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JA Titan - Junior Achievement

Grades
9 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This FREE online simulation is designed to give students experience in running a business. Registration is required to participate. Players can take on others in their geographic area,...more
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This FREE online simulation is designed to give students experience in running a business. Registration is required to participate. Players can take on others in their geographic area, or play against the computer. Using variables like price and production quantity, players allocate their money to particular parts of the business, and consider advice from computer generated stakeholders as they compete against other "businesses" to make a profit. The graphics are fairly rudimentary, but there is plenty of complexity here for students to evaluate as they work through the game. You will need to spend a little time yourself in playing a practice game in order to be able to prepare students to get the best learning experience; otherwise they will just randomly click options without thinking about the impact on their business plan.

tag(s): business (58)

In the Classroom

Consider dividing your class into teams, and pit them against each other to design a winning business plan. This is an exercise that could continue over a long period of time, or could be undertaken in a marathon session, but students will need to focus on the variables carefully in order to get the most out of the experience. Have students create a multimedia presentation sharing their business plan and outcome using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Questioning Toolkit - From Now On

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers suggestions and examples of different types of questions to include in classrooms. Each type of question is explained and sample questions are included. For a visual...more
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This site offers suggestions and examples of different types of questions to include in classrooms. Each type of question is explained and sample questions are included. For a visual explanation of how questions work together, choose the Essential Questions link and scroll down to the diagram showing that this is center of all questions, then all other types of question serve to illuminating the Essential Questions. Links are included to additional information on each of the topics.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), questioning (31)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a guide when lesson planning. Demonstrate to older students how different types of questions will lead to further learning and strengthen critical thinking skills. Display the diagrams and information on the site on your interactive whiteboard to help students explore different questioning techniques. When studying a particular unit, challenge cooperative groups to create their own essential questions (and other types of questions) and create electronic "posters" or word graphics using tools such as Piclits (reviewed here) or Typogenerator (reviewed here).

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Speakit! - Google Chrome

Grades
1 to 12
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Speakit is an easy to install, free program that converts written text on web pages into spoken words within the Chrome web browser. At the time of this review, ...more
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Speakit is an easy to install, free program that converts written text on web pages into spoken words within the Chrome web browser. At the time of this review, it works exclusively on Google Chrome. You can use this extension in many different languages. All you do is highlight the text, and it reads it aloud. There are some errors in the program, they are still fixing. The tool works only on website text, not documents, etc. This extension uses text to speech service and might not be accessible to those whose computers prevent download/installation of software.

tag(s): listening (91), text to speech (16)

In the Classroom

Use Speakit as your teacher's helper. During research or computer explorations, allow students to use this read aloud feature. Honor the students who heavily rely on hearing as their preferred form of comprehending material. In lower grades, research on computers now becomes an easier task. This extension is perfect for ESL/ELL or learning support students to help with vocabulary development, comprehension, fluency, and repetitions.

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Myth Machine - Scholastic

Grades
2 to 6
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Inspire every student in your class to become a Myth Maker! The "myth machine" helps students choose elements to create a myth. The elements are open ended so each ...more
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Inspire every student in your class to become a Myth Maker! The "myth machine" helps students choose elements to create a myth. The elements are open ended so each myth is unique. Myths brainstorming machine guides you through the essential elements for creating a myth. Through detailed instructions, you choose elements to help you determine the type of myth based on setting, monsters, or gods or goddesses. Using a picture, you can then determine the mood of your myth. An outline provides for you the basic information for your myth. Thought-provoking graphics are also included. Add extra information to the outline to gather more details. When completed, the ideas are stated along with a given writing space.

tag(s): myths and legends (25)

In the Classroom

Enable every student to be successful in creating a new myth. Never again, hear, "I do not know what to do!" Mythmaker is interactive whiteboard Ready! Use this tool to help reluctant writers, ESL/ELL, or SPED students have extra support to allow them to become independent. Gifted students can study societies who generated myths, and make further myths for further explanations. Create your own classroom myths!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Einstein's Secret to Amazing Problem Solving - Litemind

Grades
6 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This site offers an excellent guide to problem solving with 10 definitive strategies that anyone can use for any type of problem. The article is easy to read and language ...more
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This site offers an excellent guide to problem solving with 10 definitive strategies that anyone can use for any type of problem. The article is easy to read and language is suitable for middle through high school level students. Included within the article are several links to further information on the problem solving process.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), logic (235), problem solving (272)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students help create a bulletin board display outlining the problem solving steps. Ask students to create journal entries describing how they used the steps in the problem solving process. Some of your visual students may even want to draw a map of the path they follow to solve problems or make an infographic of the process steps. Share this site with other teachers in all subject areas since this process applies to any type of problem.

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Brainyquote - Brainymedia

Grades
5 to 12
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Browse one of Writer's Digest 101 Best Sites to quickly find and display famous quotes by topics, keywords, authors, and even author types, such as poets, musicians, lawyers,...more
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Browse one of Writer's Digest 101 Best Sites to quickly find and display famous quotes by topics, keywords, authors, and even author types, such as poets, musicians, lawyers, or politicians. A quote of the day and a trivia game are also included. BrainyQuote is a free service that supports itself by revenue generated from a few advertisements on the site. However, they are not intrusive, and they are easy to ignore.

tag(s): authors (120), themes (12), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on Teachersfirst. If you are not already a member, just click on "My TF" to join for FREE. When you are searching for a writing prompt or universal theme to connect with your curriculum area, a famous quote provides a springboard for students to reflect on the topic they just read or studied. After reading two or three literary works or studying historic figures, you might try changing the quote into a question. Have students compare/contrast how each of the characters would respond, and support their responses by citing specific examples. Then, students could answer the question from their own point of view to relate the meaning of the quote to their lives. Create a class wiki for the quotes of the day (and student responses). Not comfortable with wikis? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. Or invite students to choose a favorite quote from this site and interpret it both visually and verbally by creating an online poster using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NASA Math Trax - NASA

Grades
7 to 12
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Create graphs by entering an equation or selecting an equation from the drop-down and watch what happens!. Try entering raw data for analysis. MathTrax graphs the equations and provides...more
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Create graphs by entering an equation or selecting an equation from the drop-down and watch what happens!. Try entering raw data for analysis. MathTrax graphs the equations and provides descriptions of those graphs using both text and sound, which is great for those with limited vision, weaker readers, or who need auditory cues. The text descriptions can be read by Java-capable screen readers such as Jaws for Windows, or can be inputted into speech synthesizing software to create self-voicing applications. MathTrax provides color and line settings for drawing graphs to aid users with different vision-impairments.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), equations (155), functions (70)

In the Classroom

Download the program and provide opportunities to play and understand the relationships between graphs and equations. Have students work on individual laptops after a class demonstration on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Provide this link on your class website for students to access both in and out of the classroom.

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Math Machines - Robert Chaney

Grades
8 to 12
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If you are looking for ideas to incorporate mathematical problem solving with fun, hands-on activities this site is for you! Well over 20 activities are offered covering Algebra, Trigonometry,...more
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If you are looking for ideas to incorporate mathematical problem solving with fun, hands-on activities this site is for you! Well over 20 activities are offered covering Algebra, Trigonometry, Science/Physics, General Math, and Technology concepts. Choose a category, then select the activity and view all the materials offered. Titles include Color Sines, Right Triangle SAM, and Binary Signals. Each activity includes facilitator notes including 11 items from overview, setup, discussion questions, and troubleshooting. Most also include participant handouts in MS Word format and software needed for calculator programs.

tag(s): angles (88), critical thinking (108), electricity (89), light (46), logic (235), magnetism (36), stars (61)

In the Classroom

Share this site with students and preview each of the activities, then allow students to choose an activity for a math project. Several activities on the site are perfect for use as cross-curricular projects with the Science or Technology departments. Use this site as a resource for math or technology fairs. This site is perfect to use as a resource with gifted students - allow them to choose a project that coincides with their interests.

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Classroom Jeopardy - superteachtools.com

Grades
K to 12
15 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Looking for an easy to use free jeopardy game? Look no further than this site. Download the application for free or create the activity to be played online. View and ...more
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Looking for an easy to use free jeopardy game? Look no further than this site. Download the application for free or create the activity to be played online. View and try activities already created online. If you like your project you can save it to a folder on your computer. There is a short video in the "How To" section that will walk you through the process of making, saving, and playing a Flash Jeopardy game. Those of you who have used the PowerPoint Jeopardy will find this flash version much less time consuming to create and to recreate new Jeopardy games.

tag(s): grammar review (37), matching (24)

In the Classroom

Use this great resource to create Jeopardy games for any content area. This resource is perfect for use on an interactive whiteboard or projector with a student emcee. Use for vocabulary/terms, identifying parts of anything, and reviewing for any curriculum topic. Use as an opener to a unit to determine what students already know. Play as a review game to assist learning for all students. Encourage students to create the clues and answers to their own Jeopardy review games as a creative way to review and reinforce. Learning support teachers may want to have students create review games together.

You or your students can copy and paste the HTML code for any game on your web page, wiki, or blog for easy access to any Flash Jeopardy Game.

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Bookemon - Bookemon, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
42 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Write your own original books, add images and artwork as illustrations, and read your published books in interactive, online form. There is no fee for the online publication and sharing....more
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Write your own original books, add images and artwork as illustrations, and read your published books in interactive, online form. There is no fee for the online publication and sharing. This is the ultimate in "digital storytelling." Click "Explore" to browse many "public" examples on the templates page of books created by others. Take advantage of the free apps that make Bookemon even easier to use with any device! Use Bookemon Reader to READ books you created in Bookemon or Bookemon edCenter (available for both iOS and Android). BookPress for iOS devices only allows you to CREATE books from scratch, including using photos from your iPad/iPhone. InstaPress (for iOS only) offers options to make books from documents, pdfs, etc. to be shared on mobile devices as eBooks. Here is an example of a book created by the TeachersFirst Edge editors. Once you set up free membership in this site, students (or teachers) can select to create from a blank start or using templates provided. You can also create a book starter of your own as an example so students can follow the prompts you have created. The book creator allows you to upload your own images and to create books from a Word document or PowerPoint file you have already made. EdCenter users can collaborate on books.

After you save and publish the work, share the URL so people can read the entire thing online, either among an audience of "just my friends" or publicly. They also offer the embed code to place your books in a class or school web page, wiki, or blog. The easiest option is to copy the address of the new window displaying the interactive book. There is an option to have the book printed for a fee, but this is not required. You can also read books created by others (if they make them public). Use the fully-public option to create learning materials for classes to access year to year for at-home review or reading practice.

This site requires a simple registration. Teachers can set up an edCenter for their school or class in accordance with school policies. See more detailed suggestions "In the Classroom" below and in our sample book! Newer mobile device options include players to view your books on iPads and more.
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

SKIP the profile and friends areas to get to the book creator to play with the tools a bit. Before you get too involved, create an edCenter to minimize advertising and create books in your own teacher-friendly class environment. Use the edCenter to register students and establish privacy settings for your class. No student emails are required.

On the Create Books page, choose from using a blank book, starting from a file, or using a template. Choose "school" to see projects from other classes or a sample created by you or a student team working in advance along with you. Explore ready-made themes (seasonal, topical, etc.) or use "open theme." Choose book dimensions (match layout shape to any uploaded files, such as PowerPoint slides). Enter settings and description of your book (editable later), including who is allowed to "see" it: everyone, just friends, or private. Again choose a "theme" - more of a category where Bookemon will list your completed book. A logical option is "school." Experiment with tools to upload files (within file limits), add images, add text, etc. Written help is offered as you go, but there is no video demo. SAVE often. Turn margins on to avoid chopping content. To share the book, you must "publish" it (i.e. finalize).

Once published, locate the book under "My Books" and use options to share (by email--and see the URL to copy from there), "Make a new edition" to create a new version--also useful for treating the original as a template for later books), Post to Other Sites offers embed codes. The BEST option is to click the book COVER which opens a new window without ads or "stuff," and copy the ADDRESS of that window to paste into email, etc. You can also mark that clean window view as a Favorite on a classroom computer!

Use your edCenter settings to manage social networking features. This will avoid the "public" Bookemon features such as opportunities to share address books, use social tools such as Facebook to share your books, etc. Teacher-controlled edCenter accounts are probably the easiest option for managing within school policies.

With younger students, have them begin their work in PowerPoint then upload for whole-class books. See an example, created by the TeachersFirst Edge editors . The example is full of ideas for classroom use from Kindergarten to high school, including science concept tales, poetry books, general writing, math problem solve-its, and more. ANY grade can use this tool, depending on the amount of direction by the teacher. (By the way, the correct answer to the problem in the sample book is c. 27.) Another idea: have students create personalized books for their parents or grandparents for special occasions (Mother's Day, Father's Day, or Grandparent's Day).

Use the mobile device features offered in your BYOD classroom to make and share books, PDF's, and more. Tip: Use this site for a guided introduction to social networking as a class, an excellent teaching opportunity for digital citizenship in the context of a project.

This is one of the best creative tools for gifted students to go above and beyond regular curriculum. Don't let the "juvenile" appearance fool you. Even older students can write and include images to create and share books of any length. Any independent research or writing project can become an interactive book. Even advanced science experiments and lab reports can be shared online using this tool. Once you have one book, you can use that as a template for others. Inspire your gifted students to create literary magazine or even a personal online "portfolio" of writing, artwork, or photography presented in interactive book form.

Comments

This is one of my all time favorite creative tools. Very versatile. Great for making "buddy books" or for teacher-created learning "books." Make one as a whole class to summarize a science unit in primary grades. I even use it personally to make fee online "gifts" for children I know. I did purchase one print version, and it looked great. Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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Clockwords - Gabob

Grades
4 to 8
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Improve vocabulary skills in this engaging activity while helping the inventor discover the secrets to the magical machine. Beautiful graphics and sound make this game an intriguing...more
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Improve vocabulary skills in this engaging activity while helping the inventor discover the secrets to the magical machine. Beautiful graphics and sound make this game an intriguing delight. Find words including specified letters, and defend to eliminate the invading bugs. Different games offer different levels to make a challenging game. At the time of this review, Act 1 of the activity is available. Act 2 and 3 will be coming soon. Compete against other players from all over the world to achieve the high score. In order to compete against others, a valid email address is required. Be sure to check with your school to conform to guidelines on student email use. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. The option for a free installation on your computer allows this game readily available.

tag(s): game based learning (103), spelling (168), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

In your classroom, use Clockwords as a center activity, reward activity, or team game with your interactive whiteboard or projector. Challenge your students by using vocabulary words from science, math, or language arts. Within your class, look for high scores among students or teams. Be sure to provide this link on your class website. Incorrectly spelled words are not counted as valid words. Help this by supplying a dictionary or an online dictionary link.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms - Karen Janowski

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms is the reference tool that gives you all the necessary free websites to promote learning for all students. UDL, or Universal Design...more
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Free Technology Toolkit for UDL in All Classrooms is the reference tool that gives you all the necessary free websites to promote learning for all students. UDL, or Universal Design for Learning, is a concept promoting learning for all learners using assistive technology to promote motivated, strategic, flexible, lifelong learners. UDL reduces barriers and offers support and challenge for each individual learner. Create a free account to make your own wiki or to join in another wiki. Some available resources are free text-to-speech, graphic organizers, multimedia and digital storytelling, study skills tools, literacy tools, writing tools, collaborative tools, research tools, math tools, and tools that compensate for handwriting issues.

tag(s): differentiation (47), graphic organizers (43), literacy (103)

In the Classroom

Refer to this site when you have a struggling learner who needs more support or the student who needs a challenge. Dig through these sites to use in your classroom. Go down the list and incorporate two a week. Many are also reviewed in more detail on TeachersFirst, so don't forget to search for our in-depth reviews to learn more. Ask your student technology crew to investigate and find their favorite from a list of three sites. Add to your class website as a reference. Use this site at Back to School Night to help parents jump into educational technology! Add more to the list! This only opens the doors to technology.

Comments

Deborah, LA, Grades: 0 - 12

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Digital Roman Forum - University of California, Los Angelos

Grades
6 to 12
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Here you will find a digital model of the Roman Forum as it appeared in 400 A.D. Are you ready to travel back in time? Take the virtual tour of ...more
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Here you will find a digital model of the Roman Forum as it appeared in 400 A.D. Are you ready to travel back in time? Take the virtual tour of the Roman Forum! This massive site is part of UCLA's Rome Rebuilt program. Using the Timemap feature, the button above the first paragraph, allows you to view the ruins, and the model at the same time. A very cool aspect of this feature is as you click and rotate the upper picture, which is the virtual model, the lower picture, which is the present day ruin, will rotate, too, and you will see a 360 degree panoramic view of both the old and the new. Clicking on the Timemap also allows you to search by Primary Source (Cicero, Festus, etc.), by Function (Religious Structures, Residential Buildings, etc.), and by Types (columns, arches, etc.).

tag(s): architecture (84), forum (9), latin (22), romans (35)

In the Classroom

You may want to investigate the first feature with the entire class using your interactive whiteboard or projector for annotations to show them how to get around on the site. Then allow the students to play with and study the Roman Forum model and ruins in the Timemap area at a designated station in your classroom, or on laptops with a partner. Once all students have become familiar with the Roman Forum features, have small groups choose one to investigate, starting with one of the primary sources listed on the site When the student or student groups complete their investigations, have them create an online, interactive poster known as a "glog," using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here, to share their findings.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Math Forum - Drexel University

Grades
K to 12
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This forum is a leading resource for mathematics information on the internet. Their purpose is to provide discussion and communication opportunities for all interested in math through...more
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This forum is a leading resource for mathematics information on the internet. Their purpose is to provide discussion and communication opportunities for all interested in math through mailing lists, discussion areas, and ask an expert areas. The Math Tools area is a vast library of technology tools, lessons, activities, and other support materials for teaching and learning mathematics. Although it may be a little overwhelming; there are wonderful tours to help you get started in this area. Another frequently visited area is the Teacher Exchange which offers lessons from preK through College submitted by fellow math teachers sorted by math strands. Be sure to check out some of the free workshops offered to help navigate different portions of the site. The site contains too many resources to name them all here, so be sure to take some time to explore and then revisit to find more information. One valuable resource offered is the weekly newsletter - just sign up and receive site updates and more in your digital mailbox weekly.

tag(s): professional development (123), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Browse the Teacher Exchange section of the site to find lessons to supplement current classroom activities. Visit Teacher2Teacher to post questions for other teachers or view current discussions. Stay current with latest mathematical practices and research through the Math Forum's newsletter.

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MixedInk - MixedInk, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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At MixedInk your students will be able to collaborate while writing. Unfortunately, students must have an email to register in the free version. Savvy teachers can use these...more
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At MixedInk your students will be able to collaborate while writing. Unfortunately, students must have an email to register in the free version. Savvy teachers can use these tips tips to accomplish this. Mixed Ink is a general site for all kinds of writers, but this review directs you to the educator area. You can use MixedInk for any writing assignments, debates, speeches, student council proposals, editorials, and whatever else you can think of. All of MixedInk authorships are tracked automatically and color-coded. Students can comment on submissions and rate different versions to identify the best. There are at least two demo videos, and these can be embedded on your website for student reference. This program uses Java.

tag(s): persuasive writing (55), process writing (42), six traits of writing (8), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Remember the fun activity where students are given a sentence starter and told to write the introduction to the story, students then pass their part of the story to someone else, and the next person writes the next part of the story? Well, MixedInk is this fun activity on steroids! It is so powerful! You can assign your students to write about anything and they can collaborate together, on something as serious as an inquiry project.

If you are using the Six Traits writing program, reviewed here and here this is the perfect place for your students to put their writing and get feedback. Students can suggest different wording and ideas, and all are color coded so you will know what has been contributed and what is original.

If you work with a few gifted students in ANY subject and want them to push their ideas beyond the basics, set up a separate class in Mixed Ink (even if the students are not actually IN the same class). Include gifted students from different classes you and other teachers have -- or even students from other schools if you know their teachers. Challenge them to collaborate on higher level thinking questions, writing challenges that require more research to support their arguments, or real world problems such as convincing a legislator to support a new bill. Have them use Mixed Ink to collaborate on their draft and argue among themselves about the best support for their thesis. For a more creative option, have them write a continuing "story" with each student contributing the next episode-- perhaps using terms and concepts your classes are studying. Imagine them composing "A Month in the Life of a Flea" during your study of insects. Of course, they will need to have email addresses to register, and you will want parent permission for online interactions with students outside you own classroom.

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The Critical Thinking Community - Foundation for Critical Thinking

Grades
K to 12
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The goal of this community is to improve education in all schools from elementary level through university level. The site offers many resources for teachers of all levels for improving...more
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The goal of this community is to improve education in all schools from elementary level through university level. The site offers many resources for teachers of all levels for improving critical thinking skills. Teachers may want to start at the "Where to Begin" section of the site then choose the appropriate grade level for his/her needs. This will lead to many links of resources such as lessons, a glossary of critical thinking terms, and articles to improve teaching of critical thinking. Some grade levels also include strategies and suggestions for students.

tag(s): critical thinking (108), enrichment (13), logic (235), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

Share critical thinking strategies with students and create lists of how and when they are used in the classroom. Create a bulletin board with critical thinking strategies for your classroom. Use the lessons included on the site as a resource for lessons in your classroom. Bookmark this site and save it in your favorite's as a professional resource. Share suggested activities and resources with other staff members.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Sant Ocean Hall Coral Reef Interactive - Smithsonian, NOAA, and Operand

Grades
3 to 12
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Enter the world of an interactive coral reef that is in jeopardy! The coral reef, located in the Caribbean, is now facing a dilemma of increasing tourism and putting the ...more
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Enter the world of an interactive coral reef that is in jeopardy! The coral reef, located in the Caribbean, is now facing a dilemma of increasing tourism and putting the coral reef in jeopardy, or taking away the economic growth that could be possible for the island residents. Choose a character; an owner of a family hotel, a lifelong resident, or a tourist, and make your decision. This engaging interactive, allows you to watch how each perspective affects the coral reef. Additional links listed add a deeper understanding of the problems presented.

tag(s): coral (12), ecosystems (88), marine biology (33)

In the Classroom

Use this interactive coral reef in a study of nonrenewable resources, conservation, or ecosystems. Put the site on the interactive whiteboard or projector and watch your class jump into the water! As a starting point for Socrates seminar, debates, and persuasive writing, this site offers a great variety of passionate debate! Using this site as a model, have your students make a similar situation with other ecosystems. Have students create other scenarios for non-renewable resources, arguments for alternative energy, or even bring closer to home with a local dilemma. In writing class, develop an interactive based on the book Hoot by Carl Hiaasen. Why not have students create a Prezi presentation (reviewed here), simple to use with endless possibilities. Use the model for other scenarios and develop other story ideas. Use a problem based learning scenario into ways humans affect the environment. These activities will engage every learner!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Word Spy - Paul McFedries

Grades
6 to 12
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This word definition site offers the very latest terms, hip language, and slang. Words like "daycation" and "post-Potter" are here before they make it to a dictionary; some will never...more
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This word definition site offers the very latest terms, hip language, and slang. Words like "daycation" and "post-Potter" are here before they make it to a dictionary; some will never be in a standard reference, but when they come up in modern parlance, they are here. By clicking on "more information," you can find the word's earliest usage and date. You are also able to comment on the words. The information also features related words and vocabulary categories. You can also search by category.

tag(s): dictionaries (56), slang (15), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

This is a great find for gifted students, those working to advance their vocabulary levels, and for ESL/ELL students who may be puzzled by rapidly changing idiomatic language around them. Be sure to include this site on your class web page for students to access both in and outside of class for future reference. When teaching word study, such as roots and affixes, include this site to show how new words evolve and that language is a living thing. Perhaps even share a word a day from this site for students to guess the definition.

During a study of dictionary skills, discuss with students how new words might come to be in the dictionary. Have small groups of students brainstorm slang words they've heard around school and their neighborhoods. Once they have their list, they can look these words up on Word Spy. For any word that isn't there, have them create an online, interactive poster known as a "glog," using GlogsterEDU, reviewed here as a page that could be included in Word Spy.

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podOmatic - podOmatic

Grades
1 to 12
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Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen ...more
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Create simple audio podcasts using this online tool and the free space they provide. Simply put, this tool lets you create and place sound recordings online for people to listen to and/or download from the web. There are MANY free podcasts in a variety of subject areas (art, health, technology, music, business, and more.) We have linked this review directly to the K-12 area within the site. The site includes some social networking tools, so some schools may have it blocked. The site is a "general public" site, so the home page has links to recent podcasts that may not be appropriate for young people. Attach a mike or use your built-in computer mike; create the podcast by clicking a record button, (you may have to tell your computer to "allow" the site to access your mike). Choose a background for your podcast page. Share it with others using one of several sharing options on the "My Podcast" tab, including copying the link. Listeners can listen to it online or download to their MP3 player. See and hear a sample we made for you.. You can also create a "minicast" with a simple upload of images and audio that turns your images into a short video. Transitions are also available for your minicast. Share through a blog, twitter, a link or directly to Facebook. There are limits to the amount of file storage for free accounts. The site will tell you how much space each podcast takes and how much you have left. Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Podomatic now has a free iOS and Android apps.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), podcasts (52)

In the Classroom

Podomatic does not allow memberships for those under 13. Teachers using this tool with younger students should do so under supervision and with a teacher-controlled account. You will want to supervise or establish consequences so students do not spend time on the public areas of the site and instead proceed to creating their podcasts. This is an opportunity to teach about digital citizenship and safety, such as steering clear of interaction and avoiding sharing any identifiable information about yourself in a podcast. You may want to share the links to class podcasts only with your students and parents. If you have students record podcasts as assignments, you may need multiple accounts because the free accounts have limited file space. An elementary teacher might have enough space for 25 students to keep a limited number of products on his/her own account, depending upon length.

Create regular or special podcasts to share on your class web page or wiki. Create a minicast of images taken during a lab or a portfolio of images from a photography, art, or any other class. Add music and share as part of a digital portfolio. More ideas: record class assignments or directions; record story time or a reading excerpt for younger ones to listen to at a computer center AND from home! Have readers (perhaps older buddies) build fluency by recording selected passages for your non-readers. Launch a service project for your fifth or sixth graders to record stories for the kindergarten to use in their reading and listening center. Have students create "you are there" recordings as "eyewitnesses" to historical or current events; make a weekly class podcast, with students taking turns writing and sharing the "Class News;" have students create radio advertisements for concepts studied in class (Buy Dynamic DNA!); have students write and record their own stories or poetry in dramatic readings; language students or beginning readers could record their fluency by reading passages; allow parents to hear their child's progress reading aloud, etc. Compare world language, speech articulation, or reading fluency at two points during the year. Have your Shakespeare students record a soliloquy. Write and record a poem for Father's or Mother's Day (or other special events) and send the URL as a gift to that special person.

If you have gifted students who lean toward the dramatic, this tool is simple enough for them to create dramatic minicasts without needing a video camera. They can collect images (think Compfight) and write a drama to accompany them, showing what they have learned in independent learning beyond the regular curriculum.

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Tell It Again - James A. Jukosky

Grades
K to 4
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Jump back into the 1950's radio era of "Come listen to a story you may have heard before". This site narrates favorite children's classics, dramatized by June Cater's award winning...more
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Jump back into the 1950's radio era of "Come listen to a story you may have heard before". This site narrates favorite children's classics, dramatized by June Cater's award winning radio show. The reel to reel tapes from the popular radio show are from this free website. Twelve popular folk tales including: Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears, and the Tortoise and the Hare, have a MP3. Each selection includes stories with expressive characters, sound effects, and jingles. Future plans for this site include: children's musicians, authors, writers, and storytellers. Students will enjoy listening to favorite stories again and again in the classroom or at home on this free, user friendly-site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): listening (91), podcasts (52), writing (359)

In the Classroom

PreK-6 classrooms can use this site to enhance reading, listening, and historical perspectives on radio entertainment in individual, centers, or whole group setting. This site has been suggested for use with children with language delays, limited story backgrounds, Ell, ESL, or gifted children. Despite the website's limited stories available, it offers a great model for many inspired, creative lessons and projects with reading, writing, and listening. Ask students to add illustrations or create their own recordings of their own from stories. Inspire students with the musical jingles, challenging them to create their own jingle to accompany a favorite story of their own. Use these stories in writing class to model descriptive words, strong verbs, adjectives, sequencing, mind movies, and the elements of literature. Your podcasts will become alive and animated after hearing examples from this site. Build your own auditory story library with guest readers such as principals, teachers, older students, or family members. Students can add their own stories to create a classroom library of budding authors.

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