“The Run for the Roses,” as the Derby is sometimes referred to now, expects approximately 157,000 fans to crowd around the racetrack to watch the hand-crafted blanket of 554 fresh red roses awarded to the Derby winner.  The winner will also receive a monetary award: a nice derby purse of around $1,425,000.  The prestigious Triple Crown of horseracing begins this Saturday with the Derby as the first jewel in the crown.  Will you be watching?



Racetrack - Kentucky Derby - bugler

Racetrack – Kentucky Derby – bugler

The Kentucky Derby is known as “the greatest two minutes in sports” because of the tremendous speed of the athletes:  a field of three-year-old thoroughbred racehorses, expertly guided at record speed by their illustrious jockeys, all carefully coached by their trainer!  But did you know, the Derby is the first jewel to be won in a series of three premiere races that hold a great deal of historic importance in this country?  Winning the Triple Crown is a sporting achievement quite rare and prestigious.   In spite of the difficulty of the achievement, the Triple Crown is sought after with vigor and determination that inspires us all – racing enthusiasts, sporting champions, and every day people.

What dreams can you inspire in your students with this month’s lesson plans founded on such a tremendous athletic achievement?

We invite you to enjoy the Derby this Saturday, May 3rd, and then participate in our online contest to win a prize ;-)   Here’s how the contest works:

Watch the Derby on Saturday (May 3rd) and then post a comment here on the TPS-GSU blog to answer these questions:

Tell us the names of the winning horse, jockey, and trainer …

PLUS what YOU personally gained or enjoyed most from

watching this year’s Kentucky Derby!

LESSON PLANS FOR MAY:  Ready to Go … Use them Today!

American’s Story-Jump Back in Time

Explore Churchill Downs

American’s Story-Explore the States

Kentucky’s Primary Source Set for Teachers




FEATURE TEACHER for MAY 2014 – Carol Meyer

  1. When did you take the graduate course, Digital Primary Sources, at GSU, and what lesson plan did you design?  I took the grad course in winter 2005, 2nd time it was offered.  I did a presentation called Our Community: Past, Present, & Future.
  2. Please tell me how you implemented this lesson plan in your classroom.  At the time (2005) I was the District Reading First Coordinator, and I took that module because it had a lot of professional development in it so I used a lot of the course materials with teachers rather than students.  I encouraged teachers to use the community aspects of my lesson plan with their middle school students.  I also have a professional development section within my project that has activity for teachers – what are primary sources, what is special literacy, and a couple of other areas.  The community I focused on was Harvey, IL, which is where I worked at that time.
  3. What has brought you the most value from TPS-GSU professional development programs?  When I first signed up for the course, my background was that I had taught 5th 6th & 1st grade kids.  Since I worked with reading programs, I thought I would use these with “primary students” because I had no understanding of what primary sources were.  I was just amazed at this whole other world of primary sources.  I had been creating web pages, but had not used a program such as Dreamweaver, so this also grew my technology expertise.  I took a lot of that expertise with me into my district for professional development and provided lots of training in professional development. Several things were involved in my TPS-GSU lead facilitator.  I had already been teaching at GSU as an adjunct professor teaching how to integrate technology into reading & writing and also math (two different courses).  I’ve known Dr. Brown a long time – first when she had been a student of my husband.  She remembered my project because it was so extensive, so when she was expanding her program and bringing in trainers – she contacted me.  I love working with Dr. Brown, and it was because of the kind of person she is and the program she has developed, that I joined the Team.  The TPS program is highly valuable, but working with her is like the frosting on the cake! 
  4. What inspired you to want to become an educator? Believe it or not, when I was in 2nd grade I made the decision to be a teacher.  I never changed and spent my whole life planning on that …I just knew I was going to be a teacher.  I think some people feel called to be an educator, and I just knew it was what I supposed to do.  I was always inspired by teachers myself, so I wanted to be like them.  I always thought teachers were special … and I still do.
  5. What do you enjoy most about being a teacher now? The thing I love the most is when people get these flashes of inspiration and suddenly, all these ideas of how they can help their students grow in ways they never thought of before.  I think primary sources and the inquiry method can really reach a lot of students who are not easy learners.  I also like to help teachers know that they don’t have to know “everything.”  For example, I’m currently working with Dr. Brown on the commemoration of the Civil Rights Act.  I don’t really remember a lot of the specifics surrounding those events, because I was out of school when those lessons were being developed.  I look at the documents and I realize how much I don’t know.  If one of the participants asked me to explain something to them, I would be very comfortable saying “I don’t know that very well either.  Let’s learn it together.”  I once heard one of my young students say “I don’t know, let’s find out” and I realized … that was something I had said to them often.
  6. Are there any recent achievements you would like to tell us about?  I have done everything except my dissertation for a doctorate in educational leadership from Roosevelt Univ.  I am researching my dissertation topic that pertains to principals as digital leaders.  I don’t need a doctorate, but I just want it because learning is so important to me.  I can never get enough!  The Library of Congress is like that – full of resources and overflowing with knowledge.
  7. Please tell me about yourself and your family.  I’ve been married 42 years and my husband, John, is a retired professor from GSU.  I would not be able to do everything I do if it weren’t for my husband.  He’s been so supportive of me going back to get my doctorate, and he’s supported me in whatever career moves I make.  He’s the nicest guy!  My husband and I took our first trip out of the country and traveled to China last November.  We went to Hong Kong, Bejing, and Si’an.  It was marvelous to be immersed in another culture.  It was just fascinating!  John and I have a daughter, Leslie, and a granddaughter, Claire, who is a first grader and she also loves to read and learn.  My daughter has her masters in counseling from GSU.  I’m very proud of the person and mother that she has become.



 LEVEL I Alt-Cert Supervisory Teachers’ Workshop – May 12th & May 19th

 New Summer Dates for our Graduate Course!

 EDUC 7212:  June 16, 17, 18, 19, 23, 24 & 25 (9:00am to 4:00pm)

 COACHES ACADEMY!  Intro Meeting: May 27th  (ONLINE)

 Coaches Training Dates: July 14, 15, 16 & 17 (9:00am to 4:00 pm)


 QUESTIONS? CALL US  (708-235-7577)

 OR VISIT OUR WEBSITE:  http://tps.govst.edu/

 COMING SOON … Online Training … Fall 2014!

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