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Free Resources for Elementary Teachers Paperback – April 1, 2012
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Free Resources for Elementary Teachers is a strong pick for any teacher who cares far more than their pocketbook will allow them. --James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Colleen Kessler is the author of three science books for kids, including Super Smart Science and Hands-On Ecology. A former teacher of gifted students, Colleen now satisfies her curiosity as a nonfiction writer. Visit her at http://www.colleen-kessler.com to learn more.
Top customer reviews
The author has included website addresses and links to every sort of educational freebie you can imagine. In fact, she includes info on educational freebies you might not have imagined! One thing I love is that many of her links are to sites with a multitude of freebies. Rarely is a link for just one thing. I have visited the sites and been almost overwhelmed by the number of useful goodies. There are free lesson plans, free reproducibles, free kits, free info of all sorts, and more. There are worksheets, classroom decor, lesson generators, games, and activities and a lot of sites where the students can visit and learn through the online activities.
The author, Colleen Kessler, is a classroom teacher turned homeschool teacher and as such is very homeschool friendly. There are chapters with freebies for general learning, literacy (reading, spelling, grammar, writing), math, science, social studies, health/physical education, and art/music. She even includes links to great teacher's blogs and homeschool blogs. These latter two categories are wonderful resources because many of them include multiple freebies of their own including reproducibles, games, lessons, and activities. The book will more than pay for itself the first time you use it.
I very highly recommend this book to teachers, home schoolers, and to parents and others who work with kids who would like to get free stuff to help their kids educationally.
As a former teacher I can say that this book would be a great teacher gift!!
1) I need to construct an internet notebook with tabs/sections where I write down the sites for various subjects that I like. I think it would also be a good idea to write the date when I find the site.
2) I need to have a good file system where I can file forms that I particularly like--that might not be there the next time I need them.
But, until I have a good system like that in place, it's nice to have a place to start. I found some ideas in this book by Colleen Kessler. I have to be honest, I had big hopes for this book and it didn't quite measure up to those hopes. I had a few specific types of files I was hoping for that weren't included. The information that was included, though, was helpful.
In this book, Ms. Kessler breaks down internet sites into categories like general resources, mathematics, science, social studies, literacy, P.E. and health, teachers blogs, and she even includes homeschool blogs. It was interesting to peruse the sites she lists. I looked up a bunch for each section. She intersperses teaching tips between each of the internet sections. Some of them were fun ideas for classrooms. These were definitely for classroom teachers--which is the primary audience of this book. If you are a homeschooler who's children use the computer a lot as a teaching tool, many of the sites will be very helpful to you. We don't happen to use it in our classroom, so that made a lot of the sites listed not useful to me.
The goal of the book is really to save teachers time (in my opinion) by doing the searching for them. Internet searching can definitely swallow me up at times. So, did the book save me time? Maybe. Being a homeschooler, my needs are a little different than a classroom teacher, but very similar. Still, for every three or for sites I would check out, I'd find 1 or 2 that I liked. What I found more helpful were a few of the homeschool blogs she lists at the back (a few of them weren't actually homeschool blogs, but just life blogs). One of the best resources I found was a site fivejs.com. There were lots of free printables and helpful info. I already have printed out the pages with illustrations for b and d for my little lefty.
If you've been overwhelmed by the internet and not sure where to start searching, this book could definitely give you a place to start. But, know that it's a place to start, not end. To homeschoolers: you'll likely find a few blogs with links and it will be those links that will be more valuable than the blogs themselves. At least, that's what I've found. To classroom teachers: this book could save you time looking for that supplemental site you need for your classroom during computer time. To parents: you'll find a lot of educational sites that your children can peruse after school and during the summer.
The verdict? I like this book. I don't love it. But, I like it and it's a place to start.
Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this book from Prufrock Press for review.
I realize the book is written to a classroom teacher, but for this homeschool mom - this book is a must have resource and I recommend it to all my homeschool friends!
The beauty of this book is that it works for any "type" of homeschool style and takes the work out of the late night google searches.
If you are interested in other books Colleen has written or looking for hands on learning fun - definitely check out her blog Raising Life Long Learners.
you can check out my full review [...]