Back to School Guide 2020: Helpful Features and Free Resources for Teachers

We don’t need to tell you that heading back to school amid the Coronavirus means significant new challenges for educators. Teachers around the world are juggling last-minute changes to learning plans, weighing safety options, and adapting to life in a virtual or hybrid classrooms–on top of all typical back-to-school business.

Perhaps we’re a bit biased, but we ‘re constantly amazed by the dedication, strength, and skill with which educators are handling the challenges of Covid-19. Somehow, even among all of the uncertainty, teachers are still crushing it.

We also know that the road ahead may be a bit bumpy. Below, we’ve highlighted a few features from Crossword Hobbyist, My Word Search, and My Worksheet Maker that may be useful for the 2020 school year.

Teaching Resources for the 2020 School Year

In the article below, you’ll discover how to:

  • Set up online puzzles for your students to solve
  • Collect online crosswords and word searches
  • Review student submissions and access automatic scoring
  • Find free activities for online learning
  • Make your own printable PDFs for the classroom
  • Download free worksheets made by teachers
  • Discover other resources for the virtual classroom

Whether you’re a teacher, parent, or member of a home school pod, our trio of easy-to-use websites contain tools that will help you create high-quality material–for in-person and remote learning.

Online Solving for Crosswords and Word Searches

In addition to creating puzzles, My Word Search and Crossword Hobbyist lets your students or group solve crosswords and word searches online. The sites automatically collect and compile each submission. Group member scores are calculated and displayed automatically. This makes it easier for you to view individual and group results.

How to Create Crosswords and Word Searches for Students to Solve Online

Making your own puzzles for online solving is a quick and easy process:

'Accept Online Submissions' in the Creator Panel
Select options on the Creator Panel

1: Create and publish your Crossword or Word Search

2: Select ‘Accept Online Submissions‘ on the Creator Panel

3: Choose which student fields to include on the submission form

4: Share your custom puzzle link with your students or group

And that’s all you need for online solving!

Make sure to check out the other useful features on the Creator Panel, too. You can toggle between giving your students hints or even make your crossword or word search private by protecting it with a password.

Reviewing Online Submissions and Automatic Grading

Once you accept online submissions, you can see results in real-time. Both Crossword Hobbyist and My Work Search collect your group’s responses automatically and provide detailed information about each student’s work:

A detailed list of student submissions
See each student’s performance and results all in one place.

Click on a group member to see their individual results and any incorrect answers. A submission time stamp lets you check that work is submitted before the deadline.

Each submission contains individual details
Individual results are easy to review.

Whether you’re using puzzles as a fun classroom activity or as a graded assignment, for your students to turn in online crosswords and word searches.

Free Crosswords and Word Searches in All Subjects

We know it can be challenging to find free activities for virtual learning. In addition to online solving, Crossword Hobbyist and My Word Search also feature free puzzles for your students to solve. Between the two sites, there are thousands of free crosswords and word searches that can be solved online or printed as PDFs.

Free crossword puzzles about a variety of sports
Free puzzles are organized into categories for easy browsing

Browse free Crossword Puzzles | Browse free Word Searches

These community resources have been made by educators around the world. You can find free crosswords for kids in every subject and grade level–whether it’s sports, Christmas, The Catcher in the Rye, animals, foreign languages or even more advanced subjects like Chemistry. There are plenty of challenging and educational puzzles for adults, too.

 Professional and Newspaper-Style Crosswords

Browse brofessional crossword puzzles
Browse and solve thousands of free crosswords

Older students can print or solve free newspaper-style crosswords, as well.

These are similar to what you would find in the New York Times (NYT), Washington Post (WaPo), Wall Street Journal (WSJ), or  Newsweek.

Some contain general clues, while others are highly specialized to subjects or hobbies.

Browse free professional/newspaper-style crosswords

Additionally, you can save and adapt any of these free puzzles for your own use. If you can’t find exactly what your class or group needs, you can easily your own crossword or word search.

How to Make Free Printables for the Classroom

My Worksheet Maker LogoOur next feature is our newest site, My Worksheet Maker. With it, you can make PDF worksheets and printables for students quickly and easily.

My Worksheet Maker automatically formats your content into popular worksheet types. Templates include favorites like matching worksheets, fill in the blank worksheets, multiple choice exercises and word scrambles. You can also make your own handwriting worksheets in cursive or print. Our customizable bingo cards and DIY flash cards can also be used for a variety of fun classroom activities.

Choose from popular worksheet types and templates:

Choose from a variety of worksheet templates
Formatting is fast and easy with pre-made worksheet templates.

Basic worksheets are free to create on My Worksheet Maker. There is also an option for Premium Membership, which includes additional features and formatting options. Like our other sites, My Worksheet Maker is completely ad free. The site is 100% supported by Premium Members.

Although we don’t have online solving for worksheets (yet), My Worksheet Maker is a powerful and valuable tool for creating PDFs, printables, and packets that can be sent to parents, students, or colleagues.

Free Printables and Worksheets Made by Teachers for All Subjects and Grades

Browse community worksheets
Sort by subject, grade level, or worksheet type.

Our final feature highlight is the Community Library on My Worksheet Maker. Like Crossword Hobbyist and My Word Search, My Worksheet Maker has a collection of worksheets made by other teachers and educators. You can browse and adapt any of these worksheets to fit your classroom goals.

Sort by grade level, subject, and worksheet type. For example, you can look up free 6th grade science worksheets, second grade cursive printables, or matching assignments created for Spanish verb conjugation practice.

If you find a worksheet that’s almost perfect, just save it to your own account and edit a copy to meet your needs.


We hope you find these features and materials helpful. Best of luck for the 2020 school year!

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