TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Oct 20, 2019
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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GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBeeLine Reader is an excellent addition to the already valuable reading materials found at Reading is Fundamental - Literacy Central, reviewed here. Be sure to bookmark this site to find leveled reading passages with the enhanced function of BeeLine Reader. Add the extension to your Chrome browser for use when reading any site online. Be sure to share the iOS app with parents and students for use on Apple devices. BeeLine Reader is a wonderful tool to share with ESL/ELL and Special Education specialists to use with their students. Remember, all teachers are reading teachers. Share this tool with your science, social studies, and math teachers, too!
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the many features included with Immersive Reader for any classroom use. You may need to discuss downloading this product with your school's IT department; however, it is well worth the effort. This product is especially helpful for ESL/ELL students and students needing additional help with reading. Use the language options for students to hear and view text in their native language. Use Immersive Reader to help students with Dyslexia or ADHD to decode and focus on the text by using the options included. Upload classroom materials for students to use for help in understanding difficult text.
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomWhen discussing cognitive disorders, use this resource first to obtain information. Be sure to explore the tools to understand how different subsets have an impact on other sets. Include this site when discussing anatomy and physiology, disorders that have an environmental and genetic component, and when discussing reactions within the body.
Grades5 to 12
In the ClassroomIf you have students who struggle with putting words down due to distractions or other reasons, Write is a good option for developing stamina. This tool allows writers to just write without worrying about content, grammar, or spelling. Stress that the editing process allows writers to go back and rework basic thoughts. If you do journals in content areas such as math or science, Write is a perfect tool to strongly encourage students to get their thoughts down in a short amount time. Have students save their work to include with their final writing projects.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark Listenwise for use throughout the year in all subjects. Share lessons with students as a flipped learning experience. Have students listen to the broadcast before class, then ask students to discuss their thoughts and answer the comprehension questions using a video tool such as Flipgrid, reviewed here. This site is perfect for use with ESL/ELL and special education students as it allows the opportunity to listen to information as many times as necessary for understanding. Take advantage of the printables included with broadcasts that offer graphic organizers, charts, and much more.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomWriter is perfect for creating any text document without distractions. Have students create any project in Writer, then copy into another program to add images and more if desired. Although perfect for use with all students, Writer is a great tool for use with students who are easily distracted, and the ability to change the background and font colors and font size will help the visually impaired.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomIntroduce SMMRY to students working on research projects as a way to quickly determine content and viability of using websites. Use to differentiate instruction with students. Use with learning support students as a resource to make content easier to understand (and shorter to read). Use SMMRY summaries when teaching how to summarize in an ELA class. Compare the summary you create as a class or in small groups with the "automated" one. Are there subtleties or important distinctions that this tool misses? As a challenge for your more critical thinkers, have them try to figure out what signals the tool uses to create its summary.
In the ClassroomYou will want to use Symbaloo Learning Paths for many different types of classroom instruction! Create lesson plans to differentiate learning and assign based on student needs and interests. Embed a lesson on your class website for students to complete at home. Using this site allows you to create a clear and concise learning path for any lesson. Share it on an interactive whiteboard with students as you follow through any learning path. Be sure also to include a link to the lesson on your class website for students to use throughout the unit and as a review. Use Symbaloo Lesson Plans as enrichment for independent learning for advanced students, or for remediation with students needing additional help. This site is perfect for use with ESL/ELL students - include links and activities to resources in their native language or add tools for practicing English. There are too many uses for Symbaloo Lesson Plans to include here, be sure to take the time to learn how to create and use this wonderful tool with your students!
Grades1 to 12
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In the ClassroomBegin your school year with a more personal touch, by knowing what your students' interests are. On the teacher dashboard, examine each student and match interest to activities to differentiate instruction. Students can explore careers, apps, and activities matching their profile. With interest and strengths targeted, you can sail smoothly into a highly engaged class of individualized learning. During career explorations, open up worlds of possibilities for students and families to begin planning a successful path. Add a link to this tool to your class website for possible enrichment activities for families. Offer suggestions to parents for enriching after school activities found around your area.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomShare "distraction-free" videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Removing distractions and having confidence in removing any offensive content makes for a better learning experience. Use this tool to limit distractions for your ADD/ADHD, Autistic, unfocused Gifted, and other special needs students. Less distraction = better learning experience for all.
GradesK to 8
In the ClassroomShare calmCounter at the beginning of the school year with a projector or your interactive whiteboard. Have your class practice different noise levels and come to an agreement about where the thermometer should be for different activities. Display calmCounter on your interactive whiteboard or projector during your troublesome, noisy times: centers, indoor recess, or group work. If you have an autistic or noise sensitive student, calmCounter can help your class become more aware of their noise levels. In music class, use to aid students in understanding dynamics in written music such as pianissimo, mezzo forte, and forte. During your science unit on sound, use calmCounter to show a rudimentary measurement of different types of sound.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomBookmark and use Toogles for use as a YouTube search tool. Help your students have better focus with fewer distractions. Share a link on your class webpage or blog for students to access at home.
GradesK to 8
Please be aware that ClassDojo falls under the FERPA laws for "directory information" and "educational records." Any school getting funds from the Department of Education (public schools) is required to disclose to parents and get written consent to use ClassDojo with their child.
In the ClassroomConsider using this program to reward a group of the week. Award points for positive behaviors such as participation, helping others, creativity, hard work, or create your own categories. Using ClassDojo for group behaviors will give immediate feedback to students if projected on your whiteboard or your projector. Use this tool to help your unfocused students stay on task. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom. Use ClassDojo to offer both negative and positive feedback to parents and students.
Are you a regular education teacher with special education students mainstreamed into your classroom? Use Class Dojo to privately keep track of student behaviors and send a report to special education teachers or parents. This could be invaluable to a life skills, autistic support, gifted, or emotional support teacher who needs to track the behavior of each of the students as part of an IEP/GIEP. Alternative ed programs may find this tool very useful, as well, even up through high school.