Have I got a mega list of teacher resources and ideas for you today, my friends.
On July 16th, 2019, I was in Houston (Katy, to be precise) facilitating a GT professional development for the Houston GT Co-op. There were 300 awesome teachers there.
I asked them all to share a teaching tip, a tech tool, a resource, or a fave office supply. I used Menti to collect their responses, and wow!
You can see screenshots of the responses (all 217 of them!!!) but to make it easier for you, I typed them out and linked all of the websites.
If a tool particularly lends itself to distance learning or helps teachers facilitate virtual learning, I indicated that with an asterisk (*).
What you should know about the list
If there was something I thought you might not be familiar with, I tried to link an explanation.
If a resource was mentioned more than once, I only listed it once (I’m talking about you, Nearpod!)
If any of the words are mine, it will say, “Lisa says…”
If a tip was temporary or I couldn’t find it (quick fire spiral?), I left it out (like a sale).
The only tip I voted off of the island was one that I have an ethical objection to (you can read me park a bus on it here).
Some of the resources have a cost, and some are ones a district would pay for. I included them, but please don’t consider this my endorsement of them.
I’ve divided them into categories, and I hope you find the ideas useful. I think I could literally spend hours looking through all of these ideas!
Here’s what it looked like in the moment (keep scrolling to see the texty list with links):
The Epic List of Teacher Resources
Techy-ness and websites:
- Classroomscreen*(Lisa says: This is an online tool that lets your display instructions, it’s got a bunch of widgets that help with certain lessons, and it’s adaptable for online learning. There’s a learning curve, but it’s worth a look.)
- Boom Learning (Lisa says: digital task cards and quizzes and all kinds of goodness. You can check out the deck I made & see how it works.)
- Quizlet* (Quizlet live is really engaging!)
- Bloomz* is Remind, Signup Genius, and Class Dojo all in one
- Bitly*(link shortener with analytics)
- Use Classtools.net* to easily create arcade or games using your own created questions/vocab/etc.
- My GT kiddos love Ozobots (really all kids love them) and you can teach so much using them.
- Remind* (home/school communication tool)
- Seesaw* is a great website for all subjects and it’s free for all educators to sign up.
- Yo Teach* (Lisa says: I was really excited to see this alternative to Today’s Meet, a backchannel app, since Today’s Meet went away.)
- Flapjack Education – So much here, especially the smart class website
- ClassDojo is life! It tracks behavior and gives students points. You also can invite parents to view. (Lisa says: I’m not a fan of reward systems, but if you are required to use them, this is a popular platform.)
- Socrative.com* is a way to create quizzes that students can take on their phones that is not as glitchy as Canvas.
- Gimkit* is an awesome review tool! Allows the class to compete individually or in groups.
- Use Schoology* for video lessons and online testing and it uploads to the grading system. It’s so much faster and fun!
- Khan Academy*
- Roomrecess* (learning games)
- Superteachertools* (online spinner/ online dice/ timers/ more)
- Zipgrade for multiple choice tests/quizzes. You can create scantrons that you can print for students and later scan with an app on your device.
- Dreamscape* (virtual reality)
- Flipgrid* (so perfect for distance learning)
- Use Vocabulary.com for vocabulary jams.
- Teachers pay Teachers* specifically: for bilingual resources, you can go to Bilingual Planet. It’s the TpT for bilingual. For early Elementary – Amy Lemon’s store. (Lisa says: I have a little Gifted Guru store there, too!)
- Plickers (scan students’ responses – super cool tool)
- Nearpod* is great and interactive.
- Padlet* (online bulletin board)
- Kahoot* (games)
- Canvas* to grade your homework
- Pear Deck* (interactive questions for Google Slides™ or PowerPoint)
- Wheel Decide* is a great tool to random choose topic/word/student
- Make your own cube here.
- Otter meeting note transcriber app*
- Canva*. I love Canva for projects! (Lisa says: Me, too! I use it all.of.the.time.)
- EasyPDF*. (Lisa says: You can do so many things with PDFs with this free website. I used to recommend a different site, but now I like this one!)
- Go Noodle for indoor recess
- Edpuzzle*. Use a YouTube video and add questions to it. (Lisa says: This tool is amazing!)
- Prodigy* (really great onlinemath game; meets ESSA Tier 3)
- Xtramath* (master math facts)
- Geogebra* (free online math lessons and tools; includes really strong online calculators)
- Desmos* (free math tools, including online graphing calculator)
- Graspablemath* (4th – 12th grade; emphasis on algebra)
- Epicbook*. This reading website is great. They also have some bilingual books. All grade levels. Some of them can be read to the students as well.
- Act out stories. Read more here.
- Visual Thesaurus
- Readworks (free online reading comprehension instruction)
- Toontastic app* is a great way to teach creative writing and plotting a story.
- National Geographic for free political and physical maps for geography
- Google classroom
- Google forms used as a quiz
- Google Slides for visual lesson planning
- Google drive for turning in papers
- Put the apps on your phone: Google docs and Drive, calendar, email
- Use Google Slides to take notes!
- Google forms pre-filled = attendance tracking
- Use Flippity* to turn Google Sheets into really cool stuff
Lisa says: Learn about Google in your classroom at ShakeupLearning. There’s even a podcast!
Non-tech ideas & General
- Highlight grading keeps student focus on content and not grade. Learn about that strategy here.
- QR Codes (Lisa says: Grab ideas here!)
- Make them write it before they can say it out loud
- Matching cards for vocabulary.
- Consistency in all procedures (setup, warmup, transitions, wind down, exit tickets). Students, like adults, are uncomfortable with constant change and the unknown.
- Score assignments with students
- Escape rooms
- Try the Wagon Wheel strategy for Socratic seminars
- Plan ahead!
- There are tons of SMART document resources that you can download. I have downloaded and use interactive fraction bars before.
- Date stamp for grading daily work; – no stamp, no grade
- Use printed sticky notes for graphs
- Start your year building relationships and building trust with your students to begin your classroom management!
- Enjoy what you do!
- Have fun and enjoy!
- Project-based lessons
- Specific feedback when grading helps the learner differentiate their learning as they work through the challenges.
- Write, read to partner, repeat.
- Lab group jobs
- Whisper all the time, all day long.
- I have a turn in, pick up, and needs more time bin for each class period. When students don’t finish an assignment, they put it in “needs more time” so they don’t lose it.
- Have fun!
- Daily warm-ups help get kids settled quickly and on task
- Sticks of fate strategy
- Classroom jobs
- I teach high schoolers who cheat, so I give all answers to the homework. The cheaters never pass the tests.
- Get to KNOW your students.
- Have students make memes as an assignment. They have to understand the material to make a joke about it AND they are fun to grade.
- Use a document camera to record yourself reviewing student essays and upload the video to Canvas/your district’s online platform
- Wireless doorbell to regroup students
- Smile often and greet others when going throughout your campus.
- Toothbrush holder for student pencils
- Relational capacity is everything (level of trust and safety) read more here.
- Always have snacks!
- A sense of humor
- Always input grades as soon as possible to avoid student and parent concern for current grade in any class.
- Have students peer grade essays, then talk about what they found with the writer. It gives them more practice with less essay grading for you. (Lisa’s tip: Use Peergrade.io)
- I work with EL students, therefore singing really helps them to learn new vocabulary, use it, and remember it!
- Independent reading daily
- Use formative assessments to constantly provide feedback to help students aim for their learning target
- Goodwill is a great place for buying books for your classroom library. Discount for teachers on Wednesday!
- Half price Books will give teachers boxes of free books. Check the website and go to the donation form.
- Video taping self-reading, word study, spelling rules
- Grade while the activity is going on during class time
Read The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller
I Wish My Teacher Knew is an AMAZING book. Well worth reading if you have the time.
I have a re-usable notebook and erasable pens that can be erased with a damp cloth or an eraser. The notebook comes with an app allowing you to scan and upload pages.
Alpha sorter for students turning in papers. Keep them organized by last name – makes for easier grade inputting.
Crate with hanging folders for each kid by class to return work
Papermate Flair pens for writing under a document camera makes your writing so much easier to see than regular ball point.
Wrapping Up the Epic Teacher Resource List
So there it is! An epic teacher resource list! Thank you so much to the generous teachers from the Houston Co-op who shared wonderful ideas to benefit their colleagues.
I’m absolutely not recommending that any one person try to use or explore all of these ideas! It’s a lot of information!
There’s a lot here for everyone, and I hope you find a new tool or two to explore and use to make your classroom even more effective and enjoyable for you and your students!
You May Also Like:
- How to Make Distance Learning Engaging
- Learning at Home Resources
- My 5 Favorite Office Supplies
- Progress Cards (one of my fave classroom hacks)
- Using Jeopardylabs for PreAssessment
Updated: This post was updated on 21 July 2020 to include distance learning notations, update links, remove resources that only have paid versions, and add some annotation.
Note: Sometimes I use affiliate links, which means that if you click through and buy something, I get a few pennies (to buy more books!). It will never cost you anything extra.