TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jul 28, 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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Teachers.io - instin, LLC

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Teachers.io is an organization and planning website and app that works hand in hand with myHomework student planning app, reviewed here. Sign up to...more
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Teachers.io is an organization and planning website and app that works hand in hand with myHomework student planning app, reviewed here. Sign up to create classes, upload documents and assignments, and easily share announcements. Create your teacher profile for students and parents to view. Free accounts also include a blog for sharing information and pictures.

tag(s): communication (14), homework (38), organizational skills (107), Teacher Utilities (80)

In the Classroom

Use Teachers.io to help organize information for yourself and your students. Upload your syllabus for easy access by students. Add homework assignments and due dates and include attachments for student use. Even if you already have a website, Teachers.io includes a widget to embed on your site for easy access to all features. Be sure to share myHomework with students for complete interaction between both sites and access to all features.

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myHomework - myHomeworkapp

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
myHomework is a digital student planner to track homework, assignments, tests, and more. This site uses a visually appealing calendar display to add classes and homework. Enter class...more
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myHomework is a digital student planner to track homework, assignments, tests, and more. This site uses a visually appealing calendar display to add classes and homework. Enter class information including start and end times, classroom number, teacher information, and notes. Add individual homework assignments or upload a syllabus to input multiple assignments. If your school uses Teachers.io, reviewed here, this app fully integrates with that platform to offer class information, notes, and more across both platforms.

tag(s): calendars (38), DAT device agnostic tool (170), homework (38), organizational skills (107), Teacher Utilities (80)

In the Classroom

Share myHomework with students as an excellent way to organize and plan homework assignments. Create a link on your class website for students to access, and discuss using this app during back to school meetings. This site works on computers and has apps for all devices so information is available across platforms.

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Class123 - Choong Hee Lee

Grades
K to 6
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Class123 is a classroom management tool containing several features for organizing classrooms and communicating with students and parents. Tools include a timer, seating chart, attendance...more
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Class123 is a classroom management tool containing several features for organizing classrooms and communicating with students and parents. Tools include a timer, seating chart, attendance manager, random name picker, and more. Sign up for free to add your rosters and avatars. Parents and students sign up with a code provided. Once enrolled, members receive or send communications privately or within groups. Please be aware that Class123 falls under the FERPA laws for "directory information" and "educational records." Any school getting funds from the Department of Education (public schools) is required to disclose to parents and get written consent to use Class123 with their child.

tag(s): behavior (43), classroom management (145), communication (14), DAT device agnostic tool (170), parents (53), Teacher Utilities (80)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to communicate specific behaviors with parents - both positive and negative feedback. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom. Take advantage of the other tools to take attendance or rearrange your seating chart quickly and easily.

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Mega Seating Plan - Rob Cowen

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
Make classroom management easier with the Mega Seating Plan seating chart creator. Import student data from a spreadsheet and set up the layout of your classroom. Choose to create a...more
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Make classroom management easier with the Mega Seating Plan seating chart creator. Import student data from a spreadsheet and set up the layout of your classroom. Choose to create a random seating arrangement or boy/girl setup. Drag and Drop students to adjust as you like. Include additional data, if desired, on the spreadsheet to show on your seating plan such as reading level or current grades.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (61), classroom management (145), Teacher Utilities (80)

In the Classroom

Use this site at the beginning of the year to create a seating chart for your classroom. Use the drag and drop technology to configure the desks the way you want them. Trying to separate the most social students? Experiment with different seating layouts until you find the one you think might work. This tool will also make useful diagrams for your sub plans. Flip your classroom a new way by having students "design" a dream classroom as part of a math lesson on measurement or a lesson on simple map skills. Suddenly, the classroom tool becomes a student tool!

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Thrively - Thrively

Grades
1 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Thrively is a free tool that gives strengths and interests assessments in an engaging and entertaining way. Based on 23 factors and developed for children, you receive a profile that...more
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Thrively is a free tool that gives strengths and interests assessments in an engaging and entertaining way. Based on 23 factors and developed for children, you receive a profile that is personal, positive, and celebrates each child's core strengths and unique talents. Children, teachers, and parents all have a dashboard displaying activities and videos selected specifically for the child's strengths and interests. Explore a comprehensive activity index with over 120,000 activities and hundreds of videos designed to inspire. The videos feature interesting ideas, leaders, and a range of insights into careers and opportunities that are a good fit for the child's unique strengths. The Activity Boards are a way to discover and research the activities and collect them all in one place. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable; be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos on classroom computers.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (61), differentiation (51), multiple intelligences (8), Special Needs (41), Teacher Utilities (80)

In the Classroom

Begin your school year with a more personal touch, by knowing what your students' interests are. On the teacher dashboard, examine each student and match interest to activities to differentiate instruction. Students can explore careers, apps, and activities matching their profile. With interest and strengths targeted, you can sail smoothly into a highly engaged class of individualized learning. During career explorations, open up worlds of possibilities for students and families to begin planning a successful path. Add a link to this tool to your class website for possible enrichment activities for families. Offer suggestions to parents for enriching after school activities found around your area.

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The Teacher Toolkit - The Region 13 Educator Certification Program (ECP)

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find many strategies and techniques to keep your class engaged and interested! Many of the strategies are also helpful in adult meetings. View the short video on the home page ...more
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Find many strategies and techniques to keep your class engaged and interested! Many of the strategies are also helpful in adult meetings. View the short video on the home page to get a good overview of what to find and how to navigate this site. See the Strategies and Techniques, or Tools, by clicking the button. Not only will all the tools be displayed, but on the left find a menu with categories to make it easier to find what you are looking for. There are Opening and Closing Activities, Checks for Understanding, Reading Strategies, and more. There is no sign in to see all the activities. However, by joining the site, you will be able to take and save notes for the different tools of interest. Each tool has an overview of how and when to use it, variations of the tool, and templates (downloaded in Word) for participants to use. Some tools have accompanying videos to show the tool in action. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable; be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos on classroom computers.

tag(s): back to school (61), classroom management (145), reading strategies (57), Teacher Utilities (80)

In the Classroom

Keep lessons engaging and interactive with these Tools. For instance use the Quiz, Quiz, Trade activity to get students up and to interact with questions for review before a test. To structure a meaningful discussion try the 5-3-1 activity. Use the Gallery Walk to review and get students discussing the unit or topic just finished. With the Gallery Walk, student groups could create posters (maybe a picture summary of something just read in class) and walk around observing and taking notes from others' posters. There are dozens more for you to try at The Teacher Toolkit.

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Classroom Architect - 4Teachers.org

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
Rearrange and design your classroom without having to move a desk using Classroom Architect! This online tool allows you to customize a design for your classroom layout using your dimensions...more
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Rearrange and design your classroom without having to move a desk using Classroom Architect! This online tool allows you to customize a design for your classroom layout using your dimensions and objects you want to include. Follow the directions to select your basic dimensions and drag and drop items in place. Free-draw items not among the ready-made objects. When finished, print your design. There is a save option in Classroom Architect; however, it only saves to the computer where you create the design. The site suggests taking a screen shot to paste into a document as the best option for saving.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): architecture (84), back to school (61), classroom management (145), Teacher Utilities (80)

In the Classroom

Save time and energy setting up your classroom with Classroom Architect. Tired of the same layout in your current classroom? Try something new using this site! Play around with different options and set up your room as you like. Save a copy for use when desks have been moved during parties, plays, cleaning, and other events. Share with students and have them create their own perfect learning environment. Then use their ideas as a writing prompt explaining why they designed the classroom the way that they did! Use this activity as math practice with measurement and graphing/proportion. Use this tool as a way to refresh your classroom for a new semester or unit. Allow student groups to design the layout for each quarter of the year.
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Trading Card Creator - ReadWriteThink

Grades
2 to 9
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Follow the step by step directions to create a photo trading card using this tool. Create real or fictional Trading Cards about people, places, events, objects, or abstract concepts....more
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Follow the step by step directions to create a photo trading card using this tool. Create real or fictional Trading Cards about people, places, events, objects, or abstract concepts. Follow the prompts to complete the information and choose whether to save as a draft or final. You can share via email or print.

tag(s): back to school (61), biographies (86), book reports (34), characterization (18)

In the Classroom

Use the main character in a story your class recently read and demonstrate this tool using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Social studies classes can portray a famous person or event in history. Science classes can develop trading cards for plants, planets, cells, or just about anything else you study. In a geography class, use cards to describe a place. Students can use trading cards to help them remember facts and vocabulary from any class. Teacher-librarians can encourage students to make trading cards about books or authors. Use cards at the beginning of the year for students to create a trading card about themselves. After sharing with classmates, post them on a bulletin board for back-to-school night.
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Sal, , Grades: 0 - 12

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101 Things You Can Do in the First Three Weeks of Class - Joyce Povlacs Lunde

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
The first three weeks of school set the tone for the entire year. Even if you didn't have a "great" first day (or week) of school, there is still time ...more
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The first three weeks of school set the tone for the entire year. Even if you didn't have a "great" first day (or week) of school, there is still time to change the mood of your classroom! This list provides many suggestions for getting off to a great start. Although created for college teachers, most content is appropriate for all grade levels. Scroll through each section to find ideas for transitioning to a new grade level, keeping students' attention, providing support, building community, and much more. Although this site is rather "plain vanilla," it is packed full of wonderful "sprinkles" to start your year off great!

tag(s): back to school (61), newbies (15), professional development (188)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from this site during back to school staff meetings to motivate teachers as they begin a new year. Share it with your student teacher before he/she gets started. Challenge yourself and other department members to check off as many items on the list as you can. Keep this list up on your computer as a reminder through the day. Revisit this site each year as a reminder of starting each school year on the right foot! Why not bookmark this site (or save in your favorites), so it is easy to find each year?

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Happy Class - David Cole

Grades
K to 6
5 Favorites 0  Comments
HappyClass is a FREE automatic classroom seating chart maker. HappyClass creates charts in minutes based on your students' needs and relationships. Type or paste your class roster into...more
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HappyClass is a FREE automatic classroom seating chart maker. HappyClass creates charts in minutes based on your students' needs and relationships. Type or paste your class roster into the website and configure the virtual desks to look like your physical classroom. The contextual menu provides options to make sure relationship factors are prioritized as well as student needs (like front or back of the room). Need a student to stay in the same seat? Pin them to the seat (not literally of course!). Edit each student's unique needs at any time as your students change throughout the year. The happiness indicator automatically determines if the student is sitting in an ideal situation. A smiley face means all is well, a so-so face means it could work, and an uh-oh face means the current seating configuration could lead to a negative classroom environment. Seating chart results are immediate with one click of a button. Not happy? Generate a completely new configuration with another click. Print your chart in a snap for your lesson plan book. The free version (Lite) includes an unlimited number of students in one editable class roster and one room setup at a time. You can add, edit or delete students, rearrange the room, or change relationships and needs of that one class over and over. The freebie limits make this well suited for self-contained classes, not teachers who see different classes throughout the day.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (61), charts and graphs (203), classroom management (145), gamification (82), Teacher Utilities (80)

In the Classroom

HappyClass is a great site to make sure seating preferences in IEPs /504 plans are met even before the first day of school. Create differentiated cooperative learning groups throughout the day in seconds. Printing charts is quick and easy. Change the configuration of your room by dragging and dropping desks. Clear the chart and start from scratch. More time to focus on instruction! Save this in your "back to school" online files!

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

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
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 (115), digital storytelling (144), letter writing (18), Teacher Utilities (80)

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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Back to School Read-alouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
8 Favorites 0  Comments
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...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 for start-of-school read alouds and class discussions. The list of books to read aloud and accompanying activities center on the getting the school year off to a good start. 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): firstday (23), reading lists (78)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites as you plan for the first week of school.

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TeachersFirst Brain Twister - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 9
45 Favorites 0  Comments
These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, are changed each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The...more
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These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, are changed each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz presents ten questions, one at a time. You have only ONE try to pick the correct answer, so think carefully. You get points for each correct answer, totaling up to a possible 100. When you finish, you see your score and how long you spent. Questions are intended to stretch your thinking. Printable versions are available along with answers to the previous week's Twister. A new version of the Twister is mobile-friendly and adjusts to any screen size. Take the Twister with you wherever you go!

In the Classroom

Since elementary and middle school curriculum content varies from location to location, it is unlikely that every question will fall within the scope of your school's curriculum. High point questions may fall outside standard classroom fare. Five-point questions tend to be at the knowledge/comprehension/application level of Bloom's taxonomy and closer to "normal" content. Ten pointers are more likely cross-curricular application/analysis, and twenty pointers require analytical thinking and a wider experience level, such as knowledge of current events or information beyond normal curricula. Twenty pointers may require more than one student's input.

Do the questions as a whole-class activity with a projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.

Alternatively, do the Twister in small groups, with one student an answer entry but others as researchers on neighboring computers to find out what the group does not know. It may be helpful to assign roles: moderator (assigns what to find out and helps the group reach consensus), keyboarder (enters responses, may conduct research in a new window), or researchers (find information as assigned). Use the Twisters to model and teach information literacy skills in a high-motivation activity. Or offer the Twisters as an enrichment challenge or extra credit option for students to do at home. Ask parents to be on the honor system to sign a note indicating the score their child achieved. Since parents may be overly interested in helping, you may want to simply give extra credit for anyone completing the quiz, no matter the score. Be sure to mark this ready to go exclusive in your favorites and share it on your teacher class web page.

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Getting to Know You Ideas from TeachersFirst - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
26 Favorites 1  Comments
 
TeachersFirst offers tried and true getting-to-know-you lesson plans, some with a creative twist. Get off on the right foot to establish your classroom as a learning community. ...more
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TeachersFirst offers tried and true getting-to-know-you lesson plans, some with a creative twist. Get off on the right foot to establish your classroom as a learning community.

tag(s): firstday (23)

In the Classroom

Try these activities from TeachersFirst to help you and your students get to know each other early in the school year or for a "fresh start" for a new semester or move-in students.

Comments

I love the ideas and activities for helping students get to know each other early on in the new school year. In the Headstart program we focus on parent involvement and I like to do activities that involve the parents and help them to get to know each other as well. The classroom and education experience is so much more successful when everyone is working together: children , families, and teachers. Teresa, FL, Grades: 0 - 1

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