All resources in OER Commons Starter Kit

What’s the Truth?

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Fiction, as you probably know by now, is the type of writing that an author creates, including imaginary characters and conflicts. In other words, it’s fake. Nonfiction, the type of writing you will focus on here, is factual, and addresses the real world and real things that are happening in it. More and more, however, nonfiction can be challenging to analyze as writers can slide their opinions into their writing. This becomes a challenge for the readers: What is the truth and what is merely an opinion? In this seminar, you will learn about objectivity and subjectivity, and why it’s necessary to be able to make inferences based on a writer’s claim in nonfiction reading. Don’t worry if some of those terms don’t make sense yet; you will learn about them soon enough.StandardsCC.1.2.9-10.B: Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences and conclusions based on an author’s explicit assumptions and beliefs about a subject.CC.1.2.9-10.C: Apply appropriate strategies to analyze, interpret, and evaluate how an author unfolds an analysis or series of ideas or events, including the order in which the points are made, how they are introduced and developed, and the connections that are drawn between them.CC.1.2.9-10.I: Analyze seminal U.S. documents of historical and literary significance, including how they address related themes and concepts.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Authors: Bonnie Waltz, Deanna Mayers, Tracy Rains

GIST Summaries

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GIST is a strategy to help students write brief, accurate, and complete summaries of material they read. In this lesson students work together summarizing larger and larger portions of text, but keeping their summaries at 25 words or fewer. Students will be able to summarize portions of informational or literary text. Students will be able to work in small groups to think critically about and discuss text.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Building a Conclusion

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In this seminar you learn how to communicate an effective conclusion for an informational form of writing with clarity and precision.  You will learn the three key points that must be in your writing in order to effectively conclude your thoughts and ideas.  You will make a comic book, read informational pieces that are also learning activities to enhance your social studies and science curriculum.StandardsC.C.1.4.4D Group related information in paragraphs and sections, linking ideas within categories of information using words and phrases; provide a concluding statement or section.

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Tracy Rains

Evolutionary game theory I

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In the first video segment, we analyze the population dynamics for a test-tube of cells that affect each others' likelihoods of replication when they collide. The particular example we use is a prisoner's dilemma, which has the almost paradoxical property that survival of the relatively most fit leads overall fitness to decrease. In the second video segment, we suggest that the population dynamics from the first segment can be related to an analysis that uses payoff matrices found in traditional game theory.

Material Type: Lecture Notes

Author: David Liao


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This science resource covers a variety of topics; however, the specific URL is on Genetics. It has significant explanations on the basic Principles of Genetics, Co-dominance, Incomplete dominance, and Sex-Linked traits. The units have precise and manageable explanations, and there are numerous links and additional resources to support instructors and students to advance learning. The access to videos and online simulations enhances particular areas, and the diverse assessments support mastery of skills. This is a very purposeful resource on genetics; it is useful to make learning more effective either as an overall instructional method or as an individualized learning supplement.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Assessment, Case Study, Diagram/Illustration, Game, Interactive, Lecture, Lecture Notes, Lesson Plan, Primary Source, Reading, Simulation, Teaching/Learning Strategy, Textbook, Unit of Study

The Language of Advertising: 9 persuasive techniques

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Engage students in the analysis of the persuasive written language of advertisements. Students will have to recognize some language techniques used in advertising, match the techniques to some printed ads and create slogans, using such techniques. Subject: English Language, Reading Foundational Skills, Writing Foundational Skills Level: secondary education Material Type: Classroom Activity Provider:Terezinha Marcondes Diniz Biazi - State University of Campinas -UNICAMP/BRAZILMidwest State University –UNICENTRO/BRAZIL

Material Type: Lesson Plan

Author: Terezinha Marcondes Diniz Biazi

English Language Arts, Grade 11

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The 11th grade learning experience consists of 7 mostly month-long units aligned to the Common Core State Standards, with available course material for teachers and students easily accessible online. Over the course of the year there is a steady progression in text complexity levels, sophistication of writing tasks, speaking and listening activities, and increased opportunities for independent and collaborative work. Rubrics and student models accompany many writing assignments.Throughout the 11th grade year, in addition to the Common Read texts that the whole class reads together, students each select an Independent Reading book and engage with peers in group Book Talks. Students move from learning the class rituals and routines and genre features of argument writing in Unit 11.1 to learning about narrative and informational genres in Unit 11.2: The American Short Story. Teacher resources provide additional materials to support each unit.

Material Type: Full Course

English Composition 2

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Composition 2 is an expository writing course requiring more advanced writing skills than Composition 1, yet reviewing and incorporating some of the same skills. This course teaches research skills by emphasizing the development of advanced analytical/critical reading skills, proficiency in investigative research, and the writing of persuasive prose including documented and researched argumentative essays. A major component of this course will be an emphasis on the research process and information literacy.

Material Type: Full Course, Textbook

English Language Arts, Grade 11, American Dreamers

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In this unit, students will take a look at the historical vision of the American Dream as put together by our Founding Fathers. They will be asked: How, if at all, has this dream changed? Is this dream your dream? First students will participate in an American Dream Convention, acting as a particular historical figure arguing for his or her vision of the American Dream, and then they will write an argument laying out and defending their personal view of what the American Dream should be. ACCOMPLISHMENTS Students read and annotate closely one of the documents that they feel expresses the American Dream. Students participate in an American Dream Convention, acting as a particular historical figure arguing his or her vision of the American Dream. Students write a paper, taking into consideration the different points of view in the documents read, answering the question “What is the American Dream now?” Students write their own argument describing and defending their vision of what the American Dream should be. GUIDING QUESTIONS These questions are a guide to stimulate thinking, discussion, and writing on the themes and ideas in the unit. For complete and thoughtful answers and for meaningful discussions, students must use evidence based on careful reading of the texts. What has been the historical vision of the American Dream? What should the American Dream be? (What should we as individuals and as a nation aspire to?) How would women, former slaves, and other disenfranchised groups living during the time these documents were written respond to them? BENCHMARK ASSESSMENT: Cold Read During this unit, on a day of your choosing, we recommend you administer a Cold Read to assess students’ reading comprehension. For this assessment, students read a text they have never seen before and then respond to multiple-choice and constructed-response questions. The assessment is not included in this course materials.

Material Type: Unit of Study

Complete Guide to Creating Text Dependent Questions

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Thorough explanation of the how and why of text-dependent questions for close, analytic reading. Includes examples. The Common Core State Standards for reading strongly focus on students gathering evidence, knowledge, and insight from what they read. Indeed, eighty to ninety percent of the Reading Standards in each grade require text dependent analysis; accordingly, aligned curriculum materials should have a similar percentage of text dependent questions. As the name suggests, a text dependent question specifically asks a question that can only be answered by referring explicitly back to the text being read. It does not rely on any particular background information extraneous to the text nor depend on students having other experiences or knowledge; instead it privileges the text itself and what students can extract from what is before them.

Material Type: Reading, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, Exemplar Text

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This exemplar text is designed to give students the opportunity to use the reading and writing habits they’ve been practicing on a regular basis to absorb deep lessons from Kate DiCamillo’s story. By reading and rereading the passage closely and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will identify how and why the three main characters became friends. * This text is extracted from a close reading exemplar produced and published by Student Achievement Partners

Material Type: Reading

Author: Tim Farquer

ISKME's Teachers as Makers Academy 2012

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Activities, resources, photos and videos from ISKME's two day professional development teacher training that explores Open Educational Resources (OER) and Maker-Teacher collaborations to facilitate innovation in the classroom. The Makers’ projects are points of inspiration for Teachers while they engage in design-thinking activities to create, remix, and share OER Projects with online collaborative tools.

Material Type: Activity/Lab, Teaching/Learning Strategy

Author: Megan Simmons