Due to issues outside of our control, we need to take down the Gateway, one of the oldest publicly accessible U.S. repositories of education resources on the Web. If you or your friend would be interested in taking on the support of the Gateway, please contact Diny Golder at dinyg@jesandco.org

The library will go down on April 15th if we don't find a sponsor by that time! Help us keep the Gateway up and running! Help keep this free, advanced, extremely popular site available.

Peggy's blog

Understanding Ancient Egypt

An ancient Egyptian proverb says, “To know means to record in one's memory; but to understand means to blend with the thing and to assimilate it oneself.” Teachers want students to truly understand, and to this end, we try very hard to help students experience subjects instead of just hearing about them or reading about them. In studying recent or local history, students can visit sites or even meet people who were alive at the time to get a good feel for what it would have been like to have been a part of that particular moment in history.

Smart Searching

Two of the scariest words to a teenage student 20 years ago were “research” and “paper.” Even now, the words conjure up in my mind stacks of encyclopedias, piles of dimes for copies, and lots of time with the microfilm machine. Before “Googling” became a verb (I Googled it and found it in the Merriam-Webster dictionary), students did most of their research in libraries. Today’s students can answer their pressing life questions quickly and easily without ever setting foot in one.

Rube! A Physics and Creativity Challenge

Humans spend a lot of time and effort simplifying processes, making tasks more efficient, and finding better ways to get things done. The ultimate goal of innovation, after all, is to make life better, easier, and more fulfilling. In a stark contrast to this goal, Rube Goldberg’s whimsical and complicated designs brought humor and fun to engineering and physics, appealing to learners of all ages.

ASN on the Move: A Framework for Mobile Students and Teachers

A military child knows the drill all too well. Pack up your things, say goodbye to your friends, and head off to your new adventure: A new school, a new teacher, and, many times, a bunch of new material to catch up on to be at the same level as your new classmates. Students moving across state lines have discovered how much standards can vary between states. Teachers moving from state to state have the problem of completely changing their curriculum on top of the hassles of transferring their certifications to the new state. Parents struggle during a move to advocate for their children and to ensure they have the opportunity to catch up on the standards required in their new state.

Joann's companion column: 

Relating to the ASN: Behind the Scenes

Each week for the past couple of years, Joann and I have discussed how teachers can use resources from the Gateway to 21st Century Skills to successfully integrate a huge variety of topics into their classrooms. I have learned so much by researching and discovering new ways to incorporate different types of resources into classrooms throughout the world. Since Gateway resources are aligned to standards, teachers are able to easily fit the ones they want to use into the framework of their particular required standards.

Joann's companion column: 

Setting the Standard – Making Standards Work for You

We are teachers. We are in charge of making sure that students in our little corner of the world learn everything they need to know in our grade, our subject, or our specialty. It’s an art that can take years to perfect. The constantly changing standards, tests, infrastructure, and policies in the education world can further complicate the process. The new direction of my monthly column will take us on a journey to make sense of the best way to use open-source resources and free technology to support planning and teaching based on standards.

Joann's companion column: 

Ratios for Real

Many students came back from Thanksgiving break fresh from a long weekend with NO HOMEWORK! Phew…they got away with not thinking about math for the entire weekend…or did they? As they slide back into their school routine, you may want to discuss where math might have snuck into their Thanksgiving break. Were any of them helping in the kitchen? They were probably working with ratios, proportions, and multiplication without even knowing it. Were they fighting over the last pieces of pumpkin pie? It was the study of fractions at work! Bringing these instances of “real-world” math to students’ attention can help them realize the prevalence of math in their everyday lives (and the importance of math when creating a tasty meal).

Joann's companion column: 

It’s a Wanderful Life: Technology and the Love of Reading

Throughout the changes in education over the years, one goal has remained constant: children must learn to read. It’s a crucial skill for success in every other subject and ultimately, success in life. There is such a focus on the best methods for teaching kids to read; the importance of encouraging the love of reading is often blurred. Students might learn to successfully decode words and read, but they won’t make a habit of reading for pleasure unless they enjoy it.

Joann's companion column: 

Step Into a Pilgrim’s Shoes

Half the class will don funny hats and call themselves pilgrims. Another group will wear feathers in their hair and brown paper-bag vests to be “Indians.” One unlucky soul will portray the ill-fated turkey in this yearly reenactment of the First Thanksgiving in primary classrooms across the US. This type of role-playing simplifies the relationship between these English colonists and the Wampanoag People. This type of play teaches young students good lessons about perseverance and cooperation, but often glosses over the challenges and sacrifices that are part of the history of the First Thanksgiving.

Joann's companion column: 

Studying Recycling in Nature

The study of plants and gardening is a fun, dirty, hands-on way for students to learn conservation, biology, ecology, and responsibility. With the right soil, water, and sunlight, seeds will sprout into plants every time. Students can watch these sprouts grow into plants that are important for human survival. Even unsuccessful class gardening attempts will teach important lessons about what every plant needs to survive and the responsibility required to cultivate plants. During a study of gardening, students are often asked to keep detailed field journals of their activities. These careful observations will allow students to discover how plants effectively recycle and re-use their resources, an important ecology lesson.

Joann's companion column: 
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