Useful Websites for Elementary School Teachers
- PBS Website
- Light Up Your Brain
- Fact Monster
Working with young learners is a resource-intensive process,but there are websites for elementary teachers that can help when creating lesson plans and designing classroom activities. In the elementary grades, students are taught the fundamentals of the core subjects, which are reading, language and communication, math and science. Class activities aim to enhance the learning process with children working in groups or individually. The learning environment in elementary school takes into account the fact that children absorb concepts better when they are allowed to explore, manipulate and experiment. Educational resources in game format are engaging, and it is up to teachers to identify the most suitable websites for their students among hundreds that are available free, subscription only or a combination of both service types.
Established in 1997, Funbrain develops content geared for children from pre-K to eighth grade. The website features games, comic books, books and videos that aim to support children’s learning skills in math, problem-solving, reading and literacy. The materials are presented as interactive content, downloadable or printable when applicable. Interactive games and books can be accessed as needed, and teachers can use the materials to reinforce learning of specific concepts. Organization and presentation of content on Funbrain.com is commendable with all materials tagged with the subject matter such as vowel sounds, addition or shapes as some of the hundreds of topics covered. The content is also classified by grade level, making it easy to access the resources.
The Public Broadcasting System or PBS Kids network provides a variety of informational and educational programming for young children up to their tween years. The content includes an entire section for online games that feature interactive activities as well as printables. Content is based on popular PBS characters such as Sesame Street, Clifford, Arthur, Pinktastic and other characters that would already be familiar to children. The site includes a parent portal.
Light Up Your Brain
This website features activities and content appropriate for toddlers to pre-teens. The content selection includes videos, children’s songs, audio books read by the the content creator who is a professional voice-over talent. Games and audio books help students hone their skills in reading, math, color-matching, fine motor skills, elementary science and more. The Light Up Your Brain site also provides downloadable coloring pages and links to other useful resources.
Fact Monster is billed as a homework helper or a Wikipedia for kids. Website contents are organized by topic although the search box is featured prominently at the top of the landing page to make it easy for kids, teachers and parents to navigate. The materials for each section are featured in drop-down tab, providing a quick survey of the content.
Starfall is big on reading readiness so this content is very useful for kindergarten up to third grade. However, the site also features math and phonics materials and a section for children’s songs, supporting the content provided in the main section.
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Teaching young children is a demanding and stressful job. Elementary school teachers can lighten the load by making use of available resources, including websites created to support the learning and developmental process. Great websites for elementary teachers should be engaging with age-appropriate content that is easy to navigate for young children and the adults who guide them.