For parents

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Welcome!

  • At TeachaPedia we recognize that without parents, there is no education. Your support makes everything that happens in the classroom possible! So welcome aboard!
  • The resources on TeachaPedia can be used by a teacher to enrich and supplement their lesson plan or by you at home to reinforce a concept that your child is struggling with or to make homework more fun.
  • You are invited to join the site and to add resources to pages that already exist or to add your own pages on how to support and enrich your child's school experience. Our goal is make the internet easier to use for teachers and parents with the end goal of making it a little easier for students to learn and teachers to teach. Please add any content that helps us meet our goal!
  • Check out our "At home" sections on content pages! This section is for you-- activities you can do at home and tips on what the Common Core Standard really means. Please add your own tips and advice to this section!

How to navigate TeachaPedia

  • Articles vs. strategies
    • Most of the content on TeachaPedia is directly related to content standard like counting to a 100 or writing a summary. Other pages however focus on bigger picture things like building student engagement or how to ask good questions. While the content articles are directly related to homework and content mastery, the other pages come in handy if you have bigger picture concerns like how to get your child to raise their hand in class or to talk about what they have read.
  • Article lay out
    • Teaching strategies
      • This section has tips for teachers on general strategies they can use to build comprehension and content mastery. Most of the content is this section is pretty general and could work for a variety of grade levels.
    • Classroom activities
      • This section has lesson plans and specific activities that can be used by the teacher at school or printed out and used by you at home. This section also includes any print and play games that people have found for that content area.
    • Cyber games and activities
      • These are free resources that directly target the desired skill. Because they are so specific they often aren't playable for more than 5 or 10 minutes so they are best used for quick reviews of a concept and reinforcements. Because they are free, a lot of the games have sponsored ads along the sides-- we've tried to weed out the ad heavy websites but it does take monitoring to make sure that your child hasn't left the educational site and wandered off to a more exciting game.
    • Free worksheets
      • These are free to print and use worksheets that provide excellent supplements to regular homework-- or great activities to use during time outs/quiet times. You can also use them if your child "forgot" their homework at school-- or if they want to do extra enrichment activities. Every article should have some worksheets attached so you can just search for what your child is learning, find a worksheet, print, and voila! extra homework is delivered.
    • Videos
      • The videos, often hosted on YouTube, PBS, TeacherTube, or SchoolTube are typically short, fun reinforcements of the lesson. Videos are fun to watch and the presence of the visuals-- and, often, catchy music-- can make the concepts a little easier to grasp for students who are struggling. Sometimes kids just need to hear or see a concept presented in a different way to get it. If you can't find a video on what you want here, Khan Academy is a great place to search as well and, also, free to join.
    • At home
      • This is the section for you! This section has review activities to freshen up your memory, activities to do with your kids at home, and helpful resources for you on the standard.
    • Helpful links
      • PowerPoints, free workbooks, and sites with lots of useful things are posted in this section. If you haven't found what you were looking for in Classroom activities or in Free worksheets, this is your best place to look.
    • Product reviews
      • This is where products that cost money are posted-- we try to make sure that everything else on the site is free. We recommend trying all of the free stuff first-- why pay when you don't have to?

How to support your child at home

  • Be involved
    • Studies have shown that having high expectations for your child isn't enough-- being involved in their education matters. Go to conferences! Bug the teachers! Above all, check their homework. If don't know the answers, ask the teacher to send an answer sheet home in an envelope-- most teachers will do it if you ask.


  • Ask lots of questions
    • Reading comprehension and most of writing is based on how well a student can talk and answer questions. If they can't give you a summary of the movie they just watched or tell you its main idea, it's guaranteed that they aren't going to be able to write the main idea of a story in class.
    • The easiest way to build reading comprehension scores is to ask your child lots of questions about their books and about movies/TV shows that you watch. Ask about:
      • The main idea (What was it all about?)
      • What happened (A good Summary has the main idea, characters, beginning, middle, and end in order]]
      • The theme (What did the characters learn?). Ask them why they think that.


  • Make them pay!
    • Build their real world skills by having them count money at the grocery store, add up the cost of the groceries, figure out change, and tell you how long until dinner by reading a clock.
    • Doing this will make math more relevant and interesting. The grocery store has math from K all the way through 8-- ask them to count fruits and vegetables, count the money in your purse, calculate the sales tax, and estimate what fraction of your money was spent on junk food.


  • Make them prove it!
    • One of the most important skills at school is being able to support your idea with evidence. This is one of the easiest areas for parents to work on at home. When they tell you something ask them how they know it-- make them show your their proof! If they want something from you, make them persuade you with evidence and strong arguments.
    • Especially with the Common Core, finding evidence to support a position is one of the most important academic skills so don't let them be lazy-- make the prove EVERYTHING!


  • Ask them how they know...
    • Metacognitive skills are the key to academic success. To build your child's skills, have them explain their thinking to you on everything from a word problem (explain to me why you added) to how they built a block tower.
    • The more comfortable they get explaining their thinking in words or pictures, the easier math and reading will be for them at school.

Computers and the internet

  • Sadly, computers alone do not improve students' test scores [1] [2] [3]. While there is still research being done, it seems logical to say that computers don't help students unless they are using them for educational purposes. The problem is that students often wander off of educational sites onto "fun" ones like LevelUp or Facebook. This is why parents are so important!


  • For computers to help, students need to be on educational websites. That means that parents have to monitor what their child is on-- and, just as importantly, KNOW what sites are good. Kids can spin very good stories about why a site is educational and when educational sites look like games sites, it can leave parents lost!


  • So here are some trick sites-- sites that sound educational but are really just games...
    • Cool math claims that the activities are educational, but they have a lot more playing than learning.
    • Poptropica doesn't even claim that it is educational-- but I have had students almost in tears trying to convince me how it helps them learn.
    • Funbrain has great educational games and an arcade with no educational value-- and it is hard to tell them apart.


  • Here are some good sites


    • For math
      • PBS Cyberchase has fun, instructive games for about grade 2-5
      • Multiplication.com has great multiplication practice-- there is a non-educational reward round they get for passing a game but it is pretty short.
      • Arcademics goes from addition to algebra with fun math games.
      • Math Playground goes from grades 1 to 6 but there are lots of ads on the sites that can distract students.
      • Professor Garfield has really fun ELA and Math games for grades K-6 and no ads!


    • For ELA
      • Earobics Game Goo has really fun games for early readers.
      • Sadlier Oxford has kind of boring games for K to 6
      • Quia has games for almost everything, but they are also fairly dry.
      • Spellzone has great spelling games for all levels but they are a little hard to sort.
      • Studyzone Test Prep has activities for just about anything that help students get ready for testing.
      • Hacourt School has some pretty decent ELA resources online.