Although the school year starts at different times across the country, one thing is guaranteed: free resources for teachers are at the top of the must-have list.

Free resources for teachers are important no matter the monetary value of the resource. A federal survey released earlier this year and based on data from the 2015-2016 school year shows that 94 percent of public school teachers report spending their own money on classroom supplies.

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DonorsChoose.org is a popular website where educators regularly post their project and teaching wish lists, and #ClearTheLists, started by a Texas teacher, aims to help connect teachers with those who want to purchase school supplies for classes in need, noting that most teachers spend almost $500 just to set up their classrooms for the new school year.

Check out the following free resources for teachers, and pass it along if you have a fellow educator who might benefit from one or all of the resources offered here.

1. PBS offers a variety of online educational resources for Pre-K-12 grade educators.

Educators can access free resources online from the following PBS websites:

  • PBS Media Literacy Educator Certification by KQED (Pre-K through 12th grade) – PBS and KQED offer a set of free media literacy micro-credentials that validate and help to build media literacy skills and classroom implementation practices. These competency-based micro-credentials provide the pathway to earning certification as a PBS Certified Media Literacy Educator.
  • PBS LearningMedia (Pre-K through 12th grade) – PBS LearningMedia is the destination for direct access to thousands of classroom-ready, curriculum-targeted digital resources. Resources are aligned to state and national standards, and include videos, images, interactives, lesson plans, articles, primary sources and more. Teachers can browse by standards, grade level, subject area, and special collections, and favorite and share resources with their class and colleagues.
  • PBS TeachersLounge – PBS TeachersLounge is a collection of online blogs on a variety of topics including trending news, PBS in the classroom, tech tools, virtual professional learning and voices in education.

2. Through the AncestryK12 program, K-12 schools gain free one-year access to content from Fold3, a collection of US military records, photos and personal documents of the those who served; Newspapers.com, with 216 million+ pages of historical newspapers; and U.S. record collections available on Ancestry.

3. Vernier Software & Technology is offering 20 free hands-on workshops this fall to help science educators incorporate data-collection technology into their curriculum. Held at locations nationwide, each four-hour workshop will provide educators of all levels with the opportunity to explore classroom-ready experiments and connect with fellow educators. All attendees will receive a Go Direct Temperature Probe, along with experiment ideas, which they can use in their own classrooms.

4. The National WWI Museum and Memorial–designated by Congress as the nation’s official WWI Museum and Memorial in 2004–is striving to expand the narrative about the war by providing teachers with free materials about the enduring impact of WWI on modern times. This database includes articles, lesson plans, and primary sources from the National WWI Museum and Memorial and partners around the world, presented in collaboration with the United States World War One Centennial Commission.

5. Learning A-Z is offering a free online collection of resources and tools to help teachers get classroom-ready for the new school year: the Back-to-School Pack. The digital Back-to-School Pack features a mix of teacher resources and new custom tools that will be unveiled as six camping-themed gift surprises over the course of two weeks. Filled with templates, leveled literacy resources, motivational classroom posters, guides, and classroom activities, the Back-to-School Pack is designed to help PreK–6 teachers gear up for a successful new school year. The collection of literacy downloads offered in the Back-to-School Pack will help teachers organize their classrooms, set goals, assess students’ reading levels, incorporate social emotional learning and literacy activities, motivate students to think critically, and more.

6. Find Your Grind (FYG), a self-discovery platform changing how people approach career decision making, launched its free middle and high school curriculum (previously $399) on Sept. 1, to break the cost barrier of working within strict budgets and give teachers the necessary support and relevant, engaging resources they desperately need this upcoming school year. FYG also has formed a partnership with Microsoft’s Flipgrid to help students discover their passion and find their voice.

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Managing Editor, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. When she isn't wrangling her two children, Laura enjoys running, photography, home improvement, and rooting for the Terps. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura http://twitter.com/eSN_Laura


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