Ideas and resources for parent conferences

These reviewed resources offer information so share with parents at conferences or suggested activities to share at conference time. Read "In the Classroom" ideas to display and other creative approaches for parent conferences. Parents will appreciate your sharing of educator-reviewed resources at conferences and on your TeachersFirst public page so you can work as a team in support of their child's learning.

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Doodle - Michael Brecht

Grades
K to 12
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Doodle is an online tool to simplify scheduling meetings with several participants. Follow the three easy steps to find the best meeting time: set up a poll, invite participants, and...more
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Doodle is an online tool to simplify scheduling meetings with several participants. Follow the three easy steps to find the best meeting time: set up a poll, invite participants, and confirm the date and time. Set up your poll including proposed dates and times including as many time slots each day as you wish. Refine using options such as only the administrator may view responses or limit the number of participants in each time frame. When ready, send invitations using your email service with the Doodle link or connect your address book for invitations to come directly from Doodle. Two links will arrive in your email: one to administer your poll and the other to share.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): calendars (46), classroom management (148), organizational skills (128)

In the Classroom

Use Doodle scheduling to set up parent/teacher conference appointments, to set up professional development sessions, or to plan school events such as Math and Science fairs. Set up times for guest speakers, Skype calls, or other in-class events easily using Doodle. Share with students to set up study group meeting times. You could even set up in-class writing conferences or extra help by letting your BYOD students sign up for time slots.

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Children's Books and Reading - Stephanie at Childrens-Books-and-Reading.com

Grades
K to 4
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Parents (or any interested adults) can support young readers with this guide to reading instruction, Children's books, and Reading. Find support in many areas of reading such as book...more
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Parents (or any interested adults) can support young readers with this guide to reading instruction, Children's books, and Reading. Find support in many areas of reading such as book lists, early literacy ideas, ways to improve reading, spelling instruction ideas, and reading interactives. Don't worry, there is also material here to help children who are already reading - to increase fluency, comprehension, and more! Book lists include; audio books, read alouds, picture books, wordless picture books, classic books, books to hook reluctant readers, as well as recommended books. Subscribe to the newsletter to stay in touch with the latest ideas. Although this site is definitely text-heavy, it does offer a lot of information to both parents and teachers working with emergent readers.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): literacy (107), preK (291), reading comprehension (118), reading lists (79), reading strategies (47), spelling (167)

In the Classroom

This site is a great site to share with parents on your class website. Start a PTO meeting featuring literacy using ideas from this site. At a literacy night, show this site on your projector (or interactive whiteboard) to feature the interactives. Add the games to your literacy stations. Share at conferences to answer the parent questions of, "How do I help at home?" Looking for more audio books? Find a huge collection of audio books here to try some of the strategies suggestion by this site. Don't forget your earbuds!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Jooners - Jooners Inc.

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create, coordinate, and manage sign up sheets online in just 2 minutes. There is no registration required! Create your own sign up from scratch or choose from examples of different...more
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Create, coordinate, and manage sign up sheets online in just 2 minutes. There is no registration required! Create your own sign up from scratch or choose from examples of different types of sheets to modify for your use. View a preview and publish when complete. Send finished sheets to email recipients. Recipients click on the link in the email to sign up using options provided. Optional registration (FREE) allows members to save up to 5 sign up sheets for use at a later time. A premium version offers additional options, but the free version gets it done!
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tag(s): calendars (46), organizational skills (128)

In the Classroom

Be sure to check out the pre-made templates for many school events such as conferences, recess duty, lunch helpers, and spring carnival. Use Jooners to coordinate helpers and items for classroom parties or teacher luncheons. Use Jooners to plan for your class field trips, special events, and more. Jooners is perfect for all of your Parent Teacher Organization events. Share this site as an easy way to coordinate all school or extracurricular activities.

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Common Myths in Gifted Education - National Association for Gifted Children

Grades
K to 12
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Take a close look at myths versus truths in Gifted Education at this informative site. Topics range from identification of gifted students through information on accelerated options....more
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Take a close look at myths versus truths in Gifted Education at this informative site. Topics range from identification of gifted students through information on accelerated options. Browse through a series of over 10 myths related to Gifted Education and then view a short discussion of the truth. Each set of truths includes links to further information on the National Association for Gifted Children's website. You will find articles, studies, and webpages related to the specific myth being addressed.

tag(s): gifted (94)

In the Classroom

Share information from this site during professional development sessions in your school as a resource for properly serving your gifted population. Use information from this site when holding parent conferences as a resource for research on gifted education.

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Supporting the Emotional Needs of the Gifted - SENG

Grades
1 to 12
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Change lives and change futures of gifted and talented individuals by gaining a more comprehensive view of being gifted. SENG's mission is to empower families and communities to help...more
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Change lives and change futures of gifted and talented individuals by gaining a more comprehensive view of being gifted. SENG's mission is to empower families and communities to help gifted and talented individuals to reach their goals: intellectually, physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually. A variety of programs offers education either through home study courses, annual conferences, online parent support groups, or ways to establish a parent support group in your area. Continuing education credits are offered for health care professionals or any interested individual. Find a health care provider in your own area. Free materials further explain medical misdiagnosis for Gifted, Emotional Health, Twice Gifted, ADHD, Roles for Health Care Professionals, and more. An extensive free library of print, audio, and video resources help explain needs of gifted and talented students and how to advocate for them. Find links to other gifted organizations, books, and downloadable informational brochures.
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tag(s): gifted (94)

In the Classroom

Have questions about a gifted child or a child you suspect to be gifted? Teach a gifted and talented group? Answer many of your own questions and also parent questions with an amazing amount of information available. Sponsor a parent night for Gifted Students and offer and feature many of the resources highlighted. Be sure you have a strong base of your own knowledge of the needs of gifted and talented students. Keep up to date with latest research and information.
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30 Boxes - Julie Davidson and Nick Wilder

Grades
K to 12
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Create a simple, easy-share, online calendar using 30 Boxes. Use the wizard to fill in birthdays, email connections, your zip code (for weather information), and more. Click on any...more
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Create a simple, easy-share, online calendar using 30 Boxes. Use the wizard to fill in birthdays, email connections, your zip code (for weather information), and more. Click on any date to add events, add start and finish times, notes, tags, or make private. Use the dropdown box to choose times for reminders by text or email. Send an invite to your contacts or add any email address. Choose from many personalization options to change color, add online calendars to your feed, or change privacy settings. Share your calendar using the link, embed code, or other share options.

tag(s): calendars (46), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Create a 30 Boxes calendar and share on your class website. Include homework, upcoming events such as conferences and holidays, and test dates. Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as an excellent way to share school events with the community. Create an online calendar including professional development opportunities to share with others in your school and district. If you advise a club, this is a handy tool for sharing the events calendar.

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WhenIsGood - Keith Harris

Grades
K to 12
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WhenIsGood is an easy to use tool to find out when all participants are free for an event or meeting. Choose "get started" and click all possible times and dates ...more
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WhenIsGood is an easy to use tool to find out when all participants are free for an event or meeting. Choose "get started" and click all possible times and dates for an event. Narrow times to particular days and time periods of 15, 30, or 60 minutes. Give the event a title. Additional options include specifying a time zone and viewing of only specific hours each day. After creating the event, write down the result code provided to receive the link to send to participants. Click the box to receive email alerts for any new responses. Participants highlight their choices and submit adding comments if desired. No registration is required to use this tool. You can register for an account to receive a few additional perks: edit or delete activities, no need for result codes with each event, and more.
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tag(s): calendars (46), parent conferences (24)

In the Classroom

Create a calendar for scheduling parent-teacher conferences to send to parents. Scheduling a special presentation and inviting parents? Use this tool to find out what date and time of day will work best. Use WhenIsGood to set up grade level or department meetings. Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as a tool for scheduling meetings, fundraisers, or book fairs.

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Eventbrite - Kevin and Julia Hartz

Grades
K to 12
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Eventbrite is an all-in-one event planning solution. Create your event page including logos, images, and other pertinent information using the templates provided. Take advantage of...more
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Eventbrite is an all-in-one event planning solution. Create your event page including logos, images, and other pertinent information using the templates provided. Take advantage of the option for creating bar coded tickets to send to participants (choose free tickets for the free account, paid tickets have a small charge to cover credit card costs). Once your event page is ready, get the word out using Eventbrite tools such as emailing personalized invitations or various social media options. Use the mobile features to check attendees in at your event and scan bar coded invitations.
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tag(s): calendars (46)

In the Classroom

Use Eventbrite to increase excitement for any classroom event. Be creative and have students attend an "event" to review for exams (with bar coded tickets they can earn by sharing a student-made review activity). Offer tickets to in class enrichment "events" for those who test out of a unit. Have student groups design "events" instead of giving class presentations. The "event" could be a quiz show or game session that teaches a curriculum topic, such as "World War Wonders." Have your class work together to plan a culminating "event" such as a tea for famous Americans, and issue invitations and tickets to students who play the parts of the people they researched. Invite parents to Open Houses and Conferences. (Perhaps provide a small door prize for those using the Eventbrite app as their admission ticket!) Use Eventbrite to manage events with limited seating or a limited number of participants. If you provide professional development sessions, this is an excellent way to spread the word and manage participation. If you are an advisor for a school club, this tool would make club-sponsored events easier to organize.

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MightyText - MightyText.net

Grades
9 to 12
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Use this tool to create texts from any Android device AND from your computer. Texts are sent using your Android phone number and appear in the inbox of your phone. ...more
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Use this tool to create texts from any Android device AND from your computer. Texts are sent using your Android phone number and appear in the inbox of your phone. Text directly from Google Chrome! Easily sync your videos and images from your phone to computer or tablet. Why use this tool? Managing and responding to texts on the computer is easier when you use power view and can see all conversations at the same time. Additional features include texting from your Gmail account, editing photos using filters, and receiving alerts about the battery life of your phone. If you are an iPhone/Mac/iPad user, you already have similar functionality built in with iMessage.

tag(s): chat (53), classroom management (148)

In the Classroom

Manage texts to students and teachers from your computer or tablet using MightyText. View texts easily on your computer. Send texts to parents reminding them of upcoming conferences. Remind students of project deadlines or tests. Have a snow day? Send students the work so they have less homework the following day. If a student is absent, text the assignments to their device.

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Writing Reviser - SAS Curriculum Pathways

Grades
6 to 12
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Writing Reviser is a powerful, kid friendly writing revision tool, and it's FREE! Watch a two minute video to get an overview. Check out the demo to learn how to ...more
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Writing Reviser is a powerful, kid friendly writing revision tool, and it's FREE! Watch a two minute video to get an overview. Check out the demo to learn how to use the features and how to revise your writing. You do have to join to be able to see anything beyond the general demo video. Once logged in, you can paste in an essay, explaining your intended audience and purpose. There is automated feedback about organization, style, and grammar. See statistics about your writing and discover things to improve and revise. You can delve into very specific aspects of your writing, such as verbs, pronouns, cliches, sentence variety, power sentences, and much more. The explanations are a little bit text-heavy, but they are very helpful. There is also free access to the Writing Planner and Writing Drafter from this tool. Explore the entire writing process at your fingertips!

tag(s): editing (68), process writing (45), writing (366)

In the Classroom

Give students the benefits of immediate feedback. Use this formative tool to help students focus on their purpose, audience, structure, and use of language (sentence economy, variety, power, and clarity). Start with whole-group instruction by projecting the demo, and work on one strategy at a time. Suggest individual areas for each student or let each one decide on an area of personal writing "need." You might want to start with Sentence Power (verbs). Show students the "About" and how to change "was" to an active verb. Allow students time to work on their own sentence power before moving to the next revision strategy or letting them choose another. Once the students know the program, use it for peer conferences or at home on their own time. Once you set up your account, enroll your students with your school. Their parents can also set up an individual student account. In 2014, SAS plans to develop a teacher "dashboard."

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School Robins - EduKey

Grades
K to 12
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Collate and gather "round robin" information using email conversations at School Robins. After creating an account, create an information request for a specific student name...more
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Collate and gather "round robin" information using email conversations at School Robins. After creating an account, create an information request for a specific student name or class. Send the request to chosen staff members by clicking the "Round Robin" button. Once responses arrive, view all information in an easy to view table format. Other options include sending reminders, requesting updates, and uploading a staff or class list directly from your computer. Be sure to view the Quick Start Guide for full details on how to use School Robins. Free accounts allow individual users to send two free Round Robin information requests per month.

tag(s): classroom management (148), parent conferences (24)

In the Classroom

Use School Robins as an excellent communication tool for use with students who see multiple teachers. Send a request to other teachers for information when preparing for parent teacher conferences, IEP conferences or progress reports, filling out report cards, or even when noticing unusual behavior with students. This is an excellent tool for communication collaboration between classroom teachers, learning support teachers, guidance counselors, and more.

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Mightybell - Gina Bianchini

Grades
9 to 12
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Mightybell connects people based upon their passions and interests. Mightybell brings together People, Content (including photos), Conversations, and Events. Login using Facebook, LinkedIn,...more
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Mightybell connects people based upon their passions and interests. Mightybell brings together People, Content (including photos), Conversations, and Events. Login using Facebook, LinkedIn, or email. Create a community that reflects your specific interests. Within the community, create specific circles for topics within your interest. Live chat and content are easily viewed on the screen. Create an invitation-only private space or a public community. Posts of members can be edited or deleted by the space creators. (Co-creators can also be added to share the responsibility.) You can determine the frequency of email received. This tool archives all conversations and content for access by those in the community or circle. You must be 13 to use this site. If you are under 18, you need the permission of a parent or guardian to use it.

tag(s): social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Use Mightybell to begin communities that reflect student interests. For example, create a Photography community with various circles within the community such as Black and White, Digital, Landscape, etc. Create private communities for almost every subject for students who have passions for Literature, Science, History, Food and Cooking, Art, and more. Use to develop research projects or student portfolios with circles of students and teachers offering critiques and feedback. Create literature circles, book clubs, a writers' community, and even specific clubs within the school. Use this tool with colleagues to co-create materials to use with content units or materials to use for flipping the classroom. Use this tool for professional development. Load resources into the community and create circles for the various discussions of professional development. Presenting at a conference? Use this resource to share presenter materials and continue the discussion after the presentation.

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Calendly - calendly.com

Grades
K to 12
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Calendly is an appointment scheduling tool that syncs with your Google Calendar. Sign in with your Google login and set up scheduling pages with your availability preferences. Choose...more
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Calendly is an appointment scheduling tool that syncs with your Google Calendar. Sign in with your Google login and set up scheduling pages with your availability preferences. Choose from several options for length of appointments. Next, describe your event and even add additional questions for invitees if desired. Advanced options allow for making events public, limiting the number of participants, and minimizing schedule notice time. You can add buffer time before and after appointments. Share the link with anyone needing to schedule an appointment with you. They simply visit your calendar to schedule an appointment, and it appears automatically on your calendar. Invitees receive a confirmation screen upon completion of scheduling that includes a link to add the event to their own calendar.

tag(s): calendars (46), organizational skills (128)

In the Classroom

Use Calendly to schedule parent or student conferences that meet mutual scheduling needs. Create events for professional development sessions. Have participants choose a time for attending or presenting at sessions. Share with your school's Parent Teacher Organization as an excellent scheduling tool for any event. Link this up with your Google Calendar and save time, emails, phone calls, and more!

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Class Messenger - Learn Anything, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting...more
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Looking for a tool to send reminders, surveys, or announcements to students or parents? This free tool provides many options for maintaining lines of communication. The site says setting up an account takes you about 30 seconds! Create an account and a class. Students and/or parents create accounts as well. Parents (or students) then search for teacher name, class, or username to join. You can choose messages to be received through the app, by text message, or via email. Requests to join must first be approved by the teacher before receiving any messages. From the teacher dashboard, compose the type of message you wish to send, choose the recipients of the message, and type the body of the message. Messages are sent to each of the recipients using their chosen method. If students choose the SMS option, be sure they obtain parental permission FIRST, as standard messaging rates apply.

tag(s): classroom management (148), DAT device agnostic tool (170), homework (45), polls and surveys (55)

In the Classroom

Set up accounts for all of your classes. Send homework, project, and supply reminders. Send changes to plans due to a Snow Day. Remind students of upcoming events, practices, or things they need to bring to class or practice. Don't forget any extracurricular activities. You could also use this to communicate with parents. (Allow them to sign up for these updates at back to school night using a laptop or provide them the necessary information on your class web page.) Remind parents of big tests, report cards, field trips, deadlines, back to school night, sneaker days, conferences, and more. Learning Support teachers can promote organizational skills by having students and their parents sign up to receive reminders about tests and homework. Add your own messages to help parents know how to help their elementary child study. Need supply donations? Send out a request using Class Messenger. Set up a faculty reminder group within your school for emergency closures or department meetings and activities.

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Talky - talky.io

Grades
7 to 12
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Talky is a chat and video sharing application that is easy to set up and use. Features include screen sharing, group video chat with up to six participants, and privacy ...more
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Talky is a chat and video sharing application that is easy to set up and use. Features include screen sharing, group video chat with up to six participants, and privacy setting options. Begin by naming your conversation. Be sure to allow access to your computer's camera and microphone when prompted. Share the link with participants to allow access to the meeting. Use links to lock the room to anyone without a password and to share your screen. Current settings only allow use of Talky with Chrome and Firefox. Screen sharing is available with Chrome only. Be sure to read the helpful information found at the bottom of the site for Chrome screen sharing settings. Best part of all... no membership or sign-up is necessary to use this tool.

tag(s): chat (53), microblogging (41)

In the Classroom

Use Talky to host tutoring for small groups of students from any computer! Share with students as a resource for collaborating on group projects from home. Use Talky to set up an online interview with authors located across the country, veterans who can discuss their personal experiences with war, or experts to discuss careers in their field. Also use this site to meet up with absent students as needed. If a parent can't make a conference, meet online using Talky to share student work, progress, and more.

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Online Voice Recorder - 123apps

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Just as the name says, Online Voice Recorder allows you to record your voice from your computer and save the file. With no membership required, this is a free and ...more
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Just as the name says, Online Voice Recorder allows you to record your voice from your computer and save the file. With no membership required, this is a free and simple recording treasure! Simply push the record button and follow screen prompts to ALLOW the application access to your computer's microphone. Talk as long as desired. Then listen to the recorded playback. Trim and edit the length using easy sliders as desired. Save your finished version in mp3 format using the link.
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tag(s): fluency (24), preK (291), speech (94), spelling (167)

In the Classroom

Have students practice spelling words orally, record speeches, practice reading fluency, and much more using Online Voice Recorder. After recording, allow students to listen to the playback and reflect upon the quality of their work. Do before and after recordings of students to share with parents during conferences to demonstrate reading progress. Have students record weekly summaries for what has happened in your class to share on your class website or blog (you will have to upload the files). Record weekly or daily homework assignments and share as a voice recording on your website. Save file space by replacing old files with new ones. Online Voice Recorder would be an excellent resource for recording and sharing more complicated directions for projects and assignments (adding you voice intonation and cues!). Your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students may do better with a combination of written AND auditory directions. Provide the link on your class website for students to use at home for additional practice in spelling, reading, practicing reports, and more. Share this site with parents at Back to School Night. Have students write and record audio book reviews others can play on iPads or iTouches in the school library. If you have gifted students in your classroom, this tool is simple enough for even the youngest to be able to record audio mini-dramas portraying a historic figure, poetry readings, and more. Be sure to show them how to NAME and download the files to the local computer! Anything they can say out loud can become a creative project recording. Don't forget about recording musical performances or practices.

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Multiple Intelligences Posters - Marek Bennett

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Find two downloadable images for 11 by 17 posters about multiple intelligences in comic form. The first poster represents the different types of intelligences, such as musical or linguistic....more
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Find two downloadable images for 11 by 17 posters about multiple intelligences in comic form. The first poster represents the different types of intelligences, such as musical or linguistic. The second poster breaks down steps to use when working with different types of intelligences. For full information, click the link that leads to the full six page essay about multiple intelligences. Also check out the link at the bottom of the page to "psst! teachers!" to another multiple intelligences comic book.

tag(s): back to school (58), comics and cartoons (72), multiple intelligences (11)

In the Classroom

Print and share posters to get your colleagues and students thinking about their own multiple intelligences. Be sure to maintain the attribution and copyright information on the posters. Explore with students learning about their own strengths in learning. Hang the posters in your classroom. Share information during parent conferences and professional development. Share posters on your board during back to school information sessions to help parents understand different types of intelligences. Encourage students to create comics of themselves using their most comfortable "intelligence" and use it as a locker decoration or on a class bulletin board during the first part of the school year. Use one of TeachersFirst's many comic/cartoon tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Learning Difficulties - Great Schools

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
This site offers extensive resources about learning disabilities. A good place to start is to use the search box and find Learning Disabilities: an overview to read an article explaining...more
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This site offers extensive resources about learning disabilities. A good place to start is to use the search box and find Learning Disabilities: an overview to read an article explaining what is (and isn't) considered to be a learning disability, along with what to look for when considering learning disabilities. Search through resources sorted by grade level or by specific topics such as ADHD and autism. Another interesting section discusses assistive technologies available for reading, writing, and listening.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): adhd (28), autism (21), learning disability (15), preK (291), professional development (133)

In the Classroom

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

Comments

Lydia, OR, Grades: 7 - 8

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ScreenLeap Free Screen Sharing - ScreenLeap, Inc

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Share your screen instantly and easily to any device with a browser using ScreenLeap. Choose Start Now to begin and follow simple start-up directions. Once connected, send the...more
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Share your screen instantly and easily to any device with a browser using ScreenLeap. Choose Start Now to begin and follow simple start-up directions. Once connected, send the link via email or text or provide the access code to anyone else to begin sharing. Choices include sharing the entire screen or just what is within the box. Directions include options for just audio sharing. Free account access offers up to 2 hours of screen sharing time per day.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): editing (68), homework (45), parent conferences (24)

In the Classroom

Screen share with students in a computer lab to demonstrate how to locate information on websites, or when learning tech tools. This is a great alternative if an interactive whiteboard or projector is not available. Use this tool to collaborate with other teachers when creating lesson plans or student documents. Have students with laptops share their screen with you during presentations to make information easier to view. Share this site with students to use at home when collaborating on projects. Help a homebound student by sharing your class computer screen and opening an audio connection over the phone. Offer "extra help" sessions via screen share at predetermined "office hours" or during a snow day or on certain evenings. Have students teach tech skills to their peers using this free sharing app. Share a student's work using a screenshare during a parent phone conference. Show a parent how to navigate a practice site you want the family to use at home.

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Responsible Use Guidelines of School E-mails for Elementary Students - Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano

Grades
2 to 8
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View visual guidelines for proper email etiquette. We all need to develop e-mail writing skills for an academic setting with classmates, teachers, administrators, and members of the...more
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View visual guidelines for proper email etiquette. We all need to develop e-mail writing skills for an academic setting with classmates, teachers, administrators, and members of the community in the 21st century. Download the PDF visual guidelines to guide you and your students on the manners and responsibilities associated with communicating through email. Be sure to provide credit to the author in your classroom, website, or blog if you post the PDF.

tag(s): digital citizenship (65), writing (366)

In the Classroom

A great visual to share with your students to develop quality communication skills. Discuss rules, rights, privileges, and responsibilities of a digital citizen. Create your own guide using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here with your students for their use of their own school email address. Print your guide, have the class sign it, and post it in the classroom as a visual reminder to their commitment to digital citizenship. Share the printables or the links to the students' guides with parents at open house or conferences. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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