Friday, May 29, 2020

Useful Information In and Out of the Classroom 05/29/2020

Here are some interesting sites that I’ve found this week, thanks to my PLN. As a teacher, I feel we have to keep up to date concerning research in our field and current issues in the education system. I hope some of these inspire you, inform you, and even have you asking questions. Thank you for coming by and visiting!

Note: Each resource is labeled with a level and subject area to make it easier to use.

Levels:  E: Elementary; M: Middle; H: High; G: General, all levels; SN: Special Needs; T: Teachers

Subject Areas: LA: Language Arts, English, Reading, Writing; M: Math; S: Science; Health; SS: Social Studies, Current Events; FA: Fine Arts; Music, Art, Drama; FL: Foreign Language; PE: Physical Ed; C: Career; A: All

#ArtJumpStart- “It all begins with an idea. #ArtJumpStart is a collection of easy art projects to try at home using materials from your recycling. Download the full collection as a PDF or browse the images below” (L:G;SA:FA)

The 5 Clue Challenge – “All over the world, people live in diverse regions, and climates with different animals, plants, and interesting nuances. As I have traveled the world working with teachers and students, I have tried to bring experiences back to my own classes. Below you'll find short videos where you will get 5 clues to guess a location, animal, or person. Some videos were created by me as I traveled. Others were submitted to me by teachers and children from around the globe. Your mission is to do research and figure out the answer to each challenge in as few clues as possible. Have fun!” (L:G;SA:A)

Cat in the Hat Builds That – “Do you want a science app? The Cat in the Hat gives you that with a tap! Kids play and learn in their backyard, to see how science is fun, not hard! Based on the PBS KIDS series, “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That,” this app introduces pre-k kids to science inquiry and engineering (STEM) concepts through games tailored to their learning progress. Kids can build bridges, explore friction through slides and sort fun objects and tools in fantastical lands along with the Cat in the Hat, Nick and Sally. As kids play, they earn rewards to decorate their treehouse and backyard, and unlock games that let them tinker and explore in their own way. Includes simple and fun hands-on activities that parents and kids can do together, extending the STEM fun to home and everyday materials.” (L:E;SA:S)

15 Online Summer Learning Opportunities – “It's that time of year again for my annual list of online summer learning opportunities or programs.  This is especially prevalent w/ the COVID-19 "double whammy" that is happening w/ school closures around the world, economic downturn, and high possibility of summer learning loss for students.  These programs help fill a gap that sometimes is lacking over the summer months and best of all can be done at the comfort from home.” (L:G;SA:A)

Journey North – “Tracking migration and seasons…Use News Updates to drive instruction. Each update includes a journal page with a question to explore, an activity to try, a map to analyze and more. Over the season, the journal becomes a workplace where students explore ever-changing events, record compelling questions, formulate hypotheses, and document discoveries.”  (L:G;SA:LA,S)

Original photo by Pat Hensley

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Michelle Kwan

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, here is some more information about another famous Asian American that you might not know much about.

Michelle Kwan was one of America’s most popular figure skater and has won numerous Olympic medals.

Kwan was born in 1980 in California to parents who immigrated from Hong Kong. She grew up speaking Chinese and English. She started figure skating when she was five years old. Her older sister Karen and her practiced three to four hours every day. It was very expensive and when Kwan was ten, her parents couldn’t afford a coach, but a member of the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club helped them out. In 2009, she earned a bachelor’s degree in international studies with a minor in political science from Josef Korbel School of International Studies. In 2013, she married Clay Pell, an American lawyer and former director for strategic planning on the National Security staff at the White House. After four years of marriage, they filed for divorce in 2017.

Kwan won five World Championships and nine US Championships. She holds the record for the most consecutive US titles and consecutive4 US Championship medals.

In 2006, Kwan was named as a public diplomacy ambassador representing American values and traveled a lot.

In 2008, She became a member of the Committee of 100, which is a Chinese American organization that encourages relations between the US and China.

In 2011, she served as an adviser to the US-China Women’s Leadership Exchange and Dialogue.

In 2012, Kwan was appointed as a state department senior adviser for public diplomacy and public affairs.

In 2014, she joined Fox Sports for the Winter Olympics broadcast.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Jerry Yang

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, here is some more information about another famous Asian American that you might not know much about.

Jerry Yang is the co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo! Inc.

Yang was born in Taiwan in 1968. In 1978, his family moved to California where the extended family took care of the children while his mother taught English to others. When he moved to the US, he took the American name Jerry instead of using his name Yang Chih-Yuan. He only knew the word “shoe” when he came to America but within three years, he became fluent in English. He attended Stanford University where he earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in electrical engineering. He met his friend David Filo at Stanford.

Yang and David Filo created an internet website that consisted of a directory of other websites in 1994. The eventually renamed it Yahoo! In 1995, Sequoia Capital invested $2 million in Yahoo! And in 1995, Reuters and Softbank gave more funding. In 1996, it went public. Yang was named as one of the top 100 innovators in the world under the age of 35 in 1996. Yang served as CEO from 2007 to 2009.

In 2012, Yang left Yahoo! and began mentoring other technology startups. He also became an investor through his firm called AME Cloud Ventures.

Yang is married to a Japanese woman, Akiko Yamazaki, and they live in California. He likes to play golf and watch sumo-wrestling.

In 2007, Yang and his wife gave $75 million to Stanford University where $50 million was spent building the “Jerry Yang and Akiko Yamazaki Environment and Energy Building.” This building was designed with sustainable architecture principles. In 2017, they pledged $25 million to the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Amy Tan

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, here is some more information about another famous Asian American that you might not know much about.

Amy Tan is a Chinese-American writer. Her first novel was the 1989 novel called The Joy Luck Club about Chinese women and their American born daughters and was eventually made into a movie. I loved this book and movie because I could relate to a lot of the feelings the young girls experienced. Tan has written several other novels and also two children’s books.

Amy Tan was born in 1952 in California. Her parents had immigrated to the United States in 1949 and then moved to Europe when she was a teenager. When she was only fifteen years old, her father and older brother died of brain tumors six months apart. At that time, her mother moved Tan and her younger brother to Switzerland. During this time, she learned about her mother’s previous marriage to another Chinese man and how her mother had to leave her children behind in Shanghai. This became the basis for her first book. Tan returned to the US to go to college. Tan and her mother had a difficult relationship.

She dropped out of the college chosen by her mother and followed her boyfriend to California and eventually married him in 1974. While attending college, she held many different odd jobs including writing as a freelance business writer using non-Chinese sounding pseudonyms.

Tan got Lyme disease in 1998 and suffers epileptic seizures because it was misdiagnosed for several years. She cofounded LymeAid 4 Kids which helps pay for treatment for uninsured kids. She also suffers from depression and chose not to have children so she wouldn’t pass this on to them. Her mother also suffered from it and threatened suicide many times before she died in 1999.

Tan currently lives in San Francisco and taken up drawing.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Maya Lin

In honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, here is some more information about another famous Asian American that you might not know much about.

Maya Lin is the architect that designed the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Washington DC and the Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama.

Lin was born in Ohio to parents who emigrated from China. Her father was dean of the Ohio University College of Fine Arts and her mother is a poet and former literature professor at Ohio University. Her aunt was an artist and poet as well as the first female architect in modern China. She attended Yale University and got her Bachelor of Arts in 1981 and a Master of Architecture in 1986.

When she was 21 and still in college, Lin won a competition to design the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Her design was chosen out of 1422 submissions. This memorial was completed in 1982. Her design was to create an opening that symbolized the pain caused by war and casualties. This design became controversial because of Lin’s ethnicity, lack of experience, and design. Others complained that it didn’t include surviving veterans and the dark granite showed a negative attitude towards the war. After defending her design before Congress, it was decided that The Three Soldiers statue and an American Flag would be placed beside the memorial. This memorial is one of the most visited sites of the National Mall. Lin believes that she would have never won this contest if designs were submitted by name instead of a number.

The Civil Rights Memorial in Alabama is a memorial to 41 people killed during the Civil rights movement from 1954-1968. Lin’s design is based on the soothing and healing effect of water and was inspired by Martin Luther King Jr’s speech, “I Have a Dream.” The memorial is a fountain in the form of an inverted cone. The water flows over the base of the stone which includes the 41 names. You can touch the water and change it temporarily but then it returns to smoothness.

Lin prefers to be called a designer instead of an architect. She focuses on how space needs to be in the future and the emotions this space creates. She focuses more on memorialized time periods rather than figures so her works are more abstract.

Lin also designed the Museum of Chinese in America near Chinatown in New York City in 2009.