Posted in PBS Resources, Professional Development, Teaching Tools, tagged education, history, K-12, literacy, math, pbs learningmedia, professional development, reading, science, teacher, Video Lending Library, WGBY on November 12, 2013 |
Just one week ago, teachers from the Granby MA. Public Schools participated in WGBY workshops at the junior/senior high during their professional development day. JoanVohl Hamilton, a dedicated ELA teacher there, was a great help in making these workshops happen. (Here’s a photo of one group with Joan first in the top row and myself front row, fourth from left:). These K-12 teachers came into the junior/senior computer lab enthusiastic to learn about the rich resources that WGBY’s Community Engagement and Education Department has to offer. During our two afternoon sessions, they were able to sign up to receive WGBY’s Education Blog and learn about PBS TeacherLine online courses and WGBY’s Lending Library. One teacher regretted that she had just asked her school librarian to purchase a Ken Burn’s film she could have borrowed for free, and another began checking off TeacherLine courses she can take to support her students’ needs and fulfill her PDP certification requirements.
But the highlight of each workshop was PBS LearningMedia with its now 34,000 — and growing — resources. After seeing the site’s user-friendly functionality and registering for free, teachers were able to search resources by grade level, content area, standards, and collections. Some teachers even began saving favorite videos, interactives, and lesson plans to later examine, share, and organize in folders. While some had to contend with a few tech glitches such as slow computers and blocked sound, teachers’ feedback showed their appreciation for this hands-on opportunity, with many wishing we’d had more time to explore this vast resource!
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On June 17, the last day of school for Springfield Public Schools, WGBY held its last Bark About Books kick offs in 7 Springfield schools. All graduating kindergarteners in these schools – over 575 of them — received a Martha Speaks bag & book. Almost 400 hundred families are enrolled in the summer reading program, designed to help stem the “summer slide” when children can lose important skills they and their teachers work hard to acquire during the school year.
Bark About Books kick offs have been a wonderful time to talk and read with these beautiful, enthusiastic children and to impress upon families the importance of reading and talking together throughout the summer. The children express their love of PBS Kids programs such as Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog, and when they see the Martha plush, they call out her name and often say “I love Martha.” Such beloved characters can be strong motivation for learning!
Students enrolled in the program are mailed 5 books over the summer as a way to encourage family reading. Thanks to WGBY’s partnership with WGBH in Boston, who receives funding from the Krueger Foundation, Bark About Books has served nearly 1000 Springfield kindergarteners over the past 3 years.
We’d appreciate hearing from you about the “summer slide” and school calendars that interrupt student learning for over two months each summer.
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One of this year’s recipients of the Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Awards, Courtney Imbriglio is a Title I reading teacher for Grades 5 & 6 at Butterfield School in Orange, MA. We think you’ll hear her passion for and dedication to teaching and learning in her responses to the following questions we recently asked her.
What support did you receive or wish you had received early in your teaching career? When I first began in Orange, I taught in an inclusion classroom with a special education teacher and a paraprofessional with 13 students. I learned a lot from the team of adults I worked with about how to differentiate instruction and meet the needs of all learners.
What keeps you enthusiastic about teaching, and where do you find your inspiration? I really enjoy working with my students. I love the innocence of childhood and I enjoy listening to students reason their way through problems as they gain knowledge and understanding. I also find inspiration through professional development. Keeping current keeps me going! I love learning and passing along knowledge to staff members and students!
What is a favorite classroom resource (e.g., website, lesson, activity)? I use varied resources. This year I have used Assistments and Scootpad, which are great web-based resources. In addition, I have found Readworks.org to be quite a valuable tool.
If you could change just one thing in education today, what would it be? I think standardized testing and measuring teacher impact with students’ scores is putting too much pressure on educators. I’ve seen too many great teachers want to leave the field because of these demands. Thought I do think there needs to be measures of teacher quality, I’m not sure this is the answer!
We’d also appreciate hearing how you, our readers, might respond to any of these questions.
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Posted in Lesson Plans, PBS Resources, tagged classroom, Common Core Standards, grades 7 - 10, lesson plan, literacy, PBS NewsHour Extra, poetry, reading, video on April 24, 2013 |
PBS NewsHour Extra offers this wonderful lesson for grades 7-10 from The Academy of American Poets, which presents a series of activities for the classroom that allow students to explore and interact with poetry by writing letters to poets. Aligned with the Common Core Standards, activities address the three literacy areas of Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. You can use the series of activities one right after the other, or separate them as you integrate poetry with other areas of your curriculum. The activities are designed to reach diverse learners, but if you need to adapt them further, you can feel free to do so.
Sections include video, pre-activities, whole class, as well as individual/small group activities, and vocabulary. Here’s a sample of objectives just for Activity 1: Selecting Favorite Poems from Historical Poets of Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Robert Frost, Pablo Neruda and William Carlos Williams
Identify poets whose poetic voices speak to them
Select one of these poets and his or her poem to consider more deeply
Provide verbal explanation/evidence about why they have chosen this poem and poet to their peers
As an added bonus, in conjunction with the Academy’s celebration of letter writing and correspondence this National Poetry Month (April 2013), you are invited to submit your students’ letters to the Dear Poet project for a chance to receive handwritten responses from poets.
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