Posts Tagged ‘Professional Development’

Farewell to 2011

Monday, December 12th, 2011

I realize that I am way behind, once again, on updating my blog. I have been spending a tremendous amount of time in the lovely southeastern part of our state. It’s been so fun visiting with the media specialists and presenting PD workshops to the teachers of my region. Some of my time has been spent conducting video production workshops to students in the schools. That’s always a pleasurable bonus.

The Association for Middle Level Education/NMSA conference was held in Louisville this year. It was a different experience for me, because I was talking with teachers from all over the United States. We visited with so many educators that my head was spinning. It was exhilarating to work in such a crowded booth and to share in the excitement as we talked about our resources. As you know, many are available to everyone. Teachers from all over were amazed to have free access to so many Kentucky resources. I saw some of you, too, and that was the best part of all.

There have been other ventures that have been occupying my time. We’re developing a collection of video production professional development modules that will eventually find its home in PBS LearningMedia. This project has been exciting, and our own Brett Smith is working on these as I write. I believe it will be a very helpful resource for teachers who are implementing video production into their instructional activities. It’s such a powerful way students can connect with content across the curriculum. So, be watching for these to be released in fall 2012 (fingers are crossed).

Also, the sustainable gardening production and editing is underway. I can’t wait for it to be available. It’s going to be beautiful. The footage of teachers and students working in their school gardens while learning about science, math, and nutrition is amazing. This resource will be useful to intermediate and middle school classrooms across the curriculum. I have learned a lot. It’s always a powerful and spiritual experience to watch gardens transform through the seasons. The student involvement and excitement was the best part. 2011 was definitely a year of growth.

Remember when 2012 seemed so far away? I imagined we would be driving hovercrafts or riding on a maglev, as they do in other parts of our world, but I never imagined technology would be taking us to where we are today. Though it would be fun to visit schools on a maglev, I believe that the way education has embraced technology has made teaching and learning so meaningful, engaging, and exciting. I get a kick out of trying to predict the next new, big thing that will blow us all away, but it is getting more and more challenging for me to imagine. KET has been treading new ground with some remarkably innovative resources. I am sure you have been exploring some of these, and you may have even experienced one or more of our self-paced PD modules. This jump has been so rewarding for us, and we hope you are enjoying the products, too. I am including a comprehensive list of our resources in this post. I just know that as soon as I hit “Publish” there will be a new one to add.

Looking back on 2011, I am reminded that all of the activities I mentioned above make my job so meaningful. I learn something every time I enter a school, and am blessed to work with such wonderful teachers, students, and administrators. Even the drive through such beautiful country provides serenity (except when I meet a coal truck on a impossibly narrow, insanely curvy, and steeply sloped road). I must add that after having done this for over 12 years, my driving skills are now quite sharp, like those curves. And I can’t not mention that my colleagues are all amazingly talented. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my job!

I hope that as you reflect on your year, you, too, will find many blessings. As a brave, new year awaits, I wish you peace, happiness, rest, and good health this Holiday season and beyond.

Instructional Resources: STEM

Everyday Science 

KET Image Bank 

KET STEM Collection

Tunneling for Water 

Water Solutions 

Instructional Resources: Arts/Social Studies

African/African American Culture

Artsin the Renaissance

The Civil War Era 

Drama Based on Historical Characters

Early America

Japanese Culture

Kentucky Appalachian Culture

Native American Culture 

Instructional Resources: World Languages

Languages and Culture: Spanish

Professional Development: Self-Paced Modules

Kentucky’s Unbridled Learning

·       Transforming Education in Kentucky

·       Program Reviews: Purpose, Process, and Practice

·       In Development: Operation Preparation

·       In Development: Formative Assessment

·       In Development: New to Kentucky (with the Education Professional Standards Board)

GED Geometry Professional Development 

Increasing Physical Activity in Schools

Using Scale City to Teach Proportional Reasoning

Professional Development: Resource Collections

Characteristics of Highly Effective Teaching and Learning

Resources for WorkKeys and GED Preparation

·       Applied Mathematics

·       Locating Information

·       Reading for Information

Distance Learning Courses

·       Physics

·       German

·       Latin

·       Humanities

Sampling of Other Online Resources

The following two examples are highly interactive and innovative STEM resources:

·       Scale City: The Road to Proportional Reasoning

·       Virtual Physics Labs 

KET’s Virtual Physics Labs, designed originally for physics distance learning courses, are being collected into a new website for use by high school and college physics teachers across the country. The virtual apparatus is designed to simulate real lab apparatus and in most cases to extend it.

These instructional resources provide an example of KET’s extensive library of arts resources and electronic field trips:

·       Arts Toolkit 

·       Electronic Field Trip to the Belle of Louisville

KET’s award-winning professional development resources are available on CD-ROM, DVD, and/or online, and many were produced for national distribution:

·       Raindrops to Rivers: Teaching Students about Nonpoint Water Pollution

·       Art to Heart: Early Childhood Creativity

Literacy Professional Development (produced in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Education):

·       Literacy Leadership: Stories of Schoolwide Success

·       Literacy Strategies in Action: Resources for Primary Teachers available on CD-ROM

·       Literacy Without Limits: Help for Struggling Students, Grade 4-12

Writing PD (produced for Annenberg Media):

·       Inside Writing Communities

·       Write in the Middle


Plant a Tree

Monday, April 19th, 2010

This is a very special time of the year for me. For many reasons. On Arbor Day in 1997 (which was April 25th that year), my husband and I planted a tree during our wedding ceremony in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was a Mimosa. Mimosas are prolific. This year, Arbor Day falls on April 30th, but we always celebrate it on the 25th.  Arbor Day doesn’t get the attention that it once did. It used to show up on my calendar every April, but now Earth Day (April 22) rules. That’s okay. I love the Earth, too, so we celebrate both days at my house. Nothing wrong with that. We have made many changes in our lifestyle over the past 13 years. It’s amazing how awareness can reveal areas that need improvement. We are still finding ways to reduce our environmental footprint.

Right now, I have a pile of materials to be recycled that reaches halfway up the wall in our recycling room. That doesn’t include the bottles and cans and plastic that the recycling center picks up every other week! I really need to get to the recycling center, or my family will start calling me “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout” instead of just “Cynthia” or “Mommy”. That’s one way I will observe the day. I have a lot of electronic devices that no longer work. I need to take those to the nearest facility.

I think the most fun ways that we will celebrate are by adding the tomato and pepper plants to the garden (I think the nighttime temperatures will be 50 degrees or above by the weekend) and by helping others plant trees. We have too many trees to add another to our lawn, but we will collect the saplings to share with friends and family. So, as the Mimosa continues to reproduce, we are spreading the seeds of our trees that provide us with serenity, entertainment, and comfortable shelter.

How will you celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day? You might want to see how you can join the Earth Day Campaign. You may also want to take the Energy Star Pledge. One thing that we have done that has made a noticeable difference on our end is that we have installed CFL bulbs in all fixtures except for the bulbs in the dining room dimmer and the refrigerator. Doing this has been a win-win for us because it has saved us a lot on our electric bills. We replaced them a package at a time as the incandescent bulbs burned out. It really didn’t cost that much extra, and the new bulbs last so much longer. You may want to get your classrooms involved in the various ways to observe these two special days. You can do that through our resources, too.

KET celebrates Earth Day! We have many wonderful programs that you can use in your classroom to commemorate the power and beauty of Mother Nature. Here are just a few of the fantastic resources available to you and your students.

KET’s Electronic Field Trip to the Watershed takes students to urban and rural settings across Kentucky to see how water from rain and snow is collected and funneled into common waterways—and how human activities affect the quality of water everywhere.

The PD component, Raindrops to Rivers, uses authentic video of Kentucky classrooms to showcase high quality instruction on watersheds and nonpoint source pollution. Also included are links to Kentucky Core Content and Program of Studies, lesson materials, and additional resources.

KET ED On Demand:

  • Green Careers are a high-demand job track for students from a wide range of academic disciplines and with a wide variety of interests. This series provides information about the educational requirements for entering the various fields. Young people are encouraged to take advantage of internships and part-time jobs to get hands-on experience while pursuing their studies. By becoming stewards of our environment, young people who choose a green career can help solve the some of the greatest problems of our time while finding work that matches their personal interests and values. Grades 5-12.
  • Forest Family Forever (with Ed Asner) is a beautiful blend of live footage and animation that tells the story of a 1,000-year-old grandfather tree who teaches his sapling grandson about the wonders of a variety of rainforests and what kids can do to save them. This 15-minute video is designed to be used in elementary classrooms.
  • KET STEM Learning Objects are some excellent resources that you can use anytime, including some that fit perfectly with Earth Day. Grades K-12.
  • North American Biomes series for grades 4-8, provides a comparative study of North American biomes, examining each biome’s diverse plant and animal communities and their interrelationships. The series begins with an overview of the criteria that distinguish one biome from another and helps students understand plant and animal adaptations.

Kentucky’s National Parks has a webpage about why we should preserve our parks. Of course, I have mentioned many times in the past that there is a terrific Teacher’s Lodge on the site with amazing accommodations. You will enjoy your stay.

Don’t forget that the entire Planet Earth series is now available on KET EncycloMedia, as well as many other learning assets.

Earth Days: American Experience – Director Robert Stone traces the origins of the modern environmental movement through the eyes of nine Americans who propelled the movement from its beginnings in the 1950s. [cc] American Experience

  • KET: Monday, April 19 at 9:00 pm EDT
  • KET2: Tuesday, April 20 at 1:00 am EDT
  • KET2: Wednesday, April 21 at 3:00 am EDT
  • KET2: Wednesday, April 21 at 9:00 pm EDT
  • KET2: Friday, April 23 at 2:00 am EDT
  • KET2: Saturday, April 24 at 3:00 am EDT

So get out there an enjoy the freshness of the Spring air and all of the goodness that the earth has to offer. Plant a seed and watch it grow. It’s therapeutic.

New Year’s Resolutions Become a Reality with KET’s Resources

Tuesday, January 5th, 2010

It’s already 2010? What a frigid start! use2008 Jan-Feb0132009 was so busy and passed by with the speed of light. I find myself having a hard time remembering that it’s 2010 when writing the date. It seemed so far away just a few years ago. I had an exciting start to the New Year. I worked with some teachers in Knott Co. on Jan. 4th – the first day back from a rejuvenating break. It was an interesting drive down, but well worth the trip. Each time I venture out into the schools, I am reminded of how lucky I am to work with teachers and administrators whose fresh ideas and enthusiasm keep the education wheels turning. It’s going to be a powerfully productive year, I believe. KET’s wheels are also constantly turning with you. What a great partnership we have with our schools, communities, other educational institutions, and the Kentucky Department of Education. It’s rewarding to watch these partnerships develop and grow. This year is going to bring even more exciting new projects. I can just feel it.

Have you made a Professional New Year’s Resolution? Keep in mind that KET can help you keep that resolution. You might even extend your goals to include exploring one new KET Education Resource each month. This may include resources from: KET ED On Demand; KET’s Arts Toolkits and Kentucky Muse; KET Distance Learning; our Professional Development resources; your KET Education Consultant; Scale City; KET’s new Kentucky’s National Parks Teacher Resources; KET EncycloMedia; the Electronic Field Trips; and for President’s Day, our Abraham Lincoln interactive website. There have been so many new resources unveiled this year that it’s hard to keep up with it all.  One of my resolutions for 2010 is to journey deeper into our newest productions, websites, and projects. Let your consultant know if you have any questions about any of our resources. There may be some you have never even heard about. Check out our website to find out more.

In other news, Kentucky’s Highly Skilled Educators visited KET in December 2009 to explore our plethora of educational resources. KET Education Consultant, Missi Baker, produced a nice video that highlights the day with some participant comments. I think it is a terrific way to show how enthusiastic educators are about our resources. I enjoyed meeting our visitors. Missi has posted her video on her blog for all to see.  Check it out.

Happy New Year!  May it be the best for you and yours. Stay warm. Hope for an end to this deep freeze and no ice storms, please.

Heroes of the 2009 Ice Storm
Heroes of the 2009 Ice Storm

600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951