TeachersFirst - What's Popular

This page shares the 25 resources most frequently marked as Favorites by TeachersFirst Members in the past 60 days. See what tops the list of TeachersFirst's database of well over 15,000+ educator-reviewed web resources. Find out what other teachers are excited about. Not a TeachersFirst member yet? See the time saving benefits of free TeachersFirst membership

 

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Teach Astronomy - Chris Impey

Grades
6 to 12
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Teach Astronomy is a must-use website for anyone who teaches astronomy, or for anyone interested in astronomy. Use the Wikimap to choose an area to explore. Options include videos,...more
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Teach Astronomy is a must-use website for anyone who teaches astronomy, or for anyone interested in astronomy. Use the Wikimap to choose an area to explore. Options include videos, images, podcasts, and more. Teach Astronomy also includes a complete 19 chapter online textbook. Browse through the 365 podcasts created by astronomers from all over the world including written transcripts. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site on classroom computers as an excellent resource for images, videos, and other teaching materials. Be sure to share a link to the site on your class website for students to access from home. Teach Astronomy is perfect to use with gifted or self-paced students. Have students make a multimedia presentation about any astronomy concepts using using Beautiful.AI, reviewed here. This tool allows narrating and adding text to a picture. Or, use Sway, reviewed here, for this presentation. Sway creates unique multimedia projects using text, images, and media. Change the look of your Sway using the Mood and Remix tools to change the color palette, layout, and fonts.

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World's Biomes - University of California

Grades
5 to 12
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Read about the conservation and preservation of the World's Biomes. Click on one of the six biomes to see a very readable summary about the characteristics and facts of that ...more
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Read about the conservation and preservation of the World's Biomes. Click on one of the six biomes to see a very readable summary about the characteristics and facts of that biome. This page is part of a larger site, The Museum of Paleontology, reviewed here.

In the Classroom

Use this site as one of multiple sources for researching biomes or a particular biome. Show students how to take Cornell (two column) notes and summarize using this information. Use a tool like 43 Folders Cornell Notes, reviewed here, to help explain Cornell Notes to students. Pair weak readers with strong readers for this activity.

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Biology4Kids

Grades
6 to 12
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This site offers an introduction to three areas of bioology: cells, chemistry, and ecology, along with a set of study materials. Though the concepts are "real science," the language...more
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This site offers an introduction to three areas of bioology: cells, chemistry, and ecology, along with a set of study materials. Though the concepts are "real science," the language is approachable and interesting enough to keep students engaged. This site is well worth a look for use as either a self-study or a resource to accompany an introduction to biology. Part of the Kapili.com collection.

In the Classroom

This site will compliment your study of cells. Use it as an introduction or review. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students explore this site independently or in pairs. If used independently put the site on a classroom computer and use as a center. To use in pairs, bring students to the lab or use a classroom set of laptops. This site would also be a good one to add to your class webpage or blog for use at home. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Visme, reviewed here.

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All About Snow - National Snow and Ice Data Center

Grades
3 to 12
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Everything you wanted to know about snow can be found in this informative site. The site is divided into easy to use sections containing facts, questions and answers, a gallery, ...more
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Everything you wanted to know about snow can be found in this informative site. The site is divided into easy to use sections containing facts, questions and answers, a gallery, and other useful links. The range of topics goes from blizzards to snow formations. Especially informative is the question and answer section where readers can find the answer to questions from "How big can a snowflake get?" to "Is it ever too cold to snow?"

In the Classroom

Ask students to write their own questions about snow and research the information on this site. This is a perfect site to include with any winter activities. Ask students to locate the places mentioned in the gallery on a map. Have students research a historic snowstorm from a specific geographical location and use an online mapping tool to tell the class about the winter event (and location). Try a tool such as Click2Map, reviewed here. Use the site when teaching a unit on weather (or winter Olympics) for factual information about snow using the resources link. Extend the snow "storm" by investigating everything there is to know about snowflakes at Snowflake Bentley, reviewed here, and Snow Crystals, reviewed here.

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EarthCam Live Webcam Network - EarthCam, Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Discover what is happening all around the world, live, as it takes place. EarthCam's network includes live webcams featuring weather, traffic, animals, and more. Discover webcams by...more
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Discover what is happening all around the world, live, as it takes place. EarthCam's network includes live webcams featuring weather, traffic, animals, and more. Discover webcams by topic or explore popular offerings. Scroll further down the home page to choose webcams on a clickable map by location. Because webcams may feature streaming from inside homes or contain other personal information, do not have young children access them without supervision. Previewing all videos before sharing with the class would be wise.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

This site would be an excellent addition to any science, social studies, or world cultures class. Teachers click on a webcam in different parts of the world to see things like weather and basic geography. Share the videos on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. In early elementary, use webcams to introduce the world visually with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard. Select specific webcams and create shortcuts on classroom computer desktops for students to "see what's happening" on a certain continent as you study the seven continents. Use this resource to visit different areas that have been effected by natural disasters. Use animal webcams for students to observe animal behavior and keep a "lab journal" of what they see. Instead of the traditional paper and pencil "lab journal," have students keep a virtual journal about what they are learning. Use an easy virtual journaling tool such as Penzu, reviewed here. With Penzu you can add images or your own artwork as illustrations. Challenge students to further research the animal(s) they observed and to create an interactive map showing where the animals can be found with a tool like Click2Map, reviewed here. With Click2Map students can include display markers featuring text, photos, and videos!

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EduBirdie - KingCitation

Grades
5 to 12
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Let's face it, creating proper citations is difficult due to the many different formats and the variety of sources cited. EduBirdie helps with this problem with its Auto Citer. Click...more
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Let's face it, creating proper citations is difficult due to the many different formats and the variety of sources cited. EduBirdie helps with this problem with its Auto Citer. Click Citation Generators from the top menu and then choose the type of format you need. The three step procedure begins at the top menu with choosing the type of work that is cited then moves on to adding requested information to the form generator. Click "Generate Citation" to complete your citation ready to copy and paste into any document.

In the Classroom

Use your interactive whiteboard and projector to show students how to use this tool for citing their sources. Share this website for all of your projects using research so students know the correct procedure for citations. Be sure to add it on your class web site as a useful reference.
 

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CleverPDF - CleverPDF

Grades
K to 12
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CleverPDF is your one-stop site for managing PDF documents. Choose from 27 tools to convert to and from PDF documents, reorder pages, extract images, and much more. Select the tool...more
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CleverPDF is your one-stop site for managing PDF documents. Choose from 27 tools to convert to and from PDF documents, reorder pages, extract images, and much more. Select the tool you need, upload your file, and choose from additional options based on the function selected. Scroll down within each of the tasks to find easy to follow step-by-step directions for converting and saving your file. CleverPDF also includes a downloadable application for use on Windows and Mac computers for converting files without an Internet connection.

In the Classroom

Be sure to bookmark this site on all classroom and personal computers for use throughout the year. If you have a large PDF file but only need a page or two, use CleverPDF to extract it for you. Convert PDF files to Word or Pages when working with a document that needs editing. Convert student work into PDF then convert into a book using Flipsnack, reviewed here. Flipsnack even includes a handy page-turning effect! This is a helpful utility for students entering contests or completing applications offered only in PDF form. Help students create a more organized and appealing portfolio by converting all items to one standard file type such as PDF. PorfolioVillage, reviewed here, is an easy to use tool for creating and sharing portfolios, include student-created PDF documents to share any work document.
 
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Be Fearless Be Kind - Hasbro Children's Fund

Grades
K to 5
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Be Fearless Be Kind is an empathy toolkit (PDF with lots of links) developed to help kids become "change-makers" through fostering not only empathy, but leadership, creative problem...more
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Be Fearless Be Kind is an empathy toolkit (PDF with lots of links) developed to help kids become "change-makers" through fostering not only empathy, but leadership, creative problem solving, and teamwork. You'll first find a definition of empathy and why it is important. Then comes the nitty-gritty to use in the classroom: videos, projects, lesson plans, and activities. Some categories include Build the Foundation, Identify Feelings, Self-Regulation, Practice Perspective-Taking, Self-Awareness, Use Problem-Solving Procedures, and several more. All have many resources for you to use with your students.

In the Classroom

Be sure to investigate the abundance of resources and information shared in this free toolkit for use in classroom lessons on social and leadership skills, empathy, and problem-solving. Several portions in the booklet include scenarios and questions for discussions. Extend student learning by challenging student groups to create weekly podcasts addressing common social issues along with suggestions for dealing with them. PodcastGenerator, reviewed here, offers free tools for podcasting. Use the resources and suggestions with character education activities throughout the year. Share ideas from this site with parents to use at home with their children. Create a class (or school) bulletin board with examples of students demonstrating empathy.

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CASEL Program Guides - Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning

Grades
K to 12
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The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) provides support and tools that include high-quality information for social and emotional learning. The guides...more
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The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) provides support and tools that include high-quality information for social and emotional learning. The guides shared on this page provide a framework for evaluating social and emotional programs. Choose from two versions of the guides; one is for preschool and elementary programs, the other features the middle and high school edition. For both editions, open the PDF link to view or print the guide. Each guide includes an in-depth discussion of the methods used to rate programs, along with charts with ratings and information on the effectiveness of the programs.

In the Classroom

The guides shared on this website provide a structured framework for evaluating any social/emotional learning program. Use the information to analyze any programs or tools being considered for use in your classroom. Share this guide with administrators in your district to use when considering implementing new learning programs. Create your own evaluation framework based on this information using Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to serve as a useful look at the pros and cons of the resource being considered.
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Magazine Cover Maker - Big Huge Labs

Grades
3 to 12
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Create authentic-looking magazine covers sure to attract double-takes. Simply upload a photo to create your cover. If you do not need to SAVE the photo for online access later, you...more
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Create authentic-looking magazine covers sure to attract double-takes. Simply upload a photo to create your cover. If you do not need to SAVE the photo for online access later, you do not even need to join the site. Covers you create can be downloaded as completed images or sent via email and other sharing tools (Facebook, etc). Photos can be uploaded from your files, Flickr, your website, or other photosharing sites. Fill in your desired text for the titles and sub-titles and choose colors for them. It's that simple. Click 'Create' at the bottom and you have a magazine cover that will leave others in awe. For more creative ideas using Big Huge Labs, go to the top of the page and click on Big Huge Labs Blog or Forum. Big Huge Labs offers MANY similar tools, such as Mapmaker, reviewed here. Of course, this site offers advanced options for a fee or with free registration, but neither is necessary.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Enhance classroom technology use by using this tool with your students. They will need to know how to locate your photos on your computer or photo sharing site. Click the little white boxes to change text colors, etc. as you enter desired text. SAVE your completed cover when done. Be sure to give it a meaningful name if you are creating several covers on the same computer!

Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here. If you and your students simply use the tool without joining the site, there are no problems with email, profiles, etc. You do need to demonstrate the tool and specifically explain which links students should NOT use, including ads and links to social networking sites that are prohibited in your school. These may be blocked, anyway. Make sure you watch and teach copyright issues in snatching photos from the web.

Have students create magazine covers of themselves as a getting to know you activity and classroom bulletin board. Print and laminate magazine covers to make them appear even more authentic. Or share the images (WITHOUT student names) on your class wiki or web page. When doing reports for any subject, have students create magazine covers that mimic the real thing instead of boring plain covers. Make covers about famous Americans, scientists, or historic figures. Make covers about objects, as well. Assign students to research a vegetable and create a cover about its nutrients, recipes, and more as part of your nutrition unit! Guidance teachers or principals can feature exemplary students using this tool. Bulletin board creativity will skyrocket using Big Huge Labs Magazine Cover. Why not offer a rotating PowerPoint slide show of student-made magazine covers for parents to view as they wait in the hallway for conferences?

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Google Scholar - Google

Grades
8 to 12
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Google Scholar is a web search tool for scholarly literature and academic resources such as books, articles, and documents. Enter your search term, then choose to search by articles...more
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Google Scholar is a web search tool for scholarly literature and academic resources such as books, articles, and documents. Enter your search term, then choose to search by articles (with or without patents and case-law). Use additional tools within search results to narrow down by date. Enable the My Library function to save selected results for later use. The Cite link beneath the entry description includes formatted citations in many different options.

In the Classroom

Use this great resource to organize and compare research found on the Internet. Consider creating a class Google account to collect materials found throughout the school year. Be sure to talk to students about how to organize and share information and sources. Students can maintain their own archive and show their collection at the end of the year. This tool will also be very handy for graduate projects teachers may be doing.
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Physics4Kids - Andrew Rader Studios

Grades
6 to 12
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This informative and creative website presents students with information about various topics involving physics. Specific topics include motion, heat, magnetism, electricity, sound,...more
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This informative and creative website presents students with information about various topics involving physics. Specific topics include motion, heat, magnetism, electricity, sound, modern physics and more! This site includes pictures, information and interactive quizzes. This website provides information in almost all areas of physics. The graphics assist in helping students understand difficult concepts. Some of the pages require FLASH.

In the Classroom

Use an interactive whiteboard to involve the entire class. This will help your weaker readsers, since you or students will highlight important terms; use the pens to draw examples as they read explanations. With older students have them explore this site independently or in pairs. If used independently put the site on a classroom computer and use as a center. To use in pairs, bring students to the lab or use a classroom set of laptops. This site would also be a good one to add to your class webpage or blog for use at home. Have students create a simple infographic sharing their findings using Visme, reviewed here.

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Word Hearts - Neoformix.com

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a simple tool that automatically fills a heart shape with any words you choose. Simply type the words separated by commas in the text box and press "Enter." ...more
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This is a simple tool that automatically fills a heart shape with any words you choose. Simply type the words separated by commas in the text box and press "Enter." You have the option to choose one of three fonts and change the colors of the text, background, and shape. There is no built-in method to save or print your image, however you can capture it by using print screen, explained by clicking on one of the links available right on the Word Heart page, that will guide you on how to capture your screen on both Windows and Mac. You can then paste it into any image editing program to crop it, save it, or print it.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

This is a handy, fun tool to make available to your class. Provide a direct link from your web page or wiki and bookmark it in your favorites. The uses are endless! Students can generate words related to any of the literary themes or character traits related to love, family, or friendship, or write a poem. When studying grammar, have students fill the heart with verbs, or nouns. Use it to generate synonyms or antonyms. Another idea, have students "capture" the picture and save. Then enhance learning by challenging them to narrate their word heart using a site such as Slidestory, reviewed here. This tool allows you to narrate the slides and images.

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Ringbeller - Ringbeller Inc

Grades
K to 5
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Ringbeller describes itself as "TED meets Mr. Rogers for the modern classroom." The three-step program includes classes watching a five-minute video followed by a series of pop-up questions...more
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Ringbeller describes itself as "TED meets Mr. Rogers for the modern classroom." The three-step program includes classes watching a five-minute video followed by a series of pop-up questions then uses a collaborative activity as a culminating project. Topics focus on classroom behavior and promoting positive student attitudes toward themselves, others, and school. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable.

In the Classroom

Include Ringbeller as part of a classroom center rotation during one semester of the school year; there are ten videos and activities that work well as a weekly social learning lesson. Share Ringbeller with your school's counselor to use with small groups. Ask students to reflect upon each activity by writing a blog using Edublogs, reviewed here. Have them include personal goals based upon the content of each lesson. As a follow-up to Ringbeller activities, encourage students to be proactive and share behavior tips and ideas to promote positive attitudes using the audio podcasting tool Synth, reviewed here. Synth is an easy to use tool for creating short audio podcasts by connecting recordings of 256 seconds or less together in an audio stream. Consider creating a podcast for all school members to share and collaborate with positive ideas.
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Students Investigating Primary Sources - Florida Joint Center for Citizenship

Grades
2 to 12
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Students Investigating Primary Sources is a series of lessons designed through a collaboration with the National Archives, Pinellas County Public Schools, and Brevard Public Schools...more
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Students Investigating Primary Sources is a series of lessons designed through a collaboration with the National Archives, Pinellas County Public Schools, and Brevard Public Schools for 2nd grade through High School Students. Choose from topics including separation of power and women's right to vote. Each lesson correlates to National Standards and a PDF link to the original activity including vocabulary, handouts, and other necessary materials.

In the Classroom

Benefit from the free lessons on this site for use when teaching the use of primary sources. Challenge younger students to demonstrate concepts learned by creating a presentation using slides, reviewed here, and older students to use a presentation tool from Lucidpress, reviewed here. The easy drag and drop features of Lucidpress allow you to personalize flyers, posters, presentations, and more. Ask students to incorporate primary sources and other research materials into an interactive timeline using Preceden, reviewed here, as a visual look at historical events over a certain period.
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K-12 Digital Citizenship Curriculum - Common Sense Education

Grades
K to 12
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Common Sense Education offers this curriculum for teaching Digital Citizenship to students in all grades from K-12. Topics include cyberbullying, digital footprint & identity, media...more
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Common Sense Education offers this curriculum for teaching Digital Citizenship to students in all grades from K-12. Topics include cyberbullying, digital footprint & identity, media balance & well-being, among others. Create an account to access all lesson materials, including lesson plans, media, and student materials. Many of the included materials are available for bilingual learners.

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this website as your first stop for any lessons related to responsible digital behavior. Share a link to videos on your classroom website or blog for students (and parents) to view at home. Download and use lesson plans and materials as part of your digital safety planning. Many lessons include suggestions for modifications to use as a quick activity instead of a complete lesson. Modify learning and have students create a word cloud of the important terms they learn from this site using a tool such as Word Clouds for Kids, reviewed here, for younger students, or WordClouds, reviewed here, for older students. Enhance learning and ask students to collect ideas on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here, (quick start- no membership required!) demonstrating information presented from these Digital Literacy & Citizenship lessons.
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Teachers - Primary Source Sets - Library of Congress

Grades
4 to 12
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. View Primary Source Set titles in alphabetical order from...more
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This collection of primary sources from the Library of Congress is organized around key topics and themes in American History. View Primary Source Set titles in alphabetical order from Abraham Lincoln through Women's Suffrage. Choose any topic to view Teacher's Guides and analysis tools including graphic organizers for students. Sort information to find materials meeting Common Core Standards, State Standards, or national organization standards.

In the Classroom

When introducing a new unit, show students photos from the era (on the left menu) and have them describe what they see and what period they think it is. Find plenty of questions and activities (including a blank analysis organizer for students) in the Teacher's Guides. Also look at Library of Congress: for Teachers, reviewed here. Encourage your students to use this tool for projects. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted for reproduction), and then narrate the photo as if it is a news report. Have students create a multimedia presentation using Google Slides, reviewed here. Google Slides allows you to narrate a picture (choose Insert from the top menu, then audio) modifying student learning. Include this site on your class webpage for students and parents to access as a reference.
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PicLits - PicLits.com

Grades
K to 12
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Alternatively, add inspirational...more
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The title says it all: "Inspired Picture Writing!" Use this free drag and drop literacy tool to create great sentences inspired by beautiful pictures. Alternatively, add inspirational or humorous captions to pictures. "Lesson Plans" provides learning opportunities and examples for creating captions, compound sentences, or paragraphs. Video tutorials can be found under the FAQs tab. "Explore the Gallery" to see already-created PicLits as well as comments and ratings. After selecting a picture (or using the one they provide) and dragging a word onto the screen, choose different forms of the word by using the drop-down menu next to the word. Move your words anywhere on the screen for creative writing. You can also click "freestyle" instead to type in your own words instead of choosing from their list. Word lists change, depending on the image selected. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable.

Registering for a PicLits account requires the use of an email address. PicLits can be used without an account but you are unable to save or blog about their creation without an account. A class account can be created instead of individual student accounts. However, it does not show which work is attributable to which student. You may want to require that students initial their contributions in order to get credit. All work on the site can be seen without a login. All projects are public. NOTE: Our editors regret that PicLits occasionally allows advertising on their home page to include images that are not classroom-friendly. Teachers should preview to determine whether or not your students can ignore the ads.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Share a PicLit on your interactive whiteboard or with a projector at the start of a grammar or writing lesson to discuss word choice, figures of speech, or vocabulary. Use the visual picture prompt for journal or blog writing, allowing each student to compose a unique poem or haiku. Even science classes can write about concepts illustrated in the many nature photos. Emotional support teachers will love the chance to discuss feelings and how to describe facial expressions in the pictures. Make a collection of PicLits using a tool like 3 x 3 Links, reviewed here, for a curriculum topic. Modify classroom technology use by challenging students to create an online literary magazine using a tool such as Underlined, reviewed here. PicLits can be used for a variety of assignments in any classroom that is integrating technology as an enhancement. ESL students can create PicLits to learn new vocabulary. Have students create PicLits for special occasions and special people (mom, dad, grandparents, school nurse, or others). Use the embed code to place your creations on many other sites, including your class wiki or blogs. Share your PicLit by using a URL or code for an embedded widget.

You may want to create a word doc, Favorites folder, or other "collection" of the URLS to all your students' projects in one place for easy work at grading time. Some teachers use a class wiki or blog with links to all projects from there. A simpler alternative would be to use a bookmarking tool such as Raindrop.io, reviewed here. You may allow students to self-register, but be sure to keep a written record of their passwords for when they "forget." It may be worth your time to do advanced registration for your younger students or simply use a whole-class account.

To use PicLits you must be able to navigate tabs on sites, manage logins, and use URLs and embed codes to share results on websites and blogs. Play to learn the tools before or after joining. The FAQs tab also provides a short-and-sweet text explanation of the tools. Find these under the Video Tutorials.

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All About the Holidays - PBS Learning Media

Grades
K to 12
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Learn about the history and significance behind many holidays through this video collection from PBS Learning Media. Begin browsing by choosing from fall, winter, spring, or summer...more
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Learn about the history and significance behind many holidays through this video collection from PBS Learning Media. Begin browsing by choosing from fall, winter, spring, or summer holidays. Each section includes short videos explaining the history of the holiday. Each selection also includes links to standards along with additional links to supporting materials such as lesson plans or printable items. Not seeing a holiday you want such as 100 days of school? Use the search bar at the top!

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site to use as a resource for teaching material during holidays throughout the year. For each holiday use a bookmarking site such as Wakelet, reviewed here, to organize and share lesson materials, videos, and game sites for your students. Instead of worksheets or written reports, enhance student learning by asking them to create infographics sharing information about any holiday. Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, is a very easy to use tool that includes pre-made templates. Don't keep student learning to yourself, share their knowledge through holiday podcasts for your entire school and community to hear. Anchor, reviewed here, features many kid-friendly tools to get you started with creating and sharing podcasts.

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Zotero - Center for History and New Media at George Mason University

Grades
8 to 12
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Use this "easy-to-use" tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Downloadable versions run as a stand-alone or as an add-on to Firefox. Once installed, the tool...more
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Use this "easy-to-use" tool to help collect, organize, cite, and share research sources. Downloadable versions run as a stand-alone or as an add-on to Firefox. Once installed, the tool saves information several ways: through a click at the bottom of the web browser, by a click on favorite/bookmark bar, or manually. Files already on computers can be included with files saved from the internet. Items can be grouped and sorted according to individual needs. Information saved through Zotero can be accessed on any computer that has the computer/browser extension downloaded. The site includes a helpful quick start video guide explaining features included with the program.

In the Classroom

Depending on school computer settings, you may need to have tech support install the program for you. Use Zotero to collect and organize classroom resources. Share with older students as a resource for gathering and citing information. Demonstrate how to use the site on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector, including showing the quick-start video. One of the advanced features of the site is the creation of groups. Share this with students who may be capable of using the feature to collaborate with others.

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Copyright and Fair Use Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students understand concepts of copyright and Fair Use. This collection includes...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers, parents, and students understand concepts of copyright and Fair Use. This collection includes instructional activities about copyright and collections/tools to use images, music, and texts legally, either through Fair Use or Creative Commons licensing.

In the Classroom

Use these resources to model and teach ethical use of electronic media or to find copyright-safe raw materials for student projects. Be sure to share these resources with students for them to access any time they have a project to do.

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Social Justice Standards: Unpacking Identity - Learning for Justice

Grades
8 to 12
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Delve into the essential questions of how identity develops and how it affects our relationships with this professional development topic from Learning for Justice. This lesson teaches...more
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Delve into the essential questions of how identity develops and how it affects our relationships with this professional development topic from Learning for Justice. This lesson teaches the five identity anchor standards and how identity affects relationships in a school and classrooms. Use the charts as a reflection piece to focus on your identity and learn through school-related scenarios on how to apply and teach anti-bias standards to students.

In the Classroom

Use this course as an introduction to understanding bias and identity from both a personal and professional level. Adapt information from this course to include in your lessons on racism, empathy, and difficult conversations. For example, use the images and charts in the application section to identify and understand that first impression and physical characteristics don't always provide a complete picture of another person's identity. Include these activities as part of a larger teaching unit using a learning management system such as ClassFlow, reviewed here. ClassFlow includes many options for building interactive lessons that promote critical thinking skills through various response formats, media options, and teacher feedback.

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Promoting A Sense Of Self: Experiences And Activities - Virtual Lab School

Grades
K to 1
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Learn how to support and encourage children by understanding anti-bias teaching methods that recognize and support individual student needs with this self-paced professional development...more
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Learn how to support and encourage children by understanding anti-bias teaching methods that recognize and support individual student needs with this self-paced professional development lesson. Learning activities include embracing diversity, multiple social identities, and embracing character through understanding the six pillars of character education. This lesson also includes strategies for strengthening family relationships and ideas for developing student interests through short and long-term projects.

In the Classroom

Share this lesson with your peers to use as a learning opportunity or review the included ideas to support students' identity and awareness of others' diversity. Consider sharing a link to this article with parents to help them develop skills for discussing character issues and diversity at home. Use Padlet, reviewed here, to share this article with parents and curate other information from a variety of resources to support and provide education with dealing with character education issues at home.

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Trading Card Maker - BigHugeLabs.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Create photo trading cards using images you upload or store on Flickr. Imagine having your students create study aides about famous people using images they draw and scan or photos...more
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Create photo trading cards using images you upload or store on Flickr. Imagine having your students create study aides about famous people using images they draw and scan or photos of themselves impersonating the famous people, such as presidents, explorers, authors, and more. If you celebrate reading by having an "author's tea," why not follow up by asking students to make trading cards for the authors they "met"? Use a similar approach for famous historical figures or even for geometric shapes you photograph with the digital camera. If students write their own "biographies" of the shapes to study from, they will learn for sure! They can even trade each other for favorites.

In the Classroom

Upload and tag your photo, type information, and print cards. Download finished card to your computer. Use for book reports for literature circles with each student in the group making a card for a different character in the book. This is also an excellent idea for special occasions for special people: mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, school nurse, school secretary, school custodian, favorite aunt, or anyone else! Be sure to print onto cover stock and laminate (if possible). What fabulous (and memorable) gifts. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

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Bookemon - Bookemon, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
47 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Write your own original books, add images and artwork as illustrations, and read your published books in interactive, online form. There is no fee for the online publication and sharing....more
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Write your own original books, add images and artwork as illustrations, and read your published books in interactive, online form. There is no fee for the online publication and sharing. This is the ultimate in "digital storytelling." Click "Explore" to browse many "public" examples on the templates page of books created by others. Take advantage of the free apps that make Bookemon even easier to use with any device! Use Bookemon Reader to READ books you created in Bookemon or Bookemon edCenter (available for both iOS and Android). BookPress for iOS devices only allows you to CREATE books from scratch, including using photos from your iPad/iPhone. InstaPress (for iOS only) offers options to make books from documents, pdfs, etc. to be shared on mobile devices as eBooks. Here is an example of a book created by the TeachersFirst Edge editors. Once you set up free membership on this site, students (or teachers) can select to create from a blank start or to use the templates provided. You can also create a book starter of your own as an example so students can follow the prompts you have created. The book creator allows you to upload your own images and to create books from a Word document or PowerPoint file you have already made. EdCenter users can collaborate on books.

After you save and publish the work, share the URL so people can read the entire book online, either among an audience of "just my friends" or publicly. They also offer the embed code to place your books on a class or school web page, wiki, or blog. The easiest option is to copy the address of the new window displaying the interactive book. There is an option to have the book printed for a fee, but this is not required. You can also read books created by others (if they make them public). Use the fully-public option to create learning materials for classes to access year to year for at-home review or reading practice.

This site requires a simple registration. Teachers can set up an edCenter for their school or class in accordance with school policies. See more detailed suggestions "In the Classroom" below and in our sample book! Newer mobile device options include players to view your books on iPads and more.
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In the Classroom

SKIP the profile and friends areas to get to the book creator to play with the tools a bit. Before you get too involved, create an edCenter to minimize advertising and create books in your own teacher-friendly class environment. Use the edCenter to register students and establish privacy settings for your class. No student emails are required.

On the Create Books page, choose from using a blank book, starting from a file, or using a template. Choose "school" to see projects from other classes or a sample created by you or a student team working in advance along with you. Explore ready-made themes (seasonal, topical, etc.) or use "open theme." Choose book dimensions (match layout shape to any uploaded files, such as PowerPoint slides). Enter settings and description of your book (editable later), including who is allowed to "see" it: everyone, just friends, or private. Again choose a "theme" - more of a category where Bookemon will list your completed book. A logical option is "school." Experiment with tools to upload files (within file limits), add images, add text, etc. Written help is offered as you go, but there is no video demo. SAVE often. Turn margins on to avoid chopping content. To share the book, you must "publish" it (i.e. finalize).

Once published, locate the book under "My Books" and use options to share (by email--and see the URL to copy from there), "Make a new edition" to create a new version--also useful for treating the original as a template for later books), Post to Other Sites offers embed codes. The BEST option is to click the book COVER which opens a new window without ads or "stuff," and copy the ADDRESS of that window to paste into email, etc. You can also mark that clean window view as a Favorite on a classroom computer!

Use your edCenter settings to manage social networking features. This will avoid the "public" Bookemon features such as opportunities to share address books, use social tools such as Facebook to share your books, etc. Teacher-controlled edCenter accounts are probably the easiest option for managing within school policies.

With younger students, have them begin their work in PowerPoint then upload for whole-class books. See an example, created by the TeachersFirst Edge editors . The example is full of ideas for classroom use from Kindergarten to high school, including science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. ANY grade can use this tool, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. (By the way, the correct answer to the problem in the sample book is c. 27.) Another idea: have students create personalized books for their parents or grandparents for special occasions (Mother's Day, Father's Day, or Grandparent's Day).

Use the mobile device features offered in your BYOD classroom to make and share books, PDF's, and more. Tip: Use this site for a guided introduction to social networking as a class, an excellent teaching opportunity for digital citizenship in the context of a project.

This is one of the best creative tools for gifted students to go above and beyond regular curriculum. Don't let the "juvenile" appearance fool you. Even older students can write and include images to create and share books of any length. Any independent research or writing project can become an interactive book. Even advanced science experiments and lab reports can be shared online using this tool. Once you have one book, you can use that as a template for others. Inspire your gifted students to create literary magazine or even a personal online "portfolio" of writing, artwork, or photography presented in interactive book form.

Comments

This is one of my all time favorite creative tools. Very versatile. Great for making "buddy books" or for teacher-created learning "books." Make one as a whole class to summarize a science unit in primary grades. I even use it personally to make fee online "gifts" for children I know. I did purchase one print version, and it looked great. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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