TeachersFirst - What's Popular

This page shares the 25 resources most frequently marked as Favorites by TeachersFirst Members in the past 60 days. See what tops the list of TeachersFirst's database of well over 15,000+ educator-reviewed web resources. Find out what other teachers are excited about. Not a TeachersFirst member yet? See the time saving benefits of free TeachersFirst membership

 

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The 50 States - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 8
14 Favorites 0  Comments
TeachersFirst's states project for students combines the usual "almanac" facts with narratives on native people, early history, economy, and landforms and geography. The result is a...more
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TeachersFirst's states project for students combines the usual "almanac" facts with narratives on native people, early history, economy, and landforms and geography. The result is a one-stop site for upper elementary and middle school students studying their own states, or someone else's. This project is more than "halfway" complete, and we are adding new states regularly.

tag(s): california (24), new york (24), states (157), texas (4)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you start your study of the 50 states. One easy use would be for testing students on knowledge of the capitols. Open the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector, and you can test students not only by state recognition on the map but with what the capitols are. State location and capitol information are not clearly stated until clicked on, so this would be a fairly easy formative assessment in review the information.

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Dates That Matter - TeachersFirst

Grades
5 to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Dates That Matter provides a new perspective on history by placing each day-in-history event in broader context and explaining its long-term impact. History is a fabric woven of many...more
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Dates That Matter provides a new perspective on history by placing each day-in-history event in broader context and explaining its long-term impact. History is a fabric woven of many events, and Dates That Matter helps students see the full tapestry. The dates display on a projector-ready screen: A single sentence reveals something about the date. You then click to see a sequence of thought-provoking questions to guide students to a greater understanding of interrelationships as they try to guess the actual event. When the historical event finally shows on screen, a further explanation, Why does it matter?, fills in the remaining context and offers reviewed links to learn more. Teachers who work with low readers might try using these daily clues to teach the reading strategy of connecting what you read with prior knowledge to place new learning in context. A full, annotated version of each dte is availabel from the Teacher page at the end so you can plan for student responses and have hints for guiding the discussion. You can also preview upcoming dates to choose those you may want to put in your weekly plans.

tag(s): substitutes (18)

In the Classroom

Begin your social studies class once or twice a week by sharing a Date That Matters on a projector or interactive whiteboard to foster broader understanding of the connections that form world history. Or use the links at the end as an extra credit or enrichment opportunity or for gifted students to investigate more. Focus class attention as everyone enters by projecting the date and starting sentence. Make this one a link on your teacher web page for students (and parents)to access outside of school. Substitutes will also appreciate this meaningful and engaging way to connect today with students' prior history knowledge for more than isolated factoid. It's a lesson ready to go!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Fake Concert Ticket Generator - faketicketgenerator.com

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Create your own novelty tickets. Choose from two different ticket styles and enter information such as row and seat numbers, event title and place, and date of the event. After ...more
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Create your own novelty tickets. Choose from two different ticket styles and enter information such as row and seat numbers, event title and place, and date of the event. After entering information, click "Make My Ticket!" to view and save your ticket in JPEG format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): behavior (41), classroom management (84)

In the Classroom

Ask your students to use the Fake Ticket Generator to create excitement for class presentations. Have them create tickets and hand them out to other students to use to be admitted to class for their presentation. Create tickets to hand out to students at the beginning of any unit to create interest and excitement. Make tickets to give to parents as invitation to Meet the Teacher night, Science and Book Fairs, PTO meetings, and more. Create tickets that students can earn, such as a ticket to skip a homework assignment or to have extra time at centers. Give out tickets to special events in the library/media center, such as Dress as Your Favorite Author Day. Have students create tickets to a classroom museum or science fair. Use tickets as a behavior incentive.
 

Comments

I sent ticket invitations to students the week before the Pixar Short Films Plot Study to make sure they came to school (some of my SpEd kids have attendance issues) and were on time. 6th Kay, NM, Grades: 6 - 8

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Printable Paper - printablepaper.net

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
Download and print many types of papers easily from Printable Paper. Lose the excuse, "I don't have any graph (or other) paper!" Choose from popular types such as lined paper ...more
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Download and print many types of papers easily from Printable Paper. Lose the excuse, "I don't have any graph (or other) paper!" Choose from popular types such as lined paper (college or wide rule), several forms of graph paper, letter templates, and much more. Use the categories listing to find specific options to narrow your search such as different forms of penmanship paper, score sheets, or music papers. There are even several different comic page templates and storyboard papers for storytelling or story mapping. Click on any paper image to download in PDF format. A special heading for teacher resources includes lesson plan paper and more. The specialty papers include doorhanger patterns to decorate and cut out. Don't miss the printable games.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (185), comics and cartoons (72), handwriting (16), letter writing (18), musical notation (20), preK (230)

In the Classroom

This site is a must bookmark for classroom use. Use anytime you need graph paper, writing paper, music sheets, etc. Share a link on your classroom website for student use at home. Share this site with parents at Back to School Night. Share this site with older students the first week of school. Now there is no excuse for not doing homework because of not having the correct type of paper! Some of the papers have alternate uses, such as using quilting graph paper to create and study geometric shapes.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst Brain Twister - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 9
25 Favorites 0  Comments
These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, change each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz...more
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These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, change each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz presents ten questions, one at a time. You have only ONE try to pick the correct answer, so think carefully. You get points for each correct answer, totaling up to a possible 100. When you finish, you see your score and how long you spent. Questions are intended to stretch your thinking. Printable versions are available along with answers to the previous week's Twister. A new version of the Twister is mobile-friendly and adjusts to any screen size. Take the Twister with you wherever you go!

In the Classroom

Since elementary and middle school curriculum content varies from location to location, it is unlikely that every question will fall within the scope of your school's curriculum. High point questions may fall outside standard classroom fare. Five point questions tend to be at the knowledge/comprehension/application level of Bloom's taxonomy and closer to "normal" content. Ten pointers are more likely cross-curricular application/analysis, and twenty pointers require analytical thinking and a wider experience level, such as knowledge of current events or information beyond normal curricula. Twenty pointers may require more than one student's input.

Do the questions as a whole-class activity on a multimedia projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.

Alternatively, do the Twister in small groups, with one student an answer entry but others as researchers on neighboring computers to find out what the group does not know. It may be helpful to assign roles: moderator (assigns what to find out and helps the group reach consensus), keyboarder (enters responses, may conduct research in a new window), or researchers (find information as assigned). Use the Twisters to model ad teach information literacy skills in a high-motivation activity. Or offer the Twisters as an enrichment challenge or extra credit option for students to do at home. Ask parents to be on the honor system to sign a note indicating the score their child achieved. Since parents may be overly interested in helping, you may want to simply give extra credit for anyone completing the quiz, no matter the score. Be sure to mark this ready to go exclusive in your favorites and share it on your teacher class web page.

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Musicovery - Vincent Castaignet and Frederic Vavrille

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create and personalize a music playlist using Musicovery. Hover your mouse over different areas of the mood pad to define your radio settings of energetic, dark, positive, or calm....more
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Create and personalize a music playlist using Musicovery. Hover your mouse over different areas of the mood pad to define your radio settings of energetic, dark, positive, or calm. Narrow choices by different genres such as pop, soundtracks, world music, and more. A song list starts playing once you selected the mood. Create an account to save favorites for use later.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (137), learning styles (11), sounds (67)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this link with students and parents looking for less distracting sounds while brainstorming or working. Note that songs with words will probably distract, so you may want to stick to classical or other instrumental options. Reading a book to the class or conducting a science lab? Turn up your speakers and use calming sounds as mood music to set the stage for your story. Play a few minutes of relaxing sounds before a major test. Let a student "DJ" choose a class relaxation or creativity soundscape. If you have "silent reading" time in your class or school, calm music will help students to focus. As you talk with students about discovering their learning styles, offer this site as a suggestion for them to try while prewriting or studying for tests. Emotional support and autistic support teachers may want to experiment to see if these sounds can help their students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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1000 Free eBooks - Sainsbury's Book Club

Grades
7 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Sainsbury's Book Club offers a large collection of the best copyright free eBooks available without charge. Sort books by recently added or sort alphabetically by author or title. Be...more
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Sainsbury's Book Club offers a large collection of the best copyright free eBooks available without charge. Sort books by recently added or sort alphabetically by author or title. Be sure to choose the link at "How to Read eBooks" in the site menu for information on joining the site. Read the directions about how to read books both on a computer or using mobile apps. The site offers free, downloadable apps to read their ebooks on laptop/PC, Android or iOS.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (78), ebooks (34), literature (216)

In the Classroom

Depending on your computer settings, you may need to request that your tech department install the free app on school computers/devices so you can read the ebooks. Bookmark this site for student use when reading classic literature or as a resource for finding free reading material. You can also display texts on an interactive whiteboard to annotate text, explore literary devices, or identify parts of speech! Be sure to share a link to this site for students to access from home. Have students use Classtools (reviewed here) to create concept maps, quizzes, and online games after reading books found at the Book Club. Create a quick poll (with no membership required) using kwiqpoll (reviewed here) for students to choose a book for whole class reading. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the book's main characters.

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Above the Influence - National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign

Grades
6 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
This site is operated by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and mixes a bit of teen entertainment news with plenty of information on the destructive and dangerous effects of...more
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This site is operated by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and mixes a bit of teen entertainment news with plenty of information on the destructive and dangerous effects of using drugs. Uses stories from real teens along with star-power and hip graphics to address not only teen drug use, but other issues relevant to today's adolescents.

tag(s): red ribbon week (8)

In the Classroom

Use this site during your drug unit or Red Ribbon Week as background information for students or student groups to make anti-drug posters using PicLits, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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SCANOVA QR CodeGenerator - Scanova

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create and share QR codes in a hurry with this easy to use QR code generator. Choose to create a QR code to share text, URL's, contact information, or phone ...more
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Create and share QR codes in a hurry with this easy to use QR code generator. Choose to create a QR code to share text, URL's, contact information, or phone numbers. Personalize with information of your choosing. The QR Code Generator converts your information to a QR code to save, share by link, or include on any web page. Customizing options allow you to add color or graphic designs to your QR code with just a couple of easy steps. Save your codes to your account for easy access and editing at any time. Free accounts allow for an unlimited amount of static QR codes and up to 3 dynamic QR codes. Dynamic QR codes allow you the option to change information embedded in the code at any time.

tag(s): qr codes (24)

In the Classroom

Create a QR code that directs to your class website, wiki, or blog. Include the code on handouts for Back to School night. Create a QR code scavenger hunt for students, making a webquest more engaging. Place QR codes around the classroom for a self-directed Back to School Night tour for parents: each code could lead to background information about curriculum, class rules, etc., on your class website or elsewhere on the web! Add QR codes to documents for students to check their answers to questions. Expand the knowledge of a topic by adding a QR code to a site that enhances what is in the textbook. Create a data chart accessible via a QR code. Students can access the data and manipulate the information. Have students create a book trailer or review and affix a QR code to the outside of the book. Students may be more apt to read a book that has been reviewed by another student. Make a display completely interactive with a QR code that describes the assignment, the process, the research, students' reactions and more! Add extra help information to any assignment that asks students to solve problems. Create an online help tutorial accessible via a QR code, and place the code beside a similar problem. Link directly to a Google Map. Place QR code contact information for you and your school on contact cards to give to parents. Attach QR codes to physical objects around the room to provide information about the object. Place the links in a newsletter using QR codes instead of typing a series of words. Find many other ideas at our Ok2Ask archived webinar session and otherTeachersFirst QR code resources.

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Biomes of the World - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 8
29 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Introduce the earth's different biomes with this unit, created by TeachersFirst. Biomes include coniferous forest, deciduous forest, tropical rainforest, tundra, ocean, fresh...more
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Introduce the earth's different biomes with this unit, created by TeachersFirst. Biomes include coniferous forest, deciduous forest, tropical rainforest, tundra, ocean, fresh water, desert, and the savannah. Each link includes information and pictures. Students can complete an on-line research project on a biome of their choice, using selected web resources, or they can learn the basics of biomes with the information provided in the unit. There are links to the introduction, to learn more about the project, and even a teachers link (with a TON of class activity ideas). This site does require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): biomes (116), earth (209), earth day (105), ecosystems (74)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups to explore this site. Challenge students to create multimedia presentations about the biomes. How about a Powerpoint? Or have students narrate a photo of the biome using a site such as Narrable (reviewed here). Other options include creating a wiki, blog, or video.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst: The Highwayman - TeachersFirst

Grades
7 to 12
23 Favorites 0  Comments
This online edition of Alfred Noyes' poem introduces both the text and the poetic devices and vocabulary in this famous poem. The unit can serve as an independent study tool ...more
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This online edition of Alfred Noyes' poem introduces both the text and the poetic devices and vocabulary in this famous poem. The unit can serve as an independent study tool or a review for those who need a refresher on poetic devices.

tag(s): poetry (211)

In the Classroom

Share the start of the poem on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Then turn students or partners loose to explore the poem and discover the details on laptops or at home. Extend the unit by challenging groups or individual students to create their own visual interpretations of a stanza using a tool such as GlogsterEDU reviewed here.

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Ocean Portal - Smithsonian Institute

Grades
6 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
    
Learn all about the ocean and what is in it. View pictures, videos and other material collected from the Smithsonian Institution as well as other sources. Click on the water ...more
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Learn all about the ocean and what is in it. View pictures, videos and other material collected from the Smithsonian Institution as well as other sources. Click on the water drop "Find Your Blue" to find how we all impact the oceans from anywhere we live and work. Read about Ocean Life and Ecosystems, view Timelines of various ocean animals, and learn about Ocean Science. Be sure to read the Ocean and You to understand impacts on the oceans and its relationship with every living thing on the Earth. Find lesson plans and activities as well as other resources by clicking on the For Educators tab.

tag(s): ecosystems (74), food chains (16), oceans (126), pollution (64)

In the Classroom

Use this resource when discussing food chains, ecosystems, and any environmental topic. As oceans are one of the biggest places we are seeing environmental degradation, many ecological concepts can be taught just by looking at what is going on in the oceans. Assign students a project to learn about an ocean species and create an informational multimedia or conventional project such as a wanted poster or a save the animal poster. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here). Research our impacts on the ocean and create an awareness campaign including posters, research information on a class website, and blog posts about the ocean as a resource. Find scientists you can connect to in the classroom that can discuss about this fabulous resource. Have students brainstorm topics about the oceans and let them search for relevant articles that relate to their interests. Do one-sentence summaries of these short articles to practice summary writing.

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TaleTrove - TaleTrove.com

Grades
K to 5
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
TaleTrove is an online collection of user-submitted stories offered in several different formats. Click or scroll to Good Reads and choose from books for young readers (grades K-3)...more
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TaleTrove is an online collection of user-submitted stories offered in several different formats. Click or scroll to Good Reads and choose from books for young readers (grades K-3) or older readers (grades 4-5) to browse through book titles. Click on the book icon to choose from different formats to read and hear stories. Options include view as PDF, listen to mp3, or view the flipbook. Most stories include all three options; however, a few offer only one or two. Each book also includes a learning guide with suggestions for pre and post reading discussion as well as ideas for use when reading the book. The Create space menu accesses games, crafts, and other activities to explore and try. Users can submit reviews of the stories available on the site.

tag(s): audio books (29), digital storytelling (87), guided reading (40), interactive stories (29), preK (230), reading comprehension (84)

In the Classroom

View and listen to stories by opening up two tabs in your browser. Choose one to listen in mp3 format and the other to view using either PDF format or the flipbook reader. View and listen to stories together on your interactive whiteboard or create a link on classroom computers for students to read independently. You could even submit a "review" written by your entire class or have your more able students write one you can submit using a teacher account. Browse for other reading-related activities and crafts. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for reading practice.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Planet Pals - PLANETPALS

Grades
K to 5
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Discover countless activities, lesson plans, facts, and fun at Planet Pals. Lively characters such as Moonbeam and Earthman guide you through activities teaching about our planet and...more
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Discover countless activities, lesson plans, facts, and fun at Planet Pals. Lively characters such as Moonbeam and Earthman guide you through activities teaching about our planet and resources. Other links lead to Fast Facts about Earth, Wonders of the World, and much more. Explore book lists, arts and crafts, coloring pages, and much more within sections for teachers and parents. Don't miss the newest part of the site featuring Green Journals for use during holidays and seasonal celebrations.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conservation (115), earth (209), earth day (105), endangered species (29), environment (283), ozone (11), recycling (50), weather (168)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson about our planet and more on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share this link on your class website for families searching for more science fun at home! Take advantage of the many free lesson plans. This site is perfect to find crafts for homemade gifts for holidays throughout the year.

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Random Name Picker - Russel Tarr

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
When it seems the same students always volunteer with answers and help, try the Random Name Picker. Get your entire class involved using this colorful "game-like" tool. This colorful...more
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When it seems the same students always volunteer with answers and help, try the Random Name Picker. Get your entire class involved using this colorful "game-like" tool. This colorful wheel clicks when you spin. It cheers when you land on a name. The site uses HTML5 so it will work on iPads as well as laptops and PCs. There is no registration required. Input the names, save your lists with a password, and embed the Picker into your blog or website. You can also get a QR code. You also have the option to remove a name from the wheel once you have used it. For safety, use first names only!

tag(s): classroom management (84)

In the Classroom

The obvious use for this tool is for selecting students to answer a question or do an activity. Other uses could include forming groups/pairs or to creating seating charts. Allow students to use it when it's time to choose the next student. Instead of names, enter activities for P.E., rainy day recess activities, the next book your class will read together, or anything where you need to make a choice. You may want to save one wheel as a template when you know you'll be selecting several students. That way you can remove names from the list on the wheel you are using, but will have the original for the next time.

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Mystery Net's Kids Mystery - MysteryNet: The Online Mystery Network

Grades
4 to 9
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
If solving a good mystery is what your students crave, then this website is worthy of bookmarking. There are 28 'quick solve' mystery stories provided. Students read the story, and...more
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If solving a good mystery is what your students crave, then this website is worthy of bookmarking. There are 28 'quick solve' mystery stories provided. Students read the story, and then choose the perpetrator. Clues are provided as necessary. This website also features 29 chiller mystery stories to solve. At the bottom of the screen, you will find links to lesson plans (about mysteries), mystery bibliographies, a "tricks" page, and much more.

tag(s): forensics (26)

In the Classroom

Reading teachers in the elementary and middle grades will appreciate the complicated story line at a lower reading level. Students will be motivated to read more of the stories.

Why not display the mystery on an interactive whiteboard (or projection screen) as an anticipatory set for a science class on forensics, reading lesson about "finding clues," or a mystery unit. Use the tools to highlight clue words and other ways that the mystery "leads" you to the solution. Challenge your class to create their own 'quick solve' mysteries individually or with a partner on a class wiki. If your teaching assignment allows you to team teach, coordinate your mysteries in reading class with a look at scientific method in science class, using these mysteries.

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Student Center Activities Aligned to the Common Core Standards - Florida Center for Reading Research

Grades
K to 5
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Discover student center activities aligned to Common Core from the Florida Center for Reading Research. Use differentiated instruction to meet every child's needs. Explore the teacher...more
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Discover student center activities aligned to Common Core from the Florida Center for Reading Research. Use differentiated instruction to meet every child's needs. Explore the teacher resource guide, the professional development on differentiated instruction, and how to use student centers. All materials are available as downloads. They mention a DVD, but you can download all the files separately and for free.

tag(s): literacy (84)

In the Classroom

After formative assessments, hone in on every child's needs by searching this site for worthwhile activities that target specific instruction. These ready made center activities can be used tomorrow. Share with your grade level colleagues and offer instant solutions for every teacher. Share with learning support teachers or even after school tutoring programs. Offer enrichment or advancement for gifted children by looking ahead.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mail Catch - Net-Core.org

Grades
5 to 12
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Mailcatch quickly creates a "disposable" email address to use with web tools that require email registration. This could be your solution to using free, membership-required sites where...more
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Mailcatch quickly creates a "disposable" email address to use with web tools that require email registration. This could be your solution to using free, membership-required sites where students must sign up individually using an email address. This is the spam, update, and junk email dumping ground! Files are deleted on a regular basis. If there is something you need to check for site log in purposes, be sure to check it the day that the email is sent and save the information to a document on your computer. The genius of this site is that it is temporary but completely functional for protecting individual identities. Protect your own "real" email, too! Note that any "disposable" email address can be used by others at any time, so using a more unique address will decrease the likelihood that others have used the same one. Be clever!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): internet safety (96)

In the Classroom

Have students choose a "Mailcatch" address in the beginning of the school year as part of your introductory lesson on acceptable use procedures. Once that email is chosen, they can use it every time they need to sign up for a website that requires an email. After they have used it in your class, show them how to check the mail by typing in their "address" into the web page. Here they can see their email, such as membership confirmations.
 

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Timer-Tab - brillout.com

Grades
K to 12
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Timer-Tab is an easy to use online alarm clock, timer, and/or stopwatch. Click on any of the functions, set your time, and get started. The alarm clock and countdown move ...more
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Timer-Tab is an easy to use online alarm clock, timer, and/or stopwatch. Click on any of the functions, set your time, and get started. The alarm clock and countdown move in increments of hours, minutes, and seconds. The countdown and stopwatch also have a pause feature. One especially handy feature is that the time displays on the browser time so you can see it as you navigate other web sites.

tag(s): classroom management (84), counting (113), time (131)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool. At the beginning of the school year, display on your interactive whiteboard or projector to time or countdown any classroom activity. That will get the students in the habit of checking how much time they have left. Use this tool for students to practice speeches, or to limit time for a quiz or spelling test. Use the countdown feature for timing the rotations from center to center. Use the timer for reading fluency exercises or physical education warm-ups. Employ the count-down as a clever classroom management tool on your computer screen when you want the class to settle down for directions or to transition to the next subject. Students may even want to use this tool for themselves. Have a timer tab open in your web browser as you display web sites on a projector or web based activities on an interactive whiteboard so students know how much more time they have to read the site or complete the activity. Have kindergarten students practice counting along with the watch!

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Rewordify - Neil M. Goldman

Grades
4 to 12
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Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown...more
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Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown with highlighting. Click on the highlighting to view the original, more difficult word(s). View excellent student and teacher demonstrations showing how to use the website. You have the option to choose how Rewordify displays the results using the options in the settings. Several options allow for easy personalization of results.

tag(s): vocabulary (306), vocabulary development (103)

In the Classroom

This site is a must for saving and bookmarking for classroom use! Start the school year out by posting the link to Rewordify on your class website for student and parent access from home. Be sure to share with learning support and ESL/ELL teachers and students. Be sure to share a link on your classroom website and parent newsletter for use at home. Save a link to Rewordify on classroom computers for students to easily paste text from any website to read in a simpler format. Copy and paste any difficult text into Rewordify and display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to enhance student understanding or show meaning in complex texts. Have students guess meanings from context clues in the more complex version, then share the "rewordified" view to test their guesses. Have students create a word cloud of difficult words identified using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Have students take a screen shot of passages that have been "rewordified" to share and discuss.
 

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Powtoon - powtoon.com

Grades
K to 12
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PowToon is an amazing, free, animated presentation tool. Choose from one of many templates available to edit, or start from scratch. Then start making magic! Label your title and description....more
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PowToon is an amazing, free, animated presentation tool. Choose from one of many templates available to edit, or start from scratch. Then start making magic! Label your title and description. Modify slides by changing text, font, image holders, and props. Preview your creation at any time with the play button. Stop and make changes as needed. Change styles easily by choosing a different style within the program. Select from the royalty free music options offered by Powtoon to enhance your presentation. Share the finished presentation via social media buttons on your page to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other popular pages or export to YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then using YouTube may not be your best option. Use the embed code provided to easily embed in your website or blog -- or simply share your Powtoon using the URL provided. Exports are not included with the free membership plan. Email is required to register and use Powtoon.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (50), movies (50), multimedia (34), slides (55)

In the Classroom

Challenge older students to create their own PowToons. Students can use PowToon to share their ideas or to "prototype" an idea. Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain scientific processes, tell stories, or present research. The possibilities are really endless, and students will come up with hundreds more uses. Flip your classroom using PowToon presentations. Use PowToon to create teacher-authored animations for students in ANY grade. This is a great way to present new information or ideas for discussion. It is an easy way to share information with the class when a substitute is in your classroom. Embed your PowToon creations on your website or blog for students to review at home. Use a PowToon on the first day of school to explain class rules or give an exciting introduction to the year ahead. Use PowToon to create movies or presentations for back to school night or conference nights to display on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teacher-librarians can ask students to create PowToon book reviews to share kiosk style in the library/media center.

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The Roots of the Equation - James Cleveland

Grades
7 to 12
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Look into a high school Algebra classroom through this intriguing blog. The author shares thoughts on professional topics such as lesson planning, gamification of the classroom, and...more
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Look into a high school Algebra classroom through this intriguing blog. The author shares thoughts on professional topics such as lesson planning, gamification of the classroom, and aligning instruction across grade levels. In addition, he shares downloads and activities for classroom use. View archived posts back to June 2011, Browse through tagged categories to find specific content such as lessons or student response.

tag(s): blogs (80)

In the Classroom

Subscribe by email or RSS feed to follow the blog and receive update notifications. Explore the archives to find many interesting lessons and printables for classroom use. Have students create their own math blogs using Throwww, reviewed here. This site allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL is generated for the post, and this tool is as easy as using a basic Word program!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Corestand - Teachers, not Textbooks - National Governors Association Center for Best Practices

Grades
K to 12
12 Favorites 5  Comments
     
CoreStand is an online hub for teacher-created resources, services, and accountability tools directly tied to the educational standards-based Common Core Initiative. Find a wealth of...more
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CoreStand is an online hub for teacher-created resources, services, and accountability tools directly tied to the educational standards-based Common Core Initiative. Find a wealth of information to use when implementing Common Core Standards. The website offers opportunity to learn, publish, showcase, and share. Participate in virtual learning communities including discussions and document sharing. The library of free resources includes ebooks, standards and exemplars by grade, and instructional material templates. View videos from the Core Consultant videos for ideas in pedagogy. Search the extensive database for lessons and units correlated to Common Core components. Share your activity and follow other educator's "streams" as part of your professional network development. Follow several professional blogs to stay current on latest practices. Register with email to access site features.

tag(s): commoncore (50), professional development (70)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save to use throughout the year. Share with other teachers and staff members to use as a resource. Discuss blogs and educator streams during professional development sessions. Share resources that have been useful in your classroom. Follow the blogs on this site to continue to receive the latest educational offerings. Follow other educator's streams that contain materials of use to you in your classroom. View videos together during professional development sessions.

Comments

The Standards by Grade and Reference Guides saved my life! At first the Common Core Standards seemed unsurmountable. With CoreStand that has changed for me. Bart, , Grades: 0 - 12
Love it - empowering teachers and helping us all improve by sharing great ideas! Vicky, , Grades: 0 - 12
I have to admit that I knew about CoreStand.com before TeachersFirst posted their helpful resources. I got my hands on their "Reference Guides" very early and have been a big fan for a long time. The "I Can..." statements have been incredibly helpful in our school. Jim, IL, Grades: 5 - 5
I am delighted to see that TeachersFirst has listed us as a resource. Our mission is to give teachers access to the best tools out there... other teachers. CoreStand's VLCs really empowers teachers. Create a free account today and join the conversation. Dean, IL, Grades: 0 - 12
CoreStand's Reference Guides and Standards by Grades section has made learning, understand and implementing the standards so much easier. I have been looking for help with this since May. Kim, , Grades: 0 - 5

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Shmoop Poetry (beta) - Shmoop University Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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As a companion piece to the Shmoop literature site, this is a wonderful addition if you teach poetry. Shmoop provides students (and teachers) with so much more than summaries. This...more
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As a companion piece to the Shmoop literature site, this is a wonderful addition if you teach poetry. Shmoop provides students (and teachers) with so much more than summaries. This is a great site with a unique voice. It is written by Ph.D. and Masters students at top universities (such as Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc.). While the list of poems is currently growing (this is a beta site), it includes many of the poems and/or poets commonly studied in high school including some of Shakespeare's sonnets, Whitman, Coleridge, Shelley, Dickinson, Browning, Rich, Yeats, and others. Especially appealing are the "Intro" sections, which tell the background of the poem. This should interest students as it places a very human "face" on the poem and sets it in context for them. Besides summaries, techniques, quotes, and study questions, this site also gives a "did you know?" page that includes random trivia about the poet, poem, or topic, as well as a "sex rating" ("Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is rated "G"). This in itself will amuse students-- and amused students are likely to stay focused!

In addition to the literary content, there are also photo slideshows that accompany the poems and their authors. The slideshows would be great for readers who may need some assistance in comprehension, or may just need to something to sell the content and heighten their interest. While actually signing up (which is free) gives you the ability to "clip" files and keep them in a folder, you can access the majority of the information without signing up. Registration does require an email address. Rather than using personal email accounts consider creating a teacher Gmail account and set up subaccounts for up to 20 students to register (by code name or number). Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Be aware this site is still in beta. The content is frequently updated, so be sure to check back!

tag(s): poetry (211)

In the Classroom

There are many possibilities at this website. Use it for reference, share the highlights on your interactive whiteboard or projector, or talk about the constructive use of a site like this without plagiarizing. One activity after reviewing a poem through Shmoop's process might be to have students use a poem not included on Shmoop and make their own entry for it, following the Shmoop template as an example. Why not make your own wiki to include some of the same features for other poems? Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Note: one popular poem on Shmoop is Poe's "The Raven." Be sure to have students explore TeachersFirst's interactive Raven as yet another rich way to experience the poem along with Shmoop.

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Listening to Poetry: Sounds of the Sonnet - National Endowment for the Humanities

Grades
8 to 12
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If you want to make your students love the SOUND of poetry, this is the site for you. While knowing the terms for rhythms, meters, etc. is important to teachers ...more
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If you want to make your students love the SOUND of poetry, this is the site for you. While knowing the terms for rhythms, meters, etc. is important to teachers and for testing, it seems more important for students to understand the sound that comes from language and appreciate it. The terms can always come later and will be connected to a meaningful experience students can recall. This site provides seven sound experiments to whet your students' appetites for poetry. The site provides step-by-step instructions on the seven "experiments" used to involved students in the music of language. It also provides multiple links to different eras from the early Elizabethan sonnets to the Romantics through Victorian and American poets.

tag(s): poetry (211), sonnets (7)

In the Classroom

Conduct these lessons in their "traditional" ways or consider letting students make a podcast of one or more of the experiments so their peers can "hear" the lesson over and over with explanation and commentary from their peers. These podcasts could be the start of a library to accompany the teaching of poetry in your school. If you have never tried podcasting, the relatively simple structure of these "experiments" gives you a structured place to start.

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