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February 2017 »


Here are a few things that may interest you, your students or your own children.

1) If you have some budding scientists in your 10th and 11th grade classes then here is a great opportunity for them to apply to work with a cancer scientist mentor and collaborate on real-life research. PBS LearningMedia and Stand Up To Cancer officially launched a call-for-applications for the Emperor Science Award program. One hundred students across the U.S. will be selected. In addition to the mentorship, those selected will also win a Google Chromebook and $1500 for project expenses. Submit the required application, questions, and essay by March 17th.

2) Speaking of cancer, Ken Burns has videos and other resources related to his series, The Emperor of Maladies, that you might find helpful in your classroom teaching.

3) Another thing you could do is give your students a chance to shine. Hurry or you will miss your chance to nominate students for the 2017 Louisiana Young Heroes Award. The deadline has been extended until February 10th to nominate students who have excelled in the classroom, served their community, shown great courage in overcoming adversity in their own lives and/or who helped their families, friends, schools, or communities during or after the floods? Further information and online nomination forms—a fillable PDF and an online form—ease the process. A fillable pdf (don’t use Microsoft Edge) and an online nomination form ease the process.

4) Applications for the PBS Digital Innovator program are being accepted through February 12th. PBS will select one teacher from Louisiana who uses technology in a unique way to teach. The teacher will receive a three day, all-expenses paid trip to to San Antonio, Texas from June 24th- 26th for the PBS Digital Innovators Summit and the ISTE 2017 Conference and Expo. Full info and application information.

5) Congratulations to Samantha Sullivan of Red River High School who as one of the monthly winners of the TEACH BOLDLY Sweepstakes will receive a supply of Starbucks coffee for their teachers’ lounge at school – plus a coffee maker and PBS mugs. You can visit the Teachers' Lounge and enter daily. The grand prize will receive a “teched-out” makeover for winning teachers’ lounge at school.

6) Just a reminder if you miss a program you wanted to see, many PBS’s shows such as Victoria or Secret of the Six Wives, can be viewed online for a limited time. After an episode airs it can be viewed online usually for about 14 days at http://video.pbs.org.

7) With Presidents’ Day coming up in February, your students can catch up quickly on the U.S. presidents from Washington to Obama through the 60-second Presidents’ collection.

8) Each month Discovery Education hosts a virtual experience, such as field trips or viewing party, that highlights Discovery Education resources, such as lesson starters, webinars and live events related to themes or current special events or commemorations. The Presidents Day Virtual Viewing Party, on February 19th at noon, will look at the contributions of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Register . A viewing party is a live stream of a video resource from Discovery followed by a live Twitter chat with other students across the nation. Here are the FAQs.

9) March 14th at noon is Discovery’s Pi Day Virtual experience that celebrates the mathematical constant Pi. Register Now to learn about its significance and application in everyday life through a virtual experience.

10) If you teach STEM here is a really interesting opportunity. WGBH, the public television station in Boston that brings Victoria and Sherlock Holmes to public TV, is also the premiere producer of science resources for public media. WGBH offers an opportunity for 50 K-12 educators to join in the design and implementation of digital media tools that have the potential to impact millions of STEM classrooms nationally. Complete the application only if you will be a full-time educator in the 2017-18 school year and are able to teach Earth science topics of weather, land and water (K-5) or weather and climate and geoscience processes (6-12) in the fall of 2017. Several questions about your classes in the school year 2017-18 will require approximations. The application deadline is February 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm Central. Applicants will be notified of selection by March 2, 2017. Further information.

11) If one of your resolutions this year was to improve your finances then you may find some of the personal finance articles at Learnvest helpful, from budgeting to estate planning. The knowledge center is free. There is a paid section of the site that I have no experience with so I’m not suggesting that you use that.

12) Next Avenue is a site where you can find news, advice, information, conversations and stories specifically for people over 50. The site covers various topics from health/wellbeing, money/security, work and purpose, living and learning, and care-giving.

13) Remember that the PBS Kids channel airs 24/7 now on LPB 2 and through cable providers across the state. LPB is broadcasting PBS KIDS shows 24 hours a day and offering a digital livestream (click on the live TV button in the lower left screen), making it easy for children to watch their favorite series during primetime and other after-school hours.

14) Teaching children acceptance of diversity begins early. Arthur has some resources to help you do just that.

15) Ever wonder how misconceptions of people develop? Imagine deciding that someone is inferior, dull, and brutish based only on their appearance. While that may refer to a current news story, it is actually what befell the maligned Neanderthals. This is a long story, but it sheds quite a bit of light on our poor misrepresented ancestors. It also inspired me to confirm the location of Gibraltar on a map. It wasn’t exactly where I had remembered it being!

16) If you are teaching art, don’t forget that you can see images from current, past and upcoming exhibitions from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Some really world class objects! Lesson plans and teacher resources are also available.

17) LPB now has a monthly parent e-newsletter filled with fun ideas, parenting tips, and lots of resources. Subscribe.

18) It’s hard for us to manage our feelings sometimes, but imagine how challenging it is for young children to build social emotional skills. Daniel Tiger can help preschoolers build these important competencies with this curated collection of activities, songs, and stories.

19) Children can learn to explore the great outdoors from Nature Cat. When he is on his own, Fred the house cat becomes a "backyard explorer extraordinaire!" See how children can explore their environment and earn nature badges.

20) What’s At the Center of the Earth? That’s what the hour-long Dinosaur Train special explores on February 20th at 10 a.m. Using the Drill Train, a special machine, the Pteranodon Family gets a front row seat as they dig deep underground discovering fossils and more. A runaway train will have you hanging onto your seat!

21) The Peg + Cat collection of resources will help you introduce children Pre-K-2 to foundational math concepts. Peg and Cat’s adventures in math will entertain young number crunchers as they strengthen important skills.

22) If you are teaching children (pre-K-2) Spanish then you may want to look at the Oh Noah! collection of free animated videos, games, and hands-on activities.

23) Math + Arts is a collection of lesson plans that use drama, music, and visual arts to teach math concepts. It is designed for grades K-3 but anyone can learn from the projects.

24) Here are some art shows that you might enjoy:
LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER 50 Years of Mostly Mozart, February 3rd at 9 p.m. Celebrate the genius of Mozart with signature performances and new commissions.
SMOKEY ROBINSON: THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS GERSHWIN PRIZE FOR POPULAR SONG, Friday, February 10th at 9 p.m. An all-star tribute to singer and songwriter Smokey Robinson.
GREAT PERFORMANCES New York City Ballet in Paris, February 17th at 9 p.m.
An all-Balanchine program of ballet masterpieces, including the Walpurgisnacht Ballet and La Valse, set to music of Gounod and Ravel respectively, recorded in the City of Light.
MAYA ANGELOU: AMERICAN MASTERS, Tuesday, February 21st at 7 p.m. The life of the activist and prolific writer of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings author.
GREAT PERFORMANCES, New York City Ballet Symphony in C, February 24th at 9 p.m. Two classic ballets by George Balanchine: Georges Bizet’s sparkling Symphony in C, and the rarely seen Sonatine to the music of Maurice Ravel, in performance in Paris.

25) Then just for fun there is the premiere of AGATHA RAISIN, The Quiche of Death, February 2nd at 9 p.m. Agatha Raisin, a public relations professional, gives up her life in London in hopes of a new life in the seemingly quiet village of Carsley. To ingratiate herself with the community, she enters the village’s annual quiche-making competition only to find herself suspected of murder. She sets out to clear her name and solve the mystery of the Quiche of Death. Food and mystery, how can you go wrong?

I hope you have the opportunity to use some of these resources.

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