Saturday, April 24, 2010

Impementing cancer lessons in your classroom

The LIVESTRONG resources in Joann’s picks this week shed light on a very important topic in many of our lives and the lives of our students. A cancer diagnosis can bring questions that you, the educator, may be unprepared to answer. The LIVESTRONG resources give you tools to tackle the subject with confidence. The resources are very comprehensive, including student and teacher reproducible materials, extension activities, and videos. They even have a booklet that goes along with an ARTHUR PBS Go episode called “The Great MacGrady” to introduce the topic to younger students. The problem remains that I discussed in the last post, though. How do we integrate this into our standards-based teaching? How will this resource fit in with everything else our students need to be learning this year?

“Getting Sick,” the resource Joann highlighted for grades K-2, is aligned to national McRel Health and Language Arts standards. This alignment is useful for looking at the resource and quickly determining where it will fit in your classroom. Since we are required to meet the particular state standards for the state where we teach, we might need more information. It would be nearly impossible for resources like these ones from LIVESTRONG to include alignments for state standards in all of the states. This is where the standards suggestion tool pilot on The Gateway can come in very handy. I discussed how to use the tool in the last post, so please check there if you need help figuring out how to use it.

“Getting Sick” is aligned to the following national McRel Health standards: 1) knows environmental and external factors that affect individual and community health. 2) knows essential concepts about the prevention and control of disease. Instead of searching through a copy of my state standards to figure out where this resource would fall in my state, I decided to try out the new standards suggestion tool. Let’s say I am a 2nd grade teacher in Mississippi. The standard suggestion tools points me to a life science standard about the characteristics, structures, life cycles, and environments of organisms. This is pretty close match, and it will help me figure out where in my state standards I can find the skills required for this activity. I used the tool for the “Runaway Cells” activity also. The suggested 6th grade Mississippi standards for this resource involve understanding cells and the effects of disease. Perfect! If the tool works for you, we want to hear about it. If it doesn’t seem to help you, we want to know that, too! Please take the short survey and let us know what you think.

The Gateway to 21st Century skills is a huge portal of resources like the ones we are highlighting this week from the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Not only do many of these resources include everything you need to quickly and successfully implement them into your class, they also include extras like extension activities, web resources, and alignment to national standards like McRel. We hope that including a tool like the standards suggestion tool will make this portal even more useful to you. Join in our discussions on Facebook and Twitter to get new resource suggestions every day and to learn more about The Gateway and the importance of 21st century skills for our students.

~Peggy's Corner 4/25/2010~

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