TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of Sep 20, 2020

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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URF Academy - Riot Games

Grades
6 to 12
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URF Academy provides a free game design curriculum created for easy use by educators. The six-part curriculum includes workshops and activities that teach the principals of game design,...more
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URF Academy provides a free game design curriculum created for easy use by educators. The six-part curriculum includes workshops and activities that teach the principals of game design, language, and theory, along with a culminating group activity, to develop a multiplayer game.

In the Classroom

Use this curriculum as part of an after-school program or as a learning center activity. Browse through the learning materials and activities to learn about and understand the basics of game design, then use this information to develop a resource for students to evaluate online games and game software they use at home. Use Google Documents or Microsoft Word to develop a rubric for students to use when evaluating online games. As students become competent at creating and evaluating computer games, ask them to share their knowledge with others using a video explainer tool such as Biteable, reviewed here. Use Biteable to demonstrate and explain how to evaluate games based upon the principals provided in this curriculum.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Dreamscape - Squiggle Park

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2 to 8
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Dreamscape is a curriculum-aligned reading game for students in grades 2-8. Create an educator account to add student accounts, track progress, and assign content. As students read...more
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Dreamscape is a curriculum-aligned reading game for students in grades 2-8. Create an educator account to add student accounts, track progress, and assign content. As students read short passages and respond to questions, they build their place within the Dreamscape world. Upon successful completion of passages, reading levels go up within the game automatically. Dreamscape also offers interactive "battles" between students following extended periods of reading and answer responses. Upon completion of each student activity, educators receive an email notification.

In the Classroom

Use Dreamscape to differentiate reading instruction for your students. Dreamscape is also an excellent option to share with ELA/ELL students to provide practice and support in English language instruction. Include a link to Dreamscape on classroom computers for use during reading centers, and provide a link on your classroom website for students to play at home. Include Dreamscape with other online reading programs using a bookmarking tool such as Symbaloo, reviewed here, for easy access for student use.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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My Plate Match Game - Dairy Council of California

Grades
2 to 6
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My Plate Match is an interactive game for students to learn all about nutrition and healthy eating. Students will learn all about the food groups by dragging and dropping the ...more
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My Plate Match is an interactive game for students to learn all about nutrition and healthy eating. Students will learn all about the food groups by dragging and dropping the food items to the appropriate section of their plate. Not only will they learn about the food groups, but they will also learn how to stay active for 60 minutes per day.

In the Classroom

Use this interactive as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson about nutrition on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Discuss not only the colors of the food groups but the portions on the plates. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to enhance learning by having students brainstorm a list of activities, games, and sports they would suggest to be active 60 minutes per day. With Padlet you can create columns for the different types of activities. Post a link on your class website for parents and students to use at home.

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OK2Ask: Game-Based Learning Basics - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from April 2019, opens in Adobe Connect. Come learn the basics of Game-Based Learning (GBL). We will explore tools that...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional learning session from April 2019, opens in Adobe Connect. Come learn the basics of Game-Based Learning (GBL). We will explore tools that you can use to incorporate GBL into different content areas, talk about strategies to implement the games as well as discuss classroom management tips to use while your students are enjoying learning through games. Participants will leave with knowledge of how to choose a learning game for use in their setting. Participants will: 1. Review the meaning of Game-Based Learning; 2. Explore tools used for Game-Based Learning; and 3. Discuss classroom management strategies for implementing GBL. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

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 are 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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Construct3 - Construct.net

Grades
6 to 12
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Design and create games with Construct3. Choose from many different formats including puzzles, role-play, and storybooks along with a choice of beginner and intermediate level coding...more
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Design and create games with Construct3. Choose from many different formats including puzzles, role-play, and storybooks along with a choice of beginner and intermediate level coding ability options. Take advantage of the beginner's guide and tutorials to learn and practice the available features. All of the game options include drag and drop coding features. As a guest (no registration) you can get 25 events. Register for a free account and you get up to 50 events per game, two layers per layout, two effects per game, and one font choice. To share, publish your finished game to the site's arcade or download to your server.

In the Classroom

Include Construct3 with your other options for teaching coding to students. Take advantage of the included levels to differentiate learning based on knowledge of coding. If you are uncomfortable with coding, enlist students to become technology coaches in your classroom to teach and share their knowledge with others. Use and share Google Forms to create how-to guides for students to get started including images with tips and suggestions. Ask "in-the-know" students to enhance their learning and create one-page websites using Jimdo, reviewed here, sharing advice for individual games included in Construct3. As students become familiar with coding, have them use FlexClip, reviewed here to extend their learning by creating simple explainer videos detailing how to build and share personalized games.

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Bad News - Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab and DROG

Grades
5 to 12
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How bad can you be? This game teaches you how fake news and disinformation spreads as players take on the role of the bad guy to acquire as many followers ...more
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How bad can you be? This game teaches you how fake news and disinformation spreads as players take on the role of the bad guy to acquire as many followers as possible while raising their credibility ratings. Follow the prompts and make selections on how to spread disinformation and take advantage of others' fears and emotions as you proceed through the game. As you make choices, watch how that affects the number of your followers and learn how to use celebrity and fear to influence others. Throughout the game, players earn up to six badges recognizing accomplishments such as impersonation and emotion.

In the Classroom

This game is perfect for use as an introduction to lessons on digital citizenship, media literacy, and social media. Share the site with your students to explore on their own and encourage them to play several different times using the different options provided. Your students won't mind playing over and over; it is easy to get hooked on trying to find the best way to gain as many followers as possible! Once students become familiar with the game and the different options presented for spreading misinformation, ask them to apply their findings to online content. Have them do some online research to find sites or information using tactics such as emotion and the others featured in Bad News. As they research sites and online information, have them add links to the sites they find on a class Padlet. Padlet, reviewed here, offers an option to create columns, use this option then label a column for each badge found in the game and ask students to share a link to their sites in the appropriate column. In addition to adding a link, have students include a comment providing information on why their site belongs in the category. Instead of assessing learning with quizzes or a written report, enhance learning and transform your assessment by having students create infographics to share information learned. Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, provides easy to use templates to create interesting and informative infographics. Extend leaning and ask students to become the teacher using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to create an online learning activity teaching others on how to recognize and avoid disinformation found online. Be sure to share your assessment rubric with students as part of your assignment. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here.

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The Fiscal Ship - Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy at Brookings

Grades
8 to 12
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Your challenge in this game is to manage the federal budget and keep it on a sustainable course. Choose from a menu of tax and spending options to reduce debt ...more
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Your challenge in this game is to manage the federal budget and keep it on a sustainable course. Choose from a menu of tax and spending options to reduce debt levels over the next 25 years. The real challenge to winning is to manage the budget while maintaining your values and priorities. Scroll down the page to download the game guide, and click the link to start the game.

In the Classroom

Share this game with students as part of your study of government and economics. Choose YouTube video explanations of taxes and entitlements to help students understand these topics, then use a tool like EdPuzzle, reviewed here, to add questions and comments to the videos to increase student understanding. Ask students to explore one of the topics found during the game and create an infographic using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here.

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oodlu - Wayne Holmes and Douglas Lapsley

Grades
2 to 12
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Create learning games for use on any device using oodlu. Create an account to begin creating question sets. Take advantage of many different question formats including sequencing, multiple...more
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Create learning games for use on any device using oodlu. Create an account to begin creating question sets. Take advantage of many different question formats including sequencing, multiple choice, and fill in the blank. Optional features provide the ability to add different forms of feedback to guide students when making incorrect choices. When finished, share the code with students to access the learning games. Students sign in using their username, password, and the code provided. As students complete activities, they earn award badges. Use the teacher dashboard to review and monitor student achievements. Free accounts include an unlimited number of students and questions.

In the Classroom

Use oodlu to differentiate learning in your classroom. Assign questions sets to different groups of learners according to their specific needs. Be sure to show students how to log in and access questions, then include a link to the site on your class webpage for students to play at home. At the end of your unit, enhance learning and augment technology use by asking students to plan a multimedia presentation using a tool like SuperNotecard, reviewed here, where you can turn your notes into a storyboard! Extend learning and modify technology use by having students use the Storyboard to create a multimedia presentation with a tool like Sway, reviewed here, to share their learning. Have students include text, images, videos, and a link to oodlu learning games in the Sway.

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Makebadges - Digitalme

Grades
K to 12
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Design digital badges using Makebadges' intuitive tools. Choose from templates and designs found on the site or upload your images to include with badges. When finished, download to...more
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Design digital badges using Makebadges' intuitive tools. Choose from templates and designs found on the site or upload your images to include with badges. When finished, download to your computer as a PNG file. In addition to badge creation, Makebadges also contains options for designing avatars, logos, and site logos.

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use when creating digital badges and avatars. Create badges for students to earn as they progress through different reading levels, math goals, or academic benchmarks. Ehance classroom technology use and student learning by having students share their badges in online portfolios such as those found at Seesaw, reviewed here. Ask students to create their own badges or avatars to include with online book reports and presentations. Consider publishing student projects to Edublog, reviewed here, which is a free blogging service for students and teachers.
 

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Blended Play - BlendedPlay

Grades
3 to 12
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Create games for groups or multiple players personalized with your content using Blended Play. Choose from five game options with titles like Mountain Climber and Sushi Take Over. Add...more
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Create games for groups or multiple players personalized with your content using Blended Play. Choose from five game options with titles like Mountain Climber and Sushi Take Over. Add questions to your game selection and save. Choose options within games to select the number of players, length of the game, and more. Visit the Game Library to view and download question files shared by fellow members of Blended Play. Watch the tutorial video shared on Blended Play for complete instructions on creating and using games from the site. The tutorial also comes in PDF format. The video is hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the video may not be viewable.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Before creating games, take advantage of shared files in the Game Library to quickly make games accessible for students. Once you are familiar with the site, create games for any topic to use for review or as a schema activator. Encourage students to use this tool as a substitute for paper and pen. Have groups of students create their own review games for personal use and to share with fellow students. As students gain confidence in creating their own games, share other game-creation sites like Scratch, reviewed here, as an excellent way to promote creativity and personalize any learning experience.

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Typing Trainer - Typing Master, Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Typing Trainer provides a variety of games and activities using a step-by-step approach to keyboarding and typing skills. Each lesson includes skills practice, a review including targeted...more
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Typing Trainer provides a variety of games and activities using a step-by-step approach to keyboarding and typing skills. Each lesson includes skills practice, a review including targeted practice, and a final skills test.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

This site includes many ads. Before having students use the tools on their own, share this site on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector and demonstrate how to avoid the advertisements. Once students understand how to use the site, share a link on classroom computers and your class website for individual practice. Challenge students to increase typing speed and create a spreadsheet to record progress. Convert spreadsheets into a more visual table format using Tableizer, reviewed here. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts with a typing tip of the week to share with the class. Use a site such as podOmatic, reviewed here. Be sure they type their script ahead of time!
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Poki Educational Games - Poki

Grades
K to 8
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Poki Educational Games provides an assortment of learning activities in several different subjects. Find interactives by content by choosing from the related categories options at the...more
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Poki Educational Games provides an assortment of learning activities in several different subjects. Find interactives by content by choosing from the related categories options at the bottom of the page. Categories include interactives in all content areas as well as problem-solving activities and puzzles.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

This site contains many advertisements, demonstrate how to avoid the ads on your interactive whiteboard with younger students before independent use. Share links to games on classroom computers and your class website. Share with parents for practice at home. Use Dotstorming, reviewed here, to survey students to see which of several games was a favorite. With Dotstorming students are allowed to vote and make comments. After voting, challenge students to create their own game, similar to the one voted most popular using a tool such as Scratch, reviewed here.
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Game-Based Learning Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about game-based learning and how to incorporate games into teaching and learning....more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about game-based learning and how to incorporate games into teaching and learning. Engage your students in the way they love to learn - games! Explore resources for quick practice or create your own games using these tools. Nurture problem solving, logic, and creativity.

In the Classroom

Share these tools on your class website or blog for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Use these tools to differentiate and reach all students at the various levels. Challenge your students to create their own games for review of content or acceleration options.

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