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        Annenberg Learner Update
      May 2013

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In the Spotlight for May


Annenberg Learner Announcements
    Teacher Appreciation
   Colorado State to Offer CEUs for Annenberg Courses
   Learner Log Blog Call for Submissions

Curriculum Focus: Summer Professional Development on Common Core

Current Events
    Holding Students’ Attention
    New Strain of Bird Flu in China

Connecting Learning with Special Days
    Latino Books Month
    Huntington’s Disease Month
    Brown v. Board of Education (May 17, 1954)
    National Mental Health Month
    Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
    Jamestown, Virginia Founding Anniversary (May 14, 1607)

Notable May Birthdays
    Niccolo Machiavelli (May 3, 1469)
    Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884)
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803)
    More May Birthdays
   
    
Annenberg Foundation Update
     Annenberg Space for Photography Presents “WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY

Annenberg Learner Announcements


Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10)

Teachers take on many roles (educator, parent, guidance counselor, nurse, etc) and play such an important part in the growth of every student. We would like to say “thank you” during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10). On our blog, we will be posting different types of thank you’s each day, including opportunities to win prizes.


Colorado State to Offer CEUs for Annenberg Courses

Starting June 1, in addition to offering graduate credit for Annenberg Learner professional development and content courses, Annenberg Learner and Colorado State University (CSU) will begin offering continuing education units (CEUs) for teachers, beginning with the 10 most popular math and science courses.

Teachers will be able to register for either graduate credit or non-credit continuing education units on the Annenberg’s Learner.org Web site or through Colorado State’s Online Plus Web site. For a modest tuition fee
$98 per credit plus $20 technology fee for graduate credit, or $50 per continuing education unit teachers can access the course materials available at no cost at learner.org, register with Colorado State, and earn CEU or graduate credit on a rolling schedule throughout the year.  Find details and course listings on this CSU page, under “A new opportunity – Annenberg Learner noncredit courses.” 


Submit Your Lesson Plans to Learner Log Blog

Do you have great teaching ideas that you would like to share with others? Submit lesson plans and activities you have created that include the use of any video series, interactives, or online materials from Learner.org to blog@learner.org. If we choose your submission, we will notify you by email before we post and send you a free DVD copy of a resource of your choice from our collection.  Submit by Friday, May 31st for consideration.

Don’t forget to stop by LearnerLog.org to see the latest blog posts on current education topics and useful teaching tips. Comment under posts to start or continue thoughtful discussions on the topics, and provide feedback on our blog at blog@learner.org.


Curriculum Focus: Summer Professional Development on Common Core

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS), now adopted in 45 states, are reflected in the school's curriculum and in professional development. Take some time this summer to review videos and lesson plans that illustrate the CCSS so you’ll be ready to use them in the fall.


Common Core English Language Arts

Teaching ReadingReading — Two teachers from the professional development workshop Teaching Reading, Grades 3-5 model strategies and guide students through complex readings. Dana Robertson models his thinking and reading for his fifth-grade students in “Close Reading for Understanding.”  Eleanor Demont’s fifth-grade class completes a mini-lesson using summarization as a comprehension strategy for reading non-fiction texts in “Summarizing Nonfiction.” 

Writing — Sixth-grade students write editorials on self-selected topics using persuasive techniques. Review teacher Jenny Beasley’s lesson plan from the Write in the Middle workshop, “Teaching Persuasive Writing” and watch her interact with students in the video. 

Follow 5th graders as they review primary source documents from colonial life in Virginia to compare trades from that time period with trades today in “Using Primary Sources” from Social Studies in Action: A Teaching Practices Library, K-12

Speaking and Listening — Ninth-grade students studying the Vietnam War examine the public’s support for the war by reading Gallup Polls from 1965-66, watching evening news footage, conducting interviews, and interpreting the lyrics of popular music. See the lesson “Public Opinion and the Vietnam War,” in Social Studies in Action: A Teaching Practices Library, K-12

Language — In Teaching Multicultural Literature Workshop 2, “Engagement and Dialog: Judith Ortiz Cofer and Nikki Grimes,” students absorb and use specific and formal language when comparing works of several authors.  View the program here


Common Core K-5 Standards in Mathematics

Learner ExpressTeachers can easily access more than 20 short video clips that relate directly to Common Core Standards in Learner Express modules for teaching and learning.

Sample a 6-minute clip “Attend to Precision: Circumference and Diameter” from a lesson in which students define circles to understand the relationship between circumference and diameter.


Current Events

Holding Students’ Attention

NeuroscienceA recent study from Harvard University looked at how well students taking online courses were able to avoid distractions and work through the material.  Not surprisingly, the researchers found that with many other electronic and physical distractions, it was not easy for students to stay focused.  Classroom teachers face the challenge of holding students’ attention all year, but especially during the last month of school. Neuroscience & the Classroom explains the role of attention from a neurocognitive standpoint and also borrows some tips for teachers from those who are master distracters – magicians. See the video “Attention and Magic” in unit 4, “Different Learners, Different Minds.”


New Strain of Bird Flu in China

The New York Times reported on April 24 that a new strain of bird flu (H7N9) has spread in China and now Taiwan since February, sickening over 100 people and killing over 20.  Governments in China and Japan are preparing for a larger outbreak. 

Rediscovering
                                                      BiologyRediscovering Biology, unit 5, “Emerging Infectious Diseases,” takes you through the different aspects of this topic. Start with looking at why the diseases emerge. Scientist Lukas K. Tamm, Ph.D. discusses the genetic make-up and mutations of flu variations and how vaccinations are developed in unit 13, “Genetically Modified Organisms.”

More discussion of microbes and their ever-changing relationship to disease can be found in Unseen Life on Earth: An Introduction to Microbiology, program 12, "Microbes and Human Diseases."



Connecting Learning with Special Days


Latino Books Month


Celebrate the perspectives and writing of great Latino authors with your students during the month of May using the following resources:

Americo Paredes collected “corridos,” songs that narrate the struggles of Mexican heroes against Anglo oppression, and wrote the novel, George Washington Gomez, about a Chicano growing up in the borderlands.  Gloria Anzaldúa’s stories challenge traditional racial, cultural, and gender boundaries.  Both writers are featured in American Passages, unit 2, “Exploring Borderlands.”
 
Julia Alvarez’s essay “I Want to Be Miss America,” from Something to Declare, describes her Dominican family’s reaction to the pageant and the cultural and racial issues the pageant raised for them. See Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for Middle Grades, workshop 1, “Engagement and Dialogue.”  In the video, watch teacher Carol O’Donnell’s students discuss the work, then share their own writing about a family cultural practice. See summary #7.

Students read Graciela Limón’s novel Erased Faces about the Zapatista uprising in Mexico and interview the author during a classroom visit. See this cultural studies approach to interpreting a text in The Expanding Canon, session 5, “Cultural Studies: Ishmael Reed and Graciela Limón.”
 

More resources for Latino Books Month

Invitation to World Literature, program 11, “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez
 
American Passages, unit 12, “Migrant Struggle,” includes authors Rudolfo A. Anaya, Alberto Ríos, Tomas Rivera, and Helena María Viramontes.

American Passages, unit 16, “Search for Identity,” includes authors Sandra Cisneros and Judith Ortiz Cofer.

Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for Middle Grades, workshop 7, “Social Justice and Action,” includes authors Alma Flor Ada and Pam Muñoz Ryan

The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High School, session 1, “Reader Response,” My Own True Name by Pat Mora and session 3, “Inquiry,” Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya


Huntington’s Disease Month

According to the Huntington’s Disease Society of America, Huntington’s Disease is an “inherited brain disorder that results in the progressive loss of both mental facilities and physical control.” The disease usually emerges when a person is between 30 and 50 years old and can gradually lead to death. There is no effective cure for the disease, but there are ways to relieve the symptoms. 

Brain Teaching
                                                    ModulesIn The Brain: Teaching Modules, program 12, “Huntington’s Disease,” watch as Dr. Nancy Wexler discusses her research on the demographics and causes of the disease. Look at the moral issues surrounding DNA testing to determine an individual’s risk of developing the disease.

Gene therapy, replacing defective genes with normal genes, is a technique researchers have investigated to treat diseases like Huntington’s. Consider the implications of gene therapy along with other types of genetic engineering using the DNA interactive.  Discussion questions can be found here.


Brown v. Board of Education (May 17, 1954)

In 1954, a legal team led by Charles H. Houston and Thurgood Marshall persuaded the United States Supreme Court to decide in favor of Brown in Oliver L. Brown et al v. Board of Education of Topeka (KS) et al., which helped end racial segregation in schools and other public facilities.

Before Brown v. the Board of Education, the federal case of Mendez v. Westminister (1946) challenged the segregation laws of California public schools. Find out about this case in America’s History in the Making, unit 20, “Egalitarian America.”   See the historical significance of the case in the Archives.

Watch part 1, Ending School Segregation: The Case of Farmville, Virginia, of the video for Democracy in America, program 5, “Civil Rights: Demanding Equality.”  In 1951, black students staged a strike in Farmville, Virginia to end segregation in their school. Their protest may have been a catalyst to significant change in all American schools. Use the questions below the video to discuss this case study and Brown v. the Board of Education.  

For resources on the following special days, check out the May 2012 update.

National Mental Health Month
Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
Jamestown, Virginia Founding Anniversary (May 14, 1607)


Notable May Birthdays


Niccolò Machiavelli (May 3, 1469)


Florentine statesman, philosopher, and writer Niccolò Machiavelli contributed to Western political theory through his seminal work, The Prince. This political treatise describes the use of craft and deceit to achieve political power. His name has become synonymous with cunning and deception.

In Democracy of America, program 1, "Citizenship: Making Government Work," read Niccolò Machiavelli’s Discourses on the First Ten Books of Titus Livius
(pg. 34 of download) and look at how he describes a republic.  In program 13, “Elections: The Maintenance of Democracy,” read The Prince (Chapter XXV) and compare Machiavelli and Thomas Jefferson’s ideas on the role of the state in the maintenance of citizens.    


Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884)

Biography of
                                                AmericaThe 33rd President of the United States saw the U.S. through the end of World War II and the start of the Cold War. His term was marked by the controversial decisions to drop two atomic bombs in Japan and send U.S. troops to fight in the Korean War.

Students can participate in an activity to decide “Should U.S. Military Forces Be Sent to Korea?” by taking on the roles of President Harry Truman, General Douglas MacArthur, or journalist Walter Lippman. See Primary Sources, workshop 8, “Korea and the Cold War.”   A link to The Truman Doctrine is included in this resource. 

Grapple with Truman’s decision to drop the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the interactive in A Biography of America, program 23, “The Fifties.”  In the video, academics also discuss Truman’s decision to drop the bombs and the perspective of Truman and the American public. 

Case 2 in the video for Democracy in America, unit 2, “The Constitution: Fixed or Flexible?” examines what happens when Congress and the President are at odds. This case looks specifically at Truman’s veto of the Taft-Hartley act of 1947, which permitted states to legislate right-to-work laws that prohibited “closed shop” contracts that excluded non-union workers from unionized plants. 


Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803)

Ralph Waldo Emerson encouraged Americans to think independently and learn to rely on the self. He inspired American writers with his ideas about the unity of nature, the individual soul, and God. See his influence on American culture in the video for American Passages, unit 4, “Spirit of Nationalism.”  Read about his life in the author page. 

During the early 19th century, Emerson called for Americans to embrace nature and solitude. He said, “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.” Watch A Biography of America, program 8, "The Reform Impulse, The Second Great Awakening." Find links to more resources on Emerson on the Webography page.

For more May birthdays, including Christopher Paul Curtis (May 10, 1953), Edward Lear (May 12, 1812), John Brown (May 9, 1800), Malcolm X (May 19, 1925), Gabriel Fahrenheit (May 24, 1686), Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907), and Walt Whitman (May 31, 1819), see the May 2012 update.


Annenberg Foundation Update

Annenberg Space for Photography Presents “WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY

See the WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath photography exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, organized by The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The exhibit runs now through June 2, 2013.

War Photography

© Louie Palu; U.S. Marine Gysgt. Carlos “OJ” Orjuela, age 31,
Garmsir District, Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from Project: Home Front (2008)

The exhibit encompasses over 150 images going as far back as 1887 and is arranged by themes presenting both the military and civilian point of view, including the advent of war, daily routines, the fight itself, the aftermath, medical care, prisoners of war, refugees, executions, memorials, remembrance, and more. There are many iconic images in the show such as Joe Rosenthal’s Old Glory Goes Up on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima and Alfred Eisenstaedt’s V-J Day, Times Square, New York.

The Educator Resource Guide for WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY is now available for teachers and students. The packet has been created for teachers to use in-class and/or during a visit. Click here to download the guide.  Due to the nature of the content in this exhibit, it is recommended for ages 14 and older.

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