A Guide to K-12 Education Resources
In the 2011 Presidential Budget, the US Department of Education is allocated 77.8 billion dollars. With the lasting impacts of educational materials and environments, knowing what areas within a topic to teach and how to teach the material has long-term consequences for the student both as a future learner and as a future citizen. Devising effective lesson plans and curricula are important in their provision of method and structure to the learning process, helping the student’s ability to work with ideas and retain knowledge.
Multi-Subject Lesson Plans
More common in elementary schools, multi-subject lesson plans are designed to allow students to exercise skill sets in more than one discipline within an exercise. Also called multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary, such lesson plans can be structured to emphasize a particular skill set while employing information from other relevant fields to support the main focus while providing a seamless experience. Multi-subject lesson plans have numerous benefits are applicable across all grade levels and have become a popular method of providing information to students, since the interconnection of the fields involved allows students to explore a variety of ideas, a popular idea with teachers who promote the Constructivist system of teaching.
Studying the movement of the sun in the sky can incorporate topics such as the changes in the seasons, and a discussion of how cultural views of the sun have changed over time. At the high-school level, multi-subject lesson plans are enacted through integrated mathematics courses, in which students develop mathematical reasoning and explanatory language skills in the completion of class projects. Classes which primarily focus on a foreign language will also often integrate elements of the country’s culture and geography of the country itself and its neighbors into the lesson plan as a way of creating multiple levels of interest within the lesson. Interdisciplinary courses will also place a strong emphasis on portable skill sets such as those associated with technology and critical thinking which the students can utilize in multiple classes and throughout their lifetime. Interdisciplinary teaching also accounts for the complexity which students will encounter in real-world situations, taking into account the fact that tasks met outside of the classroom are composed of elements from many different knowledge bases.
Multidisciplinary lesson programs can also have negative side effects on the learning process. Students can become confused about the ultimate aim of the course, wondering what they were supposed to take away from the course, especially in classes where there is a lack of clarity about which skills and ideas are considered important. Some educators are concerned that multidisciplinary lesson plans are merely a current fad within the teaching community, in which teachers teach in a multidisciplinary teaching style for its own sake, rather than as a tool to help students fully grasp the necessary information.
Just For Kids Education Resources
With many children gaining web-savvy skills at an early age and the continued integration of technology into classrooms nationwide, the amount of educational resources available to children has increased substantially. Many departments within the federal government provide lesson activities which can be used to increase students’ knowledge within many topics, promote awareness, and encourage good habits. Many schools have had to cut back on their funding of non-core educational activities, leaving community education to be accomplished by the purveyors of art and music. While the majority of lesson plans aim to be universally applicable, there are also cases in which a lesson plan can be tailored to children of a particular ethnicity.
As Internet technology becomes a more frequently utilized tool for instruction, teachers with young students should take the precaution to make sure that all the content on the website will be suitable for a younger audience.
When preparing lessons for children, it is important for the teacher to remember that he or she is the individual who should be setting the tone for the class. Though students, particularly young ones, are encouraged to explore ideas through their activities and with many elementary school activities centered around physical activity, the openness of the framework should not mean that it lacks any structure.
The role parents play in their children’s education has a significant impact in the development and success children exhibit throughout their education. Whether parents become involved with activities at their children’s schools or maintain an interest in the work their children are doing at school or helping with homework, active engagement from parents will supplement the work being done by teachers.
Additional Education Resources
- Teaching with Documents - Resource provided by the United States National Archives, using famous documents from the nation’s history to supplement historical topics
- Federal Resources for Educational Excellence - Aggregation of the educational resources provided by the various federal agencies in the United States
- Lesson Plan Resource Sites for K-12 Teachers - Categorized lesson plans available for public use
- NEA – Classroom Management - Advice for teachers about how to maintain order in the classroom setting
- The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 - Government act which set new educational standards for schools around the country
- Instructional Methods – Advantages and Disadvantages - Encompasses several common activities which teachers use in the classroom
Picture Credit: School-class 1921 hg, Wikimedia Commons, Hgrobe, 2008