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The Response-Able Educator Newsletter 5
July, 2002


Welcome! This is a free newsletter on becoming a Response-Able teacher and developing Response-Able students.



My mission is to inspire, encourage and uplift the spirits of educators so they can in turn inspire, encourage, and uplift the spirits of their students.




1. Quote

2. Idea Exchange

3. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation

4. Teacher Talk

5. Contest Winner

6. Parent Talk Audio Cassette

7. Article: "Pop Quiz"

9. Subscription Information


1. Quote [back to top]


"Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig."


2. Idea Exchange [back to top]



I don't like classroom spell-downs. You can probably predict why. The same students always win. The same students get eliminated early. The student who needs the most spelling practice, gets the least. The one who needs the least practice, gets the most. Spell-downs are simply forced competition between students of unequal abilities.

I never did like spell-downs. That is, not until I saw the YOU ARE OUT version. In YOU ARE OUT students line up in the front of the room and the teacher announces spelling words, chapter terms, or selects items from a vocabulary list.

The student at the front of the line begins, but spells only the first letter of the word. The second student has to spell the second letter and the third person in line spells the third letter. The spelling of the word proceeds in that form until the word has been completed. At that point the next person in line says, "YOU," followed by the next person who says, "ARE," and a third person who says, "OUT." The person who says, "OUT," is eliminated and must sit down.

If a student say an incorrect letter, she is out. If she is not paying attention and does not know the next letter, she is out.

This spell-down version has several advantages. First, everyone has to pay attention to the spelling of the word because they might have to spell a letter. Second, the poorer spellers only have to come up with one letter, giving them a better chance to stay in the game longer. Third, even the best spellers get caught in the YOU ARE OUT trap at the end of a word. That random elimination adds an element of chance to the game that tends to even the playing field and encourage the poor spellers.

Use YOU ARE OUT as an energizer when interest is waning and you need to get students' blood flowing. It is a quick moving game that takes less than ten minutes. Allow the winner to pronounce the words for the next round and you take a place in the line.


Need 3 graduate credits this summer? Chick Moorman is teaching two 3--hour courses in the Saginaw/Midland, MI area in July. "Successful Teaching for Acceptance of Responsibility" and "Achieving Student Outcomes Through Cooperative Learning" are the courses he will be teaching for Marygrove College and Performance Learning Systems. Call toll free, 877-360-1477 or email for more information.


3. Spirit Whisperer Contemplation [back to top]


What would schools be like if we took our pleasure in our students' freedom, rather than in their obedience?


4. Teacher Talk [back to top]


"Sounds like you're feeling frustrated."

Use these Teacher Talk phrases to help students recognize, name, and talk about their feelings. By using Teacher Talk that includes an expanded feeling vocabulary, you help students identify and articulate their own feelings.

    • "Sound like you are furious with her."
    • "A can see the aggravation on your face."
    • "Frustration is what I am feeling at this moment."
    • "I am apprehensive about the decision."
    • "Looks like a glum cloud hanging over your head."

(Adapted form "Teacher Talk: What It Really Means" by Chick Moorman and Nancy Weber, Personal Power Press. $12.95. To order call toll free, 877/ 360-1477.)



5. Contest Winner [back to top]


Congratulations to Matthew J. Stein, Principal of North Central Jr/Sr High School in Perry, Michigan. As the 10th person to send an email in response to The Response-Able Educator Newsletter #4, Matthew wins a copy of "Spirit Whisperers: Teachers Who Nourish A Child's Spirit."

Matthew wrote to tell me how he is encouraging his teachers to read "Spirit Whisperers" over the summer and to inquire if my son, Matt, would be interested in an Upper Peninsula teaching position.

No, Matt is still holding out for a middle or high school social studies position in the Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Grand Rapids, or Holland, MI area.


6. Parent Talk Audio Cassette Tape Series [back to top]


"The Language of Response-Able Parenting," audio cassette tape series is near completion. Read on for the pre-publication special offer.

Chick Moorman is featured on this 5 cassette series. In it he details the strengths of the Parent Talk System. Judith Minton, Voice Works Seminars owner, interviews Chick, asking those questions that most parents want answered.

Topics include how to develop controlled choice for children, praise that creates a strong internal sense of self-esteem, self-referenced comments, and the importance of building an inner authority. Also covered are Core beliefs and life sentences, Be-cause, combating the fighting mad response, the permission-giving alternative, making yourself s dispensable, the problem-return technique, corrective feedback, enforceable statements, and much more.

Side 1: The Parent Talk System Overview
Side 2: The Power Of Choice
Side 3: Response-Ability
Side 4: Learned Helplessness
Side 5: Solution-Seeking
Side 6: Effective Praise
Side 7: Reducing Family Conflict
Side 8: Communicating Anger
Side 9: Managing Negative Behaviors
Side 10: Parent Talk Tools


"The Language of Response-Able Parenting," audio tape series will sell for $39.95. A pre-publication price of $29.95 is now available. Simply order before July 15th to receive this special offer. Order by calling toll free, 877-360-1477 or email


We enjoy ideas, concerns, frustrations, successes, and encouragement. Contact us at....


7. Article [back to top]


Pop Quiz


During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and breezed through the questions until I read the last one.

"Surely, the final question must be some kind of a joke," I thought to myself after reading it.

"What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?" it inquired.

I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50's. I think I might have even spoken to her, but how would I know her name. I handed in my paper leaving the final question blank.

Just before class ended that day, one student asked if the last question would count towards our quiz grade. "Absolutely," answered the professor. "In your careers, you will meet many people. All are significant. Each deserves your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say, 'Hello.'"

I have never forgotten the lesson I learned that day. And one more thing I have not forgotten, her name was Dorothy.



8. Subscription Information [back to top]


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To find out more about workshops, seminars, and keynote addresses presented by Chick Moorman contact him at toll free, 877/360-1477 or email


Copyright 2002 Chick Moorman Seminars, all rights reserved. Share this with your circle.




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