Examples of ways to differentiate instruction

TeachersFirst's Thinking Teachers who write our resource reviews often have suggestions that have worked in their classrooms. Open the reviews to the "more" view to see ideas for using specific resources as tools to differentiate for a variety of learners. Alternatively, use the keyword search tool at the left of this page to search for a curriculum topic and the term "differentiate." For example, search fractions differentiate (with "all the words" selected for the search).

 

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History Tech - Glenn Wiebe

Grades
7 to 12
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History Tech is an outstanding blog for history and social studies teachers created by curriculum and technology integration consultant Glenn Wiebe. Wiebe shares resources and lesson...more
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History Tech is an outstanding blog for history and social studies teachers created by curriculum and technology integration consultant Glenn Wiebe. Wiebe shares resources and lesson ideas with a focus on game-based learning and technology integration. Browse through the blog's feed to view the latest posts, use the search box to search by keyword, or click on commonly used tagged words. To find specific topic content scroll down to the bottom of the home page and use the drop box featuring History Tech Topics. Be sure to sign up with your email address to receive the most recent posts directly to your inbox and follow the site on Twitter @glennw98.

tag(s): back to school (63), branches of government (62), digital storytelling (140), maps (208), politics (113), primary sources (113), social media (53), teaching strategies (41)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to reference throughout the school year. Use the keyword search option to find ideas for specific units or technology tools to use. Use a bookmarking tool like Wakelet, reviewed here, to collect and share information from this blog along with your other resources. As you gather lesson ideas and create your unit, use Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to create differentiated lesson activities for your students.

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CanFigureIt Geometry - CanFigureIt LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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CanFigureIt is an interactive tool and workspace for exploring and learning about geometric proofs. This tool, developed to help promote problem-solving skills and logical thinking,...more
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CanFigureIt is an interactive tool and workspace for exploring and learning about geometric proofs. This tool, developed to help promote problem-solving skills and logical thinking, provides immediate feedback to student responses. Start as a guest user, or apply for the Proof Ninja Educator Program to receive student reports. Choose from over 450 different topics, then follow prompts to justify claims and make proofs. Take advantage of the included tutorial videos to understand how to use all of the features of the program. Although optimized for Chromebooks, this site works on PC's and Macs but is not optimized for use on mobile devices.

tag(s): angles (52), geometric shapes (135)

In the Classroom

Include this site with your other tools for teaching and practicing geography concepts. Be sure to share with students on your webpage or blog for easy access at any time. Apply for the Proof Ninja Educator Program to take advantage of the additional features for monitoring student work. Introduce this site to your students on your interactive whiteboard as you work together to learn geometry concepts. Ask students to show proofs and justifications using the program and take a screenshot of their work. Ask students to include their screenshot within a Google document and share their problem-solving process. This site is an excellent way to differentiate learning for different levels of student understanding. Encourage students to create explainer videos using Clipchamp, reviewed here, to modify their learning and to share their understanding with their fellow students. Include those videos on your website for all students to review and access.

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Open Middle - N Johnson, R Kaplinsky, B Anderson, D Luevanos, and Z Miller

Grades
K to 12
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Open Middle is a terrific resource to find challenging math problems for all grade levels. The problems on this site offer multiple options for finding the solution. Many initially...more
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Open Middle is a terrific resource to find challenging math problems for all grade levels. The problems on this site offer multiple options for finding the solution. Many initially appear to be easy; however, they become more complex as they are solved. Use links at the top of the page to find problems by grade level and concept or use filters to browse by Common Core Standards. Each question includes a hint when necessary and answers.

tag(s): logic (163), problem solving (225), statistics (116)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to find math problems correlating to your teaching standards or content. This site is perfect for finding materials to differentiate instruction with different student ability levels. Have students share their results and discuss their problem-solving process on your interactive whiteboard. Take screenshots of the different solutions and include on your class website. Another option is to take a picture of student's written solutions, then use Voxer, reviewed here, to extend student learning by having them add an audio recording describing their mathematical thinking. Share their Voxer to your student's digital portfolio on Seesaw, reviewed here, or another portfolio creation site. As students become more proficient in sharing their mathematical thinking and problem-solving activities, consider using their math talks as part of an ongoing podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, as a way to extend student learning and promote math conversations and help students understand that there may be many different ways to arrive at the right answer to a problem. Buzzsprout features free and easy to use tools including the ability to create and schedule podcasts to be released on any date and time you desire.

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ReadingIQ - Age of Learning

Grades
K to 6
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Reading IQ contains an expansive reading library including quality fiction and non-fiction literature and award-winning books. Free enrollment for teachers provides free access to students...more
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Reading IQ contains an expansive reading library including quality fiction and non-fiction literature and award-winning books. Free enrollment for teachers provides free access to students on any device. After enrolling, set up your classroom to access student monitoring tools that include assigning reading levels and monitoring time spent reading. ReadingIQ allows teachers to assign books then provides detailed reports of class and individual progress in reading levels.

tag(s): book lists (158), classroom management (127), literacy (106), preK (255), reading comprehension (142), spanish (104)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free reading program to differentiate reading materials for your students both by ability and interests. Set up your program then share learning goals with your students and parents. Engage students use by using the free interactives and printables from ReadWriteThink, reviewed here, and have students create story maps, book covers, and much more as part of their retelling and summarizing activities. Create shared class activities using a video response tool like Flip, reviewed here, to enhance student learning by asking students to share short book talks about their favorite books read on the site. Take learning even further by creating ongoing podcasts discussing favorite books and characters using Buzzsprout, reviewed here. Buzzsprout makes it easy to create and share podcasts by offering scheduling options to meet your needs.

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oodlu - Wayne Holmes and Douglas Lapsley

Grades
2 to 12
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Create learning games for use on any device using oodlu. Sign up for a free account to begin creating question sets. Take advantage of many different question formats including sequencing,...more
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Create learning games for use on any device using oodlu. Sign up for a free account to begin creating question sets. Take advantage of many different question formats including sequencing, multiple choice, and fill in the blank. Optional features provide the ability to add different forms of feedback to guide students when making incorrect choices. When finished, share the code with students to access the learning games. Students sign in using their username, password, and the code provided. As students complete activities, they earn award badges. Use the teacher dashboard to review and monitor student achievements. Free accounts include an unlimited number of students and questions.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (142), flash cards (42), game based learning (171), gamification (74)

In the Classroom

Use oodlu to differentiate learning in your classroom. Assign questions sets to different groups of learners according to their specific needs. Be sure to show students how to log in and access questions (if your class is remote learning, show students the log in, etc. by using a video conference room such as Zoom, reviewed here, and then include a link to the site on your class webpage for students to play at home. At the end of your unit, enhance learning and augment technology use by asking students to plan a multimedia presentation using a tool like Milanote, reviewed here, where you can turn your notes into a storyboard for this project! Extend learning and modify technology use by having students use the Storyboard to create a multimedia presentation with a tool like Sway, reviewed here, to share their learning. Have students include text, images, videos, and a link to oodlu learning games in the Sway.

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SummarizeThis - Iris Reading

Grades
5 to 12
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Do you need a tool to quickly summarize long chunks of text? SummarizeThis is the answer. Just copy any section of text from online, PDFs, word documents, or where ever ...more
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Do you need a tool to quickly summarize long chunks of text? SummarizeThis is the answer. Just copy any section of text from online, PDFs, word documents, or where ever and paste it into SummarizeThis. Click the link to summarize, and the result appears immediately.

tag(s): learning disability (22), Special Needs (53), summarizing (21)

In the Classroom

Introduce SummarizeThis to students working on research projects as a way to quickly determine the content and viability of using websites. Use to differentiate instruction with students. Use with learning support students as a resource to make content more accessible. Use the summaries when teaching how to summarize in an ELA class. Compare the summary you create as a class or in small groups with the "automated" one. Are there subtleties or important distinctions that this tool misses? As a challenge for your more critical thinkers, have them try to figure out what signals the tool uses to create its summary.
 

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MySciLife - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 9
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MySciLife is a free, educational social media platform designed to help middle-level science students forge deeper connections to the content they're learning about, their classroom...more
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MySciLife is a free, educational social media platform designed to help middle-level science students forge deeper connections to the content they're learning about, their classroom community, and the world around them. In MySciLife, students design identities based on science concepts, conduct research to build their profiles and learn from each other as they personify their identities in posts, comments, and responses. The platform is browser-based and accessible from any device. It has a built-in library of customizable resources aligned to Next Generation Science Standards. MySciLife is COPPA-compliant, requires verified parental consent for student participation, and is password protected.

tag(s): animals (277), critical thinking (112), descriptive writing (38), digital citizenship (84), OER (43), plants (140), scientists (62), social media (53), STEM (256), volcanoes (55), writing (315)

In the Classroom

Join MySciLife to bring excitement and energy to your science classroom. As you complete activities in the platform, use a concept mapping site like MindMup, reviewed here, to replace paper/pencil version of a concept map. Alter students' learning by asking them to create and share infographics based on their research and sharing of ideas. Canva, reviewed here, is an easy to use site for creating infographics using pre-made templates or from scratch. Take student learning to a whole new level by redefining it and having them create a game-based learning activity for their peers using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here. Symbaloo Learning Paths offers many options for creating differentiated learning using video, quizzes, and more.
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Open Up Resources Math Curriculum - Open Up Resources

Grades
6 to 8
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Access the Illustrated Mathematics Grades 6-8 curriculum for free through the Open Up Resources site. Register on the site to view and gain access to course materials. Select the grade...more
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Access the Illustrated Mathematics Grades 6-8 curriculum for free through the Open Up Resources site. Register on the site to view and gain access to course materials. Select the grade level and choose teacher, parent, or student materials. Content is divided into units and lessons and includes all materials except assessments. Provide additional information related to your school affiliation to gain access to assessments. Additional options include downloading resources as a print file or import into a Microsoft OneNote Class Notebook.

tag(s): data (145), equations (120), exponents (35), factoring (25), factors (29), fractions (163), geometric shapes (135), measurement (127), OER (43), percent (59), probability (97), pythagorean theorem (20), ratios (48), transformations (12), volume (34)

In the Classroom

Include this site to supplement your current grade 6-8 math curriculum. Use the resources to differentiate instruction for gifted students in lower grades or as remediation for struggling students in older grades. Be sure to take advantage of the family materials providing explanations of math content and strategies for problem-solving. Use the student materials for differentiating instruction or as homework. Have students share their math explanations and strategies with video explanations using a tool like Flip, reviewed here. Flip provides a tool for video responses to a question along with comments from peers. Take student learning a step further and ask them to create and share their own math problems along with suggestions for learning. Use a tool like Sway, reviewed here. Sway is a presentation tool that offers multimedia options including text, video, and images.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Moonshot Learning - Moonshot Learning

Grades
9 to 12
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Moonshot Learning provides free resources to explore the real-life applications of emergent technologies, many of the resources correlate to Common Core Standards. Choose the Online...more
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Moonshot Learning provides free resources to explore the real-life applications of emergent technologies, many of the resources correlate to Common Core Standards. Choose the Online Resources link to view all material offered, check out the Resource Categories on the left to sort the list by lessons, learning tools and more. Registration isn't required; however, it allows you to access all materials including teacher's guides. Lessons include videos, articles, and guiding questions.

tag(s): commoncore (76), computers (105), ethics (23), financial literacy (92), genetics (76)

In the Classroom

Use Moonshot Learning activities across the curriculum and to differentiate instruction based on student interest. Many of these activities are perfect for extension activities and for use with Gifted students. After completing activities found on this site have students create a multimedia presentation using Genial.ly, reviewed here. Genial.ly allows you to add polls, audio, videos, embeds, web links, PowerPoint, PDfs, and more.

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Twitter Chat: Differentiating Instruction: Practical Ideas for Teachers - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from December 2017 that will open in Wakelet. Browse the tips and tools offered by the chat moderators and participants. Through this chat participants:...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from December 2017 that will open in Wakelet. Browse the tips and tools offered by the chat moderators and participants. Through this chat participants: shared specific strategies that can be used to accommodate students' learning needs, discussed ed tech tools available to assist in differentiating instruction, and discussed ways in which to make content accessible to all students.

tag(s): differentiation (83), twitterchatarchive (171)

In the Classroom

View this chat to learn more about differentiation and tools to help you engage and differentiate for the various levels and interests in your class.

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Data Analysis and Probability Resources - Grades 3-5 - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 5
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Explore this curated list of resources ideal for grades 3-5. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards in the area of Probability and Data Analysis. Many of these tools ...more
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Explore this curated list of resources ideal for grades 3-5. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards in the area of Probability and Data Analysis. Many of these tools would be useful on your interactive whiteboard or in your BYOD classroom. Topics include line plots, graphs, surveys, numerical data, and more.

tag(s): charts and graphs (169), data (145), probability (97)

In the Classroom

Share the resources with students for additional practice, remediation, enrichment, or advancement. Display resources on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these tools in your BYOD classroom to differentiate for math class.

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OneHistory - Hilary Mac Austin and Kathleen Thompson

Grades
6 to 12
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OneHistory uses stories, images, biographies, editorials, and essays to tell the history of America through the diversity of its people. Use links on the site to view information through...more
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OneHistory uses stories, images, biographies, editorials, and essays to tell the history of America through the diversity of its people. Use links on the site to view information through reading history and visual history. Be sure to check out the teacher feature index containing tips for teaching through photographs and links to great speeches and documents.

tag(s): 1800s (72), 1900s (73), african american (109), biographies (93), cross cultural understanding (156), essays (20), great depression (28), primary sources (113), speeches (18)

In the Classroom

Bookmark OneHistory as a resource for primary sources when teaching American History and as an excellent tool for finding information featuring diversity throughout the years. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Google Drawings, reviewed here. Google Drawings allows you to annotate an image with links to videos, text, websites, and more. Not familiar with Google Drawings? Watch an archived OK2Ask session to learn how to use: OK2Ask Google Drawings, here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Take advantage of the high interest, low readability level stories on the site to differentiate for the variety of reading levels in your classroom and to include informational (nonfiction) reading standards.

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TeachersFirst's Math Resources for Algebra - Grade 6-8 - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 8
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Peruse our collection of algebra resources for grades 6-8. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards for Algebra. Find topics that relate to the content being taught in your ...more
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Peruse our collection of algebra resources for grades 6-8. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards for Algebra. Find topics that relate to the content being taught in your classroom. Find tools to use in pre-algebra and algebra class.

tag(s): data (145), number lines (33), order of operations (29), percent (59), pi (26)

In the Classroom

Introduce these resources on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the resources on your class website for students to use for remediation or review. Share tools on your interactive whiteboard or in your BYOD classroom. Use these sites to differentiate for students in pre-algebra and algebra.

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Math Resources for Algebra - Grades 9-12 - TeachersFirst

Grades
8 to 12
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Explore this curated list of algebra resources for grades 9-12, chosen as the BEST by our editors. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards for Algebra. Find topics ...more
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Explore this curated list of algebra resources for grades 9-12, chosen as the BEST by our editors. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards for Algebra. Find topics that relate to the content being taught in your classroom.

tag(s): data (145), number lines (33), percent (59), pi (26), quadratics (26), ratios (48)

In the Classroom

Share these resources on your class website for students to use for remediation or review. Share tools on your interactive whiteboard or in your BYOD classroom. Use these sites to differentiate.

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Math Resources for Numbers & Operations - Grades 3-5 - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 5
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Explore this curated list of resources ideal for grades 3-5. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards in the area of Numbers & Operations. Many of these tools would ...more
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Explore this curated list of resources ideal for grades 3-5. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards in the area of Numbers & Operations. Many of these tools would be useful on your interactive whiteboard or in your BYOD classroom. Topics include operations, fractions, decimals, order of operations, and more.

tag(s): decimals (87), division (100), fractions (163), multiplication (124), operations (74), order of operations (29)

In the Classroom

Share these resources on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use these tools in your BYOD classroom to differentiate for math class. Share the resources with students for additional practice, remediation, enrichment, or advancement.

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SMMRY - smmry.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Did you ever wish for a website that would summarize long articles of text? SMMRY grants your wish! Copy and paste text, PDF's, websites, or online articles into the text ...more
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Did you ever wish for a website that would summarize long articles of text? SMMRY grants your wish! Copy and paste text, PDF's, websites, or online articles into the text box, upload a PDF file or paste a URL to begin. Choose the number of sentences for the summary, then click the summarize box and view your summary. Some documents and PDF's may be too long and you may need to upload them rather than using the URL. Or, you could do a copy and paste into the summary box if necessary.

tag(s): learning disability (22), Special Needs (53), summarizing (21)

In the Classroom

Introduce SMMRY to students working on research projects as a way to quickly determine content and viability of using websites. Use to differentiate instruction with students. Use with learning support students as a resource to make content easier to understand (and shorter to read). Use SMMRY summaries when teaching how to summarize in an ELA class. Compare the summary you create as a class or in small groups with the "automated" one. Are there subtleties or important distinctions that this tool misses? As a challenge for your more critical thinkers, have them try to figure out what signals the tool uses to create its summary.

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OpenStax - Rice University

Grades
9 to 12
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OpenStax offers free access to high-quality textbooks in core subject areas. View resources by subject, including humanities and AP options. View books online or download in PDF format....more
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OpenStax offers free access to high-quality textbooks in core subject areas. View resources by subject, including humanities and AP options. View books online or download in PDF format. The search options in the online viewer allow users to locate content easily in the digital format.

tag(s): advanced placement (26), book lists (158), ebooks (38), STEM (256)

In the Classroom

Use OpenStax textbooks to dig deeper into core subjects such as math, science, and social studies. Use materials to differentiate instruction based on student abilities and interests. If your current textbooks are older, find newer books on OpenStax and adopt them for your curriculum. Take advantage of the search feature of online books to find supplemental material for your current instruction. Find teaching materials for gifted students using OpenStax textbooks.
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The Lowdown - KQED News

Grades
6 to 12
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The Lowdown connects the newsroom to the classroom through timely multimedia articles featuring the latest news. Convert any post to PDF for easy printing and sharing. Search using...more
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The Lowdown connects the newsroom to the classroom through timely multimedia articles featuring the latest news. Convert any post to PDF for easy printing and sharing. Search using a keyword or choose links to find lesson plans, interactives, and videos. Many features include alignment to Common Core Standards. If your district blocks YouTube, videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): commoncore (76), journalism (70), multimedia (43), news (228), newspapers (91)

In the Classroom

Achieve two goals with this very people-friendly site: provide quality non-fiction reading materials and the latest in current events. Use this site to differentiate reading materials by student interest. Encourage students to explore the site on their own. Be sure to include a link on classroom computers and your class website for students to access at any time. Flip your class and assign the reading to do at home. Then, have students create a simple infographic sharing findings from The Lowdown with their classmates using Infogram, reviewed here. Have cooperative learning groups create weekly podcasts with news from around the world. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.
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Game-Based Learning Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about game-based learning and how to incorporate games into teaching and learning....more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about game-based learning and how to incorporate games into teaching and learning. Engage your students in the way they love to learn - games! Explore resources for quick practice or create your own games using these tools. Nurture problem solving, logic, and creativity.

tag(s): coding (87), differentiation (83), game based learning (171), gamification (74), logic (163)

In the Classroom

Share these tools on your class website or blog for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Use these tools to differentiate and reach all students at the various levels. Challenge your students to create their own games for review of content or acceleration options.

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Google CS First - Google

Grades
5 to 9
5 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Google CS First is a program to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone in the U.S. Materials offer lessons...more
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Google CS First is a program to increase access and teach computer science to 4th-8th-grade students. All training and materials are free for anyone in the U.S. Materials offer lessons based on themes such as storytelling, sports, social media, friends, and fashion and design. In addition to lesson materials, Google CS provides online training information for teachers/club leaders. If you are participating in Hour of Code, be sure to see their many one hour offerings.

tag(s): animation (62), coding (87), computational thinking (41), critical thinking (112), digital storytelling (140), gamification (74), musical notation (35), problem solving (225), social media (53), sports (78), stories and storytelling (38)

In the Classroom

Create a club in your classroom as part of your STEM activities, as a lunch/recess club, or an at-home activity for students. Use the flyers and presentation materials provided to create interest in the club. Differentiate clubs by student interests and abilities. Share Google CS First with your school's media or tech leader as an excellent resource for teaching coding. This site is perfect for those who want to learn more about coding, but have some hesitancy since all materials from creating a group through the lessons are free. If you still have some doubts, enlist the services of a tech-savvy high school student to help with activities as part of their volunteering requirements.

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