Polski3's View from Here

Quote of some personal revelence: "Is a dream a lie, that don't come true, or is it something worse?"

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Links to pictures of Postage Stamps

This little bookmark project has sparked a bit of interest from some other teachers, and that is good. Here are some links to finding pictures of postage stamps that can be used to create bookmarks:

American Philatelic Society: www.stamps.org. (Check out the "sales" pages....Browse.)

U.S. Postal Service: www.usps.com (source for new U S Postage stamps)

www.stampsofchina.com (Chinese postage stamps dipecting the great wall of China (early airmail stamps), and junks (see section featuring the 1913 London printing)

www.linns.com I'd suggest this as a source for finding a dealer or two selling packets (packets are usually an envelope of postage stamps all about the same topic, such as animals, dinosaurs, trains, space, flowers, etc.)

www.regencySuperior.com This is an auction house that deals with philatelic material. Their website has good photos of many postage stamps.

E-bay.com They have a whole section featuring stamps, most of which have photos of the stamps for sale. Be careful printing some of these images, many are not too sharp.

Your neighbors. Ask around, you may find someone who collects postage stamps and would be happy to help you with what you seek.....stamps, pictures of postage stamps, etc. AND, do you have a shop nearby that sells postage stamps for collectors? If you collect used postage stamps, tear off the corner of the envelope with the stamp, soak them in water to separate the postage stamp from the envelope fragment, dry on paper towel or newspaper, then using clean blotting paper or even paper towels. press them for a few days to make sure they are dry and flat.
Again, Linns.com, a local stamp shop, or a collector can help you with how to do these things. NOTE: Many recent US postage stamps that are the self-adhesive kind, do not soak off paper easliy. If you use these, you might want to just cut the stamp off the envelope and use it like that.

Your local library may have copies of the Scott Publishing Company "Standard Postage Stamp Catalogue." The world postage stamps are divided up into about five or six volumes, there is one volume for US postage stamps and one for "Classics", those published in the first 100 years of postage stamp publication (1840-1940). These can help you identify postage stamps, the huge variety of topics shown on postage stamps and their country of origin

Note: the postage stamps of Britain do not say "Britain" or "UK" or "United Kingdom" on them. The Brits believe that since they printed the worlds first postage stamps, they did not need to put the name of their country on their postage stamps. Many will have a silhouette of the queens head in one corner of the postage stamp
Several of these websites also have links to other philatelic websites that may contain useful images of postage stamps. Some postage stamps, mostly older issues, from some Middle Eastern and southern Asian nations do not have the name of the country of issue in English on the postage stamp.

If you should wish to use real postage stamps, there are also stamp dealers who will be happy to help you select some interesting postage stamps for your project and of course, sell you postage stamps....many nice ones are fairly cheap. You can buy whole sheets (often 50 stamps) of US postage stamps from the 50's and 60's for about face value. There are also available on today's postage stamp market many packets of topical postage stamps, that is, stamps that all depict animals, trains, ships, flowers, etc. This postage stamp bookmark project that can be useful for science teachers too..... creating a bookmark of postage stamps which depict US Space achievements, animals of Australia, rocks and minerals...... The world of postage stamps contains postage stamps depicting just about everything.....

Linns.com has a sales section, which can link you to dealers who sell whole sheets of US postage stamps.

Postage stamps come in two basic forms, used and mint. Used means they were used for postage or are "canceled to order". Mint means they were never used for postage.

There are many Christmas postage stamps available, usually cheap. You could use these to make "Christmas Postage Stamp" Bookmarks that younger students could give their family members as gifts.

When I see a postage stamp image that I want to print, I right click my mouse, click on "print picture" Then print a copy or copies of the stamp. I suppose you could save the image then play around with your computer programs that can put three or four images together like you want them for the bookmark, then just print out the whole image on stock card weight paper and cut out each bookmark. Me, I like to cut out individual postage stamp images, glue them on the stock card paper.....I believe this makes more individualized bookmarks. This project is not that complex, try it and have fun with your kids.

I have a few small packets of postage stamps depicting Australian animals and US space achievements that are from a short lived business venture. If any of you are interested in obtaining some of these postage stamps, let me how to reach you via the comments section.

I hope this helps. Please feel free to ask questions in the comment section.

As always, thanks for reading my blog! I welcome your comments!

Friday, April 21, 2006

Chinese Postage Stamp Bookmarks

As requested by a reader, here are images of a couple of the bookmarks I am making to use as prizes in my upcoming China Unit. If any of you want to know more about finding images of postage stamps, how I am making these bookmarks, etc., just let me know; I am happy to share this with you. Note, these bookmarks have not yet been laminated.

Thanks for reading my blog! As always, your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

High BP or a pencil ?

Scenario One:

Teacher (to student talking to another student at start of class): "Why are you two talking ? YOU SHOULD KNOW OUR PROCEDURE BY NOW! Enter Class QUIETLY, SIT DOWN, FILL OUT YOUR DAILY PLANNER AND COPY OUR OPENER! HOW HARD IS THAT????? "WHY aren't you filling out your daily planner and copying the opener activity like you're supposed to ?"

Student: "i was jus askin' him for a pencil cause i ain't got one."

Teacher: "WHY NOT? Don't you know by now, here toward the end of grade seven, that you ALWAYS NEED A PENCIL ?????"

Student: "I lost it"

Teacher: "SO ???? You're in Seventh Grade!, don't you know to have several pencils ready to use for classes????? What's the matter with you???"

Student: (slumped at desk, head down) "I donnknow".

Teacher: "You better be prepared tomorrow!"

Scenario Two:

Teacher (to student talking to another student at start of class): "Whats going on, you two....come on now, you know the procedure and routine, please enter class quietly, sit down, fill out your daily planner and copy the opener activity."

Student: "i was jus askin' him for a pencil cause i ain't got one."

Teacher: OK, so just quietly go get one from the pencil cup. IF there isn't one there, then just ask me. I usually have a hoard of pencils I get free from different places....just ask!"

So, what do you think ? Dealing with junior high kids, does scenario one or two happen most often? In my classes, my pencil cup is a souvenir cup from Hoover Dam, and is smilingly referred to as the "dam cup". For you newer teachers, these kind of things are the little things that can make your teaching easier. YES, a seventh grader should know by that level of time in school to be more prepared. But some of them just aren't. So, as the teacher, is this worth a rise in blood pressure? In my experience, no. Just get the kid a pencil. Hollering at them about it doesn't get them a pencil and doesn't set a good tone for anyone. Even if it is a kid whom you have already given a dozen or more pencils to. I have been there in scenario one.....and it is not worth it.

What other "little things" do you do that make teaching easier for yourself and your students? Please share them with us!

Thanks for reading my blog! Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Kom to Amerika !

As you know, many people have been protesting our national governments most recent attempt to deal with illegal immigration. Sadly, too many of the young people who are protesting these proposed laws are alienating people by waving the flag of Mexico, carrying signs written in Spanish, shouting to the cameras "Viva La Raza!" and ditching school to participate in these protest marches.

On my father's side of my family, I am third generation Polish ancestry. (My Mother's side of the family has been in the America's since about 1630.) My fraternal great-grandparents immigrated to this country about 1890. One of them, Marczel Kuczynski, left the part of Poland under the dictatorship of the Tsar of Russia. He claimed he left Poland to avoid "killing people". You see, at that time, young men of his social class (the small Polish middle class), were expected to serve in the Army of the Tsar when they turned 18. At that time, one of the things the soldiers of the Tsar did, were the polgrams, the random terrorization and killing of Jews. Marczel claimed he didn't want to be a "kozzack", those who were in the forefront in the Tsar's polgrams. So, from sources unknown, he scraped up the money to immigrate to the United States. He settled in Chicago, and became a naturalized US citizen. He worked as a janitor and laborer in various factories in Chicago. They lived around other immigrants (Poles, Lithuanians, Hungarian, Irish)in the Chicago neighborhood called "Bridgetown", not far from today's Midway Airport. He married a girl from Poland and they had some children. My great-grandma, Maryanna died at age 36, probably from TB. His son's went to the local city schools, but when they became teens, they were expected to work and bring their money home to Papa. My grandfather, Stanislaus, finally decided to leave Chicago in 1917, at age 20. He took the train to St Louis and joined the US Army. He did have a skill that his company commander could use, he could type. Not many men could type in 1917. So he was a company clerk. They trained, then set out for an embarkment camp in Massachusetts. While there in Massachusetts, Stanislaus met a girl named Josephine who worked in a shoe factory. She'd worked in the shoe factory since she was about ten years old, never attending school past third grade. Her father, Tomaz Morus had also immigrated from Poland, I don't know which part of Poland he came from, the Russian part, the German part or the Austrian part. But he settled in Massachusetts, got a job at a shoe factory, married a Polish immigrant girl named Kristina Macijewska, and they had a number of children, mostly girls.

Anyhow, after Stanislaus was discharged from the US Army in 1919, he and Josephine married in Massachusetts. They moved to Chicago, then New York City, to Dorchester (Boston), to Chicago, and eventually to Phoenix. Stanislaus had a hard time keeping a job, he was sick much of the time with a lung ailment he picked up while in the Army. He also smoked at least two packs of cigarettes a day. Of course back then, if you missed too much work, you were fired. They lived poorly. But their children went to school. Every one of the five children graduated from high school. Their eldest daughter earned her LLD from the University of Chicago. Another daughter earned two master's degrees. Their oldest son would probably gone to college, but WWII came along and instead of attending college, he was in the Army Air Corp. The plane he was flying to drop paratroopers over the Cherbourg Peninsula of Normandy on the night of June 5-6, 1944 was shot down. He survived being shot down, but ended up in various German POW camps. After the war, he married almost as soon as he set foot in the US, began a family and just didn't have time to go to the university. But all four of his daughters graduated from college and hold professional positions. Stanislaus and Josephine's youngest son, my Dad, went off to work to take care of his family every day. He never really attended college, but earned credentials for his technological field (electronics). But three of his children are college graduates. This branch of the family tree isn't Polish, We're Americans, and we're Americans who are proud of our ethnic heritage.

Anyhow, I don't know if my great-grandparents immigrated here legally or not. They didn't "take" from those in this country who work hard; they joined them in the shoe factories of Massachusetts and the factories of Chicago, and became part of this country. And, the children and grandchildren of many of yesterday's immigrates did too. Undoubtedly, the children and grandchildren of many of today's immigrants will become part of this country too. I hope. What I see online, on TV and in the newspapers is making me wonder about where lies the loyalties of many of these young people. I doubt many of them have ever been to the small villages that were the home of their parents or grandparents. I won't even get into it here, about the fact that many do not seem to understand that the proposed laws are about illegal immigration, not Hispanics as a group or about legal immigrants. IF anything, they are going to cause problems for those who are here legally and perhaps bring about some unwanted attention from government authorities that they own families might not appreciate. Anyhow....

Today, as you know, there are legal limits for immigrants from all countries of the world. But our government seems to have a problem in enforcing our immigration laws today. And many, many people are breaking our laws to come to the United States. I don't blame most of them for coming to this country. Like my great-grandparents, there is nothing in their 'home country' for them. This country is still a "land of opportunity" for people. But I do have an issue with people, whether here legally or illegally, obeying our laws. Laws are a necessary part of our existence to ensure some level of civility. Break the law, and bad things happen. To some people, seeing businesses advertise in Spanish is a bad thing. Seeing the changes that are happening to the US is a bad thing. Seeing many people living in your town who are not "like you" is a bad thing. It is bad to watch the cost of health care keep going up and up and up, in part due to those people who must be medically treated at our hospitals and whom have no insurance, be they living in the US legally or illegally. Personally, I welcome anyone who wants to come here to work, contribute and join our great nation. But our nation will not remain great if too many keep taking and taking and not joining our people. To me, this is the real issue that must be delt with. Are they coming here to join with us, or just take from us ? IF they are here to join us, then lets continue to welcome them and help them become part of our great nation. But it they are here for other reasons, no; send them back to where they came from and keep them from returning.

Thanks for reading my blog. As always, you comments are welcome!