A Poem to think about Today: Words are Wonderful Things

Words are Wonderful Things

Keep a watch on your words, my darling,
For words are wonderful things;

They are sweet like the bees’ fresh honey,
Like the bees they have terrible stings;

They can bless like the warm, glad sunshine,
And brighten a lonely life;

They can cut, in the strife of anger,
Like an open, two-edged knife.

  • E. R. Miller

A Poem to think about today: The Cow Path

The Cow Path
by Sam Walter Foss


One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;


But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.
Since then three hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.
The trail was taken up next day,
By a lone dog that passed that way.
And then a wise bell-wether sheep,
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep;
And drew the flock behind him too,
As good bell-wethers always do.
And from that day, o’er hill and glade.
Through those old woods a path was made.


And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about;
And uttered words of righteous wrath,
Because ’twas such a crooked path.
But still they followed – do not laugh –
The first migrations of that calf.
And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.


This forest path became a lane,
that bent, and turned, and turned again.
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load,
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half,
They trod the footsteps of that calf.


The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;
And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare;
And soon the central street was this,
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half,
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.


Each day a hundred thousand rout,
Followed the zigzag calf about;
And o’er his crooked journey went,
The traffic of a continent.
A Hundred thousand men were led,
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;
For thus such reverence is lent,
To well established precedent.


A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind,
Along the calf-paths of the mind;
And work away from sun to sun,
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.
They keep the path a sacred groove,
Along which all their lives they move.
But how the wise old wood gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!
Ah! many things this tale might teach –
But I am not ordained to preach.

(Suggested by Linda Simonson)

Maps & Globes Lesson Library

World Maps Online offers a huge collection of graded lesson plans for students from K-12 on how to read, use and interpret maps and globes. These short lessons and activities cover both US Maps and World Maps, and include history-based lessons, latitude and longitude, time, population, culture, hands on ideas, literature-based lessons and more. Lessons can be viewed online or downloaded as PDFs. There is a lot more here than you would think. Great resource!

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Tips for Times Tables

Here’s a neat PDF booklet put together by the Cumbria Numeracy Team to help you teach multiplication tables to your kids. The teaching ideas in this short collection incorporate a range of learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) and specific needs (such as dyslexia or dyscalculia), so you can pick the ideas that will work best for your situation.

To download this PDF, right click here and “save link” to your computer. Mac users, press the “control” key then click the link and save to your mac.

Heart & Health lessons

screen-shot-2016-09-16-at-6-59-44-amThe American Heart Association has dozens of interesting lessons based on heart health and fitness, created especially for middle school age students. There are several series of lessons created over the past 10 years, and they cover language arts, math, science, social studies, food choices and physical education. Some of these get very creative, and are well worth your consideration, for instance: Calculate how far your blood travels in one day (1200 miles), learn what a calorie is, and others.

Click here to go to their lesson plans download page

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