Archive for March, 2009

Paid Summer Curricula Writing Opportunity for Teachers @Curriki

The summer is a great time to catch up on books, sleep and the beach. That said, why not pick up a little extra cash this June, July and August while helping educators around the world to boot?!

This summer Curriki is sponsoring its annual Summer of Content initiative:

Paid Summer Lesson Writing Opportunity

Do you have an instructional unit or course you’re proud of that you’d like to publish and get paid for?

Interested in earning money this summer to develop a new unit that will be shared with a global audience?

For our Summer of Content initiative, Curriki is soliciting elementary and middle school content in ELA, math, science, and social studies. Apply by April 15th, 2009. For more details, click here.

About Curriki

Curriki is a social entrepreneurship organization that supports the development and free distribution of open source educational materials to improve education worldwide. The online community gives teachers, students and parents universal access to a wealth of peer-reviewed primary and secondary curricula, and powerful online collaboration tools. Curriki is building a unique web site that offers complete, open courses of instruction and assessment. Founded by Sun Microsystems in 2004, the organization has operated as an independent nonprofit since 2006.

Curriki originated from the idea that technology can play a crucial role in breaking down the barriers of the Education Divide – the gap between those who have access to high-quality education and those who do not. The initial focus is on primary and secondary curricula in the areas of literacy, mathematics, science, technology, language arts, and foreign languages. The site has already been translated into Spanish, French, German, Hindi and Indonesian Bahasa. Moving forward Curriki aims to become a vital resource of Arabic language reading and curricula materials as well. To learn more about Curriki please visit the site and watch this video.

Hope to see your ELA lessons on Curriki! Regardless, please visit the site to find thousands of free lessons and learning objects. You won’t be disappointed!

Anna

P.S. I am quite enjoying Curriki’s tweets on Twitter. To follow Curriki, click here.

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Help your students visualize the stories they read with Google Lit Trips!

Help your students understand the stories they read at a whole new level with Google Lit Trips! The site states, “Using Google Earth, students discover where in the world the greatest road trip stories of all time took place… and so much more!”

Imagine teaching Make Way for Ducklings with a tool that enables your students to visually follow the journey of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard as they look for a safe home for their family. Using Google Earth, students can track the Mallard family as the travel from the Public Garden to Beacon Hill to the State House and more! When students click on each location on the Make Way for Ducklings Google Earth file, they can see real pictures and learn factual background information about every place in the story!

This is an incredible tool for helping students visualize and learn about the places they encounter in stories! To get started on your journey with Mr. and Mrs. Mallard and other characters from famous children’s novels:

  • Download Google Earth (click here to download the program for free)
  • Return to Google Lit Trips
  • Click on one of the grade level links at the top of the page
  • Find a Lit Trip that suits your fancy!
  • Enjoy exploring!

Off to the Public Garden with the Mallards!

Anna

PS Thanks Kate Reavey (Peninsula College) for supplying the YouTube video above!

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Web English Teacher… More Great Teaching Resources!

This post is a big shout out to Carla Beard, founder of Web English Teacher. I almost fell out of my desk chair with excitement when I happened upon this site two days ago! What a resource! Carla explains:

When I started teaching in 1975, “cutting-edge technology” in the classroom meant opaque projectors, 8-millimeter loop movies, and ditto masters in green and red as well as purple. Today it includes wireless networks, streaming media, white boards, and e-books. Fortunately, it also includes the Internet and its most popular component, the World Wide Web.

In the spring of 2000, my student teacher spent hours online trying to find information and ideas to help her in the classroom. “Someone,” I thought, “should put ideas teachers can use in one place online. It would save a lot of time searching.”

That June, “someone” became me.

At Web English Teacher educators can take advantage of online technology to share ideas and to benefit from the work of others. Beginning teachers can find guidance; experienced teachers can find inspiration. Think of it as the faculty library and faculty workroom on a global scale.

Because the most important part of teaching isn’t the technology.

This week Carla has shared a number of ideas on “Book Reports in a Digital Age.” For example:

  • Take a look at the link a Bookish Proposal, where students and teachers make plans to sell books in uncommon venues.
  • Trying to motivate reluctant or striving readers? Why not work with your students to create Digital Book Trailers?
  • I’m a huge fan of Twitter and I suspect your students are too! How about having your students do a Twitter Book Report?

Book reports aside, Carla’s Children’s Literature Resource Page is not to be missed. Her ENL/ESL Page is abundant with resources as well.

Thanks Carla!

Anna

P.S. For you Twitter fans, feel free to say hello to me here, I also sometimes tweet here. I’d love to follow you as well!

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Developing Young Readers: A Handout for Parents

Aside from developing technology tools for classrooms, universities and other professional education environments, I sometimes meet with parents and teachers to share tips and technology resources that are helpful for fostering child literacy development.

Tomorrow I have the pleasure of working with the parents of Dubai’s very own Knightsbridge Nursery, where I will:

  • Share research on the importance of reading with children during their nursery years
  • Discuss practical tips for developing reading skills and positive reading experiences with young children
  • Present resources on the Internet that parents and nursery teachers can use with young children to develop literacy skills and a love of books

I suspect many other parents are interested in these topics, so I’ve decided to post my presentation handout:

Feel free to print, distribute and share!

Anna

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How do you make a teacher great? (Gates on Education)

The new TED talks are live which means my commutes to and from schools are now filled with podcasts by some of the most influential minds of our generation including, Eva Zeisel (Ceramics), Sugata Mitra (Education and how kids teach themselves), Philip Rosedale (Second Life)… This morning I watched Bill Gates discuss two challenging questions his foundation is trying to understand and tackle:

  • How do we stop a deadly disease that is spread by mosquitoes?
  • How do you make a teacher great?

Take a moment to watch the following video and engage with Gates as he elaborates on:

  • Where are great teachers being made?
  • What schools send the majority of children to four year colleges?
  • What classrooms truly engage their students?
  • What tools and data do teachers need to further their professional development and pedagogy skills?

If you are interested in learning more about TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design), click here. This is by far one of the most educational websites/initiatives I’ve run across in a long time!

Cheers,

Anna

P.S. Given that it is already the first of March, summer is right around the corner! As you make plans for May, June, and July, many of you may be interested in submitting early literacy curricula to Curriki‘s Summer of Content initiative. Select teachers will receive a stipend for submitting curricula and will have the opportunity to share and have their work promoted to teachers and institutions across the globe. To learn more and apply, click here.

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