Monthly Archives: December 2015

The Acrostic Team

Simple holiday messages:

Even the youngest students enjoy creating acrostic poems

Here is a sample of a simple one made using a not so simple concept-

The idea of a team suggests people working together supporting a common goal; and in sports this might mean an actual set of players; note how we borrow from the sports analogy when referring to people in other fields.

goal: in sports may have two posts and a net, a finish line, or a time to beat

players:  again in sports, the Captain (now borrowing from the military) and the crew – think rowing together

and in an Academic system, with all our variety of schools, “team” is not limited to inter or intra mural games, and the Baseball, Football, Basketball players.

Team may refer to the teaching and support staff and principals, to the students as a full body, to classrooms operating relatively independently, and to the parent body at a campus, often working behind the scenes on PTA activities that are meant to fund raise and promote the school and its options.

Now to the students – what do they think the letters in the word “team” might stand for?

as promised, a sample:


T raining, Teaching, Trusting, Testing, and Transferring

E xcellent, Equitable, Exemplify, and Explain

A lways, Actually, Atmosphere, and Attitude!

M astery, Magic, Magnitude, Merciful, and Magnificent

                  AH: now that’s my Dream team!

                          Learning TOgether







Holidays? PBL can begin

New sign for a class on Financial Literacy:

Never sign a contract you can’t read!

too often the students assigned to “basic programs” such as “life skills” or “family studies” may also be the students labelled “applied” and then instead of having skills enhanced are given such simple math as to make participating in class at best humdrum, at worst – simply skipped.

All students have an amazing ability to pursue in depth subjects they find relevant and “discover” for themselves how to actually “apply” the new knowledge.  When movies and stories abound on how not so long ago, the famous were not always “rich”; in fact many movie stars, musical artists, and entertainers were locked into contracts with studios, managers, and performance halls- contracts which allowed the artist to express talent, but which did not give the multi million dollar estates we in 2015 believe to be “automatic” as a result of fame.  Early sports stars too may have spent more time literally sleeping on the bus, than enjoying a fancy hotel room.

Have found many a student surprised to discover just how recent the big mega salaries actually are! Best with a project like this is to leave it open ended, encouraging students to gather material to present to their peers, demonstrating when and where and how financial literacy might have allowed the image of “starving artist” to be replaced with, if not “multi-millionaire” then at least respectability.  I have included sports stars because indeed Sports are entertainment-also the question of unionized sports players, whereby a team may show solidarity; are they able to find examples of this happening? The internet becomes a great resource as do the bibliography sections of a library.  When keeping a topic broad and encouraging the students to find the research first before settling on their topic, students are also acquiring basic Academic skills, understanding that they are beginning from curiousity- better than simply stating to the class, begin with a question, for as they begin with the application of curiousity, researching, they will uncover the questions for their theme.  And surprise their teachers not only with how much they have learnt, but also with how much they are able to share.

Disclaimer: personal pet peeve, when students are dismissed due to a system applied label, then further diminished by only being given unchallenging assignments.

Whichever winter holiday you are celebrating, wishing you and your loved ones a healthy, positive and laughter filled season; Enjoy.