Many of you may have found yourself in a slightly happy dilemma: your school has bought computers for every student, but you now are expected to (or want to) make content on those computers instead of using textbooks. This, as we said, can be an exciting dilemma. The internet is so endless and full of awesome real-life content that can make our students into the world citizens for the 21st century. However, it can feel overwhelming to feel like you’re starting from scratch on your curriculum materials. We all may be awesome teachers, but we don’t have endless amounts of time!

We here at DocentEDU understand your problem. Two of our cofounders found themselves in exactly the same place a few years ago, and in fact, that is why they cofounded the company. We would like to continue that tradition of making creating quality online curriculum easy by giving you lots of resources to find that quality online text.

(If you’d rather watch a webinar about all of this, go here and watch!)

If you’re interested in more of the thinking behind this philosophy of relying on internet-based resources instead of textbooks, head on over to the Ditchbook website where you can learn more from our friend, Matt Miller. In a nutshell, Ditchbook’s philosophy is, “teaching with less reliance on the textbook with an emphasis on using technology and creative teaching ideas.” In other words, using tech and not the textbook to be awesome. To follow this philosophy, here are some resources below to make it easier!

Text Sources with Texts at Different Reading Levels
These text sources focus on creating content that differentiate for reading level.

  • Tween Tribune (nonfiction current events)
  • Newsela (nonfiction current events, famous speeches)
  • Commonlit (English/language arts and social studies focused fiction and nonfiction texts with Common Core questions)

Tools to “Simply” Text
These tools will allow you to input a text, and then pop out the same text at an easier reading level.

Text Sources with Pre-Made Questions
These text sources have questions all ready for you to use with DocentEDU!

  • Dogonews (nonfiction current events)
  • Commonlit (English/language arts and social studies focused fiction and nonfiction texts with Common Core questions)
  • NYT Learning Blog (based on NYTimes content with pre-made lesson plans)
  • Tween Tribune (nonfiction current events)
  • Achieve the Core (English/language arts focused nonfiction and fiction texts with Common Core lessons plans)

Primary Sources
These resources have primary sources for you to use with your students.