TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 10, 2023

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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OK2Ask: Tech Made EZ with Adobe Express for Education - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from March 2023. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Ignite creativity
...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from March 2023. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Ignite creativity and learning with Adobe Express for Education. Provide challenging learning opportunities for your students by using media creation to engage them and deepen their content area knowledge. Students can create posters, presentations, images, animations, web pages, videos, and more that demonstrate their knowledge construction skills. Learn to use Adobe Express for classroom projects and personal productivity, and brainstorm with others about ways you and your students can use this tool to demonstrate learning. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn basic use of Adobe Express for Education; 2. Explore three different ways to use Adobe Express in the classroom; and 3. Plan for the use of Adobe Express in the classroom. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): assessment (146), creativity (91), professional development (395)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.

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Twitter Chat: Inspire Creativity with Canva - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from August 2022 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Inspire Creativity with Canva. During this chat, participants: 1. Discussed strategies...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from August 2022 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Inspire Creativity with Canva. During this chat, participants: 1. Discussed strategies to use Canva as a teaching tool, 2. Explored Canva's features, and 3. Collaborated on ideas to use Canva in the classroom to empower students.

tag(s): creativity (91), twitterchatarchive (175)

In the Classroom

Find resources and information about Canva. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for strategies and resources on Canva.

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Digital Storytelling Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This editor's choice curated list of reviewed resources focuses on digital storytelling. Engage and excite students to get writing. Many of the tools shared are device agnostic and...more
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This editor's choice curated list of reviewed resources focuses on digital storytelling. Engage and excite students to get writing. Many of the tools shared are device agnostic and will work on all devices in both web browsers and apps. Find tools ideal for all grades. Use digital storytelling in all subject areas to assess, collaborate, share results, and more. Find options in the resources for student projects. View and learn from the professional resources shared.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), writing (317)

In the Classroom

Find an abundance of digital writing tools to use in your classroom. Share sites on your interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to create their own projects using tools on this list. Rather than a unit test, have students create a book demonstrating their understanding of concepts. Bring out creativity with these engaging tools!

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CoSpaces - Delightex GmbH

Grades
4 to 12
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Build your own 3D spaces using CoSpaces, then view in virtual reality. Choose from the large library of items to include in your creation including characters and objects. To get ...more
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Build your own 3D spaces using CoSpaces, then view in virtual reality. Choose from the large library of items to include in your creation including characters and objects. To get a sense of how this works, visit the gallery to view creations built by CoSpace users. Register to create your account to start building your own 3D space. Be sure to visit the section for educators with many lesson plans and ideas on how to use CoSpaces in the classroom. Tutorials for CoSpaces reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): augmented reality (7), coding (90), creativity (91), DAT device agnostic tool (144), digital storytelling (144)

In the Classroom

Recreate scenes from books or use CoSpaces to retell any story with 3D images. Encourage creativity and ask students to develop virtual exhibitions of artwork, animal habitats, or landforms. Have older students create infographics featuring data collections, for example comparing availability of Internet in different American towns.

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International Dot Day - Reynolds Center for Teaching Learning & Creativity

Grades
K to 12
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Become part of a global celebration of creativity, courage, and collaboration on International Dot Day. Formed in response to The Dot written by Peter H. Reynolds, this day is...more
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Become part of a global celebration of creativity, courage, and collaboration on International Dot Day. Formed in response to The Dot written by Peter H. Reynolds, this day is set aside to rekindle and inspire the power of creativity in all of us. Register (sign up) for a free to download Educators Handbook. Explore the site to find many posters, badges, pictures of Dot Day in action, and more. Don't forget to follow International Dot Day on Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with all of the latest updates from around the world. Sign up to become a member of the Dot Day Community and celebrate with others around the world each September! Some of the videos are on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): creativity (91), cross cultural understanding (155), literature (218)

In the Classroom

Although the official International Dot Day is in September, use ideas from the site to inspire creativity and collaboration throughout the year. Read The Dot to students and encourage them to collaborate ways they can make their mark in the world. Celebrate by joining the Fllip, reviewed here community with a live stream featuring the author and his twin brother. Challenge older students to explore their place in the world through the use of a blog. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Penzu, reviewed here, with Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Or, use Webnode, reviewed here. Take this a step further by joining ePals, reviewed here, and sharing your Dot Day activities with your global friends. Consider following International Dot Day on Facebook and Twitter to stay in touch with all of the latest updates from around the world.
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The Wonderment - Kidnected World

Grades
3 to 9
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Enjoy and challenge creativity and problem-solving skills in a world of wonder. Once you sign up for The Wonderment, a social platform for kids, choose a bot or secret identity. ...more
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Enjoy and challenge creativity and problem-solving skills in a world of wonder. Once you sign up for The Wonderment, a social platform for kids, choose a bot or secret identity. Given a choice to follow many different paths, kids determine the subject of interest. The paths are real-world problems from around the globe. View a video, story, or idea. Design a response using text, photos, or a video. Join a chat to allow comments or ask questions to make global connections. After each posting, special points are added to make the bot design more elaborate. A personal Wondermeter rises with each response. Through donations, this non-profit brings technology to children around the world. A call for adults to serve as mentors to respond to each child challenges adults to join in the fun and make the world a better place. Register with email. Children under 13 need parent or teacher approval to participate. Click How it Works from the upper right menu to watch the short videos to explaining paths, projects, communities, and generally how The Wonderment works.

tag(s): communication (133), cross cultural understanding (155), enrichment (9), gifted (65), listening (73), Problem Based Learning (12), problem solving (225), social media (54), social networking (65), social skills (22), speaking (22), sustainability (43)

In the Classroom

The Wonderment is a problem based learning adventure for each student around the world to communicate and collaborate with other students. This venue allows great lesson ideas for digital citizenship and digital footprints. Begin by choosing a path for the entire class and feature on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Have students work in small groups to choose their best response. Discussions can focus on creativity, problem solving, and collaboration between the group and others from around the world. In a gifted class, use as a way to challenge kids to break through the "right answer" and find the "best answer." Use this as a model for finding authentic needs in your community. Be sure to share a link to this tool on your class blog, website, or learning management system (LMS). Use this tool as the answer for the parents who always want more challenge and enrichment for their students at home. Be sure to share at a staff meeting to spread the wonder for other students and adults.

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Creative Educator - Tech4Learning

Grades
1 to 12
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Creative Educator offers articles, lesson plans, and resources for many different ways to put creativity into the curriculum. Explore eight main topics: Creativity, Digital Storytelling,...more
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Creative Educator offers articles, lesson plans, and resources for many different ways to put creativity into the curriculum. Explore eight main topics: Creativity, Digital Storytelling, 21st Century Classrooms, Project-based Learning, STEM, and Teaching and Learning. At the bottom menu find Curriculum related areas such as Literacy, English Language Aquisition, and STEM resources will grab your interest. Find a variety of lessons in Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies to integrate technology and pique students' interest.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (128), creativity (91), Teacher Utilities (150)

In the Classroom

Creative Educator, designed for teachers, helps you move past stale worksheets to get inspired! Be sure to look at this site to help you discover ways to integrate technology and creativity into lessons. Work with a partner to make the lessons fit in your situation. Share at staff meetings and offer new ideas. Look for ways to bring a new focus to your gifted students. Give as a resource to students, so they can choose a multimedia product to share the content knowledge they are learning. Once you and your students are familiar with the site use Padlet, reviewed here, to list out student interests. Then use Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to assign lessons to groups with the same or similar interests. Older students, once they have determined their interests, can select their projects/lessons and create their own Symbaloo Learning Paths. After several selections, ask older students to choose the topic they were most interested in, find resources to learn more about the topic, then extend their learning by presenting their findings using a multimedia tool such as (click on the tool name to access the review): Canva Infographic Maker, Marq (formerly Lucidpress), Powtoon, and FlexClip.

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Educator Innovator - MacArthur Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Constantly challenging your students to the highest level of Bloom's taxonomy, creating? The time has come for you as a teacher to jump into creativity in teaching. Join the blog ...more
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Constantly challenging your students to the highest level of Bloom's taxonomy, creating? The time has come for you as a teacher to jump into creativity in teaching. Join the blog and growing community of educators and organizations that support you to change education. Get inspired with webinars, podcasts, and videos by educators who have found new ways of meeting and challenging students. Grant opportunities and webinars of successful, innovative teachers challenge you to look for more. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): grants (16), professional development (395)

In the Classroom

Dare to be different and engage your students in learning that is unique and meets their needs, designed by you! Share this site with a colleague and let your imaginations run wild. Do what teachers do best: engage, motivate, and inspire students to love learning.

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Google Doodles - Google

Grades
3 to 12
8 Favorites 2  Comments
Love Google Doodles, those fun and spontaneous changes to the Google logo? View the gallery of Google Doodles on this site. Click About on the top menu to learn the ...more
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Love Google Doodles, those fun and spontaneous changes to the Google logo? View the gallery of Google Doodles on this site. Click About on the top menu to learn the background of Google Doodle. View the Doodle Archive with the newest Doodle appearing first on the page. Click the information button (i) for each doodle to bring up an information box. Click More Doodle Details to go to the Doodle page or click Search for to learn more about the topic or date. Move from one Doodle to the other by clicking the forward or back arrows on each Doodle page. Click Doodle4Google to view the Google contest. The competition typically takes place during the Fall. Click Classroom Activities for ideas on sparking and nurturing creativity in kids of all ages. Check back to find the next Doodle4Google contest for students.

tag(s): artists (78), creativity (91), drawing (60), gifted (65), STEM (265)

In the Classroom

This amazing collection of Doodles can be used to spark thinking in a variety of classes. Use the Doodles to teach a little history. View the resources about the event, person, or country that inspired the Doodle. Encourage thinking with your gifted kids by sharing the whole gallery for exploration or a specific Doodle. Use these Doodles to spark a new project idea or challenge kids to create a simple "doodle" as a new way to report on a historic figure or a content idea. Think your students will be intimidated making a computer Doodle? Consider creating a Doodle using any computer art software or simply creating one on paper. Use these ideas in Science to show the scientific inventions or concepts. In social studies, use Doodles to showcase specific events here and around the World. When looking at perspectives of people around the world, create doodles that can show more than one point of view. Write paragraphs or stories based on Google Doodles. Use Google Doodles in STEM initiatives at your school. Don't forget Art or Gifted programs! Get your students excited about the making of the Doodles and what code writing can do! Use tools such as Scratch, reviewed here, or Tynker, reviewed here, to practice coding.

Comments

Nice to have past "Google Doodles" in one website to go back and look at. David, AK, Grades: 9 - 12
Great ideas for short, informative paragraphs to practice this type of writing. Let kids find a google idea for a day, for their particular world/setting/priorities...FUN! Archives are instructive. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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I Am an Artist - RTE and the National Centre for Technology in Education

Grades
K to 5
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Bring art alive for young students. Paint and color, clay, fabric and fiber, drawing, construction, and print are the six strands of visual art covered by I Am An Artist. ...more
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Bring art alive for young students. Paint and color, clay, fabric and fiber, drawing, construction, and print are the six strands of visual art covered by I Am An Artist. Click on a strand to view short videos, about six minutes in length, designed to keep your attention. Each strand also has a "Look and Respond" stimulating slide show with discussion questions. The "Can You?" section under each visual strand provides steps for a hands-on explanation. I Am an Artist allows you to explore the visual arts with various materials and tools, allowing students to express their world in a visual, tangible form. The "For Teachers" section on each strand page provides child-centered lessons developed to foster creativity and design with printable activity sheets. The site also provides weblinks and interactive games on a wide range of visual arts topics. Explore the I Am an Artist Gallery for examples. Find information about how to submit your own work to the gallery. The content for I Am an Artist has been created in consultation with Irish teachers.

tag(s): colors (64), crafts (54), creativity (91), design (79), drawing (60), makerspace (41), painting (55), sculpture (21)

In the Classroom

Become art smart with resources from the I Am an Artist site. Use the collection of videos to flip your art instruction. Search through the lesson plans and activity sheets to provide hands-on, minds-on activities for your students. Use the videos or the slide shows as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students or groups collect ideas and thoughts from the slides using Padlet, reviewed here. Use a visual blogging tool such as Telegra.ph, reviewed here, to upload the students art work - no registration required! If you are teaching younger students try using Seesaw, reviewed here. The students can blog about their work, upload their artwork, and even create an online portfolio. Browse through the resources to see what can be used in your makerspace. Host an art show at your school for families and the communities to showcase the students' creativity. Your students can describe their work as visitors explore the gallery. Use the activities as stations during your art show for participants to create their own art. Many of the lessons on the site are cross-curricular.
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Respondo! - Ian Byrdseed

Grades
4 to 12
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Bring some creativity into your literature lessons using this site that goes way beyond rote answers. Choose skills from drop boxes, identify one or two stories to analyze/compare,...more
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Bring some creativity into your literature lessons using this site that goes way beyond rote answers. Choose skills from drop boxes, identify one or two stories to analyze/compare, choose your thinking skills, and decide what the final product will be. For example, "Substitute The Giver's setting for A Wrinkle In Time's setting. Dramatize how this would affect A Wrinkle In Time's plot. Create a skit," or "Rearrange Oh The Places You Will Go's plot. Analyze how this would affect its tone. Create a photo essay ." Choose whatever book(s) are relevant to your class. Experiment with different ideas easily until coming up with the perfect response question for your class or individualize easily for different student responses. The creator of this site does admit that it is a rather new site with a few kinks. His email is provided if you see any issues. Our review team noticed nothing unusual, and all options were functioning properly, at the time of this review.

tag(s): blooms taxonomy (7), characterization (16), creative fluency (5), creativity (91), critical thinking (112), debate (37), literary devices (13), literature (218), plot (9), setting (4), stories and storytelling (42)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create unique lessons and literature responses that require critical thinking responses from your students. Share with students and allow them to create their own response at the end of a unit when comparing two books or reflecting on one book. Use this site as a resource for incorporating different levels of Blooms Taxonomy into your classroom and for differentiation among students. Have students make 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 Creative Cloud Express for Education, Vevox, Animatron, Renderforest, and Canva Inforgraphic Maker.

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Draw A Stickman - drawastickman.com

Grades
1 to 10
14 Favorites 2  Comments
 
Draw A Stickman is a delightful, entertaining site that encourages creativity and fun! This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving...more
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Draw A Stickman is a delightful, entertaining site that encourages creativity and fun! This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving mysteries, thinking creatively, and solving problems. Start by selecting an episode, then begin the adventure, you draw a simple stick figure and then bring him or her to life. Your figure is faced with several challenges; you must follow directions and draw several props for your stick figure to use. You will love the hero of the story (the character you created) and the villain (a dragon). Finished stories can be replayed or shared on Facebook, Twitter, or email. There is also an online gallery for students to explore and view others' creations.

tag(s): creative writing (119), digital storytelling (144), directions (12), drawing (60), interactive stories (22)

In the Classroom

Aside from just fun practice at following instructions, Draw a Stickman would be a great fictional story prompt. Students have the bones of a story and can fill in details, vivid verbs, adjectives, etc. to tell the story. This would be a good practice activity with writing sequences of "first, then, and next." Students can elaborate on their hero, the plot of the story, the details, the setting, etc. Students can write a moral for a story to add in the customized ending. These stories would be fun to share as a class...how wide a variety can come from the same basics? Share finished stories with a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can "read" the story. Use a site such as Blabberize, reviewed here. Teach story mapping easily with this activity: On an interactive whiteboard (or projector), students can go through the stick figure story together, labeling the different parts of the story (beginning, problem, climax, resolution, ending). This interactive can help students identify story elements, including setting, characters and plot. This site would also be perfect for ENL/ELL students for practice in reading and following directions or for speech/language students to practice retelling a story from the visual prompts. Another idea: use this activity for verb/vocabulary practice in a world language class.

Comments

This will be a great fill-in activity when my students finish their assignments. I can't wait to use it! Beverly, TX, Grades: 6 - 12
Love this! So creative. I know the kids will love it too and I think the learning activities sound very promising too. Jeannie, MI, Grades: 0 - 5

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Tux Paint - Bill Kendrick

Grades
K to 6
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Are school budget cuts cramping your style? Then look at this award winning, FREE drawing application! Tux Paint is an "open source" drawing software for young students (preK - grade...more
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Are school budget cuts cramping your style? Then look at this award winning, FREE drawing application! Tux Paint is an "open source" drawing software for young students (preK - grade 6) and is available to the public at no cost. If you are familiar with Kid Pix, you will feel right at home with Tux Paint. The design is straightforward, and easy to navigate. The center of the screen serves as a large canvas with drawing tools on either side. Beneath the screen is a color palette. A cute penguin cartoon character directs students through the program and provides helpful tips. Some of the features include a large, kid friendly mouse pointer, brushes, stamps, sounds, erasers, letters, numbers, "magic effects," and an undo/redo option. Save artwork directly onto a slide finder page without having to create a file name. The installation is quick and easy even for older computers. First, download the application itself, and then the stamp collection. The number of stamps and the variety of images is amazing! Feel free to install Tux Paint on as many computers as you wish. Tux Paint will work on a variety of operating platforms such as Windows, OS X 10.3, and Linux. The "Tux Paint Configuration" tool is a separate file found on the "Tux Paint" download page. Having the controls in a different location makes it difficult for students to adjust the settings. Simply open the Tux Paint Configuration file and a main control panel will come up. From here, the supervising adult can control the screen size, sound, mouse, print settings, and save functions. Adjust the settings and simplify the program for younger children. Choose from approximately 80 different languages to run Tux Paint.

tag(s): creativity (91), drawing (60), painting (55), preK (258)

In the Classroom

Introduce this fabulous site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students take turns trying the program. Include a link to Tux Paint on your class website and encourage families to download Tux Paint onto their family computer. Elementary teachers will enjoy all the options Tux Paint provides for image making. Classroom teachers can have students draw a response to a class glyph, illustrate stories, label scientific images, write and illustrate word problems or create self-portraits. You will need headphones or speakers for the audio portions of this site. Dazzle parents at Open House or Back to School Night with a viewing of the slide show presentation or looping animation of student work. Save student work as a JPG and export images into a multimedia presentation with narration using My Storybook, reviewed here. Ask older students to design and submit new stamps to Tux Paint. Explain to them the premise behind Open Source software and how to participate in collaborative software development. Tux Paint is also a great way to teach young students how to control a mouse, type, drag, and cut or paste imagery. Stuck for lesson ideas on how to use Tux Paint, just ask the students!

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