Teacher’s Toolbox

Throughout your tenure as a student in The College of Education and Human Services, you will experience a process of continuous improvement of your knowledge of instructional style, educational trends and student needs. To aid in your development, we have come up with a list of helpful websites that facilitate the needs of prospective professionals across a variety of educational settings. In addition, please feel free to contribute any resources or websites that are not included in our list to be part of a genuine collaborative community. Please consult this page for information, resources, activities and techniques that relate to the following areas of both Elementary and Secondary Education:

Starting Out

While these videos are slightly outdated, they contain great tips on how to handle different aspects of starting at a school.

Chapter 1: Contacting your cooperating school

Chapter 2: Meeting your cooperating principal

Chapter 3: Meeting your cooperating teacher

Chapter 4: Arriving at school

Chapter 5: Signing In

Chapter 6: Introducing yourself to the class

Digital Literacy

Intelligent Use of Information Technology
Educause is an a comprehensive overview of the research, policies and initiatives behind the integration of technological resources into organizations and academic institutions. Particular attention is paid into the fields of Cybersquating, Copyright Infringement and File Sharing related to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998. A central resource such as this can also lead to opportunities for professional development in the form of workshops and seminars both locally and nationally.

Stop Bullying/Cyberbullying
Due to the recent boom in the availability of social networking to youth and adolescent teen’s, there has been a demand for measures to educate students, educators and parents. Stop Bullying provides a wealth of information on what to look out for, ways to handle bullying or cyberbullying, and ways to prevent these situations. 

General Resources:

Smart Exchange
Smart Exchange is a way to connect with professional teachers across a wide variety of subject areas, where SMART Board lessons are free to anybody who has the software readily available on their computer. Visitors can browse by subject area, grade level or type of activity. Another helpful feature is that visitors can also search by Standards-Correlated Lessons that model instruction directly in line with both state and national standards. Borrow a lesson, or model your own activity by one of the examples provided, the choice is up to you.

Finding the perfect resource to use in the classroom to supplement your instruction will at times become one of the most frustrating tasks you have to complete as a teacher. YouTube, Vimeo and other video Web 2.0 tools have made sharing educational media much more accessible than the days of logging VHS and DVD’s out of the library to use for one day and return. However, these environments can be particularly restrictive when looking for specific subject matter and often times can exclude promising sources because search terms are not correct. WatchKnowLearn provides a centralized location for all educational videos that is easy to navigate and even easier to search. Categories are provided on the left panel including, but not limited to: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, History, The Arts, Foreign Language, etc.. There is also an extensive collection of videos for teachers and parents as well as links and resources housed within the website as well.

Sheppard Software
Are you in need of games that utilize technology in the classroom, or that emphasize key components of your content? Sheppard Software has compiled a database of instructional games that correlate with a variety of topics such as Math, Geography, History and Health. More abstract topics such as Art and Problem solving skills are also addressed, which works particularly well in Elementary and Pre-K settings. Please not that these are Flash Media games that do not work on Apple Devices, however, they are formatted for students to use on SMART Board. Finally, if users scroll down they can also find interactive games for use in the Secondary, College and Adult education setting.

Institute of Education Sciences Clearinghouse
Finding publications that review, defend or critique educational trends for class can at times be difficult. The Institute of Education Sciences is a database that references hundreds of Educational Publications to locate information on studies and reviews on a wide range of topics. If you are in need of some support or further research to justify using a specific strategy or method within the classroom, enter search terms such as “Literacy” in the search field at the top right hand corner of the page and view your results and recommendations. Resources and reports are available for PDF download if further examination is required.

Have Fun Teaching
As you will learn after constructing some of your first lessons in the Seton Hall format, there are many components that go into the successful design of instruction. Classroom activities, formative assessment, summative assessment and behavior management all culminate for each and every lesson you will develop. At Have Fun Teaching, they have constructed an easy to use database that primarily caters to teachers K-5 by providing resources such as: worksheets, coloring pages, flash cards, activities, songs, videos and other instructional tools. The Middle School and High School sections of the website are still in development and are promised to be coming soon. Everything that pertains to current K-5 teaching trends such as Word Lists, Word Walls and Common Core are all incorporated into this comprehensive teaching resource.

TeAchnology is yet another archiving/database website that provides teachers with a vast amount of resources from lesson plans to worksheets, and even classroom activities. The ideal way to utilize this website is to possibly incorporate a task or worksheet into your instruction, showing that you are developing professionally by seeking out the best resources possible. Another way is to independently create your own resources by modeling the specific strategies provided in the lesson plans and activities.

Sometimes it may prove to be a difficult task, especially in your first few field experiences, to see the strategies you are being instructed to use in class applied in real world settings. First, one should understand that students in teacher preparation programs such as ours, are usually equipped and informed of the most current trends in elementary, secondary and special education. This gap is what creates the difficult in seeing what you have learned being instituted on a consistent basis. Edutopia, which is part of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, provides these real world examples on a variety of topics. Of the mentioned topics, the “Core Strategies” section of the website offers information and videos on project based learning, integrated studies, comprehensive assessment and even teacher development. Visitors can also browse by grade level to find examples which fit their specific setting and apply to their content area.


Scholastic Book Wizard
Particularly in the field of literacy, creating leveled groups is an essential part of lesson planning and requires careful reflected and assessment. After those processes are completed, choosing books and resources for each level can be a difficult task that brings in a great deal of subjectivity. Scholastic Book Wizard provides a tool that will identify appropriate grade level for a book when identified with a title, author or keyword. Just use the book wizard like a search engine or database and it will provide you with the results. Additionally, the “Book Alike” tab will diversify your search and provide you with books that are similar in style, diction and syntax to what you are looking for to expand the classroom library to reach a variety of preferences.

Teachers College-The Reading & Writing Project
The push for increased literacy across disciplines is one that should be met with attention to detail and proper planning. As you progress through your elementary, secondary and special education programs, you will see that the common thread throughout all content areas is the development of literacy. The Reading & Writing Project has dedicated itself to developing content, assessments and resources dedicated to improving literacy. After clicking on the Resources Tab of this website, students will be introduced to information concerning literacy in its many forms. Within this tab, resources are dedicated to: examples of classroom charts, RTI, social studies resources, and examples of student writing. Finally, the “Book Lists, Classroom Libraries and Text Sets” gives instructors scanned resources related to Science, History and Mathematics as well as book lists separated into categories guided by Genre.

Diversifying instruction is a key component of lesson planning and developing meaningful classroom experiences across grade levels. Particular to the elementary classroom, literacy can be facilitated not only through analyzing books selected from a library, but also in the digital environment as well. Storynory gives students another avenue to explore literature and tap into more cognitive processes than traditional reading facilitates. Each of the stories provided on this website are complimented with audio that can be stopped, rewound and re-played for students to guide their own reading either in small group or independent settings. Students who may have a learning or visual impairment would benefit greatly from exposure to their favorite stories in audio format. In order to make inferences, identify major characters and make predictions the pace can be modified to match the level of the reader and take advantage of their own unique skills.

Oxford Owl
The importance of giving students the opportunity to practice reading and literacy skills within the classroom as well as away from it, depends on the students level of engagement. Particularly at the elementary level, students thrive on visual and auditory assistance that compliment literacy skills covered within the classroom. Oxford Owl was started as a way to give students continued opportunity to be exposed to multi-sensory literacy education both in and out of school. Oxford Owl gives instructors the opportunity to explore fun reading activities, find leveled books and assess progress. The website can be broken down by grade level (again for elementary students) and provides an area where students apply the knowledge learned from eReading resources to fun games.

One Stop English
Making literacy truly interdisciplinary is what all instructors should strive for when developing lessons that reflect student prior knowledge and achievement. The mixture of grammar, skills, subject area and grade level relationships give resonance to literacy skills across a broad spectrum. One Stop English gives a central location for instructors on all levels to find resources, lessons and evaluation methods related to specific course content. Instructional technology is also introduced in this extremely comprehensive databases for all things literacy, as a means of content distribution, critical thinking and skills practice. Real teacher stories, experiences and anecdotes are also located here as a means to provide teachers with practical examples of how these methods are introduced in the classroom setting.

The classroom environment is one that is driven by a three pronged approach which usually consists of evaluation, implementation and the related course activities. ReadWriteThink centralizes all of these lesson components into one space particular to the area of literacy from early childhood to adult education. This website is extremely beneficial to instructors because it provides ideas and models by separating its database not only in the areas of Grade Level and Resource Type, but also the Learner Objectives and Themes associated with the content area. By having the ability to refine your search in this way, you can lessons you have already constructed and immediately add a new resource in a more streamlined fashion.

Special Education:

Psychologist School Files
The vastness of the amount of Learning Disabilities, particularly on the autism spectrum, can be overwhelming for a prospective special educator. Preparation for experience with students with special needs is done within your methods courses, as well as your initial ventures into the field. Compiling resources to aid in your understanding of learning disabilities and their affect on education, behavior and intervention. On the far left at the top of the home page, there is a section titled “Disabilities” which provides information on ADHD, Aspergers, Autism, Developmental Delay, Emotional Disability and Learning Disability. Other sections include intervention techniques and examples and tips for creating behavior plans and deciding a proper plan for intervention.

TeacherVision has several sections dedicated to several different grades, themes, subjects and classroom resources. However, particular to the needs of In-Class support teachers K-12, there is a specific section entitled “Adaptations and Modifications for Students with Special Needs”. Pertaining to our own lesson plan format, where this section is at the conclusion of the template, it is important to note effective ways to reach a variety of learners in your given setting. Modifications are divided into categories related to English Language Learners, Math, Reading and Science. More importantly, assessment accommodation strategies are located here as well as more specific links to modification techniques for students with Autism and ADD/ADHD.

LD Online
As The College of Education and Human Services moves forward to meet the needs of all students, we are currently offering Special Education Certification as a component of both Elementary and Secondary Education. LD Online provides the visitor with a plethora of resources and information dedicated to increasing knowledge and awareness not only of ways to modify instruction to meet the needs of exceptional students, but to better understand the details of their disabilities as well. This comprehensive website gives the user a variety of ways to investigate learning disabilities and ADHD from providing basic information, to resources dedicated to educators, parents and students. A detailed glossary of terms is located at the top left hand corner of the homepage, that can provide clarity to the specific instructional strategies and characteristics of LD and ADHD.

The ASAH promotes the collaboration between a number of agencies to promote the well-being of Special Education students in New Jersey. The emphasis on professionalism and the development of policy, curriculum and practice to address the needs of a variety of learners are the primary goals of this organization that represents members and parents and has been in place since 1974.

Autism Speaks Inc 
Important issues regarding the way in which health care legislation affects parents of children with autism. Topics covering a broad range of autism related issues including insurance coverage, research and treatment funding and educational reform are all updated daily with new developments. Keeping parents and professionals informed on the latest governmental issues and their impact on children with autism is just one of several components of Autism Speaks.

A better future for children with Autism, Asperger’s syndrome and related developmental disorders
This website addresses the needs and questions of parents with children who have Autism, Asperger’s or any Autism Spectrum Disorder. A child’s normal functioning as it relates to social interaction, education, diet and exercise are affected by these disorder’s and can make for stressful situations out of everyday activities. An in depth collection of resources and insight has been organized by this website covering everything from; behavior and life skills, communication, diet, personal accounts and stories and many other interesting topics. A category designated for addressing the diet and eating habits of children with ASD provides step by step instructions on how to encourage children to eat foreign foods, sit with correct posture while eating and provide them with tools to assist them eat more efficiently.

This coalition gives opportunities for special educators to collaborate with one another through the implementation of workshops, demos and resource distribution to make inclusion education a success. A variety of training opportunities, newsletters and services are provided by the NJCIE and make professional development for members of school districts using inclusive classrooms a reality.

Pearson Education Inc
Pearson has provided a comprehensive look at the way that special education teacher’s in the inclusion setting can set up social interactions between mainstream and special education students in the classroom. The development of curriculum and delivery techniques is highlighted by this set of articles which describe factors such as environment, helpful peers, and behavior expectations.

People CD Inc. (2011). ZAC browser: Zone for autistic children
ZAC Browser (Zone for Autistic Children) is an excellent resource for parents and teachers of children with autism or a variety of ASD’s. The purpose of the ZAC Browser is to provide children who may have difficulty focusing on the world wide web and the variety of tools and icons it presents, by breaking it down and simplifying it for easy use. Websites that are not kid friendly are not the only focus, as the difficult tools, sights and sounds of the computer are minimized to increase the child’s productivity. Giving these students access to the internet while also accommodating their specific needs is the end goal of this internet initiative.

Idaho Training Clearinghouse
Provides a wealth of knowledge to parents, special educators and transition specialists looking to maximize a child that has an autism spectrum disorder’s potential for academic growth. Transition specialists who commonly lend their expertise to successfully transferring students from one school setting to another, or to the workplace have will find key resources such as podcasts on how to effectively collaborate with school professionals. Other points of interest include monitoring student behavior and progress, assessment and tips for accommodation and modification.

State of New Jersey Department of Human Services
The overarching quality of care and support for students with developmental disabilities in New Jersey is addressed by the DDD. Their primary focus is for the well-being of the whole child, giving parents and professionals access to services to assist families who children or adults with a disability and provided them with the correct amount of professional care and evaluation to allow them to lead a comfortable and productive life.

Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc
The Statewide Parent Advocacy Network informs parents of specific legislation and information that will help them improve their child’s experience moving their the educational system as it pertains to their specific learning disability. Empowering parents is described as one of its most important missions, giving parents the necessary tools to become active members in their child’s life preparing them for future education and employment.

The United States Department of Education wishes to create and area for teachers and educational professionals to find the latest details and related subject matter to recent legislation. This comprehensive website allows visitors to view resources that indicate the proper introduction and usage of IEP’s, Early Intervention Services and the relationship between IDEA 2004 and No Child Left Behind. Also included are state and local rules and regulations, program safeguards and models of instruction with district based programs to educate teachers on current issues.

Web and Mobile Apps

In the same category as the Multi-Sensory website, App-O-Licious takes the app database to a more comprehensive level. This Web 2.0 tools serves as a shareable app database, as one mind find at www.delicious.com or www.pinterest.com. Each member of this website can compile, share and rate lists of iPad applications related to a variety of topics. For our purposes, there are over 4,800 lists related to education in every field imaginable. By navigating the SEARCH APP LISTS bar on the right hand side of the screen, visitors have the ability to narrow their search or can browse the complete list titled “4,821 app lists in Education”. Topics cover a variety of educational fields including: Photography, Art, Language, Storytelling, Everyday Math, Music, History etc. Apps for android devices as well as Kindle are also listed to apply to schools that may employ different versions of supplementary devices.

WordPress is a blogging website made simple, for users who are new to the blog scene and simply want to create a unique resource for their students to visit. Simple, pre-formatted templates are provided for free, in a variety of styles for a variety of purposes. Use this tool to store helpful resources, videos and update students instantly by linking a twitter or classroom facebook account. A variety of EMBED codes are accepted to make your site as unique and easy to follow possible.

Xtranormal is a classroom resource that can be incorporated into a variety of settings, from early childhood all the way through college level courses. The easy to use and navigate digital animation tools give the user a variety of characters, actions, settings and voice to pick from. This tool can be used as a hook to introduce a lesson, a unique way to relay assignment directions or for students to communicate an idea or content they have learned. Free accounts are available and include a pre-determined set of characters, setting etc.. Anything from historical events, simple math lessons and fictional characters can be brought to life through the art of digital animation, which xtranormal.com makes a significantly easier process.

ISSUU makes publishing anything from an online version of your updated resume, to important classroom resources an organized and simple experience. This fully customizable area to exchange, rate and evaluate helpful resources could be a helpful resource for instructors and students. Create a space for your classroom to explore assignments, or upload content of their own, the possibilities for its implementation in an educational setting are boundless. Customizable bookshelves can separate resources between unit, chapter and lesson to make a more organized experienced for all involved. Students can also submit their work in a new and unique format that will give them an opportunity to be creative, as well as share their work as a group or individually.

Prezi- Presentation Software
Prezi provides a different look at the way presentations and lectures can be formatted in a way to incorporate more of the multi-dimensional learning that students are used to interacting with every day. Prezi is not formatted to use slides, it is a non-linear structure that gives creators the ability to fly around a canvas, allowing users to integrate photos, text, PDF documents and video in a way that clearly connects content, while reflecting resource management skills. Students can be encouraged to create timelines, develop bibliographies of helpful resources and breakdown specific aspects of subject matter in an extremely visual format.

Show Me
As prospective teaching professionals are being educated on numerous ways to incorporate iPads into the classroom, it would help to give them the ability to instruct students in a way that is completely integrated into the device itself. ShowMe has developed an interactive Web 2.0 tool that allows instructors and students to record their movement, writing and exploration on the iPad and instantaneously upload it to a cloud account where the recorded instructional video can be watched. Student who can much better understand concepts by observing a model and developing their technique with an already established framework, benefit just as much as those students who prefer to develop their own technique and share it with the rest of the class. Create, refine and archive helpful resources created by yourself and your students to reach a broader group of participants on an entirely new level.

Every discipline of education requires students to utilize their vocabulary skills to communicate their unique ideas, solve problems and express understanding or confusion. This may be done in a variety of ways from developing word problems, recording steps to an experiment or detailing a document based question. Visuwords is not an everyday thesaurus or dictionary, it is a totally interactive graphical dictionary. This graphical dictionary provides students with a color coded inventory of the interconnectivity between words in the English language. Branches can have a variety of categories such as; is a kind of, pertains to, causes, also see etc.. Create quick unit vocabulary exercises, and find new ways to incorporate this static aspect of curriculum in a new, and meaningful way.