Monday, December 19, 2016

Summer Institutes about China, Japan and Korea for K-12 teachers

Summer institutes about China, Japan and Korea for K-12 teachers

Summer Institute

K-12 teachers are invited to the University of Washington in Seattle for week-long summer institutes about the history and culture of China, Japan and Korea. Dorm housing and travel stipends are provided to all accepted participants who reside outside the Seattle metropolitan area.

Monday, December 12, 2016

FUNDED Expeditions to the Arctic, British and Irish Isles, Canadian Maritimes, Iceland, the Galapagos, Antarctica

Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program

Honoring Excellence in K-12 Geographic Education

Picture of a group of people on a ship.
Photograph by CT Ticknor
The Grosvenor Teacher Fellow (GTF) program is a professional development opportunity made possible by a partnership between Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Education. The program is named in honor of Gilbert M. Grosvenor, Chairman Emeritus National Geographic Society and Education Foundation Board. It gives current K–12 classroom teachers and informal educators from the 50 U.S. states, Canada, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico the opportunity to extend Grosvenor’s legacy of excellence in geographic education. Exemplary educators are recognized for their commitment to geographic education and given the opportunity to travel aboard the Lindblad-National Geographic fleet. Through this experience, they bring new geographic awareness into their learning environments and communities.

Fellows are an integral part of the National Geographic community, working to further students’ understanding of the planet and empower them to generate solutions for a healthier and more sustainable future. To help ensure that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global awareness, Fellows take on a two-year leadership commitment to support educators with National Geographic. Throughout their commitment, Fellows may be asked to conduct webinars, participate in meet-ups, and serve as a mentor to other educators.

Please note: Beginning with the 2018 Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program application, all applicants will be required to be National Geographic Certified Educators and members in good standing of their state’s Alliance for Geographic Education.


2017 Application

Applications must be received through our online system by December 31, 2016 at 11:59 pm Eastern. You can save your application and come back to it any time before the deadline. Applications will not be accepted by any other means.

Due to the high volume, we are not able to respond to individual questions. If you have any technical problems, please send an email to Incomplete applications will not be considered. 2017 Fellows will be contacted by phone in February 2017, and announced on the National Geographic Education website in March 2017.


2017 Program Highlights

Selected educators will travel aboard the ships National Geographic Explorer, National Geographic Endeavour II, and National Geographic Sea Lion on expeditions to regions including the Arctic, British and Irish Isles, Canadian Maritimes, Iceland, the Galapagos, Antarctica and more. While aboard, Fellows will share the importance of geographic literacy with fellow travelers, develop activities to bring back to their classrooms, and have an adventure of a lifetime. Prior to the expedition, all 2017 Grosvenor Teacher Fellows will travel to Washington, D.C. (March 23–26, 2017) with all expenses covered to participate in a pre-voyage workshop sponsored by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic.

The 2016 Class of Fellows  

Meet the 2016 Class of Grosvenor Teacher Fellows! Applications for the 2017 program will be available on November 16, 2016.
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions  

Have questions about the program? Find the answers here!
Follow Along

Follow Along  

Read updates from fellows on our blog.
About Lindblad Expeditions

About Lindblad Expeditions  

Lindblad Expeditions has a long tradition of respectful tourism and exploration.

In Partnership With

In Collaboration With

How to Hold A Pencil

Teaching Kids Pencil Grasp

Pencil grasps can be a difficult concept for kids to master.  Pencil grasps require hand strength, motor planning and coordination, plus a little instruction along the way.  Give your kids an advantage when teaching them pencil grasp with these simple yet effective techniques.
Teach your kids how to hold a pencil properly with these simple tips that make writing easier for your kids!

1.Explain “stop” and “go” fingers- Make the analogy of a stop light to your child’s fingers when holding a pencil.   The “go” fingers (thumb, index, and middle) get to “go” for a ride on the pencil, while the “stop” fingers (ring finger and pinky) get tucked into the palm instead.

Teaching Kids Pencil Grasp
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2. Put a green dot on their “go” fingers and a red dot on the “stop” fingers-  Visual cues can be so helpful for kids so they can truly see what’s being explained to them.  Put a green dot on your child’s “go” fingers (thumb, index, and middle) where those fingers are supposed to hold the pencil.  Note- I put the green dot on the side pad of the middle finger because the pencil rests there rather than on the fingertip. 

Teaching Kids Pencil Grasp

3. Draw a line around the bottom of the pencil- Make a visual cue on the pencil by drawing a green ring around the part where the two colors meet). Have the child match the green dots on their “go” fingers to the green line on the pencil for correct positioning.
Teaching Kids Pencil Grasp
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4. Place a sticker on the pencil- Accentuate the visual cue on the pencil by wrapping a sticker just above the sharpened portion of the pencil  so the child can hold it in the correct position. If possible, use a green sticker to match the green “go” fingers.


5. Play the pencil pick up game- As with anything, practice makes perfect.  Practice pencil grasp with this fun game in order to keep your child’s interest.  Check out the video on how to play…..

6. Build hand strength through play activities- You cannot hold a pencil correctly without adequate hand strength.  So, work on building hand strength by PLAYING!  Do the monkey bars, climb on a playground, play tug-of-war, build something with Play Doh, etc… to increase hand strength so that your child will be able to hold the pencil properly.
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7. Broken crayon trick- Break a crayon in half so that only 3 fingers can grasp it, to improve pencil grasp. Find out more about this trick and the developmental grasp pattern of kids as they grow in this article.

Please don’t delay in teaching your child about pencil grasp.  Bad habits are easy to form and very difficult to break, especially in terms of handwriting.   So use these tips to teach your child the “write” way to hold a pencil before they get into poor habits!

Monday, December 5, 2016

National World War l Museum and Memorial 2016 Teacher Fellowship

National World War I Museum and Memorial

2016 Teacher Fellowship

As the centennial of the Great War fast approaches, it becomes all the more important that the event which ultimately becomes the single greatest catalyst for change on a global scale be acknowledged and understood by students around the world. Nobody plays a more important role in what students understand than you, the teachers who everyday breathe life into history, literature, and society with your enthusiasm and expertise. 

This summer, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, located in Kansas City, Missouri, is pleased to extend a unique opportunity for you to hone your skills as an educator and collaborate with people who share your passion for education by becoming a fellow of the Museum in the fifth year of our teacher fellowship program.
The National World War I Museum and Memorial Teacher Fellowship Program will provide participants with unique and exciting opportunities to grow within their profession while creating materials and engaging in collaboration with similarly qualified and ambitious teachers from around the United States. Upon acceptance to the program, World War I Museum Teacher Fellows will receive the following:
  • Stipend provided for transportation expenses to and from Kansas City, MO
  • Hotel stay and daytime meals
  • Private access to the National World War I Museum and Memorial
  • The opportunity to collaborate and learn with leaders in their field
  • Private lectures from leading historians of World War I
  • Books and other supplies to help supplement knowledge
  • Professional development hours or graduate credit
  • Ongoing support from Museum staff throughout the Fellowship year


Thursday, June 23 - Monday, June 27, 2016
Fellows will meet at the 816 Hotel at 6 p.m. on 6/23 and can depart after 3 p.m. on 6/27


Full-time secondary (7-12) teachers of any relevant subject matter including but not limited to history, math, literature, science, government, music and social studies.  Public, private, charter, independent and religious-affiliated schools will receive equal consideration.

Application Process

Please provide the following in one PDF:
  • A lesson plan regarding the Great War (with permission for use)
  • 2 essays of 500 word limit from the following questions:
    • In what ways is the First World War uniquely significant?
    • Why is World War I relevant in your classroom?
    • In what ways does the First World War impact the 21st century?
    • How do you teach about the First World War in you classroom?
    • What do you hope to gain from the World War Fellowship in Education?
  • Resume/CV
  • Letter of recommendation (immediate supervisor, dept. chair, lead teacher, etc.)
  • Artifact of teaching (Optional)
Send application to School Programs Manager Cherie Kelly at by April 5, 2016.
Questions? Call 816.888.8149.

New Orleans, Summer 2017; Normandy France, Summer 2018

dividing bar
With Donald L. Miller, PhD
July 16-22, 2017 in New Orleans, LA
July 15-21, 2018 in Normandy, France

Announcing The Second Annual National WWII Museum Summer Teacher Institute!

WWII was the central global event of the twentieth century and its legacies—for good and bad—continue to affect our world today. The lessons of patriotism, teamwork, sacrifice, optimism, and leadership found in its history are essential subjects for training our students to become active, educated citizens. To ensure that teachers like you across the country have the content knowledge, the pedagogical techniques, and the creative and engaging curriculum materials you need to teach World War II history, The National WWII Museum is launching its multi-year WWII Summer Teacher Institute.

In July 2017, The National WWII Museum will convene its second annual Summer Teacher Institute, led by renowned WWII scholar and New York Times bestselling author Donald L. Miller, PhD. Thirty teachers from around the nation will be selected to participate in an intensive week-long seminar utilizing the vast resources of the Museum, including the expertise of educators, curators, and historians, to explore strategies for teaching the history of World War II. During the 2017-2018 school year, participants will partner with Museum educators to develop and present their own professional development workshops. In July 2018, the cohort will reconvene in Normandy, France to explore firsthand the site of the 1944 D-Day landings, the largest amphibious invasion in history. Prior to both summer sessions, participants will interact with Dr. Miller, Museum educators, and one another through preparatory readings and online discussions.

The Museum is an important WWII educational resource for teachers and students across the United States. By creating cohorts of WWII expert teachers who in turn train more teachers, the Institute will ultimately reach approximately 4,000 teachers and 400,000 students nationwide over the next five years. Don’t miss your chance to apply for this exciting and important professional development opportunity. Participants will receive six hours of graduate credit from an accredited university upon successful completion of the sixteen-month program.

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE: The Summer Teacher Institute is open to any high school teacher at an accredited public, charter, private, or parochial school who has at least two years experience as of July 2017 and who will be teaching during the 2017-2018 school year. Teachers of subjects other than social studies may apply, but should explain in their application how they plan to incorporate World War II themes into their curriculum. Media specialists, librarians, curriculum coordinators, and academic coaches are also eligible provided they spend at least half of their time providing direct instruction to students. Applications will be evaluated through a competitive process that will include information on teaching experience, two short written statements, and two letters of recommendation. The Museum seeks to recruit a diverse cohort of teachers.

Participants must be willing and able to travel abroad, and must hold a current U.S. passport valid through August 2018.

COST: There is no cost. Teachers will receive room and board in New Orleans and Normandy, a travel stipend, and all seminar readings free of charge. Graduate credits are also free for those who choose to receive them.

Apply Now

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

GO AWAY! Apply Now to the 2017 Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program!

This is an amazing program and a wonderful opportunity! It's open to teachers who have taught for three years or more... 

A word to the wise:  Follow the directions carefully and complete the application precisely as asked. 


The FY 2017 Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program competition is now open! K-16 educators should apply today! Deadline: December 28, 2016.
US Department of Education Newsletter
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Apply Now to the 2017 Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program!

Deadline: December 28, 2016

2016 Seminar Abroad to Peru

Did you know that the U.S. Department of Education provides grants to K-12 and postsecondary educators to study and travel abroad?

The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Program provides short-term seminars abroad for U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities to improve their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries. Each seminar features educational lectures and activities specifically designed for the group, including visits to local schools and organizations, meetings with teachers and students, and visits to cultural sites. Participants draw on their experiences during the program to create new, cross-cultural curricula for their classrooms and school systems back in the U.S.

In 2017, summer programs will be offered in Bulgaria, Chile, and Thailand. A total of 48 awards are available (sixteen per program). The program covers airfare, room and board, and program costs. Teacher participants are responsible for a cost-share of $600.
2017 Seminars Abroad
Here's what past Seminars Abroad participants have to say about the program:

"Without a doubt the ENTIRE trip was amazing! All of the activities were related to each other and sequenced in a thoughtful way. All activities were meaningful and left a lasting impression."

"Thanks to the inspired and collaborative contributions from my fellow participants, I return with an arsenal of lessons that bring a modest slice of the world back home to my students."

"My Seminars Abroad experience will allow me to introduce to my students pertinent first-hand information about the world. I plan on doing so through the development of curriculum units that will give my students the opportunity to explore cultural heritage and compare their own culture with other cultures.”

"There have been so many great collaborations to come out of the Seminars Abroad program, and I'm filled with gratitude. The Fulbright-Hays programs have done so much for my research and teaching!"
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2017 Seminars Application NOW AVAILABLE

2016 Seminar Abroad to India
The 2017 Seminars Abroad application is now available on the G5 website at

If you are a new user, click “Sign Up” on the G5 HomepageOnce registered and activated, click on “Package Submission” under Grant Setup. Follow the steps provided, filling out the forms and uploading the necessary files. See the Application package for more detailed directions.

In order to be eligible for the Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad program, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
  • Must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Must hold a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
  • Must have at least 3 years of full-time teaching or administrative experience by time of departure
  • Must be currently employed full-time in a U.S. school, institution of higher education, Local Educational Agency, State Educational Agency, library, or museum as a teacher/ administrator
  • Must be an educator in the Arts, Humanities, or Social Sciences (this criterion does not apply to administrators)
  • Must work at the grade level of the seminar
  • Must be physically and psychologically able 
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Webinar: Application Technical Assistance, December 5

2016 Seminar Abroad to Senegal
Join us for a webinar at 2:00pm ET on December 5, 2016, for technical assistance in preparing your Seminars Abroad application. IFLE staff will provide webinar attendees with guidance on how to use the G5 electronic application system, prepare a competitive application, and troubleshoot technical issues.

In order for the webinar to best serve the needs of all applicants, please submit any questions regarding the competition and application in advance to Maria Chang ( so that we can be sure to address them during the session.

When:  Wednesday, December 5, 2016 (2:00pm - 3:00pm ET)

How to Participate:  Register online at

Register for this webinarblank

Examples of Past Seminars Abroad

2016 Seminar Abroad to India
India 2016Sustainable Development and Social Change
For five weeks in July and August 2016, sixteen U.S. high school educators explored issues, challenges and strategies related to India’s developmental goals. During the seminar, participants broadened their knowledge of India’s past, present and future socio-economic developmental strategies, and learned about the rich and diverse cultural heritage of the country through visits to Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Pune, Madurai, Kolkata, and Varanasi. The group met with policymakers and planners, academicians, social workers and community members on their visits to organizations working in the areas of environmental protection, renewable energy, poverty eradication, women’s empowerment, and education.

2016 Seminar Abroad to Peru
Peru 2016Exploring Indigenous Heritage
This past summer's Seminar Abroad to Peru offered sixteen K-8 teachers from the U.S. the opportunity to learn about present-day Peru through a guided exploration of the country’s history. The trip featured cultural, political and social visits in and around Arequipa, Cusco, Lima, Madre de Dios, and Puno. Participants interacted with Peruvian specialists in education, history, art, architecture, economic and public policy during visits to urban areas and historical towns, acquiring a unique insight into the challenges facing Peruvian culture in the 21st century.

2016 Seminar Abroad to Senegal
Senegal 2016Religion and Diversity in West Africa
The 2016 Seminar Abroad to Senegal offered an opportunity for sixteen postsecondary faculty from U.S. institutions to explore religious and cultural diversity in West Africa. The seminar explored Senegal as a diverse society with peaceful ethnic and religious coexistence, and participants had the chance to meet with academics, religious leaders, and activists from diverse disciplines and organizations in areas like Dakar, Gorée, Saint-Louis, Touba, Djiloor, Toubacouta, Ziguinchor, and Cap Skirrig. Visits to mosques and churches, historic, cultural, and political sites, civil society groups, and universities provided participants with insight into the expressions of Islam, Christianity, and indigenous religions in the region as well as broad knowledge about the country to integrate into their classes, schools, and communities back in the U.S.

2015 Seminar Abroad to China
China 2015
Sixteen U.S. K-12 teachers traveled to China last summer with the Seminars Abroad Program. The teachers learned about China's educational system through visits to China's Ministry of Education, Beijing's Dandelion School and Nong Jia Nu School, Tsinghua University, Chongqing's Tongliang Middle School, and the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, visiting with educators, students, government officials, and public policy experts. Participants also learned about Chinese history, arts, religion, and traditional medicine through visits to Tian'anmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Qin Terra Cotta Warriors, Banpo Neolithic village, Beijing's Dashanzi Art District, the Great Mosque, Jing'an Temple, and the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Questions about Seminars Abroad? Contact Maria Chang at


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Monday, November 14, 2016

Guidelines for Helping Younger Children Deal With the Election


 Posted by Wheelock College, November 2016
Adapted from: Teaching Young Children in Violent Times (2nd Ed.) by Diane Levin, Washington, DC: NAEYC & Cambridge, MA:  Educators for Social Responsibility, 2003.

·      Protect children, especially young children, as much as possible from exposure to news--on the TV, radio or from hearing other adults talk about it. While it’s rarely possible to protect them fully from the news, having safety and security predominate is still vital for healthy development so the more you can limit it the better. The more news bout the election and people’s distress about it that children see, the more dangerous they are likely to think that the world is and the more scary content they will need help working out.

·      Trusted adults have a vital role to play helping children sort out what they see and hear and in helping them feel safe.  When exposed to scary news and election information, children need to know you are there to help them in an ongoing way and that they won’t be criticized for bringing up the issue or saying what they really think.  How you react plays a big role in determining how they think and feel, and what they learn. 
·      Take your lead from what the children do and what you know about them as individuals. Base your responses on the age, prior experiences, specific needs, and unique concerns of individual children.

·      Young children won’t understand the election or what is going on as adults do.  When they see or hear about something scary, they often relate it to themselves and worry about their own safety. They tend to focus on one thing at a time and the most salient aspects of what they see.  Because they don't have logical causal thinking, it's hard for them to figure out the logic of what happened and why, or sort out what is pretend and what is real.  They relate what they hear to themselves, to what is important to them, as well as to what they already know.  This can lead to misunderstandings. 

·      With age, children begin to think more about what underlies an event and possible real world implications.  They use more accurate language and make logical causal connections, but still don't understand all the meanings and can develop misunderstandings and fears.  Find out the meanings behind their language and base your responses on what they seem to know and be asking.
·      Start by finding out what children know.  If a child brings up something about the election and government in conversation, you might ask, "What have you heard about that?" Or,  “What did you hear?”
·      Answer questions and clear up misconceptions that worry or confuse.  You don't need to provide the full story.  Just tell children what they seem to want to know. Don't worry about giving "right answers" or if children have ideas that don’t agree with yours. You can calmly voice your feelings and concerns, and reassure them about their safety.
·      Support children's efforts to use play, art, and writing to work out an understanding of scary things they see and hear.  It’s normal for children to do this in an ongoing way; it helps them work out ideas and feelings; it shows you what they know and worry about.  Open-ended (versus highly-structured) play materials—blocks, airplanes, emergency vehicles, miniature people, a doctor’s kit, markers and paper—help children with this. However, the election does not easily lend itself to working things out in play the way some other scary events do. Some young children might find it helpful to conduct their own election around an issue they care about.

·      Be on the lookout for signs of stress.  Changes in behavior such as increased aggression or withdrawal, difficulty separating from parents or sleeping, or troubles with transition are all signs that additional supports are needed. Protecting children from the media images, maintaining routines, providing reassurance and extra hugs can help children regain equilibrium.

·      Help children learn alternatives to the harmful lessons they may be learning about violence and prejudice. Talk about alternative ways to deal with the negative lessons children may be learning from the election, and words and actions of the new president.  Show them how they deal with issues differently in their own lives.  For example, help them look at different points of view in conflicts. Point to positive experiences with people different from themselves. Try to complicate their thinking rather than tell them how to think.

·      Discuss what adults are doing to make the situation better and what children can do to help.  Children can feel secure when they see adults working to keep the world safe. And taking meaningful action steps themselves also helps children feel more in control. Make sure they know it is the job of adults, not children, to keep them and the world safe. 

·      Have regular conversations with parents and other professionals.  Work together to support each other’s efforts to create a safe environment for children.  This includes sharing information that comes up with particular children, developing effective response strategies together, and agreeing to protect children from unnecessary exposure to violence. Talking together can also help adults meet their own personal needs in dealing with the violence that surrounds us.


Strauss Valerie.  Answer Sheet:  The Frightening Effect of ‘Trump Talk’ on America’s Schools”  Washington Post, November 6, 2016.
[This Washington Post entry has a helpful article by Mica Pollack, with useful links and resources.]

Michael, Ali.  What Do We Tell the Children? Tell Them, First, that We Will Protect Them.  Huffington Post.  “The Day After.”
[A useful blog post from before the election. The web site continues to add other entries that will also be helpful.]

Election Processing Community Circle.  [Useful and clear guidelines on how to lead a safe and open discussion with children (not too young) about the election results.]

[1] Adapted from: Teaching Young Children in Violent Times (2nd Ed.) by Diane Levin, Washington, DC: NAEYC & Cambridge, MA:  Educators for Social Responsibility, 2003.