John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath was published April 14, 1939. Learn more about the Great American Dust Bowl, when farmland was destroyed through misguided practices, famine set in, and dust storms drove people to desperation, as depicted in the novel.
Carefully scaffolded lessons build a strong math foundation
Pros: Scaffolding creates seamless connections from concrete models to the abstract.
Cons: Scores for growth and progress are shown, but it's missing student responses that could aid in identifying misconceptions.
Bottom Line: Depth of concepts covered and expertly paced lessons are sure to develop mathematical thinkers.
On April 9, 1959, National Aeronautics and Space Administration introduced America's first seven astronauts. Learn about these men, all part of the Mercury Project, and the timeline the group followed from pilots to seasoned space travellers.
Readorium is a website offering a virtual science library with books and activities that focus on building students reading comprehension and science knowledge.
Science and reading come together in aging but effective platform
Pros: Varied activities and adaptive instruction help students comprehend scientific texts.
Cons: Parts of the platform are showing their age, and it can get repetitive; there's a big focus on earning (and spending) money and tokens.
Bottom Line: There's not much out there that focuses specifically on reading science texts, so if your students can get past the dated design this could be a handy tool to turn to.
Cast Your Vote
Lively civics sim introduces the hows and whys of voting decisions
Pros: Feels very modern, and gets students to reflect on their positions on important issues.
Cons: Students can't access previous notes during Town Hall meetings, and scorecard at the end is a bit reductive.
Bottom Line: This game invaluably shows students the importance of researching candidates and how to do it, and along the way gets students to define their political points-of-view.
On March 27, 1964, a 9.2 magnitude earthquake struck Alaska's Prince William Sound region. Liquefaction in and around Anchorage tore the land apart; it was the second largest quake ever recorded by seismometers.
This animation shows the underlying causes and tells how research contributed to confirmation of early theories of plate tectonics.
Collaborative feedback platform helps teachers target, students respond and revise
Pros: Streamlines the process of giving targeted feedback to students and lets them collaborate to improve learning outcomes.
Cons: Teachers can't respond to student comments when using the peer review feature, so correcting misinformation may be a challenge.
Bottom Line: Time-saving tool allows teachers to gain valuable insights into student learning while providing more personalized feedback and scaffolded supports.
Daily news stories and supplements keep elementary schoolers current
Pros: Updated five days a week for all 52 weeks of the year.
Cons: Pages and features might display incorrectly (based on device), plus feature availability varies by platform.
Bottom Line: This highly-useful current events platform can be a daily fixture of elementary classrooms.
On March 20, 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin was published. Understand the experiences of novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe that led her to write the novel and impact it had on the abolitionist movement and the Civil War.
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Valerie Bourbour is a certified educator and past Co-Director of The Academy of Ormond Beach. Ms. Bourbour has experience in online learning platforms and aims for student success.