Friday, April 9, 2004

GAEA - Resources for Georgia Art Educators

One of the many resources available to art educators in Georgia is the Georgia Art Education Association (GAEA), a statewide professional organization of art educators. The purpose of GAEA, which is affiliated with the National Art Education Association, is to ensure the highest degree of art instruction in the state by:

* representing the art teachers of our State
* improving the conditions of teaching art
* promoting the study of teaching art
* encouraging research and experimentation in art education
* holding public discussions
* sponsoring institutes, conferences, and programs
* publishing articles, reports and surveys
* working with other related agencies

According to GAEA President Debi West, art educators "arts education is a necessary component to building the whole child" and students with a background in arts "are better problem solvers, cognitive thinkers, and can transfer their knowledge into other disciplines in the curriculum." GAEA sponsors a number of important arts events around the state that foster student interest in the arts, including Youth Art Month and the Capitol Art Exhibit, which it sponsors in collaboration with the Office of the Secretary of State. Both events showcase student artwork and provide both the legislators and the general public the opportunity to appreciate the creative ability of young Georgia artists.

GAEA membership is broken up into six categories that reflect the scope of the organization's reach: Elementary, Middle, Secondary, Higher Education, Administrative/Supervision, and Museum Education. The two statewide GAEA-sponsored professional events each year cater to members of each of these categories. For information about the coming school year's Fall and Spring Professional Development Conference and to begin your exploration of visual art resources available online, visit the website at

A New Sphere For Science Teachers

Science teachers now have a great new tool in Teachers' Domain, an online, multimedia resource for the classroom and professional development. Located at, this WGBH site allows teachers to present science concepts to students in high-impact, engaging, and interactive ways. When you first visit the site, click on Register now to take advantage of the benefits that the site has to offer.

Once you have registered, you will be able to access Teachers' Domain's classroom-ready resources, which are catalogued by grade level and correlated to national and state standards. First, you will need to select your subject area and grade level. On each subject menu page, you will find links to commonly taught topics, as well as changing highlights of classroom and professional development resources. For example, if you select Life Science for grades 9-12 as your subject and grade level, you will find topics such as The Cell, Ecology, Evolution, Genetics, etc. Each of these topics will have related lesson plans as well as subtopics for more specific research.

From the subject menu page you may select one of the topic areas for further exploration. On any given topic menu page you will find links to lists of resources organized by subtopic, plus a list of lesson plans on the main topic that incorporate those resources. For example, on the Genetics subject menu page, you will find subtopics such as Genetic Engineering, Human Genetics, Mendelian Genetics, etc. Lesson Plans cover Bioengineered Goods, DNA Fingerprints, Protein Synthesis, and More. In addition the links to these resources and lesson plans, each topic page features rotating highlights of resource materials that showcase specific tools for your chosen topic.

From the main topic page you may select one of the subtopics to get even more detailed information about a specific area of study. The subtopic page displays an extensive list of classroom resources for your chosen subtopic, including video and audio segments, interactive activities, images, and text documents. For the subtopic Human Genetics, you find videos on Alzheimer's Disease and the Common Genetic Code, interactives on family trees and DNA fingerprints, case studies, and more.

If you click on any of the resources listed on the subtopic page, you will get important information you need to supplement your classroom instruction. Firstly, you will see a background essay that explains the relevant facts and issues about the subtopic you've chosen. You will also find questions for discussion or writing assignments to help focus your classes understanding of the subject. You may click on links to watch video segments that demonstrate the subject visually. The Resource Page also indicates the national and state standards to which the resource has been correlated as well as offering detailed lesson plans developed by curriculum specialists and reviewed by scientific experts. Each lesson plan provides detailed step-by-step instructions for presenting a lesson that integrates several resources.

Every Resource page has a Save feature that allows you to save the information it contains to a special folder called My Resources where you can keep all of the information you want to use for class. Whenever you visit Teachers' Domain, you can access My Resources from the "Open a folder" pull-down menu at the top of your screen. You're My Resources page will show you all of the resource links that you have saved as you've browsed through the Teacher Domain site in the past, including video, interactive, audio, image, and text files.

If you want to organize the resources you've collected according to specific classes or lessons, you can create Custom Resource Folders. Do this by putting a check mark beside each of the resources you want to move to the new folder and then selecting a destination folder using the "Copy checked resources to" pull-down menu at the bottom of the screen. If you don't already have folders to put your resources in, you will have a chance to create and name one now. You may also annotate each resource in your custom resource folders.

The Teachers' Domain site has a great management feature that gives you the ability to grant viewing access to specific groups. For example, you could create a special custom resource folder with video clips relating to a lesson for your third period biology class an
Post Optionsd then grant viewing access to members of that class only. You manage access to your customer folders on the My Groups page, which assigns an ID number to each group to which you grant access. Detailed information on how to set up and manage folders and access is available through the extensive help functionality of the Teachers' Domain site.

If you are a teacher of Science in grade K-12 and really want to add new life to your classes each day, visit and register to take advantage of these free resources today!

Sesame Street Celebrates Its 35th Birthday

Monday, April 5, 2004 marks the beginning of Sesame Street's 35th Anniversary Season! To celebrate this historic event, Sesame Street will air "The Street We Live On," a special prime time episode at 8 PM on April 4 on PBS. This special program takes viewers on a journey through some of Sesame Street's most magical moments as Elmo learns more about the street on which he lives.

"As always, Sesame Street is there to introduce basic academic building blocks and life lessons in a way that entertains and engages children as they embark on each new phase in their development," says Rosemarie Truglio, Ph.D., Vice President of Education and Research, Sesame Workshop. "We continue to focus on the "whole child" curriculum where we look at all aspects of a child's development: cognitive, emotional, social and physical. Research continues to prove that children truly benefit from learning the Sesame Way. Not only are they using knowledge based on what they learn, but they're encouraged to think, dream and discover for themselves. Our goal continues to be for children to strive to reach for their own highest potential in school and in life."

Sesame Street will remain true to its mission of preparing kids for school and life, and in this, its 35th season, the critically-acclaimed series introduces new live action and animation segments and a list of well-known celebrities to support pre-schoolers in learning more about their ABC's and 123's.

Sesame Street continues to address the needs of today's children by emphasizing the important lesson of "respect and understanding." Two features introduced last season, "Global Grover" and "Global Thingy," return with all new segments. Created to help young viewers have an appreciation of other cultures and to understand the world we live in, "Global Grover" presents short live action films of children in other countries. Grover crosses the globe to visit countries including Mexico where children learn the art of pottery making; Israel, where kids from a kibbutz make a "play house" together; and Poland, where grandparents teach youngsters how to make scarecrows.

The imaginative, animated short "Global Thingy" puts the emphasis on the importance of social reasoning, cooperation, sharing and empathy; and new to the series" lineup is Madlenka, animated segments based on the children's book of the same name about a little girl who lives in a diverse neighborhood. Also new this season, a closing segment sure to be the newest model for storytelling: in Trash Gordon, Oscar reads a bedtime story to Slimey.

Tune into GPB Television at 9 AM to share the wonderful world of Sesame Street with your students!

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Services for Educators at the Georgia Archives

Upcoming changes to the Quality Core Curriculum Standards, now called the Georgia Performance Standards, bring new challenges for the state's teachers. At the Georgia Archives, we are proud to help educators effectively navigate these challenges. While identifying, preserving, and making records that constitute Georgia's recorded history accessible, the Archives provides primary source material that contains valuable educational content, but also allows students opportunities to develop the analytical skills outlined in the new Georgia Performance Standards.

In May of 2003, the Georgia Archives relocated to the city of Morrow, just south of the Atlanta perimeter. While the move saved taxpayers a costly renovation on the old downtown location, it also allowed for state-of-the-art technological advances and more space for special programming. As a result, the Archives is now able to offer increased services for educators and students in grades 4-12.

Reference Services
- Nearly 20,000 people visit the Georgia Archives each year to conduct research. Our secure environment preserves historic materials while allowing access to approximately 100,000 cubic feet of government records (from 1732 to the present) including the Surveyor General Collection of 1.5 million land grants and plats (1775-1909) and over 10,000 county and state maps. The non-government collection includes documents having cultural and historical value, such as family letters and papers, business records, records of organizations and churches, and photographs. Non-original materials such as books are also available. The research room is open Tuesday through Saturday, 8:30 to 5:00, providing research guidance to those in need of it.

Building tours
- During field trips to the Archives, students get the opportunity to learn how the Archives preserves Georgia's documentary heritage and explore the value of primary resources. Classroom lectures by Archives staff are also available.

The Teachers' Advisory Forum
- The Archives has established a new listserv for social studies educators to allow direct input on the development of services and resources for the classroom as well as to encourage networking and discussion opportunities across the state. Information on upcoming programs, exhibits, and other relevant news bulletins will also be announced via the listserv. To subscribe, send an e-mail to Do not enter any text in the subject field and delete any automatic signatures. In the message field, enter "Subscribe GAHISTORYEDUCATORS" and your first and last name. You will receive a message confirming your subscription and providing further instructions.

Online Information
- The Georgia Archives website at offers facts and statistics about the state, research guides, information about elected officials, tips for preserving documents and photographs, and online exhibits of primary materials. In the near future, lesson plans will be offered to support approved curriculum guidelines with corresponding online copies of original materials.

For more information, contact Valerie Frey, Education Coordinator for the Georgia Archives, at or 678-364-3782.