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You may need to think about something else other than testing. So, here are some things that might interest you, your students, and your own children:

Do you remember the story of Pip, the orphan who rises to be a gentleman under the patronage of a mysterious benefactor? If you missed the first episode of the broadcast of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations you can watch the story unfold online at http://video.pbs.org/video/2216420838. Episode 2 airs on LPB HD April 8th at 8 p.m. It can also be viewed online after it airs at http://video.pbs.org/program/masterpiece/.

On April 15th at 8 p.m. Charles Dickens’ unfinished novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, airs on LPB HD. This psychological thriller is about a provincial choirmaster's obsession with 17-year-old Rosa Bud, and the lengths he will go to attain her.

Think children have it rough today? Imprisonment, whipping, forced transportation, and even death were some of the punishments that courts meted to children in the eighteenth century when few exceptions were made for age. Join another live electronic field trip, Rights of Youth, on Thursday, April 19, 2012 @ 9:00 a.m. Preregister at http://www.lpb.org/education.

Prepare for the Battle for Word Domination on May 1st at noon. Your students in grades 1 -3 can take part in the 2012 WordGirl Definition Competition, a live, virtual event inspired by the WordGirl television show. Register by April 26th to receive your Webcast Event Kit, participate in the Definition Competition, and be entered for a chance to win books and WordGirl prizes!

Don’t miss the chance this summer to relax and take an online professional development course from the comfort of your pajamas while sipping your coffee. Sound good? Enrollment opens March 31st, courses begin June 20th and end July 31st. To view the summer course offerings, go to http://www.pbsteacherline.org and explore the course catalog. The reading/language arts and mathematics courses are now aligned to the Common Core State Standards!

Do you have questions about Governor Jindal’s educational plan that includes sweeping changes such as creating America’s largest school voucher program, tying teacher pay to test scores and granting more authority to principals and superintendents? What will this mean for Louisiana’s public schools? What children may be left behind? Do the proposals represent a step closer to quality instruction or a push towards privatization? “Louisiana Public Square” explores these questions on “Education Reform 2012” airing Wednesday, April 25th at 7 p.m. on LPB HD.

It is good to remember in April, National Organ Donation Awareness Month, how critical organ donations are to the thousands of recipients who receive organs each year. By using the “Life is Cool” educational videos available in the Discovery Education streaming you can teach the science of how organs function as well as the benefits of organ transplants. Log-in to Discovery streaming at http://www.lpb.org/education and search for the “Life is Cool” videos on all the organs.

The theme for the April 15th -21st, National Environmental Education Week, is Greening STEM: The Environment as Inspiration for 21st Century Learning. The environment provides a diverse range of real-world challenges that engage students in hands-on opportunities to apply and reinforce STEM concepts across multiple subject areas. Register to receive a free EE Week planning toolkit with information and grade-appropriate activities that incorporate STEM learning into popular environmental topic areas, such as school gardens, energy conservation and weather.

Don’t forget that you can register now for LPB LearningMedia a new digital media library with more than 18,000 resources for all age levels to use in your classroom free of charge. No passcode is needed. Register at http://beta.lpb.org/index.php/education/.

Have you used Spongelab? It is an interactive digital science media storehouse from a group of scientists, teachers, animators, artist and programmers who are passionate about science education. Most of the resources are free and you can gather credits to gain access to premium resources.

Five new NOVA episodes premiering in April explore timely topics and big questions. http://video.pbs.org/program/nova/

What will it mean when we can afford to have the information in our DNA readily available for analysis? Will it help or hurt us to know our genetic destiny? Explore these questions in Cracking Your Genetic Code which can be seen online anytime.

What are things made of? Why are some elements relatively inert while others are violently explosive? Why are some vital to every breath we take while others are potentially lethal? Hunting the Elements, a two hour special, will ponder these questions on LPB HD on April 4th from 8-10 p.m.

In April 2011, the worst tornado outbreak in decades left a trail of destruction across the U.S., killing more than 360 people. Why was there such an extreme outbreak? How do such outbreaks form? With modern warning systems why did so many die? Is our weather getting more extreme—and if so how bad will it get? Deadliest Tornadoes airs on April 11th at 8 p.m.

The average cruise ship has doubled in size in just the last ten years. Some engineers fear that these towering behemoths are dangerously unstable, and the recent tragedy of the Costa Concordia has raised new questions about their safety. Now, NOVA brings together marine engineering and safety experts to reconstruct the events that led up to famous cruise disasters, including the ill-fated Concordia, the Sea Diamond, and the Oceanos. Are we really safe at sea—or are we on the brink of a 21st century Titanic? Why Ships Sink: Are you safe aboard a modern cruise ship? Airs April 18that 8 p.m.

Can we predict and track solar storms that have the power to zap our power grid, shut down telecommunications, and ground global air travel for days, weeks, or even longer? Such storms have happened before—but never in the modern era of satellite communication. “Secrets of the Sun” reveals a bright new dawn in our understanding of our nearest star—one that might help keep our planet from going dark. Secrets of the Sun airs on April 25th at 8 p.m.

Three years into the global economic crisis Frontline investigates how two U.S. administrations have confronted the crisis - while dealing with sharp internal divisions and a relationship with Wall Street marked by mistrust and dependence, mutual interests and competing goals. The investigation charts the largest government bailout in U.S. history, a series of decisions that rewrote the rules of government and fueled a debate that would alter the country's political landscape. Frontline: Money, Power and Wall Street airs on April 24th at 8 p.m.

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