Monday, September 10, 2012

Free Online Resources for Students and Teachers

By Beth Hammett

Teachers Pay Teachers Storefront: Beth Hammett

With school starting, the demand for free resources is high! School districts have tightened budgets and eliminated programs but implemented many new standards. What's a teacher to do? Thankfully, there are lots of websites that offer freebies to teachers.

Here are four free online learning programs that students and teachers will love:

. Want to read with students but short on time? This site is promoted by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation and features many popular children's books with free lesson plans. It transforms the book into an on-screen experience that all ages will love!

2. The site helps children learn basic reading and writing skills. They can read comic books, non-fiction works, plays, and more... Students can practice letters and numbers recognition through games. There's activities for holidays, as well.

3. This website aimed at grades K-5 offers basic concepts for lower learners of higher grades, too. The sections are divided by grade levels and skills, so finding appropriate materials is easy. The games are educational and fun, and children will enjoy interacting with it.

4. Most teachers are familiar with the quality of materials produced by PBS, and the website has excellent resources for parents and teachers of early learners. It's well organized, uses popular characters, and is easy to navigate.

If in need of Common Core materials, there are many government funded sites. One such site,, has handouts, questions and answers, and webinars. Another similar site is, which makes lesson writing and aligning to common core standards easy. Simply download the free program, fill out the lesson plan templates, and it searches for alignment of standards. It's run by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. A site funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is Although it was unclear if all the resources were free, by clicking on the Digital Resources tab, teachers will find tons of freebies.

Of course, for varieties of free lesson plans, browse Teachers Pay Teachers! New categories and thousands of free items are updated daily, so there's something for everyone regardless of subject matters taught. There's also the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at, which incorporates music into all subjects with its free lesson plans and resources. Another bonus, it offers teacher scholarships to its summer programs.

If looking for professional development, use Edweeks free webinars at Subjects are unlimited and include everything from understanding new common core standards to using social media in the classroom. Sign-up is free, and webinars are archived so that teachers can access them at their convenience.  

Finding free resources can be overwhelming, so follow the links above to save time and to make learning accessible and fun for all students. 

Related Teachers Pay Teachers Products:

Bodies of Water - a Touch it Learn it Interactive Mini-lesson
Reading Comprehension Map $1.00
Homecoming Activities Packet for Pre-k-6 $3.00
Spelling Task Cards: 40 Activity Cards for Any List $3.25
Who's the Tallest in the Land? Prince and Princess Measurement $3.50
Grammar Fail! Bulletin Board or Literacy Center $5.00
Reading Workshop Task Menu & Recording Sheets-Grades 4 & 5 $5.95

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