If students you teach are old enough to watch and hear the news, then they’re witness to the extreme violence of terrorist groups in our world today.  It’s important for them and all of us to try to understand this complex and dangerous phenomenon.  You’ll find video and educational resources to explore the root causes of extremism for grades 7-12 from PBS NewsHour on February 18, 2015.  These standards-aligned materials are part of PBS LearningMedia’s Daily News Story collection Continue Reading »

I was privileged recently to present PBS resources to families and educators at Frederick Harris Elementary School in Springfield.  I also shared the high level of trust many have in PBS, with parents and grandparents coming up to me later to say they were among those who held that trust.

This morning I learned that an independent, nationwide study has confirmed that PBS and its member stations are — for the 12th consecutive year — ranked first in trust among nationally known institutions and are called an “excellent” use of tax dollars by the American public. This same research showed that PBS KIDS is considered the safest place for children to watch television and the safest digital media destination, as well as the top provider of content that helps children learn reading, math and essential skills. Continue Reading »

Zubair Simab fled Afghanistan at 17, eventually emigrating to the Bay Area. With his calligraphy, he seeks both to preserve the ancient art of beautifying Arabic texts and to build understanding among cultures.  This video with accompanying National Standards is just one piece in a PBS LearningMedia art collection.  The studies in visual art allow students to learn about world history, cultures, and geography while engaging creativity.  Continue Reading »

As you can see, the It’s Okay To Be Smart channel is all about science, the amazing universe we live in, and how science connects to every part of our lives.  While I suspect we’re all learning more about ourselves as we face this frigid February, the channel’s resources can help you find teachable moments to use freezing weather, dropping temperatures, and falling snow to explore the science of winter.  Continue Reading »

When Design Squad built the website in this video, they wanted to give kids great ways to be creative in areas such as sports, fashion or music with fun projects, video and games.  Now, if students have trouble deciding what to build, there’s the Stuff Spinner.  This new interactive feature allows students to choose their favorite content (like toys and vehicles) and building materials (like balloons and cardboard).  They then spin the Spinner to see hands-on activities   Continue Reading »

Classroom conversations about racism — often related to history, current events or literature — can be challenging when engaging students in the curriculum and eliciting their personal perceptions.  On WGBY this Monday, February 23, at 10pm, Independent Lens: American Denial uses the story of Gunnar Myrdal’s 1944 investigation of Jim Crow racism as a springboard to explore the power of unconscious biases and how the ideals of liberty, equality and justice still affect notions of race and class today.  American Lens website resources include at discussion guide, and you’ll find hundreds of compelling resources Continue Reading »

Last week the NY Times published an article entitled “Teaching Students How to Talk Less and Listen More,” the genesis of which was a question by a teacher who asked for suggestions about managing students whose participation dominates class time. Whether you currently have students who talk too little or too much, are challenged by other classroom management issues, or would like to find hundreds — actually thousands — of resources for a wide range of professional development needs, Continue Reading »


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