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Intel Education Units - Intel

Grades
K to 12
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Find engaging, challenging units to begin your Common Core journey. Intel Education Units are complete and include assessment tools. Search by grade level or subject. Find the basics...more
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Find engaging, challenging units to begin your Common Core journey. Intel Education Units are complete and include assessment tools. Search by grade level or subject. Find the basics for planning units. Also find sequencing maps, sequencing activities, classification charts, and prioritizing listings. Instructional Strategies include activating prior knowledge, graphic organizers, cooperative learning, and questioning strategies.

tag(s): literacy (107)

In the Classroom

Begin your curriculum planning here. After reviewing exemplary units, use as they are, or modify to fit the needs of your students, content, or even resources adding your own personal touch. They will inspire you to dig deeper and go further with Common Core! Be sure to bookmark this site (or save in your favorites) as your go to resource for Common Core.
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Film English - Kieran Donaghy

Grades
3 to 12
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This award-winning site provides ESL/ELL lessons by watching movies. The site is presented in blog format. Find short summaries of the featured lessons on the opening page linking to...more
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This award-winning site provides ESL/ELL lessons by watching movies. The site is presented in blog format. Find short summaries of the featured lessons on the opening page linking to complete lesson plans. The corresponding featured movies are embedded within the site as well. Each complete lesson plan includes: Language level, Learner type, Time, Activity, Topic, Language Goals, Materials, and Downloadable materials. Each lesson has different activities and language focuses. In addition to the featured lessons, search for lessons with movies on different themes and at different levels. At the time of this review, there were more than 90 complete lessons with movies at this site. View complete lesson plans at this site or download and print them. The videos are hosted in various places, including Vimeo and YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then some 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): descriptive writing (42), grammar (213), movies (70), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

Explore lessons useful in your classroom. Share the video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Create a class wiki of movie reviews featuring the short films with this site as language practice for your students. Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.
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Learn 46 Languages Online for Free - Open Culture

Grades
4 to 12
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Find a complete listing of places to learn many, many languages, including free apps and websites. Among the languages one can study for free are Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian,...more
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Find a complete listing of places to learn many, many languages, including free apps and websites. Among the languages one can study for free are Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, and Hungarian as well as many others from around the globe. Each language has different offerings available. The language lessons are available in many different formats including Youtube videos, MP3s, feeds, apps, iTunes lessons, text, and websites. Since there is a variety of resources for most languages, pick the one that offers the way you are the most comfortable learning. Although most of these resources were developed with secondary students (or adults) in mind, a few are appropriate for upper elementary grades.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): chinese (49), french (88), hebrew (19), italian (33), portuguese (19), russian (27), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector in world language classes. This is a great tool for students to use to explore MORE of their new language both in the classroom and at home. Use this tool to enrich your classroom during world cultures units and let students explore a new language. Offer this site to gifted students to explore and learn (or compare) new languages on their own. This is a great site to help YOU learn some of the native languages of your ESL/ELL students, even how to say "hello" could make their day! If your school celebrates an ethnic heritage festival, you will find ideas for activities among these many resources.
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StoryToolz - Chuck Heintzelman

Grades
2 to 12
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StoryToolz offers many different tools for authors: story generators, word count meters, a readability analysis, a random conflict generator, a title generator, a cliche buster, and...more
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StoryToolz offers many different tools for authors: story generators, word count meters, a readability analysis, a random conflict generator, a title generator, a cliche buster, and more. Choose any of the topics to begin. Story generators offer suggestions for conflict within a story or half a title. Choose from random title beginnings and endings to generate your title. Don't miss the Readability area: paste up to 5K of text in the box to check the readability of any source. Registration isn't required; however, it offers the opportunity for additional resources within the word count meter section and a larger portion of text for analyzing in the readability section.

tag(s): creative writing (168), readability (8), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Share StoryToolz with students in your writing class to generate ideas for stories and possible centers of conflict to map out new tale. Use the readability section with any writing to determine appropriateness for use with students. Have students paste their writing in the readability section to determine if their writing is at an appropriate grade level or to note information such as words per sentence or use of various parts of speech. Paste into the cliche buster to point out ho-hum wording and overused expressions. Suddenly, students may begin to write more complex sentences or use more vivid language. Be sure to include a link to this site on your class webpage and classroom computers for use throughout the year. The readability portion of the site is a great resource for ESL/ELL and Special Education teachers to help determine appropriateness of reading materials.

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Teaching Kids News - Jonathan Tilly, Joyce Grant, and Kathleen Tilly

Grades
2 to 8
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Teaching Kids News is an online news magazine designed for kids in grades 2-8. New articles are published frequently (almost daily) throughout the school year, relating to events around...more
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Teaching Kids News is an online news magazine designed for kids in grades 2-8. New articles are published frequently (almost daily) throughout the school year, relating to events around the world. Choose from content topics such as news, entertainment, science, or sports. Find ideas for classroom use at the bottom of most articles. Browse the archives for past articles, or click on tags to view articles with similar content. Articles include comprehension questions, student activities, and more.

tag(s): guided reading (47), independent reading (130), literacy (107), news (261), newspapers (95)

In the Classroom

Include a link to Teaching Kids News on classroom computers. ESL/ELL teachers and those who work with learning support students can recommend this site to students with lower reading levels when students are required to report on current events, even in upper grades. Have students choose an article to share with the class. Use the ideas at the bottom of the article for additional lessons. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class reviewing an article using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here. Find other articles with similar content then use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram, reviewed here, to compare them. Teacher Librarians might want to keep this page open on computers for students who drop by the media center or include news notes from this site as part of the morning announcements. Have a student news show on your school TV channel? Find great material here for students to retell in their own words.

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Calkoo - Trinity Capital

Grades
4 to 12
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Other online calculators don't add up to the diverse collection of calculators Calkoo has to offer. Browse categories including measurement, wage, taxes, stock analysis, mathematics,...more
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Other online calculators don't add up to the diverse collection of calculators Calkoo has to offer. Browse categories including measurement, wage, taxes, stock analysis, mathematics, loans, health, saving, investing, real estate, and more! Calkoo can handle many tasks, including some rather complex calculations. Complete the various fields based on the type of calculation. Some utilize radio buttons and drop down boxes, while others ask for numbers only. Create almost any kind of calculation you need with this easy accessible calculating tool. Language options include English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Russian.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (238), area (67), calculators (41), division (167), fractions (235), measurement (160), multiplication (220), percent (81), quadratics (32), subtraction (198), volume (44)

In the Classroom

Calkoo is a great free tool to replace expensive graphing calculators that many students may not have. Calkoo works well on computers, mobile devices, and interactive whiteboards. Use this site during a unit on careers, economics, or financial literacy. Include it as part of a measurement unit. Share during Family and Consumer Science units to explore the cost of living and have students put together a mythical "budget" for living in their chosen career. Have students send you on a vacation and include calculations for the currency converter, fuel cost calculator, sales tax for souvenirs, and more! This is a great site to support many experiments in science. Calculate acceleration, velocity, and time, or use the mathematics category to complete problems. Use this tool in social studies class for quickly calculating years or months from important timelines or when figuring out geographical distances. In English or L.A. classes, quickly figure out the life span of authors or how long ago a story took place. In health or science classes, use the BMI calculator or get other accurate measurements. Visit Calkoo and select a calculator to meet your needs! Include this site on your class web page for students and parents to access as a reference. The various languages make this tool very useful for ESL/ELL students.

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Quadblogging - David Mitchell

Grades
2 to 12
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Give your student writers an audience... possibly an international one! Sign up for Quadblogging and be guaranteed that your students will have at least three other classrooms...more
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Give your student writers an audience... possibly an international one! Sign up for Quadblogging and be guaranteed that your students will have at least three other classrooms to read and respond to their blogs. We all know that having an audience for our writing makes us better writers. The creator of this program has hard evidence of that. His students (in the UK) were scoring at 9% on the British writing achievement test before Quadblogging. After a school year of using Quadblogging, his students increased their scores to 60%. In subsequent years, these students continued to have their scores grow by two grade levels per school year. There are two short videos on the home page. One video explains the concept of Quadblogging, and the other is the creator speaking at BETT, the world's largest ed tech conference. You will also find the form to fill out to have your class join others in Quadblogging.

tag(s): blogs (89), cross cultural understanding (116), writing (363)

In the Classroom

If you never blogged before, you might want to check out TeachersFirst Blog Basics for the Classroom. Have your students choose a question from Thought Questions reviewed here. Have students respond to the question, and then have them ask the reader to respond to their writing and answer the question from their point of view, too. The benefits go beyond just writing. You can also build cultural understanding and world language skills through blogs. Help your students become aware of environmental issues or how to live "green" for our planet. Try Greenlearning.ca, reviewed here, or choose something from the Environmental News Network, reviewed here, for students' Quadblog projects.

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Grammar Practice Park Grade 3 - Harcourt School Publishers

Grades
2 to 4
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Practice grammar skills in an entertaining way at Grammar Play Park! Choose from activities such as Noun Dunk, Monster Truck Verb Safari, or Camping with Commas to begin. Each game...more
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Practice grammar skills in an entertaining way at Grammar Play Park! Choose from activities such as Noun Dunk, Monster Truck Verb Safari, or Camping with Commas to begin. Each game includes short instructions and links to the multimedia grammar glossary containing an explanation of terms used. Although matched to the 3rd Grade Harcourt series, this site is useful for anyone needing practice with the grammar skills included.

tag(s): grammar (213), grammar review (38), parts of speech (67), sentences (50)

In the Classroom

Assign specific games to students for individual practice. Share HOW to do the activities on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Create a link on classroom computers for students to play games. Share this site with parents in your classroom newsletter or website as a resource for grammar practice. Be sure to point out the glossary included with each activity for student use in learning and understanding grammar concepts.
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Grammar Practice Park Grade 5 - Harcourt School Publishers

Grades
4 to 6
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Practice your grammar skills at Grammar Practice Park. Choose from several games including topics of sentence structure, punctuation skills, and parts of speech. Titles include The...more
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Practice your grammar skills at Grammar Practice Park. Choose from several games including topics of sentence structure, punctuation skills, and parts of speech. Titles include The Sentence Combining Express, The Principal Parts Picnic, and Spotlight on Clauses. Choose an activity to begin, read the short instructions, then begin play. Be sure to check out the multimedia grammar glossary link, available next to each of the activities. There you will find a short description of terms used in each game.

tag(s): grammar (213), grammar review (38), parts of speech (67), punctuation (42), sentences (50)

In the Classroom

Introduce games on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to point out the multimedia grammar glossary to use to review terms. Create a link on classroom computers and allow students to play games on their own. After playing games, have students create their own review practice for each of the concepts using an online flashcard maker, like Flashcard Stash reviewed here. Share a link to this site on your classroom website or newsletter for practice at home.
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Comments

Jayne, NJ, Grades: 6 - 8

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SmyFace - smyface.com

Grades
K to 6
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How are you feeling today? Use Smyface to share your feelings of the day! Slide the changing expression on the animated emoticon to show how you are feeling (and change ...more
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How are you feeling today? Use Smyface to share your feelings of the day! Slide the changing expression on the animated emoticon to show how you are feeling (and change the expression on the emoticon from sad to scared to happy. Add a message containing up to 80 characters to express the reasons for the feelings. Share using links to Facebook, Twitter, or email.

tag(s): emotions (34), preK (288)

In the Classroom

Smyface is excellent for use in Special Education classrooms (or ESL/ELL) for students to express feelings with a short written response. Autistic support and emotional support teachers can use this to both show emotional expressions and encourage students to write about them. Use in early elementary classrooms for students to practice short writing prompts. Display using your interactive whiteboard or projector and have students use as a story prompt based on the face created. Display while reading stories and change to demonstrate emotions of characters throughout the piece. You could use this as a behavior management tool in elementary classrooms. Put up the "happy" emoticon on the whiteboard if the kids are on task and following the rules. If their behavior starts to decline, use this to show (and explain) why their behavior isn't appropriate (in 80 words or less). Even older kids (with more understanding of social networks) will enjoy playing around with this site.

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Chillola - Chillola

Grades
K to 8
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Learn the basics of English, Spanish, German, Italian, and French at Chillola. Use the interactives to learn the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, animals, fruit, vegetables,...more
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Learn the basics of English, Spanish, German, Italian, and French at Chillola. Use the interactives to learn the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, animals, fruit, vegetables, food, calendar, weather, time, body parts, house, positions, opposites, and more. One great feature of this site is that pronunciations are provided for many of the words within the interactives. Worksheets reinforce the basic words. Use the text links to access the various languages, NOT the ad links for Babbel!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): french (88), german (64), italian (33), preK (288), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Share Chillola on the interactive whiteboard or projector as an early literacy site for preschoolers. Use as a way to help ELL/ESL students to start learning the basics of English. Create a center and allow children to explore different sounds from other languages and stretch their learning. Add an extra dimension into learning about the setting of different books. Challenge your gifted children to compare or learn vocabulary in different languages. Add as a link on your class website.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Classic Books - Library of Congress

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K to 12
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Explore this collection of public domain, classic books for children and teenagers from the Library of Congress. They are organized in alphabetical order. There are 51 books for younger...more
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Explore this collection of public domain, classic books for children and teenagers from the Library of Congress. They are organized in alphabetical order. There are 51 books for younger children, 6 books for teens, and 6 books for adults. Each has a short summary, a link from which to read the book, and a link to more information about the book. Enjoy these stories online. Although they aren't audio books, they could be very useful with all ages.

tag(s): book lists (132), independent reading (130)

In the Classroom

Share the classics on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Read the stories together as a class and consider converting an excerpt into an interactive text using Active Textbook, reviewed here. You could add to it yearly, with each class taking a chapter or section to "liven up" with media. Or challenge your tech-savvy gifted students to bring a classic to life with such a project. Share this public domain collection on your class website, blog, or wiki as a good place to find classics (FREE). Create a learning station on your classroom computers using these books.

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Phonics Training Grounds - Compass Learning Odyssey

Grades
K to 1
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Join the army cadets and play along with the Phonics Training Game. Begin with individual letters and sounds. Join the cadets in earning stars using activities with sounds for segmentation,...more
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Join the army cadets and play along with the Phonics Training Game. Begin with individual letters and sounds. Join the cadets in earning stars using activities with sounds for segmentation, blending, and spelling words.

tag(s): phonics (72)

In the Classroom

Introduce sounds, blending, and segmentation activities with students running your interactive whiteboard. Continue practice at center time or even at home. Have children help you make new activities with different words and word families. Make puppets and video to make your own version. Use with struggling learners as the content is not "babyish."
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Rewordify - Neil M. Goldman

Grades
4 to 12
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Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown...more
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Rewordify helps you understand what you read. Paste any text or website into the box to rewordify the text into simpler language. Easier to understand words replace difficult text shown with highlighting. Click on the highlighting to view the original, more difficult word(s). View excellent student and teacher demonstrations showing how to use the website. You have the option to choose how Rewordify displays the results using the options in the settings. Several options allow for easy personalization of results.

tag(s): vocabulary (325), vocabulary development (125)

In the Classroom

This site is a must for saving and bookmarking for classroom use! Start the school year out by posting the link to Rewordify on your class website for student and parent access from home. Be sure to share with learning support and ESL/ELL teachers and students. Be sure to share a link on your classroom website and parent newsletter for use at home. Save a link to Rewordify on classroom computers for students to easily paste text from any website to read in a simpler format. Copy and paste any difficult text into Rewordify and display on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to enhance student understanding or show meaning in complex texts. Have students guess meanings from context clues in the more complex version, then share the "rewordified" view to test their guesses. Have students create a word cloud of difficult words identified using a tool such as Wordle (reviewed here), Tagxedo (reviewed here), or WordItOut (reviewed here). Have students take a screen shot of passages that have been "rewordified" to share and discuss.
 

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Spelling Bees - Arcademics

Grades
2 to 4
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Spelling Bees allows up to four players to practice spelling by building a beehive with correctly spelled words. Begin by using the site-generated user name or typing your own; ...more
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Spelling Bees allows up to four players to practice spelling by building a beehive with correctly spelled words. Begin by using the site-generated user name or typing your own; then join a game or create your own. Use private game settings to create a private game with a password so only known users will join. When a game is full, play begins. Listen to each word and click or type letters to spell the word. After spelling the word correctly, the game continues until time runs out. At the end of the game, view your position in the finished game along with percentage correct and correct spelling for any missed words.

tag(s): spelling (166)

In the Classroom

Use Spelling Bee as an entertaining way to practice spelling on your interactive whiteboard or classroom computers. This site could be used with all levels and types of students: ESL/ELL, gifted, learning support, and others. Any student needing to practice spelling skills can benefit from this site. Allow students to create private games and compete against friends. Challenge students to increase the number of words spelled and improve accuracy. Unfortunately, you cannot enter your own word lists.
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MFL Ideas Factory - Eleanor Gordon

Grades
6 to 12
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Visit the MFL Ideas Factory blog to find language teaching ideas to use in your classroom. Developed by teachers of world languages, each post is an activity that is context-free ...more
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Visit the MFL Ideas Factory blog to find language teaching ideas to use in your classroom. Developed by teachers of world languages, each post is an activity that is context-free so you can adapt to your planning. Tags accompany each activity to make your search more efficient. Sample tags are "Will it take long?" or "Does this require photocopying?" Various search options make it easy to navigate the MFL Ideas Factory. The search box on the right side of the page will search all text in the entire blog. Filter the activities by category in the box on the left side of the page or click on the tag that interests you. Click on "vocabulary" to find all the vocabulary activities posted. Some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English because the site administrator resides in the UK.

tag(s): french (88), italian (33), russian (27), spanish (108), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Search the archive of ideas for your language teaching techniques and activities. Find great ideas to introduce or conclude lessons. Search by categories or tags to find the best activities to meet your needs. Share this site with your world language teaching colleagues or ESL/ELL teachers. Adapt the activities for learning support students.

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Weird Road Signs - TODAY; Paul A. Eisenstein

Grades
6 to 12
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Take the road less traveled by and check out these 14 wild, weird, and wacky street signs that were finalists for a Today Show contest. You will find humor, irony, ...more
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Take the road less traveled by and check out these 14 wild, weird, and wacky street signs that were finalists for a Today Show contest. You will find humor, irony, and signs that require a law degree to comprehend among the entries. Ignore the advertising on the site; the signs are worth it. Be aware of the content: some may not be suitable for middle school classrooms.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (168), figurative language (16)

In the Classroom

These signs can spark writing, geography, and visual communication lessons. Project selected signs on the interactive whiteboard as ideas for students to use for creative writing pieces. Have the students create a fictional scavenger hunt of several signs around the world. Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map showing the sign locations (with audio stories and pictures about what happened when people encountered the sign)! Use the locations offered in some of the descriptions for geography lessons to integrate geography with writing. Use the images on a bulletin board and have students write captions for the signs. Have student editors find grammatical errors on the signs. Students could create an annotated image including text boxes with captions and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Have students upload a sign image and add voice bubbles with narration using a tool such as Superlame, reviewed here. Use the signs for ESL/ELL students to teach about the nuances of text translation.

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Educaplay - Multimedia Learning Resources - Adrformacion

Grades
3 to 12
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Create many educational multimedia activities in one place using Educaplay. Create interactive maps, riddles, slide shows, fill in the blanks, crossword puzzles, word search puzzles,...more
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Create many educational multimedia activities in one place using Educaplay. Create interactive maps, riddles, slide shows, fill in the blanks, crossword puzzles, word search puzzles, jumbled word, jumbled sentence, dictation, or create a collection of several of these based on a theme. Registration is required. Your results will be consistent and professional looking. Also, browse and use activities and collections others have created. Download and print the activities or complete them online by embedding them on your website or sharing the URL. Results can be registered in your learning management system (online grade book). Though originally a Flash program, Educaplay converted to HTML5 and should work on any computer.

tag(s): crosswords (18), multimedia (61), puzzles (205), quizzes (97), slides (65), word study (79), worksheets (61)

In the Classroom

When configuring a quiz you will have the ability to have the questions presented randomly, decide the number of questions, and the threshold to pass the quiz, among other choices. When adding the questions, you will be able to add an image, audio, or video. Why should you make all the activities for your class? Assign students to create crossword puzzles and such for a story or unit the class is studying. Consider having a small group create a "collection" of activities around an area of study. Be sure to put a link to the program for parents to create study activities for their student to use at home.

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Infographics Only - Infographics Only

Grades
3 to 12
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Find a colorful, creative Infographic for just about any topic on this sharing site. Use one of the forty-plus categories or type your keyword in a search box. There are ...more
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Find a colorful, creative Infographic for just about any topic on this sharing site. Use one of the forty-plus categories or type your keyword in a search box. There are so many cool Infographics at this site that you won't have to create one of your own. But if you do, you can upload it and have it displayed on Infographics Only. What is an Infographic? Learn more about Infographics here. Be sure to take time to preview the Infographics on this site as some may not be suitable for young people. It would be best to link directly to the Infographic you want to share.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): charts and graphs (194), data (148), graphic design (35), infographics (42)

In the Classroom

Common Core emphasizes "reading" of visual sources of information, and this is the perfect source. Why not use an Infographic as an introduction to a unit or lesson in your classroom? Create open ended questions about the Infographic to use as a formative assessment tool. Ask students to create questions about the topic of the Infographic. Reading teachers could choose an Infographic on a daily/weekly basis for teaching/practicing how to interpret informational graphics within a text. If they are mature enough to ignore some topics, consider having students go to the Just for Fun category and choose an Infographic. Then ask students to report out the "main idea" of the graphic and give three supporting details as evidence. For any subject, as a form of summative evaluation, consider assigning students to create an Infographic about a topic covered in class as a way to show understanding. If your students are new to creating infographics, have them view Creating Infographics: A Screencast Tutorial reviewed here. For more examples of how to use infographics in your classroom, view the recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session found here. This session is 75 minutes in length.

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Story Maps - Esri

Grades
5 to 12
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Story Maps takes learning in a new direction. Interactive maps tell a story through videos, images, audio, and links. Learn more about the topics in text that accompanies each map....more
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Story Maps takes learning in a new direction. Interactive maps tell a story through videos, images, audio, and links. Learn more about the topics in text that accompanies each map. A timeline of "dots" allows you to move through the story step by step. A satellite view is available on some maps, and legends give you important information to read the map accurately. A wide variety of topics are available to inform and educate. Use the search bar to find a map to meet your needs. Travel to the most visited National Parks or explore an interactive map of the three days and decisive moments of the battle of Gettysburg. It is important to pay as much attention to the text pop-ups as the cartography and other aspects of the map. New stories are added every two weeks. so come back often! This review was for the free area of the site that allows you to view the map stories. There are extensive directions on how to create your own maps, but these suggest purchase of maps, etc. from ArcGIS, an affiliate of Esri. Some of the map storytelling ideas could be used with other free mapping tools, however.

tag(s): gettysburg (26), map skills (80), maps (290), measurement (160)

In the Classroom

Map out interactive virtual field trips on Story Maps. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Have a team competition as students navigate the site on an interactive whiteboard to complete a scavenger hunt. Students can find geometric shapes in real life objects on the images with the maps. Calculate distances or time if the map is a timeline of events. Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and use it as a center. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting them on an interactive whiteboard and highlighting them in the text as you come to them. Have students create online posters to summarize what they learned from the map, individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here. Ask students to write informational essays on the topics or use the maps to write creative stories. Challenge your most tech-savvy or gifted students to explore the step by step map storytelling directions and try their hand using google Maps or other map tools. The advice in these directions is excellent.

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