Khan Academy – Free Online Educational Videos

Here is a great resource for teachers and students!  Khan Academy, a global classroom for anyone in the world who has access to a computer, has a library of over 3,200 videos online that are free.   This provides quality instruction to areas all over the world, no matter where they are located.  Incentives for students are also on the cite to motivate them with a game of earning badges and points, “game mechanics” as they refer to it, and they also offer Teacher Resources as well.  Here is an example of one topic they cover:

ALGEBRA (many lessons in each of these subtopics):

  • Algebra Intro
  • Linear Equations
  • Inequalities
  • Rations & Proportions
  • Absolute Value
  • Exponents and Radicals
  • Logarithms
  • Polynomials
  • Quadratics
  • Functions
  • Conic Sections
  • Complex Numbers
  • Matrices

It’s easy to see by this listing that there are many lessons from which to choose.  Here is a partial list of more topics without subtopics listed:

  • American Civics
  • Arithmetic & Pre-Algebra
  • Art History (for many different eras)
  • Astrology
  • Banking & Money
  • Biology
  • Brain Teasers
  • Cryptography
  • Calculus
  • Chemistry
  • Differential Equations
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Geometry
  • Healthcare & Medicine
  • History
  • Physics
  • Statistics
  • Trigonometry
  • Computer Science

Khan Academy is a global classroom of students who learn at their own rate and choose what they want to study.  Here are reviews and stories of the academy so you can read first hand from teachers and students all over the world.

Sources of Free Printable Worksheets

Here are some great sites with free printable worksheets:

Here are more sites with free printable word webs:

Making Math More Fun

Would you use a math games package that has ideas for making math more fun? If so, this package has print and play math games to enhance learning.   Print and play math board games, print and play game sheets, or print and play math card games can make learning more fun.  If you’re interested, just simply download these e-books for a fast and efficient way to make math games that are interesting and stimulating.

Mobile Learning – Learning on the Go With iPhones

Our two year old grandson loves to play educational games on our daughter’s iPhone.  It’s perfect to keep him occupied when they’re in the car, at the doctor’s office, or up in her office at work.  His favorite game right now is Toddler Teasers The games include letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, and it’s available at the iTunes App Store.

It’s amazing to me that our grandson, who is two years and two months old, knows how to play games on an iPhone.   Technology is amazing and such a wonderful tool for learning!.

“Word World” – Excellent Children’s TV Program

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I highly recommend the TV Program called “World World.”  Our grandson just turned two years old, and he knows his alphabet and is making sounds of the letters on his own.  He has watched World Word for the past year, and for a long time that was the only thing on TV that kept his attention.  He loved it!  And he was absorbing reading skills effortlessly.  (By the way, our daughter and s-i-l did not let him watch much TV, especially when younger.  Word World was the only show he watched.)

ABOVE, you will notice our grandson’s World World toys that you can buy at Target and other places.  These toys reinforce the skills learned on the program.

Workbooks Help Teach Skills

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Colorful, creative workbooks that interest children are a great teaching tool.  For younger children who need a lot of repetition learning certain skills, workbooks with stickers and fun learning activities are very helpful.  If there are pages that involve tracing and the child is tired of tracing with a pencil, try using a washable marker.  Let the child choose what color to use, and the activity will be more enjoyable.

FREE Online / Computer Graded Tests for Children’s Biographies of U.S. Presidents

Want to make test time easier for the teacher?  Here is a great way with FREE online tests for children’s biographies of U.S. presidents.  Students read the easy-to-read biography online and then take the online test.  These tests are graded by the computer for free, are also printable, and the grades can be printed out by the teacher.  Here are the biographies that have tests available at this time:

  • Abraham Lincoln
  • Andrew Jackson
  • Barack Obama
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • George Washington
  • James Madison
  • James Monroe
  • John Adams
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Ronald Reagan
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Thomas Jefferson

Teachers will need to log in and register their class so students can take the online tests.  Remember there is no cost for anything!

Examples of Word Webs

Word webs are great to use with kids.  I have used them in the regular classroom, with ESL students, and with Gifted & Talented students.  Here are some examples of different word webs that you can print.  Just click on the highlighted words:

Kids’ Books on Abraham Lincoln

Here are some of the children’s books available on Abraham Lincoln:

AGES 2-5:

  • Abe’s Fish:  A Boyhood Tale of Abraham Lincoln by Jen Bryant, published Feb. 2009.  For ages 2-5, 40 pp.
  • The Story of Abraham Lincoln by Patricia A. Pingry, published July 2001.  For ages 2-5, 26 pp.
  • Abe Lincoln:  The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters.  For ages 4-8.
  • Our Abe Lincoln by Jim Aylesworth, published Jan. 2009 by Scholastic.  For ages 4-8, 32 pp.

AGES 6-8:

  • Abe Lincoln:  The Boy Who Loved Books by Kay Winters.  For ages 4-8.
  • Our Abe Lincoln by Jim Aylesworth, published Jan. 2009 by Scholastic.  For ages 4-8, 32 pp.
  • Abe Lincoln and the Muddy Pig by Stephen Krensky, published Jan. 2002.  For ages 6-8, 32 pp.
  • Abe Lincoln’s Hat, Step into Reading Books Series by Martha Brenner, published April 1994.  For ages 6-8, 48 pp.
  • Lincoln and Douglass:  An American Friendship by Nikki Giovanni, published Sept. 2008.  For ages 6-8, 40 pp.
  • Abraham Lincoln (History Maker Bios Series) by Jane A. Schott, published Dec. 2001.  For ages 7-10, 48 pp.

AGES 8-12:

  • Abraham Lincoln (History Maker Bios Series) by Jane A. Schott, published Dec. 2001.  For ages 7-10, 48 pp.
  • Abe Lincoln Goes to Washington:  1837-1865 by Cheryl Harness, published Oct. 2008 (reprint).  For ages 8-12, 48 pp.
  • Abe’s Honest Words, The Life of Abraham Lincoln by Doreen Rappaport, published Nov. 2008.  For ages 8-12, 48 pp.
  • Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman, published Sept. 1989.  For ages 8-12, 160 pp.
  • Lincoln and His Boys by Rosemary Wells, published Jan. 2009.  For ages 8-12, 96 pp.
  • My Brother Abe:  Sally Lincoln’s Story by Harry Mazer, published Jan. 2009.  For ages 8-12, 208 pp.
  • Young Abe Lincoln:  The Frontier Days 1809-1837 by Cheryl Harness, published Sept. 2008 (reprint).  For ages 8-12, 32 pp.

AGES 12 and UP:

  • Abraham Lincoln by David Colbert, published Jan. 2009.  For ages 12+, 160 pp.
  • Abraham Lincoln:  A Photographic Story of a Life by Tanya Lee Stone, published 2005.  For ages 12+, 128 pp.
  • The Wit & Wisdom of Abraham Lincoln:  A Treasury of Quotations, Anecdotes, and Observations by James C. Humes, published 1996.  For ages 12+, 250 pp.

FREE ONLINE BIOGRAPHY:

How to Teach About Abraham Lincoln

One goal of teaching about Abraham Lincoln should be to “make him come alive,”  to help students realize that he was a real person just like they are.  Here are some tips on teaching a unit about Lincoln that hopefully will add to the materials you have:

TEACHING ABOUT LINCOLN:

  • On the Abraham Lincoln Museum site, there is one reproducible page for an Abraham Lincoln Discussion Web that would be great to use in the classroom regardless of visiting the museum.  Click on this site for Lincoln and scroll down to page 23.  This is a great page for a Discussion Web on Lincoln’s life.   I have used Discussion Webs many times, and they are great for students of all ages.
  • Need a unit on Lincoln?  An experienced teacher has a free unit on Abraham Lincoln on her website with printable worksheets and also a biography.  These materials are free for teachers and homeschooling parents.
  • Having an Interest Center in the classroom on Abraham Lincoln would help motivate students to learn about him.   The center could contain pictures of the era in which Lincoln lived.  Old looking objects could be placed in the center as well as student-level books on Lincoln.  Use your imagination and be creative!

Depending on the level of the students, here are some of Lincoln’s accomplishments to discuss with them:

  1. His decision to fight kept the country from coming apart.
  2. He had great foreign policy which kept other countries from getting involved in the Civil War.
  3. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation which freed the slaves.
  4. He strongly supported the Thirteenth Admendment which ended slavery.
  5. He is known for his honesty,  leadership, and character.
  6. He gave the House Divided Speech.
  7. He gave the Gettysburg Address.
  8. He is quoted even today due to having many famous quotes known world wide.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Make a log cabin out of Lincoln Logs
  • Make a log cabin by gluing Popsicle sticks together

CHILDREN’S BOOKS:

Some of your Lincoln books would probably come from the library.  Click here to see a list of good kids’ books on Lincoln available on this site. 

CHILDREN’S DVD’S & VIDEOS:

  • Abraham Lincoln: Great Americans for Children Series – DVD by Schlessinger Media
  • Presidents Day DVD ( Holidays for Children DVD Series)  by Library Video Company

How to Teach Children About Barack Obama

A talented teacher friend of mine has written children’s biographies about several presidents, including Barack Obama, which are available online for teachers and homeschooling parents at no charge. She also has these printable worksheets on Barack Obama, as well as the other presidents, available online which are also free for teachers:

  • Word Search
  • Crossword Puzzle
  • Word Scramble
  • Study Sheet
  • Work Sheet
  • Color Page
  • Online Jigsaw Puzzle
  • Online Crossword Puzzle
  • Online Word Scramble
  • Online Word Search
  • Online Color Picture

Again, all of her materials are free for teachers and homeschooling parents.  If anyone wants to use them for commercial purposes, they need to contact her.   Be sure and visit her site.  She has a lot of great, free material!

OTHER CHILDREN’S BOOKS:

  • Barack Obama: Our 44th President by Beatrice Gormley.  Great for ages 8-12.

Study for SAT Test through Online Video

It will soon be time for many students to take the SAT Test.  Brightstorm has a great online video program that helps students learn in a fun way.  They offer these courses:

  • Geometry
  • Algebra II
  • SAT Writing
  • SAT Math
  • SAT Critical Reading
  • AP  U.S. History
  • AP  U.S. Government
  • U.S. History
  • Writing

I have not personally used their program, but from looking at their website and the introductory videos I think it looks like a great program.

Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum

Austin, the capital of Texas, is home to the fairly new Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.   The building is impressive on the outside and inside, being three stories tall.  It contains interactive exhibits, an IMAX Theater, and a great Cafe for meals and snacks.  We thoroughly enjoyed the exhibits and theater and eating in the Cafe.  This is a museum we definitely recommend.  They have great resources as well for teachers and home schooling parents.  There are links to these resources below:

Computer Games for Teaching Creative Writing

A computer game by Spinmaker called Alphabet Zoo is great for teaching creative writing at an early age.  Years ago, my husband bought this game for our daughter when she was four years old.   She soon learned how to write her own stories and illustrate them with the picture maker.  She started reading when she was three years old so she already knew most of the alphabet sounds.  When trying to spell words for her stories, she would either try to sound out the words and spell them phonetically or she would ask a parent or grandparent, whoever was close by.  This was one of her favorite computer games and I guess it instilled a love of writing in her. When she was in high school she went to state UIL competition and placed well in journalism and headline writing.    Learning to write creatively was definitely something that was fun for her!

Science Kits

Science kits are a wonderful way to let students experience hands-on science activities and experiments.  There are many from which to choose.

We had several science kits when our children were growing up that included the following:

  • Smithsonian Mega Science Lab
  • Bill Nye’s Learn About Magnet Power Kit
  • Junior Electricity Lab
  • Microscope Set

These are examples of great science materials to help science come alive for students and make learning fun!

Teach Math Concepts Through Educational Video Games

Big Brain Acadamy and Brain Age are two of the best video games out there that can teach or strengthen several cognitive skills including math concepts.   Here are some of the math skills children (and adults) can learn through these games:

  • Basic computation
  • Estimation
  • Value of coins
  • Spatial relations
  • Patterns

These games cover many different cognitive areas.  If you are not familiar with them, I highly recommend them.   They are good brain stretchers!  We own both games, and they are great for young and old alike.

Leap Frog Learning Products

Leap Frog learning products are great products for teaching reading, math, and other skills.  From what I have seen and read, they are exceptionally good products.   Someone I know said that her child loved the music in Leap Frog Math Circus and didn’t even realize that she was learning because she was having so much fun.  And that is a big key to teaching children, making it fun!