Annenberg Learner Update
      August 2013

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Advance excellent teaching with Annenberg Learner.

In the Spotlight for August

Curriculum Focus: Preparing for September
     What does great teaching look like?

Annenberg Learner Announcements
    Free Environmental Education Professional Development Opportunity for            
        California Teachers
    New Resources Coming Out in the 2013-14 School Year
    Graduate Credit and CEU Opportunities
    5 (Free) Ways Learner Can Support You During the School Year

Connecting Learning With Historic Days
    First Atomic Bomb is Dropped (August 6, 1945)
    First U.S. Census (August 2, 1790)
    Hawaii Becomes 50th State (August 21, 1959)

Notable August Birthdays
    James Baldwin (August 2, 1924)
    Gustave Caillebotte (August 19, 1848)
Annenberg Foundation Update
    Annenberg Space for Photography Education Guides

Curriculum Focus: Preparing for September

What does great teaching look like?

Are you new to teaching? Do you want to refine your teaching strategies after reflecting on your own practice? One of the best ways to improve is to watch expert teachers guide their students in the learning process. We encourage you to observe teachers in your school, as well as look to Learner.org for great classroom moments you can watch on your own time. Take ideas from many of our workshops that show real teachers effectively engaging with their own students. Here are a few highlights with additional resources listed below by subject:

Making Meaning in
                                                LiteratureMaking Meaning in Literature shows teachers facilitating discussions to create a literary community in their classrooms. For example, in program 4, teacher Tanya Schnabl’s students develop discussion questions and connect their own experiences with the dilemmas in the assigned texts as they explore “government limits and personal freedoms.” 

See examples of every step of an inquiry-based lesson, from fostering a learning community, to designing how students will explore the materials, to collecting and assessing data, in Learning Science Through Inquiry.  In workshop 6, “Bring It All Together: Processing for Meaning During Inquiry,” watch the teacher draw out meaning from students’ observations of their soil decomposition experiment. Shuffle to 8:42 in the video.

Find ideas for teaching about civic engagement in Making Civics Real.  Teacher Matt Johnson leads his Constitutional Law 12th graders in applying what they’ve learned to new hypothetical cases that mirror actual students’ rights cases presented to the Supreme Court in workshop 8, “Rights and Responsibilities of Students.”

Other examples of effective teaching:

Language Arts and Literature Classrooms-

Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades 

Write in the Middle: A Workshop for Middle School Teachers

The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School

Mathematics Classrooms-

Teaching Math: A Video Library, K-4, 5-8, 9-12

Insights Into Algebra 1: Teaching for Learning (high school)

Science Classrooms-

Science in Focus: Force and Motion (K-8 teachers)

Reactions in
                                                ChemistryReactions in Chemistry (high school)

Foreign Language Classrooms-

Teaching Foreign Languages K-12: A Library of Classroom Practices

Social Studies/History Classrooms-

The Economics Classroom: A Workshop for Grade 9-12 Teachers

Social Studies in Action: A Teaching Practices Library K-12

Arts Classrooms-

Connecting With the Arts: A Teaching Practices Library, 6-8

The Art of Teaching the Arts: A Workshop for High School Teachers

Follow this link to more resources to help you get ready for the new school year. Prepare to build a safe classroom, strengthen management systems, and anticipate students’ misconceptions.

Annenberg Learner Announcements

Free Environmental Education Professional Development Opportunity for California Teachers

Join a statewide community of educators for the first-of-its-kind massive online professional development experience that will include Annenberg Learner and National Geographic resources, live interactions with National Geographic Explorers and scientists, and new insights into using Google tools. Framed around California's Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI) curriculum for educators, Water: The Essential Resource will focus on ocean and freshwater systems and incorporate strategies for teaching environmental topics in grades 4-8.

This innovative professional development course will allow you to interact any time of the day, 24/7 from the convenience of your own home. You will have access to exciting resources from National Geographic and Annenberg Learner to develop an understanding of the importance of water in Earth’s natural systems. Working collaboratively with educators from across the state, you will explore the EEI curriculum, implement a peer-reviewed lesson plan in their classrooms, and reflect on these experiences with your colleagues.

This course will begin October 2, 2013 and will run for 8 weeks through November 20, 2013. If you are a California teacher and interested in participating in this professional development opportunity, register here

New Resources Coming Out in the 2013-14 School Year

This fall of 2013, we will release Against All Odds: Inside Statistics, a course for high school teachers and college-level instruction. This course picks up where the original Against All Odds left off in the 1980s. The new series features 32 10-minute videos showing people from all walks of life using statistics in their work, a coordinated new Web site, 4 online interactives using statistics tools, and faculty and student guides.

At the beginning of 2014, we release our new Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions course. Produced by the Science Media Group of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, this course teaches general concepts using large-scale challenges in energy, materials development, biochemistry, and the environment. This multimedia course for introductory high school and college chemistry includes a Web site, online interactives, and online text.

Keep your eyes on our news page for updates about these releases and more.  If you have any questions about new releases, write info@learner.org.

Graduate Credit and CEU Opportunities

Colorado State
                                            UniversityAdvance your career, sharpen your teaching skills, and update content knowledge in the subjects you teach with the following graduate credit and CEU opportunities for Annenberg Learner courses from PBS TeacherLine and Colorado State.

PBS TeacherLine provides certificates of completion and partners with many colleges to offer graduate credit for five Annenberg Learner professional development courses. Search Annenberg Learner to see what is available.  For general information, including pricing, see the main PBS TeacherLine site.

In addition to offering graduate credit for Annenberg Learner professional development and content courses, Colorado State University (CSU) now offers continuing education units (CEUs) for 10 math and science courses with more rolling out this fall. Register for either graduate credit or non-credit continuing education units on Colorado State’s Online Plus Web site.

5 (Free) Ways Learner Can Support You During the School Year

1. Monthly Update E-Newsletter

If you are reading this, you either are already signed up for our Monthly Update or a friend or colleague has forwarded you the message. We look forward to connecting you to our free online ad-free resources and letting you know when new resources are developed. Stay tuned each month for more from Annenberg Learner. Access past issues of the newsletter by clicking on the News & Bog link of our homepage.

2. Resources for Lessons

Complement your textbooks with streamed videos in history, science, math, language arts, and the arts. Click on “View Programs” on the homepage to see a list of all our resources.

3. Interactives and Lesson Plan Search Functions

When brainstorming for lesson ideas, search the interactives database for online activities to enhance and improve students’ skills in a variety of curricular areas.  Search the lesson plans database for plans in all subject areas and grade levels.

4. Learner Express

Learner Express provides short video clips in math for Common Core and science for STEM curriculum.

5. Blog and Social Media

The Learner Log blog highlights specific teaching strategies and subject area resources from Learner.org and other educational organizations. It also provides a forum to discuss them with your peers. Tell us what topics you would like to see in the blog at blog@learner.org.

Our social media links provide instant connections to resources related to topics in the news, current events, and historical dates. Check us out on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Youtube.   

Connecting Learning with Historic Days

First Atomic Bomb is Dropped (August 6, 1945)

A Biography of
                                                    AmericaIn the early hours of August 6, 1945, the United States dropped the world’s first atom bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing over 120,000 Japanese citizens as a result of the blast and the after-effects of the fallout. President Harry S. Truman justified the use of the bomb, saying that there would have been a much greater loss of life had the U.S. invaded Japan by land.

In A Biography of America, program 23, “The Fifties,” try the You Decide; The Atom Bomb? interactive to determine if President Truman made the correct decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the goal of ending World War II?

Read about the cultural and human consequences of the nuclear weapons race of the 1950s in American Passages, unit 14, “Becoming Visible,” Living with the Atomic Bomb: Native Americans and the Postwar Uranium Boom and Nuclear Reactions.

The discussion of controversial issues can promote critical thinking skills. John Allen Rossi's article "Creating Strategies and Conditions for Civil Discourse About Controversial Issues" raises questions about the decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima. See Making Civics Real: A Workshop for Teachers workshop 7, "Controversial Public Policy Issues."

Mathematics Illuminated traces the origins of game theory to the work of Hungarian mathematician and physicist John von Neumann, who worked on the Manhattan Project, the top-secret plan to build the first atomic bomb.

More resources for teaching about World War II and the atomic bomb:

Reactions in Chemistry, workshop 3, “Energetics and Dynamics

The Western Tradition, program 48, “The Second World War"

Look for more connections to historical events and important days in August, such as the First US Census and Hawaii’s Entrance into Statehood, in the 2012 August update and in upcoming Facebook and Twitter posts.


Notable August Birthdays

James Baldwin (August 2, 1924)

James BaldwinJames Baldwin’s experience as a minister in a small Harlem church at the age of 14 led him to become a writer. His work explores the harmfulness of hatred and the importance of love and brotherhood. Find synopses of his work and listen to teacher Brenda Green explain why Baldwin is an appropriate author for high school study in The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School, session 3, “Inquiry: Rudolfo Anaya and James Baldwin.”

Read how James Baldwin’s prominent literary voice relates to the African American civil rights movement of the ‘50s and ‘60s in American Passages, program 14, “Becoming Visible.”

Gustave Caillebotte (August 19, 1848)

The Urban
                                                    ExperienceGustave Caillebotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day captures a fleeting moment in Paris. Caillebotte’s work touched on themes of class, identity, urbanity, and modernity, linking him to Impressionists like Monet, Degas, Renoir. See his work in Art Through Time, program 11, “The Urban Experience.”

Compare Caillebotte’s art with paintings by other impressionists discussed in Art of the Western World, program 7, “A Fresh View—Impressionism and Post-Impressionism” Part I.

Annenberg Foundation Update

The Annenberg Space for Photography provides free instructional resources on its Web site for teachers K-12. Download educator resource guides for several of the Space's exhibits, including War/Photography, No Strangers, Who Shot Rock & Roll, Digital Darkroom, and Beauty Culture. Teachers can use the packet in class and/or during a visit to the venue. Specific to each exhibit, each guide includes an age-appropriate recommendation, biographies of the featured artists, related curriculum and content standards, suggested questions and activities. Visit the Education section on the Annenberg Space for Photography Web site to access the guides as well as other education-related material.  

                                                          Space for
Photo by Unique Nicole at the Space

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