By Andrew Pillow
Teaching is hard.
I doubt anyone reading this blog needed me to tell him or her that, but I just want to reiterate that because it needs to be said in order to understand why I would create this type of post.
Many nights I have been up late as a teacher trying to find a quality resource or plan. Over the years, these nights have come less and less often because I have gotten better at finding the resources I need for a good lesson. Believe it or not, it never actually dawned on me to write them down or share with others until now.
I’ve been keeping track of the most “clutch” websites and resources I have used during the first semester and I wanted to share them with you. Here are my most helpful teaching resources of 2017:
1. Brain Pop
Brain pop is a website that specializes in multimedia content for classroom lessons. Which is a fancy way of saying it has videos for all your content. YouTube is a great resource, but it is often hard to find, videos that are engaging, educational, and age appropriate. Brain Pop solves that problem. Students typically find the videos funny and I know from their exit tickets and quizzes they retain a ton of the information from the videos as well.
Brain Pop does cost money, but often times someone in your school or district has already purchased an account. If not, I have found it was more than worth the small fee.
Better lesson is like a social-sharing site for teachers. Teachers from all over the country share their plans and resources, not just their lesson plans either. Long-term and whole unit plans can be found as well. It has an easy to search interface that allows you to search by subject, grade, and specific terms.
Not every resource on this site is “good” but enough of them are to keep me coming back.
I know what you are thinking: “Why would I pay for resources when so many sites offer them for free?”
Well, the short answer is because you get what you pay for. Every now and then I see a great resource on Teachers Pay Teachers that cost a little money so I pass it up. Only to spend hours looking for something similar, and then eventually come back and buy from the site anyway. The money is well spent.
Teachers Pay Teachers is a site that allows teachers to buy and sell their own teaching materials like the name implies. Because this site is curated by teachers, it is uniquely helpful because a teacher knows what another teacher is looking for.
If you are like me, you have spent countless hours looking for the right PowerPoint or handout. Next time you get stuck, pull out one of these sites. You will be surprised how much time it saves and you can’t put a price on time as a teacher.