Skip to Content

Special Education

Instructional Websites for Life Skills Classrooms

Thank you to our contributors. If you have anything that you would like to add (particularly more detailed reviews of some of these sites), please email that material to: spedtech@lesd.k12.or.us.

We are in the process of writing a separate page that deals exclusively with access to text, both read-aloud books and audiobooks. At the very least, those sites will include: Bookshare, National Library Service, Newsela, News-2-You, Storyline, Tarheel Reader, and Tumbleweed Press. Some of this information is already included below, but a site is needed that compares these sources and also lays out instructions for getting accounts (and so forth).

Cautions

  • Videos can use a lot of bandwidth, which concerns some of our host districts.
  • General video sites (e.g., YouTube, Google) can link to material that is not appropriate for school.
  • Lane ESD Life Skills policies do not support:
    • unmonitored student online access, or
    • access for entertainment.
  • Do not access personally-owned subscriptions (e.g., do not use a personal Netflix account).
  • Face-to-face instruction constitutes Fair Use for movies, music, and so on.

Subscriptions for All Life Skills Rooms
(at no cost to the classroom budget)

The sites identified below as “home access allowed” are available to our students’ families at no additional cost. Write to spedtech@lesd.k12.or.us for login info.

• Home access allowed •
Tumbleweed PressOpens a new window/tab
Tumbleweed Press covers read-aloud books, audiobooks, and math. The read-aloud books can be switch accessible with a partner. Non-fiction books have their own section. There are also graphic novels (especially at higher levels), videos, games, and some books in languages other than English.

• Home access allowed •
HelpKidzLearnOpens a new window/tab
Switch-accessible program site. Loads of activities.

• Home access allowed •
These next two sites are ClickNKids products, where each student has a separately tracked account in their classroom (with its oen login info). These are leveled spelling and phonics lessons:

Click-n-SpellOpens a new window/tab

Click-n-Read PhonicsOpens a new window/tab

Note: If the usage statistics indicate that you do not actually access the accounts, then they will be removed.

StarfallOpens a new window/tab
This is additional paid content for Starfall. Instead of a login, the classroom browsers are assigned a special link.

The remaining sites in this section are teacher and specialist resources in the main, but the OSLIS site is potentially useful for some Life Skills students when partnered:

Super Teacher WorksheetsOpens a new window/tab
Thousands of printable PDF worksheets: math, spelling, reading comprehension, board and card games, graphic organizers, handwriting, flashcards, and manipulatives.

Enchanted LearningOpens a new window/tab
Tens of thousands of educational activities, games, printables, and so on.

Learn360Opens a new window/tab
Free to your classroom. Send a request for an account to spedtech@lesd.k12.or.us.

Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS)Opens a new window/tab
This site leads to a ide variety of research databases, with a good number of them aimed at elementary students.

Every classroom has access to at least one grid-based communication program for the creation of choice boards, schedules, and the like:

SymbolStixOpens a new window/tab
Easier to learn, but relatively limited in scope, and work cannot be shared between accounts. This is the symbol set used by News-2-You, as well as the Proloquo2go and TouchChat AAC programs.

Boardmaker OnlineOpens a new window/tab
More difficult to learn in full, but provides greater flexibility, and work can be shared between accounts. This is the symbol set used by the Tobii-Dynavox AAC devices.

Subscriptions Chosen by Specific Classrooms
(at half cost to their budget)

The username/password for these sites will be specific to a given classroom.

Reading A-ZOpens a new window/tab (and similar, such as Science A-Z, Writing A-Z, and Vocab A-Z)
Reading instruction: leveled readers, phonics, vocabulary, and so on.

News-2-YouOpens a new window/tab
Leveled, symbolated current events stories. Includes a large set of associated lessons and activities for each story. Includes access to the SymbolStix library. We also have the PDF archives available at no cost the classroom.

Very few classrooms subscribe to these:

Edmark Reading OnlineOpens a new window/tab
This is the contemporary version of the familiar Edmark Reading software. Its use has been piloted in two classrooms, and interested teachers can be put in touch with those who have been using it. It is relatively expensive at about $60 per student per year (which is split between the classroom and the AT budget).

BrainPopOpens a new window/tab and BrainPop JrOpens a new window/tab
There are tons of educational flash videos organized by academic category: Science, Social Studies, English, Math, Engineering & Tech, Health, and Arts & Music. In any given category, you drill down to a specific video (e.g., Math > Numbers & Operations > Multiplication). At the level of the specific video, this is what you get: 1) the movie clip (with a zoom button to make it full screen); 2) lesson plans and teaching tools; 3) links to other videos on related topics; 4) quizzes; 5) activities (e.g., simple tests, graphic organizers, vocabulary); 6) Q&A (question sentences about the topic, click to see the answer); 7) “gameup” (flash games on the topic); 8) experiment; 9) FYI; and 10) buttons to other categories.

This site also has a “Brainpop Educators” section where you can find: a) state academic standards and their related BrainPOP videos; b) lesson plans; c) an educators blog, and d) training.

IXL mathOpens a new window/tab
K-6 leveled math program linked to state standards.

Additional Life Skills Sites
(no cost)

BookshareOpens a new window/tab
Bookshare is an eBook library. Send email to spedtech@lesd.k12.or.us to initiate the process of establishing an account for a student, and a sponsor account for the teacher/specialist who will be their partner in assigning books to their reading list.

Featured

Learn360Opens a new window/tab
Free to your classroom. Send a request for an account to spedtech@lesd.k12.or.us. This site houses P-12 audio, video, interactives, and printables.

D-Pan: Deaf Professional Arts NetworkOpens a new window/tab
This is a great place to go if you are looking for signed videos.

The Free Reading ProgramOpens a new window/tab
This is a free K-6 reading, spelling, and grammar program. Create your own free account, within which you will create and manage student accounts.

Make word clouds:

WordleOpens a new window/tab
ABCya word cloudsOpens a new window/tab
Word it OutOpens a new window/tab
Jason DaviesOpens a new window/tab

Internet Safety

Internet Safety 101Opens a new window/tab
The website as a whole has a lot of good general information about internet safety, and this link goes specifically to sets of age-based guidelines.

Academic (Mostly) Games and Videos

Multiple Subject Areas

PBS KidsOpens a new window/tab
Early learners

Fisher-Price GamesOpens a new window/tab
Infant, toddler, preschool

Big Brown BearOpens a new window/tab
Many literacy activities; program for constructing simple addition/subtraction problems

HaveFunTeachingOpens a new window/tab
A great website with hip hop type songs and videos for every letter of the alphabet, plus math, science, writing worksheets and activities.

Kids NumbersOpens a new window/tab

P-5 printables, games, and lesson plans across a wide variety of topics.

Math

A-plus MathOpens a new window/tab

ProngoOpens a new window/tab
Ages 3-6, 6-9, and 9-12; also keyboard use and games

Literacy / Reading / Writing / Typing

StarfallOpens a new window/tab
Interactive reading site with stories, games, themes; early/mid reading-related activities

Internet Picture DictionaryOpens a new window/tab
Fill-in-the-blank speller

LiteractiveOpens a new window/tab
Online stories, rhymes, and games that cover literacy; early sound-recognition games

Literacy CenterOpens a new window/tab
Early learner; shapes, numbers, letters, CVC spelling words

Scholastic Kids PageOpens a new window/tab
A variety of games, interviews, and video clips.  Good for all ages.

Authors

Roald DahlOpens a new window/tab
Author of James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and so on

Eric CarleOpens a new window/tab
He reads Hungry Caterpillar, and the site contains lots of printable activities.

Skippy Jon JonesOpens a new window/tab
Author reading her stories and fun games

Little CritterOpens a new window/tab
Mercer Mayer reading his stories, plus cool interactive games, printables, and songs

Science

StellariumOpens a new window/tab
Shows you the night sky based on your location

National Geographic for KidsOpens a new window/tab
Great science games and videos

InnerbodyOpens a new window/tab
Human body systems with good info, highlights different parts of the body/systems and defines them.

Science CornerOpens a new window/tab
Leveled activities for chemistry, space, cellular biology, and plant growth. Excellent for all grade levels.

Museum of Online Museums (MoOm)Opens a new window/tab
A list of online and interactive museums. Covers lots of different topics and areas, excellent for upper grade levels and students with very specific interest areas. 

Books (See also Online Subscriptions)

Magic Keys booksOpens a new window/tab
Books are not read aloud, but can be switch accessible

Tarheel ReaderOpens a new window/tab
Various interactive/powerpoint books online or downloadable. Review before showing to students! Can be switch accessible and/or voice enabled.

StorylineOpens a new window/tab
Streaming video of popular books read by famous actors, e.g., James Earl Jones reads To be a Drum.  Comes with activities and lesson plans.

The Best Children's BooksOpens a new window/tab
A list of books sorted by subject area, great way to find a book for themes

Crafts

FunologyOpens a new window/tab
Recipes, science experiments, silly jokes

Switch-Accessible Programs

See also the HelpKidzLearn subscription.

Shiny Learning GamesOpens a new window/tab
Simple mouse games to play online (with variable reliability, however).

Materials

Handwriting WorksheetsOpens a new window/tab and Writing WizardOpens a new window/tab
Customize worksheets for handwriting practice

KidzoneOpens a new window/tab
An excellent resource for leveled readers and math worksheets/activities for preschool to 5th grade.

Making Learning FunOpens a new window/tab
Early childhood; printables, coloring pages, and early-learning themed activities

ChildcarelandOpens a new window/tab
Early childhood; includes file folder printables by theme, many of which are free

SoftSchoolsOpens a new window/tab
Math and writing worksheets leveled by grade and activity, where you can design your own

Special Needs Teacher MaterialsOpens a new window/tab
Worksheets, links to free software, and so on

The Teacher's GuideOpens a new window/tab
Lesson plans, materials, technology resources

Early LiteracyOpens a new window/tab
Phonics and letter sound cards in Word format

PreschoolPrintablesOpens a new window/tab
A file folder site with lots of items to download

Free Loops (sound files)Opens a new window/tab
Free sound files

Internet Archive (of Media)Opens a new window/tab
There are tons of open media files here. You will need to preview some of this, but there are areas that have just animal clips, and so on.

Other (Not-Necessarily-Academic) Games and Videos

YouTubeOpens a new window/tab
Video clips for nearly everything you can think of. NOTE: Preview everything before letting students watch. Lane ESD Life Skills does not support unmonitored student access.

Learn4GoodOpens a new window/tab

National GeographicOpens a new window/tab

HowStuffWorksOpens a new window/tab
Great science videos, games, runs through the Discovery Channel

Online StopwatchOpens a new window/tab
Really cool countdown timers you can use and set for the whole group

Instructional Technology

Apples for the TeacherOpens a new window/tab
Various resources: games, materials, activities, and so on

Google TransitOpens a new window/tab
Public transportation planner

Other Folks

HeadbangersOpens a new window/tab
Students using tech to make music

SpEd Tech British ColumbiaOpens a new window/tab
While this site is designed for BC schools, it contains a whole lot of information about AT.

OTAPOpens a new window/tab
Oregon Technology Access Program. Consult with your AT provider before borrowing materials from their equipment library.

RideableOpens a new window/tab
This is a therapeutic equestrian center.

General AT and Special Needs Sites

One SwitchOpens a new window/tab
“A resource of fun ideas and ‘assistive technology’ aimed at moderate to severely learning/physically disabled people.”

Not Done LivingOpens a new window/tab
Originally, this was a Mac AT site (atmac.org), which the author (Ricky Buchanan) purposed as follows: “Using Assistive Technology to Empower Apple Users with Disabilities.” That is now part of this more extensive site.

SimplyNoiseOpens a new window/tab (Requires Flash Player)
This site plays white noise (or you can choose pink or brown noise instead), which can be good for sensory work. Some folks use this while trying to blanket distractions, or to help relax (and even fall asleep).

Equity Commitment Leadership Collaboration Integrity