to my Educational
Here you will find "Everyone Must Do" links (for
"I Need Help!" links (for any student in need of
and "What's a Parent to Do?" links (pretty
Also, there are a few "Teacher Resources" at
the end of this page,
which may prove useful to parents looking to get
a glimpse into the educators' psyche.
Must Do" (current
We will be using TurnInIn.com
all our formal essay and paper submissions this year. TurnItIn is a
site that you will upload your finished papers to (much as you might
attach a photo to an email or upload pictures to your Facebook) where
they will be checked for plagiarism.
When it is time for you to register for the site, I will give you a
detailed list of printed instructions to follow.
For now, you might want to...
Familiarize yourself with Westhill's
Plagiarism Policy, and the
consequences involved in plagiarizing. To
According to the Plagiarism Handbook, "The consequences for cheating /
plagiarizing can range from failing the assignment to losing credit for
the class," and are at the discretion of the individual teacher. I have
no patience, or sympathy, for cheaters. Do not
If you are planning on
playing a sport this year (and I heartily encourage you to try-out the
title of "student-athlete") visit the Westhill
Sports website. There is even a
link here to required
forms (medical consent, etc.)
that you must fill-out and file prior
to the start of your season.
forget to start your FIRST
class assignment! Visit the Stanford
Philosophical Encyclopedia site
and read the short Biography of
Niccolo Machiavelli. Read from the section at the top starting with
"Why Machiavelli?" and when you are done with that, scroll down and
read the couple of paragraphs under Biography. There will be an
in-class quiz on this, prior to our discussion and examination of
Machiavellian ideas, in conjunction with our Class Rules discussion.
"I Need Help!"
(any and all
If you are having a hard-time with a
text, there is
NO REASON not to take a trip to SparkNotes.com,
contrary to what you may have heard. On the SparkNotes site, go to
Search at the top of the screen, and enter the title of the work you
need help with. This will take you to a page (see example for
contains summaries of the scenes (or chapters, if you search a novel),
a quiz to check for understanding, important characters and quotations,
and possible study questions and essay topics. Very helpful!
good (and free!) resource
for help with homework is Homework
Spot. Here, you can search by
grade, topic, novel, subject or
really anything to find people studying the same sorts of issues with
you, and having the same struggles. There's lots of advice and even
templates showing how to do certain types of assignments.
"What's a Parent to Do?"
There are a number of "issues" parents
me with me over the past few years, and while some answers still elude
me (I don't have kids of my own yet, folks) here are some resources
I've discovered that could prove helpful, whatever the situation:
Tutoring: If your son /
daughter needs help in any of the
courses at Westhill H.S., or is identified as having "special needs"
and requires an educational plan-of-attack to be drawn-up for them, I
Educational Group located here
in Stamford, CT. They have an
excellent approach to private tutoring and diversify their program to
fit the individual student.
Counselling: If a family
member or friend falls ill or worse
and your child needs help, I cannot say enough about the wonderful work
being done by the Den
Grieving Kids in Greenwich, CT.
They are a not-for-profit, and
Therapy and Social Services:
Westhill offers a number of great
programs and services, which are enumerated on the Guidance
portion of the school website. In addition, the school employs a
fantastic psychologist who I am proud to call a friend, as well as a
colleague. Her name is Dr. Evelyn Bilias, and you can email her here.
are a few sites I use myself when lesson-planning or checking
that my lesson-plans align to the curriculum. They may be useful to you
as well! The first is Teacher Planet,
and the link I have provided takes you directly to the Calendar
portion. Here you can find lesson-plans based on events of the
particular month they are being taught in (Black History month, lessons
related to Valentine's Day, what is an Indian summer anyway plans,
etc.), or search by topic (put Othello in the search box, a whole lot
comes up!) Next, I provided you with the link to 123 Certificates,
which I find
endlessly useful even in high school, and I am sure would help with
parenting too! Here you can make fancy certificates for almost any
event, from being a great in-class participant to doing the dishes at
home. Lastly, there is a link to the English Language Arts Curriculum
Framework, which is to say, the guidelines that all lesson-planning I
do must adhere to and support. Thanks for reading, and enjoy!
you are looking for?
Try one of the searchable databases below.
my favorite (and I feel most reliable) search engine, you can "Google"
a particular text or work here, or a topic you need to know more about,
and the answers it pulls are generally pretty reliable. Ed Resources
is a company that deals
in many types of education software, I find that their prices are good
and their products reliable.
Questions? Comments? Email
Tobin, by clicking the button:
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