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OK2Ask: Game-Based Learning: The Quest for Classroom Success - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. The quest for classroom success begins with game-based learning. Learn tips,...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. The quest for classroom success begins with game-based learning. Learn tips, techniques, and tools to challenge and engage students. Game-based learning is a dynamic strategy that offers tremendous potential for meaningful and enriching experiences in the classroom. Enjoy sandbox time in the session to explore the vast collection of resources to suit a multitude of learners. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, participants will... (1) Learn about the difference between gamification and game-based learning; (2) Learn game-based learning techniques and tips; (3) Evaluate tools and resources for game-based learning; (4) Share ideas for using tools with other participants; and (5) Start a project using one of the given tools.

tag(s): game based learning (103)

In the Classroom

Explore the many resources and ideas from this session and engage your students with game-based learning activities. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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OK2Ask: 3 Cool Tools to Power Up Your Images - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore, compare, and contrast three different online photo tools. Participants...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore, compare, and contrast three different online photo tools. Participants will learn about the features of these three tools and then participate in a breakout session to learn more about the tool of their choosing. A question/answer period will be available to help with individual questions. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, participants will: (1) Learn about and compare 3 different tools for working with images; (2) Evaluate the uses for working with these tools in the classroom; (3) Share ideas for using tools with other participants; and (4) Start a project using one of the given tools.

tag(s): images (266)

In the Classroom

Inspire your lessons with new ways to use images in your classroom. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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Adobe Spark - Adobe

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K to 12
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Create beautiful visual stories with Adobe Spark. Follow prompts to add your own images or select from thousands available online. Personalize your story with text, slide shows, links...more
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Create beautiful visual stories with Adobe Spark. Follow prompts to add your own images or select from thousands available online. Personalize your story with text, slide shows, links to outside resources, and more. When complete, share using the unique URL or with the social media links provided.

tag(s): blogs (88), creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), microblogging (44)

In the Classroom

Possible uses are only limited by your imagination! Create your own story page for parents and students where they can stay updated about what is happening in your classroom. Have students create a visual story to accompany books read in class, tell about social studies events, or display images for different science terms. Adobe Spark is perfect to use for digital storytelling in any subject!

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Vocabulist (Beta) - Ahan Malhotra

Grades
4 to 12
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Easily personalize and practice vocabulary with Vocabulist. Upload a file from your computer or copy and paste text into Vocabulist. Wait a minute or two for your document to process....more
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Easily personalize and practice vocabulary with Vocabulist. Upload a file from your computer or copy and paste text into Vocabulist. Wait a minute or two for your document to process. When finished Vocabulist provides a list with each word and its definition. Choose the correct definition when necessary from drop boxes or provide your own definition. When finished, export as a PDF to your computer or directly into Quizlet, reviewed here, to use as flashcards.

tag(s): flash cards (45), spelling (168), vocabulary (323), vocabulary development (125), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Vocabulist is perfect for differentiated learning. Create individual student vocabulary and spelling lists based on student needs. Create lists for difficult vocabulary from any text or for any subject. Be sure to share a link on your class website for students to use at home to create study guides throughout the year.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Blended Learning Implementation Guide - John Bailey, Scott Ellis, Carri Schneider, & Tom Vander Ark

Grades
K to 12
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The Blended Learning Implementation Guide is an interactive resource for planning, implementing, and evaluating blended learning in the classroom. The guide takes you through the basics...more
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The Blended Learning Implementation Guide is an interactive resource for planning, implementing, and evaluating blended learning in the classroom. The guide takes you through the basics of blended learning with infographics, links to videos, and specific instructions for blended learning instructors. Other topics include suggestions on purchasing devices for use, questions to consider when lecturing, and resources for funding. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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): professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Print and share this guide as an excellent resource when implementing blended learning in your classroom or school. Be sure to save a link to the online version to access the videos linked within the guide. Use the guide as part of your professional development sessions. Discuss and work with different portions of the guide throughout the year as you learn about blended learning. Consider using this guide as a book study with your peers for one year, then implementing blended learning the following year.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Voxer - Tom Katis

Grades
K to 12
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Voxer is a combination of instant voice and text messages. You can also text images and your location. Voxer will work with your headset and Bluetooth so you can be ...more
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Voxer is a combination of instant voice and text messages. You can also text images and your location. Voxer will work with your headset and Bluetooth so you can be hands-free. It is available on the web and all mobile devices. Hear messages live, or listen later. Broadcast messages to an individual or group, or listen and respond to chats in Walkie-Talkie mode and not even be in the app. Voxer allows talk and text across countries, wireless carriers, or data networks at no additional charge. Registration with email is required.
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tag(s): chat (51), DAT device agnostic tool (198), listening (91), microblogging (44), social media (16), speaking (24), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use Voxer with early readers in your Daily 5 literacy structure for oral reading and listening to others read. Archive students' reading fluency at the beginning of the year, making comparisons throughout the year. Send the Voxer sample readings to parents via email so they can hear the progress and your comments, too. Use Voxer with any language learning students, both ELL/ESL and world languages. Students can practice speaking and listening in their new language. Connect with another class in a country speaking the language your students are learning for rich, real-world discussions. Create small groups to discuss anything from current events, to how to complete a math problem, to contributions for group research projects. Middle and high school teachers can use Voxer for communication between classes posting a question about the reading they are doing, an equation in math, or a lab in science. Collaborate with another classroom across the state or in another country allowing students to discuss with other students not in their school. Reluctant writers could use this tool to brainstorm their thoughts for a writing piece. With students under 13 consider setting up a class account using a global login. Students would need to give their first name when contributing so you will know who is speaking.

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Ponder - Parlor Labs Inc

Grades
4 to 12
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Use Ponder to annotate and analyze text with Chrome or FireFox browsers or iOS. Using Ponder with your browser will measure reading activity through sharing and commenting on texts...more
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Use Ponder to annotate and analyze text with Chrome or FireFox browsers or iOS. Using Ponder with your browser will measure reading activity through sharing and commenting on texts anywhere on the web. Highlight sentences, phrases, and words that evoke a response. There can be sentiments to tag that indicate confusion, evaluation, disapproval, and more. For a fee, all of this can be applied to PDFs and video on the web. Ponder has a comprehensive support section and guide.

tag(s): browser (6), critical thinking (108), independent reading (128), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (45)

In the Classroom

Track students' reading and develop close reading skills and critical thinking with Ponder. Register with your email and create a Ponder group by clicking on "give it a spin" in the upper right corner of the home page. Then, give the class a name, and save the group by creating an administrator account. All directions for doing this are in the support section, as are the directions for adding additional classes. Ponder will bulk create accounts for your class, with no student email required. Just contact their support. Find an article or any text you want students to read on the web. Responding to an article on the web will initiate the class activity feed. Start out by sharing text (article, book, etc.) on an interactive whiteboard or projector with your students. Read through the text with them, asking them for feedback along the way. By doing this, you will be able to show students the features of Ponder. When you create a micro-reading response, it will post to the class activity feed along with a link to the article. Ponder is a wonderful tool to moderate reading in any core class. ESL/ELL and resource teachers can gain greater insight to their students' reading comprehension.

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OK2Ask: Easy Book Report Alternatives - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Tired of the giving students the same book report assignment? Want to...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Tired of the giving students the same book report assignment? Want to switch things up? Join us to look at a few quick and easy ways to gauge student comprehension. You'll have fun and your students will thank you. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): reading strategies (45)

In the Classroom

Learn about simple, fresh, and effective activities to inspire a love of reading and measure student comprehension. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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OK2Ask: Awesome Apps for Education from Google - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore the myriad of apps that Google has to offer. We will explore...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore the myriad of apps that Google has to offer. We will explore free apps that can be used in various content areas to accomplish multiple goals. Participants will have time to explore apps and discover ways they can be implemented into classrooms with students of all ages. This session is appropriate for teachers at intermediate to advanced technology levels.

In the Classroom

Understand how to find, install, and use Google apps to support classroom instruction and for personal productivity. Watch this recording together with a few of your teaching colleagues to collect new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ignite - Ninjas LLC

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K to 12
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Ignite offers a tool to create unique multimedia projects using layers and incorporating collaboration. Start by completing the simple sign up process (email required). Then jump right...more
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Ignite offers a tool to create unique multimedia projects using layers and incorporating collaboration. Start by completing the simple sign up process (email required). Then jump right in and begin making your first multimedia project. With the tools, you can include text, images, and video through the web service. The iPad app will allow you to add audio. The collaboration feature allows for more than one user to work on a presentation at a time. Once the finished product is ready for viewing, easily share with the URL. The presentation tool is very simple and easy to use.
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tag(s): digital storytelling (144), multimedia (57)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to present new ideas to students via projector or interactive whiteboard. In a flipped classroom, share the URL and have students view the presentation on their own. Include questions on the slides to encourage active participation while viewing. Students can use this tool to work collaboratively on a slideshow to demonstrate knowledge and present material. Discuss what working collaboratively includes before beginning the project. Have students take their own pictures to include in their Ignite presentation to enhance the learning experience.

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Knewton - Jose Ferreira

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover a powerful, adaptive, personalized learning program in Knewton. Knewton delivers video or written content to students in math, science, or English and then asks multiple-choice...more
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Discover a powerful, adaptive, personalized learning program in Knewton. Knewton delivers video or written content to students in math, science, or English and then asks multiple-choice questions. The next selections are based on the student's responses and those of similar students. Knewton figures out what each student knows and how each student learns best. So the more the student uses Knewton, the more Knewton learns about the right speed and sequencing to serve up the content. The material is for grades 6 - 12 in Math, grades 4 - 6 in English Language Arts, grades 9 - 11 in Biology, and soon Knewton will have materials for History. At the time of this review, the FAQ also stated that you will soon be able to upload your own content. Sign up is with email or a Gmail account and easy for both students and teachers. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them 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): adaptations (17), DAT device agnostic tool (198), differentiation (47), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Introduce Knewton on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can sign up using the URL for your Knewton class, or by you putting in either their email, Knewton username, or account information. There is a very detailed FAQ section where you can learn all about the teacher dashboard and monitoring student progress. You could use this tool as a daily bell ringer assignment or at a center. You could also assign this for homework. Once students finish the selection, the tool will present another to work on right away. You may want to specify how many selections you want the students to complete on Knewton in each class session. Knewton will allow you to continue in the same area the next time you sign in. Working on these assignments through the year will improve your students' skills and literacy in Math, English, and Biology. Remember, History will be added soon. Post the link to Knewton on your class web page for students to use at home.

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Sketch Nation Create - Nitzan Wilnai

Grades
2 to 12
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Develop and design games and learn programming skills at the same time using Sketch Nation Create. This tool works on the web, iOS, and Android. To get started click the ...more
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Develop and design games and learn programming skills at the same time using Sketch Nation Create. This tool works on the web, iOS, and Android. To get started click the app of choice and then click settings and register. Once registered (no email required) select Create, the Genre, and your choice of Simple, Advanced, or Expert Modes. Choose to draw or import pictures to use for the background, characters, objects, and scenery. Make simple games while learning a little about programming and game design. Click the Getting Started tab to register. Look at the many examples and ideas under Education.

tag(s): coding (47), computers (95), critical thinking (108), DAT device agnostic tool (198), game based learning (103), gamification (65), logic (235), problem solving (272), STEM (134)

In the Classroom

If you only have a few computers, introduce this tool using a projector or interactive whiteboard and bookmark it as a learning station with earbuds/headphones. Allow students to explore and learn on their own at classroom computer centers or individual laptops. Sketch Nation is an engaging interactive to learn basic coding skills even for younger students. Encourage learning by telling them to ask three other students first before asking the teacher AND that it is okay if we learn it together. Once students get the hang of beginning programming tips, encourage them to make apps, games, or digital stories for other courses such as videos explaining photosynthesis, book readings from authors, famous battles from history, or different genres of music and art. Have students use a storyboard to write down what they plan to do/draw/say with their creation, and to keep tabs on students and their progress. For creating digital storyboards see Amazon Storybuilder, reviewed here, or Storyboard Generator, reviewed here. Share this on your website for students to use at home, too. Sketch Nation Create teaches the basics. Those students who show a keen interest in coding could learn more by using a program such as Anybody Can Learn to Code, reviewed here, Kodable, reviewed here, or Codeacademy, reviewed here.

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Unite for Literacy Library - Unite for Literacy

Grades
K to 8
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The Unite for Literacy Library offers many online books for young readers with audio. Browse through the home page to choose books to read from the library shelves. Narrow down ...more
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The Unite for Literacy Library offers many online books for young readers with audio. Browse through the home page to choose books to read from the library shelves. Narrow down your choices using picture icons for different themes such as animals or families. Select and click a book to read. Click the speaker icon to hear each page. The narration is also available in many languages from Arabic to Vietnamese.

tag(s): audio books (32), DAT device agnostic tool (198), independent reading (128), preK (281)

In the Classroom

This site is one you must bookmark if you work with young readers! Create a link to the site on classroom computers for students to explore and listen to books on their own. Unite for Literacy is perfect for use with ESL/ELL students for reading and hearing books in both English and their native language. Share a link to the site on your website or newsletter for use at home. World language teachers can use this site to have students listen to books in the language they are learning.

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Share What You're Reading - Scholastic, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Use this handy tool to share favorite books and discover new ones. Read the advice for writing a good review at the top of the form before starting. After writing ...more
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Use this handy tool to share favorite books and discover new ones. Read the advice for writing a good review at the top of the form before starting. After writing the review submit to Scholastic by filling in a simple form that asks for first name, last initial, and no email required. To discover the next book to read select from a grade level or genre list and then find an interesting title and click to read the review. The More to Explore menu on the left links to How to Write a Book Report with Rodman Philbrick, which is more extensive in depth with Writing Tips, Challenges, and Revision Guidelines.
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tag(s): book reports (35), independent reading (128), reading lists (75)

In the Classroom

Introduce students to this tool using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the list of books already reviewed, and read a few reviews together. Read the guidelines for writing a review, and create a book report for a book read in class. First, model by creating a rough draft. Next, copy and paste the final version of the rough draft to Share What You're Reading. Last, show the students how to publish. Set up a station in class where students can write up other books they read. Another idea would be to use the published reviews for grammar exercises. Not only can you edit and revise a review, but it could also be a "book talk" to introduce students to a title.

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SMS Generator - Class Tools

Grades
4 to 12
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Use this clever and simple tool to create conversations (or presentations) that look like text messages. Use the icons on the bottom to get started. Email is not required. Clicking...more
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Use this clever and simple tool to create conversations (or presentations) that look like text messages. Use the icons on the bottom to get started. Email is not required. Clicking either speech bubble will begin the text message, and click the other one to reply. Save the presentation with a password. Share via embed or QR code or URL.

tag(s): book reports (35), creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Engage students with what they know, text messaging! Inform students you will be creating a text conversation between two historical figures, fictional characters, scientists - anything from something the class is reading. On the whiteboard or with a projector display the SMS Generator. Show students how to use it by having them create the conversation. The text is not limited, but keep it reasonable. Besides using SMS Generator for presentations, it could be used to teach or refine social skills, practice writing in a new language, or explaining a math or science concept to a peer.

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Made by Joel - Paper City - Joel Henriques

Grades
K to 7
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Create an intricate paper city that will stand up on its own with the free printables on this site. Choose from several different options including Paris, vehicles, Sydney, dinosaurs,...more
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Create an intricate paper city that will stand up on its own with the free printables on this site. Choose from several different options including Paris, vehicles, Sydney, dinosaurs, a circus, Aladdin's city, and more. Click on the link to any of the paper creations and follow directions to download, color, and create.
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tag(s): australia (35), cities (25), communities (35), dinosaurs (57), france (40), preK (281), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Have students use these printables to create a city to correspond with a book they read or for use as a story starter. Use the designs on the site as inspiration for creating your own printable city for any activity. Use as part of a transportation or community unit to share and discuss different components found. ESL/ELL teachers could explore the rest of the site and find coloring pages and other useful items to reinforce vocabulary.
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ThinkCerca - ThinkCerca

Grades
4 to 12
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Sign up for ThinkCerca's eight free starter lessons and get your students on the road to better critical thinking, close reading, and academic writing. Find a starter kit with 8 ...more
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Sign up for ThinkCerca's eight free starter lessons and get your students on the road to better critical thinking, close reading, and academic writing. Find a starter kit with 8 lessons teaching students the art of argumentation. Each lesson is 30 minutes long. These lessons contain standards-aligned literacy concepts and vocabulary. Start with Cerca's baseline assessment for writing, and then proceed with the lessons in order since the lessons build on each other. Sign up with your email, first and last name, and school zip code. Create your class or classes, and have students enroll via a class code. Find prompts for ELA, Science, and Social Studies. Math is coming soon (as of this review). The support section has several categories which include specific help directions, and also includes Instructional Strategies, Personalized Learning Models, and Tips and Resources.
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tag(s): expository writing (44), persuasive writing (55), reading comprehension (116), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Students will need to click Sign Up and "I'm a Student." Students will enter their first name and last name so be sure you have parent permission. They will also need an email address. There is a work-a-round for the names and email address. For the first and last name you could have them enter a code, for example, the first two letters of their last name and first three letters of their first name. If students cannot have their own email accounts, ThinkCerca has a suggestion or consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to set up Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Once your students have worked through the eight lessons here, you may want to look at 301 Prompts for Argumentative/Persuasive Writing, reviewed here, to help you differentiate future writing lessons.

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Ourboox - Mel Rosenberg & Ran Shternin

Grades
2 to 12
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, ...more
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Publish ebooks in any language with Ourboox. Keep track of how many readers you have and read their comments. Sign up with email and get started right away. Click Create, add a title, choose the style of your book (Square Book - a picture book with up to 15 lines of text, or a text-oriented book, more like a long story or novel). Choosing a Square Book enables the ability to have an image (jpeg, png). You can also upload animated GIFs or embed a YouTube Video. Ourboox will step you through the process of getting your book online and publishing it. The pages of the book will flip, and the tool has an accommodation for languages that read from right to left. It can take up to 24 hours for new books to process. Before starting on your own book, you may want to look at others' books to get ideas about the format.

tag(s): digital storytelling (144), ebooks (42), writing (359)

In the Classroom

There is no end to the ideas for stories! Now you can easily publish and share them with Ourboox. At the beginning of the year have students develop stories to tell about their summer and share with classmates. Create a photo story for history, showcasing great people or specific historical events such as the signing of the Declaration of Independence. In the arts, create a photo story of achievements of various artists. In science, create a photo story of famous inventors or have students explain their understanding of cell division. ESL/ELL students can use the site to recreate folk tales from their home countries. Encourage your older students to use this tool for digital storytelling projects created in response to research or extra study. This is a great find for gifted students who want to include art work and use their creativity in productive ways. If students cannot have their own email accounts, consider using a "class set" of GMail subaccounts (managed by you), explained here. This tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. This would provide anonymous interaction within your class.

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Add Text - FlamingText.com Pty Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change ...more
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Add text to any image or photo, using a web browser or smartphone, and share with no registration. Choose images from one of seven categories or upload your own. Change the color of the text or elect to add more text. Share using FaceBook, Twitter, or Google+ or the URL given. At the time of this review, all images in the Gallery were appropriate for the classroom. However, we recommend to preview the images before you share with younger students.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creativity (109), digital storytelling (144), editing (61), images (266)

In the Classroom

Use this easy tool to add captions to images, create memes, or posters for your bulletin boards. Use this easy tool with students during back to school time as a way for them to get to know each other. Have students upload a picture of themselves doing their favorite activity and label it with amusing text or a favorite quote (or song lyric?). Have them upload images that represent their interests and character traits. Print the images with text for a back to school bulletin board. Use after a field trip for students to write captions on the photos they took. Be sure to share the photos on your class webpage, blog, or wiki. Haven't started blogging yet? Check out TeachersFirst's Blog Basics. For other uses, have students practice new words in a world language class by labeling and identifying images in that language. Create writing prompts using several annotated images. Have students create annotated images to explain key terms in science class. In ELA class, make homophone or vocabulary images to show the correct word along with a picture that explains it.

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Storyberries - Jade Maitre

Grades
K to 5
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Storyberries offers free bedtime stories and poems for kids in an easy to use format for adults. Stories include classics such as The Three Billy Goats Gruff and original compositions...more
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Storyberries offers free bedtime stories and poems for kids in an easy to use format for adults. Stories include classics such as The Three Billy Goats Gruff and original compositions submitted through the site. Browse through the home page to find popular stories or use the links at the top of the page to search by age, topic, or moral taught. One great feature is the ability to find stories by length from five minutes through chapter books. Each story also includes additional questions to use for further discussion.

tag(s): book lists (128), short stories (25), stories and storytelling (33)

In the Classroom

Bookmark Storyberries as an excellent resource for short read alouds or as a source for stories relating to many different emotions and themes. Share a link on your class website or newsletter for parents to use at home. Use this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as you read aloud for students to follow along; occasionally stop and allow students to read portions of the book. Use this site as a resource for additional reading materials in the classroom by creating a link on classroom computers.

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