50 Fantastic Resources for New Teachers

The prospect of stepping into a classroom for the first time to teach elementary, middle school or high school students can range from daunting to completely terrifying. For the new teacher, nothing is more important than being prepared, with strong curriculum as well as reliable strategies for overcoming problems in the classroom.

Fortunately, the Web is full of resources for teachers. We have looked at hundreds of educational websites in order to compile this list that contains 50 of the best ones. Use these sites to plan your math lesson, launch an arts and crafts project, or motivate those hard-to-reach students.

General

  • 2scholastic.com: This site is sponsored by well-known educational publisher Scholastic. Here you will find videos, essay competitions and expert advice from veteran teachers.
  • A to Z Teacher Stuff: This site was created by teachers, for teachers. It includes strategies for dealing with ADHD children, surviving parent-teacher conferences, and filling out report cards.
  • Classroom of the Future: Take the International Space Station Challenge on this website sponsored by NASA, which features space-related activities and modules for K-12 students.
  • The Educator’s Reference Desk: Hundreds of lesson plans submitted exclusively to this site can be found here. Search by subject or by grade level.
  • Federal Resources for Educational Excellence: Also known by the acronym FREE, this is a website maintained by the federal government to provide teachers with access to stimulating content. There is quite a wealth of resources available here, and the presentation is visually striking as well.
  • Free Clip Art: Add pizzazz to your handouts with the thousands of clip art images available on this site. For instance, you could put images of the sun and beaches on the last test you give out before summer vacation!
  • Lesson Plans 4 Teachers: This site contains many useful, free lesson plans for ages K-12. You can search by age group, subject area, or browse recent featured categories such as lessons that pertain to May Day and Mothers’ Day.
  • Lesson Plans Page: A one-stop shop containing tons of lesson plans for all subjects and grade levels. It also contains links to educator blogs maintained by its parent website, HotChalk.
  • Maths is Fun: This British website has an enticing graphic with many math-related illustrations sharing space in a grassy field. Click on any of the pictures and you’ll be treated to an in-depth exploration of all aspects of that mathematical concept, such as Money, Algebra or Measurement.
  • PBS Teachers: The educational channel PBS operates this dynamic website with teaching material for all grades. Some of the material ties in with PBS shows, such as a new approach to teaching The Diary of Anne Frank that corresponds to an upcoming documentary.
  • Teacher’s Apparel: Your students will know you’re a teacher if you dress like one. Get a cotton sweater with children on it, or a baseball cap that says “Teacher” in rhinestones.
  • TeachersFirst.com: This easy-to-navigate site will be a key resource for any serious teacher. Peruse their thoroughly reviewed list of links, or become a member to get access to the site’s unique content.
  • Teachers Net: This is a gigantic resource for connecting with other teachers in order to share and receive advice, encouragement and, of course, lesson plans. The site also maintains an impressive gazette full of journalistic articles about the current state of American education.
  • TeacherSn.com: A social network just for teachers. Once you register, you can upload and download handouts and lesson plans, as well as joining groups of other teachers interested in a particular topic.
  • Teach With Movies: This site specializes in showing teachers how they can use video clips to enhance the classroom experience. For $11.99 per year, teachers get learning guides and lesson plans for over 300 movies.

Preschool

  • C and L Curriculum: Many inexpensive charts and activities for preschoolers (most costing $0.99) can be downloaded here. Themes range from In the Garden to Community Helpers such as firefighters and mail carriers.
  • Chubbie Cubbie: There are many free printable resources here, including signs for the classroom, coloring pages, preschool graduation certificates and awards for that special student.
  • Everything Preschool: This website is very comprehensive, with activities separated by theme, alphabet area and lesson plan. The objectives of each lesson are stated at the top, so you can decide whether the lesson fits into your unit.
  • First School: Any first-time preschool teacher will be relieved to find this site. There are detailed lists of materials for crafts activities (so that you don’t get to school and discover that you’ve forgotten the glue stick or the dried beans) and themed lessons for different holidays. Best of all, it’s free!
  • Internet 4 Classrooms: This site is designed to be used in the classroom while teaching. Provide your preschoolers with listening activities and dance lessons, or start them on computer literacy early by having them test their mouse skills.
  • Lil’ Fingers: This site specializes in animated storybooks for toddlers. Printable games, coloring books and numbers activities are also available.
  • Preschool Education: This useful site covers every aspect of preschool education. You can find reviews of picture books, healthy snack ideas and even short plays for children to act out.
  • Preschool Learning Online: This site is chock full of resources for the busy preschool teacher, including lunch menus and songs to sing during a circle. Many of the lesson plans and activities, however, are not free.

Elementary School

  • Discovery Education: This searchable list of lesson plans is run by the Discovery Channel. Not only does the site contain tons of innovative lessons in astronomy and weather, as one might expect from a science channel, it has the unique “Pendemonium” series of grammar lessons as well.
  • Elementary Teacher Resources: Dedicated teacher Mrs. Mikesell maintains this website to share with other teachers the lesson plans and strategies that have worked for her over the years. Visitors to the site can also submit their own lesson ideas.
  • Free Kid Crafts: This artistic site has two main sections, one on origami creations and one on painting projects. Each activity contains step-by-step directions and lovely accompanying illustrations. Anyone teaching art to elementary-age children should find it invaluable.
  • K-3 Teacher Resources: The early elementary educator will find plenty of printable posters, charts and flash cards here. The site does charge a small yearly fee for some content, but many resources and activities are free.
  • K6Edu.com: Tons of free lesson plans, organized by grade and designed with that age group in mind, are available on this website. There are also some nice “filler” activities to do with the class if they finish the main lesson early.
  • Kinder Helper: Kindergarten, elementary school and preschool teachers will find the downloadable worksheets and other resources on this site to be invaluable. The annual fee is $25.
  • Math Cats: This site, distinctive for its cute cat graphics, is full of math-related games, animations, word problems and other activities. Of particular interest is the math crafts section, which contains ideas for combining math and art, some of them submitted by elementary-age students. 
  • Pencil Street: There are great worksheets, classroom displays and activities to be found on this British website for elementary educators. The site does, however, charge an annual fee for access.
  • ResourcesTeachers.com: E-books, board games and holiday activities are available here, some of them free. The site is ranked as one of the top 100 resources on the web by SitesForTeachers.com.
  • Teacher2Teacher: This site, maintained by teachers Linda and Mackey, contains useful materials for teaching special education. Many materials are free to print out from the site, and others have to be ordered through the mail.
  • Teaching Resources: Teacher Laura Candler maintains this comprehensive site of materials, strategies and other resources. See what’s in her “File Cabinet” of classroom activities.

Middle School

  • Ask Dr. Math: This site contains everything you’ve ever wanted to know about middle school math, but were afraid to ask. There are enough geometry, probability and algebra problems here to last an academic year.
  • Clowning Around: This article teaches you how to handle that class clown you will encounter every year, and without losing your sense of humor.
  • Discipline Tips from a Teacher-Survivor: The title of this web page may be grim, but the list of tips that veteran teacher Mary Lorenz gives is very solid. She emphasizes the setting of clear expectations, as well as consequences for misbehavior.
  • Effective Teaching by Harry and Rosemary Wong: Two of the most respected teachers in the profession maintain this monthly column of teaching tips. Topics include “A School that Achieves Greatness,” “A 92 Percent Homework Turn-in Rate” and “Inner City is Not an Excuse.”
  • Great Advice for New Teachers: This series of short articles, all of which originally appeared in Teacher Magazine (registration is free) focuses on what first-time teachers need to know. The articles are engaging, informative, and written with a sympathetic eye toward the teaching newbie.
  • The Line: A seventh-grade English teacher’s sharply written blog on subjects ranging from education policy to her personal interactions with students. This blog is a must-read for anyone teaching English or working with this age group.
  • Middle School Science: Besides providing links to recommended sites by other science teachers working with grades 5-9, this site has plenty of labs, units and activities in its own right. It is also the home of a Yahoo! group for science teachers, with over 2,000 members.
  • Middle School Teacher’s Place: Individual Lesson Plans: This site has selected the best middle school math and science activities available on the Web. For instance, you can check out various modules for teaching math using eggs as a theme, or find out the answers to challenging logic puzzles that you can give to your students as brainteasers.

High School

  • Education World Back to School Guide: The advice here will be a major help to beginning high school teachers as well as serving as a refresher for more seasoned educators. The tips for how to start your year off successfully are also embedded with useful links.
  • English Grammar Quizzes: A first-time high school English teacher will never run out of grammar quizzes with this site around. Test your students on reflexive pronouns and the verb “to be.”
  • English Teaching Resources: This site, maintained by a teacher of English at a Catholic school, hasn’t been updated in a while, but the information is still useful. Ideas for poetry, narrative fiction and metacognition exercises are included.
  • Larry’s Links: This is the blog of a high school economics teacher in Colorado. Larry, a retired Navy weatherman, provides advice and selected resources for teaching geography, economics and current events.
  • NClark.Net: Very experienced science teacher Nancy Clark shares her detailed activities and labs for biology and chemistry. Highlights include DNA jewelry and a music video about cell division to the tune of “I Will Survive,” titled “The Cell Will Survive.”
  • National Council of Teachers of Mathematics: Many of the math-related articles on this site are accessible to everyone. However, you must join the Council in order to get access to the thousands of math problems available on this site.
  • National Science Teachers Association: Even if you are not a member, you can access this website to find out about upcoming professional conferences and recommended science books to buy for the classroom.
  • World History Sources: This is a very useful resource for teaching history using primary sources. Just select a span of years (1900-1945, for instance) and the site will find libraries and archives that pertain to that historical period. It also contains guides, written exclusively for the site by historical scholars, on how to approach different types of primary sources.

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