TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jun 14, 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

 

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GCF Learn Free - GCF Learn Free

Grades
K to 12
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GCF Learn Free offers a large selection of topics, lessons, videos, and more designed to offer training in essential skills needed to live and work in the 21st century. Registration...more
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GCF Learn Free offers a large selection of topics, lessons, videos, and more designed to offer training in essential skills needed to live and work in the 21st century. Registration isn't required; however, it allows users to save progress within courses. Topics range from technology basics, software training, career planning, and much more. Learn Free also has links to information for educators, including Teachers Guides and Resources and Tools.

tag(s): careers (151), communication (27), Google (55), Microsoft (79), Online Learning (16), spreadsheets (24)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free courses to brush up your computer and technology skills. Share links to specific tutorials with students for use with classroom projects. For example, share the Google Docs course with students to help them learn how to use and manage Google Drive, documents, and complete basic tasks. Be sure to share tips with parents too for their personal use. Consider sharing a section of a course each week on your website for students to learn about various tools in bite-sized pieces. For a more immersive learning experience, use TES Teach Blendspace, reviewed here to create a learning path for students that includes information from this site along with YouTube videos, quizzes, and links to other learning resources. Extend student learning further by asking them to create their tutorials based on class needs. If your class is having difficulties organizing and sharing information within Google Drive, for example, ask knowledgeable students to create an explainer video using My Simpleshow, reviewed here to use as a guide.

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Complimentary Professional Development Courses - Capella University

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K to 12
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Capella University offers over 20 free online professional development courses for educators. Select courses from a variety of topics: Implementing Technology, Course Design, Developing...more
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Capella University offers over 20 free online professional development courses for educators. Select courses from a variety of topics: Implementing Technology, Course Design, Developing Best Practice to Become a Leader or Coach, and others. Self-guided classes offer flexibility to complete requirements on any device and within a self-chosen timeline. Select any offered course to view download the Student Guide and Course Syllabus. Successful completion of each course earns 25-50 clock hours of professional development certification at no cost. Although not necessary, you do also have the option to apply hours earned during the courses toward Capella University credits for $50 per credit.

tag(s): assessment (127), digital citizenship (77), professional development (255)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of these free courses to expand your knowledge in a variety of professional learning topics. Share your learning with peers during departmental or school meetings. Use Google Slides,reviewed here or Microsoft PowerPoint Online,reviewed here to organize and present information to staff members. Encourage collaboration and discussion of any topic using Synth, reviewed here. Synth is a platform for creating "bite-sized" podcasts in short audio topics of 256 seconds or less. Create a Synth topic to encourage debate and discussion of a professional learning topic and ask peers to add their voice to the conversation by sharing their thoughts, difficulties, and successes in their learning opportunities.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst Infusing Technology Blog - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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Find hands-on, technology-infused ideas with the snack-size informative posts shared by TeachersFirst blog authors. Each post shares ideas for incorporating free resources into classrooms...more
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Find hands-on, technology-infused ideas with the snack-size informative posts shared by TeachersFirst blog authors. Each post shares ideas for incorporating free resources into classrooms based on the latest frameworks for effectively using technology to enhance learning. Not only do the blogs have technology-infused ideas, but the topics are always spot on for your classroom, using monthly celebrations such as Women's History, Black History, holidays, Get Caught Reading, and other appropriate topics like Using Cartoons to Empower Student Voice, Using Rubrics When teaching Remotely, and many more. Use the search feature to find and read blog posts for any topic. Don't forget to subscribe using your RSS feed and receive alerts with the latest posts.

tag(s): blogs (78), preK (287), teaching strategies (37)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a professional development resource to keep you up to date with the latest technology and ideas on incorporating tech into any classroom. Share ideas with your peers during professional development sessions as you discuss your curriculum and ways to enhance learning. Take advantage of the information linked in the blog posts to expand your knowledge of the latest online resources and teaching frameworks.

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HyperDocs - Laura Moore

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K to 12
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This blog provides informative tools for learning about and incorporating HyperDocs into classroom instruction. Begin with the link to "Pages" to view the dropdown menu that starts...more
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This blog provides informative tools for learning about and incorporating HyperDocs into classroom instruction. Begin with the link to "Pages" to view the dropdown menu that starts with an explanation of HyperDocs. Follow the additional links in the HyperDocs dropdown to find information sharing the pedagogy and examples of how to create and modify HyperDocs. Most information on the blog is geared toward using this blended learning method in K-5 classrooms; however, there is also a link to another site created by the author with information on how to use HyperDocs at the secondary level.

tag(s): blogs (78), professional development (255)

In the Classroom

This blog is an excellent resource for learning about and incorporating Hyperdocs into classroom instruction for all grade levels and content areas. Learn more about Hyperdocs at this OK2Ask archived recording of the July 2019 webinar, Believe the Hype! Using HyperDocs for Innovative Instruction, reviewed here. Be sure to take advantage of the community information shared on this site to share and learn from other educators using HyperDocs in their instruction.

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Teacher Self Care: Resources to Help You Make Time for You - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Take time to take care of your emotional health with the tips and resources found in this Wakelet collection for educators engaged in remote teaching. Browse through for easy to ...more
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Take time to take care of your emotional health with the tips and resources found in this Wakelet collection for educators engaged in remote teaching. Browse through for easy to do tips that help you step away from the mental stress of dealing with disruptions to your home and school routines. In addition to many self-care tips, be sure to take a look at the links and videos that support the strategies suggested.

tag(s): mental health (32), professional development (255)

In the Classroom

Incorporate the concept of intentional self-care into your remote learning routine. Choose one or two tips to start with, then return to add new ideas every few days. Use these ideas any time you need a stress reliever. Share this advice with students to help them adjust to new remote learning situations or with stressful events in the classroom.

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Classroom Management Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Classroom management covers a wide range of tasks or routines: collecting assignments, designing seating charts, promoting positive behaviors, creating cooperative learning groups,...more
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Classroom management covers a wide range of tasks or routines: collecting assignments, designing seating charts, promoting positive behaviors, creating cooperative learning groups, and so much more. If you are looking for some new tools to ensure that your classroom lessons run smoothly and disruptive behaviors are kept to a minimum, check out this collection to maximize your management. Classroom management matters at all grade levels and we have tools for all ages and for all subjects.

tag(s): classroom management (146), Teacher Utilities (95)

In the Classroom

Find management tips and tools to make your class run smoother. Share this collection with your colleagues.

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Teacher Utilities Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Technology offers teachers many management tools for classroom procedures, communication, design of the classroom, and more. This collection highlights what we call "Teacher Utilities."...more
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Technology offers teachers many management tools for classroom procedures, communication, design of the classroom, and more. This collection highlights what we call "Teacher Utilities." These are any tools that make the job of the teacher slightly easier to manage. Some examples of tools in this collection include timers, learning management systems, lesson plan builders, classroom design tools, and many more. Remember our "In the Classroom" suggestions give you ideas about how to use these tools in your classroom.

tag(s): Teacher Utilities (95)

In the Classroom

Find new tools to try in your classroom, for communication with families and more. Each review includes classroom use ideas. Read the details of each tool and find the ones that will make your tasks easier to manage.

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Makerspace for Education - Trish Roffey

Grades
K to 12
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Makerspace for Education provides information and resources for incorporating makerspaces into the classroom for educators new to makerspaces and "makerspace maniacs" like the author....more
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Makerspace for Education provides information and resources for incorporating makerspaces into the classroom for educators new to makerspaces and "makerspace maniacs" like the author. This site takes you from the basics of the makerspace pedagogical framework through materials and tutorials for using makerspaces in the classroom. Use the links at the top of each page to find makerspace lessons and challenges, view videos to understand the constructs of makerspaces, and learn more about the different materials used in makerspaces. Videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): coding (81), makerspace (33), professional development (255), robotics (23)

In the Classroom

Both experienced and newbies to makerspaces should bookmark this site as an excellent resource for developing makerspaces. If new to makerspaces, consider using this site similar to a book study group with your peers. Break the site into different portions beginning with the Why Makerspace? section to learn about constructive ideology and the benefits of makerspaces. Work together to build a database of makerspace resources including professional development information and lesson ideas. Share these resources using Padlet, reviewed here. Padlet offers tools for collaborating and organizing information, use the column feature to organize resources by topics such as professional development, lesson ideas, videos, and makerspace blogs. As you use makerspaces, don't forget to share student successes and struggles as part of the learning process. Have students create a weekly or monthly podcast using Buzzsprout, reviewed here, to enhance their learning. Buzzsprout makes it easy to record podcasts in advance, then publish them on your desired time and date. Use FlipGrid, reviewed here, as a video response tool to have students enhance their learning and share ideas and problem-solving methods with you and their classmates.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Twitter Chat Archives - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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View and explore this collection of all of the TeachersFirst archived Twitter chats. Topics range from flexible seating to music resources to personalized learning, virtual collaboration,...more
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View and explore this collection of all of the TeachersFirst archived Twitter chats. Topics range from flexible seating to music resources to personalized learning, virtual collaboration, and more. New archives are added frequently, so check back often.

tag(s): PLN (9), professional development (255)

In the Classroom

Explore the Twitter chat archives for ideas to add to your professional learning. Learn about new tools for your classroom and new educational trends.

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Cult of Pedagogy Blog - Jennifer Gonzalez

Grades
K to 12
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The purpose of this blog and the accompanying podcast and videos is to support "a vibrant, encouraging, stimulating community of teachers, supporting each other toward excellence."...more
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The purpose of this blog and the accompanying podcast and videos is to support "a vibrant, encouraging, stimulating community of teachers, supporting each other toward excellence." General education, resource, and ESL/ELL teachers will find plenty of subjects of interest. Choose from broad topics including instruction, classroom management, or technology for ideas in honing your craft through topics of interest to any teacher. Dig deeper to find leadership ideas and hot topics. Check further down the page to browse and find information on specific subjects and grade levels.

tag(s): classroom management (146), learning styles (19), parent conferences (22), parents (59), professional development (255)

In the Classroom

This site is a must-add to any professional development activities. Be sure to check back often for the latest posts or follow The Cult of Pedagogy's Twitter feed for all of the latest updates. The podcasts are extremely engaging, interesting and helpful to all classroom teachers. Listen in your car on your way to and from school, or listen with your peers during your lunch period.

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codeCampus - Raj Sidhu

Grades
K to 6
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Learn to code in just a few hours with codeCampus' standards-aligned curriculum. Sign up for free and get four free lessons for you and your students. ...more
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Learn to code in just a few hours with codeCampus' standards-aligned curriculum. Sign up for free and get four free lessons for you and your students.

tag(s): coding (81), computational thinking (35), computers (109), critical thinking (120), logic (238), problem solving (284), professional development (255)

In the Classroom

Make your staff the envy of all other schools with your coding prowess! Sign up for a school account and learn about coding together. Once finished, take advantage of the free lesson plans for teaching coding to your students.

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Teacher's Guide to the Common Core State Standards - USC Rossier School of Education

Grades
K to 1
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From Rossier Online this comprehensive guide for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will become your "go to" resource for questions from parents and new educators. Come away with...more
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From Rossier Online this comprehensive guide for the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) will become your "go to" resource for questions from parents and new educators. Come away with a thorough understanding of the four strands and the standards for ELA, as well as the standards for Math. Both Math and ELA have six shifts in standards explained in everyday language for better understanding. Also, find sections for Understanding CCSS Assessments and an explanation of the three different Types of Tests used at the time of this review. Get help with teaching parents about CCSS, and explore the Tools and Resources for just about any need you can think of for the classroom and community.

tag(s): back to school (62), commoncore (93), newbies (15), professional development (255)

In the Classroom

Share with all teachers, not just new teachers, as part of back to school planning and activities. Create your own (shortened) list of advice for new teachers in your school and district. Share with student teachers as a starting point for discussing how to handle different situations they will face as new teachers. Make a list of pertinent explanations for parents at back-to-school night or as a handout.

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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators - USC Rossier/Leah Anne Levy

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K to 12
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into...more
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into eight sections this handbook discusses the basics of pinning, organization, collaboration, and more. Each section is short and simple to read, making this an outstanding guide for using Pinterest as part of your professional planning and teaching tools.

tag(s): bookmarks (54), professional development (255), social media (43)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to understand how to use Pinterest for your personal and professional use and also for student collaboration. Share ideas with other staff members to collaborate on shared interests. Discuss one section a month with your professional learning network (PLN) and reflect together how to make the most of Pinterest in your educational setting.

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OK2Ask - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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OK2Ask''® is TeachersFirst's series of live, online "snack sessions" (available both live and in archived format) for self-directed teacher professional development and exploration....more
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OK2Ask''® is TeachersFirst's series of live, online "snack sessions" (available both live and in archived format) for self-directed teacher professional development and exploration. These sessions, scheduled at convenient times for you to attend from any computer will share great ideas you can use in your classroom, courtesy of TeachersFirst's staff. You know our style, so you know these sessions will be useful and teacher-friendly. You can earn Professional Development Certificates for attending the LIVE sessions (and completing the requirements) or learn on your own from the archived recordings. Kick off your shoes and learn. Sessions are correlated to the NETS-T standards.

In the Classroom

Attend OK2Ask''® sessions with your teacher friends or "meet" teachers from far and wide. Mark OK2Ask in your Favorites. Then check back often for new offerings during the school year and summer breaks. You can earn Professional Development Certificates for attending the LIVE sessions (and completing the requirements) or learn on your own from the archived recordings.

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