TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Mar 29, 2020

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 go to the Featured Sites Archive

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ISTE Standards for Students - International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)

Grades
K to 12
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The ISTE Standards for Students outline seven learning standards to empower student learning through technology in preparation for 21st Century skills. Choose any of the topics and...more
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The ISTE Standards for Students outline seven learning standards to empower student learning through technology in preparation for 21st Century skills. Choose any of the topics and click on the plus sign to open the outline and view specific goals and learning outcomes. Dig even deeper into the standards by clicking on the hyperlinked words to learn how the words and phrases correlate to information within the standard. Other links found under the standards outline offer downloads and information on how to adopt the ISTE Standards. Email signup is required to receive the free downloads.

tag(s): professional development (220)

In the Classroom

Use the ISTE Standards for Students as a guideline to using technology in your classroom. Download the printable standards for use when considering what type of technology to use, how to use it, and your expectations for learning. Incorporate the ISTE Standards into your professional development sessions within your school. Consider unpacking one standard per month during professional development learning. Use a curation tool like Wakelet, reviewed here to share resources with peers relating to incorporating the standards. Encourage your peers to share their ideas for using the standards by using FlipGrid, reviewed here as a conversation starter for your ongoing standards and technology discussions.

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Feedly - Feedly.com

Grades
9 to 12
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Feedly is a news aggregator that lets you curate, organize, and share the content of your favorite sites in one place. Create an account to begin, then follow the directions ...more
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Feedly is a news aggregator that lets you curate, organize, and share the content of your favorite sites in one place. Create an account to begin, then follow the directions to add content to your feed. Organize information by creating and labeling feeds by topic. Links within items in your feed offer options to share by email or on Twitter and other social networking sites. Additional options allow you to change the view of feeds by title, magazine, or cards. Fine-tune your feed by adding filters to hide unwanted topics or keywords, or select items to save for reading at a later time.

tag(s): bookmarks (56), news (261)

In the Classroom

Use Feedly in the classroom in a variety of ways. Create a feed with your professional resources, including favorite classroom websites, professional learning sites, and the latest educational news. Share this feed with your peers to use during professional development sessions. For older students, create a feed with information about your current learning topics. For example, when teaching about climate change and conservation, create a feed to share with students containing information from a variety of sources. Ask students to use this information during their research to learn about this topic from a broader viewpoint. As you and your students find articles of importance, save them within a Wakelet, reviewed here. Use Wakelet to create different collections based on specific topics. As a final project, ask students to share their learning by creating a Wakelet collection that includes articles found on Feedly along with their final research presentation.
 

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Be Internet Awesome - Google

Grades
2 to 6
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Be Internet Awesome is a series of resources from Google to teach digital safety. Resources include Interland, reviewed here, an online interactive...more
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Be Internet Awesome is a series of resources from Google to teach digital safety. Resources include Interland, reviewed here, an online interactive that offers participants the opportunity to practice skills to combat phishers, hackers, and cyber bullies. The free curriculum, available for download, is best suited for grades 3-5; however, it is easily adaptable to other grade levels. Other features from the site include a teacher training course, an Internet safety poster, and certificates and badges for students. All features of this site align to ISTE Standards.

tag(s): cyberbullying (48), digital citizenship (77), internet safety (121), OER (31)

In the Classroom

Discover the many free resources for teaching digital safety offered on this site. Share a link on your class website for parents. Include the interactive game as part of a computer center during Internet safety lessons. Use the free lesson plan to teach digital safety either as a one-time unit or as mini-units throughout the school year. Enhance learning by having cooperative learning groups create podcasts discussing digital safety information. Use a site such as Buzzsprout, reviewed here, to create the podcasts.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Telegra.ph - telegra.ph

Grades
2 to 12
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Telegra.ph is a simple to use web publishing tool for even the most novice creators. Click and type to fill in the title, your name, and add content. After starting ...more
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Telegra.ph is a simple to use web publishing tool for even the most novice creators. Click and type to fill in the title, your name, and add content. After starting your writing, you can choose the camera icon to upload images from your computer or select the brackets to paste a YouTube, Vimeo, or Twitter link. When finished, click on the publish button. That is it! Your work is now online. Just copy the URL to share. Add or delete content at any time using the link to edit.

tag(s): blogs (77), writing (360)

In the Classroom

Use this tool as an easy to use blogging tool in the classroom and in every subject area. Use in language arts classes to strengthen students' writing ability and 21st century skills. Teach about proper commenting etiquette on simple first blog posts. Use for student-written book reviews for the school library. Use as a tool for class or parent communication. Engage students in discussions on current events, independent reading, literature, and more. Ask students to play the role of a historical figure and write about their viewpoints or experiences. Use the site as a forum for any simulated or real task. Invite parents to join to give their points of view on upcoming elections or public policy issues by commenting on student posts. Share a blog in even the youngest of classes, for parents to use to learn about a specific unit of study, field trips, and more. Use this site in world language classes to have students write a blog entry in the new language. Include the principal or superintendent in class discussions of students' rights as you study the Constitution. Create incredible discussions of environmental, political, or economic issues. Create a standing assignment for elementary and middle schoolers on snow days. Have students write a post about the snow using Telegra.ph and share the URL on a class wiki. Post the various links on the class web page so students can comment on each other's posts after they come in from sledding.

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Podcast Generator - Alberto Betella

Grades
1 to 12
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Podcast Generator is a free download for uploading and publishing audio and video podcasts. Install the software using the three-step setup wizard to begin. The generator also includes...more
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Podcast Generator is a free download for uploading and publishing audio and video podcasts. Install the software using the three-step setup wizard to begin. The generator also includes options for customizing the appearance of podcasts using themes. Podcast Generator works on most desktops, laptops and web browsers, AND this download seamlessly integrates with the Apple store for uploading podcasts to iTunes.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): podcasts (62), video (272)

In the Classroom

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Create a mini gallery of images taken during a lab or a portfolio of images from photography, art, or any other class. Add music and share as part of a digital portfolio. Looking for even more ideas? Record class assignments or directions. Record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Challenge students to create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events. Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News," encourage students to create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Invite students to write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings. Language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Challenge your Shakespeare students to record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person.

If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini casts without needing a video camera. Have students upload their own images and write a drama to accompany them, showing what they have learned in independent learning beyond the regular curriculum.

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WordClouds - wordclouds.com

Grades
2 to 12
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WordClouds generates custom word clouds using your text. Create using their "wizard" with step-by-step directions to add documents or text and personalize features. Another option is...more
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WordClouds generates custom word clouds using your text. Create using their "wizard" with step-by-step directions to add documents or text and personalize features. Another option is to use the dashboard at the top of the page to add and customize the look of your word cloud. Choose colors, type of display, and font. The most frequent words appear larger and darker. When finished, select file to save in your choice of format or share online.

tag(s): editing (80), proofreading (25), speech (87), vocabulary (300), word choice (27), word clouds (13)

In the Classroom

WordClouds is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word clouds of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language.

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Believe It or Not? - NewseumED

Grades
8 to 12
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Use the lessons, discussion questions, and news articles provided by NewseumEd to help young adults understand what media literacy is and to tell the difference between good and bad...more
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Use the lessons, discussion questions, and news articles provided by NewseumEd to help young adults understand what media literacy is and to tell the difference between good and bad information. Though the lessons seem to center around a visit to Newseum and their galleries, there is a lot to be learned just by examining and discussing the materials presented here. There are discussion questions, media issues to think about, suggested in-class activities, and worksheets. Find a Unit plan with lessons that are standards aligned and Common Core compatible. The Unit plan and worksheets are available in both PDF and Word document formats. You must be a registered NewseumEd member to access this resource; however, membership is free.

tag(s): media literacy (80), news (261)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lessons, discussion questions, sample articles, and worksheets offered for use in your classroom. Divide students into small groups and assign different discussion questions and activities to each group. Allow all older students to have a voice (and engage their interest) in the small group by using a chat service like Flock, reviewed here. Challenge the small groups to create a slide presentation using Swipe, reviewed here, demonstrating information learned. With Swipe students can add videos, images and documents making them all interactive. Note: with Flock students can also start planning the presentation and keep the plan for 30 days. If you cannot make a field trip to the Newseum for the Gallery Guide Handout, you can do a Google search for Who Controls the News and find many free resources.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Educator's Guide to Building & Construction - HomeAdvisor

Grades
K to 12
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HomeAdvisor presents a series of lessons, activities, projects, and videos for grades K-12 introducing young people to the world of construction. Choose a grade level band to begin...more
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HomeAdvisor presents a series of lessons, activities, projects, and videos for grades K-12 introducing young people to the world of construction. Choose a grade level band to begin browsing content. Topics include real-world activities such as viewing and building bird houses, scientific experiments to learn about erosion, and analyzing electric circuits.

tag(s): animal homes (68), animals (327), architecture (83), bridges (12), circuits (20), counting (109), electricity (92), engineering (131), erosion (19), geometric shapes (173), habitats (115), insects (76), makerspace (32), pyramids (28), simple machines (32), solar energy (40), STEM (218), water (141)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free lesson plans and activities to incorporate STEM activities and Maker projects into your classroom. Ask a parent volunteer, local contractor, or naturalist to come in and help with activities. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration.

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Flock - Cookies Riva FZC

Grades
8 to 12
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Flock is a free chat and collaboration service. Start by signing up for an account and begin chatting. Communicate one on one or create a group using text or video ...more
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Flock is a free chat and collaboration service. Start by signing up for an account and begin chatting. Communicate one on one or create a group using text or video conference. Add attachments, polls, a code snippet, or an emoticon. Create a to-do list for the group or project. With the free account, chat records are kept for 30 days. Be mindful of the laws and regulations. Use the web version or download the software.

tag(s): chat (45), microblogging (27), polls and surveys (49), video (272)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use the chat feature to communicate with parents or students. Collaborate with other educators on lesson plans and activities. Create groups of students during group projects for collaboration. Attach the directions to the chat and monitor the conversation by including yourself in the group and promoting good digital citizenship. Use the poll feature to check for understanding or use the chat as an exit ticket.

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Kiddom - Kiddom

Grades
K to 12
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Kiddom is an online tool for managing and evaluating classroom assignments while working with Common Core Standards. Create and share your assignments with a Common Core tag. Use the...more
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Kiddom is an online tool for managing and evaluating classroom assignments while working with Common Core Standards. Create and share your assignments with a Common Core tag. Use the rubric creator to grade based on standards or traditional grading. Students submit work to Kiddom to receive instant feedback when assignments are evaluated. The teacher dashboard shows several different indicators of individual and class performance based on Common Core Standards. Add as many classes as you wish and switch easily between classes through your dashboard. Kiddom also includes several free math apps for K-2 students available for download through the iTunes store. Be careful, most are free; however, one is not. This program works using Gmail and Google Drive. There is a thorough FAQ section and several tutorial videos to help you get started. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): assessment (127), classroom management (147), commoncore (94), data (160), Learning Management Systems (23), rubrics (32), Teacher Utilities (91)

In the Classroom

Use Kiddom to collect data and differentiate student instruction in any classroom. Add each class or group of students to document. Follow learning goals and mastery of standards. Share Kiddom information with parents as part of your ongoing communication process. Use Kiddom to collect and gather information for IEP and other intervention and data collection meetings. If you are lucky enough to have access to Apple devices in your classroom, download the free math apps.

Comments

A fun to use app with very helpful support staff. Also, they have standards available for 7-12, not just K-6. Jordan, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Digital Compass - Common Sense Media

Grades
5 to 9
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Digital Compass is an animated interactive designed to teach middle school students about digital citizenship. Each of the eight characters demonstrates a different topic such as cyberbullying...more
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Digital Compass is an animated interactive designed to teach middle school students about digital citizenship. Each of the eight characters demonstrates a different topic such as cyberbullying and Internet safety. Along the way players choose different options. Some choices have positive results, and others have negative consequences. This tool is also available in Spanish. Find an Educator Guide for suggestions about how to use this tool in the classroom and PDFs for a Quick Start Guide and the Teacher's Guide. As of October 31, 2019 Digital Compass apps (iOS and Android) were retired. Digital Compass will be available on the web, through your browser.

tag(s): digital citizenship (77), internet safety (121)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect to incorporate into any digital citizenship lessons. Complete activities together on your interactive whiteboard while making appropriate and inappropriate choices along the way. Create a link on your class website or blog for use at home. Be sure to share Digital Compass with parents to use as part of their online safety discussions at home. Enhance students' learning and create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Easel.ly, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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CommonLit - CommonLit

Grades
4 to 12
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Access commonly taught themes for classic literature and discussion questions for that theme. Plus there are Text Sets perfect for social studies teachers! Choose a Lexile''''®...more
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Access commonly taught themes for classic literature and discussion questions for that theme. Plus there are Text Sets perfect for social studies teachers! Choose a Lexile''''® grade level for reading and download the text in PDF format or read online. Each text has a menu across the top offering Paired Texts, Related Media, a Teachers Guide, and a Parent Guide. Accompanying the text are critical thinking questions, an Assessment, and some have Guided Reading Mode. Choose the size of the font, listen to the Read Aloud (and pause it), translate to Spanish, and Highlight. Track student progress. You can search by Book, Genre, Grade Level, Literary Device, Text Set, Theme, and Spanish Texts. All of this for free! What else could one want? Well, you can also request a text, and they will negotiate with the copyright holders to have that text on their site. Take a look at their blog, too! You'll find lots of suggestions and thoughtful reflections for using nonfiction texts with your students.

tag(s): critical thinking (124), differentiation (57), literature (262), spanish (110), Teacher Utilities (91), themes (11)

In the Classroom

CommonLit is an excellent resource for literature teachers, speech and debate teachers, and history teachers. Share the site with students on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and ask the class what themes they would like to investigate. Under each theme are two questions. Divide the class into small groups with each group investigating one of the questions for one of the themes and reading the accompanying text. Differentiate for students by having students read on the same theme, but at their reading level. Challenge individuals, pairs, or small groups to create a graphic organizer for the story they read replacing paper and pencil and using a tool like Holt Interactive Graphic Organizers, reviewed here. You could take this to another level and have two groups read different selections on the same theme, use a graphic organizer to make comparisons for how the theme was presented, and then enhance learning by challenging the groups to present their findings to the class via video. Use a simple video creator like Biteable, reviewed here. This site would also work when you have to make substitute plans unexpectedly. Just put the link in your plans and tell the sub what theme you want students to read about, or better yet, let the sub choose!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Google Keep - Google, Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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Use Google Keep to save notes directly to your Google Drive account. This tool requires that you have a Google account. Unlike some similar services, such as Evernote,...more
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Use Google Keep to save notes directly to your Google Drive account. This tool requires that you have a Google account. Unlike some similar services, such as Evernote, reviewed here, notes kept in Google Keep are saved to your Google Drive account. Use Google Keep for notes, voice notes, lists, and photos. Access these on any web enabled mobile device. Keep works best with Chrome browsers (there is an extension for Chrome, also) and Android phones, but our editors had no issues using other browsers as well. Google Keep can also be also used with any school's Google Apps account. Keep is colorful, which is part of the design. Be sure to use the colors as an organizational tool. Keep has a low learning curve and is very simple to use. The quick note feature is invaluable: just type your notes in the text box without logging in or switching screens. To leave a voice note, tap the microphone icon and speak. Archive items easily when you are done. Though Keep is a more generic, basic tool, its value is in its simplicity and ease of use.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (170), note taking (43), organizational skills (108)

In the Classroom

Take pictures of things to do, buy, or finish. Create checklists of steps in a project. Place all of your notes in one place so you do not forget. Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. They could "keep" assignment information, reminders, and more. Consider creating a class account that can be used by all students. Spell out the use of the site and what is allowed and not allowed -- and the penalties. Even though all students have the same login, create different notebooks for different tasks that students can use to upload information to be shared by all. Create separate accounts for student groups who can then share their notebook with other groups. Use Keep to snapshot and share links, documents, files, and pictures for any group project or class work. Whole class accounts can be used by a class scribe during class and accessed from home for review, by absentees, etc.

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Online Charts - Zygomatic

Grades
6 to 12
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Create various types of graphs and charts - easily! Input data quickly, and explore multiple ways to show the data using the various types of graphs available. Quickly see the ...more
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Create various types of graphs and charts - easily! Input data quickly, and explore multiple ways to show the data using the various types of graphs available. Quickly see the relationships between the data as you play with the graphic. Note: Take (and save) a screenshot of your chart as not all charts have been saved correctly. Once a chart has been published, it can no longer be edited. There is a short video tutorial on the homepage explaining how to use this site. This site uses Java.

tag(s): charts and graphs (205), data (160)

In the Classroom

You will want to play with this tool before using it in class. Use it anywhere numerical data is collected and is best shown in a chart. Collect data in a science, survey, or math class and display it using different graphs to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using each graph type. Use for quick creation and sharing of created graphs. Create charts together easily on an interactive whiteboard when introducing the different types. Have students operate the board while others offer instructions on what to do next. Use graphs to portray different sets of data about a topic in a new and unique way. Use this tool to create graphs and charts for presentations and reports. Make quick charts students can share with others such as "How I spend my time" and "Places I have visited." During political campaign seasons, create charts to visualize better what the pollsters are saying.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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