I recently stumbled upon a spectacular FREE resource for all the Div III and IV teachers out there: SAS Curriculum Pathways. If you teach any of the four core subjects, you need to check this site out!
As an example, here is a smattering of what the English tab contains:
The site also has numerous links for lessons on World Literature, English Poetry, Vocabulary/Word Classes, American Literature (all HS) and numerous grammatical components such as nouns, verbs, conjunctions, voice…
If you teach a core subject, I strongly recommend checking out SAS Curriculum Pathways.
By Christine Quong
I had been blogging with my grade 4 students since 2009, but it has only been in the past 3 years that I started to see the possibilities that this platform has as a digital portfolio. Through Twitter I discovered Kathy Cassidy, a grade 1 teacher in Saskatchewan, who blogs and tweets with her class. I took part in an online webinar, hosted by Kathy through the DCMooc and I also attended a session Kathy did at our local Teacher's Convention. I was blown away by the way her young students were able to share their learning on their blogs. Using apps like Draw & Tell and Pic Collage allow the youngest of students to share their learning easily by recording their voice even when they are not able to write a lot yet.
Our school district signed up for a Campus Press license with Edublogs so now all of our staff and students have access to their own blog. Carla Felske started her blog this year, as her teacher page and she added links to her students individual blogs on her blog. Recently her grade 1's were working on a Leprechaun House building project. We thought it would be great if we could embed a video of the students explaining what they built into their blogs. To do this we used the Draw & Tell app to screen capture a photo of the student's house and then record their voice along with the photo. From the app we saved the student recordings to the camera roll and then uploaded them to Google Drive. Once they were on Google Drive we copied the embed code and embedded the videos to the individual student blogs. The other option is you could upload the videos to YouTube right from the app and then copy those links to a student post & the videos automatically embed from the link. This would probably be easier to show kids how to do, but we were not quite ready for posting to YouTube yet! Here are some examples of what Carla's students created. The second video is a bit out of order from how she explained it, but we now know better for next time!
Imagine what your students could share using screen capture! For more grade 1 examples Kathy Cassidy's student blogs are a must see. See their blogs here-> http://mscassidysclass.edublogs.org/
(Click on individual student blogs on the right side).
If you haven't had a chance to check out Ed.Ted.Com, you really should. It offers you an amazing and FREE way to build and share Ted Talk Lessons with your students. Provoke some deep thinking in your classes by using TED-Ed to spark a discussion or introduce a new topic of study. It's easy to use and very engaging. Below is quick tutorial on how to use the site. I have also listed some of my favourite lessons further down on this page. Enjoy!
This is the title of a presentation given by Ian Jukes and Ted McCain. And it totally got my attention. The descriptor for the presentation asked questions that I have been wrestling with recently:
Are you feeling overwhelmed with the challenge of change? Are you or your organization spinning your tires? Are you convinced that you'll never be able to help move your colleagues or institution from here to there? Why is it so difficult to change personal habits, to modify long-standing professional practices, or to help individuals and organizations beyond a fixation with the here and now? And how in the world can we possibly address the future needs of our children if we can't even get ourselves out of first gear?
When I read that, I thought of the challenges facing Alberta schools as we try to move forward while Alberta Education is still sorting out their curriculum redesign ideas. Unfortunately, this presentation was from 2006, so I was out of luck trying to access it. But I was able to learn a bit more about the presenters and their ideas.
A few of the more salient points for me, include:
"The challenge we're facing in education at this time is that educators are being asked to reconsider our fundamental assumptions about how we teach, how students learn and how that learning should be assessed...What we are being asked to do here is reconsider some of the most fundamental, traditional, embedded parts of our life experiences and our habits of mind."
"The problem is that our schools are what they used to be. So if we're going to prepare our students for their future and not just...our comfort zone, we're going to need new schools - and more than that, we need a new mindset. We need schools for the new world that awaits them. We need schools that will prepare students for their future - for life ahead of them after they leave school - for the rest of their lives."
"Change is difficult and it's very easy to feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the changes required. But this is normal. Little has ever been understood or achieved in one blinding flash of light. The process of change is messy and doesn't happen overnight."
(Read more of this on the allthingslearning blog
When Wm. E. Hay High School in Stettler began their journey in school improvement, their research and ideas were shared with the public through a series of documents. Their Pilot Project Informational Booklet contains excerpts from Jukes and McCain's Change is Hard presentation (below).
However, not everyone agrees that changing schools is hard. Grant Lichtman visited 64 schools in 21 states, meeting with over 600 educators, to learn about the changes being made to improve schools. Grant disagrees with the ‘change is hard’ perspective. He says ‘change is uncomfortable’ and he might be right!
Some of Grant's key ideas:
- Change isn't hard...Change is uncomfortable. Change is messy. Change is chaotic. But it isn't hard. We need to get comfortable with messy.
- Schools are becoming dynamic, chaotic, messy. That’s what student ownership of learning looks like.
- A modern school is a global natural ecosystem…dynamic…permeable…adaptive…systemic…creative…self-correcting. An industrial age school is contained…controlled…predictable…scalable…repeatable…measurable.
Watch Grant Lichtman's TEDxDenverTeachers talk to be inspired!
Whether you think change is hard or uncomfortable, the bottom line is that it is time to stop talking about it and just start doing it.
This blog and resources website has been developed through the work of various AISI coaches in PHRD. The lead collaborative teachers for the 2015/2016 school year, Cheryl Frose, Christine Quong and Tammy Tkachuk will continue to update this site. If you have resources you would like to share or would like to contribute to the blog, please contact us.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada License.