| By Liz Collins & Gintas Bradunas |
“Good teaching is more a giving of right questions than a giving of right answers.”
– Josef Albers
The art of lesson planning often starts with a search:
“Resources to teach about weather”
“4th grade lesson plans”
“Branches of government 5th grade”
Where that search takes place often makes the difference between sleep or no sleep for an educator. It can either lead to a hundred clicks and a collection of disparate, imperfect resources, or a single click to find exactly what is needed. But this is often only the start. Once you have the right resource, how do you share it with students? How do you help students ask the right questions about what they are learning? How do you encourage them to go beyond the resource and truly make learning their own?
For all elementary school teachers who believe in both educational outcomes and getting to bed on time, there is Gale In Context: For Educators, which now includes the recently enhanced Gale In Context: Elementary (formerly Kids InfoBits).
Gale In Context: For Educators is a home for teachers looking to quickly find, customize, and share reliable resources that will meet the needs of their students. Educators can search across videos, reference, news…and easily locate the right resources for their subject and grade, collect text sets in folders, and easily share these materials with students.
Of course, finding a resource and sharing it with students is only a small part of what makes for true learning. With For Educators, teachers can personalize articles with notes and annotations that encourage students to ask questions and engage in active reading. Better yet, elementary resources open directly in the Gale In Context: Elementary student experience, encouraging further inquiry.
When students open a Gale In Context: Elementary resource, they are exposed to an ideal learning environment. From recommended topics to “I Wonder…” questions, students are encouraged to explore topics that are of interest to them. A student assigned an article on weather patterns may continue learning using the Weather and Climate topic tree and be led down a chain of learning through Tornadoes, Blizzards, Global Warming, and more, all while using resources that are at their level. They may even find an “I Wonder…” question that introduces them to a new topic that develops a key interest.
Need resources to teach about weather? Find a grade-level-appropriate article in For Educators, add some critical thinking questions, and share with your students to start them on their own learning path.
Creating a “branches of government” unit for 4th grade virtual learning? Zero in on the content you need in For Educators, collect articles in a folder and personalize with instructions and tags, and then share out as a playlist students can progress through independently.
Together, Gale In Context: For Educators and Gale In Context: Elementary empower teachers to provide the scaffolding and guidance students need, while giving young learners a safe environment for exploration to prepare them for success in middle school, high school, and beyond. That’s a winning combination teachers don’t need to lose sleep over.
Here’s what’s new to Gale In Context: For Educators:
- New elementary lesson plans and course subjects in language arts, science, and social studies, featuring over 500 unique curated topic portals aligned to Common Core, Next Generation Science, and National Council for Social Studies standards, along with inquiry lessons aligned to the C3 standards.
- New course subjects including middle school language arts, and high school language arts, global studies, and environmental science, together featuring more than 600 additional curated topic portals.
- New leveled topic overviews from Gale In Context: Global Issues and Gale In Context: Science to support all learners.
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Meet the Authors
Liz Collins joined Gale as a product manager in 2017 and has worked in publishing for schools and libraries for more than 15 years. In addition to her passion for education, she loves film and travel. She is a proud parent to two tabby cats.
As a K‒12 product manager at Gale, Gintas Bradunas works to leverage his past experiences as a middle school teacher and Teach For America corps member to help make products that students and educators will love. He’s an avid reader, lover of podcasts, and a believer that everything can be made better with a cup of coffee.