Sunday, August 30, 2009

Email from Teachers

On which state is your standards information based?'s standards pages are based on the newest 2009-2010 standards from Tennessee. However, during the history of this site, while looking for resources for each skill and communicating with teachers all over the country, we have discovered that most states teach the same concepts during the school year. Although the standards may be worded a bit differently, the concept that is being taught is exactly the same. Therefore, our standards sections can be used throughout the country

Why have you reorganized the skillbuilder content?

We have also reorganized the activities and added descriptions to our skill-builders section so they are concept focused.

Select your grade and the topic your class is studying and choose from the selection of links on that topic. In the standards section, just click on the area of focus, then select the individual sections that deals with your topic.

You may also want to use our search functionality, found on the top right hand side of our pages or at the bottom of our pages. Just enter the grade and the topic, and a list of pages that are relevant will appear in the search results. You may also want to look in our Links for K-12 section in the Subject Areas for additional activities.

If you need any help finding a specific topic, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will guide you to the appropriate activities.

Thanks for your support of our site!
- Susan Brooks

Monday, August 3, 2009

What is in a Name? or It's All in Their Name!

According to, a name is:

"A name is a label for a noun, (human or animal, thing, place, product [as in a brand name] and even an idea or concept), normally used to distinguish one from another. Names can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context.

A personal name identifies a specific unique and identifiable individual person."

Let's stop there.

School is starting shortly and teachers need to quickly and correctly learn their students' names. It is one of the first things that they do to welcome children into the classroom and make them feel part of the class. It doesn't matter if you are teaching kindergarten or at the college level. Using names is a basic way to connect with a student.

Here are some resources to help:
  • KinderKorner - This site is geared towards teachers of younger children, mostly pre-school through primary. Includes songs and fun names activities for the entire class.
  • - This site is nice for elementary teachers, as it contains many activities reinforcing phonics, literacy and graphing for learning names.
  • - Quick tips to learn names quickly, adapted from the 'First Year Teacher's Survival Guide'.
  • TeacherVision from the Family Education Network has a huge resource page for Personalizing the Secondary Classroom.
  • The National Teaching and Learning Forum discusses the importance of learning names in the higher grades and has activities for the classroom. There is also a focus on peer-peer interaction to foster a learning environment in classes that may be very large and the student may just feel like another "number".
Hello, Andrew. My name is Mrs. Brooks. Welcome to YOUR classroom. We are going to have a wonderful year together.