Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Valentine’s Day in Language Arts and Math Classes

ValentinesDayelementaryTurn the excitement of Valentine’s Day into learning opportunities.

Language Arts/Literature

Develop reading-related activities around Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year. Kindergarten teacher Cindy Wilson features the holidays to build students’ oral language, especially useful for second language learners. See “Building Oral Language” in Teaching Reading K-2 Library.

Examine the question “How does love overcome hatred and fear?” as you read Arundhati Roy’s novel, The God of Small Things, about twin children growing up in a small town in India. Watch the Invitation to World Literature program about the title to hear from readers who are passionate about the story and from Roy herself.

Revisit the love story between Pip and Estella in Charles Dickens’ novel Great Expectations with your students. Find a lesson plan for teaching this work in the series In Search of the Novel.


Our Teachers’ Lab activity, How Many Valentines? offers a fun way to connect the Valentine’s Day holiday with elementary mathematics.

Teaching Math, Grades 3-5 also presents an interactive version of the How Many Valentines? activity, which illustrates principles of reasoning and proof.

Watch a lesson in which young students in a bilingual 4th-grade class work on patterns and reasoning in program 42, “Valentine Exchange,” in Teaching Math: A Video Library, K-4. Note how the teacher guides the students in their mathematical thinking, letting them explore and arrive at their own conclusions.



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Get your teacher toolkit!

Annenberg Learner is pleased to partner with StoryCorps and to announce The Great Thanksgiving Listen. 


On Thanksgiving weekend 2015, the acclaimed oral history project StoryCorps will work with U.S. history teachers across America to ask their students to record an interview with a grandparent or another elder using the free StoryCorps app. With permission from the participants, each of these interviews will be uploaded to the StoryCorps archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Also, download the free The Great Thanksgiving Listen Teacher Toolkit to find program details, including guidelines and recommendations that can easily be made into lessons that address state standards for social studies or history curricula.

The Great Thanksgiving Listen will use near-universally accessible smartphone technology to foster meaningful connections within families, communities, and the classroom while also creating a singular and priceless archive of American history and wisdom. This 2015 pilot is expected to result in the single largest collection of human voices ever gathered.

Watch David Isay, the founder and president of StoryCorps, talk about The Great Thanksgiving Listen!


Watch Steve Inskeep, host of NPR’s Morning Edition, provide useful tips for students who are conducting interviews.


Founded in 2003, the nonprofit organization StoryCorps has given more than 100,000 Americans the chance to record interviews about their lives, pass wisdom from one generation to the next, and leave a legacy for the future. StoryCorps shares edited excerpts of these recordings with millions each week through popular weekly NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. StoryCorps helps us recognize that every life and every story matters.2015_05_01_StoryCorps_012

Dave Isay, founder and president of StoryCorps, is the recipient of the 2015 TED Prize, awarded to an individual with a creative, bold vision to spark global change. With the proceeds of the TED Prize, StoryCorps released an app that walks users seamlessly through the StoryCorps interview experience, from recording to archiving to sharing their story with the world. The StoryCorps app, and its companion social media platform at StoryCorps.me, make a large-scale and historic undertaking like the Great Thanksgiving Listen possible for the first time ever.


Read about the impact that storytelling has on students and teachers in “How telling stories can transform a classroom” by Amy S. Choi on TED Blog.

How to Share Ideas From Your Classroom

sharing ideasWe know you create amazing lesson plans and activities using Learner.org resources. Share them with other teachers on the Ideas From Your Classrooms section of our blog.

Submit your lesson plans and activities to blog@learner.org for consideration. We will post a new activity or lesson plan every Tuesday. Check back often to learn about fresh ideas from your peers.

Also, in the Ideas From Your Classrooms section of the blog, we encourage you to comment under lesson plan and activities posts, respond to questions about your classrooms, and support each other with knowledge and advice from your teaching experience.


How to Submit a Lesson Plan or Activity

Your plans and activities should state a clear objective, be well-organized, require minimal to no edits, and incorporate a Learner.org resource. (You may also refer to additional resources if desired.) The Learner.org resource you refer to can be a whole series, or part of a series such as an online textbook chapter or video program, an online interactive, or any other resources accessed free on our website. Series titles and urls must be included.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Please include the following information with your materials:

  1. Your name and email address
  2. Title of the activity or lesson plan
  3. Subject/ Class name
  4. Grade level
  5. School name or location (not required)

Also, please share this post! Thank you. Don’t forget to subscribe to LearnerLog.org so you don’t miss new postings.

Sign Up for our E-mail Monthly Update by January 31, 2013, Win a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet!


Find out what’s happening at Learner.org by receiving our monthly update e-newsletter right in your inbox. This e-newsletter is a valuable resource for teachers, full of classroom ideas for all grade levels and subject areas. Released at the very beginning of each month, you can get a jump start on your planning and find instructional ideas and topics that might not have been on your teaching radar. Here is a link to our January 2013 update and a link to the update archives so you can see what you’re missing.

The monthly update informs subscribers of

  • newly added video series and web sites (always streaming free from Learner.org),
  • items newly available on DVD,
  • services added to Learner.org,
  • conferences we’ll be attending,
  • and MOST IMPORTANTLY ideas for using our resources in the classroom.

For being a loyal reader of our monthly update, you will be eligible to win a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 Tablet in our tablet contest beginning in January and running through March 31, 2013. (Please also spread the word about our newsletter to your friends and colleagues so they can sign up to receive the monthly highlights.)

**All eligible contestants must be signed up by January 31, 2013 and remain on the mailing list through the end of March for a chance to win. Current members of this mailing list who are still on the list through March 31, 2013 are automatically entered. We will be giving away tablets to two lucky readers.

Legal info: Contests found on Learner.org are open only to residents of the United States over 18 years of age. The contest is subject to all federal, state, and local regulations. Offer void where restricted or prohibited. The Foundation will not be responsible for payment of taxes on the value of any prize awarded. For full contest rules, visit our legal policy page.