“The Bard” in Your Classroom

MC900036453What better time than April (Shakespeare’s birth month) to celebrate the work of Stratford’s famed literary genius? PBS LearningMedia is unveiling exciting new Shakespeare resources for your classroom including games, lesson plans and videos, as well as 3 virtual events. You might say this is “such stuff as dreams are made of,” but it’s all true!

According to PBS LearningMedia, the virtual Shakespeare events they are offering are:

  • (4/11) Interactive screening about Hamlet
  • (4/16) LIVE Twitter Party with guests from the Folger Shakespeare Library
  • (4/22) Webinar featuring the Executive Producer of Shakespeare Uncovered

If videos and lesson plans don’t get students excited about Shakespeare, maybe “the play’s the thing.” PBS has a wonderful site with tips and tricks about teaching Shakespeare for educators, which includes sugestions for putting on productions, as well as advice for teaching Shakespeare with technology.

The best part is these recources will be there “tomorrow, and tomorrow,
and tomorrow” so you can introduce your students to the world of Hamlet and Macbeth any day!

Sid the Science Kid Movie Premiere and Morning of Science!

SSKM_Ep_011Come join WFSU at the Challenger Learning Center on Saturday March 30th, for a free fun-filled morning of science activities, food, and a special screening of Sid the Science Kid: The Movie.

There will be science demonstrations from the FSU Chemistry Fraternity, the TCC Earth Sciences Department and the STRIDe robotics lab, as well as a robot craft, raffles, photo opportunities, and much more!

The event is from 9 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., with a light breakfast and activities taking place during the first half of the event, and the movie screening starting at 10:30.

For extra fun, bring your child dressed as Sid and they will receive a special certificate!

For more information visit the Sid event page at wfsu.org/sidmovie.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? Day 2013


March 20th is Fred Rogers’ birthday and a couple of years ago the Fred Rogers Company started a tradition of asking people to wear a sweater on that day to honor Mr. Rogers. They also ask that you do something kind:

“Wearing a sweater is our ‘outside’ tribute to Fred, but he was so much more focused on our ‘insides’ that we wanted to add doing something kind and caring – something ‘neighborly.'”

If you wear a sweater on the 20th (this Wednesday), make sure to take a photo and post it on the company’s Facebook page.

Even if you do not read this post in time, it would be a wonderful idea to honor Fred Rogers on another day of your choosing by having your students wear sweaters and do something nice for their community, such as visiting residents in a nursing home or volunteering at a local charity. By doing this, you are honoring Fred’s passion of helping others:

“We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”
― Fred Rogers


Celebrate Women’s History Month With PBS Learning Media

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Leymah Gbowee, Liberian activist

March is half over, but there is still plenty of time to encourage the next generation of female leaders and celebrate the past, with resources from PBS Learning Media.

If you do not already have a PBS Learning Media  account, create one today! It is free and gives you access to a wealth of resources including documentaries, interviews, lesson plans, and more.

Many resources on the site are perfect for Women’s History Month, such as a video about the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and one about single women homesteaders.

Another great resource for Women’s History Month, is the Makers project, which consists of a documentary, Makers: Women Who Make America, and also individual videos of women, such as Danica Patrick and Ellen DeGeneres, sharing their success stories.

Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ 109th Birthday!

Two new episodes and an online game debut on March 1 in commemoration of Dr. Seuss’ birthday week 

It’s Dr. Seuss’ 109th birthday on March 2, and PBS KIDS is celebrating with new content on-air, online and on mobile beginning March 1. Viewers can join everyone’s favorite cat in two new episodes of THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! as the Cat, Nick and Sally explore science concepts from as far away as space and as close as inside our own bodies. Kids will also be able to continue the science adventure with the new “Swirly Whirly Pearl Hunt” online game and video content online and on mobile.

Dr. Seuss

Image credit: Series copyright 2010, CITH Productions, Inc. and Red Hat Animation, Limited. Underlying characters copyright 1957, 1985 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P.

“Every year at this time, children and families across the country pay tribute to Dr. Seuss and his legacy, and we’re thrilled to participate in the festivities with new content across platforms,” said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children’s Programming, PBS. “PBS KIDS is proud to offer two new episodes of THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! and a new online game that will take kids on science adventures that range from the solar system to the skeletal system, helping teach key concepts and encouraging their curiosity and thirst for learning.”

THE CAT IN THE HAT KNOWS A LOT ABOUT THAT! will feature two brand new episodes. “Rumbly Tumbly / Planet Name Game” features a super shrunken trip into Thing One’s stomach as well as a whirlwind trip to each of the eight planets, and “Top of the Sky / Jiggle Bones” follows the Cat, Nick and Sally as they travel to Audrey the Astronaut’s space station and visit Dr. Giggles to see why bones are important.

The celebration will continue online and on mobile. Video clips from both episodes will be available for free online at pbskids.org/video and on the PBS KIDS Video App starting March 1.

Viewers will also have a chance to interact with the Cat in the Hat with the new “Swirly Whirly Pearl Hunt” game. In this game, the Swirly Whirly Ocean is filled with aquatic creatures of all colors, shapes and sizes, and players can catch a ride on the Thinga-ma-jigger to travel deeper and deeper through silly, Seussian schools of fish. The Swirly Whirly Pearl is waiting somewhere far below, along with the chance to create a personalized school of mix-and-match sea creatures. “Swirly Whirly Pearl Hunt” will be available on pbskids.org/catinthehat on March 1.

WFSU Presents 180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School

180days-comp2One of the biggest concerns in education today is how to deal with the staggering high school dropout rate in America – one in four teenagers will not finish high school. This issue has become prominent lately, as legislators at the national and state level attempt to write education reform. And, we are reminded that it is ultimately up to us, not only as a nation, but as educators, parents, businesses, schools, etc.,  to get our education system back on track. American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen (supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) is a public media project that hopes to increase graduation rates through cooperative initiatives with public broadcasting stations across the country, helping local communities create and execute solutions to significantly reduce the number of teenagers leaving high school early.

As part of the American Graduate project, WFSU will be hosting a free screening of the brand new PBS documentary, 180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School, at the Challenger Learning Center on Thursday, March 7th, with a discussion afterwards. This is a wonderful opportunity to discuss what we can do as a community to address the dropout rate.

The documentary allows viewers to experience a year in the lives of students and staff at Washington Metropolitan High School in Washington, D.C. and to see some of the challenges the students face in graduating from high school.

WFSU’s screening will take place at the Challenger Learning Center, 200 S. Duval Street, with a reception at 6:00, screening at 6:30 and discussion at 7:30 p.m.

For more information and to RSVP for the event, visit wfsu.org/180days.

Make Math Fun and Meaningful With Fred Rogers

mister_rogers_amznDuring his State of the Union address this week, President Obama stressed the importance of early childhood education as the foundation for a promising future, and proposed working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child.

Fred Rogers was also a champion of quality education for preschoolers and emphasized the importance of a child’s emotional well-being and emotional intelligence in determining their success in school. Fred knew the importance of making lessons relevant and meaningful to a child:

“As you help children appreciate their real-life experiences  playing with things like numbers, shapes, and measurements, you will be helping  them learn that math can have relevance in all people’s lives.  When children care about what they’re  learning, and when they know their teachers care about them, they are more  likely to be ready to learn and grow.”

Many children do not enjoy learning about math, perhaps because they do not see why it is important, or they do not think it is fun. The Fred Rogers Company, offers some wonderful resources for teachers and parents to use to help their students love math, including a video clip of Fred demonstrating the importance of counting, and a fun counting activity.

Additional Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood™ content and games is available on pbskids.org, and over 300 episodes of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood™ are available for purchase on amazon.com for $1.99 each.

Help Prince Elmo Defeat a Dragon (and Learn Math, Too!)

As part of the 43rd season of Sesame Street™, Sesame Workshop has introduced a series of 11 minute online videos called Elmo the Musical. Each episode is accompanied by an interactive game, or “math-filled adventure of the imagination” that helps children with skills such as counting and identifying shapes, all while having lots of fun with Elmo!

The newest addition to the series is Prince Elmo the Musical. In the accompanying game, children are able to design their own on-screen character and decorate the castle. Then it is time to help Elmo defeat a dragon, with many counting and shape-naming adventures along the way!

The show’s website also includes healthy recipes, activities and printable paper dolls for each episode that help reinforce the concepts learned in the video.

It’s a fun-filled adventure with Elmo that will have your child singing, dancing and loving math!

Celebrate Valentine’s Day With PBS Kids!

This Valentine’s Day bring PBS Kids into your classroom or home with fun activities and special episodes of favorite TV shows.

On February 14th, an all new episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood™, “You are Special; Daniel is Special,” will air, featuring songs performed by Jason Mraz.

Older Valentine’s Day themed episodes of shows including Caillou™, WordGirl™ and Martha Speaks™ will also be shown on February 14th (broadcast schedule).

In addition to video on air, there are many great activities available on the PBS Kids website to help you and your little one celebrate Valentine’s Day, such as Clifford™ coloring pages, Dinosaur Train™ printable cards, and a Curious George™ shapes game.

Flu Vaccinations: Resources for Teachers and Parents

Every year hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. are affected by the flu. The first month of 2013 has already seen severe outbreaks across the country. Many strains of the virus can be prevented through vaccination. However, because schools do not require flu shots, parents must decide if they will have their children vaccinated, or not. For many parents, the toughest decision is not whether to give their child the flu shot, but how to stop them from screaming, crying or having a meltdown at the doctor’s office.

Parents and teachers can find excellent resources from pbs.org and other educational media outlets, such as The Fred Rogers Company, that offer suggestions on how to prepare children for a visit to the doctor.

There is an entire Sid the Science Kid™ episode (Getting a Shot: You Can Do It) dedicated to informing youngsters about the importance of getting a flu shot, as well as printable activities and an online game to go with the show.

The Fred Rogers Company website offers a Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood™ video that deals with getting a shot, as well as discussion and activity suggestions for parents and teachers to utilize at home and in the classroom.

Additional links: The Fred Rogers Company, parent resources: http://www.fci.org/madfeelings/1-15-10.html; Information about preventing the flu: http://www.flu.gov/