TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 17, 2020

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Grades 3-5 eBooks Resources for Teaching Remotely on Short Notice - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 5
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Nurture a love of reading with this collection of eBook resources specifically designed for educators of students in grades 3-5. General tips provide guidelines to help you to get started...more
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Nurture a love of reading with this collection of eBook resources specifically designed for educators of students in grades 3-5. General tips provide guidelines to help you to get started and organize your remote learning activities. The instructional tools share sites that offer instant access to eBooks, learning videos, quizzes, and more. Don't forget to check out the additional resources section with links to TeachersFirst blogs sharing other ideas for incorporating reading resources into all curriculums.

tag(s): ebooks (36), professional development (227), Research (31)

In the Classroom

Share 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.

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Grades 6-8 eBooks Resources for Teaching Remotely on Short Notice - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 8
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Remote teaching doesn't have to be complicated. Get off to a great start with this collection of free eBook resources to use and share with students in grades 6-8. These ...more
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Remote teaching doesn't have to be complicated. Get off to a great start with this collection of free eBook resources to use and share with students in grades 6-8. These resources include links to public domain eBooks, audiobooks, Kindle books, and podcasts. Enjoy new ideas in this collection to find ideas for summertime reading suggestions just for teachers.

tag(s): audio books (23), ebooks (36), podcasts (62), professional development (227)

In the Classroom

Take 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.

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K-2 eBooks: Resources for Teaching Remotely on Short Notice - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 2
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If access to a physical library is limited for any reason, this collection shares tips and online resources to find quality eBooks for young students. Use the General Tips section ...more
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If access to a physical library is limited for any reason, this collection shares tips and online resources to find quality eBooks for young students. Use the General Tips section to find support and ideas for locating eBooks to share when teaching remotely. The Instructional Tools portion of the collection includes several links to online digital and audiobooks curated explicitly for young children.

tag(s): audio books (23), ebooks (36), listening (81), professional development (227)

In the Classroom

Use 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.

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Epic! For Educators - Suren Markosian and Kevin Donahue

Grades
K to 5
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Epic! offers thousands of high-quality free books for educators teaching grades K-7. Create an account using your education email to begin. Add up to 30 student profiles to your account...more
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Epic! offers thousands of high-quality free books for educators teaching grades K-7. Create an account using your education email to begin. Add up to 30 student profiles to your account to receive personalized recommendations based on reading ability and interests. Students can access books on any device and educators receive feedback including time spent reading, page flips, and books read. Students earn badges and rewards as they reach milestones. Resources include classroom posters, lesson plans, teacher tips, presentations, and letters to parents in PDF format. Find educational videos by Smithsonian, Blue Wonders, Animal Wonders, and Encyclopedia Britannica. Epic! also offers titles in Spanish. Tutorial videos reside on YouTube as do some of the educational videos. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): classroom management (146), DAT device agnostic tool (173), ebooks (36), independent reading (114), movies (66), reading lists (74), video (274)

In the Classroom

Create 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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

Wendy, OK, Grades: 2 - 4

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Unite for Literacy Library - Unite for Literacy

Grades
K to 8
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The Unite for Literacy Library offers many online books for young readers with audio. Browse through the home page to choose books to read from the library shelves. Narrow down ...more
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The Unite for Literacy Library offers many online books for young readers with audio. Browse through the home page to choose books to read from the library shelves. Narrow down your choices using picture icons for different themes such as animals or families. Select and click a book to read. Click the speaker icon to hear each page. The narration is also available in many languages from Arabic to Vietnamese.

tag(s): audio books (23), independent reading (114), preK (282)

In the Classroom

This 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.

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Ponder - Parlor Labs Inc

Grades
4 to 12
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Use Ponder to annotate and analyze text with Chrome or FireFox browsers or iOS. Using Ponder with your browser will measure reading activity through sharing and commenting on texts...more
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Use Ponder to annotate and analyze text with Chrome or FireFox browsers or iOS. Using Ponder with your browser will measure reading activity through sharing and commenting on texts anywhere on the web. Highlight sentences, phrases, and words that evoke a response. There can be sentiments to tag that indicate confusion, evaluation, disapproval, and more. For a fee, all of this can be applied to PDFs and video on the web. Ponder has a comprehensive support section and guide. You can also use Ponder for you and your students to comment on any video on YouTube, Vimeo, or Dropbox!

tag(s): browser (8), critical thinking (124), independent reading (114), reading comprehension (131), reading strategies (61)

In the Classroom

Track 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!

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Bookopolis - Kari Ness Riedel

Grades
1 to 7
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Bookopolis is more than an online social reading club for children ages 7-12. It has an education portal to keep track of and review a reader's work. In the New ...more
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Bookopolis is more than an online social reading club for children ages 7-12. It has an education portal to keep track of and review a reader's work. In the New Book section, find a book by grade level and read ratings and reviews from other readers. Bookopolis includes digital reading logs, reading log prompts, and suggests places to find comprehension questions about the book. Through the dashboard, monitor and comment on the reader's writing and reading logs. The activities and features on the site are aligned with many of the Common Core Reading and Writing standards. There are several video tutorials on getting started and how to use the dashboard. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): book lists (129), book reports (34), classroom management (146), guided reading (40), independent reading (114), reading comprehension (131), social networking (93), Teacher Utilities (94)

In the Classroom

Create 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!

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Freckle Education - Sidharth Kakkar

Grades
K to 8
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Freckle Education is a Common Core-aligned program with resources for math, ELA, science, and social studies for K-8 that adapts to individual student skills. Freckle has over 30,000...more
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Freckle Education is a Common Core-aligned program with resources for math, ELA, science, and social studies for K-8 that adapts to individual student skills. Freckle has over 30,000 math questions matched to all math standards and more than 500 ELA articles that often cover social studies and science standards as well as all ELA standards. There are five reading levels offered for each article. Sign up to create a class account and add student information. Students login in through an iPad app or with the online web version and the class code. Students complete a diagnostic pre-test and then begin working at their individual level. Awards of coins for completion of levels promote student engagement and enjoyment of the program. Freckle also promotes student collaboration through their inquiry-based, cross-curricular lessons. Other features include a scratch pad for working through problems, virtual manipulatives, and individualized printables for practice. Receive detailed analytics and student reports on your dashboard. You may encounter a warning about how Freckle may not work on your browser and to use the Chrome app. For this reviewer Mozilla FireFox and Microsoft Edge seemed to work fine for a student pre-test and the teacher dashboard. This program is great for supplementing your instruction, blended learning classes, and remote learning. Freckle was titled Front Row.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): collaboration (67), differentiation (56), independent reading (114), inquiry (30), reading comprehension (131), Research (31), Teacher Utilities (94), writing (358)

In the Classroom

After 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.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Newsela - Matthew Gross

Grades
2 to 12
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Newsela is a data base of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Click Content on the top left menu and slide down to browse content in subject areas (social ...more
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Newsela is a data base of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Click Content on the top left menu and slide down to browse content in subject areas (social studies, science, etc.). Stories are both student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level. Use Newsela to differentiate nonfiction reading. Newspaper writers rewrite a story four times for a total of five Lexile levels per story. All articles have embedded, Common Core aligned quizzes that conform to the reading levels for checking comprehension. An account is required to use Newsela, both for teachers and for students, but students sign up using a teacher or parent provided code rather than an email address. Teachers can create classes and assign reading-level specific articles to individual students, or download printable PDF copies of the article in any of its reading-level versions. There is an upgraded fee-based Pro Version which allows teachers or administrators to track reading progress and students to take constructed response writing assessments, but many of the features are free and there is no outside advertising.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (173), differentiation (56), guided reading (40), independent reading (114), news (261), reading comprehension (131)

In the Classroom

Achieve 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.

Comments

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

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The Readability Test Tool - Dave Taylor

Grades
K to 12
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Find readability scores for web pages and word documents in an instant! Copy and paste text or enter a site URL to begin. Readability tests include Kincaid, ARI, and five ...more
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Find readability scores for web pages and word documents in an instant! Copy and paste text or enter a site URL to begin. Readability tests include Kincaid, ARI, and five other indexes. View sentence info such as total characters, number of words, average word length, percentage of short and long sentences, and more. View word usage of types of verbs, conjunctions, and other parts of speech as well as type of words used to begin sentences. Click the link provided to view an explanation of each type of score.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): independent reading (114), readability (7), reading comprehension (131)

In the Classroom

Enter any text to view instant feedback on readability, including the directions you write for assignments. Challenge students to make changes to their own writing and increase sophistication of their writing to a level appropriate for their own grade. Talk about how readability works: the types of sentences that make a passage "higher" level, sentence length, etc. Test passages of public domain texts from sites like Project Gutenberg, reviewed here, by famous authors to see how their writing ranks when discussing their writing style. View readability levels of websites before sharing with students to find appropriate reading levels for differentiation.

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ReadWorks - ReadWorks.org

Grades
K to 12
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ReadWorks provides a free, research-based, and Common Core-aligned reading comprehension curriculum. Search through hundreds of lesson plans organized by grade level, topic, or titles....more
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ReadWorks provides a free, research-based, and Common Core-aligned reading comprehension curriculum. Search through hundreds of lesson plans organized by grade level, topic, or titles. Register to download materials and save lessons to your folder. (A valid email and password is required). Be sure to start with the Teacher Guide to see all the many features ReadWorks offers about using and teaching the provided lessons and differentiation. For a quick start, click Find Content then select options from the right menu: Text Options - Reading Passages, Aritcle a Day, and Paired Text, Curriculum Support, Grade, Topic, Text Types - Nonfiction, Fiction, or Poetry, and Lexile. There are thousands of reading passages along with question sets to support learning activities for grades K-12. Each selection contains the text with audio, a vocabulary link, and a questions set. In the left margin, you will find related resources such as standards and related materials.

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 (18), context clues (7), figurative language (16), guided reading (40), independent reading (114), main idea (8), parts of speech (66), plot (11), point of view (11), reading comprehension (131), reading strategies (61), sequencing (30), Teacher Utilities (94), themes (10), vocabulary (293)

In the Classroom

Show 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.
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What Speed Do you Read? - Staples.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Speed read your way into an easy to use speed reading test. In just a few minutes, read and take a short comprehension quiz; discover your time and how you ...more
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Speed read your way into an easy to use speed reading test. In just a few minutes, read and take a short comprehension quiz; discover your time and how you compare nationally. Next, discover how long it would take you to read War and Peace, Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone, Lord of the Rings, Catch 22, and 1984.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): independent reading (114), reading comprehension (131)

In the Classroom

Race to read, with Staples simple Speed reading test. Offer your students and parents an easy way to track reading fluency. Use this tool to open discussion about the reasons why we sometimes need to slow down and how practice can build fluency. Offer contests, use in portfolios, or just plain have fun reading! Begin by using on the interactive whiteboard and reading aloud and modeling good reading behaviors. Help students discover the skills of great comprehension. Have students graph the family results. Test your principal and other teachers. Use this website to prove reading takes practice. For another reading speed builder, try Easy Prompter, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Audio Books with Text Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books with accompanying text so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature...more
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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books with accompanying text so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form as they reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple types of activities, including the audio books and texts.

tag(s): audio books (23), preK (282)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your professional favorites AND share it on a class web page for access by students and parents. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways.

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