TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Feb 17, 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 go to the Featured Sites Archive

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Bystander Revolution - Take the Power Out of Bullying - MacKenzie Bezos

Grades
4 to 12
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Take a stand against bullying with practical ideas and information from Bystander Revolution. Choose the All Videos link to filter solutions from different perspectives, or filter by...more
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Take a stand against bullying with practical ideas and information from Bystander Revolution. Choose the All Videos link to filter solutions from different perspectives, or filter by specific problems or solutions. Most videos run less than two minutes in length. The presenters include well-known celebrities as well as "typical" students. Sign up for the weekly newsletter that includes a simple transformative task to complete each week along with other helpful tips and videos. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): bullying (50)

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to talk to your class about bullying with these videos. Use this discussion to prompt a journal entry, skit, or other personal response on the topic of bullying and how to handle it. Exchange pencil and paper and use a blogging tool like Edublog, reviewed here. Provide this link for parents to view at home with their students. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create their own videos addressing bullying issues. Replace paper and start with Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, for students to plan their skit. Share the skits on a site such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. Be sure to share this site with your school's counselors and anyone else who deals with students who are being bullied.

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Cyberbullying: How to Make it Stop - Scholastic

Grades
4 to 12
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Cyberbullying: How to Make it Stop is a short article addressing the ongoing issue of cyberbullying. Information includes defining cyberbullying, how to recognize signs of bullying,...more
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Cyberbullying: How to Make it Stop is a short article addressing the ongoing issue of cyberbullying. Information includes defining cyberbullying, how to recognize signs of bullying, how to involve parents, and what schools can do. Be sure to check out the list of five websites teachers should watch out for that offer breeding grounds for cyberbullying. Print or email the article using the links on the page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): cyberbullying (45), digital citizenship (68), internet safety (116)

In the Classroom

Share this article with parents on your class web page or email using the email link. Print and share the article as part of your class discussion of Internet safety and digital citizenship. Share this article with other staff members, including school counselors as part of your Internet safety discussion.

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Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center - Pacer Center, Inc.

Grades
K to 10
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Visit Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center (PNBC) to discover resources for implementing a bullying prevention program in your community and school. There are many pages to explore...more
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Visit Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center (PNBC) to discover resources for implementing a bullying prevention program in your community and school. There are many pages to explore through clicking on the menu tabs at the top. There are over sixty videos of special interest for all age groups. The Students with Disabilities section has ten facts everyone needs to know, and you can download it in PDF format. Investigate the Educator Toolkits and Activities. Activities for Youth is for young students to help them prevent bullying. Classroom Toolkits are available for elementary, middle and high school classrooms. Community Toolkits have ideas for holding a rally, organizing a run, or creating an advocacy program. The Student Created Toolkits include videos, music, and artwork designed by students for students. There are New and Featured Toolkits for you to explore, too. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): bullying (50)

In the Classroom

Introduce a bullying discussion in your class by viewing a video appropriate for your age group. Continue with a class discussion. Then, exchange paper and pencil and have students do a quick write about how they feel about bullying. Use a blogging tool like Pen.io, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students, use Seesaw, reviewed here. Begin a school and community-wide campaign against bullying by sharing this resource with your school leadership team, PTA/PTO, and other teachers. This tool would be a great project for the school's student council to undertake. There are a ton of resources; someone just needs to get this program going!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Random Acts of Kindness - Random Acts of Kindness Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Inspire people to practice kindness and pass it on to others. The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation is a non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness....more
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Inspire people to practice kindness and pass it on to others. The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Foundation is a non-profit organization founded upon the powerful belief in kindness. It is dedicated to providing resources and tools that encourage acts of kindness. Discover inspirational quotes, kindness ideas, and share your own ideas. Explore lesson plans, classroom materials, projects, ideas for courses, and RAK clubs. Discover research, videos, and stories about random acts of kindness. Sign up for the newsletter or join the blog.

tag(s): classroom management (147), emotions (39), service projects (22)

In the Classroom

Become a "RAKTIVIST" and start a kindness raid on unsuspecting communities, classes, or schools! Give children power and voice through their actions. Partner this with character education programs to make a difference in all the lives you touch. During social studies, find ways kindness has changed the world. Look for times in which kindness was thwarted, such as during civil wars, dictatorships, or wars. Start a research project on world leaders who have changed the world through nonviolence, education, or generosity. Explain the power of nonprofit organizations and all the lives affected. Look into your own community and school to find needs that are waiting for active, caring participants. Create school or classroom rules to promote the power of kindness. Show your students how to embed media transforming their work and challenge students to create "kindness" commercials and share their learning with their peers in a multimedia presentation using Adobe Spark for K-12 , reviewed here. Alternatively, students could create a video using Typito, reviewed here. Share them using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here. Emotional Support or Autistic Support teachers may find some of the ideas here helpful for talking about how others feel and ways to show kindness in a very deliberate way.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Breakaway - Emergent Media Center

Grades
3 to 10
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Breakaway is an online learning game designed for students ages 8-15 to learn how to deal with real life situations (peer pressure, bullying, and negative stereotypes). Included is...more
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Breakaway is an online learning game designed for students ages 8-15 to learn how to deal with real life situations (peer pressure, bullying, and negative stereotypes). Included is a facilitator's guide in four languages) with learning goals, teaching options, and supplemental activities. Activities provide opportunities for collaboration and group decision making discussions. Learn more at the "About the Game" link. Create a username (email required) to get started with the game.

tag(s): bullying (50), school violence (14)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers and use as a classroom center. Use the facilitator's guide to choose portions of the game or lessons as applicable in your classroom situation. Choose portions relating to bullying, for example, if that is a problem in your class. Demonstrate how to use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share this site during your weekly class meeting and with other educators in your building.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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CurriConnects Book List: Books for Tough Situations - TeachersFirst

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

tag(s): divorce (6), eating disorders (7), emotions (39), social skills (23)

In the Classroom

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

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Gifts of Character Readalouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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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...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. The list of books to read aloud and accompanying activities center on the character traits we typically associate with the holiday season and try to instill: generosity, benevolence, philanthropy, compassion, service, and kindness. 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): christmas (52), holidays (137), independent reading (123)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites to bring out in late November, just in time for the holiday season. Or include it during a character education unit. Maybe invite some parents to volunteer as readers, modeling how adults give of their own time to support others.

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Inspire My Kids - Mike Stutman and Kevin Conklin

Grades
K to 12
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Find inspiring, age-appropriate, real-life stories, videos, and projects to share with children and teens. The site hopes to help these students take positive actions and become the...more
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Find inspiring, age-appropriate, real-life stories, videos, and projects to share with children and teens. The site hopes to help these students take positive actions and become the best people they can be. Stories offer great examples of values like courage, determination, honesty, humility, kindness, responsibility, and tolerance. The stories range from incredible kids inspiring other kids, to amazing animals demonstrating admirable qualities, to the invention of inspirational social causes. Stories are searchable in several ways - by values, topics, age range, and format. Formats include articles, podcasts, reference, and videos. You can also sign up for the site's newsletter including updates and new article information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): behavior (46), bullying (50), disabilities (22), school violence (14), service projects (22)

In the Classroom

Share stories from the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector when learning about character traits such as sportsmanship, perseverance, and responsibility. Use the site as a resource when problems arise in the classroom such as bullying, intolerance, or special needs awareness. Have students use resources from the website as models for writing their own articles or expand learning with the challenge to create a podcast. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Use the stories as models for writing activities and essays. Your students could also draw inspiration from this site to create values comics. Have students create printed comics (or rough drafts) using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here, or exchange paper for a digital online comic with one or two characters. Use ToonyTool, reviewed here. Students can create an online comic strip by using Write Comics, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word Hearts - Neoformix.com

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

tag(s): images (279)

In the Classroom

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

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Smilebox - Smilebox, Inc.

Grades
5 to 12
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This resource allows you to create slide shows, greeting cards, scrapbooks, invitations, collages, and more. There is a free basic program, but there are paid upgrades available if...more
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This resource allows you to create slide shows, greeting cards, scrapbooks, invitations, collages, and more. There is a free basic program, but there are paid upgrades available if desired. For educational purposes, the upgrades are not needed. Photos, videos, and music can all be added to your creations. A Smilebox template must be used to make your creations. Products made with this program can be shared to web pages and blogs, social networking sites, or emailed for free. Several themes in each category are free. You no longer have to download this program.

tag(s): blogs (83), images (279), movies (69), photography (155), slides (66)

In the Classroom

Upload images from your computer. You can save web images or use screen shots, as well, to be used in your creations. Watch copyright! Check out Awesome Screenshot, reviewed here, for details for a screen shot taker. From there, it is easy to simply click and follow the on screen instructions. The program is simple to navigate and very user friendly for those who are accustomed to web tools.

With the variety of formats, Smilebox has a wide variety of applications in any type of classroom! For basic technology integration extend learning with this tool. Use in history class to have students create collages of different periods of time such as the American Civil War. Create topics such as the Lincoln's Election, the Gettysburg Address, Battle of Antietam, Emancipation Proclamation, Battle of Gettysburg, and Lee's Surrender. Have pairs or groups of three select topics at random, and then have them create a collage or "scrapbook" of the event. Try having students choose a role from which to create their assignment such as a Rebel soldier, a Union Soldier, a volunteer nurse, a mother or father of children fighting on different sides of the war, etc. Have students collect copyright free images online for their use or create their own by reenacting and creating visuals to take pictures for their productions. Unleash student creativity by showing them this tool as resource in creating presentations and projects for your class and others. What a fabulous tool to use on the first day of school (as a welcome), beginning of a new unit, or back to school night with the parents! Elementary classes could create whole-class scrapbooks of curriculum projects, such as their science garden or Colonial Days celebration.

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Special Occasion Ideas for the Classroom: TeachersFirst Editors' Choices - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Check out this collection for classroom ideas and custom-made gifts (both "hard copy" and electronic). Special occasions give students a chance to recognize special people: moms, dads,...more
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Check out this collection for classroom ideas and custom-made gifts (both "hard copy" and electronic). Special occasions give students a chance to recognize special people: moms, dads, aunts, uncles, grandparents, teachers, secretaries, school custodians, librarians, and more. Stretch your students' creative thinking, writing skills, and problem solving skills as they create projects to honor special people on special occasions or just as a surprise "thank you." Create memories for special people as your learners show what they know and how much they care.

tag(s): fathers day (8), mothers day (11), parents (54)

In the Classroom

Stretch your students' creative thinking, writing skills, and problem solving skills as they create projects to honor special people on special occasions or just as a surprise "thank you." Create memories for special people as your learners show what they know and how much they care. Share this collection as a link from your class web page for students and parents to use from home or during vacations and holidays.

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Vocaroo - Vocaroo

Grades
K to 12
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share, for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of ...more
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share, for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of the recipient. Recording the message is easy and embedding into a site such as a wiki or blog has never been simpler! No login or registration is needed. Although, if you choose to send a message via email, you must choose a password to use at the site. Vocaroos are stored on their server. Created messages can also be downloaded to individual computers. Visit their FAQ's for frequent questions and responses.

tag(s): speech (86)

In the Classroom

You need to be able to navigate controls on the website and sound levels on your computer. Copy/pasting embed codes is also a necessary skill for insertion in a website. Email the sound clip very easily.

Future saving of Vocaroos is unsure depending upon server space. Before using with students, you may wish to obtain permission from administration and/or parents. Be sure to check your school's acceptable use policy. Students should be made aware of acceptable use and consequences of misuse of the service.

Vocaroo has a wide variety of applications in any type of classroom! For basic technology integration extend and enhance learning with this tool. Record snippets of information as reminders on your class website or instructions for students to follow. This is terrific for learning support students or non-readers! Have students describe aspects of classroom learning experiences to share with others, such as what they learned from a science experiment or found out about life in Colonial America. Record a quick message for an absentee and email the link to him/her explaining how to catch up on missing work. Create tutorial pieces that students can use as study aids (or have them create them for each other). Use this site in world language classes or for ELL students: have students record and listen to their own pronunciation or send short messages to each other to translate. Have students use this site to practice speeches before the presentation to hear their speed, tone, and words. Use this site for research presentations, instructions for a substitute, or many other possibilities. With younger students, read a short story on Vocaroo, and have student follow along using a picture book. Or have the students read their own stories into Vocaroo and email the readings to their parents! For Mothers Day, why not have students record messages for mom or grandma? Another idea: create a class wiki where parents can "find" the entire selection of Vocaroos for Mother's Day (or another holiday). Record Vocaroos of each student talking about the importance of Moms for Mother's Day or how grateful they are for certain things at Thanksgiving. Embed them all in a class wiki to share with parents. Just email the URL for the collection.

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PicLits - PicLits.com

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

tag(s): creative writing (170), digital storytelling (151), images (279), sentences (49)

In the Classroom

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

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but users are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public.

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

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

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The Giving Tree Lesson - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 8
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
A Christmas gift from one of our own staff, this lesson based on Shel Silverstein's book The Giving Tree is sure to get students thinking about the Christmas spirit. We're ...more
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A Christmas gift from one of our own staff, this lesson based on Shel Silverstein's book The Giving Tree is sure to get students thinking about the Christmas spirit. We're also offering a place for you to share your students' responses on TeachersFirst's own giving tree.

tag(s): christmas (52), guided reading (46), writing (364)

In the Classroom

This lesson can be adapted for use in a language arts class with students of varying ability levels in grades 2 - 8. This lesson is also well-suited to a multi-age activity with "big buddies" and "little buddies" from upper and lower grades working together. School counselors and emotional support teachers may find this activity helpful for small groups working on social skills, as well.

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