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        Annenberg Learner Update
      April 2015

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In the Spotlight for April

Annenberg Learner Announcements
    Pardis Sabeti, Against All Odds Host, to be at NCTM Boston
    Social: Twitter Chats for Civics and Science Educators
    Learner Log Blog: Don't Miss Our Latest Posts   
    Professional Development
 

Curriculum Focus
    Mathematics: Math Drives Careers

Current Events
    California's Water Shortage
   
Connecting Learning With April Topics
    National Autism Awareness Month
    National Poetry Month
    150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Death (April 15, 1865)


Annenberg Foundation Update
    Annenberg Space for Photography, Emerging

Annenberg Learner Announcements 
Pardis Sabeti, Against All Odds Host, to be at NCTM Boston

Pardis SabetiMeet with Annenberg Learner staff this month at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) National Conference, April 16-18, Boston, MA, booth 344.   

We are excited to announce that Dr. Pardis Sabeti, geneticist and host of Against All Odds: Inside Statistics, will be at the Annenberg Learner exhibit booth (#344) from 10am to 11am Friday, April 17 to talk with teachers. Please join us. Conference participants may also pick up a coupon for a discount on the newly updated Against All Odds DVDs. 

We'll also premiere our new courses Reading and Writing in the Disciplines (late April 2015) and Essential Lens: Analyzing Photographs Across the Curriculum.

Pick up free complementary programs from both series. 


Social: Twitter Chats for Civics and Science Educators

Discover new resources and ideas for topics you are teaching and make professional connections by participating in Twitter chats. For example, in a recent weekly #sschat for social studies teachers (Mondays, 7pmET), Learner joined teachers and partners from the Civics Renewal Network in a discussion about civics resources. View the archived chat here to browse the thread. Science teachers, if you're looking for citizen science projects, check out the monthly #citscichat (last Wednesday of the month, 2-3pmET), by @SciStarter and @CoopSciScoop. Visit the archived March chat for projects, including Journey North, to use with your students to track spring life cycles. Follow Annenberg Learner (@AnnLearner) and Journey North (@journeynorthorg) on Twitter to learn about future chats.


Learner Log Blog: Don't Miss Our Latest Posts

Learn ways to meaningfully incorporate photographs in your lesson plans, inspire students to like math, and consider the importance of letting your students read whatever they want. 

Professional Development

Enroll now for courses for graduate credit and CEU opportunities through PBS TeacherLine, Colorado State, and San Diego State. 
 

Curriculum Focus
Mathematics: Math Drives Careers

This year's theme for Mathematics Awareness Month, "Math Drives Careers," seeks to show how mathematical innovations influence career opportunities. The following resources illustrate the importance of math in fields related to music, health, and the environment.

Mathematics
                                            IlluminatedThere's math in music? Show students who are interested in music that a mathematical understanding of how sound waves work and can be manipulated plays an important role in modern sound engineering and digital technology. See Mathematics Illuminated, unit 10, "Harmonious Math."   

Researchers trying to unravel the genome of the Ebola virus depend heavily on statistics. Learn how this area of math is used to explore humans' possible genetic resistance to an Ebola-like strain that causes deadly Lassa Fever in Africa. Pardis Sabeti talks about her research in Against All Odds: Inside Statistics, unit 29, "Inference for Two-Way Tables."

Math provides a key to understanding and developing new technologies to harness energy. Students interested in environmental science can learn about advances in engineering that influence the growth of old and new energy technologies, from fossil fuels, to wind, to water. Go to unit 10, "Energy Challenges," in The Habitable Planet
Current Events
California's Water Shortage

California is facing a major water shortage, but that shortage is not just a problem for the state alone. Much of our produce in grocery stores across the country comes from California farms and orchards that depend on this much-needed resource. While officials debate ways to regulate water use, everyone hopes for rain. (If you're wondering about how much of a drought your own state is in, click on the Drought Monitor.) 

Essential
                                                    LensUnderstand California's current drought by viewing three side-by-side photos, taken by NASA February 2011, 2013, and 2014, showing the decreasing water table around Lake Tahoe in Essential Lens: Analyzing Photographs Across the Curriculum. This compiled image is part of a larger unit, "Earth, Climate, and Change: Observing Human Impact," for middle and high school classrooms. View all unit materials here.

This isn't California's first time feeling thirsty. One of the worst droughts occurred in 1975. In Economics U$A: 21st Century Edition, unit 3, "Supply and Demand," economics analyst Richard Gill explains what the experience of water shortages teaches us about the nature of consumer demand.

Oregon: A Fight for Water, the first case study in The Power of Place, unit 10, "Regions and Economies," examines the environmental costs of technology developed to harness scarce water resources to support agricultural production.

Consider the issue globally. The Habitable Planet, unit 8, "Water Resources," discusses what drives the world's demand for water and what happens when groundwater is depleted. Also see informative animations from the video on this topic.
 

Connecting Learning With April Topics
National Autism Awareness Month

A report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in March 2014 concluded that autism now occurs in 1 in 68 births in the U.S. Take time during Autism Awareness Month to learn about the strengths and challenges associated with this brain disorder. 

World of
                                                      Abnomal
                                                      PsychologyThe World of Abnormal Psychology, program 11, "Behavior Disorders of Childhood," looks at challenges and solutions for families who have children with behavior disorders. Autism is discussed specifically at 42:06. 

Gain a historical perspective of autism and learn current beliefs about why autism occurs by watching The Brain: Teaching Modules, module 29, "Autism." Also, hear Dr. Temple Grandin talk about overcoming the challenges of her autism by focusing on her strengths. 

Students with autism often have trouble paying attention. Learn how to minimize distractions in the classroom environment that demand students' attention so that they can focus more on learning in Neuroscience & the Classroom, unit 4, "Different Learners, Different Minds," section 5, What teachers can do

Share success stories with your students. The video page for unit 4, "Different Learners, Different Minds," includes video and audio clips of Dr. Stephen Shore and Dr. Temple Grandin talking about their abilities as individuals with autism. 


National Poetry Month

It's Poetry Month! Grab your quills (or laptops) and start writing. When the Academy of American Poets started National Poetry Month in 1996, one of their goals was to assist teachers in bringing poetry to their classrooms. Find activities and resources on the Poets.org site. 

In addition, inspire students to write with these Learner.org resources:

Start laying the foundation for young writers by encouraging them to keep a writer's notebook. Students learn to record their thoughts about their experiences and choose the formats (including poems) to deliver those thoughts. See Inside Writing Communities, Grades 3-5, workshop 2, "Reasons for Writing."   

Write in the
                                                    MiddleTeach students to distinguish between poetry and prose. One way to do this is to have students write in layers of drafts until a poem starts to emerge. Find this 5th-grade lesson plan in Write in the Middle, workshop 3, "Teaching Poetry." 

Use poetry to help students connect personal experiences and feelings to themes they are reading about. In a technique called "copy-change," students follow the form of a published poem, and insert their own words, ideas, and emotions. View the lesson in this classroom video for Teaching 'The Children of Willesden Lane.' 

Check out additional resources on reading and writing poetry here.


150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Death (April 15, 1865)

One hundred and fifty years ago, actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC. Lincoln was officially pronounced dead the next morning. On this anniversary of his death, we remember his legacy.

America's
                                                    History in the
                                                    MakingThe website for the high school course American Passages offers a biographical sketch of President Lincoln as an author. Search the archive to find photos and portraits of President Lincoln, as well as other Lincoln-related artifacts. 

Who freed the slaves? This question is considered in Primary Sources: Workshops in American History (for high school teachers), workshop 4, "Concerning Emancipation." Much of the focus is on Lincoln, who played a major role, as well as other factors including enslaved people themselves. Read "Before You Watch" for links to several of Lincoln's speeches and letters. 

The Evaluating Evidence interactive on the website for America's History in the Making features Lincoln's first and second inaugural addresses, the Gettysburg Address, the "House Divided" speech, and Lincoln's open letter to Horace Greely, as well as other artifacts from the era.

 
Look for additional connections to historical events and important days, such as the day the Civil War began (April 12, 1861) and National Humor Month, in our Facebook and Twitter feeds and in the April 2014 update

Annenberg Foundation Update
Annenberg Space for Photography, Emerging

The Annenberg Space for Photography is partnering with Photo District News to bring you their next exhibit. Emerging is comprised of works from photographers who have been featured in "PDN's 30," Photo District News' annual selection of 30 emerging photographers who represent a range of styles and genres. Emerging will run from June 6 to September 20.

Emerging
Photo by Ben Rasmussen

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