The Utah Education Network is a website specifically for teachers and school districts in Utah (although luckily anyone has access to it and it’s resources). This education network provides a variety of resources for professional development which includes lesson plans, a link to the Utah core standards (curriculum), games, blogs, and other resources.
Specifically I would like to look at the lesson plans section of this resource. I have looked through many resources and have found many good resources that could be used in my classroom or even ideas to use to teach a particular lesson.
What is it?
This section of the website provides lesson plans and unit plans (not very detailed however) for all grades and all subjects that are found within the Utah curriculum. Under the business category, this includes many subjects that can be found under the Saskatchewan curriculum, including: information processing, communications media, accounting, and law (although it can be found under a different name on the website and amount of resources can vary).
Under each specific lesson plan and unit plan, you can find a summary of the lesson, which curriculum objective this lesson achieves, career connections, materials (which includes teacher resources, student resources, rubrics, and websites), background for teachers, intended learning outcomes, instructional procedures, strategies for diverse learners, assessment plan, and a bibliography section.
What do I like about it?
– Resources provided can be easily downloaded.
– Resources provided (e.g., student outline) can be opened in Microsoft Word which can be easily edited (very convenient!).
– Lesson plans are detailed enough for the teacher to get a brief idea of what to do for a lesson but it is not that detailed that it is “spoon feeding” the teacher. This will help to keep classrooms original and doesn’t limit the teacher’s creativity that is put into the lesson.
– Provides links to outside websites for additional information or resources that can be used in the classroom. These outside links are usually quizzes and activities which can be stimulating and engaging for the students. This is extremely helpful in case someone would like to look deeper into certain topics, check the information provided, or look for other resources or ideas to use.
– Information provided is brief and to the point. There is no garbage or junk within these lesson plans that are time consuming to read; it is short (sometimes even one word sections) and straight to the point.
– Lesson plans are organized and do not need to be downloaded (although resources within the lesson plans must be in order to view).
– Website is easy to navigate and is user friendly (which is great for technology illiterate people like me!).
What do I dislike about it?
– In all of the lesson plans that I have viewed, the “Strategies For Diverse Learners” section only ever had “online activities.” I feel that there are many ways that lesson can be adapted so I feel they could have done more with this. However, I don’t take this as a huge factor especially since it is also hard to make adaptations for an unknown class or unknown students. Also, seeing as they provide a lesson plan with great resources, I suppose the teacher has to do something on their own, hey? With that said, I don’t think it was necessary to include this section in the lesson plan since there wasn’t any strategies really given that could help meet the needs of diverse learners.
– Some of the resources for the students did not look very appealing. I took a look at one of the resources and was thinking “Holy cow this looks like a lot of work and really boring!” If I thought this, I’m pretty sure my students would as well.
How does this fit into the curriculum and how would I use it?
This online resource can be used to achieve the objectives from the Accounting 10/20/30 curriculum. Specifically, this website can help to partially achieve 5 out of 17 of the objectives within this curriculum: Module 1 (basic vocabulary, adjusting and closing entries, journalizing, general ledger, and worksheets for merchandising and service businesses), Module 2 (financial statements), Module 4 (cash control), Module 5 (payroll), and Module 9 (depreciation).
In my actual classroom, I would use this resource as a reference and possibly use some of the ideas from these lessons. If I were to use them, I would most likely change the resources for students and modify them so they are more appealing to students. I feel that school can be fun and shouldn’t be completely boring or else students will not want to learn, so I definitely think I would change up some of the resources. With that said, it is a good starting point and offers many ideas to use.
Also, I could post some of the resources given onto the class website/blog or hand them out to students who would like to practice their knowledge, need to deepen their understanding, or need something productive to do if they finish their work early.
Overall evaluation of Utah Education Network
If this website aligned with the Saskatchewan curriculum rather than the Utah curriculum, I think this would be an awesome resource to use. Unfortunately though it’s not, but it can serve as a good reference point and can occasionally be used in the classroom.
If I had to rate this website resource, I would definitely give it a 8/10.