TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 22, 2019

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

 

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Synth - Brian Lamb

Grades
K to 12
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Synth describes itself as a "bite-sized podcasting platform." Use this site to create audio recordings up to 256 seconds in length, then combine those recordings into a podcast. Think...more
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Synth describes itself as a "bite-sized podcasting platform." Use this site to create audio recordings up to 256 seconds in length, then combine those recordings into a podcast. Think of it as similar to a series of Tweets, but in an audio format. To create a recording, select the Podcast link then add the plus sign to create a podcast. Podcasts start in private mode by default, change sharing options after publishing your work. Synth also provides the opportunity for recording video from your webcam and the ability to add a transcription of recordings into the podcast. Invite participants to contribute by sharing the URL, the session code, or use the embed code to embed into your website or blog.

tag(s): podcasts (60), video (271)

In the Classroom

Before using Synth with your classroom, be sure to practice setting up and sharing podcasts created with this tool. One way to practice is to set up a podcast with teachers in your building or district as a professional development opportunity. Create a "slow chat" discussing ideas for literature, thematic lessons, or professional book talks. Once you are comfortable using Synth with students, create exit tickets for students to reflect, enhance their learning, and discuss the day's lesson. Synth allows students to engage critical thinking by adding web links to recordings. Ask students to share their opinion on any subject and include a web address to support their conclusion. Have students extend their learning by embedding a Synth podcast into a multimedia presentation created with a tool like Sway, reviewed here, and create an interactive discussion on the topic. Instead of using your standard pre-assessment materials, replace these with Synth and engage students by sharing their knowledge (or what they would like to learn) as a quick way to gauge what students already know.

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Santa's Village and Tracker - Google

Grades
K to 6
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Google's annual Santa's Village features a Santa Tracker for Christmas Eve along with an advent calendar full of surprises. The calendar features change each year, past years have featured...more
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Google's annual Santa's Village features a Santa Tracker for Christmas Eve along with an advent calendar full of surprises. The calendar features change each year, past years have featured holiday games and educational resources like coding games and a visit to the North Pole. Start checking this site on December 1 to find the latest goodies offered!

tag(s): christmas (52), cross cultural understanding (146), cultures (118), holidays (145), maps (297)

In the Classroom

Share a link to the Santa's Village on your class website and classroom computers. Allow students to explore and try options offered each day. Replace paper and pencil and have students share information from the daily activities on a blog using Edublog, reviewed here. Include images and videos of activities with blog posts. Use the site to introduce a unit on Holidays Around the World and for a final project enhance learning and have students use Google My Maps, reviewed here, to create a virtual field trip around the world featuring some of Santa's stops.

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PosterMaker - PosterMaker

Grades
6 to 12
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Design posters, flyers, memes, and more without registration using PosterMaker. Use the tools from this site to create designs including borders, backgrounds, frames, and much more....more
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Design posters, flyers, memes, and more without registration using PosterMaker. Use the tools from this site to create designs including borders, backgrounds, frames, and much more. When finished, save in several different formats including JPG, PNG, and PDF.

tag(s): creativity (115), digital storytelling (149), images (276), posters (45)

In the Classroom

Before assigning this tool for students to use, be sure to allow plenty of time for practice and familiarization with how to create and save designs. Use the Typography Generator as a perfect "getting to know you" activity for the beginning of the school year. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with a witty text or a favorite quote (or song lyric?). Have them upload a collage of images that represent their interests and character traits. Label it with an "I Am" poem. Print the images with text for a back to school bulletin board. At the end of the year, students could do a "that was then, this is now" collage with text. Have them upload a current picture doing a favorite activity, and different images that represent new interests they have learned this year. Post the images or collages side by side for spring open house night or as a year-end activity. Students could use this tool to put images with a poem they created. For ideas for images/scenes for their poems, you may want to have them use WordsEye, reviewed here. With WordsEye students can put in lines from their poem and "position" words to create a scene. Then, right click to save their scene to their device. Other uses for PoterMaker would be to have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class. In ELA class, make homophone or vocabulary images to show the correct word along with an image that explains it.

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NorthPole.com - Northpole Productions, LLC

Grades
K to 7
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Enjoy a colorful look at Santa's Village. NorthPole has interactives (concentration, word searches, counting money, telling time, mazes, and more), and you can even play checkers with...more
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Enjoy a colorful look at Santa's Village. NorthPole has interactives (concentration, word searches, counting money, telling time, mazes, and more), and you can even play checkers with Santa. Attend the Elf Academy, read stories about your elf, send animated Christmas postcards, write Santa a letter and get a reply! For those into the maker movement, there are holiday crafts to make with directions and free templates. Create an account and register your students at the same time. Students will be assigned a user ID and password.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): christmas (52), holidays (145)

In the Classroom

Introduce the NorthPole to students by projecting it for all to see the different areas to explore. Add a link to classroom computers for the entire site or specific areas. Post a link on your class web page or newsletter for parents and students to use at home. With younger students, consider demonstrating how to write a letter to Santa or send a postcard to a relative from this site. Take photos, or have older students take photos, of the crafts and recipes the students make and post them on your website for parents to see. Engage older students by having them post the photos with and explanation using a portfolio tool such as Pathbrite, reviewed here. Alternatively, students could enhance their learning by annotating images taken of their activities with text, URL's, or videos using ThingLink, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Torah Tots - torahtots.com

Grades
K to 6
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Torah Tots teaches young children all about Jewish traditions and holidays through games, coloring pages, and music. Select holidays to take an adventure based on holidays such as Chanukah,...more
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Torah Tots teaches young children all about Jewish traditions and holidays through games, coloring pages, and music. Select holidays to take an adventure based on holidays such as Chanukah, Yom Kippur, Passover, or Rosh Hashanah. Other sections teach about the Jewish Calendar, Jewish history, and offer traditional Jewish music.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): hanukkah (14), holidays (145), jews (26), puzzles (201), religions (73), rosh hashanah (8), yom kippur (8)

In the Classroom

Keep this site in mind as an easy place to find lists of the Jewish months, Jewish symbols, information about Judaism, and plenty of information about Jewish holidays. Classes studying world cultures, the Hebrew language, and/or international holidays can learn from this site and also use it as a model to create similar games and projects for other cultures and languages. Select music for students to listen to while completing coloring pages and puzzles. Engage students and replace paper and pencil and use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast traditional Christmas activities with Hanukkah events.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Interactive Sites for Education: Hanukkah - Weebly

Grades
K to 3
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Find a fun collection of interactives to celebrate Hanukkah. Activities include; a scrapbook of Hanukkah ideas, a virtual dreidel, word search, and a few logic games. ...more
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Find a fun collection of interactives to celebrate Hanukkah. Activities include; a scrapbook of Hanukkah ideas, a virtual dreidel, word search, and a few logic games.

tag(s): game based learning (150), hanukkah (14), holidays (145)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your activities to use for Hanukkah and to help children from all backgrounds understand the different holidays celebrated in December. Introduce simple games on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Bookmark this site on your classroom computers to use during center time. Use as an incentive to promote positive behavior. Share this link on your class website for families to access at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive Sites for Education: Christmas - Weebly

Grades
K to 2
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Jingle all the way to find a merry collection of Christmas interactives. Here you will find the Reindeer Orchestra (music can be created by YOU), many math challenges, "decorating"...more
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Jingle all the way to find a merry collection of Christmas interactives. Here you will find the Reindeer Orchestra (music can be created by YOU), many math challenges, "decorating" art fun, coordinate challenges, word searches, logic games, puzzles, and more! Help children from all backgrounds understand the different holidays celebrated in December.

tag(s): addition (224), christmas (52), game based learning (150), holidays (145), puzzles (201)

In the Classroom

Add this site to your lesson plans to use in December. They are sure to engage your students! Introduce the activities on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Bookmark (or save) these games at your classroom computers to used during center time. Share this link on your class website for students to use at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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PhotoFunia - Capsule Digital

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use your pictures and PhotoFunia to create photo collages, flyers, family trees, holiday albums, and more. PhotoFunia has hundreds of effects and filters. More are added weekly. To...more
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Use your pictures and PhotoFunia to create photo collages, flyers, family trees, holiday albums, and more. PhotoFunia has hundreds of effects and filters. More are added weekly. To add shadows, age your photo, or render it black and white just visit the Filters category. Add clever features such as an astronaut or a Santa suit, a witch's hat or a queen's crown. Looking for an attractive frame for your photos? Find one here. Write on the sand or graffiti text on the wall. Carve your name on the ground or create your very own road sign using text effects. The program is as easy to use as picking the effect and uploading a photo. Save it to your computer or email it. Try using PhotoFunia online or get the free app for iOS or Andriod, and most other smartphones. At the time of this review, all photo effects appeared appropriate for use in the classroom. However, we always suggest you preview the tool before sharing it with students.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (58), DAT device agnostic tool (169), editing (80), images (276), photography (146)

In the Classroom

You do not need to be artistic to transform a personal or stock photo into a stunning work of art or even an amusing image. Adjust any image's color intensity, value, and hue using the filters. Use this tool anytime that photos need to be edited for use in class blogs, newsletters, wikis, or websites. In primary grades, this tool could be useful for teachers to use to edit pictures from a field trip, science experiments, and more. Share the editing process with your younger students using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Edit together! Engage older students by encouraging them to use this site themselves on images for projects or presentations. Use the features and effects to edit images to fit styles of photos when doing historical reports or to set the mood.

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The Kwanzaa Web Site

Grades
K to 12
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Developed with the cooperation of the man who began it all, this site offers lots and lots of detail on every facet of the Kwanzaa observance and celebration. This makes ...more
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Developed with the cooperation of the man who began it all, this site offers lots and lots of detail on every facet of the Kwanzaa observance and celebration. This makes it a great resource whether you're planning your own celebration or developing a lesson about the holiday. For students with Kwanzaa questions, this would be a great resource.

tag(s): holidays (145), kwanzaa (14)

In the Classroom

Enhance student learning by having students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration.

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Kwanzaa - The Holiday Spot

Grades
K to 8
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A great resource for anything you ever wanted to know about Kwanzaa. The site delves into Kwanzaa history in detail and describes the meaning of its symbols. There are links ...more
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A great resource for anything you ever wanted to know about Kwanzaa. The site delves into Kwanzaa history in detail and describes the meaning of its symbols. There are links to wallpaper, greetings (e-cards), music, recipes, books, symbols, details about the Seven Days, history, and the Feast.

tag(s): holidays (145), kwanzaa (14)

In the Classroom

Use this source to teach your students about Kwanzaa. Divide your class into several groups. Have each group research one of the links at this site and present their findings to the class using an engaging bookmarking tool such as Wakelet, reviewed here. With Wakelet students can make their wakes distinctive by adding a cover image or symbol for their Kwanzaa topic, a background, and choose the layout. If your class is learning about Kwanzaa along with Chanukah enhance learning by having them compare these holidays using the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, if the comparison includes Christmas use the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here. Another project idea would be to extend learning by challenging students to create an interactive, multimedia infographic using Visme, reviewed here.

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Chanukah - Hanukkah - Chabad.org

Grades
3 to 8
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A Hanukkah site with lots of resources, information, and activities. There is also content to teach students the origin and meaning of this Jewish festival. ...more
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A Hanukkah site with lots of resources, information, and activities. There is also content to teach students the origin and meaning of this Jewish festival.

tag(s): hanukkah (14), holidays (145)

In the Classroom

Share this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector around the holiday season. Allow students to peruse the site on their own to gain a better understanding of the holiday. In addition to Christmas activities, recreate some of the Hanukkah activities in the preceding days before winter break. Alternatively, create small groups and have each group research a different aspect of Chanukah and present their findings to the class. Use an engagingz bookmarking tool such as Wakelet, reviewed here. With Wakelet students can make their wakes distinctive by adding a cover image or symbol for their Chanukah topic, a background, and choose the layout. As a culminating activity enhance learning by having each student compare Chanukah and Christmas using the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, if your class is also learning about Kwanzza, use the Interactive Three Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here.

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Kwanzaa Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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A collection of resources to help children from all backgrounds understand the Kwanzaa celebration. ...more
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A collection of resources to help children from all backgrounds understand the Kwanzaa celebration.

tag(s): africa (164), african american (106), holidays (145), kwanzaa (14)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and use it as a point of reference for lessons and classroom activities based around the holiday. This collection could be useful in a study of world religions or world cultures. Include the link on your class web page as students investigate different holiday traditions. Replace paper and pen and have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, replace pencil and paper and challenge your students to create a blog using Edublog, reviewed here.

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Christmas Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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Our own collection of Christmas resources concentrates on Christmas customs in other countries and time periods. Lots of resources for an interesting exploration of how the Christmas...more
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Our own collection of Christmas resources concentrates on Christmas customs in other countries and time periods. Lots of resources for an interesting exploration of how the Christmas holiday developed.

tag(s): christmas (52), holidays (145)

In the Classroom

Try our Giving Tree lesson with your elementary students.

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Hanukkah Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 8
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Our own collection of Hanukkah resources helps students from all backgrounds understand the origins and symbolism of Hanukkah. ...more
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Our own collection of Hanukkah resources helps students from all backgrounds understand the origins and symbolism of Hanukkah.

tag(s): hanukkah (14), holidays (145)

In the Classroom

Save this site as a favorite and use it as a point of reference for lessons and classroom activities based around the holiday. This collection could be useful in a study of world religions or world cultures. Include the link on your class web page as students investigate different holiday traditions. Replace paper and pen and have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. If you are teaching younger students and looking for an easy way to integrate technology and check for understanding, replace pencil and paper and challenge your students to create a blog using Edublog, reviewed here.

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