ResolutionImage by sneeu via Flickr

New Year's Day is around the corner and there is so much on the news or print media (what is that?) and the web about setting resolutions. Do you set them? Sometimes I do, sometimes I do not.

The top resolutions people set are to:
  • spend more time with family
  • improve health/diet
  • financial responsibility
  • volunteer to help others
  • reduce stress
  • more education / learn something new.

There are several sites and books that can help with improving these areas of one's life. It is just finding the one technique that works to help stay on task or ahead of the curve with items on the to do list.

Here is a list of books from Amazon about resolutions. Check out this list of quotes about New Year's Resolutions. There are a number of songs about New Year's as well. Can't think of a resolution? Try this collection of sites which are filled with ideas for resolutions.
Finally, here are several sites giving you information about the history of New Year's Day and resolutions.

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Netbook Skin using (Lenovo S10)Image by Amphinomus via Flickr

I am no English teacher, and don't spell very well, but thank you to the person who invented the spell checker! This site offers the top 10 misused and misspelled words that everyone can master. Be sure to read the whole page, because there are a few words in there you may NOT want in your school classroom. If this fits your classroom, you can purchase a poster of the page. Make it a New Year's Resolution to spell these correctly in 2010.
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Try this Google Custom search to find photos on over 35 sites:

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June 02Image by rmom352 via Flickr

Last year I was inspired to create a photo-blog and take a photo a day for 2009. It was really fun in the beginning because it was so new. I admit it got tough after a while, but I kept plugging away. Here it is December 26 and I am still going strong. There were days I didn't post, but later went back and added something to the date. Just this morning I saw a post on plurk to try the one photo a week challenge. This is a no pressure voluntary activity, to share photos with fellow educators. In return you get access to their photos that you can freely use in your blogs, sites, or documents as most are attribution license. The photos can be of anything that inspires you for the day, a flower, a sign, seasonal photos, or everyday objects, just have fun with it. Here is one the of photos I took during the year. If I take them at school, I try not to get kids faces so there is no issue for permission or identitiy.
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I have often seen emails spelled out or done in creative ways on websites, but I figured it was a creativity idea. After reading a Tweet from rmbyrne with this URL: I thought I would follow the trail and find out more. The tweet led me to Sue Waters blog post about protecting your email from scam bots, in several different ways. She provides several email image generators to make your email look something like the examples below. I strongly suggest that you visit this post by Sue and change how you publish your email on blogs, wikis and other websites you maintain.

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In the spirit of the giving season, we have a gift for you...

Through January 18, ALL TeachHUB MEMBERS will have access to the archive of 500+ Printable Pop Culture Lesson Plans.

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New SmartBoard 011Image by LisaThumann via Flickr

Someone on pointed me to this great wiki about measurement tools for the SmartBoard. This collection is nicely organized into specific categories, angles, length, time, volume, perimeter, temperature, weight, and money. The author, J Dornberg has nice neat descriptions of the tools and their implementation in your classroom. For example, he mentions that the buttons are located on the bottom of the screen in one application, so younger children can participate. This is a good addition for your SmartBoard library of tools to use in your room!
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Spore HeroImage via Wikipedia

This season you may get requests for several video games. Before you go and purchase those requests, you may want to read this article about the "Cool Games for Kids". This is a review of popular games and describes the action and gore level. There are some additional hints for better choices at the end of each description.
Included is a list of CommonSense Media's 10 most violent video games. Be sure to read that list carefully. Print the list, so you can have it handy to ask others if they allow their kids to play them when your children are going to be at that home. I have to agree with some of their choices. I have watched my kids play games with their friends at my house. Some of the bloody stuff was too much for me. Teens are desensitized to the violence and that is what bothers me the most. When I hear that machine gun bursting, it makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

My son and his friends are over 18 and like to play other games as well, Spore, Restaurant in Facebook, map maker from Call of Duty, and other map maker options. I have seen these kids play paintball, airsoft and make videos for fun. They are not violent kids, but they ARE desensitized to gore. Care should be taken in previewing the type of videos kids watch. The recent popularity of horror or gore movies gives me chills. I can't even watch the trailers. I am truly worried about this teen generation and their attitude toward death, torture, and violence in song, games movies and other media. Only time will tell the effects on our kids. The articles below contradict each other, but worth the read.
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Teachers get upset that people don't take their careers seriously. No wonder, when you see ads like this !!!! I would like two masters and a Phd please. Look and see who it is sponsord by at the bottom of the advertisement.

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Make an elf, potato, sand design,
Santa face, or snowflake,
gingerbread person(1), you can
spud yourself or elf yourself with these links!
Jan Brett has a gingerbread(2) site too! Here are my snowflake and
gingerbread(3) creations.

You can also decorate a
Christmas Tree (1), Christmas Tree(2),Christmas Tree (3), and another
Christmas Tree (4). Put the lights on the Christmas Village. If you like the cold, make a
snow family(1), snow family(2), or snow family (3). Help Mrs.Claus decorate.
If you are not too tired after all of that, try some Christmas Games. Finally, you can have an online advent calendar for your class or family. Here is another simple snowman activity for early elementary students.
Here are
10 different choices of online advent calendars.

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