13 Peer-Recommended Online Resources For ELA Teachers

Rutgers Alternate Route candidates specializing in English and Language Arts recently reviewed online resources that can be converted into reading assignments, interactive classroom activities and supplemental exercises. Recommendations from over 200 teachers were referenced as part of this blog series on NJ Professional Standards for Teachers (NJPTS) aligned teacher resources.

English & language arts teachers across all grade levels can consult these resources:

Eildolon

“A blog that publishes articles from contributors that address the influence of the Classics or the connection to the Classics found in the modern world. I know teachers have given their students articles to read and have asked reading comprehension/open-ended questions. Articles may need to be edited for complexity depending on literacy level of students. I have used content from it, but abridged and modified by me.”

Poetry Foundation

“This site is invaluable for all the poetry it contains. Students can be directed to the site and find the poem that they need and any information on authors. It is a great resource for a poetry unit in any English class - classics to modern.”

Discovery Education: United Streaming

“This site is great for finding videos, documentaries, or photographs pertaining to your content. In this case, there are many resources for English and Language Arts. My class uses this to introduce difficult concepts or units. The students relate well to the videos and find the material simplified.”

Culturally Relevant Books

“Using Diverse texts to help engage students with content as well as show reading as exciting.”

SparkleBox
“Last spring, I taught two students in first grade who had recently arrived from Puerto Rico and Peru. Neither spoke English. I found using words with pictures helped these students with recall and language development. I found the perfect cards on a great site called SparkleBox. I used their cvc cards as spelling words for my students from short vowels to long. I was able to say the word and point to the picture. The card can be easily handled and I was able to fold half the card to hide the word and have the students spell the word while looking at the picture.”

Work On Writing Video  

“Here is a link to a blogger who has an amazing Daily 5 for writing. This video (part of a series she does) outlines her strategies for providing unique and creative activities for 1st graders to complete. What I really liked about her writing program is that each week, she provides booklets for the students and various "can do's" and "must do's" activities. Great for those of us who teach reading and writing, like I do.”

Starfall

“I really like using Starfall for students who are not quite readers but will benefit from the exposure. When you get to starfall, click guided reading, choose fiction/nonfiction and choose any book! Once a book is chosen, the students can click the ‘ear’ so the website will start reading to them and highlight each word as it reads. The students stay interacted by clicking the green button to go to the next page or start the next paragraph by clicking on another ‘ear’ to listen.”

Grammar Bytes

“Grammar Bytes has a wide range of resources that includes power points, worksheets, and games relating to grammar.”

“This website helps to provide specific grammar presentations, tips, and tools. My school doesn't have a heavy focus in grammar, but peppering in some of these presentations as mini-lessons has been beneficial for my students”

Teacher Thought

“The listing references some of the most popular education blogs out there. Through reading these blogs you can find a wealth of information on teaching methods, differentiation, and more.”  

Newsela

“Newsela is a useful resource for teaching interdisciplinary skills.  It contains current event articles that students at different reading levels can read, reference and use to answer questions.  It’s beneficial for teachers working at most grade levels.”

“Newsela is a great resource for literacy instruction. You can adjust the lexile/reading level of any article to better suit your students' needs. Newsela also contains content-specific text sets.”

Raz-Kids

“Raz kids is a reading website that offers rewards to elementary students who read short books.  Students are placed based on their reading level and given various options of books to read.”

“You do need a subscription to Reading A-Z. I use it to find my anchor texts for the week. The website provides leveled books that can be printed out and projected onto the smartboard. I like my ability to print books out for my 1st graders, since many do not have any books at home. Also, I use it as my listening to reading center. Every student has a profile, which they can access at home. The teacher can put students on their correct reading level and monitor their progress. RAZ kids (is the site students use to access their books).”

“I’m a big fan of Reading a-z . The site has hundreds of level books with a variety of teacher resources. You print out the books and resources as needed. The students keep the books and they can write on them, chunk hunt, color, etc! I especially like the lesson plans and running records.”

“A fun interactive site for kids to read on a device (PC, tablet, phone). You have to set up your students with a login but once it is set up in the beginning of the year they can use it for the entire year and you can monitor their progress. My students love this site!”

NoRedInk

“NoRedInk is a great resource for teaching grammar to students who struggle with the basic mechanics. It has tracking features to monitor students' progress, and it adjusts to students' performance on questions as they work. NoRedInk addresses many grammar fundamentals and organizes them into baskets of related skills so that students and instructors can focus on specific areas of grammar.”

CommonLit

“I love this site - I recently discovered this through my mentor because one of our SGOs is on informational texts and the ability to use the information in the text for analysis. So for the pre-assessment we used this site. You search for an article, you can even search by standard!! And you can assign it online by class - each class will have a code you can give to your students. All my students have iPads so they were able to do it in class with a sub when I was out. They read the article, and then they are quizzed directly after. I used this as an in class assignment which I graded to ensure maximum effort. They are text dependent questions, one open ended and 5 multiple choice. This gave me a good idea of where my students stand. I plan on doing this for the summative assessment and hopefully seeing some improvement after we work with some informational texts throughout the year.”

 

 

 

 

 

Heather Ngoma

Heather Ngoma has over 20 years experience collaborating with educators across New Jersey to drive education innovation. She currently serves as the Director of Rutgers University's Alternate Route Teacher Training Program at the Center for Effective School Practices, a program which helps career changers, recent college graduates and other aspiring education professionals become licensed teachers in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter @heatherngoma.

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