TeachersFirst's Resources to Avoid the Summer Slide
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.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomUse Dreamscape to differentiate reading instruction for your students. Dreamscape is also an excellent option to share with ELA/ELL students to provide practice and support in English language instruction. Include a link to Dreamscape on classroom computers for use during reading centers, and provide a link on your classroom website for students to play at home. Include Dreamscape with other online reading programs using a bookmarking tool such as Symbaloo, reviewed here, for easy access for student use.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomDiscover the many free resources on this site to provide individual lessons or complete learning units for your students. As students complete assignments, use the many offerings found at Class Tools, reviewed here, to enhance learning through creating timelines, completing graphic organizers, and more. For activities that include new vocabulary, use a digital game creation site such as Baamboozle, reviewed here, to review and practice new words and terms. Have students show what they know upon completion of any of the activities using Adobe Spark in K-12, reviewed here, to create a video, collage, or presentation sharing their knowledge of the subject.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomDiscover and share the many free resources available on PBS Kids. Show clips on your interactive whiteboard, or with your projector, then have students complete an accompanying activity. With younger students, use FlipGrid, reviewed here, as a video response platform for students to share how they would use what they learned by watching the videos or using the interactives. Alternatively, you might try using Synth, reviewed here; Synth is an extremely easy to use tool for creating short audio and video soundbites and automatically pieces together soundbites into threads to share as podcasts. PBS Kids is perfect for sharing with parents. Include a link to activities on your class website along with suggestions on how to use activities at home.
GradesK to 5
tag(s): addition (220), decimals (126), division (155), equations (152), fractions (232), game based learning (159), geometric shapes (174), Learning Management Systems (25), measurement (168), multiplication (206), number sense (96), place value (55), subtraction (182)
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the free games to provide practice and support with your math curriculum. Differentiate learning based on student ability and confidence. Assign content based on students' learning goals. Share this site with parents to provide practice and support of math concepts at home. Use SplashLearn's reports and assessment results to guide your math lesson planning. Share this site along with other math practice activities using a bookmarking tool such as Symbaloo, reviewed here. Share your Symbaloo link with parents and on classroom computers for easy access to all learning tools shared. Use activities found in SplashLearn as part of a blended learning experience using TES Teach Blendspace, reviewed here. Include a link to games found on the site along with videos and other learning activities found both online or uploaded from your computer.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomAlthough this site is useful for many purposes, sometimes it is best just to let students explore and discover on their own. Share Voyager with students and allow them time to look around and select places that intrigue them. Encourage them to learn more about an area or subject of interest found on the site. Instead of writing down information, ask students to use Google Docs or Microsoft Word to begin research. Using these online documents affords many benefits, including the ability to add comments, highlight information, and add links to online information. Once research is underway, suggest that students use a bookmarking tool like SearchTeam, reviewed here, to organize information. SearchTeam includes the ability to add notes to bookmarks, making it easy for students to label and add information for later use. As a final project and to extend student learning, ask students to create their own virtual tour of a location using Story Maps, reviewed here, that includes images, videos, and text.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): addition (220), coding (81), decimals (126), division (155), equations (152), fractions (232), functions (68), game based learning (159), geometric shapes (174), logic (238), measurement (168), multiplication (206), operations (113), probability (131), problem solving (284), pythagorean theorem (31), ratios (67), square roots (20), statistics (128), subtraction (182)
In the ClassroomPolyup is perfect for use in math classrooms in a variety of ways. Become acquainted with the free lesson plans to incorporate Polyup activities based on specific math skills. Encourage problem-solving and math exploration by including a link to Polyup on classroom computers. Instead of assigning a worksheet or other math activity for homework, ask students to spend time exploring Polyup at home. Extend and assess student learning by using FlipGrid, reviewed here, for students to provide a short video reflection on their learning activity. Optional registration allows you or your students to save progress and create your own machines.
GradesK to 12
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In the ClassroomThese BeeLine Reader PDFs are an excellent addition to the already valuable reading materials found at Reading is Fundamental - Literacy Central, reviewed here. Be sure to bookmark this site to find leveled reading passages with the enhanced function of BeeLine Reader. These PDFs are wonderful to share with ESL/ELL and Special Education specialists to use with their students. Remember, all teachers are reading teachers. Share this tool with your science, social studies, and math teachers, too!
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomBe sure to save these puzzles for use throughout the school year. Use these problems as a substitute for your typical homework assignments. Include questions as part of math or science centers. Replace pencil and paper journals or notebooks by having students blog about their learning and understanding using Tumblr, reviewed here. Ask groups of students to work on topics together then share their results with the class. To enhance student learning and understanding, consider instituting a recurring podcast for students to share problems and discuss problem-solving strategies. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here.
GradesK to 6
In the ClassroomUse this tool to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to experiment while viewing their results. Learn to Code with el Chavo is great for differentiating for students with different abilities and learning styles. Set up a computer center for students to practice with the program and share with parents to use at home. Encourage students to go beyond game play and reflect upon their learning through use of a video response tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here. Pose a question for student response asking them to discuss difficult portions of an activity and how they solved the problem. Start another response with a question asking students to provide tips and hints for their classmates. As students become more proficient with coding use Scratch, reviewed here, in your learning centers for students to create their own games and activities. Transform learning by challenging students who are proficient to use Snap!, reviewed here, to create video tutorials using a tool like FlexClip, reviewed here.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomAlthough recommended for students in grades K-8, teachers of younger students should review questions and consider writing ability levels before including them in the program due to the written responses required. Consider using Whooo's Reading as an alternative to Accelerated Reader due to the use of short response answers instead of multiple choice questions. After reading books, substitute paper and pen journals by asking younger students to create a blog using a tool like Penzu, reviewed here, to share a book review with fellow students. Engage older students, or literature circle groups, by having them create a poster for the book using a tool like DesignCap, reviewed here, and then upload the poster to their blog about the book. A great blogging tool for older students is Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph have students click on an icon to upload related images, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. For all age students, enhance learning by creating a class book review site using FlipGrid, reviewed here, where students create short video book reviews and can comment on each others reviews.
Grades6 to 8
In the ClassroomBookmark this site for use during your unit on measurement or to provide hands-on activities throughout the year. Share interactives on your whiteboard or during small group lessons and discuss problem-solving ideas with students. Add a link to interactives along with other online games to your class website for game play at home. Consider using a site like Symbaloo, reviewed here, as an excellent way to organize and share your resources. Extend learning by having students upload a photo of a problem or portion of an activity and add an explanation about what they learned using a tool such as Add Text, reviewed here. Have groups of students participate in a Google Hangout, reviewed here, with students from another classroom to discuss problem-solving ideas and suggestions. Google Hangout can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomUse activities and videos from this site as brain teasers and to motivate student interest in math concepts. Create a link on your class website for students to view at home. Have them share their thoughts using an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Create a class wiki to share other fun math websites. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomHave students use EasyWrite to retell difficult text in an easy to understand way. Retell Shakespeare passages in simple English or breakdown complicated directions into simple terms. EasyWrite is perfect for use with ESL/ELL or special education students. Choose any complex or difficult text and break it into simpler terms for easier understanding. Do this by adding a free browser extension to classroom computers and devices. Use a tool such as Grammarly (for Chrome, Safari, Edge, and FireFox), reviewed here, or After the Deadline (for Internet Explorer), reviewed here. Turn the theory of EasyWrite upside down - have students paste their writing projects into EasyWrite. If there are only a few highlighted words, have them develop more interesting and complex writing passages. Have students take a screenshot of their original work to include with a final draft.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomDon't let the simple look of this site fool you; this is an excellent resource for incorporating STEM topics into your reading activities. Use ideas from this site with the literature suggested, then come up with your own ideas for any other selection of literature. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. Have students or groups collect ideas and findings using Padlet, reviewed here. The Padlet application creates free online bulletin boards.
Grades3 to 8
tag(s): addition (220), animals (321), climate (94), decimals (126), differentiation (57), division (155), ecosystems (86), energy (204), estimation (42), forces (47), fractions (232), game based learning (159), human body (126), landforms (47), light (56), matter (64), measurement (168), minerals (16), multiplication (206), number lines (36), percent (77), place value (55), plants (173), probability (131), problem solving (284), rocks (49), solar system (125), sound (106), subtraction (182), weather (202)
In the ClassroomExcite your students with the Jams! Share the Jam videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students sing along and learn more about science and math. Especially younger students will enjoy this feature. Create a link to the site on your classroom website or blog for students to use for review and practice at home. Use the many topics available to differentiate for all students in your classroom. Create learning centers using this site or use it on individual laptops. Print out the quizzes for students to take as an assessment.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomInclude a link to KQED Education on classroom computers. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words before reading, either on a handout or by projecting them on an interactive whiteboard (or projector). Highlight the vocabulary words in the text as you come to them. Teacher Librarians might want to keep this page open on computers for students who drop by the media center or include news notes from this site as part of your morning announcements. Do you have a student news show on your school TV channel? Find great material here for students to retell in their own words.
GradesK to 5
tag(s): addition (220), classroom management (147), data (153), decimals (126), differentiation (57), division (155), fractions (232), geometric shapes (174), measurement (168), multiplication (206), numbers (184), operations (113), subtraction (182)
In the ClassroomUse Zearn on a projector or an interactive whiteboard to demonstrate specific concepts or use as weekly math centers for student practice. Zearn provides data to target instruction to specific students or concepts needing additional reinforcement. Since Zearn is a complete math program, with individualized lessons for students to work on, teachers can conduct small group instruction while others work independently. Zearn is perfect to use for gifted or advanced students, allowing them to work at their own pace. Be sure to put a link to Zearn on your class web page for students to use at home. Zearn does not support Android devices but will work on all other devices with a browser and Internet access.
Grades1 to 7
In the ClassroomCreate your account with your email, teacher name, username, and some basic information. Create your dashboard by adding a class and class name. You can create multiple classes. View the several teacher dashboard video tutorials to get started. Student accounts can be created manually or by importing an xls or csv file. Students will automatically be "friends" with other students in the same class, but can also invite students from different classes. Share this site with students (and parents at back to school night) using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Show students the video tutorial "How to Add Books" to get them started. You can use the tutorial in your blended or remote learning classroom by considering using playposit, reviewed here, with the tutorial to add comments and information. Students can create bookshelves for books they are reading, that they have read, and that they want to read. Students can earn badges and points for the books they read. This tool will get students excited about reading since they can connect with friends to share book reviews and swap book recommendations. Students also practice persuasive writing, comprehension, and typing skills by completing reviews, reports, and reading logs online. This tool is great to keep track of student home reading or if you are teaching remotely!
GradesK to 8
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In the ClassroomAfter creating your classroom account and adding rosters, introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you are lucky enough to have a class set of mobile devices, allow students to use Freckle while you work directly with individuals or small groups of students. Freckle is a great way to supplement instruction for both gifted and special needs students. Use in your blended learning class, or when teaching remotely. Visit the FAQ section for ideas for implementing Freckle in your math, ELA, social studies, or science classroom. Be sure to share login information with parents for student practice at home.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): addition (220), angles (83), base ten (11), coordinates (26), counting (105), data (153), division (155), equations (152), factoring (30), fractions (232), functions (68), geometric shapes (174), measurement (168), mixed numbers (13), multiplication (206), negative numbers (18), number lines (36), number sense (96), polynomials (28), prime numbers (31), probability (131), quadratics (31), rounding (16), square roots (20), statistics (128), subtraction (182), transformations (16), vectors (23), whole numbers (16)