Category Archives: Educational Websites and Resources

Recommended Christmas Novels and Short Stories for Students of all Ages

It is that busy time of year where classroom instruction seems to fly by and engaging students of all ages can be challenging. Exhale and know that you are making a difference. Intentional planning can really help maintain the calm in the classroom these last few weeks leading up to the holiday break.

For those looking to enhance their students’ reading surrounding this season, I thought I would share this great website that offers a comprehensive list of recommended Christmas Novels and Short Stories .

I love to share the good when and where I find it!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~



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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Educational Resources, Educational Websites and Resources, Favorite Sites, Promoting Literacy, Recommended Book from Teens for Teens, Recommended Books for Ages 8-15

Recommended Online Math Resources

Algebra PictureMany students have 4-6 weeks off of school between June and September. Students are “scheduled” during the school year and do need “down” time. However, given our informational age, letting our brains pause for too long could have negative effects too, especially in regards to math. Learning is all about the lens we choose to view it in…let us promote learning as a fun, year-long, life-long process.  Encouraging those around us of any age, to get excited about reviewing our knowledge or learning something new. Having the ability to learn is a gift, and is something that should be celebrated.

For summer introduction, practice, mastery or review these sites are a good place for students in grades K-12 to explore mathematic concepts. I have also recommended these sites as homework resources too.

Discovery Education

Grades 1-8

Visit Website:

Enjoy the fun and challenges of mathematics. Students can click on “Homework Help” or “Games and Interactives” to review math concepts and skills. This site offers resources to help students master the basics of mathematics of numbers and number operations. Videos and tutorials explain basic operations and help with the mastery of math skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division–essential building blocks for success in mathematics.


Front Row

Grades K-8

Visit Website:

Zero in on math and ELA with personalized practice and assessments

Grades K-12

Visit Website:

Interactive free math games



Grades: 1-8

Visit Website:

Adaptive math practice wrapped in role-playing adventure


Get the Math

Grades: 7-10

Visit Website:

Solve real-life algebra problems


AAA Math

Grades: K-8

Visit Website:

Get introduced, practice, master or review math concepts outlined per grade level


Khan Academy

Grades: K-12

Visit Website:

Mini math instructional videos that cover a wide array of math concepts. Parents/students can personalize learning by setting up a free online classroom.


Kuta Software

Visit Website:

Grades 6-12

Download free worksheets ranging from Pre-Algebra to Infinite Calculus

Grades: 6-8

Visit Website:

Algebra Worksheets, Quizzes and Activities


May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~


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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Educational Resources, Educational Websites and Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE, Math Resources Online for Grades K-12, Recommended Learning Apps, Summer Syllabus for Math

Author Websites with Games and Activities… Think Eragon, Reading Rainbow and The Ranger’s Apprentice

Some great author websites with games and activities for all ages this summer!

Oceanhouse Media Great educational book apps and so much more. Check out often for FREE downloads to help your child learn letters, phonics & math!

Christopher Paolini’s “Eragon” Series Games and Activities for Tweens and Teens…Great Teacher Resource Too
John Flannagan’s “Ranger’s Apprentice” Series Games and Activities for Tweens and Teens…Great Teacher Resource Too (one of my favorite series)

The 39 Clues Website A fun clue hunt!

The Mysterious Benedict Society Top Secret Adventures, Passwords and Amazing FUN!

Remember Reading Rainbow…check out this great reading resource for FREE!

Think classroom IPad or whiteboard resource

May we continue ot seek knowledge in all things~


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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Educational Resources, Educational Websites and Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE, Favorite Sites, Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities, Promoting Literacy, Recommended Book from Teens for Teens, Recommended Books for Ages 8-15, Recommended Learning Apps, Resources for Writers Young and Old, Summer Learning Tips

Summer Resources for Learning


Summertime is not a time to halt learning but a time to look at learning through a new and creative lens. learning occurs all around us in and out of the house, in grandma’s back yard, while on a long road trip etc.

Children will rise to whatever learning expectation you set for them.

Have some fun and check out some of the ideas below. If you have a great summer learning activity for children, we would love to hear about it and share it here at Unlock the Teacher!

Summer Learning Day-June 20th

Summer Learning Day Activities

National Parks Lesson Plans and Teacher Resources

Click Here to Access Free Curriculum Materials

Click Here to Request Free Curriculum Kit

Education Closet

Great Science App for Children who LOVE Science

Chemist is one of the only virtual chemistry labs for tablets that enables users to conduct chemistry investigations and explore chemistry reactions with different lab tools. Students can try mixing chemicals by pouring them into beakers or test tubes. They can heat the chemicals with a Bunsen burner or put a piece of cesium into water. The 3-D stage enables the parallax effect from different angles. Chemist has a built-in database with more than 200 chemical reagents, and additional reagents will be offered periodically through the online CloudLab database for testing more chemical reactions. Developed by Thix, the app is available for iPad and Android tablets. Cost: $4.99

Paper the Web

Teens who love to sketch can sketch away using FiftyThree’s Paper, a free sketching app for the iPad. Known for its simplicity as well as its sharing functionality, the app provides built-in tools that let students share their sketches on Twitter, tumbler and Facebook as well as connect with others who sketch using the #MadeWithPaper hashtag. Students can also submit their sketches to FiftyThree’s website and see what others are creating with the app. Cost: Free

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~




Filed under Educational Websites and Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE, Science, Summer Learning Tips

Some Great Science Sites just Discovered to Utilize in the Classroom or at Home

Science News for Kids

Explore: Atoms and Forces, Earth and Sky, Humans and Health, Life, Tech and Math

On this site, they also provide great problem-solving tips too under the “extra” button.

Science for Kids

Science topics: Animals, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Space and Weather

This site also lists many fun science experiment ideas.

ACS Chemistry for Life

Science for Kids…Explore student activity books and science teaching guides for grades K–8

USDA Agricultural Research Service~SCI4Kids

Offers news about plants, animals, and other life science issues. Also includes pop quizzes, and pictures. Site is available in Spanish.


As teachers, administrators, students and parents are all working on finding the 2012-13 school year groove, we would love to hear about some great sites you have discovered.

When we all come together for the common good, amazing things can happen!

May we all continue to seek knowledge in all things~


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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Educational Websites and Resources, Science, Science and Social Studies Websites for Kids, Science Fair Projects, Student or Industry

Educational Online Resources Recommended byTeachers

Summer Resource Guide

Provided by the St. Regis School and Academy Faculty

 Critical Thinking and all Core Subjects  Critical thinking and activities in all core subjects   all sorts of educational fun  Nickelodeon/kid games

http://www.learninggamesforkids Digital media content aligned to state standards and common

Brain Builder Links

Grade 3 Logic Puzzles to Play Online or Print Out! Educational Videos, Lessons, and Games: Covering all Subject Areas: Grades K-12 Kids Konnect: A Safe Internet Gateway for Kids Sports Illustrated for Kids Cool Games for Kids: Searchable by Grade K-8 Games covering a Wide Variety of Subject Areas

Improve Study Skills  Includes links to numerous articles about study skills

Includes helpful tips for effective note taking, test prep, writing essays, reading comprehension, and more  Provides self-help information for improving one’s study skills


Grades 6-8 – 21k

Language Arts

Grade 1

Grade 3  Grade level lessons in math and language arts.   a phonics practice website  Read 20 minutes a day (at least)

Grades 6-8 For previews of the vocabulary units we use “Vocabulary Workshop – Level C” For activities in reading comprehension, vocabulary, and sequencing using real news stories, arts skill practice, be sure to click on the first tab –“Languages” power point presentations and practice games on grammar and literary terms.


Grade 1

Grade 3  Math practice for grades k – 8.  Practice more than 1,000 different math topics in grades  Grade level lessons in math and language arts.

Grade 4  Basic math practice and worksheets  Worksheets and practice of basic math facts  Math mysteries  Brain teasers  Math learning  Logic puzzles  Math games K – 9

Grade 5  assess and track student’s basic math skills by grade level  assess and track student’s basic math skills by grade level  fun math games, puzzles, and videos  math skills and worksheets based on Common Core Standards for Mathematics  math skill explanations, dictionary, worksheets, and puzzles

Grade 1-8


Grade 7   For a daily 3 minute retreat   3433 Catholic Prayers for all needs   daily mass readings and many other resources from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops


Grade 1

Grade 3

EARTH SCIENCE  Interactive Weather Maker  Earth’s Physical Features Games  Water Cycle Animation  EPA: Water Cycle Interactive Learning Experience  EPA: Tour a Drinking Water Treatment Plant

LIFE SCIENCE  Kid’s Health: How the Body Works Videos and More!

PHYSICAL SCIENCE   Ed Heads: Simple Machine Interactive Learning Experience States of Matter Activity


As the Earth Turns: Causes of Day and Night: Interactive Learning Experience

Earth in Motion: Causes of Seasons: Interactive Learning Experience

Earth’s Revolution Around the Sun and Seasons Interactive Animation NASA Kids’ Club  Night Sky Observer: Moon Page  Moon Phases Interactive Learning Experience  Star Hopping Guide with Animations: Finding Constellations  Kid Astronomy: Facts about Planets, Moons, and other Objects in Space  Current News and Information on Viewing the Night Sky

Grade 4  Science activities for Elementary levels

Grade 5   hands-on activities that explore 5th grade science topics – plus other subjects as well   basic chemistry information and activities   geology topics and games and other science topics Star Walk app for iPad – awesome interactive, astronomy guide  animated educational site – all subjects also – subscription required  fun presentation on Newton’s laws of motion

Grade 7

Grade 8 Amusement Park Physics Zona Land Education Educational Videos, lessons, and games Make your own cool Tetrahedral Kite Khan Academy is your friend!

Social Studies

Grade 1 Kid’s games, animals, pictures, stories U. S.  Government web sites for kids  US government websites for kids  Kids games, animals, pictures, and stories

Grade 3  Information on Michigan’s Native American Tribes  Jamestown Interactive Online Adventure

National Geographic for Kids: On the Trail of Captain John Smith Online Adventure  Information on the Civil War,com_battlemap/  Interactive Civil War Battle Map  Economics: Lemonade Stand Game  Economics: Coffee Shop Game

Grade 5  core subject area topics presented in rap songs – Redcoats vs. Rebels is great!

view the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights; excellent resource for 5th grade S.S. topics

Grade 6

Grade 8

Colonial Williamsburg

Revolutionary War

War of 1812–activities.html

Civil War


Grades JK-5

This website has many basic topic worksheets.  Great for all students.  Parents can help younger students with worksheets.

This website is a search engine for games made by teachers around the country. One can search for any topics covered in Spanish. Great for all students. Parents would need to help their younger children navigate the site.  Games on many topics

This is a pdf file that has active links to many other sites broken down by level.  This website has fun songs that students can sing along with.  Great for JK – 3rd grade.  Great for 1st – 4th grade students.  Covers basic concepts.  Great for 1st – 5th grade students. Parents may need to help younger students navigate site. Many different topics covered by worksheets

This website has a plethora of topics. One can choose Pronunciation, Grammar, Vocabulary, and Verb drills. Pronunciation would be great for middle school students.  Grammar would be great for 4th – 8th grade students.  Vocabulary would be great for 4th -8th grade students to review and expand their word knowledge. Verb drills would be great for 4th -8th grade students to review and expand their verb knowledge.

The topics are found at the bottom of the page. There are many topics. Great for middle school students and grades 4 and 5. They are presented in a lesson format: instruction – worksheet – quiz.

Grades 6-8 (click on our Avancemos book)

From the Media Center

Local Libraries Bloomfield Township Public Library hosts summer reading programs for all age levels. Print titles are available through the children and youth departments and eBooks are available through their web portal.

Bloomfield Township Public Library:

Getting Started with eBooks:

Baldwin Public Library hosts summer reading programs for all age levels. Print titles are available through their children and youth departments and eBooks and eAudio books can be accessed online.

Baldwin Public Library:

Baldwin Virtual Services:

Religious Books and Media Christian books are available through this site and are grouped according to age.

For kids:

For tweens:

Caldecott Medal and Honor Books Awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children:

Newberry Medal and Honor Books Awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children:

Reading/Writing Websites for Kids Great Websites for Kids is sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children and provides engaging links to a variety of subjects for all grade levels:

Book Adventure from Sylvan Learning:

Interactive Writing Games:

Educational Apps

Reading and literacy come in a variety of platforms, and educational apps are on the rise. Parental discretion is advised when choosing an appropriate educational app for your child. Here are a few links to get you started.

Best Kids Apps (select age):

Scholastic Apps:

Apple in Education:

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things~


Please note, we would love to share your favorite educational app or website. Just send us an email or leave on our “comments” here and we will be happy to share it with our readers.  When we all share the good in education, we all win!


Filed under Curriculum Resources, Educational Websites and Resources

Educational Websites to Utilize in the Classroom for Grades 4-12

At a recent principal’s meeting, the Web 2.0 presenter showcased some fabulous online resources that any 21st century educator could utilize to enhance classroom instruction.

This site includes multimedia components and visual displays for presentations.  *Very user-friendly.

Present information to students integrating a multimedia format.

Identify real-life connections between words and their use.  *This is a great tool…words with videos!

This is a site where students can retell stories to demonstrate an understanding of concepts.

This is an A-M-A-Z-I-N-G site for teachers to utilize really grades 2 on up.  Students can create animated cartoon strips by utilizing a combination of drawing, dictating and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events. This site also has a homework component…great vocabulary builder and speaks to the visual learner.

Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings or events in a story or drama. *neat site

Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships and nuances in word meanings.

Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

Great virtual dissects to utilize in class with students.

Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

Add drawings to displays and stories.

This is just a few of the many resources available online. 


May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,


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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Educational Websites and Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE

Themed Lessons Online for F-R-E-E…When we Share the Good in Education, we ALL Benefit

Given all the many online resources available to both educators and parents alike, one can spend a whole week educating our youth on days like today…President’s Day and answering the who, what, where and why questions that arise.

The Teacher’s Guide is a fabulous resource site, that provides lesson plans, tips on integrating technology, White Board lessons and so much more.

Hot Chalk is another amazing online resource.  This site is broken down by Classroom, Community and Lesson Plans. One can even sign up for a free eNewsletter too.

A to Z Teacher Stuff is a neat site that has theme-based puzzles, lesson plans and great educational resources to utilize at home or in the classroom.

Education World is one of our favorite online resources.  This site offers lessons broken down by discipline and has a wealth of lessons to choose from.

When we share the good in education, we all benefit!


May we continue to see knowledge in all things,


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Filed under Educational Websites and Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE, Learning is Fun Lessons/Activities

Educational Webinars from an Administrator Tool Kit to STEM Focused Schools

Educational  Webinars

Great resources for teachers

Administrator Tool Kit~As an administrator, you no doubt wear many hats and do many jobs. Given this, having the right tool for the right job is critical – not only can it make your job easier, but the right tool can help you accomplish tasks faster and often better. Join Steven Anderson @web20classroom as he shares his favorite, must-have Web tools for administrators.

Cooking with Bill Nye~Watch Bill Nye boil water. Really. In the process, you may learn something about energy conservation that comes in handy next time you make pasta.

Hurricanes~Video, Teacher Guide and so much more. This is a great tool!

A New Wave of STEM Focused Schools ~Register for this FREE webinar today!

A Fresh Look at Teaching the Diary of Anne Frank~ This webinar includes a complimentary teacher’s guide created with the Holocaust Education Organization Facing History & Ourselves and special Resources for Youth. We highly recommend this one!

Helping Kids Understand Viruses and Vaccinations with Sid the Science Kid ~This free webinar provides information and strategies for helping students understand viruses and vaccinations. The website also offers a complimentary resource package.

Exploring the Faces of America by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Media Literacy: 21st Century Skills All Students Need ~Frank Baker


How to Promote a Learning-Receptive Emotional State ~Judy Willis


Getting to “Got It!” ~Betty Garner


Leading and Managing a Differentiated Classroom ~ Carol Tomlinson and Marcia Imbeau


Motivating Students to Achieve Their Highest Potential ~Judy Willis


School Administrators: Leading with Verizon Thinkfinity


Think Quest Free Educational Webinars : check out Denise Hobb’s “Innovative Learning”

Education Week (one of my personal favorites) offers many enlightening webinars.  Check out “E-educators’ Evolving Skills”…talk about relevant!


American Statistical Association offers various webinars…currently hosting a K-12 “Meeting within a Meeting” for Science and Math Teachers


Exploring Middle School MiddleWeb is a blog powered by Typepad.  They are a promoter of 21st Century Learning and offer live and archived webinars. Check out the latest webinar: The National Middle School Association is teaming up with the NSF-funded Middle School Portal to offer “Free math and Science Webinars”…the goal was to not only make the training affordable but user-friendly; teachers could watch from home.


OneNote and Education: This MSDN blog was created to have a dialog about OneNote and education, including sharing ideas, resources, and building community with teachers, students and faculty.


These favorite webinars are pulled from the following sites. We recommend these sites as great educational tools and resources:

  • PBS Teachers
  • ASCD
  • Verizon’s Thinkfinity Website

If you have a great webinar to recommend or a site that is indeed a teacher resource, please share it here and we will check it out and give it a “shout”!

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,


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Filed under Curriculum Resources, Educational Free Webinars, Educational Websites and Resources

Math Games to Utilize at Home or in the Classroom…and Math Chimp~a Great Math Resource Aligned to the Common Core

Math Chimp

A wonderful resource for parents and teachers…and fun for children of all ages. This interactive site engages the brain through math games aligned to the Common Core State Standards. Check it out and let us know your thoughts.

Sheppards Software

This is a great site for ages 5-16. It offers everything from basic addition to algebraic problems to solve.

The Math Games

This is a great fraction enhancing website. It offers simple games like matching to help young minds grasp fraction strategies.

Math Playground

This is a F-U-N site! It offers games like “Escape from Fraction Manor” and “Project T.R.I.G” A great mental workout for even my old mind 😉


This site offers games for elementary and middle school students.

Play Kids Games

This is a great classroom resource too! This site offers classroom to create and upload math games. Sounds like a Best Practice to me…math and fun!

As always, if you find these websites helpful, then we are thrilled. However, if these websites end up being less than expected, please let us know so we can remove them from our recommended lists.

May we continue to seek knowledge in all things,



Filed under Common Core State Standards "Nuts & Bolts", Educational Websites and Resources, Educational Websites that are FREE, Math