What do you Know

Key Content Knowledge

Content knowledge is more than just “facts.” The human brain retains information to the degree in which it can create connections or links among the pieces to create a schema or scaffold structure. It associates emotions, positive or negative, with knowledge. The brain attempts to find the knowledge meaningful, relevant, or useful, and apply or use the knowledge in a variety of authentic situations. Key content knowledge is often referred to the four core academic disciplines tested on state assessments. However, key content knowledge also includes knowledge & skills from all disciplines; often it is referred to as "graduation requirements." This may include Physical Education, Career Technical Education, Fine Arts, and Languages apart from English. Ideally, content knowledge is taught in a manner that allows students to make sense of information in the following ways:

Academic Attribution: Academic attribution refers to the student’s belief that if they work hard they can improve their performance in a subject area (as opposed to thinking “I’m bad at math so I should never try to do math”).

Academic Value: Academic value refers to the student’s belief that what they are learning in school has application beyond school and is relevant and applicable to their potential career and their experience of the world.

Student Effort: Student effort refers to the student attitude that learning content knowledge requires concerted work on their part and they are willing to demonstrate this effort in pursuit of their learning. Student effort is directly linked to a student’s purpose for going to school and their program of study.

Structure of Knowledge: Structure of knowledge refers to the manner in which subjects are internally organized, the major themes, strands, and principles around which the individual facts are arranged and through which they are related. This structure is critical to helping students understand how knowledge relates within a discipline and also helps then draw connections between disciplines. Cross-disciplinary projects are important to college and career readiness.

Challenge Level: Challenge level refers to the degree in which students feel challenged by the content knowledge and the work they are asked to do in the classroom. Research has revealed discrepancies in this area. It is not unusual for students to report they do not feel challenged, while their teachers assert that their students are unable to handle more difficult material or tasks.

Experience with Technology: This aspect refers to the importance of providing students the opportunity to engage technology in every subject area.  Students should be very familiar and comfortable with using technology appropriately for research, presentations, data analysis, etc. The use of technology should be embedded across all disciplines.


Physical Education


Career & Technical Education

  • The Futures Channel
    Real-world application-based videos and activities through which professionals from the sciences, engineering, and technology sectors can reach their future workforce prospects and interest them in their fields.
  • AchieveTexas
    AchieveTexas promotes the combination of rigorous academics with relevant career education to provide a context for learning and to increase students’ motivation to learn. Programs of study have been developed to represent a recommended sequence of coursework based on a student’s interest or career goal.
  • Roadmap to Success: A Curriculum Mapping Primer
    Details the basics of curriculum mapping and has links to additional resources.
  • National Science Digital Library Free resources available through NSDL include images, video, audio, animations, software, datasets, and text documents such as lesson plans, activities, journal articles, and more. In addition, NSDL provides search, browse, help, blogging, collaborative workspaces, collection creation and management services, news reports, and online community discussions.



English Language Arts

  • Webinar: Improving Adolescent Literacy in Rural Schools: A Schoolwide Approach
    Webinar co-sponsored with the Northwest Regional Comprehensive Center and the Alaska Comprehensive Center designed to assist rural school staff with implementation of their School Improvement Grants (SIG).
  • National High School Center
    The National High School Center identifies research-supported improvement programs and tools, offers user-friendly products, and provides technical assistance services to improve secondary education; is housed at the American Institutes for Research (AIR) in Washington, DC, and is funded by a grant provided by the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Office of Special Education Programs.
  • Alliance for Excellent Education
    The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century.
  • Center on Instruction
    The Center on Instruction offers materials and resources on Literacy and English Language Arts that help educators improve academic outcomes for students, address the problem of struggling readers, and meet instructional challenges of diversity in students’ ability and readiness in learning to read.
  • https://www.rti4success.org/
    The National Center on Response to Intervention website offers webinars and other resources to support implementation of the RTI Model.
  • Texas College and Career Readiness Standards
  • English Language Arts and Reading TEKS
    This site supports the professional development series for Texas teachers on the following state standards: the English and Spanish Language Arts and Reading Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (ELAR and SLAR TEKS), the English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS), and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS).
  • The Meadows Center: Building RtI Capacity
    The Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk (MCPER) is dedicated to generating and disseminating empirically validated knowledge and practices to influence educators, researchers, policymakers, families, and other stakeholders who strive to reduce academic, behavioral, and social risk in all learners, particularly those with disabilities.
  • National Center for Learning Disabilities
    The National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) provides essential information to parents, professionals and individuals with learning disabilities, promotes research and programs to foster effective learning, and advocates for policies to protect and strengthen educational rights and opportunities.
  • Teaching Disciplinary Literacy to Adolescents: Rethinking Content-Area Literacy, Shanahan & Shanahan
    In this article, Timothy and Cynthia Shanahan argue that “disciplinary literacy” — advanced literacy instruction embedded within content-area classes such as math, science,and social studies — should be a focus of middle and secondary school settings.
  • Carnegie Corporation, Adolescent Literacy Publications: Time to Act; Reading in the Disciplines
    Carnegie Corporation of New York, which was established by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding,” is one of the oldest, largest and most influential of American grant making foundations.
  • Writing to Read: Evidence for How Writing Can Improve Reading
    Writing to Read is a Carnegie Corporation report published by the Alliance for Excellent Education which finds that while reading and writing are closely connected, writing is an often-overlooked tool for improving reading skills and content learning. Writing to Read identifies three core instructional practices that have been shown to be effective in improving student reading.
  • Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle & High Schools (Carnegie)
    Writing Next discusses eleven specific teaching techniques that research suggests will help improve the writing abilities of the country’s 4th- to 12th-grade students.
  • A Vision for Action and Research in Middle and High School Literacy
    Reading Next outline 15 key elements of an effective literacy intervention, and call on public and private stakeholders to invest in the literacy of middle and high school students today, while simultaneously building the knowledge base.
  • Roadmap to Success: A Curriculum Mapping Primer
    Details the basics of curriculum mapping and has links to additional resources.


  • Texas College and Career Readiness Standards
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Resources for Educators
    HHMI, a nonprofit medical research organization that ranks as one of the nation’s largest philanthropies, plays a powerful role in advancing biomedical research and science education in the United States.
  • Evolution and the Nature of Science Institute (ENSI) at Indiana University – Bloomington
    Evolution and the Nature of Science Institutes (ENSI) main objective is to improve the teaching of evolution in High School Biology courses by encouraging teachers to teach evolutionary thinking in the context of a more complete understanding of modern scientific thinking (see Nickels et al article on this site.
  • Botanical Society of America – Plant Science Educational Outreach
    The BSA’s Classroom “PLANT Talking Points” is designed as a tool for sharing ideas and concepts that highlight the role plants play in our lives, and in the world around us.
  • American Society of Plant Biologists – Education Foundation
    ASPB is a professional society devoted to the advancement of the plant sciences. It publishes two world-class journals and organizes conferences, and other activities that are key to the advancement of the science.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Science Resources
    NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and the nation’s science community use space observatories to conduct scientific studies of the Earth from space to visit and return samples from other bodies in the solar system, and to peer out into our Galaxy and beyond.
  • U.S. Geological Survey Plate Tectonics resources
    The USGS is a science organization that provides impartial information on the health of our ecosystems and environment, the natural hazards that threaten us, the natural resources we rely on, the impacts of climate and land-use change, and the core science systems that help us provide timely, relevant, and useable information.
  • A Guide to Trilobites (discussions and beautiful photos of fossils)
    This site’s pages (and the majority of its figures) were designed and created by Dr. Sam Gon III, a biologist (PhD, Animal Behavior; MA, Zoology (Ecology, Behavior and Evolution) who is greatly intrigued by the expression of ancient biodiversity that trilobites represent.
  • General Chemistry Online from Frostburg State University
    This sophisticated website contains searchable databases of common compounds and important chemical terms as two of the most powerful features of this very comprehensive resource.
  • The Great Flu
    Online game in which students try to identify and stop the spread of a new deadly virus infection.
  • Online Courses from the World’s Top Scholars
    Academic Earth is an organization founded with the goal of giving everyone on earth access to a world-class education. On this site you will find free access to lectures from renowned experts on various subjects in science that would increase the content knowledge of teachers who access this information.
  • National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science (from National Science Foundation)
    CASE STUDIES have a long history in business, law, and medical education. Cases can be used not only to teach scientific concepts and content, but also process skills and critical thinking therefore the use of cases in the classroom makes science relevant.
  • Cellular Visions: The Inner Life of a Cell from Harvard
    StudioDaily is built on a foundation of video, rich media tutorials and daily news. Combining top content from anchor sites Film & Video and Studio/monthly with daily news, blog posts and a link to our user-generated film festival community site, Studio’s Film Fest, StudioDaily keeps readers up-to-date on critical workflow developments, product releases and emerging projects.
  • Teaching Channel: Videos, Resources, and Lesson Plans for teachers
    Teaching Channel is a video showcase — on the Internet and TV — of inspiring and effective teaching practices in America’s schools.
  • Standard Deviation and other concepts in Statistics
    This site provides information about statistics and the concept of standard deviation as maintained by Robert Niles, author of Robert Niles’ Statistics Guide.
  • Chemistry Education Resources from American Chemical Society
    ACS is a congressionally chartered independent membership organization which represents professionals at all degree levels and in all fields of chemistry and sciences that involve chemistry.
  • Physics Education Resources from American Physical Society
    The American Physical Society is a non-profit membership organization working to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics through its outstanding research journals, scientific meetings, and education, outreach, advocacy and international activities.
  • Geology (Earth Science) Education Resources from Geological Society of America
    Established in 1888, The Geological Society of America provides access to elements that are essential to the professional growth of earth scientists at all levels of expertise and from all sectors: academic, government, business, and industry.
  • Resources for Environmental Science from Ecological Society of America
    The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of scientists founded in 1915 to: promote ecological science by improving communication among ecologists; raise the public’s level of awareness of the importance of ecological science; increase the resources available for the conduct of ecological science; and ensure the appropriate use of ecological science in environmental decision making by enhancing communication between the ecological community and policy-makers.
  • Ideas from an AP Biology Master Teacher
    With help from numerous great teachers who love to share their tried and true materials, Trevor Gallant’s vision is to build a collection of material that will benefit students and teachers alike.
  • Huge array of educator’s resources from the DNA Learning Center at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
    The DNA Learning Center (DNALC) is the world’s first science center devoted entirely to genetics education and is an operating unit of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, an important center for molecular genetics research. The Dolan DNALC, DNALC West, and Harlem DNA Lab extend the Laboratory’s traditional research and postgraduate education mission to the college, precollege, and public levels.
  • Case Studies and More from Emory University (Creating Active Student Engagement in the Sciences)
    CASES Online is a collection of inquiry-based lessons to engage K-12 and undergraduate students in exploring the science behind real-world problems. Through CASES, you can transform your students into motivated investigators, self-directed and life-long learners, critical thinkers and keen problem solvers. Our cases are grounded in Problem-Based Learning (PBL), Investigative Case-Based Learning (ICBL), and related student-centered pedagogies.
  • Encyclopedia of Life
    Our knowledge of the many life-forms on Earth – of animals, plants, fungi, protists and bacteria – is scattered around the world in books, journals, databases, websites, specimen collections, and in the minds of people everywhere.
  • Science Documentaries: Collection of the best documentaries and lectures from the science world
    Here you will find a collection of informative, revealing, interesting, mind-boggling and above all scientific documentaries about the marvels of the world surrounding us, or the marvels of human ingenuity.
  • Educator resources for molecular biology and cell biology
    Access Excellence, launched in 1993, is a national educational program that provides health, biology and life science teachers access to their colleagues, scientists, and critical sources of new scientific information via the World Wide Web.
  • The Futures Channel
    Real-world application-based videos and activities through which professionals from the sciences, engineering, and technology sectors can reach their future workforce prospects and interest them in their fields.
  • Texas A&M University: Chemistry (Freshman) Course
  • Earth Stem Research Laboratory: Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide
    Detailed records (primary data) of CO2 levels in air since 1958 — useful for Environmental Science, Earth Science, Biology, and Chemistry classes. Trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide, measured at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii.
  • Dihydrogen Monoxide foundation
    This website is a resource for demonstrating to students that information on the internet may NOT be reliable, and to give students experience in independently evaluating reliability and scientific accuracy of unsupported claims. This site presents convincing statements, statistics, and “facts” demonstrating the danger of “dihydrogen monoxide” — better known as water.
  • “Bread is dangerous”
    This website is a resource to demonstrate how apparently reasonable statements can in fact be nonsense, or “How to Lie with Statistics.” “The baked mix of flour and water has been found to be consumed by more than 97% of convicted criminals, with more than 90% of crimes committed within 24 hours of consuming it.”
  • Recorded lectures (videos) on wide range of science and math topics
    The Khan Academy is an organization on a mission; a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.
  • Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology
    The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a world leader in the study, appreciation, and conservation of birds. Their hallmarks are scientific excellence and technological innovation to advance the understanding of nature and to engage people of all ages in learning about birds and protecting the planet.
  • Evolution Resources from the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
    The Academies have long been involved in educational activities and publications on many aspects of evolution.
  • National Science Digital Library Free resources available through NSDL include images, video, audio, animations, software, datasets, and text documents such as lesson plans, activities, journal articles, and more. In addition, NSDL provides search, browse, help, blogging, collaborative workspaces, collection creation and management services, news reports, and online community discussions.

Social Studies

World Language