Professional Development

Acquiring Language

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Watch this video in which a child development expert explains the "built-in" mechanisms very young children have that allow them to acquire and manipulate language to fit different situations.

MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Up Close

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MARTHA SPEAKS, a PBS KIDS television series, aims to help children ages 4–7 build their oral vocabulary—an important early literacy skill. Over 500 students in schools in Leon and Gadsden Counties, Florida, have participated in the MARTHA SPEAKS Reading Buddies Program over the past three years. In this video from WFSU, media specialist Sherri Amundson and fourth-grade teachers Brian Lassiter and Polani Kimberl, describe the fun—and learning—that takes place during the program: First-grade and fourth-grade students pair up once a week to watch a MARTHA SPEAKS video, read together, practice vocabulary words, and do activities. The video shows the bond that forms between younger and older students, and demonstrates how the program brings about improvements not only in reading and vocabulary, but in social skills as well.

Kristina Dobberstein: 1st Grade | Inside the Classroom: ELA

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Watch first grade in action. Learn from Mrs. Dobberstein to nurture basic reading and student skills using narratives, opinions, and factual texts. 

Tape Diagrams: Modeling 2-Digit Addition & Subtraction

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Your students continue to use tape diagrams as a visual tool to solve word problems. Now, they solve for an unknown in any position. 

This video demonstrates Common Core Grade 2 Standard Operations & Algebraic Thinking: Represent and solve problems involving addition and subtraction.

Classroom Close Up NJ | Cafe Kids

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Visit Tulsa Trail Elementary School's student-run cafe. Through their job responsibilities at the cafe, the students learn life skills alongside math, language arts, speech, and art.

Food Webs and Food Chains l MEECS Eco Bio Video Lesson 4

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Students work in small groups to identify and label food chains and food webs on the Michigan DNR Non-Game Wildlife posters. Students then connect food chains to develop the concept of food webs. Students answer the essential question: How do living things obtain the energy they need to live? (This video lesson highlights activities 4 and 5 from lesson 2 of the Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum Support (MEECS) Ecosystems and Biodiversity Unit.)

MEECS Energy Resources l Investigating the Generation of Electricity: Video Lesson 4

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Students investigate energy generation through a hands-on activity and take part in a discussion about how a turbine and generator transform electricity. (This video lesson highlights activity 1 from lesson 3 of the MEECS Energy Resources Unit.)

Youth Mental Health Focus Group: Students

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In this focus group, high school students discuss a variety of issues related to youth mental health. The video can be beneficial to multiple audiences.

School districts, PTA/PTO meetings, grandparent support groups, foster care training programs, and mental health providers would benefit from experiencing the honest, heartfelt input of youth and their views on mental illness and the struggles they face in everyday situations. Youth input could result in supportive and change-producing interventions that meet actual youth needs rather than the adults’ perceived needs of youth.

It will be important to remind adults that youth today have very different perspectives and deal with unique stressors that are different from the adult generation. Being non-judgmental, empathetic, and compassionate about their struggles is necessary in understanding and intervening with youth of today.

Adults can be advocates, reduce stigma, and make mental health matter. And a teacher can be the one person who makes a difference for a student.

Youth in general would also benefit from the insight provided by the participants in the video. Hearing the challenges that their peers encounter can stimulate and encourage open discussion about individual, unique struggles that viewers face. The video can also be used by focus group facilitators.

During these types of discussions with youth, it is necessary to set healthy boundaries. Remind youth to be respectful of the subject matter and differences of opinions and experiences that may exist. Encourage them to avoid using names or identifying information when describing another person’s experience. During focus groups, always remind youth to protect and maintain confidentiality so that each person feels safe in providing open and honest input.

Therapies for Anxiety: Harmony Farm | You Are Not Alone

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Harmony Farm in Georgetown, Kentucky, helps children and teens resolve anxiety issues through a playful, relaxed atmosphere that includes art and horses, plus counseling. This video segment is part of You Are Not Alone, a youth mental health series produced by KET.

Bernetta Snell: 8th Grade | Inside the Classroom: ELA

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Master the requirements of eighth grade language arts from Mrs. Snell. Learn about reading skills eighth graders need and the practical ways parents can create teachable moments at home.

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