1. Jog Nog – Jog Nog is a website devoted to Internet-based games for elementary, middle, and even high school students. The site has a library of over 40,000 questions written by teachers for teachers that are used within the different games. The games cover all the core areas – English, mathematics, science, and social studies. Many of these games are free, but some do require a paid subscription. Right now the site has more for elementary and middle school students, but they are adding more all the time. Creating an account is simple. All you need is an email address. Once you are registered, you can sort by content area, grade level, or price.
2. Meograph – Meograph just got out of its beta version, and I’m excited to explore this a bit more. The only issue is it currently only works with Google Chrome. Other browsers should be available soon, and downloading Google Chrome only takes two minutes anyway. Meograph bills itself as “four-dimensional” storytelling because there are – you guessed it – four layers. The layers include maps, a timeline, voiceover narration, and embedded photographs, pictures, or videos. Students tell a story using all four layers. For instance, one of the samples on the site is a story about the Arab Spring. Another example is the history of women’s rights in America. This kind of storytelling could be used in English, history, science, etc. There’s a ton of possibilities, and it’s free.
3. TED-Ed – Most people have seen a TED video and know the tagline “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Now, TED has launched TED-Ed, a way to use TED videos or any YouTube video in a lesson plan. Not surprisingly, they are calling this “Lessons Worth Sharing.” You create a free account, find a video you want to use, and then add things like short quizzes, short-answer questions, additional resources, etc. It’s all right there in TED-Ed right next to your video. Or you can use lessons that others have already created, editing them to match your needs. In addition, if you have a really awesome idea that the TED people like, they will match you up with an animator, and you can create your own professional short video. The site is relatively new so choice is limited but growing quickly.
4. Ethel Woods – Ethel Woods is a social studies teacher who has written a number of “course books” for Advanced Placement courses in the social sciences. They are not textbooks, but they are a bit more than typical review books. She has books on AP U.S. history, AP European history, AP Comparative Government and Politics and more. The books are very good sources of review for students and a handy reference for social studies teachers. You can find her books on Amazon.
5. Shmoop – A lot of people by this point know about Shmoop, but I’m currently writing a review test for them, and I thought I’d give it a plug. It’s a website devoted to explaining concepts and reviewing with students in a way that is humorous but informative. There’s information by subject area as well as ACT, SAT, and AP test reviews. A lot of the site is free, but individual students, teachers, or schools can purchase subscriptions to the site’s paid resources. Teachers can purchase passes that provide lesson plan ideas and more. There’s really too much on this site for me to write about in any great detail, but even if you don’t want to use the site for yourself, letting your students in on this little gem is worth it.