No Red Ink is an interactive website that help K-12 students with writing skills. It provides targeted practice exercises based on students interests that are indicated through a quick survey when signing up. Students follow a progression of skills that is specific and adaptive to their needs. Activities are centered around topics of interest such as Harry Potter, Friends, My Little Pony and many more. Instruction includes essay development, punctuation, grammar and vocabulary development to support the writing process. This is coupled with diagnostic assessments and illustrated performance data so that students can track their progress and proficiency.
While this website is set up for teachers to assign activities to students, it also allows students to practice on their own and build their own self-reflection skills within the writing process. Please check with your child to determine if the website is used in his or her school before making a new login.
ABCYa is a free website for children in grades PreK-6+. The site provides games that are aligned to the Common Core State Standards and that push children to think critically. ABCya’s games give children opportunities to practice skills while having fun and engaging in problem-solving. Children can easily navigate the site to choose from the collection of games. The games fall into key categories: Word, Number, Holidays, Strategy, and Skill. ABYa covers content such as multiplication, figurative language, parts of speech, word puzzles, keyboarding, etc. ABCYa can be accessed via phone, desktop, laptop, or tablet. The mobile version requires the parent to create an account before accessing the free games. A parent can upgrade to premium, to avoid ads, for a small fee.
Readtopia is a literacy program designed to teach functional literacy skills to middle and high students who have traditionally not received literacy instruction. The Don Johnston company, authors of Readtopia, have offered a free mini unit for families to use while at home.
In the unit, your child will have access to lessons, videos, and real-life experience activities centered around “The Gold Bug” by Edgar Allen Poe. What makes this program and mini unit unique is the stories are differentiated into seven levels from non-readers to paragraph readers. Age-respectful images reinforce the text and provide an engaging platform.
“The Gold Bug” unit is rooted in learning through experience; your child will be given access to videos to experience things they might never have before, like going inside a bee hive. This mini unit comes with phonics, alphabet, and math activities as well as a teacher guide to help you organize it all. If you are looking for a structured literacy unit that you and your child can do together, check out Readtopia!
This website offers literacy and math lessons aligned to the Common Core Standards. Although designed for teachers, it provides a wealth of resources and webinars. Resources include ready-to-use lessons, student assessments, instructional materials, digital tools and classroom videos. Achieve the Core was designed by Student Achievement Partners, which was founded by David Coleman, Susan Pimentel, and Jason Zimba, lead writers of the Common Core Standards in literacy and mathematics.
Story Time From Space is a website sponsored by NASA and CASIS (Center for the Advancement of Science in Space) to encourage students to be excited about and engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station read stories aloud related to space. They also post videos related to the Next Generation Science Standards on topics, like Newton’s Laws of Motion. The activities are meant to address science concepts, like free-falling, light, acceleration, and height in space, while discussing current research. Although the books that are read aloud are for elementary aged students, the videos discussing the science concepts are supporting standards from kindergarten through 8th grade.
Katie Novak shares a Daily Home School Plan for five-to-ten-year-olds. The daily lesson plan offers a schedule for the day that includes academic activities based on a theme and includes outdoor activities, creativity, chore and family time. While it is designed for elementary school students, there are great ideas for all ages. The plan, which offers options and choices, is offered as a Google Document that can be downloaded and adapted to meet each family’s needs.Novak is an assistant superintendent for the Groten Dunstable School District in Massachusetts, Member of CAST who is responsible for the research-based Universal Design for Learning Framework and Founder/Executive Director of Novak Educational Consulting Company.
Dreambox is a research based math program that is currently offering a 90 day free trial when you sign up by March 31, 2020. Several schools across the state are using Dreambox as a part of their math curriculum so your child might already have an account. This is great for struggling learners, on grade level students, as well as students working above grade level. The program focuses on fluency, problem solving, reasoning, and conceptual understanding in a highly visual, engaging, game-like way. This program addresses math standards from kindergarten to 8th grade that meets your child’s needs where they are and creates a plan to help them grow. The skills addressed range from place value and counting all the way up to geometry and functions. Dreambox is a great resource that is available to help your child continue to work on their math skills.
Tar Heel Reader provides free, easy-to-read books that are accessible for all to use. There are books on a wide range of topics, from bugs to superheroes to classic literature. Each book can be read aloud by text-to-speech software and accessed using different methods, including touchscreen, switches, and the keyboard. This website was created by Karen Erickson, UNC researcher and Director of the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies, to promote shared reading. Shared reading is reading with your child and having a conversation about the book and what you find interesting. Read these books for fun, for information, and most importantly to talk to each other about what you have read.
Khan Academy was created in 2008 by Salman Khan; it is a free website for children ages 2-18. This site is ideal for helping your child attain and maintain skills required of a 21st Century learner. It is research-based and provides content aligned to the Common Core Standards. The website covers various subjects, such as, but not limited to, ELA, Math, Science & Engineering, Arts & Humanities, Computing, Test Prep, etc. Khan Academy provides short lessons, via video, covering specific skills. It is self-paced, so your child can complete lessons at their own pace. Your child can even repeat lessons if necessary. Your child is able to show what they have learned by participating in skill-based exercises. Khan Academy provides a score to show your child’s progress. Khan Academy can be accessed via phone, desktop, laptop, or tablet. It has no ads or spam. You are only required to create a username and password. If Khan Academy is utilized in your child’s school district, they will use their assigned username and password.
Khan Academy is for every child. It will provide your child access to quality lessons and tasks. Your child will walk away feeling more confident when tackling academics in school.
Khan Academy wants to ensure that children continue learning during school closures. The site provides a daily schedule to organize the day. The schedules are for children in grades kindergarten through twelfth grades. They include time slots for reading comprehension, grammar, math, independent reading, and even SAT prep. The schedules embed a time slot for some down time, too. These schedules can be modified or used as is. The site gives access to resources that can be used to fill the daily schedule. These resources include teacher resources and a link to daily live streams on Facebook and YouTube (starting at 12pm EST/9 PST).
Example of Khan Academy’s Daily Schedule