My 10 Favorite Sites for FREE Materials

December 11, 2022 No Comments

Did someone say FREE?

We’re in the homestretch of 2022 and, if your students are anything like mine they’re ready for a BREAK. Undoubtedly, you’re ready for a break, too. It might be time to shake some things up and I have just the thing – 10 sites for finding free content!

Project Zero

Project Zero

I could write a BOOK about this phenomenal site, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that, if you want to beef up collaboration and accountable talk in your classroom, this is the one-stop-shop. Start with the Thinking Routine Toolbox that includes TYPES of thinking as well as Core Thinking Routines and go from there. Any link you click will take you to a downloadable lesson, graphic organizer, article, or video that will help you implement these strategies.

You Cubed, Which One Doesn’t Belong?, Steve Wyborney’s Blog

Math Sites that I Love

I’m only scratching the surface here, but these are three of my favorite places to find great math content that can easily be incorporated into my teaching day.

You Cubed has a wide variety of math tasks that you can use with a range of units. You may have heard of 4 4s which is an engaging problem solving, algebraic reasoning task in which students try to make each number from 1 – 20 using only 4 4s. We did it at the beginning of the school year and students LOVED it. Topics include number sense, patterns, data and probability, computation, and shapes, space, and measures.

Which One Doesn’t Belong? is a great routine to include in your math number talks. You may be doing it already, but perhaps you’re struggling to come up with new challenges? Struggle no more. This site includes WODB pictures for shapes, numbers, and graphs and equations. You can download the images and add them to your daily slides. You’ll LOVE hearing the ways in which your students explain and justify the choices!

Steve Wyborney’s Blog features esti-mysteries (estimation challenges), subitizing slides, fraction SPLATS, and more. Make sure you check out The 12 Most Popular Math Strategies and Downloads while you’re there.

Reading Above Bookmarks, Schoolwide Enrichment Model Reading, Common Lit, and

Favorite Free Language Arts Sites

I have been teaching gifted and talented students my entire career (we all have), but since 2018, I have been teaching them in a special program that is designed to meet their unique educational needs. It is there that I was introduced to reading above bookmarks and SEM-R from the University of Connecticut. I use the bookmark prompts with my students at least once a week to get them thinking about the books they read in unique ways. There are bookmarks for discussing characters, plot, setting, theme, poetry, nonfiction, and more. They are great to have on hand to spark conversation and improve comprehension.

You may already know about Common Lit, but in case you don’t, it is a terrific site for accessing both fiction and nonfiction texts that you can assign on the computer or (in some cases) print out. You can create classes and track your students’ progress.

I have been using since 2007 or so and love it. There are hundreds of lessons and graphic organizers for 1st through 12th grades. It has many resources that include standards, step-by-step instructions for implementation, handouts, extensions, reflections, and assessment and rubrics! Here’s an example – Pourquoi Stories.

PBS Learning Media, The Library of Congress, and The Smithsonian Institute

Social Studies and Science

Did you know that PBS has an assortment of videos, lesson plans, webpages, media galleries, and other great resources on their learning media site? It’s awesome.

Okay, okay. I’ll admit I’m a little biased, but Washington, D.C. truly is THE place to learn all about history and even science. If you’re not close enough to take advantage of the free museums like I am, there is so much to explore on the Smithsonian and Library of Congress websites!

Let Me Know What You Think!

This is FAR from a comprehensive list, but I hope you have found one or more great resource(s) that you can use now or in the future. Let me know your favorite(s) in the comments!


Currently, I teach fifth grade and have taught fifth grade since 2011. Before teaching fifth grade, I taught third grade, first grade, kindergarten, preschool, baby and toddler music, college, and graduate school. I am a mom of two daughters, a Maltese dog, and a tuxedo cat.

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The letters of my first name inspired the name of this blog and the names of my other business ventures, so when you think of me, just remember AM4Y. I started my teaching journey in 1987 and have taught every age from babies to fifth grade as well as college and graduate school in Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, Washington, D.C., Colorado, and Virginia. I have a B.A. in English and Psychology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and an M.A.T. in curriculum and instruction from The University of Memphis. In addition, I have completed more graduate work at The University of Maryland and The University of Colorado, Denver. I am a mom of two young adult daughters and a cute Maltese dog. When I am not teaching, you can find me traveling, reading, hiking, or cooking. Read More

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