One Site of Free Resources : It’s Bountiful and Behemoth – It’s Basically too Big to Blog – But I’ll Try!


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Every once and a while a resource can be found that provides an abundance and  wealth of educational sources.  I recently came across such a resource.  Until recently, it was  only available using a subscription fee, but is now available to students and educators for free.  On Aug. 17, 2009 the SAS Institute in Cary, North Carolina made available its new version of SAS® Curriculum Pathways®.  SAS describes Curriculum Pathways as an ” online resource for students and teachers providing standards-based content in the core academic disciplines of English, mathematics, social studies, science and Spanish for grades 8-12″.  Do not let the grades 8 – 12 stop you from investigating. First,  SAS promises a middle school program in the near future, second I found units that could work at multiple levels.  Upon investigation I  found an outstanding program that had some quality online modules. In fact, SAS Curriculum Pathways earned a Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) CODiE Award in 2009  for Best Reading/English Instructional Solution.ed its  award-winning Writing Reviser.

Why is it that I feel this site is too big to blog? First, it covers all of the curricular content areas mentioned above. Take a moment to view a video that describes the overall program. Explore the web site and discover  over 200 inter-activities, 200 web inquiries, 600 lessons and 4,000 web resources. Second, it encompasses lessons that incorporate Spanish tongue twisters, rock futures, Disneyland in Paris, Crunch Berry Cereal, vegetables,  Roman news-casts, moving plants, and nervous rabbits. That is just eight of what amounts to 600 free lessons. Third, while I spent a day investigating this enormous sight, I did not even come close to scratching the surface. It was only my need to share with you this wealth of information that I decided to blog the unblogable!

As eluded to earlier, there are five core content areas including; English, science, social studies/history, math, and Spanish.  Lessons include web quests, document downloads, online multi-media, educational tools, and collaborative projects. The theme of this program emphasizes facilitation of core curriculum through 21st century learning, assisted by having students use 21 century tools. In the English area you will discover 321 resources including lessons entitled Sentence Structure, Assessing and Documenting Internet Sources, What makes fiction believable?, and Comparing Biographical Styles. I will leave the other 317 for you to discover. If science is more your style, then be sure to check out the science area and its 247 resource lessons. Perhaps a lesson that won’t stand still entitled, Who Says Plants Don’t Move?, or better yet join the Survivor bandwagon with, How does a rabbit survive when the world is full of predators? or tweak your students’ personification skills with,  Does that rock have a future? Once again feel free to investigate the other 244 on the list. Just reading the lessons can be entertainment in itself. Be sure you have the time if you wish to explore them. For the math enthusiast  take a look at these 259 resource activities in the math area.  You may hunger for  the lesson,  Producing Crunch Berries Cereal, or other possible food for thought could involve discovering  When Should Vegetables Be Planted in the Garden? Be sure to get a taste of the other 257 math activities! Social studies and History teachers have not been left out. The 284 activities found in the social studies and history area involve exciting blasts from the past and relevant studies of current events. Lessons  such as Who Killed Rome: Creating a Nightly News Report on the Collapse of the Empire, and Comparing Media Coverage: How the World Views the News are sure to cover social relevant concepts of both yesterday and today. Not only that, remember there are another 282 activities that you can still pick from.  Spanish teachers are in luck and can pick from 137 lessons from the Spanish area such as exploring Spanish Tongue Twisters or reflecting on My Favorite Cartoon Character or perhaps discovering What will you do in Disneyland Paris?, an interesting twist on Spanish studies, itself! I am sure the other 133 lessons will not be foreign to the Spanish teacher.

There are resources that reside in this curriculum and are worth mentioning on their own. I have found that these tools, alone, are worth investigating SAS Curriculum Pathways Program. Take for instance the Writing Reviser.  This is an awesome Java Applet that allows students to revise their writing by copying and pasting their essay into this application. It then analysis the writing in 25 different areas. These areas include a vast array of statistics including word count, prepositional phrases, passive voice, wordiness, sentence fragments, run-on sentences, misplaced modifiers, and parallelism. It can even bar chart the sentence lengths and will then  create a list of all sentences. Last, it allows for the work to be edited and saved to a local computer file or network. To investigate click this Writing Reviser Link and accept the terms of the agreement. The website will then load the Java Applet. This application can also be found as the first resource in the English area.  Math teachers may want to check out this vast collection of Math Interactive Tools.  Tools can be browsed by either category or title. To investigate click this Math Tools Link and accept agreement terms. The website will then load the Java Applet. This application can also be found as the first resource in the math area. Be sure to check out these exciting new additions. They include an Interactive Atlas, a Spanish Language Builder, and Audio Inquiries.

I really have tried to write a blog revealing this massive site, but be sure to find out more by visiting this great resource at SACS Curriculum Pathways. Read about it  in this brochure.  Take a moment and sign your school up for a free subscription. As you can see, I can only blog so much and the rest is up to you. Take a moment to investigate and find out why this was so unblogable, but incredibly beneficial.

Special Note – After running this Post through Writing Reviser I received the following information: 997 word, 58 sentences, 5 paragraphs, 17 word average sentence length, 3 wordiness, and 39 cases of parallelism, but 0 dangling modifiers. It found 18 more vital statistic, but that would be too big to blog!

-Mike

1 Comment

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One response to “One Site of Free Resources : It’s Bountiful and Behemoth – It’s Basically too Big to Blog – But I’ll Try!

  1. Thanks for the review and comments. We are thrilled to offer Curriculum Pathways at no cost to U.S. educators. Contact me if you have any questions.

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