Between planning engaging lessons that produce the right learning outcomes, managing student behavior and parent relationships, and ensuring that students remain active participants in class, educators have their work cut out for them.

Why not tap into the free resources and tools available to make life a little easier, and more enjoyable for everyone? Check out these specially curated apps, platforms and websites that will alleviate some of your daily stresses.

Lesson Planning and Curriculum

Every educator knows that one of the most critical elements of the classroom experience is curriculum. Who amongst us hasn’t spent hours agonizing over the best way to teach the Pythagorean theorem, or how to make ancient history relevant, or what would make the digestive system palatable? Well, you don’t have to struggle alone anymore.

Open Curriculum is a great resource for educators who are looking for curated lesson plans, activities, full units, and more across different subjects from leading curriculum publishers. If you’re looking for ready-to-use assessments, EdCite is your go-to platform. By providing tech-enhanced testing items, it not only provides students with instant feedback but also helps them prepare for state assessments.

Common Curriculum takes the headache out of creating lesson plans on paper, by providing flexibility to rearrange lessons, align them with standards, and collaborate with other educators. All three platforms also allow for sharing and collaboration so you can pool resources with other educators in your school, district, state or even internationally to create the best lesson plans.

Student Engagement

Getting students to school is the easy part these days, but keeping them tuned in to what’s going on in class is ever more difficult. Thankfully, as much as technology can be a distraction, it can also be a great tool for student engagement. More educators are capitalizing on digital tools and gamified platforms to keep students actively involved in class.

With Read to LeadⓇ, students get the experience of leading an organization and making decisions that impact others in the community, while achieving literacy milestones along the way. Bring excitement to mathematics with Prodigy, a curriculum-aligned program that allows educators to design assignments, and provide feedback, while students cover core concepts within a fun video game layout. Kahoot! is another educator favorite – a platform for creating quizzes, polls and even open response type questions, it is an instant engagement tool that is useful for assessments and reviews.

Classroom Management

Without effective management, it is easy for a classroom to devolve into chaos. How can you control a class and keep them on task without resorting to threats and punishment? ClassDojo makes it easy to maintain order in the classroom, motivate positive student behavior and build individual student portfolios. It also allows educators to keep parents in the loop, by providing updates on in-class activities, building rapport and strengthening relationships. 

There are a multitude of tools and resources available to educators these days, but what works well for some may not for others. We recommend taking the time to experiment with some of these to see what suits you and your students. 

Have you used any of these apps or platforms, or do you have others to recommend? We’d love to hear what your experiences have been – connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share your thoughts! 

About Read to Lead

Read to Lead uses the power of game-based learning to empower middle school students to build literacy, life, and career skills. Teachers can sign up for a free account to get started!