Honoring the President: Resources for Celebrating President’s Day

By Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member

Mount_Rushmore (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Mount Rushmore (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

This week, classrooms across the country have the opportunity to pay tribute to contributions and legacies of U.S. Presidents as we prepare to celebrate President’s Day on Feb. 20.

Whether looking back or witnesses today’s presidency firsthand, the role of the head of the United States is one that students need to understand as paramount for guiding the country to progress and prosperity. It’s an opportunity for students to learn about leadership, responsibility and historical change. There are multiple ways you can integrate dialogue on the presidency into your classrooms.

Introducing the Presidency to the Youngest of Students 

Learning About U.S. Presidents – Get kids started on researching their favorite U.S. President! Curriki member Lexi Kuch offers a lesson plan on researching and creating a presentation for students in grades 3-5.

On Top of Mt. Rushmore – This curriculum unit from Andrew Doyle guides students in learning about each of the presidents carved onto Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota, and discovering their contributions to American history.

The President’s Roles and Responsibilities:  Understanding the President’s Job – This curriculum unit reviews the structure of the U.S. government, discusses the different tasks undertaken by the president, and offers an interactive online activity simulating a typical day on the job for the president.

George Washington -Gilbert Stuart oil painting (Source – Metropolitan Museum of Art)

George Washington -Gilbert Stuart oil painting (Source – Metropolitan Museum of Art)

The President’s Roles and Responsibilities:  Communicating with the President – This resource encourages students to consider the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. president and their own roles as citizens of a democracy. They learn about the different means the president uses to communicate with the public and then express their views on a particular issue in a letter to the president.

Civic Discussion for the Middle Years

The Presidency – This free app for iOS devices is designed as an easy reference for elementary and middle school students for facts on all of the U.S. Presidents.

Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents – Here’s an opportunity to read the first sentiments for the nation from George Washington through to Barack Obama.

The President’s Job – Students will review the roles of the presidency by using objects, images, and documents in this section of the online exhibition The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden.

Defining the Presidency – This resource teaches students about the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the election of our first president, George Washington.

President Lincoln and his Cabinet-Christian Schussele drawing (Source-Metropolitan-Museum of Art)

President Lincoln and his Cabinet-Christian Schussele drawing (Source-Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Leadership Studies for High School Students

George Washington – Studying the first leader of our nation? This collection on George Washington includes videos, biographical information, historical archives, artifacts, transcripts and lesson plans to support an in-depth analysis of his leadership.

Abraham Lincoln – This collection on Abraham Lincoln helps enhance studies on the Civil War, examining the president who ended slavery and unified the North and the South. The collection includes his famous Gettysburg Address, lesson plans, online games, curriculum units, and documents from Lincoln’s presidential library.

Communicating the Presidency – This resource from the Smithsonian Institute helps students learn how mass media, the entertainment industry and consumer products are all used to conduct a national dialogue between the president and his constituents.


LaniLani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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STORYWORLD Joins the Curriki Toolbox

STORYWORLD logoBy Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki

Learning a language is hard. Teaching a language can be even harder!

Research in language acquisition indicates that reading is one of the most effective ways to learn a new language. The more students read, the faster they learn. However, for the narrative to be meaningful, 90% of the words have to be comprehensible. That challenges teachers and parents
to find appropriate texts to match each learner’s language level.

Meet Curriki’s newest partner, STORYWORLD

STORYWORLD solves all this. STORYWORLD translates every word of every book with a simple click. Click once to hear the word pronounced, click again to hear and read the translation in the home language. No dictionary needed! Students can also switch the entire page to read and listen to the story in their home language for deeper understanding. This feature helps single-language parents support bilingual learners.

All these unique features unlock the story for virtually any student at any level.

storyworld-illustrationSTORYWORLD makes reading easy and natural. Learners acquire language naturally, listening to each story supported with visual clues. So, language becomes the vehicle for learning, not the end in itself. Narration by native speakers helps learners become familiar with the natural rhythm and sound of the language.

STORYWORLD Truly Makes Learning Fun

Students play the games at the end of each story, winning points while engaging in activities that reinforce core vocabulary and comprehension. At the end of each book read, every word or phrase that was clicked is saved in a personalized vocabulary list so the learner can review his or her own challenging vocabulary.

STORYWORLD’s Lexile® leveled library covers more than 1000 words and phrases, all presented with fun stories and colorful images. Subjects cover animals, body, celebrations, colors, counting, daily life, family, food, friends, locations, morals, school, transit, travel, and weather, so there’s something for everyone.

With STORYWORLD’s unique built-in one-on-one support, kids can easily teach themselves a new language in their zone of proximal development, that space between what they know and what they need to know, where learning happens most naturally.

Research has proven that students using STORYWORLD’s interactive bilingual books are able to learn independently in formal and informal learning settings.

STORYWORLD Aids Brain Development

And…STORYWORLD supports brain development! Learning a second language benefits children in multiple ways. Children who grow up learning multiple languages have enhanced brain development, show greater empathy for other cultures, and enjoy career opportunities in life.

Teachers, parents, join the growing STORYWORLD community.


Janet PintoJanet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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(Images provided by STORYWORLD)

Curriki in 2017: Who Uses Curriki, and Why Does It Matter?

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

studentsCurriki believes technology plays a crucial role in breaking down the barriers between those who have access to high-quality education and those who do not. Curriki helps bridge this educational divide by providing free and open resources to everyone.

This is more important in 2017 than ever before, as technology continues to shrink our world and give Curriki access to more educators and learners.

With a community of over 10 million global users, Curriki encourages collaboration by educators with diverse experiences from around the world to develop peer-reviewed and classroom tested learning resources and to create a culture of continuous improvement.

Curriki would not be able to fulfill its ambitious mission without the enthusiastic participation of its wide array of users:

Who Uses Curriki?

  • Curriculum Teams! We provide group spaces for members to collaborate on curriculum development, share ideas, and support one another.
  • Educators! Teachers and homeschool parents are on the educational front lines, and Curriki provides an endless library of materials.
  • Parents! Curriki has pre-screened and reviewed materials so parents can easily find what they are looking for.
  • Pre-Service and New Teachers! Use the collective knowledge of the global community to develop your skills and lesson banks.
  • Content Providers! They generously share their materials & create learning resources for the Curriki community.
  • YOU! Join Curriki.org and join the effort to make high-quality educational materials available for all. It’s free!

 


KimJonesimageKim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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Curriki … Thanks for Being a Teacher’s Best Friend

By Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member

The holiday season and the end of 2016 is a perfect time for reflecting on all things we are thankful for. We are reminded of those who are there for us all year, whom we call best friends. For many teachers, students, homeschoolers, parents, and education professionals around the world, Curriki has been a best friend – a constant, valuable resource to lean on.

If you haven’t discovered it yet, I’d like to share how Curriki strives to be a teacher’s best friend!

Trustworthy Instructional Resources

Teacher and studentsCurriki hosts an open-source library of instructional resources that you can rely on. Curriculum units, lesson plans, worksheets, graphic organizers, videos, simulations, reference materials and more are plentiful. They cover grade levels K-12 and higher education. Subject areas span from the arts and core subjects like math, science, language arts, and social studies, to career and technical education and foreign languages. Educators from around the world are constantly uploading new resources to share, plus, many resources come from esteemed educational partners and sponsors such as Khan Academy, the National Constitution Center and Oracle Academy.

“Read Your Mind” Search Results

Best friends know what you are thinking and what you need. With Curriki, you can search by keyword, subject, grade level or instructional material type to get relevant resources you can use in the classroom or your homeschool.

Generously FREE Open Resources

Money is never an issue with your best friend. Curriki offers a library of over 83,000 instructional resources that are completely free. It is free to become a member and no charge to view, download, and share resources. The library of resources is constantly evolving.  In addition, Curriki has curated collections specifically designed to align with standards and high-need content areas.

Community Ready To Listen, Dialogue, Collaborate

In addition to a vast resource library, Curriki consists of a community of nearly 500,000 members from around the entire globe, sharing instructional materials with each other and collaborating in groups. You can connect with colleagues within your own schools, community or across the world.

Help Whenever You Need It

Curriki is quicker than a phone call away. Scrambling for a supplemental resource to help differentiate instruction or address a content need? Pull up Curriki on your phone, tablet, computer or anywhere you have internet access! Why reinvent the wheel when someone else is willing to share?

Keeps You Organized

We’ve all needed our best friend to keep our heads on straight. Curriki isn’t just a place where you can search for materials. — you can also save and organize resources in your own personal library and even share it with colleagues!

Encourages You to Help Others

By being a member of Curriki and sharing resources, you help global education for all. Many educators around the world don’t have the time and resources as you do. Likewise, you may benefit from the shared resources of others. The education profession is a juggling act. Curriki offers the chance to leverage the playing field and collaborate so we can maximize our time and accomplish all that we can for our students.

Join the Community

For more information on becoming a Curriki partner, please email Partners@curriki.org or visit Curriki.org.


LaniLani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.

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Kids Distracted? Use the Holidays to Make Teaching Fun!

Janet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, Curriki

The run-up to the December holidays presents a huge challenge to keeping kids engaged and learning.  Kids are so distracted by visions of sugarplums, menorahs and the prospect of getting gifts! You will find that Curriki’s website offers a wide variety of holiday activities that give teachers and homeschoolers the opportunity to use the distractions to teach. Here are a few ideas:

Christmas

Grinch Grow Your HeartDr. Seuss Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes this Season offers fantastic printables and activities, from “The Grinch Grow Your Heart Game” to Seussian word searches  to “The Official Good Deed Tracker Book.” Join Cindy-Lou Who for a fun holiday ride!

Christmas Tale is a free app for both iOS and Android that includes a Christmas Countdown Clock, Christmas Piano musical tree-decorating activity, Christmas Wish List, jigsaw puzzles, Paint-a-Picture, a Counting Game, Memory Match and more!

Hanukkah (Chanukah)

Through Curriki’s Hanukkah collection, kids can learn about the Jewish festival of lights through stories, videos, songs, cooking and more, hurtling through Hanukkah traditions with a step-by-step guide to everything from arranging the menorah to unique holiday customs.

Kkwanzaa-slidewanzaa

Did you know that Kwanzaa was started by a teacher? Kwanzaa was introduced in the mid-1960s — during the US Civil Rights Movement – by Maulana Karenga, Ph.D., chair and professor of African-American Studies at the California State University at Long Beach, in an effort to pull the African-American community together in pride and unity. The reflective nature of Kwanzaa is based on ideas borrowed from an ancient African Swahili seven-day-long harvest celebration.

In Curriki’s lessons, children discuss those seven principles: unity, self-determination, collective responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith.  You might want to start with a Sesame Street video!

Winter Solstice

Children on a globeThe Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, marking the moment the sun shines at its most southern point, directly over the Tropic of Capricorn. It’s a major pagan festival, with rituals of rebirth having been celebrated for thousands of years, and it’s a fascinating scientific phenomenon. This year, the solstice will occur on Wednesday, Dec. 21. Check out Curriki’s many resources!

Holidays Around the World

Younger children (K-1) can learn about winter holidays around the world with OER on Curriki’s website, traveling from Mexico (by re-enacting a traditional posadas party,) to Sweden (by role-playing Santa Lucia Day),  to Africa (by eating homemade Kinaras on self-made woven placemats for a harvest celebration), to  Israel (by making dreidels and latkes for Hanukkah), to the United States (by decorating a Christmas tree, making cards and caroling).

Christmas Around the World Webquest and Holiday Customs Around the World transport older students to many countries so they can experience their cultures and their unique holiday celebrations.

Enjoy Curriki’s whole Winter Holidays Learning Collection!

 


Janet Pinto - Curriki CAO/CMOJanet Pinto, Chief Academic Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, leads and manages all of Curriki’s content development, user experience, and academic direction. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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Curriki Wins an Owler Award – a Top Trending Company!

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

Owler awardCurriki is delighted to announce that we have won an Owler Award – Hot in Cupertino!

Owler is a web and mobile Internet publisher of business information worldwide.  It helps business professionals from every field gauge how they stack up against their competitors, track their partners, keep abreast of what’s going in their fields and stay up on trends.

Each year, Owler recognizes the top trending companies in cities around the world. It sifted through over 15 million companies on their platform to find the most award-worthy businesses, and Curriki is proud to be one of the 4,500 award winners across the 600 most popular cities on Owler.

Recipients were chosen based on several different metrics, including their number of followers on Owler, insights collected from the community, social media followers, and blog posts.

“We’ve sorted through database of millions of contributions from our community and landed on the top trending companies from around the world,” said Jim Fowler, CEO at Owler. “Being Hot In 2016 is an accomplishment to be proud of.”

Because Cupertino is a high-tech hotbed, to win the award in this competitive community is especially rich!

See Curriki’s company profile on Owler.


Kim JonesKim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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Oracle Academy Gives Training Scholarships to Teachers

Oracle Academy logoBy Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

We often take teachers and the work they do for our children for granted. But the fact is that teachers work hard and are under-compensated, and it’s important to recognize and appreciate their effort.

To that end, Oracle Academy launched a program this year to grant scholarships to first-time attendees of the annual Computer Science Teachers Association (CSTA) conference. It’s one of the world’s best professional development opportunities for CS teachers and would-be teachers, offering three days of useful learning that can be taken directly into the classroom.

But many teachers have no professional development funds to tap for events such as this, and must fund them from their own pockets. So this year, Oracle Academy launched a scholarship program — which gives teachers $1,000 each to offset conference registration, travel and hotel expenses.

TeacherCSTA received more than 300 applications for only 20 available scholarships.

Wage Gap for Teachers

The scholarships are so sought after and so appreciated because the teacher wage gap in the United States is growing. A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute found that female teachers in 1960 earned 14.7% more than women in other comparable positions – but today teachers across all genders earn 17% less than others in comparable jobs.

According to the study, the average teacher’s weekly pay actually went down $30 (adjusted for inflation) between 1996 and 2015, and experienced teachers have suffered greater pay deterioration than new teachers.

So take a moment to stop and thank a teacher. They deserve it!


Kim JonesKim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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15 Thanksgiving Activities That Integrate STEM

Lani deGuia, Guest Blogger and Curriki Member

turkey yumIt’s November! That means this month is full of all things Thanksgiving.

The history of the first Thanksgiving meal with Native Americans, turkey crafts, and daydreaming of all of the delicious food usually top the month’s festivities.

However, this holiday can also be a great opportunity to make learning STEM concepts in math, science, technology, and design thinking incredibly fun and engaging. Here are several activities that are perfect for integrating into your classroom or homeschooling curriculum. Most involve easy-to-find materials in the household, so they are also budget-friendly!

Turkeys Involve Math?

Pattern Block Turkeys
Mrs. T’s First Grade Class takes the traditional turkey craft to the next level by using pattern blocks to create “math-friendly” turkeys.

Candy corn athCandy Corn Counting
No Time For Flash Cards has a great counting activity for young learners. Use candy corn for basic counting or to illustrate math sentences.

Thanksgiving Math and Science Activities 
Little Giraffes Teaching Ideas offers several Thanksgiving-themed math and science activities, including making food graphs from Thanksgiving foods, and popcorn or cranberry patterns.

Candy Sorting Mats
Making Learning Fun has templates for candy sorting mats for all occasions, including a turkey for Thanksgiving. Using skittles or other candies, kids can sort, count, and then eat their work!

Thanksgiving Budgeting
What the Teacher Wants offers a Thanksgiving math activity to teach kids about budgeting. Using circulars and newspaper ads for Thanksgiving, students will plan and budget for a Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving Tallying and Graphing Charts
Having a large Thanksgiving get-together? Loving 2 Learn offers fun printable tallying and graphing charts to find out what is the most and least popular pie, vegetable, and pumpkin treat of the season.

Let’s Talk Turkey: The Cost of Thanksgiving Dinner
Calculate the cost to put out that lavish spread.

The Science of Thanksgiving

How Long Do Leftovers Last?
Wonderopolis helps teach kids about refrigeration, bacteria growth and temperature by exploring how long all the parts of a Thanksgiving meal keep in the refrigerator.

dancing corn activityDancing Corn Thanksgiving Science Activity
Little Bins for Little Hands has an activity where kids can explore density, physical properties and chemical reactions with corn kernels, baking soda and vinegar.

Make Homemade Butter Thanksgiving Edible Science
Teach children about states of matter and food science by making butter from heavy cream. Then use the end product to butter rolls on Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin Science Experiments
Turn ordinary pumpkins into science marvels! Kids make pumpkin slime, volcanos, car tunnels and more.

Candy Corn Catapults
Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls offers a hands-on activity in physics. Using common household items, catapults can be made with pencils, popsicle sticks, clothespins, and more to learn about trajectory, tension and force.

Study Seeds With Popcorn
Steve Spangler Science shows how you can observe seedlings and germination from popcorn.

Light Up Thanksgiving Turkey Circuit Craft 
Left Brain Craft Brain offers  a fun craft to teach children how to make a simple electrical circuit and a cute turkey at the same time.

Competition and Design

Thanksgiving STEM Challenges leftovers
Incorporate competition, design thinking, and math and science skills in these STEM challenge activities from Plans for a Better Tomorrow. Challenges include making a Mayflower boat and pumpkin catapults, and present Pilgrim building design dilemmas.

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving-themed STEM activity? Please share! We hope your November is full of lots of learning!


LaniLani deGuia is a Norfolk, VA-based Educational Consultant with experience writing and developing curriculum and managing school technology.

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Habla Español? Curriki que sirve ahora

By Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

Curriki' Spanish website

Curriki’s Spanish website

In response to growing interest in Open Educational Resources by educators, parents and student who speak Spanish, Curriki has created a Spanish-language version of its website.

The new, BETA Spanish-language Curriki site recently went live, and you can access it by simply clicking on the “Español” link on the upper right of the Curriki.org homepage, or by going directly to www.curriki.org/es/.  You’ll discover a collection of hundreds of Spanish-language OER resources in   language arts, mathematicsscience,  social studies and history and even more in English: writing, computer science, engineering!

It’s a great start, but Curriki needs to expand the library with more Spanish-language resources. We are encouraging educators and homeschoolers who teach in Spanish to upload your curricula and share what works for you.

At its heart, Curriki is about ensuring that all children—no matter where they come from, where they live or what language they speak—receive a world-class education, which means access to the Curriki OER Library is critical to their success as students. Offering Spanish-language curricula through Curriki is a good step toward providing teachers, schools and parents the support they need to reach every child and for students to access resources in their native language.

How You Can Contribute

  1. Become a Volunteer Translator!Currently, there are 377 resources written in Spanish in the Library, and we are asking the Curriki community to lend their services to help translate its more than 84,000 teaching and learning resources from English to Spanish. If you are fluent in English and Spanish and familiar with education resources, or you can refer someone to us, please contact jpinto@curriki.org
  2. Contribute Your Spanish Teaching and Learning Materials!Educators are encouraged to contribute their lessons, videos, activities, assessments, ebooks, curriculum, units, worksheets, and more to the Curriki Library. Contributors must first join Curriki (it is free) and login to the site.

Please check out the site and send us feedback.  

We also have a survey we would love for you to take,  here


Por Kim Jones, CEO, Curriki

En respuesta por crecer el interés en Recursos Abiertos de Educación por los maestros, padres y estudiantes que hablan español, Curriki ha creado una versión de lenguaje en español de su sitio web.

La nueva versión BETA del sitio Curriki en lenguaje español acaba de abrirse para todos, y para entrar simplemente de un click en el link de “Español” en la esquina derecha del sitio Curriki.org en la página de inicio, o yendo directo a www.curriki.org/es/. Encontrará una colección de miles de recursos OER en lenguaje español en artes del lenguaje, matemáticas, ciencia, estudios sociales e historia, y ¡de igual manera en inglés: escritura, ciencia de la computadora e ingeniería!

Es un gran comienzo, pero Curruki necesita expandir su biblioteca con más recursos en lenguaje español. Estamos retando a los papas que dan escuela en casa que enseñan en español para que suban más recursos en español que nos sirvan como recurso para ellos.

Curriki quiere asegurarse que todos los niños de donde quiera que vengan, en donde quiera que vivan o en que lenguaje hablen, reciban una educación mundial adecuada, eso significa que tengan acceso a la librería de Curriki OER es crítico para el éxito de los estudiantes. Ofrecer este tipo de recursos en lenguaje español es un gran paso para proveer a todos los maestros, escuelas y padres que necesiten de este soporte para criar y enseñar a sus hijos o estudiantes en su lenguaje nativo.

¿Cómo puedo contribuir?

  1. ¡Conviértete en un traductor voluntario!: Actualmente, hay 377 recursos escritos en español en la biblioteca, y estamos preguntando a la comunidad de Curriki para pedir su ayuda y traducir sus más de 84,000 recursos para enseñar y aprender del inglés al español. Si usted puede traducir de inglés a español o sabe de alguien que lo pueda hacer, háganoslo saber, por favor. Contáctenos al correo jpinto@curriki.org
  2. ¡Puede contribuir con sus materiales de enseñanza y aprendizaje de lenguaje español!: Estamos invitando a los educadores para que contribuyan con sus lecciones, videos, actividades, asentamientos, libros en línea, currículums, unidades, hojas de trabajo y más en la biblioteca de Curriki. Los contribuyentes primero se tienen que unir al sitio Curriki (es gratis) y entrar al sitio.

Por favor, cheque el sitio y envíenos un mensaje de vuelta:

http://curriki.org/es/acercade-curriki/contact-us/.

¡De igual manera tenemos recursos que le podrían ayudar aquí!:

https://www.recursomono.com/r/EspanolCurriki


Kim JonesKim Jones is the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Curriki. Kim is active in driving policy initiatives and is regularly featured as an honorary speaker on the impact of technology in education at influential meetings around the world. Learn more at Curriki.org.

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