TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 17, 2017

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to return to the Featured Sites Archive

 

Less
More

A Year of Picture Prompts - New York Times

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Do you need some ideas for writing projects? The New York Times offers an archive of 160 images published during the 2016-2017 school year as inspiration for writing across many ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Do you need some ideas for writing projects? The New York Times offers an archive of 160 images published during the 2016-2017 school year as inspiration for writing across many genres. Scroll through the site to find categories for images based on the form of writing encouraged for students. Also, a lesson idea bank inspires using pictures and writing in the classroom.

tag(s): creative writing (170), descriptive writing (44), journals (21), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

Save this website to your favorites or link from your class web page. These inspirational ideas are perfect for journals, quick writes, or to develop into a full story or essay. There are plenty of unusual ideas to give even your most reluctant writer or artist an inspirational nudge. ESL/ELL students can be motivated easily with picture prompts. Share these prompts with your gifted students for some "out of the box" writing ideas. Keep these creative ideas in your "emergency" lesson plan folder for substitutes, or for your own spontaneous writing needs. Challenge students to share writing aloud in a podcast format using a site such as Buzzsprout, reviewed here.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Easyblog - easyblog.org

Grades
K to 6
0 Favorites 0  Comments
   
As the title suggests, this site allows you to create and maintain a blog easily. Designed for primary classroom use, a simple set up allows you to upload student names ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

As the title suggests, this site allows you to create and maintain a blog easily. Designed for primary classroom use, a simple set up allows you to upload student names and quickly start adding blog posts. Click on a profile picture to add a post. Options include adding images, videos, or uploading a PDF file. Bloggers also have the choice of choosing a subject for their post to organize blogs throughout the school year easily. Privacy settings allow users approval of comments before publishing, adding passwords, and more. Parent subscription options allow parents to view class and their student's posts. At the end of the school year download individual student portfolios as a zip file.

tag(s): portfolios (33), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Use Easyblog for student portfolios in any subject. This site works especially well with younger students due to the visual design of the site and ease of using video to share information. Share images with recordings about science experiments. Create portfolios (with permission) to share younger students' work with parents and students during conferences. Use this tool to show finished projects or to show changes in a project from start to finish. Make a work prototype site and upload examples of exemplary work to share with students to set expectations for completed products before beginning a project. Create a link to this tool on your class website for students to share projects and information. (Get parent permission before posting students' work!) Have students take ownership of their own portfolios to show progress and products across the school year.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

OK2Ask: Engaging Tools to Spice Up Writing Practice - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Writing is an important and powerful way to build and assess student understanding....more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Writing is an important and powerful way to build and assess student understanding. Integrating technology into writing doesn't have to be hard. There are a number of tools that can be used to engage your students in the various parts of the writing process. From brainstorming to checking grammar to peer editing, technology can make the process fun. Join us to explore and discuss resources that be used in the classroom to develop student writing skills. Participants will explore and discuss how resources can be utilized in their classroom. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Learn three ways to infuse technology into the writing process; 2. Explore tools to support student writing; and 3. Create a sample project for use in the instructional setting.

tag(s): writing (367)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

Excellent resources! Helena, VI, Grades: 0 - 8

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Write - Krish Dholakiya

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Write. That is all you do with this minimalistic program. Choose a length of time to write from options on the screen, then start writing. Stop for more than 5 ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Write. That is all you do with this minimalistic program. Choose a length of time to write from options on the screen, then start writing. Stop for more than 5 seconds, and your writing disappears. When time runs out, your writing saves with an option to download as a text file to your computor, or upload to a file of your choice.

tag(s): process writing (46), writers workshop (34)

In the Classroom

If you have students who struggle with putting words down due to distractions or other reasons, Write is a good option for developing stamina. This tool allows writers to just write without worrying about content, grammar, or spelling. Stress that the editing process allows writers to go back and rework basic thoughts. If you do journals in content areas such as math or science, Write is a perfect tool to strongly encourage students to get their thoughts down in a short amount time. Have students save their work to include with their final writing projects.
 

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Copy Edit This! - New York Times and Philip B. Corbett

Grades
6 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Here is your chance to be an editor for the New York Times. This 10 question quiz includes passages from New York Times articles with one grammatical error each. Click ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Here is your chance to be an editor for the New York Times. This 10 question quiz includes passages from New York Times articles with one grammatical error each. Click on the word you believe to be incorrect; if you choose the correct word, the reason for the error appears. Choose the wrong word, then try again. After three incorrect attempts, opt to select Give Up to see the correct response and explanation.

tag(s): editing (70), grammar (214), grammar review (39), journalism (54), proofreading (25)

In the Classroom

As part of on-going grammar and editing instruction, share Copy Edit This! with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard and edit sentences together. Discuss the author's explanation for errors. Ask students to find their own examples of incorrect grammar in online publications. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Loose Leaves, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. Share a link to Copy Edit This! on your class web page as a resource for student use when editing work.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Little Shop of Writers - Maria Anderson

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Check out this channel on YouTube to find short videos about all aspects of writing. The videos cover special punctuation (ellipse, dash, colon, Commas, semi-colon). Also, find tricky...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Check out this channel on YouTube to find short videos about all aspects of writing. The videos cover special punctuation (ellipse, dash, colon, Commas, semi-colon). Also, find tricky words (who, whose, whom, which, that), Story Elements (3 parts), Five Story Spices, and Thesis and the 5 Paragraph Essay Outline. These videos are colorful with plainly spoken explanations. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): creative writing (170), essays (22), expository writing (44), homonyms (11), homophones (16), punctuation (43), spelling (169), writing (367)

In the Classroom

Share these videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector with students when you want to introduce or review one of the writing skills addressed. Put a link to the videos on your class website for students and parents to use at home. Bookmark collections of favorite videos (and other tools) for writing and grammar instruction for quick access using a tool like Papaly, reviewed here. Challenge students to create their own writing videos to "teach" the class, using Powtoon, reviewed here. Share the videos on a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Comma Confusion - Compass Learning

Grades
2 to 5
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Learn about comma usage with this simple (but engaging) interactive. Help Dr. Igneous sort out confusing messages (missing commas) to save the villagers from an erupting volcano. Use...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Learn about comma usage with this simple (but engaging) interactive. Help Dr. Igneous sort out confusing messages (missing commas) to save the villagers from an erupting volcano. Use the arrows at the bottom of the activity to move through each part as you learn about and practice using commas in a list.

tag(s): punctuation (43)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on the use of commas. Share the site on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for further practice. Have students create a comic showing off their new comma skills. If you usually have students create a paper and pencil comic consider trying this: have students create a rough draft (paper and pencil copy) of their comic using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here, next have students in grades 1-3 use Comic Creator, reviewed here, and students grades 4-12 use Write Comics, reviewed here, to create a final, online comic or comic strip.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Quill - Empirical

Grades
2 to 12
13 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Quill is an interactive grammar program with over 150 Common Core, grade level aligned, lessons. Sign up to use the program by entering your name, username, password, and (optional)...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Quill is an interactive grammar program with over 150 Common Core, grade level aligned, lessons. Sign up to use the program by entering your name, username, password, and (optional) email. Create a class and track progress, assess, and assign what individuals have not mastered. The program has color-coded "heat maps" to track progress easily. This tool individualizes grammar and writing for ALL learning levels. There are exercises revising interesting passages. There are also practice questions that require the writing of complete sentences.

tag(s): capitalization (18), grammar (214), homonyms (11), homophones (16), punctuation (43), sentences (50), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

There are two ways for students to sign up. Give them the code to join the class, and they sign up themselves, or you enter them manually making the student username a combination of their name and the class code. Challenge (and excel) your gifted students with the concepts practiced at this site. Since student assignments are at their level, students can experience significant acceleration in practicing these necessary skills. ESL/ELL students will undoubtedly benefit from the practice using correct English, in their writing, over a continuous period. Use this site as part of your rotation during learning stations or centers. Inspire every student in the class to become a proficient writer by using Quill at least weekly. Be sure to share this tool on your class website so that students can practice at home, too.

Comments

Excellent self checking quiz format. Great resource to show why or why not the answer is correct. Kevin, SC, Grades: 0 - 5

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Edit Dan's Copy - Miss Maggie

Grades
4 to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
At this site, get editing practice on two levels. The first level, which is supposed to be easier, asks you to add capitalization and punctuation. The second level focuses on ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

At this site, get editing practice on two levels. The first level, which is supposed to be easier, asks you to add capitalization and punctuation. The second level focuses on run-on sentences, quotation marks, and apostrophes. Be sure you re-type the entire sentence with the corrections.

tag(s): capitalization (18), grammar (214), punctuation (43), sentences (50)

In the Classroom

Use this in class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create learning stations using this site. Ask students to create their own similar exercises. If you usually do this on paper and pencil, try having students use Playbuzz, reviewed here, to create interactive exercises for their partners to correct.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Punctuation Campground - Harcourt School

Grades
2 to 8
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This simple site asks you to add all necessary punctuation to sentences. You can try again until all marks are in the correct places. Options include getting a hint, solving, ...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

This simple site asks you to add all necessary punctuation to sentences. You can try again until all marks are in the correct places. Options include getting a hint, solving, starting over, or checking.

tag(s): punctuation (43)

In the Classroom

Since there are no directions or examples, you may need to demonstrate how to use this site with a projector or interactive whiteboard before the students use it. This site makes for engaging morning work while students write the sentence at their desks (or better yet, work on individual devices). Bookmark this site on your classroom computers for extra practice when teaching direct quotations. ESL/ELL students and learning support students may find the extra practice useful. Use this site to review for a punctuation test.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

noredink - Jeff Scheur

Grades
3 to 12
14 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Have fun while improving your writing and grammar. At the time of this review, noredink's grammatical categories include apostrophes, subject-verb agreement, comma issues, sentence...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Have fun while improving your writing and grammar. At the time of this review, noredink's grammatical categories include apostrophes, subject-verb agreement, comma issues, sentence fragments, run-on sentences commonly confused words, phrases and clauses, and a lot more! The program provides differentiated instruction based on the questions you answer right or wrong. There are tutorials to help you correct mistakes. Sign up with your name, username, email address, gender, school name, and a password.

So, what's fun about learning this type of grammar? noredink asks you to pick your interests from Sports, TV shows, Musicians, and Miscellaneous. You will also be asked if you want them to use your friends from Facebook. When you are practicing or are taking quizzes, the program will use your interests and friends, and generate the questions around your interests and friends. The hope is that the content will be more interesting by including sentences with favorite celebrities, hobbies, TV shows, or even personal friends. Be sure to watch the introductory video which is the only item on the site that requires Flash. The program works on iPads as well as your regular computer. There is a 90 second intro video at the bottom of the landing page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): capitalization (18), grammar (214), homonyms (11), homophones (16), punctuation (43), quiz (88), quizzes (100), sentences (50), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Teachers sign up and create a class. You will receive a class code for your students to use (optional). With the class code you will be able to track student's progress, differentiate, assign quizzes and assignments, and see class trends. The program has color-coded "heat maps" to track progress easily. Your assignments and quizzes will be uniquely generated according to each student's interests. Also, students don't have to wait for you to give them an assignment. With their account, they can practice at any time. A student does NOT have to provide an email address to create an account. It will work without it! Since students are providing some personal information about interests, etc., we strongly advise parent permission.

Challenge (and excel) your gifted students with the concepts practiced at this site. Since student assignments are at their own level, students can find great acceleration in practicing these necessary skills. ESL/ELL students will especially benefit from the practice using correct English, in their writing, over a continuous time period. Student assignments are at their own level. You can also create your own quizzes. Use this site as part of your rotation during learning stations. Put your class' URL on your website so students can practice at home, too.

Comments

Any website that doesn't let you try it before creating an account is instantly uninteresting to me. Kristi, , Grades: 0 - 12

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Semicolon Wars - Mr Nussbaum

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This humorous interactive challenges students to place punctuation correctly into sentences. Semicolons have been abused for years and now they are fighting back! Head over to Punctuation...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

This humorous interactive challenges students to place punctuation correctly into sentences. Semicolons have been abused for years and now they are fighting back! Head over to Punctuation Island to help semicolons fight the abuse they have suffered from periods, commas and colons. Students will be able to practice all forms of punctuation. Place punctuation correctly into sentences to win this game.

tag(s): punctuation (43)

In the Classroom

Try this activity as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector. You could print out sentences for students to complete, or use a tool such as Wizer.me, reviewed here, and enter the sentences on an interactive worksheet for student use. Then check together on the interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Use as review before a quiz on semicolons. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Alien Punctuation - BBC

Grades
1 to 4
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Come along with Max and Molly and help them "talk to the aliens" and correct their punctuation. There are three levels of difficulty. The beginning level mainly focuses on capitalization,...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Come along with Max and Molly and help them "talk to the aliens" and correct their punctuation. There are three levels of difficulty. The beginning level mainly focuses on capitalization, periods, and question marks. The more difficult levels delve into more complex punctuation (commas, quotation marks, and more). The website also features a "full screen" option, printable worksheets, engaging sound effects (which can be turned off), and animations.

Although this site uses British English, this activity is useful to practice American English. At the time of this review, all words were common in both forms of English.

tag(s): punctuation (43)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then, create a learning center for students to use this website, or provide individual laptops or computers. Be sure to provide headsets. Use the three difficulty levels to differentiate for your students. You may want to list this website in your class newsletter and on your class website so students can practice punctuation at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close

Less
More

Vocabulary Web Games - Sheppard Software

Grades
2 to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Enjoy language arts interactives suited for elementary students through adult learners at Vocabulary Web Games. Elementary activities offer review of grammar and punctuation...more
Here is the direct link to share this resource review. Feel free to copy and paste this URL into an email or place it on your web page or blog so others can read this TeachersFirst review:

 Close Link

Enjoy language arts interactives suited for elementary students through adult learners at Vocabulary Web Games. Elementary activities offer review of grammar and punctuation concepts. Activities include Magical Capitals, Comma Chameleon, Adjective Adventure, and more. More advanced (secondary+) activities include practice SAT and GRE prep vocabulary, medical vocabulary, and computer vocabulary using a flash card format. Play word games such as word scramble and hangman by using the other interactive games on this site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): capitalization (18), grammar (214), parts of speech (68), puzzles (207), test prep (96), verbs (41), vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Create links to games and practice vocabulary on classroom computers for students to practice language arts skills. Have students preparing for the SAT/ACT or GRE take vocabulary quizzes to find unknown words. Complement this site by creating your own vocabulary flash cards using an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Add your comments below (available only to members) | Become a Member

Rating (click star to set rating):

Close comment form

You must be registered and logged in to add items to your favorites.
Use the form at the top of the page to log in, or click here to join TeachersFirst (it's free!).

Close