By: Mary Ware
Leading a hospital education program is often a difficult job—ensuring that each student-patient receives a quality education while admitted to the hospital and attending to the unique needs of each is a challenge. Add to that the administrative component and working together with many different team players and the time allotted to hospital teachers for classroom planning can quickly be consumed with other activities.
Luckily for hospital teachers and programs, there are many resources available online to help creating high-quality and engaging lesson plans for classrooms at all levels. We have rounded up some of our favorite websites and resources to make planning curriculum easier and more efficient. The sites below will help round out a quality education program, provide inspiration for creating tiered lesson plans across the subjects, and provide solutions for students who are in need of extra support or who arrive with only basic schoolwork or instructions.
It is important to remember however that all lessons and activities need to support the district’s overall objective for their student, in order to help the student continue to make academic progress while receiving hospital education services. These lessons should supplement assigned schoolwork as needed, or be used for student-patients who either do not have schoolwork or who are waiting to receive assignments to help them transition into the hospital classroom and stay academically engaged.
Here are 5 intriguing places online to find free curriculum materials for hospital teachers:
Scholastic has a fantastic database full of thousands of lesson/unit plans, activities, and suggestions for creating interesting reading-based lessons. Teachers can filter by grades, type of activities (lesson plans, extension activities, vocabulary lists, etc.) and can find materials to support ongoing literacy curriculum or assignments.
This is also a great website to search for accompanying assignments if a student-patient arrives with a book to read from school but without comprehension or other activities to support the reading process.
- EdTech Teacher: Best of History Websites
The name gives it away for this site: Best of History Websites is a roundup of excellent resources for history classrooms. Here teachers can find maps, lesson plans, and ideas for historical topics using the easy to navigate menu that covers Ancient History, American History, European History and Modern History topics.
HippoCampus is a helpful resource for the secondary teacher. It has over 6,800 free videos spanning 13 subjects that high school student-patients need support in. This includes higher level math (Algebra, Geometry, Calculus, Statistics) and core subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, Economics and English. The site is supported by the NROC Project and the Monterrey Institute for Technology and Education.
- NASA for Educators
Take your science curriculum literally out of this world with NASA for Educators, an intriguing site that provides interesting resources, photos, videos and activities to learn about Space Tech, Aeronautics, and the Solar System as well as past and current space missions. Students are sure to find topics that are interesting and relevant to their studies, and teachers are able to search by subject, grade level and topics to support STEM curriculum.
- Share My Lesson
Crowdsourcing is a great way to find new content for the classroom—after all, who better to get suggestions from than other teachers? Share My Lesson is a giant database created for educators (and filled by educators) to help provide lessons and activities for others. Teachers can both upload and search through the over 420,000 lessons on the site, in all topics and grades (including early education, foreign languages, and electives). As a bonus the site also has information and lessons broken down by standards, and professional development resources for teachers as well.
Hospital teachers are presented with an unique set of challenges when it comes to planning and implementing curriculum. They must be prepared for student-patients they have never met before, or without a clear indication of what level or place in a school curriculum they are currently working on.
By creating tiered lesson plans in all major subjects, hospital teachers are better prepared to provide high-quality instruction—no matter the circumstances—for all students. These resources are helpful tools for crafting full unit and lesson plans, as well as for finding videos, activities and tools to help support student work received from their sending school district.
Being well-prepared as a teacher makes teaching (and learning) more fun for all!