Three awesome resources I wish I’d had when I was still a classroom teacher

I retired from teaching two-and-a-half years ago, before the age of PInterest, thank goodness!. I can’t imagine how much time I would spend pinning all the great ideas from fellow teachers to my Pinterest boards! Even now, I have to resist pinning education-related things, but there are some ideas that are too good not to share. Here are three of them:

1. Teacher Tipster Videos

Mr. Smith teaches first grade, and he is just the kind of teacher I strived to be. He has a YouTube channel with videos of tips for everything from how to get your kids to be quiet in the hallway to fun ways to help children develop number sense. He’s a little goofy, exaggerating gestures and facial expressions like first grade teachers do, but I can almost hear his students giggling and see them try sooooo hard to do what Mr. Smith is teaching them. I bet his classroom is the most well-managed in his school!

In this video, Mr. Smith shows teachers how to use bubbles to teach children self-control:


In this one, he sings a song to get his kids ready to walk quietly in the hallway:


When you click on one of the videos, make sure to check out his other videos in the sidebar. He has more videos than are shown on the page.

2. iPad Apps

iPads are becoming commonplace in today’s classrooms. When I was teaching, we had these things called dry erase boards…. Watching my 2-year old nephew open apps, listen to stories, and scroll through Dora videos on my sister’s iPad, I marvel not only at the availability of technology but also at the quality of what’s available. We got Atari when I was in late elementary school/early middle school. It had five games, (I think,) and the technology was rudimentary. Thirty years later, my nephew is learning to associate letters and sounds on a sophisticated tablet with superb graphics and audio.

Apps for Multiple Intelligences is a collection of apps that develop nine multiple intelligences: visual, aural, linguistics, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, natural, and musical. There were just five when I started teaching! When you click the link for Apps for Multiple Intelligences, there is an infographic with clickable app icons for each intelligence.

Here are screenshots from two of the apps:

Apps for iPads Multiple Intelligences

Virtual History ROMA

Apps for iPads Multiple IntelligencesShowMe Interactive Whiteboard

There are lots of other apps – I can’t wait to try them with the kids I homeschool and tutor and with my niece and nephew!

3. Flowcabulary

Nothing engages students more than movement and music, and Flowcabulary capitalizes on this with an online library of songs, videos and activities for children in grades K-12. Teachers can use the videos to introduce, review, and reinforce lessons in vocabulary, language arts, social studies, science, and math. There are some videos available for free on the site, but if you want to use the full library, you have to subscribe. A classroom membership is only $63/year, which is pretty reasonable. I have a home subscription to use with the students I homeschool and tutor.

You can watch this free video on the writing process here.

I hope these resources are useful to you. If you’re an educator or a parent, I’m sure you have favorite teaching and learning blogs, websites, apps, and technology, too. Please share them in the comments!

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