Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Word is Bond Haunted Rap Radio Hour

There are some great Halloween-themed rap songs. The first one I ever heard was “The Haunted House of Rock” by Whodini.

I was so captivated by this record for a number of reasons.

Number 1, the artwork is absolutely gorgeous.

Number 2, it’s a bright fluorescent green.

Another unusual thing about it is that it’s a 45 rpm. Seven inch singles were common for running at this speed but most 12 inch singles ran at 33 1/3 revolutions per minute.

I want to play that song for you right now to kick off this edition of Know Your History focusing on some iconic Halloween-themed hip-hop. After that, I spin some more Halloween-themed rap.

Press play and enjoy The Word is Bond Haunted Rap Radio Hour or download it for free.

Whodini – The Haunted House of Rock
DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince – Nightmare on My Street
Geto Boys – Minds Playing Tricks
– Nowhere to run, Nowhere to hide
The Arsonists – Halloween
Mykill Myers – Straight Dirt
Bad Meets Evil – Scary Movie
Jay-Z– D’Evils
Dana Dane – Nightmares
Mission 5 – Celery Stalks
Ice Cube – Dr. Frankenstein
Bone Thugs and Harmony – Hell Sent
Bobby Boris Picket – Monster Mash

I hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween!

WIB Haunted Rap Radio Hour by Thewordisbond.Com on Mixcloud

How to Set Up Your Music Class

This is my music classroom.

As you can see, I keep a clear aisle down the middle of the room.

This is especially important when I need to go help a student with an instrument problem.

I set up the chairs to form three rows of five on either side of the room. Each row has three music stands but a few extra stands are off to the side of the room if needed.

I really love this percussion section. The bass drum is huge and a little bit ridiculous. I don’t use it very often in my regular music classes because it is so loud and booming. But the drum kit is absolutely gorgeous.

I set up a keyboard section. The closet one belongs to the school, the one in the middle is the first keyboard I ever bought. It is a Yamaha PSR-510 and it cost me close to $1,000 back in the early 90s. Times sure have changed.

I found that air organ at a thrift shop earlier this year for $4.99. It has chord buttons for the left hand and has a great sound. I need to find a more appropriate stand for it, but it works for now.

I’ve been doing some collaborative improvisation with one of my classes and I also include two xylophones in this section. I will write a post about that unit very soon.

I will also be writing one about the routines and procedures I have in place for my music program. So make sure you come back for more Teaching Tip Tuesday posts!

And don’t forget to check the Teaching Tip Tuesday Archive for more great teaching ideas.

The Borg and The Cybermen Join Forces

The most evil enemy in the Doctor Who universe finds a way to crossover into the Star Trek universe.

That’s right, the Borg and the Cyberman have joined forces and that is bad news for the crew of the Enterprise and the entire universe.

Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who – Assimilation 2: Volume 1 by Tipton, Tipton, Lee, and Woodward.

Star Trek: The Next Generation / Doctor Who – Assimilation 2: Volume 1 by Tipton, Tipton, Purcell, and Woodward.

This two volume collection tells a nice story with breath-taking art. The Next Generation scenes are beautifully hand painted.

And the flashback scenes to the original series are done in a more traditional colouring scheme for the medium of comics.

It was a nice way to show the history the Doctor has had with both crews of the Enterprise. It was nice to see both of these fandoms coming together in a way that really works. I enjoyed this comic and I bet you will too.

My 2013 Reading Log (with links to every title I have read / will read over the course of this year)

Bob McMullen Linear Trail

The Bob McMullen Linear Trail is located in the village of Preston in the city of Cambridge, Ontario and it is a great place to get out, get some exercise, and commune with nature.

I like the historical and geographical information posted here. It is always nice to have some idea about what I am heading into during on my explorational runs.

I knew that the trail ran for 3.2 kilometers when I started my run and I planned on running the entire thing for a nice 6 kilometer route.

I’m not sure why I love small bridges like this but I do. Every great running spot seems to have one or two.

The view was beautiful. I had to stop and snap a picture of it.

The confluence of the Grand and Speed Rivers provides panoramic views and excellent bird watching opportunities. Species sighted include the Great Blue Heron, Osprey, numerous ducks, Red-Tailed Hawk, and the occasional Bald Eagle. from Cambridge website.

I’m not from Cambridge so I wasn’t familiar with Bob McMullen. This plaque is a great monument to his legacy. I am glad that people like Bob have given us great trails like this one.

Visit more trails and come for a run with me. 

Create Radio Plays in Your Classroom

This is one of my favourite activities to do in the classroom.

The first thing I do is introduce my students to the genre of Old Time Radio. I want them to understand that before television and movies, we could listen to all sorts of programs on the radio. I share with them some of the old Superman episodes as well as a few sitcoms and comedy shows.

I then divide my class into several small groups and do some guided writing with all of them. I have done this successfully with three different classes. The first time I did it, we performed our plays live-to-air on the local radio station.

Nowadays, I record the radio plays using a free computer program called Audacity. I have used this program for a variety of recordings over the past several years. It is quite versatile and best of all, it’s free.

This is the stand-out play this year. It was written by a group of Grade 3 students. They came up with the story completely on their own. I fleshed it out a bit and shaped it to have a clear progression and ending, but they wrote all of the dialogue.

I am quite proud with the work my students did.

Listen to our classroom radio play “Jungle Girls” with the player below or download it for free.

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

And then have your students create their own radio plays. It’s always a hit and a lot of fun!

Teaching Tip Tuesday – over 100 useful tips, tricks, and lesson plans.

Comic Book Television: Phase 3

It’s so refreshing to see comic book inspired television hitting the airwaves with quality writing and production.

We are now in a third phase of this trend, and I really hope that this one proves to be more effective than the last one.

No Ordinary Family was a great show that grounded superheroes in a family setting.

The Cape was a comic book brought to life.

These two shows were really well done but never managed to find a big enough audience to stay on the air.

I hope these next three shows stick around for a while.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. picks up right where The Avengers left off. Agent Coulson is back from the dead and heading up a division. He was such a beloved character in the movies. That’s why it’s nice to see him on the small screen every week. The show has already had two other movie actors appearing in cameo roles. Samuel Jackson even showed up as Nick Fury. Very cool stuff!

The Tomorrow People are capable of telepathy, telekinesis, and teleportation. They refer to their power as the 3-Ts. The show is similar in tone to The X-men comic since people fear this new evolution of the human species. I like how the mutants in this series all have the same powers. The lead character seems to be the most powerful of them all, and he only just discovered this ability.

The show is smart, well-paced, and has a lot of potential. I look forward to a great season.

Arrow is now in its second season and never once has his character been referred to as Green Arrow. He is referred to as The Hood in the series, but in the last episode, he expressed dissatisfaction with that name. I really wanted someone to call him Green Arrow but it never happened.

Even cooler, in that same episode, there was a Flash reference. I can’t wait for the reboot of this series, especially if Greg Berlanti has anything to do with it. He executive produces both Arrow and The Tomorrow People and has writing credits on both of them. He also created my all-time favourite show, Everwood. 

The Flash only survived one season in its first go-round on television. This was during Phase 2 of Comic Book Television. I really enjoyed that program too.

I will have to write about the other two phases of comic book television a little bit later. I have always loved this genre of show. I hope this new phase lasts a long time. 

Hip-Hop History Month is Every Month

Welcome to Know Your History, your monthly dose of hip-hop knowledge.

It’s hip-hop history month every month here on the program as we dive deep into topics that explore this rich, cultural history in detail.

I’m your host, Chase March, and this is Episode 35 of the program. Thanks for tuning in.

Remember you can catch Know Your History episodes anytime by clicking on the Hip-Hop History tab. You can subscribe to the weekly podcast at and you can listen to the radio program every week on 93.3 CFMU on your radio dial or worldwide at

Let’s celebrate all that is hip-hop for the next half hour.

There is a really strong hip-hop scene in Seattle. In fact, two years ago, the mayor issued a proclamation declaring November Hip-Hop History Month. It’s something to see that this month is actually recognized by a municipality. It isn’t just the local Zulu Nation chapter throwing a special event. It is a city-wide affair. That’s really cool.

I don’t know how they’ve decided that November 12, 1974 is the official birthday of hip-hop. I think the culture actually came together before this date. It just didn’t have a name yet.

The term was coined by Keith Cowboy, who apparently had been teasing a friend who joined the army by mimicking the marching cadence of soldiers. Instead of “left, right, left, right” he said, “Hip, hop, hip, hop” and even worked it into rhyme routine. People liked the sound of it and it caught on. You can hear it in quite a few songs.

Rapper’s Delight by the Sugarhill Gang was the first rap song that many people heard, but it was by no means the first rap song. Rap had been going strong for years prior to this song ever being released. In fact, the rhymes on that record weren’t even new. They were recycled from a lot of artists that you probably aren’t even familiar with. I hope that changes.

I hope people get schooled on hip-hop history. I think it’s important. I like the fact that we have a hip-hop history month but I’ve been celebrating hip-hop history each and every month for the past three years. That’s what this program is all about. This is Know Your History, your monthly dose of hip-hop knowledge and this is episode 35 of the program.

Today, we are celebrating the birth of hip-hop. We are now four decades into this unique and rich culture based around the music. We know it as hip-hop and this term isn’t disputed in the least. Now.

Back in the early days of this culture, it didn’t even have a name. It existed well before those tracks you just heard. In fact, hip-hop didn’t even start off as a recorded music artform. If you wanted to hear rap music, you needed to experience it live.

The first hip-hop live event is often cited as the party that legendary DJ Kool Herc performed at in August of 1973. It was held at 1520 Sedgwick Avenue in the West Bronx. It was his sister’s birthday party held in the community room of the building. She asked him to DJ for it as well. It was a modest event but successful enough. Soon, DJ Kool Herc was throwing regular block parties and the culture of hip-hop was starting to solidify.

In these early days of hip-hop, it was all about the deejay. The deejay would play records just to get people to dance. A few deejays realized that people really liked dancing to the breakdown portion of the records. This is the part of the song where many of the instruments drop out, sort of like a drum solo.

DJ Kool Herc used a style known as toasting. He would say short pithy rhymes to hype up the crowd. This was the earliest form of rapping in hip-hop culture. Soon, deejays employed MCs or Masters of Ceremonies to do all of the vocal work. They still weren’t called rappers. They were called MCs. This way deejays could focus on changing records quickly, scratching, and some of the more technical aspects of rocking a nice music set.

Afrika Bambataa heard the term “hip-hop” in used it to describe the entire subculture that was just starting to develop.

Some sources say that this new term “hip-hop” was used in a negative light to discredit the emerging new sound. If that’s true, it’s a pretty cool story about how we’ve made it our own over the past 38 years.

Hip-hop is a huge cultural force worldwide. But even four decades into its existence it is still misunderstood. Hip-Hop is not rap music. It is not deejyaing. It is not breakdancing. It is not graffiti art. And it’s not beatboxing. It does drive all of these things, however. It is a way of life. It is an expression. But most of all, it is a culture.

Grand Master Flash formed a group with 5 MCs and dropped their first single in 1979. He named the group Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five. The five members were Keith Cowboy, Melle Mel, Kid Creole, Rahiem, and Scorpio.

I like how they seamlessly blend vocals in their first outing. “Taking 5 MCs and make ‘em sound like one.” If you’re a fan of hip-hop, you’re probably familiar with that phrase and many others that you just heard. I actually cut that record short too. The original version of “Superappin’” is twelve minutes long.

It was a different time back then. We didn’t have commercial radio dictating what an acceptable song length was. Early hip-hop records would fill the entire record with one song. It was not uncommon to see songs that were anywhere from 7 minutes all the way up to 15 minutes. Rapper’s Delight had a couple different versions, one of which clocks in at 14 minutes and 37 seconds.

Press play to hear the entire show, featuring some great old school tracks, interview clips from Krs-One, and lots of great stories and history. Or you can download the podcast for free to listen to it at your leisure. Thanks for tuning in!

If you cannot see the audio controls, listen/download the audio file here

Chasing Content – October 2007

A classic is a classic, whether it be an old sports car or an old blog post.

Let’s not let the great content here on Silent Cacophony be forgotten. That’s why it’s time for a bonus edition of Chasing Content!

Read all of the posts from October 2007

or just these classics.

Commonplace Book # 7

I don’t know why but I haven’t updated my Commonplace Book in quite some time. I have close to 500 quotations in it right now and I love them all. It’s time I got back into the habit of sharing these.

Rap Music Got Me Reading a Classic

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a book that is referenced in hundreds of rap songs. I got curious and read it. And it was really great!

Best Concerts Ever

I don’t have to update this list. It is still completely on point. I love seeing music live and hopefully will add to this list soon. But for now, theses are still the best concerts I have ever attended. Maybe I should add Kelly Clarkson to the list though.

Fantastic Grade 4

I love this collaborative door art that my Grade 4 class made. I should do something similar this year with my Grade 7 class.

Where are the Parents?

This was a bit of a rant of the lack of parental involvement in public education. I need support from home to do my job effectively. Please click through, read my thoughts, and leave a comment letting me know what you think.

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!

Long Range Plan Template

I am in the process of writing my Long Range Plan for the new school year.

I divide the document up into 5 sections.

1. Affective Goals

I want my students to learn a lot more than the curriculum. As such, my three goals for this section have not changed over the past several years.

2. Academic Goals

In this section, I copy and paste the curriculum expectations from the Ministry of Education. I do this so I do not have to check the curriculum guides throughout the year. Everything is in one place and it helps keep me focused on what the students need to accomplish over the course of the year.

3. Year at a Glance Plans

I list the topic or focus for the month and the resources I will be using in section. I also write down the expectation codes I will be covering in each unit.

4. Week at a Glance Plans

We operate on a ten-day week in my school board. By breaking down the monthly plans into weekly plans, I make sure that I can move through the content I need to at a good pace.

I also like being able to quickly see what needs to be accomplished every week.

5. Expectations by Term

We have moved to a two-term school year but I find it easier to divide the year into three portions for ease of planning. As I fill in the monthly plans, I move down to this section of my document and account for each expectation. This ensures that every expectation is met over the course of the year.

I have written about this topic before. If you didn’t find exactly what you were looking for in this article, please read my previous post on the topic, Teaching Tip Tuesday – Long Range Plans.

This template should be a great starting point in writing your annual plan. You can download it for free and customize it however you see fit. If you have a plan you’d like to share, please contact me, or leave a comment below. Thanks!

Download The Long Range Plan Template (MS Word document)

Latest Daredevil Finds

Here are the latest additions to my ever-growing Daredevil Collection.

Daredevil figurine

This costume first appeared in the first volume of Daredevil comics and was seen in issues 319 – 344. It was designed by D.G.Chichester and Scott McDaniel. It had armour and billy clubs attached to Daredevil’s forearm. This action figure comes with an exploding grappling hook instead.

Daredevil Squinkies Toy

Squinkies are miniature figures that come in small clear globes. I was excited to see that Daredevil was included in this package. And even better, it was in the clearance section of the toy store.

But wait, it gets better.

Of the three mystery figures included, I also got Daredevil’s arch-nemesis Bullseye. Pretty cool, eh?

Superhero Squinkies

And I found this older Daredevil action figure in a loose toy bin at a comic book convention earlier this summer.

Daredevil Action figure

Want to see more?

Why Was This Never Released?

This is my all-time favourite Avril Lavigne song.

Why was this video never released?

Why am I only seeing it now some twelve years later?

Who cares?

It’s finally here!

I remember being part of the Avril Lavigne digital street team. I joined it as soon as I discovered her. “Complicated” was blowing up all over radio and we held a vote to see what song would be released as her second single. I picked this one. However, Skater Boi ultimately won the right to be the second single from the album.

Let Go, the debut album by Avril Lavigne is hands-down the best album of the 00 decade of the new millennium. I love it so much.

This video is pretty cool. She looks so cute in her old soccer jersey. I have a replica of the red Home Hardware one she had as a kid. I know, that makes me sound like a super-fan-girl-type-geek, but I don’t care.

Thank you so much Daniel QueImporta for uploading this on YouTube. It really made my day!

Download the video here.

Developing Integrity in Our Students – Teaching Tip Tuesday

I want to develop integrity in my students. I think it is the most important thing that we can do as teachers. To that end, I have designed large banners that are proudly displayed in my classroom. Across the front of my room, I have a banner that reads . . .

It is a shortened version of our classroom motto – Be in the Right Place, at the Right Time, doing the Right Thing.

Along the side wall in my room, I have this banner . . .

I have a classroom discussion about what this phrase actually means. Sometimes doing the right thing is not popular and it can actually be rather difficult. I relate this to the anti-bullying program we have in our school board about being an upstander.

I also have this banner displayed on a third wall . . .

We need to work together in this classroom. We cheer each other on and, when needed, cheer each other up.

During the first few weeks of school I set up routines and procedures. I have classroom discussions about what is required to have a smoothly running classroom.

Of course, having rules, routines, procedures, and mottos in place are great starting points but we need to move beyond that to develop integrity in our students. We should move in to the mindset of having Practical Wisdom.

Barry Swartz says, “The rules are like the notes on the page, and that gets you started, but then you dance around the notes on the page, coming up with just the right combination for this particular moment with this particular set of fellow players.”

Swartz wasn’t specifically talking about students but it’s an apt metaphor for the classroom. Any experienced teacher can tell you that what works for one group of students in one particular classroom, might not work for others.

Schwartz sums it up like this; “A wise person knows when to bend the rules. A wise person knows when to improvise. And most important, a wise person does this improvising and rule-bending in the service of the right aims. If you are a rule-bender and an improviser mostly to serve yourself, what you get is ruthless manipulation of other people. So it matters that you do this wise practice in the service of others and not in the service of yourself. And so the will to do the right thing is just as important as the moral skill of improvisation and exception-finding. Together they comprise practical wisdom, which Aristotle thought was the master virtue.”

Acting with integrity means being a morally upright person who is concerned with the needs of others. It means showing compassion and cooperation. It means doing your best. This is what I expect of myself and my students.

Swimming Through a Corn Maze

I went to a corn maze on the weekend with a group of friends. Perhaps, that wasn’t such a good idea.

We were warned that it was a little wet back there. We were prepared for a little mud. Little, being the operative word. After all, that is part of the fun right?

Little did we know that that warning was a bit of an understatement.

The maze was mostly dry for the start of our journey. There was a puddle here or there but it was pretty easy to navigate around those.

We got lost and ended up going in circles for about ten minutes. Then one person broke the rule of corn mazes and cut through a thin line of corn. Maybe that was our second mistake.

We got to a section of the maze that was completed covered in water. We tip-toed through that portion of the maze just fine . . . but when we got around the corner, we ran into this.

We knew that the green tape lead the way out of the maze. And since we were all a little bit tired at this point, we decided to trudge through the water.

The water was so deep, it went half way up my leg. It was cold too. We hoped that just around the corner we would come up on dry land. No such luck.

Every time we turned a corner, the flooded pathway stretched out for us even longer. It looked like there was no end in site.

By this point, I am cold and miserable but I can’t stop laughing. I have never been in this kind of a predicament before. It was kind of fun.

But then we came upon the white portion of the trail. We knew that green led the way out. White was an extended portion of the trail that none of us were particularly interested in navigating, despite the fact  that it was completely dry.

So, we turned around and trudged back through the cold, deep water and found our way out in about fifteen minutes.

That was some adventure. We almost could have swam through this corn maze.

I should have known better too.

Note to self – Don’t go to a corn maze after two solid days of rain.

Lesson learned!

Mill Pond Trail – Cambridge, ON

Let’s explore the Mill Pond Trail in Cambridge, Ontario.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started this trail run, but that is always part of the fun.

I stopped briefly to read this sign. The term “walkway” made me think that the trail continued somewhere else.

I looked to my left and saw that there was a similar trail on the other side of the pond, so that is where I decided to go.

This looks more like the main trail.

I really like how this trail has taken me through some interesting terrain. There are portions of it that run alongside suburban neighbourhoods, across woodchips, over dirt and gravel, and through the woods.

The trail came to a rather abrupt end at a small neighbourhood park. All in all, it seemed to be about four kilometers long. I had been running for about twenty minutes at this point when I had to turn around and head back.

I wasn’t sure where I was going here. The trail seemed to continue through a park directly across from the Mill Pond. It wasn’t the route I’d taken but I was sure it would loop up back to where I started.

The trail led me to a side street not too far from where I started this run at the corner of Hespeler and Guelph streets.

It was a nice run and the latest addition to my collection of nature trails.

Explore more trails here

Chasing Content – October 2012

“There is treasure in those thar archives,” said the blog prospector.

So, he pointed his browser to Silent Cacophony and discovered all of the great things that were happening right here one year ago.

And you can too.

Read all of the posts from last October. 

or just these special ones.

Tall Black Guy Interview and Mixset

I’ve been so swamped lately that it’s been impossible for me to transcribe interviews. I love being able to read them on this site as well as listen to them via podcast. Fortunately, I did get this one typed up. I hope you enjoy it!

Talia Soghomonian Interview

I interview author Talia Soghomonian and we talk about some of our favourite books. Read it or listen. It was a fun interview!

Swayze Falls Trail – Short Hills Provincial Park

This was a really fun run. There were some hills, bridges, and great views as I made my way to the feature attraction – the pretty much non-existent waterfall. It’s a good story too. Click through to read more.

Getting Older and Feeling It

This back injury sparked up again this summer. It sucks getting old.

How to Use a Paper Towel

This video changed my life. I’m not even joking. I use less than half the amount of paper towels that I used to. That’s a good thing.

200,000 Page Views

Last year at this time, I hit the 200,000 page view milestone. It felt really great to know that many people have visited my site and read my content. Last week. I hit 300,000. Hopefully things will continue to pick up. Thanks for sharing this ride with me!

Thanks for Chasing Content with me!

Classroom Management Books Worth Reading

With All Due Respect: Keys for Building Effective School Discipline by Ronald G. Morrish

This book has some great advice for both beginning and experienced teachers.

Here are some of the key passages I highlighted and notes I took as I read these two books.

Shared Rewards

“Whenever possible, use ‘shared’ rewards. Rather than giving a student some popcorn as a reward, have the student select several other students who will also receive the award. Sometime provide the reward to the entire class. Not only does this avoid selfishness, but it also serves to raise the social status of the student who earned the reward. This has far greater benefits in the long run than could be accomplished by providing popcorn as an individual reward.”

‘If you get a sticker from me, you must also take one for someone else.’ This simple act supports the goal of helping them ‘think about others’

5 Way to Improve Behaviour in the Classroom

  1. Compensation – Have the student do something positive to make up for doing something negative. This would apply to making his victim feel better, making the school look better, organizing an activity for others, and so on.
  2. Letter-writing – Have a misbehaving student write a letter to the victim(s) of his actions. Insist that any apologies be sincere. Have the student include a commitment regarding future actions, provided that the commitment is genuine.
  3. Improvement Plans – Have a student create a plan for how he will handle a situation better in the future. Keep the plan and follow up with it at a specified interval. Mark the follow up date on a calendar. If the plan has been implemented successfully, celebrate. If not, then it needs to be refined.
  4. Research – Have a student research the issue which is at the forefront of his behavioural difficulties. Include interviews with other students and adults.
  5. Teach Younger Students – Have a student write and illustrate a book which can then be read to students in lower grades. The story should indicate what the student has learned about his specific issue.

We don’t have the same picture in our heads!

“When you tell your children to clean a room, they don’t have the same picture in their brains. Hence, it is impossible for them to do the job exactly the way you wanted it done. They also don;t have the same labels. To you, an empty Coca-Cola can is ‘garbage’; to your children it’s ‘decoration’. If you really need to to get the job done properly, help the clean the room once and then take a photograph of the room. When it is time to clean it again, just say, “Make it look like this.”

Student Training Camp

“Professional sports teams start each season with a training camp. Every day, the coaches make the players practise various skills which will be essential for success during the season. They also run drills which are designed to train players to respond automatically in various situations. In addition players learn to respond to instructions from coaches without arguing. During the season, if the team goes into a slump, they get back to the ‘fundamentals’ by having a mini-training camp. By doing this, coaches re-establish routines that have been lost over time.

If training camps are important for highly paid athletes who are at the peak of professional abilities, then then are certainly important for students.”

How to Treat Supply Teachers

Split you class into groups and train the groups to do various jobs. One group takes on the responsibility for welcoming a substitute, getting any materials required, and showing them where things are located. This group also takes charge of opening exercises.

Assign each group s specific subject or period of the day. Their job is to ensure that everything runs smoothly. Instead of doing the work themselves, they are responsible for taking charge of groups, working with students who need extra help. Handing outr and collecting materials, explaining directions, and doing peer tutoring.

After the training is completed, arrange a practice session. Trade places with another teacher, one your students rarely deal with, and instruct your students to act as if the teacher were a substitute.

Your substitute teachers will be overjoyed at receiving such a high level of support. The number of incidents will plummet, and your students will have learned a host of great leadership skills along the way.

Don’t Give Them the Choice

This is an ‘If…then…’ statement. It’s a choice, not a limit.

Some choices are not for students to make, even if they are willing to live with the consequences.

For instance, some students don’t care about their marks. So, when a student tries to submit work which is below standards, use discipline rather than management. Hand it right back and say, ‘I’m not accepting this. You can do better. Take it back and do it again. I’m not marking it at all until it is done properly.’

Then do this for all student behaviour. Don’t accept underachievement in any form. Send the student back to do it again. This applies to the way they speak to you or to other students, how they handle frustration and anger, how they deal with substitute teachers – everything. Remember, real discipline gives the message that the only way you will behave is the right way, so get used to it.”

The Cost of Education 

It costs approximately $35.00 a day for a student to go to school, whether they are in attendance or not. Double that for most special education students and triple it for those in very special programs where extra staff is required, including behavioural programs. That’s a lot of money, so make sure you get your money’s worth every single day.

Three Types of Teasing 

Friendly Teasing, which is good natured and should be laughed at by both the giver and the receiver. If a child overreacts to this type of teasing, help him or her recognize that no spite was intended. It’s important for children to learn to laugh at themselves.

Incidental teasing, which may have gone a little too far but wasn’t intended to hurt. Teach the child to ignore this type of teasing or make a statement such as, ‘Please stop teasing me.” If the teasing continues, teach the first child that he or she has gone too far. You may need to teach this many times, since each situation is different. Remember that the limits on teasing are very abstract and difficult to learn. Children need to receive many teaching messages in many different situations.

Hurtful teasing is intended to hurt the other person and should be dealt with as a verbal ‘hit.” Respond with the clear statement of limits that you use for physical hits. Consider having a ‘No out-downs’ rule. Use this phrase whenever you hear the kind of aggressive teasing that is supposed to make someone feel small. Be prepared to enforce your rules. No means no!



Differentiate between positive and negative leadership
Comply without excessive supervision
Handle rules applied flexibly
Consideration for others applied to rules


Develop and present informed opinions
Back up belief statements
Question personal beliefs


Be empathetic
Appreciate others
Be sympathetic to others
Rally around
Solve problems of others and world problems


Move away from traditional groups
Don’t just work with friends
Pick people for a specific purpose
Groupings change as tasks change
Insist that everyone contributes
Recognize need and delegatee tasks
Evaluate others in the group.


Continue without the need for reminders
Track personal responsibilities and tasks
Prepare for the school day and individual classes
Be oragnized

Conflict Management

Know when to seek support from peers or teachers
Seek out ways to resolve conflict
Develop strategies to reduce stress
Be assertive rather than aggressive
Identify problems and feelings


Work until task is complete
Take personal short breaks as required without interfering with other students
Do not disrupt other people who are on task

Secrets of Discipline: 12 Keys for Raising Responsible Children by Ronald G. Morrish

I also read this book by the same author. Interesting stuff for all teachers in both of these books.