Where the Internet Meets Kindergarten!
Do you have trouble finding appropriate internet sites for your kindergarteners, sites for your own resources, and sites that break down the standards for your young students?
Search no more!
This comprehensive list provides Kindergarten teachers with a unique variety of websites catering to this young generation and the teachers striving to make a child’s first experience of school an excellent one.
For the Kindergarten Teacher:
Welcome to the Lyons Den!
I first came across Mr. Lyons’ website a few months ago when searching for new ways to design my homework for my students. What a FANTASTIC teacher this man must be! Andy Lyons is a kindergarten teacher with more ideas up his sleeve than I can ever hope to come up with. He has published books and resources to buy on this site, but the most important and helpful parts of his teaching come free from his easy-to-access lists on the side of the page.
What I found the most helpful:
I love what Mr. Lyons uses for his homework. Check out the homework link on the main page with links you to Mr. Lyons’ unique use of DJ Inker’s templates to provide an easy-to-use and easy-to-keep-track-of system of homework that I myself will be instilling this year.
If you need help incorporating technology into your kindergarten classroom, then you must check out this link: http://www.lyonsdenresources.com/Powerpoints.html. Mr. Lyons has linked numbers of powerpoints that are absolutely appropriate for kindergarten, and are incredibly useful. My favorite is that of Dr. Jean's songs... so helpful for the forgetful teacher!
Send your parents to this website to check out the “Parent Help” link on the front page of the site. For those parents who are not sure whether or not their child is ready to jump into kindergarten just yet, Mr. Lyons offers a great explanation that as a kindergarten teacher, I completely agree with. He gives parents a comprehensive breakdown of information that their child should know and be comfortable with before entering kindergarten to help ensure a good experience for everyone involved. Essentially, he says what we all want too, but can’t! J
Catch-All Blue Web’N!
This website is truly a catch-all for all teachers. It allows educators to deeply narrow searches for lesson plans, WebQuests, resources, and other websites on an easy and aesthetically-appealing page. The best thing is, the kindergarten-specific resources are abundant and can often easily be modified to be more challenging or even easier. This site is great to use for the students, and great to use as a teacher!
An important trick:
While this site is aesthetically-appealing page, it can sometimes be a bit tricky to find what you are looking for. When venturing to the website, click first on “Lessons” in the “QuickLinks” at the top of the page. Be specific and add keywords to narrow your search. Or click immediately on a content area on the top left side of the page. By clicking on “Arts” and scrolling down to “Kindergarten Resources”, you can find another list like this comprised to help kindergarten teachers! Click below for a science lesson inspired by one I found on this site!
The Amazing Kathy Schrock:
Kathy Schrock, an administrator for technology in Cape Cod, has designed an awesome “categorized list of sites useful for enhancing curriculum and professional growth. It is updated often to include the best sites for teaching and learning.” The site is excellent for new teachers as it even features information from workshops, articles, and search tools that Kathy has found interesting in her years in education. There is a lesson planner, puzzle maker, and easy-to-access rubrics for those who use them in Kindergarten. Kathy is amazing because she does the work for us. She checks the sites, finds what is important, and makes sure teachers do not have to cut through the red tape for the "good stuff"! Definitely a must-see website for those looking for a “one-stop-shop”!
A helpful hint:
I have used Kathy Schrock’s “Guide for Educators” to help myself even with something as simple as bulletin board ideas. On the front page as linked above, click on “Bulletin Board Ideas” and scroll down to find ideas for K-3 teachers. Some great ideas are shared, and you may use Kathy’s clip-art gallery for help designing your boards for learning! For my advanced students in class, I have used the puzzlemaker for some fun word search and hidden message games to promote higher level thinking!
Kathy also provides us also with free WebQuests that are fantastic! Click on the far left side under "Learning Resources" to find some neat ideas. Most WebQuests are more appropriate for the older kids but may be fun to venture into whole group. If you know some sixth grade teachers, there is webquest on the Salem Witch Trials which really grasped my attention!
Running Out of Time?
All teachers can say that occasionally, we really do just want to be a little bit lazy and have something already created for us readily available. After all, the joy of teaching comes partially from learning from other teachers and sharing great insight. This website serves as a place for just that. While there are some free printables and templates, the creator of this website also provides a very cheap and very accessible “Kinder Club” that allows for file folder games and excellent resources sent directly TO YOU in YOUR INBOX every week. Now THAT is easy!
An extra plus:
The free printables have been helpful in many kindergarten classrooms in my district, as another kindergarten teacher introduced the site to me. Sign up for the “Print Cut Paste” magazine that comes online. It is full of printables and absolutely helpful for all kindergarten teachers!
The "Little First Books" are some of my favorites! The size is perfect for my little guys' hands and they work pretty much just as I do! The kids love them, and they're free!
Let’s Dive Into Those Standards!
It would be hard for an educator to never come across this website when using any search engine available on the internet for education-related searches. Thinkfinity is a rather large website that is partnered with other internet companies, including National Geographic Expeditions and ReadWriteThink.org to provide educators with a multitude of resources with the click of one button. While it may take longer on this website to narrow down choices for kindergarten, there is a link entitled “Standards Alignment” which does just that. The site is also affiliated with the ISTE standards. Now that is easy!
Good to Know:
On the main page, click on the link “New User” to get acquainted with the site. It can be tricky to navigate, particularly when trying to find resources for kindergarten. This opportunity to get acquainted is very helpful and appreciated, as every educator should know what this site has to offer.
For those who are unaware, the California State Standards for Kindergarten can be found at www.cde.ca.gov. Click below for a writing lesson based on Kindergarten Writing Standards with the help of ThinkFinity!
Need Some Kidspiration??
For those teachers who have Kidspiration software but do not know much to do with it, this website is the absolute solution to the problem. Browsers may choose what state they wish to search, what subject area they would like to target, and they are immediately shown every state standard and which Kidspiration activity meets that standard. This website takes the world out of the job for educators, and makes like just a bit more simple. So, are you looking for a technology-integrated math content standard match? You know what to do!
Click below for a technology-integrated, standards-based lesson plan utilizing kidspiration and it’s standards (the same standards that I found so easily on the site). It is how I perform my “Super Star” in the classroom and is an excellent way of promoting self-esteem and technology in the classroom at the same time!
That All-Time Go-To…
Education World, unlike many other websites, has technology integration suggestions for usage with primary students, which is probably the best thing about this website. But to say that SO much more is not offered would be a lie. Education World offers a plethora of lesson plans, professional development ideas, after-school links or students and parents, game ideas for on and off the computer, and discussion areas for school issues. This site is a great place to start for kindergarten teachers in need of resources.
It is an education world:
Check out the “technology integration” links for some more helpful tips regarding technology in our day and age. While this site offers many great things, this technology concentration is unique to the site and is more helpful than one would imagine! The following lesson I have written actually for a third-grade group, but can be faceted down to the kindergarten level. It was inspired from this website.
For the Kindergarten Student:
(with parental supervision, of course!)
Welcome to the Spang Gang!
This is one of the all-time best websites for Kindergarten students and teachers alike! When first venturing, do not be alarmed by the busy and not-so-aesthetically appealing front page; that’s just how loaded this website is! Designed by a Resource Specialist in the Saugus Union School District, the “Spang Gang” website is jam-packed with standards-based games, at home practice, standards maps, and assessment techniques for all students. The site is interactive and students can even have a personal pacer aligned with their name to keep track of their progress.
Don’t miss it:
On the right hand side of the page, one will notice the “Kindergarten Standards Map” link. This is the golden door! Click here and teachers and students are introduced to every kindergarten math and reading standard in California, and right beside each is a “teach” link, a “practice” link, and an “assess” link. Standards-aligned, technology-infused games, RIGHT on the internet! Student progress is tracked for both teacher and parent accessibility, and kids just LOVE the fun games that are checked for absolute safety in the online world. Enough raving cannot be done for Mrs. Spang!
We Are All Stars in Kindergarten!
Starfall is a favorite of many kindergarten students both in and out of the classroom. It is aesthetically appealing, safe for kids to use on their own, and truly a resource to help students build up their comprehension skills. The site is based mainly on working with language arts skills, and can be a great resource for practice at home. The characters used are age-appropriate, and the levels at which the website works are great for kindergarteners.
We are all stars:
Especially on the 100th day of school! Beginning just before this time, I give my students time to go on the computers in the classroom and explore some activities I have set out for them. Starfall.com offers some fun games for the kids to safely venture, and I have utilized the “100th Day of School” fun in my class for the last two years.
The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
For the student who may not have pattern blocks or tangrams at home, this website provides just tons of virtual games to practice the math concepts learned in school. Many websites lack mathematical practice, which makes this safe-for-students site even more remarkable. The games help students learn not only the math concepts, but also help them practice their small motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This NLVM can be used in the classroom for practice as well.
Check what activity you are having the students perform, or make sure to mention to the parent that some activities are well beyond a typical kindergarten student’s mathematical competency. While great for differentiation, it would be a big bummer to turn a student off to math and the internet all at the same time with too big a challenge!
And Just for the Parent:
In Need of a Helper?
This website is very “K”, and parents at home love this website as it provides them with easily printable worksheets for their children to practice with at home. The website is trustable and spam-free, therefore safe for children to browse as well if they would like to work on something in particular. It is easy to navigate, and easy to keep coming back too. The only downfall is the fee for certain printables, which makes it inaccessible for parents who are not willing to pay or who cannot afford it.
We All Know the ABC’s…
Doubling as a teacher and parent resource, ABCteach.com has thousands of worksheets and filler pages that can be searched for by topic or theme, and mostly printed for free. Fairly cheap memberships will buy the teacher or parent thousands of more dittos for the student to practice with. Even better, the site also features twelve different “abctools” which allow users to create documents such as “Sudoku” or “Word Searches” for free. Most worksheets are designed for the younger students such as Kindergarteners, but because so many are available, this site makes differentiation easy.
And don’t forget to check out lyonsdenresources.com for information on getting your child started in Kindergarten!