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#5: 20 educational resources for new teachers

New teachers need support, research indicates, and these free online resources can help.

[Editor’s note: This story, originally published on April 14th of this year, was our #5 most popular story of the year. The countdown continues tomorrow with #4, so be sure to check back!]

It’s no secret that new teachers sometimes struggle to feel empowered in their positions as educators. In fact, a lack of support, experienced teacher mentors, and resources lead many new teachers to leave their profession within the first three years.

While technology can be a great tool, finding the right technology or tool often proves challenging and time-consuming.

During an edWeb webinar, Shannon Holden, assistant principal at Republic Middle School in Missouri and a longtime educator, offered a list of websites to help new teachers find online resources quickly and easily.

“With the internet being what it is, you don’t have to re-invent the wheel every time you want to teach a concept,” Holden said.

Searching for educational materials online can reduce work time, Holden said, because many other educators have already produced the same exact resource another educator might be searching for. That resource can be tweaked or edited to meet individual educator or class needs.

(Next page: 20 websites to help new teachers find content)

And while the internet offers a plethora of free content, there are times when it’s worth it to pay a little extra, Holden said. Those times could include when materials are done exceptionally well, when a resource is very unique, when an educator finds things he or she will use more than one time, or when it would cost more time to find exactly what an educator is searching for.

“As a teacher, you know there are not enough hours in the day for you to do everything you need to do,” Holden said. “Anything that can save time is worth my money.”

1. Teachers Pay Teachers: This site offers free resources along with paid content–in fact, sellers are required to offer free materials alongside their fee-based materials. “There are tons of free materials,” Holden said.

2. Really Good Stuff: This includes educational materials as well as supplies like furniture, filing cabinets, and sticky notes.

3. Amazon, eBay, and other sites for paid content: These sites offer fee-based educational resources and materials. Materials can be shipped directly and these sites often work best for “physical products” for the classroom, Holden said.

4. Google: A simple Google search is great, Holden said, because educators can search through all the various categories–images, videos, books, and apps. A Google image search can lead searchers directly to resources and are often linked to Pinterest accounts. “The great thing about the [Google] ‘videos’ search is that ALL of the videos are free,” Holden said. Copying the embed code for a video lets educators paste the video into their websites, blogs, or LMS.

5. Share My Lesson: Free lesson plans for teachers, organized by grade, subject, and standard. The site also offers professional learning resources.

6. Scholastic: Offers resources, tools, teaching strategies, and student activities.

7. Discovery: Resources organized by grade level and topic, with a “Teacher Picks” resource category, too.

8. Laura Candler Educational Resources: The creator is an educator who offers her own resources on the site, but also curates other content for use.

9. Indiana University – Bloomington: Resources organized by topics such as active learning, assessments, and collaboration.

10. TES: A research page for all grade levels, including whole-school and students with special needs, organized by topic.

11. Web Anywhere: Teacher resources split into primary and secondary categories, searchable by subject. This site offers some resources from the UK.

12. SMART Exchange: Offers searchable and editable SMART Board activities created by teachers.

13. Read Write Think: Not only does the site have activities for educators to use with students, but the site also offers professional development topics

14. National Geographic: This site offers lots of videos, which often come with companion documents such as writing prompts.

15. ArtsEdge: This site from The Kennedy Center offers a “lesson finder” to help align resources to different art topics.

16. Searchable site organized by resource and age/grade.

17. We Are Teachers: This site offers lessons and materials, tips for grant writing, a blog list, and popular education topics.

18. A federal site for free educational resources.

19. Federal Resources for Educational Excellence: Another federal site. Though it retired in 2015, it offers links to other federal resources.

20. Education World: This site offers news, blogs, teacher materials, and more.

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