TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 23, 2018

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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Learning with Santa Tracker - Google

Grades
K to 8
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Google for Education provides a collection of games and lesson plans tailor-made for the December holidays at their site for teachers. Choose from games for social studies, language,...more
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Google for Education provides a collection of games and lesson plans tailor-made for the December holidays at their site for teachers. Choose from games for social studies, language, computer science, and geography. Games include topics like coding, learning other languages, and understanding maps. Further down the home page choose from lesson plans offered in several languages. Each lesson plan is offered for different grade levels and are available in PDF for easy download. Lessons also correlate to national teaching standards.

tag(s): christmas (52), coding (74), cross cultural understanding (129), cultures (113), holidays (140), map skills (80), maps (292)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your tool kit of December teaching resources. Include the games on classroom computers and add to your class website. Replace paper posters and have students share their favorite activities using an on line poster creator like Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. After practicing coding using the games provided on this site, modify learning by challenging students to create their own game using a tool such as Scratch, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Santa's Village and Tracker - Google

Grades
K to 6
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Google's annual Santa Village features a Santa Tracker for Christmas Eve along with an advent calendar full of surprises. The calendar features change each year, past years have featured...more
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Google's annual Santa Village features a Santa Tracker for Christmas Eve along with an advent calendar full of surprises. The calendar features change each year, past years have featured holiday games and educational resources like coding games and a visit to the North Pole. Start checking this site on December 1 to find the latest goodies offered!

tag(s): christmas (52), cross cultural understanding (129), cultures (113), holidays (140), maps (292)

In the Classroom

Share a link to the Santa's Village on your class website and classroom computers. Allow students to explore and try options offered each day. Replace paper and pencil and have students share information from the daily activities on a blog using Edublog, reviewed here. Include images and videos of activities with blog posts. Use the site to introduce a unit on Holidays Around the World and for a final project modify learning and have students use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create a virtual field trip around the world featuring some of Santa's stops.

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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 (52), holidays (140)

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. With younger students, consider demonstrating how to write a letter to Santa or send a postcard to a relative from this site. Take photos, or have older students take photos, of the crafts and recipes the students make and post them on your website for parents to see. Older students could enhance their learning by posting the photos with and explanation using a portfolio tool such as bulb, reviewed here. bulb also offers tools for incorporating blogs. Alternatively, students could transform their learning by annotating images taken of their activities with text, URL's, or videos using ThingLink, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Online Tools and Timesavers Editor's Choice Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of Editors' Choice FREE, reviewed resources was selected to help teachers and students save time using handy online tools that get the job done and make your classroom...more
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This collection of Editors' Choice FREE, reviewed resources was selected to help teachers and students save time using handy online tools that get the job done and make your classroom run smoothly. Find tools for organizing and communicating, managing your classroom, do-it-yourself creating, sharing links, useful utilities, saving paper, and much more. For a more extensive collection, see our full listing of online tools.

tag(s): classroom management (152)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites as a sanity saver. You may not remember the name of each handy timesaver, but having the collection close "at hand" will help you find them easily. Use your free TeachersFirst membership to rate them or mark individual favorite tools and share them with your students on your public page.

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Future Me - Write a Letter to the Future - Matt Sly and Jay Patrikios

Grades
K to 12
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Future Me is an email service that allows you to write an email and have it delivered in the future (up to 50 years later). Insert your email address, subject, ...more
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Future Me is an email service that allows you to write an email and have it delivered in the future (up to 50 years later). Insert your email address, subject, and write your email. Choose a future date for delivery, and it's ready to go! Options include adding an image and making the email public or private. Note - the public gallery is unmoderated so may contain content not suitable for school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (61), creativity (120), letter writing (18)

In the Classroom

Future Me is a wonderful tool to use at the beginning of the school year. Ask students to send themselves (or you) a "future" email with what they would like to learn this year, subjects they do and don't like, and goals for the school year. Send and share the emails on a date near the end of the year to see how they have changed. High school seniors may want to write a letter to themselves four years in the future with their goals for college and the future. Share with parents, and ask them to write a letter to their student for future delivery. Have students write an email to you describing what they know about any topic or person before beginning a unit, have the email delivered upon completion of the unit as a reminder of how much learning has occurred. Have middle schoolers write emails with summer goals before summer break and have set them for delivery in September so students can see whether their summer was as productive as they had hoped. What a great way to teach goal-setting!

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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 (52), holidays (140), independent reading (122)

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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Todoist - Todoist

Grades
4 to 12
14 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Todoist is a simple, free, task manager. With the free account you will have access to 10 (or more) platforms, a built in calendar, recurring due dates, sub-tasks and sub-projects,...more
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Todoist is a simple, free, task manager. With the free account you will have access to 10 (or more) platforms, a built in calendar, recurring due dates, sub-tasks and sub-projects, set task priorities, collaboration with 5 people per project, have a secure connection and more. Set up free accounts in minutes with email. The intro and support videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calendars (46), DAT device agnostic tool (176), organizational skills (119)

In the Classroom

Your students need to know about time management skills. Todoist will help you teach them and give them practice. Any student would appreciate having an online time management account, but learning support students and disorganized gifted students need one. You may want to model using this online tool to help middle and high school students learn better personal organization. Make a demo account for a mythical student and organize his/hers together so students can see how it works. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector the first week of school to help students set-up their own accounts. Parents may appreciate learning about this site also. Use this site professionally to keep yourself organized!

Comments

What a fabulous organizational tool for teachers and students! Melissa, , Grades: 0 - 5

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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 (10)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector or make them available as links on your teacher public page. Replace pen and paper and 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, modify learning by encouraging 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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Kwanzaa for Kids - The Kidz Page

Grades
K to 5
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This website features free interactive games and printable pages. Most of the activities are either coloring pages or interactive puzzles. Flash is required for the interactive activities....more
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This website features free interactive games and printable pages. Most of the activities are either coloring pages or interactive puzzles. Flash is required for the interactive activities.

tag(s): holidays (140), kwanzaa (9)

In the Classroom

Introduce the Kwanzaa for Kids 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. Replace paper pen by asking older students to write blogs sharing information learned using a site like Edublog, reviewed here. Edublog offers tools for creating class and individual blogs
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kwanzaa - Activity Village

Grades
K to 5
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This site is all about Kwanzaa! There is information, games, reproducible coloring pages, e-cards, crafts and more. This site provides numerous activities. ...more
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This site is all about Kwanzaa! There is information, games, reproducible coloring pages, e-cards, crafts and more. This site provides numerous activities.

tag(s): holidays (140), kwanzaa (9)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the ideas and activities offered on this site to teach students the meaning behind Kwanzaa. Set up learning stations for students to enjoy different crafts. Post a link on your class web page or newsletter for parents and students to use at home. With younger students, consider demonstrating how to write a letter to Santa or send a postcard to a relative from this site. Take photos, or have older students take photos, of the crafts and recipes the students make and post them on your website for parents to see. Older students could enhance their learning by posting the photos with and explanation using a portfolio tool such as bulb, reviewed here. bulb also offers tools for incorporating blogs. Alternatively, students could transform their learning by annotating images taken of their activities with text, URL's, or videos using ThingLink, reviewed here.

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The Giving Tree Lesson - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 8
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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 (52), guided reading (46), writing (367)

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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The Kwanzaa Web Site

Grades
K to 12
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Developed with the cooperation of the man who began it all, this site offers lots and lots of detail on every facet of the Kwanzaa observance and celebration. This makes ...more
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Developed with the cooperation of the man who began it all, this site offers lots and lots of detail on every facet of the Kwanzaa observance and celebration. This makes it a great resource whether you're planning your own celebration or developing a lesson about the holiday. For students with Kwanzaa questions, this would be a great resource.

tag(s): holidays (140), kwanzaa (9)

In the Classroom

Enhance student learning by having students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration.

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Dates That Matter - TeachersFirst

Grades
5 to 12
20 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Dates That Matter provides a new perspective on history by placing each day-in-history event in a 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 a 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 date is available 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): calendars (46), 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 an isolated factoid. It's a lesson ready to go!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

This is a terrific site for daily writing and "Do Nows" for my ELA classes. In addition, the site can be used for Morning Meeting/Advisory. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Victorian Christmas - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 8
3 Favorites 0  Comments
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 (52), holidays (140), 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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