TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Aug 12, 2018

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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ClassClimate - classclimate.org

Grades
K to 12
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ClassClimate is an easy to use online tool to track students' moods throughout the day. Create an account using email and verify through the email link sent after registering. (Be ...more
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ClassClimate is an easy to use online tool to track students' moods throughout the day. Create an account using email and verify through the email link sent after registering. (Be sure to check your junk mail or spam folder if you don't receive the link in your inbox). Obtain student's feelings through the use of emojis in one of two ways. Share your class code and ask students to register or send a "Speed Read" link to all students. ClassClimate collects data for up to a month for your use in evaluating the mood of the class.

tag(s): classroom management (155), emotions (37)

In the Classroom

Share ClassClimate with your students for use throughout the day to share their mood. Evaluate the data to understand when students feel frustrated or which events they enjoy. Use ClassClimate during professional development sessions to evaluate reactions from peers during training meetings as a way to understand how to develop effective interactions with others.

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Pinside - Marco

Grades
K to 12
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Pinside is an online bulletin board for sharing notes privately and publicly. Register using email to begin using Pinside. Choose "+New Note" to add a sticky note to your board. ...more
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Pinside is an online bulletin board for sharing notes privately and publicly. Register using email to begin using Pinside. Choose "+New Note" to add a sticky note to your board. Add text to the note and an optional link to an image if desired. When finished, click "Add Note" to share your note to the bulletin board. Drag notes to any position on the board, delete unwanted notes by clicking the x by your name. Use Pinside's settings to add members using email addresses. Share your board with others using the URL of individual boards.

tag(s): bulletin boards (19), organizational skills (121)

In the Classroom

Use Pinside as an easy collaboration tool with students, parents, and peers. Create a board for students to post questions about class assignments, due dates, or share information with others. Make another board just for parents and share links to resources, upcoming class events, and homework information. Collaborate with peers on a Pinside board to share lesson plans and technology resources. Ask students to use Pinside to organize resources used for any class project, then ask them to share a link to their board or include a screenshot with the final presentation.

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Substitutes - Ideas and Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Peruse this collection of ideas and reviewed resources selected to help both substitute teachers and regular teachers leaving instructions for a substitute. The list includes useful...more
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Peruse this collection of ideas and reviewed resources selected to help both substitute teachers and regular teachers leaving instructions for a substitute. The list includes useful time-fillers for when plans are not a perfect fit as well as teacher-friendly suggestions to make subbing a positive learning experience for all.

tag(s): substitutes (18)

In the Classroom

Whether you are a substitute looking for some "filler" ideas or a classroom teacher looking for new sites, check out this list of resources. Share this list on your class website for families to use at home. This list includes resources for young readers and secondary students.

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Bitmoji - Bitstrips Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Build an emoji with Bitmoji. Bitmoji is an Android and Apple app, also available as a Chrome extension. Use email to create an account then follow prompts to create an ...more
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Build an emoji with Bitmoji. Bitmoji is an Android and Apple app, also available as a Chrome extension. Use email to create an account then follow prompts to create an emoji with your likeness; save it as a png to your computer, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive. The fun starts after creating your emoji! Choose from countless options to share your Bitmoji in emails, messages, as an avatar, or anywhere you communicate online.

tag(s): creativity (118), DAT device agnostic tool (177), emotions (37), faces (4), images (284)

In the Classroom

Create a Bitmoji to use as your avatar on your class website or blog. Update your avatar to reflect current lessons, holidays, or events. Use emojis to appeal to students and draw their attention to important information. For example, choose the bitmoji with praying hands and "please" as a reminder to read all of the directions before beginning work. Choose a Bitmoji with an interesting background or phrase to use as a writing prompt. Insert a bitmoji into a Google form as feedback for student responses. Have older students (13+) take a picture of a portion of text and add a Bitmoji to share a connection or response to the text (also known as BookSnaps).

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Mega Seating Plan - Rob Cowen

Grades
K to 12
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Make classroom management easier with the Mega Seating Plan seating chart creator. Import student data from a spreadsheet and set up the layout of your classroom. Choose to create a...more
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Make classroom management easier with the Mega Seating Plan seating chart creator. Import student data from a spreadsheet and set up the layout of your classroom. Choose to create a random seating arrangement or boy/girl setup. Drag and Drop students to adjust as you like. Include additional data, if desired, on the spreadsheet to show on your seating plan such as reading level or current grades.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), classroom management (155)

In the Classroom

Use this site at the beginning of the year to create a seating chart for your classroom. Use the drag and drop technology to configure the desks the way you want them. Trying to separate the most social students? Experiment with different seating layouts until you find the one you think might work. This tool will also make useful diagrams for your sub plans. Flip your classroom a new way by having students "design" a dream classroom as part of a math lesson on measurement or a lesson on simple map skills. Suddenly, the classroom tool becomes a student tool!

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Thrively - Thrively

Grades
1 to 12
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Thrively is a free tool that gives strengths and interests assessments in an engaging and entertaining way. Based on 23 factors and developed for children, you receive a profile that...more
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Thrively is a free tool that gives strengths and interests assessments in an engaging and entertaining way. Based on 23 factors and developed for children, you receive a profile that is personal, positive, and celebrates each child's core strengths and unique talents. Children, teachers, and parents all have a dashboard displaying activities and videos selected specifically for the child's strengths and interests. Explore a comprehensive activity index with over 120,000 activities and hundreds of videos designed to inspire. The videos feature interesting ideas, leaders, and a range of insights into careers and opportunities that are a good fit for the child's unique strengths. The Activity Boards are a way to discover and research the activities and collect them all in one place. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Online-Convert, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), differentiation (46), multiple intelligences (9)

In the Classroom

Begin 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.

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Seesaw - Charles Lin, Carl Sjogreen , Adrian Graham

Grades
K to 10
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Seesaw is a digital portfolio that is totally free for all devices and on the web. Students can showcase their work, videos, text, drawings, and images, and get feedback from ...more
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Seesaw is a digital portfolio that is totally free for all devices and on the web. Students can showcase their work, videos, text, drawings, and images, and get feedback from teachers and parents. Create a class blog in your Seesaw for students to write blog posts. Teachers create an account with email and then start creating as many classes as needed. There is no limit on the number of students a class can have. Give students a "join" code for their class, and they sign up from there, choosing to access their account through a Seesaw generated QR code or their email. Teachers can enable or disable student likes, comments, and editing. Blog post and comments must have teacher approval before becoming public. Students will be able to reflect on their work with a voice recording or text, and can share artifacts from their portfolio by clicking the red button at the bottom of the screen and then either print or get the item QR code. Once you have an account, click Help & Teacher Resources to find Getting Started Tips, Tutorial Videos, FAQs, and Activity Ideas grouped by grade level. If your district blocks YouTube, the tutorials may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Online-Convert, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): blogs (83), DAT device agnostic tool (177), digital storytelling (154), portfolios (31)

In the Classroom

Sign up for Seesaw and generate a join code for the class from the menu at the upper right corner or by clicking your name or initials in the left corner to get a drop down menu. The join code expires in 15 minutes, so it is best to do this in your classroom or computer lab. Teachers can add photos, drawings, links, notes, and upload a file from this same menu by clicking the + symbol. You can even add a co-teacher! See Seesaw's FAQs for ways for parents to sign up and letters to send home. Use Seesaw portfolios for any subject or grade level. Once your account is set up, create a simple project or borrow one from the Activities on the Help and Teacher Resources page. Share the project on your interactive whiteboard or projector to get your students started. The teacher portal allows you to access and comment on student work. View the work of an individual or the entire class. The ability to import work from many creation apps to Seesaw makes this a perfect portfolio tool. Don't forget to watch the video about setting up blogs for your students. Remember, this is all free! Science teachers could have students write up their lab reports, take photos of their labs and label them in a portfolio. History teachers could set up portfolios for student report writing or digital storytelling projects. Seesaw is the perfect tool to use during parent conferences.

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Classroom Architect - 4Teachers.org

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Rearrange and design your classroom without having to move a desk using Classroom Architect! This online tool allows you to customize a design for your classroom layout using your dimensions...more
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Rearrange and design your classroom without having to move a desk using Classroom Architect! This online tool allows you to customize a design for your classroom layout using your dimensions and objects you want to include. Follow the directions to select your basic dimensions and drag and drop items in place. Free-draw items not among the ready-made objects. When finished, print your design. There is a save option in Classroom Architect; however, it only saves to the computer where you create the design. The site suggests taking a screen shot to paste into a document as the best option for saving.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): architecture (84), back to school (58), classroom management (155), measurement (180)

In the Classroom

Save time and energy setting up your classroom with Classroom Architect. Tired of the same layout in your current classroom? Try something new using this site! Play around with different options and set up your room as you like. Save a copy for use when desks have been moved during parties, plays, cleaning, and other events. Share with students and have them create their own perfect learning environment. Then use their ideas as a writing prompt explaining why they designed the classroom the way that they did! Use this activity as math practice with measurement and graphing/proportion. Use this tool as a way to refresh your classroom for a new semester or unit. Allow student groups to design the layout for each quarter of the year.
 
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21 Bad Ways to Start Your School Year - Jill Hare

Grades
K to 12
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Everyone wants to start a new school year on the right foot. Be sure to avoid these behaviors that might get you in hot water with your students and colleagues. ...more
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Everyone wants to start a new school year on the right foot. Be sure to avoid these behaviors that might get you in hot water with your students and colleagues. This quick slide show reminds us to put down social media in the classroom, dress appropriately, and to get to know students before dumping big assignments on them. Although the information is common knowledge, the information has relevant reminders for both new and returning teachers. Most topics also include a related article link to find more information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), newbies (15), professional development (162)

In the Classroom

Share this slide show with student teachers as a reminder on appropriate professional behavior. Use the slide show as a tongue in cheek reminder to senior staff members when preparing for back to school. Instead of presenting 21 bad ways to start the school year, turn this slide show around with 21 good ways to start the school year. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free) - reviewed here, to create your presentation. You may want to view this yourself for some friendly reminders. Why not challenge you students to create their own "21 Ways to start the year off right"?

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Class Setup Tool - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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Class Setup Tool is a resource for planning and designing your classroom for maximum effectiveness. Click to begin. Follow each step in the planning process beginning with choosing...more
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Class Setup Tool is a resource for planning and designing your classroom for maximum effectiveness. Click to begin. Follow each step in the planning process beginning with choosing your classroom shape. Drag and drop items from that point including windows, doors, desks, etc. If needed, rotate or resize items for proper fit. After all furniture is in place, add student names on the seating chart then drag and drop into place. When finished, choose the print button to print and use your completed classroom setup!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), classroom management (155), map skills (79), measurement (180), preK (286)

In the Classroom

Use this tool, even before school starts, to experiment with classroom changes without having to drag desks all over your classroom! Trying to separate the more social students? Experiment with different seating layouts until you find the one you think might work. This tool will also make useful diagrams for your sub plans. Flip your classroom a new way by having students "design" a dream classroom as part of a math lesson on measurement or a lesson on simple map skills. Suddenly, the classroom tool becomes a student tool!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Happy Class - David Cole

Grades
K to 6
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HappyClass is a FREE automatic classroom seating chart maker. HappyClass creates charts in minutes based on your students' needs and relationships. Type or paste your class roster into...more
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HappyClass is a FREE automatic classroom seating chart maker. HappyClass creates charts in minutes based on your students' needs and relationships. Type or paste your class roster into the website and configure the virtual desks to look like your physical classroom. The contextual menu provides options to make sure relationship factors are prioritized as well as student needs (like front or back of the room). Need a student to stay in the same seat? Pin them to the seat (not literally of course!). Edit each student's unique needs at any time as your students change throughout the year. The happiness indicator automatically determines if the student is sitting in an ideal situation. A smiley face means all is well, a so-so face means it could work, and an uh-oh face means the current seating configuration could lead to a negative classroom environment. Seating chart results are immediate with one click of a button. Not happy? Generate a completely new configuration with another click. Print your chart in a snap for your lesson plan book. The free version (Lite) includes an unlimited number of students in one editable class roster and one room setup at a time. You can add, edit or delete students, rearrange the room, or change relationships and needs of that one class over and over. The freebie limits make this well suited for self-contained classes, not teachers who see different classes throughout the day.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (58), classroom management (155), gamification (87)

In the Classroom

HappyClass is a great site to make sure seating preferences in IEPs /504 plans are met even before the first day of school. Create differentiated cooperative learning groups throughout the day in seconds. Printing charts is quick and easy. Change the configuration of your room by dragging and dropping desks. Clear the chart and start from scratch. More time to focus on instruction! Save this in your "back to school" online files!

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Back to School Read-alouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This readaloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection...more
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This readaloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of books and activities was created by an experienced elementary library/media specialist for start-of-school read alouds and class discussions. The list of books to read aloud and accompanying activities center on the getting the school year off to a good start. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on interlibrary loan from a public library nearby.

tag(s): firstday (24), reading lists (81)

In the Classroom

Mark this one in your favorites as you plan for the first week of school.

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First Day of School Icebreakers - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
No matter what level you teach, establishing rapport with a new group of students is key to knowing how to help them learn. Here is a list of reviewed resources ...more
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No matter what level you teach, establishing rapport with a new group of students is key to knowing how to help them learn. Here is a list of reviewed resources that offer a chance for you and your students to get to know one another.

In the Classroom

Mark this list in your favorites to try new ideas on the first day of school or even at the start of a new marking period.

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