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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 (239), area (68), calculators (41), division (169), fractions (236), measurement (159), multiplication (222), percent (83), quadratics (34), subtraction (199), 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 (90), cross cultural understanding (117), writing (366)

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 (215), 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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Grammar Practice Park Grade 5 - Harcourt School Publishers

Grades
4 to 6
4 Favorites 1  Comments
 
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 (215), grammar review (38), parts of speech (67), punctuation (43), 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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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 (291)

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 (90), german (65), italian (34), preK (291), spanish (109)

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

Grades
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 (133), independent reading (129)

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."
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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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 (167)

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.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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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 (64), puzzles (208), quizzes (101), slides (65), word study (79), worksheets (62)

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 (196), data (149), graphic design (35), infographics (45)

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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Vector-Finder - Vector-Finder.com

Grades
K to 12
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Find free clipart on this site. These are vector graphic images which can be enlarged without the problems of pixelated images. Many of these pictures are appropriate for use in ...more
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Find free clipart on this site. These are vector graphic images which can be enlarged without the problems of pixelated images. Many of these pictures are appropriate for use in the classroom and can be downloaded for student use. Find images and figures, backgrounds and wallpapers, as well as icon sets. When using the clipart, be sure to download to your computer first before inserting into an application. Copying it directly from the website puts a black background behind your image. Note: As with most clipart search engines, there are graphics on this site that are not appropriate for children. It is suggested that an adult look for appropriate graphics to distribute to students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): clip art (10), images (275)

In the Classroom

These vector graphics are free to download and use (with appropriate credit). This site is great if you need some clever clipart to jazz up student handouts, classroom bulletin boards, or PowerPoint/Keynote presentations. Special Ed, speech/language, or ESL/ELL teachers may find these images helpful when working with non-readers or non-verbal students. There is also web clipart that you can use for your blog, class webpage, or wiki. Interested in learning more about wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Have students use this site in science class or other subjects to explain concepts and create colorful projects. Create an image collection for them to use as raw material and share it on your wiki or in a shared storage folder. Have students share what they have learned by creating personalized images (with text) using Pinwords reviewed here. Or have them create a comic using one of the many tools here.

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BrainRush - BrainRush.com

Grades
2 to 12
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BrainRush is a collection of fast-paced learning activities. It adapts to the individual users, providing information at just the right level to learn quickly without boredom. The mastery...more
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BrainRush is a collection of fast-paced learning activities. It adapts to the individual users, providing information at just the right level to learn quickly without boredom. The mastery meter shows progress along the way, and BrainRush states "When you finish playing a BrainRush, you know the material, guaranteed." Browse the library to choose from hundreds of topics in categories including all academic subjects as well as sports and Spanish. Future improvements to the site include the promise to create your own BrainRushes. Account creation using your email and a password is required to play BrainRush games. Many activities have audio.

tag(s): american revolution (89), chemicals (41), compasses (4), decimals (132), geometric shapes (166), heart (44), human body (126), multiplication (222), parts of speech (67), periodic table (52), planets (127), presidents (132), south america (40), spanish (109), sports (98), states (163), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students to practice and learn classroom material as well as topics they choose. Join the site yourself to share it on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Share with ESL/ELL and Special Education teachers as a resource for their students. Create a link to specific BrainRushes on your class website or blog for students to complete at home. Any student creating an account requires an email address. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here.

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Daily Starters - Scholastic

Grades
K to 8
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Daily Starters offers a different opening idea each day for 4 different age bands from Pre-K to grade 8. Subjects include language arts, math, and history, as well as fun ...more
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Daily Starters offers a different opening idea each day for 4 different age bands from Pre-K to grade 8. Subjects include language arts, math, and history, as well as fun facts that relate to the day or month. In addition to a challenging question or idea, the site offers a Teacher's Guide that explains different ways to use the site. It includes the background and vocabulary students need to understand and use the site optimally. Some specific topics include grammar, word usage, mechanics, word study, basic operations, algebraic thinking, measurement, fraction, geometry, word problems, and more. Clicking on the Reveal the Answer tab shows the correct solution to each question. Please note: These daily starters are only updated during the school year. New daily starters begin again every August.

tag(s): fractions (236), geometric shapes (166), grammar (215), measurement (159), numbers (200), substitutes (21), word study (79)

In the Classroom

Display each day's Daily Starters on your projector or whiteboard for students to do first thing in the morning. Or arrange for the classroom computers to open with the Daily Starter page. Have students work alone or collaboratively with a group. Allow students to share questions and responses via their own blogs or your class wiki. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. Challenge students to create their own questions and use them for a class discussion about each idea brought up. Display the ideas from history tidbits and fun facts in a creative way on your class bulletin board. Keep the Daily Starter handy as an activity for substitute or for parent volunteers to use with students during free time or indoor recess.

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Presentain - Neek Kurat

Grades
4 to 12
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Connect and engage your presentation audience with Presentain. Create a free account and link to your Google Drive account. Connect your social media accounts through your profile so...more
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Connect and engage your presentation audience with Presentain. Create a free account and link to your Google Drive account. Connect your social media accounts through your profile so presentation participants can view your connections. Access your Google Drive presentations in Presentain or upload a PDF version of a presentation created in PowerPoint or Keynote. Store your presentations in the Presentain cloud. Download the iOS or Android app on your phone or tablet to connect your mobile device. Use your mobile device as a clicker and connect your audience on their mobile devices. The audience can ask questions, take part in polls, send you follow-up requests, share your slides, and more. Record your voice while you present and publish the slidecast to your online audience. Presenting on a laptop that's not yours? Enter a presentation code that doesn't require a login. This is a great tool to involve your audience. Presentain users must be at least 18 years old.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (170), multimedia (64), slides (65)

In the Classroom

Use your existing presentations and upload them as a PDF to Presentain. Use the many tools available at the site to engage your students. Use the question feature as a backchannel to address questions and concerns. Though students have to be 18 to create a Presentain, they do not have to be 18 to interact with your presentation. Collect data using polls to differentiate your instruction. A BYOD school? Connect your students on their mobile devices. Share your slidecasts for student access both in and outside of class for further practice. An excellent site to share your presentations on professional development with your teaching colleagues. A great tool to flip your classroom instruction. Record students' presentations (using your account) to share on a website or blog so families unable to attend can view. Create visual presentations for key concepts or vocabulary. Record descriptions and share the slidecast for student access both in and outside of class for further practice.

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Kaizena - Kaizena

Grades
1 to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Do you wish you had enough time in your schedule for one-on-one personalized writing conferences with your students or writers you know? Kaizena (previously 121Writing) can make that...more
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Do you wish you had enough time in your schedule for one-on-one personalized writing conferences with your students or writers you know? Kaizena (previously 121Writing) can make that dream a reality. Kaizena allows you to give feedback on writing via an audio recording. Writers often have difficulty reading the margin notes from teachers or other readers, or they need more explanation. An audio recording of the feedback provides a personalized experience to enhance the writing process. Kaizena works best by synching with your Google Drive account. There is an option at the bottom of the page to sign up by sending in your name and email address. However, this can take a while, so plan ahead! Sign in with your Google account to watch a helpful video and learn how to connect to your Google Drive account or school Google Apps account.

Start by highlighting a text selection, hit record, and provide your feedback. Writers will be able to listen to your feedback and revise or edit their writing as though you were face to face. Tag your highlighted text with keywords that can be tracked in a mastery-based rubric. You could tag conventional errors, mistakes, or selections that are amazing. Verbal feedback can be played on an iPad so students can listen in the best learning environment to meet their needs. Writers will progress as you enhance the writing process with explicit audio feedback. Kaizena can enhance feedback for written work for any school subject or even outside of school.

tag(s): editing (68), process writing (45), writing (366)

In the Classroom

Editing and revising are better with audio feedback. Provide explicit details to improve student performance. Students can record peer edits and share audio recordings with classmates. Classroom time is more efficient and effective when students can listen to your feedback before meeting face to face. Have students highlight passages of text and provide their reflections on the selection. World language classes can speak text or respond to questions in their new language. Learning support students will better understand audio feedback on their writing than detailed comments written in "teacher-ese." This is a great tool for students to highlight poetry and record their thoughts and feelings on the text. Students can highlight and record their thought process as they solve math word problems. Highlight and record opinions on current event articles. Highlight an entire passage of text to model reading fluency. Students can listen and read along with the recording to help with phrasing and expression. Highlight text and model fluency for ESL/ELL students. Highlight assessment questions or text for lower-level readers to provide a level playing field in the classroom. Challenge students to provide audio feedback to their peers on passages where they would like to know more, questions they have as readers, and positive feedback on passages they enjoy.

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OK2Ask'®: Specialized for Special Needs July 2013 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2013, opens in Adobe Connect. Specialized for Special Needs: Ideas and tools for Learning Support, Speech/language,...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2013, opens in Adobe Connect. Specialized for Special Needs: Ideas and tools for Learning Support, Speech/language, Emotional Support, and More! Learn how to adapt your teaching for your students' special needs using TeachersFirst resources. Participants will view and explore tools to help students needing emotional support, learning support, speech/language support, autistic support, ESL/ELL assistance, and more. Find resources that promote organization, focus, and differentiated learning. Use exploration time to discover and discuss how selected resources can be utilized in your classroom.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Gather ideas by exploring 6 -10 specialized resources on TeachersFirst; Explore and practice with selected resources; Investigate and discuss lesson ideas offered in reviews and by other participants; List and discuss other curriculum related projects or activities that could be done using the resources in the teacher's own teaching situation; and (Follow-up) Implement one of the provided resources into an upcoming teaching unit or lesson. Applicable NETS-T standards (2008)*: 1a, b, c; 2a, b, c, d; 3b, c, d; 4c * The text of these standards is copyrighted. Please read the full text at ISTE's NETS-T page.

tag(s): learning disability (15), speech (94)

In the Classroom

Looking for new strategies to use with your learning support, ESL/ELL students, emotional support, speech/language students, autistic support, and other specialized needs? View this webinar for some excellent new ideas. Invite other teachers to view the webinar with you in your class or the computer lab. Take a look at the resource page full of GREAT ideas! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Newsela - Matthew Gross

Grades
2 to 12
14 Favorites 1  Comments
Newsela is a data base of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Indexed by broad theme (e.g. War and Peace, Arts, Science, Health, Law, Money), stories are both student-friendly...more
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Newsela is a data base of current events stories tailor-made for classroom use. Indexed by broad theme (e.g. War and Peace, Arts, Science, Health, Law, Money), stories are both student-friendly and can be accessed in different formats by reading level. Use Newsela to differentiate nonfiction reading. Newspaper writers rewrite a story four times for a total of five Lexile levels per story. Many stories also have embedded, Common Core aligned quizzes that conform to the reading levels for checking comprehension. In addtion, each article has a writing prompt which is also designed to assess reading comprehension. An account is required to use Newsela, both for teachers and for students, but students sign up using a teacher or parent provided code rather than an email address. Teachers can create classes and assign reading-level specific articles to individual students, or download printable PDF copies of the article in any of its reading-level versions. There is an upgraded fee-based Pro Version which allows teachers or administrators to track reading progress, but most of the features are free and there is no advertising.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): differentiation (50), guided reading (46), independent reading (129), news (265), reading comprehension (118)

In the Classroom

Achieve two goals here: help students improve their reading comprehension and keep them current with what is happening in our nation and the world. When assigning articles, choose to have the class read at one reading level, or choose individuals and set the reading level for them. There are five categories from which to choose. You may want to set up different articles at different learning stations on the computers in your room. Have the students rotate daily through the stations, completing one or two a day until they have completed all five articles. Since Newsela is cloud based, even absent students can complete the missed work easily. Teachers of gifted students can use this site to accelerate or enrich reading for students. Find each students individual levels for reading nonfiction. Teachers of Learning Support and ELL students will love this alternate way for their students to meet current events requirements.

Comments

This is an excellent site and allows differentiation while everyone is reading the same text. Renee, NC, Grades: 0 - 5

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750 Words - Buster Benson

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
750 Words is a private place to write your thoughts, clear your head, scrawl a rant, or brainstorm ideas. You might ask yourself, why not just blog? Blogs have a ...more
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750 Words is a private place to write your thoughts, clear your head, scrawl a rant, or brainstorm ideas. You might ask yourself, why not just blog? Blogs have a "keep private" button, and if you forget to click it who knows who will be reading your most private thoughts. This program is based on the idea that getting your thoughts on (digital) paper every morning can clear your head, focus your ideas, and organize and energize you for the rest of the day. Inspired by the book The Artist's Way, and its hand-written "Morning Pages" exercise, the creator of this program converted that exercise to our 21st century tools. If you care about such things, there is also a point system where one can compare constancy of writing and words written with others.

tag(s): brainstorming (25), gamification (75), journals (21), process writing (45), writers workshop (33)

In the Classroom

To write daily is a good idea for students. It helps them clarify their thoughts and questions, and get in touch with their feelings. 750 Words would be perfect for any writing program or with gifted students who often feel very strongly about fairness and/or world issues well beyond their years. Students can get their thoughts and ideas written down without having to worry about a grade or someone chancing upon their writings in a school notebook. Here's an idea for any grade level. Have your students do free writes (stream of conscientiousness writing) starting with 5 minutes or more a day. Ask students to count their words daily when time is up, always trying to increase the word count. After a couple of weeks have them use 750 Words and complete the stream of writing on a computer or mobile device. (This shouldn't slow many of them down since most are quick at texting!). After the first day, and again after the second week, using 750 Words have a class discussion about which format they like better and why. Use a backchannel program like Meetings.io reviewed here, or Today's Meet, reviewed here, for the class discussion. Using one of these programs ensures that even your shy students have a chance to say what they think about 750 Words. Challenge your students to complete the 750 words at home. They can earn points, and you know how competition can inspire some of them! Resource students and ESL/ELL students could increase their writing skills and fluency by keeping an online, private journal daily with 750 Words. Emotional support, autistic support, or alternative ed students may find this private space to work out feelings very therapeutic.

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