Grades3 to 8
In the ClassroomThis is a great site to use with ELL/ESL students or in any elementary/middle school classroom, especially those who may need additional practice. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students try one of the activities on individual computers as a learning stations (most activities are about 10 questions.) Consider posting this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. You might also assign a specific review to a student based upon recurring problems in their written expression.
GradesK to 5
tag(s): folktales (65)
In the ClassroomHave students try out this site on individual computers, using earbuds. Provide the text to the stories so they can read and listen. If individual computers aren't available, share this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Share the site with ESL/ELL students so they can improve their pronunciation and aural word recognition. Learning support students with weak reading skills can also benefit from hearing the stories. Make a listening center on classroom computers and share the link on your class web page for students to repeat the stories at home, as well.
Grades4 to 12
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In the ClassroomYou must know where you are saving downloads on your computer to save the list as a document. Pay attention and name files with meaningful file names, such as "chapter17vocab." Enter your list with one term per line or separated by commas, etc. Click on advanced options to add other options to the search: number or alphabetize the definition results, maximum definitions, and hiding parts of speech.
Create definitions easily for word lists in any subject area. Have students enter a series of similar words to see variations in connotations. For example, enter various words that mean "fat" and discover the variability in positive and negative connotations. Follow up with a ranking or sorting activity with the same words on interactive whiteboard to build word choice options. Have students generate individualized reading vocabulary lists for content are reading chapters or literature. Click on the synonyms tab to find related words. Save as a document for easy sharing in groups. Advise students to collect definitions and compare to those they write in their own words. As with any other reference, students should be cautioned to be sure these are accurate definitions needed for the context in which they are studying the words.
Grades2 to 12
Besides the book-movie pairings, the site allows students to review books and also provides interactive reading guides for six subgenres of children's books: pirate books, fantasy, adventure, and more. Another separate section deals with books that become TV shows and TV shows that become books later. Since this is a site from New Zealand, however, the TV portion may not be applicable elsewhere.
In the ClassroomIntroduce this site to your class using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students time to explore on their own about a book they want to read that has an accompanying movie. This could be a class book, and the treat after reading would be to watch the movie. Students could then write a compare contrast essay, or an essay that evaluates which was better, the book or the movie and why. Have students compare the book and movie using an online Venn diagram site such as the Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).
This site would also be a good site to use with ESL/ELL students and reluctant readers. Students could read a section of the book, then watch that section of the movie, and verbally compare or evaluate, ask questions, etc.
Grades2 to 5
In the ClassroomThis activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. This is a great way for students to learn more about point of view in writing. Have students click on the extra information buttons. Students may enjoy converting their printable copy to share in a presentation to the class.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomShare this list with students looking for a new book to read. Post a couple of the lists you like the best on your Edmodo reviewed here or Wiki classroom site. Share this compilation with other educators and librarians.
GradesK to 3
In the ClassroomPrint copies of books for students to use during silent reading time or as take-home practice books. Share books on your interactive whiteboard to read together or as a literature center. Share this site with teachers who have students fluent in languages other than English as a resource for reading material.
Grades1 to 9
In the ClassroomShare this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Have your class read chosen selections from this e-zine at their personal computers and consider submitting writing or artwork. Of course you will want written parent permission before submitted student work to this online magazine, if your school policy allows such submissions. Why not link this excellent opportunity on your class website or in your class newsletter, so parents can submit their student's work on their own. or use it as a midsummer inspiration.
[We have updated this review per teacher comment - TF Editors] This is a wonderful website. And you can send in submissions by email or through a form on the website. The FAQ page says it is optional how much information is published about the student authors and artists- and the kids can even use pen names. They are very friendly to work with.Elise, CO, Grades: 0 - 12
GradesK to 5
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tag(s): alphabet (92), decimals (133), drawing (78), fractions (239), game based learning (103), geometric shapes (163), keyboarding (38), latitude (13), literacy (103), longitude (13), number sense (97), numbers (204), operations (126), preK (281)
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector, demonstration how to use the specific tool/activity. Create a learning center AT the whiteboard or on individual laptops and allow students to try it out on their own. List this as a student and parent resource on your classroom website. Use this site to informally assess skills to tell you which students to allow to do alternative work or go ahead. Allow your gifted students to explore new concepts while providing necessary reinforcement for those learners that need a technology-inspired method to help master learning goals. This is an excellent tool for differentiating. Provide as an anticipatory guide for new units.
GradesK to 12
Voicethread also offers a free iOS app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. It is free through the iTunes app store. Projects work seamlessly on both computer and mobile iOS devices, so projects started on one machine can be edited and/or viewed on another. Your ed.Voicethread account works in both places.
In the ClassroomYou will be logged into your account immediately after you fill in the registration form. You must "apply" to designate your account as an educator account once it is set up. Click on "browse" to see many examples, including tutorials. Watch the "One Minute Voicethread" to get a very quick overview of how easy it is to create a digital story. Set up student identities. Use first names only. You need to know how to locate and upload saved pictures or PowerPoint files. If you want to use audio, the COOL tool, you WILL need a microphone, either plugged into your computer or built in. Once you create a Voicethread, it can be shared by clicking "share" from the menu or at the end of viewing it and copying the URL to send via email or other means, inviting others to comment back. Ed voicethreads have comment moderation turned on by default and are private by default. As the teacher, you can change these settings.
Invite parents to share in the results (The VoiceThread classroom page tells you more about this). TeachersFirst does not recommend using actual, identifiable pictures of children. Let them draw a picture or take a digital picture of an object that somehow represents them (middle schoolers will love that idea!). If you allow others to "comment" on student Voicethreads, the experience can be both wonderful and a bit intimidating. Use this opportunity to promote ethical and kind interaction with other students and their projects.
Of course, you should be sure that you have the RIGHTS to any images you upload. Fair Use does not apply when you put an image on the web! Elementary classes can create or take pictures, then ask each child to talk about the images. Each child can comment on the SAME pictures, creating a collaborative collection of responses. After a field trip or special class event, you can assign groups of students to explain each of the digital pictures you took and how they relate to curriculum topics. In art class, students can critique works of their own or of fellow students. In language arts classes, students can scan and comment on writing pieces as part of a reflective phase of the writing process. Or post an image as a prewriting activity and allow students to respond orally in an idea-generating phase. In social studies, have students provide a picture of a grandparent then narrate what they learned about that grandparent from interviewing him/her. Have students create narrated pictures as gifts (for parents or other care givers) for special occasions, winter holidays, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, etc.. During a science experiment or demo, have a student take pictures of the steps. Then ask students to "narrate" them by commenting on what is happening. The narration assignment could even be a center activity or an assignment on a few classroom computers for students to rotate through. What a great way to review and apply key vocabulary! Be sure they identify their voices if you are using a single class account and want to be able to assess understanding. Other ideas: narrated local history projects (pictures of local sites), audio "museum tours" of artifacts (photos) or war veterans telling their stories along with images of their uniforms or old photos. Speech/language, ESL/ELL or early childhood teachers could use this tool to promote vocabulary development and oral expression.
Includes an education-only area for teachers and students
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Premium version (not free) includes additional features or storage
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Multiple users can collaborate on the same project
Includes teacher tools for registering and/or monitoring students
Grades2 to 12
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In the ClassroomYou may want to complete some of the selections with a projector and your interactive whiteboard for the whole class as there are listening activities, reading activities and quizzes about holidays, etc. You could differentiate by having small groups of students or individuals listening and reading at their different levels while you work with another group, or small groups of students can listen at a station that is one of several literacy stations in your classroom. Since each of the selections has activities in several language arts strands, one selection could make up your student's instruction for the day, or week. Students could rotate through a station for listening, one for vocabulary development, etc.
Grades3 to 6
In the ClassroomMake this a class activity by sharing the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Since it has audio support, be sure to provide headsets for the students. Use the printables from this site for your bulletin boards. The audio accompaniment makes this a great site to use with ESL/ELL students too!
GradesK to 4
In the ClassroomShare this site during Literacy nights at school as a resource parents can use at home when helping their students read. Share the site with ESL/ELL and Special Education teachers as a resource. Create a link on classroom computers, and have students create their own stories to print into a classroom book. Use this site to demonstrate how a passage will change through use of different verbs and nouns.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomChoose recipes to create a menu that meets all of the requirements of the new USDA "MyPlate." Analyze a typical dish to look at calories and the breakdown of the nutrients. Be a food scientist, choosing recipes that are examples of different types of solutions (homogeneous and heterogeneous) or basic chemical reactions. Encourage healthy eating, ethnic exploration through foods, and many other topics with these easy to follow pictures and directions. World language teachers will love this visual approach to foods in another culture and can ask students to "narrate" a visual recipe in the new language while presenting on interactive whiteboard or projector. Use visual recipes to teach sequencing for writing about step by step process using words like "first, then, next." Challenge cooperative learning groups to make their own slideshow/recipe for a favorite dish of their choice using a site such as 280Slides (reviewed here).
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomShare interactive books created online for students to read at learning centers. Create a lesson via pdf files and share it on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Scan/convert and save students complete research projects, upload the pdf's as a way to share all information. Create a class book, or newsletter, including images, and upload the pdf "book" or newsletter to Youblisher. Then include the the url on your website to share with friends and family. Challenge students to create their own books (in cooperative learning groups) about a specific topic being taught in class. Have upper elementary or middle school students create online "little buddy books" they can share online with lower grade classrooms. If your interactive whiteboard program generates pdf files from in-class activities, why not share them in flippable form on your class web site for review or absentees?
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomPut this link on your classroom blog or newsletter for English learners. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Have students prepare online projects about phrases they learn, using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here). Check with your school policies before having students comment on other blog posts.
Grades1 to 8
tag(s): holidays (147)
In the ClassroomUse this site to help ESL/ELL students improve listening, reading, writing, and cultural knowledge. Invite an ESL/ELL student to present a holiday from their home country to the class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Many of the review activities would also work well as reading comprehension practice on interactive whiteboard, especially if students use highlighters and pens to mark up the text passage to locate key terms, etc.
Have students create online holiday posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Share this site with families of your ESL/ELL students to learn more about American holidays.
Grades2 to 12
In the ClassroomCreate quizzes to use for pre- and post- lesson assessments. Post the quizzes to your class website or blog as assignments. Insert videos, photos, and text into your quiz to reinforce concepts before students take the test. Assign students to create a quiz on a current topic as a wrap-up to a unit. Share the quiz on your interactive whiteboard or projector (use it as a center, rather than a "whole-group" activity. Learning support teachers may want to have students work with a partner to create review quizzes they can use as study aids.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): grants (19)
In the ClassroomThis blog provides examples of grants that serve as wonderful models when writing your own. Most of the examples on this blog are for the iPod touch, but many of the same concepts pertain to iPad use or other tablets as well. Librarians or IT directors will want to access this site for valuable background information on how to manage the maintenance and circulation of e-readers, iPods, iPads, or other tablets. If outside funding or school support is an issue, look beyond the tool and examine their instructional practices. Much of the grant success is due to incorporation of voice recording. Consider having students record their reading or writing by using some of the free web resources TeacherFirst suggests such as PodOmatic reviewed here or Audio Pal reviewed here. Examine how these grants use multitasking in the classroom. Consider using audio books while students engage in less cognitively demanding tasks. ESL/ELL instructors will find the lesson examples and results valuable.
GradesK to 12
tag(s): differentiation (47)