One particularly impressive feature they’ve added to a number of their U.S. History lessons is a task where students have to apply what they learned to a different fictional scenario. They talk about it in a blog post as an element of Bloom’s Taxonomy “apply” level, and it’s also an opportunity for students to “transfer” their knowledge (see The Best Resources For Learning About The Concept Of “Transfer” — Help Me Find More). More specifically, it’s an example of “near transfer” (applying knowledge to a similar situation) as opposed to “far transfer” (applying it in a substantially different arena).
SAS Curriculum Pathways has added a bunch of new activities that I’m looking forward to using with both my ELL and mainstream students. You can read one of my previous posts about it to learn a little more.
Awesome Stories will be unveiling their new website later this month (here’s one of my previous posts about them). Here’s what they say it will include:
Earlier this evening, Mary Ann Zehr, formerly a reporter with Education Week and now a high school ESL teacher in Washington, D.C., sent a tweet recommending something called SAS Curriculum Pathways for history resources.
Since I have always respected Mary Ann’s judgement, I immediately checked it out.
And I’m impressed.
It has a huge amount of interactives in all subjects. In many of them, students complete the activity online, and then send their work electronically to their teacher (it can also be printed out).
Before I continue, I should also mention that it’s free…
I really don’t know who SAS is (I didn’t have time to investigate), but they have set this system up so it’s free to educators and their students. The teacher signs-up and is give a log-in name for all the students in a school. It doesn’t appear that students need their own individual log-in because they have to type in their name before beginning any activity. Let me tell you, that will make using this site immeasurably easy — students won’t have to remember — or forget — individual passwords!
Since I’m teaching US History this year, I mainly focused on those sites, and they looked pretty good and accessible to ELL’s with audio support for the text. The site, though, has resources for all subjects.
In my quick review of the US History sites, they all appeared engaging, though primarily geared to lower-levels of thinking, primarily comprehension and recall. But since I use the Web generally as a reinforcement tool, that works fine for me.
Let me know if you’re familiar with SAS or, if you are just starting out with it, what you think of their other activities.
Visual Math Learning Pre-Algebra Lessons offers audio with text support and illustrations on a variety of math topics. The audio is clear and at an accessible pace. It has links to many good interactive math activities but, unfortunately, they don’t have audio.
Harcourt’s That’s A Fact game reinforces elementary lessons, provides audio support to its text, and students like playing it.
Villainy Mission One and Villainy Mission Two teach geometry and algebra through a story “game” about bad people taking over the world. Players have to stop them. Besides it being a fun way to learn math, a lot, if not all, of what the characters speak is shown in text as well as heard. It’s been developed by Thinkport in Maryland.
A student’s wrong answer is most often the right answer to a different but related question. (A quote from my undergraduate advisor, Bob Davis, that still serves me in the classroom.) pic.twitter.com/8i1dABon0R
The title of this “The Best…” list is pretty self-explanatory. What you’ll find here are blog posts and articles this year (some written by me, some by others) that were, in my opinion, the ones that offered the best practical advice and resources to teachers this year — suggestions that can help teachers become more effective in the classroom today or tomorrow. Some, however, might not appear on the surface to fit that criteria, but those, I think, might offer insights that could (should?) inform our teaching practice everyday.
For many, the headlines provide enough of an idea of the topic and I haven’t included any further description.
Here are my choices for The Best Articles (And Blog Posts) Offering Practical Advice & Resources To Teachers In 2017- Part Two:
I’ve got to start off with by suggesting readers check out the posts at my teacher advice column at Education Week Teacher. Hundreds of top teachers have provided guest responses to just about every imaginable education question, and they’re all categorized and easy to access.
Brainpop videos are good, and I have a teacher’s subscription to them. But you have to pay in order to see them. Simple History is a YouTube channel that provides a decent selection of comparable – and in some cases, better – animations. They don’t offer the extras, like quizzes, offered by Brainpop. And if your school or district pays for Brainpop, the additional student creation options are great. However, if you’re in a school that doesn’t pay for it, and you’re already spending your money on a ton of other school-related resourced (see The Best Data On How Much Money Teachers Pay Out Of Their Own Pocket – What Do You Spend?), then Simple History is worth a look.
Now that Katie Hull are “done” with our third book on teaching English Language Learners (I put “done” in quotation marks since we still have to review the copy editor comments and then the final galley sheets before it’s published in April of next year), it’s time for me to start working on my next one. That one will be my tenth book overall, and the fourth in my series on student motivation. The first three were (each link leads to a ton of free resources):
This fourth installment will be published by Routledge either in the Spring of 2019 or 2020, depending on how ambitious I am next summer 🙂In the meantime, you can access tons of free resources from all nine of my books here.
Whether it’s knowing how students will react to classroom management strategies, the different styles of error correction, or if they’re having a bad day and want to do their work alone in the library, the idea of a platinum rule is good point to keep in mind.
Earlier this year I posted Here Are Two Activities I’ll Be Doing With My ELL Students The Day We Come Back From Break, which I included a lesson I did with students sharing research on how having cellphones out hurt cognitive performance. It ended up being quite effective, probably more so than anything else I’ve done around cellphones. With periodic reminders of the research when students had their phones our when we weren’t using them for class, it seemed to reduce inappropriate phone use and reduced classroom tension (it’s nicer for me to say “Remember what we learned about leaving phones on the desk” instead of “Please put your phone away.”) Now, another study has found similar results. You can read about it at The mere presence of your smartphone reduces brain power, study shows.