TeachersFirst - What's Popular

This page shares the 25 resources most frequently marked as Favorites by TeachersFirst Members in the past 60 days. See what tops the list of TeachersFirst's database of well over 15,000+ educator-reviewed web resources. Find out what other teachers are excited about. Not a TeachersFirst member yet? See the time saving benefits of free TeachersFirst membership

 

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TeachersFirst Brain Twister - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 9
26 Favorites 0  Comments
These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, change each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz...more
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These ten question quizzes, written by Thinking Teachers, change each Friday and are ready to go with one edition for middle school students and one for elementary students. The quiz presents ten questions, one at a time. You have only ONE try to pick the correct answer, so think carefully. You get points for each correct answer, totaling up to a possible 100. When you finish, you see your score and how long you spent. Questions are intended to stretch your thinking. Printable versions are available along with answers to the previous week's Twister. A new version of the Twister is mobile-friendly and adjusts to any screen size. Take the Twister with you wherever you go!

In the Classroom

Since elementary and middle school curriculum content varies from location to location, it is unlikely that every question will fall within the scope of your school's curriculum. High point questions may fall outside standard classroom fare. Five point questions tend to be at the knowledge/comprehension/application level of Bloom's taxonomy and closer to "normal" content. Ten pointers are more likely cross-curricular application/analysis, and twenty pointers require analytical thinking and a wider experience level, such as knowledge of current events or information beyond normal curricula. Twenty pointers may require more than one student's input.

Do the questions as a whole-class activity on a multimedia projector or interactive whiteboard with students contributing the portions of knowledge they do know toward solving the question. Using teamwork and thinking aloud can often help the group reach a conclusion that no single member could do on his/her own. They can each test different math answers to see which one is correct. This process will not only foster thinking aloud and group communication, but also model test-taking skills for multiple choice.

Alternatively, do the Twister in small groups, with one student an answer entry but others as researchers on neighboring computers to find out what the group does not know. It may be helpful to assign roles: moderator (assigns what to find out and helps the group reach consensus), keyboarder (enters responses, may conduct research in a new window), or researchers (find information as assigned). Use the Twisters to model ad teach information literacy skills in a high-motivation activity. Or offer the Twisters as an enrichment challenge or extra credit option for students to do at home. Ask parents to be on the honor system to sign a note indicating the score their child achieved. Since parents may be overly interested in helping, you may want to simply give extra credit for anyone completing the quiz, no matter the score. Be sure to mark this ready to go exclusive in your favorites and share it on your teacher class web page.

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Fake Concert Ticket Generator - faketicketgenerator.com

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Create your own novelty tickets. Choose from two different ticket styles and enter information such as row and seat numbers, event title and place, and date of the event. After ...more
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Create your own novelty tickets. Choose from two different ticket styles and enter information such as row and seat numbers, event title and place, and date of the event. After entering information, click "Make My Ticket!" to view and save your ticket in JPEG format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): behavior (41), classroom management (85)

In the Classroom

Ask your students to use the Fake Ticket Generator to create excitement for class presentations. Have them create tickets and hand them out to other students to use to be admitted to class for their presentation. Create tickets to hand out to students at the beginning of any unit to create interest and excitement. Make tickets to give to parents as invitation to Meet the Teacher night, Science and Book Fairs, PTO meetings, and more. Create tickets that students can earn, such as a ticket to skip a homework assignment or to have extra time at centers. Give out tickets to special events in the library/media center, such as Dress as Your Favorite Author Day. Have students create tickets to a classroom museum or science fair. Use tickets as a behavior incentive.
 

Comments

I sent ticket invitations to students the week before the Pixar Short Films Plot Study to make sure they came to school (some of my SpEd kids have attendance issues) and were on time. 6th Kay, NM, Grades: 6 - 8

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Musicovery - Vincent Castaignet and Frederic Vavrille

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create and personalize a music playlist using Musicovery. Hover your mouse over different areas of the mood pad to define your radio settings of energetic, dark, positive, or calm....more
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Create and personalize a music playlist using Musicovery. Hover your mouse over different areas of the mood pad to define your radio settings of energetic, dark, positive, or calm. Narrow choices by different genres such as pop, soundtracks, world music, and more. A song list starts playing once you selected the mood. Create an account to save favorites for use later.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (137), learning styles (11), sounds (68)

In the Classroom

Be sure to share this link with students and parents looking for less distracting sounds while brainstorming or working. Note that songs with words will probably distract, so you may want to stick to classical or other instrumental options. Reading a book to the class or conducting a science lab? Turn up your speakers and use calming sounds as mood music to set the stage for your story. Play a few minutes of relaxing sounds before a major test. Let a student "DJ" choose a class relaxation or creativity soundscape. If you have "silent reading" time in your class or school, calm music will help students to focus. As you talk with students about discovering their learning styles, offer this site as a suggestion for them to try while prewriting or studying for tests. Emotional support and autistic support teachers may want to experiment to see if these sounds can help their students.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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1000 Free eBooks - Sainsbury's Book Club

Grades
7 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
Sainsbury's Book Club offers a large collection of the best copyright free eBooks available without charge. Sort books by recently added or sort alphabetically by author or title. Be...more
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Sainsbury's Book Club offers a large collection of the best copyright free eBooks available without charge. Sort books by recently added or sort alphabetically by author or title. Be sure to choose the link at "How to Read eBooks" in the site menu for information on joining the site. Read the directions about how to read books both on a computer or using mobile apps. The site offers free, downloadable apps to read their ebooks on laptop/PC, Android or iOS.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (80), ebooks (34), literature (216)

In the Classroom

Depending on your computer settings, you may need to request that your tech department install the free app on school computers/devices so you can read the ebooks. Bookmark this site for student use when reading classic literature or as a resource for finding free reading material. You can also display texts on an interactive whiteboard to annotate text, explore literary devices, or identify parts of speech! Be sure to share a link to this site for students to access from home. Have students use Classtools (reviewed here) to create concept maps, quizzes, and online games after reading books found at the Book Club. Create a quick poll (with no membership required) using kwiqpoll (reviewed here) for students to choose a book for whole class reading. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about one of the book's main characters.

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Above the Influence - National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign

Grades
6 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
This site is operated by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and mixes a bit of teen entertainment news with plenty of information on the destructive and dangerous effects of...more
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This site is operated by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and mixes a bit of teen entertainment news with plenty of information on the destructive and dangerous effects of using drugs. Uses stories from real teens along with star-power and hip graphics to address not only teen drug use, but other issues relevant to today's adolescents.

tag(s): red ribbon week (8)

In the Classroom

Use this site during your drug unit or Red Ribbon Week as background information for students or student groups to make anti-drug posters using PicLits, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Ocean Portal - Smithsonian Institute

Grades
6 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
    
Learn all about the ocean and what is in it. View pictures, videos and other material collected from the Smithsonian Institution as well as other sources. Click on the water ...more
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Learn all about the ocean and what is in it. View pictures, videos and other material collected from the Smithsonian Institution as well as other sources. Click on the water drop "Find Your Blue" to find how we all impact the oceans from anywhere we live and work. Read about Ocean Life and Ecosystems, view Timelines of various ocean animals, and learn about Ocean Science. Be sure to read the Ocean and You to understand impacts on the oceans and its relationship with every living thing on the Earth. Find lesson plans and activities as well as other resources by clicking on the For Educators tab.

tag(s): ecosystems (74), food chains (16), oceans (127), pollution (64)

In the Classroom

Use this resource when discussing food chains, ecosystems, and any environmental topic. As oceans are one of the biggest places we are seeing environmental degradation, many ecological concepts can be taught just by looking at what is going on in the oceans. Assign students a project to learn about an ocean species and create an informational multimedia or conventional project such as a wanted poster or a save the animal poster. Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here). Research our impacts on the ocean and create an awareness campaign including posters, research information on a class website, and blog posts about the ocean as a resource. Find scientists you can connect to in the classroom that can discuss about this fabulous resource. Have students brainstorm topics about the oceans and let them search for relevant articles that relate to their interests. Do one-sentence summaries of these short articles to practice summary writing.

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TaleTrove - TaleTrove.com

Grades
K to 5
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
TaleTrove is an online collection of user-submitted stories offered in several different formats. Click or scroll to Good Reads and choose from books for young readers (grades K-3)...more
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TaleTrove is an online collection of user-submitted stories offered in several different formats. Click or scroll to Good Reads and choose from books for young readers (grades K-3) or older readers (grades 4-5) to browse through book titles. Click on the book icon to choose from different formats to read and hear stories. Options include view as PDF, listen to mp3, or view the flipbook. Most stories include all three options; however, a few offer only one or two. Each book also includes a learning guide with suggestions for pre and post reading discussion as well as ideas for use when reading the book. The Create space menu accesses games, crafts, and other activities to explore and try. Users can submit reviews of the stories available on the site.

tag(s): audio books (29), digital storytelling (87), guided reading (41), interactive stories (29), preK (232), reading comprehension (85)

In the Classroom

View and listen to stories by opening up two tabs in your browser. Choose one to listen in mp3 format and the other to view using either PDF format or the flipbook reader. View and listen to stories together on your interactive whiteboard or create a link on classroom computers for students to read independently. You could even submit a "review" written by your entire class or have your more able students write one you can submit using a teacher account. Browse for other reading-related activities and crafts. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for reading practice.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Planet Pals - PLANETPALS

Grades
K to 5
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Discover countless activities, lesson plans, facts, and fun at Planet Pals. Lively characters such as Moonbeam and Earthman guide you through activities teaching about our planet and...more
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Discover countless activities, lesson plans, facts, and fun at Planet Pals. Lively characters such as Moonbeam and Earthman guide you through activities teaching about our planet and resources. Other links lead to Fast Facts about Earth, Wonders of the World, and much more. Explore book lists, arts and crafts, coloring pages, and much more within sections for teachers and parents. Don't miss the newest part of the site featuring Green Journals for use during holidays and seasonal celebrations.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): conservation (115), earth (209), earth day (105), endangered species (29), environment (284), ozone (11), recycling (51), weather (168)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson about our planet and more on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Share this link on your class website for families searching for more science fun at home! Take advantage of the many free lesson plans. This site is perfect to find crafts for homemade gifts for holidays throughout the year.

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Random Name Picker - Russel Tarr

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
  
When it seems the same students always volunteer with answers and help, try the Random Name Picker. Get your entire class involved using this colorful "game-like" tool. This colorful...more
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When it seems the same students always volunteer with answers and help, try the Random Name Picker. Get your entire class involved using this colorful "game-like" tool. This colorful wheel clicks when you spin. It cheers when you land on a name. The site uses HTML5 so it will work on iPads as well as laptops and PCs. There is no registration required. Input the names, save your lists with a password, and embed the Picker into your blog or website. You can also get a QR code. You also have the option to remove a name from the wheel once you have used it. For safety, use first names only!

tag(s): classroom management (85)

In the Classroom

The obvious use for this tool is for selecting students to answer a question or do an activity. Other uses could include forming groups/pairs or to creating seating charts. Allow students to use it when it's time to choose the next student. Instead of names, enter activities for P.E., rainy day recess activities, the next book your class will read together, or anything where you need to make a choice. You may want to save one wheel as a template when you know you'll be selecting several students. That way you can remove names from the list on the wheel you are using, but will have the original for the next time.

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Mystery Net's Kids Mystery - MysteryNet: The Online Mystery Network

Grades
4 to 9
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
If solving a good mystery is what your students crave, then this website is worthy of bookmarking. There are 28 'quick solve' mystery stories provided. Students read the story, and...more
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If solving a good mystery is what your students crave, then this website is worthy of bookmarking. There are 28 'quick solve' mystery stories provided. Students read the story, and then choose the perpetrator. Clues are provided as necessary. This website also features 29 chiller mystery stories to solve. At the bottom of the screen, you will find links to lesson plans (about mysteries), mystery bibliographies, a "tricks" page, and much more.

tag(s): forensics (26)

In the Classroom

Reading teachers in the elementary and middle grades will appreciate the complicated story line at a lower reading level. Students will be motivated to read more of the stories.

Why not display the mystery on an interactive whiteboard (or projection screen) as an anticipatory set for a science class on forensics, reading lesson about "finding clues," or a mystery unit. Use the tools to highlight clue words and other ways that the mystery "leads" you to the solution. Challenge your class to create their own 'quick solve' mysteries individually or with a partner on a class wiki. If your teaching assignment allows you to team teach, coordinate your mysteries in reading class with a look at scientific method in science class, using these mysteries.

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HHMI - BioInteractive - Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Grades
8 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
HHMI's BioInteractive five lab collection allows you to explore genetics, heart diseases, nerve cells, and the immune system without any mess to clean or supplie to buy! Learn about...more
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HHMI's BioInteractive five lab collection allows you to explore genetics, heart diseases, nerve cells, and the immune system without any mess to clean or supplie to buy! Learn about changing fly DNA or play the role of a doctor's intern to better understand how heart disease works. These activities have interactive lab areas with learning objectives, a notebooking area, quizzes, extra resources, and a help area. They are complete with teaching suggestions and learning objectives. The bacterial identification lab and immunology lab are even available as apps for your mobile devices. Some areas of this site require Shockwave.

tag(s): bacteria (28), body systems (53), genetics (89), heart (36), human body (91)

In the Classroom

Spice up your life science or biology curriculum with these activities. Use them as dry labs prior to the hands-on or classroom "wet lab." Alternatively, they could be used as a substitute laboratory when supplies are low, if students are learning online or from a distance, or if students have ethical objections to using live specimens. Thinking about flipping your classroom even just a little? These activties are great because they can take some of the practice typically done in class to the home setting, allowing you to further delve into student driven experiments and inquiry in the classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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STEM Collaborative - Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Grades
5 to 9
3 Favorites 0  Comments
    
Find exceptional activities, interactives, and lesson plans at this free site that focuses on real life math to raise the achievement of middle school students. Read about the "Project...more
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Find exceptional activities, interactives, and lesson plans at this free site that focuses on real life math to raise the achievement of middle school students. Read about the "Project Descriptions" with great summaries and other information about the resources, view the "Standards and Concepts," and find other "Additional Resources." At the time of this review a few examples of the activities included "Scale City," "Math By Design," "Rock-n-Roll Road Trip World Tour," and "Proportionland." Click on the links to go to the appropriate resource. Be sure to test out the resources using a student computer prior to using in class.

tag(s): architecture (64), counting (114), measurement (145), ratios (49)

In the Classroom

Use any of these great resources to show how math concepts are used in everyday life. For example, use "Math by Design" as a scenario of how math and architecture are connected. Use the resource to design a nature center or park. Allow students to work in collaborative groups to make decisions and identify the math used to solve the problem. Demonstrate their understanding with a presentation that justifies their choices and how they arrived at their final project choice. Use conventional or multimedia resources to showcase the results and find a public audience. Consider using a wiki or Google Docs for collaboration and presentation. Use a variety of mind mapping applications such as Diagrammr to collaborate and create a flowchart. Take these projects one step further by proposing nature areas in your school campus. Students can take their ideas and resulting understanding of math to justify their design and propose it to the local school board or town council. Use many of these ideas to create your own real world math projects and activities.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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24/7 Science - UC Berkeley- Lawrence Hall of Science

Grades
1 to 6
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Discover science through interactive activities: learn characteristics of acids and bases at the Alien Juice Bar; learn about the human skeletal system as you try to reassemble poor...more
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Discover science through interactive activities: learn characteristics of acids and bases at the Alien Juice Bar; learn about the human skeletal system as you try to reassemble poor Mr. Bones, and create your own Juice Bottle Jingles. The site also provides a descriptive list of hands-on activities that can be done in class or at home. Topics include everything from space to cells and even include gas economy and pollution from cars. Activities for measurement and more integrate math into hands-on science.

tag(s): acids and bases (10), body systems (53), human body (91), measurement (145)

In the Classroom

Use these delightful interactive games as practice or enrichment activities in your classroom.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Screencast-o-matic - Big Nerd Software

Grades
4 to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use this simple and free tool to create a video recording of your screen to upload and share on a teacher web page, wiki. blog, etc.. This is an easy ...more
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Use this simple and free tool to create a video recording of your screen to upload and share on a teacher web page, wiki. blog, etc.. This is an easy way to create a tutorial from your own computer screen. When you visit sites that have tutorials on how to use their software, you are looking at a screencast. Use this site to give specific directions on how to use different applications in and out of the classroom. This site requires Java. Audio is not necessary for the screencasts but may be beneficial, depending upon the tutorial. An example can be found here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Users will need to know how to use whatever computer software, website, or skill they are demonstrating. Following basic directions and managing browser windows or tabs are a must, as well as the managing settings of the computer being used. The site demonstrates how to troubleshoot problems on both PC's and Mac's.

Click "create" to start. The website will check your computer for Java, which is required to use the online software. As the screencast is being created, files will need to be written temporarily to the desktop. A security screen will pop up that asks to run the application. You will be asked to "trust" or "not trust" the security certificate. Depending upon your school's Acceptable Use Policy and computer security settings, you may not be able to complete these steps. Choose the screen size when played and whether audio will be needed (audio can be tested here as well, which is recommended: settings may need to be adjusted for different microphones.) Open a new tab or browser window and enter the web address of the site (or software) that will be the subject of your screencast. Drag the black frame by clicking the line and dragging it in order to choose what will be recorded during the screencast. The microphone icon has a green bar that shows recording levels. A green arrow showing instead of a green bar denotes that sound is not being captured. The red button is used to start recording while the black "X" stops the recording. Once you stop recording, click on your screencast tab or browser window and preview your recording. You can then either upload or discard your screencast. At this point you can create an account easily. Save your screencast to a channel of your own. Use the embed code to place your screencast into a blog, wiki, or other site. You can also use a widget code to embed the screencast player into a website. Screencasts can then be made from your other site and will save directly to your screencast channel. Screencasts can be set to different levels of privacy and comments can be turned on or off.

Teachers who must request certificate approval by tech staff may want to try this tool at home and create some sample projects to convince administration of its educational value. Unless checked to turn off comments, this site will allow comments on your work. Many districts prohibit such interaction and steps should be taken to prohibit commenting from others. When using the widget, the tool does not attribute work to specific students. You may wish to have the students identify their work while creating the screencast. Screencasts will only be able to be viewed when using an embed code in a site, wiki, or blog. By marking the screencast "searchable," it can be available to the public. Recently created screencasts do not appear on the home page of screencast-o-matic. Students are able to self-register, but you may want to keep a record of logins and passwords for students who forget.

Make how-to demos for instructions on using and navigating your class home page, class wiki or blog, or other applications you wish the students to use in creation of classroom content. By narrating how you want students to navigate through a certain site or section, you can eliminate confusion, provide an opportunity for students to use the information as a refresher for the future, and maintain a record for absent students. Software demonstrations add an increased flexibility with helping students who need it while allowing students to begin and work at their own pace. Added audio is a great asset for many students including learning support and those who might need to access the material in smaller "chunks." Use this site for students to give "tours" of their own wiki or blog page. The presentation of their web-based projects and resources can be more engaging. Use screencasts to critique or show the validity of websites, identify a resource site they believe is most valuable, or explain how to navigate an online game. Challenge your gifted students to create a screencast as a final project rather than a more traditional project. Social studies teachers could assign students to critique a political candidate's web page using a screencast. Reading/language arts teachers could have student teams analyze a web site to show biased language, etc. For a powerful writing experience, have students "think aloud" their writing choices as the record a screencast of a revision or writing session. You will probably need to model this process, but writing will NEVER be the same! Math teachers using software such as Geometer's Sketchpad could have students create their own narrated demonstrations of geometry concepts as review (and to save as future learning aids). Teachers at any level can create screencasts to demonstrate a computer skill or assignment, such as for a center in your classroom or in a computer lab. Students can replay the "tutorial" on their own from your class web page and follow the directions.

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Live Meme - livememe.com

Grades
6 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create your own meme images (easily shared, annotated images). Choose from a collection of the Internet's most popular recurring characters. Double click any image on the home page...more
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Create your own meme images (easily shared, annotated images). Choose from a collection of the Internet's most popular recurring characters. Double click any image on the home page or upload your own photo to begin. Add text for top and bottom captions. Click the "generate" link and view your finished meme. Save your completed image to your computer. Additional options allow for changing fonts, distorting text, and adding animation to memes.

tag(s): images (216), posters (27)

In the Classroom

Use this popular online tool to bring interest and amusement to classroom lessons! Create an interesting meme to introduce a new topic or unit on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Provide one portion of text for a meme and have students complete their own version. Ask small groups of students to create memes for classroom use with classroom rules, due date reminders, curriculum terms, grammar tips, and more. Have students create memes at the end of any unit or book to quickly summarize content or use as a visual mnemonic.

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OK2Ask'®: Differentiating for ALL students - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from September 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn ways to differentiate your teaching for all of your students using...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from September 2014, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn ways to differentiate your teaching for all of your students using TeachersFirst resources. Participants will view and explore tools to help differentiate in all subject areas and at all levels. Participants will explore the differentiation section on TeachersFirst. Use exploration time to discover and discuss how selected resources can be utilized in your classroom. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Gather ideas by exploring at least 10 differentiation resources on TeachersFirst. Explore the differentiation pages and resources offered on TeachersFirst. Explore and practice with selected resources. Investigate and discuss lesson ideas offered in reviews and by other participants. (Follow-up) Implement one of the provided resources into an upcoming teaching unit or lesson. Applicable ISTE-T standards (2008)*: 1a, b, c; 2a, b, c, d; 3b, c, d; 4c. ISTE's standards page.

tag(s): differentiation (27)

In the Classroom

Find new strategies and techniques to differentiate for all of the students in your classroom. Explore various tools for language skills, focus, organization, differentiation, and more. Share some of your favorite sites on your class wiki or website. Take a look at the resource page full of GREAT ideas! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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Printable Comic Strip Templates - Donna Young

Grades
K to 12
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Find several different comic strip templates at this simple, yet useful site. Choose from templates with various numbers of panels and squares or arch tops. Click on any ...more
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Find several different comic strip templates at this simple, yet useful site. Choose from templates with various numbers of panels and squares or arch tops. Click on any template to view and print the PDF version.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (72)

In the Classroom

Have small groups of students each create one panel as a summary of what the class just learned. Use comics in math and turn a word problem into a comic strip/cartoon. In social studies create a comic strip/cartoon about a historic event, person, place, or speech. In language arts take a novel or non-fiction book and create a comic strip/cartoon depicting the characters and plot. Have students write summaries of current events or responses to reading assignments. With younger students, use an interactive whiteboard or projector to create a class comic on a current topic of study, such as the different parts of a plant, the planets, or a butterfly's life cycle. Use these templates for students to plan out storyboards for more involved projects, such as videos. In emotional support or autistic support classes, create comics to show how people interact. In world languages or with ELL students, create comics to reinforce correct language. Looking for even more comic resources? Check out TeachersFirst's complete collection of Comics and Cartoons.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Blog Topic Generator - Hubspot

Grades
1 to 12
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The Blog Topic Generator provides a week's worth of blog ideas with the input of three terms. Add a term to each of the boxes (preferably nouns) and click the ...more
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The Blog Topic Generator provides a week's worth of blog ideas with the input of three terms. Add a term to each of the boxes (preferably nouns) and click the link to view a list of five topic ideas. Revise your terms and try again to generate a new set of ideas.

tag(s): blogs (80), creative writing (137), expository writing (32)

In the Classroom

Use the Blog Topic Generator to come up with a list of topics for your class blog or student blogs. Try the generator to come up with ideas for creative writing assignments, student research projects, or student reading responses. In math or science students can use Blog Topic Generator to help them explore more about the curriculum concepts by doing some research for the prompts that come up. If you haven't yet tried blogging with your students, you may want to look at Blog Basics found here.

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Spelling Wizard - Scholastic

Grades
K to 5
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Try your hand at spelling practice using Spelling Wizard. Enter words into the blanks and then choose to make a word search or word scramble. You can do the spelling ...more
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Try your hand at spelling practice using Spelling Wizard. Enter words into the blanks and then choose to make a word search or word scramble. You can do the spelling activities online or click to print.

tag(s): spelling (160)

In the Classroom

In your classroom, introduce Spelling Wizard on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share your weekly spelling words as a class or in small groups. Make this a regular part of your word study centers featuring each week's words. If you do the "Daily 5," use this as one of your centers. Share this link on your class wiki or website for students to practice at home. This tool is also handy for practicing correct spellings of states and capitals, science terms, and more. It would even work for learning to spell the names of classmates at the beginning of the school year.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Interactive Ear - Amplifon

Grades
2 to 12
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Use this interactive online ear diagram to examine the workings of how we hear sounds. Click each part of the ear to view the name and read about the function. ...more
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Use this interactive online ear diagram to examine the workings of how we hear sounds. Click each part of the ear to view the name and read about the function. Click on the "+" to go deeper into the structure of the ear. You can embed the "ear" on to your website to have it handy!

tag(s): hearing impaired (5), human body (91), senses (24)

In the Classroom

Use this resource during a unit on perception, the senses, or human body systems (nervous system). Use the model to identify problems that can occur with the ear and hearing. Be sure to discuss many current issues such as noise and hearing problems. Students can research the various types of noises that one can encounter and the decibel levels and hearing problems that can result from exposure to the sounds. Research sources of hearing impairment and new technology to correct these problems. Have students create posters about hearing and noise using PicLits (reviewed here).

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Healthy Hopping - University of Illinois Extension

Grades
K to 5
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Healthy Hopping provides information on staying healthy by jump roping and eating healthy snacks. Learn how to do jump rope stunts along with rhymes and games. Choose from several snack...more
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Healthy Hopping provides information on staying healthy by jump roping and eating healthy snacks. Learn how to do jump rope stunts along with rhymes and games. Choose from several snack ideas that provide energy through good nutrition. Although quite simple in its appearance, Healthy Hopping offers many great suggestions for learning jump roping skills and healthy snacking.

tag(s): nutrition (138)

In the Classroom

Share Healthy Hopping with your school's Physical Education teacher as you work together to teach any health and nutrition unit. Challenge students to learn different jump rope stunts and practice during recess. Share nutritious snack ideas with parents, ask them to provide different snacks to your class each week. This is an ideal site to share during JumpRope for the Heart (if your school participates). You might even want to organize a PTO/PTA jump rope night and invite families to bring in healthy snacks. Share these ideas with your fellow teachers to fight childhood obesity.
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Teachers TryScience - IBM, New York Hall of Science, and TeachEngineering.org

Grades
5 to 12
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Teachers TryScience provides free and engaging lessons, along with teaching strategies and resources. All activities are designed to spark students' interest in science, technology,...more
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Teachers TryScience provides free and engaging lessons, along with teaching strategies and resources. All activities are designed to spark students' interest in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Create or join communities for teachers to discuss and share effective instructional practices. Access over 250 lesson plans that allow students to create water filters, design earthquake-proof structures, explore vertical farms, and much more. Many lessons include slideshows, videos, and links to other resources about the lesson topic. Browse through strategies and tutorials on a variety of topics ranging from a professional development resource (video) on differentiated instruction to a tutorial on what engineering might look like in your classroom.

tag(s): STEM (60)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Teachers TryScience as a resource for STEM lessons in your science or math classroom. Share the videos or activities on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Join communities with similar interests to yours to discuss teaching strategies, lesson planning, and more. Share strategies and tutorials during professional development sessions or with student teachers.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Blog Post Ideas Generator - Matthew Loomis

Grades
4 to 12
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Get some great ideas for writing ... anything... using this tool. Though the title says Blog Post, use these ideas for any writing. Click on the Generate a Blog Post ...more
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Get some great ideas for writing ... anything... using this tool. Though the title says Blog Post, use these ideas for any writing. Click on the Generate a Blog Post button to get an open-ended sentence starter to write about. Don't like that one? Click again until you find one you like. You can also contribute your own ideas!

tag(s): writing (314), writing prompts (85)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Scroll through the prompts ahead of time to find one for the entire class. Or have a student emcee choose the idea for today's freewriting time. Many of the ideas could be adapted for writing in science or social studies classes by substituting in a curriculum term or writing from the point of view of a historic figure. Scroll through with your class allowing them to pick one on their own. If you have class blogs, that's great. If you don't, that's O.K. Use the prompts for journals and quick writes, too. Ask students for prompts to add to the site. Post the URL for this site on your class webpage for students to use at home. Want to learn more about blogs and how to use them in any classroom? Try TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom.

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Bouncy Balls - Practicon

Grades
K to 12
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Manage your classroom noise level with this visual presentation from Bouncy Balls. Bouncy Balls monitors noise levels from your surroundings. The quieter the bouncing balls, the more...more
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Manage your classroom noise level with this visual presentation from Bouncy Balls. Bouncy Balls monitors noise levels from your surroundings. The quieter the bouncing balls, the more settled the balls remain. If there is more noise, the balls start flying and jumping around the screen. In addition to bouncy balls, choose from bubbles, eyeballs, and smiley face icons. There is also a full screen option. Our editors had some trouble trying to figure out HOW to enable the microphones. Here are some tips that we learned. If you are using Firefox or Chrome, you must allow pop-ups. You should get a message in the narrow band below the address bar asking you to "Allow Microphone" for this site. At the time of this review, this site was not working properly on the Safari browser. Even so, this is still one site you will want to explore and "have a ball."

tag(s): classroom management (85)

In the Classroom

Display Bouncy Balls on your interactive whiteboard or projector anytime you want to monitor classroom noise levels. Share this tool with your class and let them "tech it out" by making noise and seeing how the balls react. Of course, the first time you use it, students will want to see just how MUCH noise they can make. Discuss how much the balls should be moving throughout the day. Use this tool during the Daily 5, learning stations, DEAR time, or other quiet times throughout the day. Challenge students to keep the balls as still as possible for the activity.

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Popcorn! - The Popcorn Board

Grades
1 to 6
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Popcorn! offers a bowlful of information on that universally-loved food. Not only does it list the history behind the food, but it provides games, trivia, arts and crafts, printables,...more
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Popcorn! offers a bowlful of information on that universally-loved food. Not only does it list the history behind the food, but it provides games, trivia, arts and crafts, printables, reading and math lessons, science and health lessons and a booklist dedicated to the topic of...POPCORN! Who knew there were so many children's books based on this simple treat?

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In the Classroom

The site can also be incorporated into social studies and history for the many uses of popcorn by various cultures. For example, include the site in a Thanksgiving unit. Follow the seed to plant information for a life cycle unit in science. Add it to a health curriculum under healthy eating habits and food groups. Do not forget to check out the worksheets and lessons for math and reading.
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