Thanks to the Internet, there is an abundance of activities available for printable activities. Site content includes worksheets or tools for making manipulatives. These are my top ten favorite websites.
This was the first teaching website I stumbled upon about seven years ago. The site is full of lesson plans and the accompanying activities. Print out worksheets, flashcards, booklets, clip art, games, and more. Many documents are available free of charge, but some of the better ones are only accessible with a membership. Rates as of 2008 are $35 for a one-year subscription and $60 for a two-year subscription. School licenses are also available for $25 per person above five people. With a membership comes a weekly e-mail newsletter that highlights the new materials added. I have found that the cost is worth it as I have a never-ending supply of new and exciting materials to use with my students. You can find it at www.abcteach.com.
2. Enchanted Learning
Enchanted Learning is a great resource for both parents and teachers. It has dozens of simple crafts to accompany all the seasons and holidays. Booklets give children information as well as the opportunity to practice their writing skills. There are cloze activities (fill-in-the-blank), word searches, and coloring pages on a variety of topics ranging from flags of the world, to famous artists and explorers, to vowels. Documents are free, but for a $20 donation you get a username and password that allows you one year of special links to printer-friendly pages and PDF files. It also helps to offset the cost of running the site. Again, it is worth the cost to be able to access the pages without all of the advertising waste when you print. Children can also navigate the site to do research for school projects. You can find it at www.enchantedlearning.com.
3. Carl’s Corner
This site is, by far, the greatest language resource available. Cherry Carl is a retired teacher in California who is dedicating her downtime to providing excellent resources to help children learn how to read will. She has created beautiful games, word sorts, Go Fish, Wordo (Bingo with sight words), booklets, handwriting pages, and more. Print them off on cardstock and laminate them for hours of manipulative language-learning fun. She also has short blurbs giving advice from her many years of teaching. The website is http://carlscorner.us.com.
4. Learning Page
Learning Page is a treasure trove of worksheets that can be turned into manipulatives with a little ingenuity. There are also fact files full of information on topics such as outer space, dinosaurs, and the ocean. Create murals of different habitats. To access all of the pages in the members section, you are required to submit your e-mail address. Then, you are given a password. The membership is free. You will receive regular newsletters via e-mail about updates to the Learning Page website, as well as information on its sister sites, such as A-to-Z Reading. Find this page and www.learningpage.com.
5. Jan Brett
Jan Brett is the famous author and illustrator of favorite stories such as The Umbrella, Hedgie’s Surprise, and Fritz and the Fantastic Horses. She has also spent a lot of time creating beautiful materials to use in the classroom. There are large alphabet cards, with or without accompanying sign language, that can be made into a banner. She has number and letter puzzles, calendar pieces, and bingo games. Create personalized cards. Download name tags for desks and cubbies. Find her at www.janbrett.com.
6. Bry-Back Manor
Bry-Back Manor has a lot of simple, yet fun, games and activities. There are dominoes to help teach about insects and holidays, coins and clocks. Travel through different mazes. Find this website at www.bry-backmanor.org.
7. Di-Lite Creations
Connected with Bry-Back Manor is Di-Lite Creations. These are activities originally geared toward children with special needs. However, they are easily adapted for children in regular classrooms. Many of these activities also are designed for European children. They teach the names of countries in the European Union as well as how to work with the Euro. I like her fractions games and flashcards. Find the link through the Bry-Back Manor website or go to www.bry-backmanor.org/dilite/dilite.html.
8. Montessori Materials
This site was designed by a group of parents and teachers who were looking to do Montessori education at home. It is a good resource for Montessori teachers who are looking for some new activities to try in the classroom. Print off some resources if you can’t afford them all in this year’s budget. Try the activities at home with your children. The site has cutting pages, three-part matching cards, math booklets and problem slips, printable versions of the moveable alphabet and constructive triangles, and much more. Find this site at www.montessorimaterials.org.
9. JMJ Publishing
This is another website dedicated to Montessori education. You can find printable language activities on here, such as words to use with the pink, blue, and green series. Read several articles on Montessori education and philosophy. Order their catalog for some other fantastic manipulative activities. You can find this site at www.jmjpublishing.com.
This site belongs to another Montessori teacher who has dedicated time to creating three-part matching activities. The beauty of her cards is that they are all real photographs. Due to the overflow of traffic, she has had to create a membership area to access many of her activities. But this, so far, is a free service. Go to http://optiqal.com/montimats.
Bonus~~Sites for Teachers
When all else fails and you’re looking for something else, visit www.sitesforteachers.com. This is the most comprehensive list of teaching websites available on the Internet. Sites are listed in order of popularity. Sometimes the list can seem a little overwhelming, but you can find some real jewels on there like the previously mentioned ones, if you take the time.