TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 30, 2021
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
GradesK to 8
tag(s): data (142), decimals (85), differentiation (74), exponents (35), factoring (25), fractions (159), guided reading (32), measurement (124), OER (42), remote learning (62), transformations (12), writing (301)
In the ClassroomInclude this site to supplement your current ELA and math curriculum. Use the resources to differentiate instruction for gifted students in lower grades or as remediation for struggling students in older grades. Be sure to take advantage of the family materials providing explanations of math content and strategies for problem-solving. Use the student materials for differentiating instruction, as homework, or in remote learning situations. Have students share their math explanations, reading strategies and more with video explanations using a tool like Flip, reviewed here. Flip provides a tool for video responses to a question along with comments from peers. Extend learning by asking students to create and share their own math problems, along with suggestions for learning. Use a tool like Sway, reviewed here. Sway is a presentation tool that offers multimedia options, including text, video, and images.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomShare Sync with your students to promote summer reading and provide a variety of reading topics. Play the audio introduction to gain student interest. Click the Toolkit on the left menu to download posters for featured books for each week of the summer. Post the information on your classroom or school website for availability to parents and students through the summer. If it is too late to participate in the program or listen to a weekly title, use the book list provided to locate the titles in your community library for checkout either in person or digitally at the beginning of the new school year. Encourage students to reflect upon the books using an online journal such as those found at Penzu, reviewed here. Penzu journals offers templates and you have the ability to add images or your own illustrations to sections of journals. Extend student learning by highlighting important areas of text within the books using WordSift, reviewed here. Copy and paste in key portions of any book into WordSift to visualize the text within a word cloud. Use the word cloud to explore and discuss new vocabulary or frequently used terms. Use Sync as a model for students to hear text read using intonation and phrasing. Ask students to create podcasts sharing their writing using Spotify for Podcastors (wasmAnchor), reviewed here. Refer students back to the audiobooks they listened to as a helpful reminder on how to engage listeners through the spoken word.
GradesK to 2
In the ClassroomUse this collection to share digital and audiobooks with parents to encourage reading at home. Curate a collection of books for your students and share it with parents using Symbaloo, reviewed here. Symbaloo is an excellent bookmarking tool to use with young students due to the easy to use design and use of icons for identifying information readily.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomAlthough recommended for students in grades K-8, teachers of younger students should review questions and consider writing ability levels before including them in the program due to the written responses required. Consider using Whooo's Reading as an alternative to Accelerated Reader due to the use of short response answers instead of multiple choice questions. After reading books, substitute paper and pen journals by asking younger students to create a blog using a tool like Penzu, reviewed here, to share a book review with fellow students. Engage older students, or literature circle groups, by having them create a poster for the book using a tool like DesignCap, reviewed here, and then upload the poster to their blog about the book. A great blogging tool for older students is Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph have students click on an icon to upload related images, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. For all age students, enhance learning by creating a class book review site using Flip, reviewed here, where students create short video book reviews and can comment on each others reviews.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the many free activities on this site; be sure to share with parents for ideas on learning at home. Consider having a "summer" day in the middle of winter as you enjoy summer activities in the warmth of the indoors. Share with parents at the end of the school year as a great resource for learning during the summer months.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site to your reluctant or struggling readers on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups to find interesting reading material. Be sure to provide a link to Story Shares on your class website or blog for students to explore at home. Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels and for use with special education or ENL/ESL students. Have students write their own comprehension questions and answers based on the book to check their own comprehension and to exchange with classmates.
Grades1 to 7
tag(s): book lists (151), book reports (27), classroom management (128), guided reading (32), independent reading (82), reading comprehension (134), remote learning (62), social networking (70), Teacher Utilities (133)
In the ClassroomCreate your account with one of several social media programs, or your email, teacher name, username, and some basic information. Create your dashboard by adding a class and class name. You can create multiple classes. From the teacher dashboard on right menu choose Teacher Resources to view the several teacher video tutorials to get started. Click the class name to add students; student accounts can be created manually or by importing an XLS or CSV file. Students will automatically be "friends" with other students in the same class, but can also invite students from different classes. Share this site with students (and parents at back to school night) using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Students also have video tutorials; show students the video tutorial "How to Add Books" to get them started. In your blended or remote learning classroom enhance students' learning for this tool using the tutorial (s) along with MoocNote, reviewed here, to add comments and information. Students can create bookshelves for books they are reading, that they have read, and that they want to read. Students can earn points and badges for the books they read. This tool will get students excited about reading since they can connect with friends to share book reviews and swap book recommendations. Students also practice persuasive writing, comprehension, and typing skills by completing reviews, reports, and reading logs online. This tool is great to keep track of student home reading or if you are teaching remotely! Besure to list this site in a parent newsletter or on your website as one to use to avoid the "summer reading slide."
Grades2 to 12
Incase you're wondering - Newsela features current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Click "Products" on the top menu and slide down to browse content in subject areas (social studies, science, etc.). Stories are student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level. Use Newsela to differentiate nonfiction reading. Newspaper writers rewrite a story four times for a total of five Lexile levels per story. All articles have embedded Common Core-aligned quizzes that conform to the reading levels for checking comprehension, customizable assignments, writing prompts, and annotations. An account is required to use Newsela, both for teachers and for students, but students sign up using a teacher or parent-provided code rather than an email address. Click the Resources tab at the top to find guides and short webinars. Teachers can create classes and assign reading-level specific articles to individual students or download printable PDF copies of the article in any of its reading-level versions. There is no outside advertising.
In the ClassroomAchieve two goals here: help students improve their reading comprehension and keep them current with what is happening in our nation and the world. When assigning articles, choose to have the class read at one reading level, or choose individuals and set the reading level for them. There are five categories from which to choose. You may want to set up different articles at different learning stations on the computers in your room. Have the students rotate daily through the stations, completing one or two a day until they have completed all five articles. Since Newsela is cloud based, even absent students can complete the missed work easily. If you and your students are teaching and learning remotely, or you have a blended classroom, Newsela will work perfectly for those! Teachers of gifted students can use this site to accelerate or enrich reading for students. Find each student's individual levels for reading nonfiction. Teachers of Learning Support and ENL//ESL students will love this alternate way for their students to meet nonfiction/current events requirements.
This is an excellent article. Thanks for sharing this information. Please keep sharing content like this.Cassandra, IL, Grades: 0 - 12
This is an excellent site and allows differentiation while everyone is reading the same text.Renee, NC, Grades: 0 - 5
GradesK to 8
This site includes advertising.
In the ClassroomAdd this website to your classroom computers, websites, and newsletters for parents of ENL/ESL students or beginning readers. This tool is especially helpful at the beginning of the year, as you are learning students' reading levels. Use this tool to differentiate in all primary classes. Although this site was created for English Language Learners, it could still be used by all students including gifted and learning support. Differentiate for your advanced/gifted students in elementary, while meeting Common Core standards of Informational Text. Use these news articles as informational text meeting your Common Core goals. Assign students of different levels the same story at the appropriate level or build skills by sharing the same story as a class. Challenge groups to compare the stories in pairs. Have students create a visual presentation of the story. First have students create a rough draft of their comic using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. For Level 1 readers have them create their final comic using ToonyTool, reviewed here, for Level 3 readers use Make Beliefs Comix, reviewed here.
GradesK to 6
tag(s): alphabet (48), decimals (85), drawing (61), fractions (159), game based learning (172), geometric shapes (130), keyboarding (29), latitude (9), literacy (102), longitude (9), number sense (70), numbers (120), operations (74), preK (247)
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, demonstrate how to use the specific tool/activity. Create a learning center on your whiteboard or on individual laptops and allow students to try it out on their own. List this as a student and parent resource on your classroom website. Use this site to informally assess skills to tell you which students to allow to do alternative work or go ahead. Allow your gifted students to explore new concepts while providing necessary reinforcement for those learners that need a technology-inspired method to help master learning goals. This is an excellent tool for differentiating. Provide as an anticipatory guide for new units.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): audio books (21)