TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 20, 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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Twitter Chat: Self-care Tips and Strategies for Educators - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from June 2020 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is Self-care Tips and Strategies for Educators. During this chat, participants will: ...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from June 2020 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is Self-care Tips and Strategies for Educators. During this chat, participants will: 1. Define and discuss self-care for educators, 2. Share strategies for self-care, and 3. Explore tech tools that support educator self-care.

tag(s): social and emotional learning (43), twitterchatarchive (105)

In the Classroom

Find resources and information about self-care tips and strategies for educators. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for resources related to self-care tips and strategies for educators.

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MyFitnessPal - Under Armour, Inc.

Grades
4 to 12
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MyFitnessPal is basically a food diary; what makes it exceptional is their extensive food database (over 11 million foods) to help you count and keep track of your calorie intake. ...more
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MyFitnessPal is basically a food diary; what makes it exceptional is their extensive food database (over 11 million foods) to help you count and keep track of your calorie intake. You can view nutritional information about each of the food items (sugar, protein, cholesterol, and more). You can also view your total nutrition for the day, for example, 45 grams of sugar and what you have consumed. This app will help you keep track of your physical activity, too. With MyFitnessPal just enter your goal weight and the app will calculate what your daily calorie intake should be. Whenever you eat something, enter it manually or scan a barcode and the program deducts the calories from your total, showing you the calories you have left for the day. Of course, exercising allows you to have a larger total for your calorie intake. Enter your calories burned by exercise and MyFitnessPal will add them back into the total for the day. There is a free tier of service, plus a Premium membership. This review is for the free tier.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (167), fitness (52), nutrition (140)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and share this site with your school's physical education teacher and coaches. Share a link on your class website as information for parents. Ask students to upload a photo they have taken when exercising and add an explanation about how this improves physical fitness using a tool such as Add Text, reviewed here. Have students create an online graph using ChartGizmo, reviewed here, to document calorie intake and physical activity over the course of a month. Share this site with older students as part of any health unit, and ask them to create a home health plan based on guidelines provided on the site Shape America, reviewed here.

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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 (28), professional development (231)

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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Understood - Understood.org USA LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Understood is an online collaboration of 15 non-profit organizations with a goal to provide learning resources for students aged 3-20. The site offers thousands of articles, decision...more
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Understood is an online collaboration of 15 non-profit organizations with a goal to provide learning resources for students aged 3-20. The site offers thousands of articles, decision guides, quizzes, and more. Also, choose from unique tools such as the Parenting Coach, Tech Finder, and Through Your Child's Eyes (simulations of different learning issues). Use the Parent Toolkit to find personalized resources available by topic, grade, or learning disorder. Videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

tag(s): emotions (41), learning disability (19), learning styles (18), preK (242), professional development (231), racism (58), social and emotional learning (43), Special Needs (38), Teacher Utilities (104)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as an excellent tool for finding learning resources for classroom students and sharing with parents. Understood includes several helpful resources for parents and educators on how to discuss and teach about racism, use the search feature to find activities to incorporate into your current units about race and prejudice. Be sure to share a link to the site with parents on your class website or newsletter. Use items found on this site as part of your professional development activities. Organize participant's thoughts and ideas using a mind mapping tool like MindMup, reviewed here. Share websites, articles, and resources related to your topic using a bookmarking tool such as SearchTeam, reviewed here. SearchTeam allows you to share resources and add comments making collaboration easy for participants. Expand your learning and collaboration efforts using a tool like FlipGrid, reviewed here. FlipGrid is a video response tool that allows you to record a question and gather video responses. As a final product and follow-up to send to your participants, share information learned from this site and others through a multimedia presentation with Sway, reviewed here. Sway is an easy to use tool for creating professional-looking online presentations including video, images, text, and more.
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Mindfulness Integration LLC - Leigh Smith

Grades
K to 12
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Mindfulness Integration offers resources and tips for slowing down and appreciating life in a mindful way. Choose the Resources link to find videos, articles, and guided meditations,...more
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Mindfulness Integration offers resources and tips for slowing down and appreciating life in a mindful way. Choose the Resources link to find videos, articles, and guided meditations, teaching the tools of behaving in a mindful manner. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): brain (54), emotions (41), social and emotional learning (43)

In the Classroom

Use the videos on the site to learn more about mindfulness and how to achieve it in ten days. Share them on your interactive whiteboard as you and your students work together to achieve mindfulness throughout your day. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create videos using FlexClip, reviewed here, that discuss mindfulness. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Use an online poster creator, like Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, to create posters for a classroom bulletin board display.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Mindset Kit - The Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS)

Grades
K to 12
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The Mindset Kit is a large compilation of resources for parents and teachers for teaching and developing growth mindsets. Based on the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweek, these lessons...more
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The Mindset Kit is a large compilation of resources for parents and teachers for teaching and developing growth mindsets. Based on the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweek, these lessons and activities provide tools for developing positive mindsets, in turn, leading to increased academic performance. Choose the section for teachers to find seven lessons for educator teams, or take advantage of ten lessons for parents to learn about growth mindset and how to instill this in students. Other portions contain ideas for specific content areas and mentors.

tag(s): brain (54), learning styles (18), professional development (231), social and emotional learning (43)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many lessons and ideas on this site in your classroom and when working with parents. These tools are especially useful for times when a student (or parent) claims that they were never good in a particular subject. Share ideas with your peers as part of your ongoing professional development, discuss ideas from this site and how they can be incorporated as part of a school-wide action. Take advantage of the many ideas featured in the Popular Practices section to learn how to use ideas in any classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Happier - Nataly Kogan

Grades
3 to 12
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Share positive moments and increase your happiness! Share by describing your happy moment, upload a picture (not required), and place it in categories you create, such as working out,...more
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Share positive moments and increase your happiness! Share by describing your happy moment, upload a picture (not required), and place it in categories you create, such as working out, family, and more. Click Share to share with others, including on Twitter or Facebook. Why use categories? If you are lacking motivation for working out, viewing your positive messages from before can definitely help! Connect with others and comment on their happy moments! Read helpful tips to center you on happiness, find mini-courses, and use daily reminders to increase your happiness. Read the many articles on your journey to a happier YOU! This site/app is easy to use with today's busy lives, and interactivity is grounded in actual science.

tag(s): emotions (41), mental health (28), psychology (63), social and emotional learning (43)

In the Classroom

With testing, social pressure, and the desire to do well use Happier in class to celebrate the small steps and successes on which students should be focusing. Teach students to identify positives along the way, no matter what the test or situation's outcome. Consider asking what did you learn from the situation? Identify categories that encompass all of the student's lives and focus on finding happy moments in all areas. Be sure to use this yourself! Find the positives in every facet of your day building happiness day by day. Psychology and Sociology classes can use this as an experiment about happiness, collecting student or family data through the year.

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750 Words - Buster Benson

Grades
4 to 12
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750 Words is a private place to write your thoughts, clear your head, scrawl a rant, or brainstorm ideas. You might ask yourself, why not just blog? Blogs have a ...more
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750 Words is a private place to write your thoughts, clear your head, scrawl a rant, or brainstorm ideas. You might ask yourself, why not just blog? Blogs have a "keep private" button, and if you forget to click it who knows who will be reading your most private thoughts. This program is based on the idea that getting your thoughts on (digital) paper every morning can clear your head, focus your ideas, and organize and energize you for the rest of the day. Inspired by the book The Artist's Way, and its hand-written "Morning Pages" exercise, the creator of this program converted that exercise to our 21st century tools. If you care about such things, there is also a point system where one can compare constancy of writing and words written with others.

tag(s): brainstorming (17), gamification (76), journals (17), process writing (39), writers workshop (30)

In the Classroom

To write daily is a good idea for students. It helps them clarify their thoughts and questions, and get in touch with their feelings. 750 Words would be perfect for any writing program or with gifted students who often feel very strongly about fairness and/or world issues well beyond their years. Students can get their thoughts and ideas written down without having to worry about a grade or someone chancing upon their writings in a school notebook. Here's an idea for any grade level. Have your students do free writes (stream of conscientiousness writing) starting with 5 minutes or more a day. Ask students to count their words daily when time is up, always trying to increase the word count. After a couple of weeks have them use 750 Words and complete the stream of writing on a computer or mobile device. (This shouldn't slow many of them down since most are quick at texting!). After the first day, and again after the second week, using 750 Words have a class discussion about which format they like better and why. Use a backchannel program like YoTeach!, reviewed here, or Chatzy, reviewed here, for the class discussion. Using one of these programs ensures that even your shy students have a chance to say what they think about 750 Words. Challenge your students to complete the 750 words at home. They can earn points, and you know how competition can inspire some of them! Resource students and ESL/ELL students could increase their writing skills and fluency by keeping an online, private journal daily with 750 Words. Emotional support, autistic support, or alternative ed students may find this private space to work out feelings very therapeutic.

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Honing Your Craft During the Dog Days of Summer - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This article in the series Help I lost my library/media specialist is just in time for summer break. Here you'll find an easy, quick read with some suggested activities: ...more
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This article in the series Help I lost my library/media specialist is just in time for summer break. Here you'll find an easy, quick read with some suggested activities: Read a Book - with several Professional, Children's, and Young Adult books suggested, and Take a Class suggesting several Teachers Institutes and Online Classes. Also, read about Professional Book Studies and Book Clubs under Extensions with suggestions for running the studies or clubs.

tag(s): book lists (121), independent reading (103)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your TeachersFirst favorites, even if you have NO time to even LOOK at it right now. Share it with your student teacher, mentoree, recent teacher ed graduate, and newbie teachers as they go off on break, too. Read what you have time for this summer, and save the rest for a break later on.

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Sound Sleeping - Tony Spencer

Grades
K to 12
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Sound Sleeping contains a great interactive sound-mixing tool. Create music with soundtracks of drums or flutes and the ambient sounds of nature. This soundboard helps you generate...more
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Sound Sleeping contains a great interactive sound-mixing tool. Create music with soundtracks of drums or flutes and the ambient sounds of nature. This soundboard helps you generate background music perfect for meditation, yoga, napping, writing, or quiet reflection.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): behavior (43), mental health (28), senses (23), sound (78), sounds (52), stress (9)

In the Classroom

Enhance student listening ability with this sound-mixing tool. Ask students to visit this site to create their own musical mix. Afterward, ask others to guess the tracks in the music. Students can also identify to which speaker the soundboard's pan tool is sending various sounds. Activities such as these are the perfect addition to a science unit about the five senses. Consider having students create a their own personal mix to use while learning deep breathing, practicing creative visualizations, or engaging in class relaxation exercises. You could also plan these sounds during creative writing exercises or independent reading time. Headphones or speakers are necessary for this site, if you don't wish to share with the entire class. Students in need of "cooling off" time may enjoy playing Bubble Burst. Choose to create music with the vibes soundboard and student creations will automatically play with Flickr photographs of nature. Emotional support teachers may find this tool useful in helping students develop self-control mechanisms. Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter and suggest ways to enhance relaxation techniques at home.

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One Hundred Push-Ups - Steve Speirs

Grades
5 to 12
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This dandy idea is a clear and concise weekly program to enhance general physical fitness through push-ups. Reading the site is easy; however, beware of some agitating advertisements...more
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This dandy idea is a clear and concise weekly program to enhance general physical fitness through push-ups. Reading the site is easy; however, beware of some agitating advertisements sprinkled through-out the pages of this site. This would be great for health teachers, physical education teachers, and even school wide health initiatives or challenges. Included on this website are links for two hundred squats, twenty five sit-ups, and twenty-five pull ups. If push-ups are the place you want to start, or if you would like to offer a choice in fitness challenges, these links are worth checking out as alternatives for the teacher running the class or the students' choice. The important thing is to motivate their health with the technology that they already enjoy.

tag(s): human body (101)

In the Classroom

Introduce this program as part of a journal activity in health class. Have students do the initial test in class and then the first workout together. Have students read the introductory how and why pages. Have students check in on each other for form and honesty purposes, and record their workouts, thoughts, and experiences throughout the challenge weeks. Why not create a class workout wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Do the final test at the end. Fitness prizes such as free passes to the community or school pool or free passes to school athletic events may be a good idea if you can get your district involved on that level. It is worth a try! Districts that are currently pushing for wellness and physical fitness of students and staff should embrace this type of challenge. So to even the playing field for different levels of fitness that students start at, have the "winners" be the biggest percent gain.

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The Visual MD - Anatomical Travelogue, LLC

Grades
9 to 12
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View The Visual MD site for an unbelievable visual experience about the human body. Learn and understand about health content, and interact for better understanding. View unique 3D...more
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View The Visual MD site for an unbelievable visual experience about the human body. Learn and understand about health content, and interact for better understanding. View unique 3D resources in a format that educates and informs about health and wellness issues: depression, back pain, heart attack angina, hypertension, kidney disease, asthma, and more. Use these fascinating visuals, produced with real human data from medical scans including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computer tomography (CT) ultrasound, and confocal laser scans. View the body as never seen before, with lifelike computer imaging and enhancement. Find important advice and information on many aspects of health care. Search the interactive library, view videos, or read content.

tag(s): body systems (40), diseases (72), heart (30), human body (101)

In the Classroom

Take the discussion in Health and Biology one step further by connecting class content with health issues. Since diseases are breakdowns of processes at the cellular level, students can identify these as well as the body's responses. Many of the topics and materials on this site are advanced for some students, so teachers should keep in mind the maturity level of their students. Use this site to research and present health topics to the class. Answer the questions that students often ask via research on this site. Challenge cooperative learning groups to investigate health topics and create a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Some tool suggestions are (click on the tool name to access the review): Beautiful.AI, Animatron, Renderforest, and Gravit Designer.

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Share Care - Sharecare, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore health questions and answers with this free site. Click Health Tools and Topics on the bottom menu to view the most asked questions and click for specific information. Be ...more
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Explore health questions and answers with this free site. Click Health Tools and Topics on the bottom menu to view the most asked questions and click for specific information. Be sure to scroll left and right to view all topics. Click on a topic. View the answer to the question in the pop-up as well as related information and images. Answers are provided by contributors from the health field. Be aware that any health site includes topics such as reproductive health. Preview and decide whether this site is appropriate in your school community.

tag(s): body systems (40), dental health (15), diseases (72), fitness (52), human body (101), nutrition (140)

In the Classroom

Use this site to learn more about the human body. Allow students time to peruse the site and ask their own questions. Encourage students to ask their own question if they cannot find an answer. Teach critical thinking by searching further into the web for additional information and finding similar/dissenting views. Discuss the validity of information found on these sites. Create prompts that can be used to write blog posts about the various topics. Allow students to choose a topic of interest and create blog posts linking back to the content. Students can comment on each other's posts to learn health and wellness information. Challenge students to research a specific health topic and share their findings using Wakelet, reviewed here, where they can add a cover image, background, and chose the layout they prefer for presenting.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Cook it Quick - University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension

Grades
6 to 12
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Students can learn about various foods and tips for eating healthy with this month-by-month collection of recipes, wellness articles, and nutritional links. Some months' information...more
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Students can learn about various foods and tips for eating healthy with this month-by-month collection of recipes, wellness articles, and nutritional links. Some months' information is organized around a theme (May is National Salad month) that could form the basis for food preparation activities in a family and consumer sciences class.

tag(s): nutrition (140)

In the Classroom

Look through the newsletters to find a theme or recipe that will fit into a unit you are studying or a novel your class is reading. You may find several recipes. Challenge students to choose one and cook it at home, documenting their efforts with photos and family quotes about the dish. Enhance learning by having students use a blog tool such as Penzu, reviewed here, to share the photos and theirs and their families' thoughts about the dish with others.

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