TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 24, 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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Year-End Roundup, 2016-2017: Questions for Writing and Discussion - New York Times/The Learning Network

Grades
7 to 12
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The Year-End Roundup includes 179 questions asked by the New York Times Learning Network between September 2016 and June 2017. Each prompt promotes discussion on current events appropriate...more
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The Year-End Roundup includes 179 questions asked by the New York Times Learning Network between September 2016 and June 2017. Each prompt promotes discussion on current events appropriate for students 13 years and older. Choose the link to any question to read a short article with background information and suggested points to consider. Download the complete list in a PDF form for easy reference; however, this form doesn't include links to the articles and additional information.

tag(s): debate (45), persuasive writing (55), process writing (46), writers workshop (34), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for writing prompts, current events discussions, or as a springboard to debate topics. Before writing, encourage students to research their topic and take notes. Use an online note-taking site like Google Keep, reviewed here, to save and share notes. Have students share their completed projects in a blog and ask for feedback from their peers using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. There is no registration with Telegra.ph and you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. Take completed writing projects one step further and ask students to create a Story Map, reviewed here. Story Map offers the ability to tell a story through interactive maps including video, images, and more.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Beautiful Audio Editor - Creative Tools

Grades
K to 12
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Beautiful Audio is an in-browser audio editor that works with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Use the editor to import or record audio files to edit. Use the toolbar to ...more
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Beautiful Audio is an in-browser audio editor that works with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox. Use the editor to import or record audio files to edit. Use the toolbar to add effects, drag and reorder audio, and split or delete sections of your file. Easily save completed projects to Google Drive or your computer. Be sure to visit the "Docs" section of this site for an overview of available features. Beautiful Audio recommends using the editor for files under 300mb or 45 minutes in length to avoid crashes leading to project failures.

tag(s): editing (75)

In the Classroom

Record your class singing or reading their compositions to share with parents on your website or blog. Record and edit sound to be included with PowerPoint presentations. Use with a creative writing project to record stories for selected images. Share with students to use with multimedia projects to create background audio or original audio presentations. View the features of the site on your interactive whiteboard together with your older students, then allow them time to explore and experiment with the available features. Instead of having students share a written speech as an oral presentation, ask them to use Beautiful Audio to record their presentation and add original features to the soundtrack. Include this recording as part of a multimedia presentation using a site like Sway, reviewed here. Sway offers tools to create interactive presentations available for all devices.
 

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NorthPole.com - Northpole Productions, LLC

Grades
K to 7
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Enjoy a colorful look at Santa's Village. NorthPole has games (concentration, word searches, counting money, telling time, mazes, and more), and you can even play checkers with Santa....more
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Enjoy a colorful look at Santa's Village. NorthPole has games (concentration, word searches, counting money, telling time, mazes, and more), and you can even play checkers with Santa. Attend the Elf Academy, read stories about your elf, send animated Christmas postcards, write Santa a letter and get a reply! For those into the maker movement, there are holiday crafts to make with directions and free templates. Create an account and register your students at the same time. Students will be assigned a user ID and password.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): christmas (55), holidays (136)

In the Classroom

Introduce the NorthPole to students by projecting it for all to see the different areas to explore. Add a link to classroom computers for the entire site or specific areas. Post a link on your class web page or newsletter for parents and students to use at home. Consider demonstrating how to write a letter to Santa or send a postcard to a relative from this site.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Headline Generator - Class Tools

Grades
K to 12
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Create and share a personalized newspaper headline with an image using the Headline Generator. Add a headline, byline, and picture to make an image that looks like it came straight...more
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Create and share a personalized newspaper headline with an image using the Headline Generator. Add a headline, byline, and picture to make an image that looks like it came straight from a major website. When finished, download to your computer or tweet to share on Twitter.

tag(s): images (283), journalism (55), slides (67), writers workshop (34)

In the Classroom

Share the Headline Generator with students for use when creating titles or headlines for projects. Download the image/headline and insert into a Word document or slide presentation. Create a headline for the student of the week, to recognize student achievements, or as an introduction to any new unit. Ask students to use Headline Generator at the beginning of a writing project or research/report to help focus on content for writing. Encourage students to refine their headline as they hone in on their topic, and then have students submit a list of all headlines attempted as part of the final project grade along with the final image. Use the Headline Generator to have students create a simple headline for famous characters in history, story characters, or as part of a biography project.

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Fotojet - PearlMountain Technology Co., Ltd

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful photo collages, cards, and posters easily with Fotojet. Choose from over 320 templates and upload pictures directly from your computer or Facebook. Edit photos for...more
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Create beautiful photo collages, cards, and posters easily with Fotojet. Choose from over 320 templates and upload pictures directly from your computer or Facebook. Edit photos for size, exposure, rotate, flip or mirror, add text (and edit), and more. When finished, share using links or download as a JPEG or PNG file.

tag(s): collages (18), graphic design (38), images (283), posters (41)

In the Classroom

Create cards, posters, or photo collages for any classroom presentation. Share what you created on your website or blog for students to review or for students who were absent. In the younger grades, teachers would be the ones creating the project. Have students create presentations to "introduce" themselves to the class during the first week of school. Link or embed the introduction presentations on your class wiki and have others guess who they are about. Use this tool with your 1:1 art class for students to practice design principles and techniques. Share student projects with parents and others via URL. Be sure to demonstrate HOW to use this tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Appear.in - appear.in

Grades
K to 12
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Create video conversations including up to four people instantly with Appear.in. There is nothing to download, and no registration is required. Add a name for your room and click "create."...more
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Create video conversations including up to four people instantly with Appear.in. There is nothing to download, and no registration is required. Add a name for your room and click "create." Allow access to your computer's webcam and microphone, and your room is all set up. Send the link to others to click and join in. Claim a room to get privileges such as customizing your room's background and locking your room when empty. Appear.in works with Chrome, Firefox, Vivaldi, and Opera browsers.

tag(s): chat (50), DAT device agnostic tool (177), video (272)

In the Classroom

Connect up to four whole classrooms across the country for book clubs. Connect experts such as authors and scientists to classrooms of children. Create connected learning experiences with other students, especially those in older grades. Connect world language classes to classes in other countries. Students interested in graphic design can connect with an expert or artist far away and share current work in a virtual critique. Connect students with mentors or older students for help with homework. Teachers can hold "office hours" for homework help and student questions. Whole buildings can collaborate and share professional development with others in their own district and beyond! Of course, you will want to pretest whether this service works in your school since some filters block access to such "interaction."

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Gifts of Character Readalouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This readaloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this...more
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This readaloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of books and activities was created by an experienced elementary library/media specialist. The list of books to read aloud and accompanying activities center on the character traits we typically associate with the holiday season and try to instill: generosity, benevolence, philanthropy, compassion, service, and kindness. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on interlibrary loan from a public library nearby.

tag(s): christmas (55), holidays (136), independent reading (127)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites to bring out in late November, just in time for the holiday season. Or include it during a character education unit. Maybe invite some parents to volunteer as readers, modeling how adults give of their own time to support others.

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Snow Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this collection of resources to "plan ahead" for snow days. Whether you want to stop and appreciate snow for snow's sake by creating snowflakes and studying this striking weather...more
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Use this collection of resources to "plan ahead" for snow days. Whether you want to stop and appreciate snow for snow's sake by creating snowflakes and studying this striking weather phenomenon or you simply need a way to convene your class for some snow day collaboration, you will find tools and ideas here for any grade level. Even if a blizzard should close your school for a week, these links can prevent cabin fever for all, and keep the learning moving!

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class web page or TeachersFirst public page so your class is prepared.

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Special Occasion Ideas for the Classroom: TeachersFirst Editors' Choices - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Check out this collection for classroom ideas and custom-made gifts (both "hard copy" and electronic). Special occasions give students a chance to recognize special people: moms, dads,...more
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Check out this collection for classroom ideas and custom-made gifts (both "hard copy" and electronic). Special occasions give students a chance to recognize special people: moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, secretaries, school custodians, librarians, and more. Stretch your students' creative thinking, writing skills, and problem solving skills as they create projects to honor special people on special occasions or just as a surprise "thank you." Create memories for special people as your learners show what they know and how much they care.

tag(s): fathers day (8), mothers day (11), parents (57)

In the Classroom

Stretch your students' creative thinking, writing skills, and problem solving skills as they create projects to honor special people on special occasions or just as a surprise "thank you." Create memories for special people as your learners show what they know and how much they care. Share this collection as a link from your class web page for students and parents to use from home or during vacations and holidays.

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New Year's Resolutions - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for New Years. Find interactive vocabulary activities using the New Year's...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for New Years. Find interactive vocabulary activities using the New Year's Resolutions vocabulary words. You will also find printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): new years (11)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Have students write a blog entry about their New Year's Resolution using 6-10 of the words from this theme. Use Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph a unique URL is provided, and you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. If you'd like to make this a bit more challenging, encourage students (or groups) to create their own illustrated dictionaries of terms using a tool such as Book Creator, reviewed here, or Bookemon, reviewed here. As you add more vocabulary lists during the year, have them select their favorite 6-10 terms from each list to add to their "book."

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The Giving Tree Lesson - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 8
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A Christmas gift from one of our own staff, this lesson based on Shel Silverstein's book The Giving Tree is sure to get students thinking about the Christmas spirit. We're ...more
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A Christmas gift from one of our own staff, this lesson based on Shel Silverstein's book The Giving Tree is sure to get students thinking about the Christmas spirit. We're also offering a place for you to share your students' responses on TeachersFirst's own giving tree.

tag(s): christmas (55), guided reading (47), writing (363)

In the Classroom

This lesson can be adapted for use in a language arts class with students of varying ability levels in grades 2 - 8. This lesson is also well-suited to a multi-age activity with "big buddies" and "little buddies" from upper and lower grades working together. School counselors and emotional support teachers may find this activity helpful for small groups working on social skills, as well.

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Happy Kwanzaa - The Holiday Spot

Grades
K to 8
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A great resource for anything you ever wanted to know about Kwanzaa. Delves into Kwanzaa history in detail and describes the meaning of its symbols. There are links to wallpaper, ...more
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A great resource for anything you ever wanted to know about Kwanzaa. Delves into Kwanzaa history in detail and describes the meaning of its symbols. There are links to wallpaper, greetings (e-cards), music, recipes, books, symbols, details about the Seven Days, history, and the Feast.

tag(s): kwanzaa (9)

In the Classroom

Use this source to teach your students about Kwanzaa. Divide your class into several groups. Have each group research one of the links at this site and present their findings to the class using a bookmarking tool such as Wakelet, reviewed here. With Wakelet students can make their wakes distinctive by adding a cover image or symbol for their Kwanzaa topic, a background, and choose the layout. If your class is learning about Kwanzaa along with Chanukah instruct them compare these holidays using the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, if the comparison includes Christmas use the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Another project idea would be to challenge students to create an interactive, multimedia infographic using Visme, reviewed here.

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Virtual Chanukah

Grades
3 to 8
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A Hanukkah site with lots of resources, information, and activities. There is also content to teach students the origin and meaning of this Jewish festival. ...more
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A Hanukkah site with lots of resources, information, and activities. There is also content to teach students the origin and meaning of this Jewish festival.

tag(s): hanukkah (14), holidays (136)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector around the holiday season. Allow students to peruse the site on their own to gain a better understanding of the holiday. In addition to Christmas activities, recreate some of the Hanukkah activities in the preceding days before winter break. Alternatively, create small groups and have each group research a different aspect of Chanukah and present their findings to the class. Use a bookmarking tool such as Wakelet, reviewed here. With Wakelet students can make their wakes distinctive by adding a cover image or symbol for their Chanukah topic, a background, and choose the layout. As a culminating activity have each student compare Chanukah and Christmas using the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, if your class is also learning about Kwanza, use the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here.

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Victorian Christmas - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 8
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This collection introduces Victorian Christmas customs and offers several activities which students can complete to show their understanding of Christmas celebrations from over a century...more
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This collection introduces Victorian Christmas customs and offers several activities which students can complete to show their understanding of Christmas celebrations from over a century ago.

tag(s): christmas (55), holidays (136), victorian (20)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite on your desktop and use it to add supplementary activities to your classroom before Winter Break. Many of the sites can be used as webquests, classroom activities or Learning centers. This could be a great way to mix the holidays into content, comparing today's celebrations to those of the 19th century.

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