Because of a lack of funding, Lenski teachers rarely pay for software. Instead, they use websites and freeware programs. The following links give you access to educational freeware programs for PCs. (Sorry, Mac users. Some sites specify Mac versions as well, but we don't have access to Macs to test them.)

ReadPlease: This is the most important download on the site. ReadPlease is a text reader. Students can copy any text from their computer (web pages, their own documents, etc.) and paste it into ReadPlease to hear it read aloud. This way, struggling readers can manage websites where the reading level is too difficult, but not beyond their receptive range.

Open Office:This office productivity software is compatible with all other major productivity software programs. If your students cannot afford commercial productivity software, such as Microsoft Office or Appleworks, this is an excellent solution. Besides, we love several features in Open Office.

Word Web: WordWeb is a free English thesaurus and dictionary for Windows, and can be used to look up words from within almost any program in just one click. It works off-line, but can also look up words in web references such as the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

Audacity Audacity is free sound recording and editing software.

ART
Tux Paint:This simple painting program has many features and is engaging for students, but pictures cannot be saved in separate files or inserted into other programs.
Paint.NET: This is a more sophisticated drawing and photo manipulation software package. Tutorials are available on the website as well. These files can be saved on the file server or in your folders.
Art Rage: This program has art tools such as oil paint. colored pencils and chalk. Students can load photographs and paint over them. Many features for art teachers to explore with older students.

TYPING:
Comprehensive list: This site lists the freeware, shareware and online options for keyboarding pratice.
Utah Keyboarding Resources: Utah has compiled research, lesson plans, and resources for teachers.
Tux Type: This typing program has two versions of games with multiple levels.

CONTENT-RELATED SKILLS

Sebran (Zebra) and MiniSebran: This freeware has math, language and typing options. MiniSebran is for toddlers and preschoolers. Available in many languages, but only for PC.

Owl & Mouse Software : This site offers two kinds on downloads for PC only -- map games (the US States and Capitals is a favorite!) and reading support. The reading support is also available interactively online -- and the most recent additions are online only. Those are suitable for all platforms.

Tables: Multiplication practice through fun games. Students can (and should) set an appropriate level of problems to solve. The software file is attached here while the site undergoes changes.

Funny Math for Kids (2+2): This math program has a child-friendly look and is geared to the K-2 students.

Sight Buddy: This small program helps students master the Dolch word lists.

NOT Freeware but worth looking at
Grey Olltwit's Software: This site has many small programs for skills such as telling time, making word searches and other word problems, and currency. A membership costs $20.

Ray's Tables & Time: A limited version of this is free, and a site license (with many more options) is $68. Not much to pay for a fun game that lets kids practice addition (some with pictures as well as numbers), telling time, and other math skills with options for a two-player game or playing against the computer, timed or untimed. Download the free evaluation to see how it works before you make your decision. We use this with kindergarten when they are learning number sense. It could easily be a math center for K-2.