September is International Literacy month. To commemorate the day, help students build positive associations with literacy by taking home a book bag filled with items to encourage literacy interactions with their families.
Support daily journal writing with outstanding short video lessons
Pros: With fantastic animations, TED-Ed can take even sometimes-boring subjects and transform them into wildly engaging content.
Cons: Non-video lesson content quality varies, so students may need additional ways to demonstrate learning.
Bottom Line: TED-Ed includes excellent, engaging videos and support for flipped-class lessons with an incredible community of thinkers and doers.
In honor of Women's Equality, engage your class in a debate on whether the Women's Movement of the 1960s and 1970s contributed to the improvement of the lives of women in the United States. Using this interactive site, select a side and read articles that present the other side of the argument to help them determine their final answer. Discussion questions are included for further classroom debate.
Kids use block code and wireless blocks to program, design, and create
Pros: Students will love the hands-on creation process and interactive features that bring their designs to life.
Cons: The site is slow to load, and costs for the various blocks and kits can add up quickly.
Bottom Line: With some perseverance, it's a great fit for PBL and STEAM, helping students learn programming skills and engineering concepts through invention.
Why not ride the wind?. One of the coolest ways to ride the wind is in a hot air balloon! When you see a beautiful hot-air balloon floating in the sky, have you ever wondered how it gets up there and how it will get down without crashing? Learn how in this awesome science experiment.
Pros: It's super customizable, which means you can assign kids the lessons they need to work on most.
Cons: Lacks an element of fun, which could make using the site feel like work for some kids.
Bottom Line: An innovative way to enhance lessons and tailor learning for individual needs.
Why are more people right-handed versus left-handed? This video explores the theory behind the way the brain works and processes language, and the genetics behind favoring one hand versus the other.
Collect and share class data, pictures, and videos
Pros: Kids can gather and share data around questions they develop together.
Cons: Tools are missing to measure and analyze quantitative data.
Bottom Line: Works within Google Classroom to help kids record and share observations of the world around them.
What better way to celebrate a circus coming to town than by visiting an antique children's book about the circus from 1883. This picture book of poems describes the crew, performers, and animals of the circus.
Compelling digital field journal site engages kids on multiple levels
Pros: High-quality visuals, an intuitive and functional interface, unusual expeditions, open-ended educational opportunities.
Cons: There's little help on the site, and teachers will need to decide on their own how to best fit Open Explorer into their curriculum.
Bottom Line: An eye-opening, fascinating way to explore the world from a personal perspective; students will learn about geography, culture, and science along the way.
Earn EXTRA INCOME! Sign up for FREE:Teachers Pay Teachers
Valerie Bourbour is a certified educator and past Co-Director of The Academy of Ormond Beach. Ms. Bourbour has experience in online learning platforms and aims for student success.