TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Jul 31, 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 go to the Featured Sites Archive

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Twitter Chat: Back to School Planning and Preparation - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This archived Twitter chat is from August 2021 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Back to School Planning and Preparation. During this chat, participants: 1. ...more
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This archived Twitter chat is from August 2021 and will open in Wakelet. The title of this chat is: Back to School Planning and Preparation. During this chat, participants: 1. Explored strategies and resources for planning and preparation. 2. Collaborated on ideas for overcoming challenges in the classroom, and 3. Shared resources for professional learning and development.

tag(s): back to school (54), twitterchatarchive (136)

In the Classroom

Find resources and information about back-to-school planning. Share this chat with your colleagues looking for strategies and resources on planning and preparing for back to school.

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Family Engagement Resources - Learning Heroes

Grades
K to 12
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Learning Heroes shares resources that help schools form strong partnerships with families that advance social, emotional, and academic development. Resources begin with building a plan...more
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Learning Heroes shares resources that help schools form strong partnerships with families that advance social, emotional, and academic development. Resources begin with building a plan to start the school year on a positive footing, evaluate and take steps to promote student progress, and provide tips and tools to support continued learning over the summer. Other tools include discussing racism, planning tools for teacher/parent communication, and interactive guides to grade-level expectations.

tag(s): back to school (54), parents (61), professional development (304)

In the Classroom

Discover and use the many researched-based ideas found on this site to enhance and build community and parent partnerships in your school. This site includes tips on using the resources to strengthen family outreach. Start with these tips and expand your outreach by including teacher and student interactions to demonstrate ideas. For example, schedule virtual monthly meetings and workshops using Zoom, reviewed here, that includes information on current assessments, tips for improving study skills, or discussing your current curriculum. For parents unable to participate, create a screen recording using Screencast-O-Matic, reviewed here, and post the video on your class website. Be sure to feature student work within your activities. Adobe Creative Cloud Express for Education, reviewed here, is an excellent resource for curating and sharing ideas by creating websites, or flyers and more.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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myHomework - myHomeworkapp

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
myHomework is a digital student planner to track homework, assignments, tests, and more. This site uses a visually appealing calendar display to add classes and homework. Enter class...more
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myHomework is a digital student planner to track homework, assignments, tests, and more. This site uses a visually appealing calendar display to add classes and homework. Enter class information including start and end times, classroom number, teacher information, and notes. Add individual homework assignments or upload a syllabus to input multiple assignments. If your school uses Teachers.io, reviewed here, this app fully integrates with that platform to offer class information, notes, and more across both platforms.

tag(s): calendars (39), DAT device agnostic tool (134), homework (33), organizational skills (91), Teacher Utilities (125)

In the Classroom

Share myHomework with students as an excellent way to organize and plan homework assignments. Create a link on your class website for students to access, and discuss using this app during back to school meetings. This site works on computers and has apps for all devices so information is available across platforms.

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Class123 - Choong Hee Lee

Grades
K to 6
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Class123 is a classroom management tool containing several features for organizing classrooms and communicating with students and parents. Tools include a timer, seating chart, attendance...more
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Class123 is a classroom management tool containing several features for organizing classrooms and communicating with students and parents. Tools include a timer, seating chart, attendance manager, random name picker, and more. Sign up for free to add your rosters and avatars. Parents and students sign up with a code provided. Once enrolled, members receive or send communications privately or within groups. Please be aware that Class123 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 Class123 with their child.

tag(s): behavior (42), classroom management (136), communication (136), DAT device agnostic tool (134), parents (61), Teacher Utilities (125)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to communicate specific behaviors with parents - both positive and negative feedback. Share this site with students on the first day of school as you go over class expectations and your behavior plan for your classroom. Take advantage of the other tools to take attendance or rearrange your seating chart quickly and easily.

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Classroom Freebies - Charity Preston

Grades
K to 8
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
The Classroom Freebies Resource Library contains thousands of free materials for grades K-8. Many different kinds of resources are included such as task cards, classroom management...more
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The Classroom Freebies Resource Library contains thousands of free materials for grades K-8. Many different kinds of resources are included such as task cards, classroom management charts, coloring sheets, worksheets, and posters. Use the search bar to find specific content or browse using links to grade level content and topics such as the End of the Year and Common Core Freebies. Follow links for directions about downloading materials.

tag(s): back to school (54), book reports (30), classroom management (136), commoncore (79), posters (46), preK (239), substitutes (15), worksheets (65)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Classroom Freebies as an excellent resource for teaching materials throughout the school year. Take advantage of the free printables for use on bulletin boards, for classroom management, and centers. Choose materials from the site to use in substitute folders. Be sure to share this site with your fellow teachers! You might consider finding snow day and vacation day activities to post on your class website for parent and student use.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Keith Hughes Teaching Stuff YouTube Playlist - Keith Hughes

Grades
K to 12
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Keith Hughes' playlist includes 27 videos geared toward new teachers containing practical advice and tips in an entertaining way. Titles include 5 Ways For Teachers to Chillax Students...more
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Keith Hughes' playlist includes 27 videos geared toward new teachers containing practical advice and tips in an entertaining way. Titles include 5 Ways For Teachers to Chillax Students on Test Day, Teaching Advice for Dummies, and The Art of the Lecture. Most videos run ten minutes or less making them easy to watch and share. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (54), mentoring (7), professional development (304), test prep (69)

In the Classroom

Include videos during back to school preparation and planning with other staff members. Share with your student teacher as an excellent repository of teaching advice. Use these videos as examples for creating your own videos to share with your teaching colleagues.

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Mega Seating Plan - Rob Cowen

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
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 (54), classroom management (136), Teacher Utilities (125)

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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The Teacher Toolkit - The Region 13 Educator Certification Program (ECP)

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Find many strategies and techniques to keep your class engaged and interested! Many of the strategies are also helpful in adult meetings. View the short video on the home page ...more
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Find many strategies and techniques to keep your class engaged and interested! Many of the strategies are also helpful in adult meetings. View the short video on the home page to get a good overview of what to find and how to navigate this site. See the Strategies and Techniques, or Tools, by clicking the button. Not only will all the tools be displayed, but at the bottom, on the left, find a menu with categories to make it easier to find what you are looking for. There are Opening and Closing Activities, Checks for Understanding, Reading Strategies, and more. There is no sign in to see all the activities. However, by joining the site, you will be able to take and save notes for the different tools of interest. Each tool has an overview of how and when to use it, variations of the tool, and templates (downloaded in Word) for participants to use. Some tools have accompanying videos to show the tool in action. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable; be sure to look at alternatives for sharing the videos on classroom computers.

tag(s): back to school (54), classroom management (136), reading strategies (68), Teacher Utilities (125)

In the Classroom

Keep lessons engaging and interactive with these Tools. For instance use the Quiz, Quiz, Trade activity to get students up and to interact with questions for review before a test. To structure a meaningful discussion try the 5-3-1 activity. Use the Gallery Walk to review and get students discussing the unit or topic just finished. With the Gallery Walk, student groups could create posters (maybe a picture summary of something just read in class) and walk around observing and taking notes from others' posters. Or, to enhance learning, have students use Genially, reviewed here, to create digital posters that can include maps, surveys, video, audio and more. Then, have students complete a digital Gallery Walk, reviewing posters on each others computers. There are dozens more strategies for you to try at The Teacher Toolkit.

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101 Things You Can Do in the First Three Weeks of Class - Joyce Povlacs Lunde

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
The first three weeks of school set the tone for the entire year. Even if you didn't have a "great" first day (or week) of school, there is still time ...more
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The first three weeks of school set the tone for the entire year. Even if you didn't have a "great" first day (or week) of school, there is still time to change the mood of your classroom! This list provides many suggestions for getting off to a great start. Although created for college teachers, most content is appropriate for all grade levels. Scroll through each section to find ideas for transitioning to a new grade level, keeping students' attention, providing support, building community, and much more. Although this site is rather "plain vanilla," it is packed full of wonderful "sprinkles" to start your year off great!

tag(s): back to school (54), newbies (13), professional development (304)

In the Classroom

Use ideas from this site during back to school staff meetings to motivate teachers as they begin a new year. Share it with your student teacher before he/she gets started. Challenge yourself and other department members to check off as many items on the list as you can. Keep this list up on your computer as a reminder through the day. Revisit this site each year as a reminder of starting each school year on the right foot! Why not bookmark this site (or save in your favorites), so it is easy to find each year?

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Teampedia - Seth Marbin

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Teampedia is a comprehensive and collaborative resource for finding icebreakers, team building, and leadership activities. Browse through almost 100 categories on this wiki. Find trust...more
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Teampedia is a comprehensive and collaborative resource for finding icebreakers, team building, and leadership activities. Browse through almost 100 categories on this wiki. Find trust activities, getting to know you, and online/remote team building. Explore activities based on the group size involved. If you have a great activity and don't see it, add it to Teampedia by following the steps provided. Each game or activity includes a list of materials needed, number of players, time required, and directions for play. Some directions for strategy games also include strategy options.

tag(s): back to school (54), creativity (94), firstday (17), problem solving (219)

In the Classroom

Use this site to find Icebreaker activities and options for the first week of school community building. Bookmark this tool for the first week of school or any time that you want to experience some "team-building" in your class. Use this site if you have weekly classroom meetings to build relationships among students. Share this site with students and have them create their own games based on research projects or as a review for major tests. Share this site with parent helpers to find ideas for classroom parties.

Comments

So wonderful to develop creativity using tech. Love the idea of creating games based on research. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Future Me - Write a Letter to the Future - Matt Sly and Jay Patrikios

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Future Me is an email service that allows you to write an email and have it delivered in the future (up to 50 years later). Insert your email address, subject, ...more
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Future Me is an email service that allows you to write an email and have it delivered in the future (up to 50 years later). Insert your email address, subject, and write your email. Choose a future date for delivery, and it's ready to go! Options include adding an image and making the email public or private. Note - the public gallery is unmoderated so may contain content not suitable for school.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): back to school (54), creativity (94), digital storytelling (131), letter writing (15), Teacher Utilities (125)

In the Classroom

Future Me is a wonderful tool to use at the beginning of the school year. Ask students to send themselves (or you) a "future" email with what they would like to learn this year, subjects they do and don't like, and goals for the school year. Send and share the emails on a date near the end of the year to see how they have changed. High school seniors may want to write a letter to themselves four years in the future with their goals for college and the future. Share with parents, and ask them to write a letter to their student for future delivery. Have students write an email to you describing what they know about any topic or person before beginning a unit, have the email delivered upon completion of the unit as a reminder of how much learning has occurred. Have middle schoolers write emails with summer goals before summer break and have set them for delivery in September so students can see whether their summer was as productive as they had hoped. What a great way to teach goal-setting!

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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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Blabberize - Mobouy Inc.

Grades
1 to 12
18 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. Upload an image from your computer,...more
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Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. Upload an image from your computer, select an area to become the talking "mouth," and record sound using your microphone or upload a short .mp4 file from your computer. Make sure to "allow" access to your computer's microphone. Narrate your photo within the allotted 30 seconds, then save when complete. Options include marking your blab "mature" or "private" (not shown on the "latest" pages and other public areas). Share completed blabs via email or embedd in another web page, blog, or wiki. Users unfamiliar with copy/pasting embed code can simple share by the URL of the blab's page.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (62), communication (136), firstday (17), images (249), photography (129)

In the Classroom

If your students have never tried to make a Blabber, select Browse to share the an introduction blab on the home page on a projector or interactive whiteboard. You may want to create one of your own to share, and then have the class create one, all projected on your whiteboard. Browse a few examples first to get ideas on how to make a mouth on your photo to move and "talk." Be sure to turn up your sound! Have a student demonstrate uploading an image from a safe and legal source. You may want to use a single, whole-class account you create with your "extra" email account. Be sure to spell out consequences of inappropriate use/content of blabs. Have students enter the site through the "Make" page link provided in this review to steer clear of the "latest" blabs. You may want your students to make their blabs "private" so they do not show on the public areas, depending on school policies. If you are implementing technology in your classroom, this is an augmentation tool.

Blab the homework directions on your teacher web page. Have your students use photos or digital drawings to "blab"! Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then make it "speak." Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters tell about themselves. This tool is great for gifted students to go above and beyond the basics with an independent project. Create entire conversation sequences of blabs between people in world language or ENL/ESL classes (with students speaking in the language, of course), then embed them in a wiki. Have speech/language students make blabs to practice articulation and document progress over time. Promote oral reading fluency with student-read blabs. Create book "commercials." Have students blab what the author may have been thinking as he/she wrote a poem or literary selection or as an artist painted. Blab politicians' major platform planks during campaigns for current events. Blab the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make an animal blab about his habitat if you set up the blab as a center. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?) Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then blab the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class blabs on your class web page or wiki! Give directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parents' attention for important information.

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Icebreakers, Games, and Fun Group Activities - icebreakers.ws

Grades
K to 12
20 Favorites 0  Comments
Start the first day of school or a new marking period with a getting-to-know-you activity from this great, searchable collection. The activities are designed for all ages, so some will...more
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Start the first day of school or a new marking period with a getting-to-know-you activity from this great, searchable collection. The activities are designed for all ages, so some will not work well with very young ones (such as writing things on slips of paper). The site is easy to navigate and sorts ideas by group size and activity level for easy retrieval. There are also activity suggestions for distance and remote learning. You are also invited to submit your own ideas. Since the site is designed for general use, not for schools, some ideas may be impractical in a classroom setting but could be easily adapted.

tag(s): back to school (54), newbies (13)

In the Classroom

New or veteran teachers who want students to get to know each other as they enter a new school (starting middle school, for example), want to observe them so YOU get to know them, or need to build better team skills with a challenging class or club, will find ideas to try. Mark this one as a Favorite so you can find it again, since "first day" activities tend to get lost in the flurry ---and in the fading memory-- during the year.

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