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        Annenberg Learner Update
      May 2012

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In the Spotlight for May


Annenberg Learner Announcements
    Learner Express: Modules for Teaching and Learning
    Follow us on Pinterest
    Learner Log Blog
    Journey North NEW Mobile App!
    Monthly Update: Topics we miss


Current Events

    Popocatépetl Sends Ash Three Miles High
    Remembering Newsman Mike Wallace
    Tornado Season 2012

Curriculum Focus: Summer Professional Development

Connecting Learning with Special Days
    National Mental Health Month
    Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
    Jamestown, Virginia Founding Anniversary (May 14, 1607)
    Spring Astronomy Day (May 7)
    Brown vs. the Board of Education (May 17, 1954)
    Latino Books Month

Notable May Birthdays
    Christopher Paul Curtis (May 10, 1953)
    Edward Lear and Limerick Day (May 12, 1812)
    Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907)
    Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884)
    John Brown (May 9, 1800)
    Gabriel Fahrenheit (May 24, 1686)
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803)
    Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819)
   

Distance Learning Update

Annenberg Foundation Update

  

Annenberg Learner Announcements


Learner Express: Modules for Teaching and Learning

This month we premiere a feature on Learner.org – Learner Express.  Learner Express is a curated group of video modules drawn from Annenberg Learner science and math series and workshops and are keyed to the mathematics Common Core standards and STEM curriculum topics. They are short, well-documented, and connect to other resources on Learner.org.  Look for more modules in the months to come.

Pinterest

Stop by our Pinterest page to see resources grouped by subject areas and specific topics such as volcanoes and inspiring women in STEM fields. 

Learner Log Blog

Check out Learner Log, our new blog space about teaching and learning. Click on “Blog” on our homepage or go directly to Learner Log to read and start commenting. Send us an email at blog@learner.org to suggest topics you would like to see on the blog page.

Journey North has a NEW Mobile App

Journey
                                                          North AppThe Journey North app is here for iPhones and iPads! Take Journey North outdoors and report sightings of migrating animals and ecosystem changes. Keep an eye on the Journey North site for the Android version out this summer. 

Monthly Update Topics

Did we not include a topic you were looking for? If you think of a topic you would like to teach and we missed it in the monthly newsletter, please let us know at info@learner.org and we can post resources and ideas on our Facebook page and/or blog.



Current Events

Popocatépetl Sends Ash Three Miles High

How comfortable would you be if a volcano in your backyard had been erupting since December of 1994? On April 15, Mexico’s Popocatépetl reminded nearby residents, including the people who live in Mexico City 40 miles away, of its presence by spewing ash three miles into the air after breaking through a dome of lava. Mexico’s National Center for Disaster Prevention (Web site in Spanish) raised the alert for the city to a level three, indicating possible magma expulsion and explosions of increasing intensity. 

Earth and
                                                          Space ScienceTeach middle school students about different types of volcanoes and volcanic eruptions and how plate tectonics factor into volcanic activity with Earth and Space Science, session 4, “The Engine That Drives the Earth.” 

Learn more about volcanoes at Earth’s surface, under the oceans, and below the crust with our new feature, Learner Express. Choose Volcanoes from the topics

In the Power of Place, unit 9, “Latin America: The Dynamic Pacific Rim,” and Teaching Geography, workshop 2, “Latin America,” part 2, Ecuador: Preventing Tragedy Through Understanding Geography, find out how scientists and sociologists study human habitation in an environment with volcanic activity.  

Students explore different types of volcanic eruptions, how volcanoes form, and disaster preparedness when they work through the Volcanoes Interactive

More resources on volcanoes:

Earth Revealed, program 13, “Volcanism” http://www.learner.org/resources/series78.html


Remembering Newsman Mike Wallace

The news-watching public noted the passing of long-time 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace last month. Known for incisive questions to high-profile interviewees, Wallace himself was on the hot seat in Ethics in America, "Under Orders, Under Fire" debating the role of the press in covering war atrocities.


Tornado Season 2012

Weather
                                                          InteractiveThis year, tornado season has opened with above average activity. According to NOAA, the preliminary tornado count for March 2012 is a whopping 225, while the three-year average for March is 74. 

Learn to identify the conditions that lead to dangerous tornadoes on the Powerful Storms page of the Weather Interactive.  Then try the Storm Chaser activity and track storms through Tornado Alley.


Curriculum Focus: Summer Professional Development

It’s hard to believe, but summer is almost here. For many teachers, summer is time to reflect on the past year and start planning for the school year ahead. Maybe you want to learn more about an area of your field, discover new activities to do with your students, or refresh your current knowledge and practices. Use Learner.org, with free videos, interactives, print guides, and more, to help you fulfill PD requirements or create your own professional learning group. You can also start working towards fall graduate credit through Colorado State University. Look at the enrollment dates, deadlines, and credit availability dates online

Here are some options by grade level. For a full list of all professional development workshops and courses visit our Web site.   

Elementary School Workshops

Teaching
                                                          Reading 3-5
                                                          WorkshopThe Teaching Reading 3-5 Workshop provides research and strategies on using the Internet for literacy instruction, teaching diverse learners, and enhancing readers’ proficiency through word study and comprehension activities. 

Get a new angle on geometry and learn how to apply its concepts in your classroom in Learning Math: Geometry

Recharge your understanding of energy as it applies to Earth and space science, life science, and physical science with the workshop Science in Focus: Energy.

Middle School Workshops

Gain confidence in conducting inquiry learning in your classroom by watching real teachers and students. You’ll benefit from teachers’ insights from the featured classrooms in the workshop, Learning Science Through Inquiry

Write in
                                                          the MiddleThe Teaching Geography Workshop applies geographic concepts to big questions about human migration, our relationship to the environment, and government funding that affect communities all over the world. 

Write in the Middle demonstrates effective practices for writing instruction. 

High School Workshops and Courses

Deepen your understanding of the Earth’s natural systems and research on humans’ impact on the environment in The Habitable Planet. This course includes online interactives and a full textbook. 

The Expanding Cannon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School provides lesson plans and ideas for teaching the works of 16 authors of many cultural backgrounds. The workshop presents four pedagogical approaches to teaching literature: reader response, inquiry, cultural studies, and critical pedagogy. 

Excite students with new ideas about physics such as string theory, dark energy, and quantum mechanics. These concepts and more are explained in Physics for the 21st Century



Connecting Learning with Special Days

National Mental Health Month

School can be a stressful place for students. Students understand and face challenges in the learning environment, whether dealing with a learning disability or discussing difficult issues in the world. The following resources show ways to alleviate students’ stress and to turn stress into products and actions.

Teachers can help students eliminate sources of unnecessary stress and focus their attention on learning. Read “What Teachers Can Do” in the unit “Different Learners, Different Minds” of Neuroscience & The Classroom: Making Connections.

Connecting





                                                          With the Arts
                                                          LibraryTeachers develop their students’ power of voice with cross-curricular activities in Connecting with the Arts: A Teaching Practices Library 6-8, program 12, “Finding Your Voice.” Art students create pastel drawings in response to lessons on slavery, 9-11, and the Holocaust, and dance students use meaningful choreography to release the stress caused by heated discussions of social topics in their core classes.

Teacher Chris Mazzino creates a safe environment for students to discuss what it means to be an outsider in program 12, “Gaining Insight Through Poetry,” of Teaching The Children of Willesden Lane.


Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month

Explore Annenberg Learner resources to discover the rich history, cultural heritage, and personal stories of Americans of Asian and Pacific Island descent.

Students learn to understand the victimization of Japanese-Americans in World War II as they read poetry by Lawson Fusao Inada in the The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School, session 8, “Critical Pedagogy: Abiodun Oyewole and Lawson Fusao Inada.” 

Teaching
                                                          Multicultural
                                                          LiteratureStudents in New York City explore “dual identity” by reading the literary works of authors Gish Jen, Tina Yun Lee, and Lensey Namioka. Watch the students discuss the works, and find teaching strategies including peer facilitation circles in workshop 1, “Engagement and Dialogue,” of Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades.

Maxine Hong Kingston, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, writes fiction that explores balancing the cultural values of one’s heritage with the values and expectations of American society. Read about her life and works in American Passages, unit 16, “Search for Identity.”

For additional references to Asian history and culture, look at these resources:

Bridging World History, unit 23, “People Shape the World,” video segment, Mao Zedong (Revolution and Resistance in China) 

America’s History in the Making, unit 13, “Taming the American West," (resource PDF) "Early Chinese Immigration and the Process of Education” and unit 14, "Industrializing America," (resource PDF) "Asian Immigration to the United States"

American Passages, unit 12, “Migrant Struggle” (author Carlos Bulosan)


Jamestown, Virginia Founding Anniversary (May 14, 1607)

Historians compare two early colonies, Jamestown in Virginia and Massachusetts Bay in New England, to define the American character in A Biography of America, program 2, “English Settlement.” 

See examples of how teachers use primary source documents to teach about the Jamestown settlement in Primary Sources, workshop 1, “The Virginia Company: America’s Corporate Beginnings.” 

American
                                                          PassagesStudents can compare the experiences of today’s migrants with those of Jamestown settlers in American Passages, unit 12, “Migrant Struggle.” In what ways can the stories of migrants and working people represent the stereotypical "American" experience? This unit profiles Asian and Latino/a authors who have revealed their struggles to attain the American dream. 




For resources on the following special days, look at the May 2011 update

Spring Astronomy Day (May 7)
Brown vs. the Board of Education (May 17, 1954)
Latino Books Month

Notable May Birthdays

Christopher Paul Curtis (May 10, 1953)
 
Christopher Paul Curtis wrote The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963, a novel about a family that goes to visit Grandma in Birmingham, Alabama, when the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing.

In Teaching Multicultural Literature, workshop 5, “Historical and Cultural Context,” Laina Jones uses historical documents and films to help students understand the circumstances of the characters in the novel. 

Teacher Joe Bernhart has students form book groups to discuss the novel. Hear students’ interpretation of the book in Making Meaning in Literature, workshop 2, “Building a Literary Community.”   This page includes useful resources for teaching the novel. 


Edward Lear and Limerick Day (May 12, 1812)


Explore mathematical patterns in poetry with the Limerick Factory activity. Just like poet Edward Lear, create limericks and observe rhyme schemes with your students.


Rachel
                                                          CarsonRachel Carson (May 27, 1907)
 
Writer and ecologist Rachel Carson published Silent Spring in 1962. The book changed the public view of the natural world and challenged agricultural practices of the time.

In Journey North, A Food Chain Mystery, students can read “From Elm Leaves to a Silent Spring,” (Carson’s article about the consequences of pesticide use) and complete a journal activity.

America’s History in the Making, Resource Archive includes an excerpt from Silent Spring and the historical significance of Carson’s work.  Silent Spring is listed in the resources for unit 19, “Postwar Tension and Triumph.”  

The Habitable Planet, unit 7, “Agriculture,” section 5, Combating Pests and Disease, also features an excerpt from Silent Spring in the context of the dangers of using the pesticide DDT and other organochlorines.
 

More May birthdays:

Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884)
Primary Sources, workshop 8, “Korea and the Cold War” and The Truman Doctrine
 
A Biography of America, program 23, “The Fifties

Democracy in America, unit 2, “The Constitution: Fixed or Flexible?” segment 2 of the video 

John Brown (May 9, 1800)
A Biography of America, program 10, “The Coming of the Civil War” 

Gabriel Fahrenheit (May 24, 1686)
Interactives, British and Metric Conversions

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803)
American Passages, unit 4, “Spirit of Nationalism” 

A Biography of America, program 10, “The Coming of the Civil War"

Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819)
American Passages, unit 5, “Masculine Heroes” 

Voice & Visions, program 12, “Walt Whitman



Distance Learning Update

Economics
                                                          U$AEconomics U$A: 21st Century Edition: Fall license discount
From the first decade of the 20th century through the early portion of the 21st century, America has been on an economic roller-coaster ride from boom to bust and back again. Economics U$A: 21st Century Edition is a 28-part multimedia distance learning course in micro- and macroeconomics for college and high school classrooms that features many of America’s leading businesspeople, politicians, and economists giving the inside story behind these turbulent times.

If you have been licensing Economics U$A: First Edition, a 20% discount is available Fall 2012 to license the new, updated Economics U$A: 21st Century Edition
 
Neuroscience

                                                          & the
                                                          ClassroomNeuroscience & the Classroom: Making Connections
Check out our new course Neuroscience & the Classroom: Making Connections.  Insights drawn from neuroscience not only provide educators with a scientific basis for understanding some of the best practices in teaching, but also offer a new lens through which to look at the problems teachers grapple with every day. By gaining insights into how students actually learn, teachers will be empowered to create their own solutions to the classroom challenges they face and improve learning.

Reminder: Send your Spring/Summer course enrollment information to distancelearning@learner.org

Webinar Update: We have heard from some of you that you would like to participate in an online Webinar on distance learning. If you would like to be added to this group, email Nancy at distancelearing@learner.org with the subject line “I am interested.“

Visit us at these conferences: 

USDLA (United States Distance Learning Association) conference, St. Louis, MO. Our session “Annenberg Learner: New Enhanced Video Streaming and Open Source Resources” is on Tuesday, May 1, 3:30 to 4:30, Grand Suites 2.

NISOD (National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development) conference, Austin, Texas. May 27-29, 2012.  Visit us at booth 416 and attend our session “’New’ Enhanced Video Streaming and Open Source Resources” on Monday, May 28, 2:45 to 3:45, Room 13A, Level 4.

Annenberg Foundation Update

Now through May 28, 2012, the Annenberg Space for Photography currently presents “Digital Darkroom,” which features the work of 17 artists from around the world.  Watch the original short films that accompany the exhibit and compare their images created using Photoshop with more traditional paintings and sculptures of dreamscapes and personal fantasies by past artists, from aboriginal artists to surrealists in program 2, “Dreams and Visions,” of Art Through Time.

Who
                                                          Shot Rock
                                                          & Roll?

Coming to the Annenberg Space for Photography this summer: "Who Shot Rock & Roll?"

Keep up with news and information about the Annenberg Foundation by subscribing to one or more of the Foundation newsletters.



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