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
18 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 (258), 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 (181), differentiation (47), game based learning (95), gamification (60), polls and surveys (45), quizzes (93)

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

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
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 (67), learning styles (17), professional development (119)

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 (67), civil rights (110), news (263), olympics (43), pi (20), sports (93), STEM (116), sustainability (19), video (252)

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 (119), 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
2 Favorites 0  Comments
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 (123), differentiation (47), game based learning (95), professional development (119)

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 (81), quizzes (93), 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 (93), differentiation (47), newbies (18)

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
7 Favorites 0  Comments
   
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 (228)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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For Better for Verse - Herbert Tucker, John C. Coleman: Professor of English

Grades
10 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
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 (228), 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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Trading Card Creator - ReadWriteThink

Grades
2 to 9
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Follow the step by step directions to create a photo trading card using this tool. Create real or fictional Trading Cards about people, places, events, objects, or abstract concepts....more
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Follow the step by step directions to create a photo trading card using this tool. Create real or fictional Trading Cards about people, places, events, objects, or abstract concepts. Follow the prompts to complete the information and choose whether to save as a draft or final. You can share via email or print.

tag(s): back to school (54), biographies (85), book reports (35), characterization (16)

In the Classroom

Use the main character in a story your class recently read and demonstrate this tool using your projector or interactive whiteboard. Social studies classes can portray a famous person or event in history. Science classes can develop trading cards for plants, planets, cells, or just about anything else you study. In a geography class, use cards to describe a place. Students can use trading cards to help them remember facts and vocabulary from any class. Teacher-librarians can encourage students to make trading cards about books or authors. Use cards at the beginning of the year for students to create a trading card about themselves. After sharing with classmates, post them on a bulletin board for back-to-school night.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Salvador, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Moovly - Brendon Grunewald

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Moovly is a wonderful animation tool for creating videos and presentations. Create an account with your email and watch the two-minute video about how to use this tool. Click on ...more
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Moovly is a wonderful animation tool for creating videos and presentations. Create an account with your email and watch the two-minute video about how to use this tool. Click on "New Moov" to begin. Give your Moov a title and description then choose from templates offered or create your own Moov from scratch. Modify slides, text, font, image holders, and props. Preview your creation at any time with the play button. Stop and make changes as needed. Upload sounds from your computer in MP3 format: voice, music, or noises. These can be used in parallel, or click the microphone to record your voice. You can also make your Moovly interactive by using Flash. Save and share via YouTube, Facebook, email. You can also download to your computer using mp4 (video) or swf format. Download the 28-page PDF guide for step-by-step directions and answers to specific questions. Emailing customer support will get you answers within 24 hours. Free accounts can create unlimited videos that are each ten minutes long. The free account allows for 100MB or 20 items in their storage.

tag(s): animation (59), movies (64), multimedia (50), slides (59), video (252)

In the Classroom

Challenge older students to create their own Moovs. Students can use Moovly to share their ideas or to "prototype" an idea. Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain scientific processes, tell stories, or present research. Flip your classroom using Moovly presentations. Use Moovly to create teacher-authored animations for students in ANY grade. This is a great way to present new information or ideas for discussion. It is an easy way to prepare information for the class when a substitute is coming. Embed Moovly creations on your website or blog for students to review at home. Use a Moovly video on the first day of school to explain class rules or give an exciting introduction to the year ahead. Use Moovly to create movies or presentations for back to school night or conference nights to display on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teacher-librarians can ask students to create Moovly book reviews to share kiosk style in the library/media center.

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Printable Paper - printablepaper.net

Grades
K to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
Download and print many types of papers easily from Printable Paper. Lose the excuse, "I don't have any graph (or other) paper!" Choose from popular types such as lined paper ...more
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Download and print many types of papers easily from Printable Paper. Lose the excuse, "I don't have any graph (or other) paper!" Choose from popular types such as lined paper (college or wide rule), several forms of graph paper, letter templates, and much more. Use the categories listing to find specific options to narrow your search such as different forms of penmanship paper, score sheets, or music papers. There are even several different comic page templates and storyboard papers for storytelling or story mapping. Click on any paper image to download in PDF format. A special heading for teacher resources includes lesson plan paper and more. The specialty papers include doorhanger patterns to decorate and cut out. Don't miss the printable games.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (196), comics and cartoons (75), handwriting (18), letter writing (20), musical notation (32), preK (276)

In the Classroom

This site is a must bookmark for classroom use. Use anytime you need graph paper, writing paper, music sheets, etc. Share a link on your classroom website for student use at home. Share this site with parents at Back to School Night. Share this site with older students the first week of school. Now there is no excuse for not doing homework because of not having the correct type of paper! Some of the papers have alternate uses, such as using quilting graph paper to create and study geometric shapes.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Powtoon - powtoon.com

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
PowToon is an amazing, free, animated presentation tool. Choose from one of many templates available to edit, or start from scratch. Then start making magic! Label your title and description....more
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PowToon is an amazing, free, animated presentation tool. Choose from one of many templates available to edit, or start from scratch. Then start making magic! Label your title and description. Modify slides by changing text, font, image holders, and props. Preview your creation at any time with the play button. Stop and make changes as needed. Change styles easily by choosing a different style within the program. Select from the royalty free music options offered by Powtoon to enhance your presentation. Share the finished presentation via social media buttons on your page to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other popular pages or export to YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then using YouTube may not be your best option. Use the embed code provided to easily embed in your website or blog -- or simply share your Powtoon using the URL provided. Exports are not included with the free membership plan. Email is required to register and use Powtoon.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (59), digital storytelling (129), movies (64), multimedia (50), slides (59)

In the Classroom

Challenge older students to create their own PowToons. Students can use PowToon to share their ideas or to "prototype" an idea. Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain scientific processes, tell stories, or present research. The possibilities are really endless, and students will come up with hundreds more uses. Flip your classroom using PowToon presentations. Use PowToon to create teacher-authored animations for students in ANY grade. This is a great way to present new information or ideas for discussion. It is an easy way to share information with the class when a substitute is in your classroom. Embed your PowToon creations on your website or blog for students to review at home. Use a PowToon on the first day of school to explain class rules or give an exciting introduction to the year ahead. Use PowToon to create movies or presentations for back to school night or conference nights to display on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Teacher-librarians can ask students to create PowToon book reviews to share kiosk style in the library/media center.

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Vocaroo - Vocaroo

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of ...more
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Record a message and embed it into your favorite site or provide a link to share for free. Send to a friend by entering your email and the email of the recipient. Recording the message is easy and embedding into a site such as a wiki or blog has never been simpler! No login or registration is needed. Although, if you choose to send a message via email, you must choose a password to use at the site. Vocaroos are stored on their server. Created messages can also be downloaded to individual computers. Visit their FAQ's for frequent questions and responses.

tag(s): speech (92)

In the Classroom

You need to be able to navigate controls on the website and sound levels on your computer. Copy/pasting embed codes is also a necessary skill for insertion in a website. Email the sound clip very easily.

Future saving of Vocaroos is unsure depending upon server space. Before using with students, you may wish to obtain permission from administration and/or parents. Be sure to check your school's acceptable use policy. Students should be made aware of acceptable use and consequences of misuse of the service.

Record snippets of information as reminders on your class website or instructions for students to follow. This is terrific for learning support students or non-readers! Have students describe aspects of classroom learning experiences to share with others, such as what they learned from a science experiment or found out about life in Colonial America. Record a quick message for an absentee and email the link to him/her explaining how to catch up on missing work. Create tutorial pieces that students can use as study aids (or have them create them for each other). Use this site in world language classes or for ELL students: have students record and listen to their own pronunciation or send short messages to each other to translate. Have students use this site to practice speeches before the presentation to hear their speed, tone, and words. Use this site for research presentations, instructions for a substitute, or many other possibilities. With younger students, read a short story on Vocaroo, and have student follow along using a picture book. Or have the students read their own stories into Vocaroo and email the readings to their parents! For Mothers Day, why not have students record messages for mom or grandma? Another idea: create a class wiki where parents can "find" the entire selection of Vocaroos for Mother's Day (or another holiday). Record Vocaroos of each student talking about the importance of Moms for Mother's Day or how grateful they are for certain things at Thanksgiving. Embed them all in a class wiki to share with parents. Just email the URL for the collection.

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VoiceThread - VoiceThread

Grades
K to 12
19 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own...more
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Voicethread allows you to upload images (from your digital camera, scanner, or even paint program). You can also upoad PowerPoint slides. Then students can record or write their own comments and/or narration about the images/slides. Other listeners can "comment" back, as well. Access to the ed.voicethread site (as opposed to www.voicethread) is restricted to grades K-12 students, educators, and administrators. VoiceThread explains how to set up a classroom account and has some ideas for classroom use, as well. Ideas from the TeachersFirst Edge review team are listed below, under "In the classroom."

Voicethread also offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.

tag(s): digital storytelling (129), speech (92)

In the Classroom

You will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool, you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking "share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.

Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.

Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web! Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.

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OK2Ask: Technology Integration Made Easy with Voicethread - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from April 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn to use VoiceThread in your classroom. Need to have students create...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from April 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Learn to use VoiceThread in your classroom. Need to have students create a project to demonstrate comprehension? Want to allow your class to continue an important conversation after class is dismissed for the day? Can you make formative assessment less foreboding? You can use VoiceThread for all of this and more. Learn to easily add a layer of interaction in your class that increases student engagement. Join us for this session and your students will thank you! Please Note: It would be best to attend this session on a computer. iPad users attending this session should download the VoiceThread app prior to the session. Participants will: 1. Learn basic use of the VoiceThread tool; 2. Explore three different ways to use VoiceThreads in the classroom; and 3. Plan for the use of VoiceThread in the classroom This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): digital storytelling (129)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Channel One News: One Vote - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company

Grades
3 to 12
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Channel One News: One Vote is sure to appeal to and educate young readers. They will meet candidates, and learn how the election process works through engaging videos, infographics,...more
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Channel One News: One Vote is sure to appeal to and educate young readers. They will meet candidates, and learn how the election process works through engaging videos, infographics, and interactive pages. Find a delegate tracker and a field guide to the candidates (both interactive), a Presidential Trail Calendar and Results, information about One Vote's mock election, and more. Scrolling towards the bottom of the landing page you will find 60-second wrap-ups for each week, two quizzes about the importance of voting and where you stand, and various articles.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): elections (76), news (263)

In the Classroom

Make sure your students know what the U.S. primaries are about and why voting is so important. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to introduce One Vote to students. Set up a link on class computers, or at a learning center for students to take the two quizzes. They can learn about why each ballot counts and find a match to the candidate they lean towards. This will help them see where they stand on issues like taxes, immigration, and climate change. Each week show the 60-second wrap up and hold a discussion. Consider using a tool like TodaysMeet, reviewed here, so the quiet and shy students have a chance to participate in the discussion, too. View the information about mock elections to see if you would like to set one up for your class or school. Put a link to this site on your class webpage for students to use at home.
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Zukeeni - Debbie Kristofferson

Grades
K to 12
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Zukeeni offers information and support for new and master gardeners. Features of the site include set up tools for garden planning, a plant database, garden guides, and harvest schedules....more
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Zukeeni offers information and support for new and master gardeners. Features of the site include set up tools for garden planning, a plant database, garden guides, and harvest schedules. Some of these have explanatory videos. Sign up to create your personalized garden based on recommendations for your growing area. Once your garden design is complete, Zukeeni provides week by week planting suggestions that you check off as you finish the tasks. 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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): nutrition (151), plants (141)

In the Classroom

Use information from Zukeeni to enhance or begin your school's garden. If your school doesn't have an area for planting a garden, be creative! Plant a small garden in a wagon to roll in and out each day! Create a class wiki and update your garden's growth through pictures and words each week. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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GrammarFlip - Anthony Risko

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Learn grammar at your own pace with the videos, slides, and practice exercises (with instant feedback) at GrammarFlip. Sign up with email. There is no waiting for approval. Scaffolding...more
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Learn grammar at your own pace with the videos, slides, and practice exercises (with instant feedback) at GrammarFlip. Sign up with email. There is no waiting for approval. Scaffolding comes naturally with GrammarFlip as the grammar lessons build on each other creating personalized learning for each person. The practice exercises are multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank.

tag(s): grammar (218), video (252)

In the Classroom

Sign up and set up classes using an access code. Have students complete a pre-assessment before assigning videos and practice exercises to individuals. This tool is easy to use. You may want to have the students do the first video and exercise in class at individual computers (with headphones or earbuds) or at a station. Then, consider flipping grammar lessons by having students view the videos at home where they can pause and rewind as needed. Exercises give instant feedback, so these are perfect for flipping, also. Any questions can be asked and answered in class the next day.

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Disney's Surf Swell Island: Adventures in Internet Safety - Disney

Grades
K to 6
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Join Mickey and his gang to learn about Internet safety. Find three engaging interactives designed for Pre-K, primary, and elementary students, their teachers and parents. Favorite...more
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Join Mickey and his gang to learn about Internet safety. Find three engaging interactives designed for Pre-K, primary, and elementary students, their teachers and parents. Favorite Disney characters focus on privacy, viruses, and netiquette. Each activity includes a mini-quiz that reinforces the concepts learned. Find teacher and parent guides with recommendations for using the site for different age groups. There is a glossary of terms on the bottom menu, and the left menu has MANY free printables and ideas for parties, too.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): digital citizenship (51), internet safety (118), preK (276)

In the Classroom

Project the glossary words and review them with students. Also, print out the words and post in your classroom or computer lab. Have students create flashcards for the terms using a tool such as Flashcard Stash, reviewed here. Make a shortcut to this Disney site on classroom computers and use it as a center on Internet safety and digital citizenship. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on Internet safety on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Share a link to this interactive on your class website for students to play at home. Be sure to share this site with parents for reinforcing Internet safety at home.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Ocearch - Ocearch

Grades
4 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Want to know more about the efforts to save all the sharks in our oceans? Use this site to understand the efforts of research organizations to understand the many mysteries ...more
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Want to know more about the efforts to save all the sharks in our oceans? Use this site to understand the efforts of research organizations to understand the many mysteries of sharks: Where do they breed? Where do sharks live and roam? In order to protect these predators better, we need to understand more about their lives. Why save sharks? They are an important predator that keeps all the other predator/prey balances in check. Find research that has been documented in periodicals, papers, and the news. Click on the Global Shark Tracker to find the locations of tagged sharks. Clicking on the dot brings up information about the shark including its location when tagged. Click View More to bring up additional information including all the places the shark has been. View You Tube videos and photos of their expeditions and tagging of the sharks. If YouTube is blocked at your school, use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to view the videos at home and bring them to school "on a stick."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animals (274), marine biology (33), oceans (144)

In the Classroom

This site has information useful from elementary grades up, but you will need to partner weaker readers with stronger ones in middle grades or use the site as a whole class exploration for the informational text portions in elementary. The videos are great for all ages. When discussing ecosystems, be sure to mention sharks as a vital keystone species of the marine ecosystem. They are also an example of predator/prey balances, keeping the ocean ecosystem balanced as the top predator. Use clips of sharks in movies to discuss how sharks are portrayed and then use research to highlight how many human deaths are actually attributed to sharks vs. the number of sharks killed each year. Develop a food web of ocean ecosystems. Research how other animals are tagged to learn more about their lives and how tagging sharks are different. Be sure to use the Tracking Activity drop down in the Global Shark Tracker to see the paths that the sharks have taken during the period of time you specify (one week or more has better data). Identify other animals in different ecosystems that carry a similar negative stigma and create a discussion around why they have that stigma.
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Zidbits - Zidbits media

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This tool is cool little tidbits of knowledge. The subtitle is "Boldly Exploring Life's Little Mysteries." Zidbits include facts such as "What is the hardest language to learn?" "Do...more
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This tool is cool little tidbits of knowledge. The subtitle is "Boldly Exploring Life's Little Mysteries." Zidbits include facts such as "What is the hardest language to learn?" "Do trees die from old age?" or "What is the most lethal poison?" Find facts for history, science, health, entertainment, and news on this site as well as fun facts. This site doesn't provide just a quick tidbit, but also gives background information and additional details.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): infographics (45), questioning (33), speaking (24)

In the Classroom

This resource is useful to hook your students at the beginning of your lessons or simply to get them reading non-fiction text. Use these as hooks to get your students thinking about content that will be introduced in the lesson. Students can find a Zidbit they are interested in. Poll students about possible answers and then report the actual answer and content needed in order to understand and explain it. Learn a new Zidbit yourself every week. If you teach public speaking skills, have students use these stories as inspiration or "hooks" for informational speeches, as well.

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Sleuthing and Snooping: Real and Imagined Mystery Read-alouds - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
22 Favorites 0  Comments
This readaloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection...more
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This readaloud collection is part of the Help I lost my library/media specialist series. Although nothing can replace the specialized knowledge of a teacher-librarian, this collection of books and activities was created by an experienced elementary library/media specialist for fall read alouds and class discussions as Halloween and "mystery season" bring a chill to the air. The list of books to read aloud and accompanying activities include puzzles and stories that challenge their thinking. Of course we include Lexiles where available.

tag(s): book lists (123), halloween (41), reading lists (72)

In the Classroom

Use mysteries as an opportunity to learn some specialized vocabulary, a new story/text structure, to practice making inferences, and to synthesize information and make predictions. If your library does not have the books you want from this list, try using the ISBN numbers to borrow them on interlibrary loan from a public library nearby.

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Draw A Stickman - drawastickman.com

Grades
1 to 10
11 Favorites 2  Comments
 
Draw A Stickman is a delightful, entertaining site that encourages creativity and fun! This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving...more
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Draw A Stickman is a delightful, entertaining site that encourages creativity and fun! This is a mini interactive story that has students reading and following directions, solving mysteries, thinking creatively, and solving problems. To begin the adventure, you draw a simple stick figure and then bring him or her to life. Your figure is faced with several challenges; you must follow directions and draw several props for your stick figure to use. You will love the hero of the story (the character you created) and the villain (a dragon). Finished stories can be replayed or shared on Facebook, Twitter, or email. There is also an online gallery for students to explore and view others' creations.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (129), interactive stories (32)

In the Classroom

Aside from just fun practice at following instructions, Draw a Stickman would be a great fictional story prompt. Students have the bones of a story and can fill in details, vivid verbs, adjectives, etc. to tell the story. This would be a good practice activity with writing sequences of "first, then, and next." Students can elaborate on their hero, the plot of the story, the details, the setting, etc. Students can write a moral for a story to add in the customized ending. These stories would be fun to share as a class...how wide a variety of can come from the same basics? Share finished stories with a talking avatar using a photo or other image (legally permitted to be reproduced). The avatars can "read" the story. Use a site such as Blabberize (reviewed here). Teach story mapping easily with this activity: On an interactive whiteboard (or projector), students can go through the stick figure story together, labeling the different parts of the story (beginning, problem, climax, resolution, ending). This interactive can help students identify story elements, including setting, characters and plot. This site would also be perfect for ESL/ELL students for practice in reading and following directions or for speech/language students to practice retelling a story from the visual prompts. Another idea: use this activity for verb/vocabulary practice in a world language class.

Comments

This will be a great fill-in activity when my students finish their assignments. I can't wait to use it! Beverly, TX, Grades: 6 - 12
Love this! So creative. I know the kids will love it too and I think the learning activities sound very promising too. Jeannie, MI, Grades: 0 - 5

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