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Find more Websites for Students K–12
This year, we look at free websites for grades K–12 that might be considered instructional rather than “pure” reference. The two major sections focus on SAT preparation sites and library-orientation and instructional sites, respectively. The last section is a potpourri of popular, free instructional sites available. One caveat: almost all the SAT preparation sites require the user to register. Advising students not to share too much personal information or to use the school’s address when registering should be considered. Also, several of these sites are big on advertisements to help them generate revenue to remain free to the user.
Test Prep Sites
College Board’s Full Practice Test.
Offers the official 2012–13 SAT practice test but then wants to sell additional SAT practice tests. Best when used in conjunction with some of the other SAT preparation sites discussed below.
Dome SAT: Smarter Test Prep.
Features SAT preparation study guides, vocabulary drills, and practice tests; subjects include math, critical reading, essay writing, and vocabulary.
I Need a Pencil: A Service Provided by CK-12 Foundation.
The nonprofit CK-12 Foundation offers 60 lessons, more than 800 practice exam questions, and a score projector (which predicts how the user will score on the real SAT).
This nonprofit education site claims you can “learn almost anything for free.” There are more than 113 videos to help students prepare for the SAT. March 2 Success. This site, a collaboration of the U.S. Army and the publishers of Peterson Guides, offers seven full-length practice tests and 25 decks of flash cards.
ProProfs: Build and Test Knowledge.
Claiming to have the most comprehensive collection of free SAT study resources online, this site provides practice exams, flash cards, quizzes, and cram sheets.
The home page of Quizlet shows a live map of what people around the world are studying on the site at the moment. A wide array of subjects are offered, and there is a mobile app available. The SAT prep materials are located in the “Standardized Tests” section. There is also a special section for teachers.
Study Guide Zone.
Focusing on improving standardized-test scores, this site covers a wide variety of standard college and professional tests. In addition to the SAT test study guide, test flash cards, and practice questions, there is a “College Tips” advice section.
LIBRARY-ORIENTATION AND BIBLIOGRAPHIC INSTRUCTION SITES
A Google a Day.
This site offers a daily search question with hints and a complete search-solution path. A related Google blog, SearchResearch, poses a challenge search each week. The blog features Google’s Daniel Russell, whose video-clip search demonstrations comprise the heart of Power Searching with Google, a free course offered at various times during the year.
Library Shelving Game.
This basic site for younger kids provides an overview of shelving rules and a game that asks the user to help reshelve 10 books.
Order in the Library.
This well-known shelving game can be played in either English or Spanish. High-school library testers enjoyed working through all the levels. Preventing Plagiarism: Keepin’ It Real. UC–San Diego’s pages on plagiarism feature 10 sections that address plagiarism-related issues and provide scenarios for students to ponder.
Teen Learning 2.0.
The California School Library Association has created a blog with 10 topics—including key questions and activities for each—that lead students through a variety of Web 2.0 challenges, such as digital citizenship, blogging, avatars, and crediting photos and images. Each topic takes approximately one week to complete.
Zombie Guide to Miller Library.
This library’s blog page links to the popular Library of the Living Dead, a graphic-novel-style introduction to the college library that includes information about the Dewey decimal system and various resources. Note the PDF’s copyright notice.
OTHER SITES OF INTEREST
Folk Music of England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and America.
This site provides the tunes, lyrics, information, historical background, and related links by country or by topic, such as love, lullabies, sea, and war.
KidsHealth.org: WORD! A Glossary of Medical Terms. The Nemours Foundation sponsors this easy-to-use children’s medical dictionary.
The National Library of Medicine sponsors this site, which focuses on environmental health and toxic chemicals in the home, workplace, and play areas. The “For Teachers” section includes links to other sites on related topics.
Virtual Knee Surgery.
Suggested for grades 7 and up, this site allows the user to simulate performing knee surgery. There is also a video to see an actual knee surgery and a teacher-resource center for more activities.
Voice of America
The site offers VOA’s popular articles, with language exercises that include videos, vocabulary and listening practice, conversations with a native English speaker, and more. Especially good for English learners.
Esther Sinofsky is Administrative Coordinator, Integrated Library and Textbook Support Services, Los Angeles Unified School District, California.
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