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TeachersFirst's September 11 Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
2 to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help students understand the events of September 11, 2001, and to plan lessons or discussions so students can see the events of September 11 in connection with history, current events, and the challenges and balances of national security. Whether you stop to observe September 11 separately from your regular curriculum or include it through curricular connections to writing and social studies topics, these resources can help today's students imagine the events of a day before their memory but ever present in the American consciousness.

tag(s): terrorism (49)

In the Classroom

Include one or more of these sites as your observe September 11 in your classroom or make the link available on your class web site for students who ask about the events of this pivotal day. You will find many specific project or class activity ideas within the reviews themselves.

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NEN Gallery - National Education Network

Grades
K to 12
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Here is free gallery of over 50,000 high quality images, video clips, and audio files for the educational community. View the gallery online and download free files, without having...more
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Here is free gallery of over 50,000 high quality images, video clips, and audio files for the educational community. View the gallery online and download free files, without having to register or create an account. Registration is necessary for the uploading of files. Moderators review all content on the site before posting. Registered users can store content in separate online albums. Search the site's resources by keyword, subject, instructional age, or phrase. The site originates from the United Kingdom so you may notice some spelling differences from American English. The gallery files reflect this particular geographic location, history, culture and language. The rights and permissions say they "may be downloaded and used for Educational Purposes only. This includes the editing and repurposing of these resources for use in education" (NOT commercial use). (See Teachers >> Further info to learn more.)

tag(s): animals (289), architecture (84), england (57), fashion (10), medieval (27), plants (154), transportation (41)

In the Classroom

Bring history lessons about the 20th century alive by reviewing World War II photographs, videos, and interviews with survivors from the United Kingdom. Then ask your class to upload photographs of artifacts, people, film clips or conduct interviewers with survivors in their own community. Record the interview with a site such as Vocaroo reviewed here. Compare and contrast the experiences of both groups during the War. Have students in family and consumer science research fashion, clothing, food, and/or drink from various locations and time periods. Enrich an anticipatory set about William Shakespeare with photographs of his birthplace, Macduff's castle, the Globe Theatre, and his cottage in Stratford. Younger children will enjoy the numerous digital images of animals and antique toys. Prepare a series of topic albums for students to access and use for research by using the sites "My Album" feature.

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Story Bee - Story Bee

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K to 12
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Listen to professional storytellers weave their tales. Story Bee contains hundreds of stories (with audio) for a wide range of age groups (ages 4-18). The genre includes; myths, legends,...more
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Listen to professional storytellers weave their tales. Story Bee contains hundreds of stories (with audio) for a wide range of age groups (ages 4-18). The genre includes; myths, legends, folktales, fairy tales, and some of the storytellers own original work. The audio files come in mp3 format and will require a media player. The site lists the names of all participating artists and their email addresses. If you are using a Mac, Story Bee works best in FireFox.

tag(s): creativity (119), literature (276), maps (292), narrative (23)

In the Classroom

Witness great storytelling techniques in action. Discuss these techniques with your students. How do storytellers use their voices to convey mood, tone, emotion, and sound? How can storytellers use descriptive language to paint a picture in the mind of the listener? How can onomatopoeias and sensory imagery make stories come alive? What can students infer from a story based on tone and verbal expression? What lessons and morals do some stories imply? Encourage visualization by asking students to sketch story events, create portraits of characters, or paint the setting. With younger children, help them learn to identify character, problem, and setting. Discuss story sequence and plots common to folk tales. Diagram how a circle story plot starts and ends in the same place. Search for stories that contain common themes of self-acceptance, friendship, transformation, or personal journeys. Let students use individual computers to listen (with headphones) to the stories.

After examining stories told on Story Bee, have students create and practice their own storytelling skills. Demonstrate how to compose modern versions of familiar tales, or retell family stories and recent events. Use plot diagrams to assist in the organization of their own stories. Record and share class stories with tools such as Woices (beta) (reviewed here). This site allows students to create audio recordings AND choose a location (on a map) where the story takes place. Have cooperative learning groups create podcasts of their stories by using sites such as PodOmatic (reviewed here). Help students create a checklist or rubric to use for self-evaluation or peer review. Use this same document to help students make constructive suggestions for story revisions. Post a link to Story Bee on your class web page or wiki so that students can access it both in and out of class.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Colonial House - PBS

Grades
4 to 8
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Watch twenty-eight residents of the 21st century transform into 17th century New England colonists. This PBS project is a historian's version of reality television. Using only tools...more
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Watch twenty-eight residents of the 21st century transform into 17th century New England colonists. This PBS project is a historian's version of reality television. Using only tools and technology available in 1628, these time travelers struggle to survive and create a productive working colony. Listen to audio and video diaries containing the perspectives of Pilgrims, Native Americans, and indentured servants. Look behind the scenes and hear producers and historians discuss their research and describe the creation of this PBS project. On the interactive history page dress a 1628 New World colonist, view maps that describe events in other U.S. locations during 1628, or enjoy a panoramic 360-degree view of colonial homes. The teacher resource page contains lesson plans and activities. There are additional resources of websites and books that contain examples of primary documents from this same historical period.

tag(s): 1600s (14), colonial america (108), colonization (17)

In the Classroom

Divide students into cooperative learning groups to explore the site then send them on a treasure hunt through the Colonial House site. Ask them to find quotes demonstrating friendship, frustration, determination, resentment, or feelings of isolation in the Colonist interviews. Gather photos or screen shots while locating artifacts, household items, historical documents, or identify various architectural elements and art forms. As they answer each clue, students can begin to create an interactive poster using Genial.ly, reviewed here of what they found. Each found object or quote can include background information, a short description, and reasoning for his or her answer. Genial.ly allows students to insert images, videos, music, add text and more. Issue new clues on student's interactive poster with each new entry.

Check with your administrator to be sure that your school allows students to set up individual accounts on on-line sites such as Glenial.ly. Be sure to preview this Website and the broadcast program before sharing it with the class. Some of the material is not appropriate for young students.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Wikimedia Commons - Wkimedia Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using ...more
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using the same technology as Wikipedia, you can edit, upload, and embed media file projects into any Wikimedia project. Every media file comes with a description, name of the author and complete licensing details. Search for videos, images, or sound media by keyword, content categories, nature, science, or society. This is an amazing resource to use when searching for any multimedia content.

tag(s): creative commons (22)

In the Classroom

Address the needs of the visual learner and include media files as part of the research process. Wikipedia Commons offers a way for students to gain an understanding of content through images, sounds, and video. Give students the opportunity to communicate their knowledge by narrating a slideshow of images found on Wikipedia Commons or create multimedia presentations on a site such as Lucidpress, reviewed here. These free media files will also help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. This site is a valuable resource for imagery useful when creating presentations, lectures, digital stories, reports or to include on a class websites. Students learning a foreign language may benefit from using Wikipedia Commons to learn about more about the culture and lifestyle of the country whose language they are studying.

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Edit Dan's Copy - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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Reporter Dan needs help editing his news reports. Students can choose Level 1 for capital letters and final punctuation or Level 2 for run-on sentences, quotation marks, and apostrophes....more
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Reporter Dan needs help editing his news reports. Students can choose Level 1 for capital letters and final punctuation or Level 2 for run-on sentences, quotation marks, and apostrophes. Students need to retype the entire sentence using correct punctuation and capitalization. Walk through this site with students prior to putting them on independently. This site provides a lot of keyboard practice and may require some comfortability with a keyboard.

tag(s): capitalization (18), grammar (214), punctuation (43), sentences (50)

In the Classroom

Use this site as additional independent practice during center time or have students work in pairs to edit the sentences together. Place the site on an interactive white board or projector and correct the sentences during whole-group work time. This would be a great Opening activity for the start of the school day.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Voices in the Dark - Sean Puckett and Dawn Keenan

Grades
K to 12
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The website "Voices in the Dark" is a source for audio recordings of classic novels, legends, poems, and essays. There are approximately 150 ageless titles such as Charles Dickens's...more
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The website "Voices in the Dark" is a source for audio recordings of classic novels, legends, poems, and essays. There are approximately 150 ageless titles such as Charles Dickens's "Christmas Carol" and Washington Irving's "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." Each audiobook comes with an accompanying text transcript and are typically short. Receive regular updates by subscribing to their syndication feeds through RSS or podcasts. The audio files come in both low and high bitrates MP3 files that will match your computer's storage space and Internet bandwidth capabilities.

tag(s): fluency (23), literacy (107)

In the Classroom

Engage your class in real world learning while building fluency and reading skills. "Voices in the Dark" is always looking for people to contribute to their on-line library of audio books. Consider having your class submit an audio recording of their own to the collection. First choose a genre to focus on such as Fairy Tales or Aesop Fables. Review the page that contains directions on how to select stories, create a recording, and submit work. There is a list of links full of public domain books from which to choose. They provide tips on how to record your reading and directions on how to submit your work. Sites such as Audio Pal reviewed here may be helpful in creating your recordings. Of course, check with your administrator before attempting this project and obtain parent permission before sharing or posting student work.

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Grabba Beast - Tangible Worldwide

Grades
K to 12
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Grabba Beast lets you build your own beast. It is similar to Mr. Potato Head (with some additional art elements). Students will enjoy choosing from an extensive library of body ...more
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Grabba Beast lets you build your own beast. It is similar to Mr. Potato Head (with some additional art elements). Students will enjoy choosing from an extensive library of body types and parts and then assembling them into a repulsive, darling, or absurd beast. Viewers can build their own beast, edit those belonging to other users, or generate a completely random creation. Fully grown beasts can either stay in their on-line gallery, turn into an ecard, change into desktop wallpaper, or travel to a social networking site. Saving the beast requires a student to enter their name but does not ask for additional information beyond that. Using a pseudonym might be a good alternative to real names. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitting student work to this online gallery. Unfortunately, it is not possible to download the beast as a decent size JPG. Grabba Beast in the winner of both the "Best of Entertainment" and "Best of Show" 2010 WebVisionary Awards. This site is just plain fun (and educational)!

tag(s): creativity (119)

In the Classroom

Grabba Beast offers an opportunity to improve the imaginary talent of students and stimulate their ability to produce several creative ideas. The site provides the opportunity to continually modify and change beasts. This demonstrates to students that new ideas often originate from combining of materials and characteristics in different ways. Have students describe the attributes of their monster, create a character profile, or write clues to help others identify their beast. Push student's creative abilities even further by asking them to adjust their monster so that it can perform various tasks. You can also have them create beasts that fit mythical environments through adaptations, thus reinforcing science concepts creatively. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops.
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Open Clipart Library - Jon Phillips and Bryce Harrington

Grades
K to 12
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This is a large archive of public-domain clipart. All images are free for download and artists are encouraged to contribute to the site. Search for imagery by keyword or category. ...more
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This is a large archive of public-domain clipart. All images are free for download and artists are encouraged to contribute to the site. Search for imagery by keyword or category. The individual images download as PNG thumbnails or html pages. Users can also download a complete package of all of the site clipart. Review all imagery before students go to the site. Although a majority of the site images is appropriate for students, some may be questionable.

tag(s): creative commons (22)

In the Classroom

Pre-select clipart and save to albums meant for students use. A complete library will be useful for multimedia presentation, digital storytelling, reports, and presentations. This is a great site for ESL/ELL students and special education students working on speech and language. Visual representations will help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. Open Clipart is a valuable resource for imagery to use when designing language-teaching flashcards, game cards, directions, illustrating songs and poetry, or including on class websites.

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Short Circuit - Scholastic

Grades
3 to 8
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Maggie has a short circuit in her computer and needs help to fix the communicator. Students match a prefix or suffix with a corresponding definition to add power to the ...more
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Maggie has a short circuit in her computer and needs help to fix the communicator. Students match a prefix or suffix with a corresponding definition to add power to the communicator. If the wrong definition is chosen, another circuit is blown in the communicator. If three circuits are blown, the game is over. With four levels to choose from, this site is very simple to use. However, some of the prefixes and suffixes may be challenging for students and they may need a readily-available dictionary.

tag(s): grammar (214), prefixes (16), suffixes (14)

In the Classroom

This site would be a great center choice or independent work time option. Use this site for enrichment for those students who like a challenge. List this link on your class website for students to access at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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A New Way to Lecture - Michael Zimmer

Grades
4 to 12
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At this site you will find a slide show with at least fourteen different programs you can use instead of PowerPoint for your lectures. Are your PowerPoint lectures boring you ...more
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At this site you will find a slide show with at least fourteen different programs you can use instead of PowerPoint for your lectures. Are your PowerPoint lectures boring you and your students? Take a look at this online slide show, and choose one of fourteen different programs to convert just one of your PowerPoint lectures. Not only is each program explained, but many have suggestions for integrating your lectures with the program. Take a look. Learn about some great web 2.0 sites (Prezi, TypeWith.me, Animoto, ToonDoo, and many others). Note that many of the tools mentioned are also reviewed on TeachersFirst in greater detail if you want to learn more.

tag(s): chat (53), comics and cartoons (71), digital storytelling (155)

In the Classroom

Surprise your students and yourself with how effective any one of these programs can be with your material or THEIR presentations. Create a comic strip to replace a traditional grammar lesson. Use a class wiki to discuss and debate topics in history class. Once you see a tool that sounds interesting, read its full review on TeachersFirst to find even more ways to use it.
 

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Lit Tunes - Corndancer

Grades
5 to 12
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Wow! Wow! At this site you will find lesson plans that connect grammar, literature, and music. Use music to teach students about sentence structure, plot elements, basic grammar, literary...more
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Wow! Wow! At this site you will find lesson plans that connect grammar, literature, and music. Use music to teach students about sentence structure, plot elements, basic grammar, literary terms, and much more. You'll also find a database of hundreds of contemporary and classical literature titles connected to contemporary music. Click on "Connection" on the left to find music for every major work you will ever want to teach.

tag(s): literature (276)

In the Classroom

Use the list to find literature you can use in your classroom. You may want to choose short stories or poems and their music so students will get the idea of how music and literature can fit together. Then have students choose appropriate contemporary music for an independent reading novel presentation or report. Have students figure out how they would divide up the book into sections. Then select a piece of (school appropriate) music that they think captures the feel or tone of each section. They record the pieces and possibly do voice-overs explaining what is happening in the novel during the piece of music and why they felt this piece of music fits the section of the novel. As a choice, students could use "podOmatic" to create podcasts, reviewed here. Or have students create ThingLinks, reviewed here. Be sure to PLAY the music out loud as the student is talking. If you want students to "mix" music with their own computer, check out Garage Band (Mac) or Audacity (free download) available on Mac or Windows. Looking for more ways to use these audio tools? Take a look at a webquest explaining how these programs work, reviewed here.

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PhotoPeach - Nota, Inc

Grades
3 to 12
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This site allows you to upload photos, create captions, and add music to a slideshow in minutes. It is fun and easy to use. Check out the reviewer's sample ...more
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This site allows you to upload photos, create captions, and add music to a slideshow in minutes. It is fun and easy to use. Check out the reviewer's sample here. Shows can be shared or embedded into other social networking type sites.

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

In the Classroom

You also must be able to locate files on your computer to upload. Follow onscreen instructions to create a project. The instructions are very easy to understand. In a few short steps, there is a finished product. Share the finished show by URL or embed code (for those who know how to copy/paste this code).

Use this site in science class to make a slideshow of a completed lab as an alternative to a laboratory report. Use this in history class to create short videos about different people and places in history. Use in math to have students explain a word problem or complex algebra problems in a slide by slide (step by step) manner. In lower grades, use a whole class account to create a slideshow about a class project or special event such as pumpkin day and all the calculations you do with pumpkin seeds, the weight of pumpkins, etc. Share the slideshow as an embedded object on your class web page/wiki or share the link with parents so they can ask their child about the activity and reinforce the concepts simply by having him/her talk about it at home.

If students create their own shows using images from the web, be sure they are using Creative Commons licensed photos or images without copyright restrictions, sine the products are shared online. Of course you will want to require a credit for any photo used to be included in the show.

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TodaysMeet - James Socol

Grades
5 to 12
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This simple-to-use tool allows anyone with the link to today's discussion to participate in a live chat. A simpler and safer alternative to Twitter or text messaging, this tool allows...more
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This simple-to-use tool allows anyone with the link to today's discussion to participate in a live chat. A simpler and safer alternative to Twitter or text messaging, this tool allows anyone with the URL for a specific chat stream to join in, using short (140 characters) messages. Participants can be in the same room or across the globe. The only "skill" needed is being able to type! Save a transcript via the link at the bottom of the chat and switch to "projector-friendly" view with one click so a group can follow the chat on screen. TodaysMeet does not require a membership to access these features, but creating a free account with an email address unlocks more features to meet your needs. The free account allows you to archive your rooms for up to one year, and custom organization of your rooms is available for easy access. Archive rooms for up to one month without creating an account. Filter participants, moderate their content, and use speaker colors to take control of your rooms. A TodaysMeet account also offers three different QR code sizes to share access to your room as well as the ability to allow participants to download the transcript. TodaysMeet may be blocked by some web filters as a social media site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): microblogging (45), social media (20), social skills (21)

In the Classroom

No special skills needed except the ability to create a name for your chat and to share the URL with others. Create the "room" by giving it a name; decide how long you want it to last; and add a Twitter hashtag (optional). The room name becomes part of the URL. For example, The room called tfedge has the URL http://todaysmeet.com/tfedge. Give participants the room URL. They join in simply by entering a name (or initials, to keep it safe) and clicking Join.

Use backchannel chat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss in the backchannel, or ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use backchannel, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. Assign students to watch a news program or political show and have a backchannel chat during the broadcast. Revisit the chat on a projector in class the next day or post the chat transcript to a class blog or wiki and have students respond further in blog posts or on the wiki discussion tab. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy.

In world language classes or even autistic support class, have students backchannel descriptions of what they see as classmates act out a scene from a video, using new language vocabulary and/or describing the feelings of the actors. In studying literature, collaborate with another class to have students role-play a chat between two characters or - in history class - between soldiers on two sides of the Civil War or different sides of the Scopes Money trial. Make brevity an impetus for well-focused thoughts and use the instantaneous response as an incentive for engagement.

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Historic Tool Construction Kit - Karnebogen

Grades
3 to 12
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This online "Kit" allows students to create stories with Medieval graphics a la Bayeux Tapestries and antique-style text. Students drag the selected picture onto the screen and click...more
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This online "Kit" allows students to create stories with Medieval graphics a la Bayeux Tapestries and antique-style text. Students drag the selected picture onto the screen and click on text to begin writing the story. They can change the graphic to its mirror image easily. Options include deleting the page or going on to a new page in the story. Students can save, e-mail, and view other historical tales already created. Although the graphics include plenty of men, animals, and buildings, there do not seem to be many females available! Given the historic source of the graphics, this alone could spark an interesting discussion about the Bayeux Tapestries and the times when they were produced.

tag(s): medieval (27), writing (362)

In the Classroom

Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students use this story writing site to summarize historical tales or to creatively imagine and display what might have been if historical events had gone in a different way. Have students write a blog entry from the perspective of a male, female, or even animal during this time period. Use this site as an inspiration for developing student's own system of pictographs for story-telling.
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Building Schoolwide Literacy With Free Web 2.0 Tools: A Grade by Grade Elementary Model - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 8
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TeachersFirst offers this model for elementary (or middle) schools to build skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening systematically in a schoolwide model including students,...more
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TeachersFirst offers this model for elementary (or middle) schools to build skills in reading, writing, speaking, and listening systematically in a schoolwide model including students, teachers, and parents. The free web 2.0 tools suggested here are by no means the only tools that might work. These exemplary tools were chosen by the TeachersFirst Editors for ease of use and versatility in classroom and home use, and could easily be implemented at grade levels other than those suggested here. As students and teachers master a new tool at each grade level, they develop rich literacy skills and vital technology skills, all in the context of reading, writing, speaking and listening across the curriculum.

tag(s): listening (92), speaking (25)

In the Classroom

Explore the tools and project suggestions by grade for your individual use as a teacher or work together with others in your school to build literacy across all subjects and grades by systematically adopting and repeatedly using a fixed collection of tools so students master the tool skills as an aside to reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Try the practical suggestions for implementing this model in your school or grade level team.

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Web Resizer - webresizer.com

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This site is quick, easy, requires no registration, and FREE. Upload your image to this site in order to create a smaller file size for use on other sites and ...more
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This site is quick, easy, requires no registration, and FREE. Upload your image to this site in order to create a smaller file size for use on other sites and applications as well as adding effects such as corner rounding, rotating, tinting, changing contrast/brightness, or adding borders/edges. Upload an image up to 5 MB to alter easily with this site. Web resizer automatically reduces the file size to create an optimized image. Be sure to click "apply changes" once you have finished making selections. Click "start over" to remove previous changes. Download the image easily in a JPEG format.

tag(s): images (276)

In the Classroom

Provide the link to this site for students to use in altering and resizing images for use in presentations and online applications. Be sure students understand the file size needed for the various sites that are used in class (for example, wikispaces has a 20 MB file size limit.)
 
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Comments

Use this all the time. Easy to use and SO helpful. You can use online, don't have to download. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Titanpad - Titanpad authors

Grades
5 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for an easy way to collaborate with students? Use TitanPad. Easily create a new public document, share the unique url, enter your name, and begin writing. Each collaborator...more
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Looking for an easy way to collaborate with students? Use TitanPad. Easily create a new public document, share the unique url, enter your name, and begin writing. Each collaborator receives their own color, making it easy to track each person's changes. Note that in order to keep a working document private, the url should not be shared with those not involved in the collaboration. Changes to the document are made in real time. Save the final document as html, bookmarked file, plain text, word, PDF, or as an open document. See past revisions and view the history slider to see the changes in order they occurred. This is a great way to "witness" the writing process and have simple and easy collaboration! If you were an EtherPad user, TitanPad is the reincarnation of your old favorite! Note: Be sure to READ the policy about how long TitanPAds remain before being deleted. It is linked at the start of every new pad! If you do not make many revisions, your work may only remain for 2 weeks since you last accessed it.

tag(s): editing (66), process writing (45), writing (362)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to manage and share URLs and track changes in a document. (Titanpad makes this unbelievable easy.) Create an account in order to create a private space.

Use a private space for all of your classroom work. Simply create a new pad for new work. With an account, change the settings of your pad to public or keep it private. Be sure to share the URL on a wiki, blog, or site for access to the pad. Be sure final drafts (or rough drafts for that matter) are saved.

Use this site securely. If concerned about others stumbling into a collaboration, create an account to receive your own private space. As Titanpad does not require users to register for public space to begin editing, no email, logins, or passwords are required. Students are up and editing without taking precious classroom time logging in or creating accounts.

Host or record thoughts from brainstorming sessions. Use with groups for any type of project based learning. Students can enter not only during school hours but outside of school as well. Use to interview others including experts, people for school news, sports teams, and anything else you can think of. Use in curriculum planning, creating of review sheets (let your students help you on this,) drafting plans, and taking notes from meetings. Allow class scribes to use to enter material discussed during class. Use in workshops, trainings, etc. Common Core writing encourages collaboration as part of authentic writing process. Use the varied colors and revision history for students to demonstrate their collaboration.

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Class Chatter - Daniel DeLuca

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This site has a useful choice of blogging tools that are simple to learn for students and teachers. The class mail feature is especially valuable because many schools do not ...more
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This site has a useful choice of blogging tools that are simple to learn for students and teachers. The class mail feature is especially valuable because many schools do not allow students access to an email program. Class mail permits students and teachers to exchange information in a controlled professional environment similar to email or instant messaging without the hassle of having IM or e-mail accounts. There are several types of blogs available including; personal, assignment, and topical. Personal blogs provide students with a space to write and communicate freely. Assignment blogs allow the teacher to post and grade writing assignments. Topical blogs offers a forum for students and teachers to communicate about a common idea or topic. A co-teacher can be added to a class to share administration of blogs and other features.

tag(s): blogs (89), writing (362), writing prompts (94)

In the Classroom

A user's guide and introductory video are provided for registered users once they are logged in. The video explains in detail how to use all of the features available. After becoming familiar with the program, start with one class to pilot the program. Setup a test student account and become familiar with way in which students will use the program. It is important to understand the unique features that each type of communication offers. Familiarity with blogging and blog etiquette is important for safe ethical implementation. The help page includes a link to Information about educational blogging to help teachers and administrators understand the educational benefits to electronic communication.

Using the customize class feature, teachers can control student access to information and Class Chatter features such as class mail. Teachers have detailed control of students' post including safe guarding students' identity from others and editing posts including posts they created. It is important to follow any school procedures before using Class Chatter.

A class blogging program has limitless possibilities. Engage students in discussions using a topic blog on current events, independent reading, literature, and more. The class assignment feature creates a formal way for teachers to assess students' writing. Students can create an online journal by creating a personal blog. Class mail offers the chance for quick informal exchanges such as a response to a post, question or idea. The robust features of Class Chatter capitalize on students' eagerness to communicate electronically while allowing the teacher to control the format and flow of information. Convert current assignments to an appropriate electronic exchange. As an extension assignment have students create a personal message using the design of their blog page as the medium. This gives students ownership of their communications. Find many more ideas for class blogs in TeachersFirst's Blog Basics for the Classroom .

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Wordslide

Grades
2 to 7
3 Favorites 0  Comments
How many words can you make from a given set of letters? Wordslide lets your find out. This easy to use interactive provides you with a list of letters and ...more
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How many words can you make from a given set of letters? Wordslide lets your find out. This easy to use interactive provides you with a list of letters and a tower of blank squares for each of the word combinations. As you find a word it is added to the tower until finding all combinations. You can play alone as a visitor or there is an option to register to play against other users. Registration allows you to also keep your own scores and possibly be listed in the hall of fame. Registration only requires a username and password. No email address is necessary. Warning - registration also allows access to a chat forum about the game that isn't always monitored.

tag(s): phonics (72), spelling (166)

In the Classroom

This is a great 5-minute activity when you don't have time to start a new lesson. Have a student "emcee" use it on your interactive whiteboard or projector to challenge the class to find all of the word combinations. Discuss the words created to demonstrate spelling and phonics patterns found.
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