Smart Solutions to and Possible Reasons for Behavior Issues in School

So much can be changed by our reaction as adults to the students’ actions. Please review and follow this very important entry and blog by ACES too High. If you have never heard of the ACE Study, I invite you to read more about it at or send me an email or leave a comment and I can fill you in on this important work.

ACEs Too High


Two kindergarteners at Cherokee Point Elementary School in San Diego’s City Heights neighborhood get into a fight on the playground. Their teacher sends them to the principal’s office. 

Instead of suspending or expelling the six-year-olds, as happens in many schools, Principal Godwin Higa ushers them to his side of the desk. He sits down so that he can talk with them eye-to-eye and quietly asks: “What happened?” He points to one of the boys. “You go first.” 

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LOC Call for Teacher-In-Residence Applications

An awesome opportunity just popped into my inbox and unfortunately I cannot take part so I wanted to pass it along in case any of my followers can!

The Library of Congress (LOC) has opened the application process for their Teacher-In-Residence.  Visit their website here for more information.

Day Five: Greater Good

What’s the best way to donate money to numerous organizations at the same time?  Browsing and shopping online of course!  At the Greater Good website, with the simple single click of a button you can donate bowls of food, help sponsor a mammogram, pay for a meal for a veteran, help provide books to children, support Autism research, and help women rise out of poverty by becoming financially independent business entrepeneurs.  And you don’t have to donate a penny out of your own pocket.  Sponsors will donate a certain amount for each click on one of the 7 buttons on the sub-pages of the Great Good website individualized for each charity function.  See below for the different sub-pages: greater good

But what is the Greater Good?  CharityUSA owns and operates the Greater Good Network of stores and their mission is to heal the world (idealistic I know, but we all have to have a goal).  To date, they have given more than $26 million to charities worldwide.  Information on their organization in particular on the websites is scarce so I did some digging of my own.  Information on their organization can be found at the Washington Secretary of State Charities Program listing here but probably the best explanation of the way their organization works can be found here.  They do not sell products made by children or produced in unsafe or coercive work environments.  You can read more about them in their own words on the About Us page here.

My favorite part of the website is the shopping.  Each sub-page has a different store.  In each store are products that you quite often cannot find anywhere else and many are handcrafted.  In fact, many people that I know are receiving Christmas presents from The Hunger Site.  With a single order totalling $100 to myself, they told me that I support 650 bowls of food to the hungry.  Needless to say, I felt guilty for my $150 grocery bill that month.

Chilean Good Luck Pig

Chilean Good Luck Pig

The products that you receive are top quality and exactly as they are described on the site.  Their shipping is way over estimated.  I received my large box of goodies far before they told me I would.   So far, I have two favorite things I have purchased from the website.  They are small, but adorable.  The first is the Chilean Good Luck Pig: “This adorable handmade clay pig is a meaningful symbol in Chile’s vibrant culture, where tradition holds that three-legged pigs bring good luck to their owners. Makes a great gift for yourself or someone special… after all, who couldn’t use a bit of good fortune?”  It’s only $6.95 (and quite often goes on sale for around $5) and it really is adorable.  Everyone in my family is getting one in their stocking this year.

Sacred Mark Soaps

Sacred Mark Soaps

The second thing I love are these Sacred Mark soaps from the Global Girlfriend page: “Made by survivors, these 100% natural soaps are handcrafted by women in the red-light district of Bangladesh. These women have made a clean break from their previous lifestyle and have chosen soap making as an alternative source of income. Sacred Mark Enterprise allows these women to provide for themselves in a way which brings pride and respect to their community as well as themselves.  Packaged with love and marked with a thumb print by the courageous and inspirational women that make them.”  These soaps are only $6.  I do question whether or not the thumb print is actually of the woman who made them, but I did buy the Chai and the Lavender ones and they do have different thumb prints, but that’s not the major point of the soap.  They smell amazing and have made great presents as well.

Browse around the websites, read about their missions and fall in love with each website as I have.  They truly have unique items and an interesting way of business that, to me, is innovative.  I would love to see a followup to see what organizations have benefitted the most from the donations from this website but alas, I know some things are just not that easy.

The Greater Good:

Check them out!

Day 1: Donors Choose

I’m a little behind in this!  Argh this holiday season is not as smooth sailing as I want it to be!  In light of the recent tragedy in Newtown, CT, I want to highlight what all our public schools are doing for our children.  Every day teachers around the country walk into amazing classrooms, filled with up to date technology and state of the art, brand new textbooks and every supply they need.  However, some others walk into classrooms that have outdate textbooks, no technology, and crayons, markers, and other supplies that they have spent their own money on just so their children can have the simple items.  As a fifth grade teacher, I went into a classroom that very much resembled one from my own elementary school in the early 80s… and it was 2005.

Donors ChooseThus, the first charity I want to highlight is   Their mission is to “engage the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity. We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.”  This website lets you pick a specific project in individual classrooms to donate money towards.  Teachers from across the nation can post their desires for items for projects or simple things like markers for their classrooms.  The best part is that you can give any amount that you want towards a project, from just a single dollar to funding the whole project.  The money goes to the organization who purchases the products and sends them directly to the teacher.

If the project doesn’t reach the goal, the money gets sent back to the donater as an account credit and you can then choose a different project to fund or send the teacher a Donors Choose gift card.

Charles Best, founder of DonorsChoose.orgCheck out this fascinating timeline here from their website on the success of their charity.  I admit, there were a few times when I teared up, especially when a tornado struck Joplin, MO in August 2011 and 260 Joplin teachers posted to to rebuild their classrooms and all of the projects were funded.  No country bonds together like the United States when in crisis.  The best part is that it was created by a history teacher, Charles Best (pictured above).

If you want to know more about their financials and legal aspects of the company, they post it on their website here.  So go check out their website and browse around.  Even if you can’t or don’t donate any money, it’s fun to look at the different projects going on around the country in our local schools and just how much our teachers care about our children and the development of their young minds.

Projects website:

I’m sure that you are with me when I say our thoughts and prayers are with those who are suffering across the globe from gun violence, but especially the families in Newtown, CT.  May we find a way to help the people who need it so more tragedies like this do not occur.  In this time, its more important than ever to let our teachers know how much we value them.  Find a project within your local community and help a teacher.

New Years Resolution- Early!

Taken from:,r:1,s:100,i:7I’ve been thinking about my New Years resolution (NYR).  Every year I vow to learn some new skill that will ultimately push me farther and make me a better person.  Last year my NYR was to finish grad school.  I’m almost there!  Now I feel like I want to change it up a little bit and learn more about myself and expand my skills through what I can do for others.  There are lots of countdowns to Christmas or New Years going on out there so I’m going to throw this blog into the countdown ring and starting on December 15th, I’ll have my 15 top “charities” or places that do good in the community that accept donations.  Then, be thinking because on December 31st I will be asking you what your NYR are!  So check back later this month and pick one or more charities to donate to, do something good with, or tell me about one that is special to you! 

Power of Music

In a historical sense, music can tell the story of an era, an event, as well as portraying emotion.  Music reminds us of our own personal history, bringing up memories, either fond or ones that we wish we could forget.  Please watch this video below regarding the healing power of music.  It touched my heart.  I hope it touches yours enough to pass on:

What are you doing for the humanities?

So its now 2012.  Ok, its been 2012, I’m just a little late on the bandwagon.  Welcome to my slice of internet to keep me on track and hopefully inspire you, make you laugh a little (or maybe a lot), and expand your mind a slight bit.  I am currently one year out from graduation with a Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree in American History from Florida State University.  I work full time at another department utilizing my undergraduate degrees in Child Development and Psychology- and I discovered that this is so not what I want to do with the rest of my life.  However, now I am stuck between two worlds- one that I came from and one that I’m attempting to transition into.  There is no happy medium.  They both want you full time and there’s only so much of yourself that you can give.

Thus, this year I asked myself, what can I do better to be a better graduate student and historian?  I’m going to be released into this world soon to find a job in a market that does not look favorable and I need the knowledge to show for it.  I had no answer for this.  Thus, it took me nearly two months to figure out something to do that could keep me on track in my head and help me do something that I love to do – help and teach others.  The plans that I have for this space include updates in the field that I’m made aware of through the University and other memberships, nerdy history facts that I get excited over, fun classroom ideas & activities, random bits of information and updates from the field, updates from the conferences that I attend, and photos and information from my travels that I do constantly to awesome places because “history is made everyday” (thanks History Channel lol).

Comment at will – positively, negatively, or randomly.  On the side I have the blogs and websites I follow as well as other little fun tidbits about me.  Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter as well!