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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: Haiku Deck 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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Word Games - FPS Networks Inc.

Grades
2 to 12
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Word Games has compiled many of the web's best word games into one resource. Games are categorized in several different ways such as typing, word search, puzzles, and others. In ...more
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Word Games has compiled many of the web's best word games into one resource. Games are categorized in several different ways such as typing, word search, puzzles, and others. In addition, the newest and most popular games are identified for easy access. Facebook users can "like" the site and receive daily games to play. This site provides varied activities to help increase word skills at many different levels.

Navigate carefully as this site has many advertisements! But the great interactives make it worth the hassle.

tag(s): logic (237), puzzles (207), sudoku (18)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Provide a link to these activities on your class website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tripline - Byron Dumbrill

Grades
4 to 12
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Tripline is a great visual for putting stories on a map. It was built to work with Google Maps, then be enhanced by each individual to fit their needs. What ...more
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Tripline is a great visual for putting stories on a map. It was built to work with Google Maps, then be enhanced by each individual to fit their needs. What a fabulous way to integrate literature and geography, history and geography, or many other subject areas. To create a trip, type in a starting point and select it from a suggested list of matching places. Add places to your trip in the same way, places can be rearranged in any order. From this list, a map will be created showing the itinerary. Push play and the map comes to life, stopping at each creation point. To further enhance the experience, pictures can be uploaded that will show as icons as each stop is reached. Maps can be shared with other users, via email, web link, or Facebook.

To create a new trip, you must register at the site. Registration requires a username, password, and valid email address.

tag(s): maps (292)

In the Classroom

Suggested uses on the Tripline site are to use along with moments in history such as Paul Revere's ride and Lewis and Clark's expedition to demonstrate stops along their path. Other classrooms uses would be for students to create a Tripline map of their summer vacation to use as an enhancement to a regular report, map out your favorite sports team's schedule, historic state sites, and much more.

Registration does require an 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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word Hearts - Neoformix.com

Grades
6 to 12
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This is a simple tool that automatically fills a heart shape with any words you choose. Simply type the words separated by commas in the text box and press "Enter." ...more
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This is a simple tool that automatically fills a heart shape with any words you choose. Simply type the words separated by commas in the text box and press "Enter." You have the option to choose one of three fonts and change the colors of the text, background, and shape. There is no built-in method to save or print your image, however you can capture it by using print screen, explained by clicking on one of the links available right on the Word Heart page, that will guide you on how to capture your screen on both Windows and Mac. You can then paste it into any image editing program to crop it, save it, or print it.

tag(s): images (276)

In the Classroom

This is a handy, fun tool to make available to your class. Provide a direct link from your web page or wiki and bookmark it in your favorites. The uses are endless! Students can generate words related to any of the literary themes or character traits related to love, family, or friendship, or write a poem. When studying grammar, have students fill the heart with verbs, or nouns. Use it to generate synonyms or antonyms. Another idea, have students "capture" the picture and save. Then have the students narrate their word heart using a site such as Slidestory, reviewed here. This tool allows you to narrate the slides and images.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Classroom Libraries - Teachers College Reading and Writing Project

Grades
2 to 12
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This site has a variety of themed booklists developed by educators at Teachers College for K-12 students. The lists display in Google Documents. The themes available are fairly typical...more
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This site has a variety of themed booklists developed by educators at Teachers College for K-12 students. The lists display in Google Documents. The themes available are fairly typical ones, like non-fiction, biography, history, Spanish-language, history, narrative, and multi-cultural among others.

tag(s): book lists (132)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use this as a reference site, especially when preparing a new unit in another subject area and trying to find related independent reading or literature circle options.

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The Sea of Trolls Webquest - Jessica Hinman

Grades
5 to 8
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This webquest will enhance any social studies, history or language arts classroom. This site is rich with videos, links, and resources. This webquest goes along with the book Sea...more
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This webquest will enhance any social studies, history or language arts classroom. This site is rich with videos, links, and resources. This webquest goes along with the book Sea of Trolls. Reading of the book is not necessary to use the webquest. Students are asked to keep a bard notebook, learn about Scandinavian culture, and read, write and present an epic poem. All directions are given in an animated format using a web 2.0 tool called GoAnimate. Standards are provided for the state of Indiana. A rubric is also provided to use for assessment.

tag(s): vikings (10)

In the Classroom

This site will fit perfectly into any social studies, history or language arts classroom. Have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Introduce the site on an interactive whiteboard. Then have students work independently or in groups to complete the webquest. Instead of having students perform their poem have them use GoAnimate reviewed here to present their poem to the class. Check with your administrator to be sure that your school allows students to set up individual accounts on on-line sites. Utilize the interactive timeline found in the Putting it All Together section and use it to create timelines in other lessons.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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SlideBoom - iSpring Solutions Inc.

Grades
7 to 12
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The simplicity of this online slide presentation tool can be used by anyone! SlideBoom is an online presentation share and store site. The site is somewhat "vanilla" in that there ...more
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The simplicity of this online slide presentation tool can be used by anyone! SlideBoom is an online presentation share and store site. The site is somewhat "vanilla" in that there are not a lot of extras or flash, however in some situations it may be very handy. Access other people's slide presentations and share your own with the world. This is the free version, so its capabilities are limited. But it would be great for kids to use to move presentations back and forth between school and home if Google applications are blocked.

tag(s): images (276), photography (162), slides (65)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to locate files on their computers to upload. Beyond that, a few clicks that follow onscreen instructions will complete the job!

Use this site as transportation to and from school when students are working on powerpoint presentations for class. This tool could be used in any subject or topic area. If Powerpoint isn't available at your school, use this site to create presentations instead of traditional book reports. Use this tool in social studies to have students create presentations about the branches of government, continents, or economics. The possibilities are endless.

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Kidsreads - Carol Fitzgerald

Grades
3 to 8
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This is the site for anyone that loves to read! Reviews of the latest kids books are available along with trivia, author interviews, and special book features. There are author ...more
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This is the site for anyone that loves to read! Reviews of the latest kids books are available along with trivia, author interviews, and special book features. There are author pages, reviews, podcasts, and audio (coming soon), new and upcoming, books into movies and other sections to discover. Special sections are available for librarians, teachers and parents. Anyone interested in the newest children's literature will appreciate and enjoy this site. Links are provided to purchase books discussed on the site, but you can avoid them and use the library instead. Students will enjoy entering the many contests available on the site and perhaps win one of the book giveaways!

tag(s): authors (121)

In the Classroom

Print out book reviews as examples before having students create their own book review. Use this site to help students find some fresh literature to read. Use trivia questions as quiz questions after reading books in class or during independent reading time. Use the author links to learn about authors popular with students.

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Study English - Australia Network

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, produced by Australian TV, offers oral lessons for intermediate and advanced level English language learners. The TV productions are available online in their entirety; they...more
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This site, produced by Australian TV, offers oral lessons for intermediate and advanced level English language learners. The TV productions are available online in their entirety; they provide listening, pronunciation, and reading and writing practice for LES candidates. Although based on the Australian curriculum and testing called IELTS, the lessons, vocabulary, and practices are appropriate for any learners of English. The accent on the videos is, of course, Australian. Included in the offerings, in addition to the videos, are tape transcripts, study items, and quizzes.

tag(s): grammar (214), video (273)

In the Classroom

Use this site with ESL/ELL learners as designed. Share the lessons on your interactive whiteboard or projector. If individual computers are available, have students view the lessons independently (with headsets) and create multimedia projects to demonstrate what they have learned. Have students create an interactive online poster using Genial.ly, reviewed here. Better yet, if students get used to the video and exercise formats, have them produce similar videos teaching a few lessons about their home cultures! Share the videos using a tool such as SchoolTube, reviewed here.

Special ed teachers and those seeking combination video/text lessons to use to teach listening/reading comprehension may find these lessons valuable, as well.

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Webquest - Pershing Middle School teachers-San Diego, California

Grades
5 to 8
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This engaging, standards based webquest enables students to put themselves in the same time and place as the characters of this historical fiction novel to gain a better understanding...more
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This engaging, standards based webquest enables students to put themselves in the same time and place as the characters of this historical fiction novel to gain a better understanding of life for the African Americans during the 1930s, while reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. The integrated language arts tasks take students through the process of analyzing the characters and their motivation for reacting the way they do. Easy to use rubrics are provided for evaluating students' work. Several of the research links (under Process) are not active. However, this webquest could still be very useful, as the material is solid, students would simply need to find their own research to use.

tag(s): black history (62), racism (19)

In the Classroom

As you plan to teach the novel, include this well-organized webquest as part of the ongoing and post reading learning activities. Use it in its entirety or choose parts to meet your time frame and purpose. Attention is given to all aspects of literacy: reading, critical thinking, writing, infusion of technology, and presentation. Both individual tasks and group work is involved. Students are active participants, and everything they need to increase their appreciation for this literary work is available to them, including vocabulary, clear instructions, and links for further information and details. You may want to find some additional research links for students to use to replace the links no longer active. You may want to share the project with social studies teachers for a joint effort and shared time. Introduce it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, and then make sure that you have scheduled time in the computer lab or with a class set of laptops. Students can jazz up their multi-media presentations by creating an online book using Bookemon reviewed here, or a podcast by using Podomatic (reviewed here). Be sure to make them directly available from your class webpage to share with colleagues and parents.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Dogs Serving Veterans - New York Times

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers a great starting point for class discussions of Veterans Day. It is an eight slide show about service dogs and how they are helping veterans who have ...more
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This site offers a great starting point for class discussions of Veterans Day. It is an eight slide show about service dogs and how they are helping veterans who have been disabled and as a way to dealing with stress. Each slide focuses on a veteran and his/her service dog and how the dog has enriched their daily life.

tag(s): disabilities (20), memorial day (13), veterans (20)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you study Veterans Day, the effects of war, or people with disabilities. Ask students to discuss a time when they have seen service animals and how they have been used to help someone. Discuss the information on the site and locate the countries where the veterans served on a map to help students understand what it means to go to war. Ask students to choose one slide and write a story based on what they see in the image. If your school is looking for a schoolwide service project, consider raising funds for service dogs.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Read Me Resources - National School Partnership

Grades
5 to 9
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This reading and writing site from the UK was created to reach boys ages 11 - 14. Using resources like blogs, movie trailers and graphic novels, students are encouraged to ...more
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This reading and writing site from the UK was created to reach boys ages 11 - 14. Using resources like blogs, movie trailers and graphic novels, students are encouraged to strengthen their reading and writing skills. This site offers complete lesson plans, downloads, PowerPoints, and other presentations, as well as, an incredible graphic novel creator.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (71), graphic novels (7), novels (24)

In the Classroom

English and Language Arts teachers you will find lots here to keep your students engaged. Though this site is geared towards boys ages 11 - 14, girls will find these lessons fun too. Use an interactive whiteboard or projector to share the presentations. There are various graphic organizers that go with the lessons. Use them on an interactive whiteboard and fill them out with the whole class. Print the completed organizers for students to use for reference. Teachers in any subject can have their students use the graphic novel creator to create short stories. Students can choose their own characters, write text and add captions. Depending on the level of your students, have them create a one page, two page or an entire book. Print the books and add them to the class library. Or have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Picture a Story - Delaware Art Museum

Grades
K to 12
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Picture a Story is an interactive storytelling activity that lets you create stories with artwork from the Delaware Art Museum. Students first select a story genre, then a setting for...more
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Picture a Story is an interactive storytelling activity that lets you create stories with artwork from the Delaware Art Museum. Students first select a story genre, then a setting for the story to take place in. Next, they insert characters and props into their scene to create a unique scenario. From this assemblage students can either write or record an accompanying story. All of the available imagery comes directly from the Museum collection.

Be aware: there is an allow/deny button that pop up on this site. You must allow access in order to fully utilize this website. Before the site opens, they ask permission to access your computers camera and microphone. This will enable audio recording functions. Denial of this access will still allow students to create and write stories.

tag(s): art history (72)

In the Classroom

Picture a story is an engaging way to inspire students to write. Working from this rich bank of imagery can nicely support writing lessons about voice, sensory description, point of view, descriptive narrative, and story structure. Use this site with a projector or interactive whiteboard when presenting a writers workshop mini-lesson to the whole class. Use this site together with younger students (unable to read on their own) on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can submit their writing and record themselves telling their story. This is a great opportunity to address reading fluency, expression, and communication skills. Integrate writing lessons with art history. Have students research the historical significance of the images they choose. Take time to enjoy and review stories by other students and professional storytellers. This activity would work well for individual students in a lab or on laptops. Share the final project through email or submit it to the Delaware Art Museum's online gallery of pictures and stories.

General Tips and Reminders: Remember to obtain parent/guardian permission before allowing students to submit their stories. Also, check with your administrator to be sure that your school allows students to interact with the public online. Adobe Flash Player is necessary to record audio.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Testmoz - testmoz.com

Grades
K to 12
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Use this very simple site to create a test that's accessible on the Internet. Create an automatically graded test easily and for free! Registration is not required to use or ...more
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Use this very simple site to create a test that's accessible on the Internet. Create an automatically graded test easily and for free! Registration is not required to use or to take the created tests. Simply click "Create a test," enter the test name, and create a password. Note: Be sure to remember the password somewhere because it is not possible to recover it. Read the directions on the Test Control Panel to adjust settings, add questions, and publish the test. Bookmark the URL of the finished test you make so you can find it later. After publishing, copy and paste the URL of the test into a wiki, blog, or site, for student access. View reports when students are done with the test.

tag(s): quiz (88)

In the Classroom

Skills required: Be sure to remember the password for your tests, as well as the unique URL. It would be wise to copy/paste them into a document you keep somewhere for reference. Users are unable to access the tests without the URL. Be sure to not share this ahead of time. Items in Testmoz are not made public.

Use where automatically graded tests are required, such as for formative assessments to check student understanding. Use as a "ticket out the door" to see what students know at the end of class. Be sure that this is the medium you want to use for testing. Be flexible with students who find it difficult to take online testing. Entering all the material ahead of time can be time consuming, so this may not be the best format for long tests. Use this quiz application to create study quizzes for review for students to complete as homework (or during class time). Have students rotate to create daily check quizzes for their peers (earning a grade for test-creation). Learning support students and others who need a little extra review might like to make quizzes to challenge each other or themselves. Have students who are preparing to give oral presentations in any subject prepare a short Testmoz for their peers to take at the end.

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Extreme Sentence Surgeons - Mr Nussbaum

Grades
3 to 8
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Critically injured paragraphs are in desperate need of repair. The goal of this activity is to find all of the grammar errors such as spelling, punctuation, word usage, and other ...more
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Critically injured paragraphs are in desperate need of repair. The goal of this activity is to find all of the grammar errors such as spelling, punctuation, word usage, and other mistakes. After 3 incorrect tries your patient (the paragraph) will "die" so it is critical that you have the skills necessary to make repairs. Upon successful completion, you can earn their PhD in extreme sentence surgery. Upon entering the game, the paragraph needing repair is shown along with a list of errors to find. This site does include minor advertisements. There are "sound effects" at this site.

tag(s): grammar (214), punctuation (43), spelling (166)

In the Classroom

Correct sentences together on the interactive whiteboard or projector (with the volume turned down). Print paragraphs for each student to correct before completing this activity at a computer center. Challenge students to write their own paragraphs that need repaired by the rest of the class. If you are having students use this site independently, you may want to use headphones or have them mute the volume.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Jayne, NJ, Grades: 6 - 8

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Sweet Search - Dulcinea Media, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Use Sweet Search to search the web for student friendly and informative sites for students of all ages to use. Simply enter your search term in the box. Use "Get ...more
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Use Sweet Search to search the web for student friendly and informative sites for students of all ages to use. Simply enter your search term in the box. Use "Get Widget" to place on a wiki, site, or blog for easy access by students. Use resources listed on the search page for more effective searching and specific lists for various subjects such as Social Studies. Although the search tool does not include TeachersFirst's teacher-friendly review and classroom use suggestions, the sites they find are solid.

tag(s): search engines (64), search strategies (29)

In the Classroom

Provide Sweet Search for your students to find some of the best student friendly material on the web. For older students, evaluate Sweet Search with other search engines to determine which provides the best information.

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Timelines: Sources from History - British Library

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site, created in the United Kingdom, offers many timelines with a simple click to launch an amazing 3-dimensional page. Timelines are organized by subject matter and include samplings...more
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This site, created in the United Kingdom, offers many timelines with a simple click to launch an amazing 3-dimensional page. Timelines are organized by subject matter and include samplings from literature, sociology, history, everyday life, science, technology, explorers, medicine, and more. With another click, you can zoom from one century to another. Start in the 1210s and work your way through the years. View the context of history using visual artifacts from DaVinci's contemporaries to shopping in the 1890s. Connect historical events or technological accomplishments by seeing them alongside simultaneous events, precursors, or results. An additional option allows you to save favorite timelines and/or events.

tag(s): europe (75), literature (276), politics (100)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for research projects or to provide visual context to your curriculum in social studies, world cultures, world history, literature, art, or western heritage classes. Offer this set of timelines as a research source for history, social studies, and literature classes. Show students these timelines on an interactive whiteboard. Or have students research various topics on their own using this fabulous tool. Pique their interest by letting them browse to find out what else happened at the same time as events in the standard history curriculum -- then ask WHY. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create online posters displaying their findings using an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here).
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World Wide School Library - World Wide School

Grades
1 to 12
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The world Wide Library is a collection of online books in the public domain. They are currently adding to the collection of classic titles from the Gutenberg Collection with the ...more
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The world Wide Library is a collection of online books in the public domain. They are currently adding to the collection of classic titles from the Gutenberg Collection with the offerings of the Hart Library. It is well-organized and easy to use. You can search by subject, title, author, or in a general box at the bottom of the page. Available texts are in English and also in other languages such as French, German, other Germanic & Scandinavian Languages, Italian, Latin, and Spanish.

tag(s): literature (276)

In the Classroom

Use these online texts as a source for easy copy/paste excerpts to use on an interactive whiteboard when studying literature. Suggest that students browse the offerings to see sample a book or author when searching for independent reading or research materials. Share the texts in world language classes. Since the texts are no longer under copyright, they are a great source for literary projects such as visual interpretations of poetry, or online posters about literary devices. Use a tool such as Genial.ly, reviewed here, for students to create online visuals with text and more. Share the link on your class website for students to find copyright-free texts any time.

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32 interesting ways to use Google Docs - Tom Barrett

Grades
K to 12
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At the time of this review there were 32 ideas, but who is counting? Find exceptional ideas for using Google Docs in this online presentation. Use ideas presented here at ...more
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At the time of this review there were 32 ideas, but who is counting? Find exceptional ideas for using Google Docs in this online presentation. Use ideas presented here at a variety of levels and subject areas. Create a collaborative environment using these ideas. Revisit this presentation often as more ideas are added. If it is temporarily offline, check back in a few hours. Tom Barrett updates it often!

tag(s): assessment (106)

In the Classroom

Use Google Docs to gather information from your classes, collaborate on documents and notes, collect data from lab activities and more. Follow some of the great experiments in the presentation, such as a different twist on reading response journals, exit slips as formative assessments, and more. Be inspired and find your own twists to these great ideas.

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Snappy Words-Free Visual Online Dictionary - Snappy Words.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Snappy Words visual dictionary is an easy-to-use online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus. It provides the meanings of words or phrases, generates synonyms, and draws...more
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Snappy Words visual dictionary is an easy-to-use online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus. It provides the meanings of words or phrases, generates synonyms, and draws connections to associated words. Simply type a word in the search box and click "GO." Instantly you will see a word map. An extra built in feature is the words in the visual interactive display are color coded according to parts of speech. Look up as many words as you need anytime; there is no limit on the number of searches and no registration is required. As with most online tools, teacher monitoring is strongly advised.

tag(s): maps (292), parts of speech (67), speech (92), thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Teachers and students on all grade levels will love usingSnappy Words for all subjects. Demonstrate it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, bookmark it in your favorites, and make it directly available to students from your class webpage. Elementary students will enjoy defining their spelling words or content area vocabulary. They can categorize their words by parts of speech or create a list of synonyms. Students can then create their own word "maps" for new vocabulary words using drawing tools or online graphic organizers like bubbl.us, reviewed here. Middle school, high school and adult learners can use it as a valuable tool for vocabulary specific to a literary work or subject area, preparing for a standardized test, or while reading assigned material or a book, poem, or article of choice. Whether you are writing content for an article, a blog, a letter, or any assignment, minimize this website and play with words to avoid repetition, choose precise meanings and kick your vocabulary up a notch! Share this one on your class web page, for sure.
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