On March 16, 2020, we began an unprecedented time in education. Our teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and reading interventionists stepped up to the plate and hit a homerun! As educators we would prefer to see our students face-to-face—nothing can replace that instruction. However, in the amount of time we had to prepare for this, we adjusted and did the absolute best job that we could. I honestly have never been more proud to be an educator. While we did Zoom lessons and used Google classroom, we also had access to free online educational resources that helped us reach our students. Below are some great ones that we found, and we hope you find them useful as well.
ClassDojo is a communication platform that allows teachers, students, and families to create school communities through sharing of classroom learning, photos, videos, and more. They have a fantastic mission of ensuring every child gets the education they deserve and learning experiences they love.
Scholastic Learn at Home is an amazing website that offers articles, stories, and fun learning activities at every age level. It is updated every Monday with five new days of activities. There is also a daily reading quest for students at different reading levels as well as additional access to BookFlix, ScienceFlix, and a Summer Reading Palooza!
youcubed is a website that engages students in mathematics. You can search for math activities and challenges by grade level and topic. They have modified some of their tasks to be more at home friendly for parents. There are also parent resources, student resources, and additional math apps and games.
Sora by OverDrive is an app that gives kids access to free digital and audio books. This is such a great way for students to continue their independent reading while schools are closed.
Virtual field trips are a great way to keep students engaged while they’re stuck at home! You can explore Hawaii, Yosemite, The National Aquarium, The Great Wall of China, and even go to Mars! There are a lot of great virtual places to visit and then you can have your students write about their “trip.”
Go Noodle gives kids an opportunity to take brain breaks as well as improve productivity and behavior. It also offers yoga and mindfulness activities. Their resources have a wide span of variety and provide for different abilities, interests, and ages.
Amazon future engineer offers free computer science courses and virtual robotics courses for kids in grades 2-12. You can also access code.org and BootUp project lessons from this website. Students can also remix popular songs to learn how to apply their coding skills!
Mathigon offers a ton of math resources and activities for kids of all ages. Kids can use virtual manipulatives, make origami, solve problems and puzzles, go on a treasure hunt, and build tangrams.
ReadTheory provides tips and strategies for teachers to improve their students’ reading comprehension. Teachers can also assign reading passages and questions to students and monitor their progress. You can set goals for students to keep them motivated as they work. It also gives an immediate and detailed response about why a student misses a question, so parents can help them from home. Texts are available for the elementary level through high school.
ABC Database Suite that has access to six educational databases. ABC World Culture, ABC World Food, ABC Food America, ABC the USA, ABC Maps Online, and ABC Lingo Lite. Each database has a unique experience for students to learn about a variety of topics. There are downloadable activities and assignments, and the possibilities are endless.
Science Buddies is a great website for kids to participate in STEM activities at home. There are a lot of different activities as well as project guides, ask an expert, research on science careers, and a tab for teachers, parents, and students.
Breakout EDU has a wonderful variety of games to keep kids engaged in math, science, reading, and social studies. The games span K-12 and gives teachers, parents, and students a digital tutorial to help them get started.
Boardmaker is a complete special education platform that provides a multitude of resources to meet the needs of special needs students, including non-academic needs. They’ve compiled many resources and tools to help educators during school closings, many free.
Parlay is a comprehensive platform that makes student discussions productive, collaborative, and interactive. Parlay allows educators to provide personalized feedback to individual students, hold live discussions, adjust instruction based engagement data, and much more.
SmartMusic is a music learning software for educators and students that makes practicing fun for students and tracking student progress easy for teachers. It offers a multitude of resources including teaching apps and strategies, practice tools, a huge repertoire library, and more.
We are so thankful that these companies have helped to provide us with these free educational resources so we can continue to find ways to reach our students and keep them learning until we resume school in the fall. We also appreciate all of our families in supporting us as we have navigated through this challenging time in education. We hope this gives you a few more tools in your pocket as you provide families with ideas for summer learning.