Annenberg Learner Update
      May 2014

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In the Spotlight for May

Curriculum Focus: Summer Professional Development

Current Events
    Astronomers Find Earth-like Planet?
Connecting Learning With Special Days
    Get Caught Reading Month
    New York Stock Exchange Established (May 17, 1792)
    More Special Days
Notable May Birthdays
    Adrienne Rich (May 16, 1929)
    Esmeralda Santiago (May 17, 1948)
    Gabriel Fahrenheit (May 24, 1686)
    More May Birthdays

Annenberg Learner Announcements
    Summer Graduate Credit and CEU Opportunities
    LearnerLog Blog
    Introduction to World Literature: Gilgamesh iBook
    New to Learner.org
    Print Catalog

Annenberg Foundation Update  

Curriculum Focus: Summer Professional Development

                                              DevelopmentAnother school year has flown by and 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 earn graduate credit and CEUs through Colorado State University and PBS Teacherline. Look at the enrollment dates, deadlines, and credit availability dates online or look below under Annenberg Learner Announcements for more on graduate credit and CEU offerings.

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

Elementary School Workshops

Science in Focus:
                                              EnergyTeach your students to live and love literature using the ideas from Engaging with Literature,
A Workshop for Teachers, Grades 3-5 .

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

Learning Math:
                                                DataGain confidence in data analysis and problem solving with Learning Math: Data Analysis, Statistics, and Probability, and apply what you learn in your classroom. 

Use geographical concepts to answer big questions that affect communities all over the world. See Teaching Geography.

Learn effective practices for writing instruction in Write in the Middle

High School Workshops and Courses

Habitable PlanetDeepen your understanding of the interplay of Earth’s natural systems with humans’ impact on the environment in The Habitable Planet. This course includes 5 online interactives and a full textbook.  

Expand your students’ literary experiences with lesson plans and ideas for teaching the works of 16 compelling authors of many cultural backgrounds. The Expanding Cannon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School presents four pedagogical approaches to teaching literature: reader response, inquiry, cultural studies, and critical pedagogy.    

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

Current Events

Astronomers Find Earth-like Planet?

Habitable PlanetHave we discovered another Earth? On April 17, 2014, astronomers reported the finding of Kepler-186f, an Earth-sized habitable-zoned planet. Read this article in io9.com that compares characteristics of our Earth with the newly discovered planet, and how the Kepler space telescope searches for planets like ours.

Teach your students about what makes Earth distinct from other planets in our solar system and the search for other habitable planets using these resources from Annenberg Learner:

Many Planets, One Earth,” unit 1 of The Habitable Planet, and “Down to Earth,” program 1 of Earth Revealed, explain what makes our Earth so unique in a sea of other planets. Scroll through astrophysicist Lisa Kaltenegger’s collection of photos and descriptions that explain the history of Earth and how life is detected on planets in “Beyond the Habitable Planet: Detecting Earth-Like Planets.” 

Younger students can start by looking at how scientists define life. Answer the question “What is life?” and identify characteristics that differentiate the living from the non-living with Essential Science for Teachers: Life Science, session 1.  Next, classify different forms of life in session 2.

Connecting Learning With Special Days

Get Caught Reading Month

May is Get Caught Reading Month.  Looking for inspiration for readers young and older? The following Annenberg Learner resources will get you started.

Engaging With
                                                    Literature LibraryObserve 5th-grade teacher Bileni Teklu teach her students to make connections between what they read and their own experiences. The young readers then discuss what they enjoy about reading. Build a strong community of engaged readers using the classroom examples and ideas in Engaging With Literature, A Video Library, Grades 3-5.

Why do you read? Conversations in Literature, for middle school and high school teachers, will inspire you to revisit your passion for literature. Inspire the same love in your students by helping them identify their own effective reading habits. For example, readers “step in” to a text by sizing up the characters and the atmosphere the same way they would in a social situation. See program 3, “Stepping In.”

Glimpse the appeal and power of great literature as celebrities, academics, and people who just love to read talk about their fascination with The Epic of Gilgamesh, Popol Vuh, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and more in Invitation to World Literature.

Watch authors Katherine Paterson, Leslie Marmon Silko, and J.K. Rowling discuss literary works that inspired their own writing in the Author Notes, Part III of In Search of the Novel. Scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the VoD.  

More resources for Get Caught Reading Month:

Making Meaning in Literature, Grades 6-8 Library

Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades

The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School

American Passages: A Literary Survey

Literary Visions

New York Stock Exchange Established (May 17, 1792)

Economics U$AOn May 17, 1792, the New York Stock Exchange began when 24 stockbrokers signed The Buttonwood Agreement to establish the rules for buying and selling bonds and shares of companies. See how economics mingles with art in these Learner resources.

Think global, act local. Understand how local and foreign markets are connected, how exchange rates fluctuate, and how import and export costs are affected in Economics U$A: 21st Century Edition, unit 28, “Exchange Rates.”

Our economic system can be volatile. On October 4, 1929, the stock market crashed sending the country into panic and starting the Great Depression. In A Biography of America, program 21, “FDR and the Depression,” learn how President Franklin Delano Roosevelt implemented programs to help Americans through this economic crisis. The iconic Dorothea Lange photograph “Migrant Mother” was the result of a New Deal program.

Look at the context activity “Cultural Change, Cultural Exchange: The Jazz Age, the Depression, and Transatlantic Modernism” in American Passages, unit 11, “Modernist Portraits.” Students are asked to consider how the economic climate in the U.S. can affect cultural climates around the globe. Also,
in the archives, find a picture of The Trading Floor the day the Stock Exchange crashed.

More Special Days

Find resources for teaching about Latino Books Month, Brown v. Board of Education (May 17, 1954), Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, and more in the Monthly Update archives for May and follow us on Facebook

Notable May  Birthdays

                                                      RichAdrienne Rich (May 16, 1929)

Adrienne Rich’s poetry integrated art, politics, and identity, and challenged conceptions of women and their capabilities. She is featured in the video for American Passages, unit 15, “Poetry of Liberation.” (Start at 18:48 in the video.)  Also learn about her life and find activities for students to use to explore her poetry.

Esmeralda Santiago (May 17, 1948)

The Expanding
                                                    Canon"I was a different person in Puerto Rico from the one I became in the United States. Not better, not worse – different,” said writer Esmeralda Santiago. Her memoir When I was Puerto Rican has started a discussion of cultural identity and the immigrant experience among her readers. The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School, session 4, “Inquiry,” suggests using various approaches to reading the text with students. Find the full lesson plan here

In A Biography of America, program 26, “The Redemptive Imagination,” Esmeralda Santiago is a voice in the discussion about the power of storytelling in the context of history.

For a short video clip of Santiago discussing her passion for writing and the influence of reading on her life, see the Learner Express: English Language Arts module for Esmeralda Santiago.

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (May 24, 1686)

                                                    Challenges and
                                                    SolutionsLearn how Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit developed the temperature scale that bears his name. Compare his scale with others that measure temperature in Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions, unit 2, “The Behavior of Atoms-Phases of Matter and the Properties of Gases,” section 3, Measuring Temperature.

Students can practice temperature conversions based on the Fahrenheit, Celsius, Kelvin scales and more using the British and Metric Conversions interactive.

Physical Science, session 7, “Heat and Temperature,” answers the question, “Why do we need three sets of temperature scales?” Remember to examine common ideas children have about heat and temperature as a prelude to planning your lessons on the topic.

For additional May birthdays, including Machiavelli, Truman, and Emerson, see the May 2013 update.

Annenberg Learner Announcements

Enroll in May for Graduate Credit and CEUs This Summer

CEUsSummer is a great time to recharge your intellectual batteries with self-paced courses from Annenberg Learner and Colorado State University. Register by May 31 to earn 2 or 3 graduate-level credits and avoid a tuition increase that takes effect June 1. See the full list of courses here.

If you’re looking for continuing education units (CEUs), you have a choice of 15 of our most popular courses. CEU course options range from 1.5 to 3 units per course with 10 professional development hours per unit, (e.g., 1.5 CEUs = 15 hours) and cost just $50 per unit. For more information on CEUs visit the Learner website.

LearnerLog Blog

Take an idea vacation with the LearnerLog Blog. You’ll find deeper explorations of content and teaching ideas from your peers. Subscribe now at LearnerLog.org to get email notifications of new posts and start sharing your ideas with fellow “Learners.” 

On LearnerLog you get to take a turn! What would you like to change
about your current teaching practices? Send your thoughts to blog@learner.org.

                                                          iBookNEW! Introduction to World Literature: Gilgamesh iBook

Go mobile with Gilgamesh! Watch, read, and learn about Gilgamesh, the oldest known masterpiece of world literature. This iBook, available now on iTunes, is adapted from the series Invitation to World Literature. Captured in writing thousands of years ago, Gilgamesh compellingly presents the universal themes of friendship and competition, lust and love, enmity and reconciliation. Purchase in the iTunes store today for just $3.99.

New to Learner.org

Learner Express: English Language Arts

Learner Express: English Language Arts multicultural modules present a diverse group of writers correlated to the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts. Writers include Christopher Paul Curtis, Edwidge Danticat, and Laurence Yep. 

Connect with English Website

Our Connect with English series, for English as a second language instruction, now has a website with grammar, dictation, and comprehension activities and quizzes to go along with the series videos.

Against All Odds Original Series Stream Ends This Month

                                                          All OddsAs this school year winds down, we want to remind you that the original Against All Odds series will stop streaming on Learner.org on June 1.  If you wish to purchase a DVD copy of the original series for 60% off the original price, you can do so by calling 800-LEARNER (532-7637). We will continue to sell the original series as long as supplies last.
The newly updated Against All Odds: Inside Statistics for high school and college-level instruction is streaming free online and available for purchase on DVD now! This series features 32 10-minute videos showing people from all walks of life using statistics in their work, a coordinated new website, 3 online interactive tools, and faculty and student guides. To order a copy on DVD, call 800-LEARNER. 

Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions

Check out our new course Chemistry: Challenges and Solutions online. 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 website, online interactives, and online text. To purchase a DVD copy of the videos with a bonus disc of lab demonstrations, call 800-LEARNER.

Print Catalog

For a copy of our full catalog or our new Science and Mathematics discipline catalog, send an email to order@learner.org. Be sure to include a mailing address in your request and indicate FULL CATALOG or SCIENCE AND MATH CATALOG. Thank you!

Annenberg Foundation Update

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