TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 17, 2020
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
Grades3 to 5
In the ClassroomShare a link to the eBook resources with parents and students. Create a list of student suggestions and reviews to help students choose books that match their interests and ability. Encourage students to share book reviews by creating online books with images, video, and audio using Book Creator, reviewed here.
Grades6 to 8
In the ClassroomTake advantage of your remote teaching lessons to offer a variety of reading suggestions to your students. Browse through the free books offered and create a list of suggestions based on your knowledge of student interests and abilities. Encourage communication and collaboration between your students through the use of Padlet, reviewed here. Use Padlet to share links to your book suggestions, then ask students to add comments and reviews.
GradesK to 2
In the ClassroomUse this collection to share digital and audiobooks with parents to encourage reading at home. Curate a collection of books for your students and share it with parents using Symbaloo, reviewed here. Symbaloo is an excellent bookmarking tool to use with young students due to the easy to use design and use of icons for identifying information readily.
GradesK to 5
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In the ClassroomCreate your free educator account and share with students as part of your independent reading activities. Adjust reading preferences and profiles as students increase skills or change interest in reading materials. Be sure to share with parents to use at home. What a wonderful, engaging way to keep students accountable for reading at home and for remote learning.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomThis site is one you must bookmark if you work with young readers! Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore and listen to books on their own. Unite for Literacy is perfect for use with ESL/ELL students for reading and hearing books in both English and their native language. Share a link to the site on your website or newsletter for use at home or use during remote learning. During remote learning, consider assigning your elementary students reading and follow up activities using Symbaloo, reviewed here. Symbaloo is an excellent bookmarking tool to use with elementary students due to the easy to use design and use of icons for identifying information readily. World language teachers can use this site to have students listen to books in the language they are learning.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomTrack students' reading and develop close reading skills and critical thinking with Ponder. Register with your email and create a Ponder group by clicking on "give it a spin" in the upper right corner of the home page. Then, give the class a name, and save the group by creating an administrator account. All directions for doing this are in the support section, as are the directions for adding additional classes. Ponder will bulk create accounts for your class, with no student email required. Just contact their support. Find an article or any text you want students to read on the web. Responding to an article on the web will initiate the class activity feed. Start out by sharing text (article, book, etc.) on an interactive whiteboard or projector with your students. Read through the text with them, asking them for feedback along the way. By doing this, you will be able to show students the features of Ponder. When you create a micro-reading response, it will post to the class activity feed along with a link to the article. You can also use Ponder for you and your students to comment on any video on YouTube, Vimeo or Dropbox! Ponder is a wonderful tool to moderate reading in any core classroom, blended learning classes, or for remote learning. ESL/ELL and resource teachers can gain greater insight to their students' reading comprehension. Don't forget, you can also use Ponder for you and your students to comment on any video on YouTube, Vimeo, or Dropbox!
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Requires download/installation of software
Grades1 to 7
In the ClassroomCreate your account with your email, teacher name, username, and some basic information. Create your dashboard by adding a class and class name. You can create multiple classes. View the several teacher dashboard video tutorials to get started. Student accounts can be created manually or by importing an xls or csv file. Students will automatically be "friends" with other students in the same class, but can also invite students from different classes. Share this site with students (and parents at back to school night) using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Show students the video tutorial "How to Add Books" to get them started. You can use the tutorial in your blended or remote learning classroom by considering using playposit, reviewed here, with the tutorial to add comments and information. Students can create bookshelves for books they are reading, that they have read, and that they want to read. Students can earn badges and points for the books they read. This tool will get students excited about reading since they can connect with friends to share book reviews and swap book recommendations. Students also practice persuasive writing, comprehension, and typing skills by completing reviews, reports, and reading logs online. This tool is great to keep track of student home reading or if you are teaching remotely!
GradesK to 8
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In the ClassroomAfter creating your classroom account and adding rosters, introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you are lucky enough to have a class set of mobile devices, allow students to use Freckle while you work directly with individuals or small groups of students. Freckle is a great way to supplement instruction for both gifted and special needs students. Use in your blended learning class, or when teaching remotely. Visit the FAQ section for ideas for implementing Freckle in your math, ELA, social studies, or science classroom. Be sure to share login information with parents for student practice at home.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomAchieve two goals here: help students improve their reading comprehension and keep them current with what is happening in our nation and the world. When assigning articles, choose to have the class read at one reading level, or choose individuals and set the reading level for them. There are five categories from which to choose. You may want to set up different articles at different learning stations on the computers in your room. Have the students rotate daily through the stations, completing one or two a day until they have completed all five articles. Since Newsela is cloud based, even absent students can complete the missed work easily. If you and your students are teaching and learning remotely, or you have a blended classroom, Newsela will work perfectly for those! Teachers of gifted students can use this site to accelerate or enrich reading for students. Find each student's individual levels for reading nonfiction. Teachers of Learning Support and ELL students will love this alternate way for their students to meet current events requirements.
This is an excellent article. Thanks for sharing this information. Please keep sharing content like this.Cassandra, IL, Grades: 0 - 12
This is an excellent site and allows differentiation while everyone is reading the same text.Renee, NC, Grades: 0 - 5
GradesK to 12
Teachers can create classes to assign reading and track assessments (which are automatically graded). After signing up with email, click on Admin from the top menu and create a class. Students join the class by using a code and their Google account. No Google account? No problem. Create a roster and provide the class code to students. Easily create assignments for the whole class, or individuals as a way to differentiate. This is a perfect tool to use for remote (or distance) teaching and learning!
tag(s): characterization (16), context clues (7), figurative language (16), guided reading (39), independent reading (115), main idea (8), parts of speech (67), plot (11), point of view (10), reading comprehension (134), reading strategies (65), sequencing (30), Teacher Utilities (98), themes (10), vocabulary (292)
In the ClassroomShow students how to sign up and log into ReadWorks using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Complete a sample assignment together. Use ReadWorks in blended learning or flipped classrooms leaving class time for asking questions and clarifying. Post the link on your website and consider assigning the Article-A-Day for at home reading. Rotate the subjects weekly and discuss the topic the next day in class. Consider using a back channel tool such as GoSoapBox, reviewed here, for the discussion, so even your quiet and shy students feel comfortable participating, and you can get analytics after the discussion. Teachers of all subjects, but especially science and social studies, can find topics for students to read for their subject. Then challenge students to research the topic further. Redefine learning by having students submit their findings to a special class magazine using Underline, reviewed here, created for the topic. Differentiation can be accomplished easily by assigning to individual students, or you can create multiple classes, which would actually be small groups, who read at the same level or have the same topic interest.
Once the students are familiar with the site use Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to assign reading to groups at the same reading level. Older students, once they know their reading level, can their select reading and create their own Symbaloo Learning Paths. Check these to make sure students include all types of reading, and that they are challenging themselves. After several selections, ask older students to choose the topic they were most interested in, find resources to learn more about the topic, then extend their learning by presenting their findings using a multimedia tool such as (click on the tool name to access the review): Canva Infographic Maker, Lucidpress, Powtoon, and Biteable.
Grades3 to 12
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