Teach Kids Math
Your reading assignments
Dice and Playing Cards
Map and Compass
Make a Web Page
Mister L says
Projects and Exercises
Hi. I recently got around to doing something I've been thinking about for several years.
I started teaching middle school math after 20 years in the Marine Corps and fresh out of Old Dominion University's Military Career Transition Program and Troops to Teachers. I had a good run and a big part of me is still in the classroom.
Like most teachers, I was a pack rat and never threw anything away. I left with years of accumulated ideas, opinions, forms, sheets, letters, exercises and evaluations that had been gathering dust on my hard drive and taking up space in my closets. I decided to give it a new lease on life and put it on the Internet for others to use. If it gives one idea to one teacher, it will have been worth it. I'll keep adding things until I run out. Be sure to check out my custom built HTML Jeopardy game - fully downloadable along with instructions on how to use it and customize it for your classroom. It even has the Jeopardy jingle. That was one of my better efforts.
Teaching was the hardest I ever worked. At times it was more stressful than combat. I had a lot of success in the classroom and was nominated for the Who's Who of American Teachers three times. Teaching is first and foremost a leadership challenge. Running a classroom is a lot like commanding a military unit. You have to lead by example, establish routines, make your standards known and enforce them firmly but fairly. When a classroom is firing on all cylinders, there's nothing quite like it. I found it to be very rewarding and satisfying.
I always thought the biggest part of my job was to model successful and responsible adult male behavior since students see so little of it. In TV, movies, video games etc, men are routinely portrayed as losers and idiots. I was determined to change that perception. On the back of my car, I had Marine Corps and recon stickers and my NRA life member sticker. I had a dad come up to me at parent conferences one night and say "We've never met, but I could tell from the stickers on your car that you're the kind of guy I want teaching my kids." I couldn't have said it any better.
You'll find some opinions and reflections on this site which you may or may not agree with. There are several issues in particular that I wrestled with for years without a good resolution. I created a section called Classroom Capers where I free write about anything that comes to mind. I hope you find something of interest or value somewhere on the site.
Down below, you'll find my classroom "Rules of the Road". I believe in keeping them few and simple as opposed to writing a whole penal code. Then we post them prominently, reinforce them constantly and they become a basis for student counseling and remediation.
To the left, you'll find links to other pages along with a few other gems I've collected or created over the years. All the pages are in HTML format so they will display on a browser. If you want them in a document format, simply cut and paste the contents into your word processing application. Like I said, I'll keep throwing stuff out there until I run out, so keep checking back. The site is a work in progress.
Most of the links open in the current window. There are navigation links on every page to move around the site or you can use the browser's back arrow. You can also click the Sitemap link to go anywhere in the website. Anything on the site that's underlined is a hyperlink. Most of them are blue but some may be other colors. One thing I learned about doing web pages for my classes is that some students are color blind, so you have to have a system where they can work around that. If you start underlining all kinds of stuff like titles it can lead to frustration and embarrassment real quick. So underlining is the visual cue - not color.
One of the other little lessons I learned the hard way was to always review with the students how to navigate any page or site you might be using. Detailed written instructions are even better and it never hurts to throw in a few screen shots. Never assume the students will know how.
Si facile, omnes esset facere....Mister L.
Classroom Expectations for All