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imagesTonight’s educator webinar at 6:30pm EDT focuses on compelling educational resources available in PBS LearningMedia derived from the PBS series, Latino Americans. These resources provide a wide array of bilingual lesson plans, activities, videos and more.

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Independent Television Service (ITVS) Community Classroom is a film and curriculum resource series that brings to life some of today’s most vital social issues, pairing film modules from award-winning documentaries with standards-based lesson plans.  To celebrate Women’s History Month by focusing on women and girls around the world, PBS LearningMedia offers a Women and Girls Lead curriculum collection inspired by the landmark PBS mini-series, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.  Here’s a trailer for the mini-series.


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ccorestandardspic_Common Core State Standards set requirements not only for English language arts but also for literacy in history/social studies, science, and technical subjects — making content-area reading more important than ever.

Because students usually need practice with content-area reading, PBS LearningMedia provides ways to boost literacy using the Middle School Literacy Initiative, which is funded by the Walmart Foundation and supported by other PBS LearningMedia resources.  With these self-paced online lessons, perfect for blended learning environments, students can read, review vocabulary, and practice writing in the content areas.

You can visit any of the following individual lessons:

Science:   On the continental drift, students learn how an idea that started with a man looking at a map of continent became a scientific theory.

Mathematics:  On unit conversion, students figure out how much water various activities use and also learn about water conservation.

Health:  Should I eat this?   Students learn about nutrition values of different foods and meet two students with diabetes.

Social Studies:   Students meet four teen immigrants and learn about the challenges they face as they adapt to American culture.

To use the lessons, students simply need to register for an account on PBS LearningMedia, or use their existing account.

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imagesOne of the BIG lessons we can teach students is to be confident in their problem solving, especially when they make mistakes or have undesirable outcomes.  Since it’s never too soon to be determined and dauntless in tackling challenges, here are three challenges from Design Squad for budding engineers, even when they don’t think they can be scientists someday.

MAKE A ROBOT: 
Teach your students to build their own mini robot out of a toothbrush head, a coin battery and a pager motor. Follow this link to a how-to video and step-by-step instructions.

SOFT LANDING: 
Challenge your students to design and build an airbag system that can safely land an egg dropped onto the floor. Follow this link to a how-to video and this link to step-by-step instructions.

DANCE PAD:
Students will love building this dance pad that helps them move to the rhythm and step to the beat! Follow this link to a how-to video and this link to step-by-step instructions.

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indexProduced by WGBH in Boston, Martha Speaks is a fantastic PBS Kids program that takes its name from a beloved dog, Martha, who can talk.  Why?  Because she eats alphabet soup!  And with so many letters in her head, Martha effectively teaches children new vocabulary words, some of which will astonish you.

At the start of the holiday season, children will immediately warm to the family-themed MARTHA’S THANKSGIVING, a special episode where Martha searches for her long-lost canine family as her owner, Helen, has an extended family coming together for Thanksgiving.   The program airs on WGBY this Monday, November 25, and again on Thanksgiving Day at 6:30am, a time that usually finds kids ready to start their day!

Parents and teachers don’t have to rise early to discover the great learning resources that accompany Martha Speaks.  At the Martha Speaks Parent and Teacher’s  website, you’ll find expert research and activities as well as curriculum for Martha Speaks Reading Buddies and Martha Speaks Read Aloud Book Club — all great resources that support students oral vocabulary growth.

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imagesWith many people thinking and talking about JFK, this time surrounding the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination is a strong incentive for students to learn about his legacy.  PBS LearningMedia has a collection of videos and primary sources that will help to engage students in valuable lessons.  Here’s a sample:

The Presidents’ Photographer (Grades 3-13+):  Students can see that White House photographers serve as archivists for our democracy, capturing the day to day aspects of presidents’ lives, as well as history-changing moments.

The Governor (Grades 6-12):  This video segment adapted from American Experience: “Freedom Riders” describes Alabama Governor John Patterson’s refusal to ensure the safety of the Freedom Riders, despite the efforts of President Kennedy and other federal officials. Support materials include Democracy in Action Study Guide.

Cuban Missile Crisis:  Three Men Go to War:  Communications with Khrushchev, Castro, and Kennedy (Grades 9-12):  This video segment, which includes a background essay and discussion questions, describes the communications among Khrushchev and Castro and Khrushchev and Kennedy in an effort to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis.

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1021-lpicks-tv-television-Many-Rivers-PBS_full_380Have you found PBS series like “Eyes on the Prize” and “The Civil War” excellent classroom resources to engage students in their history and the history that informs much of American literature?  The new, six-hour series on Tuesdays, beginning October 22 — The African Americans:  Many Rivers to Cross — chronicles the full sweep of African-American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent through more than four centuries of remarkable historic events up to the present.

Presented and written by Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the series draws on some of America’s top historians and heretofore untapped primary sources, guiding viewers on an engaging journey across two continents to shed new light on the experience of being African American.   You can find a complete list of series offerings and watch a preview at WGBY’s website.  And at the series’ website, you’ll  find episode clips, Professor Gates’ 100 Amazing Facts About the Negro, downloadable posters, and a link to share your stories.  The site also links you to PBS LearningMedia where you’ll find countless resources related to slavery and the history of African Americans.  Here are just a few:

Looking for Lincoln Views on Slavery (Grades 5-8):  In this lesson, students examine Abraham Lincoln’s views on slavery and race as they evolved throughout his early life and throughout his presidency.

Finding Your Roots (Grades 8-12):  This collection from the 10-part PBS series Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.offers media-rich resources on a range of topics including colonialism, immigration, migration, the history of jazz, the American civil rights movement, and slavery.

Examining Slave Culture and Resistance (Grades 9-13+):  In this annotated image from A Biography of America, explore what Eastman Johnson’s painting of runaway slaves tells us about slave culture.

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indexSave the date for a great duo who always save the day!  PEG + CAT — That’s Peg PLUS Cat — premieres on WGBY this Monday, October 7, from 9am – 10am and again at 3pm – 4pm.  (Thereafter, the 30-minute program will be aired at 9:30am and 3:30pm).  This fantastic new program with terrific art work centers around two giggly, goofy pals with a knack of stumbling into problems. Spirited Peg and her best friend Cat manage to save the day by working together, using math, and trying out different ideas – no matter how loopy or loony they may be!

At the Peg + Cat website, you’ll find games, adventures and other activities for home and classroom.  At PBS LearningMedia, you’ll find a complete Pet + Cat Collection with resources for numbers and counting, online games and supplemental activities.  Here are additional resources when you search Pet + Cat at PBS LearningMedia:

Pirates and Beaches Board Game (PreK-K) Pirates love peaches! So do Peg and Cat! And the peaches on pirate island are extra sweet and juicy! So help Peg, Cat, and the pirates collect as many peaches as they can with this make-at-home board game.

 Peg + Cat Stick Puppets: Follow these simple directions for making your very own Peg and Cat puppets! Then the Peg + Cat Puppet Show can begin!

Please let us know what you think of this new PBS KIDS show from the Fred Rogers’ Production Company.

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index¡Explore la historia y la cultura hispana! Use these featured resources from PBS LearningMedia to help your students deepen their appreciation for Hispanic history & culture while building their Spanish language skills:

Salsa
Grades 3-6 | Media Gallery | Music
Invite students to explore the roots of salsa music with Chuck Vanderchuck as he investigates the instruments and rhythms that characterize this genre.

SciGirls en Español
Grades 4-6 | Video | Bilingual Activity

Use this bilingual activity to encourage classroom discussion around glaciers and the factors that cause them to melt.

What’s in a Name?
Grades 4-13+ | Lesson Plan | Hispanic History
Do your students know where states like California, Nevada, and Montana got their names? Use this lesson to introduce students to the story behind these – and other – North American states.

Digging at the Roots of Your Family Tree
Grades 4-13+ | Lesson Plan | Genealogy

In this activity, students reflect on their own ancestry by completing a family tree. Materials for this lesson are drawn from PBS’ new Latino Americans series.

Rebel: Loreta Velazquez
Grades 6-12 | Media Gallery | Women in History

Using the story of Loreta Velazquez, challenge students to consider how factors like gender and race have impacted their understanding of history.

Revolutionary Art
Grades 9-12 | Video | Visual Art and History

Explore the Mexican Muralist Movement with your high school students using this video segment from “The Storm that Swept Mexico.”

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1238818_507157706026836_890068569_nMany of you already recognize that PBS NewsHour Extra helps teachers and students identify the who, what, when, where and why-it-matters of major national and international news stories. Now, in partnership with PBS LearningMedia, PBS NewsHour Extra brings you the Daily News Story, which takes the best of the PBS NewsHour news program and pairs it with discussion questions, lesson plans, and stories developed specifically for students.

These lesson plans and resources help achieve Common Core State Standard goals and cover core academic subject areas ranging from government, history, world, civics, and language arts – to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Engage your students today by connecting your teaching to the most important news stories of the week.  When you visit the Daily News Story at PBS LearningMedia, you’ll find resources for grades 7-12 such as the following:

Surface of Mars Has Been Mapped Better Than Our Oceans:  Glaciers in the Arctic are now melting at a faster pace than they were only a few years ago, damaging wildlife habitats and opening up potentially dangerous new shipping lanes.

“We All Lost Somebody There” — Kenyan Foreign Minister:  After the terrorist group al-Shabab stormed an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, PBS NewsHour correspondent Margaret Warner sat down with Kenyan Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed to talk about the attack.

Lesson Plan from Syria:  This lesson introduces students to contemporary U.S.- International relations as well as provides a simulation to put students in the shoes of the important players in the Syrian Conflict.

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