K12 Reader is terrific FREE website packed with helpful student materials and resources for parents and teachers. Founded in 2008 by parents (with 5 kids in the public schools) and supported by veteran teachers, this site was initially designed to help parents navigate the maze of reading instruction. They have done that… and MUCH more!
The site is well-organized and easy to search. Here are the three main sections:
Browse Worksheets: Worksheets may be viewed by subject, grade, common core standard, and theme. By subject, you can find worksheets on spelling, reading skills, grammar, vocabulary, and composition. The number of worksheets under each topic varies, but there are plenty from which to choose. There are 65 worksheets on parts of speech alone. A number of topics cover a 36-week instructional span, such as those in spelling and reading comprehension. By grade, thousands of worksheets span kindergarten through 12th grade; spelling worksheets cover 1st through 5th grade. By theme, there are excellent worksheets on black history, women’s rights, Native Americans, and holidays. Finally, you can search for worksheets by Common Core State Standards. A large preview of each worksheet is available and all may be downloaded and printed for classroom use.
Learning Center: This section of K12 Reader includes Reference, Q & A, Articles, and Resources. The Reference section focuses on language arts, with tips for vocabulary, common errors, and terms such as “literary devices.” Some areas are still under construction or being updated, such as the Q & A section. I believe the Articles section will be very helpful to parents who are trying to understand jargon that teachers toss around, such as “content area reading” and “balanced literacy,” for example. The articles are well-written and concise. My favorite section was Reading and Other Educational Resources, with links to a variety of helpful sites for teachers and parents.
Graphics and Lists: (I actually ‘named’ this section, which features a site search instead of a title.) Lesson plan templates, graphics, and book lists are found in this section. The lesson plan templates may save teachers at all grade levels some big bucks. The graphics are in three main categories: reading certificates, reading bookmarks, and KWL charts for K through 12th grade. The book lists are categorized by awards, which gives parents and teachers a look at some of the best books around. This was my first exposure to The Gryphon Award, books which are chosen by their ability to bridge the gap between read alouds and books for practiced readers (K-4).
There are ads on the pages, but these are easy to ignore; they probably make it possible for K12 Reader to “keep up the good work!” The developers of the site have obviously devoted considerable effort and talent in creating these free materials. Did I say FREE?