- Edutopia – Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blogs/tag/differentiated-instruction or http://www.edutopia.org/blog/vocabulary-instruction-teaching-tips-rebecca-alber?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=post&utm_campaign=blog-vocab-tips-image-repost
This website bases all its resources on six basic strategies for learning:
- Comprehensive Assessment
- Integrated Studies
- Project-Based Learning
- Social and Emotional Learning
- Teacher Development
- Technology Integration
Founded by filmmaker/director George Lucas, the idea is to promote exciting learning with “student teams working cooperatively and children connecting with passionate experts”. The resources include videos, job postings, research, and lesson plans.
There is one whole section on diversity with several short videos for teachers. One in particular is narrated by Dr. Dorothy Strickland (2012), which recommends the teacher learn as much as possible about where each child is coming from, but be able to step back and deal with each child as an individual. This also applies to adult learners and isn’t necessarily easy, but very important.
- Smithsonian Education (multiple resources with state standards, lesson plans, etc.). http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/educators/index.html
I was able to visit just part of the Smithsonian earlier this year and found myself amazed at the overwhelming amount of knowledge contained within the walls. Now, much of that knowledge is available online through this website with resources for teachers, students, and families. One can search by state standards to ensure the lesson plan is appropriate for the region. There are suggestions for planning field trips, and opportunities for professional development.
I especially like the webcasts available online and would certainly use some of those in a classroom. Another lesson plan which would appeal to the students is From Corido to Ballad which teaches about the history of the cowboy culture. “El corrido de Kansas” is probably the earliest existing song about the cowboy life, and in the lesson, students change a Spanish language song to an English language song. It presents the opportunity to understand the gist of the song, rather than a literal translation.
- Educurious – Retrieved from http://educurious.org/
Educurious® is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization on a mission to fundamentally transform the K-12 education experience. Our vision: To create an effective education system in which young people learn in meaningful and inspiring ways, and classrooms are places they want to be. Their goal: “To cultivate curious, motivated young people who are ready for college and tomorrow’s careers….They combine project-based learning, technology, and connections with real-world experts, to create meaningful learning experiences that cultivate contemporary skills.
- Teacher Toolkit – Retrieved from http://teachertoolkit.me/2014/05/15/50-forward-planning-questions-by-teachertoolkit/
This resource offers links to many articles and blogs by others in education. Most recently, I found an article that had lists of questions for every level of teacher to ask themselves for classroom/self- improvement. In addition, there are links to training, chat, YouTube videos, etc. One can search for ideas specific to their teaching. Type in “writing” and the site brings up many resources.
- Colorado State University – Retrieved from http://writing.colostate.edu/guides/teaching/esl/lesson_materials.cfm
This website offers varied ESL lesson plans and the materials (worksheets) to use. While observing the ESL class these last weeks, I mentioned this site to the teacher and she uses it quite frequently. It provides resource links to other colleges and universities. Currently, I’m reviewing lessons on writing.
- The Power of Reading, by Dr. Stephen Krashen (2012). [Youtube video]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Rx_ZJwZCo0
Dr. Krashen’s ideas have been integral to the entire TESOL program. He discusses what the differences are between acquisition of first and second (or third) languages. His lecture is easy to follow and he emphasizes key points.
- “My English”: Second Language Acquisition as Individual and Social Construction, by Kurt Kohn. (2012). [Youtube video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCfpD49YhSg
Another video, this one brings understanding to the teachers about the why of learning and speaking English. Kohn says, “I want to get it right” not just be understood. This is especially important for adult learners. As a bonus, it was pleasant to hear English spoken so carefully and clearly.
- Research-Based Strategies for English Language Learners (White Paper) – Retrieved from http://www.heinemann.com/shared/onlineresources/e00810/chapter4.pdf
I found this paper to be quite helpful in explaining and showing how scaffolding works in teaching English to non-native speakers.
- CASAS-CAHSEE (2014). CASAS Basic Skills Content Standards. Retrieved from https://www.casas.org/home
This website offers the standards for students to take and pass the CASAS-CAHSEE Exam (2014), a state test of English language proficiency which is designed to show proficiency in:
- Writing conventions
- Writing strategies
- Word analysis
- Reading comprehension
- Literacy response and analysis
There are assessment tests available. Students preparing for citizenship tests or employment opportunities will appreciate the experience. CASAS recognizes the following areas of competencies: phonology, vocabulary, grammar, general and informational discourse, and strategic and critical thinking.
- Discovery Edu Retrieved from http://blog.discoveryeducation.com/
This network features blogs by educator for educators. Recently, I have been following SOS, Spotlight on Strategies. There are many resources for training and techniques for bringing Discovery into the classroom.