15 go-to resources for teachers short on time

#DitchBook Twitter chat

#DitchBook Twitter chat | Friday, March 1, 2019

15 go-to resources for teachers short on time

We could ALL use more time. But what happens when we are in need of a lesson idea or activity and the clock is ticking? Here are 15 go-to resources for teachers who are short on time.

There is one thing that all teachers agree we need more of. One thing we can never have enough of and one that we seem to always be running out of in our classrooms.


Although it may not be possible to actually add hours to our day, we can utilize the resources available to us to spark our imagination and give us ideas for lessons we can use right away.

In a recent #Ditchbook chat, moderated by Stephanie DeMichele and Rachel Marker, we asked the community to share the best places to go if they need a quick idea or lesson right now. And if you are looking for even MORE ideas scroll all the way down or click here for 30 tips, tricks, and tools to save you time!

15 go-to resources for teachers short on time

1. There’s a good chance that you’ve played a Kahoot! game, where teachers ask students questions on a projector or big screen and students respond using devices at their seats. Kahoot is a great tool and you can utilize the pre-made Kahoot quizzes to review a concept previously learned, spark interest in a new topic, or just for a bit of fun.

2. Podcasts are an excellent way to stay up to date on new tools and great ideas from other educators. They often include show notes with links to tons of resources or even ready-to-use lessons shared by guests or hosts of the show.

3. The Wonder of Science is a fabulous website for science teachers looking for resources and ideas to support instruction, assessment, unit planning and implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards.

4. Facebook can serve as a fantastic place for teachers looking to find ideas and lessons. Check out resources like Laura Candler’s Teaching Resources page, the HyperDocs Facebook group, Edutopia, and more. Also be sure to like and/or follow the Ditch That Textbook Facebook page to connect with amazing educators there too!

5. The games we loved as kids can give us inspiration for a fun and engaging lesson or activity anytime we need a fresh idea. Looking for resources you can use tomorrow? Check out Gameshow Classroom: Formative assessment that ROCKS.

6. PBS Learning Media is a website chock-full of ready to use resources for any subject. Browse by grade level to find videos, interactive lessons, lesson plans, galleries, audio files, documents, images, collections, and more to fit your needs.

7. Taking a look back at books that you have found inspiring in the past can give you fresh ideas for tomorrow. Teach Like a PIRATE is part inspirational manifesto that ignites passion for the profession and part practical road map filled with dynamic strategies to dramatically increase student engagement. You can download the free ebook: “The Digital PIRATE,” tech and PIRATE teaching for 20 lesson ideas that combine PIRATE hooks and technology for engaging lesson ideas you can use right away.

8. Using a resource like Feedly allows you to keep up on your favorite hashtags, blogs, youtube channels, and more so that you don’t miss any of your favorite content. You can bookmark great ideas or collect them using Wakelet so they are ready to use whenever you need them.

9. Did you know that there is a website where teachers upload and share ready-to-use resources all for FREE? Teacher’s Give Teachers is a website created by Lisa Highfill, Sarah Landis, and Kelly Hilton which allows teachers to “give one” by uploading their own creations or “take one” through a searchable database of lessons and activities.

10. There is no shortage of teaching ideas on Pinterest but wading through all of the resources can be time-consuming. Bookmarking a few of your go-to’s or creating a collaborative board with other educators can help you make the most of this resource. Looking for new accounts to follow? Kasey Bell of Shake Up Learning put together a list of 50 educators you should follow on Pinterest.

11. Let the trends of the world spark a discussion in your classroom. What do your students notice? What do they wonder? Use the most relevant topics for a lively debate, writing topic, or as Josh suggests, find an article to discuss as a class.

12. YouTube has tons of resources that can inspire teachers with a new idea or lesson. You can also harness the power of YouTube by sharing tutorial videos with students to give them an opportunity to learn about a new topic or tool that interests them. Check out these 10 inspiring YouTube channels for teachers for links to some of the best educational YouTube channels. The Ditch That Textbook YouTube channel also has tons of videos available for even more inspiring ideas.

13. Twitter is a great place to find an idea you can use right away. You can search by user or hashtag to browse through tons of resources being shared. Use the advanced search feature to narrow down your results and find just what you’re looking for.

14. Your friends and family members can serve as a fabulous resource for new lessons and activities. Ask them for their ideas and run with them. Those outside of the world of education can give us some fresh ideas that we may have never thought of otherwise.

15. You may have heard the David Weinberger quote: “The smartest person in the room, is the room.” Utilizing the expertise of those educators you work with each and every day can serve as your best idea generator yet!

Looking for more time-saving resources? Check out this collection of 30 tips, tricks, and tools from the #Ditchbook community.

Want to get in on the next #DitchBook Twitter chat?

Having trouble? Still unclear on how a Twitter chat works? Feel free to tweet to these #DitchBook ambassadors and they’ll help — Karly Moura @karlymoura, Sean Fahey @seanjfahey, Sandy Otto @sandyrotto, Rachel Marker @rachelmarker, Evan Mosier @emosier3, Mandi Tolen @TTmomTT, Craig Klement @craigklement, Tara Martin @taramartinedu, Krista Harmsworth @zonie71, Anne Kamper @annekamper, Rayna Freedman @rlfreedm, Lance McClard @drmcclard, Stephanie DeMichele @sdemichele or David Platt @herrplatt!

For notifications of new Ditch That Textbook content and helpful links:

Interested in having Matt present at your event or school? Contact him by e-mail!

Matt is scheduled to present at the following upcoming events:

[getnoticed-event-table scope=”upcoming” max=”15″ expanding=”false”]








FREE teaching ideas and templates in your inbox every week!
Subscribe to Ditch That Textbook
Love this? Don’t forget to share