Every now and then while teaching you have an awkward amount of time where you don’t want to start a lesson that you would have to end early for your students to go out for recess, go to library, whatever it may be. Or maybe, you are just plain old tired and need to sit down for a bit but need your students to be preoccupied. Well I have some resources that are day savers!
Storyline Online is an amazing, FREE, resource that can be used at anytime within the classroom, or students can use at home. This website offers an abundance of books, brand new, and older, that are read outloud by actors and actresses. They take the illustrations and bring them to life, while reading the story with great expression.
The website states, “reading aloud to children has been shown to improve reading, writing and communication skills, logical thinking and concentration, and general academic aptitude, as well as inspire a lifelong love of reading“. This is such a true statement and shows why this resource is great addition to your classroom.
Students tend to love this website and it is great to put on at lunch time, to use as a hook for a literacy lesson, used on ipads for literacy centres, or just to play for the class during spare time.
Another AMAZING resource my students and I have loved to incorporate is BrainPopJr.
BrainPop Jr does require a membership but one account can be used my many different users. Brain Pop Jr, as you can see above has many different subjects.
The more you click on, the deeper they dive into that topic.
When you click on a topic, a video will come up where the BrainPop characters explain all about that subject or subtopic and then after the video they give you an option to take an Easy or Hard Quiz, do activities, word play, and more!
BrainPop Jr is geared toward early primary and BrainPop is geared toward upper primary. Although there is an account needed to access this website, I highly recommend getting an account for your school to use. The websites are great to use as a visual aid for students to hear another perspective on a Science, or Math concept.
A great resource for intermediate classes is TedED. We all know what TED Talks are and have experienced how powerful they can be. TED-ed is a program TED has created for schools and classrooms. It has a multitude of videos of all sorts of topics.
You have the option to choose Student Level, Subject Area, etc.
When you click on a video, it brings you to a page where the video is bigger. Then on the side it has the buttons, Think, Dig Deeper, and Discuss. When you press Think, a multiple choice quiz come up all about the video.
Dig Deeper offers additional resources for you to read about the videos topic to “dig deeper” into the topic. Key words are written in red to help make connections to what they just heard within the video.
And finally, Discuss where they provide you with a platform to discuss the topic. Threads may have already been started on the topic or you can create your own thread that you could potentially have each student comment on and start a class discussion online.
One neat feature TEDed has is that you can create your own lessons.
You as the teacher could post a video on a topic you are teaching, a video on a thought provoking topic, a current event, and so on..
You then have the ability to add your own questions, discussion prompts, and resources. Then you can share your lesson with your student and track their progress and exploration through the lesson! SO COOL! You can create all of this prior to the lesson and then have each student individually working on this on Ipads, during Computers, or at home. Your lesson is done for the day, covering everything you would want, without having to do much actual teaching in that moment because your video, questions, and discussion do it for you. Plus, it puts learning into the hands of your students and their discussion is built upon through their thoughts and inputs.
I personally love TED talks and think this resource would be a great addition to a Social Studies unit, Science unit, or any subject really!