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First, welcome back to those of you returning from Spring Break.  The blog, too, took a bit of a break last week, and I hope that these findings on the secrets to happiness encourage in you the well being that a rest can bring.

The NY Times blog Well recently reported on a long-running Harvard study about the secrets to a happy life and the study’s director, Dr. Robert Waldinger, shared some of the findings in this TED Talk:

This talk’s seven million views suggest just how important happiness is to us and, of course, students.  You’ll find many resources Continue Reading »

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”  Henry David Thoreau

Not only does highway travel pollute our air but, as this preview suggests, roads cut our wildlife sanctuaries in half.  On Wednesday, April 20, at 9pm, WGBY airs NOVA: Wild Ways, which explores how newly established wildlife corridors offer hope to our planet’s endangered species from Yellowstone to the Yukon, to Southern Africa’s elephant highways stretching across five nations.

You’ll find many resources on subjects like

Continue Reading »

“Where are the books about kids like us?” Little boy’s question to then librarian Beverly Clearly

Like many original writers, Beverly Cleary seems to have been inspired to write stories that she — and, in her case, a young library patron — were unable to find on the bookshelves.  Among our country’s most successful living authors, Clearly had her first book published in 1950; since then,  91 million have sold worldwide and appear in over twenty countries in fourteen languages.

Her characters include Henry Huggins, Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, and Beezus, Ribsy, Socks, Ralph S. Mouse and, of course, Ramona Geraldine Quimbley (whose favorite things include playing in the dark).  While times have clearly changed over Cleary’s long career, Continue Reading »

PBS KIDS Oh Noah is designed to teach Spanish to children ages six to eight through animated videos with embedded games that help build vocabulary.  While many of us can intrinsically appreciate the benefits of bilingualism, an article last month in the NY Times blog Well, entitled “The Superior Social Skills of Bilinguals,” went beyond looking at some of the obvious advantages of being bilingual, such as being able to experience more diverse conversations and experiences.

The article referenced two recent studies that “demonstrate that multilingual exposure improves not only children’s cognitive skills but also their social abilities.”  Resources for bilingual education Continue Reading »

National Library Week | All About the Holidays

This week is National Library Week and beyond this video All About National Library Week, we are celebrating with literary resources and lesson plans dedicated to some of our favorite people — librarians.

You’ll find rich resources for poetry, middle school literacy, folktales and storytelling when you Continue Reading »

What better way to teach children — those with autism and those who need to understand autistic children — than with beloved PBS KIDS characters?  Dear Elmo of Sesame Street knows how to love everyone, and doesn’t love follow understanding?  This video clip reveals how Sesame fans can lovingly learn about autism.

An equally powerful resource is Thomas & Friends.  Not long ago WGBY staff learned at a Thomas & Friends event just how much an autistic boy loved Thomas & Friends and how his teachers were using Thomas & Friends resources to motivate him to learn.

You can find PBS resources on autism for teachers and parents.  Continue Reading »

“When they study American civilization 2000 years from now, Americans will be known for only three things:  the Constitution, baseball, and jazz.”  Gerald Early, African American Scholar

It’s enlightening to hear filmmaker Ken Burns reflect on his series “Jazz,” the story of this quintessential American art form.  WGBY begins re-airing the 10-part series, which follows the growth and development of jazz music from its beginnings to the present, tonight and the next consecutive Fridays at 9pm.

Because jazz is part of America’s history and music a way to stimulate students’ learning, you’ll find vast resources for grades 1 – 13+ Continue Reading »

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