Home Learning Resources
Are you looking for ways to continue learning, exercise your brain, and stay connected with your learning community when we're not in school? Check out these free resources that have been vetted and recommended by our Somerville curriculum team. We have especially selected resources that are accessible to and appropriate for a variety of learners, including students with disabilities, English language learners, and struggling readers.
Somerville Early Education offers a variety of resources, activities, and ideas for caregivers and families to continue learning and playing, along with a 14-day menu of activities that you can do at home.
Reading and Writing
Tumblebooks are animated, talking picture books that teach kids the joy of reading in a format they'll love. TumbleBooks Library takes existing picture books, adding animation, sound, music, and narration to produce an electronic picture book. You can read it, or have it read to you. The user name is somerville and the password is reads.
Capstone Interactive Reading: For all ages - LOTS of engaging-looking books available in both Spanish and English; reads it to you and highlights each word; books are at a range of levels, fiction and nonfiction (even how-to books for art, engineering, paper, and science projects). The user name is continue and the password is reading.
Kids Stories In American Sign Language: This is a great series of stories (many read by celebreties) for students who are hard of hearing or those who just want to learn ASL. Where The Wild Things Are and The Giving Tree are especially good and very moving (yes, there were some tears!)
Pebble Go: For grades K-3, a visually interesting series of pages on a variety of topics (animals, science, biographies, social studies, dinosaurs). You can read it or it will read it for you. It highlights each word as it is read. There are also accompanying videos on the topic and printable activities. The user name is engaged and the password is learning.
Nessy: A series of structured and interactive programs designed to help students at all levels who are learning to read. It is now being offered free to families until the end of May.
StoryLine: A really fun site with celebrities reading aloud high interest books. Who can resist having a picture book read to you by Betty White, Oprah Winfrey, Rami Malek, or Justin Theroux?
SORA is for Somerville High School students and connects them to the MLS Commonwealth eBook Collection. Students use their K12 address to log in if downloading Sora app to their own device. On the SORA site, find Somerville High (or enter setup code masslibma).
Lesley Center for Math Achievement: They have created a wonderful, easy-to-navigate math page with resources for grade levels PreK-5. You'll find ideas for math, literature, online games, and unplugged activities using what you have at home.
Dreambox is an adaptive online K-8 math program. We have gotten some good initial feedback about this from families and staff. It's usually quite expensive, but it's now free for 90 days.
Greg Tang Math Games: A selection of interactive games that helps students practice basic skills, while at the same time promoting creative and logical thinking.
Science, Technology, and Coding
Mystery Science: On this site, you can find a series of videos and mini-lessons for grade levels K-5. They are organized around high interest questions such as "Do animals laugh?" and "What makes bridges so strong?"
Science Mom and Math Dad Channel - Daily Science Lesson: This channel has gotten quite a popular following. It features two-hour lessons that explain various science concepts and also gets students doing activities (and submitting them if they'd like).
Scratch is a programming language from MIT that allows students to create their own animations, games, and interactive stories. Many Somerville students already have some experience using this and find it engaging and challenging.
Code.Org: Offers a range of free online coding classes for all ages. They are one of the pioneers in helping all students learn computer science and are the organization behind the Hour of Code that many of our students participate in each year.
Arts and Music
Musician of the Month Project is a website that can be used for all students interested in learning about featured monthly artists. Appropriate activities for each grade level are listed under the Teacher's Menu. Parents are encouraged to access the Teacher's Menu and explore.
Art KidSites: A collection of activites, resources, and sites for budding artists. Learn how to cartoon, read about famous artists, or virtually explore museums.
Note Flight is an online resource for developing music literacy skills. They offer a free basic subscription for students of all ages.
Kennedy Center Interactive: Designed for middle grades and high school students, this is a huge library of multimedia interactive resources on many arts and music topics. Examples include Poetry Out Loud, Creating Household Instruments, and Music and Football.
PBS Visual Arts: Explore many forms of art through this accessible and engaging site. Appropriate for all ages. Examples include: The Art of Logo Design and the Math + Arts Collection.
Music Theory is a great site to practice music theory skills at every level.
New York Philharmonic Kid Zone is a wonderful and engaging site for music education with lots of quality options for multiple ages.
Physical Education: Movement, Wellness, and Mindfulness
GoNoodle: This site contains hundreds of short videos that promote movement and mindfulness. There's a good chance your children have experienced some of them already in class. Caution: while the videos are engaging and silly, the songs do tend to get stuck in our heads for a long time!
Daily PE Routine: Created by one of our PE teachers (and her two children!), Corinne Genova, this 6 minute routine gets kids exercising and moving around!
BeachBody Kids Workouts: A great series of workout videos and music for kids using their celebrity BeachBody trainers.
Glen Higgins Fitness Videos: I wish I had this as a kid! Glen Higgins dresses up as characters from Star Wars, Avengers, Harry Potter, Spiderman and Stranger Things and leads them through workouts. It doesn't even feel like I'm working out, just realizing my lifelong dream of being a Jedi!
Cross Curricular Ideas and Accessibility Resources
Recommended Websites from Our Special Education Department: Our special education department staff have been working hard to compile this great spreadsheet of websites that are recommended for all students, not just those with disabilities. They have been continually updating this list as they find more websites that are high quality and accessible. They have also been working hard to get these translated into a variety of languages!
Daily Occupational Therapy Activities: This daily diet of activities for all students was created by our occupational therpaist, Alli Hays. One day you could be doing yoga poses and the next you could be making rainbow chains. And who can resist bubbles?
PBS Learning Media has a large library of high-quality engaging videos on many topics. Many have been used by our teachers.
Common Sense Media has one of the best collections of resources for families and educators that help create a healthy balance between high quality online resources and unplugged opportunities. They've also just put out some sample activities and schedules for different grade levels.
Educational TV Shows: Here is a list of links to educational TV shows for students in K-12. Ideas include the Magic School Bus, Bill Nye, and Our Planet series.
Brain Pop: A selection of engaging videos on a variety of topics. Some students are already used to seeing the characters in these videos in their classes.
DuoLingo: What better time than now to learn a new language? DuoLingo is a free resource with many engaging activities to learn a variety of languages.
Typing Pal builds student keyboarding skills and is a great use of home learning time. It will help students during school and career. Our students have accounts through Typing Pal set up already. Many students use it regularly in school. Students log in using their K12 username (number starting with 111...) and password. Here are the links for each school:
Remote Tech Support
If you're having trouble with your device and need some remote tech support, please submit a request for support using this Somerville Public Schools Remote Tech Support Form.