Teaching can be a challenge! Whether you’re looking for new information on a subject, or trying to figure out how to provide meaningful differentiation, you need resources you can count on. Here are three places to look for the school resources you need.
Teacher resources online are abundant. Many sites even offer teaching resources free of charge—which is perfect for teachers on a budget. However, there is a downside of looking for resources online—information overload.
To help track down what you actually want instead of three million and sixty-two results that you don’t, here are three tips to keep in mind:
Use Specific Keywords
If you’re looking for an addition worksheet for your third graders, don’t just type in “Math worksheets.” You’ll be overwhelmed with sites that you’ll then have to pick through. It’s much better to use specific keywords in your search, “third grade addition worksheets.”
Use Free in Your Search Terms
When you’re looking for free resources, go ahead and add the word “free” to your keywords. Your search engine (like Google) will then comb through the sites that match the other keywords you’ve entered, and the word free. While you’ll still probably get some paid options back, they won’t be as abundant.
Open Promoted Content with Caution
Those first few results from the search engine? Those are almost always promoted content. That means they’re ads. They’re usually surrounded by a border, or somehow distinguished from the rest of the results, but if you’re searching on your phone it’s not always easy to tell. Some promoted content is great—some is just a ploy to get you to spend money. Use your judgement, and open with caution.
Here are four sites with reliable, trusted information to help teachers:
Scholastic Teachers: With lesson plans, articles, and more, the Scholastic site is a fabulous spot for teacher resources, especially related to English/Language Arts.
Discovery Education: Featuring a new teacher survival center, and resources broken down by subject and grade, and lots more, Discovery Education is almost a one-stop shop for busy teachers!
Common Core: Since most states have adopted Common Core, you should check out their website. They have a list of resources to help teachers understand and implement the standards. If your state uses different standards, they probably have a similar online resource. Find it and bookmark it for repeated reference.
Education World: Filled with information, teachers will discover lesson plans (including 5 minute lesson plans for killing time), an entire section devoted to tech, and articles to help teachers stay current, Education World just might have what you’re looking for.
Of course there are plenty of other sites out there. We’d love to have you share your go-to website for teacher resources online in the comments!
2. Teacher Resources Books
The Internet isn’t the only place to look for reliable resources. You can also use printed books. Numerous publishers put out books full of information, projects, and lesson plan ideas for teachers. If you don’t have a favorite, ask your colleagues if they have a recommendation.
If you need help finding a book, try searching on Amazon or a similar site with these keywords: “Teacher Resource Book for _” and then take your specific keywords to fill in the blank. Buying books online is nice, as you can often check out a few pages for free, and read reviews. Those features both help make buying the right material the first time easier.
3. Online Forums
While a single group or person usually publishes websites, forums are a bit different. They’re opened for discussion, and designed for sharing ideas. Teacher forums are abundant, and many have sections devoted to teacher resources.
Most forums have a search function, which means you won’t have to scroll through thousands of posts to find what you’re looking for. You just need to use keywords. If you’re looking for math resources, try typing “teacher resources for math” into the search bar. Discussions related to your search will be displayed.
You may have to register with the site before you’re allowed to post or comment. Since each site is different, just follow the rules for the one you’re using. Remember to protect your students, and yourself—don’t share confidential information online.
Here are four forums devoted to teachers you could check out: