Totally 3rd Grade Blog
Share your views about teaching 3rd grade

Archive for the ‘Websites You Should Check Out’ Category

Head Start for 1st Year Teachers

Monday, October/10/2011

Take me to

Regular visitors to this site know that my wife, Cara, is a veteran 3rd and 4th grade teacher. As a seasoned pro, she’s often called upon to train both student teachers and other less experienced educators.

One of the early realizations that these newbies have is that teaching takes a ton of planning and it also requires access to a huge variety of resources so that the needs of individual students can be met.

One way that she can help educators who will never have the privilege of working directly under her supervision is to simply share her current resources via the Internet. is her personal website and it contains links to resources that she’s currently using in her classroom.  These change pretty often and they’re kept up-to-date.  They’re not stale and you’ll rarely find a broken link.

Organized and easy to scan, this site might be a good starting point for any lesson plans that need a little “something” to make them come alive.

Share on Facebook

Self Correcting Math Quizzes

Tuesday, April/04/2011 offers free, self correcting math quizzes

Despite its name, is an interactive mathematics website that offers free, self correcting quizzes for students studying multiplication, division, addition or subtraction.

Instant grade feedback and ease of use are the primary reasons to utilize this site, but other features like a test timer and  on-demand printing  are also handy (if you need a hard copy of a student’s success or lack of it).

For a purely traditional application, quizzes can be printed in advance although I personally don’t see the need to waste paper for such exercises.

Easy to navigate, free to use and fairly complete, is a site worth bookmarking for all basic mathematics skills training.


Share on Facebook

Well-organized, quality K-12 printables

Wednesday, April/04/2010

While not a flashy looker on the outside, sports beautiful, quality printables that are exceptionally well-organized and easily sortable.  They’re also free and numerous.

Reading, math, social studies, science, writing, games, holidays and arts and crafts are all represented. One of the nice features of the site is that all of these materials can be presorted first by grade level and then by topic within that level.  That will save you a ton of time since you won’t have to scroll though every document on the site to find what you want.

Another neat feature is the fish-eye preview of each document.  Every printable has a thumbnail picture that can be magnified by hovering your mouse over the image.  This makes it very quick and simple to determine if you’ve found what you’re looking for or not.  No more  “download surprises.”

This site is huge.  I’m just mentioning the worksheets here because I think they’re very good and super easy to peruse.  If you have a little extra time to explore, you might want to check out their activities section, which has the same presorting  feature that the worksheets enjoy.  (Sorry, no fish-eye enlarger).

This site is a winner.  Take me to to see some great worksheets.

Share on Facebook

Best tool ever for teaching foreign languages?

Thursday, March/03/2010

I am absolutely giddy.  I recently discovered a cool new project developed by Google that essentially allows anybody to instantly translate text from one language to another.  It’s called Google Translate and it has the potential to revolutionize  teaching resources.

As an experiment, I copied the lyrics from the most popular song on this site, 50 States, and pasted them into Google Translate.  Then I hit “translate” and the entire lyric popped up in Spanish (the language I chose) so quickly that I didn’t realize at first that it was already finished.  No kidding, I hadn’t even taken my finger off the mouse before my Spanish translation was complete.

I immediately added the Spanish translation to the 50 states activities menu and am now asking for opinions about how well this thing works.  The Spanish version of the lyrics can be viewed by clicking here.

As cool as that is, there is one  feature that will be life-changing for a substantial number of students and teachers.  Instead of simply pasting text into the translator, you can also paste the URL of any website.  When you use the translator this way,  the entire website will automatically  be translated into your language of choice.  This is a real time-saver and it encourages additional reading exploration.

Imagine these 3 scenarios:

1. You discover that a particular website in India offers something relevant that your class would enjoy reading.  Simply enter their URL, select the language in which you’d prefer to read and start reading your translated version instantly.

2. You want to better help ESL students in your classroom so you, when necessary,  provide instructions  in their native language.

3. You could also use the tool to communicate in writing with non-English speaking  parents.  The potential is staggering.

If you’re personally web-savvy, Google also provides widget code so that you can make your own websites fully translatable.  I added the widget to this site right under the big pointing finger graphic.  Go give it a try.

What do you think; is this the coolest thing since sliced chleba or what?  (Chleba means bread in Czechoslovakian.  Go try it!)

Share on Facebook

Language Arts Worksheets

Thursday, March/03/2010

Busy Teacher's Cafe screenshot

Busy Teacher’s Cafe offers a free collection of themes, strategies and printables for reading, writing, language arts and math.

I was most impressed with the reading and writing resources.  For some reason these subjects don’t normally translate to worksheets very well, but Busy Teacher’s Cafe has done a fine job of creating and collecting really useful goods.

Since the site serves K-6, it’s also a good place to go if you have kids who are younger,  on IEPs or who have fallen behind for any reason.

It’s not quite as polished as Super Teacher Worksheets, but there is so much good stuff on the site that it’s definitely worth checking out.

Share on Facebook