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Showing posts with label lesson planning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lesson planning. Show all posts

Monday, October 21, 2013

5 Online Tools That Help You Align Lessons to Common Core Standards

Common Core, love it or hate it, if you're teaching in the United States there is a good chance that you'll have to work with it. If that describes you, take a look at these five tools that can help you create lessons aligned to Common Core standards.

Teaching Objects is an online lesson planner that enables you to pull materials from your Google Drive and YouTube accounts into your lesson plans. As you write your lesson plans and organize your materials in your Teaching Objects account you can search for an identify the Common Core standards that align to each of your lesson plans. (To use Teaching Objects you do have to have a Google Account).

Alchemy SmartBinder is a free service for creating, organizing, and sharing lessons. With an Alchemy SmartBinder account teachers can create lessons that include text, images, videos, audio files, and web links. Each lesson can be aligned to Common Standards and or any other standards system that you use. Each lesson can be shared with students. All lessons are organized in courses in your Alchemy SmartBinder.

Common Curriculum is an online lesson planning resource that aims to help you align your lessons to Common Core standards. In Common Curriculum you can enter your courses and write your lesson plans. After you enter a lesson plan into your Common Curriculum planner you can click "search for standard" to have Common Curriculum search for Common Core standards that might match your lesson plan. The more text that you include in your lesson plan the more likely Common Curriculum is to find Common Core standards that match your lesson plans.

OpenEd is a site that claims to be the world's largest educational resource catalog. On OpenEd you can search for videos, games, and other educational materials. Your searches can be conducted according to content area, grade level, Common Core standard, or a combination of those factors. You can also search according to keyword although when I tried the keyword search option it didn't work well. As a registered OpenEd user (registration is free and takes less than thirty seconds to complete) you can create courses and playlists of videos and other materials that you find in the OpenEd directory. You can align your courses and playlists to standards. If you choose to align your course to a standard, OpenEd will suggest materials to you.

MasteryConnect is a service that offers a few products that I think teachers in U.S. public schools should know about. First, they offer a good system for tracking your students' mastery of Common Core standards. Second, they provide a great community of educators who are connecting and sharing lesson ideas. And third, MasteryConnect now offers a curriculum mapping tool that allows you to easily connect your current lessons and curriculum to Common Core and or state standards. You can see the MasteryConnect curriculum mapping tool in the video found here.

Disclosure: MasteryConnect helps feed me and my dog every month through their advertising payments.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Teaching Objects - A Lesson Planner That Integrates Google Drive

Teaching Objects is an online lesson planner that I stumbled upon today and that I think has great potential. The first thing that you'll notice when you try Teaching Objects is that you have to create your account using a Google account (either a personal account or a Google Apps for Edu account). Then you can optionally authorize Teaching Objects to access your Google Drive and YouTube accounts. Giving authorization will enable you to pull materials from your Google Drive and YouTube accounts into your Teaching Objects lesson plans.

Teaching Objects can be used without authorizing it to access your Google Drive and YouTube accounts. Even if you choose not to authorize it there is a nice feature of Teaching Objects that you might want to try. That feature is Common Core standards alignment. As you write your lesson plans and organize your materials in your Teaching Objects account you can search for an identify the Common Core standards that align to each of your lesson plans.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Common Curriculum Helps You Create Common Core Lesson Plans

Common Curriculum is a new online lesson planning resource that aims to help you align your lessons to Common Core standards. In Common Curriculum you can enter your courses and write your lesson plans. After you enter a lesson plan into your Common Curriculum planner you can click "search for standard" to have Common Curriculum search for Common Core standards that might match your lesson plan. The more text that you include in your lesson plan the more likely Common Curriculum is to find Common Core standards that match your lesson plans.

Beyond the standards search, Common Curriculum has a couple of helpful tools for you. If your lessons tend to follow a particular pattern you can create a lesson plan template that you reuse across your schedule. If you don't have a blog or aren't consistently using a blog to publish information about your courses, Common Curriculum has you covered. Each lesson plan that you write in Common Curriculum can be published to a blog with just one click.

Applications for Education
I learned about Common Curriculum from David Berger who is going to write a guest post about he and teachers in his school are using it. I look forward to learning more David. In the meantime, I think that anyone who has to align his or her lesson plans to Common Core standards will find Common Curriculum to be a handy lesson planning resource.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Organize and Share Lesson Resources on Claco

Back in March I wrote about a new social network for teachers called Class Connect. Since then Class Connect's founder Eric Simons has taken the service through some re-engineering and rebranding and has now re-launched his service as Claco.

Claco is part online filing and part social networking. Using Claco you can collect and organize resources into binders. The social networking piece of Claco allows you to  subscribe to other members' updates. When you subscribe to other members who have made their binders public, you can quickly "snap" their shared resources into your own binders. For example, in the screen capture below you will see that I am "snapping" one of Steve Spangler's shared resources into one of my binders.
In your Claco binders you can save videos, images, individual document files, and complete folders of files. As you can see in the image above, Steve Spangler shared a video that I snapped into one of my Claco binders.

Applications for Education
Claco could be a good place to organize your lesson materials and share some or all of them with other educators. If you're looking for a place to find new lesson ideas and resources, take a look at Claco.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mightybell - Event Planning and Visual Bookmarking

Mightybell is an interesting service that combines elements of two things that many teachers love; calendars and Pinterest-like visual bookmarking.

On Mightybell you can create private and public groups based around any topic, interest, or event. Your group works together on a shared board. To that board you can add files, videos, pictures, text notes, post questions, and post events using the event calendar. To enable real-time collaboration Mightybell provides a chat function for your groups too. The Mightybell browser bookmarklet makes it easy to add any web content to your Mightybell group boards.

Mightybell from Mightybell on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
One way that teachers might use Mightybell is to organize resources for units they're planning to teach together. To do this teachers would create a private Mightybell group, pin notes and resources to it, and use the event calendar pins to plan the days on which they're going to use their shared resources.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

LearnBoost Adds Unlimited Media to Lesson Plans

Disclosure: LearnBoost helps pay the rent at the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters. 


LearnBoost, the free online gradebook and lesson management service, just added another useful option for teachers. Now in the lesson planner teachers can include images, videos, charts, maps, and text clippings in their lesson plans. And if you're working with other teachers who use LearnBoost when you share a lesson plan that has media embedded in it the person with who you share will also be able to access the media you included. You can read more about this new feature and get directions on the LearnBoost blog.

Embedded below is a short video overview of adding media to your LearnBoost lesson plan.

How to embed media files in lesson plans from LearnBoost on Vimeo.

And another good feature of LearnBoost is the option to sync it with your Google Calendar settings. The video below shows you how to do that.

How to sync Google Calendars with LearnBoost from LearnBoost on Vimeo.

If you're not currently using LearnBoost, click here to get started and tell them I sent you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Warm Up Activities for Brainstorming

If you've ever jumped into a brainstorming session with your students or colleagues and found it wasn't going as well as you hoped, take a look at the brainstorming warm-up activities in the Slideshare presentation below.

Wake Up Brain!
View more presentations from Ethos3

Thanks to Mike Sansone for sharing this on Google+.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ten Trends to Affect Teaching in the Future (and now)

Rodd Lucier has a great post titled Classrooms of Tomorrow on his blog right now. In that post he talks about a professional development workshop he recently facilitated for Regina Mundi College. There are two aspects of Rodd's post that I enjoyed. First, I enjoyed reading what I would call the "guiding questions" of the session. The questions became the focus of the participant's task to create a "classroom of the future." From reading his post I can tell that it was the kind of workshop that I would have wanted to be a participant in. I encourage you to visit Rodd's post and read the questions and subsequent activities for yourself.

The second aspect of Rodd Lucier's Classrooms of Tomorrow post that I like is his slideshow about ten trends to affect teaching and learning in the future. As you go through the slideshow you'll notice that some of these trends are already affecting teaching and learning.


Applications for Education
If you read through Rodd Lucier's Classrooms of Tomorrow post you will find a good model of teaching that can be applied to K-12 classrooms, higher ed classrooms, and professional development workshops.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Open Book Exams Become Open Internet Exams

This morning on my drive into work I heard a story on the BBC World News radio program about schools in Denmark allowing students to take final exams while accessing the Internet. The article the story was based on can be found here. What I like about the story's concept is that the questions Danish students are being asked require them to use knowledge rather than regurgitate knowledge. In today's highly-connected world, finding information has become much easier and in turn it has become more difficult to be the "smartest person in the room." This is an important concept to remember when planning lessons and designing assessments. As educators in today's highly-connected world we need to be designing lessons and assessments that ask students to synthesize and apply the information they locate.

The other part of the story that I enjoyed was the interviews with teachers and students. The obvious concern that a lot of people listening to and reading the story will have is about cheating. The teachers addressed this concern by creating questions that cannot, in most cases, be answered well with simple cut and paste. The teachers and students also claim that the penalties for cheating are too severe to take the risk of cheating by emailing or instant messaging other students. While the stiff penalties are certainly a deterrent to cheating, it's more important to note that the emphasis of the exams is placed on application of knowledge rather than recitation of knowledge.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Bloom's Taxonomy Tutorial & Activity Design Tips

The Community College System of Colorado has a faculty wiki on which there is a page about Bloom's Taxonomy. The Bloom's Taxonomy page contains two flash tutorials designed to help teachers to plan lessons and create assignments using Bloom's Taxonomy. The first tutorial is a general overview of Bloom's Taxonomy. The second tutorial applies the concepts of Bloom's Taxonomy to current Internet resources like blogs, wikis, and multimedia mash-up tools.

















Applications for Education
The Bloom's Taxonomy tutorials on the CCCS faculty wiki could be helpful for teachers and student teachers trying to apply the concepts of Bloom's Taxonomy to the use of current web tools.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
Visual Representation of Bloom's for the 21st Century

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