TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Aug 8, 2021

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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Comic Strips Templates - Canva

Grades
K to 12
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Design and share high-quality comic strips using the many free templates from Canva's Comic Strip Templates. Choose from numerous colorful designs in various formats, including single...more
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Design and share high-quality comic strips using the many free templates from Canva's Comic Strip Templates. Choose from numerous colorful designs in various formats, including single strips or comics with multiple frames. Begin by using the dropdown box to find free templates, narrow choices by color if desired. After selecting a template, choose the link to customize. Each template includes several pages that form a complete cartoon, a blank frame, and illustration sets to enter with your design. The share option offers the ability to share creations with others and allow them to edit the comic. When complete, download your finished cartoon to your device as a PDF file or PDF, JPG, or GIF image.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (41), graphic design (47)

In the Classroom

Engage students by using the templates to display the day's vocabulary word, the math puzzle of the week, a concept your students are learning in social studies or science as an example, and engage students. Have students create comic strips for dialog-writing lessons, summarizing, predicting, and retelling stories. Use comic strips for literature responses. For pre-reading students, create a comic of pictures and tell the story based on the pictures/scenes. It's a good idea to require students to create a rough draft of their comic using Printable Comic Strip Templates, reviewed here. Make a class book of the comics created throughout the year. That book is likely to become a class favorite! Use comics to show sequencing of events. When studying characterization, create a dialog to show (not tell) about a character. World language and ENL/ESL teachers can assign students to create dialog strips as an alternate to a traditional assessment. Have students share all of their comics on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Teletype - Supercoin Corp.

Grades
4 to 12
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Do you want to create a blog but don't have coding or design skills? Use the minimalist tools found at Teletype to build an eye-appealing site that works across all ...more
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Do you want to create a blog but don't have coding or design skills? Use the minimalist tools found at Teletype to build an eye-appealing site that works across all devices. First, create an account to begin a blog. After adding a title, select the small plus sign at the beginning of a line and choose from options to add from the dropdown box. You can add images, YouTube and Venmo video links, Twitter posts, and formatted text to your blog. After adding videos and pictures, Teletype provides options for resizing information on the page. Teletype automatically saves your work; when finished, publish and share the content. Teletype includes several sharing options that allow the writer to post privately, view as draft-only when collaborating, auto-publish at a given time, or accept comments and reactions from viewers.

tag(s): blogs (73), communication (138), writing (281)

In the Classroom

Use this tool as an easy-to-use blogging tool in the classroom and in every subject area that engages students in the learning process. Use in language arts classes to strengthen students' writing ability and 21st-century skills. Teach about proper commenting etiquette on simple first blog posts and how to provide attribution for images correctly. Use for student-written book reviews for the school library. Write weekly blogs as a tool for class or parent communication and include examples of student work and activities. Engage students in discussions on current events, independent reading, literature, and more. Ask students to play the role of a historical figure and write about their viewpoints or experiences. Share a blog in even the youngest of classes for parents to use to learn about a specific unit of study, field trips, and more. Use this site in world language classes to have students write a blog entry in the new language. Include the principal or superintendent in class discussions of students' rights as you study the Constitution. Create incredible discussions of environmental, political, or economic issues. Create a standing assignment for elementary and middle schoolers on snow days.

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Microsoft PowerPoint Online - Microsoft Office

Grades
K to 12
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If you don't have a Microsoft Office subscription, no need to worry, access and create PowerPoints online with the free version found at the Office Online site. Start from scratch ...more
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If you don't have a Microsoft Office subscription, no need to worry, access and create PowerPoints online with the free version found at the Office Online site. Start from scratch with a blank presentation or choose from the many templates on the site. After selecting a template, add text, images, draw, and incorporate all of the features of PowerPoint. The default option includes the Simplified (single line) Ribbon, turn it off to view the enhanced Ribbon with additional customization options. PowerPoints created at the online site save automatically to your OneDrive account that is accessible from any device. Use the share link to copy the link and email your presentation.

tag(s): Microsoft (64), multimedia (46), slides (46)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free PowerPoint option to incorporate into many different classroom uses. Share this option with students who don't have access to a free Office account. Use PowerPoint to create interactive lessons that include video, images, and links to additional resources. Create and share PowerPoint presentations on your class website with notes and demonstrations from classroom activities. Ask students to create presentations to share learning with peers. Consider creating a class account for students to use when collaborating on projects. Extend learning further by embedding a PowerPoint within a Sway, reviewed here, presentation as part of any multimedia project.

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Tools to Create Media - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Media comes in all shapes and sizes: videos, podcasts, posters, digital stories, and much more. This curated list includes some of our best tools for creating media in the K-12 ...more
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Media comes in all shapes and sizes: videos, podcasts, posters, digital stories, and much more. This curated list includes some of our best tools for creating media in the K-12 classroom. Remember our, "In the Classroom," suggestions give you ideas about how to use these tools in your classroom -- interested in more? See our complete list of tools related to many types of media: videos, digital design, presentations, and digital storytelling.

tag(s): digital storytelling (129), podcasts (60), posters (43), video (241)

In the Classroom

Find new tools to try in your classroom to create some cool media! Each review includes classroom use ideas. Read the details of each tool and find the ones that will make your tasks easier to manage and engage your students.

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boomy - Boomy Corporation

Grades
K to 12
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boomy uses artificial intelligence to help you personalize and create original music, even if you never created songs before. The more songs you create, the more boomy personalizes...more
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boomy uses artificial intelligence to help you personalize and create original music, even if you never created songs before. The more songs you create, the more boomy personalizes offerings based on your preferences. Begin by selecting the option to create a song then choose a style. Style options include Beats By You, Relaxing Meditation, and Advanced. When ready, create your song. It may take a minute or more, so be patient as boomy works it magic. Once your song is ready, listen to the preview and make additional adjustments. Use the Try Again option to make a different mix or use the edit option to adjust the settings. When finished, save your song to your library. Next time you use boomy, the site uses your preferences and saved music to create new music. Download songs to your computer, choosing from a variety of audio file choices or share using the URL or links to social media sites.

tag(s): music theory (35), rhythm (19), sounds (45)

In the Classroom

Offer students the option to explore their creative side with boomy. Ask students to make soothing music to play during study and quiet times, have them create audio to accompany their class presentations, or challenge students to make music that sets the mood for dramatic moments in literature. This site is an excellent way to appeal to your musically inclined students. Enhance student learning by asking them to share ideas on how to create different types of music by recording their screen using Free Screen Recorder Online, reviewed here. Have students share tips and advice on how to create different moods by adjusting settings within music created with boomy.

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Whimsical Mind Maps - Whimsical

Grades
4 to 12
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Whimsical Mind Maps is a visual presentation tool offering concept maps in a variety of formats. Create appealing flowcharts, wireframes, sticky notes, and mind maps through the use...more
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Whimsical Mind Maps is a visual presentation tool offering concept maps in a variety of formats. Create appealing flowcharts, wireframes, sticky notes, and mind maps through the use of templates and intuitive editing tools. After signing in to your account, begin creating your mind map by choosing a template for your chosen format. Each format includes a dashboard with items to add and edit onto your page. Select the sharing icon to enable and disable features, including password protection, allowing comments, and creating a shareable link. Be sure to view the examples found on the site, including the interactive model on the home page to get a feel for the features available to you. Free accounts offer you the ability to create up to 4 free boards.

tag(s): charts and graphs (160), mind map (23)

In the Classroom

Assign students to "map" out a chapter or story. Assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this tool for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this to create family trees or food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study. They can color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question. Have students map out a story, plotline, or plan for the future. Students can also map out a step-by-step process (such as a life cycle or how to solve an equation). Use the wireframe option to create interesting images mimicking screen displays found on computers, phones, and mobile devices. Enhance and extend student learning by asking students to include their "map" as part of a final presentation created using a multimedia presentation tool like Wakelet, reviewed here, or as part of a digital book created using Book Creator, reviewed here.

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Free Image Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This curated list of resources provides free image tools. As educators, it is important for us to set good examples of digital citizenship. Image usage is a perfect time to ...more
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This curated list of resources provides free image tools. As educators, it is important for us to set good examples of digital citizenship. Image usage is a perfect time to discuss the important topics of copyright, Creative Commons, and more. Use your discussions related to copyright and Creative Commons to fuel the discussion about digital citizenship. Read the classroom use suggestions for additional ideas about how to implement these tools in your classroom.

tag(s): copyright (44), creative commons (23), images (255)

In the Classroom

Use these tools to help students to understand digital citizenship, copyright, Creative Commons, and more. Find tools for students to use to locate "safe" images to use for projects and even within your own lessons.

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Adobe Spark for Education - Adobe

Grades
K to 12
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Adobe Spark offers this version of it's popular presentation tool, reviewed here, specifically for education. Use Spark to create web pages, video...more
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Adobe Spark offers this version of it's popular presentation tool, reviewed here, specifically for education. Use Spark to create web pages, video presentations, and graphics using the available templates and graphics tools. The Education version provides enhanced data privacy, the ability for students to log in with an existing school id, and school administration of accessibility features. In addition, Spark for Education includes many lessons for all grade levels. Spark is available through your school's Adobe Admin Counsel if your IT team already uses Adobe products. If not, follow directions on the site to set up and begin using this tool.

tag(s): blogs (73), communication (138), creative writing (116), multimedia (46), posters (43), video (241)

In the Classroom

Use Spark for Education to create videos of student presentations for any subject. Create videos of images taken during science experiments and class field trips to share on your website. Enhance student learning by asking students to create infographics explaining facts and information about states, countries, planets, and more. Have students create interactive posters, book report covers, invitations, and flyers to promote school events. Spark offers many possibilities for graphics, redefining student technoolgy use, and extending student learning by having students create multimedia presentations in all classrooms.

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2 and 3 Circle Interactive Venn Diagrams - Class Tools/Russell Tarr

Grades
K to 12
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Create and practice using 2 and 3 circle Venn Diagrams utilizing this creation tool from Class Tools. Select the number of circles to begin. Add your name and title, then ...more
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Create and practice using 2 and 3 circle Venn Diagrams utilizing this creation tool from Class Tools. Select the number of circles to begin. Add your name and title, then add labels for each circle. Type directly into the chosen portion of the diagram to add information. Be sure to check out the different programs and ways to share your Venn found at the orange cirle with and arrow icon.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (160), venn diagrams (14)

In the Classroom

Share a link to this site on classroom computers and your class website to use anytime when working with Venn Diagrams. Ask students to practice using Venn Diagrams using the interactive activities. Have students create their own prompts for classmates to complete a diagram. Have students use a video explainer tool like My Simpleshow, reviewed here, to demonstrate how to create and use Venn Diagrams.

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Digital Storytelling Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This editor's choice curated list of reviewed resources focuses on digital storytelling. Engage and excite students to get writing. Many of the tools shared are device agnostic and...more
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This editor's choice curated list of reviewed resources focuses on digital storytelling. Engage and excite students to get writing. Many of the tools shared are device agnostic and will work on all devices in both web browsers and apps. Find tools ideal for all grades. Use digital storytelling in all subject areas to assess, collaborate, share results, and more. Find options in the resources for student projects. View and learn from the professional resources shared.

tag(s): digital storytelling (129), writing (281)

In the Classroom

Find an abundance of digital writing tools to use in your classroom. Share sites on your interactive whiteboard. Challenge students to create their own projects using tools on this list. Rather than a unit test, have students create a book demonstrating their understanding of concepts. Bring out creativity with these engaging tools!

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Book Creator - Red Jumper Limited

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful, multimedia digital books with Book Creator. Follow the site's prompts to add video, text, images, and audio to your book. You can also choose Remixable Books to get...more
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Create beautiful, multimedia digital books with Book Creator. Follow the site's prompts to add video, text, images, and audio to your book. You can also choose Remixable Books to get you and your class started. When finished, publish and share your book using the site's web-based reader for access on any device. A special, new feature is you can see how many times your book has been read and where. Be sure to follow the short tutorial after signing up to learn about the many features for creating, storing, and sharing your books. The free plan offers one activity library with storage of up to 40 books. BookCreator presents a variety of levels for technology use depending on teacher requirements for the project, or even student ability; it allows for adding narration, videos, text and links to help explain the art work. Book Creator can be used on iPads, Macs, Android devices, PCs, and on Safari, Microsoft Edge, and Chrome Browsers.

tag(s): collaboration (80), digital storytelling (129), ebooks (35), preK (230), reading comprehension (121), writing (281)

In the Classroom

Create books together, as a class, as you move through a unit or topic. Enhance student learning by adding images and ideas your students suggest. Use in a flipped classroom to deliver course information. Assign several student groups a different topic and redefine their learning by having each group create their own multimedia versions as they learn more about the topic. Students can combine their books later as a class book. Make a digital bookshelf of all the versions for all to use. Challenge gifted students to modify the "standard" class text with the additional material they discover, by going deeper and learning about related topics. In lower grades, create teacher-made e-books for your young readers, perhaps adding audio - your own voice reading the text.

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Anchor - Michael Mignano and Nir Zicherman

Grades
1 to 12
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Turn audio into a podcast using any device with Anchor. Add songs from Apple Music or Spotify, upload audio from your computer, or record your voice to create your podcast. ...more
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Turn audio into a podcast using any device with Anchor. Add songs from Apple Music or Spotify, upload audio from your computer, or record your voice to create your podcast. Choose a name when finished, then upload your content as a finished podcast. For ideas on what to include in your podcast, listen to Anchor podcasts shared on the site by Anchor members.

tag(s): communication (138), DAT device agnostic tool (166), digital storytelling (129), podcasts (60)

In the Classroom

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Looking for even more ideas? Record class assignments or directions. Record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home, adding a touch of blended learning to your classroom! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) enhance their learning and build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Challenge students to create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events. Make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News," encourage and extend learning and have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!). Invite students to write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings. Language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages. Allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Challenge your Shakespeare students to record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person. If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic mini-casts without needing any additional tools.

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Timeline JS - Northwestern University Knight Lab

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K to 12
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Create beautiful interactive timelines quickly and easily. Begin with a Google spreadsheet from the template provided. Add from a variety of media sources such as Twitter, Google Maps,...more
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Create beautiful interactive timelines quickly and easily. Begin with a Google spreadsheet from the template provided. Add from a variety of media sources such as Twitter, Google Maps, YouTube, and much more. When finished, publish to the web, and share using links or embed code. Be sure to check out the example link for suggestions and ideas for use. The tutorial video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, it may not be viewable.

tag(s): timelines (47)

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard or projector to share timelines about historical events, research literature, learn about different decades and events throughout the world, and more. Transform student technology use by having them create timelines for research projects. Use a whole class Google account or individual Google apps accounts if you have them. Use this tool to make a timeline of your school year. Create author biographies, animal life cycles, or timelines of events and causes of wars. Challenge students to create a timeline of the plot of a novel, interspersed with the ways themes appear throughout the novel. If you teach chemistry, have students create illustrated sequences explaining oxidation or reduction (or both). Have elementary students interview grandparents and create a class timeline about their grandparents for Grandparents' Day. Why not create a timeline highlighting students' family events for a special gift for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or other holidays? You may need to assign students to do some investigative work first (years of births, marriages, vacations, etc.). In world language classes, have students create a timeline of their family in the language to master with vocabulary about relatives, jobs, and more (and verb tenses!). Students learn about photo selection, detail writing, chronological order, and photo digitization while creating the timelines of their choice. Making a timeline is also a good way to review the history and cultural developments.

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Smore - Shlomi Atar and Gilad Avidan

Grades
2 to 12
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Make beautiful online "multimedia" newsletters (flyers) to display on your smartphone, tablet or computer using Smore. You can arrange your content easily with Smores' drag and drop...more
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Make beautiful online "multimedia" newsletters (flyers) to display on your smartphone, tablet or computer using Smore. You can arrange your content easily with Smores' drag and drop editing. Add ready-made graphics, images from files on your computer, or images from the web. Quickly embed text, videos, and tweets, too. Choose from several attractive themes. Share your creations via email, URL, Facebook, Twitter, or print it to hand out or hang on a bulletin board. Check to see who has read your newsletter and who hasn't. The free account plan offers three total newsletter credits, 500 contact credits, and 200 email credits.

tag(s): design (81), infographics (52), multimedia (46), posters (43)

In the Classroom

Show students how to embed media into a Smore newsletter to create their own "infographics" transforming and displaying what they have learned from a unit of study. Use your interactive whiteboard and projector to allow student groups to present a flyer about a book they've read, news article, etc. Have them create campaign posters for fictitious candidates as you study about the election process. Smore allows you to preview as you work or return later to complete and publish your flyers. Add ready-made graphics, images from files on your computer or on the web. Offer Smore as one of the project options for your gifted students doing projects beyond the regular curriculum, especially those who are visual/artistic. Since this tool requires membership, you may want to use a teacher account for younger gifted students and be sure to get written parent permission!

Allow students to create flyers for upcoming events such as Earth Day, Grandparents Day, Father's Day, Mother's Day, birthdays and anniversaries. Make holiday greetings to share.

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