How I Use It
This a teacher-resource database for lesson plans and resources aligned with Common Core. Educators can search by subject, grade, standard, or keyword (i.e. mood or tone for language arts). Once you click on a lesson plan that you find, there are a plethora of ways to search for similar themes or types of lessons without completing an entirely different search.
Teachers contribute material and organize their lessons based on larger units or curriculums, so they easily flow together. When searching you can locate a strand of lessons that go together for an overall lesson and you can see the entire curriculum posted for that teacher. When viewing the unit, the left column of each curriculum or unit provides similar master teachers and their lesson plans. It was very easy for me to use the resources provided, download what was available (Power Point Presentations, worksheets, assessments, videos, etc) and adjust them for what I needed.
All of these resources are provided for free. With that being said, there are some that are not valuable or don't necessarily meet the learning goal I was searching for. There is much more value in finding the Master Teachers who have posted and searching their curriculum for ideas, downloading their resources, and adjusting as necessary.
You can also create your own curriculum, units, and share your resources with other teachers as well. The site provides a built in planning tool that allows you to save and copy entire lesson plans or units (folders) within your planner. Further curation of materials requires a paid subscription to the service (and truly, is not necessary if you are looking for resources to download, since you can copy them to your own planner and/or just download to your computer to use with your students).
The fact that this is a free resource is astounding. I was very impressed with this teacher resource and have it on my top 10 list to share with teachers who are in need of a "fresh" lesson plan or a new way to teach a concept. Each lesson is Common Core aligned, includes resources, timing, questions, quizzes, video tutorials, overarching goals, and opportunities to provide feedback to the lessons. It is incredibly easy to get started and easy to identify lessons and tasks that will work for your group of students. It's structured very well (shows beginning of each part of the lesson and divides these parts based on type or part of lesson).
I also liked that there is a list of Master Teachers within each grade level and subject I searched and that it was so easy to bounce between teachers based on the subject or lesson I was looking for. The ease in navigating the resource was especially valuable for me.
I was ESPECIALLY impressed with how well you can search the Common Core standard (at various grade levels) and find the lesson that were aligned to that standard. There are a few that are not represented (generally in the word-work for the middle grades), but I anticipate this changing as more Master Teachers are added to the site and upload their lessons.
I look forward, also, to when they add the content areas (they are currently seeking Science educators from public and charter schools) to create a directory of science lesson plans. For now, they are limited to math and language arts/reading.