Category Archives: Educational Resources

Buckeye Children’s and Teen Book Awards

Looking for some new award-winning books to read to your children or students? Check out the winners of The Buckeye Children’s and Teen Book Award by visiting this website

The Buckeye Children’s and Teen Book Award program was started in 1981 to encourage collaboration among teachers, students, and librarians. Each of the winners of this award was voted on by students in Ohio in grades K-12. Teachers and librarians can nominate a book only if they are representing a group of students, but this program gives students the opportunity to use their voice. The winners for 2021 are as follows:

* Grades K-2: Happy Narwhalidays (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #5) by Ben Clanton (Tundra Books, 2020)* Grades 3-5: The One and Only Bob by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins, 2020)* Grades 6-8: Words on Fire by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Scholastic Press, 2019)* Teen: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2020)

On the website, you can find the previous year’s winners, as well as information about how to help your students nominate their favorite books that have been published within the last two years. Click on the “Award Timeline” tab to make sure your students submit their votes on time.

So how does it work? In March, students nominate their favorite books. In April, the top five books for each grade range are posted. Over the summer, students can read the list of nominated books, as well as nominate new books. In the fall, students vote for their favorite books out of the top five choices. In December, the winners are announced.

To help your students vote, you can give them the bookmark ballots that are appropriate for their grade range, which are available under the “Resources” tab. The picture to the left shows what the K-2 bookmark ballot looked like for the 2021 voting process. As the teacher or librarian, you can vote on behalf of your students on the website using their ballots, or you can show them how to nominate a book on the website on their own. The process is quick and simple- just fill out a Google Form!

You can also view the previous nominees and winners since the year 1982 on the website. There are free spine labels with the award logo available on the website as well. You can stick these on your books in your school library or classroom library. Read these books with your students or encourage them to read them on their own to get them excited about the nomination and voting process. Help them to see how important it is to use their voice and recognize that their opinions are valued. This can help students to stay engaged with what they are reading and truly see the value in literacy.


If your students or homeschoolers love learning about the world, then they will love OLogy! OLogy is an interactive website created by the American Museum of Natural History that provides users with information about topics such as biology, human cultures, and Earth & space.

Users can simply click the menu button and choose a topic they want to explore. Each topic features videos, games, stories, hands-on activities, and quizzes. Choose any of the learning activities to learn more about the topic. For example, if your learner is interested in marine biology, they can read a story about a whale, learn about what they can do to protect the oceans, watch a video about colors in nature, and play a game that takes them to the bottom of the ocean. The content is geared toward K-5th graders.

There is also a section for educators that breaks down each of the hands-on activities by grade level.  OLogy has a partnership with ReadWorks, so this section features articles about science topics that are paired with vocabulary lessons and formative assessments for grades 2-12. Educators can click on the article for information about its intended grade level, word count, Lexile level, and ELA standards. Students will need to sign up and log in to access the articles.

Visit or download the OLogy app for iPad.


Looking for themed resources to do with your students or homeschoolers? Twinkl offers tons of FREE themed resources, like worksheets, PowerPoints, and activity packs. You can search by grade level, special education, homeschool, and world languages.

Each tab is further divided by subject, such as ELA, holidays, standards, and STEAM. Once you have created your free account, you can browse the activities and “save for later.” It’s like Pinterest for educational resources.

The themes of these resources are unique and relevant. For the month of February, you can find resources about the Super Bowl, Chinese New Year, and Valentine’s Day. Once you search for the topic, a list of related searches pops up to help you find more relevant resources. The beauty of this website is that it offers original resources with themes you may not have thought to teach about, like Pancake Day or National Wildlife Week.

The website also offers other tools, like a like an image library and a library of original Twinkl books. The resources are endless!

Check out the website, create an account, save your ideas, and have fun implementing the activities! Go to

Common Sense Education


Common Sense® has been providing valuable digital learning resources and information to families, educators, and students for the last 15 years. With the increase in distance learning, these resources have become even more valuable. In the Common Sense Education® section of their website, you can find a compiled list of 18 of the best tools for virtual and distance learning chosen by Common Sense®. The list includes apps and websites that will help teachers and at-home educators with lesson planning, virtual classroom creation, digital slideshows and video lessons, and more. Common Sense® provides a thorough review of each of the tools that includes the recommended grade levels, ratings, subjects, pros, and cons. It also describes how it could be used effectively and why it is good for learning.

Also on the list are two recommended apps for communication between teachers and parents. With so much uncertainty and the rapidly changing information we have been faced with over the past several months, clear communication is essential. The Remind App allows teachers to send mass messages to families to keep them updated and to stay connected. Similarly, Talking Points allows teachers and parents to stay in touch, but includes a translation feature to more effectively communicate with families who speak another language.


This page also links to the learning resources on Wide Open School, which is powered by Common Sense®. This page lists several resources on self-care, tips for families learning remotely, professional development and webinars, and many more helpful distance learning tips and tricks.


To access the Best Tools for Virtual and Distance Learning page, click this link:

To access Wide Open School, click this link:

Smithsonian Distance Learning

Smithsonian Learning Lab offers educators an organized list of education guides for all grade levels and core subjects on Google Sheets. The Google Sheets document is organized into tabs by topic. For the core subjects of English language arts, social studies/history, and science, each lesson plan provides the target grade band, topic, the name of the Smithsonian resource, the URL, and a description of the lesson. Additionally, each grade level K-8 has an individual tab that is organized into core curriculum topics studied in the fall, spring, and winter quarters in DC Public Schools. Each topic contains links to lesson plans from Smithsonian’s Learning Lab.

Spanish-speaking families can benefit from this Google Sheets document as well. Structured in a similar manner as the previously mentioned lesson plans and resources, the Spanish tab of this document is also categorized into subjects, which is then further broken down into grade band, topic, and link.

There is also a tab for tweens and teens to explore core subjects in addition to current events, maker activities, careers, and more. Caregivers of children in Pre-K-5th grade can access similar age-appropriate resources in the next tab.

This document is not just for school-age students. There is a tab for lifelong learners that lists resources for adults on current events, podcasts, and free online courses.

To access this document, visit this link:

Click any of the links to the grade levels.
This will bring up the entire Google Sheets document.

For even more educational resources, click on the link to the full listing of Smithsonian resources or Smithsonian’s Affiliations’ network.

Education Reimagined

Many families have been faced with the challenge of distance learning since the start of the pandemic. Fortunately, Education Reimagined has an abundance of resources available in their “Distance Learning Resource Center” to help ease some of that school-related stress. This resource center contains a compiled list of online resources that families have found helpful during their distance learning journey.

For user convenience, the resources are organized by topic.

The resource center is straight forward and easy to navigate. Resources include tips for distance learning for families and teachers, information about coronavirus, tools for students with special needs, virtual museums, STEM activities, and so much more.

If you have found an online resource that has helped your family through this difficult time, the website allows you to submit your own entries to the list.

To access the list, visit this website:


Newspapers in Education

With modern technology, physical newspapers are becoming obsolete in education. The value of the news in education, however, should not be obsolete. With Newspapers in Education, students can learn all of the valuable information from the news on a medium that is relevant to their modern technology needs. This website is completely free and is an excellent resource for students, teachers, and homeschool families in middle and upper grade levels.

To access the educational content on the Newspapers in Education website, visit and click on the gray box for lessons by grade-level.

On this page, you will see news-related lessons and activities in the core subjects, like an interactive map in Headline Geography, a leveled vocabulary lesson in Word in the News (which includes an elementary level), and a science webcast in Pulse of the Planet. The interactive activities, videos, and visuals appeal to students of all learning styles.

You can also choose to view a specific online newspaper that is managed by NIEonline. On the main page, sort through the references. For example, you may want to show students newspapers specific to Ohio, so you could choose Ohio Newspapers.

This will give students access to the news-related activities and lessons, but also to ePapers, like the Dayton Daily NewsSpringfield News-Sun, and Journal-News.

This website not only exposes students to the news and helps them comprehend the highlights, but can also be used to get them thinking critically and formulating opinions. This is the perfect way for students to understand what’s going on in their world!