Free Educator Webinars This Week

This week, teachers can sign up for two free webinars led by PBS Digital Innovators, an impressive group of educators from across the country who receive one year of free professional development from PBS to foster and grow a community of tech-savvy educators.  As a result of their professional development and already accomplished practices, these Digital Innovators serve as ambassadors for integrating best practices in digital learning in classrooms.

The first webinar, which is tonight, is led by Continue reading

From WGBY’s DVD Collection at the Springfield City Library: Ken Burns’ Statue of Liberty

Family Views Statue Of Liberty From Ellis Island

Family Views Statue Of Liberty From Ellis Island

Young and old who have traveled to New York City have been drawn to the sight of the Statue of Liberty.  Today, we want to take her picture and ours with her.  (She’s a great backdrop for a selfie.)  But are we teaching our children about this great lady, the torch she bears for those who come seeking liberty, and the responsibilities we all have to preserve this precious gift?

One of many resources available to you from WGBY’s DVD Collection at the Springfield City Library is Ken Burns’ Statue of Liberty, a part of his American Collection.  Nominated for an Academy Award and an Emmy, the film offers rich excerpts you can choose to show students, such as “interviews with ordinary Americans [who] reveal a deep understanding of the unique place the statue holds in our hearts.”

You’ll also find classroom resources for various grade levels  Continue reading

Roadtrip Nation: Beyond the Dream for Young Immigrants

You’ll find previous posts here about Roadtrip Nation, a program that follows young adults who travel across our country for inspiration about how to find meaningful work and live meaningful lives.  The travelers you see in this trailer for Roadtrip Nation’s Beyond the Dream are three immigrants who arrived in the U. S. when they were young and have been temporarily granted partial — but not full — protection against deportation.

In our country’s current immigration debate, we seem rarely, if ever, to hear immigrants’ voices (although most of us, if lucky, still have family members who immigrated to the U. S. and have their stories).  Beyond the Dream allows these young immigrants to tell us their stories.

Over 1,000 resources on Continue reading

Upcoming “Hamilton” Documentary & Media Rich Resources

On October 21 at 9:00pm WGBY will air the national premiere of Great Performances/Hamilton’s America.  Writing about the upcoming broadcast, WGBH’s President and CEO, Jon Abbot, quoted New York Times’ theater critic, Ben Brantley, who wrote that the Broadway musical Hamilton “makes us feel the unstoppable, urgent rhythm of a nation being born.”   

In the documentary we follow Lin-Manuel Miranda as he creates a landmark musical that ultimately won 11 Tony Awards (1 short of the record) and a Pulitzer Prize.  On the day after the premiere, October 22, PBS LearningMedia invites us to check back for a collection of media-rich resources Continue reading

PBS KIDS Halloween Programming & Teaching Resources

As you can see in this video clip, kids are in for delightfully spooky treats this Halloween season.  WGBY will premiere Halloween-themed movies and episodes and broadcast encore programming.  There will also be plenty of free PBS KIDS apps and hands-on activities, including pumpkin-carving templates with favorite PBS KIDS characters.

This fall, PBS will also offer PreK-12 teachers an easy way to integrate Halloween themes into their instruction with a range of curriculum-aligned videos, lesson plans and games. Continue reading

Teaching Teens that They & Others Change

Search our blog using the word “brain” and you’ll find past posts such as one about motivating teenagers by teaching them how their brains change.  A recent NY Times article, “Teaching Teens to Cope with Social Stress,” suggests that helping them understand a similar theme — that they and others can change — helps them become more resilient and less susceptible to anxiety.

Studies sited in the article yielded promising results.  When teenagers were asked to do a simple exercise designed to help them understand that the cruelty
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PBS TeacherLine Fall Courses

Now that we’re well into fall, you may find yourself wanting new skills to teach more effectively and enhance your career.  PBS TeacherLine’s self-paced and facilitated professional development courses for preschool through grade 12 teachers span a range of content — math, science, reading, social studies, instructional strategies and more.

With fall enrollment well under way, here are a few course titles that may whet your appetite for the full catalog: Developing Passionate Readers in a Digital World, Grades K-6/30 hrs., Continue reading

An Escape from Nazi Germany Brings Curious George Long Life

Curious George made his debut on PBS KIDS in 2006, but his storied life began 75 years ago.  You may know how George — originally named FiFi — was saved during Germany’s occupation of Paris.  German-born Jews, his creators Hans Augusto and Margret Rey fled the city on bicycles, riding for days before able to board a train.  When stopped en route for questioning, Hans showed his manuscript about the curious monkey to a French official, who was said to have exclaimed with a smile, “Ah! … un livre pour les enfants!”

Today Curious George makes countless children smile.  In addition to the 75 million books sold in more than 16 languages, PBS KIDS’ Curious George is beloved by many.  With a STEM-focused curriculum, many resources like this video clip and lesson plan

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Understanding a Child’s Heart

As soon as I discovered this interview on PBS LearningMedia, I bookmarked it and finally was able to listen to this wise woman and children’s author.  As Katherine Paterson — Newbery Medal and award-winning author of beloved books such as Bridge to Terabithia and Jacob Have I Loved — discusses her childhood and family, writing challenges, and favorite children’s books, she reveals her “understanding for the heart of a child,” words she uses to describe children’s literature.

PBS LearningMedia breaks the interview into shorter clips and provides support materials that include her biography, a book list and writing prompt.  The interview is one of many resources  Continue reading

Relax & Explore in the New PBS Teachers’ Lounge

At their best, teachers’ lounges offer a place to slow down and exchange ideas and resources with colleagues, resulting in rich professional exchanges and essential support in a world where teachers are in danger of becoming isolated.  Too often, there’s little time in teachers’ lounges to do more than eat lunch, hone lessons, or assess students’ work, however.

PBS Education is working to provide the best setting for teachers with the new PBS Teachers’ Lounge — a virtual gathering place where educators can find fresh ideas, interact with peers, and discover innovative learning tools. In addition to featured ideas and resources essential to 21st century teaching and learning, you can enter daily for a chance to win  Continue reading