TeachersFirst - Featured Sites: Week of May 20, 2018

Here are this week's features. Clicking the tags in the description area of each listing will present a list of other resources with this topic. | Click here to go to the Featured Sites Archive

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Monster Sciences - MonsterSciences. com

Grades
K to 8
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Monster Sciences contains an extensive array of experiments, videos, and printable materials for teaching science and more. Choose any experiment for a full description of the activity...more
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Monster Sciences contains an extensive array of experiments, videos, and printable materials for teaching science and more. Choose any experiment for a full description of the activity including teacher's notes and extended questions. The video category includes several videos of students performing activities found on the site. Be sure to check out the literacy and math sections for games and templates for teaching activities. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many lesson ideas and experiments found on the site, all designed by a teacher and explained from a teacher's point of view. Videotape students performing experiments then use a video tool like EdPuzzle, reviewed here to extend student learning. Use EdPuzzle to add questions to your video assessing students' understanding of the experiment's concepts. At the end of your unit, ask students to create animated video explanations of experiments using Biteable, reviewed here. Biteable is a simple to use animated video creation tool that features a variety of templates for different recording needs.
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Young Scientist Lab - Discovery Education and 3M

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K to 8
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The Young Scientist Lab features materials for parents, students, and teachers to explore a world of scientific innovation and opportunities. Materials for teachers include lesson plans,...more
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The Young Scientist Lab features materials for parents, students, and teachers to explore a world of scientific innovation and opportunities. Materials for teachers include lesson plans, interactives, and challenge support materials. For students, the site provides activities and features on scientists at work. The Family Activities section consists of several engaging experiments to perform at home for students in grades K-8.

In the Classroom

Add this site to your science lesson resources. As students complete activities ask them to create blogs describing their experiments and results. Pen.io, reviewed here is a simple tool for creating and sharing blogs for all grade levels. Have students share their science experiments through weekly or monthly podcasts using a podcasting tool like Podcast Generator, reviewed here. Don't forget to ask students to include both failures and successes when discussing their experiments!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Imagine Forest - Imagine Forest

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K to 6
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Imagine Forest offers tools to create and publish stories from anywhere. Start by creating your free account to access the many resources found on the site. Begin writing right away...more
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Imagine Forest offers tools to create and publish stories from anywhere. Start by creating your free account to access the many resources found on the site. Begin writing right away by uploading one of your own images or find inspiration by exploring the site. Choose the Activities link to earn points through writing challenges. Choose the Write link to create your own storybook using an image provided by Imagine Forest or uploading your own. Other activities include options like Fill in the blank stories, Character Creator, and a Rhyming Dictionary.

In the Classroom

Imagine Forest is a must-have resource for elementary teachers of writing. Even your most reluctant writers will enjoy activities included on the site. Share how to use the site on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector then allow students to explore on their own. Challenge students to set daily goals using activities found in challenges. Publish and share student work to create your own classroom library of student-created books. Ask students to create books for any content area studied during class, be sure to upload and include images taken during activities for students to use in their books. Create a classroom chart for students to share accomplishments like badges and points earned while using the site.

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Explore Your World - Lawrence Hall of Science

Grades
2 to 8
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Explore your world through videos and interactives offered by The Lawrence Hall of Science. Videos feature a diverse array of topics ranging from features of a new penny to watching...more
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Explore your world through videos and interactives offered by The Lawrence Hall of Science. Videos feature a diverse array of topics ranging from features of a new penny to watching a spider build a web. Take part in activities including building a bridge from paper, hunting for bugs, and testing materials to clean up an oil spill. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many hands-on activities available on this site to use as part of science and STEM lessons. After participating in the activities, ask students to choose their favorite using Dotstorming, reviewed here, to vote and add comments discussing their choice. During activities, have students videotape their work. Ask them to include their video as part of an ongoing reflection of the lessons learned. Use a simple webpage creator like WebNode, reviewed here, to share student response and reflection including images and videos.
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Ecosystems: 11 StudyJams! Interactive Science Activities - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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Scholastic presents eleven interactives introducing and reinforcing topics including food webs and symbiosis. Scroll through the page to select an activity. Each lesson includes a video,...more
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Scholastic presents eleven interactives introducing and reinforcing topics including food webs and symbiosis. Scroll through the page to select an activity. Each lesson includes a video, vocabulary terms, and a short quiz.

In the Classroom

View these interactives as a class to introduce different components of ecosystems and biomes. Share a link on class computers for students to view on their own as a science learning station. As students learn more about biomes, ask them to use ThingLink, reviewed here, to annotate an image. After uploading an image, ThingLink provides you with tools to add links to text, videos, and images to provide details explaining the original image. As a final project, have students create books sharing information about biomes. Have younger students use a tool like WriteReader, reviewed here. WriteReader includes options for including original spelling along with "correct" spelling underneath. For older students, create books using Book Creator, reviewed here. Book Creator includes many options to create online books including videos, audio, and images.

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kidcyber - Shirley Sydenham and Ron Thomas

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K to 6
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kidcyber contains a collection of text resources targeted explicitly to K-6 students for research and inquiry into science content. View collections of material under eight different...more
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kidcyber contains a collection of text resources targeted explicitly to K-6 students for research and inquiry into science content. View collections of material under eight different content headings. In addition to age-appropriate text, this site also includes images and videos. The diverse range of topics includes sports, technology and inventions, space, and more. The site was created in Australia, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as ClipGrab, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

In the Classroom

Include this resource with other content when teaching science concepts. Include a link to specific sections of the site for use as non-fiction reading content. Instead of having students draw a poster to share information about animals or plants, ask them to annotate an image using ThingLink, reviewed here. ThingLink allows you to add links including text, video, and more to images. Broaden your students' knowledge by setting up a Skype chat, reviewed here, with a classroom in a different part of the world to compare and contrast your environments.

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Math Resources for Numbers & Operations - Grades K-2 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 2
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Explore this curated list of resources for grades K-2. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards in the area of Numbers & Operations. Help young students grasp the beginning ...more
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Explore this curated list of resources for grades K-2. Use these resources to meet the NCTM standards in the area of Numbers & Operations. Help young students grasp the beginning concepts of counting, numbers, and basic operations. Many of these tools are ideal for use on your interactive whiteboard, math computer learning station, or in your BYOD classroom. Share these resources on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom.

In the Classroom

Share these tools during math learning centers or on your interactive whiteboard. List a few of these tools on your class website for students to use for additional practice outside of your classroom.

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Toppsta - Georgina Atwell

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K to 6
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Read, review, and discover the best books for children at Toppsta. Use the keyword search to find books or search for ages up to 18 years old. Each book title ...more
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Read, review, and discover the best books for children at Toppsta. Use the keyword search to find books or search for ages up to 18 years old. Each book title includes a summary along with reviews submitted by site members. Reviews indicate the age of the reviewer and number of reviews. Login to Toppsta to save books to your wishlist or create your own book reviews. This site was created in the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English.

In the Classroom

Share this site with students as a resource for finding books for independent reading. Include a link on your class website or blog for access at home. Present a new book each week to students on your interactive whiteboard or share your wishlist with your school's media center to include with book orders. After reading reviews, have students write or videotape their own book reviews. Have students or groups share their own book suggestions using Dotstorming, reviewed here. Dotstorming creates free online bulletin boards.

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PBS Summer Adventures - PBS Kids

Grades
K to 3
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Not just for summer! Enjoy learning at home all year-round with PBS Kids Summer Adventures. Click on the calendar for new daily adventures such as using bath time to explore ...more
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Not just for summer! Enjoy learning at home all year-round with PBS Kids Summer Adventures. Click on the calendar for new daily adventures such as using bath time to explore math or learn how to make a bird feeder. Scroll through the site to find reading charts, map skills, activity booklets, and much more. Did you find this site too late for summer? No worries, there are plenty of activities to do throughout the entire year.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many free activities on this site; be sure to share with parents for ideas on learning at home. Consider having a "summer" day in the middle of winter as you enjoy summer activities in the warmth of the indoors. Share with parents at the end of the school year as a great resource for learning during the summer months.
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StoryBots - JibJab Bros Studio

Grades
K to 2
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StoryBots is a collection of classroom learning tools for pre-K and kindergarten children, their parents, and teachers. There are plenty of free videos and activity sheets to use without...more
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StoryBots is a collection of classroom learning tools for pre-K and kindergarten children, their parents, and teachers. There are plenty of free videos and activity sheets to use without registration. Register to create an online classroom and assign learning materials to individuals, small groups, or your whole class. Assign videos or games aligned to Common Core Standards. Upload your own lessons or assign StoryBots' lessons teaching math and reading skills. Share your class code with parents for at-home use.

In the Classroom

Create your class account, share your class code with parents, and ask them to register their child for your class. Assign lessons and activities to individual students or groups to differentiate instruction. Include a link on classroom computers for center use. Take advantage of the opportunity to upload your own lessons to supplement the learning materials available at StoryBots.
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Zearn - zearn.org

Grades
K to 5
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Zearn Math is a complete math program that provides Common Core aligned math lessons, personalized to individual learners, and based on Eureka Math / Engage New York. Lessons focus...more
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Zearn Math is a complete math program that provides Common Core aligned math lessons, personalized to individual learners, and based on Eureka Math / Engage New York. Lessons focus on three critical components: deep understanding, fluency, and problem-solving. Self-paced lessons allow for mastery of concepts before unlocking lessons providing the next level. Math Chat lessons provide video instruction similar to a small group lesson. Lesson Labs include drag and drop activities followed by quiz questions. Zearn currently offers K-5 lessons. Test the student lessons and teacher resources for a whole module with NO sign up required. Create a class account and add students using an Excel sheet or manually input student names to receive custom reports on student progress.

In the Classroom

Use Zearn on a projector or an interactive whiteboard to demonstrate specific concepts or use as weekly math centers for student practice. Zearn provides data to target instruction to specific students or concepts needing additional reinforcement. Since Zearn is a complete math program, with individualized lessons for students to work on, teachers can conduct small group instruction while others work independently. Zearn is perfect to use for gifted or advanced students, allowing them to work at their own pace. Be sure to put a link to Zearn on your class web page for students to use at home. Zearn does not support Android devices but will work on all other devices with a browser and Internet access.

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Gynzy - Erik Goossens and Jean-Pierre Decker

Grades
K to 6
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Embed interactive content on your website or wiki with Gynzy's free resources. Choose from 50 interactive activities for math, language arts, science, and social studies. Use the provided...more
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Embed interactive content on your website or wiki with Gynzy's free resources. Choose from 50 interactive activities for math, language arts, science, and social studies. Use the provided code under each activity to embed in your website. Be sure to follow the links within each widget until you get to "open" to actually play each game. If you don't have a website or blog, no worries, play any of the interactive activities by clicking directly through links on this website.

In the Classroom

Demonstrate how to use widgets using a projector or interactive whiteboard with your students. Use these activities for center time, indoor recess, or as rewards for students. Add widgets to your class website or wiki throughout the year. Get help with embedding almost anything into your website from this informative blog, reviewed here. Challenge students to complete activities then journal and share their experience. Have students use Ourboox, reviewed here, to create a beautiful, page-flipping digital book in minutes, and they can embed the book alongside the games on a class wiki.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Freckle Education (was Front Row) - Sidharth Kakkar

Grades
K to 8
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Freckle Education (was Front Row) is a Common Core-aligned program with resources for math, ELA, science, and social studies for K-8 that adapts to individual student skills. Freckle...more
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Freckle Education (was Front Row) is a Common Core-aligned program with resources for math, ELA, science, and social studies for K-8 that adapts to individual student skills. Freckle has over 30,000 math questions matched to all math standards and more than 500 ELA articles that often cover social studies and science standards as well as all ELA standards. There are five reading levels offered for each article. Sign up to create a class account and add student information. Students login in through an iPad app or with the online web version and the class code. Students complete a diagnostic pre-test and then begin working at their individual level. Awards of coins for completion of levels promote student engagement and enjoyment of the program. Freckle also promotes student collaboration through their inquiry-based, cross-curricular lessons. Other features include a scratch pad for working through problems, virtual manipulatives, and individualized printables for practice. Receive detailed analytics and student reports on your dashboard. You may encounter a warning about how Freckle may not work on your browser and to use the Chrome app. For this reviewer Mozilla FireFox and Microsoft Edge seemed to work fine for a student pre-test and the teacher dashboard.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

After creating your classroom account and adding rosters, introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If you are lucky enough to have a class set of mobile devices, allow students to use Freckle while you work directly with individuals or small groups of students. Freckle is a great way to supplement instruction for both gifted and special needs students. Visit the FAQ section for ideas for implementing Freckle in your math, ELA, social studies, or science classroom. Be sure to share login information with parents for student practice at home.

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DOGOnews - Meera Dolasia

Grades
2 to 12
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Need kid-friendly online news? This safe site, written for kids, by kids, offers news from a younger point-of-view. You can create a class page where you can load a variety ...more
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Need kid-friendly online news? This safe site, written for kids, by kids, offers news from a younger point-of-view. You can create a class page where you can load a variety of articles, add a book list, a calendar, favorite sites list, add lesson plan instructions, monitor student comments, and more. DOGOnews is kid friendly, colorful, and flexible. After all, DOGO means young or small in Swahili. You can select articles from a number of categories (Social Studies, Science, World, Current Events, etc.). There is an integrated dictionary for challenging words and maps for geographical context. Some of the articles include short video clips. Students may leave brief comments about each article (no login required). Also, typing the word "video" in the search box will bring up the Video of the Week for the past several weeks. The videos reside on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. In addition, find a Book and Movie section with a brief summary for the book or movie, and comments. You don't have to join to read the articles, but you do need to join to create a class page. There are many benefits to creating a class page, and it's all free! Don't want to create a class page? You can also embed articles on your current web page.

In the Classroom

Non-fiction reading and background knowledge have found a new emphasis with The Common Core State Standards. It is more important now than ever to help connect students with quality, non-fiction reading and viewing material. Find great news resources and videos of the week to create assignments for your class at DOGOnews. You may want to create a class page and load several news articles. Have students choose from the articles, and email it to themselves. Have students print out the article and complete a "close reading" of the article by annotating it. Then have students who chose the same article get together in groups to discuss their reactions about the article, create a summary together, and create four or five open-ended questions about the article. Lastly, create groups of four, with each student having a different article, and have them present their article to the others in the group and ask them their open-ended questions to trigger a discussion. Create a class magazine from the articles. Or better yet, have students create a multimedia presentation using UtellStory, reviewed here. This site allows you to narrate a picture. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Strengthen reading comprehension by having an 'article du jour' on your interactive whiteboard or projector as students arrive. Link this site on your homepage.

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