TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Dec 17, 2017

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 go to the Featured Sites Archive

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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 (151), writing (368)

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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MapHub - Zsolt Ero and Gergely Matyus

Grades
4 to 12
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Create personalized and interactive maps with MapHub's user-friendly features. Explore the featured maps to find examples of maps, then make your own. MapHub's short tutorial provides...more
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Create personalized and interactive maps with MapHub's user-friendly features. Explore the featured maps to find examples of maps, then make your own. MapHub's short tutorial provides an overview of features. Add and personalize points on your map by choosing from different icons and color combinations. Give your icon a title and description; MapHub also provides many choices for map backgrounds. Connect points of interest using lines or define with polygons. When finished, download your map or share using the provided link or embed code.

tag(s): digital storytelling (151), maps (292)

In the Classroom

Use MapHub for personalized lessons in using maps and defining locations. Create a map to share on your interactive whiteboard (or with a projector) to highlight landforms, state capitols, or locations within a novel. As you teach about events in history such as the Civil War add markers to your map to share locations and information from that event. Add notes to your icons sharing information from each location. Include a link to this map on classroom computers or embed onto your class blog for students to view from any device. Add URLs to additional resources within your descriptions of points on a map. This allows you and your students to create visual presentations with access to multiple resources. Flip your classroom to create an interactive lesson using MapHub. Have students view your map as an introduction to a new unit. Instead of a traditional book report or class presentation, have students use MapHub to create an interactive map sharing their learning.

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Presefy - Eero Ronkko, Antti Lampela, Hannu Karki & Tuomas Vahanen

Grades
K to 12
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Broadcast presentations and engage your audience using Presefy and your mobile device. Create a free account, then upload your presentation from your computer. At the time of this review,...more
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Broadcast presentations and engage your audience using Presefy and your mobile device. Create a free account, then upload your presentation from your computer. At the time of this review, Presefy supports PowerPoint, PPTx, and PDF files for upload. Free accounts allow storage for two presentations at a time. Once you broadcast the presentation by sharing the URL, all participants will be on the same page as you. When you turn the page, theirs will turn, too. Presefy works on any device with a modern web browser and an Internet connection.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital storytelling (151), slides (65)

In the Classroom

What an exciting way to have all students at the same place in your lesson! Any subject area teacher can take advantage of this powerful tool! Introduce Presefy to your class(es) with your projector to show them all the features, then have them learn and participate by logging into your presentation. Have students use this tool when presenting orally to the class. Use the URL given for your channel to include your presentation on your class website for access anytime and from anywhere. What an excellent way for traveling or absent students to stay current!

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Revue - Martijn de Kuijper, Mohamed El Maslouhi

Grades
2 to 12
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Use Revue to create a personal or professional email newsletter in minutes. No more tedious hours putting your newsletter together. Compose it in minutes, preview it, and schedule when...more
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Use Revue to create a personal or professional email newsletter in minutes. No more tedious hours putting your newsletter together. Compose it in minutes, preview it, and schedule when you'd like it to be shared. Also, share on Twitter, Medium, Tumblr, Pocket, and RSS feeds. Revue has a browser extension to make it easy to add to your newsletter while searching the Internet and then load up content at any time. The free part of Revue allows you to have 50 subscribers. Sign up with your name and email, or Twitter, Google, or Facebook account. Be sure to check out the comprehensive FAQ section.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (167), descriptive writing (42), digital storytelling (151), expository writing (43), journalism (54), writing (368)

In the Classroom

Consider using Revue to create a daily newsletter about what students learned in class, and then present it as a recap at the beginning of the next day. Be sure to add images and charts where possible for visual students. Eventually, students could do this on their own at the end of the class. A newsletter would build an excellent learning journal and could be used to study for a test, or as a source for writing a final essay. Writing for digital publication is an important element of Common Core writing. In science and math classes, students can design a newsletter about a famous scientist or mathematician. In science class, students can develop a newsletter to explain to a younger student about cells, life cycles, a biome, or any science topic. Do an author study with the end project being a newsletter. For literature circle end projects have the group create a newsletter about the plot and characters. Create digital newsletters for any subject or topic: explain an event in history, demonstrate different types of animals or habitats. With the Revue newsletter tool, it will almost seem effortless to send home a weekly or monthly newsletter to parents with ongoing news of class activities, announcements, schedules, and more.

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Flipgrid - Charlie Miller & Brad Hosack

Grades
2 to 12
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Flipgrid is a video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video. Click the "Are you an educator? Click here" link to signup up for Flipgrid One which...more
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Flipgrid is a video discussion tool with capabilities for sharing student responses through video. Click the "Are you an educator? Click here" link to signup up for Flipgrid One which is the free version of Flipgrid offering the use of a single grid to incorporate the Flipgrid experience. Single grids allow users to include unlimited topics and student responses. This version also provides security settings including password protection. Begin by creating your grid and personalizing settings to fit your needs. Easy-to-follow directions guide you through the process of setting up a video response. When finished, use links to share the URL or embed your Flipgrid into a website. Students access your Flipgrid using the access code provided when sharing your topic.

tag(s): assessment (113), DAT device agnostic tool (177), video (278)

In the Classroom

Flipgrid is a versatile tool for use in any subject. Create prompts for students to respond to about anything and everything. Challenge students to reflect on their learning at the end of a unit, research project, or literature circle. Here are just a few example questions to ask: What are some things you did well on this assignment? What mistakes did you make on your last assignment that you did not make on today's assignment? What would you do differently? What would you like to learn more about?

For professional use, create a topic for peers to discuss. Ideas might include discussing concerns with implementing new technology or curriculum. Have fellow teachers share articles of interest from professional journals. Use Flipgrid to implement a book talk on a topic of interest.

Use Flipgrid as a follow-up for a flipped assignment. Ask students to explain what they understand and/or still don't understand about a concept. You can review the responses before class the next day. Use it as an exit "slip" before students leave class or as a warm up at the beginning of class (what do they remember about the lesson taught yesterday). World language students can practice speaking in their new language and choose the best video to turn into their teacher. Student or teacher can explain a series of steps in an assignment or concept, one at a time (great for differentiation). Math students can explain the steps they took to solve a problem and why. Art students can explain a creation, either theirs or a famous artists - talking about techniques. Music students can perform and explain their learning, or reflect on their performance.

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EasyWrite - Deekshith Allamaneni

Grades
K to 12
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EasyWrite is a simple to use writing tool for creating easy to understand content. Just type your text into the text box and begin writing. EasyWrite highlights words not found ...more
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EasyWrite is a simple to use writing tool for creating easy to understand content. Just type your text into the text box and begin writing. EasyWrite highlights words not found in the 1,000 most commonly used words in the English language. At the time of this review, EasyWrite worked best with Chrome or Mozilla FireFox.

tag(s): digital storytelling (151), independent reading (130), process writing (47), vocabulary (323), writers workshop (33)

In the Classroom

Have students use EasyWrite to retell difficult text in an easy to understand way. Retell Shakespeare passages in simple English or breakdown complicated directions into simple terms. EasyWrite is perfect for use with ESL/ELL or special education students. Choose any complex or difficult text and break it into simpler terms for easier understanding. Do this by adding a free browser extension to classroom computers and devices. Use a tool such as Grammarly (for Chrome, Safari, and FireFox), reviewed here, or After the Deadline (for Internet Explorer), reviewed here. Turn the theory of EasyWrite upside down - have students paste their writing projects into EasyWrite. If there are only a few highlighted words, have them develop more interesting and complex writing passages. Have students take a screenshot of their original work to include with a final draft.

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OK2Ask: Introduction to Digital Storytelling - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from October 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Enrich and improve student writing with digital storytelling - giving...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from October 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Enrich and improve student writing with digital storytelling - giving written stories voice, imagery, and power. Learn to promote higher level thinking while students develop creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills to take narratives to the next level. In this session, we will begin by exploring ways to improve writing with story development steps and tools; discover tech tools for editing and sharing student drafts; and finally, discuss strategies for collaborative writing. Our digital storytelling guest expert, author, speaker, writer, Jason Ohler, joins us to help you begin your journey into digital storytelling. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: (1) Learn how digital storytelling can enrich narrative writing; (2) Discover ways to improve narrative writing with story development steps and tools; and (3) Explore a variety of web based tools and resources to improve writing. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

tag(s): digital storytelling (151)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tolks - tolks.io

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K to 12
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Tolks is a simple storytelling tool. Create an account using your Facebook or Twitter profile. Choose characters (or upload an image). Don't forget to delete the "dummy images." Next,...more
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Tolks is a simple storytelling tool. Create an account using your Facebook or Twitter profile. Choose characters (or upload an image). Don't forget to delete the "dummy images." Next, add dialogue, by deleting the text in the default box, then preview and edit or save. Simple! Share your Tolk using the URL or links to Facebook or Twitter.

tag(s): digital storytelling (151)

In the Classroom

For younger students, consider creating a class account for Tolks. Have students create Tolks to discuss literature, such as a conversation between characters or descriptions of feelings. Create Tolks to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector as lesson starters or display at the end of a lesson with characters discussing essential information from a lesson. Upload images of shapes and have students compare and contrast features. World language students can create simple conversations in the language they are learning or label pictures for vocabulary. You will find many uses for Tolks in your classroom! Counselors may want to have students create a Tolk to share information that may be difficult to discuss in person. Of course, be very careful not to share private information.

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Adobe Spark - Adobe

Grades
K to 12
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Create beautiful visual stories with Adobe Spark. Follow prompts to add your own images or select from thousands available online. Personalize your story with text, slide shows, links...more
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Create beautiful visual stories with Adobe Spark. Follow prompts to add your own images or select from thousands available online. Personalize your story with text, slide shows, links to outside resources, and more. When complete, share using the unique URL or with the social media links provided.

tag(s): blogs (86), creative writing (167), digital storytelling (151), microblogging (40)

In the Classroom

Possible uses are only limited by your imagination! Create your own story page for parents and students where they can stay updated about what is happening in your classroom. Have students create a visual story to accompany books read in class, tell about social studies events, or display images for different science terms. Adobe Spark is perfect to use for digital storytelling in any subject!

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Story Map - Read Write Think

Grades
1 to 8
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Focus on the key elements of writing a story with Story Map. Fill out and print graphic organizers for characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Each organizer has prompts for...more
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Focus on the key elements of writing a story with Story Map. Fill out and print graphic organizers for characters, setting, conflict, and resolution. Each organizer has prompts for what to write. Returning to an organizer to edit is possible. Print your Story Map, since it is not saved.

tag(s): digital storytelling (151), graphic organizers (41), writing (368)

In the Classroom

Introduce your class to Story Map by writing a class story. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector and be sure to point out the prompts to answer with each organizer. Bookmark Story Map on class computers as part of stations when developing a writing project. Put a link to this tool on your website or blog for students to access at home.
 
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Slidestory - Audio Slideshows & Podcasting (Beta) - Slidestory

Grades
1 to 12
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Create a slideshow with voice narrations and images at Slidestory. Download the free slideshow publisher and begin. Publish your work on the site or join an online group to share ...more
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Create a slideshow with voice narrations and images at Slidestory. Download the free slideshow publisher and begin. Publish your work on the site or join an online group to share your work. Find answers to questions in the forum. Find examples of projects on the site categorized by subject. Join the RSS feed to stay up with the latest creations. Under support, find detailed information about each part of this process. When finished, save the file on your computer, publish to the Slidestory site, or copy the embeddable code to post it on your website. There is no need to download Slidestory if you only want to view the examples and selections.

tag(s): digital storytelling (151), podcasts (59), slides (65)

In the Classroom

Use SlideStory in all areas of your classroom life. Have each student create an electronic portfolio for use during the year. Suggested online portfolios are Easyblog, reviewed here, for K-6 students, and bulb, reviewed here, for older students. Have students use Slidestory when writing reading responses. Discover a new format for publishing writing of any genre: narrative, expository, or persuasive. Begin digital storytelling in an easy, simple way with all you need. Become a character from a story and retell the story in that character's words. Have students record lessons of them teaching content to other students. Record your lessons for flipping your classroom. Record directions of a big project that your class has and publish it on your website for student reference. Choose a character or period of history and create a memory book. Have students describe their futures in a leadership presentation. Have students make study guides for content review.

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Common Core Connections: The Power of Poetry - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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Discover ways to incorporate poetry as part of your implementation of Common Core in your elementary reading and literature curriculum. If you have set poetry aside for "informational...more
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Discover ways to incorporate poetry as part of your implementation of Common Core in your elementary reading and literature curriculum. If you have set poetry aside for "informational texts," this article explains how you CAN use poetry to address CCSS for close reading, key ideas and details, range of reading, and for the foundation skills of reading fluency. And poetry can still be just plain fun . The article includes lesson ideas and resources to give poetry a place in your curriculum.

tag(s): commoncore (97), poetry (221)

In the Classroom

Mark this as a favorite for planning your poetry lessons to run regularly throughout the school year or as a special unit during National Poetry Month (April). Share it with your colleagues to plan a schoolwide poetry event or simply to reassure them that poetry did not "disappear" with Common Core.

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Rudyard Kipling Society

Grades
9 to 12
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While Kipling is not a staple of today's reading lists, many of his works have become classics. This British site offers a biography, listings of books and poems, a poem ...more
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While Kipling is not a staple of today's reading lists, many of his works have become classics. This British site offers a biography, listings of books and poems, a poem of the day, and links to related resources and publications. It could be useful as part of an author study, or for a student interested in finding additional books by the author.

tag(s): authors (123), literature (273)

In the Classroom

This site is a sure winner for a student author study in small groups or individually, as well. Include this site as a link on your teacher web page during a study of Kipling's writings, and ask students to investigate one of his interests or part of his background to share with the class. Share them with a multimedia poster using a tool like Adobe Spark, reviewed here, or a podcast recording using radionomy, reviewed here.

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