I'm often asked to suggest websites for help with academic skills. Here are a few I really like – for teachers, students, parents, librarians, and tutors:
Starfall - http://www.starfall.com
Bright, colorful site for kids reading on a Kindergarten to 2nd grade level. Covers phonemic awareness, phonics, and word recognition.
ABC Fast Phonics - http://www.abcfastphonics.com/index.html
Kid-friendly tutorial of basic reading skills, from letter identification to phonics to some common words. The best part: On every page, a child can click on the speaker icons to hear the written instructions or have specific words said aloud.
PBS Kids - http://pbskids.org/island/teachers/#preschool-grade3
Fun, online reading lessons (games) to use with Pre-K to 3rd grade students. Click within the colorful charts to choose an activity.
Storyline Online - http://www.storylineonline.net or via youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/StorylineOnline
A cute one! Click on a story, and it’s read aloud by a Screen Actor’s Guild celebrity. Words appear on the video so the child (or class) can hear the story and read at the same time. Follow-up activities are provided.
Unique Teaching Resources - http://www.uniqueteachingresources.com/Fry-1000-Instant-Words.html and http://www.uniqueteachingresources.com/dolch-sight-words.html
This is the place for sight words! Also has lots of printable worksheets and activities. 1st link above: Scroll toward middle of page for "Fry 1000 Instant Words" lists. Can download word lists and flashcards. Includes "first one hundred" to "tenth one hundred" words. 2nd link above: Scroll toward middle of page for downloadable "Dolch Sight Words" for Pre-Primer to 3rd grade word lists and flash cards.
InsideStory Flashcards - http://insidestoryflashcards.com
Flashcards with crisp, dazzling pictures that can be viewed online or printed. Even covers difficult to describe, abstract words. Some are free, or they can be ordered in packs. Great vocabulary builder. Best for upper elementary to high school and college levels.
Puzzlemaker Discovery Education - http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com
Create your own word searches and scrambled word puzzles. Besides being a fun, low stress activity, the puzzles help familiarize students with new words being taught. Great for practicing spelling, too.
Spelling City - http://www.spellingcity.com
Students type in spelling words, practice online, and take a test which mimics a real test. Requires audio.
My 2 cents:
- When possible, tie lessons with the student’s specific interests, e.g. cars, dinosaurs, animals, hobbies, favorite celebrities, etc…
- Allow students to choose their own books for pleasure reading, even if the reading level is too easy or too hard for them.
- Especially when working with struggling readers, practice with only 3 to 5 sight words at a time – for the day or the week, depending on the student’s reading and frustration level.
- When teaching something new, use a multisensory and a modeling approach, e.g. have student see it, say it, hear it, model/teach it back, write it, draw it, build it, etc…
Cool Math - http://www.coolmath.com and http://www.coolmath4kids.com
A colorful network of websites. Covers math activities and lessons for ages 3 to adult, from basic addition to calculus.
Multiplication.com - http://multiplication.com
Fun games, worksheets, flashcards, and teaching strategies. For multiplication skills only.
SuperKids - http://www.superkids.com/aweb/tools
Creates math worksheets based on parameters you set. Use with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, averaging, percentages, and more. Also includes worksheets with clock faces to help with telling time.