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August 30, 2011

Table of Contents

Free Resources: Pearson's ‘Remembering September 11’ Online Lesson Plans and Activities
Cool Links: The International Association of School Librarianship’s Skype Project
Discovery Education Offers New Back-to-School Content and Enhancements
EdOptions, Inc.’s Orchard Now Releases Math Concepts for Grades 4-6 Instruction
Discovery Education, Intel Encourage Students to Explore Their Curiosity Through New Online Resources
The Library Corporation/TLC Releases LS2 Mobile for Android
Cool Links: Teaching to the Common Core Standards
DreamBox Learning Announces Common Core State Standards Alignment Tool
ASCD Releases New Editions of Popular PD Online Courses

Free Resources: Pearson's ‘Remembering September 11’ Online Lesson Plans and Activities

To help students understand the events surrounding 9/11 and the aftermath, Pearson is offering teachers, students and parents a free collection of online education lessons and activities, "Remembering September 11," available at Pearson's Online Learning Exchange.

For middle and high schoolers, teachers can access lesson plans, suggested student activities, and interactive timelines linked to downloadable student materials. The online materials also include a recent interview by a high school student with a firefighter on command at New York's Emergency Operations Center after the attacks.  The Online Learning Exchange website includes a second oral history interview with a woman who was a tenth grader in New York City at the time of the attacks.

A 16-page color booklet with a full timeline of events can be downloaded for class use or for students to take home. Pearson authors and historians contributed to these educational resources with essays, exploring these events within the various social studies disciplines of history, government, civics, foreign policy, and economics.

For elementary classrooms, the online materials include downloadable lesson plans for teachers and corresponding whiteboard-ready presentations that explain September 11 with a focus on the heroic efforts undertaken in the past ten years to keep our nation secure.

Remembering September 11 materials can be downloaded for free at http://PearsonRemembers911.com.

Pearson's Online Learning Exchange (OLE), www.onlinelearningexchange.com, is a web-based destination where K-12 teachers can create their own customized lessons and personalize classroom instruction to improve their students' learning. OLE, which supports any curriculum, brings together tools for teachers to aggregate their own content, quality third-party resources, and numerous digital assets from Pearson's research-based instructional materials - all tagged by subject, grade, and educational standard.  The Remembering September 11 materials, which were made possible due to contributions by Getty Images and Courier, are fully available on OLE. 

Source: Pearson, www.pearsoned.com

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Cool Links: The International Association of School Librarianship’s Skype Project

The International Association of School Librarianship (ISLM) offers ideas for taking your classroom global. An interesting one we just got word of, among several projects for International School Library Month, is ISLM's Skype Project. From their website:

Skype Project

For the first time in 2011 the ISLM Committee offer schools the opportunity to make contact with each other using Skype. If you would like your students to take part in this exciting new project please complete this survey by Wednesday 28th September, 2011.

In early October you will receive an email with a list of schools who wish to participate. It will then be up to you to make contact with the schools of your choice to make arrangements for your ISLM Skype sessions throughout the month of October.

To find out more about how to use Skype and for a free download go to the Skype website.

Create an ISLM 2011 Skype Project session log (click on the link to download the form) and send to Marie O'Brien. A list of participating schools will be posted to celebrate the culmination of the project.

HERE is the link directly to that page. (Scroll down to "Skype Project."

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Discovery Education Offers New Back-to-School Content and Enhancements

Discovery Education has announced back-to-school upgrades and enhancements to their digital learning services for teachers and students. Designed to improve classroom engagement, Discovery Education has upgraded its Discovery Education streaming service with a variety of new resources, more efficient navigation and a free, three-week series of webinars to help educators explore how to incorporate the digital resources into their instruction. 

Discovery Education has added new, exclusive content to Discovery Education streaming Plus, including standards-aligned clips from Discovery Channel's series HUMAN PLANET, CURIOSITY and RISING: REBUILDING GROUND ZERO. New digital resources from top educational producers have also been added to Discovery Education's extensive library of content, including the following:

--American History content from Ambrose Video explores the achievements of various ethnic groups and their defining role in the growth of our country

--French and Spanish language learning songs from Sara Jordan Publishing are now available to Discovery Education streaming Plus subscribers

--A timely collection of health-related programs that focus on character development, nutrition and life skills from LearningZone Xpress are now available in Discovery Education Health

In addition to an expanded array of specialty content, new product enhancements to student, teacher and administrator tools have been made to improve the usefulness and efficiency of Discovery Education's services. An improved Student Center allows students to go beyond the walls of the classroom and find assignments and assessments through an updated login page and new getting started tools. Allowing teachers to spend more time focusing on individual students, the improved Classroom Manager allows easy creation of classrooms within the service and efficient assignment management. 

Discovery Education will provide a three-week webinar series covering the full breadth of this year's enhancements. The webinars will help educators set up their accounts and explore new ways to deliver resources that motivate students, engage higher order thinking and ultimately achieve learning objectives. Schedules and further webinar details can be found at DiscoveryEducation.com.

For additional information on these updates, please visit www.discoveryeducation.com/BTS2011/enhancements.cfm.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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EdOptions, Inc.’s Orchard Now Releases Math Concepts for Grades 4-6 Instruction

EdOptions elementary division product Orchard Now has released new Math Concepts instructional activities for grades 4-6. The new Math Concepts activities provide practice with number sense; basic operations and order of operations; geometry and spatial sense; graphing and managing data; probability; measurement; algebra, patterning, and logic; and fraction concepts. This is the third product release from Orchard Now this year.

Developed by the publisher of Orchard Software, PracticePlanet, and Stars Suite, Orchard Now offers a customized learning environment with activities, practice, and assessment for schools to address the needs of all students, according to the announcement. Students are placed into individualized, state standards-aligned learning paths based on assessment results. Orchard Now automates data collection, analysis, and reporting for easy progress monitoring.

Math Concepts instructional activities cover the important computational and conceptual elements stressed by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Through various techniques, students are taught how to apply reasoning skills and mathematical thinking in meaningful contexts. Orchard Now is also a tool for whole class instruction using whiteboard technology.

Teachers begin by assigning students a pretest correlated to state standards. Upon completion of the pretest, students receive their scores and are immediately placed on a custom learning path, which is aligned to skill areas in need of reinforcement. A posttest shows specific progress on all skills assessed on state tests.

Source: Educational Options, Inc., www.edoptions.com

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Discovery Education, Intel Encourage Students to Explore Their Curiosity Through New Online Resources

Discovery Education and Intel Corporation have launched Curiosity in the Classroom, a partnership designed to satisfy students' curiosity and extend learning concepts found in Discovery Channel's television series CURIOSITY. Examining a variety of topics ranging from the exploration of human evolution to how the universe was created, CURIOSITY seeks to answer some of life's greatest questions.

CuriosityintheClassroom.com, an interactive, science-based educational tool, brings concepts from the CURIOSITY series to life with curriculum examining such topics as artificial intelligence, communications, computers, nanotechnology and robotics. The site provides in-class and at-home resources to encourage insightful conversation between educators, students and families.

Additional resources provided by Curiosity in the Classroom include free lesson plans and videos aligned to national education standards for students in grades 6-12; career videos and quizzes to spark students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math; webinar series exploring some of life's most captivating questions; and family discussion guides that correspond to the compelling questions examined in the CURIOSITY series.

The partnership also features "Catch Me Being Curious," a national sweepstakes awarding one family a dream vacation of exploration and discovery. One grand prize winner will receive a family vacation to experience Space Camp in Huntsville, Ala., or sightsee in Washington, D.C., the Grand Canyon National Park or Yellowstone National Park. Twenty second-place winners will receive a Discovery Education prize pack. To enter the sweepstakes, visit CuriosityintheClassroom.com.

Source: Discovery Education, www.discoveryeducation.com

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The Library Corporation/TLC Releases LS2 Mobile for Android

The Library Corporation's LS2 Mobile app is now available for Android, offering millions of additional smart-phone users the ability to access their local library's catalog.

Originally released in November 2010 for Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, LS2 Mobile allows people to connect with their public or school libraries 24 hours a day from any place with mobile or Wi-Fi Internet service. It can search a library's entire catalog and reserve titles that a borrower can pick up at a more convenient time. Additionally, users can check their account balances and cancel holds on previously reserved titles.

The Android version of LS2 Mobile will work on any smart phone powered by Android 2.2 or higher, which covers most Android phones currently in use.

LS2 Mobile is available as a free download to library users. Borrowers who install the app from the Android Market or Apple's App Store can access the catalogs of any library that has purchased the LS2 Mobile module. interface for TLC's Library•Solution, Library•Solution for Schools, and CARL•X integrated library systems.

Source: The Library Corporation (TLC), www.tlcdelivers.com/

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Cool Links: Teaching to the Common Core Standards

Seen on Victor Rivero's edtechdigest.com: A great article/posting by Greg Limperis-Teaching to the Common Core Standards. He writes:

... My new role as the Supervisor of Instructional Technology within my district will have me walking through classrooms twice a week in order to see how teachers are teaching within our district and to give feedback on ways that we are using 21st-century skills well and ways we are aligning our teaching to the Common Core Standards. Part of what we have been asked to do is to ensure that teacher lesson books have lesson plans in them that align to these standards. As I have always done, I have begun to ask myself: how we can make this job easier for our teachers?

Knowing that my Android will be my lifeblood as I do these walkthroughs, I decided to look up some resources to help me make sure that I have a better grasp of all of the Common Core Standards for all grade levels-as I move through various grade level classrooms this year throughout the district. ...

Check out all those resources by reading the rest of Greg's article HERE at edtechdigest.com.

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DreamBox Learning Announces Common Core State Standards Alignment Tool

DreamBox Learning has announced the release of its Common Core State Standards Report. The new feature allows all educators using the DreamBox Learning K-3 Math platform to view a real-time report on individual student progress against the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). 

As students complete lessons in DreamBox, teachers can now access the Common Core State Standards Report directly from the DreamBox Learning Dashboard. The report supports and complements any basal math curriculum and will allow educators to see in real-time how any student in the class is doing compared to the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics.

DreamBox Learning K-3 Math aligns with the CCSSM in the areas of Counting and Cardinality; Comparing; Operations and Algebraic Thinking; and Number and Operations in Base Ten. The Common Core State Standards is a set of state-led mathematics and language arts education standards for grades K-12. Since its inception last year, 44 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. Virgin Islands have adopted Common Core State Standards for curriculum.

Further extending its support of CCSSM implementation, DreamBox Learning has made available a set of free Virtual Manipulatives, which are designed to address the domains and the Standards for Mathematical Practice reflected in the CCSSM.

Source: DreamBox Learning, www.dreambox.com

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ASCD Releases New Editions of Popular PD Online Courses

ASCD has released new editions of 12 of its online professional development courses. The second edition courses feature improved navigation, additional video content, and additional materials for download, including PDF readings and job-embedded resources that support educators as they implement their learning in the classroom.

Among the recently released second editions are three of ASCD's most popular courses: 

What Works in Schools: Translating Research into Action, 2nd Edition-Follow ASCD Author Robert Marzano as he shows how schools can create environments that help improve student learning and how teachers can use strategies to enhance communication among schools, parents, students and the community at large.

Assessment: Designing Performance Assessments, 2nd Edition-Connect student motivation and the types of assessment used in the classroom using comparisons and analysis of assessment types, as well as tools to tailor assessments.

Classroom Management: Building Effective Relationships, 2nd Edition-Explore strategies for managing classrooms and building supportive and engaging student-teacher relationships.

In addition, ASCD has updated the following valuable and engaging courses:

Assessment: Getting Started with Student Portfolios, 2nd Edition

Bullying: Taking Charge, 2nd Edition

Content-Based Instruction for English Language Learners, 2nd Edition

Classroom Management: Understanding Diverse Learning Needs, 2nd Edition

Inclusion: Implementing Strategies, 2nd Edition

Multiple Intelligences: Strengthening Your Teaching, 2nd Edition

Parents as Partners in Schooling, 2nd Edition

The Reflective Educator, 2nd Edition

Technology in Schools: A Balanced Perspective, 2nd Edition

Understanding Student Motivation, 2nd Edition

What Works in Schools: School Leadership in Action, 2nd Edition

Additional courses will be released this fall.

Since 1996, ASCD has provided its innovative PD Online series to educators across the globe. The series incorporates multimedia and digital content that fit the needs of almost any type and size of learning group-ranging from individual learners to entire districts and university programs, according to the announcement. The courses also allow states, districts, and schools to personalize and monitor professional development for individuals and groups of educators looking to earn college course or professional development credits.

In addition, ASCD's PD Online courses allow states, districts, and schools to personalize and monitor professional development for individual or groups of educators when and where it is most convenient and effective.

Visit www.ascd.org/pdonline for more information about PD Online courses.

Source: ASCD, www.ascd.org

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