Today's theme is Favorite Websites. Even if you are not a teacher, but you are a mom of an elementary aged student, some of these sites may be helpful at home.
I use a free online tool called PortaPortal to store all my favorite websites in an organized fashion for my kids. Your PortaPortal is basically your bookmarks or favorites, but yo can access them anywhere. And the best part is, your whole class can access them by using your username and entering into Guest Access. This means they can see your favorites, but they cannot edit them
I don't want to post a link to my PortaPortal Page because it has my school info on it and I don't feel comfortable putting that up here, but I'd be happy to share it with you if you send me an email with your blog. (email: innosimplelanguageATgmailDOTcom) It's full of good stuff, so don't hesitate to email me!
Here are just a few of my favorite sites, broken down by topic...everything I've listed below is a FREE resource!
- Harvey's Homepage: Harvey was one of my favorite college professors at JMU. He is a wonderful man who not only knows how to teach and engage children in math, but he's a whiz with a Smartboard. On his site, you'll find tons of FREE Smartboard lessons that you can download for math. His site is like a goldmine! Harvey also has his own PortaPortal full of helpful links...check it out here.
- National Library of Virtual Manipulatives: They took all your math manipulatives and put them on a website. Such a helpful tool!
- BBC Numbers: This is a helpful site to give good concrete examples for things in math. One thing I use every year from this site is their fraction page. I think these images demonstrate comparing fractions better than anything else I've found.
- Worksheets Work: I use these all the time in math for extra practice with my students when we do times tables. They get a mixed practice page every night with their regular math homework. If you're a parent to an elementary student, these can be great practice at home if you notice your child needs extra help....and again, it's free!
- Reading Quest: Lots of great graphic organizers and reading strategies can be found here
- Story Online: This is basically different celebrities reading books to kids online. This makes a great center for a small group while you are doing reading groups.
- Spelling City: AMAZING! I used this site this past year for my kids to practice their word study words. You create an account (it's free) and then each week you put the words on here. I had 4 word study groups, and each group had their own section. The kids could go on and play games and practice their words. Many of the parents commented on how much they loved this site. The site will even give kids a practice test and check it for them. There's no excuse for misspellings if they practice on here all week.
- Read, Write, Think: Just browse through here. TONS of reading and writing tools.
- And 3 more sites I love for Graphic Organizers - 1 and 2 and 3!
- Free Technology For Teachers...if you don't read this guy's blog, it's time for you to start! He shares some great things on here. Many of my favorite sites have come from his blog.
- Glogster: A free online interactive poster maker. This is a very fun way to engage your students and it's a great tool for them to use to present what they've learned at the end of a unit.
- Ever need a quick worksheet on a sub day? Or some type of busy work for when Johnny gets sent to the office and they say to send work? GO HERE!!! It is full of free printable worksheets for those times when you need something quickly.
- Build Your Wild Self: My students loooooove going here. It's great if you're studying animals or just fun if they've earned a free day in the computer lab.
- Create your own certificates....the title says it all!
- Classroom Timer and Music: I found last year that my kids would work so much harder if I used this goofy timer and music. No idea why it worked so well, but it did! They especially loved the Indiana Jones music.
- If you teach 4th or 5th grade in Virginia and you do Virginia Studies for Social Studies, Virginia Trekkers are fabulous!!
- And this is one for Christmas Time: Make-A-Flake...we love playing around on here during that crazy, hectic, and insane week before Winter Break!