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OK2Ask: Resource Roundup: Free Tools from the Edge - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session is from September 2022. 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 September 2022. You can register and immediately view the archive of the session.

Looking for new tech tools? Go to the cutting edge with TeachersFirst! Discover tools you and your students can use to create images, timelines, whiteboards, mind maps, and more. Learn how the TeachersFirst Edge collection is organized so you can find a tool that fits your needs. Get inspired and explore classroom applications for timesaving tools in this fast-paced session. As a result of this session, teachers will: 1. Explore the categories and tools reviewed on the TeachersFirst Edge; 2. Plan to implement an Edge resource for student-centered use as part of an upcoming teaching unit; and 3. Use an Edge tool to create an instructional learning object. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): Creating Media (5), professional development (305)

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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Straw.Page - Osman Ahmed

Grades
4 to 12
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Straw.Page is a website creation tool and blogging platform that works on any device, even phones. No registration is required to begin creating using themes or from a blank page. ...more
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Straw.Page is a website creation tool and blogging platform that works on any device, even phones. No registration is required to begin creating using themes or from a blank page. Begin by selecting the Get Started for Free button, then browse through the included templates. After choosing a template, follow the tutorial to learn about features available on Straw.Page. When finished, publish your page by adding your email and a password and creating your unique URL to share with viewers. The free option allows you to post two sites that include up to five pages each.

tag(s): blogs (72), communication (135), portfolios (25), writing (293)

In the Classroom

Add Straw.Page to your list of website creation tools to offer for students to use for many different projects. For example, ask students to share poems, lab reports, or quick journal entries and add an image or links to additional information. If students are creating pages, check with your district's policy on publishing student work. Create pages to share information with parents about upcoming events and important dates or a list of links for resources to use at home.

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High Holiday Resources - Gateway

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K to 5
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High Holidays brings you plenty of explanatory stories about the Jewish High Holidays, for example, "We Go to Temple on Rosh Hashanah," "Blowing the Shofar," and several others. Find...more
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High Holidays brings you plenty of explanatory stories about the Jewish High Holidays, for example, "We Go to Temple on Rosh Hashanah," "Blowing the Shofar," and several others. Find a "File Folder" activity with complete directions in PDF format. You'll also find a puzzle, a pattern, and "deeds" activities. There are three crafts activities.

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (149), cultures (101), holidays (122), jews (24), religions (65), rosh hashanah (8), yom kippur (9)

In the Classroom

Include this site as a resource as you study religious traditions and celebrations of different cultures. Use the resources on this site to supplement a classroom a lesson or unit on prominent Jewish holidays such as Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur. Use the information on the site to create lessons for your students. Have students use the site to research Jewish holidays or customs and create a report or presentation. Enhance learning by having your students create an interactive multimedia poster using Genially, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Google Read Along - Google

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K to 12
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Google Read Along is an entertaining, interactive website designed to help young children learn to read. This site is currently available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Marathi,...more
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Google Read Along is an entertaining, interactive website designed to help young children learn to read. This site is currently available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, and Urdu. Read Along engages young readers with a friendly character named Diya, who provides assistance and feedback when needed. Students receive immediate feedback by earning stars for each word they read correctly. In addition, Diya will help if children are stuck on a particular word. Gamification makes learning to read fun and engaging! Students earn stars and badges and can level up to more advanced books as they become increasingly better readers. Google Read Along also tracks how many minutes students spend actively reading. A Google account is required, and enable your microphone access for your browser. Additionally, students may use an Education Fundamentals (formerly G Suite for Education) account.

tag(s): digital reading (5), ELL/ESL (23), gamification (77), independent reading (106), preK (244)

In the Classroom

Google Read Along would be a great addition to any preschool or early elementary classroom. Teachers who work with ENL students or adults learning to read may also find this site helpful. Students will gain confidence by practicing reading independently yet still get assistance if needed, all while the teacher can work with individual students or small groups. In addition, many books are cross-curricular, so they can be used to enhance instruction for other core subjects.

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Writing Forward - Melissa Donovan

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7 to 12
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Writing Forward is a blog packed with tips to inspire any writing project. Created by a former technical writer, copywriter, author, and writing coach, the blog shares helpful information...more
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Writing Forward is a blog packed with tips to inspire any writing project. Created by a former technical writer, copywriter, author, and writing coach, the blog shares helpful information for both novices and experienced writers. Recent posts include "Creating Characters That Resonate" and "Breaking the Rules: When Good Grammar Goes Bad." Use the dropdown box to find blog posts on specific topics, including Grammar Tips and Writing Prompts. Stay current on the latest additions to Writing Forward by subscribing to the weekly digest.

tag(s): creative writing (118), descriptive writing (37), editing (83), expository writing (31), grammar (138), letter writing (16), paragraph writing (14), persuasive writing (55), poetry (186), process writing (39)

In the Classroom

Share a link to Writing Forward on your class website for students to use as a writing resource and for personal and professional use. Use any blog post as a schema activator to introduce a grammar or writing lesson. For example, one post is titled "Homophones: Its and It's." Share a link to the post using Fiskkit, reviewed here. Ask students to add comments and highlight important information from the post directly into Fiskkit. Use students' comments to begin your lesson on homophones. As students understand the different uses for its and it's, ask them to create media that demonstrates the differences using a design tool like Canva for Education, reviewed here. Offer students options for creating flyers, timelines, infographics, and more that take advantage of Canva's many features.

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National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): Lesson Plans and Activities - National Institute on Drug Abuse

Grades
5 to 12
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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shares valuable lesson plans and activities in both English and Spanish that teach about the dangers of drug and alcohol use for grades ...more
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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) shares valuable lesson plans and activities in both English and Spanish that teach about the dangers of drug and alcohol use for grades 5-12. Lessons cover topics including opioids, prescription drugs, and the effect of drugs on the brain. Links include access to teachers' guides, student handouts, and any additional required materials. In addition to the lessons, other links provide conversation starters for parents, classroom resources for teachers on the effects of drugs, and supporting information for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, commemorated annually in March.

tag(s): drugs and alcohol (27), mental health (29), red ribbon week (10)

In the Classroom

Use lessons provided by NIDA to supplement your current Red Ribbon Week teaching resources. Begin by engaging students in lessons using a resource such as IdeaBoardz, reviewed here, to identify students' knowledge of the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse. For example, create a chart with two sections - one for drugs and the other for alcohol, and ask students to share information about each. Enhance knowledge using Pear Deck, reviewed here, to create real-time, interactive formative assessments that offer the ability to create quizzes in various formats. Extend learning by asking students to become creators and share their learning through a choice of multimedia resources. Some examples include using Scratch, reviewed here, to create a game teaching about the effects of drug abuse or write an interactive story using inklewriter, reviewed here. inklewriter's easy-to-use features allow students to write a choose-your-own-adventure story and share the finished product using the URL created when published.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Filter Bubble Trouble - Common Sense Education

Grades
9 to 12
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What is a filter bubble, and why is it an important concept to understand? This 50-minute lesson plan guides high school students through a series of activities that helps them ...more
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What is a filter bubble, and why is it an important concept to understand? This 50-minute lesson plan guides high school students through a series of activities that helps them recognize and understand filter bubbles and identify strategies for escaping their filter bubbles. In addition to directions for implementing the lesson plan, other resources include presentation slides, student handouts, and take-home resources. The lesson plan aligns with Common Core ELA, CASEL, AASL, and ISTE Standards. All materials are available in both English and Spanish.

tag(s): digital citizenship (81), internet safety (113), social and emotional learning (63), social media (47)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this lesson with other social media and digital citizenship lessons. Engage students in this lesson by assigning a Threadit activity, reviewed here, as a conversation starter. A day or two before your lesson, share a link to a Threadit with a conversation prompt using one of the provided prompts that ask students to discuss the concept of living in a bubble. As students continue their discussion on filter bubbles and view the linked video, enhance learning through using Escape Rooms that challenge students to use their knowledge to complete tasks within the Escape Room. Use Room Escape Maker, reviewed here, to create and share your Escape Room activity. Extend student learning by asking students to share Internet safety and digital citizenship tips school-wide. For example, ask students to create a monthly podcast using Acast, reviewed here, sharing advice on using social media responsibly.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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My Social Media Life - Common Sense Education

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6 to 9
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This lesson provides resources for guiding middle-school students in learning about the role of social media in their lives, especially the effect of social media on relationships....more
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This lesson provides resources for guiding middle-school students in learning about the role of social media in their lives, especially the effect of social media on relationships. The lesson plan takes approximately forty-five minutes to complete; however, an alternative suggestion shares a fifteen-minute quick activity. Resources provided include a slide presentation, video, student handouts, and family take-home information. Also available is the correlation to Common Core ELA, CASEL, AASL, and ISTE Standards. You will need to sign in to access this free lesson and resources.

tag(s): digital citizenship (81), social and emotional learning (63), social media (47)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this lesson plan for use with lessons on media literacy, social media, or social-emotional learning. Engage students by creating visual mindmaps or flow charts using Coggle, reviewed here. For example, create a mind map with different social platforms and ask students to share the pros and cons of using each tool. Use a flow chart to share suggestions on how to address common issues that occur through the use of social media and relationships. As a final activity, ask students to create interesting video presentations using Typito, reviewed here. Typito's drag and drop interface includes free templates, drag and drop features, and the ability to personalize and share content easily.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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My Media Choices - Common Sense Education

Grades
3 to 5
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This forty-five-minute lesson plan provides activities to guide fourth-grade students in learning about a "What? When? How Much" framework for use in evaluating media sources. An additional...more
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This forty-five-minute lesson plan provides activities to guide fourth-grade students in learning about a "What? When? How Much" framework for use in evaluating media sources. An additional option shares a quick fifteen-minute activity as an alternative to the complete lesson. In addition to the lesson description, resources include a slide presentation, video, student handouts, and take-home resources to share with families. Also available is the correlation to Common Core ELA, CASEL, AASL, and ISTE standards.

tag(s): digital citizenship (81), internet safety (113), media literacy (90)

In the Classroom

Although created for fourth grade, this lesson works well for grades three through five, with possible adaptations for additional grade levels. First, engage students by conducting a poll or survey of the different types of media your students regularly consume. For example, use a simple polling tool such as Kahoot reviewed here, or take a more in-depth survey using Microsoft Forms, reviewed here. Instead of completing worksheets as a paper and pencil activity, convert the worksheets into an interactive document using Google Docs, reviewed here, and assign within Google Classroom. Add questions or comments to the included video using EdPuzzle, reviewed here, to enhance learning. As an extension activity, ask students to share tips for safe media use by creating short videos to share on your class and school's websites. Use Adobe Creative Cloud Express Video Maker, reviewed here, to create engaging videos from scratch or by using the templates provided.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Who Is in Your Online Community? - Common Sense

Grades
K to 3
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This lesson plan for second graders guides students through the "Rings of Responsibility" as they learn to think critically about how people of different communities connect on the...more
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This lesson plan for second graders guides students through the "Rings of Responsibility" as they learn to think critically about how people of different communities connect on the Internet. In addition to the lesson plan, links on the site include a slide presentation, student handouts, and take-home resources to promote family understanding and engagement. This lesson shares a link providing correlation with Common Core ELA, CASEL, AASL, and ISTE Standards. Free registration at Common Sense is required to access this lesson plan.

tag(s): digital citizenship (81), internet safety (113)

In the Classroom

Engage students in learning about the Internet with this lesson plan by using age-appropriate multimedia resources. For example, during the warmup activity, students share their ideas on "What is the Internet?" Use IdeaBoardz, reviewed here, to record student responses. As the lesson progresses, students discuss the Rings of Responsibility that begin with the individual student and build to include the world. Use CirclyApp, reviewed here to create and build a graphic visualization of the rings as you discuss them. Finally, at the end of the lesson, students share their reflections explaining the difference between their community and the world. Instead of using the paper handout, ask students to create their reflection using AutoDraw, reviewed here. AutoDraw makes it easy for even young students to add text, draw, and share simple drawings. Use the AutoDraw option to turn students' drawings into professional drawings! When finished, take screenshots of student drawings to share on your class webpage.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Science with the Amoeba Sisters - Sarina Peterson and Brianna Rapini

Grades
7 to 12
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Science with the Amoeba Sisters provides high school biology resources for educators, including videos, comics, and instructions for collaborative teacher-student video creation. The...more
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Science with the Amoeba Sisters provides high school biology resources for educators, including videos, comics, and instructions for collaborative teacher-student video creation. The most robust offerings are the many videos on the Amoeba Sister's YouTube channel. Each video is less than ten minutes long; view the playlist to find content sorted by topic. Many videos are available in Portuguese and Spanish. Several videos also include downloadable recap handouts. The recap handouts are printable worksheets for students that complement each video. Find these handouts by selecting from the box for educators at the top of each video when available. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be available to you.

tag(s): body systems (41), cells (81), ecology (97), genetics (68), human body (92), mitosis (7)

In the Classroom

Biology teachers will want to book this site for use throughout the school year! Use the videos as a schema activator to engage students as you introduce new concepts. Add questions and comments to videos using edPuzzle, reviewed here, to enhance learning and student focus. Add your video and additional teaching materials to Blendspace, reviewed here, to create interactive lessons that include links to videos, handouts, interactive simulations, and images. Ask students to share their learning by offering a variety of multimedia options. For example, ask students to use Genially, reviewed here, to create an interactive diagram, or create an explainer video using a video creation tool such as Powtoon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Quillbot English, Writing, and Research Courses - Quillbot

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6 to 12
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Quillbot offers an extensive catalog of free English, Writing, and Research courses. Content ranges from basic English composition to introductory college writing composition. Scroll...more
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Quillbot offers an extensive catalog of free English, Writing, and Research courses. Content ranges from basic English composition to introductory college writing composition. Scroll through the page to find and access information about each class. The Table of Contents for each topic provides information and links divided by chapter or module. Select individual courses or complete each course in the order provided. Many topics also include practice activities.

tag(s): citations (33), expository writing (31), grammar (138), OER (41), persuasive writing (55), punctuation (27), reading comprehension (126), Research (64), tutorials (47), writing (293)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Quillbot as a supplement to your current curricular materials and a resource for students to use for practice and remediation in writing skills. The courses also provide practice and instruction for use with English Language Learners. Share with college-bound students to use in preparation for college-level courses. Include a link to Quillbot's resources on your class webpage for easy access anytime. Consider curating resources for students using Wakelet, reviewed here, for sharing a collection that includes commonly-used lessons. Find and assign individual topics to students or classes to address specific areas that need additional instruction. For example, when students struggle with the proper use of commas, give and discuss any of the activities found on Quillbot that provide instruction and practice. As students make revisions, ask them to share before and after changes in the product of their writing. For example, when working with Google Docs, ask students to submit an original draft and the finished product and reflect upon the changes and revisions made. Offer students the option to include an audio recording of their reflections using Audio Pal, reviewed here, and share the link to the recording in the final Google Document.

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Twitter Chat: Designing Digital Storytelling Experiences in the Classroom - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This archived Twitter chat is from September 2022 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Designing Digital Storytelling Experiences in the Classroom. During this chat,...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from September 2022 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Designing Digital Storytelling Experiences in the Classroom. During this chat, participants: 1. Defined and discussed the basic elements of digital storytelling, 2. Shared tech tools and resources that support digital story experiences, and 3. Collaborated on ideas for integrating digital storytelling across your curriculum.

tag(s): digital storytelling (133), twitterchatarchive (139)

In the Classroom

Find resources and information about digital storytelling. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for strategies and resources on digital storytelling.

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Educational Podcasts for Students - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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In this collection, we share many educational podcasts for students of all ages in various subject areas. The act of listening to podcasts offers many benefits to our students. The...more
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In this collection, we share many educational podcasts for students of all ages in various subject areas. The act of listening to podcasts offers many benefits to our students. The podcasts are available anytime, making them ideal for in-person, remote, blended, and flipped instruction. Students can listen a second time to deepen their understanding.

tag(s): podcasts (59)

In the Classroom

Share these podcasts with your students to use when learning related material. Share a link to this collection on your school web page and in your school newsletter (or email). Find podcasts to incorporate into your lessons.

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Guide to Writing - Quillbot

Grades
K to 12
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The Guide to Writing is a free online course presented through nine modules. A sample of the modules includes grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation, but there are many others....more
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The Guide to Writing is a free online course presented through nine modules. A sample of the modules includes grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation, but there are many others. Each section comprises from seven to approximately forty topics. Each section explains the content; many have practice activities and short videos.

tag(s): citations (33), parts of speech (41), plagiarism (30), punctuation (27), Research (64), sentences (24), spelling (92)

In the Classroom

Although this is a complete course, it isn't necessary to follow the order shared on the site. Instead, pick and choose individual modules or topics to use as desired. For example, if your class needs a short reteaching activity using parenthesis, choose that lesson for students to view and complete the practice activity. This site is also an excellent resource to share with students on your website or include with your other shared sites for students to use in school or at home. Use a curation tool such as Netboard, reviewed here, to gather and share web resources for students to find easily. Use the lessons as a model, and ask students to create writing lessons of their own to address common writing errors found in your classroom. For example, ask students to create explainer videos using simpleshow video maker, reviewed here, to share tips and ideas for using commas correctly or citing sources in research papers.

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Downdetector - Ookla, LLC

Grades
K to 12
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Nothing is much worse than trying to access a website without success and not knowing if the problem is on your end or with the site. Downdetector provides real-time monitoring ...more
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Nothing is much worse than trying to access a website without success and not knowing if the problem is on your end or with the site. Downdetector provides real-time monitoring of major companies and services. Scroll down the site to find links to major services, including Twitter, YouTube, Google, and others, to find the status based upon crowd-sourced information. Although Downdetector does not provide information for all websites, it is a valuable tool for finding the status of the primary services and companies monitored.

tag(s): computers (100)

In the Classroom

Save Downdetector to your bookmarks to use as needed when you or your students are unable to connect to tools used in the classroom. Share with students to use to check service availability before notifying your or your technical team.

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Slidesgo - Freepik

Grades
K to 12
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Download free slide templates for Google Slides and PowerPoint from Slidesgo. Free accounts offer up to ten monthly downloads after registration on the site. Find templates in many...more
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Download free slide templates for Google Slides and PowerPoint from Slidesgo. Free accounts offer up to ten monthly downloads after registration on the site. Find templates in many different ways, use a keyword search, sort by color, choose from recent and popular downloads, or select categories, including education templates. After selecting a template, click on the link to the version for your download. When choosing a Google Slideshow, Slidego prompts you to copy the document into your Google Drive. Powerpoint slides download to your device. Another option allows you to share a template directly to Google Classroom.
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tag(s): flash cards (40), presentations (7), slides (41)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many slide templates shared on this site to spice up your slide presentations and to share with students to use for their creations. Include a link to Slidesgo on classroom computers and your class webpage for easy access to all users. Keep in mind the limit of ten monthly downloads; consider creating an account for each class if necessary. Use the provided templates to create certificates throughout the school year to award student accomplishments or use the flashcard templates to introduce and practice vocabulary terms. Include student presentations as part of portfolios created in Seesaw, reviewed here, to share with parents during parent/teacher conferences.

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Whole-to-Parts Phonics Instruction: Teaching Letter-Sound Correspondences - ReadWriteThink

Grades
K to 2
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If you are a new teacher or brushing up on your teaching of beginner reading skills, Read Write Think has put this lesson together for you! When you reach the ...more
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If you are a new teacher or brushing up on your teaching of beginner reading skills, Read Write Think has put this lesson together for you! When you reach the page, you will be in the preview; just above that, find tabs for Standards, Resources & Preparation, Instructional Plan, Related Resources, and Comments. In this lesson, students use Jack & Jill to identify words that belong to the -ill family using analogy onset-rime and substitute consonant sounds to form new words. In addition, there are several links to use like "Copy Change" worksheets, a computer-assisted program, "Construct a Word," which focuses on onset-rime analogies, and others.

tag(s): phonics (48), preK (244), reading strategies (71), science of reading (20), spelling (92)

In the Classroom

Share this resource with your student teacher when introducing a beginning reading lesson. Also, share with parents on your teacher's web page or in a newsletter for practice at home. Use workstations for the worksheets, and allow students to work at their own pace.

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Reading 101: A Guide to Teaching Reading and Writing - Reading Rockets

Grades
K to 3
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Are you looking for professional development or wondering how to teach reading better? At Reading 101 by Reading Rockets, you will find both. Extend your knowledge of how students learn...more
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Are you looking for professional development or wondering how to teach reading better? At Reading 101 by Reading Rockets, you will find both. Extend your knowledge of how students learn to read and how best to teach them. Start on the left menu with the introduction, and then work at your own pace through the nine-course modules, which include phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, spelling, vocabulary, writing, and assessment. You will also find video clips, assignments & quizzes (for you), classroom strategies, and additional resources. All of these are designed to help you become the best literacy teacher you can be. You can also get a letter of completion for your administrator and goals. There is no log-in for this program, so be sure to save your work if you are using this as the year's goal for professional development.

tag(s): fluency (21), literacy (97), phonics (48), preK (244), professional development (305), reading strategies (71), Research (64), science of reading (20), writing (293)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to share with administrators and your peers. There are many good resources this program offers for you to share, too. Consider using Wakelet, reviewed here, to curate and share resources with peers. Include videos, articles, and other relevant information in your Wakelet collection. I'm sure you've heard the saying, all teachers are teachers of reading. Although this program is for K-3 teachers, the valuable lessons and materials support the teaching of reading skills in all grade levels and all subjects. This site is a must-have for use when learning about or implementing Science of Reading instructional practices.

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Stickies - Carbon Five

Grades
K to 12
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Stickies is a collaborative whiteboard for teams that use stickies to share and organize group ideas. In addition to posting sticky notes, Stickies intuitively assigns colors to messages...more
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Stickies is a collaborative whiteboard for teams that use stickies to share and organize group ideas. In addition to posting sticky notes, Stickies intuitively assigns colors to messages based on the participant's text. For example, "I like" notes turn green, "I wish" is orange, and "We will" becomes blue. After creating an account, double-click on the board to start a new Stickies, then click to add a sticky note. Next, use the plus sign on the dashboard to email and add collaborators. As stickies are added, drag and drop items on the board to organize as desired. You can also make groups by piling the Stickies on top of each other, and you can vote for your favorite ideas. Incognito mode adds a helpful feature when working with collaborators, turn on incognito and set a timer to allow participants a set amount of time to think privately before sharing their sticky.

tag(s): collaboration (81), iwb (32), organizational skills (92), Teacher Utilities (127), Whiteboard (5)

In the Classroom

Save Stickies with your other bookmarks as a handy tool for student collaboration and organizing information throughout the year. For example, engage students in book discussions by creating a Stickies board and asking students to add stickies with details about characters, plot, and setting. Follow up by asking students to color code and organize labels based on the information. In this instance, character information might be yellow, plot blue, etc. Stickies is also an excellent tool to include with social-emotional learning activities. For example, encourage students to share sentences that begin with the "I like," "I wish," and "We will" formats as a tool for goal-setting.

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