25 Best Websites for Teachers
How did we teach without the Internet? Our favorite sites simplify lesson planning, keep the classroom running smoothly, and engage students.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
1. Best for Young Readers: scholastic.com/stacks
At The Stacks, students can post book reviews, get reading recommendations, play games based on the latest series, watch "Meet the Author" videos, and more. It's like Facebook for reading and it's safe for school, too.
2. Best for Finding Books: scholastic.com/bookwizard
Use Book Wizard to level your classroom library, find resources for the books you teach, and create reading lists with the click of a button. You can also plug a title into the BookAlike feature to find books with an easier, similar, or more difficult reading level.
3. Best for Craft Projects: crayola.com/educators
With hundreds of lessons for every grade level, you're guaranteed to find a colorful idea for your class, such as the "Chinese Dragon Drum" for Chinese New Year or the "What Do You Love?" project for Valentine's Day.
4. Best Way to Start the Day: scholastic.com/teachers/daily-starter
Establish a morning routine with Daily Starters — fun, fast math and language arts prompts and questions, including Teachable Moments from history and Fun Facts, such as "Before erasers, people used a piece of bread!" Sort by grade (PreK-8), and project them onto your interactive whiteboard or print copies for your students.
5. Best for Writing: educationnorthwest.org/traits
The creators of the 6+1 traits of writing offer a terrific overview of the model on their site, with research to support the program, lesson plans, writing prompts, and rubrics. You can also find writing samples to practice scoring and see how other teachers scored the same piece.
6. Best Online Dictionary: wordsmyth.net
Add the beginner's version of the Wordsmyth widget to your toolbar, and students can look up new vocabulary no matter where they are online.
7. Best Math games: nlvm.usu.edu
At the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives, you'll find activities for every area of math at every grade level. Need to teach shapes to preschoolers, for example? Try the Attribute Blocks, which challenge students to sort virtual objects. Working on functions with middle schoolers? Drop numbers into the function machine to identify the pattern.
8. Best for Geography: earth.google.com
Zoom over the Sahara desert. Fly past the streets where your students live. Take a tour of the Eiffel Tower. You can do it all with Google Earth, the tool that makes the world feel a little bit smaller with its map-generating capabilities. If you're new to Google Earth, the tutorials offer a great introduction.
9. Best for History: free.ed.gov
This fantastic site acts as a clearinghouse for all of the educational materials developed by government organizations. You can find primary sources, videos, and photos for just about any topic. For example, listen to "Fiddle Tunes of the Old Frontier" or find a timeline of Ben Franklin's life. And it's all free!
10. Best for Science: nsta.org
The National Science Teachers Association site is a goldmine for classroom teachers who may not feel as comfortable teaching geology and astronomy as they do reading and arithmetic. You'll find journal articles, experiment ideas, and a roundup of the latest science stories in the news.
11. Best for Current Events: magazines.scholastic.com
For topics too current for textbooks, Scholastic News classroom magazines offer engaging nonfiction reading online, drawn from the latest headlines. Subscribe to receive news-related, age-appropriate Common Core lesson plans and skills sheets, and free access to the app that comes with each issue.
12. Best for Middle School: figment.com
Figment allows young writers to post their work, receive criticism, and read others' contributions. From fan fiction to poetry to novels-in-progress, all types of writing are encouraged and shared. Be aware that not all content is school appropriate.
13. Best for Virtual Trips: smithsonianeducation.org
The Smithsonian offers thousands of resources for educators, including lesson plans, virtual tours of their latest exhibits, and the opportunity to connect with experts in the field. In one lesson, "Final Farewells," students can see a school yearbook from the Civil War era up close, and discuss how the political climate may have affected the content.
14. Best Web 2.0 Tool: edu.glogster.com
Glogster bills itself as a tool for making "digital posters," or glogs, containing pictures, text, video, links, and animation. A glog on To Kill a Mockingbird might contain a link to the Scottsboro trial, a clip from the Gregory Peck movie, and a drawing of the tree where Boo Radley leaves gifts for Scout. Fun!
15. Best for the Interactive Whiteboard: exchange.smarttech.com
Go to Smart Exchange before creating any lessons for your interactive whiteboard from scratch. Chances are you'll find an existing lesson ready to grab and go, or inspiration from other teachers who've taught the same material. Plus, the customizable Whack-A-Mole game is a must-have for test prep and review.
16. Best for Interactive Whiteboard Help: prometheanplanet.com
Even if you've deemed yourself an interactive whiteboard pro, Promethean's teacher community offers a boatload of tips and practical advice you'll find useful. Find help the next time your toolbox goes missing, or if you want to punch up a lesson with cool graphics.
17. Best for Online Classroom Workspaces: wikispaces.com
Wikispaces Classroom walks you through process of creating an online classroom workspace that's private and customizable. It works across browers, tablets, and phones, and can be used for day-to-day classroom management, tracking formative assessments in real-time, and connecting with students and parents in and out of the classroom.
18. Best for Video Clips: teachertube.com
TeacherTube is the best source for instructional videos in a safe environment. We especially love the clips of teachers showing off the catchy rhymes they've made up to teach certain topics — check out the "Mrs. Burk Perimeter Rap" and the "Mr. Duey Fractions Rap."
19. Best for Moviemaking: powtoon.com
Moviemaking has never been easier than it is at PowToon. To create a short animated clip, all you have to do is write a script and choose characters and other graphics using a simple drag-and-drop tool. The classroom possibilities are endless — challenge kids to write an additional scene for a book you are reading in English class, or have one character explain the water cycle to another for a science project.
20. Best Standards Help: corestandards.org
This site not only offers an overview of the new Common Core State Standards, but provides a thoughtful framework for how the standards were determined and what we can reasonably expect students at given grade levels to achieve.
21. Best for Tough Topics: tolerance.org
Along with an excellent blog that tackles some of the more difficult aspects of education, Teaching Tolerance offers activities and teaching kits on topics ranging from the civil rights movement to the separation of church and state.
22. Best Professional Development On the Go: learner.org
Many of the PD series from the Annenberg Foundation are available on demand here, with videos on teaching measurement, writing workshop, and more. You'll see master teachers at work and undoubtedly snag an idea or two for your own classroom.
23. Best for Your Career: nea.org
In the hustle and bustle of the classroom, it can be easy to lose track of the outside forces affecting education. The National Education Association explains how to take action regarding the issues you care about most — including merit pay, the No Child Left Behind Act, and funding for education.
24. Best for Inspiration: scholastic.com/teachers/teaching-ideas
Reading the Top Teaching blog is like paging through a cooking magazine. Just as you might be inspired to try a 12-course meal instead of your usual mac and cheese, you'll leave wanting to push your teaching to the next level. No matter what you're interested in — Pinterest-worthy bulletin boards, savvy tech-integration tips, or how to save money on classroom materials — these veteran teachers' wealth of experience and knowledge will leave you satiated.
25. Best of Facebook: facebook.com/scholasticteachers
So we may be biased, but we think you'll find our page your most useful one on Facebook by far. Each week, you'll find free printables, lesson plan and craft ideas, frequent giveaways, and note-worthy news. All you have to do is "like" us. And stand by for the fascinating discussion that happens on our page, including the 10 O'Clock Teacher Question, posed by — and answered by — teachers like you.
Quick Tip: Ask your colleagues to share their favorite websites, too. Group them by subject area and bookmark them on your personal computer and in the school computer labs. Your colleagues may have some real time-savers to share!