Ideas and Features For New Teachers and Veterans with Class



Website of the Month
We are pleased to provide our readers with excellent educational web resources for use in schools, homes, and for professional development.  Click on the links below to access each Website of the Month:


Teaching Heart
A Place for K-3 Teachers 
With Sharing Hearts 

Tony Vincent's
Learning in Hand


Teaching Heart is a great website for teachers in the early elementary grades.  There are great ideas, tips, techniques, lesson plans, unit plans, and a great selection of downloadable printable materials you can use, adapt, or change to fit your own classroom.  

The download center features free printable worksheets, activities, and materials you can use in your classroom.  These are cross-referenced through the site for easy access.    

I particularly liked the "MOOSE" notebooks (Management of Organizational Skills Everyday) teachers and students use to communicate with parents at home.  What a neat idea, and a neat name! is a website that was originally designed to support teachers using handhelds in the classroom. 

Tony Vincent was formally a fifth grade teacher in Willow Creek Elementary in Omaha, Nebraska. He is now their tech teacher which frees him up to speak around the country about the power of handhelds in the classroom. 

The site provides multitudes of links, lesson plans, and practical instruction on integrating handhelds into the classroom. He has now expanded the site to include podcasting and blogging with helpful instruction and links in integrating these tech tools into the curriculum, also.

The Museum of Science, Art, and Human Perception


Kathy Schrock's
Guide for Educators at

The Exploratorium, Museum of Science, Art, and Human Perception, is an excellent website you can use right in your classroom.  Visitors to the site can follow the live work of scientists around the world right as they work.  One great feature of the site is the Ancient Writings, where you can see an original document from ancient Greece being studied by modern day scientists at Stanford University.  Another is the Science of Gardening, where videos display and discuss the aspects of gardening, from growing to processing to feeding people around the world.

Among other great interactive science themes, the Science of Sports will certainly interest many students.  In the Science of Hockey, for example, actual NHL coaches and players, along with physicists and chemists deal with everything from ice to energy to the physics of a slap shot.  

This is a user-friendly website with quick links to the various parts of the site.  You could use this as a preparatory site for your class plans, an interactive site to use in class, or even as a supplemental for your students to check out at home.

Kathy Schrock, internet guru and educator, is the Administrator for Technology for the Nauset Public Schools in Cape Cod, Massachusetts.  Her site is designed to give teachers and educators a generous list of websites on educational topics.

Links on her page include specific sites for subject matter, resources for teachers and educators, evaluation tools, and the latest in technological advances.  These links are checked, added to, and edited daily, so you know Kathy is always up to date.  

The DiscoverySchool site also provides tremendous subject matter materials, as well as lesson plans, student researching, and teacher tools.  My class has been using the puzzle maker feature on the website for years now, creating word searches, crosswords, and other puzzles to practice important vocabulary terms from the literature we read.  The crossword puzzle feature is easy to use, and provides you with step-by-step directions for its creation.

National Educational
Technology Standards


The NETS are the National Educational Technology Standards project started by the ISTE group to give guidance to educational institutions on how to implement national standards in the teaching and use of technology to improve education across the country.

It is an easy to use website with many technology resources for teachers and educators.  The site even has the NETS for students, teachers, and administrators, as well as NETS in curricular areas of English Language Arts, Foreign Language, Science, Mathematics, Social Studies, Early Childhood, and Information Literacy.  

K12 Academics is a national based education & disability resource center with a community based approach. We cover every county, city or town in the U.S. If you are looking for a website or information on a school, organization, museum, library, camp or support in your area you can find it here. The site also serves as a great resource for teachers, parents, students, professionals & district officials in the K-12 education system.

There are many areas on the website to check out, including information on national directories on websites, resources, educational services, camps, and museums.  There are articles, updated daily and written from educational experts all around the country on any number of educational issues.  There are specific sections for teachers, from tips and techniques to lesson plans.  There is another section for students including major tests and scholarships.  There is also a directory of schools across the country.

Material &
 Resource Center

Learning Resources
for Home and School

PedagoNet is a website of resources mainly for elementary teachers and students, but it also includes many features for teachers of all levels.   

Among many other features, the website includes a terrific selection of physical education games and activities.  Each activity includes a list of all materials needed, the rules to the game, and how to play.  

Pedagonet also includes customizable mazes and word puzzles.  There are also many brain teasers, riddles, and brain boosters.  Each has its answer on a separate link.  These make great sponge activities for your students, and can be fun to use in class.

One aspect of the site is the customizable math worksheets.  You can use and print out the  pre-made sheets, or make your own .  For students, there is a section on study guides for various tests, including state-required tests.  And for teachers, there is a flashcard section which asks questions on various teacher-education tests and the GRE.  

Yet another neat feature of this site is the link to the Musiclopedia, a research resource for all things musical.  Included are a searchable list of instruments, orchestras, musicians, composers, recording artists and bands.  There is also virtual sheet music and many other great resources.  

The BBC (British Broadcasting Company) website is a user-friendly site for teachers, educators, and students to supplement normal classroom activities.  It is fun and interactive, and includes many hands-on activities, simulations, games, and learning activities.  It is initially broken up by age levels, and then further by subject areas.  

The BBC School website also includes vast resources and information to use in classes, or in research.  Although I've only used the sections on history and English, there are many more areas to explore in all age levels, grade levels, and subject areas.     

History classes at our school use the BBC site for more information on various periods in history and cultures and civilizations.  Beyond the cultures of British history (Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, etc.), the site also has detailed information on Greeks, Romans, Shakespeare, and others.

There are also great lesson plans and activities for all grade levels and classes.  

Our Ancient Literature class has used the BBC site and its interactive games and simulations.  One of the student's favorites is the VIKING QUEST, a simulation where students play the role of a Viking, making decisions such as the settlement to start from, what type of boat to build, what crew to hire, and how to plan your attacks.  


Where Children Have Fun 
Learning to Read!

Sheppard Software:
Online Educational Games & Quizzes

Starfall is an exceptional website for children to practice reading skills in an interactive manner.  The majority of the website is free, but the site does offer several writing journals, materials, and books you can order to use either with the website or in your own curriculum.  

Among the many interactive games and activities are video read-along stories involving snowmen (this one was very cute) to sing along with and a mouse who writes letters to grandparents.  Its a great chance for students to learn and use vocabulary skills along with reading and writing.  

Four specific sections of the site are designed to help with letter/sound recognition, beginning readers, intermediate readers, and advanced readers.  Each section has activities to help students not only learn to read, but to have fun while reading.  

The download center features free printable worksheets, activities, and materials you can use in your classroom.  These are all in Adobe for ease of use.   

This is a user-friendly website with quick links to the various parts of the site.  You could use this as a an interactive site to use in class, as a supplemental for your students to check out at home, and even as a homeschooling website to teach children.

The Sheppard Software site is a great resource for both students and teachers. It is broken up into two basic areas, the Online Games and the Daily Quizzes. 

The Games area contains several interactive games to both teach students and test their knowledge. Our social studies classes use these games, in particular the geography map games, to learn countries and capitols on each continent. It also includes a US map with states and capitols, as well as Canada and Mexico. Your students can also try their skills at the entire world.

The Quiz area includes facts and information on a variety of subjects, including animals, math facts, health and fitness, and history. The science area has a quiz on the periodic table similar to the geography maps. There are even questions on SAT/GRE vocabulary and medical and technological terms. Each quiz includes the answers so your students can learn as they go.


The Partnership for 21st Century Skills
Quest Atlantis

Partnership for 21st Century Skills have put together a plan that connects curriculum and 21st century skills. Just as we've heard about the 3 R's of reading, writing, and arithmetic, the 21st century skills are called the 5 C's.  These are critical thinking, creative problem solving, communications, collaboration, and cross cultural relationship building. Letís take a closer look at these skills. Critical thinking and creative problem solving are skills that we need to learn to help us understand the world around us and interact with it. Communications and collaboration are skills that help us work and interact with others in our work and learning situations. Cross-cultural relationship building is something that is important in our global economy. 



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