I am sorry it has been so long since I have posted. With state testing it has been a little crazy as I am sure it has for many of you.
I hope that everyone is having a GREAT St. Patrick’s day. I found several great videos on the history channel for a lesson on St. Patrick’s day. My students’ really enjoy being able to watch the videos. United Streaming also has a couple of great videos for younger students.
Below you will find the wonderful information that is sent through email from Ellen Wydra of LPB. Have a great St. Patrick’s day and Happy Blogging.
Karrie Bennett Ed.S.
As the spring break is fast approaching, here are a few quick things that may interest you, your family, and your students:
1) Since reading is so critical to a student’s academic success, you may want to take this opportunity to strengthen your skills to help your students read better. You will need to hurry because the deadline to enroll in the online courses is Friday March 28th. Courses begin Wednesday March 26th and end May 6th.
A new course, Raising Readers (RDLA 051), for preschool-kindergarten teachers shows how to plan meaningful early literacy-learning experiences that build on preschoolers’ prior knowledge, expand their vocabulary and strengthen oral language development. This course uses recent early literacy research from Susan B. Neuman and Kathleen Roskos.
Maybe you are interested in analyzing in-depth studies on the use of phonemic awareness, phonics, and word recognition to develop the skills required for students in kindergarten through eighth grade to expand vocabulary, improve comprehension and fluency, and gain independence. You can meet NCLB’s requirements for research-based literacy and reading instruction in An Introduction to Underlying Principles and Research for Effective Literacy Instruction (RDLA 150) for K-8 teachers.
Perhaps you would like to master new strategies to address students’ literacy needs across grade levels and curriculum. From exploring environments that promote effective learning to examining the skills students need to read content material successfully, Teaching Reading in the Content Areas (RDLA 340) will introduce you to essential techniques that support more independent reading and learning. For teachers grades 3-12.
Many more courses are being offered. To see the entire catalog and to register go to https://secure.lpb.org/teacherline/.
2) The LPB Cyberchannel enrollment drive continues. Please encourage your fellow teachers to register to use the service at www.lpb.org/cyberchannel. All registered teachers enrolled as of March 31st will be entered into a drawing for a surprise package!
3) The last electronic field trip of this school year will be on April 1st at 9 AM. Learn about the power of the wind and weather while witnessing the spectacular Smithsonian Kite Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Kite from across the U.S. and around the world will fill the sky around the Washington Monument with color and beauty. Classroom students will be able to create their own kites and learn about math and science concepts along the way.
During the free one hour electronic field trip students will see a quick demonstration of kite building. Multiple kite plans are included in the teacher lesson plans so students can make their own kites after the field trip. For more information and to register go to http://www.lpb.org/education/etrips/.
4) At www.freerice.com you can play a game to develop your vocabulary and earn rice to be donated to the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). For every word you get right 20 grains of rice are donated to the WFP. Of course, I had to measure… 20 grains of rice is not quite 1/8 tsp. Perhaps you could use your math skills to convert the huge grain totals at http://www.freerice.com/totals.php to cups! I warn you if you are competitive you will get quite involved in this game but take consolation that your rice donations add up. Site advertisers pay for the donated rice.
5) Did you know that a child can be high functioning and still be autistic? Asperger’s Syndrome is a mild form of autism that may go undiagnosed or be misdiagnosed because the child may have normal to above normal intelligence and no problem learning to speak. Flags that a child may have Asperger’s are: problems with social interactions, verbal and nonverbal communication, reading comprehension, motor skills including writing, organizational skills. The child may be overly focused on areas of interest, rigid, ritualistic and exhibit anxiety and depression.
Correct diagnosis and effective treatment make the difference between a student struggling in school or being able to experience educational success. According to the Louisiana Department of Education’s Division of Educational Improvement and Assistance, if you are concerned that a toddler/preschooler in your class may have this problem, contact the Child Search Coordinator at your local school board. If you are concerned about a school age child and it is causing a significant educational problem then, contact the school principal. For more information go to: www.lastateautism.org or http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/aspergerssyndrome.html.
6) If you are looking for something fun to do over the spring break, you can find events held at state parks in every region of the state at http://www.crt.state.la.us/parks/icalendar.aspx. Click on a region and see the list of events for the month. You might want to search for Easter Egg hunts. I’m told they are hidden in there!
7) If you are part of the “Sandwich Generation” that cares for children and aging parents, then you may want to watch Caring for Parents on April 2nd at 8 pm CST. The ninety minute documentary takes an intimate look at five American families that struggle to keep parents at home and manage sibling tension while working through the complexity of shifting caregiver roles. A 30 minute panel discussion led by medical correspondent, Dr. Art Ulene offers concrete advice. Caregiver guides and other information will be available soon at http://www.lpb.org/education/screen.cfm.
Have you ever had difficulty forgiving someone for their wrongdoing? On April 2nd at 10 PM the award-winning documentary, the Power of Forgiveness , highlights how the amazing forgiveness of an Amish community alleviated despair in the wake of a shooting that left school children dead. Interviews include renowned figures from the Buddhist, Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths, including Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Buddhist master Tich Nhat Hanh, the Reverend James Forges, as well as best-selling authors Thomas Moore and Marianne Williamson.
9) After March 18th you might want to watch “Math Education: Preparing Students to Succeed in the Knowledge Economy.” Go to www.lpb.org/cyberchannel and click on Education News Parents Can Use in the lower left column to watch the archived episode.
10) The Jane Austen series resumes with Emma on March 23rd at 9:00 PM and Sense and Sensibility on March 30th at 8:00 PM.
11) Finally, if you enjoy Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass then you might enjoy the profile of the poet on American Experience on Monday, April 14 at 8:00 PM. The program tells Whitman’s life story, from his working-class childhood in Long Island to his years as a newspaper reporter in Brooklyn, when he struggled to support his impoverished family, then to his reckless pursuit of the attention and affection he craved for his work, to his death in 1892 at the age of 72. Teaching materials will be available at www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/teachers/index.html.
I hope you get a chance to use these resources and watch some of these programs.
Enjoy your spring holiday!
Ellen Wydra, Ph.D.
Director, Educational Television and Technology
Louisiana Public Broadcasting