Top Five Websites edit
Finding excellent websites requires hours of surfing through okay and not-so-good stuff. This page allows you to benefit from my hours of surfing over ten years. I've narrowed down my favorites to five for each content area. Check them out.

General Resource

TeachersFirst: This free website aggregates thousands of web resources for teachers. Each week, members get an email with featured links. Members can also personalize their homepages. An easy search feature allows teachers to search by curricular content or by specific interest area. TeachersFirst also creates a number of web tools and challenges to help teachers try new ideas. The explanation of wikis and blogs, combined with the many samples, makes it easy for a teacher to get started.

Big Huge Thesaurus: Submit a word and receive lists of synonyms, antonyms, and rhyming words (all linked!)

Two sites with too many activities to name: PoissonRouge, a French site with no instructions so that children will explore and enter areas where they might be challenged, and UpToTen, a free educational site with Kayla and Boowa (both French and English).

Web 2.0 Resources
  1. 1 is not on the web -- it's digital storytelling with any version of multimedia software available as a free download or already loaded on computers! Storyboards If you plan to use digital story telling, use this site to create and download storyboards.
  2. 2 is not on the web -- mp3 players! Record students reading (and let them assess themselves), record educational songs, stories and video clips for students, and let students record choral readings. Any mp3 player can manage these files.

Blabberize Make a digital picture "talk." I recommend that students use animals, famous people, or objects. It's a bit creepy when students use pictures of themselves.
Voicethread home An easy way for a group to do a digital story. The teacher can have one account with up to fifty subaccounts.
Glogster (Glogster.edu) Poster making potential with external links, pictures, text, and even video. Of ten takes a long time to load. Some exemplary projects and some REALLY bad ones are stored here -- use them as examples for students before you begin a project.

Language Arts

General Reading Resources

Reading Rockets: This site brings together resources of all types for educators and parents of young readers. Resources include articles, handouts, instructional videos, and instructional ideas for emergent readers and struggling readers. A first-stop for reading help when you work with young children.
Colorin Colorado: This companion site to Reading Rockets is geared to educators and parents of ELL children. Chock full of resources.
Teaching Reading (K-2) and Teaching Reading (3-5): These workshops are professional development for teachers.
Mosaic Listserv: every reading strategy and the forms for them; scads of reading resources
Lit2Go is a Florida-sponsored site where audio files of poetry and fables can be downloaded as well as hard copies of the text. These are searchable in multiple ways, including grade level.

Emergent Literacy

Making Letters: This site has a spider draw the letters of the alphabet. You can open a second window and practice writing on "paper" beside the spider.
Alphabet Train: Children decide which letter comes next in a letter train.
Clifford's Puppy Words: Children listen to a sentence and then spell the last word. The letters are grayed out and the blocks are in alphabetic order.
Animal Alphabet: Learn the letters in groups of five and animals that begin withe each letter.
Get Ready to Read: A pre-kindergarten screening tool for literacy readiness -- automated.
Phonics Song: Sing along to the phonics song to master letter sounds or this Letter Song or this Phonics Chant, Blends, Dipthongs and DIgraphs
Roy the Zebra activities: A British site for emergent readers. Lots of interactives with lesson plans.
Phonics Games: Designed for ELL, these games could be used with any child who is struggling to master sounds.

Primary Reading

Starfall: No primary teacher should be unaware of the best website for pre-reading through beginning readers. Starfall not only reinforces basic reading concepts, but it offers a wealth of printed materials at very reasonable prices.
Audio Books: The Screen Actors Guild members read 21 popular children's stories. In addition, the site offers teachers' guides and related activities.
Reading Is Fundamental Stories: Although this indicates it is geared to preschoolers, the books being read are definitely appropriate for primary students. Excellent voice-print match to encourage word recognition and reading from left to right.
Childtopia: Primary activities such as learning letters and numbers, listening and reading comprehension activities with stories, and creative activities.
PBS Lions: PBS does an excellent job of providing phonics and phonemic awareness activities that entertain while they assess. Some of the audio and video clips are charming as well.
Mrs. P.'s LIbrary: Actress Kathy Kinney (Think Mimi on The Drew Carey Show) reads aloud popular fables and children's books. The videos are jumpy, but the audio is clear and, in truth, the stories have few illustrations. Sponsors an annual writing contest as well.
Book Hive Storytelling: UTube videos of storytellers that will engage children; hosted by Charlotte & Mecklenberg County Library.
Johnny's Story Place: This is a compilation of links to Starfall, RIF, BBC, and other stories on the web. Easy to use in a classroom to get students where you want them to be.
BONUS

Home-School Links Packets: This set of pdf files can be sent home with students to encourage parent/child practice on reading skills (K-2). It's a nice way to keep parents informed about what their children are learning and to enlist them as partners.

AND Free Reading: Open Source reading program for K-1 with free materials to supplement classroom materials. Sponsored by Wireless Generation.
Florida Center for Reading Research: If you have an area of reading skills you need to address, use this search. Lots of great activities for centers or tutoring.

Intermediate Reading

Into the Book: Register for this site so that you can share it with your students. This has video clips that demonstrate the strategies of good readers followed by activities to practice each strategy. An excellent introduction or reinforcement for classroom lessons.
Book Adventure: This is a free motivational site for reading. Since children who read often improve as readers more quickly than those who rarely practice, turning kids onto a website with book lists, quizzes on books, and a book tracking system can increase the motivation to read.
CNN News Stories: News stories in original and abridged form for intermediate readers. Each story has companion quizzes on comprehension, vocabulary, sequencing, inference. Articles also have broad questions that ask students to form and write about opinions. Teacher judgment is called for in selecting stories; some may be sensitive topics better suited to older students.
Websequiturs: This is a no-frills site with an interesting approach to encouraging reading comprehension. Students build an essay (often nonfiction) by choosing phrases from three options. The passage on planting an acorn on the moon was fascinating and required inferencing to sequence correctly.

BONUS:
Engaging with Literature: Professional development video clips about teaching reading in grades 3-5 AND
Reading Strategies for All Ages: Explanations, visuals, and links for many strategies teachers might try.

Middle School Reading

Into the Book: Register for this site so that you can share it with your students. This has video clips that demonstrate the strategies of good readers followed by activities to practice each strategy. An excellent introduction or reinforcement for classroom lessons.
Book Adventure: This is a free motivational site for reading. Since children who read often improve as readers more quickly than those who rarely practice, turning kids onto a website with book lists, quizzes on books, and a book tracking system can increase the motivation to read.
FCAT Reading Comprehension Practice: Geared to eighth graders, this site gives texts and related activities for students to practice test-taking skills as well as reading comprehension.
BBC Skillwise Reading: The BBC offers text, worksheets, and quizzes on several aspects of reading.
CNN News Stories: News stories in original and abridged form for intermediate readers. Each story has companion quizzes on comprehension, vocabulary, sequencing, inference. Articles also have broad questions that ask students to form and write about opinions. Teacher judgment is called for in selecting stories; some may be sensitive topics better suited to older students.

BONUS:
AdLit: Resources and ideas for teachers of adolescents (grades 4-12) to improve reading skills AND
In Search of the Novel: This site provides videos and novel study materials as professional development for middle and high school teachers. Language Arts teachers from grades 5 and up are likely to find that they teach at least one of the ten novels included here.

Writing

Primary

E-Books for Beginners: This excellent site outlines the processes for having students create e-books in PowerPoint. Samples include books on numbers, colors, and shapes. Students use photos or drawings. Everything a teacher needs to know is here.
Story Starters: Story starters are offered in .pdf format with colorful pictures, beginning lines, and blank lines for children to continue the writing. The site publishes some of the best stories, which you can read.
Starfall: Downloadable worksheets with writing prompt and word lists.
Read, Write, Think: This site has a multitude of interactive graphic organizers, lesson plans, and great links.
Skype An Author: Authors offer Skype visits to classrooms. Many authors offer free 10-15 minute visits and charge for longer visits. If you annually pay for an author visit at your school, Skyping opens the door for authors who would be too expensive because of travel costs. You can "audition" your next author through a free Skype visit.

Intermediate

Instant Poetry Forms The beauty of this site is that it frees students to type only the creative parts. Poetry forms are provided and students input their creative thinking into templates. A push of the button and -- voila! -- the poem appears instantly formatted. We ask students to copy their poems into a word processor to "pretty" them up.
Elements of a Story: With an interactive story of Cinderella, students explore the elements that make up a good story.
Writing Fix: A writing website that gets more complex and more valuable every year. Part of the Nevada Writing Project, it has interactive prompt generators, mentor texts and lesson plans, and many other features.
Skype An Author: Authors offer Skype visits to classrooms. Many authors offer free 10-15 minute visits and charge for longer visits. If you annually pay for an author visit at your school, Skyping opens the door for authors who would be too expensive because of travel costs. You can "audition" your next author through a free Skype visit.
Power Proofreading: Grade-level specific (Grades 2-8) exercises on proofreading copy.
Recipes to Good Writing: The recipe card for each type of writing has the characteristics, a checklist, an organizer, and links to outside resources such as interactive or printable graphic organizers.

Middle School

Make Beliefs Comix: How better to ask students to summarize a passage or predict the next event in a story than through a 3-panel comic. All the tools are here to make a visual from which students can then present their arguments in essay form. (Comics are easy to create in PowerPoint as well with photos and speech bubbles.)
Text Organizers: Jenny Eather has created a site of writing organizers and practice for various types of text structures. Interactive.
Writing Fix: Interactive writing prompt generator. Includes a LOT of lesson ideas for mentor texts, six trait writing, and a multitude of other tools. Text heavy, but the content is excellent!
Paragraph a Week: Geared to fifth and sixth grade, this site has a writing assignment for every week and covers many types of writing. Great for ideas, even if you choose not to do one a week.
Writing Biographies: A join venture of Jamie Mackenzie and Bellingham Schools, this steps students through writing a biography.
Recipes to Good Writing: The recipe card for each type of writing has the characteristics, a checklist, an organizer, and links to outside resources such as interactive or printable graphic organizers.

Math

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives: The best thing about virtual manipulatives is that the students get immediate feedback. Trouble with fractions? They'll get it after they work with the manipulatives here. K-12, although most activities start at about grade 2.
Interactivate: Geared primarily for middle to high school, this site provides virtual manipulatives for exploring math concepts. Similar to NLVM.
That Quiz: Teacher resource for creating quizzes and tests to be taken online. Free service can track your entire class.
Internet4Classrooms Math Pages: This site offers two pages of interactive math listings for every grade level K-8 as well as assessment pages. One grade level page is sorted by Curriculum Standards, the other by math skills. They do not always have the same sites linked.
LPS EverydayMath Unit by Unit links: These links are organized by K-6 grade level, EM unit, and EM learning goal This site does not get updated, so some links may be broken.
Johnny's Math Page This site aggregates interactive math sites.

Social Studies

Best of History: One stop for annotated information about resources available to teachers on the web.
Digital History: History teachers will love this resource because it has great units, digital resources, and an interactive map/timeline
Bringing History Home: K-5 curriculum for using oral history in the classroom
Social Studies for Kids: This resource of social studies links has been sorted by historic events.
Kathy Schrock's History Links: Hundreds of links reviewed and recommended by one of the foremost techies in education.
Federal Resource for Educational Excellence: Links to resources about American history that can be found in government agencies
Virtual Middle School Library Social Studies: A former librarian has compiled this list of links by topic.
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Science

All:

LearningScience.org: This site aggregates the best of interactive science sites for all grade levels.It's probably the only one you need -- definitely the BEST one!
Teachers Domain: Downloadable science videos, some of which can be edited as well. Must register for free membership. Is expanding to include social studies, language arts and math.
BBC Science Clips: Excellent interactive science by age levels. Almost any science topic is covered to some extent.
Edheads: Virtual learning experiences--simple machines, weather, knee surgery... This site keeps growing with quality activities

Primary

National Geographic Young Explorer: At this site, teachers can find current and past issues that cover science topics for young children. Students can click on an icon to have each sentence read aloud with voice-print match coloration.
K-4 Earth Science Modules: This collection has hands-on and interactive sections as well as background reading to help students explore Biomes, Weather, Remote Sensing, and EarthSystem.

Intermediate

First Hand Learning: printable books for recording observations.
Writing with Scientists: Scholastic provides wealth of resources, including this one that will help students prepare for a science fair.

Middle School

Virtual Experiments:This site offers a variety of virtual experiments and scientific explanations.
Science Modules with Essential Questions
Writing with Scientists: Scholastic provides wealth of resources, including this one that will help students prepare for a science fair.

Information Literacy

Boolify: This visual search engine is excellent for teaching Boolean searches. Note that a student can choose web pages, news articles or images on the left top of the page. Uses Google's Strict Safe Search.
Advertising Media: This government site is set up as a game. This is an area not usually covered with students.
21st Century Literacies: This site provides grade level lesson plans and links for media literacy lessons. An excellent resource for teachers.
TRAILS: A free assessment tool for teachers and librarians to gauge students' information literacy at grades 6 & 9.
Book Shelving: An interactive game for shelving books alphabetically or by Dewey. Great practice with numbers and letters.

Foreign Language

Digital Dialects: Meant for practicing basic skills. Would be interesting for country study as well.

PE

Log It! Free pedometer logging site for grades 3 and up. Walk across America.
Basketball Drills: Free ebook with basketball drills by age level. Raves on several websites.
WatchKnow: This site is not just for health and PE. Teachers can search for videos on any content area.
KidsHealth: This site gives access to many physical and emotional health resources

Music
Exploratorium Music Activities: Children will enjoy making and exploring music at this site.
Free Kids Music: Songs by various children's musicians
Sing Along Songs: Government site with melodies and words to many songs.

Art
#1 Any drawing program without bells and whistles! The point is to ask children to draw, not to use someone else's drawings to create a picture. You are seeking to learn how children think.
Kerpoof: Kerpoof Free for teachers and in-school use; art and movie ability within limits. Disney/Kerpoof is the host. This is for teachers who want perfection in pictures.