Annenberg Media Update November 2005

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  • Date: Tue, 01 Nov 2005 12:34:42 -0500

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*** In the Spotlight for November ***

 -  Influenza: Increasing Our Knowledge
 -  Math, Science, Testing, and Learning
 -  This Month on the Channel
 -  National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month
 -  Connect Learning with Special Days
 -  Journey South with the Whooping Cranes


The bird flu: Where did it come from and where is it headed? As new
outbreaks of the deadly H5N1 avian influenza are reported throughout Asia
and Eastern Europe, many are seeking answers.

> A discussion of evolving diseases, including influenza, can be found in
our series "Rediscovering Biology: Molecular to Global Perspectives"
<> Program 5, "Emerging
Infectious Diseases." The program shows how viruses infect cells and mutate
into new forms. On the series Web site at
<>, find background text,
an animation on how viruses attack and invade cells, and transcripts of
interviews with researchers doing the ground level work that may lead to
future vaccines.

> More discussion of microbes and their ever-changing relationship to
disease can be found in "Unseen Life on Earth: An Introduction to
Microbiology" <> Program 12,
"Microbes and Human Diseases." Other programs in the series cover the basics
of human interaction with microbial organisms.


As fall progresses, teachers gear up preparation for spring's standardized
tests. Yet student performance in mathematics and science continues to be a
source of controversy. At a time when tests are proliferating, standards are
changing, and scores can be difficult to interpret, our resources related to
testing can help sort out the issues:

> "Testing...Testing...Testing," Program 16 of "The Merrow Report"
<>, quizzes six test
writers as an entry into how and why standardized tests are used -- and what
they really measure.

Testing & Assessment
Objections Over State Testing Are Widespread
Resources and Advice For New Teachers

> "Testing Our Schools," Program 49 of "The Merrow Report" <>, focuses on the impact of frequent testing on teaching and learning in schools around the U.S. **"Testing Our Schools" airs on the Channel on November 22 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern.

************************************************************************** Retention - Who Will benefit?

Resources and Advice For New Teachers
Retention And Social Promotion

> "School Testing--Behind the Numbers"
<> invites viewers to an
hour-long panel discussion of administrators, experts, journalists,
policymakers, teachers, parents, and students who offer competing
interpretations of test scores in the imaginary state of "Idyllia."

> An interesting discussion comparing American students' performance in math
and science with that of other countries -- and offering insights into
causes and solutions -- can be found in "The International Picture,"
Workshop 8 of our series, "Looking at Learning...Again, Part 1"
<>. A good list of background
readings on how students learn can be found on the series Web site at

The following series and programs probe the roots of the problem while
giving teachers the tools they need to improve student performance:

> "Assessment in Math and Science: What's the Point?" (K-12)
> "Minds of Our Own" (K-12) <>
> "Private Universe Project in Mathematics" (K-12)
> "Mathematics Assessment: A Video Library, K-12"
> "The Missing Link" (middle school)
> "Learning Science Through Inquiry" (K-8)
<> (In particular, see
Workshop 7, "Assessing Inquiry.")

For additional workshops and courses that can enhance your teaching of
science or math, browse our resources at
<>. Or, see our full list
of workshops and courses at
<>. To register free
of charge, go to <>.


The following series begin this month on the Annenberg Channel. Be sure to
scroll down on the linked pages for broadcast dates and times. Consult the
full broadcast schedule <>
for many more programs and partial series airing in November.

> "Connecting with the Arts: A Teaching Practices Library, 6-8"

What is Art?

> "Exploring the World of Music" (college/high school)


Are you interested in the research that shows how
music education can make your smarter? Find all
the relevant websites that help teachers integrate the
internet into their music classroom.

Arts based Curriculum

> "The Learning Classroom: Theory Into Practice" (K-12)
> "Minds of Our Own" (K-12) <>
> "The Whole Child: A Caregiver's Guide to the First Five Years"

Educational CyberPlayGround
How does the Brain Work?

> "Literary Visions" (college/high school)
> "Making Meaning in Literature: A Video Library, Grades 6-8"
> "News Writing" (college/high school)
> "Signature: Contemporary Writers" (college/high school)
> "Teaching Reading K-2: A Library of Classroom Practices"
> "Voices & Visions" (college level)
<> (Check schedule for program

> "Against All Odds: Inside Statistics" (college/high school)
> "Learning Math: Geometry" (K-8)

> "Journey North" (K-12) <>
> "Planet Earth" (college/high school)
> "Teaching High School Science"
<> (Check schedule for
program order.)

> "Discovering Psychology: Updated Edition" (college/high school)
> "Human Geography: People, Places, and Change" (college/high school)
> "Inside the Global Economy" (college/high school)
> "The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century" (high school/college)
> "Rural Communities: Legacy & Change" (college/high school)

Catch the live stream of the Channel at
<>, closed captioned at

If your school is interested in receiving the Annenberg Channel, go to
<> for requirements and
licensing procedures.


November is National American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month.
Celebrate and learn about the culture, history, and contributions of the
native peoples of the Americas with our educational resources.

> "New World Encounters," Program 1 of "A Biography of America"
<> (Web site
<>), makes clear that
American history does not begin with Columbus. The program briefly traces
the development of civilizations in the Americas, then discusses the
disastrous impact of the Spanish conquest on Indian societies and culture.

> "Bridging World History"
<> (Web site
<>) includes
civilizations of the Americas -- Mississippian, Anasazi, Mayan, Incan -- in
its topical survey of human history. In particular, see Units 2, 6, 8, 9,
10, and 11.

> Our series "Rural Communities: Legacy & Change"
<> discusses issues now
facing Indian communities. In Program 4, "Legacy," Maudie Shaw of the Paiute
Nation in Nevada discusses how changes in her people's way of life have
whittled away what can be passed on to the next generation. Program 5, "Act
Locally...and Invest," shows the Penobscot Nation's proactive use of human
and natural resources in Maine.

> "Alaska: The Last Frontier?", Program 5 of "Human Geography: People,
Places, and Change" <>,
looks at the history of settlement in Alaska, as well as tensions between
those seeking to exploit the region's natural resources and the indigenous
people's way of life. This program airs on the Channel November 24 at 10:00
a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern.

> Throughout the programs of "Out of the Past"
<>, archaeologists discover
the ruins of the Aztec and Incan empires, the Mayan center of the Copán, and
other societies of ancient Americas.

> In "Historical Change," Program 3 of "Social Studies in Action: A Teaching
Practices Library, K-12"
<>, teacher David Kitts
offers his first-grade students in Santo Domingo, New Mexico -- whose first
language is Keres -- a sense of historical change and continuity through
books, language, and a timeline. For lesson ideas and information on
standards, go to <>.

Several of our literature series explore the experience of Native Americans
through fiction, poetry, contextual study, and authors' unique perspectives:

> "American Passages: A Literary Survey"
<> Program 1, "Native
Voices," features distinguished Native American authors Simon J. Ortiz, Joy
Harjo, Paula Gunn Allen, and more. Find a collection of author biographies
and information on the Chippewa Songs and Ghost Dance Songs on the American
Passages Web site at <>.
Explore the site for additional teaching materials, including artifacts in
the searchable archive at

> Literature professor Greg Sarris introduces Native American Pomo baskets
to help teachers enhance their reading of American literature texts in
"Artifacts & Fiction: Workshop in American Literature"
<> Program 8, "Ceremonial
Artifacts." Find resources for teachers on the series Web site at

> Delve into the works of North American Native authors Shirley Sterling
<>, Laura Tohe
<>, and Joseph Bruchac
<> with our series
"Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades"
<>, new in 2005.

> With "The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in High
School" <>, learn through
the writings of authors James Welch
<>, Mourning Dove
<>, and N. Scott Momaday

> "Literary Visions" <>
Program 9, "Suggested Meanings: Symbolism and Allegory in Short Fiction,"
features an interview with N. Scott Momaday, who discusses Native American
mythology in his Pulitzer Prize-winning book, "House Made of Dawn."

With a broadband Internet connection, these programs can be viewed anytime
-- FREE -- through Video on Demand. To get started, go to



Why don't people vote? 50% of all Americans over 65 years old
are functionally illiterate.

60% of the Urban School Children do not graduate High School
of the 40% that do they are only reading at 4th grade level.

Find out more about literacy and approaches to improving it.
Learn how to successfully bridge from  the Dialect Speakers'
home language to the Standard.



National Family Literacy Day (November 1)

> Watch "Teaching Reading K-2 Workshop"
<> Workshop 8, "Connecting
School and Home" <>. The
program explores the links between literacy at home and at school, and how
teachers can communicate with parents in ways that encourage literacy
building practices.

National Young Readers Day (November 8)

> "Teaching Reading K-2: A Library of Classroom Practices"
<> (Web site
<>) begins on the Channel
November 7 at 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. Eastern.

Election Day (November 8)

> In "Rural Communities: Legacy & Change"
<> Program 8, "Hereby
Notified and Called To Meet," see how democracy is enacted first-hand by the
people through local structures in rural areas of the U.S.

> "Democracy in America" <>
gives an overview of the two-stage electoral campaign system in Program 13,
"Elections: The Maintenance of Democracy." Find more at
<>, including downloadable
readings (Tocquesville, Machiavelli, Jefferson, and Douglass) and a Critical
Thinking Activity.

> View an entire 4-part high school lesson in "Electoral Politics," Workshop
2 of "Making Civics Real: A Workshop for Teachers"
<>. The lesson culminates
in a student dialogue with real candidates in the 2002 mayoral election in
Newark, New Jersey. Find the lesson plan and essential readings on the
series Web site at <>.

> Math meets voting in "The Impossible Dream," Program 12 of our
instructional series, "For All Practical Purposes: Introduction to
Contemporary Mathematics" <>.

> Send your students to "election day" at our online Statistics exhibit
<> to learn about polling,
random sampling, confidence, and errors.

Veteran's Day (November 11)

> Review the complexities of the last century's conflicts with "People's
Century" <>. Listen to
first-hand interviews at the Web site for the series at

> Learn more about America's involvement in past wars with "A Biography of
America" <>; Web site

Africa Industrialization Day (November 20)

> "Inside the Global Economy"
<> Program 10,
"Developing Countries," includes a discussion of foreign aid to Tanzania and
economic and political obstacles to development.

> Our series "The Africans"
<> presents an
informative and frank view of the continent, including progress and
challenges along the road to industrialization and economic
self-sufficiency. In particular, see Program 4, "Tools of Exploitation,"
Program 7, "A Garden of Eden in Decay?", and Program 9, "Global Africa." To
purchase the series, go to

> See "The Power of Place: Geography for the 21st Century"
<> Program 20, "Developing
Countries." The first part of the program explains how the commercialization
of cocoa and coffee in Cote d'Ivoire has driven industrialization and
economic development, though unevenly. Part two focuses on Gabon's economic
gains and setbacks.

Thanksgiving (November 24)

> Find teaching tips and artifacts related to the Puritans and Thanksgiving
holiday in Author Activities
<> on the American
Passages Web site.

> To observe a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner in the countryside,
see "Connect With English"
<> Episode 37,

> Teacher John Sinnett incorporates the Thanksgiving holiday into
kindergarten reading and writing lessons in "Teaching Reading K-2: A Library
of Classroom Practices"
<> Program 2, "Writer's
Journal." Find more on the series Web site at

For in-depth Video on Demand information and troubleshooting, consult our
FAQ at <>.


Follow the flight of whooping cranes -- saved by conservation from the brink
of extinction -- south to the Gulf Coast wetlands. Lessons, activities, and
information are available on the Journey North Web site at
<>. Don't miss the
programs of "Journey North"
<> airing on the Channel
November 3 at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.

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