Wow – what week, what a month, what a year! And it’s only April. I know so many parents out there are homeschooling for the first time ever and so many teachers are learning to teach in an online world. I am in exactly the same position. I’m doing my best to provide work for students, assist parents and learning to use a lot of new technology quickly. With all of that in mind, I thought I would share four websites that I use and recommend to the families of my own students to use in these tricky times. They are all completely FREE.
- Behind the News (BTN) is produced by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and a new episode is released each Friday. We normally watch this each week in class. If you click on the link below, it will take you to the latest episode. Additionally, when you click on the latest episode and scroll down you will find an ‘Episode Package’ in a choice of Word or PDF format.
Just click on this link: https://www.abc.net.au/btn/classroom/
- Scratch is a coding program which is free and is suitable for primary students. The activities on this website encourage STEM thinking. With Scratch, children can program their own interactive stories, games, and animations. Scratch is a project of the MIT Media Lab and it is provided free of charge. Go to: https://scratch.mit.edu/
- Smiling Mind is a mindfulness/meditation program that I usually use in my class on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. This is another totally free program which you can use as much as you like. Simply create your free account, click on the ‘All Programs’ tab and then scroll down to the ‘Classroom Programs’ section. Once there, you can choose from the grade level which is appropriate for your child. The link is: https://www.smilingmind.com.au/
- Kids News is a fantastic free news website which has a huge range of well-written, well-researched and interesting articles which are suitable for children. There are a range of reading levels available, all stories include an audio file for students who need some assistance with reading and there is a range of educational activities attached to each article. I highly recommend you try it out: https://www.kidsnews.com.au/
Whether you are a parent homeschooling for the first time or a teacher looking for insipration, I hope these websites help you out in these tough times. Good luck and stay well!