PBS in the Classroom

Helping High Schoolers Find Research and STEM Field Opportunities

I’ve been involved in shepherding high school students through the world of Independent Research for nearly two decades – I know firsthand the impact that spending one or two summers working in a scientific institution with a real scientist can have on their lives. 

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PBS in the Classroom

Why Should We Teach Our Students About the Vietnam War?

Within most social studies classes throughout America, students learn about the horrors of WWI and WWII.  From trench warfare, machine guns, and mustard gas to Pearl Harbor, the Holocaust and the atomic bomb, our students learn the causes and consequences of war.  Unfortunately, usually due to time constraints, lessons about the Vietnam War are often not fully addressed by educators.

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Voices in Education

Meet Your Students Where They Are, And For Who They Are

In this back-to-school letter, 2016 PBS Digital Innovator, Michelle Garmon, shares one of the most important lessons she learned from her 5 year-old student, Maggie.

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Voices in Education

Food for Thought: Breakfast from Cafeteria to Classroom

As an elementary school teacher for almost 18 years, I know firsthand the impact that eating breakfast has on my students—hungry kids simply do not perform as well academically. Unfortunately, kicking off the day on an empty stomach is more common than you may think, with 42.2 million Americans living in food insecure households, including 13.1 million children.

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PBS in the Classroom

Bringing the Universe into the Classroom

The Interactive Lesson, Sun and Shadows, transformed my teaching and deepened the learning experience for my students.

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Current & Trending

Addressing Charlottesville in the Classroom

Charlottesville made headlines for a clash that erupted into a tragic outcome. Now, teachers nationwide are dealing with the troubling and necessary question: how to explain to students what happened and why?  

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Current & Trending

Total Solar Eclipse: Science Fact vs. Science Fiction!

People across the United States are excited for the total solar eclipse on Monday, August 21. Use the statements below to test your students’ eclipse and space knowledge. Each statement comes with a resource to learn more.

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

Using Virtual Team Teaching to Connect Classrooms

Ready to start collaborating with other educators? Here are top 3 suggestions as you venture into the world of redefined digital collaboration.

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

Your 2017 Back-to-School Toolkit

We know your back-to-school calendar is packed with places to go and people to see! That’s why we created a simple, virtual toolbox with free resources you can access on-the-go. Teaching tools, discount codes, blogs, and an interactive calendar, all in one spot.

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Voices in Education

We Asked Teachers: 5 Best Tips for First-Year Teachers

We asked hundreds of veteran teachers for their top tips and best advice to help first year teachers step boldly into the new year. See what they had to say!

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Voices in Education

Art, Beauty, and the Natural World

Nature programs such as Wild Alaska are wonderful for educating and connecting us with animals and landscapes to which we might not otherwise have access, but what about when the program is over? How can we internalize what we have seen or experienced in a way that is both highly personal and tangible? 

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Voices in Education

The Unspoken Rules of the Hiking Trail

From the well-traveled hikes at Glen Alps in Anchorage to the more elusive wilderness trails in Lake Clark National Park, Alaska is home to stunning hikes which attract visitors from around the world. But one thing we request is to show our home some respect and have a little trail etiquette. Not sure what that is? Let me help you out.

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PBS in the Classroom

10 Things Even Alaskans Call Cool About Living in the 'Great Land!'

Living in Alaska, we’re used to big and exciting, but  we don’t often stop to admire the amazing place that we call home. We have Grizzly bears along your favorite fishing stream, and if you take a road trip, it’s common smarts to include a -20F sleeping bag as part of your emergency kit. Here are 10 things that even old time Alaskans or “Sourdoughs,” as we call them, still get excited about.

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PBS in the Classroom

'Wild Alaska Live!' Bingo

Play along with Alaska Bingo!

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Voices in Education

The Alaskan Spirit Captured in Books for all Ages

As an English teacher in Alaska, I’ve always tried to tie in our fabulous state and the writers and artists who capture its uniqueness so wonderfully.  There’s just no place like Alaska, and a good book is a great way to have an Alaskan adventure!

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PBS in the Classroom

It’s Smart to Use the Arts: Tips for Fun and Creative Summer Learning

We all know that the joy of creating something and then getting positive feedback offers a special bonus: a boost of self-confidence and connection with others. Add the fact that teaching with the arts helps children with different learning styles find a path to comprehension and achievement, and you have the perfect technique to extend learning during the summer.

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PBS in the Classroom

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Patriotic 4th of July Resources

We’ve collected a few of our favorite PBS resources that explore this period in American History, that exciting time when our nation was finally gaining independence and ready to kick off the grand experiment for democracy and self-government.

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PBS in the Classroom

9 Auspicious Dates that Shaped China’s History

Nine is an auspicious number for the Chinese, representing long life and power. Here, Historian Michael Wood chooses nine key dates from Chinese history.

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PBS in the Classroom

We Asked Teachers: Cool Ideas to Activate Young Minds all Summer Long

Looking for inspiration to motivate your own students over the long break? Here are some responses from our teachers, in their own words, with some great tips for continued fun learning over the summer.

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PBS in the Classroom

School's Out, Adventure's In!

Summer’s here!  That wonderful time when teachers gather up all their belongings in the classroom and go take a great big three-month nap on their hammock, right?

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PBS in the Classroom

Splash & Bubbles: Marine Biology & Social Emotional Learning for Your Classroom

Whether learning about migration, adaptation for survival or just weird and wacky sleeping habits, the ocean has a lot to offer teachers and their students. That’s the spirit with which the Jim Henson Company’s new marine science-based preschool show, Splash and Bubbles, approaches each episode

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Voices in Education

End of School Year Reflections

Why do I teach, you ask?  I teach because it is a highly rewarding and fulfilling profession. I pass along these thoughts to others in the education field, but the ideas are transferrable to any profession.

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PBS in the Classroom

Teaching the Vietnam War Through Diverse Perspectives

For nearly ten years, Ken Burns and I have explored one of the most consequential, most misunderstood, and divisive events in American history: the Vietnam War. We have tried to find out what really happened, why things went so badly wrong, and why, for more than four decades, we have been unable to put the war behind us.

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PBS in the Classroom Current & Trending

A Celestial Experience that Eclipses the Classroom

On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will cross the entire continental United States. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979, and it will not happen again until 2024. Find out how to turn this rare event into a unique teaching opportunity in your classroom!

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Voices in Education Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

How Games Can Be a Centerpiece for Student-Driven Learning

Make games the driver of experiential learning in your classroom

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PBS in the Classroom

Adding Creative Thinking to Summer Learning

Does summer learning cross our minds during the month of May? It definitely should! Summer break is a great time for educators to continue to encourage learning and to step outside of the box of common core standards and endless assessments.

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Current & Trending

5 Genius Hour Tips

For those unfamiliar, genius hour takes place in the corporate sector, from Google to 3M to Colgate-Palmolive. At these companies, employees get 20% of the day to pursue projects of interest. As a result, employees may be more engaged. And they also tend to innovate. But how does this look in a classroom?

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Voices in Education

A Problem Set for My Teachers

From a 12th Grade Student to his Teachers, with Appreciation

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Voices in Education

"Thank You Teachers, For Just Being You"

From an 8th Grade Student to her Teachers, with Appreciation

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Voices in Education

Thank You for the Constant Support

From 5th Grade Students to their Teachers, with Appreciation

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Voices in Education

"All Students Think You're So Cool."

From Elementary Students to their Teachers, with Appreciation

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Voices in Education

We Asked Teachers: What is the best gift you have ever received?

PBS reached out to educators across the country to ask, “What’s the best gift of appreciation you’ve ever received?” The nearly thousand teacher responses we received were thoughtful, sincere, heart-warming, funny, and – occasionally – completely bizarre.

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PBS in the Classroom Current & Trending

32 Space-Themed Resources to Explore the Galaxy

Star WarsTM is the movie that proved science fiction could be a blockbuster. Within the Star Wars fandom, May Fourth is celebrated as “Star Wars Day.” We have curated the following lesson plans, videos and more from PBS LearningMedia for those inspired (Jedi) instructors out there.

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PBS in the Classroom

A Trip Back In Time to 'Mercy Street'

I recently collaborated with two U.S. History teachers to take students on a virtual field trip to Civil War era Alexandria, Virginia.

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PBS in the Classroom

Six Things You Didn't Know About World History, from Crash Course

Built upon Crash Course's wildly popular “The Most Fun You Have Ever Had Learning” videos, this curriculum adds teacher guides, worksheets, essential questions and more.

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Current & Trending

Lasting Ways to Spring into Action for Earth Week

EarthEcho Water Challenge resources will help teachers support authentic, project-based learning to help students take a leadership role in uncovering new and innovative ways to address global water issues.

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PBS in the Classroom

Engineering for Good: How to help students be good stewards, and thoughtful scientists

KQED’s Engineering for Good provides an opportunity to propel students towards solutions about the plastic waste problem, while also honoring the origins of Earth Day, which focused more on water conservation and air pollution.

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Current & Trending

Growing and Learning Together: Creating a School Garden

A school garden creates endless opportunities to extend learning beyond the school walls. In planning our project, we considered the impact that a school garden would have on our students, our community and the environment.

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PBS in the Classroom

Spectrum: A Story of the Mind

Spectrum: A Story of the Mind asks thoughtful questions: how can we empathize with people who have autism and sensory issues? How can we design a sensory-friendly world? Spectrum opens the door to understanding autism with a fresh perspective.

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PBS in the Classroom

Educating Hearts and Minds

Bring buddies and an 8-year-old aardvark named Arthur into the classroom.

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PBS in the Classroom

What is the Lasting Impact of World War I?

World War I is not just about trench warfare and poison gas. It is a story of doughboys, airmen, ambulance drivers, Red Cross workers, Hello-girls, Yeomen, doughnut dollies, farmers, war production laborers, suffragists, and pacifists. It’s essential that we look for ways to capture students’ attention and help them to understand the impact The Great War left on politics, technology, and culture.

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Voices in Education PBS in the Classroom

Newtown: From Grief, a Chance to Teach & Learn

Newtown is the documentary that no one wants to watch, but everyone needs to watch.

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

Foreign Language Virtual Field Trips: A Travel Guide for Beginners

Like many educators, I teach students cultural literacy in order to cultivate compassionate global citizens. In pursuit of this gain, my foreign language colleagues and I collaborate to provide a taste of the world for our students through the use of technology, including virtual reality.

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PBS in the Classroom

Working with "the Bad Kids"

Last August, I got amazing news: a position at Black Rock High School had opened, and my transfer there was successful.  I would finally be working with the ‘Bad Kids.’ You see, teaching at Black Rock with some of the most underserved students in our district is a coveted teaching position. It’s rare that a job opens up, and I was going to join the team.

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

A Unique Way to Bring History to Life for your Students

Hollywood does a fantastic job of getting us when to lose ourselves in a character. Lin Manuel Miranda did it when he turned his reading of Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton into a personalized, energetic reading, hip-hop/rap song and hit Broadway musical. How can you do this in your classroom?

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PBS in the Classroom Current & Trending

21 Pi Day Resources for your Classroom

March 14th (3/14) is recognized as the day to celebrate Pi! Whether you are looking for activities to conduct in the classroom, special Pi day gear, or a unique video to highlight the occasion, keep reading for a plethora of Pi Day fun!

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

Teachers Tell All: Ten Tips for Online Course Success

So, you’re thinking of enrolling in an online course?  Learning online offers a level of flexibility that many educators appreciate, and while it may feel like it as you settle in to take your course, you are NOT alone! Here are 10 tips for making the most of your first online course. 

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PBS in the Classroom

#ILovePBS

What are your favorite PBS memories? 

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PBS in the Classroom Current & Trending

Integrating the Refugee Crisis into Your Curriculum

Welcome to Canada, and its companion lesson plan, “A Refugee’s Story,” encourages students to explore the impact of immigration as well as the themes of cultural displacement, human rights, and resilience. 

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

Virtual Reality Opens the Door to Global Collaborations

Getting middle school students fired up about Greeks, Romans, Anglo Saxons, and Ottomans can be a challenge.  But when they view those places using VR, students are excited about history and are willing to spend their own time studying it. That is transformative.

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Voices in Education

Arts Integration Isn't as Daunting as You Might Think

Many teachers tell me they do not understand the concept of Arts Integration. However, I do not think this is as complicated as it seems by the definition. It really just involves having students think creatively through a process to produce a product.

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PBS in the Classroom

Powerful Words in the Classroom: Dr. Maya Angelou, an American Master

On February 21, a new documentary will air on PBS’s American Masters’ Series, entitled Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise. Dr. Maya Angelou was more than the creator of the fabulously popular works of literature, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “Still I Rise” and “On the Pulse of Morning.” Throughout the film, people speak lovingly as witnesses to the many roles that Dr. Angelou inhabited so naturally – and so candidly – during her lifetime. 

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PBS in the Classroom

How Sesame Street Helps Children Learn For Life

"S is for Self-Regulation. E is for Executive Function."

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Voices in Education Current & Trending

Teaching Islam: Deconstructing Myths and Clarifying Truths

What I failed to fully recognize until this point was that despite my own knowledge about religious literacy – religions are internally diverse; religions evolve and change over time as opposed to being ahistorical and static; religious influences are embedded in all dimensions of culture – I hadn't communicated this very well to my students.

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PBS in the Classroom

Why Being Held Back Was the Push Forward I Needed

"Physics Girl," Dianna Cowern, shares what helped push her into a career of science, math, and a lot of fun. 

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Voices in Education

Building My Network: My Experience as a PBS Digital Innovator

My connection with PBS, CPBN, KQED and the professionals in my expanding PLN has been prolific and will span the entirety of my career. My renewed sense of determination after becoming a PBS Digital Innovator is evident to my students and supports my efforts in the classroom to push students toward excellence.

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PBS in the Classroom

Powerful Ways to Explore Women’s Rights Through History

A lesson that I had planned as an exploration of the Civil War, using PBS's Mercy Street, not only connected them to the past but became a great springboard to discuss issues affecting my students today.

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Voices in Education PBS in the Classroom

Giving Voice to My Passion: My Experience as a PBS Digital Innovator

I found a voice for my passions through my immersion in the PBS Digital Innovator community – this dialogue sharpened my perspective on education. For the first time, my voice and ideas were given a platform.

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Voices in Education Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

Globetrotting: Stepping into the World Without Leaving the Classroom

I know that part of my responsibility as a fourth grade teacher is to open the world to my students and expand their opportunities beyond the four walls of our classroom. My goal is to create global citizens—and one of the ways I have done that is to create a global classroom.

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Voices in Education

Service Learning Leads to Personalized Learning

As a journalism teacher, I’m constantly trying to get my students to think about what matters to their audience. What do they want to know vs. what do they need to know, and to ask questions that the audience might not have considered but still impacts their lives. I struggled with ways to build empathy in my students and provide them with lessons and projects to develop this skill.

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Voices in Education PBS in the Classroom

Students as Journalists: Combating the Fake News Outbreak

Media reporting around the world has changed. Simply recording video or posting a blog does not make one a journalist. Journalism requires ethics, critical analysis, judgment, and training. I challenge my students to develop as journalists. 

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Voices in Education PBS in the Classroom

Truth and the Modern Classroom

Ignorance of facts is the enemy of liberation and is devastating to our democracy. How can our students realize their full potential if they are ignorant of the society in which they live? Should promising young minds pursue whims based on emotions or solutions based on reality?

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PBS in the Classroom

A Call for Classroom Changemakers: Are You a PBS Digital Innovator?

PBS Digital Innovators set the bar for thoughtful tech integration in the classroom. You are pre-K-12 educators who are not defined by the gadgets you use, but by the unique way you approach education. Your bold and enthusiastic perspective sets you apart as changemakers, and unlocks new worlds for your students. Are you a 2017 PBS Digital Innovator?

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

Bring Coding To Your Classroom, TOMORROW

Coding is one of the best ways to bring computer science education into the classroom but this can be intimidating for teachers. Most of us never had any training in computer science in school, and it certainly wasn’t a topic covered in my multi-subject, pre-service program. For teachers new to computer sciences, there are so many fantastic resources available to introduce coding to their students.

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

5 Reasons to Get Coding

It is imperative that today’s students receive an education that prepares them for this very real and not so distant future. Today’s students will need to be more than just regurgitators of facts and figures. They will need to think critically, solve problems, communicate, design, and create. They will need to learn how to learn if they are going to be prepared to live and work in this digital revolution age-- skills that worksheets cannot provide.

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks PBS in the Classroom

Tap Technology to Bring History to Life

Throughout the years, I’ve found that incorporating digital media and technology in my class has made the War more relevant and accessible to students.  Rather than sitting passively listening to a lecture or completing a worksheet, students become explorers and navigators of their own learning experience by witnessing battles, meeting people, and immersing themselves in the significant historical events of the time.

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

Isolation: A Pitfall of Online Learning

Online lesson design has moved from a specialized skill to one that’s much more common, and in the right schools, a necessary skill. But when I ask about the negatives associated with online lessons, they offer the same stories, regardless of the virtual platform.

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks PBS in the Classroom

Planting the (Pumpkin) Seeds of Learning with Technology

This fall, our kindergarten classes were studying the plant life cycle within the life science unit. Each kindergarten class started with a pumpkin. I was asked to introduce technology into this activity, and I thought this was a nice opportunity to try some simple journaling with this eager group of students.

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

Engage With Your Community Through Instagram

While many look at Instagram simply as a social network, as an educator it can be a wonderful tool to help expand your Personal Learning Network and connect with students, parents and your colleagues.

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Voices in Education Current & Trending

Teaching the Election- in an 'Age of Hate,' Part II

It’s 3:00 PM. Wednesday, November 9th. The school day is over and so, too, the 2016 presidential election . . . and that means for my students and me, no more Election Wednesdays.    What did my students think of it all?

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

On Mrs. Garmon’s Pond

Kindergarten teacher Michelle Garmon brings her new English Language Arts curriculum to life with a tablet, a pond, and some creativity. 

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PBS in the Classroom

Making Sense of the New Science and Engineering Standards with PBS LearningMedia

With a number of states adopting the NGSS, and other states revising their standards to incorporate some of the Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas, we took this opportunity to redesign the science hierarchy in PBS LearningMedia. Two years – and many sleepless nights later – we are excited to share the results.

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Voices in Education Current & Trending

Teaching the Election- in an "Age of Hate," Part I

In this post, high school social studies teacher Peter Paccone wonders whether his students view the behavior of  adults in this election year much like children might typically view their parents going through an ugly divorce. Here, he lays out his strategy to teaching the election under these challenging circumstances.

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Voices in Education

Our Students Are Talking – Are We Listening?

To understand young people, we have to put ourselves in their shoes and commit ourselves to listening to them before we teach them.

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PBS in the Classroom

That's a Rap! Weaving the Arts into Education

Hi, it’s Mister C and I'm a PBS Digital Innovator from Ohio! I would like to invite all of you to tap into your musical “super powers” and create the soundtrack for your classroom by participating in PBS Education's "That's a Rap!" challenge. Here's how it works: Record a 60-second rap video that shows us how you use the arts to teach subjects like math, science, history, and English language arts.Upload your video to your Twitter page.Tag it with #FallArtsRap, @PBSTeachers, and...

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PBS in the Classroom

Meet the Students Winners for PBS Education's 50 for 50 Contest!

We at PBS Education were so thrilled when we read some of the 1500 responses to our 50 for 50 contest: it’s clear that educators have been able to cut through the noise, and help their students achieve a level civility and maturity we wish we saw from some of our more seasoned political pundits!

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks

Digital Literacy: Crafting Digital Media

Creating is the highest level of thinking on Bloom’s Taxonomy (revised). It involves combining parts to make a new whole and producing new or original work. One of my goals has always been to show my students how to not just be “consumers” of information, but “producers” as well.

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Tech Tools & Helpful Hacks PBS in the Classroom

Exploring Narratives: Using the PBS LearningMedia Storyboard Tool

Though we have known about the dangers of media addiction since the 1970s, what frames the questions in 2016 are another issue entirely.  In the age of digital media, the immediate past is ancient history.  The challenges that teachers (and others who care about the effects of digital media) face right now is how to create producers instead of mere consumers so our students can navigate this vast digital immersion.

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Voices in Education

Overcoming Obstacles to Education – A Universal Challenge

This article is the last in a series of four blog posts featuring programs from PBS’ Spotlight Education week of educational programming. In this installment, former PBS Digital Innovator Michael Hernandez shares his thoughts and reactions following an advance screening of "Time for School”. "Time for School” airs tonight on PBS stations nationwide.

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Voices in Education

Emotions + Academics Go Hand-in-Hand

This article is the third in a series of four blog posts featuring programs from PBS’ Spotlight Education week of educational programming. In this installment, former PBS Digital Innovator Amanda Haughs shares her thoughts and reactions following an advance screening of "NOVA: School of the Future”. "NOVA: School of the Future" airs tonight on PBS stations nationwide. Check your local listings. You can also follow the conversation on Twitter using #SpotlightEduPBS and #TeachBoldly.

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Voices in Education

As the World Transforms, So Should Education

This article is the second in a series of four blog posts featuring programs from PBS’ Spotlight Education week of educational programming. In this installment, former PBS Digital Innovator Patricia Brown shares her thoughts and reactions following an advance screening of "TED Talks: Education Revolution”. "TED Talks: Education Revolution” airs tonight on PBS stations nationwide.

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Voices in Education

Preparing Students for Success in College: A Reflection on POV's "All the Difference"

This article is the first in a series of four blog posts featuring programs from PBS’ Spotlight Education week of educational programming. In this first installment, former PBS Digital Innovator Peter Van shares his thoughts and reactions following an advance screening of POV’s “All the Difference”. "All the Difference" airs tonight on PBS stations nationwide.

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Voices in Education

Meet Kevin Cornell: Ohio's 2016 PBS Digital Innovator.

Meet the fun(ny) and talented PBS Digital Innovators, class of 2016-2017, representing each U.S. state and a couple of territories, too. Learn what makes them tick, and pick up a few tips and tricks! In this regular series, we’ll be spotlighting the Lead 2016 PBS Digital Innovators. Today, we’re featuring Kevin Cornell from Dayton, Ohio.

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Voices in Education

Meet Jared Knipper: Indiana's 2016 PBS Digital Innovator

Meet the fun(ny) and talented PBS Digital Innovators, class of 2016-2017, representing each U.S. state and a couple of territories, too. Learn what makes them tick, and pick up a few tips and tricks! In this regular series, we’ll be spotlighting the Lead 2016 PBS Digital Innovators. Today, we’re featuring Jared Knipper from Syracuse, Indiana.

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Voices in Education

My Advice to New Teachers

In this inaugural post for the PBS Teacher's Blog, Pam Thornton, mentor teacher for the PBS Digital Innovator program and middle school library media specialist, shares her tips for new teachers at the start of their first school year.

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