As I introduce my first teacher tip, I am thinking back to the days when I first landed in a classroom where every kid had access to technology. While at Duke University, my use of technology was confined more to a prescriptive lab setting with a particular software application or calculator device. However at Cary Academy, the flood gates were wide open, and I could explore virtually without bounds. On first glance this may seem easy, but the reality is one can become quickly overwhelmed and spend countless hours searching the internet for the perfect “it,” only to find out later that “it” does not exist. During those early years, I was fortunate to work with some really great people at SAS who were not only helping build Cary Academy, but they were also working on online curriculum tools from which they hoped others beyond Cary Academy would benefit. Now some fourteen plus years later, the product of their efforts is Curriculum Pathways, an online curriculum resource free to US educators. The content, which is aligned to state and Common Core standards, covers both middle and high school grade levels and focuses on English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, and Spanish.
Curriculum Pathways is a wonderful asset particularly for any teacher who is new to technology enabled classrooms. The resources are in a variety of formats: Interactive Tools, Inquiries, Web Lessons, Audio Tutorials, and more. Each activity comes with a fully customizable teacher lesson guide, handouts, and references. Because each item is aligned to standards, teachers can use an a la carte approach, picking and choosing items that work best for them. While my personal favorites are the math interactivities, great web apps that allow students to interact with mathematics, there are many great examples across the disciplines. I have selected some that showcase the full range of offerings, but I strongly encourage you to explore them further. English: Abraham Lincoln Shows How to Choose Strong Verbs Mathematics: Exploring Systems of Linear Inequalities Science: Glycolysis Social Studies: Ancient China: Confucianism and Taoism Spanish: Grammar Practice Although Curriculum Pathways is not designed to be a replacement for current content resources, it is a wonderful place for teachers looking for great ideas for their classes without sacrificing hours to the meandering searches that the Internet is so great at creating. If you happen to find a particular lesson that you like or even adapted for your needs, please share it in the comment section below. Note: I’d be remiss not to fully disclose that the founders of Cary Academy and others at SAS have played a substantial role in enabling me to grow as an educator. Further, I owe so much of my personal growth to my experiences at Cary Academy, none of which would have been possible without their generosity. Fortunately as these resources are not for sale but rather a continued demonstration of their ongoing commitment to education, I feel I can recommend them without prejudice.