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As we are sandwiched between two holidays, here are a few things that might interest you, your family, or your students.
1) Whether you are flipping your classroom, integrating tablets and mobile devices, using game-based learning to engage your students, PBS wants to hear from you. Submit your application to become a 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovator and have an opportunity to receive one year of free PD including virtual trainings, access to exclusive resources and events, membership into a robust professional learning community and an all-expense paid two-day trip to Philadelphia, PA preceding the ISTE conference! Start planning and apply through Feb 11 at http://pbslearningmedia.org/digitalinnovators.
2) Natchitoches Christmas lights are what we think of this time of year. Much more than that though, Natchitoches is the oldest permanent settlement within the territory of the Louisiana Purchase. On December 8th at 7 p.m. LPB premieres Natchitoches: A Tri-Centennial (repeats December 21st at 3:30 p.m.) which offers a special tour of this picturesque community influenced by the French, Spanish, Creole, and Native Americans – influences that still exist today. You can also access the history of Natchitoches and the Cane River area at http://www.canerivernha.org/trail-guide.
3) On January 7th at 7 p.m., LPB will air the War of 1812 which explores the conflict between the United States and Great Britain, and the Battle of New Orleans, a fight for control of New Orleans, the Mississippi River, and access to the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase territory. Following at 9 p.m. will be The Battle of New Orleans: A Closer Look, a panel discussion among Ronald J. Drez, author of The War of 1812, Conflict and Deception; Jason Wiese, curator of the Historic New Orleans Collection who has most recently curated Andrew Jackson: Hero of New Orleans; Patricia Brady, a social and cultural historian who wrote A Being So Gentle: The Frontier Love Story of Rachel and Andrew Jackson; Gary Joiner, Chair of the Department of History and Social Sciences at LSU in Shreveport who has served on the Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial Commission; and host Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne.
4) It seems that students who get into trouble or underachieve get attention, but those who do exceptionally well in the classroom or make a huge difference in their community do not receive the recognition they deserve. Applications are now being accepted for the
Louisiana Young Heroes Award to honor inspirational students in grades 7-12 who have excelled in the classroom, served their community, or shown great courage in overcoming adversity in their lives. More information about nominations and eligibility and nomination forms are available at http://www.lpb.org/heroes . The deadline for entries is Friday, February 6, 2015. Winners will be announced on the air and on the LPB website on Friday, March 6, 2015. Louisiana Young Heroes Day will be Monday, April 27, 2015. The Young Heroes will be treated to a day full of activities including lunch on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion. The day will culminate in a banquet that night at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge.
5) The Amazing Trade Shop Science Race!, a Colonial Williamsburg Electronic Field Trip, will broadcast Thursday, December 11th at 9 a.m. Root for student contestants as they compete to discover the physics, chemistry and simple machines employed by Colonial Williamsburg's tradespeople to reconstruct an 18th-century coffeehouse. Quirky Professor Eddie hosts this engaging science game show! The trip will be available on-demand by the day after the broadcast at http://lpb.org/etrips and will remain accessible through the end of the school year.
6) Have you ever wondered how common things like glass, light bulbs, and standardized time have come to be? The series How We Got To Now traces all the discoveries and inventions that had to occur to get us where we are today. It is fascinating to see the connectedness of everything. Your students might be inspired as they watch how advances have occurred. http://video.pbs.org/program/how-we-got-now/.
7) Give the gift of professional development this winter! For a limited time, you can use promo code 20JANUARY for 20% off all facilitated PBS TeacherLine courses, which start January 14th. The discount is only valid from December 5th -19th, so act quickly! http://to.pbs.org/PD
8) Have you started comparing Discovery streaming and the custom-PBS LearningMedia to see which will be provided next year? If you have not received special log-in information, then ask your school or district coordinator about it. LPB is asking districts and schools to have their teachers use the resources. We’d like your feedback in the spring.
9) The basic version of PBS LearningMedia is currently available to you free. You can register and access it at http://www.lpb.org/education, then register for The LearningMedia "101" webinar on December 15th https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/549846186 to learn how to make the most of the service. Be sure to check the resources for the upcoming Weekly Content Themes.
Dec. 15-21: Fueling Innovation in the Classroom
Dec. 22-28: College and Career Week
Dec. 29-Jan. 4: Staff Picks—Our Favorite Resources
Jan. 5-11: Power-Up Project Based Learning
10) Have you “liked” our LPB LearningMedia facebook page? Do yourself a favor and like it! You will see upcoming webinars, content resources, contest news and much more! Our 100th like will receive a great prize package!
11) Did you ever try to understand the Big Bang theory? Here are the mind-boggling details and explanations for why the universe may be flat. Apparently, the Big Bang wasn’t an explosion. Rather it is thought that perhaps space and time and matter expanded simultaneously. It is intriguing to consider but hard to conceive. See what you think. http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/WMAP_Universe.pdf .
12) You might enjoy Ken Robinson’s TED talk. He is a funny speaker, but he makes compelling arguments that education should be celebrating the individuality, curiosity, and creativity of each child and creating a climate of possibility. See what you think: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/ted-talks-education/speaker/ken-robinson/.
13) Districts and schools have the chance to win $2500 from the Louisiana School Boards Association and be highlighted at the LSBA Convention in Shreveport in February. Entries of 30 second to 2 minute student-produced video about the positive results and student outcomes of public schools must be postmarked by Monday, December 15th. Details are available at http://www.lsba.com.
14) The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum offers free educational webcasts called “STEM in 30.” One covers the vacuum-packed food for space. You may want to select portions to show since some of the student participation can get a little slow. Find the webcasts at http://airandspace.si.edu/explore-and-learn/stem-in-30/.
15) This season of ART21 explores the themes of investigation, secrets, legacy, and fiction. All episodes are online at http://www.pbs.org/art21/films/art-in-the-twenty-first-century-season-7-2014/videos?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Art21_SA . The Season 7 Educators' Guide and Screening Guide are both available for free download.
16) Here are two of the many children’s holiday shows. Check the schedule at http://www.lpb.org/index.php?schedules/whatson for more show and times.
• Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas, December 17, 2:00 p.m. and December 24th at 7 a.m. on LPB. Curious George and The Man with the Yellow Hat are having a wonderful time getting ready for Christmas. There's only one dilemma - neither of them can figure out what to give the other for a present! In the end, both gift-giving predicaments are simply and beautifully resolved, revealing the true spirit of the holiday season.
• Peg + Cat + Holidays, December 17th and 19th 11:00 a.m. on LPB feature Peg, the cat and, the cool friend Ramone as they tackle "The Christmas Problem," "The Hanukkah Problem," and "The Penguin Problem.
17) Several shows put a sparkle in the holidays but many more are airing. Check the schedule at http://www.lpb.org/index.php?schedules/whatson for more show and times.
• December 21st, A Louisiana Christmas Journey airs at 3:00 p.m. Charlie Whinham travels the state to highlight Louisiana’s holiday traditions such as the Festival of Lights celebration in Natchitoches, the Christmas Eve bonfires in St. James Parish, Christmas at the Acadian Village in Lafayette and the LSU Rural Life Museum in Baton Rouge and a stop at the American Rose Society’s Roseland in Shreveport.
• December 21st, Christmas in Norway with St. Olaf Choir airs at 5:00 p.m. Selections include not only traditional carols, but also innovative arrangements of Christmas music ("The Word Was God and Lo," "How a Rose E’re Blooming/The Rose"), gospel spirituals ("This Little Light of Mine"), and beloved Norwegian hymns and folk songs.
• December 21st, Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Deborah Voigt and John Rhys-Davies premieres at 6:00 p.m. Soprano Deborah Voigt and acclaimed British actor John Rhys-Davies join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square for a Christmas concert of holiday favorites, such as the English carol “The Holly and the Ivy” and the light-hearted “The Twelve Days After Christmas.” The concert also includes Rhys-Davies’ dramatization of “A Dickens Christmas” and a reading of Luke 2: The Christmas Story.
• December 22nd, The National Christmas Tree Lighting 2014 premieres at 9:00 p.m.
• December 22nd, The First Silent Night premieres at 10:00 p.m. Join actor Simon Callow as he uncovers the moving origins of Silent Night. Simon journeys to the Austrian village of Oberndorf as well the city of Salzburg, where the story of the world's favorite carol had its origins.
• December 25th, Christmas Carol: The Concert airs at 8:30 p.m. A Christmas Carol: The Concert is the first time Dickens' classic tale has been adapted for a live orchestral concert with choir and soloists, and performed for audiences in a concert setting.
• December 31st, Live from Lincoln Center: New York Philharmonic New Year’s Eve: Gershwin Celebration with Dianne Reeves premieres at 7:00pm.
• December 31st, Michael Feinstein’s New Year’s Eve at the Rainbow Room premieres at 9:00pm. The heyday of the glamorous New York nightclubs is recaptured from high atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza in the glittering, newly restored Rainbow Room. Guests include Darren Criss (“Glee”), Aaron Tveit (“Graceland”), Leslie Odom (“Smash”), Broadway star Kelli O’Hara, nightclub legend Marilyn Maye, Tony Winner Christine Ebersole and 17-year-old Julia Goodwin.
If you are in the New Orleans area, check WYES’s schedule for broadcast availability and times.
I hope you get the chance to explore some of these opportunities as you enjoy your holidays.