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California Learning Resource Network

If you are tired of questioning whether the free websites you are finding for your students are those that the state would want you to use, look no further than The California Learning Resource Network, (CLRN). This is a great place to start to find free qualified web materials you can trust to use in your classroom. The site gives you the grade levels and the Common Core Standards that apply, along with the media format types that you can use knowing they are state approved.

Note: CLRN is a great place to go, in order to know you are using qualified materials as well as materials that you are allowed to use for free. CLRN pays credentialed teachers in their specific fields to work through many websites using strict criteria to present the best ones.

From web tools and APPs to Primary Sources, this is a one stop shop. Be aware that other menu tabs on CLRN, such as 'Learning Resources' do present online classes and websites which do cost money.’ What you want for incredible free sources is under the tab called, ‘Open Resources’ for qualified and free learning materials to assign students and use with confidence.

First go to the CLRN website

Then search under the tab -Open Resources.

You’ll get both browse and search options under the Open Resources tab to use any subject and any type of website you want- (type meaning APP, Primary Source materials, Web tools, Reference, Free textbooks and more). You can also recommend a website that you would like the state to look at to review. It’s a great find.


If you haven’t been to NEWSELA for some great Lexile-leveled nonfiction articles lately, get thee there on the double. Not only are there interesting, current, student-oriented, nonfiction articles - for the taking - in easy subject categories, but there are click-to-quizzes on the same page of some of the articles written in a Smarter-Balance, Common Coresque format. This is a great warm-up site for students to access to get a little practice with nonfiction while they get the feel for the format of the Smarter-Balance test.

Best bang for your buck - look for an article with a quiz.


You will be able to access the site and articles for a time without registering, but don’t waste your time; register right away. Registering for NEWSELA allows you the use of easy classroom set-up tools to track your students’ work from the start. Unlike other sites that overwhelm you with different functions and differing lesson structures, NEWSELA gives you timely articles, some with the Smarter-Balance-like quiz on the side. NEWSELA is a great homework assignment, you can track, to see how much students are comprehending at different Lexile levels too.

***Math and science, NEWSELA is the easy answer to add a quick, nonfiction literary element to your curriculum, ASAP, that addresses Common Core Standards and the Smarter-Balance test.

Kathy Bowman and Jane Chambers

Coming Soon to an OVMS near you - CANVAS

Wondering about our new management platform? To find out what the district’s new student learning management system called Canvas is all about, there is a good introductory vimeo through Mesa College: /see - “How to Navigate” - Canvas is the site for what is to come.

and then