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If you are a teacher in Alberta you are lucky, because there are many great resources out there to support your teaching. Here are five of my favourite.
1. Learn Alberta
You can access many resources on this site with out a log in. But, if you have a district log in number you get full access to some of the best resources out there. This site hosts teacher resources, students resources, lesson plans, videos and interactive tools all linked to Alberta Curriculum.
Hints for using this effectively:
If you use the Program of Studies search tool you can find resources for students and teachers by outcome!
You can save and organize your resources to your own page! Organize the pages by Subject and Topic as well.
My favourite resources from Learn Alberta:
Critical Challenges were created in alignment with the Social Studies curriculum k – 12 and offers an overarching Inquiry Question for each grade, and then several sub-inquiries to develop the overarching question. Each challenge includes: Suggested Activities, Outcomes Addressed, References, and Related Resources that include black line masters. Even if you don’t do the Challenge, there are excellent resources to help you teach skills like this one for Considering Options.
Explore Learning Gizmos offer simulations for science (and math) concepts. For example, the Gizmo for Germination allows students to experiment with different seed tips and manipulate variables to test their questions. Each Gizmo comes with handouts that include background information, instructions on how to use the Gizmo, and follow up questions. See this example for Germination.
Mathlive tutorials teach math outcomes like Addition and Subtraction of Decimals. Each tutorial comes with a cartoon mini-lesson, parent notes, teacher notes, and an assessment tool. Parent Notes provide a brief description of what students should be able to do, common mistakes students make, and ideas for more practice.
Mathematics Planning Guides is a step-by-step guide to help teachers plan mathematics instruction for specific outcomes. It includes a description of the curriculum focus, suggests achievement indicators, outlines plans for instructions, and finally identifies ways to assess student learning.
The Learning Federation offers interactive resources to support English Language Arts. In one example students conduct a survey an choose ingredients for a soft drink based on results.
2. Resources for Rethinking
Here is how it describes itself:
Resources for Rethinking is a project developed by Learning for a Sustainable Future. It provides teachers access to lesson plans, curriculum units and other teaching resources that integrate environmental, social and economic spheres through learning that is interdisciplinary and action oriented. We call this learning Education for Sustainable Development or ESD.
Each R4R resource has been reviewed by an experienced classroom teacher and matched to relevant curriculum outcomes for all provinces and territories in Canada.
Hints for how to use this site effectively:
You can search by province, grade, subjects or themes.
Don’t forget to check out the information about available funding!
You can sign up to receive emails as new resources are highlighted and about resources linked to special days throughout the year.
Here are a few of my favourite resources:
Learning for a Sustainable Future:
EcoLeague Action Project Recipes
These are “recipes” for action projects that provide students with high-qualitiy interactive experiences to understand and take action on environmental issues. There are 9 to choose from, and they can be easily adapted for Elementary and up. The best thing about them? There is funding available!
Green Learning Canada
Lessons, videos, resources for teaching about energy issues in Canada.
Students research an energy related topic, and create an eCard to share what they have learned, which they send to a community leader, family member, or other.
Science 7: Real World Ecosystems
Although directed at grade 7 science, I like to use this site for my grade 4 Social Studies. They have a great section on Alberta’s Geographical regions that includes images, voice, and text. Great for differentiating research. To get to it go to: A Ecosystems Basics, Alberta Ecosystems, Activities, Online.
3. Regional Consortium
There are Consortium in each area of Alberta. I am in Calgary, and have found the Calgary Regional Consortium Professional Development opportunities to be very high quality. They are offered in all subject and grade areas, often by well recognized names in education (for example Barbara Mericonda), at different times throughout the day, including daytime, evenings and weekends. They mostly have fees, but are generally well worth it. I make it a goal to attend at least two a year.
Twitter is a great place to develop you Personal Learning Network. For tips on how to use twitter see my previous post here. Try following one of the following hashtags:
#bdedchat Chats are Sundays 7 – 8pm PDT
#cdnedchat Chats are Mondays 8 – 9 pm EST
5. Inside Education
Offers high quality free classroom resources, class and field presentations, and teacher PD to support environmental and natural resource education in the classrooms. A few years ago I went on a three day field exploration to Fort MacMurray to learn about Alberta’s Oil Sands. We toured a mining site, and a SAG-D site and heard from business, government and non-profit organizations about issues around Oil Sand development. AND it was FREE!
That’s all for my Friday night. I know there are many more great places we can go to find resources to support our teaching. What is your goto place? Send me a comment, and we can add it to our list.