Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Mike Wallace Debates Journalists’ Obligations When Covering War

The news-watching public noted the passing of long-time 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace on April 7, 2012. Known for incisive questions to high-profile interviewees, Wallace himself was on the hot seat in Ethics in America, program 7, “Under Orders, Under Fire (Part II),” debating the role of the press in covering war atrocities. This debate starts around 31:00 in the video.

James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic, writes about the Ethics in America program in his post, “Dramatic Video of Wallace, Jennings, Gingrich, and ‘North Kosan‘.” Fallows points to his 1996 article, “Why Americans Hate the Media,” in which he opens with a description of the debate between Jennings and Wallace. He also notes how the series provides a look at public figures, such as Newt Gingrich, while they are in the early stages of their careers.

This debate in Ethics in America shows students the difficult decisions that journalists face when reporting from the field.


Think Like an Animal

Dr. Temple Grandin, Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, has the ability to think in pictures much like the cows for whom she designs more humane cattle facilities. Her holding pens are used all over the world, and her papers on animal behaviors help livestock owners reduce the stress of these animals. She has written several books about animal behaviors, including “Animals Make Us Human,” “Thinking in Pictures,” “Livestock Handling and Transport,” and “Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals.”  Despite being born with autism and living with the challenges that go along with the brain disorder,  Dr. Grandin is a remarkable example of someone who has overcome her obstacles. She believes that the early interactions she had with her family, caregivers, and teachers helped her develop her strengths. Dr. Grandin’s Web site includes information about her life, works, and a Q&A about living with autism.

Autism causes difficulties in social interaction and communication, but is also associated with strengths in areas such as music, math, and art. On her site and in her interviews, Dr. Grandin cites early intervention and attention as the key to open doors for children with autism. Engage autistic children with the world around them, teach them how their brains work and what their strengths are, and they’ll have a better chance of learning how to adapt socially and academically.  By providing them examples of successful people like Dr. Grandin, we empower students to seek their own success stories.

Neuroscience & the Classroom, unit 4, “Different Minds, Different Learners,” section 5, What teachers can do, provides techniques teachers can use to help students decrease their stress and increase attention in the classroom.  Go to the video page for section 4 and hear Dr. Stephen Shore and Dr. Temple Grandin talkabout their abilities as individuals with autism.

Dr. Grandin is also featured in The Brain: Teaching Modules, module 29, “Autism.” This program provides both a historical perspective of autism and current beliefs about why autism occurs.

The World of Abnormal Psychology, program 11, “Behavior Disorders of Childhood,” looks at challenges and solutions for families who have children with behavior disorders. Autism is discussed specifically at 42:06.

Journey North’s Exciting News!

Get  Journey North’s free New Mobile App!

See it, snap it, report it.

Citizen scientists and budding environmentalists can now report sightings of birds, butterflies, and other migrating species from the field to the Journey North network using their iPhone or iPad.  The new app provides tools including maps, a geographic locator, and a function to record and send field notes. App users can take and send photos of their quarry using their camera phone.  By reporting sightings of migrating species, the app user becomes part of a network of more than 900,000 K-12 students who contribute data as they track the season’s advance northward.  An Android version of Journey North mobile is currently in production and will be announced shortly.  download the free app

Journey North, the nation’s premiere citizen science project for children, is a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. Participants (including the general public) share observations of animals and changes in the ecosystem. The data feeds into the resource-rich Journey North Web site, which features migration maps dating back to 1997, images and photos of wildlife, video, standards-based lesson plans, classroom activities, and information from scientists about specific species and the seasons.  Journey North is a winner of the Webby award as a best educational site.

Journey North is presented by Annenberg Learner and can be accessed through its Web site. Annenberg Learner is a division of the Annenberg FoundationFlickerLabs is the developer of the Journey North apps.

Journey North Interviews

Saturday, March 24, 2012, Elizabeth Howard got a chance to tell listeners of  The Animal House on WAMU 88.5 about the Journey North citizen scientist program! Read the audio transcript of the interview here: Journey North on The Animal House.

Elizabeth Howard was also interviewed by Vermont Public Radio on April 2. You can hear the interview and read about using Journey North in the classroom from the VPR site.

Check out the Journey North Web site for information about how to get your students involved in tracking animal migrations and the arrival of spring.