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Support in Challenging Times for Educators

Dear Fellow Educators,

We, at the Santa Fe Center for Transformational School Leadership want each of you to know that we are thinking of you during this challenging and turbulent moment.  We know that you have the daunting task of working to transition to an online learning model, all the while dealing with child-care needs, elder care and working to find calm within the general anxieties related to COVID-19.

In this moment, it can be helpful to take a mindful pause… breathe in… breathe out… and know that we, human-centered educators, are a resilient bunch. We know that we will navigate this challenging time in a professional and compassionate way, because that’s who and how we are as a community. We are all in this together.

Please know that the Santa Fe Center is here to help in any way we can. We’ve looked into a number of online resources and we created the list below of our favorites for your use during this time. Some of the sites listed below are good for teachers to use as a basis for creating virtual lessons, assignments, projects, etc. Others are good just to send out to parents and students for their use as positive learning enjoyment.

We are also available for consultation, coaching, or just to lend an ear to listen. We appreciate the work that each of you does for your community.


Linda and Zach


Online Resources for Educators compiled by Santa Fe Center for Transformational School Leadership

Tips from EdSurge about online teaching (see attached for full articles):

1.    The simplest way to transition to online teaching is to switch to a video conference platform

2.    Think Shorter: It’s harder to keep students’ attention virtually. Shorten the live experience

3.    Make sure to record online sessions for those who can’t tune in live.

4.    Lighting is key, and think about virtual eye contact.

5.    Use polls to keep students engaged. We, at SFCTSL like Poll Everywhere, and there are other good ones out              there as well.

Social Emotional Resources

Grades K-8:

https://insighttimer.com/meditation-topics/children: Mindfulness practices for kids

https://www.secondstep.org/covid19support: Online SEL resources

Grades 8-12:

https://insighttimer.com/: mindfulness app where you can search the type of practice you need (e.g. “ for sleeping well,” “gratitude,” “getting through hard times,” etc.).

https://www.headspace.com/: Mindfulness and positivity practices, audio recordings and videos for mental and emotional wellbeing.

Academic and Creative Learning Resources


https://www.thecollegeschool.org/our-academic-journey/early-childhood-preschool-k/: Great examples of kindergarten projects that teachers and parents can use to enrich learning at home.

https://www.lwtears.com/programs/distance-learning: With this digital platform you can access activity books, lessons, demonstrations of letter and number formations, music, videos, stories, and more

Grades K-12:

https://blog.google/outreach-initiatives/education/offline-access-covid19/: Tips for Google Classroom, Chrome Books, using Google docs, Google Keep, etc.

http://pblu.org/projects: Great list of projects that may be tweaked to support independent online learning.

https://artsandculture.google.com/partner?hl=en: Google arts and culture tour of museums. Imagine setting up a virtual treasure hunt where students get to explore the museums in order to find the answers.

https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html: (Grades K-9) Connected readings, activities and videos that allow students to explore topics of all types. Categorized by grade level.

https://stories.audible.com/start-listen: Stories upon stories for students to listen to for free. Categorized by age level.

https://www.weareteachers.com/category/teaching-strategies/: Well-organized and categorized ted talks, posdcasts, online readings, educational games etc. for students of all ages.

https://www.weareteachers.com/math-card-games/: “We Are Teachers” Math Games for all ages that can be played with a simple deck of playing cards.

https://www.inklestudios.com/inklewriter/: write interactive stories that go in various directions and allow for creative input from readers.

https://www.tinkercad.com/: Kids can design and then 3D print their creation. Some schools have their own 3D printer. If a school does not have one, but wants to use this for an activity, contact zach@transformationalschoolleadership.com.

Grades 6-8:

https://www.scholastic.com/turfmutt/: “Great Outdoors” Science and ELA Activities with teacher guide, etc.

Grades 2-10:

https://scratch.mit.edu/: Create interactive stories, games and animations. (WARNING without supervision some kids just focus on playing games others have made).


From eleducation.org: These folks are some of the best around for rich project-based learning examples, curriculum, etc. Here’s their list of resources for virtual teaching/learning:

EL Education offers a wealth of free online resources for teacher professional learning and a large collection of projects to inspire work students can do at home:

K-8 English Language Arts Curriculum. Created by teachers for teachers, the EL Education K-8 Language Arts Curriculum is a free comprehensive, research-informed, core language arts program that engages teachers and students through compelling, real-world content.
Resource Library. This open-source library houses guidance documents, protocols, and more to support educators. Use the navigation bar to select academic discipline, grade bands, and topics.
Models of Excellence. This curated, open-source houses the largest collection of high-quality PreK-12 student work, along with resources to support the use of student work models to inspire and elevate teaching and learning. Consider identifying and sharing specific models of student work to inspire your students to create their own projects.
Video Collections. Videos are grouped by topics of interest, including guidance, models from schools, and more. Browse our full video collection which can be sorted by grade level, topic, and discipline.
Other online resources for teachers and students that can be shared with families/caregivers to support learning from home include (also from the folks at eleducation.org):

ARTSEDGE: The Kennedy Center’s Arts Education Network: Arts-centered, standards-based resources for K-12.

Government resources designed specifically for students. For example NASA.
Smithsonian Learning Lab: Open resources for educators.
Digital Public Library of America: Primary source sets and online exhibitions.
Duolingo: Foreign language learning.
USDA: Online materials to learn about healthy eating for a range of ages.
National Geographic country profiles: Send students on a trip around the world.
Online resources from your local library!

The following is a list vetted by our friends and partners at the Institute for School Partnerships at Washington University (a mostly science-based program):

Virtual activities for kids to do independently:

Dreambox (online K-8 math program/free 90 day trial)
Newsela (relevant, subject-specific articles tailored to be grade-appropriate and can be viewed in Spanish)
PhET simulations (K-12 STEM simulations that make math and science ideas tangible and testable)
PBS/PBS Kids (games, videos, virtual field trips, science investigations)
Code Break (Code.org’s Weekly Challenge or activity. Weekly webcasts Wednesday’s at 12:00 CT)

Hands-on activities for adults to do with kids:

https://schoolpartnership.wustl.edu/everyday-mysci: Everyday mySci – easy science to do at home.
https://www.ngssphenomena.com/virtual-science-education: K-12 NGSS Phenomena Activities, hands-on science activities.
https://youtu.be/mNP9hs2a1FY: Ditch the screens and DO the science! An introduction to

DOING science at home:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/u/0/d/1jXSt_CoDzyDFeJimZxnhgwOVsWkTQEsfqouLWNNC6Z4/pub?output=html: Encourage problem-solving with 3 Act Math Tasks:
If you still haven’t found something that fits your specific subject or grade level, check out https://www.learningreviews.com/. This website is a clearing house of 1800 educational programs and apps.