We all understand how stressful it can be when working as a teacher. Lesson planning in particular can be tricky. Sometimes you just can’t seem to come up with an engaging idea for the day, or maybe you have trouble locating resources that tie to your lesson. Perhaps there are a few students who are struggling more than others and it’s difficult to get them caught up. These typical challenges, along with the disruption in education that the pandemic has caused, mean teachers need all the help they can get nowadays. Luckily, in today’s digital age there are a variety of online sources that can help. The tricky part is weeding through them to find worthwhile resources that you can use. Thankfully, we are providing you with five great online teaching resources right here.
Nothing is quite as effective as having one-on-one help. Many students would benefit from the personalized attention that is nearly impossible in a packed classroom with a strict schedule. Unfortunately, most students do not have the financial means to hire a tutor to help them outside of school time either. This is one cause of the achievement gap, a term describing the persistent disparities in measures of educational performance among subgroups of US students, especially groups defined by socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity. That’s why Educate. Radiate. Elevate. offers 1:1 tutoring for low-income students of color, at no cost to their families. The tutors at E.R.E. are highly-qualified, college-educated individuals who are dedicated to helping underserved students make major strides in their learning. And the best part is that anyone can nominate a student for this free tutoring program! If you’re a teacher and you know a student who could benefit from E.R.E.’s program, we encourage you to nominate that student today by completing the simple form here. This is an amazing resource for students in need.
Reading is one of the most important aptitudes attained from schooling. And with the focus on reading skills comes the need for quality passages for students to read and learn from. This is where Newsela comes in. Newsela allows you to provide your students with a variety of readings from different subject areas. Whether you are teaching social studies, science, social-emotional skills, or another subject, there’s something there for you to use. One of the nicest features that Newsela offers is the ability to switch the reading level of an article. That way, if you find a reading that ties well into your lesson but maybe is a bit too challenging for your students’ grade level, you can reduce the age stratum so the content covered is the same but at an easier-to-read level. Other neat features include accessing questions that go with articles and switching the passages’ language to Spanish. All in all, Newsela is a great place to look for online readings for students.
In an increasingly visual society, students often have a much easier time understanding something if they can see it in action. With PhET, science teachers can allow their students access to vivid scientific visual simulations. There are simulations for almost any mainline science class, and even a handful of simulations for math teachers to use too. These simulations are often paired with videos that explain how each one works. Teachers can also utilize the assortment of associated documents, such as student handouts, lesson plan tips for teachers, and slideshow presentations. Many simulations come with translations as well, which is ideal for ESL students. If you’re looking for a way to make science more engaging for your students, check out PhET.
It seems like more often than not, math is the subject kids dislike or struggle with. But GeoGebra can help alleviate that. GeoGebra allows teachers to design their own math activities or use one of the many pre-made activities and send them out as assignments to students. The accessible content covers all math concepts taught from kindergarten through high school. GeoGebra also provides students with graphing calculator functionality right in their web browser. So there is no longer a need to supply your classroom with expensive graphing calculators or ensure your students remember to bring their own to class. GeoGebra has it all handled.
When having to call in a substitute, it can be tough to make sure you leave plans the substitute can easily follow while also ensuring the students do something meaningful with their time. EdPuzzle is a great tool that can help accomplish both tasks. EdPuzzle is a service that allows you to assign videos to your students. While that itself is not anything incredibly novel, what makes it unique is that the videos you assign will require your students to answer questions as they watch. This way, the students need to be engaged with the video in order to complete the assignment. So the substitute teacher just needs to help the students log on – and EdPuzzle handles the rest! This strategy is very simple and much more engaging than just turning on a movie and hoping students absorb the content. Also, if you don’t have the time or ability to create questions, teachers from all over have created their own which you can use or edit for your purposes. Give it a try next time you are leaving plans for a substitute or want to use a video in a lesson.
These five free resources give you the tools to easily create engaging lessons and can set your students up for success. If you know of other teachers who might be interested in one of these resources, share it with them! And if you’re interested in learning more about Educate. Radiate. Elevate., click here.