Sonoma County Office of Education

Web Resources for Para-Educators

Web Resources for EL Para-Educators

This collection of resources was shared at the 2010 Para-Educator Institute, an annual training designed to better prepare para-educators to work with English learners in kindergarten through grade 12.

Language Arts

StarFall | Link
StarFall is a free public service designed to motivate children to read with phonics. It can be used in conjunction with comprehensive programs, such as Houghton Mifflin or Open Court. The activities found here are appropriate for preschool, kindergarten, first grade, second grade, and special education.

Between the Lions: Get Wild About Reading | Link
Here are some resources to help support the development of early reading skills. Engaging videos and games are featured.


National Library of Virtual Manipulatives | Link
The National Library of Virtual Manipulatives is a free resource that promotes three key areas of mathematics instruction presented in California Mathematics Frameworks: procedural skills, conceptual understanding, and problem solving. Virtual manipulatives are sorted by grade and linked to the standards. Instructions and lessons are shared for each of the 100+ manipulative activities. To use, select a manipulative from the grade level you teach and an activity from one of the strands. Strands include the areas of number, algebra, geometry, measurement, and probability.

Figure This! | Link
Figure This! demonstrates challenging mathematics questions and emphasizes the importance of high-quality math education for all students. The site is maintained by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, in cooperation with the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Widmeyer Communications, and the Learning First Alliance.

Math Playground | Link
Math Playground is a resource for students that offers fun ways to practice math. Games, puzzles, and videos help support and enhance student understanding of mathematics.

English Language Development

Language Guide | Link
These vocabulary guides are, in essence, virtual worlds. Users visit different parts of the world (i.e., insects, family, farm), then place their cursor over any of the images to hear their names pronounced and see the words spelled. On some pages, a notepad is displayed next to the title. By placing your cursor over the notepad, a list of supplementary vocabulary words is revealed.

Colorín Colorado | Link
This is a bilingual site for families and educators of English learners. It is an educational initiative of WETA, a public television and radio station in Washington, D.C. Major funding comes from the American Federation of Teachers, with additional support from the National Institute for Literacy and the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs. Colorín Colorado has a wealth of resources for teachers and families supporting English language development.

ESL Mania | Link
This site features a collection of resources for secondary and adult English learners, focusing on idioms, grammar, and business English.

Other Content Areas

BrainPOP | Link
BrainPOP creates animated, curriculum-based content that supports educators and engages students. Appropriate for both group and one-on-one settings, BrainPOP can be used in numerous ways, from introducing a new lesson to illustrating complex subject matter or providing review before a test. Content, available in English or Spanish, is aligned to state standards and easily searchable. A fee-based service, BrainPOP is already available to some Sonoma County schools through their SCOE Library Services contract. See the BrainPOP demonstration materials on the Civil War to consider the site's effectiveness for your student populations.

Technology Guides

Atomic Learning | Link
Video-based how-to guides are finding increased use on the Internet. Atomic Learning is one such resource aimed at educators and students. It strikes a balance between working with software manuals on your own and taking a course from an expert. The site offers Web-based software training and curriculum resources for more than 110 applications that students and educators use every day. The resources are available 24/7, with more than 35,000 tutorials on the most common software applications. There are also over 200 technology-based classroom activities and curriculum resources. Check this sample on Working with Toolbars in Microsoft Word for the PC or Mac platform to learn more. Note that Atomic Learning is a subscription-based service, although some free demonstration samples are available for preview.


Questions may be directed to:

  • Rick Phelan, Director, Technology for Learners
Susie Truelove, SCOE HR Analyst
"Everyone at SCOE has the focus that what we do is to support students, directly or indirectly." - Susie Truelove, SCOE HR Analyst