Teachers have become adept at modifying other teachers' ideas for use in their own classrooms.
Kim Steele has been teaching at the Abe Hubert Middle School in Garden City, Kan., since 1988. For the past few years, she also has been publishing teaching information and ideas on a Web site called Kim's Korner for Teacher Talk (http://www.kimskorner 4teachertalk.com).
"Here you will find ideas for use in the classroom," Steele says on her site. "I am a middle school language arts teacher (8th grade), so most of the ideas are geared toward this level. However, most teachers have become adept at modifying other teachers' ideas for use in their own classrooms. I hope you find some ideas you can borrow and adapt for your classroom."
Steele offers numerous resources in such categories as Classroom Management, Reading & Literature, Writing, and Grammar. The site offers her own "kreations" as well as links to material on other sites.
Kim's Korner is just one of hundreds of Web sites developed by or for teachers. Of course, educational information has been available online for many years. For example, the ERIC database (Educational Resources Information Center; http:// www.eric.ed.gov)-the largest education database in the world, containing more than 1 million records of journal articles, research reports, curriculum and teaching guides, conference papers, and books-has a long history of digital distribution.
The AskERIC service (http://www .askeric.org) has been available online since 1992. It includes a Q&A service, an answer archive, and discussion groups. AskERIC also offers a collection of more than 2,000 unique lesson plans written and submitted by teachers from across the U.S. and around the world. You can search the collection by specifying a grade level and using keywords, or you can browse such categories as Arts, Computer Science, Foreign Language, Philosophy, Health, Physical Education, Information Literacy, Science, Social Studies, and Vocational Education.
Many other sites have been developed for educators by schools, nonprofit organizations, and for-profit companies. Here's a brief guide to a few more that offer lesson plans, teaching tools, and other resources for use in the classroom.
Online Lesson Plans
LessonPlansPage.com provides more than 1,500 plans in the categories of Math, Science, Music, Language Arts, Computers & Internet, Social Studies, Art, PE. & Health, Multidisciplinary, and Other Lessons. You can search or browse the collection.
Unfortunately, the site has many ads, including several pop-ups, and the lesson plans tend to be brief ideas instead of fully developed, detailed plans. You can find some that are more detailed at the Teachers.net Lesson Bank (http://teachers.net/ lessons), although that site also includes many brief ideas.
The Lesson Bank covers academic subjects similar to those at LessonPlansPage, but it also includes such categories as Geography, History, Four Blocks Literacy, Games, Building Blocks, and Special Education. The Lesson Bank also has a collection of lesson plans for preschoolers. Another nice feature is the Lesson Plan Request Board, which includes a submission form so you can request lesson plans for specific topics and grade levels from other teachers who visit the site.
Lesson Planet (http://lessonplanet .teacherwebtools.com/directory.html) boasts that it has "the largest directory of lesson plans on the Web." The site contains a collection of more than 20,000 plans, but you'll have to pay to get access to all of them. For $9.95 a year, you can sign up as a Silver Member and access the lesson plans and other resources, including map and clip art collections, a standards finder, and discussion boards. For $24.95 a year you can become a Gold Member, which also gives you access to the Teacher Web Tools, including the TeacherSiteMaker, the NewsletterMaker, LearningLinks, the LessonMaker, and Online Storage. …