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Think - Cathy Sheafor

Grades
K to 8
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This blog shares many creative activities to encourage thinking outside the box. The activities use many easy to find materials. If you want to make a sculpture out of Twinkies, ...more
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This blog shares many creative activities to encourage thinking outside the box. The activities use many easy to find materials. If you want to make a sculpture out of Twinkies, or create a one man band, then this site is for you. Find links to other creative thinking blogs, too. Promote 21st century design thinking and innovation with activities that look like pure "fun." The sidebar include links to many engineering sites and activities to connect creativity as an important aspect of design and science. Don't miss the sidebar tips to parents and teachers, as well.

tag(s): creativity (109), critical thinking (108)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create a "think outside of the box" space in your classroom. Keep the area stocked with materials and activity sheets. Use the area as a place for students to go when they finish up work. Better yet, make design thinking part of your science curriculum by tying in some of these challenges with curriculum topics such as gravity, forces, materials, and more. Set one Friday a month aside as "think outside of the box" day, and use the activities from the site. Send home an activity as extra credit homework and create a museum of student's creations. Make this link available on your class web page for parents to access during school breaks or snow days.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Symmetry Activity - Haelmedia.com

Grades
3 to 7
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Practice with symmetry by completing or creating symmetric patterns. Select from three levels of difficulty then click and drag boxes to create the mirror image. Check for accuracy...more
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Practice with symmetry by completing or creating symmetric patterns. Select from three levels of difficulty then click and drag boxes to create the mirror image. Check for accuracy using the "check" button. Create a pattern using either a vertical or horizontal line of symmetry then check for accuracy. Be sure to check out the suggestions for expanding the activities at the bottom of the page. Included are prompts for writing and other activities.

tag(s): symmetry (55)

In the Classroom

This activity is perfect for use on interactive whiteboards and classroom computers as a center activity. Have one student create one side of a symmetric figure, and have another student make the mirror image. Ask the first student to check for accuracy. Provide one part of a symmetric figure and have students recreate it using this program. Have students reproduce creations using graph paper and use as a classroom display. Art teachers will also want to try the symmetry activities to build visual design skills or to design letter forms and shapes that have symmetry.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive.I - interactive.illimitably.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Interactive.i allows you to make whiteboard drawings and to "paint chat" in an online space you can share with others. Create your own space in three simple steps: choose a ...more
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Interactive.i allows you to make whiteboard drawings and to "paint chat" in an online space you can share with others. Create your own space in three simple steps: choose a font style for chat, name your room, and designate if participants can chat, draw, or both. Once in the room, share the url with all participants. Chat appears below the drawing and not in the drawing itself and does not show when you share or save the final product. Options are available for activities such as a drawing challenge and newspaper. Be aware that the newspaper may offer options such as gay marriage or other topics you may not want to address with your students. Save drawings to your computer or online. Avoid the public gallery where drawings may not be classroom appropriate.

tag(s): drawing (78)

In the Classroom

You can avoid the public galleries entirely by creating the space for your students to use. It takes only seconds, and they can join directly by url. Have students collaborate on the creation of story webs or classroom presentations. Encourage visual prewriting for the students who "think in pictures." Allow students to use this site as their visual during speeches. Have young students use a whiteboard to draw out ideas before they can even write entire sentences. If you know an artist, cartoonist or illustrator, invite him/her to visit your classroom virtually to share his/her drawing process while you class uses the chat to ask questions.

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Discover Design: A Student Design Experience - Chicago Architecture Foundation

Grades
8 to 12
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Learn about architectural design and construction of buildings and more and about design in general. This site also gives teens a forum to post design ideas and receive feedback from...more
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Learn about architectural design and construction of buildings and more and about design in general. This site also gives teens a forum to post design ideas and receive feedback from others their age as well as teachers and design professionals. Discover Design also promotes a challenge every year for student teams to create an innovative remake of something (lunchroom, food stand, locker, etc.) at their school. The registration deadline is in the first week in April with final project due the second to last week in May. Judging begins the last week of May and ends the second week of June. View the contest requirements and rules in great detail with forms on the site. Use this site for lessons and information without an account, but to use the forum tool you need to create a user account.

tag(s): architecture (83), engineering (125), measurement (159), modeling (9)

In the Classroom

Teach students about applied science and math through the use of design. Students will see real life applications, get energized about a possible career, and go beyond repetitious facts or abstract theories. Use this site to spark ideas for your students. Use one of the smaller past challenges for your class. Have students compete to create a new student locker or lunch tray. Have them do research and design prototypes. Have students display their work locally for the school and community. Judge work by the public or by classmates on a rubric. Even if you are not part of the larger Maker's Faire movement, your students can be involved in hands-on design and innovation.

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Kidopo - Kidopo.com

Grades
K to 4
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Kidopo offers Flash games for kids including brain games, card/board games, math games, memory games, puzzle games, science games, and word games. In addition, there are coloring pages,...more
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Kidopo offers Flash games for kids including brain games, card/board games, math games, memory games, puzzle games, science games, and word games. In addition, there are coloring pages, printables, videos, and crafts. Sort activities by type, then by theme such as food, holidays, learning, and much more. Note that some of the games are purely entertainment and have no instructional value.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): colors (79), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Use the online coloring book to help primary students practice mouse manipulation. The learning games on Kidopo make a good practice center activity on classroom computers. Some advertisements on this site may look like part of the program. Be sure to show students how to avoid them so they won't leave the site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Christmas Activity Advent Calendar - Kent ICT

Grades
K to 1
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This advent calendar has fun short games and activities to play each day. The games and activities are quick and easy to complete. ...more
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This advent calendar has fun short games and activities to play each day. The games and activities are quick and easy to complete.

tag(s): christmas (64), colors (79), counting (120), keyboarding (38), preK (279)

In the Classroom

This advent calendar would be good for the classroom computers as a center to help young students build keyboarding and mouse skills. Use this on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) and ask a different student each day to choose the day and play the activity.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Legacy Project - Susan V. Bosak

Grades
3 to 12
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The Legacy Project is a big picture learning project for adults, youth, and children. There are three categories to the program where you develop your legacy: personal, interpersonal,...more
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The Legacy Project is a big picture learning project for adults, youth, and children. There are three categories to the program where you develop your legacy: personal, interpersonal, and community. Explore your connection with others in your life and create closer relationships between generations. Find out how you can help make a better world by addressing issues like building stronger communities and caring for the environment. The Legacy Project was inspired by the award-winning bestseller, Dream, and is a content rich site that explores all aspects of the hopes and dreams we have for ourselves and our world. You can identify and reach for your goals to make a difference in your own life and our world.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): communities (35), crafts (40), cross cultural understanding (115), environment (317), writing (358)

In the Classroom

The Legacy Project's free online activities for all ages include creative crafts, art projects, games, self-assessments, reproducible pages, and even lesson ideas with curriculum connections for teachers. There are also free guides, tips, and feature articles. Resources can be used individually or grouped to create a themed set that run the gammit from literacy to family, history, or science. There are even free online certificates you can download!

Challenge your students to think about questions like: What are your goals and what would you like to be, do, and learn? How can you achieve your goals? What can you learn about your own hopes and dreams and those of others? How can you think globally and act locally? How can we better understand other people and cultures that live in our communities or a whole continent away from us? The Legacy Project combines practical, classroom-tested ideas and research-based insights with a little fun and inspiration to inform and inspire all ages - children, teens, and adults. Using resources like the Dream book, students explore the world around them and their role in it - past, present, and future.

The Legacy Project's annual Listen to a Life Essay Contest brings generations in family and community closer and promotes the importance and uniqueness of inter-generational relationships. Students between the ages of 8-18 years interview a grandparent or "grand-friend" about their life and write an essay. This also opens the door for so many creative projects such as photo essays, (using their own digital images or finding ones that are legally permitted to be reproduced). Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here.

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Spectra Visual Newsreader - MSNBC

Grades
5 to 12
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news ...more
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This very attractive site allows readers to select and compile the news they want to read. Readers can choose from U.S. or world news as well as from many news categories such as politics, business, entertainment, health, technology, travel, and science. Each general category has up to 12 other choices of a more specific nature. After making those choices, a slideshow style player appears where readers can view a very brief summary of a news article to see if they would like to read the entire text. News videos and blogs are also available with just a click of your mouse. A "newscollector" allows readers to select and save featured stories for later reading.

tag(s): news (261), newspapers (94), reading comprehension (116), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for you and your students to find articles related to science, social studies, and cultural topics you are studying. Have students select, read, and compare two articles on the same subject. Have small groups of students take turns presenting weekly news. Use articles as practice for finding main idea and other comprehension skills. Create a selection of stories as writing prompts for persuasive writing pieces. Collect news sources related to an upcoming election to follow in a civics/government class. Have students create an online presentation on their selected news topics from categories you've assigned for your classroom news. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tinkercad - Tinkercad, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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Create 3D models with Tinkercad's easy drag and drop interface. Move objects into and out of other objects and zoom in and out with ease. Tinkercad is a free site ...more
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Create 3D models with Tinkercad's easy drag and drop interface. Move objects into and out of other objects and zoom in and out with ease. Tinkercad is a free site using a browser-based CAD program (no download required). Click on the Learn tab along the top of the main page to follow activities to learn new skills. Share your creations on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest. Want to save a picture? Use the screen shot function (command//shift/4 in a Mac or print screen in a PC). To print in 3D, you must use other applications or have access to a 3D printer. All designs made in Tinkercad are public. Others can copy and use your designs. (This Creative Commons license is another useful part of Tinkercad.)

tag(s): creativity (109), drawing (78), measurement (159), modeling (9)

In the Classroom

Bring out the budding engineer, scientist, or designer in your students. Create simple models or use one created by others in Tinkercad. Give ample time for students to play with the variety of shapes and letters. As they become proficient, create a 3D model science fair for products that solve problems. As part of a multidisciplinary unit in science, technology, economics, math, social studies, and English classes, use this site to create a culminating design project.

Have the final design project be a new museum or historical/tourist attraction to commemorate a local hero/heroine. In English classes, have students create a written grant for the design proposal. In economics, have the students discover how to construct the project for the best possible cost. In math and science classes, have the students "build" the project with accurate measurements. Then as a follow up, have students use Google Earth reviewed here to predict the environmental impact of the new construction. Or, in technology education or industrial arts class, use this as a way to submit project drafts for construction.

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Now I See! Infographics as content scaffold and creative, formative assessment - TeachersFirst: Candace Hackett Shively and Louise Maine

Grades
6 to 12
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Discover how to use student-created infographics as scaffold or assessment for learning in any middle or high school subject. Many teachers are not "visual" people and struggle to implement...more
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Discover how to use student-created infographics as scaffold or assessment for learning in any middle or high school subject. Many teachers are not "visual" people and struggle to implement infographics because they do not know how to help students. Whether you are a visual person or a "data" person, these pages will help your class get started. See the story of one teacher's journey into using infographics and learn from her experience. Find downloadable files to help: a PowerPoint you can use with students, and a customizable rubric. Don't miss the extensive Resources and Tools page for examples, background articles, and more. These pages grew out of a presentation at ISTE 2012.

tag(s): infographics (42)

In the Classroom

Read through this professional tutorial if you have even considered trying infographics with your students. You will find just the encouragement you need. Mark this one in your Favorites and share the many examples with your students, including student-created examples from a ninth grade class, as you launch your own infographics projects. Let your students "show what they know" in a new way.

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Teacher Tipster - Mr. Smith

Grades
K to 3
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Find some creative, entertaining, and downright amazing videos, worksheets, and more. See how to teach math (geometric shapes, money, addition, and more) using Angry Birds. Learn about...more
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Find some creative, entertaining, and downright amazing videos, worksheets, and more. See how to teach math (geometric shapes, money, addition, and more) using Angry Birds. Learn about place value using a swim noodle! Use stacking cups to learn phonics, and much more! There are also printable behavior charts, long vowel worksheets, and a lot more printable pages available FREE. This is one creative teacher offering a multitude of free ideas and printables. If your school blocks YouTube, it is worth opening this site at home to see the great videos.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): behavior (46), calendars (44), classroom management (134), counting (120), estimation (46), geometric shapes (163), holidays (147), money (193), operations (126), phonics (75), place value (56), verbs (41)

In the Classroom

If you can't re-create some of the lessons demonstrated on the videos, share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Not all videos are created to share with students. Some videos are more instructional ideas for teachers - so preview before you share. Scroll through the many videos for some ideas to spice up your primary grades classroom. 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 resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Make an Animation - ABCya!

Grades
2 to 8
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This cool tool, developed especially for older elementary to middle school students, allows you to create simple animations. You are provided with 40 frames. Click to choose your color,...more
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This cool tool, developed especially for older elementary to middle school students, allows you to create simple animations. You are provided with 40 frames. Click to choose your color, brush size, and more. The site includes the options to copy a frame, draw with a pencil instead of a brush, save, undo, clear and start over, and more. This is a simple to use tool. More in-depth instructions are provided on the site. Animations are saved as a .gif file. Read the tips on the home page to learn how to open your downloaded .gif.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (63), creativity (109)

In the Classroom

This site is useful for both teachers and students. During the first day of school, create a simple animation to share with your class. Highlight information about yourself, class rules, highlights from the year, and more. Create math animations showing different geometric shapes on 2-3 slides (just click to copy a frame, rather than remaking the slide) and giving the students a chance to guess the shape before the answer is provided on the next slide. Challenge students to create their own animations "introducing themselves" to the class. Students could also create animations to demonstrate what they have learned about a piece of literature, a science unit, social studies theme or unit, or more. Save the students' work and share the animations on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your gifted students to create animations about their in-depth interests or curriculum concepts they have pretested out of so others in the class can learn from them. This tool is simple enough for bright students in early elementary to navigate on their own, a real asset when your gifted ones are working alone while you teach others.

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Seeing the Future! A Guide to Visual Communication - HOWTOONS and the Lemelson/MIT InvenTeams

Grades
6 to 12
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This comic-book style guide traces the history of visual communications and explains design principles anyone can use to create visual projects. You can click to view in html (web page)...more
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This comic-book style guide traces the history of visual communications and explains design principles anyone can use to create visual projects. You can click to view in html (web page) form or download the pdf version. The comic book follows the tale of a young man who cannot draw but wants to revolutionize the world. By breaking drawing into simple shapes and lines, the protagonist learns to communicate through drawing. Then he adds perspective to move past "flat" to the look of 3D. Whether you are trying to create a poster, an infographic, a scientific diagram, or a greeting card, this guide will give you new "perspective."

tag(s): graphic design (35), infographics (42), visual thinking (10)

In the Classroom

Share this guide (the html version) on your interactive whiteboard or projector before any visual project or assignment. Offer the pdf and/or the link as a reference on your class web page or computer cluster for students who become frustrated drawing. The tools explained in the guide are easily duplicated in most computer drawing programs and online whiteboard tools, such as these reviewed tools from the TeachersFirst Edge. Encourage students to view this guide when they must design a model or infographic and cannot figure out how to simplify their ideas to something they can represent.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TeachersFirst's Resources for Infographics - TeachersFirst

Grades
4 to 12
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Find a targeted collection of infographic resources including tools for creating them, collections of great infographic examples, and sites with professional information for teachers...more
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Find a targeted collection of infographic resources including tools for creating them, collections of great infographic examples, and sites with professional information for teachers planning to use infographics for student projects and assessments.

tag(s): infographics (42)

In the Classroom

Join the21st century trend of infographics as a way to share a lot of information, quantitative data, and relationships in a compact but effective visual space. Help students learn and construct meaning using infographics. Share this collection on your class web page as a starting point for students.

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Infographic of Infographics - Ivan Cash

Grades
6 to 12
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This infographic depicts the trends and design strategies used to convey information in today's infographics. See stats on the visual devices used, topics, locations, and informational...more
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This infographic depicts the trends and design strategies used to convey information in today's infographics. See stats on the visual devices used, topics, locations, and informational elements that are "trending" in infographic use. Whether you are an analytic person or a visual one, this site make you stop and think.

tag(s): graphic design (35), infographics (42)

In the Classroom

If you are assigning students to create infographics, this is a must-share. Have students explore this in small groups then find examples of the trend they find most interesting. Share their finds on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Better yet, share them on your class wiki so students can refer back to these ideas when they are "stuck" working on their own visual products. Art teachers can use this as an entry point into a graphic design unit. Reading teachers can use this to help students interpret and analyze the graphics that often accompany informational texts.

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Floor Planner - Small Blue Printer

Grades
3 to 12
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Floor Planner is a 2D online floor planning tool that allows you to create a room or entire home. It includes many common household items to use in floor plan ...more
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Floor Planner is a 2D online floor planning tool that allows you to create a room or entire home. It includes many common household items to use in floor plan and allows you to change the dimensions of objects. Note that you do not need an account to create a plan, but you do need one to save.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): architecture (83), design (84), measurement (159)

In the Classroom

Use this tool in your math class when discussing scale and measurement. Project it on an interactive whiteboard (or projector) and demonstrate how to use the tools. Have students use it to create a model of their classroom or have them choose a room from their home to recreate. Another fun activity to try is to have students design a room for a favorite book character.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Adventures of Bloo - Miniclip.com

Grades
K to 3
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Meet Bloo, an addicting, colorful, logic activity for younger students. Move Bloo along the platforms to have him change to the colors indicated. Use the arrows to move and jump. ...more
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Meet Bloo, an addicting, colorful, logic activity for younger students. Move Bloo along the platforms to have him change to the colors indicated. Use the arrows to move and jump. Bloo will turn into the color he steps on. If Bloo steps on a color he already is, he will lose his color. Bloo can also mix colors to make new ones. Match the color on Bloo with the target platform to complete the level and move up in difficulty. You will need to know something about mixing colors to navigate Bloo to the goal.

tag(s): colors (79), logic (235), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

After demonstrating this site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector), create a link to this site on classroom computers. Have students use this site as a logic and problem solving center. Have students write journal entries explaining how to play the game, and difficulties encountered along the way. Teach color combinations in a while new "shade" using this site!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NfbKids - The National Film Board of Canada

Grades
K to 4
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Explore, learn, and have some fun at this engaging site create by the National Film Board of Canada. The site is divided into seven different sections, each offering activities based...more
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Explore, learn, and have some fun at this engaging site create by the National Film Board of Canada. The site is divided into seven different sections, each offering activities based on themes such as seasons, story telling, and experiments. Learn more about the site by following the tutorial on the Cuckoo section. Learn about the seasons as you explore Ludovic's area. Dog Run teaches about pet ownership and dogs in general. Be sure to check out the Fun Stuff section that contains a wonderful story boarding activity as well as several "create a character" options for storytelling fun! Account registration isn't required to use the site; however, creating an account allows you to save and access activities at a later time.

tag(s): digital storytelling (142), interactive stories (32), preK (279), puzzles (208), seasons (37), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Use the Fun Stuff portion of the site for creative writing activities. Have students create characters then write stories based on their adventures. Use the story board portion of the site on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to create a story as a class. Challenge students to create their own stories incorporating different elements discussed on the story board. Share stories and create videos of students reading their creations. Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. If you teach an animal unit or have pets week, be sure to include Dog Run!

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Aww App Whiteboard - Senko RasiA***

Grades
K to 12
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Aww App is a super simple browser-based application for creating drawings. Click on "Start Drawing" to begin. Choose from different pencil sizes or colors and use the mouse to write....more
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Aww App is a super simple browser-based application for creating drawings. Click on "Start Drawing" to begin. Choose from different pencil sizes or colors and use the mouse to write. Share the link with others to collaborate on a single whiteboard then share results via the share link. Sharing can be done through Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, or url. This site could really be used on any device: computer, tablet, smartphone, interactive whiteboard, etc.. and on any browser. It does work on iOS devices.

tag(s): drawing (78)

In the Classroom

If you are fortunate enough to have tablets in the classroom, this application would work well for collaborative illustrations. Have each student add a different part of a story for retelling or summarizing main events while others watch and share additional information. Have students create simple math problems while another student solves. Sketch out plans for visual projects, brainstorm freehand, or even create collaborative diagrams to accompany lab reports.

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Flake Pad - Pen Flakes

Grades
2 to 6
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Flake Pad is a very simple little website that lets you create geometric snowflakes using basic shapes and a grid. To make the flake, choose a shape and click a ...more
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Flake Pad is a very simple little website that lets you create geometric snowflakes using basic shapes and a grid. To make the flake, choose a shape and click a spot on the grid. You can add as many or as few shapes as you like to your flake. View the completed flake off the grid for a screen shot then include it in other projects or print using the print button on the site.

tag(s): creativity (109), geometric shapes (163), snow (21), symmetry (55)

In the Classroom

Flake Pad is a great site to help students understand symmetry. Any time students click a space on the grid, the shape will appear on multiple points on the grid. Use Flake Pad on an interactive whiteboard and have students identify lines of symmetry on the flake. With the pointer tool on Flake Pad, students can drag the shapes they have created to different points. Have students in the audience describe what happens to the flake as you move the shapes.

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