Innovative teacher resources help you get students engaged in your lessons and in their own learning. These resources can take many shapes and sizes but educational games, virtual field trips, and educational videos are all examples of digital classroom resources. Sometimes resources aren’t just a platform or website but also include how you are setting up your classroom such as including makerspaces or using STEM kits.
In this post we’ll cover some innovative teacher resources for you to try out including listing some of our favorite educational brands. Let’s dive in!
Educational games are a great teacher resource because they allow you to provide students with a fun and engaging way to learn. These games also tend to be easy to set up and operate, which saves you time that you can use to provide feedback to students, prepare future activities, and more. Educational games can be used in classwide activities, in small groups, or by individual students, making them flexible enough to fit into any lesson plan. Some educational games also have digital assignments or quizzes which let you easily track student progress.
Here are a few educational games to try out in your classroom:
Prodigy helps students practice standards-aligned skills in math and english in fun and adaptive learning games. Intricate games for both math and english help students learn while exploring a fantastical world full of adventure. Prodigy Math can be used for grades 1-8 while Prodigy English is best suited for grades 1-6 and is curriculum aligned to common core reading, language and writing standards. Both games offer free plans for teachers to get started.
ABCya! Offers a collection of games and activities for pre-K through 6th grade students. While some games are more educational than others, games are organized by grade level and subject type which make it easy to see what’s available and what games are best for your students. A large number of games and printables are available for free but teachers can get additional benefits by signing up for a free ABCya! account.
Kodable helps K-5 students learn the basics of computer programming in a fun and engaging game. In addition to being introduced to programming concepts, Kodable helps students build critical thinking, creativity, and logical thinking skills which translate to a variety of important subject areas for students. Self-guided lessons help students learn at their own pace while also making for a great individual, group, or classroom activity. Our free educator plans let you bring coding into your classroom to help prepare students for their digital future.
Learning how to type efficiently is a great skill to help prepare students for their digital future. TypingClub offers web-based typing lessons to help students learn proper hand position and typing skills that will serve them for years to come. With over 600 lessons and games to explore, there is a ton that is included in their free plan for you to use in your classroom.
Concerned about budget? We've compiled a list of free technology teaching tools you can bring into your classroom at no cost!
Virtual field trips
Want to get your students to see something new and exciting without the hassle of permission slips and transportation? Then virtual field trips are perfect for you! These virtual experiences let you introduce students to new topics, places, and history all from the comfort of your classroom.
Here are a few of our favorite virtual field trip resources:
From the people that brought you Google Earth comes Google Expeditions. You can pick a field trip in science and technology, arts, geography, or natural history. No matter the subject all field trips come with subject related material and lesson plans for you to use in the classroom before or after your trip.
Discovery offers live and on-demand virtual field trips in subjects including health wellness, SEL, tech and manufacturing, sports, STEM, agriculture and more. Each field trip comes with an educator companion guide and provides information about appropriate grade levels for the lesson.
Virtual field trips from The Nature Conservancy are designed for ages 9-15 but they are customized for all ages. Each trip comes with a video, teacher guide, and accompanying student activities. Field trips cover topics such as renewable energy, coral reefs, rainforests and more.
Educational videos are great innovative teaching resources you can use to introduce students to a new topic, provide supplementary content, and spark an interest in learning.
There are a ton of great education videos online but here are a few great educational video providers you can get started with.
PBS provides free standards-aligned videos that also include lesson plans for teachers. Videos are organized by subject and grade level, making it easy to find just the right video for your needs.
Videos from National Geographic range from a minute long all the way up to twenty or more minutes. These videos are mainly about animals and nature but some video series also introduce STEM concepts.
TED-Ed has a curated selection of videos covering health, mathematics, science and technology, social studies, and more. Videos can be sorted and filtered by subject or grade level to find the right video for your class. These videos typically are around five minutes long but some are as short as one minute for a quick introduction to a topic.
Digital storytelling tools
If you’re looking for a way to level-up your storytelling lesson or classroom library, having students create their own stories is a great next step. There are a lot of ways to have students create their own story but three digital resources that can help are Book Creator, Toontastic, and StoryJumper. Increase your classroom’s literacy skills by empowering students to tell their own story.
We’ve talked about several innovative teacher resources for your classroom but sometimes your classroom itself can help facilitate learning by how it’s set up and used. Here are some classroom resources to consider if you are looking to set up a learning environment your students will love.
Creating a makerspace in your classroom is a great way to promote creativity, critical thinking, and hands-on learning for your students. While no two makerspaces look exactly alike, here are a few setup tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure your area has easy access to electrical outlets
- Create a flexible area where students can work on their own or in small groups
- Provide garbage and recycling bins to keep the space clean
- Have a storage plan to let students know what resources are available and where they can be found
Now this list notably doesn’t include the actual tools students will need to make things! This is because depending on your grade level and classroom budget, these materials can range from general craft materials all the way up to tablets and 3D printers. Regardless of your materials of choice, makerspaces are a great teacher resource to empower student creativity.
Looking for more information about makerspaces? Read about how an innovation coordinator uses technology in her classroom makerspace.
With an increase in the importance of STEM learning for elementary students the importance of STEM kits for classrooms is on the rise.
Here are some examples of what you can find in STEM kits whether you purchase one or make your own:
Building materials: Materials that allow students to design and build structures.
Electronic components: Resistors, capacitors, LEDs, sensors and other materials that allow students to learn about basic circuitry.
Robotic kits: Pre-designed or customizable robots that allow students to learn about robotics, coding, and automation.
Science materials: Microscope, test tubes, beakers, and other science-related materials to conduct classroom experiments.
Programming tools: Coding platforms or games like Kodable help introduce students to programming which also helps foster other critical thinking skills. These platforms can be accessed on laptops or tablets.
Teacher materials: A great part of every STEM kit is materials for you to help implement STEM lessons. These materials can either be a part of a specific kit or can be found online.
It’s important to make sure your STEM kit and materials align with your overall learning objectives so the activities can tie-in to larger learning objectives. STEM kits are just one example of STEM teaching tools you can incorporate into your classroom.
Teacher resources take many different shapes but they all serve the same purpose of helping students learn. What works for one student or class may not work for another so it’s important to have a bank of educational classroom activities to pull from and to stay flexible.
Since you’re already looking for innovative teaching resources, you should check out Kodable’s free educator plan to let you bring programming into the classroom.