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Links We Love

"There is a difference between not knowing and not knowing yet." -- Sheila Tobias

Learning doesn't stop when you leave school. Here are links, lists, and whatever else is making - and helping - us think.

Links of general interest
  • Common Sense Media is a good place to know about if your kids are going to be spending time on the computer, watching movies, reading books or otherwise taking part in modern media (so basically, everyone should check this out). There are reviews, advice, education and more. Here's their mission: "Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology."
  • Library of Congress Did you know? The mission of the Library of Congress is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people. Click on “Especially for Kids and Families” to find links for learning together through the Library of Congress’ resources of visual, written and audio media. Explore “Everyday Mysteries” for fun science facts, “Places in the News” to connect with what’s happening around the globe, and the “Local Legacies” to learn about the diverse cultures and communities across America.
  • Poetry Foundation is for those of you who crave, fear (and want to conquer), or just want to get a grip on poetry. This far-reaching site has a Learning Lab (with pages directed to teachers, kids and the general public), videos, libraries, glossaries and much much more.
  • Skills Beget Skills is one of many fascinating talks about early edcuation by James Heckman, a Nobel Laureate in Econoomics. His website, The Heckman Equation, is a treasure trove of brief videos, academic papers - and everything in between - that tackle the basic economics of good education.
  • ted.ed.com "Lessons Worth Sharing: extraordinary educators paired with talented animators to produce exceptional educational videos", complete with interactive “Think” and “Dig Deeper” sections to take the passive watching into active learning. The parent site is equally full of ideas. TED.com is "riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world". TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. The two annual TED conferences, in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Edinburgh, Scotland, bring together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less).
Links about what we do at school
  • The Responsive Classroom - The Responsive Classroom is a program PNA has been using for many years. It emphasizes the idea of building trust within the community of learners. This is an artilcle from the New York Times written by a teacher who has introduced the program into her classroom.
  • Partnership for 21st Century Skills - The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student. As the United States continues to compete in a global economy that demands innovation, P21 and its members provide tools and resources to help the U.S. education system keep up by fusing the 3Rs and 4Cs (Critical thinking and problem solving, Communication, Collaboration, and Creativity and innovation).
Links to what the Faculty and Staff have been exploring
  • Carol Dweck, PhD Dr Dweck’s research has focused on the difference between the two ‘mindsets’: that of fixed intelligence, and that of intelligence that can be developed through dedication and hard work, and how we as parents and educators can provide the best praise for continued motivation. How Mindset Affects Success is a short video that shows some of the types of testing Dr. Dweck used.
  • Daniel Pink is the author of A Whole New Mind, the summer 2012 reading and project inspiration for PNA’s faculty. Try clicking on Videos, then the video called RSA Animate—Drive: the surprising truth about what motivates us. Or, click on “Office Hours” and listen to Daniel Pink talk with Paul Tough on how grit, curiosity and character relate to children’s success. (Paul Tough has just published a book called "How Children Succeed". To hear an interview with him about his book and ideas, click here.)
  • Richard Louv Author of Last Child in the Woods. In this influential work about the staggering divide between children and the outdoors, child advocacy expert Richard Louv directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today's wired generation—he calls it nature-deficit—to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as the rises in obesity, attention disorders, and depression.
  • Barbara Coloroso Author of The Bully, the Bullied and the Bystander. Ms Coloroso is an internationally recognized speaker and author in the areas of parenting, teaching, school discipline, non-violent conflict resolutionand reconciliatory justice.
  • Diana Laufenberg: How to learn? From mistakes Diana Laufenberg teaches 11th-grade American History at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia. In this TED talk, she shares 3 surprising things she has learned about teaching -- including a key insight about learning from mistakes.
New to the area? Links to help you get oriented
  • Live. Work. Play. "LWP Is a grassroots effort focused on community improvement and engagement for the people who live here." Their Facebook page is a wonderuful illustration of the faces and places that make up the great city of Anchorage.
  • Big Wild Life "Anchorage Big Wild Life™ is a living community brand expressing the wonder and splendor experienced in Anchorage. Revel in our Big Wild Life!™"
  • Mehner and Associates This will take you to Mehner and Associates Links page, which is a treasure trove of helpful re-location information. They are also fabulous real estate agents, and are one of many who can help you find your perfect home in your brand new city.
Blogs, Facebook Pages, and More
  • Room to Read - an organization that "envisions a world in which all children can pursue a quality education, reach their full potential and contribute to their community and the world."
  • A Year of Reading - a blog written by "two teachers who read. A lot."
  • Do Something - an organization directed at teens that "harnesses that awesome energy and unleashes it on causes teens care about."
  • Sir Ken Robinson - a website to tell you more about Sir Ken, who "is an internationally recognized leader in the development of education, creativity and innovation."
  • The Blessings of a Skinned Knee - a book in which "Dr. Mogel helps parents learn how to turn their children's worst traits into their greatest attributes."
  • TED talk: Hands on Science with squishy circuits - AnnMarie Thomas shows how homemade play dough can be used to demonstrate electrical properties, turning little kids into circuit designers.
  • Project Noah - This website "is a tool to explore and document wildlife, and a platform to harness the power of citizen scientists everywhere."
Links and Apps, specifically for kids*

*The computer, tablet, smartphone and television are indisputable parts of our lives. The websites, shows and apps below are all "educational" ways to take advantage of these tools, or perhaps to act as a guide for you and your child. But manipulating a leaf on a computer is a very different thing than going outside and finding that leaf in your backyard. Sharing screen time with your child is not the same as having a conversation with him. So we offer these resources with the caveat that there is a real world out there that is every bit as (well, we think MORE) exciting and important to explore as anything you can find on a screen. Be sure to get outside to see, smell, touch, taste and hear the world you live in! It's the original - and best - place and way to "foster creativity", as so many websites are telling you they will do for you. That being said, the resources and ideas are astounding! Enjoy!

Common Sense Media Back To School Guide - For the entire list of reviewed media resources, go here. We've selected a few that we think look particularly good.

  • Sid's Science Fair - is an app that is "based on the television showSid the Science Kid on PBS Kids. In the app, kids learn about a variety of early science concepts at three different science stations."
  • Curiosityville - a website to with games and activities to "ignite your child's curiosity & love of learning, build essential skills to thrive in school & life in the 21st century." It is subscription-based.
  • Intro to Letters - is an "educational app designed to help children recognize, pronounce, and write lowercase letters, capital letters, and phonograms (letters or letter combinations that make a single sound)."
  • Starfall - this website is a "free public service to teach children to read with phonics."
  • SesameStreet.org - this "highly interactive Sesame Street site is a fun, safe, and educational place for kids to play and learn. Parents can set up playlists of videos and games that even pre-readers can navigate through."
  • Alien Assignment - is a free educational app that "encourages problem solving and family interaction. Kids help the Gloop family fix their spaceship by taking photos of objects they think might help solve specific problems like a leak or a stuck steering wheel. Then, they hand the device with their photos over to a parent or adult to review."
  • Faces iMake-Right Brain Creativity is an app that encourages kids to be creative by creating faces using collage materials. It also provides opportunities for kids to share their creativity via email and social media as well as with other app users worldwide in a special gallery called FaceWorld."
  • CAST UDL Book Builder - a website that you use to "create, share, publish, and read digital books that engage and support diverse learners according to their individual needs, interests, and skills.
  • Finding Dulcinea - is a website that is "Librarian to the Internet". Their webguides are particularly helpful -- "Kids can learn about using reputable sources and find sites with helpful info on science, politics, and more. The site's 19 guide categories identify dependable sites on topics like arts and entertainment, autos, careers, education, family and relationships, and finance." The rest of the site is interesting.
  • Dinorama - is a "challenging simulation app where kids are managing multiple tasks at once," creating a dino-theme park.
  • NRICH- is a math website. "NRICH problems are here for you to get your teeth into. We aim to provide you with engaging mathematical activities. We hope to provoke you into mathematical thinking. We'd love you to explore, question, notice and discuss. Immerse yourself in the mathematics..."
  • News-O-Matic - is an "interactive, paid subscription-based newspaper for kids ages 7-10. Five news stories -- from world political news to celebrity stories -- are posted on the News-O-Matic app's main page each day."
  • Ansel and Clair: Paul Revere's Ride - is an "interactive app for kids to learn about the beginning of the American Revolution and about Paul Revere. Ansel and Clair are aliens who come to Earth to learn about this historic time. Puzzles and mini-games (such as matching the 13 colonies by their shapes into a U.S. map or dragging bags of tax money away from angry colonists and toward King George) help kids learn about life in the colonies, from their geography to taxation without representation."
  • Design Squad Nation - is a PBS kids website "that teaches kids about science and engineering through fun games and activities."

Other neat kid sites

  • Flummox and Friends - a web-based show geared toward younger kids; "an offbeat, live-action comedy designed to help kids navigate the social and emotional world."
  • DIY- is a website for "kids to share what they do, meet others who love the same skills, and be awesome. The big idea is that anyone can become anything just by trying – we all learn by doing. With skills each of us can build our world."

Pacific Northern Academy

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