The Case for a Complete OER STEM Library (#TCEA16)

tcea date

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki

If you’re an educational technology enthusiast, I hope you’re planning to attend the TCEA 2016 conference in Austin this year, Feb. 1-5. This conference brings educators together to explore best practices for engaging students, increasing productivity, and innovating teaching and learning through the use of technology.

tcea16

Please stop by our session on Monday, Feb. 1 (10:00am – 10:50am), which is part of the STEM Academy track. Curriki CEO Kim Jones will present The Case for a Complete OER STEM Library:

Kim Jones, Curriki CEO

Kim Jones, Curriki CEO

The two most powerful forces that have transformed the education world in recent decades have been the emphasis on STEM education and the Open Educational Resources (OER) revolution. These two innovations have permeated the education community and are shepherding in a digital age that is today transforming education in every corner of life.

In this session, you will hear what Curriki.org, is doing to drive the development of OERs for STEM educators and the many ways you can lead the way in your own schools and communities.

Participants will:

  • Discover why OERs are the best tools you’ll ever find to personalize learning for your students.
  • Understand how Curriki is curating the global OER library for STEM educators to download and use in their classrooms.
  • Find out how OERs empower districts to adapt the materials to their own community needs.
  • Understand the role OERs play in helping meet the demand for high quality STEM content in K-12 education.
  • And more.

Please stop by and say hello! We look forward to seeing you at #TCEA16!

Computer Science Education Week: Computational Thinking

By Molly Ward, Owner, Mountain Goat Instructional Design

Com • pu • ta • tion • al

Of, relating to, or using computers.[i]

Think • ing

The process of thought.[ii]

Have you ever heard the term “Computational Thinking”? If not, get ready—this newly named and defined, but widely and historically practiced problem-solving process is showing up everywhere in the world of education today—including on Curriki! Read on to learn more about what Computational Thinking is, and how it is being used in our fast-paced, high-tech world.

Although we may not think about it, we use computers to solve problems and generally improve our lives on a daily basis.

Think about the apps you use regularly on your phone or tablet—you can find the closest, least expensive gas station, or look at traffic conditions in real time. Or maybe you looked up information about a topic, such as hippopotamus, through a search engine online today.

 

Screenshot 2015-12-03 21.01.26

 

Behind each of these digital tools are Computer Scientists and Programmers who work on the problem from its initial conception to proper functionality for the end user (the solution). They play the role of problem solvers—how do we get a computer to help us find a nearby gas station? How can a computer show us traffic jams as they happen? How do we get a computer to search for information about hippopotamus?

2001_Audi_RS4_B5_Avant_-_Flickr_-_The_Car_Spy_(8)

By The Car Spy (2001 Audi RS4 B5 Avant) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


color word image

If you aren’t a computer scientist, you may not have taken time to think much about how common and relied upon digital tools such as the apps on your digital phone or Google Maps came to be. The process of Computational Thinking has played a great role in solving every day or seemingly impossible problems by utilizing the power of computers.

However, Computational Thinking isn’t just for Computer Scientists and programmers. Anyone can incorporate Computational Thinking skills and steps when working on solving a problem. Blending Computational Thinking into your current problem solving methods helps you to address the problem in a logical way and also sets you up to be able to utilize the power of computing towards solving your problem and bigger problems in the future.

Although “Computational Thinking” might sound like a process that involves an advanced degree and the ability to write code, it’s actually a very straightforward process in which anyone from any field or background can participate. In fact, the process of using Computational Thinking to solve problems has been around since well before computers even existed. The process includes:

Decomposition Breaking down a problem into smaller parts.
Pattern Recognition Finding and identifying patterns in the problem data and between parts of the problem.
Abstraction Generalizing the main idea of the problem and how to solve it.[i]
Algorithmic Design Step-by-step instructions for solving the problem.

 

Easier said than done, you say? Practice is the key. Curriki will soon be releasing a course titled, Problem Solving through Computational Thinking for Educators:

Online Professional Development Training for Middle and High School Teachers which provide additional background in Computational Thinking, but more importantly incorporates high-quality existing activities for teachers (and students) to practice each part of the Computational Thinking process, as well as the process of Computational Thinking as a whole.

Students_in_a_computer_lab

 

Students in a lab. By University of Salford Press Office [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Molly Ward, M.S. Science Education is the owner and Top Goat at Mountain Goat Instructional Design, LLC. She is a Science Education Consultant and Instructional Designer with over 15 years working in Informal Science Education and EdTech.

[i]http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/guides/zttrcdm/revision

[i] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/computational

[ii] http://www.thefreedictionary.com/thinking

Oracle Academy Collaborates with German Robotics Initiative

Reblogged from https://academy.oracle.com/en/newsletters/july_2015-full.html#skillsdev

0715-story2The new “EV3 Programming with Java” textbook introduces Roberta teachers to Java programming techniques. The book has been published as part of the Fraunhofer Institutes’ “Roberta – Learning with Robots” initiative and is a joint development project run by the Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems (IAIS) and Oracle Academy.

In addition to working through simple programming tasks, readers learn about a large-scale Roberta experiment, which highlights the advantages of textual and object-oriented programming demonstrated with practical examples.

“By collaborating with the Roberta initiative and supporting the latest Roberta volume, Programming with Java (Programmieren mit Java), we continue our commitment to supporting computer science education,” says Alison Derbenwick Miller, vice president of Oracle Academy. “We hope that through the creation of educational materials and programs that make a challenging discipline like computer science engaging for everyone, we will increase participation, especially by girls and other underrepresented populations in the field, creating a richer and better future for everyone, everywhere.”

The initiative introduces children and young people to the joys of science and uses robots to teach gender and age-appropriate courses, showing how much fun technology and the natural sciences can be. The textbook explains not only the simple transition to text-based programming, but also introduces teachers and their pupils to a new programming language.

Watch the video, “Roberta Solves the Cube”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4jZSBK6oB1Q

cuberubiks

For more information visit http://roberta-home.de/

(available in German and English)

“With Roberta-Academy, in an open learning environment, we reach hundreds of children aged 8-13 years who build in just two hours a robot that responds to stimuli of his environment.” – Dr. Andrea Niehaus, Head of Deutsches Museum Bonn

 

Research and Instructional Resources for Teaching English Language Learners

By Guest Blogger Lani deGuia

As the population of students who are English Language Learners (ELL) continues to rise in the United States, teachers of both English as a Second Language (ESL) programs and general education are in need of resources that can support instruction. These students are unable to communicate and learn effectively in English. National policies are enforcing the need to teach ELL students basic proficiencies in learning the English language while at the same time meeting academic standards. Because standardization of curriculum and limited access to ESL programs and support are leaving many of these students mainstreamed, it is becoming more critical for all teachers to be prepared for minimizing learning disparities. The following is a compilation of research and resources for supporting English language learners from K-12 and adults to help them gain proficiency in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

The Newly Arrived ESL/ELL Student

It may be difficult to know where to start for a newly arrived ESL/ELL student. Beginning ESL-Secondary (http://www.curriki.org/oer/ESL–Newly-Arrived/) offers supporting resources and instructional units for when the communication and learning disparity may be at its greatest.

English Language Literacy and Skills

Grammar and structure provides the fundamentals for language acquisition. Whether you are an ESL teacher or general education teacher, you may be in need of instructional resources to help meet a literacy gap for understanding or applying your content. Althabasca University (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Athabasca-University-ESL-Course/) provides a full ESL course curriculum that includes thirteen units of instruction on sentences, structure, form, purpose, reasoning, and more. If you want to increase your students’ ability to recognize commonly used English words, here is a collection of Dolch sight word lists (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Sight-Word-Lists/) for classroom and home use. Are your students having trouble conjugating verbs? Kent Uchiyama compiled a comprehensive reference, English Verb Tenses, specifically for ESL students (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Verb-Tense-Book/).

Listening and Speaking is essential ELL student success. Donna Price of San Diego Community College provides a list of Game-Like Activities to Practice ESL Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Listening-and-Speaking-Games/) and Jane C. Miller from the Colorado Department of Education offers Listening and Speaking Instructional Activities (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Listening-and-Speaking-Instructional-Activity-Packet/) Collection of activities for teaching listening and speaking to ESL adult learners.

If your students need extra assistance with pronunciation, check out Pronunciation Practice (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Pronunciation-Practice/) Games, activities, suggestions, and word lists for improving pronunciation. Teaching Pronunciation to Adult English Language Learners (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Teaching-Pronunciation-to-Adult-ELLs/) gives an overview, instructional strategies, and checklists for improving pronunciation for adult ESL students. Teaching Pronunciation (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Teaching-Pronunciation/) provides research and instructional strategies for teaching pronunciation for ESL students using the Prosody Pyramid. Specific American English Pronunciation Challenges for ELL’s : How to Meet These Challenges (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Pronunciation-Challenges/) is a reference guide for research, theory, strategies, and challenges in pronunciation for English language learners that includes specific challenges for specific first languages.

Are your students ready for conversation? Conversation Questions and Activities to Aid in the Learning of English by Prof. Mark McDowell, M.A (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Listening-and-Speaking-Free-Talk-Handbook/) is a handbook of listening/speaking free talk activities and questions.

Writing effectively can be one of the biggest challenges for English language learners. ESL Writing Resources (http://www.curriki.org/oer/ESL-Writing-Reources/) provides a collection of resources to teaching writing to ESL students including newspaper activities, a review of common student errors, and worksheets. Teaching English as a Second Language: Chapter Twelve Teaching Students How to Write (http://www.curriki.org/oer/ESL–Teaching-Students-How-to-Write/) is a slide presentation that includes strategies for ESL teachers to use for writing instruction.

Cross-curricular ties to other content areas is a great way to engage ELL students. EL Civics ESL Worksheets (http://www.curriki.org/oer/EL-CIVICS-for-ESL-STUDENTS/) offers a collection of worksheets to teach civics to ESL students including cloze activities, short stories, crossword puzzles and more that can enhance social studies instruction.

ESL Worksheets, Downloads, and Printables

ELL students may need routine and repeated practice to acquire literacy skills in grammar and writing. The following sites offer a variety of student worksheets and activities to supplement instruction.

Learn English Feel Good ESL Worksheets (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Learn-English-Feel-Good-ESL-Worksheets/) Collection of worksheets on writing skills, parts of speech, and assessments for advanced and native speakers

ESL Kids Stuff (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Lesson-Plans-for-ESL-Kids-Teachers/) Collection of lesson plans for ESL teachers that also includes flashcards, activities, and crafts

ESL Printables (http://www.curriki.org/oer/ESL-Printables/) Resource exchange for ESL worksheets, lessons, activities, and more

Using English: ESL Teacher Handouts (http://www.curriki.org/oer/ESL-Teacher-Handouts/) Collection of teacher printables, handouts, and worksheets on grammar

U.S. Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition (http://www.curriki.org/oer/US-Department-of-Education–The-Office-of-English-Language-Acquisition/) Resources for both parents and students for English language learning.

Grammar Practice Worksheets (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Grammar-Practice-Worksheets/) Grammar worksheets from ESL Library

Instructional Technology

Looking for a mobile app or technology tool to increase learning with ELL students? ELevate Success offers a list of iPad Apps for English Learners (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Elevate-Success–iPad-Apps-for-ELs/). This directory of iPad apps can be used for ELL and ESL instruction for K-12 and adult learners.

Apps for English Language Learners (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Apps-for-ELLs/) provides a list of technology tools (including iPad and SMART technology) based on Common Core and ISTE Standards.

Research and Theory

On a final note, understanding the ESL/ELL learner and language instruction will provide the greatest benefit for instruction regardless of what subject area you teach. Whether you have one ELL student or an entire classroom, being knowledgeable of research-based instruction will empower you with effective strategies. Here are several guides and research-based articles on effective approaches to helping children and adults improve their English language proficiency.

Krashens Second Language Acquisition Theory and The Teaching of Edited American English

(http://www.curriki.org/oer/Krashens-Second-Language-Acquisition-Theory-and-The-Teaching-of-Edited-American-English/)

Supporting English Language Learners: A Practical Guide

(http://www.curriki.org/oer/Supporting-English-Language-Learners/)

Implementing Effective Instruction for English Language Learners (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Implementing-Effective-Instruction-for-ELLs/)

Equity Matters: From English Language Learners to Emergent Bilinguals (http://www.curriki.org/oer/From-ELLs-to-Emergent-Bilinguals/)

Assessment of English Language Learners: The Bridge to Educational Equity (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Assessment-of-English-Language-Learners–The-Bridge-to-Educational-Equity/)

Visual Aids in the ESL Classroom (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Visual-Aids-in-the-ESL-Classroom/) Collection of articles and research on effective use of media, audio, and visual elements for ESL learners

Sheltered Instruction: Best Practices for ELLs in the Mainstream (http://www.curriki.org/oer/Sheltered-Instruction–Best-Practices-for-ELLs-in-the-Mainstream/)

 

 

 

Social Studies: Creating Informed Citizens of the World

socialstudies

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki Photo of Janet Pinto

Next year’s presidential election is already on most of our minds, and is likely on the minds of our students as well. Though these students won’t vote until they turn 18, it’s never too early to educate them on the current and historical events that impact their world.

This is a great time to remember why we want our students to have a strong social studies education. Learning about history, geography, religion, and civics allows students to understand and interpret current world events from a place of knowledge. Being informed about society as students creates empowered, thoughtful adult citizens.

A study released earlier this year revealed that American students’ social studies knowledge has stagnated. The National Assessment of Educational Progress found that only 18 percent of students scored at or above proficiency in US History. Educational leaders are rightly concerned about what this means for America’s future.

“How do we, as a nation, maintain our status in the world if future generations of Americans do not understand our nation’s history, world geography or civics principles or practices?”

– Michelle Herczog, president of the National Council for the Social Studies. (via EducationNews.org)

At Curriki, we offer a large selection of social studies courses. We’ve chosen a few to feature this month for elementary, middle, and high school students. These selections span a wide range of topics—everything from current events to historical ones. One thing they all have in common? They are sure to excite students and are bound to foster lively classroom discussion.

These courses are all free to access, and we’d love to hear how you use them in your classrooms!

Elementary and Middle School Courses

High School Courses

  • Political Parties – Students will examine the differences between the Democratic and Republican parties by looking at the viewpoints of each party in relation to current controversial issues.
  • Anne Frank – This collection contains a complete set of resources for teaching Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, including 22 daily lesson plans with discussion points and connections to a social studies curriculum on World War II.
  • China’s Great Leap into the 21st Century  – Lesson plans for all grade levels with timely information about China’s tremendous economic growth, contentious social and political issues, and China’s foreign policy.
  • Oil in Society – Resources that illustrate the history, science and events surrounding the extraction, use and politics of petroleum.Oil refinery and train tank cars
  • Bill of Rights and the Media’s Influence on Public Opinion – A high school course that investigates the way media affects people’s opinions on politics and current events.

Do you have a favorite lesson or resource that promotes Social Studies? If so, please share it below!

Top 9 Research Tools for High-School Students

By Curriki Guest Blogger Antonio Tooley antoniotooley

The definition of research is the systematic analysis of existing materials and sources to check on facts and to come up with something new. A research paper is therefore a collection of other people’s work summarized and analyzed to produce a new angle or take on a particular topic. Another way of looking at it is taking the ideas of several people and coming up with your own.

It is a simple enough concept, but it can seem intimidating for high-school students. With so much information available, doing the research itself is easy, but finding a good topic, not so much. In addition, students have to organize the material, write the paper while citing their sources properly, and ensure they do not plagiarize anything.

Overall, writing a research paper can be an overwhelming prospect. Quite a few tools are available to ease the burden, but picking the right ones can add to it.

Here is a review of the top 9 research tools for high-school students that will simplify the research paper writing process.

mindmup

  1. Mindmup – You can probably come up with several ideas and sources when given a general topic. This online tool allows you to create a map of those ideas and sources, or a “mind map” so that you can organize everything. It is user-friendly, free, and you do not have to register or download anything. If you are doing a group project, you can easily share it with others by giving them the link, and they can freely add in their own ideas. It is an easy way to help you see what you are thinking about.

coldturkey

  1. Cold Turkey – It is easy to get distracted when you are online, so this tool comes in handy when you absolutely have to get the work done. It is an online app, and it blocks websites and apps at certain times of the day (when you should be working on your research paper!). It works on all browsers, so you will not be able to cheat by using different browsers. If you have a problem with toeing the line, this app will be your drill sergeant.

mendeley

  1. Mendeley – This works across all iOS and Android platforms, so you can organize, read, annotate, and share your research documents anywhere you are. It is easy to search for anything you need in your library, and you can invite others to view it as well. You can even generate citations.

paperity

  1. Paperity – Online research is easy, but finding materials that are free to download is a little harder. Thanks to this online tool, you can easily find open access journals and papers. It is definitely a useful tool for researchers on a budget.

zotero

  1. Zotero – Another tool you can use to organize and share your research materials – this is especially handy if you use Firefox. It works with Mac, PC and Linux, and integrates well with JSTOR. It also synchronizes with Mendeley, so you have your dynamic duo. There are still a few bugs when using Chrome or Safari, and it does not integrate well with other online libraries.

wunderlist

  1. Wunderlist – Getting yourself (and not just your research) organized is essential for research paper writing, This free app lets you create a to-do list so that you do not forget anything you need to do. It helps you plan projects, assign tasks, and organizes your notes. It has a simple but attractive user interface, and while it works with Android and iOS devices, it works particularly well with Apple Watch. This is especially useful when you are on the go and have to keep an eye on your time management. However, if you already use EverNote or OneNote which have intuitive task managers, Wunderlist may not offer anything unique.

plagtracker

  1. Plagtracker – Plagiarism is a real problem for many researchers, and sometimes you can plagiarize without meaning to. Plagtracker is a web-based tool that scans online content to make sure your paper is in the clear. If you are not, it will tell you where you went wrong. It is a free and online tool, so you simply copy-paste your text or upload your paper up to 5,000 words, and it will check it for you. For high-school papers, it works well enough.

knightcite

  1. KnightCite – In-text citation and your reference page is a major requirement in research papers. KnightCite, unfortunately, does not offer in-text citation. However, it handles non-traditional sources, such as multimedia and electronic sources, better than other reference management tools. It should be noted that the accuracy of the citation is not guaranteed. You should still check each reference against your citation reference, just to be on the safe side.

editminion

  1. EditMinion – No research tool list is complete without one that proofreads and edits the text. This online tool looks a bit funky, but it does a good job of keeping your writing style in check. It analyzes weak phrasing, overused words, and common grammatical mistakes. It is simple and quick, both good things if you are a high-school student.

Most of these online tools can simplify your research paper project, but their utility depends on your needs. Choose two or three you think you really need, because you’ll have to take the time to become familiar with their various features. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that research papers are not that big a deal. As long as you narrow your focus, do your research, and give yourself plenty of time, it should all work out.

Antonio Tooley is a hopeless optimist who enjoys basking in the world’s brightest colors. He loves biking to distant places and occasionally he gets lost. When not doing that he’s writing for EduGeeksClub. He will be happy to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Financial Literacy Education Lacking in Schools

janetpic_preferred_croppedBy Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki

A recent report by KUSI (http://www.kusi.com/story/30321212/financial-literacy-in-schools) stated that the State of California fails to educate students in personal finance, and that this lack can affect them throughout their lives.

The article noted that California was given an F by The Center for Financial Literacy, which graded the 50 states and the District of Columbia in 2013 and again in 2015. You can check the grade for your state at: http://www.champlain.edu/centers-of-excellence/center-for-financial-literacy/report-making-the-grade. A majority of the states received C grades or lower, and only 5 states received an A grade.

Jacqui Pernicao, the COO of Junior Achievement of San Diego County, said that “Nearly 60 percent of our young people don’t feel that by the age of 24 they will be financially sound, they’ll be able to function on their own financially,” she said. “We teach the students how to get a job, how to manage their money, how to start a business if that’s what they choose.”

At Curriki we have a number of free, open resources for educators to address financial literacy in the classroom.

http://www.curriki.org/oer/Financial-Literacy-Collection/

Canada-plastic-money

Here are the various topics you can find in the Curriki Financial Literacy Collection:

  • Canada’s Plastic Money – paper money is now plastic!
  • Finance and Budgeting – recording debits and credits, and more
  • Math and Financial Topics – instructional unit & lesson plans
  • Financial Literacy and Philanthropy – learning to give
  • Personal Finance – project-oriented
  • Finance Chapter (grade 12) – loan calculations and more
  • Finance Chapter (grade 11) – depreciation and more
  • Finance Chapter (grade 10) – foreign exchange and compound interest
  • Financial Literacy – money lesson plans

How is your school district doing in imparting financial literacy to students? Take a look at these resources, see how they can help your students.

 

Federal Government commits to Expanded Access for OER

Kim JonesBy Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

The White House last week released its third Open Government National Action Plan. One of the goals of the plan is expanded access to Open Educational Resources. The plan also calls for improved access to publicly available data.

The plan was released to coincide with the Open Government Partnership summit held during the last week of October in Mexico City.

OpenGov1

Here’s what the plan document says about OER:

“Open educational resources are an investment in sustainable human development, they have the potential to increase access to high-quality education and reduce the cost of educational opportunities around the world. Open educational resources can expand access to key educational materials, enabling the domestic and international communities to attain skills and more easily access meaningful learning opportunities.”

Several activities are highlighted:

  • Openly license more Federal grant-supported educational materials and resources
  • Publish best practices and tools for agencies interested in developing grant-supported open licensing projects
  • Convene stakeholders to encourage further open education efforts

The U.S. has become the first country ~ among the 66 countries that are Open Government Partnership members ~ to introduce open education into its national action plan.

An article in EdWeek reports that a number of districts in 6 different states, plus Department of Defense Schools are looking at replacing one or more textbooks with open educational resources. Here’s one suggestion for those districts – math OERs from Curriki. Curriki has curated OERs along a scope and sequence into standards-aligned modules for Pre-algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, and Calculus courses.

Curriki is pleased with the support of the federal government for expanded access to OER and with federal government efforts to increase free availability of research data. Curriki is taking a leadership position in OER as a repository of over 70,000 open resources available to anyone with a web browser.

Advancing Education through Educational Technology

gaetc2015

By Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer, Curriki

Photo of Janet Pinto

Are you interested in educational technology? If so, I hope you’re planning to attend GaETC (Georgia Educational Technology Conference) next month in Atlanta. GaETC is focused on the professional development of educators and everyone else interested in educational technology.

Please stop by our session titled “Curated, Standards-aligned Courses for the High School Math Teacher,” presented by Allen Wolmer, on Wednesday, November 4 at 3:15PM. Allen works with Curriki on the high school math collections. Check out our curated and aligned mathematics resources available free on Curriki.

About Allen Wolmer

wolmerAl Wolmer is an engineer by education who has been fortunate enough to pursue his passion: teaching and training. He is a SMART Exemplary Educator, SMART Certified Trainer for Notebook and Math Tools, and for eleven years was Head of the Math Department at Yeshiva Atlanta High School (now the Atlanta Jewish Academy Upper School). He is also a mathematics author/editor for various publishing companies, an AP Calculus Reader for the College Board and a Consultant for the National Math & Science Initiative.

20 Curriki Resources to Get Students to Engage with Your Content

By Curriki Guest Blogger Lani deGuia Lani

Now that the school year is into full swing, it is a great time to dive deep into your curriculum to see how you can foster critical thinking and engagement to elevate your instruction. Students are craving activities that make the content seem relevant and that allows them to connect to the topic personally and/or creatively. Here is a selection of great resources that tap into higher order thinking while staying aligned to standards!

 

Language Arts

A Bad Case of Bullying: Using Literature Response Groups with Students (Grades 3-5)

It’s never too early to start teaching students about emotions and how to prevent bullying. This ReadWriteThink lesson plan utilizes the beloved children’s book “A Bad Case of the Stripes” to have students engage with a narrative story and reflect on it personally.

Hunger Games (Grades 6-12)

Bring one of the most popular movie series into your classroom through this collection of reading and writing activities.

The Arts and the Common Core Curriculum Mapping Project (Grades K-12)

Ever thought of having students draw a self-portrait when studying memoirs? Check out this collection of multiple unit ideas for each grade level that integrates art into the language arts curriculum.

The Bard: Shakespeare Up Close (Grades 9-12)

Get students to interpret Shakespeare and discover their acting abilities! In this activity, students will select their favorite scene from a work of Shakespeare, re-enact it in a modern setting, and record/edit using digital tools.

 

Writing (middle and high school) dictionary

Global Voices: Journalism in the Classroom (Grades 9-12)

Motivate aspiring journalists through this unit that introduces print media and the craft of writing news stories.

Persuasive Writing (Grades 6-8)

Teach students to develop and defend arguments! This collection contains multiple lesson plans and units based on persuasive writing for middle school.

The Writing Teacher’s Strategy Guide (Grades K-12)

Stumped on a new way to present writing tips to your students? This collection of instructional strategies (graphic organizers galore!) is sure to come in handy!

 

English Language Learners

“Our Lives, Our Words”: Using Digital Photography to Improve Student Learning (Grades 1-4)

Students will integrate real-world connections with what they are learning through the use of digital photography.

 

Math math

Area (Grades 3-5)

Common Core based unit for teaching area. Includes 12 lessons, hands-on activities, worksheets, and assessments.

Domino Pizza Effect (Grades 6-8)

Problem-based learning activity from Mathalicious.com that was adapted for 8th grade. Students explore linear equations, slope, and y-intercepts through data and graphing.

Linear Inequalities (Grades 9-12)

Developed using Understanding by Design by Trinity University, this 4-week unit has students investigate linear inequalities and systems of linear inequalities. Students will analyze how reasonable solutions are and discover the multiple approaches to solving a problem.

Math Focal Points (Grades 6-8)

Need to brush up on your content knowledge of math to improve your instruction? Annenberg Learner provides multiple resources to better teach math and science including content knowledge, lessons, and activities.

 

Science science

A Matter of Chocolate (Grades 3-5)

Cross-curricular unit thematic unit for Social Studies and Science where students explore the history and properties of one of the most adored sweet treats! The unit utilizes an inquiry-based approach with both hands-on and virtual experiences!

MedMyst (Grades 6-8)

Adventure online game where middle school students use scientific investigation to examine infectious disease outbreaks and epidemiology.

Game Design in the Science Classroom (grades 6-8)

Engaging unit where students will utilize free Scratch programming software from MIT to create their own video game. Includes teacher and student resources including formative and summative assessments.

Physics of Sailing (Grades 9-12)

6 week Problem-based learning project for high school students. Integrates real world application of Newton’s laws to sailboat design. Includes opportunities for use of technology tools Google Sketch Up and/or AutoCAD for student presentations.

 

Social Studies

The Wall Inspires Letters to Veterans (Grades 3-5)

With Veteran’s Day approaching, it’s the perfect opportunity to get students to reach out to their local veterans.

Debates and the Race for the White House (Grades 6-12)

Get students involved in the current Presidential election by having them analyze the election debates.

Civil Rights Movement (Grades 9-12)

Students will examine the development of federal civil rights and voting rights through research and a Socratic seminar discussion.

 

Educational Technology

10 Tech Tools to Teach the Common Core Standards (all subjects)

Looking for a digital tool to help your students with collaboration, communication, logical reasoning, and more? Support your instruction of Common Core by integrating these resources!

What is your favorite class project/activity that is successful in both teaching the content and energizing student interest?