TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 10, 2017

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

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TeachersFirst Reading Treks - Make Learning a Journey - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Your students can visit the world and build their background knowledge when they choose to read a book in conjunction with Reading Treks. Find fiction and informational books at every...more
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Your students can visit the world and build their background knowledge when they choose to read a book in conjunction with Reading Treks. Find fiction and informational books at every reading level. Each Reading Trek unit has a downloadable PDF with Common Core State Standards, ISTE Standards, Grade Level, Ideas and Activities for using the Reading Trek in class, and a list of Helpful Resouces. There is also a Google Maps (KMZ) file. Under the About TeachersFirst Reading Treks on the home page find step-by-step instructions for when you're ready to use a Reading Trek. TeachersFirst is just getting started creating Treks for books. Do you have a suggestion? Select Suggest a Trek from the left menu to let us know about it. We'd love to hear from you!

tag(s): independent reading (129), maps (294), reading comprehension (126), reading lists (81)

In the Classroom

These units are perfect for use with a whole-class novel, literature circles, or individual reading! Ask student's to keep a journal about what they are reading and learning using an easy virtual journaling tool such as Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. If you are conducting literature circles a good tool to use for small group assignments and communication is Sembly, reviewed here, or Edmodo, reviewed here. For students or student groups to share their book with their peers, challenge them to design an interactive multimedia poster using Genial.ly, reviewed here. As an option, and for a real challenge, have students design a music track to go with parts or all of the book using Booktrack, reviewed here, and share the link on their mutimedia poster.

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Math Resources for Measurement - Grades K-2 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 2
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Explore this curated list to help your youngest students to start to learn the basics of measurement. Navigate this collection of resources specifically for grades K-2. Use these resources...more
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Explore this curated list to help your youngest students to start to learn the basics of measurement. Navigate this collection of resources specifically for grades K-2. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards. Find topics that you are currently teaching in your math class. Explore length, volume, weight, area, and time.

tag(s): area (73), measurement (178), time (140), volume (53)

In the Classroom

Display one of these tools on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector for group instruction. Put a link to these resources on your website for student and parent use at home. Share these tools with other teachers of K-2 students in your building and district. Create computer learning stations or allow students to work on individual laptops or devices using these resources.

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OK2Ask: Transform Your Lesson Plans with SAMR and TeachersFirst - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from October 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Technology done right can foster engagement and higher order thinking. When...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from October 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Technology done right can foster engagement and higher order thinking. When strategically infused into lesson plans designed with sound instructional practices, technology can provide challenging, collaborative, and creative experiences. Learn how to transform your lesson plans by applying the SAMR model in conjunction with resources available on the TeachersFirst website. Participants will: 1. Understand the SAMR Model and its importance to the lesson planning process; 2. Locate resources within TeachersFirst that support lesson planning in your content area; and 3. Plan to use TeachersFirst's resources and the SAMR Model in combination to plan effective technology-infused lessons. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Classroom Strategies - Reading Rockets

Grades
K to 6
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Classroom Strategies contains a vast library of resources for teaching reading skills. Choose from six different literacy strategies to find instructions on using the strategy, templates,...more
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Classroom Strategies contains a vast library of resources for teaching reading skills. Choose from six different literacy strategies to find instructions on using the strategy, templates, examples, children's books to teach the strategy, and much more. The interactive chart also includes information on when and how to use each strategy. Many strategies include a video showing how to use these ideas in the classroom. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. This site is a must-have for any reading teacher!

tag(s): fluency (24), persuasive writing (57), phonics (70), reading comprehension (126), writing (366)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as an excellent resource for teaching literacy and reading. Use a tool like 3x3 Links, reviewed here, to be able to organize and locate your bookmarks in a snap! Share strategies as part of your ongoing professional development activities both in school and with your Professional Learning Network (PLN). Use an audio recording tool like Vocaroo, reviewed here, to record a student reading before and after using teaching strategies shared on this site. Share tips for reading strategies with parents using an online portfolio site like Seesaw, reviewed here. Seesaw provides tools for a class blog and sharing student work through images and videos.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Grade Spelling - SpellingClassroom

Grades
K to 8
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Grade Spelling is a free site for practicing spelling through different activities. Take a spelling placement test to determine your spelling grade level. Find complete spelling courses...more
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Grade Spelling is a free site for practicing spelling through different activities. Take a spelling placement test to determine your spelling grade level. Find complete spelling courses for grades 1-8 including weekly word lists and day-by-day practice activities. Additional word lists include practice with holiday words, SAT word lists and lessons, and Dolch word lists.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): spelling (168), vocabulary (319)

In the Classroom

Discover the many ready-to-go, free resources on this site to find spelling lists and activities. This site makes it easy to differentiate instruction and personalize lists for students based on ability. If your students are struggling, begin with an easier list to build confidence. If your students aren't being challenged enough, try lists above grade level to build spelling skills.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Answerables - Nexed

Grades
K to 8
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Answerables is a game-based virtual learning world and learning management system. Download and log in as an educator to begin. Within Answerables, users create PODS to enroll students,...more
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Answerables is a game-based virtual learning world and learning management system. Download and log in as an educator to begin. Within Answerables, users create PODS to enroll students, create events and assignments, and provide feedback. This site features the use of a token system representing web URLs used by students. Be sure to check out the explanatory video demonstrating all features available within Answerables. Free accounts provide access for single users. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): classroom management (155), game based learning (137)

In the Classroom

All subject area teachers can benefit from making Answerables your digital library available from anywhere and anytime for you and your students. Store and organize links to websites, videos, and more for your students. Use PODS on this site to differentiate learning for students. Share student's digital work in this secure environment with parents and peers.

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Epic! For Educators - Suren Markosian and Kevin Donahue

Grades
K to 5
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Epic! offers thousands of high-quality free books for educators teaching grades K-5. Create an account using your education email to begin. Add up to 30 student profiles to your account...more
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Epic! offers thousands of high-quality free books for educators teaching grades K-5. Create an account using your education email to begin. Add up to 30 student profiles to your account to receive personalized recommendations based on reading ability and interests. Students can access books on any device and educators receive feedback including time spent reading, page flips, and books read. Students earn badges and rewards as they reach milestones. Resources include classroom posters, lesson plans, teacher tips, presentations, and letters to parents in PDF format. Find educational videos by Smithsonian, Blue Wonders, Animal Wonders, and Encyclopedia Britannica. Epic! also offers titles in Spanish. Tutorial videos reside on YouTube as do some of the educational videos. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (179), ebooks (41), independent reading (129), movies (71), reading lists (81), video (279)

In the Classroom

Create your free educator account and share with students as part of your independent reading activities. Adjust reading preferences and profiles as students increase skills or change interest in reading materials. Be sure to share with parents to use at home.

Comments

Wendy, OK, Grades: 2 - 4

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Outwhiz - Andrew Kwan and Michael Luk

Grades
K to 8
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Let Outwhiz replace your tired worksheets! Practice math and English with over 200 topics and hundreds of questions per topic. Earn points, move up levels, and earn badges. Sign up...more
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Let Outwhiz replace your tired worksheets! Practice math and English with over 200 topics and hundreds of questions per topic. Earn points, move up levels, and earn badges. Sign up with email. At the time of this review, the math levels are for grades K-8, and the English levels are 1-6, with the promise of grades 7-12 coming soon. Outwhiz, in a nutshell, is adaptive learning, gamification, and includes unlimited exercises, all for FREE!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (155), critical thinking (120), DAT device agnostic tool (179), differentiation (45), game based learning (137), gamification (88), grammar (210), problem solving (299), sentences (50)

In the Classroom

The gamification of the material on Outwhiz is sure to catch your student's interest! Sign up using your email and create a class. Give students the URL and class code to join. At the end of an introduction of a concept, use this site for specific language arts or math practice. Use Outwhiz for homework, review, and reinforcement of any math or language arts concept. Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels. Create a link to Outwhiz on classroom computers to use as math and language arts centers/stations. Put a link to this site on your classroom website or newsletter as a resource for math and language practice at home. Share this site as a way to review before tests. ESL/ELL and resource teachers will find Outwhiz to be extremely helpful for reinforcing language and math concepts.

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Kiddom - Kiddom

Grades
K to 6
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Kiddom is an online tool for managing and evaluating classroom assignments while working with Common Core Standards. Create and share your assignments with a Common Core tag. Use the...more
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Kiddom is an online tool for managing and evaluating classroom assignments while working with Common Core Standards. Create and share your assignments with a Common Core tag. Use the rubric creator to grade based on standards or traditional grading. Students submit work to Kiddom to receive instant feedback when assignments are evaluated. The teacher dashboard shows several different indicators of individual and class performance based on Common Core Standards. Add as many classes as you wish and switch easily between classes through your dashboard. Kiddom also includes several free math apps for K-2 students available for download through the iTunes store. Be careful, most are free; however, one is not. This program works using Gmail and Google Drive. There is a thorough FAQ section and several tutorial videos to help you get started. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Online-Convert, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): assessment (116), classroom management (155), commoncore (89), data (162), rubrics (30)

In the Classroom

Use Kiddom to collect data and differentiate student instruction in any classroom. Add each class or group of students to document. Follow learning goals and mastery of standards. Share Kiddom information with parents as part of your ongoing communication process. Use Kiddom to collect and gather information for IEP and other intervention and data collection meetings. If you are lucky enough to have access to Apple devices in your classroom, download the free math apps.

Comments

A fun to use app with very helpful support staff. Also, they have standards available for 7-12, not just K-6. Jordan, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Kahoot! - Mobitroll

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Ask meaningful questions and see responses in real-time while creating an exciting, game-like environment. Build instant polls, quizzes, or responses through a simple drag and drop...more
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Ask meaningful questions and see responses in real-time while creating an exciting, game-like environment. Build instant polls, quizzes, or responses through a simple drag and drop interface. Once you create your account, be sure to take the Intro Quiz to learn how to use this tool. When you start the quiz, you will be prompted to open a new tab, create a nickname, and enter the game pin. Now you will be able to take the quiz to learn how Kahoot! works AND be able to see what a teacher sees in your original tab. You will have to go to the Main tab to launch the next question in the Quiz. Find ready-made quizzes on the public Kahoot! menu by entering search terms. Create questions, quizzes, and polls with an optional uploaded image. Kahoot! also has a team option. Groups can use one computer to answer questions. The best part about the team option is it allows groups wait time to discuss their answer before submitting it. The teacher gets the data back instantly, and it is stored on the site or can be downloaded. This is superb for checking the knowledge of your audience/students or to see if they are still paying attention and understand concepts.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (179), game based learning (137), gamification (88), polls and surveys (55), quizzes (104)

In the Classroom

This is a powerful formative assessment tool that is also fun! Create pretests to offer to gifted students to "test out" of already learned material. Students can easily see the choices and choose answers using a browser on a laptop or any device. Make it a class challenge! Use this tool at the start of a new chapter or unit. Project your quiz to the entire classroom using a whiteboard or projector. Students can easily see the choices and choose answers using a browser on a laptop or any device. Use the Team choice when reviewing for a unit test. Students can see who is at the top of the leaderboard during the play and can even ask questions while going through the quiz. Use this tool often to obtain a snapshot of each student's understanding of content.

Comments

What makes a good web tool? In my opinion, a web tool should be two things. They should be easy to look at, and easy to use. When you use these tools you need to be able to see clearly what a site does and the purpose it serves. Not only do you need to be able to see what you are doing, but do it easily. If it takes students more effort and energy to use a web tool or website, they will stop using it. You have to be able to keep the attention of the user. Beyond that an education tool needs a few additional items. Education tools need to be fun and interactive to continuously grab the attention of students. Students should have fun when using the site/tool.

Kahoot fits all the above criteria. Not only is it fun and easy for students to use, but easy for teachers to set up and use for students. Kahoot is a fun quiz tool that teachers can use to build discussions, polls, and quizzes for the classroom. Students can then log into the quiz using smartphones, tablets, or computers. The tool is designed for students and works for students. Kahoot is well thought out, and well executed. This tool really brings the learning experience to students who are so familiar with technology.
Ad, , Grades: 0 - 12

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KidRex - Kid Safe Search Engine - KidRex.org

Grades
K to 7
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KidRex is an engaging, safe search engine for students that is powered by Google Custom Search and Google SafeSearch technology. In addition to typical filters applied to searches,...more
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KidRex is an engaging, safe search engine for students that is powered by Google Custom Search and Google SafeSearch technology. In addition to typical filters applied to searches, the site maintains its own database of inappropriate websites and keywords to further reduce the possibility of inappropriate search returns. The search engine is easy to use and similar to a typical Google search. You simply enter the search term and a list of sites is returned. Inappropriate search terms are returned with an "Oops, try again!" message. Before using the site, be sure to click on the Parents link for a quick overview of how the site works.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): internet safety (118), search engines (58)

In the Classroom

Create a link to KidRex on classroom computers for students to use as a default search engine. Use this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to demonstrate how to search for items or when searching with your students.

Comments

A similar site that uses Google SafeSearch, but may be more appropriate for older kids is http://www.KidzSearch.com Daniel, CA, Grades: 0 - 12

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Symbaloo EDU - Symbaloo BV

Grades
K to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create, find, and share visually appealing Webmixes (web based screens of link "tiles") to share web resources. Choose EDU Teachers then find the "Tour" (a blue tile) to learn more...more
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Create, find, and share visually appealing Webmixes (web based screens of link "tiles") to share web resources. Choose EDU Teachers then find the "Tour" (a blue tile) to learn more about Symbaloo EDU or begin exploring color-coded links on your own. Choose the EDU Tools WebMix to find links to classroom resources for social networking, video and image tools, and much more. Other WebMixes designed specifically for educators include widgets for classroom use, educational headlines, and much more. Tailor web resources to your individual need by creating your own WebMixes. Add tiles to instantly connect students with the resources you choose. Accounts are free but require a password (and email verification). Click "Edit WebMix" to change the background, rename the webmix, and edit the tiles. Link tiles to website URL's or RSS feed links. Hover over a tile to bring up a simple menu. Click "edit" to paste the URL of the resource, enter a title, and change icons and colors. Select any name to be displayed on the tile. Be sure to click "Done editing" when finished, and then "Share" to choose publicly or privately with friends. Use the embed code to embed directly into your class website or blog. Download the free iPhone or Android apps for use on mobile phones or use Symbaloo in your tablet browser as it has been maximized for use on these devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bookmarks (67), DAT device agnostic tool (179), gamification (88)

In the Classroom

Be sure to know the URL's of the resources you are planning to share or have them open in other tabs to copy/paste. To share you must be able to copy/paste URLs (web addresses). Have older students create their own webmixes, but this resource is best used as a teacher sharing tool for sharing links, RSS feeds, and other resources for students to use in specific projects or as general course links. If shared with the world, the webmix can be viewed by others and is public.

Create a webmix of the most used sites for your class and first demonstrate how the webmix works on a projector or interactive whiteboard if you have special instructions or color coding for its use. Some examples include links to copyright free images, online textbooks, or online tools such as Google Docs, ThingLink, Prezi, and more. Link to teacher web pages, webquests, resource sites for your subject, and any other resource that is helpful for students. Consider creating a login for the whole class to update with suggestions from class members. Use this AS your class website. Color code the tiles on a webmix for younger, non-reader, or ESL/ELL students. For example, color each subject differently from the others. Differentiate by color coding varying levels of skills practice at a classroom computer center or to distinguish homework practice sites from in-class sites. Differentiate difficulty levels using the various colors enabling you to list resources for both your learning support students and gifted students and all in between. Use color to organize tools for different projects or individual students. You may want to share Symbaloo EDU with parents at Back to School Night and the color-coding system for differentiation. This will help parents (and students) find what sites are ideal for their levels. Be sure to link or embed your webmix on a computer center in your room for easy access. Share a review site webmix for parents and students to access at home before tests, as well. Team up with other teachers in your subject/grade to create chapter by chapter webmixes for all your students. If you are just starting with Symbaloo, this is a simple way to differentiate, however, Symbaloo now has a Lesson Plans tool (also called Learning Paths), reviewed here, to help you differentiate for individual or groups of students.

Challenge your gifted students to curate and collaborate on their own webmixes as a curriculum extension activity on topics such as climate change or pros and cons of genetically engineered food. They can use color coding to sort sites by bias (or neutrality) as well as to group subtopics under the overall theme. Use the student-made webmixes with other students to raise the overall level of discussion in your class or as an extra credit challenge. If you embed the webmix in a class wiki, all students can respond with questions and comments for the gifted students to moderate and reply, creating a student-led community of learners.

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