Thursday, March 16, 2000

PeachStar Programming in Georgia Classrooms

Two months ago Pipeline invited Georgia educators to write a short essay telling how their schools use PeachStar programming to enhance classroom instruction. We received several excellent responses and would like to share a few excerpts with all our readers.

"Chestnut Log Middle School has used PeachStar as a major component of our science program for over three years. We tape Integrated Science each week for three 20-minute segments for each grade level. Each segment presents instruction and demonstration interspersed with graphics, animation, and live action.

Our Spanish students enjoy reviewing vocabulary and pronunciation using the elementary SALSA programs. These 15-minute programs use puppets and animation to tell classic children's stories. In exploratory, our student media and career teacher is using segments from several new programs being broadcast this year to encourage students to look to their future in a more positive and open way. Selections taped are The E in Me/The Entrepreneur in You, Against All Odds, Only in America, World of Work, and Great Black Innovators.

The cornerstone of our eighth grade social studies videos has been the Georgia Stories series. With a new emphasis and a new curriculum this year, teachers have needed materials on U.S. history and government. Eighth grade has requested The Story of the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, American Revolution, and Westward Expansion. Other grade levels have used Geography Skills and Great Cities of the Ancient World.

This month, math teachers have requested Want This Job? Do Your Math. So often students complain, 'Why do I have to learn this? I'll never need this!' These programs will show our students interesting high-tech jobs where science and math are necessary.

Although we tape and show many other PeachStar programs, this sample shows many ways the programming enhances and supplements our regular curriculum."

Susan Bissell, Media Specialist, Chestnut Log Middle School, Douglas County Schools

"... I feel that all children need to be exposed to other cultures. For them, learning another language, like Spanish, is not only fun, but it allows them to develop a sensitivity to others. I have used SALSA since its publication to enhance my third grade classroom's goal of learning a Spanish phrase or word each week. I choose words or phrases within a content area and focus on them. SALSA adds native reinforcement and enhancement to my classroom curriculum. For a city school system as small as mine which can't afford a foreign language program, SALSA is a wonderful supplement for a bilingual teacher who would like to share the gift of a different culture."

Candace Oliver, Third Grade Teacher, Commerce Elementary School, Commerce City Schools

"At Camp Creek we have some science and social studies teachers who faithfully look through PeachStar Pipeline each month and send us requests to tape selected programs for them to supplement their curriculum topics in areas where our school and county video libraries are lacking. We are also a special education center for our half of the county, and we are able to obtain elementary videos from PeachStar for many of our hearing-impaired or autistic self-contained students and other special education students. We have two full-time Spanish teachers for our middle scholars, and they both teach a 6th grade exploratory class and a regular Spanish I class (for high school credit) for 7th and 8th graders. The Spanish teachers came and asked me to request the free SALSA set for their classroom use. They are both imaginative and creative teachers who I am sure would make excellent instructional use of the series in their classrooms."

Lynn Bradley, Media Specialist, Camp Creek Middle School, Fulton County Schools

For taking the time and trouble to write to us, each of the schools noted above (plus others that responded) will receive a free SALSA I video set. In addition, we are now offering to give away a limited number of Irasshai Explorer Kits to schools that send essays. Please check out the "PeachStar's Spring Sale" notice on page 4 of this Pipeline for details.

Wednesday, March 1, 2000

News Flash! The GALAXY Classroom is Now Online!

Beginning immediately the GALAXY Classroom Web Site is available to expand teacher support and offer new dimensions for student learning. Through the web site GALAXY Classroom hopes to provide an expanded gateway to the world of teaching and learning. Now participating in GALAXY is a great reason to be on the web. Special areas have been set up for teachers as well as students. In the teacher area you will have access to literature connections, additional hands-on investigations to enhance your classroom inquiries, newsletters and monthly calendars, and direct access to GALAXY curriculum staff via e-mail. In addition, you can register to be a part of the GALAXY teacher listserv, which makes communicating with teachers throughout North America as easy as sending an electronic letter!

In the student areas students will find scores of opportunities to expand their investigations. A separate area is set up for each curriculum. Your students will have access to the characters on the programs through "fan e-mail." Even parents will find take-home investigations that relate to what their children are doing in their GALAXY Classrooms at school. Student work from all over North America is posted on the site, providing an exciting opportunity for students to see their work as well as the responses from their peers all over the GALAXY.

To enter the web sites you will need the user names and passwords listed below. Log on and see for yourself how dynamic the GALAXY web site is:

user name: galaxy
password: learn

S.N.O.O.P.S. -- 5th grade science
user name: galaxy
password: weird

The House -- 4th grade language arts
user name: galaxy
password: read

Fixer Uppers -- 2nd grade science
user name: galaxy
password: whatif

Finders Seekers -- kindergarten and 1st grade science
user name: galaxy
password: science

Visit the GALAXY Classroom web site and get GALAXY information delivered directly to your desktop.