Occassionally students need a little additional help understanding various subjects. The internet has multiple websites designed to offer students the academic help they need. Many of these websites are free.
Shauna Jensen Instructional Technology Specialist for Granite School District has picked her favorite websites where students, parents and teachers can go to get Free On-line tutoring help.
Interactive Math – (intmath.com)
o Learn math by playing with it!
o Math Lessons – Algebra, money, trigonometry, graphs, complex, probability, differentiation, higher calculus
o Flash Activities – mortgage calculator, Millionaire calculus game
o Site Map / Index
o With LiveMath, you can try different values in graphs, equations, matrices, calculus etc and when you do, everything updates immediately. Think of it like a glorified mathematical spreadsheet program, but it can do lots more.
o Scientific Notebook
o Graph Paper PDFs
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives – (http://nlvm.usu.edu/)
o A library of uniquely interactive, web-based virtual manipulatives or concept tutorials for K-12 mathematics instruction.
o Engages and involves students
o Manipulatives/Visual objects help students visualize relationships and applications
o Contains hundreds of interactives
o Each activity lists the curriculum standards, has instructions as well as parent and teacher background information
English / Language Arts
The OWL at Purdue (Online Writing Lab) (http://owl.english.purdue.edu/)
o Free writing resources and instructional material
o Printable lessons/handouts
o Website contains a site map listing all lessons
o Interactive Exercises – Online practice
o Parent Section –
o Beginning Writing, Conducting Research, and Proofreading Lessons
o Grammar and Mechanics Lessons
The Physics Classroom – (http://www.physicsclassroom.com/)
o Online physic tutorial written for high school students
o Basic physic topics with informative graphics
o Easy to understand lessons / sample problems
o Check your understanding section
o Animations to demonstrate topics
Recently, The Good Housekeeping Research Institute reviewed 22 educational sites, accessing range and quality of the lessons and ease of navigation.
Here’s what this report had to say about these websites:
Hippocampus.org. Academic Strengths: It offers help on 10 high-school subjects, such as biology and U.S. history. Excellently written, audio and video tutorials have review questions sprinkled throughout. You’ll also find interactive aids for 100-plus textbooks.
Needs Improvement: While the site provided found answers for five of the researchers’ nine sample questions, it lacks a section on English grammar. Also missing: foreign-language support.
Cliffnotes.com. Academic Strengths: Beyond literature guides (though, yes, the site has nearly 200 free ones), cliffnotes.com has info for grades 7 and up, including basic French and Spanish and 10 sciences. The Cheat Sheets are great for pre-test review.
Needs Improvement: The tutorials are mainly overviews, and might not be thorough enough to clear up a student’s confusion about a concept. The site lacks practice problems to reinforce lessons.
Intmath.com. Academic Strengths: A great resource for high-school math. Concepts of algebra, probability, calculus and other subjects are explained clearly and thoroughly. The search engine tracks down Advertisement topics (say, scientific notation) quickly.
Needs Improvement: Some of IntMath’s pages are cluttered, which can make navigation a little frustrating.
Sosmath.com. Academic Strengths: This site for grades 9 and up teaches by examples; you’ll find tons of problems and step-by-step solutions for trigonometry, calculus and more. Practice quizzes let students learn by trial and error.
Needs Improvement: While it touched on each of the researchers’ three sample math questions, the lessons mainly provided only a brief overview, which may not be enough for a child who needs more explanation.
Owl.english.purdue.edu. Academic Strengths: The Purdue University Online Writing Lab offers 200 free lessons and guides for grades 7 and up. You’ll find advice on structuring a thesis or essay, doing research and avoiding composition pitfalls.
Needs Improvement: Surprisingly, it lacks a dictionary and thesaurus. And while many topics are covered, not all lessons go into as much depth as researchers would have liked.
http://Grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/index.htm. Academic Strengths: This site concentrates mainly on the mechanics of writing and less on the creative process of composing a paper. Detailed pages explain parts of speech, sentence structure and paragraph flow.
Needs Improvement: With 170-plus quizzes, there’s plenty of practice, but in some tests the user’s wrong answers aren’t noted; it can be annoying to scroll up and down to learn from mistakes.
Physicsclassroom.com. Academic Strengths: The superbly organized site gives tutorials and excellent multimedia examples (video and audio) that demystify concepts of physics. The sample problems are illustrated and clearly explained.
Needs Improvement: At press time, the site lacked a search engine, so homing in on one topic was time-consuming. However, there are plans to add a search function soon.