TeachersFirst's Study Skills Resources

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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students learn their most effective study strategies.  The collection includes specific study tools, reading strategies, review ideas, and notetaking methods that students and teachers can try as lessons in themselves or --even better-- as they go about the regular curriculum. Whether you want to use a graphic organizer, create your own electronic flash cards, or simply learn how to approach a test, there is a resource to help. Learning Support teachers and teachers of gifted will also want to share these alternate ways for students to organize and retain concepts, vocabulary, and more.

Make learning how to learn part of your class routine at any grade level and in any subject.

 

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Fraction Quiz - Shodor

Grades
3 to 12
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This activity provides good practice in converting fractions, decimals and percents, simplifying fractions and developing number sense. Choose from different time limits and difficulty...more
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This activity provides good practice in converting fractions, decimals and percents, simplifying fractions and developing number sense. Choose from different time limits and difficulty levels as well as activities such as percentages, converting fractions/decimals, reducing fractions, add/subtracting fractions and much more. The instructor tab provides information on standards addressed, suggested classroom uses and links to similar resources.

tag(s): decimals (133), fractions (239), percent (82), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Post this site on your classroom website or blog to provide practice before quizzes and tests. Create a link on your classroom computers or computer lab to use as a center. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Estimator Quiz - Shodor

Grades
3 to 6
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This activity allows a student to practice answering questions with estimation. The site offers the options of choosing to practice estimating addition, multiplication, and percentage...more
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This activity allows a student to practice answering questions with estimation. The site offers the options of choosing to practice estimating addition, multiplication, and percentage problems. Options include setting different time limits, how close the estimation should be (close, really close, or almost perfect) and difficulty level. Be sure to check out the instructor section which provides a printable with exploration questions, links to standards, ideas for classroom use, and links to similar resources.

tag(s): estimation (46), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Create a link on classroom computers for students to practice estimation skills. Challenge students to record their scores and increase difficulty levels and time elapsed.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Comparison Estimator - Shodor

Grades
3 to 8
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This site offers practice in estimating skills through different visual comparisons. Problems are available in counting, length and area. Two comparisons are shown and then selection...more
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This site offers practice in estimating skills through different visual comparisons. Problems are available in counting, length and area. Two comparisons are shown and then selection will be made based on the question posed with the problem. Hints are available and there are two different levels of difficulty available. Tabs are also included with information for the learner, activity help, and information for instructors. Be sure to check out the information for instructors which include suggestions on how to use in the classroom, an activity sheet, links to standards, and other similar resources.

tag(s): estimation (46), problem solving (272), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Print the exploration questions found on the instructor tab for students to complete. Display activities on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a 5 minute time filler to practice estimation skills.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Arithmetic Quiz - Shodor

Grades
2 to 8
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This site offers practice on computation of whole integers that can be varied by levels. Players select a time limit, difficulty level and types of problems. There are addition, subtraction,...more
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This site offers practice on computation of whole integers that can be varied by levels. Players select a time limit, difficulty level and types of problems. There are addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division challenges. Scores are automatically recorded and can be found at the end of each game.

tag(s): addition (251), division (172), multiplication (227), subtraction (208), test prep (95), vision (87)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Create a link to this site on your classroom website or blog for practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Spicynodes - IDEA

Grades
6 to 12
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Create a website map or mindmap easily with this free site. Create a login (requires an email address.) Add interest to your site as visitors choose a node and new ...more
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Create a website map or mindmap easily with this free site. Create a login (requires an email address.) Add interest to your site as visitors choose a node and new options open up for them. Spicynodes is a mindmap but all portions are not displayed until they are clicked on, activating greater interactivity to your sitemap or mindmap.

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Create a new map by entering the details such as a title. Choose from the template styles given. Preview the template, zoom in and out, and scroll around the mindmap using the simple tools. Click the "Edit Content" tab to change each node in your mindmap. Edit the name of the node, the description, and upload or link to a picture. Nodes can also link to a You tube video. When done, click preview to not only see the finished mindmap, but to publish on the Spicynodes site or copy the embed code for placing on a wiki, blog, or other site.

There are countless possibilities at this mental mapping site. Demonstrate the activity on an interactive whiteboard or projector, and then allow students to try to create their own graphic organizers. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics of study. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Create a site map that guides users throughout the features of your class website.

Collaborative Projects: Have small groups research together a topic such as unsolved mysteries of the world, planets, legends from their countries, plants, famous mathematicians, or any topic that can be broken down into parts. Each student would have their own node and color and would then upload pictures, videos, links, and other information they have found about their part of the topic. If the whole class is researching a topic, students with the "like" assignments could get together to share information and create their part of the small group node (also know as jigsaw in cooperative learning). Once all the nodes are completed, the original small group would share information with each other. There are a variety of ways students could use this mindmap. You could just leave it at the small group share out. Or, you could have the groups decide what information is important enough to present to the class and put their ideas on a Writeboard document reviewed here. A third step could be that once they've honed down the information, they could create a presentation for the class in a variety of formats: Glogster reviewed here, or Animoto reviewed here are only two of the many presentation formats we have reviewed on TeachersFirst.

Student project ideas: Have students... organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, question; map out a story, plotline, or LIFETIME; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle); map a real historical event as a choose-your-own-adventure with alternate endings(?) based on pivotal points; plan a "tour" for a "thought museum."

Use this mapping website as an alternative to a traditional test, quiz, or homework assignment in literature or social studies: have students demonstrate their understanding by completing a graphic organizer about the main points. Be sure that they RENAME it before they start work to an individual name so you know who did it (they could EMAIL it to you!) or have them print their results to turn them in.

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Fire: Estimating Percent - Shodor

Grades
6 to 8
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Practice estimating skills with number and percent on this website. After inputting a fractional probability of the "burn," click on the forest for the fire to take place. Based on...more
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Practice estimating skills with number and percent on this website. After inputting a fractional probability of the "burn," click on the forest for the fire to take place. Based on the number of trees burned, input the estimate of number or percent of trees burned. Choices are also available for how close the estimate should be - close, really close, or almost perfect. Be sure to check on the link for instructors that provides an exploration worksheet, links to standards, items for classroom discussion, and links to similar resources.

tag(s): estimation (46), fractions (239), percent (82), probability (130), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Print out the exploration worksheet for students to complete, then discuss using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Using the interactive whiteboard, discuss why the probability of burn doesn't always equal the actual burn amount. Create a link on your classroom website, wiki, or blog for students to practice at home.
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MindMeister - MeisterLabs GmbH

Grades
4 to 12
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MindMeister is a free mind mapping program. It is easy to use online, on your mobile, or offline. Only the BASIC plan is free, allowing you up to 3 free ...more
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MindMeister is a free mind mapping program. It is easy to use online, on your mobile, or offline. Only the BASIC plan is free, allowing you up to 3 free mind maps. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. There are many highly interactive features: printing, sharing (emailing), and collaborating with others in "real time."

tag(s): brainstorming (23), DAT device agnostic tool (198), graphic organizers (43), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Realize that you can only make 3 maps for free, but you can always delete old ones to make room. Play with the tools and toolbars to create a mind map; use toolbars to collaborate, publish, or print diagrams. Creating the organizers is of easy to medium difficulty depending upon how elaborate you desire your organizer to be (don't miss the notes feature!). A handy revision "history" helps you see what changes were made when. See the blog for helpful video tutorials and tips. Note: to use the "real time" collaboration feature, collaborators need individual email accounts to gain access.

Note that maps that are "published" can be seen by the public (read only, so they cannot be altered). If a map is shared via a URL, only those that were "invited" to view the map will be able to see it. However, this does require each viewer to sign up (free) to MindMeister to be able to view this map. You can specify members who may collaborate and make alterations to a map that is not "published." You can also invite other members to view (but not change) unpublished maps.

The class can create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or, you can assign students in cooperative groups to create a mind map as a study guide for unit content, to collect information for a group research project, or show examples of an important concept. Use this site for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this site to create family trees. Have students collaborate together (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study; color-code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question; map out a story, plotline, or plan for the future; map out a step-by-step process (life cycle).

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Math-a-rama - Houghton-Mifflin

Grades
K to 6
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Practice math skills painlessly with this multi-level playground of interactive activities which coincides with the Houghton Mifflin Math textbooks. Students can select the appropriate...more
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Practice math skills painlessly with this multi-level playground of interactive activities which coincides with the Houghton Mifflin Math textbooks. Students can select the appropriate grade level (K-6) and begin to explore the offerings - ranging from collections of virtual manipulatives to brainteasers to test-taking strategies. Most links (playground activities) bring up a list of topic areas to choose from. Even if you don't use Houghton-Mifflin in your classroom, this is a great resource for additional practice, interactives, and more.

tag(s): fractions (239), integers (41), manipulatives (41), money (193), probability (130), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Share the virtual manipulatives on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to list this link on your class website for students to access both at home and in the classroom. If you are going to use this site as a math learning center, put direct shortcuts to activities on your computers. Have older students create their own brain teasers and share them on your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Head Magnet

Grades
3 to 12
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HeadMagnet is a new twist on flashcards. You can create flashcards for any subject that you wish or use cards already available on the site. Once the cards are made, ...more
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HeadMagnet is a new twist on flashcards. You can create flashcards for any subject that you wish or use cards already available on the site. Once the cards are made, there are different study modes to choose - slide show, self-test and normal (type in responses). Study sessions can even be timed. After completing the study session HeadMagnet predicts which items will need more study time, enabling you to spend more time on material that hasn't been learned yet. Study lists can be shared with others, and you can search for already created materials. After completion of a study session, you can access statistics that show your overall memory of the material. You need to register to create your own materials but all items are free. Registration requires and email address. Tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

tag(s): flash cards (45)

In the Classroom

Create flashcards for any subject to review material being learned in class. Use this as a review for vocabulary before tests. As a pre-assessment, create a study list to use on the interactive whiteboard or projector to find out what students already know. Provide this link on your class website for students to use to create flashcards both in and out of your classroom. Learning support teachers may want to show students how to create their own cards. The process of creating the will actually reinforce skills, as well.

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Freeology - Free Printable Graphic Organizers - Freeology.com

Grades
1 to 12
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This site offers over 50 downloadable PDF graphic organizers for the English/Language Arts classroom. Many of the graphic organizers (like the Venn diagrams) could be used in various...more
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This site offers over 50 downloadable PDF graphic organizers for the English/Language Arts classroom. Many of the graphic organizers (like the Venn diagrams) could be used in various subject areas. Some of the organizers include SQ3R, Pros and Cons Scale, KWL, Pyramids, and 10+ pages of other forms of graphic organizers!

In the Classroom

This is a great site to help students sequence, brainstorm, and organize information. Use on an interactive whiteboard or projector and fill out organizers after a lesson. Print out organizers and have students use them in cooperative reading groups. Use the organizers to differentiate for students who need extra scaffolding or for students who need extension activities. As students get older and learn which study skills help them best, they will want to access this site on their own to study for tests. Be sure to save this site in your personal favorites!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Prezi - Prezi

Grades
3 to 12
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Prezi is a visual, "zoomable" presentation tool. It is similar to PowerPoint and Keynote, but there is so much more to Prezi! You can graphically arrange a large amount of ...more
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Prezi is a visual, "zoomable" presentation tool. It is similar to PowerPoint and Keynote, but there is so much more to Prezi! You can graphically arrange a large amount of content, such as a big idea with its supporting information. It creates very dynamic presentations. See samples by clicking "log in" then "Explore" (instead of logging in). Choose a background, follow the instructions and prompts of the program, and before you know it, you will have your very own Prezi to share. If you like to see directions, watch the quick intro video. You can also view Prezis created by others and use them as templates for your own work. Check out the sample created by the TF Edge team here. This tool works in ANY device's web browser, from iPod to Android to laptop. Collaborate on a Prezi with other Prezi members in real time using the Share function. Have a "meeting" to work on the same Prezi in real time. There is a free "edu enjoy" level of membership (requires a school issued email and verification) that allows you to keep your Prezis private, out of public sharing. The regular "enjoy" membership is free for only one month, and its Prezis are public. File storage limits apply to free accounts. It is worth noting that some people find Prezi causes motion-sickness if it zooms too much!

tag(s): graphic organizers (43), visualizations (14)

In the Classroom

You could map your entire lesson, chapter or unit in one Prezi. Once you introduce the concept with this tool, you can go back to it often with your students as you move to different parts of the unit. It would provide a great way to connect prior knowledge with the next step if you share this on your interactive whiteboard or projector throughout the unit. Or you could post it to your web page or give kids the URL so they can review as often as they need it. Try having the students map a concept or chapter with this tool. In history class, create timelines of relevant events, or in science or math class have them map steps in a process. Have students create Prezis for different events, and then have them post the link to their product on a class blog or wiki. Add a peer review component and require students to comment on at least two other Prezis. The possibilities are endless!

If you have gifted students n your class, offer Prezi as one alternative for sharing extensions to the regular curriculum. If they already know the material, have them investigate a related process or example and share it in the form of a Prezi.

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Memorize.com - Memorize.com

Grades
1 to 12
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Sometimes you just need to memorize certain facts and Memorize.com provides the easy to use resources to get the job done. The format of this site is simple and easily ...more
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Sometimes you just need to memorize certain facts and Memorize.com provides the easy to use resources to get the job done. The format of this site is simple and easily accessible to all. Choose pre-made flash cards or create your own. If you choose to create your own, you can create an account or let the system create one for you. Options to switch between flashcard, multiple choice, and matching formats are provided. Diagrams and explanatory text can also be included with your choices.

tag(s): flash cards (45)

In the Classroom

Join the site or let them create an account for you -- but be sure you remember that username, etc. so you can access it again! (email required). Read through the various options or use their "wizards" to create materials.

Create materials for review and practice with basic information, terms, and more. Students can collect and save rows or information they missed to aid with their learning. Ask your students to create their own flashcards or memory set to review before a test or quiz. Have students make practice materials for each other, as well. Learning support teachers will find their students enjoy reviewing more if they are creating something themselves, and the process of MAKING the cards is actually a review in itself.

Share this link on your website for parents to review with their student. This format is very flexible and can be used to create materials for everything from math to Social Studies.

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Memorize Now - Brad Haugaard

Grades
2 to 12
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This site allows students to enter texts of varying lengths which they would like to memorize, but it can also be much more. Working like a sort of reverse cloze ...more
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This site allows students to enter texts of varying lengths which they would like to memorize, but it can also be much more. Working like a sort of reverse cloze test, the site erases more and more of the text as the student works through it. A blank remains, marking the spot for each word that has been removed. Alternatively, students can also select "letters" to see the first word of every sentence in the item. Two ways of entering the text passage allow students to copy items from a spread sheet (like vocabulary words) instead of retyping or entering each word. This site also allows you to create flashcards to use for practice. This is a great tool to help students study and understand how they learn best!

tag(s): vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

This site does far more than aid memorization. Reading teachers can also use it to teach comprehension skills, such as using context clues to determine meaning in a paragraph. Paste in the paragraph (perhaps a passage from a non-fiction science or social studies article) and use this tool on your interactive whiteboard for students to "figure out" the missing words. Do the same with world language texts to reverse match using subject verb agreement and to analyze missing content using inflected endings. In science class, use this site to remove clues from a paragraph explaining a concepts or terms, subtracting information and having students fill it back in as they review for test and quizzes. Learning support teachers will love this option! Enter passage students write that include new vocabulary words, letting students challenge each other by subtracting portions. Speech and language teachers can use this tool to provide practice with expressive language.

For work with memorization, use this site with popular song lyrics in class. Listen to the song first and give the students the lyrics to be memorized. Or, go to YouLyrics (if district policy allows) to get the song and see a video of it and then have the students use this site to help them memorize the lyrics. ESL, ELL, and students of other languages will enjoy memorizing songs which helps them improve their vocabulary and accent. Use this site in a group by projecting the screen on a whiteboard or projector and systematically show fewer and fewer words on the screen. Have teams of students compete against each other by writing the text as quickly as possible on two boards in the classroom. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the class to memorize new information. Share it as a personal study skills tool, as well.

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VocabSushi - VocabSushi.com

Grades
8 to 12
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This site helps students learn higher level vocabulary, whether they want to simply improve reading ability or prepare for college entrance tests. Registration requires an email address....more
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This site helps students learn higher level vocabulary, whether they want to simply improve reading ability or prepare for college entrance tests. Registration requires an email address. Rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes.If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Once registered, students can select fitting vocabulary words to put into sentences. The sentences come from popular current newspapers. The site also has standard reading lists for the top test prep sites, including GRE, ISEE, SAT, and ACT. It keeps track of which of those words a student is working on and which he/she has learned. Students who master certain words will find new, more challenging words added to their work-on list. Besides seeing the words used in context, you can also hear the pronunciation of most words, thus making it a good tool for TOEFL test takers as well.

tag(s): test prep (95), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers. List the link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Have students work with a partner to explore this site and then create a podcast incorporating the new words that they learned. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Wonder of Words - wordinfo.info

Grades
8 to 12
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This word quiz is a great way to help students prepare for SAT's or other tests that require high level vocabulary. Students are given a definition and five possible "answers." ...more
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This word quiz is a great way to help students prepare for SAT's or other tests that require high level vocabulary. Students are given a definition and five possible "answers." Simply click on the word that is being defined and you get instant feedback if your answer was correct or you're your percentage correct, and the correct answer - if yours was incorrect. One recommendation is to click on Image Quizzes for quiz words with entertaining pictures that actually do help the student find the correct word. This site also features "category/subcategory" quizzes that concentrate on related word families. The site does include some unobtrusive advertisements.

tag(s): test prep (95), vocabulary (323)

In the Classroom

If individual computers aren't available, this site would work on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Make it a class challenge. Put this site in a PSAT, SAT, or ACT preparation pamphlet/web page to help students maximize their vocabulary knowledge. It is fast and easy to use. For the most advanced second language learners, this quiz would also be helpful for preparing for the TOEFL test. This is a site you want to list on your class website. As part of your regular vocabulary study, consider having student create their own "Image Quizzes" using their personal vocabulary words, then challenge their classmates! Use a simple tool such as Powerpoint to make the quiz slides (uploadable to Thinglink, reviewed here, or other slide sharing tools) or create them online on a class wiki.

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Brainflips - Brainflips, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
7 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are ...more
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Use this free web site to create flashcards for teacher or individual student use. There is also a link to "Study Flashcards" that are already ready to go. There are literally HUNDREDS of ready to go flashcard packets: presidents, addition, algebra, music, and more.

If you are creating your own, you can add images, video, or audio. Study flashcards online or share with others in created study groups. Use flashcards to learn new information (question and answer are side by side,) study (shows the question and then the answer,) or quiz themselves by entering answers. Create a game with the flashcards by using a timer and score board on the site. Share flashcard sets with others by sending a URL address or create study groups to share. View public flashcards created by others by using their search feature.
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tag(s): flash cards (45), presidents (131), word study (80)

In the Classroom

You can access the already created flashcards without any account, email, or age requirements. However, if you wish to create flashcards, an email and birth date is required to create an account. Users must be 13 years of age or older.

Using Brainflips: Use the Deck panel to enter flashcard deck title and other basic information. Use the Card panel to add, edit, and change the order of the flashcards in the deck. Create text or multiple choice answers for each flashcard and even enter alternative answers. Click "Insert" above the question field to add images, audio, and video to flashcards.

Safety/Security: Since an email and birth date are required, consider creating a class account for teacher use or for groups of students to use. Create teacher flashcards for class use by creating card decks and providing the URL for students to use. You may want to send students to the flashcards via a direct link to the deck.

Facts, spelling words, vocabulary, definitions, foreign language, root words, historical names --- all can easily be typed into this flashcard format for any subject. Plan a system of tags for sets on related material so they can be grouped. For example: tag all geography terms "geography" and all words from the same science chapter using the chapter number or topic. You can use multiple tags, too! In the computer lab, using a projector or interactive whiteboard, walk your students through making their own sets of flashcards or using teacher created flashcards for student and group use. Students or parents can then access their electronic cards at home or anywhere with a specific URL that can be placed on any teacher blog or website. No email address is needed to use the cards, only to create the cards. Include the link to your sets on your web page for students to study before tests. Collaborate with other teachers to create useful sets for all to use. Rotate responsibility each marking period among student groups in your class to create a set for each chapter/unit/week for the rest of the class to use as review. Give a special award (or bonus points) for the most creative, complete set that marking period. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small student groups to create verbal and visual card sets to accompany the chapters they are studying. Involve the students in the process so they can reinforce new content as they create their own "study materials" with color coding, images, and more.

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