Quotes To Guide Your Instruction

Like so many educators, I add quotes to classroom focus boards around the room to lead discussion, reflection and knowledge acquisition.  I will print the quotes below and staple each one to a piece of colorful construction paper.  The students and I will discuss the quotes as we embark on the initial units of the school year.

*Note that you may need to cut, paste and reformat before printing.

Culture Unit

“As we progress along the intercultural journey, we become self-reflective about habits of heart and mind and the ways these are expressed in daily life. We develop strategies for encountering change, unfamiliarity and ambiguity in creative ways. We begin to realize that what is taken, as ”common sense” is really ”cultural sense”. Our life becomes richer and deeper for having encountered differences.”  - H. Ned Seeyle

“Culture is an abstraction; it cannot actually be seen or touched…. We see people acting in agreed-upon ways in the face of similar situations…we notice people moving their bodies in certain ways – making choices in their lives about where to live, what to eat, how to learn, how to work and love – in response to similar events and experiences, and  say: “oh, these people belong to the same culture.”   - H. Ned Seeyle

Why Math?

“Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.”  

~Albert Einstein

“Mathematics is a language.”

~ Gibbs, Josiah Willard

In its most general sense, an algorithm is any set of detailed instructions which results in a predictable end-state from a known beginning. Algorithms are only as good as the instructions given, however, and the result will be incorrect if the algorithm is not properly defined.

— Henri Poincaré

quoted by Theoni Pappas, More Joy of Mathematics

A mathematician, like a painter or poet, is a maker of patterns. If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas. The mathematician’s patterns, like the painter’s or the poet’s, must be beautiful. The ideas, like the colors or the words, must fit together in a harmonious way. Beauty is the first test: there is no permanent place in this world for ugly mathematics.

— Godfrey H. Hardy

A Mathematician’s Apology


The more you know about a species, the more you understand about how better to help protect them.

- Alan Clark

We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity.

- E. O. Wilson

The one process now going on that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species diversity by the destruction of natural habitats. This is the folly our descendants are least likely to forgive us.

- E. O. Wilson

One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?”

                                                                        - Rachel Carson

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

- Rachel Carson

“It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know of wonder and humility.”  - Rachel Carson

“How do poems grow? They grow out of your life.”   - Robert Penn Warren 

“One will never again look at a birch tree, after the Robert Frost poem, in exactly the same way.”  

- Paul Muldoon

“Writing a poem is discovering.”

                                                                        - Robert Frost

“Poetry is the journal of a sea animal living on land, wanting to fly in the air.”                                - Carl Sandburg

Birthday Chart Quote

"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. You are the one who'll decide where to go."

- Dr. Seuss

Responsibility Quote

“The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs.  ~Joan Didion

“I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity, an obligation; every possession, a duty.  ~John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Writing Board Quotes

“I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”    - - Joan Didion

“Detail makes the difference between boring and terrific writing. It’s the difference between a pencil sketch and a lush oil painting. As a writer, words are your paint. Use all the colors.”          - Rhys Alexander

“If you find yourself imitating another writer, that doesn't have to be a bad thing, especially if you are a young or a new writer. However, you should be conscious of exactly how you are imitating him - word choice, sentence structure, motifs? - and think about why you're doing it.”   - Poppy Z. Brite

“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.”  

- Ernest Hemingway

Know Thyself

“There will never be another now -

I'll make the most of today.

There will never be another me -

I'll make the most of myself.”

- Helen Keller