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This Month‘s Featured Teaching and Learning Resources from NBC Learn

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Welcome Friends of NBC Learn!

Since the second week of May is PTA Teacher Appreciation Week, we’ve asked one of our newest employees — and a former teacher – to share her thoughts. Cyndy Harrison recently retired as a U.S. History teacher at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Houston and now conducts trainings with our schools and districts.

The way schools celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week varies across the country: sometimes it’s through gifts or a luncheon or a “jeans day” pass, but one thing is the same: it’s an opportunity to notice and appreciate your contribution to the life of a child.

My favorite part of Teacher Appreciation Week was receiving hand-written notes from students thanking me for being their teacher. Without fail, there was always a note from a particular student that I was unsure I was “reaching.” Those notes were the most special to me, and I will keep them always.

There are so many issues affecting teachers that it’s hard to focus on what really matters most: your impact on your students. It’s that one-to-one relationship you build with your students throughout the school year that will carry them through the rest of their formal education and in their lives. Here at NBC Learn, we value teachers’ opinions and suggestions because they help us improve our resources and help students become life-long learners. Please keep those great ideas coming by filling out our Contact Us form.

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, enjoy this playlist full of inspiring stories from teachers around the country. And on behalf of my colleagues here at NBC Learn, take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!

Cyndy Harrison signature

“Science of Golf” Special Collection Tees Off Again with New Videos

  Sxience of Golf

Looking for something to really hook your students?  NBC Learn is adding to its Special Collection, “Science of Golf,” produced in partnership with the United States Golf Association (USGA) and the Chevron Corporation, with ten more stories that explore the science, technology, engineering and math of golf.

The series features LPGA players Suzann Pettersen, Paula Creamer and Belén Mozo, as well as PGA pro and amateur golfers Drew Weaver, Mike Miller and Patrick Rodgers.  NBC Sports anchor Dan Hicks narrates the series.

Look for more videos to be posted on NBC Learn K-12 and NBC Learn Higher Ed in the weeks leading up to the United States Open Championship (June 12 – 15) and the United States Women’s Open (June 17 – 22) in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Each video will include related STEM lesson plans created by the curriculum specialists at the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Short versions of each story will also air on Morning Drive on the Golf Channel.

Science of Golf: Potential & Kinetic Energy
K-12 | HigherEd
Science of Golf: Torque & Moment of Inertia
K-12 | HigherEd
Science of Golf: Why Golf Balls Have Dimples
K-12 | HigherEd


Featured CueCards in May

60 Years ago: Brown v. Board of Education Decision, 1954

May 17th marks 60 years since the landmark Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education ended legal segregation in America. In those sixty years, NBC News has reported on school desegregation and on the great struggles that ensued. In our playlist, Legacy of Brown v. Board you’ll see Chet Huntley interviewing the original plaintiffs in the Brown case, as well as reports on the effects of the decision on schools 25 and 50 years later. Watch with your students, and ask them what they see as the lasting effects of the Brown decision.

65 years ago this month: May 2, 1949
Arthur Miller wins Pulitzer Prize for Death of a Salesman

At its first staging in 1949, Death of a Salesman won every award it was nominated for, including a Pulitzer Prize, a New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, and five Tony Awards. Miller’s powerful tale of the failed Willy Loman and his sons continues to resonate with readers around the world.

Miller Says His Plays Are Still Timely
K-12 | HigherEd
Miller on Life In and Out of the Theater
K-12 | HigherEd
Miller on His Autobiography

K-12 | HigherEd

Two world leaders who changed history were first elected in the month of May.
Click on the playlists below to learn more about Margaret Thatcher and Nelson Mandela.

35 years ago this month: May 4, 1979
Margaret Thatcher becomes first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

Thatcher, the leader of the Conservative Party, rode into office in 1979 on public anger over inflation and unemployment. With a strong belief in the free market and restrained government spending, the “Iron Lady” pushed through sweeping budget cuts and took on British trade unions. Her policies, known as “Thatcherism,” are still felt in England to this day.

20 years ago this month: May 10, 1994
Nelson Mandela is inaugurated as South Africa‘s first black president

Mandela’s African National Congress won a sweeping victory in April, 1994, and the newly elected National Assembly named Mandela as South Africa’s first black president.

NBC Learn K-12 Subscriber Spotlight: Demonstrating Processes of the Federal Government with NBC Learn

Jonathan Schinnick profile picture Meet Jonathan Schinnick, a teacher at Hereford High School in Parkton, Maryland. Schinnick teaches a wide range of subjects, including Psychology, Economics, Juvenile Justice, and A.P. U.S Government. He uses NBC Learn in his classroom presentations to give students real-life examples of discussion subjects.

“The best part is, once a video is over, the discussion doesn’t end. It elicits a continuation of what my students saw in the video, or it can lead to a new topic of discussion.”

Recently when Schinnick’s class was concluding a unit on bureaucracy, he used NBC Learn videos in a new way.

“I gave the students a category on a worksheet, essentially a blank canvas, and had each student go off and get lost in the topic on NBC Learn. After 30-45 minutes they explained what they’d found on the topic and how it related to what we had discussed. This ‘flips the script’ and makes them the presenters on the topic instead of me. Instead of me saying, ‘OK, we’re done. Now why does this matter?’ they discovered the real life significance for themselves."

In his AP U.S Government, Schinnick used reports about the impeachment of President Bill Clinton to demonstrate the political process.

“The process is boring to explain step-by-step, so instead, I explain it with clips. The first clip demonstrates the process in the House, how the trial is executed, and then how the impeachment process is done in the Senate. Finally, I show a video of the Secretary of the Senate taking the actual verdict acquitting Clinton and driving it to the White House. The videos prove that what my students are studying isn’t something a person made up and put in a textbook.”

Schinnick also used several clips (in the playlist below) to examine the Supreme Court nomination and confirmation process. They helped his students “realize how exasperating and political the process can be.”

Because Schinnick uses NBC Learn to teach so many subjects, he uses the playlist feature to keep his videos organized. He also finds the organization of the website to be helpful

“I love the layout for the U.S. Government and Politics section. It’s arranged exactly like my AP course. The descriptions are precise, and I can find a quick, reliable clip that is relevant. It’s a great resource to be able to go to, not only for historical events, but for things that just happened.”

Jonathan’s Supreme Court Playlist

NBC Learn Higher Ed Subscriber Spotlight: “NBC Learn can communicate topics that I need to address concisely”

Brandon Jones profile picture Peggy Holzweiss teaches a graduate-level class called “Internship Resource Management in Higher Education” at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Holzweiss assigns NBC Learn videos as homework and uses them to introduce topics and prompt discussion. She says NBC Learn sets the stage for what students are learning in a short amount of time.

“It’s hard for my students to imagine something like the Kent State shooting happening today. But with NBC Learn, I can transport them to that time and contextualize what was going on in the world at that time.

NBC Learn: How do your students respond to NBC Learn videos?

Holzweiss: “NBC Learn videos are always in the form of a story. My students pay attention to stories because there is a natural connection between people.  NBC Learn videos are tailored to their attention span, and they love having a visual component to balance out their reading.”

NBC Learn: How do you use NBC Learn videos?

Holzweiss: “When we discuss how society views higher education, I can show specific examples of the state of funding in higher education. I want my students to see how people outside the world of academia are thinking, and put things into perspective for the students.”

NBC Learn: Why do you use NBC Learn?

Holzweiss: “I really like NBC Learn’s brevity and quality. Combining those two things is incredibly important when you are teaching. It helps the students find a balance between the text and the real world. Whenever I can add a component that helps them enjoy the class like NBC Learn does, I am certainly going to use it.”

Peggy’s Playlist: Higher Education in the News

How are you using NBC Learn as a teaching and learning resource? E-mail us at newsletter@nbclearn.com. Send us summaries of lessons or units enriched with NBC Learn resources, examples of NBC Learn videos that especially engaged your students, or the names of candidates for future K-12 or Higher Ed Subscriber Spotlights.

Want to read more Subscriber Spotlights? On the Home page of both NBC Learn K-12 and NBC Learn Higher Ed, look under the heading NBC Learn In the Classroom.

Education Nation Parent Toolkit Twitter Chat

Parent Toolkit The "summer slide" applies to more than just academics. While children can fall two months behind in math skills during the summer, research also shows children gain more weight over the summer than they do during the school year. Education Nation (@EducationNation) will be hosting its first-ever Parent Toolkit Twitter chat on May 8th at 9pmET. We‘ll be talking about the summer slide with Parent Toolkit Expert and Educational Psychologist Michele Borba (@MicheleBorba). Log on to Twitter and send us your questions now using #ToolkitTalk.
Webby Award Logo And we‘re proud that the Parent Toolkit was honored with a 2014 Webby Award in the Family/Parenting category! Please visit the Parent Toolkit at http://www.parenttoolkit.com.

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