TeachersFirst's Open Educational Resources (OER)
Open educational resources (OER) are tools/resources that are available to use freely, with open licenses to media, images, text, and more. OER could include readings, videos, audio clips, textbooks, exams, online courses, lesson plans, and more that are openly licensed. An open license means that you can use these tools at no-cost and access, use, adapt or redistribute to others. These tools are useful for research, learning, teaching, and assessing. View our collection to find a tool for your classroom.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomFind many options for OER materials at the TeachersFirst Open Educational Resources Special Topics Page, found here. Engage students by using Perusall as part of remote learning lessons, blended learning, or flipped lessons. Perusall is an excellent tool to use as an introduction to new learning materials; ask students to read and respond to a text, then use student responses to guide your learning activities. Extend learning by responding to student comments with links to additional support materials such as videos, online articles, or infographics. As an enhanced learning activity, ask students to select a portion of the material shared in Perusall to begin an extended research project. Ask students to share their learning using one of the many free presentation tools on the TeachersFirst Edge. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, Animatron, Renderforest, and Google Slides.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomUse this resource in world language classes and with ENL/ESL students. Include this site as a resource when students are preparing a project about another culture. If you have students in world language, world cultures, or even language arts classes who need enrichment - send them to this site to learn the basics of a new language or to look for roots that show in English. Self-motivated advanced students or those planning a semester abroad can learn language basics on their own here. Finally, include this site for "Children of the World Day" or family heritage day activities. As students practice and learn a new language, share an online recording tool such as Vocaroo, reviewed here, for students to record and playback conversations.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark Quillbot as a supplement to your current curricular materials and a resource for students to use for practice and remediation in writing skills. The courses also provide practice and instruction for use with English Language Learners. Share with college-bound students to use in preparation for college-level courses. Include a link to Quillbot's resources on your class webpage for easy access anytime. Consider curating resources for students using Wakelet, reviewed here, for sharing a collection that includes commonly-used lessons. Find and assign individual topics to students or classes to address specific areas that need additional instruction. For example, when students struggle with the proper use of commas, give and discuss any of the activities found on Quillbot that provide instruction and practice. As students make revisions, ask them to share before and after changes in the product of their writing. For example, when working with Google Docs, ask students to submit an original draft and the finished product and reflect upon the changes and revisions made. Offer students the option to include an audio recording of their reflections using Audio Pal, reviewed here, and share the link to the recording in the final Google Document.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomUse the Overcoming Obstacles curriculum as a stand-alone life-skills curriculum or as a supplement to your current teaching materials. If you cannot take advantage of the complete curriculum, use the site's library to find lessons and activities on specific topics to address in your classroom as needed. For example, if peer pressure is a concern, select that activity to include in classroom lessons. Many of the activities include role-playing, extend these activities by creating student-led podcasts using Buzzsprout, reviewed here. Create podcasts with different scenarios for students to role-play appropriate and inappropriate responses, including suggestions for making informed decisions.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and save Merlot to use for professional development and planning purposes. Create an account to save and access bookmarks at any time throughout the year. Due to the size of this site, consider including it as part of your professional development activities with grade-level or department peers to explore by sections. For example, during one session, examine options of assessment tools, and explore the included collections about your course content at another meeting. Consider using a curation tool such as Netboard, reviewed here, or Milanote, reviewed here, to collect and share saved resources.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark #GoOpenVA to use as your first stop in lesson planning. Take advantage of the search filters to narrow down the content and grade-level information to suit your needs. This website is also an excellent resource for finding materials to differentiate instruction. Use higher-level activities to challenge gifted students and search for content for remediation. As you gather resources into a collection, or lesson plans, be sure to think about ways to incorporate technology in meaningful ways to enhance and extend learning.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomSave this site for use as an entire curriculum, or use the materials to supplement your current resources. Use the materials to differentiate learning activities for your students. Provide students additional support using content found at lower grade levels or challenge gifted students with materials from a higher grade level. Use Duck Soup, reviewed here, as an alternative to printed assignments and convert any page into an e-sheet gradable activity.
GradesK to 8
tag(s): data (143), decimals (85), differentiation (76), exponents (35), factoring (25), fractions (160), guided reading (32), measurement (125), OER (42), remote learning (62), transformations (12), writing (303)
In the ClassroomInclude this site to supplement your current ELA and math curriculum. Use the resources to differentiate instruction for gifted students in lower grades or as remediation for struggling students in older grades. Be sure to take advantage of the family materials providing explanations of math content and strategies for problem-solving. Use the student materials for differentiating instruction, as homework, or in remote learning situations. Have students share their math explanations, reading strategies and more with video explanations using a tool like Flip, reviewed here. Flip provides a tool for video responses to a question along with comments from peers. Extend learning by asking students to create and share their own math problems, along with suggestions for learning. Use a tool like Sway, reviewed here. Sway is a presentation tool that offers multimedia options, including text, video, and images.
Grades9 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the many resources shared on this site to supplement your current classroom instructional materials. Use these materials to find and differentiate learning for students, especially when working with gifted students as you look for content and resources to meet their educational needs that aren't available within your current curriculum. Offer students a variety of options using those found on this site. Share available student choices using Padlet, reviewed here. Enhance learning by encouraging students to collaborate in the learning process using Notejoy, reviewed here. Notejoy offers tools for collaborative note-taking and sharing of ideas through chats, shared images, and more. Ask students to demonstrate their understanding of topics learned by asking them to create a multimedia project sharing their knowledge. Suggestions for multimedia tools include Sway, reviewed here, Wakelet, reviewed here, or Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here. These multimedia tools present the opportunity to enhance or extend student learning depending on teacher requirements for the project or even student ability; most allow for adding narration, video, text, and links to help explain what certain parts of the content are about.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): american revolution (81), climate change (84), critical thinking (106), environment (232), martin luther king (41), media literacy (96), middle east (43), nutrition (133), OER (42), presidents (117), russia (34), social media (51)
In the ClassroomBecome acquainted with these free curriculum kits and lessons to integrate media literacy within content already taught in the classroom. As you teach lessons found on the site, incorporate technology to enhance learning and build student understanding by using Word Ahead, reviewed here, or WordSift, reviewed here, to introduce and develop vocabulary as a prereading strategy or older students can use either as they are reading. Incorporate images with annotations to help students understand "big picture" ideas using Image Annotator, reviewed here. For younger students create a Image Annotator as a class to add text, video, and more to images. Ask older students to create their own Image Annotator sharing information learned throughout your lessons. Be sure to share all of your images on your class website for students to view at any time. To transform classroom technology use and as a culminating activity, use a digital book creation tool like Book Creator, reviewed here, as an alternative assessment to quizzes or tests. Include student-created writing, Annotated images, and add videos with student commentary within each book. Be sure to provide students with your rubric to use as a guide before turning in digital books. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here. Whether students work individually or in groups, be sure to share your new digital library related to your lesson topic with students to review and revisit at any time!
GradesK to 4
In the ClassroomReduce your planning time with these free lessons to use when teaching life science concepts in your classroom. Instead of printing worksheets for students, use a digital tool like Duck Soup, reviewed here, to scan the worksheet and create a digital activity. This tool allows students to "write" on worksheets digitally instead of using paper and pencil. Duck Soup includes features for allowing students to retry and submit work and also allows you to set a deadline for work submission. Enhance student learning by using Flip, reviewed here, to create video response questions for your students. Use the questions provided with the lesson units to challenge student thinking, then ask them to respond in Flip.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomShare the Learn site with students interested in learning more about technology and considering careers in computer programming. Have students choose courses of interest to complete on their own as part of a computer technology course. Share with the leader of after-school computer clubs to supplement their current material. You may also be interested in these printable, quick guides on how to use many of the most popular Microsoft products, such as Immersive Reader, Live Captions, and Reading Coach, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomMake use of the resources offered by Microsoft to share with your students as they learn how to code. Share project ideas with students and include materials for them to create their projects as part of makerspace activities. Have students take pictures of their creation and enhance their learning by using Voxer, reviewed here, to add audio to describe their creative process. Add images to your class website as part of your student work gallery. Challenge students to use Sway, reviewed here, to create an online multimedia page including images, video, and text to describe, evaluate, and share their work with coding projects. Include project ideas from the site and set up a makerspace during open house events at your school.
Grades6 to 9
tag(s): animals (271), critical thinking (106), descriptive writing (37), digital citizenship (80), OER (42), plants (141), scientists (62), social media (51), STEM (243), volcanoes (55), writing (303)
In the ClassroomJoin MySciLife to bring excitement and energy to your science classroom. As you complete activities in the platform, use a concept mapping site like MindMup, reviewed here, to replace paper/pencil version of a concept map. Alter students' learning by asking them to create and share infographics based on their research and sharing of ideas. Canva, reviewed here, is an easy to use site for creating infographics using pre-made templates or from scratch. Take student learning to a whole new level by redefining it and having them create a game-based learning activity for their peers using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here. Symbaloo Learning Paths offers many options for creating differentiated learning using video, quizzes, and more.
Grades7 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark this site to include with other resources in your technology curriculum. Share with teachers of other subjects as a way to integrate content across topic areas. Use these units with gifted students as part of independent projects. Include finished projects in an online portfolio tool like about.me, reviewed here, to include with college applications. Take advantage of the videos included in the learner's portion of the site to share with students to reinforce concepts like collaboration, organization, and research techniques.
Grades6 to 8
tag(s): data (143), equations (116), exponents (35), factoring (25), factors (28), fractions (160), geometric shapes (130), measurement (125), OER (42), percent (59), probability (96), pythagorean theorem (19), ratios (48), transformations (12), volume (33)
In the ClassroomInclude this site to supplement your current grade 6-8 math curriculum. Use the resources to differentiate instruction for gifted students in lower grades or as remediation for struggling students in older grades. Be sure to take advantage of the family materials providing explanations of math content and strategies for problem-solving. Use the student materials for differentiating instruction or as homework. Have students share their math explanations and strategies with video explanations using a tool like Flip, reviewed here. Flip provides a tool for video responses to a question along with comments from peers. Take student learning a step further and ask them to create and share their own math problems along with suggestions for learning. Use a tool like Sway, reviewed here. Sway is a presentation tool that offers multimedia options including text, video, and images.
GradesK to 5
tag(s): civil rights (187), communities (34), environment (232), great depression (27), history day (39), immigrants (31), immigration (63), native americans (86), OER (42), segregation (16), underground railroad (9), world war 2 (141)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free lessons and materials on this site to use in your social studies classroom. Have students use a mapping tool such as Zeemaps, reviewed here, to create a map featuring historic events. Have students create timelines (with music, photos, videos, and more) using Preceden, reviewed here, to visualize events over a period of time.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): chinese (43), classroom management (128), design (85), engineering (117), french (72), logic (162), OER (42), Online Learning (39), probability (96), psychology (66), statistics (114), STEM (243)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of content in courses to supplement your current lessons. No registration is required to access and view course information. Share this site with gifted students or students with interests in specific academic areas not covered in your current curriculum. Create a course and offer it to your students for greater interaction and learning through community building. Find great ideas from other existing courses. Teachers of gifted can use courses to challenge students in their areas of interest. You can also have gifted students create or collaborate on a student-made "course." Explore the topics for some new, engaging topics to round out your own expertise. Allow students to enroll in a course that would fit into their career goals as an exploratory opportunity in that field. The Open Learning Initiative would also be perfect for setting up directions and steps for any projects you require students to do for your class. The program will integrate with some learning management systems.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students