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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

History of Bulk Candy and Vending Machines

In doing a lot of research on candy, I decided to take a little
departure and write about the history of bulk candy. Sounds like "ho
hum". But really, bulk candy has a little twist in itself.

If you have followed my articles on candy, you will know that it was
mainstreamed in the late 1800's. Bulk candy did not come along until
much later. In fact, it has only been around about 75 years.

Francis Arthur (known as F.A.) Wittern, in the 1920's was employed as
a private contractor, making everything you can imagine for home and
on the job use. In 1931, he took $12.50 and created the very first
vending machine. More about that in a minute.

What I find fascinating is the figure $12.50. With that, you can by a
DVD, a purse, a case of sodas, a family sized package of hamburger
meat, or really cheap sneakers. However, wait! In reality, if you
compare the would actually be purchasing DVD players,
television sets, or computers (none of which existed in the year
1931!). According to CPI (Consumer Price Index), the equivalent of
$12.50 in 1931 to today is $176.71. I know, you cannot buy a good
television for that price. It gets better. If you compare the worth of
"unskilled labor" from 1931 to today, that same $12.50 is now worth
$528.69! Now, we are getting somewhere.

Okay, back to the original research. Bulk candy was first found in
F.A. Witterns "Peanut penny dispenser". He first placed it in a local
bar. His company, Hawkeye Novelty, was innovative in several areas.
First of all, with the bulk candy dispenser, every ninth "vend" would
result in a bell ringing, meaning the person inserting the penny would
win a free portion of peanuts! It also had the ability to
differentiate between real coins and slugs. He developed this during
the Great Depression, possibly as a means of income, since there were
no jobs to be found. During World War II, as times got tougher, Mr.
Wittern ventured out into other arenas, finally coming back to his
original invention at some point after the war.

Vending machines, dispensing bulk candy has come a long way since
then. In the late 30's, the design was changed to be able to dispense
larger items like matches. They have a different look about them even
now. The original machines were small enough to sit on a table or
countertop. Now it is very interesting and fun to watch as the gumball
spins down a screw-type slide, or lights up the machine on its way
down the chute. They not only come in a variety of shapes, but designs
as well. I have seen machines that look like old time gas pumps, or
have the old "Route 66" logo.

Today, you can see bulk candy machines in malls, children's play
areas, restaurants, gas stations, and probably bars, as well. They
have become quite the nostalgic item, still dispensing that old bulk
candy that we all love and remember so well.

Read More......

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March is Reading Month Based on a Candyland Game Theme

Inspiring kids to read can be achieved through a month-long challenge
during March is Reading Month. For every class reaching the Candy
Castle the reward is to participate in a school-wide game day (or 1/2

One idea is to use a game theme. As a school, a variation of the
Candyland game board will be hung around the school walls. This is
especially easy since the Candyland game board is made up of colored
rectangles. If not a school-wide activity, certainly this could happen
as a classroom activity.

Then, weekly bookmarks are handed out to students. Each piece of candy
is colored in for every ten minutes of reading. At the end of the week
the class minutes are totaled and then the class game piece is moved
along the school-wide game board. Or, if in individual classrooms,
each child would move his or her game piece.

To spice up the school-wide game board it is especially snazzy if the
Candyland game board characters are scanned and enlarged. This can be
done by scanning the images and then using a projector to show them on
a wall or using a document camera, and then draw around them with
black marker. Using pastel chalks is an excellent way to color the
pieces. The older children can help with this activity.

A book jog is another way to encourage reading. Kids bring in used
books from home that they would like to exchange. For every book that
a child brings in, he gets a ticket to exchange for a different book.
Create a path by taping rectangles of colored paper through the
library and around the halls. Next, lay out all of the books that have
been brought in along the path. Children travel the path looking for a
book. At the end of the path the child exchanges their tickets for the
books. By using the ticket method children can leave with as many
books as they brought. In honor of the book jog, everyone should wear
jogging suits for "Jog into Reading."

In addition to the game, theme days can correspond to the various
characters such as:

Wear Red for Dr. Seuss' Birthday and play the games on the Dr. Suess website
Wear a funny hat in honor of Lord Licorice
Wear Green in honor of St. Patrick's Day and Mama Ginger Tree
Dress as your favorite fairy tale character in honor of Princess
Frostine & King Kandy
Nutty Hair Day in honor of Gramma Nutt (a favorite of all kids is to
come to school with crazy hair!)

Inspire kids to read by bringing a challenge to your school or class this year.

Download the supplemental pages, such as the recording sheet bookmarks
from the download center within the Mastermind Group of Educators
website at

Join Kathy and a group of educators dedicated to improving student
learning through literacy and technology in the Mastermind Group of
Educators for continued support,
resources, book discounts and community in educational technology.

Kathy Cothran is an elementary media specialist committed to helping
teachers engage students through the uses of technology. Her vast
teaching experience ranges from preschool through Master's level
education classes. For years Kathy has been a "Gadget Girl." She loves
technology! Tie that to her extensive teaching background and she has
been able to interest, invigorate, and inspire children and teachers
to use technology in a rich, exciting manner.

Read More......

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Do We Really Need Homeworks?

Homework is a school work that teachers give to pupils to do at home after lessons. Homeworks can be different. They can be oral, written, or mixed; artistic (drawing a picture, writing a poem); attractive (different crosswords, games). Homeworks can also involve technical equivalent (listening to the tape, different programmes). Besides, students can search for different kinds of information on their own (newspapers, leaflets on any topic, an Internet). Student`s homework is as important as a lesson. The facts that homeworks help students repeat a new material, prepare them for self-study, and develop children`s social skills are just a few incentives to keep them compulsory.

In the first place, homeworks are the best way to repeat a learnt material. If students practice their skills at home, they get higher grades. Many teachers hold that homeworks should involve the continuation of practice and preparation for the next day`s content. Another positive aspect of doing homeworks is to prepare students for self-study after leaving school. If the subject of the homework is intriguing students do many activities to explore, and find out the details of things they are interested in. Thus, students develop their interests, learn how to cope with different tasks, and solve them. In addition, group work, learning, and doing homeworks together develop children`s social skills, encouraging them to work as a part of a group and to cooperate with others. It can bring out only the best in people.

However, many students still do not perform their homeworks. It is often suggested that homeworks are a necessary evil that bores students. For this reason, the nature of homework tasks should be changed. Some teachers simply do not check whether the homework was performed, how it is done, as long as it is done. Therefore, if a teacher does not value homework, the students, unfortunately, will not, too.

Taking everything into consideration, the results of learning depends on student`s homework. They should be planned not only by a teacher, but also by learners. Students have to learn how to study without the help of a teacher. They should also know why they do their homeworks. And a teacher has to pay attention to any problems that may arise in some homeworks. It should be pointed that homeworks are an important part of school activities since it helps students to improve their skills, cooperate with peer group, and prolong the contact with school subjects. Homeworks cover a necessary foundation for the future education.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Waldorf Education - a 21st Century Masterpiece

The first Waldorf school was initiated in 1919 by the Austrian spiritual scientist, Rudolf Steiner. Today there are over a thousand schools in over sixty countries around the globe.

From Wikipedia:

“The Waldorf approach emphasizes the role of the imagination in learning, developing thinking that includes a creative as well as an analytic component. Studies of the education describe its overarching goal as providing young people the basis on which to develop into free, moral and integrated individuals, and to help every child fulfill his or her unique destiny.”

If a creative soul wanted to originate a system of education that developed the potential of its students in an optimal way, that person would base the model on a deep understanding of the human being. Such an understanding would have to entail the whole human being, especially the deeper, spiritual aspects. That is why our current, mainstream forms of education fail so miserably - we live in a materialistic age, and most of the people in charge of education have little knowledge of the more substantial aspects of humanity.

Because the Waldorf system is, in a sense, a deep pool to enter, in terms of coming to understand it, several points need to be considered. Some of the main aspects are presented below.

Considerations Regarding Waldorf Education:

Waldorf Education strives to focus holistically, that is, to develop all three functions of the human soul - thinking, feeling and willing - on an equal basis. Thus, in addition to academic training, art, music, and drama are presented (the feeling arena), as well as the doing of things - fine motor activity such as handwork, and agility/coordination exercises (the willing arena).

By comprehending the long term social/spiritual evolution of humanity, Steiner was able to re-capitulate that development in his educational vision, and to align it in such a way as to match the particular age of a child directly with the curriculum. Steiner fine-tuned this so that the body of story content presented to any given age resonates with the consciousness of the child, as it changes and advances through the grades. Norse myths, for example, meet the specific nature of the child’s consciousness in Grade Four in an abiding way.

The stories reside in the main lesson material in a core manner. They are the heart of the lessons, from which the various subjects are integrated and counter-woven.

The Waldorf teacher strives to present content from the whole to the parts. As much as possible, reductionist approaches are avoided, and holism prevails.

Of utmost importance is avoiding over-taxing the natural unfolding of the child’s etheric constitution. Overly intellectual activity in a child before age 9, and especially before age 7 - such as reading, with it’s excessive mental demand (coding, de-coding, culturally contrived mental gymnastics) - not only can damage the child’s health in subsequent years, due to excessive drain on the constitution-forming etheric forces, but proves to be of no long term value (see next point). The debilitating effects of such practices are experienced in eyesight, constitutional energetics, the immune system, and later on in life, a variety of hardening effects (sclerotic conditions, hardening of arteries, etc.).

To view the whole article visit the Insight21 site.

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Interior Design Degree - Making Your Career Soar

You can get an interior design degree online from a number of reputable universities including Penn Foster and Ashworth University.

If this is a career that you are interested in, you probably want to know a little about the types of classes that are required, the amount of time it takes to receive certification and the career forecast. You will find that information here.

To obtain a bachelor's degree, you'll need the basic courses; math, English, etc, plus specific courses such as office design, CAD graphics and architectural fundamentals.

Electives that complement your education include ergonomics and creating environmentally friendly spaces. An associate's degree is also available.

Once you receive and associate's degree, you can act as a designer's assistant, which is a good idea, because many states require a combination of education and six years of work experience in the field in order to sit for the licensing exam.

You'll still need a bachelor's degree to sit for the exam, but a couple of years working as an assistant will count towards the six years of field work.

The length of time that it takes to get an Associate's interior design degree online could be less than what it would take in a traditional school, depending on how quickly you work.

In a traditional classroom, the course would take two years to complete; four years for a bachelor's degree. But, people that are able to work at a faster pace can sometimes cut this time down, significantly. That's one of the advantages of an on-line education.

You have the ability to work at your own pace too. You aren't limited by a professor's schedule. At one time, distance learning was only popular with people that lived far away from a two or four year college. Today, the average lifestyle is well-suited to this type of education.

In the next decade, you are likely to see more and more people that got their interior design degree online, rather than in a standard university. Even many of those traditional universities are now offering some of their courses on-line.

There is an option to an interior design degree online that you may find appealing, depending on what your goals are. Interior decorating take less time, typically two-three years.

You may still be able to qualify as a designer's apprentice whilst you do your bachelor's degree.

Decorators and designers have an annual average income of $50,000 per year. Experienced designers, of course, make more. Your compensation will increase as your experience and reputation grows.

You may already have the "eye" for achieving balance with the furnishings in a room. Some people call it "good taste", but one of the things that you'll need to remember as you go along is that people's tastes vary.

Something that you might not find appealing may appeal to others. So, one of the things that you will learn to do is find out what your clients want.

That's one of the things that come with experience. An interior design degree online is your starting point.

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