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Active Textbook - Evident Point

Grades
K to 12
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Create your own interactive version of any PDF document or text using Active Textbook. Don't let the term "textbook" fool you. This tool can work with fiction and non-fiction or ...more
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Create your own interactive version of any PDF document or text using Active Textbook. Don't let the term "textbook" fool you. This tool can work with fiction and non-fiction or ANY combination. Add an existing document to begin. Use the site's tools to enhance with multimedia, links, notes, bookmarks, and more. Use social networking tools to exchange ideas and questions with other readers. Customizing features allow for private viewing, tags, inclusion into courses, and enabling or disabling comments. Save up to 500 pages or 50MB using the free version of the site.
This site includes advertising.

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

In the Classroom

Upload any PDF document to create an interactive book for class use. Create one together as a class as you move through a unit or topic, adding images and ideas you students suggest, creating a class "book." Use in a flipped classroom to deliver course information. Have students convert any document to PDF format using PDF Converter reviewed here. Assign several student groups the same pdf and have each group create their own multimedia versions as they learn more about the topic. Make a digital bookshelf of all the versions and invite the class to vote for the best. Challenge your gifted students to enhance the "standard" class text with additional material they discover by going deeper and learning about related topics. In lower grades, create teacher-made ebooks for your young readers, perhaps adding audio of your own voice reading the text.

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Creativity Games - Ryan Chadwick

Grades
5 to 12
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Creativity Games offers challenges, games, and puzzles to encourage creative thinking. Find new activities each week such as random word identification, code breakers, or creative challenges....more
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Creativity Games offers challenges, games, and puzzles to encourage creative thinking. Find new activities each week such as random word identification, code breakers, or creative challenges. Choose the Random Word Generator link to generate a set of random words to use in creative writing, or choose a preset creativity game from the drop-down box provided. Read several great creative writing tips in the creative writing prompts section of the site. This site also features blog entries on a variety of topics related to creativity and education.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (166), creativity (109), logic (235), poetry (228), puzzles (208), substitutes (21), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Use any of the challenges on this site as a brain warm-up as students trickle into class or before the homeroom bell rings. Display the Random Word Generator on your interactive word (or projector). Choose a link to provide a set of random words to use in poetry or creative writing assignments. Use logic games to warm up brains in math class. Assign weekly games for students to complete in free time or for use with gifted students. Read through the creative writing tips together as a class then add you own ideas. Post your ideas in your classroom using an online poster creator, such as Padlet, (reviewed here). Teacher-librarians can post a weekly brain challenge to inspire students who visit the media center. Any teacher will want to include this link on your class web page for students to access from home or during study periods. Substitutes will want to mak this one in favorites to always have something ready to go when the lesson plans go missing!

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More Words - morewords.com

Grades
4 to 12
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More Words is a word list generator that allows you to enter characteristics of a word and identifies words with those attributes. For example, when doing a crossword puzzle and ...more
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More Words is a word list generator that allows you to enter characteristics of a word and identifies words with those attributes. For example, when doing a crossword puzzle and only the first two letters are available, insert those letters along with *** for each missing letter. More Words will generate a list of words that meet the given criteria. Another option is to type in letters to find words that can be made from those letters including words formed by adding a new letter to the beginning or end of the letters you entered.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): crosswords (18), puzzles (208), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Use this site when creating crossword puzzles or other word games for students. Use for spelling practice. Enter letter patterns, prefixes, suffixes, or roots to see what other words you can find. Choose a long word and see how many smaller words students can create using the letters provided. Challenge your gifted students to create a game that uses More Words.

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Let Freedom Swing - jacl.org

Grades
6 to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
    
Let Freedom Swing is an inspirational site showing democracy and jazz as parallels. The videos are the creation of, and inspired by, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor...more
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Let Freedom Swing is an inspirational site showing democracy and jazz as parallels. The videos are the creation of, and inspired by, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Wynton Marsalis, musician, composer, educator and Artistic Director of Jazz at Lincoln Center. The three six-minute videos feature; "We the People," "E Pluribus Unum" (From Many, One), and "A More Perfect Union". A study guide for each video includes questions for discussion, teaching activities, and additional resources.

tag(s): branches of government (48), democracy (12), jazz (15), music theory (43)

In the Classroom

Let Freedom Swing is ideal for social studies, humanities, and music classes in grades 6-12, although teachers may be able to adapt the materials for use with younger children. Use along with Common Core Standards to integrate art and music into the content area curriculum. Otherwise, use the website and ideas as a model for use in other subjects with the genre of music or art. Use in writing class to inspire writing in content areas. Find connections between the content areas of music or art. Use this to prompt the investigation of art or music in historical contexts or even in literary settings.

These intelligent, creative people have made incredibly cool analogies between jazz and democracy that enable your students to easily remember the branches of government and parts of the constitution. However, students often need time to think about unusual comparisons. Consider having the students watch the video at home with the questions embedded into the video. Use a program like Grokit/Answers, reviewed here, to achieve this. Also, for your quiet ones, consider having the classroom discussion via backchannel chat, giving everyone in the room a chance to have a voice. Use a program like Today's Meet, reviewed here, and project the discussion on your whiteboard (or projector), where everyone can see what everyone else is saying.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

Useful for Janet and music classes to discuss our nation's conception---flawed even at its inception---to create a place of equality. Patricia, NJ, Grades: 6 - 12

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Perspectives on Peace and Security: The Manhattan Project - The Carnegie Corporation

Grades
6 to 12
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Take a virtual tour of eleven Manhattan buildings, and discover their importance to the development of nuclear weaponry during the twentieth century. Much of the political tension in...more
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Take a virtual tour of eleven Manhattan buildings, and discover their importance to the development of nuclear weaponry during the twentieth century. Much of the political tension in today's international relations can be traced to concerns about the potential use of nuclear weapons. Who has the power to make nuclear weapons? Who can be trusted with this power? What would be the impact of using nuclear weapons globally? This site adds important historical perspective to the history of nuclear weapons with its examination of the Manhattan Project. The site features the many locations within the Borough of Manhattan, New York in which critical components of the Project were developed. See the buildings as they were and as they are now, and meet some of the central participants of the Manhattan Project. An interactive timeline featuring images, documents, audio recordings and maps can help put the history of the Project into the context of twentieth century history. Finally, a brief history of the Project helps flesh out the previous two components of this site.

tag(s): 20th century (51), atomic bomb (11), foreign policy (16), politics (99), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

The importance of the Manhattan Project to modern global history can hardly be underestimated. Use the interactive timeline to help place the development of nuclear power and nuclear weapons into the context of modern politics, and to deepen understanding of the US role in the end of World War II. Consider the current debate about privacy, secrecy and security by comparing today's issues with the Manhattan Project. How could such a large scale, national effort have been kept so secret? Ask students to take different perspectives: How would modern history been different had the Manhattan Project NOT been secret? SHOULD it have been kept from the US public? Are today's issues of privacy and security different? A group of students might research other US and international sites that were important to the Manhattan Project and create a national "tour" or map of these sites to complement the Manhattan map available on this site. Have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. This site could also inspire a terrific research project for National History Day or a unit of study in a gifted class.

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40 Maps That Explain the World - The Washington Post

Grades
5 to 12
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The Washington Post offers this interesting variety of maps illustrating many different viewpoints and realities around the world. Topics include best and worst place to be born, child...more
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The Washington Post offers this interesting variety of maps illustrating many different viewpoints and realities around the world. Topics include best and worst place to be born, child poverty in the developed world, and the world seen from space over a 12 month time-lapse. Click to enlarge any of the maps. Several include links for further information.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): agriculture (55), cross cultural understanding (115), cultures (105), ecology (135), inferencing (5), maps (287), religions (61)

In the Classroom

Bookmark and save this site for use with many social studies, reading, and higher level thinking topics. Use them to teach about interpreting graphical information in texts. Display on your interactive whiteboard and explore with your students. Use these maps to ask deep questions about meaning in maps. What inferences/conclusions can you draw based on this map? These maps are a perfect starting point for research projects on many subjects. Have students brainstorm questions they wonder about or collect ideas for possible projects on a collaborative bulletin board like Scrumblr, reviewed here (quick start- no membership required!).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Be a Reporter Game - Poynter.news University

Grades
6 to 12
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The Be a Reporter Game is a self-directed course that looks at the basics of how journalists probe, clarify, verify, and race against a deadline. Set in a fictional setting, ...more
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The Be a Reporter Game is a self-directed course that looks at the basics of how journalists probe, clarify, verify, and race against a deadline. Set in a fictional setting, characters respond based on the experiences of journalists in the field. Complete the course at your own pace. Start and stop as needed, or rewind and review previous information as desired. Register with your email to enter the course.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): careers (132), journalism (46)

In the Classroom

Try this activity together as a class on your interactive whiteboard or projector (creating a teacher account only). Allow students to create their own account and complete on their own. Read tips for safely managing email registrations here. This would make an excellent option for an ongoing, semester long project for students. Teachers of gifted may want to suggest this unit for their students to work on independently when they complete work in the regular language arts classroom. Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here demonstrating information learned in the game.

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Ultimate Research Assistant - Andy Hoskinson, LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Use this free tool to compile search results from various domains. Search your term using the entire Internet, Wikipedia, Government sites, Non-Profits sites, the National Institutes...more
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Use this free tool to compile search results from various domains. Search your term using the entire Internet, Wikipedia, Government sites, Non-Profits sites, the National Institutes of Health and more! The results of the search can be viewed in a summary, a bar chart of popular themes, and a word cloud. Click on Taxonomy to view the results for each theme or Mind Map and see the hierarchy of the results.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): media literacy (58), search engines (65), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to locate a variety of search results about a topic of study or interest. Be sure to place a link to this site on your class computer or web page. Discuss bias and different ways of reporting on an issue by using the same search term with the class using different domains. For example, one group can search any popular issue such as climate change, gun control, or food policy issues using Government sites while another group uses the same search term with Educational sites. Teach the value of identifying good search terms, continuing to refine terms to get quality results. Once students are familiar with this tool you can do the same as above using the Jigsaw cooperative learning approach, and when students come back together to discuss their findings they can create a simple infographic sharing their findings from the articles (including different points of view and bias) using Easel.ly, reviewed here or Venngage reviewed here. As a completely separate use, mark this one in your favorites to test search when you believe a student project may be plagiarized.

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WD-1 DJ-Trainer - Wortel Drie Productions

Grades
3 to 12
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The WD-1 DJ-Trainer is an online musical tool to create a dance track. Select from 25 professional sound banks to make your own hip hop, techno, trance, reggae, rock, disco, ...more
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The WD-1 DJ-Trainer is an online musical tool to create a dance track. Select from 25 professional sound banks to make your own hip hop, techno, trance, reggae, rock, disco, jazz, or samba track. Learn about timing and "building" a song on this easy to use site. Start the samples and the loops using your keyboard or mouse to control the sounds. Help buttons are available for all the buttons. Make your own groove by controlling the loops and the time triggered sounds. This is a great site to make music magical and to fill up the dance floor. An iOS app is available -- for purchase.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): music theory (43), musical instruments (48), musical notation (35), songs (52)

In the Classroom

Use this site in music classes to teach musicians about timing and the layers of a track. Create songs or poems for any subject area and use the WD-1 DJ-Trainer to create a track to support the lyrics. Create a track that reflects the tone or mood of a poem and recite the poem with the track to integrate music with language arts. Record your track with GarageBand or Audacity because you're unable to save your tracks on WD-1 DJ-Trainer. Create tracks or have your students create tracks for morning announcements or transitions in the classroom. This would be a great site for improvisation in music class or the regular education classroom. Create tracks to support readers' theatre activities in the classroom. Have students create podcasts using a site such as Spreaker (reviewed here) or PodOmatic (reviewed here). Use the tracks created on this site in the background for the podcasts. Use music as a classroom management tool by recording "theme music" as cues for different transitions and activities. Teachers of gifted can challenge their students to tell a story in music using this tool.
 

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National Forensic League - National Forensic League

Grades
6 to 12
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The National Forensic League bills itself as the "National Honor Society for secondary and middle school speech and debate." Certainly this site will be familiar if you are a member...more
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The National Forensic League bills itself as the "National Honor Society for secondary and middle school speech and debate." Certainly this site will be familiar if you are a member already, but is useful even if you are not fielding a formal competition team. The site is organized by level and contains information about upcoming competitions. Most useful to non-members, however, are the resources. There are downloads offering insight and instruction on a wide variety of speech and debate topics: how to organize a team, how to link speech and debate to the Common Core State Standards, and how to develop character in an interpretive speech. Access to some of the resources is limited to members; others require you to login to access.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): debate (41), forensics (27), speech (92)

In the Classroom

Use the downloadable PDF documents as a resource for students who are developing their public speaking or debate skills, learning to analyze literary characters, understanding the use of humor in speech, or similar topics. Recommend this site to students who may be entering speech competitions, or who may be preparing to give a formal presentation. If you are trying to stage a debate on any topic for your classroom, consider the resources on how formal debate is organized and evaluated.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Story Maps - Esri

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

tag(s): gettysburg (26), map skills (79), maps (287), measurement (159)

In the Classroom

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

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Documentary Wire - DocumentaryWire

Grades
4 to 12
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Documentary Wire.com features an incredible collection of documentary films for free. Browse through the collection or find the latest documentaries sent to your email. Join free and...more
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Documentary Wire.com features an incredible collection of documentary films for free. Browse through the collection or find the latest documentaries sent to your email. Join free and follow Documentary Wire on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+. No membership is required to watch the videos or receive their newsletter with the latest documentaries. Videos are actually hosted on YouTube and other video sharing services. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube. Enjoy blogging with others by being a member, individually or within a group to discuss your latest ideas on a documentary. Be aware: some of the content on this site may not be appropriate for all ages. Always remember to preview!

tag(s): primary sources (86), video (254)

In the Classroom

Documentary Wire provides documentaries for all your classes. Not sure what topics are available? Search the documentary list. Use a documentary to help students understand primary (such as interviews) and secondary sources. Consider examining point of view through many different choices of films. Study industry and government regulations. Research to discover if any documentary caused a change in the law. Look at the persuasive techniques used to convey a strong message. Study the formatting of the documentary to use as a framework for your own student research projects. Look at documentaries in your study of ethics. Challenge gifted learners in the search for new information.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Famous Inboxes - Mark Brownlow

Grades
6 to 12
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If famous people from long ago had inboxes, what would be in them? Famous Inboxes takes that concept and creates inboxes for characters in literature, entertainment, and history....more
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If famous people from long ago had inboxes, what would be in them? Famous Inboxes takes that concept and creates inboxes for characters in literature, entertainment, and history. Choose from artists, musicians, great leaders, authors, and many more categories. Each inbox contains a screenshot of the person's email (mythical) inbox including the subject of the email and the sender. This is an entertaining and provocative site sure to inspire lots of ideas for your own use! Be sure to preview before you share as some of the topics (or "texting" language) may not be appropriate for the classroom.

tag(s): creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), gamification (65), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Share Famous Inboxes with your students on your interactive whiteboard or projector using a character or author studied in class. Assign students to each of the inbox titles and have them write the actual email sent. Don't see anyone to use in class? Create your own or have students use the site as a model to create their own. Most likely, working in groups will get the creative juices flowing. This would be a great model to use for introducing a history or science unit or for looking at the relationships between characters in literature. Have students write the emails as an end of unit review. Subscribe to the RSS feed of this site to receive updated contents. Use the option to create an inbox as a differentiated challenge for your gifted students. For example: Summarize World War II by showing Winston Churchill's inbox, then write two of the key emails. As a "hook" for new books in the media center, have students create inboxes for one of the characters and post them with the book jackets. Instead of a "report" on a scientist, have students create their inbox documenting their research and accomplishments.

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Presentain - Neek Kurat

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

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (199), slides (63)

In the Classroom

Use your existing presentations and upload them as a PDF to Presentain. Use the many tools available at the site to engage your students. Use the question feature as a backchannel to address questions and concerns. Collect data using polls to differentiate your instruction. A BYOD school? Connect your students on their mobile devices. Share your slidecasts for student access both in and outside of class for further practice. An excellent site to share your presentations on professional development with your teaching colleagues. A great tool to flip your classroom instruction. Record students' presentations (using your account) to share on a website or blog so families unable to attend can view. Create visual presentations for key concepts or vocabulary. Record descriptions and share the slidecast for student access both in and outside of class for further practice.

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Inspirational Quotes for Teachers - Windows to the Universe

Grades
2 to 12
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Inspire yourself and your students with Windows to the Universe Motivational Quotes. Although a rather simple site in appearance, there is a lot of "good stuff" here. Add creativity,...more
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Inspire yourself and your students with Windows to the Universe Motivational Quotes. Although a rather simple site in appearance, there is a lot of "good stuff" here. Add creativity, encouragement, and an atmosphere of excellence to your classroom and your life.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): quotations (23)

In the Classroom

Post in the signature on your email, on your website, or even on your whiteboard! Encourage leadership, hope, and inspiration! Use quotes as a theme for writing prompts or even to relate to the theme of a story. Use the quotes as examples of figurative language. Add quotes to end of year picture CDs/DVDs. Use the quotes to inspire personal or classroom mission statements. Have students include a quote when turning in work, and explain how it inspired or helped them. Add music or art to explain a quote. During the first week of the school year, share this site with students. Challenge students to choose a "quote of the year" for themselves personally. Have students put the quote in their notebook, folder, or as a screen saver. Also, choose a few quotes to hang around your classroom. If you need more quotes, check out TeachersFirst's Bulletin Board Hangups.

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OK2Ask''®: Blooms 2.0 July 2013 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2013, opens in Adobe Connect. Blooms 2.0: Promoting ALL levels of Bloom's Taxonomy through Technology Create...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2013, opens in Adobe Connect. Blooms 2.0: Promoting ALL levels of Bloom's Taxonomy through Technology Create a classroom rich with all levels of Blooms Taxonomy using new and HOT technology. This session will have a brief introduction to Blooms Taxonomy, but the main focus will be sharing tools to achieve Blooms levels using the newer tools.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Recap the basics of Blooms Taxonomy; Discuss and share the importance of keeping Blooms in the classroom; Browse and explore various tools available on TeachersFirst to use at all levels of Blooms Taxonomy; and (Follow-up) Plan and implement a lesson or activity using a web tool that promotes one of the higher levels of Blooms Taxonomy. Applicable NETS-T standards (2008)*: 1a and c, 2b, 4b, and 5c * The text of these standards is copyrighted. Please read the full text at ISTE's NETS-T page.

In the Classroom

View this webinar to learn about the new HOTS Blooms 2.0. Find resources to use to meet all levels on Bloom's Taxonomy. View this webinar with a friend or group of teachers in your computer lab. Take a look at the resource page for some great sites to learn more about Blooms 2.0 and resources to use in your class! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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OK2Ask'®: Gifted Resources Galore July 2013 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2013, opens in Adobe Connect. Gifted Resources Galore: Tips and Tools for Meeting the Needs of Your Gifted...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from July 2013, opens in Adobe Connect. Gifted Resources Galore: Tips and Tools for Meeting the Needs of Your Gifted Students Learn new ways to meet the needs of your gifted students. Participants will view and explore tools that offer enrichment, advancement, and differentiation as well as sites to promote organizational skills, focus, and more. There will be a question/answer period to meet individual challenges. Use exploration time to discover and discuss TeachersFirst resources well-suited to use with gifted students.

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

tag(s): differentiation (47), gifted (96)

In the Classroom

Looking for new ways to challenge your gifted students? Look no further than this webinar! If you are a gifted/talented specialist working with regular education teachers with gifted students mainstreamed into their classrooms, be sure to share this webinar (or at least he resource page). Take a look at the resource page full of gifted resources galore! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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The Secret Door - Safe Style UK

Grades
2 to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
Open a door to tour worldwide locations with this intriguing site. Clicking on the door transports you to indoor spaces from all over the world using a Google StreetMap mashup. ...more
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Open a door to tour worldwide locations with this intriguing site. Clicking on the door transports you to indoor spaces from all over the world using a Google StreetMap mashup. Click on the door again (or click "take me somewhere else") to be transported to another place. Visit famous landmarks, museums, and more. What a treat! The entire Secret Door interaction can be embedded in your blog or wiki using the embed code provided by clicking "embed this." Secret Door is random, so going to the same place again could be tricky. To return later to the same location, make a note of the location in top left (or copy it). Use Google Maps (reviewed here), search for the location that was named in the top left corner, and use Streetview (drag the little orange man on top of the landmark to look inside).

tag(s): cross cultural understanding (115), landmarks (26)

In the Classroom

Teacher-librarians can use this to inspire research or non-fiction reading by embedding it in their website or displaying it on a computer in the media center! Use this site to learn drawing inferences about each of the places visited. Use the images as a class or in groups to determine where in the world it is located using clues from the picture. You will want to "hide" the location that shows in the top left corner. This is a great introduction into culture, building, design, etc. Project an image on an Interactive Whiteboard as a prompt for a short story, poem, or essay inspired by the image. Share an image as your students enter the classroom as the daily "travel mystery." Give your students 2-3 minutes of time to investigate WHERE the image is from. Brainstorm how the image is related to a story being discussed in class, a unit of study, or parallels to our culture. What creatures and cultures would be seen in this place? Ask and answer interesting questions related to the images. Teachers of gifted can use these images to inspire creation of text-based games to take place in these settings using descriptive writing and a tool such as Quest, reviewed here, or Playfic, reviewed here.

Comments

Very cool, easy to use site for when you have a few minutes. I think the age range could be k-12 as my 4 year old loved seeing where the door would take us. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is because it is really hard to get back to a place that you previously visited. Diane, PA, Grades: 0 - 4

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The Music in Poetry - Smithsonian

Grades
4 to 12
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The lessons at this site focus on two poetic forms: the ballad stanza and the blues stanzas, and their rhythm. Both of these forms began as song. A sound track ...more
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The lessons at this site focus on two poetic forms: the ballad stanza and the blues stanzas, and their rhythm. Both of these forms began as song. A sound track is included. The sound track has a separate URL from the lessons and is suggested several times in the plans. As with all educational resources at the Smithsonian, the sixteen page lesson plan (unit) is thorough. It includes suggestions for playing music from the Smithsonian's Folkway recordings, an explanation of the metrical unit, iamb, with some humorous examples on the Bestiary of Poetic Terms page, nonfiction reading about the ballad and the blues forms of poetry, and too many others to list here. Through all this, you can review the form of "The Cat in the Hat," and meet Langston Hughes, Bob Dylan, U2, Willie Nelson, William Wordsworth, Lewis Carroll, Emily Dickinson and many other famous poets and song writers.

tag(s): blues (21), dance (28), differentiation (47), gifted (96), poetry (228), rhymes (33), rhythm (20), writing (359)

In the Classroom

There is a ton of information and activities in this lesson plan. This lesson plan is more like a unit plan, so choose to complete the entire unit or pick and choose certain lessons to familiarize your students with the ballad and the blues. You could choose just to do one or the other. Differentiate the activities for your gifted students. The lessons also include suggestions for movement activities and having students create their own poems. Student poems can be displayed creatively by using a poster program like Tackk, reviewed here, and the URLs can be posted on your teacher website in order for parents to see.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Pursued - Street View Game - Nemesys Games

Grades
6 to 12
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Pursued is an engaging street view game using Google Maps. Begin with the first level as you look around an unknown city. Use your surroundings to guess the city. Each ...more
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Pursued is an engaging street view game using Google Maps. Begin with the first level as you look around an unknown city. Use your surroundings to guess the city. Each correct guess moves you to a new level. Once you reach the "top," you can unlock additional levels by liking the game on Facebook. Additional packages include European Capitals, US State Capitals, and others. Submit your own game as an advanced user using prompts and tutorials provided. As the name states, this activity involves helping a cartoon character who is being pursued. Although it is a cartoon, the opening scene shows the cartoon character being put into what appears to be a trunk. The activity is extremely engaging, but be certain that students are mature enough to handle the content!

tag(s): capitals (24), cities (25), continents (49), countries (76), cross cultural understanding (115), map skills (79), maps (287)

In the Classroom

Use this as a fabulous geography and problem-solving activity. Play different levels together as a class or in small groups on your interactive whiteboard (or projector). Allow students to explore on their own. In a science class, you could use this game to teach observation and hypothesis testing. (What do you observe? What city might this be?) Social studies or world language classes can explore the signs of different languages or other cultural observations. Challenge students to create their own game including geographic locations within your state, hometowns of famous writers, or any other activity using a map. Have students use a mapping tool such as Mapskip (reviewed here) to create a map with audio stories and pictures included! This is perfect for gifted students who want an open-ended challenge.
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