PBS Summertime Professional Development

Now that we’ve celebrated the 4th of July, you likely have had time to reflect on this past school year.  As a dedicated educator, you well may be working on professional development or, at the least, thinking about it.  While teachers (and students) know how quickly the rest of summer can pass, there’s still time to take a PBS TeacherLine‘s online facilitated, six-week course before school starts.

 Courses start Wednesday, July 11th.  Below are the BONUS TERM courses open for enrollment now:

  • TECH340  Evaluating and Organizing Internet Resources and Content, Grades K-12, eligible 2 credits | Syllabus
  • TECH300  The Computer for Personal Productivity, Grades K-12, eligible 2 credits | Syllabus
  • RDLA340 Teaching Reading in the Content Areas, Grades 3-12, eligible 2 credits | Syllabus
  • MATH430 Seeing Math: Proportional Reasoning, Grades 6-12, eligible 2 credits | Syllabus
  • STEM420 Inspire Elementary Students with Engineering, Grades PreK-6, eligible 2 credits | Syllabus
  • INST342 Teaching with Primary Sources for the Library of Congress, Grades 3-12, eligible 3 credits | Syllabus

 You can also learn more about graduate credit options with accredited providers and PBS TeacherLine’s course alignment to CCSS

Parents: A Field Trip to Your Local Park Can Be Fun!

We know that, even though school’s out for summer, the hustle and bustle of a family’s schedule never dwindles.  We also understand that it can be tough to come up with fun, new ideas for things to do with kids all summer long.  That’s why the National Recreation and Park Association wrote a column for PBS Parents talking about fun things to do at your local park.  Some of their fun ideas include:

  • Go on a scavenger hunt
  • Make art from nature
  • Watch the clouds
  • Start a rock collection

Keep checking in with PBS Parents for ideas to fill your kids’ summer with fun!

PBS Parents: 13 Ways to Sneak Learning into Summer Fun

Though school may be out for summer, there are still ways to sneak fun learning opportunities into every day activities with kids.  Blogger Patty Ghezzi wrote an article “13 Ways to Sneak Learning into Summer Fun” for PBS Parents.  She shares a great set of suggestions on ways to integrate learning into your summer activities while also keeping things laid back and relaxing.  Just a few of her ideas include:

  • simple science experiments
  • word magnets
  • studying foreign language
  • or making a scrapbook

THE ELECTRIC COMPANY’s Summer Learning Program supports kids’ literacy skills through summer months

The Electric Company’s Summer Learning Program is a six-week multimedia experience consisting of 24 sessions. Each session uses the show as a leaping-off point for developing children’s vocabulary and exploring core math concepts.  Research on this summer initiative by WestEd shows that participants demonstrated significant gains in vocabulary, numeracy, and literacy skills.

Key features of this Summer Learning Program include 36 hours of summer learning content, 3 hours of video content packaged into 15-minute episodes, online games, group activities, and skill-building activity sheets.  All of this is accompanied by a 90-minute staff orientation and PowerPoint that assists with the professional development of implementation staff.

Best of all: all of these materials are free for your usage.  All you need is the motivation to get started!  You can implement this summer program in your formal or informal summer learning program.  Check out some of the great resources included in this summer curriculum:

Beating the Back to School Blues: Tips on Transitioning from Summer to School

Lots of kids (and some parents and teachers!) feel the back to school blues.  We’ve found some great ways to make this change go as smoothly as possible for your kids.

PBS Parents has a great “Going to School” section that provides tips on making the transition from summer to school days.  Also in this section, you’ll find tips on dealing with school avoidance and even a grade-by-grade guide on what your kids are really doing all day in school.  Teachers: this may be a great resource to share with your students’ parents.

Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, we hope your transition to school goes smoothly!

School’s out for summer!

Ruff is HappyThis is just a quick note to all of our blog friends: we believe that you’ve all finally finished out the school year (even those of you who had tons of snow days to make up). All of us here at WGBY wanted to wish you a happy summer vacation!

We hope that you won’t forget about us during the summer months. We know that this is a time for rejuvination; however, we hope you will consider checking in with the blog periodically to find new resources for next year. Also, for those of you teaching summer school, we will try to provide some useful materials for you. 

Finally, we would love parents to visit the blog all summer long for great activity ideas to keep kids learning.  Those that run summer programs will also find lots of ideas here.

Best wishes to you all for a fun and fabulous summer!

WGBY presents the Martha Speaks Read Aloud Book Club at local libaries

WGBY is proud to present the Martha Speaks Read Aloud Book Club, a series of literacy events at local public libraries in western Massachusetts.  At each event, a new dog-themed book will be read aloud along with other crafts, games, and surprises.  These events are geared towards children preK-2.

Here’s one of our friends, Dan Paquette from the Westfield Athenaeum, talking about this program from last year.

Registrations for these events will be taken by the libraries themselves on a first-come/first-serve basis.  For a list of participating libraries and their contact information, visit the WGBY Events page.  The Martha Speaks Read Aloud Book Club is just one part of WGBY’s Raising Readers initiative, a series of events focused on preventing the summer reading slide.


“Teachers on the Estuaries” Summer Professional Development 2011

Posted on estuaries.gov, Teachers on the Estuaries will soon open the application process for FREE 4-day summer PD workshops in Maine, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.  The goals of this learning initiative are to “improve teachers’ and students’ understanding of the environment using local examples,  provide resources and experience to support the incorporation of estuary and watershed topics into classroom teaching” and to “promote stewardship of watersheds and estuaries.”

The workshops are designed for middle and high school teachers, but others are welcome to apply.  Participants will work with local scientists and coastal educators to explore estuary habitats, practice scientific field activities, and bring data into the classroom.  The workshops are free, but space is limited so an application will be required.  Workshop dates are in July and August (see website below for details).

Lodging (if needed) and some meals will be provided and participating teachers will be awarded:  $200 stewardship project mini-grant, $150 worth of equipment, and a $100 stipend upon successful completion of the course.

For more information on applications or training dates, visit this page. The applications are listed as “Coming Soon”, so if you are interested, check back often.

Note: WGBY is not affiliated with this professional development opportunity; we learned of it through the local STEM network and felt it was valuable to share.  Please forward all questions to the contacts listed on the Teachers on the Estuaries page.  Thanks!