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Post It - Labeling Tool - Class Tools

Grades
K to 12
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The Post-It Labeling Tool allows you to annotate images. Upload an image from your computer and add labels to the image. Place the Post-it where needed by dragging and dropping ...more
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The Post-It Labeling Tool allows you to annotate images. Upload an image from your computer and add labels to the image. Place the Post-it where needed by dragging and dropping and extending the connecting line. Change the background color of the Post-it from the default yellow to color code items in the image. Find the tools to upload the image, and work with it, in the bottom left corner. Scrolling over the icons will tell you what they are. Save your finished product as a webpage, embed in your blog or wiki, or print. Clicking the green question mark will show you samples. See the example made by a TeachersFirst reviewer here. The Post-It labeling tool is FREE, you can annotate your image and save it without even registering.
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tag(s): digital storytelling (94), images (224), posters (30)

In the Classroom

Share the Post-It labeling site on your interactive whiteboard or projector to show students how to use the tools. Have students label and identify objects in an image. Label parts of a plant, continents, landforms, etc. Practice new words in world language classes by asking students to label and identify objects in that language. This would make an excellent ESL/ELL formative assessment tool. Create a storyboard using several annotated images as a story starter. Art students can annotate images to point out design elements or annotate images of their work to talk about the creative decisions they made. Share annotated Post-It images on your class website or blog to tell about a field trip or class event.

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Papaly - Papaly

Grades
6 to 12
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Create boards of links to your popular tools and bookmarks curated into one beautiful and simple interface! Use Papaly to collect links from Twitter, Facebook, news sites, Pinterest,...more
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Create boards of links to your popular tools and bookmarks curated into one beautiful and simple interface! Use Papaly to collect links from Twitter, Facebook, news sites, Pinterest, existing computer bookmarks, and new bookmarks. Follow the pop-up messages to learn the controls from the Tutorial. Hover over Boards to click on the + sign, and then name the new board. Select from popular categories to instantly populate your board with common tools. Import computer bookmarks by installing the Chrome extension or creating an HTML file of them following the tutorial. Click on Board Properties in the upper right corner to change your board to Secret (private), make your board Invisible for Google, alter your settings, and change the layout of the board. Share boards by email, Twitter, or Facebook. Note: If using the boards with students, be sure not to import information from personal sites such as email, Twitter, Facebook, etc. as the login information would be visible to students.

tag(s): bookmarks (58), news (173), social networking (102)

In the Classroom

Create an account to keep track of bookmarks to share with students in your class. Bookmarks can be viewed on any browser, anywhere. Create separate boards for the various projects and units in your class. Add information that is useful for student understanding and application of concepts. Keep the boards and bookmarks throughout the year. Consider creating a board for student current events or happenings. Use this for access to information on various topics such as food issues, diseases, political information, cultures around the world, and more. Create a board with more challenging topics for your gifted and advanced students. Students can create a board of links from the web on a certain topic to share with other classmates. Create a Professional Development board to share with other teachers. Challenge your middle and high school gifted students to curate a board for themselves on a topic of individual interest. For example, a student interested in rocketry can locate and add blogs from rocket scientists, NASA feeds, and more. Talented writers may want to collect links to literary publications and author blogs. Consider creating a login that all students can use in order to add bookmarks that they find useful.

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Teampedia - Seth Marbin

Grades
K to 12
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Teampedia is a comprehensive and collaborative resource for finding icebreakers, team building, and leadership activities. Browse through almost 100 categories on this wiki. Find trust...more
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Teampedia is a comprehensive and collaborative resource for finding icebreakers, team building, and leadership activities. Browse through almost 100 categories on this wiki. Find trust activities, getting to know you, and online/remote team building. Explore activities based on the group size involved. If you have a great activity and don't see it, add it to Teampedia by following the steps provided. Each game or activity includes a list of materials needed, number of players, time required, and directions for play. Some directions for strategy games also include strategy options.
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tag(s): back to school (40), creativity (97), problem solving (203), social networking (102)

In the Classroom

Use this site to find Icebreaker activities and options for the first week of school community building. Bookmark this tool for the first week of school or any time that you want to experience some "team-building" in your class. Use this site if you have weekly classroom meetings to build relationships among students. Share this site with students and have them create their own games based on research projects or as a review for major tests. Share this site with parent helpers to find ideas for classroom parties.

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Gratisography - Ryan McGuire

Grades
K to 12
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These high quality, high-resolution photos can be used for free. No worries, it is not a stock photo site. Find a small number of new photos added weekly. Use any ...more
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These high quality, high-resolution photos can be used for free. No worries, it is not a stock photo site. Find a small number of new photos added weekly. Use any photo for either personal or commercial projects. Find a variety of landscapes, animals, people, and situations in the black and white or colored photographs. Though these are free, the work should be attributed to the artist. At the time of this review our editors found nothing inappropriate in the photos. However, we always recommend to PREVIEW!

tag(s): images (224), photography (139)

In the Classroom

Use photos from this site in your PowerPoint slides, web page, blog, etc., and be sure to attribute them. The different concepts of copyright are challenging for young students (below about grade 4). You may want to "collect" some photos for their use and save them locally for them to choose from until they are ready to understand the most difficult copyright issues. Select an image to project onto an interactive whiteboard or projector. Give time for students to develop a story around the picture. Use photos that students can use to demonstrate content in various classes. For example, in science, an image of a cat might be used to explain a classification and other animals related to it or the characteristics of life demonstrated in the image. In an art class, discuss the features of the photograph that are compelling, the use of light, the photo's composition, etc.

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PastBook - PastBook P.V.

Grades
K to 12
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PastBook is a wonderful site for creating online photo albums or scrapbooks. The tool was originally intended to create memorial books. Now you can create memory books and even choose...more
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PastBook is a wonderful site for creating online photo albums or scrapbooks. The tool was originally intended to create memorial books. Now you can create memory books and even choose a year to display. Choose "Start Now," to begin. Add a title, description, and pictures by uploading from your computer or social network accounts. Provide the text to describe images and a date if desired. When ready, choose "Create Your Book" to complete the book process. View finished books online or download for free in PDF format. Invite others to collaborate on your book through social networking links. Privacy settings allow only those with the URL to view your book. This tool is available on the web and iPhone. It will soon be available for any device. At the time of this review you needed to use your FaceBook account to sign in.
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tag(s): digital storytelling (94), images (224), photography (139), portfolios (20)

In the Classroom

Use a class PastBook account to keep track of the day-to-day happenings in your classroom (especially for younger grades). Consider creating albums of specific events such as field trips, service projects, hands-on activities, field experiences such as watershed studies, and more. Have students create portfolios for art and photography classes. Create a magazine of photos that portray different history and social topics. Set the scenes for novels or stories. Explain a specific science concept (using Creative Commons images AND proper credit). Anywhere photos can be used to showcase achievement or explain a concept, this service would be an excellent resource. Learning support, speech, ESL/ELL, autistic support, or world language teachers can collect images into "magazines" for students to practice/develop speech and vocabulary.

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Ducksters - Technological Solutions, Inc. (TSI)

Grades
2 to 8
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Ducksters is a safe, extensive, educational portal for kids. Find a wide choice of content such as interactives, sports, movies, and music. Begin by choosing a category to explore choices....more
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Ducksters is a safe, extensive, educational portal for kids. Find a wide choice of content such as interactives, sports, movies, and music. Begin by choosing a category to explore choices. The study category includes extensive information such as world history, many biographies, science explanations, and information on all continents and many countries. Interactive subjects include math times tables, checkers, and guess the country. There is a TON here to explore.
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tag(s): addition (226), african american (107), american revolution (71), animal homes (33), animals (241), artists (66), biographies (45), china (61), civil rights (97), civil war (135), cold war (27), continents (43), countries (68), data (145), division (154), egypt (64), elements (36), energy (171), environment (296), explorers (54), fractions (225), friction (10), geometric shapes (137), greece (25), habitats (76), human body (96), inventors and inventions (98), keyboarding (34), mean (26), median (24), mode (16), multiplication (205), planets (109), presidents (115), puzzles (189), recycling (53), renaissance (33), rome (25), solar system (111), sound (89), sports (84), subtraction (188), sun (66), world war 1 (44), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

This site is a perfect addition for use with a biography unit. Explore and share information categorized by topics such as Civil Rights, the Cold War, and Ancient Greece. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook about a president, famous scientist, or nearly any other real or fictitious person. Be sure to create a link to the site on your class webpage or newsletter for students to explore at home. Create a link on classroom computers for students to use the interactives during center time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Retronaut via Mashable - Timescape

Grades
7 to 12
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Retronaut is an archive of historical photos, though not your typical photos. These images are sometimes quirky, and generally unexpected. Many have explanations about the period. View...more
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Retronaut is an archive of historical photos, though not your typical photos. These images are sometimes quirky, and generally unexpected. Many have explanations about the period. View images of 1970's rock stars with their parents (Elton John, Frank Zappa, Eric Clapton to name a few). See Selma's Children, What Parisian Fancy Ladies wore in 1906, history's first women aviators, and much more. Explore the site by Most Popular, Featured, or The Latest. Click on an image to view a "capsule" with other related images. Some of the images have links under them for attribution, and you can see and read even more about that topic. Under latest, this reviewer found topics that were just added five days before, so you may want to check back if you do not find what you're looking for. Warning: At the time of this review there were two topics that may be inappropriate for the classroom. Use the URL of the topic you wish to share in a new window or tab of your web browser.
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tag(s): 1700s (19), 1800s (38), 1900s (26), 20th century (38), advertising (31), cultures (89), images (224), maps (255), medicine (54), politics (88), transportation (38)

In the Classroom

Share Retronaut via Mashable with students to explore images from a given time or relating to any historic topic to get an interesting perspective not typically seen in textbooks. Create capsules using images to share for any classroom project or allow students to create their own in conjunction with classroom presentations. Use Wellcome Images, reviewed here, with over 100,000 historical images if you do not find what you want on Retronaut. Galleries are not moderated, so check before sharing on your interactive whiteboard or projector. You can always use the URL of the topic you wish to share on a new tab of your web browser.

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Pear Deck - Pear Deck

Grades
K to 12
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Plan and build interactive presentations directly from your Google Drive! Share your presentation on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Your class can participate in your presentation...more
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Plan and build interactive presentations directly from your Google Drive! Share your presentation on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Your class can participate in your presentation using their own device! Simply install Pear Deck and go to your Google Drive. Next, click Create and choose the Pear Deck icon (in your Google Drive). An untitled Pear Deck file can be found in your drive. Click on "Untitled Pear Deck" and rename this file. To create slides, choose "Normal slide" for standard text slides that are not interactive. Add images and text blocks, and a title. Choose a "Draggable slide" to enter a student question for student input. Add a line or dot for students to answer the question. Use the "Multiple Choice" slide to enter a question and answer choices. To present, click "Start Presenting." You can use the option to "Open Session Dashboard" and see all of the students who joined the presentation. You can also choose "Open Projector View."

Invite students to join. Students will not see your slides UNTIL you start the presentation. Use the presentation tools. Students' view of the presentation follows the changes you make. Be sure to become familiar with these tools before using the tools with students. As students join, their names appear in the dashboard view. Tools include Lock and Unlock Responses from students, Hide and Show Responses, Ask Again, and more. Answer the questions more than once if desired. Pear Deck maintains the results of both attempts. While presenting, use the "Add a Question" tool to enter a last minute question. This includes a thumbs up or thumbs down choice to check on understanding. Make sure you "End Session" to save the results from the questions. The free account provides basic interactive questions with unlimited interactive sessions, 5 free presentation imports, and a maximum of 30 session participants. Help can be found by clicking on Menu and then Support. Find more information on Google Drive here.
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tag(s): slides (55)

In the Classroom

It may be a good idea to open both the Session Dashboard and the Projector View before using with the students. Keep each in separate tabs (or use a different device such as a tablet for one of these). Be sure to turn off student responses and lock responses UNTIL every student has responded (so students will not be swayed by other responses or change answers). With the draggable slide, insert an image that requires quick input such as where a basketball thrown at a hoop will land, where on a timeline image a specific event occurred, or where erosion would be deposited on a river bend picture. This resource is invaluable for presenting questions for quick formative assessment of the content that students are to learn in any subject area!

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Myths: Everything You Need - Scholastic Inc

Grades
K to 12
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Discover what influences myths from ancient cultures have on contemporary cultures. Add pizazz to your unit on mythology. Learn about famous writers. Explore the detailed lessons and...more
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Discover what influences myths from ancient cultures have on contemporary cultures. Add pizazz to your unit on mythology. Learn about famous writers. Explore the detailed lessons and plans. Visit Myths From Around the World, a writing activity that teaches about myths from fifteen regions of the world. Read the myths of ancient Greece. Find directions to write your own myth with Jane Yolen's help. Lessons instruct the learning of the characteristics of a myth through reading, comparisons, and making inferences. Peruse the unit on Heroes and Legends, which includes lesson plans for examining heroes and their common characteristics. Furthermore, there is an Inuit unit that dives into the myths, legends, and stories from the Inuit culture. Learn about the Hero Twins from the Mayan culture. There is much here to explore for all ages!
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tag(s): digital storytelling (94), enrichment (11), myths and legends (19)

In the Classroom

After you choose your level, discover one or many of the lessons to integrate into your English Language Arts or Social Studies curriculum. Choose your objectives, and find the lessons that are appropriate. Some lessons can be shared on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Others are more appropriate alone as individual work. Materials are included so much of the prep work is already done for you. To conclude the myths unit, have students create a play featuring a unique culture and a hero they create. Students will need a detailed script containing; theme, plot, settings, and characters including a hero. Go as far as you want developing props, costumes, and accompanying sounds and music. Have students present using a live presentation, video, or digital storytelling. Choose from the TeachersFirst Digital Storytelling tools, reviewed here. This site is a great reference for an after-school enrichment program on writing, reading, book clubs, or even self esteem.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Canva - Canva.com

Grades
K to 12
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Canva presents a simple way to design almost anything with drag and drop technology. Create custom posters, business cards, presentations, flyers, and more using a custom layout or...more
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Canva presents a simple way to design almost anything with drag and drop technology. Create custom posters, business cards, presentations, flyers, and more using a custom layout or a blank page. Begin by choosing the type of design you want to create. Choose pre-made templates or design your own. Upload images from your computer or your Facebook account. Change your background, add text, and personalize as desired. When complete, choose link and publish to save and download your creation as an image or PDF file or copy the link to share via URL. There is an iPad app (free) available for this tool. Note: you must register (with email and password) before you can access this site.
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tag(s): graphic design (29), images (224), posters (30), slides (55)

In the Classroom

Create a slideshow, invitations, or photo collages for any classroom presentation. Share what you created on your website or blog for students to review or for students who were absent. In the younger grades, teachers would be the ones creating the project. However, older students could easily create themselves! Have students create their own Canva presentations. Have students use this online tool as they would any presentation tool or image enhancing site. Use this site for research projects about famous people from the past and present. Have cooperative learning groups create presentations about science or math topics. Have students create presentations to "introduce" themselves to the class during the first week of school. Link or embed the introduction presentations on your class wiki and have others guess who they are about. Use this tool with your 1:1 art class for students to practice design principles and techniques. Share student projects with parents and others via URL. Be sure to demonstrate HOW to use this tool on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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myWebRoom - Rooms, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Decorate a 3D room and make it your computer home page. Categorize and store all of your favorite sites in objects around the room. Choose a room with a view: ...more
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Decorate a 3D room and make it your computer home page. Categorize and store all of your favorite sites in objects around the room. Choose a room with a view: cities, a beach, snowy mountains, jungles, and many more. Select a contemporary room, a retro room, a Disney room, or just about any theme imaginable. Establish and save the room's look, and then click objects to store favorite sites. There are also website suggestions. Browse everything in one category by clicking on the object in the room. Invite friends to your "my WebRoom" by giving them a key. Make your computer home page convenient and reflect your interests by storing all your online favorites within the objects in your "room."
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tag(s): bookmarks (58)

In the Classroom

Create a "myWebRoom" for class sites used with students. Share the "my WebRoom" on your website for parents and students to use at home. Create myWebRooms, with a theme, for units your students study. To save time, have sites open in separate tabs to copy/paste urls of the resources you are planning to store in the objects around the room. Older students can create myWebRooms for characters in the book they are reading or as a literature circle project for a book they read together. Also, older students can use this tool to create a myWebRoom with a theme when researching topics or working in groups for projects or research. Use this tool to share sites with non-readers or ESL/ELL students.

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Witty Comics - WittyComics.com

Grades
K to 12
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Use this tool to design a comic with dialogue between two characters. Use the pre-drawn backgrounds and characters. Add a title for each scene/page and add dialogue between the two...more
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Use this tool to design a comic with dialogue between two characters. Use the pre-drawn backgrounds and characters. Add a title for each scene/page and add dialogue between the two characters. These are quick and easy three page comics. You can create without an account. However, if you want to SAVE, you must register for a free account (email required).

tag(s): comics and cartoons (75)

In the Classroom

Create dialogues that introduce new content topics in your classroom. Students can use this "witty" tool to introduce topics from research or to practice a speech to be given in class. Use comics to create a dialogue discussing misconceptions in the content and a discussion of the actual facts to dispel the misunderstandings. For more ideas about using comics in the classroom see Comics Workshop for Teachers. To view more comic creator tools and ideas view this collection.

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Hungry for English - Learn English Series

Grades
1 to 12
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Hungry to Learn English currently features over 35 YouTube videos. Topics range from basic greetings, colors, and numbers to families, countries, the verb "to be," and more. These videos...more
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Hungry to Learn English currently features over 35 YouTube videos. Topics range from basic greetings, colors, and numbers to families, countries, the verb "to be," and more. These videos allow you to see, hear, and practice all the lessons in live format. You can also participate in making more videos by sending in your own pictures. Is YouTube blocked at your school? 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.
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tag(s): grammar (213), pronunciation (43), verbs (41), video (195)

In the Classroom

Use one of these videos each time you introduce a new ESL/ELL lesson. Share the video on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Share this link on your class website or wiki for new English language learners to use together with their families. Challenge your ESL/ELL students to create their own videos to teach others English. What better way to learn, than teach? Share the videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here.

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Tableau Public - Tableau Software

Grades
9 to 12
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Tableau is a free tool that brings data to life. Create and share interactive charts and graphs, stunning maps, live dashboards, and engaging applications in minutes. Publish anywhere...more
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Tableau is a free tool that brings data to life. Create and share interactive charts and graphs, stunning maps, live dashboards, and engaging applications in minutes. Publish anywhere on the web. Download Tableau's software for Windows or Macs and follow directions for installation. View the training videos to learn how to build maps, charts, and share data. Other training videos share how to publish your information using direct links or embed in websites or blogs. Some of the videos are hosted on YouTube. However, our editors didn't find any video that required Flash. 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.

tag(s): data (145), maps (255)

In the Classroom

View the training videos together as a class before asking students to use Tableau. Have a few students become "experts" on this software and help others as needed. Create Tableaus for any projects requiring the gathering of data such as research into individual countries, comparison of statistics across states, or compiling poll results. Be sure to check out Tableau's Gallery for many ideas on using the software.

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GIF YouTube - GIFYouTube

Grades
K to 12
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Did you ever wonder how they make the animated GIF's? You know, the images that look like a video playing the same small and looping video segment? Create your own ...more
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Did you ever wonder how they make the animated GIF's? You know, the images that look like a video playing the same small and looping video segment? Create your own animated GIF images easily from a YouTube video. Simply enter the URL of the YouTube video you wish to use and then click "Create GIF." Move to the part of the video you wish to highlight using the same controls you would use in YouTube. Change the GIF length up to 15 seconds. Enter a title and then click "Create GIF." Once created, copy the URL of the GIF to share with others. Ratings from other users are simply an up or down arrow. A gallery of animated GIFs are found on the main page. Be sure to view these before sending students to this site.

tag(s): animation (52), images (224), video (195)

In the Classroom

Create an animated GIF to get student's attention! A cat reading a book is one way to begin reading time! Show any science concept such as development of an organism, cell division, a chemical reaction, formation of stars, a bullet in slow motion, or anything a student should look at several times to see every aspect of the event. Do you want to reveal portions of a video outlining the travels of historic expeditions, addition of the states to the US, or any other historical event captured in video? Use a looping animated GIF! Every subject could use one of these GIFs to generate an interest in a class activity or new content.

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SchoolsWorld.tv - Early Years Teacher - SchoolsWorld

Grades
K to 1
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Investigate these videos for teaching young children. Select videos by most recent, most popular, or from the subject menu on the left. Not all of the subjects have an accompanying...more
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Investigate these videos for teaching young children. Select videos by most recent, most popular, or from the subject menu on the left. Not all of the subjects have an accompanying set of videos for this age group. The videos have a written description. Some of the most useful videos not only provide background information, but also suggest and explain activities. Click on the picture of the video to view that video and its description. There will also be a link to the series, if there is one. Clicking on the text link will take you to all of the videos in the series.
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tag(s): preK (251), professional development (87), video (195)

In the Classroom

Use this site to extend your early learning professional development. Share links to some videos of interest at a staff meeting or as professional development. Use a tool like Bundlenut, reviewed here, for sharing the video links. If you are part of a professional development presentation, you may want to edit the videos to show only parts of it. Use a tool such as Reel Surfer, reviewed here. Editing the videos to just what you want to show is a real time saver.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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EDPuzzle - EDPuzzle

Grades
7 to 12
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This tool is a great way to take sections of videos and add your own voice or add questions within the video. YouTube videos are viewable in EDPuzzle even if ...more
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This tool is a great way to take sections of videos and add your own voice or add questions within the video. YouTube videos are viewable in EDPuzzle even if your school filters block them! Search for educational videos from sites such as Khan Academy and Learn Zillion. Use the sliders to choose the section of the video. Insert your own voice or comment on the video. Create a series of questions to go along with your chosen video and insert them into the correct part of the video. There is no need for students to watch the whole video to access the questions at the end. Follow the on screen directions for chopping the video for the section you need, adding your own voice, and choosing where to add text based questions. Create a class and then add students into the class either in the dashboard or after creating the video. Use student codes to access the video. There is a 13 page guide available by clicking on FAQ and the last item which is "How can I help?" Next click on "Workshop." There is also a short demo video hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, simply find the video you want to use and embed it in EDPuzzle. It is viewable when used through EDPuzzle! Of course, you could always view the video at home and bring it to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download videos from YouTube if you wish.

tag(s): digital storytelling (94), questioning (32), video (195)

In the Classroom

Create short review videos or use your own narration with chosen videos to create flipped lessons for your students. Consider the power of students using EdPuzzle to annotate videos in order to explain the material in their own words. You or your students can use the tool to create and narrate "how to" videos. Annotate by highlighting the important aspects of videos through the creation of voice comments. Students can also use the question building option to create questions to play with each video. Be sure students create a script to read from before editing their chosen video.

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Shotclip (Beta) - Shotclip.com

Grades
K to 12
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Create and edit professional looking videos in a three-step process using Shotclip. Use the storytelling guide to choose a template. Template options include My Summer, Halloween Fun,...more
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Create and edit professional looking videos in a three-step process using Shotclip. Use the storytelling guide to choose a template. Template options include My Summer, Halloween Fun, blank templates, and more. Templates provide guidance for scenes or shots to include in your story. Templates also offer suggested length and music for each portion. Upload images, video, audio, add effects, and edit video as desired. When complete, publish and share to receive an email with a link to your video or publish directly to your YouTube account.
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tag(s): digital storytelling (94), images (224), movies (51), video (195)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. In lower grades, make videos together as a class. Have students create short book reviews for classmates, explain a math concept or procedure, provide a short overview of a class field trip, or demonstrate a quick science experiment. Create a video montage of images taken in the classroom. Use to show a process, explain an experiment, discuss data collected, create club or class movies about happenings throughout the year, and much more. Use this tool as a creative and easy alternative to boring slideshow presentations. Introduce the major points of a topic through images and added text. Use this site to make commercials, science fair previews, and animated shorts in any content area. Have students make "advertisements" for an organism or a literary character. Make a travel commercial for a country being studied or for cultural sites in a world language class. Be sure to share the presentations on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Linguistadores - Bob Rafferty

Grades
6 to 12
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Linguistadores offers language learning through articles, music, and videos. Select your language and reading content level for genuine news based on level and interest. Double click...more
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Linguistadores offers language learning through articles, music, and videos. Select your language and reading content level for genuine news based on level and interest. Double click on any word to translate into a language of your choice. Listen to songs in your target language while viewing the lyrics on the screen. Save unknown words to your account with a click then practice with flash card style games. Free accounts offer up to 10 articles and 20 saved words per day.
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tag(s): guided reading (45), independent reading (106), reading comprehension (93), vocabulary development (113)

In the Classroom

Use Linguistadores with ESL/ELL or special education students as an interesting way to deliver appropriate leveled informational texts. Have students create individual accounts and use as a computer lab or classroom center activity to build vocabulary and reading skills. Use this site to differentiate for students of all levels. Share this site with your teaching colleagues to help differentiate for learning support (or gifted or ESL/ELL) students. Select informational texts to use for close reading (a la Common Core) together as a class on a projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Wonkblog: Kurt Vonnegut graphed the world's most popular stories (blog post) - Ana Swanson/Washington Post

Grades
5 to 12
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Read about and see "graphs" of famous stories as sketched by author Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007). This blog post includes an embedded YouTube video of Vonnegut explaining his "graphs"...more
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Read about and see "graphs" of famous stories as sketched by author Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007). This blog post includes an embedded YouTube video of Vonnegut explaining his "graphs" of classic story "shapes" as well as examples for each. The video is old and grainy, but quite entertaining. Shapes/graphs include "Man in a Hole," "Boy Meets Girl," and even the classic creation story. You need not have read the exact examples he provides to understand -- and start wondering about the "shape" of stories you know. Even younger readers could understand these concepts if you explain them in simplest terms. The graphs, or story shapes, are shown as infographics redrawn by Maya Eilam. You can view the full infographic of the graphs/story shapes as a single image herehere. Some videos are hosted on YouTube. 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.
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tag(s): authors (94), creative writing (140), infographics (42), narrative (21), stories and storytelling (22)

In the Classroom

Explore the patterns of story and narratives in our culture and beyond using this visual approach to story mapping. In a high school language arts class, watch the video of Vonnegut explaining story shapes (about 4 minutes) and challenge student partners or groups to think of other examples of that story map, even from movies or television shows. Then turn the class loose to make their own graphic representation of a literary piece you have read recently - or of a movie that is popular right now. If you have an interactive whiteboard, have students direct a student "emcee" to do the drawing as the class gives instructions. With younger students, you may need to talk as a class to be sure students are able to grasp the abstract patterns shown in the graphs, and the video may be too adult level for them to understand without a slower discussion. Once your class (of any level) seems to grasp the idea, post story shapes on your class wiki or web page (with proper credit) so students can add their own examples of tales they have read or watched that fit the pattern. If you give them extra credit for noticing such stories in their own lives, they will internalize the idea of narrative patterns. You could also make a story shape bulletin board where students can add index cards with names of books/tales they read under each pattern. If you are promoting narrative writing, use these story patterns as a way to help students get ideas for where a storyline can go so it has a beginning, middle, and end.

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