Teachers are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative tools that will boost student performance in the classroom. In times past, these items have included chalkboards, VCR’s, overhead projectors, and dittos. Today, tools for the classroom have evolved into things that are increasingly technology-based. According to the U.S. Department of Education*, when used properly, technology in schools can build skills needed for the 21st century, increase student motivation, and accelerate learning. The list below provides 5 tools that can be utilized inside the classroom during lessons or outside the classroom for lesson planning and prep ideas. Either way, they are sure to make learning a more engaging process for your class!
Though Pinterest is often seen as being a personal hobby site, it also has a wealth of information and ideas for the classroom. The site provides valuable classroom prep tools for every subject and includes ideas for full lesson plans, worksheets, art activities, music incorporation, math games, and seasonal activities. These ideas can either be used exactly as they are written or adapted for your particular subject or grade. In addition to these helpful tools, Pinterest offers a number of tips on classroom management, behavior charts, motivational rewards, class rules, and classroom helpers. There is also an abundance of inspiration for room themes and decorations, word and math charts, Word Walls, and calendars. With so many possibilities, Pinterest gives you the tools you need to make your lessons great before you ever step into your classroom.
Devoted to tools, games, and lessons for interactive white boards, Gynzy provides teachers with everything they need to make classroom learning both fun and interactive. The large variety of topic tools contained on the website lets teachers incorporate exactly the right activity at the perfect place in their lesson. With subject activities that range from Language Arts and Social Studies to Math and Science, Gynzy offers everything required to make the most out of your classroom smart boards. The website also provides tools for important school day ‘extras’ such as morning routines, student news reports, birthday celebrations, music, classroom arrangement, and quiz making. This website offers tools that help teachers both inside and outside the classroom. It allows them to take care of everything from the first step of lesson planning to the last step of teaching.
This website is made by teachers for teachers and provides a number of lesson planning and classroom tools. Since teachers put their own material on this website for other teachers to use, some of the resources require a small fee before they can be downloaded while others are completely free. TeachersPayTeachers.com also has a search option that allows you to narrow down what you’re looking for by grade and subject so that you can find exactly what you need. Once you select the worksheet, lesson plan, seasonal activity, or test you want, you download it straight to your computer where you can then save it and print. The teaching tools provided by TeachersPayTeachers.com can add a creative element to all of your lessons.
This website provides the tools that teachers need to make special elements for their classroom. These elements include large posters, jigsaw puzzles, presentations, and calendars. With this site, teachers can create, customize, and turn into poster size anything they’d like to display in their room. Class rules, class chores, the steps of writing, the scientific process, and more can all be hung in giant proportions for everyone to see. BigHugeLabs.com also has a tool that allows you to convert pictures into puzzles. This can be a great learning activity for lower grades as any educational principle can be made into a puzzle to reinforce the concept. Making presentations and calendars for the classroom is equally as convenient using the tools this website provides.
The Noun Project
The Noun Project is a great tool for lower grade and ESL classrooms. It provides images for every noun so that the meaning of a word can be clearly understood by speakers of every language. The selection of pictures the website offers are unique and specific while also being fun and a little quirky. Enter any noun into its search feature and the site immediately brings up a variety of images for you to choose from. Simply scroll through the options until you find the one you like the most and click. The picture you choose is easy to download but you must have an account with the website before you’re able to do so. With six different packages that range from free to $500 a month, there is a choice that is right for every classroom and every budget.
* source: https://www.ed.gov/oii-news/use-technology-teaching-and-learning