Sunday, 19 August 2012

Reading teachers, I'm asking for your input. I discovered a FREE site this evening that looks great, but I am not a reading teacher, so you must judge its value for yourself., which is the new website for Urban Education Exchange, calls itself "The Solution to Reading Comprehension." It's a beautiful site, easy to navigate, and it contains hundreds of lessons that are aligned to the Common Core Standards, state standards, and six of the most popular core reading programs. The home page easily grabbed my attention with these images:

Lessons and units are for K - 4th Grade, with 20+ novel units for 5th and 6th Grades. More than 500 nonfiction passages, each of which has 5 comprehension questions, are provided onsite. Here is one example, a unit on "author's purpose" for 4th grade.

Everything is well-organized, documented, and aligned. There's a set of training videos for teachers, and a "save to my binder" button so you can mark lessons to which you want to return. The books used in lessons are not provided, so you must find them yourself, but they are well-known books that should not be difficult to locate.

I hope you'll let me know if you use this resource and how it fits in to your reading program. FREE is very good, and reading comprehension is an essential skill for every subject area, so I'm hoping it turns out to be a site I can recommend and you love to use. Let me hear from you, please. And have a great week with your kiddos!

Teachers Pay Teachers (But some give it away!)

Teachers Pay Teachers bills itself as "an open marketplace for educators, where teachers buy, sell, and share original resources." There are literally hundreds of thousands of items on the site, all created by teachers. It's a great idea - much better than buying books of worksheets, classroom organization ideas, and lesson plans from publishers - for a couple of reasons. One, proven ideas from real teachers in real schools are just worth more, and two, creative teachers can make a little money from their hard work!

But here's the thing: in addition to all of the items for sale (from under $1 and up), there are more than 40,000 items that are FREE! Many are simple - a spelling test template, for example. But check out the second page of the template below. I love the reflection piece! 

Others are much more complex, such as a complete literature and grammar unit for Jerry Spinelli's Stargirl. It's 60 pages long, with activities, etc., for every chapter of the book. Remember - this is FREE!

You can browse TPT by grade level, subject, price, and type. Wondering exactly what is meant by "type"? Well, there are 90+ types listed, from Activboard Activities to Windows Software.

So. Click right over to 

and see what other real teachers have shared with you. And please, send a thank-you email to those whose freebies you use, for their time and generosity!