Millions of people around the globe have been thunderstruck and horrified by the devastating earthquake, tsunami, and resulting nuclear crisis that have unfolded in Japan in recent weeks. Stark images of the utter destruction left in the tsunami’s wake replay continuously on news reports, leaving viewers wondering how the affected communities can possibly rebuild after such a tragedy. Where does one start? The sheer scope of the destruction seems overwhelming.
The constellations that appear nightly in our skies are the same ones that our ancestors have viewed for millions of years. Constellations are groups of stars that appear to form patterns in the sky, and that can be perceived as figures or designs. In an attempt to better understand the vast world around them, ancient civilizations named and assigned stories to the constellations, many of which are still noted today. Many of the constellations’ names and stories are derived from classical mythology, which makes them a wonderful topic for teaching across the curriculum. Science classes, of course, can easily incorporate the study of constellations into a regular astronomy unit. English and language arts classes can take advantage of students’ enduring love of the Percy Jackson series to learn more about the stories behind the constellations, and perhaps create their own constellation myths. Social studies classes can discuss the importance of constellations to civilizations throughout history, and how various cultures assigned different interpretations to the same star or groups of stars, and which reflected their cultural beliefs and customs.
In the U.S., states and publishers are hurrying to make sure their resources are correlated to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in addition to the already mandated state standards. JES & Co. has developed processes that make the job simpler and less expensive. The GLRC team is putting to use linked-data, making relationships between learning objectives and resources both dynamic and flexible. What is getting the state and district superintendents so excited? GLRC tools and services are enabling teachers to teach to the CCSS and still report and assess using the state standards. And publishers are finding that their products and services are not only meeting today’s multi-standards requirements but are making individualized learning plans and cross grade/subject options a reality. Don’t get left behind.
As the world continues the move to digital resources, and the cuts to the education budgets seem to continue, more and more importance is placed on finding quality education resources. The JES & Co. team understands the value of just-in-time access to resources for individualized learning. We are very proud that the Gateway to 21st Century Skills is a valued resource and is recognized as such by states, school districts, education press, universities, many schools, and teachers. The Gateway to 21st Century Skills provides access to quality education resources 24 hours a day 365 days per year. Through the generous support of the National Education Association (NEA), JES & Co. has been able to continue working with partners to make additional resources available.
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It’s been nearly 14 years since the publication of the first Harry Potter book. The first generation of Potter fans has now likely completed college, having grown up alongside the books’ protagonists that they’ve grown to love. Although sales of the Harry Potter series have slowed since the publication of the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, in 2007, a new crop of readers continue to discover the series each year. According to Scholastic, the American publisher of the Harry Potter series, there are currently 143 million copies of Potter books in print in the U.S., and 400 million copies worldwide.