Tuesday, January 26, 2010

PBS Teachers Webinar: STEM Programming!

I made some notes tonight while I participated in the PBS Teachers Webinar. I was thinking it might be helpful to share!

Did you know that even if a program isn't on the TV broadcast schedule, you can find the show segments online? Take your students to meet "Real Scientists" at DragonflyTV! Lots of resources here to motivate students and also dig deeper into subjects. Engage in inquiry activities as well! Connect "real life" science to what is happening in the classroom.

They even have a Nano technology game board you can request! High school students are finding this relevant and useful, as well as the intended middle school audience.

Then there is SciGirls -- similar to Dragonfly TV -- real kids doing science investigation but the whole thing is geared to 1 project. It is all about Biotechnology Engineering & Math and you can find activities and articles related to Sci Girls in upcoming NSTA Journals!

Not to be left out is Design Squad - reality competition show aimed at middle and high school -- focusing on science and engineering tasks. 6 teams of real kids compete for a $10,000 college scholarship from the Intel Foundation.

You will notice there is an emphasis on the design process -- teamwork -- creative problem solving and learing from mistakes. They focus on the same skills as engineers in REAL life! Independent evaluation results show increases in student understanding, engagement, and interest in after school engineering programs! Make sure to look for the DOWNLOADABLE teacher guides.

FETCH! is MY personal favorite :) (Note: He even stopped by our office in December!)

This program also helps encourage problem solving using the design process by engineers, make predictions, and actually test their designs. Everything aligns with National Science Education Standards and all the activities are tested by kids and reviewed by educational advisers before they are made public!

Extensive "Leader Notes" can be found within the Parents & Teachers area including: New Hands On Science Leader resources & Training!

Not bad for sitting on my couch, eh? Look at what I learned! Make sure to join the next PBS Teachers Webinar, February 23 about Faces of America!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Emma... all a twitter?

Join the party on Twitter
if you watch as it premieres. PBSTeachers "tweets" the latest: A reminder that @masterpiecepbs "Emma" Live Twitter party is this Sunday! http://bit.ly/7W4itS #emma_pbs Since other timezones have already started the party... you can jump in at any time and see what others had to say!

The Jane Austen series continues in PBS Masterpiece Theater! Watch a trailer and set your DVR! Emma will also be available for viewing online through March 2010. Explore this classic in depth and watch episode by episode on demand.

Rediscover the ASSET eNewsletter that highlighted this series and learn more about this literary legend. Find resources tied to Arizona Academic Standards and look for other resources to embed in your curriculum with these timeless classics.

The most beautiful thing in the world is a match well made.
~ Emma Woodhouse

Just for fun take a compatibility quiz and see which of Emma's men are right for you!

Learn what makes Emma a literary classic with background essays from the Clawton House Library:

In more recent times, however, Emma has been recognized as the best example of Jane Austen's technical perfection — it shows an author at the height of her literary skills. As an example of a novel that can be read and reread while finding something new in each rereading, Emma is hard to beat. It should certainly be included in any list of reading for a twenty-first century wannabe heroine or hero!

Make this timeless classic relevant to your 21st Century learners and share highlights from the website, from the twitter feed, and comments from viewers across the United States right into your literary classroom discussion. Emma offers messages for today just as she did all those years ago when first imagined by Jane Austen.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

What's the secret today? A Strategy from Hope Dillon

I have borrowed an idea from Sesame Street for my preschool classroom. Instead of "What's the Word on the Street?"' or the "Letter of the Day", we have a "What's the secret today?" I have a file folder with this title on my door, folded part on top. When the children come in, they lift up the file folder flap to see what's posted. It may be a letter, a color, a simple drawing (mitten, cup), shape, number, or word (melt, stretch, wonderful). What's posted is something that we will be talking about during the day. For instance, I put the number 3 for Monday's secret because we will be reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

The secret serves as an anticipatory set, a way to get parents involved and sometimes a quick way to assess knowledge. The parents are often just as excited to see what the new "secret" is that day.

Thanks, Sesame Street, for starting a fun tradition in our classroom!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

5th Grade Thoughts on... The Human Spark!

Much thanks to Mrs. Denise Lundberg and her 5th grade students at Barbara B. Robey Elementary School in Litchfield Park for providing us some feedback on the first of three programs in the series, The Human Spark. Denise had attended Tuesday evening's event at Arizona Science Center and seen Jared Lippenworth speak about the series (including some fun behind the scenes tales). Her inspiration from the evening led about two-thirds of her class to tune in last night for the series premiere!

Here is what they had to say:

Dear Mrs. Flack,
The show the Human Spark was very interesting because they talked about how we became human. They showed how cavemen used to live and how they used their weapons. I learned that we are similar to the chimpanzees except for 1%. I am going to watch the next one.

Dear Mrs.Flack
I thought that the show The Human Spark was wonderful. I thought it was so interesting and how we are 1 percent chimpanzee. The facts in the show were cool.
Mrs.Lundberg's student Lindsey

Dear Mrs. Flack,
I thought your show The Human Spark was very interesting. It was very cool when the show showed the skulls and talked about how we developed into our human form. The part that was really interesting was when they were in the cave finding stuff about the Neandratols.
Natalie N.

Dear Mrs.FLACK,
I thought the human spark was so cool and interesting. I thought the best part was the spear part. I can’t wait for the next one.
Isidro R.

Dear Mrs.Flack,
I thought the show The Human Spark was awesome. It also creeped me out. It was interesting because it had a lot of skulls and it told me what evolution was like.
Mason R.

Honestly, with that kind of ringing endorsement, do you have any reason to not run to your DVR and set it right now to record next week's episode in the series, the 2nd installment of The Human Spark? Join us on Wednesday, January 13, at 8 pm on Eight - Arizona PBS, and find out more online: azpbs.org/humanspark!