Before you teach a unit of study consider how "front loading" your topic with vocabulary and activation of schema may inspire learning.
Below, choose 3 links/websites in a content area. Explore these before beginning the unit of study. Walking through the BIG book online, called the Internet, allows students to explore possible content that they will encounter, be stimulated by incidental content connected to the new area, and quick-view what is coming up so they each can make an incidental connection when working through a unit plan.
Have students use jot notes or stickies to remark on possible areas of interest through this preview activity. Prepare them through preview. Encourage them to size up the topic before they begin.
Example I: Search the Annenberg Site by subject area and select three links to explore.
Example II: Search through the following site BBC Bitesize for "what would I need to know", intro videos, quizzes, and possible activities.
PICTURE BOOK STARTER LISTS FOR YOUR CONTENT AREA
- Using Picture Books as Framing Texts for Research Projects in English
- Teaching with Picture Books blog including Ways to Share Picture Books and 13 Reasons Why to Read Picturebooks With Older Students
- PBS: http://www.pbs.org/teachers/ (use the pull-down menus to refine the list of links).
- Outstanding Science Tradebooks (compiled by NSTA)
- Nonfiction History Books for Teens
- International Children's Digital Library (for picture books in different languages)
- American Library Association—Young Adult Library Services Association http://www.ala.org/ala/yalsa/booklistsawards/booklistsbook.htm
- International Reading Association http://www.reading.org/Resources/Booklists.aspx
- You might find some books for math at the National Council of Mathematics Teachers: http://nctm.org/resources/content.aspx?id=16385
- Notable Trade Books for Young People from the National Council for the Social Studies: http://www.socialstudies.org/resources/notable/
- National Science Teachers Association Outstanding Science Trade Books: http://www.nsta.org/ostbc
- Information about the California Young Reader Medal is here: http://www.cla-net.org/awards/cyrm.php
- The Nonfiction Eureka! Award (Click the link at the top to last year’s winners): http://www.californiareads.org/awards/eureka.htm
- Amazon’s ListMania is sometimes helpful. A tutorial about finding resources via ListMania is here: http://www.ehow.com/how_2341922_find-amazon-listmania-lists.html
- Khan Academy (mini-lesson demonstrations)
- National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
- Annenberg's Math Interactives
- The Maths Dictionary for Kids
- NEIRTECH Math Portal
- InterMath Dictionary
- Cool Math
- Interactive Mathematics
- The Scale of the Universe: Zoom from the edge of the universe to the quantum foam of spacetime and learn the scale of things along the way.
- Math is Fun: Pythagoras Theorem animation and Math is Fun homepage
- Multilingual Math e-glossary
- Math Videos.com: Instructional videos and calculators for geometry, algebra, and probability.
- Virtual Geometry and Geography Game
- When Will I Use Math?
- Economics Education (EconEd)
- Web 2.0 Tools for Math Educators
- Learn About the Canadian Parliament
- BBC History Interactives
- Pathways to Freedom
- Crash Course: World History and Biology (video series)
- Images of American Political History
- American Memory Photo Collections
- History.com Historical Speeches
- Annenberg's History Interactives
- Sixty Virtual Tours and Webcams (via interactive Google Maps)
- Eternal Egypt
- Gapminder World - Includes an amazing demonstration of its potential to help students visualize historical trends, in this case about the wealth and health of nations 1800 - 2009.
- LinkTV: News from around the world (gain a global perspective)
- Colonial Williamsburg Official History Site (multimedia museum)
- Interactive Shakespeare Project
- Knowing Poe (Edgar Allan Poe)
- MythWeb: Greek Mythology
- Annenberg's Literature Interactives
- American Writers Journey Through History and American Writers II: The 20th Century
- The Academy of American Poets
- World Creation Myths
- Google Lit Trips (need to download Google Earth to run the files)
- Interactive Hacker Handbook Resources
- Indigenous People’s Literature
- ENotes Video Study Guide for Shakespeare's MacBeth
- Paragraph Punch: Interactive Online Writing Tutorial
- Make Beliefs Comics (online comic strip generator)
- Magnetic Poetry
- SAT Preparation Practice
- VisuWords Online Graphical Dictionary
- Read Write Think for Secondary Level
- The Environment
- Biology and Life Sciences
- BioDigital Human: 3D Platform for understanding anatomy, disease, and treatments.
- Cells Alive
- BBC Science and Nature Interactives
- Kids Health
- Six Virtual Tours of the Human Body: Google Body, MEDtropolis, eSkeletons, Direct Anatomy, and Artificial Anatomy
- HHMI's BioInteractive Virtual Labs - six labs
- One Ocean - Interactive 3D explorations and guided tours of the ocean.
- Motion and Physics
- Multiple Sciences
- Web 2.0 Science Tools for Educators
- Science Updates: 60 Second video summaries on many science topics
- Ed Gate World Language Center - 6 different languages and related cultural information
- Instructional Podcasts for Learning Spanish as a Second Language
- Digital Dialects: language games in many different languages
- ESL Partyland
- Learning English as a Second Language - Learn American English Online
- Learn Spanish: A free online tutorial - generate customized quizzes too - use the tabs along the top
- Spanish Pop Music
- Virtual Foreign Language Classroom: Arabic, French, Chinese, German, Japanese, Russian, Latin, and Spanish)
- Spanish Newspapers: El Neuvo Herald and La Prensa
- More Spanish Newspapers: BBC Mundo and Espanoles en el mundo
- Content/Language Creation Tools for Teachers and/or Students
- Tools for World Languages
- BBC Language Sites for high school
- International Children's Digital Library search by language or learn how to read books.
high school Spanish students
- Spanish picture books
- Virtual Picture Books in Spanish and French from Miscositas.com for language teachers
- Jim Becker's Super Language Websites
- ** FOR TEACHERS: Teaching Foreign Languages K-12: A Library of Classroom Practices from Learner.org
- Rich Internet Applications for Language Learning
ELEMENTARY / INTERDISCIPLINARY
- The Yuckiest Site on the Internet
- Cool Math
- Giggle Poetry
- National Geographic Kids
- Interactive Tools from the National Gallery of Art
- Dialogue for Kids (Idaho Public Television)
MISCELLANEOUS RESOURCES TO EXPLORE
- WatchKnow: Free Educational Videos
- A Collection of the Twelve Best Online and Interactive Museum Exhibits
- Organizing Digital Content [SOURCE: //Education Week//] - Here’s a sample of some of the repositories of digital educational content available on the Web.
The Orange Grove Florida’s digital-learning repository was the first such state-run resource of its kind, and offers content from the preschool to graduate levels.
North Carolina Learning Object Repository The LOR, as frequent users call it, is the Tar Heel State’s digital-content repository. It is a collaboration by the state education department, state virtual school, community colleges, and state and private universities.
USG Share Georgia’s repository is run through the University System of Georgia, and shares its content in a consortium with repositories from Florida, Kentucky, and North Carolina.
Kentucky Learning Depot While The Kentucky Learning Depot is a bit younger than some of its other consortium-mates, it is following its state’s early adoption of the common-core standards to become the first repository to align itself to them.
Thinkfinity Thinkfinity, which is operated by the Verizon Foundation, the nonprofit community-outreach arm of Verizon Communications, offers free digital lesson plans and other content to teachers, as well as students and parents.
Discovery Education Discovery offers free resources as well as a more complete for-pay service that links educators and students to digital content created by Discovery, the largest nonfiction media group in the world, as well as its partners.
Sophia Sophia launched this spring and is an attempt to create a national repository based solely upon contributions of its users. Content is contributed in “packets,” and users are given ratings based on their interactions on the platform.PBS Teachers:
- 100 Best Video Sites for Educators: tutorials, multimedia resources, and much more!
- School History UK - online history lessons, revision, games, worksheets, quizzes, and links
- Online Biology Book
- Radar's Kapili.com with Chem4Kids, Biology4Kids, Geograpy4Kids, Cosmos4Kids, Physics4Kids, and Numbernut.com for Math
- Free Online Content Courses: Math, Social Science, History, English, Science and Business
- Portals to the World from the Library of Congress
- Reading Strategies for Web Activities in Spanish
- Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab
- Dave's ESL Cafe
- Classzone En Espanol Level 2 Online textbook resources
- Oxfam's Cool Planet On The Line
Connecting Content Subjects to Real Life
- Cool News to Prompt Questions in Your Content Area:
- Science (Chemistry): Quick restart of big bang machine stuns scientists (Nov. 2009)
- CNN Student News: Stories and Video from CNN
- GetSmarter.org for Math and Science
- Underground Railroad Simulation
- Enrich Math Connections to the Olympics at Every Grade Level and Connections between Science, Math, and the Real World
- NSF Mathematics Overview
- Engineering is Elementary (from NSF) - linking content units to children's storybooks
- Doomsday Vault from 60 Minutes - links to science, society, and the future
- Does Chemistry Relate to Real Life - Webquest
- Chemistry You Need to Know
- Chemistry of a Crime Scene real-life science behind CSI
- Numb3rs TV show and math expert's description and We All Use Math Every Day (a whole curriculum based on the program!) with season videos at Amazon
- Math Tradebooks/Novels/Biographies (from a larger list at LosBanos.com)
- 200% of Nothing: An Eye Opening Tour Through the Twists and Turns of Math Abuse and Innumeracy by A. K. Dewdney (statistics, data analysis, probability) - Also for grades 6-8.
- A Gebra Named Al: A Novel by Wendy Isdell (math and science concepts for middle schoolers presented in a novel, algebra and order of operations)
- A Tour of the Calculus by David Berlinski (calculus)
- Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh ( "This is the story of how the centuries old and most famous unsolved problem in mathematics, Fermat's Last Theorem, was solved by Andrew Wiles. It reveals a short history of mathematics and the extent to which it is a collaborative effort.")
- G is for Google by Schwartz David and Moss Marissa (a math alphabet book with all sorts of math concepts)
- Math-terpieces: The Art of Problem Solving (creative problem solving)
- Mathematical Mystery Tour: Higher-Thinking Math Tasks by Mark H. Wahl (fibonacci numbers and the golden ratio)
- Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi by Cindy Neuschwander (Pi)
- Sir Cumference and the First Round Table by Cindy Neuschwander (geometry)
- Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angleland by Cindy Neuschwander (angles -comes with a plastic protractor)
- Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter by Cindy Neuschwander (area and perimeter)
- Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone by Cindy Neuschwander (cubes, pyramids, cylinders and cones)
- The Mathematical Magpie by Clifton Fadiman (law of averages, Moebuis Strip, topology, one to one correspondence, hyper-geometry, Pythagorean Theorem, number sense, geometric figures, probability, variables and more)
- The Number Devil: A Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger ("number 0, places, powers and roots, series, prime numbers, the Sieve of Erastosthenes, Fibonaci numbers, limits," and more)
Tables and Graphs
- CK-12 Foundation - Flex Books
- Calculus on the Web
- Free High School Science Textbooks (FHSST) for South Africa
- Speed read in easy steps (software to measure your current speed)
- Five free lessons
- Eleven free lessons
- Speed read and retain comprehension (53 minutes)