The National Writing Project is one of my favorite resources. It offers thought provoking articles about writing and its connection to education and learning. It inspires me with ways of inspiring my students to become better writers, therefore better thinkers. It helps clear some of the students cobwebs after a long summer with little writing.:D
When I was in the classroom, one of my go-to back-to-school resources was Ted Nellen's website:
It has evolved over the years. I got to "know" Ted when I participated on the National Council of Teachers of English's high school teaching discussion board. Ted is an inspiring teacher who saw very early on the value of the internet in engaging kids in learning.
These are all great ideas, and I've added them to my "favorites". I also like the following sites:
http://www.vts.intute.ac.uk/detective/ It's a great way to teach kids how to cite sources and how to tell if a source is credible or not.
http://www.gutenberg.org/catalog/ One of many sites online which provides free access to classic literature both in print and in audio versions. The audio is great for those students who are reluctant readers or who have learning disabilities and need the audio.
http://www.webenglishteacher.com/ Lots of great ideas, projects, resources, and lesson plans for spicing up your own repertoire.
I make frequent use of the read, write, think website: http://www.readwritethink.org/
I particularly like the fact that all of the resources and lesson plans provided on this website are aligned with standards from each state and that each of the lesson plans is tied to SBR (scientifically based research) in one way or another, which makes warding off any disapproving glares from colleagues and administrators far easier.
As a Brit I use different websites, some of which focus on texts that are mainly used in the British curriculum, however there is some crossover. Try this one:
The Times Educational supplement also has a good resource bank, but I actually think the majority of the resources on enotes is better!
If you haven't checked out http://www.teachertube.com/, I highly recommend it-it's a youtube designed for teachers.
Also, http://www.lessonplans4teachers.com/templates.php has great lesson plan templates that'll save you time if you like to create daily and/or weekly lesson plans.
Finally, http://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/ is a wonderful website with plenty of videos streamed to your computer; the only drawback, however, is you have to pay for it. Luckily our school does.
The first thing I try to do is get kids connected to reading for pleasure. I require 45 minutes of silent reading every Friday in all my classes and my first challenge is recommending books to kids who can't remember a single book they liked.
Fabulous for helping kids track what they've read and find new books they might be interested in.
I love the Library of Congress resources for teachers website, as there is so much easily accessible, searchable, quality materials to use in my classes and to teach research skills with. The link for that page is here:
I also like a notecard collection published online for US History. I let my AP students use that site for study materials, and of course, it's free:
The first few weeks of school are spent on developing my class culture through a money system and getting to know the students. I don't actually get around to any core requirements until at least three weeks later. I can still perform and teach with a month or two off of my schedule.