Although online and virtual resources are only a small portion of successful distance learning, having a comprehensive list of useful go-to resources can be helpful, especially as we are just beginning to wrap our heads around what learning will look like over the next few months.
Here is my constantly updated list of what I have found to be the most useful FREE resources out there during this time.
40,000 digital books to read. Families can sign up for a free 30-day trial. Teachers can obtain free accounts valid until June 30.
Digital books aimed at K-3. Reading prompts and audio included. Free until June 30.
Multi-issue publication that celebrates authemtic Indigenous voice and culture. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.
K-3 fiction and non-fiction books, paired with videos. Reinforces reading while introducing science and other topics. Free until June 30.
Over 40 stories from the African Storybook collection available in English and seventeen other languages most commonly spoken by refugee and immigrant communities in Canada, including Punjabi and Tagalog.
Stories from Little Cree Books. Pictures and text for every page, as well as narration in English and five Indigenous languages.
Access to best children’s books of different cultures from around the world. Over 4,000 titles in 59 languages. Navigate by topic or by geography.
A variation on journaling with strong structure. Encourages fluency (writing quickly) and ideation (getting ideas quickly).
Visual supports and storybuilding. Some ready-made games and activities. Great for easy access for all learners. Free 90-day trial at this time.
Large variety of ebooks for kids. Our district has a subscription.
Simple step-by-step guide and lesson on how to create a poetry podcast (or any podcast) by teacher and author Melissa Smith.
Simple and visual ebooks for young readers K-3. Simple, clear text and images and narration available to read out loud.
Celebrities read books out loud. Big collection of popular stories read in video format. All free.
Ebooks and audiobooks available from additional sources for free through a BPL account. Instructions on website to obtain a library card digitally if you don’t have one.
Free math games that are simple and easy to access and use.
Simple and visual activities for K-2. Good for daily activities and critical thinking around patterns and fundamental math concepts.
Access to Pearson resources for K-12. Access to some e-textbooks and materials for limited time. Some additional math resources for families.
Visual provocations for a number game/activity to build number sense.
More visual provocations to ask questions about fractions and math concepts.
Weekly math tasks assembled by BC Association of Math Teachers. Simple, contained cross-curricular math problems for Gr. 4-12. Also available for primary.
Weekly math problems by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Geared at Gr. 6-7 and beyond.
Fun and educational ways to explore math concepts remotely developed by the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing. Geared at Gr. 4-7.
Simple math provocations with three steps: video, question, and conclusion. Good set up for wondering and thinking about math concepts.
Games, flexible activities, and rich tasks for math. Many resources available for free. Lessons separated into grade levels.
Fun video game for core numeracy concepts. Free resources for families and free trial of whole platform for educators during this time.
Collection of resources and activities for teaching math, by UBC professor Dr. Peter Liljedahl. All levels K-7
Collection of dice game ideas for elementary. Easy games accompanied by video and written explanations.
Computer games that teach math concepts. Some lesson plans to build around these games available for free. High quality visual games.
Packets of printable math games and activities for K-5, separated by grade level. Free during this time.
Free educational animated videos on variety of topics. Also K-3 and ELL resources.
Digital books on non-fiction topics. Geared at Gr. 3-5. Free until June 30.
Library of non-fiction digital magazines on science and current events. Collections organized by grade from K-6. Also includes Your $ magazine, financial literacy for Gr. 3-6. Free during this time.
Structured and simple lessons on oceans, including videos and activities. All featuring high-quality videos from National Film Board.
View the surface of Mars in 360. Recordings from NASA’s Curiosity Rover.
Combination of encyclopedia and fun multi-media non-fiction resources. K-7. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.
Children’s encyclopedia. Ideal for Gr. 4-7. Sleek, clean, looks snazzy. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.
Children’s encyclopedia. Ideal for Gr. 2-5. Simpler, more fun, more interactive and visual than World Book Student. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.
Simplified version of the World Book encyclopedia, an ideal research database for differentiated learners. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.
Non-fiction and fiction interactive resources and games ideal for emergent learners. K-2. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.
Discover and map events throughout history. Free access for our district but login required. Contact Ms. Su for password.
Simple and fun guided drawing lessons on YouTube.
Hilarious and simple digital collage program to create imaginative stories in the form of ancient tapestry. Simple, free, easy to use.
Links to digital tours of the Louvre, National Gallery of Art, etc.
Author and illustrator of the Pigeon and Elephant & Piggie books, Mo Willems, hosts doodling and drawing sessions from his studio every day. Live at 10am PST every day or available for streaming any time.
Guided coding lessons to create simple video games. Free premium access for 3 months while schools are closed.
Lessons on computer science for all grades. Make your own game, app, website, etc. Plenty of resources, all available for free.
Simple engineering and ADST challenges that kids can do at home, or that can be modified to work as part of a larger task. Designed by Lindsey Nelson.
Free online platform to program interactive stories, games, animations. Great for creativity and reasoning, teaches fundamentals of programming.
Just for Fun
And other resources and ideas for families!
Watch classic and recent NHL hockey games in full for free during this time. Access via score page for recent games or navigate to Classic Games to see older games.
Watch classic and recent NBA basketball games in full for free during this time. Sign up for an account and use the code WATCH30 to subscribe for free.
A list of virtual field trips to zoos, farms, and aquariums.
Short, high-quality videos in a variety of topics like STEAM, history, etc. Suitable for kids of all ages. Interesting and thought-provoking.
Various Shaw television channels available for free for varying amounds of time.
All videos and educational content available for free during this time.
Guide by Eric Curts on extensions for Google Chrome that enhance accessibility, .e.g. text-to-speech, navigation aids, etc. Great for any learners of all abilities who might benefit.
Virtual 360 tour of the Great Wall of China with some additional information.
Collection of family-led activities for learning assembled by Microsoft and hosted by a variety of other platforms. Some great ideas for online and offline learning for families.
Suggestions for parents and caregivers to keep children learning at home. Fun and easy suggestions that can be done with guidance or independently. Assembled by BC Ministry of Education.
Assembled by the Burnaby School District. Resources intended to support students with self-directed learning activities.
Cross-curricular lessons, activities, and resources for teachers. Ready-to-use materials with a critical thinking lens. Free for use in our district.
Great short films and videos with supporting content for teaching about science. Licensed for Gr. 3-6 teachers in our district, educator use only. See Ms. Su for password info.
Screensharing, recording, and video editing program. Simple and easy to use, one of my favourite video creation tools. Free for use.
Great program to create simple, engaging, fun quizzes, questionnaires, and games for kids. Premium version available for free until schools reopen.
Digital corkboards, excellent way to collaborate on notes or share resources/info in accessible, simple format. Free to use.
Streamlined communication tool to connect teachers with students and families. Free for use.
Simple games suitable for early primary. All educational and built to work on multiple platforms and devices.
Karen Lirenman, a teacher in the Vancouver School District, who has superhuman levels of energy and competency, has created an impressive collection of learning ideas for K-3.