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March 2017 »


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

1) The Learning French Collection on PBS LearningMedia now includes 200 online videos designed to support teachers of the French language for Pre-K-3, grades 6-8, and grades 9-13+. You can register to use the free PBS LearningMedia . Mini TFO French programs continue to be broadcasted on LPB 2 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Don’t forget the wonderful online language training in 21 languages available free at Duolingo

2) To Walk Invisible: The Bronte Sisters. This one-night television event tells the true story of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte, who faced a bleak future as a family of unmarried women. Unable to rely on their alcoholic brother or near-blind father to provide for them, they worked as governesses to privileged and often unruly children. This is the story of how — against all odds — their genius for writing romantic novels was recognized in a male-dominated, 19th-century world. See the program on Sunday, March 26th at 8:00 p.m.

3) Perhaps the most recognizable U.S. national park, Yosemite Valley, is a delicately balanced environment forged in wildfire and sculpted by water. With climate change and rising temperatures, the Sierras are under siege as water becomes scare and wildfires more common. Scientists, experts and adventurers trudge through mountains of snow, climb trees as tall as buildings and soar high in the air to learn how these global changes are affecting one of America's greatest wildernesses. Yosemite Valley airs March 29th, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on LPB HD. More information on Yosemite Valley is available from the National Park Service. If you want to show your students the black and white masterpieces of Ansel Adams, you can see them online at The Ansel Adams Gallery.

4) “[W]hen students act out or disengage, the question we should ask is not ‘what’s wrong with you,’ but rather ‘what happened to you?’” That’s what this article suggests. I didn’t realize that between half and two-thirds of all school-aged children have experienced trauma, and it has a “direct, immediate, and potentially overwhelming impact on the ability of a child to learn.” That’s pretty stunning. You may be interested in how some schools in New Orleans are responding with trauma-informed schooling.

5) PBS LearningMedia is looking for teachers to join the PBS Teachers’ Advisory Group, a research panel that will help shape the resources and services offered by PBS to teachers across the nation. The panel provides feedback through an easy, online survey once or twice a month, shares opinions on PBS’s curriculum resources, professional development offerings, and other programs in development, and weighs in on a variety of topics including teacher needs, best practices, classroom experiences and more. Apply to join the Advisory Group.

6) The interactive calendar accessed at PBS Teachers Lounge notes significant events for particular days and then links to teaching resources within PBS LearningMedia (accessed at http://www.lpb.org/education). For example, January 30th was the day when King Manuel of Portugal titled explorer Vasco da Gama “Admiral of the Seas of Arabia, Persia and India and all the Orient” (now that’s a title!). That entry links to Vasco da Gama within the PBS World Explorer resources. Cool.

7) I’ve never taught preschoolers, but I’m always charmed by the inventive techniques used to teach basic skills to the very young learners. This article tells about a technique to teach how to listen, think and respond. I can just visualize it in practice.

8) Regardless of your opinions about current politics, you can use many of the current events as teachable moments of civics. Here’s a quick overview of our government organization, a description of the three branches of our government, basic structure and functions of our government, and America’s Founding Documents: The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

9) Current events in our country have had me scrambling to review the Constitution and the limitations of the federal government’s power through the Bill of Rights. If you are teaching about that, then you may want to look at this four part series and website, Constitution USA with Peter Sagal. As he travels to significant sites across the country including St. Joseph’s Abbey in Louisiana, Sagal explores our rights, system of government, distribution of power, how each generation refines the laws and regularly can change Representatives/Senators/President to redirect the government, and how societal challenges necessitate redefinition of our Constitution. On that site, you can follow a link to PBS LearningMedia to access portions of the series segmented for easy use in the classroom, facsimiles of the amendments, activities and other resources. There is a good pdf “Know Your Rights, A Guide to the US Constitution”. If you prefer a bare bones list of the Bill of Rights, that’s available too.

10) If you are teaching STEM, you may be interested in the Navy STEM for the classroom. Download high school lesson plans and access interactives that teach content from the physics of flight to the engineering of future ships. Students can learn more about careers within the Navy, too.

11) The documentary, Attakapas: The Cajun Story, is a multi-media performance previously staged by music legend Zachary Richard at the Manship Theater in Baton Rouge. The documentary airs March 14th at 7:00 p.m. on LPB HD and repeats on March 19th at 5:30 p.m.

12) GREAT PERFORMANCES "Dudamel Conducts Tangos Under the Stars with the LA Phil" - Under the baton of its renowned music and artistic director Gustavo Dudamel, the LA Phil returns to the Hollywood Bowl for an evening of Latin music. The concert repertoire features "Four Dances From Estancia" by Alberto Ginastera, "Tangazo" by Astor Piazzolla and a selection of three tangos by Piazzolla: "La Muerte del Angel," "Adios Nonino" and "Libertango." Also featured is the world premiere of Lalo Schifrin's Concierto de la Amistad. Friday, March 31st at 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. on LPB HD.

13) If you teach young children and are looking for crafts for St. Patrick’s Day, PBS Parents can help out. Looking for Spring crafts?

14) New from our colleagues at South Dakota Public Television are online drawing resources from Art Basics with Dick Termes and the related video clips on PBS Learning Media.

15) Speaking of art every Friday at 8:30 p.m. on LPB HD, Art Rocks! spotlights artists, performance, culture, literature, history and the impact of art in our world. Art Rocks! features Louisiana stories as well as segments from across the country. The program repeats on Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. on LPB HD.

16) I don’t know if you already do this or if it would be appropriate for your students, but I thought this was an interesting article about the gradual release of responsibility for learning. It sounds like a thoughtful approach to inspire students to be self-directed in their learning since it moves from teacher-as-model, to joint responsibility of teacher and learner, to independent practice and application by the learner. It involves focused instruction, guided instruction, collaborative learning, and independent learning. Other teachers give their experience with this approach. The article links to a book (Better Learning through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility) if you want more information.

17) Librarians who want to start using apps in the library might want to learn how to get started with this free self-directed online course called Digital Storytime: Kids, Apps & Libraries from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

18) Ever wonder if you could pass the test to become a U.S. citizen? Check out the study materials. The real test is not composed of multiple choice questions but you can see for yourself how well you can answer the questions on the multiple choice practice naturalization tests.

19) Just some of the upcoming music shows:
Patsy Cline: American Masters March 4th 5:30 p.m.
Daniel O'Donnell: Back Home Again Saturday, March 4th, 7:00 p.m. featuring traditional Irish tunes,
70s Soul Superstars All-star reunion of the legends including the Commodores, Chi-Lites, the Stylistics, Yvonne Elliman, Heatwave, the Trammps and the Emotions. March 4th 8:30 p.m.
The Best of 50s Pop on March 5th at 5:00 p.m. is a cavalcade of 50s performers with special tributes to Dean Martin, Perry Como Rosemary Clooney, Jonny Ray and more.
Tom Jones: A Soundstage Special Event on March 6th at 8:30 p.m. on LPB performs signature songs "Delilah," "It's Not Unusual," "Green, Green Grass of Home," "Kiss" and "Thunderball."
• Join the country music hit-maker, Travis Tritt: A Man and His Guitar on Thursday, March 9th at 7:00 p.m.
Last of the Breed on March 9th at 8:30 p.m. is an once-in-a-lifetime concert event by the legendary Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Ray Price.
On The Highwaymen Live at Nassau Coliseum on March 11th at 5:30 p.m. join Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson for this live concert recorded in 1990. The Highwaymen perform classics like "Big River," "Me and Bobby McGee" and "Always on My Mind."
• Travel to the magnificent hilltop Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Italy for heavenly music from the friar with the big tenor voice, Friar Alessandro: The Voice of Assisi on March 11th at 7:00 p.m. The program features sacred standards as well as songs that reflect the friar's message of hope, peace and brotherly love.
• On March 12th at 7:00 p.m. join the world-class tenor, Fernando Varela: Coming Home and special guests Jackie Evancho, William Joseph, Stephen Moccio and Caroline Campbell for a magical evening showcasing musical favorites including "Nessun Dorma," "All By Myself, " "Three Times a Lady" and more.
The Last Waltz is Martin Scorsese’s film hailed as one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll films ever made. Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Ronnie Wood, Neil Diamond, Eric Clapton and more perform with legendary rock group The Band. March 12th at 10:00 p.m.

I hope you get to enjoy some of the resources.

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