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Teaching Racism and Holocaust awareness effectively

COMMENTARY | Patricia Mulholland, a South Carolina middle school teacher has been placed on administrative leave and charged assault and battery for dragging a student 10 feet under a table. She told him "this is what Nazis do to Jews." The incident was supposed to be part of a social studies lesson, says the Associated Press. Lesson or not, Mulholland's actions were in poor taste and showed flawed judgement.
According to Bluffton Today/WJCL/WTGS, the student, a 7th grader in Mulholland's class at Bluffton Middle School, was sharpening his pencil when she is alleged to have grabbed him. The student's parents have decided to press charges. I think that's a good call. I imagine an experience like that would be alarming for students and embarrassing for the boy. He could have been hurt, too.
I'm concerned about comments made in Mulholland's defense by her lawyer Robert Ferguson. "What was a demonstrative attempt to teach about World War II and the Holocaust has been taken to mean an anti-Semitic rant and it was nothing like that. As a teacher, I can understand Mulholland trying to make history real. I don't believe her "Jew" comment was meant to be a slur, either. However, Mulholland's demonstration went overboard.
I once taught a similar type of lesson. I did not use slurs, nor make an example of anyone, but a few took thought I was commenting against them. Rather than belabor my point, I apologized for any offense. We teachers have to be sensitive to student perceptions of our lessons. This is particularly important when discussing topics that are already touchy, like Holocaust history. We also have to make lessons age-appropriate. What might work in high school, can create misunderstanding in younger grades.
The most egregious violations of teacher protocol were Mulholland's alleged physical actions. Whatever the reason, a 23-year veteran teacher should know that dragging a student may be misconstrued as manhandling. In most districts I've worked teachers aren't even allowed to hug a crying student, let alone lay hands on them roughly, even as a demonstration.
This incident is also a good wake-up call for all us teachers to use common sense and discretion in classroom activities.

Recycled Holiday Crafts For Kids: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Chanukah

Parents, do the holidays find you up to your eyebrows in kids and work? Why not put those vacationing youngsters to work making #Crafts, greeting cards and decorations for Thanksgiving, #Christmas, Kwanzaa, Chanukah, or whatever winter holidays you celebrate? These cheap, green homemade crafts save money using recycled materials while keeping preschool kids productively busy and helping prep for your celebration.   Recycled Holiday Crafts For Kids: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Chanukah

Yoga in school: Kids' fitness workouts and phys. ed in the classroom

Schools often put the cart before the horse in that they try to educate a child's mind while ignoring bodily needs. Tired, hungry, uncomfortable children don't learn well. Here are school fitness workouts for kids to improve mental functioning. Use yoga stretches and breathing exercises for classroom phys ed. Yoga makes perfect winter school fitness workouts for kids because they can do yoga in the classroom--no need to go to the gym or outdoors. Yoga stretches and breathing exercises foster learning. And lest any parent object to the use of yoga in schools, for religious reasons or otherwise, this isn't meditative yoga, it's just basic asanas or postures. Call it Brain Gym or just phys ed if that makes parents feel better.

Why use yoga in the classroom? For 6-8 hours a day, students sit in uncomfortable desks, breathing stale, recycled air. When she's not sitting, she's lugging around an achingly heavy backpack. She gets very little healthy exercise but a lot a stress and strain. Many schools have phys ed, but generally only one to three times per week. High school students get none unless it's an elective. School fitness workouts for kids are essential, even if they're just short ones.

Do short periods of yoga or other stretching and breathing exercises throughout the school day serves several purposes. Yoga strengthens lungs by teaching students to breathe deeply and use oxygen more efficiently. Yoga breathing calms the mind, body and spirit. It puts students in a tranquil, receptive frame of mind for learning. Yoga stretches and breathing exercises, even without meditation, purges the body of negative energy. Yoga is particularly useful for special needs students who can't do certain exercises or who suffer anxiety.

The benefits of stretching periodically are many. Students experience fewer cramped muscles, stomachaches, headaches and discomfort. They are more attentive when given a chance to limber up. Students are happier and more willing to cooperate when they know that teacher cares about their whole self, not just the thinking part. Yoga requires no special equipment. It's perfect for school fitness workouts for kids and in-class phys ed.

Try doing whole group yoga stretches and breathing exercises twice a day. Start first thing in the morning and immediately after lunch. Utilize "waiting in line" time and walking halls for mini phys ed breaks. School fitness workouts for kids help keep them focused. Do whole body stretches and deep breathing exercises. If kids are concentrating on yoga stretches, there will be less need for obligatory teacher shushing in the hallway. Once students get the hang of yoga stretches, fitness workouts and breathing exercises while walking, they will do it automatically whenever they are waiting somewhere. Here are video demos of yoga in the classroom. Here are more yoga for kids videos.

'My 600-lb Life' Ashley Reyes weight loss shows odd but critical link between obesity and sexual abuse

 Ashley Reyes is an atypical patient on "My 600-lb Life" in many ways. It's not the morbid obesity: at 668 pounds, Ashley is on par with the other reality TV show patients. It's her bizarre pain after gastric bypass surgery. And that provides haunting but also helpful clues to origins of extreme weight gain. After losing 255 pounds, "Ashley R's story" uncovered an oddly crucial link between weight loss and and pain following bariatric surgery.  'My 600-lb Life' Ashley Reyes weight loss shows odd, crucial link to obesity, sexual abuse

Donald Trump names non-educator billionaire politician Betsy DeVos Education Secretary

President-elect Donald Trump provoked more criticism with his selection for Education Secretary. Michigan billionaire politician Betsy DeVos has no teaching credentials and has never taught school. She's never been a school administrator. Neither she nor her Amway scion husband Dick DeVos have any background in education, but they run charter schools and now the entire U.S. education system. DeVos originally supported Common Core curriculum that Trump railed against yet he named the business woman head U.S. teacher. DeVos will be telling certified teachers how to teach and passing educational mandates from her lack of experience. Donald Trump names non-educator billionaire politician Betsy DeVos Education Secretary

Donald Trump, Michael Moore fellow fat cats? 'Trumpland' shows weight loss begins at home

What do Donald Trump and #Michael Moore have in common? Is this a joke? That's what everyone's wondering about notoriously liberal anti-fat cat Moore's film. "Michael Moore in Trumpland" is ostensibly pro-Trump. At least the Republican presidential hopeful hopes it is and Moore hasn't denied it. So this documentary is politically ambiguous, but one thing is clear: brothers Trump and Moore share weight problems of one kind or another.     Donald Trump, Michael Moore fellow fat cats? 'Trumpland' shows weight loss begins at home

'Rob & Chyna' Rob Kardashian, Blac Chyna celebrate pregnancy, baby girl, weight loss

'Rob & Chyna' Rob Kardashian, Blac Chyna celebrate pregnancy, baby girl, weight loss Rob Kardashian is excited about fathering a daughter, Blac Chyna's pregnant body, and losing 50 pounds.Youtube still: "Rob & Chyna | Rob Kardashian & Blac Chyna Reveal the Sex of Their Baby" E! Entertainment channel Youtube still: "Rob & Chyna | Rob Kardashian & Blac Chyna Reveal the Sex of Their Baby" E! Entertainment channel

Rob Kardashian and #Blac Chyna have a lot to celebrate. The Celebrities of reality TV "Rob & Chyna" are madly in love and will welcome a baby girl soon. Plus, plus-sized Kardashian has dropped 50 pounds. The "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" star credits his fiance Chyna with bringing a lot of good things into his life including weight loss. Rob plans to return the good vibes and is fully onboard with Chyna's weight gain in the pregnant body phase. Best of all, after proclaiming his desire have a son, he's just as happy to be welcoming a daughter.     'Rob & Chyna' Rob Kardashian, Blac Chyna celebrate pregnancy, baby girl, weight loss

Best ABC books for kids: Children's literature alphabet books to teach reading

There are literally hundreds of ABC books for kids. They all teach reading and letters of the alphabet to children. But some alphabet books are top shelf. They're not just cute picture books for kids, These alphabet books are children's literature in and of themselves. They feature interesting alphabet words, stellar illustrations and stand-alone stories. Here are the best ABC books for kids.   Best ABC books for kids: Children's literature alphabet books to teach reading | Examiner.com

Educational movies, printables: Earth science, severe weather, natural disasters

 April and May kick off severe weather season in the northern hemisphere. Hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, hail, lightning and thunder storms are all in the spring forecast. Here are educational movies on earth science, severe weather phenomena, geology and natural disasters. Use these great educational movies for science lessons and severe weather exploration? Educational movies include links for free printables to follow up earth science lessons. These educational movies cover many aspects of earth science in an exciting, visceral way.  Educational movies, printables: Earth science, severe weather, natural disasters | Examiner.com

Free printable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coloring pages, TMNT activities

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first appeared in cartoon form in 1984 and 2016 marks the 32th anniversary of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Also known as Teenage Mutant Turtle Heroes, or simple Ninja Turtles, the series grew into an animated television series, live-action series and movie. Now a second Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows film will be released. The TMNT are a group of turtles, trained in Ninjutsu by their Sensei, Master Splinter. The turtles, named for famous painters Raphael, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Leonardo (DaVinci) live in the sewers of Manhattan. Each turtle has his own bandanna color and special martial arts weapon. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows will feature the alien villain Krang and bad guys Bebop and Rocksteady.  Free printable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles coloring pages, TMNT activities | Examiner.com

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Freelance writer, Top 100 Yahoo! Voices, Yahoo! News, Shine, Michigan, Detroit), blogger, teacher, mom of 4, happily married 25 years. Graduated GVSU 1986, psychology/general education and special education. continuing ed up to present. Certified MI teacher. Writing Michigan history mystery, children's Gothic fantasy. Areas of expertise: education, relationships, mental health, nutrition, history, world cultures. Passions: faith, Catholic church, sustainable living, interfaith initiatives, living simply that others might simply live. Working on MA in EI education.