Tag Archives: Holiday

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

While you’re enjoying the nice Memorial Day Weekend weather, grilling with friends, or counting down the end of school, consider a few Memorial Day resources. As always, Larry Ferlazzo hosts one of the most comprehensive lists of resources on any topic, Memorial Day not excluded. Then, there’s always the US Department of Veteran Affairs website as well as the infographic below.

Have a great three-day weekend!


Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.

Monday Message: December 19, 2011

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Hang in there. Your winter break is nearly here! In the meantime, check out some announcements from eMINTS:

e-Learning for Educators Winter/Spring 2012 Registration Open: Register for online professional development courses offered through the eLearning for Educators program at  http://www.elearningmo.org/register/ Courses are available in all content areas for elementary, middle, and high school teachers. Learn how to use Google tools, differentiate instruction, or new classroom management tips. Courses are 7 weeks long and begin with an orientation week February 1, 2012. Cost is low at $150 per person (graduate credit is available for an additional $100 per credit hour). e-Learning for Educators offers a limited number of scholarship every semester that reduce the cost of e-Learning courses by 50%. Twenty scholarships will be awarded for Winter/Spring 2012. Scholarships are limited to one per applicant. See http://www.elearningmo.org/scholarships-and-discounts/ for more information about scholarship discounts. Courses are taught by practicing educators who facilitate interesting discussions and are available as a resource to participants. Hurry!! Registration closes January 24, 2012.

eMINTS Offers SMART Notebook Training Sessions: Increase your effectiveness with SMART Notebook collaborative learning software at a full-day professional development session taught by SMART -certified eMINTS staff members. The sessions are intended for new users of SMART Board interactive whiteboards or Notebook software or those who want an introduction to them. Choose one of three dates/locations in Columbia (January 10), St. Louis (January 5) and Kansas City (January 26) areas. Cost is $125 per participant and includes training, lunch and a learner’s workbook. Hurry – registration closes December 16. See: http://www.emints.org/events/smart-training/ for details and registration.

eMINTS Annual Conference Dates: Save the dates! The annual eMINTS Conference is scheduled for February 22 (pre-conference) through February 24, 2012 in Columbia, MO at the Stoney Creek Inn. Detailed information about speakers, sessions, and other events along with registration will open in the next two weeks on the new eMINTS website at: http://www.emints.org/events/

New eThemes:

Career Cluster: Arts, A/V Technology, and Communications<http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/503>
Explore these websites to learn what careers are included in the art, audio-video, and communications career path. Includes information about careers in music, writing, fashion design, and more. There are links to eThemes on career exploration and career interest assessments.

Career Cluster: Business, Management, and Administration<http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/504>
Find out how to get involved in business, management, and administration. These websites detail the occupations available and career information such as education needed, salary, and job growth information. Includes links to eThemes on career exploration and career interest assessments.

Health: Cancer<http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/1975>
These informational sites provide students with articles, short videos, and audio-articles for research on types and treatments of cancer. Downloadable brochures are available in English, Spanish, and Asian languages. Many types of statistics about cancer are provided. Slideshows of healthy foods, what skin cancer looks like, and tips for quitting smoking add more information for student projects.

Native Americans: Lakota Sioux<http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/453>
The Lakota Sioux are known as the “Teton or Western Sioux.” They are closely related to the Dakota tribe. Learn about Crazy Horse and the Lakota winter counts. Includes photographs, a quiz, and two eThemes resources on Native Americans.

NETS Standards<http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/454>
These sites are about the NETS standards for students and teachers. They include information about the standards, assessments, related resources, and applications in classroom activities. Includes lesson plans and examples using a PowerPoint presentation.

Nevada: State Facts<http://ethemes.missouri.edu/themes/455>
Learn about the state of Nevada regarding state symbols, wildlife, economics, and history. Find out the history behind the state symbol, myths, and truths about the state. Includes radio clips, illustrations, printable worksheets, games, and a quiz. There is a link to eThemes resource on Nevada state flag.

HD_Links: Thanksgiving Resources

Yesterday, we shared some Thanksgiving tools. Today, we have a list of some useful resources for teaching Thanksgiving this year.

Before I list some of the best resources, I’ll tell you where I gathered most of my links. eThemes has a long list of resources as well as links to related topics. The other place I find a ton of resources is Larry Lerlazzo’s Website of the Day… and his list of best Thanksgiving resources. Here are a few I picked:

What resources have you leaned on when teaching Thanksgiving? How do you recognize Thanksgiving in your classroom?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Tuesday’s Tool: Three Tools for Teaching Thanksgiving

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There are loads of Thanksgiving resources out there, but most of them promote a more passive or sedentary type of research activity. So, for this week’s online tools post, we’re sharing three great tools for teaching Thanksgiving. Expect a list of resources tomorrow.

Scholastic’s The First Thanksgiving is a virtual field trip of the Plimoth Plantation. Included are videos and interactive features on the voyage, life in Plimoth, and the first feast of Thanksgiving. There are also teacher resources and an option to receive historical letters from Pilgrim and Wampanoag children by email.

The History Channel has a collection of 15 Thanksgiving videos and a photo gallery for your visual learners. The videos cover topics ranging from the many Thanksgiving traditions we enjoy today to some detailed features on the historical events surrounding the first Thanksgiving.

Finally, one of my favorite tools from my days in the classroom is this simulation from the Plimoth Plantation and the Smithsonian. Investigating the First Thanksgiving: You Are the Historian is an interactive activity where students play detectives trying to determine what really happened at the first Thanksgiving. Different perspectives are considered and primary resources are studies for an engaging and thoughtful lesson.

What online tools have you found helpful in teaching Thanksgiving? How do you insure that varying perspectives are covered while you still maintain the spirit of the traditional American holiday? Where does Thanksgiving fit into learning standards?

Zac Early is an instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center.

Friday 4ALL: Veterans Day

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My grandfather recently was able to participate in the Honor Flight Network‘s program as a World War II veteran. He served in the Navy and was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked on December 7, 1941. I’ve always looked up to him and have been proud of his service to our country.

All over, people are recognizing veterans for their service. My entire Facebook feed is consumed with slogans and catchphrases that encapsulate our appreciation for the sacrifices service members like my grandfather and many others have made for the security of our country and the freedoms within. However, the sentiment rarely gets past the superficial.

I don’t mean to criticize those sentiments, but maybe it’s time to look deeper. We ask our students to think critically and to access their higher level thinking skills all the time. Maybe we should take a similar approach toward Veterans Day.

My grandfather’s story is more complex than his survival of Pearl Harbor. He met my grandmother before being shipped off to sea. They married after a courtship of less than a week. My aunt was born shortly after. He worked for oil companies and eventually took over the family mail service. The mail service lasted many years until the failing economy in and around Toledo caused him to retire and sell. Plus, the growth of global shipping corporations left little room for his small business. He now lives in a facility with my grandmother who suffers from dementia. They had to leave their home when he had a terrible fall, requiring constant care.

When I look at my grandfather’s life, I see a life lived that goes well beyond his identity as a veteran. However, all of these experiences relate to how his life was shaped through his service. This opens topics for discussion that get beyond the simple idea that veterans sacrifice so much for our freedoms. The questions that come to mind are as follows:

  • How did my grandfather’s experience at Pearl Harbor affect him? How have similar experiences affected veterans of other wars and battles?
  • What are the effects on family and relationships caused by war?
  • How did my grandfather’s service prepare him for the work he did as a civilian? Have all veterans received the same kind of opportunities as my grandfather after their service?
  • How does my grandfather feel about the effects of the current economic crisis on the country he fought so hard to protect and build? How has this crisis affected other veterans?
  • How do veterans feel about the economic dependance our country shares with nations we have fought against in the past?
  • What is care like for veterans after they have ended their service? Is it appropriate for the amount of service to our country they have provided?

This is just the tip of the ice berg, but these are important issues to discuss and study on Veterans Day. It’s not just about sacrifice. Veterans Day is about the kinds of sacrifices veterans have made and how they are being repaid for their service. It’s time to get past the surface of Veterans Day and really get to know why these men and women should be so revered.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist for the eMINTS National Center.