Free Rice … New Year’s Resolution

Happy 2008 to everyone!

Here is a great web-site that Mr. Thakkar forwarded to me before the vacation, but that I somehow overlooked. is associated with the United Nations World Hunger Program. Through a deal with advertisers the site allows people to play a vocabulary game that donates 20 grains of rice per correct answer. I found the words to be SAT level for the most part, so I recommend it for students that want to brush up on their vocab. Check it out for yourself, and help to promote it if you find it worthwhile. Instead of sending money to a charity, students could make a new year’s resolution to donate 7,200 grains of rice per week (about 1 cup, according to WikiAnswers). See you all too soon.

free rice banner

Mr. T

© 2007  henry toromoreno

HHS Literary Magazine Online

Hope that everyone is having a great time with their families and that your new year’s resolutions list is short and sweet.

 Just dropping a note to let everyone know that the HHS student art and literature magazine (thinker) is working towards creating an online presence. We have started posting student work at:

Please encourage students to visit the site to see the words and works of their HHS peers. Also encourage students (and teachers) to contribute to the website’s content by writing us at:

Thank you for your time and cooperation.

See you all soon.

© 2007  henry toromoreno

Online resources from CJR

Thanks to Mr. Cosgrove for passing along this resource he found online.

The “Power Reporting” site is maintained by the Columbia Journalism Review, a publication of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.  The site is subtitled, “resources for journalists” and the home page is a directory divided into categories such as companies, non-profits, government, people finders. While this sort of division is meant to narrow down the best tools according to what you are searching, many links take you to other pages of directories, which may add to your confusion.

Another drawback is that some links are for paid subscription services such as Lexis-Nexis and Edgar. For anyone who is interested in learning how to maximize the tools that this site provides, the people at power reporting provide on-site training for a $1200 fee. That’s news to me.

Go to Power Reporting Site

© 2007 henry toromoreno

Sit in at Yale, M.I.T

Wonder what it’s like to be a student at Yale or M.I.T? Well now you can at least “sit in” on some of the classes at these two prestigious institutions. Yale has started offering its entire curriculum on-line, just as M.I.T has done now since 2002  via its Open Courseware program. You’ll find a number of interesting, albeit esoteric, courses at either of the universities’ sites. Included in the offerings are course overviews, lecture notes, reading assignments and in some cases, full audio and video. Granted, you won’t get a degree from the great schools this way, but you can certainly get an education. And, there’s no mortgage-sized student loans to pay off at the end. For teachers, these courses offer them a chance to have a “guest lecturer” streamed into the classrooms. For students, this is an opportunity to see how much learning there is to be had. Here’s just a few of the videos I ended up watching:



© 2007  henry toromoreno

About Virtual High School

Maybe you’ve heard of VHS or Virtual High School by now. You might even know enough to explain that VHS offers courses over the Internet to middle and high school students. What else is there to know? How about:

  • VHS courses are facillitated by teachers
  • Class size is limited to just 25 students
  • Courses are available for high school credit
  • Courses are asynchronous (students log in whenever, wherever) to complete assignments

Do you know any students who are interested in learning more about the VHS program? Have them contact Ms. Cripps in the M-Wing guidance or Mr. Kempenski in F-15.

Or to see what VHS is about, check them out at:

© 2007  henry toromoreno

Favorite Sites List 1

I don’t want to overwhelm anyone with a whole bunch of links that never get looked at, but I would like to share some of the sites that I find either interesting or useful as an educator. 

OWL Center at Perdue: The webpage for the Online Writing Lab at Perdue is a clean, easy to understand site with shortcuts to valuable resources for writers and instructors. Especially useful are the links to MLA formatting and creating an outline.  

The Citation Machine: Perhaps the most incredible thing to happen to academic paper writing since the invention of the correction ribbon, the citation machine is just one more way to cut out all that thinking your students shouldn’t have to do. Where was this when I needed it? Word of caution: I haven’t tested the newest version, so I recommend that you do. 

Live Science: This is one of my favorite “science” websites because it is really at the intersection of science, culture and news. Besides the latest science headlines, you’ll also find a number of top ten lists here, such as 10 urban science myths, 10 ways weather changed history and 10 of life’s little mysteries. 

Bartleby: Imagine having a bookshelf with the most respected reference resources at your fingertips. That is just what this site offers. Available through this site are the complete Oxford Shakespeare, the CIA World Factbook, Gray’s Anatomy, King James Bible, Columbia Encyclopedia, Bulfinch’s Mythology and Bartlett’s Quotations to name just a few.  

Planet 10 Interactive Simulator: What if you were in charge of designing a planet? How large would you make it? Would it rotate quickly or slowly? How about designing a whole solar system? How many planets would you have? Answer these questions for yourself in this fascinating (but hardly applicable) online simulator.  

Interactive periodic table: I don’t know much about chemistry, but I do like periodic tables. There is something sexy about Lanthanides/Actinides, and the whole ionization energy associated with elements (don’t get me started). This one table is sometimes hard to makes sense of (for me anyway) but always fun to look at.

© 2007  henry toromoreno

tv programs, Dec. 17 – 22

Get your VCRs ready. Here is just a sampling of some upcoming programs that may be of interest. All descriptions are lifted from the original programs’ websites.

National Geographic Channel

Thursday, December 20, 2007, at 9 PM/ Death of the Sun:  Scientists who monitor the sun daily, explore just how and when the sun will die and want to understand how the Earth will fare during this hellish process?

Friday, December 21, 2007, at 10 PM/ Human Babies: Science of babies sheds light on the amazing developments in the first 12 months of life and how new research shows that these growing abilities are much more flexible than previously realized.

Discovery Channel

Tuesday, December 18, 2007, at 1PM/ Planet Earth: Ice Worlds: It is not the cold so much as the lack of accessible fresh water which makes life hard in the frozen regions of the world-from the mountain tops and the poles.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007, at 8PM/ Rise of the Video Game: Can a computer game make you cry? Games gain an emotional dimension, interpersonal connection, and Hollywood worthy story lines as they evolve and move onto the Web. What do these virtual world games tell us about the way we live in the 21st century?

The Learning Channel

Wednesday, December 19, 2007, at 10PM/ Incredibly Small: Kenadie’s Story: A look inside the life of Kenadie Jourdin, a two-year-old girl who weighs 8lbs and is 24-inches long, due to the fact that she is a primordial dwarf – one of only 30 in the world.

The History Channel

Monday, December 17, 2007, at 10PM/ History Rocks – the Eighties: The 1980s was a decade of extremes. Segments include the perestroika between Reagan and Gorbachev, the crack epidemic that ravaged America’s inner cities, and Mount St. Helens’ eruption.

Monday, December 17, 2007, at 11PM/ History Rocks – the Seventies, Pt I: Take a whirlwind look at the 1970s through the music, footage and personalities from the time. Unforgettable news stories are paired with blockbuster songs from the same era.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007, at 10PM/ Krakatoa’s Revenge: In 1883, Krakatoa, the most famous and feared volcano on Earth, erupted. Gigantic explosions blew the volcano to bits, which triggered massive lava flows that generated huge tsunamis. Nearly 37,000 died, and it could happen again. Would the resulting colossal ash cloud cause a worldwide catastrophe?

© 2007  henry toromoreno

Debut of HHS thinker’s link

Consider this an experiment in online librarianship. I hope to use this blog as a way of communicating with the members at my school. Hopefully, it will prove useful. I aim to post articles, videos, and other information that I discover online, and that I believe may be interesting (and valuable) to teachers and students. I also want to create an online presence for our Library Media Center — a place you can turn to for “reliable” links and “dependable” information. I look forward to your feedback and contributions.

© 2007 henry toromoreno