TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 24, 2019

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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Apagraph - Artem Rudenko

Grades
K to 12
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Apagraph is a quick and easy tool for combining quotes and images for social media use. Click to start your graphic and type a quote. Select from the included backgrounds ...more
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Apagraph is a quick and easy tool for combining quotes and images for social media use. Click to start your graphic and type a quote. Select from the included backgrounds found at the bottom of the page and choose "next." Add tags and categories if desired, and choose from privacy options before publishing. Your image is ready to share! Be sure to check out the privacy options, images not set to private will be included in the public stream and allows others to like and comment on your image. Use the links found at the bottom of the page to share directly to Facebook, Twitter, or to copy the URL. After publication, locate your image in your stream and use additional links to download to your computer in the format you select.

tag(s): graphic design (39), images (278), quotations (24)

In the Classroom

Create quick motivational or introductory quotes to share on your interactive whiteboard for when students enter the class or to use for a journal prompt. Use Apagraph to create attention-grabbing images to include with your Twitter posts. Share this site with students to use with slide show and multimedia presentations. Ask students to include their graphic images when using a presentation tool like Sway, reviewed here, to highlight different portions of their work.

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Unhangout - MIT Media Lab

Grades
K to 12
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Unhangout is a free platform for connecting community-driven learning opportunities. Participants gather in the site's lobby at the time of the event, introduce themselves, and possibly...more
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Unhangout is a free platform for connecting community-driven learning opportunities. Participants gather in the site's lobby at the time of the event, introduce themselves, and possibly view a short presentation or video together. After introductions, participants choose breakout rooms based on their interest. Breakout rooms hold up to ten participants at a time and open in a new tab so they can continue to add to the main chat if desired. Within the breakout rooms, conversations focus on a common topic and include options for members to use their webcam to discuss topics, view videos together, or work on a shared document. Following the event, participants receive an email with a transcript of the event and email contacts of fellow participants. Create your event by logging into your account and adding information including date, time, and additional hosts if desired. Other options enable you to set privacy options, allow follow-up emails, and provide for a custom URL.

tag(s): chat (47), collaboration (42)

In the Classroom

Unhangout offers many opportunities for classroom use and professional use. Use this site to introduce a topic, for example, the Civil War. After your initial introduction and discussion, enhance learning and ask students to choose a breakout session based on their interest - perhaps causes of the Civil War, battles, Civil War leaders, and cities. Within these sessions, have students share ideas on the focus of their learning and discuss how to divide up research and sharing of information. After the session, as students conduct their research, have them share resources using a collaborative Wakelet, reviewed here, stretching everyone's learning. Wakelet is a free bookmarking tool for sharing videos, documents, online resources, and more in an easy to view format. As students gather information, modify learning and use Timeline JS, reviewed here. Timeline JS offers the option to upload and add photos, videos, audio, Tweets, and Google Maps. After sharing group projects, challenge students to redefine their learning and share with their peers in a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools, reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Spark For K-12, Plotagon, and My Simpleshow.

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YoTeach! - PALMS

Grades
7 to 12
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YoTeach! is a free backchanneling app created for teachers and students. Create a room and set a password then provide the URL to your students. Once in the platform, the ...more
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YoTeach! is a free backchanneling app created for teachers and students. Create a room and set a password then provide the URL to your students. Once in the platform, the site's features allow you to share chat discussions, use the online whiteboard, and upload images. Additional options include a simple polling tool, a "like" button, and student participation statistics. When finished, download the conversation to your computer as a PDF. When creating your room, use settings to control privacy and moderate participants.

tag(s): chat (47), social networking (102)

In the Classroom

Use this site to connect to other classes to open up a discussion between your students in one convenient place. Safety is not a concern with this site since only those with an email invitation/link or the QR code can participate in a chat. (Your students need not have email. You can simply email the link to yourself and share it with students to enter into their browsers.) Teach good digital citizenship of chat etiquette while using this activity to learn. Connect with other classes to learn about other locations, learn various perspectives, find animals that are similar yet different, learn about the different books others are reading, or survey students on various economic, political, or environmental topics. Be sure to plan content ahead of time, so students have the opportunity to think through the material and formulate a response. Discuss appropriate ways to communicate with others before connecting with another classroom.

Use backchannel chat on laptops during a video or student presentation. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss in the backchannel, or ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use backchannel, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy. Use this in world language classes, ESL/ELL classes, or autistic support classes for backchannel chat. Challenge students to use their new language skills to describe a scene from a video or the feelings of the actors. When studying literature, collaborate with another class to have students role-play a chat between two characters. In a history class, create fictional conversations between soldiers on two sides of the Civil War or different sides of the Scopes Monkey trial.

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Choice of Games - Choice of Games LLC

Grades
6 to 12
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Choice of Games includes tools for creating and playing text-based games (think of it as similar to a choose your own adventure story). Try making games by following the directions...more
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Choice of Games includes tools for creating and playing text-based games (think of it as similar to a choose your own adventure story). Try making games by following the directions to download the script source. Include simple commands using text options for players. This site includes tutorials to get started and add more complex commands. Explore the games archive to play games created by other users and to get inspiration for your creations.

tag(s): coding (74), creative writing (171), DAT device agnostic tool (176), gamification (89), interactive stories (33), STEM (204), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site to your students on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector and explore one or two of the games together. Create a short story together to learn about how to use the different story-writing options. As students begin creating games using this site, consider having students create explainer videos to modify their learning using My Simpleshow, reviewed here, and to demonstrate tools that need a more detailed explanation than what is on the site. Have students create stories to show what they have learned about literature, geography, history, science concepts, and more. As a more "serious" approach, use Choice of Games to present opinion pieces where you take a position and allow readers to click on questions about it. They could also click on statements expressing opposing views so you can write counterarguments to their points. This idea could end up being a powerful way to present an argument and evidence as required by Common Core writing standards. Redefine student learning by having them include their text-based game as part of a collaborative multi-media presentation created using Sway, reviewed here. In addition to their game, ask students to include their written documents, images, and video creations.

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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 including award-winning books. Free enrollment for teachers provides free access...more
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Reading IQ contains an expansive reading library including quality fiction and non-fiction literature including 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 (129), classroom management (152), literacy (106), preK (282), reading comprehension (131), spanish (108)

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. Enhance classroom technology use by using the free interactives and printables from Read Write Think, 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 FlipGrid, reviewed here, to modify classroom technology use 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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Twitter Chat: Preparing for Digital Learning Day - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from February 2018 and will open in TweetChat. Through this chat, participants will discuss how to best integrate Digital Learning Day into the classroom,...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from February 2018 and will open in TweetChat. Through this chat, participants will discuss how to best integrate Digital Learning Day into the classroom, share digital-learning activities, and plan how to showcase digital student work. Read the many comments and suggestions by both the moderator and other participants.

tag(s): twitter (41), twitterchatarchive (62)

In the Classroom

Share this chat with your colleagues preparing for Digital Learning Day. Explore the various tools that are shared. Use these resources as you prepare for Digital Learning Day.

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Computational Thinking - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Dig into the meaning of computational thinking with this collection of resources. Computational thinking is expressing solutions so that humans and computers can understand them. A...more
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Dig into the meaning of computational thinking with this collection of resources. Computational thinking is expressing solutions so that humans and computers can understand them. A great way to visualize how to embed it in your classroom is to have the students think like the physicist, economist, artist, mathematician, etc. to identify the problems that need to be explored. This is not programming computers but logical ways for problem-solving. It is a problem-solving tool for every classroom that has students think like a problem solver and use higher level cognitive skills.

tag(s): computational thinking (33), engineering (133), logic (250), problem solving (297), STEM (204)

In the Classroom

Bring problem-solving and computational thinking into your classroom with these tools. Share on your class website, projector, whiteboard, or on individual devices. Topics range from coding to charts to logic.

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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 Resources. 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 (122), maps (292), reading comprehension (131), reading lists (77)

In the Classroom

These units are perfect for use with a whole-class novel, literature circles, or individual reading! Ask students to keep a journal about what they are reading and learning. Replace traditional paper and pen journals 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 transform their learning and design an interactive multimedia poster using Genial.ly, reviewed here. As an option, and for a real challenge, have students redefine their learning and create 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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Digital Citizenship Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This editor's choice curated list of reviewed resources focuses on digital citizenship. Explore topics such as: protecting your digital footprint, protecting your identity, "netiquette,"...more
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This editor's choice curated list of reviewed resources focuses on digital citizenship. Explore topics such as: protecting your digital footprint, protecting your identity, "netiquette," and much more. Find varying levels of information for different age groups and materials to help parents cooperate in educating their children about digital citizenship.

tag(s): digital citizenship (69), internet safety (117)

In the Classroom

Use this entire collection or simply select the best ones for YOUR students to continually model good digital citizenship. Share the links with parents and among your colleagues so you can promote positive action instead of fear about the Internet.

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Coding Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about coding, and for use as a guide for finding the appropriate tools for use...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about coding, and for use as a guide for finding the appropriate tools for use with all grade and skill levels. Nurture problem solving, logic, and creativity. Find resources for just one hour of code or for use as ongoing technology lessons.

tag(s): coding (74), computational thinking (33), critical thinking (117), design (88), problem solving (297), STEM (204)

In the Classroom

Explore these resources for use with after-school computer clubs or as an excellent tool when recruiting skilled parent volunteers. Turn the intimidating content of computer programming into an exciting learning adventure for all with these helpful sites!

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Digital Learning Day - Alliance for Excellent Education

Grades
K to 12
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Digital Learning Day is an annual February event spotlighting successful instructional practice and effective use of technology around the country. Choose the "About DLDay" option to...more
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Digital Learning Day is an annual February event spotlighting successful instructional practice and effective use of technology around the country. Choose the "About DLDay" option to find out more about the goals of Digital Learning Day, begin with a detailed description listing the characteristics of digital learning. View exemplary models, showcases, lesson portals, and more using links provided. Sign up as a participant for Digital Learning Day then plan your own classroom activity, provide a presentation to parents, or choose from other ideas offered on the site. Explore the Take Action portion of the site to find digital toolkits sorted by subject area. Sign up isn't required; however, it does allow you to receive emails with updates and learning ideas throughout the year. In addition, The Alliance will provide all individuals signed up for Digital Learning Day with ten to twelve detailed lesson plans approximately two weeks before Digital Learning Day. The digital learning content demonstrations are conducted in four areas: math, science, language arts, and civics/social studies; critical areas, such as working with ELL or special education students, will be woven into the lessons.

tag(s): digital citizenship (69), digital storytelling (153), modeling (8), preK (282)

In the Classroom

Celebrate Digital Learning Day in your school by sharing this site and ideas for digital learning both in and out of school. Suggest to your PTO/PTA that they host a family digital learning evening on or about the same date. Bookmark and save this site to find digital learning ideas throughout the year and to plan special events for a midwinter Digital Learning Day celebration. Share with colleagues as a resource.

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Dr. Seuss Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources is terrific on Dr. Seuss' birthday in March or to find resources to share via your teacher web page. There is information for ALL grade ...more
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This collection of reviewed resources is terrific on Dr. Seuss' birthday in March or to find resources to share via your teacher web page. There is information for ALL grade levels, and the subjects include everything from reading to history to science to math! Many of the sites are interactive, some include lesson plans, and others are great for research!

tag(s): preK (282), read across america (6)

In the Classroom

Why not find some special projects and activities for March 2? Whatever subject and grade you teach, you are sure to find something useful here.

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Seussville - Random House

Grades
K to 8
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Find everything Seuss in one place: interactive games, classroom activities, printables, and much more. Audio cues help non-readers to navigate the site (and can be turned off at top...more
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Find everything Seuss in one place: interactive games, classroom activities, printables, and much more. Audio cues help non-readers to navigate the site (and can be turned off at top right). Find videos, author information, and learning games featuring the famous Seuss characters. The Educator link takes you to lesson plans and teaching ideas for use throughout the year, not just for Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2! This site seems to work best with the Edge browser. This is where you will find Read Across America printables and more. Since the publisher obviously wants to sell books, there is complete information for purchasing books, as well, but it is not offensive.

tag(s): dr seuss (11), read across america (6)

In the Classroom

Primary grade teachers will want to share this site on their teacher web page for students to visit over and over both in school and out. Share the site on an interactive whiteboard or projector to show students where to find all the best learning activities, then have students explore on individual computers or at a center. This is a great "indoor recess" option! Teachers of students in older grades-- even middle school -- can use this site during Read Across America celebrations. Have student groups create a Seuss-style book-in-verse on a current curriculum topic, using this site for inspiration. How about a book about electricity or alternative energy? Have them create their new interactive "book" using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Read Across America - NEA

Grades
K to 12
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Here's a chance to participate in a national (American) effort to encourage adults to read to children. NEA's Read Across America program wants every adult to read to a child ...more
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Here's a chance to participate in a national (American) effort to encourage adults to read to children. NEA's Read Across America program wants every adult to read to a child as part of the celebration of Dr. Seuss's birthday. Visit this site to see how you can help with a celebration in your local community. Click the Plan a Reading Event to find resources for Dr. Seuss.

tag(s): humor (14)

In the Classroom

Download the free RAA calendars or have students create family reading calendars or reading videos as part of the Read Across America celebration. Even upper level high school students will enjoy the chance to relive Seuss in their lives. Plan a trip with your school service group to read to elementary kids at the school next door. Or have student groups in any middle or high school class create a Seuss-style book-in-verse on a current curriculum topic, using various Seuss books for inspiration. How about a book about healthy eating or the fun of reading? Be sure to have students create a storyboard to help make the story creation go smoothly. Replace paper and pencil using a digital storyboard like the Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, or SuperNotecard, reviewed here. Then modify learning with the challenge for students to make a new interactive "book" using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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