Response to: I need advice! or *How to GET STARTED with Live

From: Jan Wee <>
Subject: Response to: I need advice! or *How to GET STARTED with Live
Date: Fri, 11 Jul 1997 09:32:29 -0500

Dear SPoelker and the discuss-lfm members,

[ Moderator's note: I thought this file might help 
more than SPoelker, thus it is shared with the entire forum!]

SPoelker wrote....

>I am a fourth year teacher, teaching 4th grade next year for the first
time. All of the information I have read here, for the first time, looks
great. Any suggestions for starting it in the 1997-1998 school year? Would
suggest holding off with a new grade level for me? Any advice would be helpful!

I would strongly encourage you to take advantage of 
the excitement and inspiration of the Mars Missions and
get your students involved in Live From Mars right away 
this fall.

Let me first ease your fears about "jumping right in".  Many
experienced PTK educators know that you can *ease* into 
the electronic field trip projects.  You don't have to
do ALL activities or feel pressured to devote hours online,
rather begin by acquainting yourself with the concept of
electronic field trips and the use of live/taped telecasts,
online resources, and the supporting hands-on print materials.

You might START by reading over Scott Coletti's very helpful
article found online in the Teacher's Lounge under Learning
Resources called "Introduction to Electronic Field Trips".

Found at:

NEXT...take note that PTK has a group of experienced MENTOR
teachers who are very willing to connect with you and 
assist you.  The link to the mentors is also located
in the Learning Resources page in the Teacher's Lounge.

NEXT... review the online Live From Mars teacher's guide 
found at:

Don't forget that you can order a print copy of the Teacher's
Guide Packet (includes guide, LFM poster, blackline masters,
info materials on the Mars Missions) or a multi-media
kit (includes teacher's guide an all materials just
mentioned plus Mars CD-ROM, Mars slides, teacher training
video tape, and much more!).  Details are available at:

Reading over the Introductory Articles will help establish
a framework for using Live From Mars in the classroom.

NEXT... scan the opening activities.  These are excellent
lessons to use to introduce your students to their Mars
Missions experience!  I especially like Activity A.1 
assessing what students KNOW.... WANT TO KNOW... LEARNED
approach (KWL) as it gives you and the students a tool
to help measure their learning growth during the unit.

NEXT... select the opening activities you want to do 
and begin your preparations to integrate these into
your classroom.

SIMULTANEOUSLY... it would be most helpful for you to
access the first three programs in the Live From Mars
series.   #1 "Countdown"  #2 "Cruising Between the
Planets" and the just telecast July programs "Touchdown"
and "Touchdown + 6!"   An overview of all three programs
and the content focus is available online at:

IF you have a satellite dish in your school district or
one available locally, you can record the programs 
on NASA-TV (GE-2, Transponder 9C -- coordinate information
and a schedule for NASA-TV monthly programs is also 
available at the above URL.

There will be a compilation program reviewing the Mars 
Missions and what has happened since launch that would
be an excellent overview airing October 14 at 13:00-14:00
EST.  You might simply use this tape to intro students
to Live From Mars or you might access the above three
programs and use all or segments of each broadcast.
Ordering the tapes is also an option -- see...
once again!

NEXT... it would be great fun for your students to
get to KNOW the members of the MARS Mission TEAM.
If you have access to the web in your classroom or
in a computer lab, have the students sit down and
(perhaps in pairs) read through the Biographies and
Field Journals found online at: 
which is the Mars Team link on the homepage for LFM.

It would be great for your students to take notes on 
a specific member of the Team and do interviews with
one another about their assigned Team member.  

Another approach is for you to select interesting 
aspects of their lives and share a *Mars Team Member
A Day*  highlighting why the individual became a
scientist, engineer, support crew member, etc.

NEXT... Think about creating a question board display
where students can post the questions they have about
the Mars Missions.  Take a look at the Researcher
Q and A service offered by Live From Mars which enables
students and educators to send questions to the Mars

Found at:

BE SURE to read over the GUIDELINES on preparing
meaningful questions.  Always check to see if the 
questions students want to asked have *already been
answered* by looking at the archive of Q and A pairs

NEXT... consider joining the updates-lfm newsletter
mail list which provides updated information, late
breaking news, details about the upcoming broadcasts,
field journals, etc.   PTK also has a wonderful
support forum for educators called discuss-lfm
where educators exchange ideas, collaborate, experts
contribute, etc.

To join either list...

Send a message to:
Leave the subject blank
In the message body, write: subscribe discuss-lfm
Can also add in a line below:  subscribe updates-lfm
Send your message.  
You will receive confirmation of being added to the
list and *important* list management info! Save this.

If you prefer to not join the lists, the LFM web site
does provide archives of the updates at:

and the discuss-lfm discussion archives are accessible

Don't forget that you and your students are invited to
SHARE their LFM work via our Kid's Corner link.  You 
should visit these pages and see what others already
have contributed and how you might showcase what
your students will do during the year.

Found at:

Whew... this file is getting very long and I haven't 
even mentioned the Featured Events, Background, or
Image Gallery resources.  When you have time for
a breather, (yes, do relax and take this slowly!)
do visit these web pages!

I hope this helps get you off to a good start.  Remember,
there are many experienced educators willing to help you
integrate Live From Mars into your classroom. 


Jan Wee, Moderator