Do you know of young children who are apprehensive about the new grade they will face after the summer break?

Check out how some Minnesota teachers have used a custom website Almost a Third Grader to address this issue.The results are, I think, quite brilliant. No wonder the project has been picked up by local media and even the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ daily SmartBrief.

Some features I really like:

  • A new theme/topic every couple of days over the summer
  • Free access without having to sign in
  • Engaging teaching videos made by teachers
  • Web links to other sites
  • Age-appropriate content
  • “Poll of the day”

With all the free tools available today, I doubt the teachers behind this project had to pay more than a few dollars for this entire site. The only real cost was their time, and the payoffs should be great, not just this summer but for years to come.

What could you do to help your students using free web tools like this?