Lesson Plan Feature: Probability and Fairness

imagesIn this lesson for grades 4-7 from Cyberchase — the program that shows kids that math is everywhere and everyone can be good at it! — students are introduced to concepts of fairness in games based on the probability, or odds, of winning and losing a game of chance.  It includes media resources, assessment materials, and Common Core State Standards. Continue reading

Black History Across the Curriculum

imagesMany students and teachers return to classes next week — the last week of February, which is Black History Week.   Black history is a vital subject that can extend to various content within the school curriculum.  For example, the lesson plan Understanding Duke Ellington from WNET for grades 1-4 offers a chance to explore subjects like culture, music, people and their relationships.  Continue reading

Great Performances for You & Students

2EB2B2D51-06E7-6FEB-8C2B511EFBD1BC46We know many of you are on February break, a time for you to relax and refresh.  Without the pressure of daily lessons and the myriad other responsibilities teachers have,  we hope you can also explore new resources to stimulate your learning enjoyment and to motivate  students.  With GREAT PERFORMANCES, produced by WGBH in Boston, you’ll find outstanding works to engage and enlighten you as well as students, especially with the assistance of GREAT PERFORMANCES FOR EDUCATORS. Continue reading

Math at the Core: Middle School

indexPBS LearningMedia’s newest math collection, Math at the Core:  Middle School, contain media-rich lessons designed to help middle school students visualize math concepts. The lessons align to Common Core standards for grades 5-8 and address critical concepts, such as ratios and proportions, adding negative integers, and probability and statistics. Continue reading

Important Chapters in the Civil Rights Movement

On Monday, February 10, at 10pm, WGBY airs Independent Lens:  Spies of Mississippi, the story of a secret spy agency formed during the 1950s and 60s by the state of Mississippi to preserve segregation and maintain white supremacy. Over a decade, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission employed a network of investigators and informants, including African Americans, to help infiltrate the NAACP, CORE and SNCC.

Watch a preview:

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Lesson Plan for Black History Month: Educating the Whole Child in a Segregated Society

Les 10 Clip 1 Still_largeBlack History Month begins and throughout February you’ll find resources here to spark students’ curiosity. This one considers the 21st century demand for a new way of approaching education policy and practice — a “whole child” approach to learning, teaching, and community engagement.  Such an approach requires that policymakers make decisions about education by first asking:   What works best for children? Continue reading

LESSON PLAN FEATURE: Writing in the First Person of a Civil Rights Protester

indexWalking in someone else’s shoes can be one of the best ways to understand another human being.  In the  lesson plan It Takes Courage to Be Weak, students begin by analyzing quotations about activism and social change and rewriting them in their own words. Continue reading

Collection of Resources for Financial & Personal Responsibility

fin10_int_bankit_lThis vast collection of resources, including lesson plans and professional development,  is from Thirteen/WNET in New York.  It’s designed to engage students in financial awareness, economic empowerment and personal responsibility. The 25 resources for grades 7-12  that comprise Continue reading

Teaching and Learning About Nelson Mandela

RememberMandela“No one is born hating another person . . . if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.”  Nelson Mandela (1918-2013)

It is with sadness that we learn of Nelson Mandela’s passing.  To have lived in the time of this great leader is a privilege, and to teach about his life and legacy can inspire students with his sacrifices, vision and achievements.

As the world responds to Nelson Mandela’s passing, FRONTLINE is making The Long Walk of Nelson Mandela — its definitive two-hour documentary film on the remarkable leader — available to watch online for the very first time at PBS Video.  The film tells the intimate and surprising story of a Mandela few people knew:  a bomb-throwing revolutionary who became a skilled politician in prison, and a passionate man who sacrificed the love of his life for a country that needed him more.  At Frontline’s website, you can download the Viewers’ and Teachers’ Guide that accompanies the film.

Also, a lesson plan for grades 6-12, Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela:  The Battle to End Apartheid is available at PBS LearningMedia.  It includes video clips from  the POV film that features the lives of 12 black South African exiles who left their home in 1960 to pursue educational opportunities, tell the world about the brutality of the apartheid system and raise support for the fledgling African National Congress (ANC) and its leader Nelson Mandela.

PreK-12 Model Curriculum Units From ESE

WGBH EducationAs part of a Race to the Top proposal, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) is developing 100+ Model Curriculum Units (MCUs)to help you use the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks (incorporating the Common Core State Standards).  They span PreK-12 in English language arts, Mathematics, U.S. History/Social Studies, and Science and Technology Engineering.

Each unit identifies the standard(s) to be taught, big understandings, essential questions, a Curriculum Embedded Performance Assessment (CEPA), an outline of lessons, possible digital resources to use, and detailed lesson plans. As media partner for this project, WGBH in Boston will provide digital resources via PBS LearningMedia.

Units are posted on the ESE website at the link below. Many are in draft form and ready for a Try-Out phase. Follow these steps to access the MCUs for a 2-week period, after which you can continue to request access for an unlimited number of times.

1)   Visit http://www.doe.mass.edu/candi/model/download_form.aspx

2)   Complete the short form. An access link will be sent to your email address.

3)   Check your email inbox for a message from “ESE Administration”

4)   Open the message and click the link to the website.

5)   Select a unit of interest to you.

You can also visit  www.mass.pbslearningmedia.org for updates on the units and links to thousands of free digital learning resources.