TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 12, 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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FlexClip - Patrick Ma

Grades
K to 12
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Upload your images and videos to FlexClip to create quick and easy videos. Create your account, then use the storyboard to add pictures and videos from your computer. Customize your...more
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Upload your images and videos to FlexClip to create quick and easy videos. Create your account, then use the storyboard to add pictures and videos from your computer. Customize your video by uploading a music file or record using your computer's microphone. When finished, save your video and download to your device.

tag(s): editing (75), images (265), video (264)

In the Classroom

Use FlexClip even with young students to create videos for many topics. Ask students to share pictures demonstrating the before and after of a science experiment, then add student voice recordings to explain the experiment. Modify learning by asking students to use FlexClip to create short videos, then include them with other images and videos as part of a multimedia project or digital portfolio. Seesaw, reviewed here, is an easy to use tool for creating and personalizing digital portfolios. The following tools are great for transforming learning and creating multimedia projects: (click on the tool name to access the review): Adobe Spark for K-12, Animatron, Sway, and Beautiful.AI.

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Parent Toolkit - NBC News Education Nation and Pearson

Grades
K to 12
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The Parent Toolkit provides an informative guide to child development from preK through High School. Choose from grade-level charts to view academic, health, and social guidelines with...more
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The Parent Toolkit provides an informative guide to child development from preK through High School. Choose from grade-level charts to view academic, health, and social guidelines with benchmarks and tips. Articles by noted experts offer up to date information and advice for parents and teachers of all grade levels. Don't forget to browse through the National Resources for local help with Mathematics and English, searchable by state.

tag(s): child development (26), learning styles (20), parent conferences (24), parents (53), preK (283), social skills (22)

In the Classroom

Share the Parent Toolkit with parents as an excellent resource for up to date information on education and parenting. Create a link to the appropriate grade level information on your class webpage to help parents understand developmental guidelines for their student. Share this site with colleagues during professional development to gain further understanding of academic and social grade level benchmarks.

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CurriConnects Book List: Books for Tough Situations - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use this CurriConnects list to find independent reading books to help students facing difficult circumstances such as divorce, loss, bullying, deployed parents, friendship issues, eating...more
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Use this CurriConnects list to find independent reading books to help students facing difficult circumstances such as divorce, loss, bullying, deployed parents, friendship issues, eating disorders, and more. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles'® to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): divorce (6), eating disorders (7), emotions (38), social skills (22)

In the Classroom

Build student literacy skills and help students facing personal challenges. Reading about personally meaningful topics will help students work through them. It will also build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to what they already know. Keep this list handy in your Favorites to suggest options when a student seems to need them. Since the list includes topics for all levels of maturity, you might want to share portions of it rather than the entire list. You may also want to tell parents about it during parent conferences or when situations arise. As always, allow students to self- select independent reading books from a list of options. Don't forget to share the list with the school and local libraries so they can bring in some of the books on interlibrary loan, if needed. Your school counselor will also appreciate this list. CurriConnects are a great help for teachers and parents who have lost school library/media specialists due to budget cuts.

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Smore - Shlomi Atar and Gilad Avidan

Grades
2 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Make beautiful online "multimedia" newsletters (flyers) to display on your smartphone, tablet or computer using Smore. You can arrange your content easily with Smores' drag and drop...more
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Make beautiful online "multimedia" newsletters (flyers) to display on your smartphone, tablet or computer using Smore. You can arrange your content easily with Smores' drag and drop editing. Add ready-made graphics, images from files on your computer, or images from the web. Quickly embed text, videos, and tweets, too. Choose from several attractive themes. Share your creations via email, URL, Facebook, Twitter, or print it to hand out or hang on a bulletin board. Check to see who has read your newsletter and who hasn't. The free account plan offers three total newsletter credits and 200 email credits that renew each month.

tag(s): infographics (54), multimedia (50), posters (40)

In the Classroom

Show students how to embed media into a Smore newsletter to create their own "infographics" transforming and displaying what they have learned from a unit of study. Use your interactive whiteboard and projector to allow student groups to present a flyer about a book they've read, news article, etc. Have them create campaign posters for fictitious candidates as you study about the election process. Smore allows you to preview as you work or return later to complete and publish your flyers. Add ready-made graphics, images from files on your computer or on the web. Offer Smore as one of the project options for your gifted students doing projects beyond the regular curriculum, especially those who are visual/artistic. Since this tool requires membership, you may want to use a teacher account for younger gifted students and be sure to get written parent permission!

Allow students to create flyers for upcoming events such as Earth Day, Grandparents Day, Father's Day, Mother's Day, birthdays and anniversaries. Make holiday greetings to share.

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Mothers' Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Mothers' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. The resources include many project ideas for elementary students. Some of the creative...more
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Find resources and activities appropriate for Mothers' Day in this collection from TeachersFirst. The resources include many project ideas for elementary students. Some of the creative tools will lure even older students into writing and creating much=appreciated gifts.

tag(s): mothers day (10)

In the Classroom

Use these resources to connect Mothers' Day to your curriculum in almost any subject or select one or two ideas to highlight along with your regular lessons.

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Word Hearts - Neoformix.com

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a simple tool that automatically fills a heart shape with any words you choose. Simply type the words separated by commas in the text box and press "Enter." ...more
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This is a simple tool that automatically fills a heart shape with any words you choose. Simply type the words separated by commas in the text box and press "Enter." You have the option to choose one of three fonts and change the colors of the text, background, and shape. There is no built-in method to save or print your image, however you can capture it by using print screen, explained by clicking on one of the links available right on the Word Heart page, that will guide you on how to capture your screen on both Windows and Mac. You can then paste it into any image editing program to crop it, save it, or print it.

tag(s): images (265), word clouds (13)

In the Classroom

This is a handy, fun tool to make available to your class. Provide a direct link from your web page or wiki and bookmark it in your favorites. The uses are endless! Students can generate words related to any of the literary themes or character traits related to love, family, or friendship, or write a poem. When studying grammar, have students fill the heart with verbs, or nouns. Use it to generate synonyms or antonyms. Another idea, have students "capture" the picture and save. Then enhance learning by challenging them to narrate their word heart using a site such as Slidestory, reviewed here. This tool allows you to narrate the slides and images.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (10), parents (53)

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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Reading Suggestions - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This site, created by our teacher-editors, offers a reading list for students in all grades. Simply click on the grade level that you wish to explore and a book list ...more
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This site, created by our teacher-editors, offers a reading list for students in all grades. Simply click on the grade level that you wish to explore and a book list will be provided. Most books offer a short description and some link to other titles by the same author. New titles are added frequently, so be sure to check back.

In the Classroom

Save this site in your classroom computers' favorites, so students can easily access the site to find new books to read! Share this link on your class website. This is an excellent resource to provide for summer reading.

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Magazine Cover Maker - Big Huge Labs

Grades
3 to 12
16 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create authentic-looking magazine covers sure to attract double-takes. Simply upload a photo to create your cover. If you do not need to SAVE the photo for online access later, you...more
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Create authentic-looking magazine covers sure to attract double-takes. Simply upload a photo to create your cover. If you do not need to SAVE the photo for online access later, you do not even need to join the site. Covers you create can be downloaded as completed images or sent via email and other sharing tools (Facebook, etc). Photos can be uploaded from your files, Flickr, your website, or other photosharing sites. Fill in your desired text for the titles and sub-titles and choose colors for them. It's that simple. Click 'Create' at the bottom and you have a magazine cover that will leave others in awe. For more creative ideas using Big Huge Labs, go to the top of the page and click on Big Huge Labs Blog or Forum. Big Huge Labs offers MANY similar tools, such as Mapmaker, reviewed here. Of course, this site offers advanced options for a fee or with free registration, but neither is necessary.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bulletin boards (19), collages (16), firstday (24), flickr (3), images (265), posters (40)

In the Classroom

Enhance classroom technology use by using this tool with your students. They will need to know how to locate your photos on your computer or photo sharing site. Click the little white boxes to change text colors, etc. as you enter desired text. SAVE your completed cover when done. Be sure to give it a meaningful name if you are creating several covers on the same computer!

Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here. If you and your students simply use the tool without joining the site, there are no problems with email, profiles, etc. You do need to demonstrate the tool and specifically explain which links students should NOT use, including ads and links to social networking sites that are prohibited in your school. These may be blocked, anyway. Make sure you watch and teach copyright issues in snatching photos from the web.

Have students create magazine covers of themselves as a getting to know you activity and classroom bulletin board. Print and laminate magazine covers to make them appear even more authentic. Or share the images (WITHOUT student names) on your class wiki or web page. When doing reports for any subject, have students create magazine covers that mimic the real thing instead of boring plain covers. Make covers about famous Americans, scientists, or historic figures. Make covers about objects, as well. Assign students to research a vegetable and create a cover about its nutrients, recipes, and more as part of your nutrition unit! Guidance teachers or principals can feature exemplary students using this tool. Bulletin board creativity will skyrocket using Big Huge Labs Magazine Cover. Why not offer a rotating PowerPoint slide show of student-made magazine covers for parents to view as they wait in the hallway for conferences?

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Mother's Day - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
2 to 10
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Mother's Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Mother's Day...more
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As part of their extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more, MyVocabulary.com has added a themed area for Mother's Day. Find interactive vocabulary activities using Mother's Day 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): mothers day (10), vocabulary (312)

In the Classroom

Share the puzzles on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students work with a partner to try out the puzzles on their own. Enhance classroom technology use by having students (or groups) create their own word puzzles to share as a class challenge with a student-run interactive whiteboard activity or share them on a class wiki.

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PicLits - PicLits.com

Grades
K to 12
15 Favorites 0  Comments
    
The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Alternatively, add inspirational...more
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Alternatively, add inspirational or humorous captions to pictures. "Lesson Plans" provides learning opportunities and examples for creating captions, compound sentences, or paragraphs. Video tutorials can be found under the FAQs tab. "Explore the Gallery" to see already-created PicLits as well as comments and ratings. After selecting a picture (or using the one they provide) and dragging a word onto the screen, choose different forms of the word by using the drop-down menu next to the word. Move your words anywhere on the screen for creative writing. You can also click "freestyle" instead to type in your own words instead of choosing from their list. Word lists change, depending on the image selected. Here is an example from one of the TeachersFirst reviewers: Come to the Edge. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but you are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public. NOTE: Our editors regret that PicLits occasionally allows advertising on their home page to include images that are not classroom-friendly. Teachers should preview to determine whether or not your students can ignore the ads.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (162), digital storytelling (141), images (265), sentences (46)

In the Classroom

Share a PicLit on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector at the start of a grammar or writing lesson to discuss word choice, figures of speech, or vocabulary. Use the visual picture prompt for journal or blog writing, allowing each student to compose a unique poem or haiku. Even science classes can write about concepts illustrated in the many nature photos. Emotional support teachers will love the chance to discuss feelings and how to describe facial expressions in the pictures. Make a collection of PicLits using a tool like 3 x 3 Links, reviewed here, for a curriculum topic. Modify classroom technology use by challenging students to create an online literary magazine using a tool such as Underlined, reviewed here. PicLits can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement. ESL students can create PicLits to learn new vocabulary. Have students create PicLits for special occasions and special people (mom, dad, grandparents, school nurse, or others). Use the embed code to place your creations on many other sites, including your class wiki or blogs. Share your PicLit by using a URL or code for an embedded widget.

You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLS to all your students' projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there. A simpler alternative would be to use a bookmarking tool such as Buttons, reviewed here. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students or simply use a whole-class account.

To use PicLits you must be able to navigate tabs on sites, manage logins, and use URLs and embed codes to share results on websites and blogs. Play to learn the tools before or after joining. The FAQs tab also provides a short-and-sweet text explanation of the tools. Find these under the Video Tutorials.

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Mother's Day Crafts and Children's Activities - DLTK

Grades
K to 3
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DLTK has created this website that features crafts, songs, cards, poems, puzzles, interactive games, recipes, language arts activities, themed writing paper and more. Some of the activities...more
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DLTK has created this website that features crafts, songs, cards, poems, puzzles, interactive games, recipes, language arts activities, themed writing paper and more. Some of the activities require ShockWave, Flash, or Adobe Acrobat. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): crafts (40), mothers day (10), poetry (225), puzzles (204), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these ready to go resources. Share the puzzles and educational activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector. In art class, try some of the crafts. Challenge students to write their own poems to their mothers. Modify classroom technology use by having students narrate a photo of their mother (or another influential female in their lives) using UtellStory, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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TogetheRead - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Share family reading and activities around a monthly theme using this outstanding series by our partner site, TogetherForLearning. Interwoven into each TogetheRead theme are questions...more
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Share family reading and activities around a monthly theme using this outstanding series by our partner site, TogetherForLearning. Interwoven into each TogetheRead theme are questions and activities based on reading strategies for effective readers. Parents and children of all ages can select books from the annotated lists, read together, and do related free or low-cost activities. Written in language understandable to parents and without education "jargon" so familiar to teachers, these themes will help any child become a better reader and enjoy sharing family time. Books are grouped into age bands: preschool/picture books, early elementary, upper elementary to middle school, upper middle school to young adult, and mature teen to adult books. Activities accompany each age group, and participants can contribute their own activity suggestions, as well.

tag(s): independent reading (122), parents (53)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your teacher web page or in a newsletter. You might even talk to your parent organization about promoting TogetheRead as a whole-school activity. Maybe even host a TogetheRead family evening in the gym or library.

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