TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Mar 27, 2022

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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OK2Ask: Engage & Inspire with Reading Treks - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from February 2021. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from February 2021. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

TeachersFirst Reading Treks are built using Google Maps to chronicle the journey that a story character takes over the course of a book. Each stop along the way adds to student comprehension as they explore the information, visuals, and videos embedded in the map. Give your students context for the stories they are reading by using Reading Treks in your lessons. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Understand how to use Reading Treks in the classroom; 2. Learn how Reading Treks are created; and 3. Plan a new Reading Trek you will create for your instructional setting. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): literacy (96), professional development (286), reading comprehension (127), reading strategies (67)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.

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Gatheround - Icebreaker

Grades
K to 12
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Gatheround is a group chat and video conversation utility that includes guided conversation games. Add up to 10 people to your meeting with unlimited conversations included in the free...more
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Gatheround is a group chat and video conversation utility that includes guided conversation games. Add up to 10 people to your meeting with unlimited conversations included in the free plan. Start by clicking Create Event in the upper right corner, use Gatheround's templates or create your own to host a virtual meet and greet, watch videos together, or watch a featured speaker. After selecting a template, follow the prompts to set up your virtual event and personalize activities to suit your needs. Once your event room is set up, copy the link and share it with participants via email, text, Slack, or calendar.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chat (39), communication (135), parent conferences (22), professional development (286), remote learning (48)

In the Classroom

Use Gatheround as a back-to-school activity when teaching remotely for small groups of students and you to get to know one another. Set up professional development sessions with peers that take advantage of the templates and cards found in the application. Use Gatheround to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. This tool is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Connect small groups in classrooms across the country for book clubs. Collaborate with experts such as authors and scientists with classrooms of children. Create connected learning experiences with other students, especially those in older grades. Connect world language classes to classes in other countries. Teachers can hold "office hours" for homework help and asking questions. Create a collaborative space for homework help before or after school or on snow days. Students can meet whenever help is needed, or teachers can create a session that can be accessed on any device easily by those who need it. Use Gatheround for group work - no more excuses about not meeting for cooperative learning projects! Buildings can collaborate and share professional development with others in their own district and beyond!

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Microsoft Whiteboard - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Microsoft Whiteboard is a digital online whiteboard web tool that integrates with Microsoft 365 Education products. The whiteboard includes features for adding collaborators through...more
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Microsoft Whiteboard is a digital online whiteboard web tool that integrates with Microsoft 365 Education products. The whiteboard includes features for adding collaborators through Teams or by email invitation. Use the tools on the whiteboard to draw, type, add images, and much more. Your whiteboards save automatically to the cloud for easy access at any time or from any device. Sign in to your school's Microsoft 365 account or follow the directions to download the app for Windows or iOS. The download provides additional resources beyond what is available on school accounts.

tag(s): collaboration (83), iwb (32)

In the Classroom

Use Microsoft Whiteboard to collaborate with students to share and organize information instantly. Use the whiteboard through Microsoft's Teams to differentiate instruction with groups of students. Allow students to create collaborative drawings as responses to literature. They can map out the plot or themes, add labels, create character studies, and more. Share the finished products on an interactive whiteboard, projector, or your class website. Have a group of students create a drawing so that another group can use it as a writing prompt. Use the whiteboard as a brainstorming or sketching space as groups (or the class) share ideas for a major project or for solving a real-world problem. Use this site in a computer lab (or on laptops) to create a drawing of the setting in a story as it is read aloud. As an assessment idea, have students draw out a simple cartoon with stick figures to explain a more complex process such as how democracy works. If you are lucky enough to teach in a BYOD setting, have a blended classroom, or are distance teaching, use Microsoft Whiteboard to demonstrate and illustrate any concept while students use the chat and drawing tools to interact in real-time. If you are studying weather, have students diagram the layers of the atmosphere and what happens during a thunderstorm, for example. Introduce this tool to students who are working on group projects. Alternatively, have students use this to work as partners or as a small team to complete complex math problems or equations. Give students a question by typing it on their whiteboard.

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Global Problem Solvers - Cisco

Grades
4 to 8
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Global Problem Solvers is a free program designed as a supplemental resource for grades 4-8 to teach global social responsibility. The program features two seasons of materials with...more
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Global Problem Solvers is a free program designed as a supplemental resource for grades 4-8 to teach global social responsibility. The program features two seasons of materials with seven episodes per season. Within each episode, Global Problem Solvers travels the world through videos solving problems while encouraging participants to become problem-solvers and critical thinkers. The series includes teacher's guides for both seasons, storyboards, and scripts.

tag(s): character education (71), critical thinking (104), cross cultural understanding (148), Problem Based Learning (12), problem solving (218), sociology (23)

In the Classroom

Include the videos and materials with your current lessons using problem-solving skills. View videos together as a class and have students work in groups to discuss questions found in the teacher's guide. This resource lends itself to problem based learning: Have students find an image of a current global problem and use Thinglink, reviewed here, to add text, videos, and audio to discuss the problem and address possible solutions. Explore global issues further in depth with Google My Maps, reviewed here. Add pins onto Google Maps to share specific problems around the world and have students post their ideas for helping those in need.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Microsoft Translator for Education - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Microsoft Translator provides translation between languages in two ways. First, use this tool to converse with single participants or groups via computer. Begin by choosing "start conversation"...more
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Microsoft Translator provides translation between languages in two ways. First, use this tool to converse with single participants or groups via computer. Begin by choosing "start conversation" and enter your name and language choice. Microsoft Translator provides a code to share with participants to log into the conversation on their device using the Translator website or app. There are two options: click on the conversation option to start a conversation, and then speak or type your words - participants on the other end hear and view text in their desired language. Option 2 is to click on the text option to translate text. Copy and paste text or a webpage URL into the first box and choose "Translate." Translator converts the text into your choice from many different languages. At the time of this review Translator works in 10 languages and 100 people can participate in one conversation.

tag(s): chinese (43), DAT device agnostic tool (134), french (71), german (45), greek (30), hebrew (16), italian (26), japanese (46), Microsoft (68), russian (23), spanish (97)

In the Classroom

Use Translator to greet "other language" speaking students and make them feel welcome in your classroom; encourage conversations between them and your class. Take advantage of Translator to widen your classroom's global viewpoint by sharing conversations with others around the world. Use this site in world language classrooms to have students copy their text to convert into the language being studied (or the reverse). Enhance student learning by having students create presentations about other countries in the native language of the nation using a presentation tool like Canva, reviewed here. Modify your technology presentations to include multimedia. Use a tool such as Genial.ly, reviewed here, to incorporate multimedia like maps, surveys, video, audio, and more.

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Text2VoiceOver - ResponsiveVoice

Grades
K to 12
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Add a voiceover to any YouTube video or video on your computer choosing from 15 different voices and 13 languages with Text2VoiceOver. Select the "Create VoiceOver" button to begin,...more
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Add a voiceover to any YouTube video or video on your computer choosing from 15 different voices and 13 languages with Text2VoiceOver. Select the "Create VoiceOver" button to begin, then choose from options to select your video. Once the video loads, select the location for your voiceover and follow directions for adding text and choosing from voice options. Be sure to watch the tutorial video with complete instructions for using the site and generating your voiceover. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communication (135), text to speech (16), video (242)

In the Classroom

Use Text2VoiceOver to add comments and instructions to any YouTube video (or your own video) your students view. Share specific tips, ask questions, or add additional details to content. Have students create a voiceover to share their thoughts on a video, or ask questions to clarify content.

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Kid World Citizen - Becky Morales

Grades
K to 6
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Kid World Citizen offers a large variety of resources to encourage kids to become global learners and thinkers. Explore categories such as books, food, and art to find international...more
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Kid World Citizen offers a large variety of resources to encourage kids to become global learners and thinkers. Explore categories such as books, food, and art to find international learning activities. Look for topics on specific countries using the map search. Be sure to check out the For Fun area with links to movies, music, games, and toys.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (54), chinese new year (5), christmas (38), cross cultural understanding (148), earth day (62), hanukkah (12), holidays (121), italy (14), mexico (28), ramadan (9), thanksgiving (24)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year when teaching about countries, holidays, and for cross-cultural literature resources. Choose a country to explore each month using resources found on the site. Learn about your students' backgrounds to find countries and regions to explore using activities on the site. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare and contrast your culture with that of a different country.

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FreeConferenceCall.com - freeconferencecall.com

Grades
K to 12
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Conduct virtual conferences with up to 25 people at one time with Free Conference Call. Instantly share your screen during online calls for participant viewing. Other features allow...more
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Conduct virtual conferences with up to 25 people at one time with Free Conference Call. Instantly share your screen during online calls for participant viewing. Other features allow for recording and sharing meetings when finished. After creating an account, follow instructions for inviting participants and setting up the conference call. This tool works on any device with a modern web browser and Internet access, or download the free iOS or Android app.

tag(s): chat (39), communication (135), DAT device agnostic tool (134), parent conferences (22), parents (61)

In the Classroom

Use Free Conference Call to set up virtual parent/teacher conferences with participants located anywhere in the world. This is especially useful when multiple teachers are involved or when parents may not reside in the same location. Share your screen as needed to provide information on assessments and student work.

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The Wonderment - Kidnected World

Grades
3 to 9
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Enjoy and challenge creativity and problem-solving skills in a world of wonder. Once you sign up for The Wonderment, a social platform for kids, choose a bot or secret identity. ...more
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Enjoy and challenge creativity and problem-solving skills in a world of wonder. Once you sign up for The Wonderment, a social platform for kids, choose a bot or secret identity. Given a choice to follow many different paths, kids determine the subject of interest. The paths are real-world problems from around the globe. View a video, story, or idea. Design a response using text, photos, or a video. Join a chat to allow comments or ask questions to make global connections. After each posting, special points are added to make the bot design more elaborate. A personal Wondermeter rises with each response. Through donations, this non-profit brings technology to children around the world. A call for adults to serve as mentors to respond to each child challenges adults to join in the fun and make the world a better place. Register with email. Children under 13 need parent or teacher approval to participate. Click How it Works from the upper right menu to watch the short videos to explaining paths, projects, communities, and generally how The Wonderment works.

tag(s): communication (135), cross cultural understanding (148), enrichment (9), gifted (64), listening (69), Problem Based Learning (12), problem solving (218), social media (44), social networking (81), social skills (23), speaking (21)

In the Classroom

The Wonderment is a problem based learning adventure for each student around the world to communicate and collaborate with other students. This venue allows great lesson ideas for digital citizenship and digital footprints. Begin by choosing a path for the entire class and feature on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Have students work in small groups to choose their best response. Discussions can focus on creativity, problem solving, and collaboration between the group and others from around the world. In a gifted class, use as a way to challenge kids to break through the "right answer" and find the "best answer." Use this as a model for finding authentic needs in your community. Be sure to share a link to this tool on your class blog, website, or Edmodo account. Use this tool as the answer for the parents who always want more challenge and enrichment for their students at home. Be sure to share at a staff meeting to spread the wonder for other students and adults.

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NowComment - Fairness.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Turn any document into an online conversation with the NowComment collaborative tool. Choose any of the public documents available on the site or upload your own (using the free membership)....more
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Turn any document into an online conversation with the NowComment collaborative tool. Choose any of the public documents available on the site or upload your own (using the free membership). NowDocument works best with Microsoft Word and HTML web documents. They offer PDF conversions. but say they are not as reliable. Invite members to join private conversations or choose to make conversations public (use caution with students!). Link comments to specific portions of any document such as a sentence, image, or even video. Sort documents in several ways to view by commenter's name, date of the comment, or included tags. Be sure to check out NowComment's FAQ and Features Gallery for in-depth presentation of features. The introduction video is hosted on YouTube. If YouTube is blocked at your school, be sure to view this video at home.

tag(s): communication (135), media literacy (87), questioning (30), reading comprehension (127)

In the Classroom

Consider using NowComment as a resource in your classroom to increase student interaction with materials and each other. Use a class account for students using this tool for group projects. Library/media specialists could use this tool for online book clubs. Teach on a team? Collaborate with other teachers for assignments and more using this site. Create quick questions or even a short quiz using NowComment. Use this with ENL/ESL students, encouraging them to add questions about passages of text they do not understand. Make NowComment an integral part of your flipped classroom by assigning readings and student comments as part of at-home learning. Use NowComment for peer reviews, collaborative authoring, and online assignments. Share web pages and have students comment on media bias in online articles or practice CCSS close reading skills to comment to show where the writer includes supporting evidence in opinion pieces. Since commenting requires an account, you will either have to set up class accounts or use this with students who have email to set up their own accounts.

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Online Voice Recorder - 123apps

Grades
K to 12
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Just as the name says, Online Voice Recorder allows you to record your voice from your computer and save the file. With no membership required, this is a free and ...more
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Just as the name says, Online Voice Recorder allows you to record your voice from your computer and save the file. With no membership required, this is a free and simple recording treasure! Simply push the record button and follow screen prompts to ALLOW the application access to your computer's microphone. Talk as long as desired. Then listen to the recorded playback. Trim and edit the length using easy sliders as desired. Save your finished version in mp3 format using the link.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communication (135), fluency (20), preK (238), speech (68), spelling (90)

In the Classroom

Have students practice spelling words orally, record speeches, practice reading fluency, and much more using Online Voice Recorder. After recording, allow students to listen to the playback and reflect upon the quality of their work. Do before and after recordings of students to share with parents during conferences to demonstrate reading progress. Have students record weekly summaries for what has happened in your class to share on your class website or blog (you will have to upload the files). Record weekly or daily homework assignments and share as a voice recording on your website. Save file space by replacing old files with new ones. Online Voice Recorder would be an excellent resource for recording and sharing more complicated directions for projects and assignments (adding you voice intonation and cues!). Your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students may do better with a combination of written AND auditory directions. Provide the link on your class website for students to use at home for additional practice in spelling, reading, practicing reports, and more. Share this site with parents at Back to School Night. Have students write and record audio book reviews others can play on iPads in the school library. If you have gifted students in your classroom, this tool is simple enough for even the youngest to be able to record audio mini-dramas portraying a historic figure, poetry readings, and more. Be sure to show them how to NAME and download the files to the local computer! Anything they can say out loud can become a creative project recording. Don't forget about recording musical performances or practices.

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Across the World Once a Week: Collaborative Microblogging for Cross-Cultural Understanding - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 12
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Across the World Once a Week (XW1W) is a teaching idea that uses today's instant technologies to share answers to the same question across the world once a week. XW1W ...more
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Across the World Once a Week (XW1W) is a teaching idea that uses today's instant technologies to share answers to the same question across the world once a week. XW1W is a simple, social way for students to learn about real life in other cultures from real kids all across the world. By simply "hashtagging" Twitter or blog responses to a weekly question about daily life, students can share and learn about other cultures from their international peers. Find out more and read the details of this offering from TeachersFirst. The page displays the current weekly question as well as a Twitter feed of recent responses. (If you see a black "box," your school may be blocking Twitter feeds.) Don't miss the FAQ page to help you get started.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (148), cultures (100), twitter (37)

In the Classroom

Join XW1W with your class using a single Twitter account or any blog or wiki tool where you can share student answers to the weekly question. If you cannot access Twitter at school, that is not a problem. You do not even have to use Twitter (though this is a great way dip your toes into Twitter). See the FAQ page for specific hints on using XW1W with your students. Share the XW1W idea with teaching colleagues in other places, and perhaps even with families to try at home. Want to learn more about Twitter and teaching. See TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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ePals - ePals, Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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ePals, a global community, offers students the chance to connect with other students around the world (200+ countries). This site is one of the largest worldwide communities for global...more
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ePals, a global community, offers students the chance to connect with other students around the world (200+ countries). This site is one of the largest worldwide communities for global collaboration. Don't worry about student email accounts as they are no longer needed! Don't worry about the language barrier either, there is a built-in language translation! This content-rich site offers a free "how to" webinar on the Support page on the bottom menu. The program offers teacher to teacher and teacher to student communications, pen pal exchanges, Classroom Collaborative Projects, Spark!Lab Invent It Challenges, and more. In addition, you can click on the Collaborative Projects link to find several ready to use projects (Self Driving Cars, Hamilton, Habitats, Maps, Natural Disasters, Water, and others).

tag(s): black history (90), collaboration (83), communication (135), disasters (34), environment (218), habitats (78), maps (209), natural disasters (15), water (98)

In the Classroom

Navigating this site is rather simple. Simply scroll through the slide show at the top to find your area of interest: Collaboration Projects, Spark!Lab Invent It Challenge, etc. Parts of this site require log-in. Registration does require an email address. A lot of safety features are already put into place at this site. To learn more about the safety features at this site, check out the ePals webinar on YouTube link on the FAQ page.

This site offers an amazing assortment of class activities and possibilities. Collaborate with schools in Africa (or 200 other countries) for a geography project. Have your students find ePals to correspond with and practice writing skills in English or in a language you are studying. Get additional ideas for projects, by visiting the "Projects" link or propose one of your own based on ideas from TeachersFirst suggestions you read in other reviews, lesson plans, and articles. After viewing one of the informative videos, challenge your students to study one of the topics available at this site and redefine their learning by creating their own videos using My Simpleshow, reviewed here. Use a tool such as TeachersTube, to share the video clips, reviewed here.

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Oxfam Education - Oxfam

Grades
6 to 12
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Oxfam's Teacher Resource site contains a wealth of information about global issues and human rights. There are plenty of articles, stories, images, and videos on water, health and...more
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Oxfam's Teacher Resource site contains a wealth of information about global issues and human rights. There are plenty of articles, stories, images, and videos on water, health and education, fair trade, social justice, sustainability, and many other issues to create a unit. Some of the topics include a teacher's guide. Click the Oxfam Education big green box and use the search function to enter keywords for your areas of interest.

tag(s): climate change (77), environment (218), water (98), women (104)

In the Classroom

Teachers who focus on current events will find much to explore. Oxfam as an organization clearly has a political point of view, but the depth of resources represented is remarkable. Enhance student learning by having students reflect about what they learned at this site using Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. Extend student learning by challenging students to take information from their blog and create an interactive infographic using Easel.ly, reviewed here, to present their learning and understanding.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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