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OK2Ask: 3 Cool Tools for Digital Writing - TeachersFirst

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2 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from January 2022. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Get inspired by
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from January 2022. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Get inspired by digital writing tools that facilitate the planning and implementation of powerful, engaging lessons that support literacy standards! Through the exploration of three digital writing tools, understand how these tools can scaffold instruction for each component of the writing process -- prewrite, draft, revise, edit, and publish. Engaged students who understand the writing process produce more successful work. Join us to see how you can improve student organization, collaboration, storytelling, and decision-making within the writing process by using these digital tools. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Understand ways different digital writing tools can scaffold instruction; 2. Identify ways digital writing can increase student engagement; and 3. Plan for the use of digital writing tools in their classroom to support the writing process. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): professional development (264), writing (281)

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: Diving Into Digital Writing - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from January 2022 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Diving Into Digital Writing. During this chat, participants will: 1. Discuss ...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from January 2022 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Diving Into Digital Writing. During this chat, participants will: 1. Discuss strategies for maximizing available classroom technology, 2. Explore alternative ways to use tech tools for digital writing experiences, and 3. Share tips for integrating digital writing experiences in the classroom.

tag(s): twitterchatarchive (123), writing (281)

In the Classroom

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

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Blob Opera - Google Arts and Culture

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K to 12
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Blob Opera is a delightful learning machine experiment from Google Arts and Culture. Experiment with the four blobs by dragging each of them up or down to change the pitch ...more
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Blob Opera is a delightful learning machine experiment from Google Arts and Culture. Experiment with the four blobs by dragging each of them up or down to change the pitch of each note. Take your blobs on tour across the world and listen to them sing traditional, classic songs. Visit The Blobpera House to experiment with your blobs and create a recording. Share recordings with the link provided or various social media sites along with Google Classroom.

tag(s): music theory (38)

In the Classroom

Share Blob Opera with students as an engaging way to experiment with the found included opera categories - tenor, bass, mezzo-soprano, and soprano. Ask students to record and share their experiments on your classroom webpage. Use Blob Opera as a brain break activity or stress-reliever for students (and teachers!).

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just the punctuation - Clive Thompson

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5 to 12
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What is learned by taking away the words from stories and articles and leaving just the punctuation? A lot! This interesting tool allows you to paste any text into the ...more
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What is learned by taking away the words from stories and articles and leaving just the punctuation? A lot! This interesting tool allows you to paste any text into the box and strip away everything except the punctuation. What is left behind is a graphic ready to analyze and discuss. Learn more about the origins of just the punctuation and possible uses by following the link "here's why," located at the bottom of the page.

tag(s): authors (98), literary devices (14), punctuation (25)

In the Classroom

Engage students in analyzing literature and their writing using just the punctuation. Ask students to compare and contrast the use of punctuation by different authors and discuss how it reflects a certain writing style or sets a tone for the text. Discuss authors with similar styles and those with very different use of punctuation. Compare and contrast punctuation in news articles versus fiction writing or textbooks. Is there a difference, and why? Take a screenshot of a new section of text to introduce the writing to students before reading and ask them to share their predictions on the author's writing style - consider the number of periods, exclamation marks, etc. Enhance learning by asking students to compare a piece of their writing to different authors. Can they find an author with a similar writing style? When finished, have students share their reflections in a blog created with Carrd, reviewed here. Ask students to include a screenshot of the punctuation discussed along with your students' reflection upon the writing style.

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Harmony Social & Emotional Learning - Harmony SEL

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K to 6
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Harmony SEL (Social Emotional Learning) provides a social-emotional curriculum for grades K-6 with in-person and remote learning support. Teaching units are offered within grade level...more
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Harmony SEL (Social Emotional Learning) provides a social-emotional curriculum for grades K-6 with in-person and remote learning support. Teaching units are offered within grade level bands or as free-standing units in the third and fourth grades. Five units within each grade level focus on diversity and peer relationships. All units include home-school connection activities and letters to share with parents. Lessons include student worksheets, game cards, and step-by-step teaching activities and extensions. In addition, this site consists of a learning academy known as Inspire that offers on-demand modules for educators that provide support for developing knowledge in SEL practices.

tag(s): character education (66), social and emotional learning (59)

In the Classroom

Use this excellent, free curriculum and professional development academy to incorporate social-emotional learning into your classroom. If time doesn't allow for full implementation of the curriculum, use the ideas found on Harmony SEL to address specific needs within your classroom. For example, if you see a need to reinforce and practice empathy for others, use the lessons provided to promote understanding of others and encourage students to look through the perspective of others. As students participate in the learning activities, encourage them to use Edublogs, reviewed here, to share their learning activities and reflect upon how to use their social-emotional skills. Ask students to use a comic creation tool like ToonyTool, reviewed here, to create cartoons that share ideas and examples of positive character traits and how to respond in difficult situations.
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Twitter Chat: Strategies for SEL - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from January 2022 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Strategies for SEL. During this chat, participants will: 1. Discuss ways ...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from January 2022 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Strategies for SEL. During this chat, participants will: 1. Discuss ways to develop self-awareness and self-management skills, 2. Explore ways for students to develop empathy, and 3. Share resources for students to use social awareness and interpersonal skills to establish and maintain positive relationships.

tag(s): social and emotional learning (59), twitterchatarchive (123)

In the Classroom

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

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Attitude Anchor Chart - Zearn

Grades
K to 8
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Encourage positive attitudes toward learning with this anchor chart that highlights five positive characteristics using the acronym of ZEARN. The seven-page download includes one page...more
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Encourage positive attitudes toward learning with this anchor chart that highlights five positive characteristics using the acronym of ZEARN. The seven-page download includes one page with information about the chart and six additional pages for display. Although described as a tool for encouraging positive math attitudes, this chart works well for any subject or content area.

tag(s): character education (66), social and emotional learning (59)

In the Classroom

Share this anchor chart with students and post it on a bulletin board to remind students to reflect upon their work and learning process. As discussed on the information for the chart, provide students with badges for demonstrating the different qualities found on the chart. Instead of a printable badge, use a digital badge creation tool such as Makebadges, reviewed here, to create unique badges to share with students. Include students in reflection and developing positive attitudes by encouraging them to use this anchor chart as an example to create their acronym and learning attitude goals. Use Canva Edu, reviewed here, to design and share anchor charts to print and display in your classroom and online.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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A Guide to English Learner Instruction in Cyber School - Commonwealth Charter Academy (CCA)

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K to 12
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This free downloadable guide provides information on teaching English Language Learners (ELL) through online programs. Each of the four chapters focuses on different support methods...more
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This free downloadable guide provides information on teaching English Language Learners (ELL) through online programs. Each of the four chapters focuses on different support methods available for parents and educators. For example, chapter 1 includes background information and the pedagogy supporting the different levels of language learning. The following chapters share ideas on supporting ELLs, creating a welcoming online atmosphere, and supporting language development and learning. Chapter 4 also includes many ideas for differentiating learning and helping students with disabilities.

tag(s): differentiation (64), ELL/ESL (17), Online Learning (32)

In the Classroom

Download this guide as a resource for online and in-person teaching of English Language Learners. Share with your peers to include during professional development activities. Share ideas in this guide with parents to support English Language Learners in your classroom. Include a tip from the guide in your weekly newsletters or classroom website updates. Use Wakelet, reviewed here, to curate and share all of your ideas and resources with parents in one central location. Use an online translation tool such as Microsoft Translator for Education, reviewed here, to communicate and facilitate conversations with parents in any language.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science at Home - Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

Grades
3 to 12
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Find ideas for science activities using everyday household items, learn from engaging videos, play games, and complete professional development courses at this fantastic site offered...more
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Find ideas for science activities using everyday household items, learn from engaging videos, play games, and complete professional development courses at this fantastic site offered by the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. Choose the Science at Home activities to find engaging activities to complete at home, such as making slime or creating a rubber band bungee cord to drop an egg safely. Each activity includes a list of items needed, instructions, and a simple explanation of the science concept. Many activities also include video demonstrations. The video portion of the site shares information on various topics such as hatching baby chicks and understanding forces used in elevators. Be sure to visit the educators' part of the site that includes directions for learning labs, science education webinars, and Jr. Science Cafes, sharing discussions with professionals in the medical field and the impact of COVID.

tag(s): architecture (63), circuits (17), dna (41), energy (126), engineering (112), forces (36), gravity (44), light (46), natural resources (37), plants (137), recycling (45), solar energy (33), sounds (47), STEM (222), water cycle (20), weather (156)

In the Classroom

This site is a must-have for all teachers of science. Bookmark the resources found on the site to use when planning science lessons. Share the science education webinars with your peers for professional development sessions. Share the at-home lessons with parents in your classroom newsletters or updates; consider sharing a monthly activity for students to complete at home. If necessary, create travel kits for students who don't have the needed resources at home. Another option is to ask a volunteer to conduct labs and experiments with students during center time at school. Engage students using FlipGrid, reviewed here, to provide a prompt for students to respond on a video sharing the results of their experiments. Extend learning by asking students to create infographics using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to explain their understanding of the science concepts explored.

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Extreme Science - Earth Science - Extreme Science

Grades
5 to 12
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Learn about crucial earth science concepts and discover world records in geological formation and earth sciences at this portion of the Extreme Science website. Scroll through the site...more
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Learn about crucial earth science concepts and discover world records in geological formation and earth sciences at this portion of the Extreme Science website. Scroll through the site to find links to categories that include World Records, Plate Tectonics, Volcanoes, and All About Gemstones. Each category leads to additional links and information related to the specific topic. Although simplistic looking, Extreme Science offers abundant information to learn about and research earth science.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): earth (173), geology (61), plate tectonics (19), volcanoes (51)

In the Classroom

This site contains a great deal of helpful information related to earth science; however, it may be a little difficult for students to explore due to the need to follow many links. Make student research easier by curating and sharing information with Wakelet, reviewed here. Use Wakelet to create collections with links to specific topics and information for students to access at any time. Enhance student learning by incorporating lesson activities into an interactive learning experience using Blendspace, reviewed here. Add videos, quizzes, links to online resources, and more as part of your Blendspace lesson. Extend student learning using a digital storytelling creation tool such as Imagine Forest, reviewed here. Ask students to create books (or a book series) that share their understanding of earth science concepts. Include text, images, videos, and audio recordings to digital books.

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Ask Dr. Universe - Washington State University

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K to 8
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We all have questions about the world around us. Dr. Universe investigates those tough questions submitted by elementary and middle school students and teams up with professors, researchers,...more
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We all have questions about the world around us. Dr. Universe investigates those tough questions submitted by elementary and middle school students and teams up with professors, researchers, and other experts to provide fact-based answers. Each week she posts one big question to answer. Additional information on the site includes student polls, videos, a podcast, and downloadable activities. Don't miss the downloadable field guide provided by Dr. Universe that offers many ideas and guidance to promote scientific learning in young scientists. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

tag(s): animals (265), cells (83), nutrition (133), planets (110), plants (137), podcasts (64), space (203), STEM (222)

In the Classroom

Download the field guide and print copies for students to take notes and record their questions about the world around us. Submit questions to Dr. Universe to see if she will respond to your questions. Include the podcast as part of a learning or computer center in your classroom. Explore previous questions together as a class to find out answers to common questions such as "Why Do Leaves fall in the fall?" or "Why can't we breathe in space?" Include Dr. Universe's response within science lessons created using Blendspace, reviewed here. Create and share interactive self-paced lessons in Blendspace, including videos, quizzes, podcasts, and more. Have students extend learning by creating explainer videos using Biteable, reviewed here, or FlexClip, FlexClip, reviewed here of topics researched.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Tract - Ari Memar and Esther Wojcicki

Grades
K to 12
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Tract is a learning platform for sharing and guiding students through project-based learning activities. Students complete self-directed learning paths consisting of small missions...more
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Tract is a learning platform for sharing and guiding students through project-based learning activities. Students complete self-directed learning paths consisting of small missions and challenges to deepen understanding by choosing many different topics. Share content from already created learning paths found in Tract's library or create and personalize your learning paths. After making an account, educators add students and invite them to join using a personalized code. Students gain access to many different activities with varying levels of difficulty. They add reflections and complete projects as they follow a chosen learning path. Along the way, there is an option for students to interact with the student creators of their project to ask questions and learn from their expertise. Students earn points for completing learning paths to use as rewards to donate to their choice of several different charities. The educator dashboard enables teachers to track student progress, monitor submissions, and provide ongoing feedback.

tag(s): Project Based Learning (11), Teacher Utilities (118)

In the Classroom

Use Tract in various ways in any classroom to promote critical thinking skills, provide learning opportunities that meet students' interests, or provide enrichment that supports your current curriculum. Tract is excellent for use as part of Genius Hour or within a distance learning system. Help students select projects that match their interests and ability (take advantage of the project labels to find easy, medium, and advanced level learning activities). Ask students to document and share projects as part of a digital portfolio. About.me, reviewed here, is a portfolio creation site suitable for older students. For elementary students, consider sharing student projects in Seesaw, reviewed here. Add student-created work, including videos, images of completed activities, and reflection documents.

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Verizon Innotive Learning HQ - Verizon

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K to 12
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Innovative Learning HQ shares professional development resources in technology for educators, classroom lessons designed to bring STEM education to bridge the digital divide across...more
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Innovative Learning HQ shares professional development resources in technology for educators, classroom lessons designed to bring STEM education to bridge the digital divide across under-resourced communities, and various AR/VR apps. Create a free account to access over 100 lesson plans and professional development sessions that provide micro-credentials. Browse the featured resources or select activities by content area. Most activities provide a focus on virtual reality or augmented reality and include a facilitator's guide, introductory videos, and student activity worksheets. In addition, lessons offer options for teaching to different grade level bands that form a progression of learning. Tasks include correlation to Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core Standards, and ISTE Standards. Finally, professional development courses provide coaching, collaboration, blended learning, and more learning opportunities. The on-demand modules are approximately 3-4 hours in length and offer the chance to apply for a micro-credential certificate upon completion.

tag(s): animals (265), animation (62), augmented reality (8), biographies (89), cells (83), coding (76), digital storytelling (130), engineering (112), graphic design (48), maps (219), musical notation (33), Problem Based Learning (11), problem solving (212), robotics (24), STEM (222), sustainability (12), Teacher Utilities (118)

In the Classroom

Discover the many ready-to-go free resources offered through Innovative Learning HQ in classroom lessons and for your professional development needs. If unsure of how to find assignments for your grade level, visit your dashboard to find recommended activities. After selecting tasks for students, use the provided modules to deliver instruction. Most activities are perfect for use in computer labs, a computer center, or a blended learning activity.
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Change is Coming - TeachersFirst

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6 to 12
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Include literature in your teaching about the Progressive Era in the United States with the resources shared in this TeachersFirst Exclusive. Begin with a background summary that conveys...more
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Include literature in your teaching about the Progressive Era in the United States with the resources shared in this TeachersFirst Exclusive. Begin with a background summary that conveys information, including important dates and legislation passed during this period. Following this summary is a list of suggested picture books, virtual field trips, and videos to include with your studies of the Progressive Era. Additionally, each shared book also includes suggestions for classroom activities. Finally, this site also offers additional extension activities and correlation to National Library and ISTE teaching standards.

tag(s): 1800s (60), 1900s (53), branches of government (57), business (45), constitution (84), transportation (35), womens suffrage (33)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many ideas and teaching activities already offered by Change is Coming to engage student learning. Extend learning using Wakelet, reviewed here, as a tool for sharing and collaborating on information. Create a Wakelet collection for students to use to share resources within columns. For example, use columns to organize information by periods, locations, or people. Another idea is to use the columns to organize resources by type, such as videos, websites, articles, etc. Enhance learning by asking students to share their knowledge learned using multimedia tools such as Sway, reviewed here, or Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here. Adobe Express offers a variety of tools that include options for creating images, videos, and websites. Sway is a digital storytelling resource that makes it easy to create and share visually appealing presentations.
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