Cash-strapped schools can’t stop giving students the resources they need to learn and develop 21st century skills simply because budgets are tight. Luckily, educators can turn to free online resources to help them find and organize lesson plans, give students extra help in various subjects, and more.
During a webinar on EdWeb.net, an educational social networking site for teachers and administrators, presenter Shannon Holden, a former teacher and assistant principal, and adjunct instructor at Lindenwood University and Missouri State University, shared a number of free online resources to help educators take advantage of what the internet has to offer.
Many educators “don’t know where to start” when it comes to finding, learning about, and really using free online resources, Holden said. “Most people just do not have the time to learn all of these technology tools,” he added.
Holden suggested that those educators pick one or two websites of interest and start exploring them. Users can turn to YouTube for website tutorials if they need help.
“Don’t wait for the next big thing in technology before you jump in–there’s always going to be a next big thing,” he said. “It’s just amazing that all this stuff is free, and we don’t use it because we don’t have time to find it.”
Here is a round-up of Holden’s web recommendations:
I will happily host another summer book club this summer if there at least 10 people that commit to buy or borrow the book and participate. I’d also be looking for someone interested in splitting the duties of coming up with discussion questions with me.
I booked my NSW teaching interview for June 6 in Lismore (two and a half hours drive from here)!!!! I’m well excited and so nervous, I have already started to write notes about what to talk about in my interview.
I’m heading to an English seminar next weekend and I am rather excited!
Poetry’s Progress (or Regress): Out of “The Orange Tree” Abstract “The Orange Tree” by John Shaw Neilson, in which a young girl counters an adult’s over-elaborate questions, is the central poem in this session by Paul Sherman. Paul, who knew Judith Wright, remembers her ranking of Neilson as Australia’s greatest lyric poet. The session will include a range of Australian poems with settings ranging from Western Australia’s Pilbara (in a local Indigenous language as well as in English translation) to Queensland’s Torres Strait
Literacy vs literacy: Curriculum strand or general capability? Abstract This presentation will address some of the opportunities and challenges arising from working with literacy as both an English curriculum strand and a general capability in the Australian Curriculum. Drawing on experiences from a literacies education lecturer and pre-service teachers in literacies education undergraduate courses for the Australian Curriculum, this presentation will share some emergent themes and possibilities for the English classroom.
Mr Darcy and That Wet Shirt: Intertextuality, Pride and Prejudice and the Australian Curriculum Abstract With its emphasis on multimodal, multicultural texts (including a focus on Asian texts) and the aesthetic appreciation of literature, the Australian Curriculum offers English teachers exciting opportunities to teach students about intertextuality by looking at how classic texts are interpreted by modern media and audiences. Pride and Prejudice is a prime example, having spawned several television and film adaptations over the years (BBC – 1995, Joe Wright’s 2005 film). It is also referenced by numerous film and literary texts, especially Colin Firth’s iconic wet shirt scene from the 1995 BBC adaptation (Bride and Prejudice, Lost in Austen and St Trinian’s), and other imaginative reincarnations (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). This proposed unit is intended to be a fun way of drawing students into the world of this much-loved novel, through looking at some of these adaptations and references. The unit focuses on Bride and Prejudice specifically, exploring the common themes and motifs of the increasingly popular Bollywood genre, and discussing whether or not this modern adaptation stays true to Austen’s original intent. In this way the unit will cover general capabilities (critical and creative thinking, ethical behavior, intercultural understanding) and cross-curriculum priorities (Asian texts) of the Australian Curriculum.
So I said, “I’ve never really gotten the “9 x” table, so, if I asked you what 9x12 was, how would you figure it out?”
See, this is a question I cannot possibly answer for them. There is no “correct” answer possible.
“I’d say,” one student quickly responded, “that 9x9 is 81 and 9x3 is 27,” he paused, you could see him looking at the addition in his head to check himself, “and that adds up to 108.”
“That’s not the way to do it,” a teacher sitting at his table told the student, forcing me to intervene instantly. “That’s great,” I said, “perfect. But I can never remember that 9x9 thing like you can, so, does anyone have another way?”
The teacher had her answer, and she was thinking of traditional school questions, which are really not questions at all, whether asked on paper, or verbally, or via computers, or via clickers, but traps. ‘Gotcha’ devices to train kids to respond exactly the way they’ve been taught. When we ask real questions, kids stop repeating and start thinking, and learning.
This was a good post. You should click through for the rest.
I have been thinking about planning some new units that align with the Australian National Curriculum (something that I can adapt if I have to teach it). I have just had a look on ACARA’s website and now I just have to choose what I actually want to plan! Here are my choices for Year 8 History:
The Vikings (c.790 – c.1066)
The way of life in Viking society (social, cultural, economic and political features) and the roles and relationships of different groups in society (ACDSEH007)
Significant developments and/or cultural achievements that led to Viking expansion, including weapons and shipbuilding, and the extent of their trade (ACDSEH047)
Viking conquests and relationships with subject peoples, including the perspectives of monks, changes in the way of life of the English, and the Norman invasion (ACDSEH048)
The role of a significant individual in the expansion of Viking settlement and influence, such as Erik the Red or Leif Ericson (ACDSEH049)
Renaissance Italy (c.1400 – c.1600)
The way of life in Renaissance Italy (social, cultural, economic and political features) and the roles and relationships of different groups in society (ACDSEH010)
Significant developments and/or cultural achievements that reflect the concentration of wealth and power in the city-states, such as art and learning (ACDSEH056)
Relationships between rulers and ruled in ONE Italian city-state such as Florence or Naples (ACDSEH057)
The role and achievements of significant individuals such as Lucrezia Borgia, Galileo, Leonardo da Vinci, Niccolo Machiavelli (ACDSEH058)
The spread of Renaissance culture to the rest of Europe, and its legacy (ACDSEH059)
Medieval Europe (c.590 – c.1500)
The way of life in Medieval Europe (social, cultural, economic and political features) and the roles and relationships of different groups in society (ACDSEH008)
Significant developments and/or cultural achievements, such as changing relations between Islam and the West (including the Crusades), architecture, medieval manuscripts and music (ACDSEH050)
Gangsta Rap. Yo I’m here to tell you ‘bout a thang called defamation, It’s the latest craze sweepin’ cross the nation. But ‘fore I do that I tell ya ‘bout tha tort, Is that a tort you say? Yeah that’s what I thought. So this tort’s a thing that’s a civil wrong, So it’s civil court that gets tha gong. An injury must occur for something to happen overall, Be it phys, finance or emotional. In order for there to be defamation, Someone’s reps gotta take a tarnation. And dis is when a gangsta gets sued, For being loud, obnoxious and, or, rude. After that the shi-izzle goes to court, Where tha expanding case gets fought and fought. And something like this can cost ya some serious bling, For a low roller like me, that just aint my thing. So I grabbed my stuff and ran from that institution, And head over to a thing called conflict resolution. They told me bout something called mediation, Where you meet up with tha other parties and say “don’t be hatin” Then you say you’re sorry and take back what you said, Cause if I don’t then a gangsta could get himself dead. Or at least my bank account would get a beating, And all that could stop with a simple meeting. So that is how it goes in this neighbourhood, Didn’t think we could do it, but there you go, we could.
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Flocabulary has some amazing resources for the classroom (across a wide range of subjects). It is an amazing way to get the students engaged and having fun. When I was out on prac I used the Macbeth rap with my Year 12 students and they absolutely loved it. It not only got them engaged in the subject but consolidated their knowledge.
I’m starting a magazine unit with my Year 8 students next week so I have been scouring the internet for ideas and resources. I came across this website that lets you create your own magazine cover. I can’t wait to use it with my class!
Last week I was teaching my seniors students about the Vietnam War and its impacts on Australian society. We were focusing on conscription so I decided to conscript half my students into the Vietnam War using the birthday ballot system (if your birthdate was drawn then you were conscripted). After this we had a debate, the students whose numbers were picked were against the Vietnam War and the ones who weren’t were for it.
I then gave each side various sources that they could use to support their arguments along with a debate graphic organizer. The students were so engaged throughout this activity. It was one of those lessons that just went perfectly to plan.
Do you get notes of genuine thanks or praise in your mailbox? They mean so much more than a candy cane attached to a computer-generated holiday card and more than 10 teacher appreciation lunches. Don’t you agree? Yet it seems that such lovely dispatch is a dying art form.
Because of the reliance on email, text messaging, and other forms of communication, the old-fashioned handwritten letter has become a relic of the past. But the emergence of such technologies has also made letter writing that much more poignant and meaningful.
How would your students feel if they received a personally written note from you? How much more leverage and influence do you think you would have?
What a lovely idea! After reading this I went onto ebay in search of cute letter writing sets.