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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Blabberize - Mobouy Inc.

Grades
1 to 12
17 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. There are some real treasures among...more
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Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. There are some real treasures among the ready-mades. These will help you get ideas for ways to use a Blabber! Here is an example created by the TeachersFirst Edge team. Upload an image from your computer, select an area to become the talking "mouth," and record sound from the mike on your computer. Sound can also come from a sound file you upload. You will need to "allow" access to your computer's microphone. You have 30 seconds to narrate your photo. When you complete the blab, click SAVE. You will be prompted to create an account on the spot. You will also have the options to mark your blab "mature" or "private" (not shown on the "latest" pages and other public areas). Completed Blabs can be shared via email or embedded in another web page, blog, or wiki. Users unfamiliar with copy/pasting embed code can simple share by the URL of the blab's page.
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tag(s): animation (59), images (256), photography (156)

In the Classroom

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

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

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Quizalize - Zzish

Grades
4 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Track learning in real-time with Quizalize. Student answers are color-coded on the teacher dashboard for ease in identifying who needs more help. Create scrambled word or multiple choice...more
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Track learning in real-time with Quizalize. Student answers are color-coded on the teacher dashboard for ease in identifying who needs more help. Create scrambled word or multiple choice questions, and each question can have a custom timer. With this tool, sub-group questions that will allow for quick analysis of class or individual learning gaps. View or print reports for each student's progress and learning gaps. Create a quiz or select one from Quizalize's growing library. Quizzes can be "gamified" by showing the teacher dashboard as a leaderboard to see progress against other users. Quizalize works on any device and any operating system. Sign up with an email and password. Create a quiz, assign it to classes, get a code, give it to students, and let the fun begin! The Welcome and Explainer videos are on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube. Quizalize was created in the U.K. so grade levels and some spelling will look different from the U.S.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (174), differentiation (46), game based learning (81), gamification (56), polls and surveys (45), quizzes (90)

In the Classroom

Make a class challenge! Create practice quizzes to review the material just learned in class. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector for students to view the "leaderboard" (teacher dashboard) as in a game. Students score more points by answering questions quickly. As with other tools where there is a leaderboard, it is helpful to have a collaborative environment where competition is not the goal, instead working together and improving is important. Use Quizalize as a formative assessment and to differentiate to see what material needs more review with classes (or individual students). Use this tool often to obtain a snapshot of each student's understanding of content; quickly see who understands a concept and who needs some individualized practice. Print a report for each student to use as a guide once the class has started learning the topic. Share with students as a resource for creating quizzes for studying at home. When students are using surveys and polls for reports, introduce them to Quizalize since it works on any device. Share quizzes with your fellow teachers.

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Spiral - The Social Learning Network

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Discover Spiral's three free apps for classroom collaboration that will work on any device with a web browser. Sign up with your email and use Quickfire to ask unlimited questions ...more
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Discover Spiral's three free apps for classroom collaboration that will work on any device with a web browser. Sign up with your email and use Quickfire to ask unlimited questions and see answers in real-time. Engage your audience and knock down participation barriers with this free response system. Display answers anonymously. Use Discuss to present lessons and build resources and a knowledge base during your lessons. Have a discussion within Discuss, too. Team Up is for groups. Groups can do all research work within Team Up and create a presentation (a slideshow or a poster) as a final product. See their Support and FAQ page for setting up classes, the Teacher Dashboard & Admin, and more.

tag(s): chat (52), gamification (56), microblogging (45), posters (34)

In the Classroom

Spiral is a terrific set of tools to use whether you are just starting to incorporate tech with students or if you are a long time user of tech with students. After creating an account, start out simply with Quickfire and gradually build to using Team Up. Reduce the learning curve for students by using all three tools for different purposes. Any subject teacher can use these apps for a multitude of lessons, class activities, and projects. Students must create an account (no email required) and select their school. Teachers must approve students to join a class. You can also download Spiral's spreadsheet, fill it out, and upload it. Use Quickfire and Discuss for back-channel discussions which encourages timid students to participate. Team Up is a perfect tool for research groups and literature circles.

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Mindset Kit - The Project for Education Research that Scales (PERTS)

Grades
K to 12
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The Mindset Kit is a large compilation of resources for parents and teachers for teaching and developing growth mindsets. Based on the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweek, these lessons...more
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The Mindset Kit is a large compilation of resources for parents and teachers for teaching and developing growth mindsets. Based on the book, Mindset, by Carol Dweek, these lessons and activities provide tools for developing positive mindsets, in turn, leading to increased academic performance. Choose the section for teachers to find seven lessons for educator teams, or take advantage of ten lessons for parents to learn about growth mindset and how to instill this in students. Other portions contain ideas for specific content areas and mentors.

tag(s): brain (65), learning styles (17), professional development (117)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the many lessons and ideas on this site in your classroom and when working with parents. These tools are especially useful for times when a student (or parent) claims that they were never good in a particular subject. Share ideas with your peers as part of your ongoing professional development, discuss ideas from this site and how they can be incorporated as part of a school-wide action. Take advantage of the many ideas featured in the Popular Practices section to learn how to use ideas in any classroom.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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NBC Learn Free Resources - NBCUniversal Media, NBC News

Grades
5 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This collection of free streaming videos, mostly under six minutes, supports school curriculum using material from NBC News, one of the largest news archives in the world. Topics include...more
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This collection of free streaming videos, mostly under six minutes, supports school curriculum using material from NBC News, one of the largest news archives in the world. Topics include language arts, humanities and social sciences, and parenting information. The majority of videos feature STEM content. Specific sample topics include: Mysteries of the Brain, Writers Speak to Kids, Science of NFL Football, and many others. All videos include transcripts. Some have lesson plans and/or activities which are available in a side tab in the video window when launched. Most have closed captioning, and a few have a Spanish language option. The majority of NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News, is fee-based. This review is for the free material.
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tag(s): brain (65), civil rights (111), news (264), olympics (45), pi (20), sports (94), STEM (115), sustainability (19), video (251)

In the Classroom

This site is perfect for flipped or blended learning classrooms but will spark interest in most classroom lessons. Use the search box in the upper right corner to find free content of interest. NBC Learn uses a proprietary media player "Cue Card," and provides suggestions if you are having trouble playing. The whole class can watch the videos, many of which are parts of a series. Have individuals or small groups view and share information. The transcripts and close captioning will be helpful for struggling learners. Transcripts can be used alone for informational text reading practice.

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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators - USC Rossier/Leah Anne Levy

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into...more
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The Guide to Pinterest for Educators is an excellent resource for teachers and administrators with tips and information for managing Pinterest as a powerful learning tool. Divided into eight sections this handbook discusses the basics of pinning, organization, collaboration, and more. Each section is short and simple to read, making this an outstanding guide for using Pinterest as part of your professional planning and teaching tools.

tag(s): bookmarks (57), professional development (117), social media (21)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to understand how to use Pinterest for your personal and professional use and also for student collaboration. Share ideas with other staff members to collaborate on shared interests. Discuss one section a month with your PLN (Professional Learning Network) and reflect together how to make the most of Pinterest in your educational setting.

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Tarr's Toolbox - Russel Tarr

Grades
4 to 12
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Tarr's Toolbox contains many quick and easy suggestions for spicing up lessons. Although created by a history teacher, most ideas can easily adapt to any subject. Click on any text...more
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Tarr's Toolbox contains many quick and easy suggestions for spicing up lessons. Although created by a history teacher, most ideas can easily adapt to any subject. Click on any text box for a complete description of activities. Some of the descriptions have suggestions for use of the tools found on Classtools, reviewed here. Be sure to subscribe to Tarr's Toolbox blog to receive updates as new ideas are added.

tag(s): classroom management (121), differentiation (46), game based learning (81), professional development (117)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this excellent resource to use when looking for new ideas for your classroom. Choose from ideas such as "Hands up if you DON'T know" or "Sock puppets in the secondary classroom" to inspire and motivate your students. Look to this blog to differentiate for students of all levels. Divide students into cooperative learning groups using different ideas found on Tarr's Toolbox.

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noredink - Jeff Scheur

Grades
3 to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Have fun while improving your writing and grammar. At the time of this review, noredink's grammatical categories include apostrophes, subject-verb agreement, comma issues, sentence...more
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Have fun while improving your writing and grammar. At the time of this review, noredink's grammatical categories include apostrophes, subject-verb agreement, comma issues, sentence fragments, and run-on sentences. The program provides differentiated instruction based on the questions you answer right or wrong. There are tutorials to help you correct mistakes. Sign up with your name, username, email address, gender, school name, and a password.

So, what's fun about learning this type of grammar? noredink asks you to pick your interests from Sports, TV shows, Musicians, and Miscellaneous. You will also be asked if you want them to use your friends from Facebook. When you are practicing or are taking quizzes, the program will use your interests and friends, and generate the questions around your interests and friends. The hope is that the content will be more interesting by including sentences with favorite celebrities, hobbies, TV shows, or even personal friends. Be sure to watch the introductory video which is the only item on the site that requires Flash. The program works on iPads as well as your regular computer. There is a 90 second intro video at the bottom of the landing page.
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tag(s): capitalization (19), grammar (218), homonyms (12), homophones (17), punctuation (44), quiz (80), quizzes (90), sentences (52), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

Teachers sign up and create a class. You will receive a class code for your students to use (optional). With the class code you will be able to track student's progress, differentiate, assign quizzes and assignments, and see class trends. The program has color-coded "heat maps" to track progress easily. Your assignments and quizzes will be uniquely generated according to each student's interests. Also, students don't have to wait for you to give them an assignment. With their account, they can practice at any time. A student does NOT have to provide an email address to create an account. It will work without it! Since students are providing some personal information about interests, etc., we strongly advise parent permission.

Challenge (and excel) your gifted students with the concepts practiced at this site. Since student assignments are at their own level, students can find great acceleration in practicing these necessary skills. ESL/ELL students will especially benefit from the practice using correct English, in their writing, over a continuous time period. Student assignments are at their own level. You can also create your own quizzes. Use this site as part of your rotation during learning stations. Put your class' URL on your website so students can practice at home, too.

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The Differentiator - Ian Byrd

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Differentiating activities for all learners has become easier with this tool. Use this free Bloom's Taxonomy tool, created by an educator, to develop great objectives for differentiated...more
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Differentiating activities for all learners has become easier with this tool. Use this free Bloom's Taxonomy tool, created by an educator, to develop great objectives for differentiated instruction. Move through developing your goal on this site by choosing a level of Bloom's Taxonomy and a thinking skill. Then move on to your content, resources, finished product expected, and what kind of grouping you want. These are all tabs at the top of the page. Watch the sentence at the top of the screen change as you create your objective.

tag(s): blooms taxonomy (9), critical thinking (92), differentiation (46), newbies (17)

In the Classroom

As an example, use a verb from Bloom' taxonomy such as "evaluate." Click on the part of the sentence at the top, in parenthesis, to enter your content such as "patterns of environmental issues." Choose the resource you want students to use, the product you want them to make, and the number of students in a group by clicking on the tabs. Example objective: Students will evaluate the patterns of environmental issues using websites to create a news report in groups of two. Save your objective by copying and pasting it into any document or online tool. The Differentiator will give you many project ideas that you may not have thought of yourself, and serves as a welcome reminder of different activities and expectations you can use in your classroom. Take a look at this site at the beginning of the school year or when creating a new unit (or project). Find new ways to differentiate for your gifted students using this creative and powerful tool. If your gifted students test out of your current math lessons, use this site to find new material to challenge their minds. This site is deceptively quick and simple, but it could be very useful when writing detailed, powerful lesson plans.

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Poetry Idea Engine - Scholastic

Grades
K to 6
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The site gives the basics for understanding haiku, limerick, cinquain, and free verse. Detailed steps lead you to an understanding of the poetry form. Following instruction, you see...more
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The site gives the basics for understanding haiku, limerick, cinquain, and free verse. Detailed steps lead you to an understanding of the poetry form. Following instruction, you see examples demonstrating each type of poetry. Scaffolded support helps you to achieve success in poetry. You can print your finished poem.

tag(s): poetry (227)

In the Classroom

Use the Poetry Idea Engine as a starting point to introduce the different poetry forms. Extend this further into creating poetry with other subjects in the given form. Start your own classroom collection to be shared digitally on your website with Power Points or multimedia presentations. In audio form, create podcasts using a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here) and then share them on your website. Add digital images and make a photo book of your favorite poems from your poetry unit using a site such as Mix Book (reviewed here). Save the poetry images/audio for your end of year remembrances to share with students and their families. The Poetry Idea Engine can provide concrete examples and success for ESL/ELL students as well as inspiration for gifted students.
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For Better for Verse - Herbert Tucker, John C. Coleman: Professor of English

Grades
10 to 12
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For Better for Verse is an interactive learning tool that can help you understand what makes metered poetry in English tick. Think of it as a tutorial for sophisticated poetry...more
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For Better for Verse is an interactive learning tool that can help you understand what makes metered poetry in English tick. Think of it as a tutorial for sophisticated poetry analysis involving meter, rhythm, voice, prosody, and complex stress and foot patterns that challenge beyond appreciation of the poem to illuminate the life in it. The tools are composed of a List of Poems, a Poem Workbox, a Glossary, and the Resources tab, where you will find a short scholarly bibliography and selected audio clips. There is also an extensive Help page for guidance. High school English, honors, and advanced placement courses will welcome this site.

tag(s): poetry (227), stress (14)

In the Classroom

Plotting the patterns of poetic meter and rhyme can be as hard to study as learning a foreign language. It takes long hours of practice to develop an ear and a feel for the kind of verse that was standard during Chaucer's time. At For Better for Verse poetry enthusiasts practice by trial and error opportunities, and receive instant feedback as they analyze the syllables' stress, without becoming too stressed, themselves. How do you know where the slacks and stresses fall? You listen; so instead of relying on repeating the verse out loud, click on the audio to hear it read. Listening to a vocal performance is helpful in the early stages of the tutorial. Students build confidence as they turn their stride into a gallop and waltz across the poem with their mouse and curser. Soon they will progress to using their eyes, rather than their ears to "listen" to the poem.
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SMS Generator - Class Tools

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this clever and simple tool to create conversations (or presentations) that look like text messages. Use the icons on the bottom to get started. Email is not required. Clicking...more
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Use this clever and simple tool to create conversations (or presentations) that look like text messages. Use the icons on the bottom to get started. Email is not required. Clicking either speech bubble will begin the text message, and click the other one to reply. Save the presentation with a password. Share via embed or QR code or URL.

tag(s): book reports (35), creative writing (165), digital storytelling (128), writing (356)

In the Classroom

Engage students with what they know, text messaging! Inform students you will be creating a text conversation between two historical figures, fictional characters, scientists - anything from something the class is reading. On the whiteboard or with a projector display the SMS Generator. Show students how to use it by having them create the conversation. The text is not limited, but keep it reasonable. Besides using SMS Generator for presentations, it could be used to teach or refine social skills, practice writing in a new language, or explaining a math or science concept to a peer.

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Investing for Beginners - Fidelity Investments

Grades
8 to 12
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Investing for Beginners is a YouTube playlist created by Fidelity Investments. The playlist includes 17 videos covering topics such as Investing for Beginners and How to Define Your...more
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Investing for Beginners is a YouTube playlist created by Fidelity Investments. The playlist includes 17 videos covering topics such as Investing for Beginners and How to Define Your Investing Personality. Videos all run less than five minutes in length, making them perfect for quick introductions to financial topics. 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): financial literacy (78), investing (9)

In the Classroom

Share videos with your students on an interactive whiteboard or projector. You may be interested in continuing the investment study by having students set up their own practice portfolio for a no-risk option to dabble in stock trading and buying. Use a program like Wall Street Survivor, reviewed here, to do this. Have cooperative learning groups research other aspects of economics or business and challenge the groups to create videos and share them on a site such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.

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Maker Camp - Maker Media, Inc

Grades
K to 8
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Maker Camp is a free online community for kids interested in crafting, DIY, tinkering, and building. Links in the Project Library include project tutorials from Summer Camps beginning...more
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Maker Camp is a free online community for kids interested in crafting, DIY, tinkering, and building. Links in the Project Library include project tutorials from Summer Camps beginning in 2012. Click on any Summer Camp link to view videos or download PDF's with the tutorials. Sign up to join the Maker Camp online community of over 33,000 members in discussions about individual projects. Find or host a local "campsite" using the links provided to meet up with like-minded students. 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 KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): crafts (40), energy (194), magnetism (34), origami (17), solar energy (36)

In the Classroom

Use Maker Camp as an excellent resource for finding hands-on learning activities for your classroom. Share this site with students who love to tinker! Be sure to provide a link on your classroom website for parents to use when looking for at-home activities. If you teach an after school program, search Maker Camp to find activities for many different topics.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ponder - Parlor Labs Inc

Grades
4 to 12
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Use Ponder to annotate and analyze text with Chrome or FireFox browsers or iOS. Using Ponder with your browser will measure reading activity through sharing and commenting on texts...more
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Use Ponder to annotate and analyze text with Chrome or FireFox browsers or iOS. Using Ponder with your browser will measure reading activity through sharing and commenting on texts anywhere on the web. Highlight sentences, phrases, and words that evoke a response. There can be sentiments to tag that indicate confusion, evaluation, disapproval, and more. For a fee, all of this can be applied to PDFs and video on the web. Ponder has a comprehensive support section and guide.

tag(s): browser (6), critical thinking (92), independent reading (122), reading comprehension (114), reading strategies (42)

In the Classroom

Track students' reading and develop close reading skills and critical thinking with Ponder. Register with your email and create a Ponder group by clicking on "give it a spin" in the upper right corner of the home page. Then, give the class a name, and save the group by creating an administrator account. All directions for doing this are in the support section, as are the directions for adding additional classes. Ponder will bulk create accounts for your class, with no student email required. Just contact their support. Find an article or any text you want students to read on the web. Responding to an article on the web will initiate the class activity feed. Start out by sharing text (article, book, etc.) on an interactive whiteboard or projector with your students. Read through the text with them, asking them for feedback along the way. By doing this, you will be able to show students the features of Ponder. When you create a micro-reading response, it will post to the class activity feed along with a link to the article. Ponder is a wonderful tool to moderate reading in any core class. ESL/ELL and resource teachers can gain greater insight to their students' reading comprehension.

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Share What You're Reading - Scholastic, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Use this handy tool to share favorite books and discover new ones. Read the advice for writing a good review at the top of the form before starting. After writing ...more
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Use this handy tool to share favorite books and discover new ones. Read the advice for writing a good review at the top of the form before starting. After writing the review submit to Scholastic by filling in a simple form that asks for first name, last initial, and no email required. To discover the next book to read select from a grade level or genre list and then find an interesting title and click to read the review. The More to Explore menu on the left links to How to Write a Book Report with Rodman Philbrick, which is more extensive in depth with Writing Tips, Challenges, and Revision Guidelines.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book reports (35), independent reading (122), reading lists (72)

In the Classroom

Introduce students to this tool using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the list of books already reviewed, and read a few reviews together. Read the guidelines for writing a review, and create a book report for a book read in class. First, model by creating a rough draft. Next, copy and paste the final version of the rough draft to Share What You're Reading. Last, show the students how to publish. Set up a station in class where students can write up other books they read. Another idea would be to use the published reviews for grammar exercises. Not only can you edit and revise a review, but it could also be a "book talk" to introduce students to a title.

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The Advertising Artwork of Dr. Seuss - Mandeville Special Collections Library, UC San Diego

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore a rich collection of Dr. Seuss' advertising artwork for magazines created before becoming a successful children's author. Choose from various companies (Ford, Holly Sugar, GE,...more
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Explore a rich collection of Dr. Seuss' advertising artwork for magazines created before becoming a successful children's author. Choose from various companies (Ford, Holly Sugar, GE, and others) to view artwork for their advertisements. Each image includes citation information including date, title, and creator. Most are copyrighted and allow permission for scholarly use but cannot be copied or shared outside of "fair use." In other words, you cannot use them in online projects or make copies beyond classroom or offline student projects. You can easily share each cartoon via Twitter, Facebook, etc. Click the enlarge arrows to see the image in its own separate window and copy its url.

tag(s): 20th century (49), advertising (32), comics and cartoons (74), dr seuss (13), primary sources (83)

In the Classroom

Use during art class or studies of the decades of 20th century as examples of advertising artwork. How does advertising represent a culture and what is important to us? How do these ads differ from today's? Extend your study of history through primary sources with these engaging examples. Include in social studies, reading, or art class during Seuss's birthday celebrations to demonstrate his other creative avenues. This is a great way for older students to celebrate the wonderful Dr. Seuss! Challenge your students to create their own cartoons/comics about Dr. Seuss using one of the tools and ideas included in this collection.

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Dr. Seuss and WWII: Analyzing Political Cartoons - National WWII Museum

Grades
7 to 12
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We all know Dr. Seuss, but how many know the important contribution he made to political commentary during World War II? His political cartoons, created while he served in the ...more
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We all know Dr. Seuss, but how many know the important contribution he made to political commentary during World War II? His political cartoons, created while he served in the US Army Information and Education Division were part of the Army's campaign to affect morale and influence public opinion in favor of the war effort. This lesson plan designed for grades 7-12 provides examples of those cartoons, and encourages students to consider the power of cartoons to influence perception of political ideas and events. It's also a welcome change from the inevitable "Boss Tweed" cartoons of Thomas Nast that are the usual focus of discussions of political cartoons.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), dr seuss (13), politics (98), propaganda (12), world war 2 (156)

In the Classroom

Use this lesson instead of your usual Thomas Nast lesson on political cartooning. Geisel's cartoons are more recent, and may be more accessible to today's students. Consider also using this lesson with older students on Dr. Seuss's birthday when the focus is usually on his children's literature. Share the cartoons on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge students to create their own cartoons by drawing or using one of TeachersFirst's many reviewed comic/cartoon tools here.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Dr. Seuss Went to War - UC San Diego

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore a rich collection of Dr. Seuss' political cartoons during World War II. Seuss shows his very serious side in this collection of over 400 political cartoons related to the ...more
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Explore a rich collection of Dr. Seuss' political cartoons during World War II. Seuss shows his very serious side in this collection of over 400 political cartoons related to the war. The collection is sorted by year and by battle, people, places, and issues. Each cartoon includes full citation and copyright information. Most are copyrighted and allow permission for scholarly use but cannot be copied or shared outside of "fair use." In other words, you cannot use them in online projects or make copies beyond classroom or offline student projects. You can easily share each cartoon via Twitter, Facebook, etc. Click the enlarge arrows to see the image in its own separate window and copy its url.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), dr seuss (13), world war 2 (156)

In the Classroom

This collection offers rich opportunities during the study of World War II. Students can trace the tensions and events of the war year by year or by issue. See this lesson planthat delves into a few of Seuss's cartoons, but this collection has many more examples so you can go even further. Have students create explanations using Thinglink, reviewed here, an image annotation tool that allows you to reference images by url.

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The Political Dr. Seuss - Independent Television Service

Grades
6 to 12
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This gallery of World War II-era cartoons by Theodor Geisel, reveal the acerbic wit and political philosophy of the beloved children's author. The site also features audio and video...more
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This gallery of World War II-era cartoons by Theodor Geisel, reveal the acerbic wit and political philosophy of the beloved children's author. The site also features audio and video clips from Dr. Seuss on his career and a brief history of political cartooning. Two lesson plans - focusing on the American themes and social messages addressed by Geisel - are available for downloading (and include McRel standards). This site requires RealPlayer, Flash, and Adobe Acrobat. You can get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), dr seuss (13), world war 2 (156)

In the Classroom

Have students research the history of political cartooning with Theodor Geisel (or others). Have cooperative learning groups create multi-media presentations such as a PowerPoint, or an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon reviewed here to share on an interactive whiteboard or projector.

Share the video/audio clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take advantage of the FREE lesson plans that connect geography, history, reading, and writing.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Drop Event - dropevent.com

Grades
K to 12
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This fabulous site allows you to post and share photos related to a certain event with others. Create an "event" and share the link for others to upload photos. Only ...more
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This fabulous site allows you to post and share photos related to a certain event with others. Create an "event" and share the link for others to upload photos. Only the creator of the event must register on the site. All others upload without registering. Email photos to the event site as well. Set permissions for instant sharing or moderate pictures before they show on the Drop Event site. Choose to make your event public or private. Note: If public, it will show up in Drop Event searches and be visible to others. When you create your event, answer questions to create your free account. Note: Most recent events appear on the main page of this site. Be sure to check for appropriate content before showing to students. Consider directing students to the URL of the actual event page.

tag(s): images (256), photography (156)

In the Classroom

This site is great for students to upload photos from field trips or other events. Keep track of project accomplishments by uploading pictures of the process. Have a class project such as DNA models or types of plants? Get them out of the classroom by taking pictures and uploading them to Drop Event. Make a collection for local history or photos of lab results during a bridge-building or pumpkin seed counting activity. Collect images that students can then use in Thinglink, reviewed here, "lab reports" about their discoveries. Place the link to the event page you have created and invite parents to view the creations. Take snapshots to create a Day In The Life event for your classroom. What better way to share memories! Have parent volunteers? Have them upload their pictures too! Whatever project or event you have, sharing and collaborating with Drop Event is easy and fun!

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Skype in the Classroom - Skype Limited

Grades
K to 12
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Use Skype as a great tool to connect to others around the nation or the world. Solve the problem of finding classrooms...more
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Use Skype as a great tool to connect to others around the nation or the world. Solve the problem of finding classrooms and various projects with this great site. Use this free site to look through projects, tips from other teachers, and find other teachers to collaborate and connect with your students. Create a profile including your interests and the age, subject, languages, and more information about students. Use the "Project" link to list or find projects, classes, teachers, or speakers. Search the project link by speaker, project, age range of students, language, subject, and tags.

tag(s): colonial america (107), constitution (72), philadelphia (13), skype (12)

In the Classroom

To browse the activities, no special skills are required. If you plan to create your own activity, a Skype account is necessary. Use your Skype login to use this site. Be sure to check with school authorities before scheduling or using Skype with students. Be sure the Acceptable Use Policy covers the use of such tools. Spend time discussing appropriate and inappropriate behavior with students prior to using Skype or participating in many of the projects found on this site.

Browse through the projects link to find ideas, tips from other teachers, and to find teachers to collaborate and connect with your students. You can search the project ideas by project, age range, language, subject, tags, and more. Connect the Skyping computer to a projector or whiteboard for the entire class to see if you are using video. (The video will be fuzzy, but good enough to follow a person's face.) Use Skype to talk to authors (check out their web sites or this blog for contact information). Have students write questions in advance. Use your contacts, web page "contact us" emails, and parent contacts to find others willing to Skype into your classroom. Interview scientists or government officials, deployed military personnel, or classes far away in a different culture or language. Younger students can compare weather, family life, community events, and more. Learn other ideas for using Skype in your classroom at this valuable website.

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Global Virtual Classroom - AT&T and Give Something Back International Foundation

Grades
1 to 12
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time...more
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Join the Global Virtual Classroom (GVC) and bring students from other regions and countries into your classroom - virtually! Global Virtual Classroom has been around for a long time and has learned what is needed to create global citizens. They've done everything for you from Lessons, Resources, and a Web Design Contest, to directions for becoming part of the community, providing a list of other educators who would like to participate, and a Clubhouse for your students. Be sure to register by mid September each year!

tag(s): competitions (14), cross cultural understanding (112), cultures (102), wikis (20)

In the Classroom

Take students to another place, encourage them to understand other cultures and create global citizens by signing up to join GVC. After introducing GVC on an interactive whiteboard or projector, create a quick poll (with no membership required) using SurveyRock, reviewed here, to vote for which country or region to communicate with and share information. Begin a blog for each student to share reflections. Consider asking the partner teacher to have their students blog, too, and encourage students to respond to each others' blogs. Students' writing improves when they have an authentic audience. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics.

Another idea would be to use a projector and Lino, reviewed here, (no membership required) to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge about the culture with whom students will be working. Lino creates virtual sticky notes on a bulletin board. Once the project is underway, go back to Lino occasionally, and add what they learned and whether it coincides with the students' original ideas. Before culminating the project, ask the partner class if they will fill in the areas and ideas missed on your Lino. Consider starting a lunch time or after school club for students to have more time to participate in the Clubhouse.

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Apricot - Just Apricot

Grades
2 to 12
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Apricot is not your average prompt generator. Use Apricot to have parents become collaborators in their child's education. With an Apricot account, create an online classroom or multiple...more
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Apricot is not your average prompt generator. Use Apricot to have parents become collaborators in their child's education. With an Apricot account, create an online classroom or multiple classrooms within the same account. Invite students to join using a code provided by Apricot for each class. Moreover, if you choose, invite parents to join and read their student's responses to the prompts you create. Send parents email alerts for only the response(s) you wish to share. Find an introduction Vimeo video on their blog (a link at the bottom of the landing page). This works on any browser based computer and on iPads. At the time of this review the site was planning to add an option to write a personal note to the parents when sending the prompt.

tag(s): parents (53), writing (356), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

What a great tool to get your students writing daily! Not only language arts teachers will benefit from using this tool. Any subject teacher can create prompts about the topics their students study. Use Apricot as an exit ticket to see where students have misconceptions about the lesson presented. For days when you need some help coming up with a prompt, look at Thought Questions, reviewed here, to get a few ideas. Send responses to parents easily by having them sign up for the code. Parents will not automatically get responses. You can select which responses to send them.

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Corkboard - Corkboard LLC

Grades
1 to 12
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Tack up a digital corkboard and remember all of your lists, items to do, recipes, decorating, or share comments with others. This site offers a digital version of the corkboard ...more
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Tack up a digital corkboard and remember all of your lists, items to do, recipes, decorating, or share comments with others. This site offers a digital version of the corkboard from the "old days." Fill it with whatever you want! Even better than the traditional corkboard, you can create as many different digital corkboards as you want. Create the name, tags, and double click to add to your new corkboard. Keep it private or share with co-workers or friends. Go online to access, or use an iPhone app. Click on Corkboard Mobile to use with other mobile devices. Add the Corkboard bookmarklet to take a screen shot of a web page and save it.

tag(s): brainstorming (23), note taking (29)

In the Classroom

Think big and small when you use Corkboard! Use a Corkboard to communicate with each of your students' families. Add simple reminders, lists of spelling or vocabulary words, homework assignments, project directions, field trip dates, after school club dates, or general parent tips. Share the cork board(s) with all parents. There is also an easy way parents can go back and reference earlier Corkboards. When planning an event or field trip, make your list on Corkboard and let parents easily make their choice. Updates are immediate. Use this tool for brainstorming on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Post the link for the Corkboard and allow students to continue the brainstorm from home. Encourage collaboration between group members in a snap. Set up your parent conference schedule easily! Bring a bit of technology into language arts with class reflections, or even individual reflections. Have students create study guides together from home or even at centers. Reinforce concepts from any subject as a study guide. This tool makes it easy to conduct an author's chair. Document steps of a problem-based learning experience together. Watch current events come alive. No longer are you limited by wall space, digital corkboards are limitless!

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