Curriculum & Instruction Apps, Tools, and Resources That I Would Use If I Were Still in the Classroom

Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners.

Digital teaching and learning tools have streamlined education processes and provide learning experiences that stretch far beyond the materials that were available for me back in 2001. When it comes to curriculum and instruction, there is no shortage of apps will help teachers develop or find curriculum, or deliver instruction effectively. Today’s teachers will never know the pain of creating or searching for lesson plans or using bland overhead projectors to allow students to visualize what a topographical map of the U.S. looks like. Yes, sir, you all have it made. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these apps, tools, and resources:

LearnZIllion: LearnZillion offers high-quality curriculum for the entire district along with family resources, analytics, and teaching guides. Their comprehensive approach to math and ELA curriculum extends beyond the textbook to offer targeted instructional videos, write-along videos, and more. Membership is free for teachers but requires a paid subscription for district use.

BetterLesson: When you need lesson plans that align with Common Core standards, most teachers would prefer not to make up each lesson entirely on their own. BetterLesson allows “master teachers” to create lessons others can use, and they are now offering more than 16,000 choices. Select curriculum for math, ELA, science, or blended learning in their easy-to-use interface.

Tiggly Shapes: Tiggly Shapes is an app created to help kids develop spatial reasoning, motor skills, language, and creativity in a fresh dimension. Tiggly Shapes comes with four toys in the shape of a circle, square, star, and triangle; the shapes operate in real time with three dedicated learning apps.

Tiggly Words: This is a phonics and word building game for kids between the ages of four and eight. The app comes with toys that interact with the screen on your device. The app does not require any connectivity setup such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or batteries to run.

Curriculum Engine – Is a revolutionary intelligent curriculum editing and design platform, initially developed for high school mathematics. The Curriculum Engine platform automates the process of tailoring resources to meet specific needs of teachers, classes and students and allows an educator to easily define and build coherent standards-aligned courses. The platform works with leading learning management and student information systems or on a standalone basis to edit, author, and deliver rich personalized mathematics content. It has an unlimited capacity to build courses that any district or teacher needs, from core instruction and credit or content recovery to test preparation.

Vocab Ahead: This is a dynamic, interactive tool created for teachers and students. It teaches vocabulary with the use of videos, definitions, games, quizzes, and more. Teachers can compile word lists for their students to memorize and build their vocabulary.

Common Curriculum: Common Curriculum helps you to stay better organized in your classroom with lesson planning, and a unique academic standards search feature. They also allow entire teams to collaborate on units and lesson plans together. This allows educators to make curriculum planning move significantly faster on a regular basis.

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