as a paralegal for a collection practice. We had this one man who owed several thousands of dollars in back rent to a business client. The debtor had called the office to taunt us and said we’d never find him to serve papers because he had friends and they were helping him hide. He hung up on me saying we’d never find him. I tried. This man was fairly well known in his career, but he was right. He had friends covering for him. One night I was watching the news and my guy was the lead story. Seems he fell off one of the downtown skyscrapers in Atlanta due to his job and broke several bones in his body. The next morning I found out where he was in the hospital and had the state court marshal hightail it over there to serve our lawsuit. The marshal called me from the nurse’s office to tell me that my defendant was in an oxygen tent. “Do you really want to serve him?” the Marshall asked. “Is he conscious?” I countered. The Marshal confirmed that the defendant was conscious and he lifted the tent to hand the papers my guy. My old boss used to love to tell that story when new clients would want to know if we were aggressive in our efforts. Just call me Bulldog!

I married the best man that could be found anywhere. He is without a doubt my soul mate, my best friend, and the man my Lord intended for me. Hubby dear and I met when he worked for my Dad right out of high school. We met when I was 15 and we were married soon after I turned 22. He was in the Navy at the time so, I had to give up my job and, we moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia where our first child was born. I worked as a paralegal for a time for a law firm in Virginia. It was very interesting as my new firm handled collection matters all over the United States, so I had to hire and maintain relationships with firms from New York to California. I enjoyed it. The two men I worked for were from New York and were both Jewish. They learned many things about southerners and Baptists, and I learned many interesting things about their northern Jewish heritage.

Our move home finally happened in 1986. We were glad to be back in Georgia. I managed to get my old job back, my husband began a career in air freight, and things began to settle down.

When our son began school I became a stay-at-home mom and began a career as a PTA volunteer, or the time period of my life my husband refers to as the “can’t you just say no” period. I held every office for my son’s PTA in elementary and middle school including council president for the entire county. I also helped to incorporate my son’s high school PTA since it was a brand new school. I organized meetings, principal luncheons, teacher luncheons, lobby-at-the-capital events and don’t forget all of the holiday parties for my son’s classrooms. I also did some freelance work for various clients completing title exams for real estate closings, bankruptcy investigations, Georgia state archives research, background checks, and small account collections. Our daughter was born in 1993. She remembers going with me on my daily jaunts around to several of the local courthouses as a toddler.

Though I was very busy I still thought about teaching…..that’s one reason why I was so involved with my son’s schools. I finally decided to go back to school and obtain the credits I needed to get my certificate. I am beginning my ninth year of teaching and though I get frustrated from time to time I don’t regret changing my career. Though I realize if I had started teaching four to five years out of high school I would be close to retirement I don’t regret following the path that I followed. Every experience I had on my way to becoming a teacher gave me one more thing to store in my toolbox for success. It is amazing how many times my experience in dealing with the public has played a part in a tense conference situation. Though I do not like to get up in front of groups of adults and speak I can do it due to my PTA and calendar call experience.

I certainly would never regret the time I had with both of my babies during their formative years. Economically it wasn’t easy sometimes, but I know I did the right thing for me.

I adore teaching. My students, past and present, will tell you that elementaryhistoryteacher dearly loves each of them, dearly loves this great country of ours, and dearly loves history. I have worked with some great dedicated individuals and have been fortunate enough to work for principals who understand where my strengths lie.

When I grow up (age is not an indication to how you feel) I want to write, and write, and write. This blog is the beginning of that next career.

I’m happy that you might witness this next evolution of my life. :)

and so……here is my first post:

In the beginning the elementary history teacher created a blog site and the blog site was empty, a formless template cloaked in darkness. And the elementary history teacher was hovering over the surface of her keyboard pondering her first post. Then the elementary history teacher said, "Let there be content details," and there was information about content. And other elementary history teachers saw that it was good. Then the elementary teacher seperated opinions from strategies. She called the opinions personal musings subject to change and she called the strategies necessary components to a strong curriculum. Together these ideas made up the first post.