TeachersFirst's Resources to Avoid the Summer Slide

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

Encourage children and teens to keep on learning during summer break. Help them to hold on to what they already know with these safe, teacher-reviewed resources. Be sure to share with your friends, neighbors, and family. Teachers will want to share this page with students departing for summer break or possibly share the school's website.

 

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News in Levels - newsinlevels.com

Grades
K to 8
6 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find high interest, leveled news articles (and lessons) for English language learners. Although this site was designed for ESL/ELL it could be very useful in any elementary classroom...more
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Find high interest, leveled news articles (and lessons) for English language learners. Although this site was designed for ESL/ELL it could be very useful in any elementary classroom looking for informational texts that can be differentiated for various reading levels (great for meeting Common Core standards). This tool could be used with any readers to increase comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary skills. There are three difficulty levels. Complete the Test Your Level exercise in the pop-up box after you first get to the home page to find out what level will be best for you. Many of the lessons include audio and practice exercises. In addition, interesting pictures pique the students' interest. The same story is presented in all of the various levels. The vocabulary at lower levels repeats at the higher levels with more vocabulary added as the level increases. Definitions for the vocabulary words, below the reading, assists with English meanings. The audio is hosted on YouTube. At the time of this review, most of the news story content was fine for all ages. However, please preview the story before you share it with your class to be certain it is appropriate.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): differentiation (57), guided reading (42), news (260), reading comprehension (132)

In the Classroom

Add this website to your classroom computers, websites, and newsletters for parents of ESL/ELL students or beginning readers. This tool is especially helpful at the beginning of the year, as you are learning students' reading levels. Use this tool to differentiate in all primary classes. Although this site was created for English Language Learners, it could still be used by all students including gifted and learning support. Differentiate for your advanced/gifted students in elementary, while meeting Common Core standards of Informational Text. Use these news articles as informational text meeting your Common Core goals. Assign students of different levels the same story at the appropriate level or build skills by sharing the same story as a class. Challenge groups to compare the stories in pairs. Have students create a visual presentation of the story. First have students create a rough draft of their comic using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. For Level 1 readers have them create their final comic using ToonyTool, reviewed here, for Level 3 readers use Write Comics, reviewed here.

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Serving Up MyPlate: A Yummy Curriculum - US Dept of Agriculture Food & Nutrition Service

Grades
K to 7
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Serving Up MyPlate is a collection of classroom materials for elementary and middle school teachers that integrates nutrition education into Math, Science, English Language Arts, and...more
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Serving Up MyPlate is a collection of classroom materials for elementary and middle school teachers that integrates nutrition education into Math, Science, English Language Arts, and Health. The site includes Teacher Guides, songs, posters, parent handouts, games, and graphics for school meals. Choose from three different teacher guides based on grade levels to view or download in PDF format. Guides include lessons correlated to Common Core standards and include student handouts. Elementary schools participating in the National School Lunch Program or other Child Nutrition program may order free copies of several items including posters, curriculum, CDs, and handouts using the order form available on the site.

tag(s): myplate (27), nutrition (167)

In the Classroom

Download the teacher's guide to use for lessons with any nutrition lessons. Print posters available on the site for use in your school's cafeteria. After participating in lessons and viewing provided posters, have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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MobyMax: Complete K-8 Curriculum - MobyMax.com

Grades
K to 8
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Practice and improve student skills in the K-8 curriculum with MobyMax. Start with pre-testing students and assigning differentiated activities for reading, math, science, writing,...more
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Practice and improve student skills in the K-8 curriculum with MobyMax. Start with pre-testing students and assigning differentiated activities for reading, math, science, writing, grammar and vocabulary. Pre-tests target areas of struggle and assign curriculum based on need. Never again will students have to practice material they have already mastered. The progress tracking throughout is based on Common Core standards. Adjust assigned curriculum on your own if desired by reassigning a pre-test or assigning your own lessons. Register using your email and school information to begin. Add your student list. Once created students have their own individual login to begin placement testing. There is a PRO account that costs money; this review is only for the FREE portion.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (220), assessment (127), classroom management (144), differentiation (57), division (155), fluency (23), game based learning (160), multiplication (206), subtraction (182), vocabulary (289), vocabulary development (109)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom account. Use MobyMax during centers, for nightly homework, or computer lab time. Share with parents as an excellent resource for practicing math, reading, writing, grammar, science, and vocabulary skills at home. Use the pre-testing features at the beginning of the school year to get students started at the correct levels. Use this tool to differentiate for all students. Your gifted students can pretest out of material already learned and receive activities and instruction at their individual level. Be sure to bookmark this site to use with all levels of students.

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Newsela - Matthew Gross

Grades
2 to 12
18 Favorites 2  Comments
Newsela is a data base of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Click Content on the top left menu and slide down to browse content in subject areas (social ...more
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Newsela is a data base of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Click Content on the top left menu and slide down to browse content in subject areas (social studies, science, etc.). Stories are both student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level. Use Newsela to differentiate nonfiction reading. Newspaper writers rewrite a story four times for a total of five Lexile levels per story. All articles have embedded, Common Core aligned quizzes that conform to the reading levels for checking comprehension. An account is required to use Newsela, both for teachers and for students, but students sign up using a teacher or parent provided code rather than an email address. Teachers can create classes and assign reading-level specific articles to individual students, or download printable PDF copies of the article in any of its reading-level versions. There is an upgraded fee-based Pro Version which allows teachers or administrators to track reading progress and students to take constructed response writing assessments, but many of the features are free and there is no outside advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (172), differentiation (57), guided reading (42), independent reading (116), news (260), reading comprehension (132)

In the Classroom

Achieve two goals here: help students improve their reading comprehension and keep them current with what is happening in our nation and the world. When assigning articles, choose to have the class read at one reading level, or choose individuals and set the reading level for them. There are five categories from which to choose. You may want to set up different articles at different learning stations on the computers in your room. Have the students rotate daily through the stations, completing one or two a day until they have completed all five articles. Since Newsela is cloud based, even absent students can complete the missed work easily. If you and your students are teaching and learning remotely, or you have a blended classroom, Newsela will work perfectly for those! Teachers of gifted students can use this site to accelerate or enrich reading for students. Find each student's individual levels for reading nonfiction. Teachers of Learning Support and ELL students will love this alternate way for their students to meet current events requirements.

Comments

This is an excellent article. Thanks for sharing this information. Please keep sharing content like this. Cassandra, IL, Grades: 0 - 12
This is an excellent site and allows differentiation while everyone is reading the same text. Renee, NC, Grades: 0 - 5

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ABCya - ABCYA.com, l.l.c,

Grades
K to 5
12 Favorites 0  Comments
  
ABCya.com, developed by a web developer turned computer teacher, provides educational games, videos, and activities for elementary students. Nearly every subject is included. Simply...more
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ABCya.com, developed by a web developer turned computer teacher, provides educational games, videos, and activities for elementary students. Nearly every subject is included. Simply click on your grade level (K-5) and find what is available under language arts, math, and other subjects. Specific topics range from basic typing activities to creating word clouds to grammar games (at all levels) and so much more. The interactives are teacher approved and offer colorful and attention grabbing ways for learning. Opportunities for sharing on Facebook, tweeting, and sharing on social bookmarking sites are incorporated. This is a MUST SEE site for elementary teachers looking for some great practice sites for basic skills!

tag(s): alphabet (81), decimals (127), drawing (75), fractions (233), game based learning (160), geometric shapes (173), keyboarding (38), latitude (12), literacy (108), longitude (12), number sense (97), numbers (184), operations (113), preK (287)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, demonstrate how to use the specific tool/activity. Create a learning center AT the whiteboard or on individual laptops and allow students to try it out on their own. List this as a student and parent resource on your classroom website. Use this site to informally assess skills to tell you which students to allow to do alternative work or go ahead. Allow your gifted students to explore new concepts while providing necessary reinforcement for those learners that need a technology-inspired method to help master learning goals. This is an excellent tool for differentiating. Provide as an anticipatory guide for new units.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Math Interactives - Utah Education Network

Grades
7 to 12
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Find great math resources on this free site on countless topics. Click each resource to find sites useful on individual computers or projected on a whiteboard screen. Be sure to ...more
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Find great math resources on this free site on countless topics. Click each resource to find sites useful on individual computers or projected on a whiteboard screen. Be sure to test out each interactive prior to using with a class, as some require Flash or other programs. Find great games about Numbers and Operations, Algebra, Geometry, Probability, and Money. Though these interactives are labeled for grades 7-12, several can be used by K-5 teachers i.e. the number line interactives. Be aware of the icons next to the resource for the required plug ins to use. click on an activity and then explore the tabs above. Click the "Learner" tab to view information about the topic. Click "Help" for information on how to use the activity. Find resources in the "Instructor" tab. There is a wealth of material here, so be sure to check it out!

tag(s): data (153), money (179), numbers (184), probability (131)

In the Classroom

Use these resources for review and to reinforce concepts from class. Create teams of students who complete the activity taking turns on a whiteboard or with individual computers. Use the activity as a lead in to the topic of the day. Ask students what they notice about the activity and the general rules that they notice about the topic. Provide this link on your class website for students to use at home for extra practice, enrichment, or to try some new advanced topics.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Math-a-rama - Houghton-Mifflin

Grades
K to 6
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Practice math skills painlessly with this multi-level playground of interactive activities which coincides with the Houghton Mifflin Math textbooks. Students can select the appropriate...more
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Practice math skills painlessly with this multi-level playground of interactive activities which coincides with the Houghton Mifflin Math textbooks. Students can select the appropriate grade level (K-6) and begin to explore the offerings - ranging from collections of virtual manipulatives to brainteasers to test-taking strategies. Most links (playground activities) bring up a list of topic areas to choose from. Even if you don't use Houghton-Mifflin in your classroom, this is a great resource for additional practice, interactives, and more.

tag(s): fractions (233), integers (39), manipulatives (24), money (179), probability (131), test prep (85)

In the Classroom

Share the virtual manipulatives on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to list this link on your class website for students to access both at home and in the classroom. If you are going to use this site as a math learning center, put direct shortcuts to activities on your computers. Have older students create their own brain teasers and share them on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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iCivics - iCivics Inc.

Grades
5 to 10
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iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and encourage them to participate in the democratic process. The project is spearheaded by Justice Sandra...more
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iCivics is a web-based education project designed to teach students civics and encourage them to participate in the democratic process. The project is spearheaded by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and includes law professors and educators from around the country. iCivics.org provides detailed lessons designed for very specific judicial and constitutional concepts as well as for the executive and legislative branches. Some of the lessons have videos and links to other relevant websites. In addition to the lessons, iCivics features several engaging interactives on civics topics, democracy, branches of government, citizenship, elections and campaigns, and the constitution. Several include full teacher manuals (PDF) and a detailed report of student game performance -- very useful for assessment. There are webquests on civics topics, as well. In addition, iCivics.org has a useful feature that helps locate other websites with resources specifically correlated to your state standards. You can also search using grade level. The site continues to grow and add new materials and activities on an ongoing basis. Don't miss the interactive called "Cast Your Vote" to prioritize issues and evaluate candidates! Videos from iCivics reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): bill of rights (26), branches of government (61), congress (44), constitution (92), courts (21), democracy (17), elections (73), game based learning (160), presidents (130), supreme court (25)

In the Classroom

As you study the Constitution or U.S. government, have students participate in the activities, stopping to write blog entries as their legal character discussing the results they have achieved in court or in their role within other interactive simulations. Students can work individually or with a partner. Be sure to demonstrate the activities on an interactive whiteboard or projector so students understand how they work. Another option is to modify classroom technology use by having students create a multimedia guide to one of the constitutional rights learned in the games. Use a tool such as Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, to make an interactive poster or infographic on each right.

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E-learning for kids - e-learning for kids

Grades
K to 6
6 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Check out this site offering FREE learning courses to students in science, language arts, English language, math, health and life skills, and computer skills. Choose from a wide variety...more
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Check out this site offering FREE learning courses to students in science, language arts, English language, math, health and life skills, and computer skills. Choose from a wide variety of different learning experiences in the subject areas for earning in a fun and engaging way. Each subject area has countless interactives ready to go! Detailed instructions are provided for each activity. You can control sound easily from the screen.

tag(s): body systems (56), fractions (233), human body (124), matter (64), measurement (169), money (179), nutrition (167), sorting (12)

In the Classroom

Use these "courses" as reinforcement of concepts, to uncover misconceptions, and to explore interesting topics. Share the activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create learning centers focuses on the specific content of the activities. Have cooperative learning groups (or individual students) explore specific topics and report back to the class. For example, have each group view the activities for a specific body part (blood, brain, hearing, immune system, heart and circulation, skeleton, skin, teeth, and more) and create a multimedia presentation. Have cooperative learning groups create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Provide this link on your class website for families to explore together.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dinosaur Train - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 4
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All Aboard.... the Dinosaur Train! This website takes two topics that kids love (dinosaurs and trains) and turns the experience into a wonderful lesson in language arts, science, social...more
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All Aboard.... the Dinosaur Train! This website takes two topics that kids love (dinosaurs and trains) and turns the experience into a wonderful lesson in language arts, science, social studies, and more. Climb aboard the train and find lesson plans, games (which ARE educational), a field guide (introducing the various dinosaurs), a print option for printable pages of dinosaurs, and a video button to view clips of this educational show. There is also a link for parents and teachers (with lesson plans, class activities, overview of the show, and more).

NOTE: the popularity of this site can make it slow to load, especially at peak times. Open it on the classroom computer before the lesson so it is in the "cache," and avoid heavy traffic times such as 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time when schools are online across the U.S.

tag(s): counting (105), dinosaurs (49), measurement (169), paleontology (36), preK (287)

In the Classroom

If you are teaching about dinosaurs, herbivores, carnivores, measurements, and many other topics, share this site on your interactive whiteboard. Share parts of the video clips and then discuss the science concepts discussed. Have students use the "Field Guides" to learn more about specific dinosaurs. Transform learning by having cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations using Adobe Spark for Education, reviewed here, about the dinosaurs they study. How about creating a class DinoWiki (dinosaur wiki). Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Be sure to list this site on your class website for all of your dinosaur loving students to view at home!

NOTE: Open this site on the classroom computer before the lesson so it is in the "cache," and avoid heavy traffic times such as 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Eastern time when schools are online across the U.S.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Sid the Science Kid - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 2
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Use this interactive (and entertaining) site to excite even the youngest students about science! There is so much to explore at this site. Sid, the Science Kid, mixes science with ...more
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Use this interactive (and entertaining) site to excite even the youngest students about science! There is so much to explore at this site. Sid, the Science Kid, mixes science with humor so be prepared for some giggles. The site features video clips, interactive educational games, a printable coloring book (which can also be read online), and lesson ideas (see the "Parents and Teachers" link). Examples of topics include the effects of heat, health, measurement, the five senses, and many others. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): heat (17), measurement (169), preK (287), senses (32)

In the Classroom

The possibilities at this site are endless. Make your first stop at the Parents and Teachers link. You may find a lesson plan or even short video to share with your class. Be sure to save this site in your favorites. Explore this site with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Set-up learning centers using this website. Students may want to explore this site during independent time when other work is complete. You may also want to list this site on your class website (or on your class newsletter, if applicable).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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