Gateway to Educational Materials
Screen 1 Finding Online Teaching Materials: Gateway to Educational Materials is a Curriculum/Juvenile Library online tutorial that covers searching a subset of the internet for lesson plans and other educational materials. The Gateway to Educational Materials can be searched by grade level, type of teaching material, broad subject, and narrow subject. Unlike databases like Google, items in this database have gone through a screening process and can be searched by grade level. However, although each item in the database went through a screening process, the item may have changed since being screened. You should always check internet sites before students access them. For the rest of this tutorial I will use Gateway whenever I am referring to Gateway to Educational Materials.
Screen 2 This is the Gateway interface. The most important part of the interface is the search the GEM catalog box in the upper right corner.
Screen 3 In this example, we will assume you are a fourth grade teacher searching for lesson plans covering recycling. You start by typing "recycling" in the find box and then clicking "go".
Screen 4 The search produces 257 items covering recycling. The title of the first item is "Activity #2: My water is gray water". Clicking the title of this item brings up the entire item. Before you look at an individual item, I'd like you to look at the orange oval on the right side of the screen. Within this oval you see a listing of metadata. Metadata helps you refine or narrow your search.
Screen 5 If you scroll down the listing of metadata, you will see a category called type. Under this category you will see the term lesson plans with the number 127 behind it. Please remember we are assuming you are a fourth grade teacher searching for lesson plans covering recycling. Clicking "lesson plans" produces a list.
Screen 6 There are 127 lesson plans on the list covering recycling. The title of the first item is "Trash goes to school: You're eating more energy than you think!". To the right, in the pink boxes, you see a reminder indicating items in this search cover recycling and are lesson plans.
Screen 7 Scrolling down the screen produces a category called grade level, and under this category you see the number 4 with the number 54 behind it. Remember we are assuming you are a fourth grade teacher. Clicking "4" produces a list.
Screen 8 There are 54 lesson plans on the list appropriate for fourth graders covering recycling. Clicking the first item "Trash goes to school: What is biodegradable?" produces an actual lesson plan.
Screen 9 The lesson plan is called "What is Biodegradable?". The information in the green box tells you the lesson plan came from an activities handbook created by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation. It is always helpful to know the source of information found on the internet. Please remember to credit sources you consulted when creating lesson or unit plans for teacher education courses. You should not claim to have created a lesson or unit plan you found on the internet. One of the benefits of finding lesson plans on the internet is that they sometimes include links to handouts that can be used with the lesson. Clicking the link to the handout titled "Watching Wastes Rot Record" produces an actual handout.
Screen 10 This handout could be used with the lesson plan.
Screen 11 Let's go back to the listing of 54 lesson plans appropriate for fourth graders covering recycling.
Screen 12 If you scroll down the screen you will see a category call keyword. This category allows you to narrow your search even further. For instance clicking "disposal of waste" brings up two lesson plans.
Screen 13 These lesson plans are appropriate for fourth graders and cover the broad subject recycling and the narrower subject disposal of waste. Clicking "Use it again" the title of the first lesson plan, produces the entire lesson plan.
Screen 14 The lesson plan includes objective, prep time, and standards covered.
Screen 15 Scrolling down the screen produces related links. The first one, NASA Spaceflight-Space Station Crew Movie, links to an online video showing astronauts discarding waste while they are in space. Clicking the second one "Astronauts' Dirty Laundry" produces an article.
Screen 16 The article covers dirty laundry options available to astronauts. In closing, I'd like to encourage you to take a look at other Curriculum Juvenile Library online tutorials. If you are looking for screened online teaching materials that are correlated with California standards you might want to take a look at the online tutorial covering the California Thinkfinity Resource Center.