Arthur and Curious George Discover the Holiday’s True Meaning

APC - Signature ImageWGBY airs a perennial favorite, Arthur’s Perfect Christmas, on December 10 from 4:30- 5:30pm and on December 25 from 7:00 – 8:00am.  Children and fans of all ages can watch the plans underway for the best holiday season ever as Arthur’s family and friends make preparations for perfect gifts, parties, and traditions for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. But, as things begin to fall apart, Arthur learns that the joy in Christmas is found in the wonderfully messy, imperfect world he lives in.

Curious George A Very Monkey Christmas - 2In Curious George:  A Very Monkey Christmas, George and The Man with the Yellow Hat worry about what to give each other for Christmas and in the process they, too, discover the true spirit of the holidays.  WGBY will air this heartwarming hour-long special again on Saturday, December 14 at 7:00am, and Wednesday, December 25 at 7:00am and 4:00pm.  In addition to the broadcast of the Christmas special, the Curious George website has been transformed into a winter wonderland.  Highlights include:  Curious George: A Very Monkey Christmas preview, Present Time, an online Christmas-themed game, and Christmas coloring sheet in the Printables section.

PreK-12 Model Curriculum Units From ESE

WGBH EducationAs part of a Race to the Top proposal, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) is developing 100+ Model Curriculum Units (MCUs)to help you use the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks (incorporating the Common Core State Standards).  They span PreK-12 in English language arts, Mathematics, U.S. History/Social Studies, and Science and Technology Engineering.

Each unit identifies the standard(s) to be taught, big understandings, essential questions, a Curriculum Embedded Performance Assessment (CEPA), an outline of lessons, possible digital resources to use, and detailed lesson plans. As media partner for this project, WGBH in Boston will provide digital resources via PBS LearningMedia.

Units are posted on the ESE website at the link below. Many are in draft form and ready for a Try-Out phase. Follow these steps to access the MCUs for a 2-week period, after which you can continue to request access for an unlimited number of times.

1)   Visit

2)   Complete the short form. An access link will be sent to your email address.

3)   Check your email inbox for a message from “ESE Administration”

4)   Open the message and click the link to the website.

5)   Select a unit of interest to you.

You can also visit for updates on the units and links to thousands of free digital learning resources.

PBS TeacherLine Fall Courses Start October 23

PBS TeacherLine’s 3, 15, 30, and 45-hour online, professional development courses are designed to enhance your content knowledge and expand your library of teaching strategies. We recently posted PBS TeacherLine’s virtual catalog with courses that span the PreK-12 spectrum and explore subjects like reading, language arts, STEM, and the Common Core, with most courses offering PDPs, CEUs, or graduate credit. .  (You can search here under “PBS TeacherLine” if you missed the post.)

Feel free to explore the additional featured instructional strategy and technology facilitated courses below or check out the entire collection here.

Strategy Courses:

Curriculum Mapping I by Heidi Hayes Jacobs  – INST300
Grades K-12 | 30 Hours | Enroll

Connecting Family, Community & Schools – INST320
Grades K-12 | 30 Hours | Enroll

Teaching with WebQuests – TECH145
Grades K-12 | 30 Hours | Enroll

Tech Courses:

Digital Tools for Innovative Learning – TECH335
Grades K-12 | 30 Hours | Enroll

Leveraging Smart & Social Digital Media in Classroom – TECH575
Grades K-12 | 30 Hours  | Enroll

Ideas and Resources for Improving Science Education

girls scienceThe September 2, 2013 issue of the New York Times Education Issue has a provocative article by Claudia Dreifus based on the collective ideas of 19 scientists, educators and students on how to improve science education in this country. Their ideas are worth reading. Many of these ideas will no doubt spark debate and ideas in your own school environment.  Read the entire article by clicking here.

PBS LearningMedia has vast resources for science in the classroom that you can search by grade, content, and standards.  Just on example from thousands of resources aligned to National Standards is Jonathan Bird’s Blue World for grades Prek-12.  This collection from Educational Underwater Adventure brings Emmy award-winning video to classrooms to teach science with a spirit of adventure and exploration in the underwater realm.  It includes the content from this national public television series, which has aired since 2008, paired with lesson plans and study guides aligned to National Science Standards. These resources cover academic subject areas including biology, chemistry, math, history and physics.

Fun Way for Pre-Schoolers to Learn Important Lessons

pPBS3-15684338regHere is a new DVD that contains six short, separate episodes, each designed to help pre-schoolers develop their understanding of some of life’s important lessons.

Big Kid Caillou – Caillou learns a lesson about the importance of not hiding who you really are;  Caillou’s Glasses — Caillou learns the importance of good vision after playing with a pair of pretend glasses; Caillou’s Dance Party — Caillou learns there’s more than one way to do things; Helping Mrs. Howard — Caillou learns that friendship is often the best form of help; Caillou’s Fun Run — Caillou learns that winning isn’t everything in a race; The New Girl — Caillou welcomes a new girl at preschool after remembering what it was like to be “the new kid.”

Borrow “Big Kid Caillou” for a month by clicking here.

10 Best 2013 Apple & Android Education Apps

Summer could be the time to take a look at some apps you just needed time to explore.  Here at top picks from  staff writers at  eSchool News in an April 26, 2013 article: Last year we presented “New: 10 of the best Apple apps for education in 2012” which highlighted some of the best apps for iPhones and iPods. However, with new upgrades in touch technology, and the emphasis on Common Core State Standards and school reform in general, we’ve come up with a new list of the best Apple- and Android-based education apps for 2013.

This year’s list includes some of the most highly rated apps, both by educators and by parents and features a range that spans from interactive iBooks to current images of the universe, and from free video software to award-winning STEM curricula. Each entry includes a brief description of each with features and benefits, compatibility, etc.

This is just a brief sample of this year’s listing:

  1. Animoto – turns photos into professional quality videos
  2. HMH FUSE Algebra 1 – Common core math edition gives students a personalized learning experience.
  3. Oxford Picture Dictionary, Second E Continue reading

Timely DVD For Preschoolers, Kindergarteners and Even Older Children!

-Curious-George---Takes-a-Vacation-&-Discovers-New-ThingsThis DVD is timely, with vacation on everyone’s mind at this time of year! Get pre-schoolers and kindergarteners in the right frame of mind to make productive use of their summertime. And we know that even older children love watching and meeting Curious George.

In this DVD George’s 8 fun-filled shows — each with a companion episode starring real kids — teach valuable lessons in science, math, and engineering that kids will want to watch over and over again. Borrow Curious George Takes a Vacation (I.D. 2108) for a month by clicking here. for Support & Supplies for Schools

-id9donors-chooseThe Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, along with other organizations, donates to  to support teachers from math and science to the humanities with resources for their specific ideas. In the June issue of Vanity Fair magazine, Melinda Gates writes her first Spotlight on this organization that provides support and supplies to American schools, saying it’s “such a smart, simple concept.  Every student deserves a great education, and DonorsChoose helps teachers deliver on that promise.’ lets you share the needs of your classroom with a generous community eager to help.   According to the site, supporters have brought teachers’ ideas to life in more than half of all U.S. public schools. The site provides information about how DonorsChoose works and how teachers can get started, asking “What change do you want in your classroom?”

A great question –We hope you’ll check out and let us know what you think!

Boosting Student Performance — It’s About Relationships

imagesBy Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor, eSchool News, May 8, 2013 — “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like,” says Rita Pierson, a veteran educator and recent TED Talks Education speaker. According to Pierson, connecting with students on a real, human level is the key to improving student performance.

Pierson, who’s been a professional educator for 40 years, has worked at every level of the public school spectrum from elementary through high school. Having been in education for such a long time, she says she’s witnessed many changes, all aimed at school improvement and boosting student performance.

Read the entire article by clicking here

The Wisdom of Fred Rogers During Times of Tragedy

Just as adults struggle to understand the devastating explosions at the Boston Marathon, children also need help to deal with the frightening news they see and hear from various sources.  Fred Rogers long ago understood the best ways to nurture healthy young people during good times and bad , and he left a legacy that supports educators and parents today.   Thanks in part to the assistance of UNC-TV, North Carolina’s public television network, and public television station WTVI Charlotte, a  booklet entitled  Helping Children Deal with Tragic Events in the News:  Timeless wisdom from Fred Rogers for parents, caregivers and teachers is available to you.

In it you’ll find information about what children fear at times such as these, how to make them feel more secure, how to talk and listen to them as well as other helpful hints.  The booklet also shares the story Fred Rogers often told about his mother’s words to him as a boy when he watched frightening news:  “My mother would say to me, ’Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’  Teachers have always been among the world’s helpers, and we hope you’ll find this wisdom from Fred Rogers helpful.