TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jul 24, 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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The Nora Project Resources for Educators - The Nora Project

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K to 12
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The Nora Project offers activities and resources to educators that promote disability inclusion and connect learning about disabilities to real-world situations. For example, visit...more
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The Nora Project offers activities and resources to educators that promote disability inclusion and connect learning about disabilities to real-world situations. For example, visit a virtual calming room featuring relaxing music, puzzles and games, and live animal cams. Download stories about diversity, learn how to host an inclusive event, or visit the Kindness Library to find books and lesson plans. In addition, The Nora Project includes resources for parents with infographics and a planning guide for hosting inclusive playdates.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (13), character education (74), disabilities (26), diversity (33), empathy (27), social and emotional learning (70), Special Needs (45)

In the Classroom

Bookmark The Nora Project to include resources for teaching and learning about disabilities and inclusion in your teacher toolbox. Consider curating your resources using Wakelet, reviewed here, into one easy to find collection. Add your peers as collaborators to your Wakelet collection as you continue to find and build additional resources. Ask older students to create infographics and posters to teach others about inclusiveness using Genially, reviewed here. Add links, images, and videos within your Genially projects to create interactive content. Use WriteReader, reviewed here, with younger students to create and share interactive books telling the story of inclusiveness. WriteReader is an excellent tool for creating books with emerging writers as it offers the option to show student writing along with the correct spelling underneath.
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Distance Learning Toolkit - National Center for Learning Disabilities

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K to 12
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The Distance Learning Toolkit is a 44 page PDF document that provides strategies for meeting the instructional needs of all students in distance learning situations. The methods are...more
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The Distance Learning Toolkit is a 44 page PDF document that provides strategies for meeting the instructional needs of all students in distance learning situations. The methods are inclusive for all students; however, they focus on key mindsets and teaching practices for students who learn differently and pose unique instructional challenges. Each section provides information on different teaching strategies such as Universal Design for Learning (UDL), flexible grouping, and positive behavior strategies. View this document online or print individual copies.

tag(s): professional development (314), remote learning (59), teaching strategies (35)

In the Classroom

Save this toolkit to use as an excellent resource for both distant learning and in-person teaching situations. Share with your peers to include with staff meetings and professional development sessions. Consider separating each key teacher mindset and the key teaching practices into individual professional development discussions. Create a collaborative Google Jamboard, reviewed here, for all participants to add ideas, questions, and experiences throughout your learning sessions.
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Mote - Mote Technologies Inc

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K to 12
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Mote is a Chrome browser extension that allows you to add voice notes to Google Documents, Google Classroom, Google Slides, and Sheets. It also supports transcription in over twenty...more
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Mote is a Chrome browser extension that allows you to add voice notes to Google Documents, Google Classroom, Google Slides, and Sheets. It also supports transcription in over twenty languages. Begin by downloading Mote from the Chrome Store and allowing it to install on your browser. Once installed, click the Mote icon when in Google documents to record up to thirty seconds using the free version. Students use the play button to listen to recordings within their document or view the text within a card created by Mote as a comment. Use your account activity page to monitor student engagement and see which students listened to or viewed your notes. Students also have the option to provide reactions to your messages. If students don't have the Mote extension, they receive a link to the Mote website to listen to the audio recording. This is a terrific resource to help your struggling writers and special needs students.

tag(s): editing (84), Google (37), rubrics (30), Special Needs (45), Teacher Utilities (128)

In the Classroom

Use Mote to make feedback more personal for students and hear voice intonation instead of just written text. Use this extension to share positive feedback on student work and point out specific areas of improvement. Share Mote with your peers to use when collaborating on any document as a replacement for written comments. Mote is an excellent way to provide missing in-person connections with students during remote learning by allowing them to hear your voice instead of viewing impersonal comments. Use Mote when teaching ENL/ESL students to help students who are not proficient in English by enabling them to see comments in their native language.

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7 Easy Activities That Encourage Students to Open Up About Identity and Privilege - Jodi Tandet

Grades
8 to 12
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Foster discussions on diversity, identity, and privilege with the seven activities shared in this article. In addition to specific activities, the author also discusses methods for...more
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Foster discussions on diversity, identity, and privilege with the seven activities shared in this article. In addition to specific activities, the author also discusses methods for making the activities more inclusive and how to debrief to promote self-reflection among students. Each activity description includes the purpose of the activity, instructions, the key debrief question, and a bonus inclusion tip.

tag(s): character education (74), disabilities (26), diversity (33), identity (26)

In the Classroom

Include activities from this article to get to know your students or as part of character education lessons that focus on diversity, identity, and privilege. Be sure to take advantage of the tips that offer suggestions for including all students, especially those with disabilities such as vision, hearing, or mobile impairments. Some activities, such as the fourth one, include vocabulary that may or may not be familiar to students. Enhance learning by creating word clouds using WordClouds, reviewed here, that encourage students to brainstorm concepts associated with these terms.

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BeeLine Reader Collection - Reading is Fundamental

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K to 12
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Improve reading and comprehension skills for all students and adults with this BeeLine Reader Collection on Literacy Central. Find over 100 books and stories as downloadable PDFs, all...more
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Improve reading and comprehension skills for all students and adults with this BeeLine Reader Collection on Literacy Central. Find over 100 books and stories as downloadable PDFs, all using BeeLine Reader technology to highlight and wrap text to improve focusing and tracking while reading. Use the leveled reading passages within Reading is Fundamental for multiple grade levels and books. Find additional support materials for each book, including author interviews, lesson plans, crosswords, and word searches all as downloadable PDFs. Though Beeline Reader is not usually a free tool, Literacy Central is providing it to its members for free through these PDFs. You do not need to create a free membership to use these materials, only to save them as a favorite. Learn more about the Beeline Reader tool and how it improves reading comprehension by watching the YouTube video introduction on this page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): independent reading (105), reading comprehension (125), reading strategies (72), Special Needs (45), Teacher Utilities (128)

In the Classroom

These BeeLine Reader PDFs are 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. These PDFs are wonderful 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!
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POV For Educators - American Documentary, Inc. PBS (KQED)

Grades
6 to 12
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POV documentaries, presented by PBS, offers these standards-aligned free lesson plans, discussion guides, and reading lists for over 200 online film clips from the documentaries. Deepen...more
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POV documentaries, presented by PBS, offers these standards-aligned free lesson plans, discussion guides, and reading lists for over 200 online film clips from the documentaries. Deepen student's media analysis skills by using the first themed lesson plan for Media Literacy. Find other Lesson Plan Themes categorized by subjects, The lesson plans can be viewed online or downloaded as a PDF file. This link is for the POV archived documentaries. There is a link at the top of the page for their new POV site.

tag(s): black history (101), cultures (121), disabilities (26), elections (75), politics (106), veterans (20), video (245), women (108)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and look at POV first for any of the listed themes that come up throughout the school year. The lesson plans also have extension activities, many for inquiry or research. Show these to students and have them choose one to extend their learning. If your students need an introduction or review of research skills you may want to parallel the POV lesson with R4S: Research for Success, reviewed here. As you work through the lesson, ask students to keep a journal about what they are learning and questions they still have. Subtitute paper and pen journals for a digital journal using a tool like Penzu, reviewed here; with Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. As a culmination activity enhance student's understanding by having them put together an interactive infographic about their learning for you and their peers using Infogram, reviewed here.
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Immersive Reader - Microsoft

Grades
K to 12
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Immersive Reader is a free Microsoft Learning Tool available for use with several Microsoft products including OneNote, Word, Outlook, and Edge. Immersive Reader dictates text and offers...more
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Immersive Reader is a free Microsoft Learning Tool available for use with several Microsoft products including OneNote, Word, Outlook, and Edge. Immersive Reader dictates text and offers several options for personalization. Use the options to adjust the playback speed, highlight text during the audio reading, and adjust text size and spacing. Click on any word in your reading material to listen to the pronunciation. Additional options allow you to view words divided into syllables, use labels to color-code words by parts of speech, and increase the spacing between lines and letters. Use the line focus feature to highlight only small portions of text. Turn on the dictionary option to select words and view drawings representing the meanings. This tool is a wonderful resource for your special needs students and struggling readers!

tag(s): adhd (27), differentiation (70), disabilities (26), dyslexia (10), Microsoft (74), reading comprehension (125), Special Needs (45), text to speech (17)

In the Classroom

Take 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 ENL/ESL 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.

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Speechnotes - Speechlogger & TTSReader

Grades
K to 12
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Speechnotes provides a distraction-free, easy to use speech to text notepad for use with Chrome browsers. Just click on the microphone to begin speaking. Be sure to view the hints ...more
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Speechnotes provides a distraction-free, easy to use speech to text notepad for use with Chrome browsers. Just click on the microphone to begin speaking. Be sure to view the hints for inserting punctuation. When finished, email or print your document. Saving options allow you to upload files to Google Drive or download as a text file. This tool is for speech to text, not text to speech.

tag(s): communication (135), speech (67), writing (299)

In the Classroom

Speechnotes is a very versatile tool, for students, parents, and teachers alike. Bypass poor typing skills, dysgraphia, dyslexia, and physical disabilities. Use this tool to create emails, documents, or anything requiring typed text. Use in your writing class so students can get their thoughts into text without having to also think about typing. Be sure they edit their work. Use when you are in a hurry with emails requiring long text. Use for your newsletters or family emails. Share this on your class website and at Back to School Night. Emerging literacy students will enjoy the success they have with their oral language into written word. Improve content and forget about mechanics of writing or typing. Focus in on grammar and mechanics after seeing the recognized mistakes. Include this website on every toolbar and as a favorite on your class web page. ENL/ESL students can speak English, play it back, and correct it until it "sounds right" and expresses their ideas correctly.

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Higher Education for Students with Disabilities - Accredited Schools Online

Grades
9 to 12
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This guide, part of the larger site titled Accredited Schools Online, helps students with learning disabilities and their parents better understand their rights and responsibilities...more
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This guide, part of the larger site titled Accredited Schools Online, helps students with learning disabilities and their parents better understand their rights and responsibilities regarding postsecondary education. Organized as one lengthy page of useful tips, information includes choosing an online accredited college or university program that best suits a student's needs, financial aid advice, and links to other helpful sites. Specific school searches may be done elsewhere on the sponsoring site once you register. Other areas of the larger website include advice for the hearing and visual impaired.

tag(s): careers (132), college (46), disabilities (26), learning disability (22), Special Needs (45)

In the Classroom

Guidance counselors and teachers, particularly intervention specialists, will find this a helpful place to share with students and their parents although information is very basic. The larger sponsoring site includes higher education selection advice for all students. Use this resource with individual students or in group settings, perhaps at a college and career night, or as part of a newsletter or other resource geared to high school students and their parents.

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Disability History Museum - Disability History Museum

Grades
8 to 12
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The Disability History Museum is dedicated to raising awareness about how culture, identity, and law have helped define the lives of those with disabilities. A digital archive of photographs,...more
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The Disability History Museum is dedicated to raising awareness about how culture, identity, and law have helped define the lives of those with disabilities. A digital archive of photographs, artifacts, cartoons, and other primary source material offers important context to the discussion. A small collection of lesson plans will assist in helping students talk about and understand their own assumptions and knowledge of what it means to live with disabilities, both historically, and in the present. A collection of digital exhibits is expected to be added in the near future.

tag(s): character education (74), disabilities (26), primary sources (104)

In the Classroom

Use the resources here to help students talk about the role and experiences of those living with a disability. How have attitudes changed over time? What has driven those changes? Helping students understand why some people experience physical and emotional challenges, and the importance of honoring their contributions and abilities can be difficult. The resources in this archive may be helpful in sparking discussion.
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The Mighty - Mike Porath

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6 to 12
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Read about power and strength in those with disabilities and disease through the short stories at The Mighty. Formed on the premise that our greatest challenges become our greatest...more
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Read about power and strength in those with disabilities and disease through the short stories at The Mighty. Formed on the premise that our greatest challenges become our greatest opportunities, each short story tells a tale of positive inspiration in facing a challenge. Browse the home page to find the latest articles or use the keyword search to find information on a specific topic. Be sure to browse the Archives, too!

tag(s): disabilities (26), diseases (67)

In the Classroom

Share The Mighty with parents and even older students as a resource for finding positive news about those with disabilities. Read these stories together on your projector or interactive whiteboard to teach about tolerance and acceptance of differences. Encourage parents and students to submit their own story of inspiration to the site. Search for articles dealing with challenges your students face to read and discuss together.

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Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center - Pacer Center, Inc.

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K to 10
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Visit Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center (PNBC) to discover resources for implementing a bullying prevention program in your community and school. There are many pages to explore...more
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Visit Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center (PNBC) to discover resources for implementing a bullying prevention program in your community and school. There are many pages to explore through clicking on the menu tabs at the top. There are over sixty videos of special interest for all age groups. The Students with Disabilities section (scroll down the main page) has five facts everyone needs to know, and you can download it in PDF format. Investigate the Educator Toolkits and Activities. The Student Activity Kit is for students to help them prevent bullying. There is a Year Long Toolkit available for all classrooms. Use the search bar to find a variety of toolkits, including a Community Toolkit that has ideas for holding a rally, organizing a run, or creating an advocacy program. Under the Educators tab, slide to Middle/Highs School Acitivities where you will find activiites for Instagram, Student Created Videos, music, and others. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, they may not be viewable.

tag(s): bullying (53), character education (74), cyberbullying (41), digital citizenship (79)

In the Classroom

Introduce a bullying discussion in your class by viewing a video appropriate for your age group. Continue with a class discussion. Then, exchange paper and pencil and have students do a quick write about how they feel about bullying. Use a blogging tool like Webnode, reviewed here. If you are teaching younger students, use Seesaw, reviewed here. Begin a school and community-wide campaign against bullying by sharing this resource with your school leadership team, PTA/PTO, and other teachers. This tool would be a great project for the school's student council to undertake. There are a ton of resources; someone just needs to get this program going!

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Learning Disabilities - Great Schools

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers extensive resources about learning disabilities. A good place to start is to use the search box and find Learning Disabilities: An overview, to read an article explaining...more
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This site offers extensive resources about learning disabilities. A good place to start is to use the search box and find Learning Disabilities: An overview, to read an article explaining what is (and isn't) considered to be a learning disability, along with what to look for when considering learning disabilities. Search through resources sorted by grade level or by specific topics such as ADHD and autism. Another interesting section discusses assistive technologies available for reading, writing, and listening.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): adhd (27), autism (13), dyslexia (10), learning disability (22), preK (246), professional development (314), Special Needs (45)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site as a resource for understanding and finding resources for learning disabilities. Share articles and information with parents during conferences. Use this site as a resource during professional development sessions.

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Lydia, OR, Grades: 7 - 8

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