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Starship - BBC

Grades
3 to 6
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Following the metaphor of a growing plant, this site helps budding writers create original stories. In an interactive box, students select from several visual choices to create the...more
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Following the metaphor of a growing plant, this site helps budding writers create original stories. In an interactive box, students select from several visual choices to create the parts of their stories. Audio prompts tell the students what to do, and when their selection is made, a voice reads the newly created sentence as the story grows. After adding each sentence, writers hear the directions to click on the watering can to add more sentences. Before selecting from the four choices, writers can hold the cursor over each to see what the resulting sentence will be. As students go through the writing process, the audio support, a firefly, reminds them of what parts they have already selected, i.e., who, what, where, etc. At certain points during the writing, the process stops, and the firefly shows and reads the story as it has been written up to that point. After the story is read, you can print it, read it again, or write a new story. This site was created by the BBC, so you my notice some slight differences in pronunciations.

tag(s): narrative (20), writing (365), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Make this a class activity by sharing the site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. This activity would work well for individual or pairs of students in a lab or on laptops. Since it has audio support, be sure to provide headsets for the students. Use the printables from this site for your bulletin boards. The audio accompaniment makes this a great site to use with ESL/ELL students too!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Figurative Language - Teachersfirst

Grades
3 to 5
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This lesson teaches students to recognize and use personification and alliteration by asking them to visit several illustrative web sites, then create a simple Powerpoint presentation...more
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This lesson teaches students to recognize and use personification and alliteration by asking them to visit several illustrative web sites, then create a simple Powerpoint presentation illustrating each figure of speech. The lesson includes links, downloadable "idea cards," and a Powerpoint template. Aligned to national and Common Core standards.

tag(s): figurative language (16), speech (89)

In the Classroom

Extend this lesson using online tools such as Thinglink, reviewed here, for students to upload and share their figure of speech projects and comment to each other about them.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Storybooks - Where Did the River Go

Grades
K to 4
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Create your own books for reading on the computer or printing, and test your reading skills with this interactive site. On the main screen are two different stories to choose ...more
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Create your own books for reading on the computer or printing, and test your reading skills with this interactive site. On the main screen are two different stories to choose from (The Journey To Darkest Somewhere or The House of Scary Words). Once you choose a story the fun begins! As each page turns, see options to personalize the characters and text. Click to drag new objects (pictures) into the story. Personalize the story with your own name. All of the red words/phrases can be changed. At the end of the story, choose to print the story or save to pdf. Along with the stories, there are other key components of the site, one of which is the section entitled "Scared of Words," tips for parents to help students with reading. There is a video skills quiz to help identify any weaknesses parents may have in reading skills, reasons for reading, hints and tips for helping children read, and links to online book resources. This site was developed in the United Kingdom, so you may notice a few spelling/vocabulary differences (for example, potato chips are referred to as "crisps.")

tag(s): book lists (131), literacy (107), reading comprehension (123), reading strategies (51)

In the Classroom

Share this site during Literacy nights at school as a resource parents can use at home when helping their students read. Share the site with ESL/ELL and Special Education teachers as a resource. Create a link on classroom computers, and have students create their own stories to print into a classroom book. Use this site to demonstrate how a passage will change through use of different verbs and nouns.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Mother Goose Club - Sockeye Media, LLC

Grades
K to 1
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Join the fun of rhymes and music in the Mother Goose Club. Energize over 78 popular Mother Goose rhymes with song and music. Videos, songs, and/or coloring pages accompany the ...more
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Join the fun of rhymes and music in the Mother Goose Club. Energize over 78 popular Mother Goose rhymes with song and music. Videos, songs, and/or coloring pages accompany the rhymes. Activities and tips for teachers and parents are included. Additional curriculum items are advertised for a fee. However, the FREE items make this site a must-see!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): nursery rhymes (16), phonics (71), preK (289)

In the Classroom

Promote early literacy in a new way. Use this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students view the activities on laptops. (Don't forget the headsets.) Create a learning center that is sure to keep students intrigued. Use this site to promote early phonemic awareness in a colorful and engaging way. While teaching about Mother Goose rhymes in class, be sure to list this site in your class newsletter or on your class website for students to revisit the classics at home. You would be surprised how many parents do not even know these rhymes!
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Visual Recipes - Visual Recipes

Grades
3 to 12
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Teach students about foods, measurement, or nutrition, and find great recipes at Visual Recipes. View a picture of each step of the recipe as you read the directions. English language...more
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Teach students about foods, measurement, or nutrition, and find great recipes at Visual Recipes. View a picture of each step of the recipe as you read the directions. English language learners and new learners to foods will find this a great resource.

tag(s): cooking (31), nutrition (159), sequencing (29), visual thinking (9), visualizations (13)

In the Classroom

Choose recipes to create a menu that meets all of the requirements of the new USDA "MyPlate." Analyze a typical dish to look at calories and the breakdown of the nutrients. Be a food scientist, choosing recipes that are examples of different types of solutions (homogeneous and heterogeneous) or basic chemical reactions. Encourage healthy eating, ethnic exploration through foods, and many other topics with these easy to follow pictures and directions. World language teachers will love this visual approach to foods in another culture and can ask students to "narrate" a visual recipe in the new language while presenting on interactive whiteboard or projector. Use visual recipes to teach sequencing for writing about step by step process using words like "first, then, next." Challenge cooperative learning groups to make their own slideshow/recipe for a favorite dish of their choice using a site such as 280Slides (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Kathleen, VT, Grades: 0 - 12

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ArtsEdge - Kennedy Center

Grades
K to 12
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by ...more
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This site, created by the Kennedy Center offers a wealth of interactive lesson plans for grades K-12 dealing with a variety of topics, all with an "arts" spin. Search by subject, keyword, or grade level (K-4, 5-8, or 9-12). Some examples of topics include Native Americans, Civil War, Shakespeare, myths, melodrama, adjectives, baseball, and countless others! There are many interactive lessons: some with video, audio, or slideshows. The lessons provide an estimate of time required and complete, step-by-step instructions. There are printables included with some of the lessons.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): african american (109), baseball (36), civil war (144), comics and cartoons (65), dance (27), folktales (55), greece (27), habitats (106), immigration (60), literature (272), mexico (33), musical instruments (51), myths and legends (26), native americans (78), painting (66), surrealism (2)

In the Classroom

Search this site for a topic that you are teaching in your class. Share the lesson on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Better yet, make the video or slideshow a learning station for students to do themselves in small groups.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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The Explorers' Graveyard - TeachersFirst

Grades
3 to 6
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Combine writing, an explorers' study, and fall celebrations using this activity which asks students to compose an epitaph for an explorer of their choice. Writing and art opportunities...more
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Combine writing, an explorers' study, and fall celebrations using this activity which asks students to compose an epitaph for an explorer of their choice. Writing and art opportunities abound, and the end product makes a great display for parent-teacher conferences.

tag(s): explorers (65), poetry (219)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free and interactive lesson plan! Just be sure to save it as a favorite to allow for easy retrieval later on!

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Alphabet Origami - Fumiaki Shingu

Grades
K to 2
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Create the letters of the alphabet with folded paper. The animated video directions are easy to follow along and successfully create origami. The trip to the local craft store for ...more
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Create the letters of the alphabet with folded paper. The animated video directions are easy to follow along and successfully create origami. The trip to the local craft store for origami paper is not necessary because Origami Club also provides free printable, decorative paper.

tag(s): alphabet (86)

In the Classroom

Create an collaborative ABC chart for the classroom with origami. This is a wonderful beginning of the year activity for the class. Introduce this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students explore this site independently or in small groups. Take advantage of this moment to discuss strategies to follow directions. Ask students to discuss what style of directions work best for them. Photograph or scan the origami letters with the children and create an online poster using PicLits, reviewed here, or create an online book using a site such as Story Maker, reviewed here. Be sure to post or embed a link to your electronic ABC book on your class webpage for parents to enjoy.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Phrasemix - Aaron Knight

Grades
3 to 12
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This blog teaches English to international students by offering a "phrase a day." Common words and phrases are explained in context; several examples of each usage make the meaning...more
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This blog teaches English to international students by offering a "phrase a day." Common words and phrases are explained in context; several examples of each usage make the meaning clear. Many of the situations described are those experienced by adults or older teens, not children, such as giving a speech or shopping alone. Of course, this site could also be used in a regular classroom to teach speech/language or grammar. Students can look at the site or have a phrase emailed to them every day. Phrases include commonly used groups of words, idioms, and other typical language of both casual and formal English. To find a list of all phrases in the system, students can click on "Learning Tools." In addition to an index, this section offers explanations of basic grammar terms like parts of speech, stress, and other conversation techniques. Students can also make comments and read the comments of others. No email address is required to comment on the blog posts. (Our reviewers found no objectionable comments from the public, but teachers should always preview.)

tag(s): idioms (45), phrases (6), slang (15)

In the Classroom

Put this link on your classroom blog or newsletter for English learners. Have students try out this site on individual computers, or as a learning center. Have students prepare online projects about phrases they learn, using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard reviewed here or PicLits (reviewed here). Check with your school policies before having students comment on other blog posts.

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ESL Holidays Lessons - Sean Banville

Grades
1 to 8
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Look no further for holiday activities for your ESL and ELL students (or for reading/listening comprehension activities you can use with all learners! This site lists conventional and...more
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Look no further for holiday activities for your ESL and ELL students (or for reading/listening comprehension activities you can use with all learners! This site lists conventional and unusual holidays by month. Click the holiday you would like to feature to find a complete lesson including a tape script, an oral recording of the script, and a variety of review exercises. The printable activities include matching, several varieties of fill-in-the-blank, word choices, spelling, reordering events and sentences from the holiday information, and writing activities. An online clickable reading activity presents parts of sentences, so students must select which sentence part comes first. The screen changes when the correct part comes up, and students select the next part.

tag(s): holidays (142)

In the Classroom

Use this site to help ESL/ELL students improve listening, reading, writing, and cultural knowledge. Invite an ESL/ELL student to present a holiday from their home country to the class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Many of the review activities would also work well as reading comprehension practice on interactive whiteboard, especially if students use highlighters and pens to mark up the text passage to locate key terms, etc.

Have students create online holiday posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Share this site with families of your ESL/ELL students to learn more about American holidays.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Whyzz - Whyzz LLC

Grades
K to 8
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Find yourself stumped by all the strange questions students have? Are you looking for somewhere to go where adults can find the answers? Use this site to ask your question. ...more
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Find yourself stumped by all the strange questions students have? Are you looking for somewhere to go where adults can find the answers? Use this site to ask your question. Just type your question into the text box and several options for answers appear. The site was created for use by parents with young children, but it can really appeal to any age. Answers are written by site experts and by users themselves. Talk about the "source" of information as you share this site with your students! Registration is not necessary to ask questions. In order to add comments or an answer to another question, you must register. Registering requires use of an email address. If you choose to register your class, here is a tip: rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Once registered, your Whyzz are kept as a record for review later. Site members can also comment on Whyzz answers which are offered by many professionals. Each answer also features a section called "exploration" where additional learning can take place as well as "related Whyzz." Check the spotlight, browse categories, and look at a featured answer.

tag(s): inquiry (34)

In the Classroom

Teachers may be the experts but the greater gift is helping students find answers. Use this site as a class to receive kid friendly answers to normal and weird kid questions. Whyzz not only give the why, but also the hows and the whats! Have students create interactive projects that share the answers to the "WHY." Have students create online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Share the link with parents of younger elementary students to use at home, as well!

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Blizzard - Missouri Farm Bureau and Missouri State University

Grades
4 to 7
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This unique webquest is based on "The Long Winter" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The students' task involves learning about the great blizzard of 1881, to prepare for a blizzard ...more
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This unique webquest is based on "The Long Winter" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The students' task involves learning about the great blizzard of 1881, to prepare for a blizzard that is coming to their hometown in the present! The main task is to be sure all members of your family have food (from all food groups) to eat throughout the blizzard. This site provides a lot of research, interesting graphics and a teacher-created rubric.

tag(s): nutrition (159), snow (20)

In the Classroom

This is a motivating webquest during the cold months of winter. The webquest incorporates literature, science, research, writing and more!

Instead of creating paper posters, make the assignment a little different and have them create online posters for the final product. Try a site like Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here). Students can create them on classroom computers, and can present them via projector or interactive whiteboard!

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Using Creative Dramatics With the Teaching of Poetry - Tracy 4/5 teacher

Grades
3 to 5
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This is a teacher-created lesson trying to get upper elementary students interested in poetry by involving them in groups. It is simple and easily adapted to different grade levels....more
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This is a teacher-created lesson trying to get upper elementary students interested in poetry by involving them in groups. It is simple and easily adapted to different grade levels.

tag(s): poetry (219)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of this free lesson plan during a language arts unit on poetry. For a twist on the skit idea, you could also have students complete the almost the same task by creating online posters on paper or do it together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard (reviewed here) or PicLits (reviewed here).

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Random Poem Generator - Mathijs1988

Grades
4 to 12
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Anything can be turned into a poem by using this web site! Enter a url for a web page that has text, choose a rhyme scheme (Haiku, ABAB alternating, or ...more
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Anything can be turned into a poem by using this web site! Enter a url for a web page that has text, choose a rhyme scheme (Haiku, ABAB alternating, or AABB), then select "poemize this page." Results will include words from the selected web page in poem form. Examples are included on the main page showing how this can be done with text from Romeo and Juliet, Pokerface by Lady Gaga, and more. After the poem appears, there is a choice for creating a new poem from the same site.

tag(s): poetry (219)

In the Classroom

Introduce your poetry unit by showing this site on your interactive whiteboard and demonstrating the three types of poems created from items known to students. Create poetry from student-created websites for classroom display. Have students create poems from websites then use this site to create poems and compare the different outputs. Choose websites that aren't language arts related such as math, history, or science sites and create poetry from their content. For some interesting, high level discussion, ask students what makes something a "poem" vs. simply a collection of words.

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Award Winning Kids' Books - Reading Rockets

Grades
K to 12
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If you are looking for recent children's literature award winning books, this is the site for you. Reading Rockets has an excellent compilation of major awards such as Caldecott Medal...more
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If you are looking for recent children's literature award winning books, this is the site for you. Reading Rockets has an excellent compilation of major awards such as Caldecott Medal and Newbery Awards along with other less known but note-worthy recognitions. In addition, many "best of" lists are included from recent years. This is an excellent resource for classroom teachers, library/media specialists, and parents. Schools without media specialists may find this especially useful as a resource for the newest and most highly-regarded literature. Be sure to also check out the many other resources offered on this site such as Reading Guides, Classroom Strategies, and the many videos available about reading.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): book lists (131), book reports (36), guided reading (47), independent reading (128), literacy (107), literature (272)

In the Classroom

Share this site with other teachers as a resource for locating recent literature and for book orders. Keep this site handy as a resource for ideas for student reading material, book clubs, summer reading lists, book circles, and classroom read-alouds. Be sure to list this site on your class website for students to access both in and out of school. After reading a new book, rather than having students complete a traditional book report, have students make a multimedia presentation using one of the many TeachersFirst Edge tools reviewed here. Be sure to share the link with parents, too!

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Quiz Revolution - QuizRevolution

Grades
2 to 12
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Create cool, professional looking quizzes and tests! Quiz Revolution offers a platform for developing online quizzes for your websites and blogs. Multimedia options offer the opportunity...more
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Create cool, professional looking quizzes and tests! Quiz Revolution offers a platform for developing online quizzes for your websites and blogs. Multimedia options offer the opportunity to personalize quizzes and to create a more interesting look for your pages. You can add text, images, video, and html as well as choosing from pre-made "skins." There is a "look and play" section where you will get an idea of this program's capabilities.

tag(s): assessment (113), quiz (86), quizzes (105)

In the Classroom

Create quizzes to use for pre- and post- lesson assessments. Post the quizzes to your class website or blog as assignments. Insert videos, photos, and text into your quiz to reinforce concepts before students take the test. Assign students to create a quiz on a current topic as a wrap-up to a unit. Share the quiz on your interactive whiteboard or projector (use it as a center, rather than a "whole-group" activity. Learning support teachers may want to have students work with a partner to create review quizzes they can use as study aids.

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Collaborize Classroom - Democrasoft

Grades
3 to 12
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Use this free resource to create a private area for asynchronous student discussions. Easily set up your class space including your groups. Use the welcome email to learn more about...more
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Use this free resource to create a private area for asynchronous student discussions. Easily set up your class space including your groups. Use the welcome email to learn more about Collaborize Classroom including 8 Online Icebreakers. Tutorials for learning how to enter students into groups, creating new groups, and choosing discussion types exist. Consensus discussions such as yes/no, multiple choice, and vote/suggest can be chosen. Open discussions can occur using the forum discussion type. Add video, images, documents, and more to your discussions. Students, however, cannot upload material to the discussions. Because it is a closed group, outside comments are not a concern (group members must be added, invited, or approved). The process from setup to a functioning site is very simple. Tutorials and technical support is available and make this tool very easy to use. Use participation and activity tools in Collaborize Classroom to track student participation. Use the available PDF's for assistance in using Collaborize Classroom and ideas to use in class to stimulate discussions and engage learning. Watch the videos on the site from educators that show how they use the site in their classrooms.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (180), forum (8), polls and surveys (55)

In the Classroom

Use this tool for discussions, project collaboration, voting on issues, and sharing resources in and out of the classroom. Increase student participation and encourage in-class discussions and outside homework, extension of the classroom, and activity. Use for blended learning activities that include discussion questions to extend the discussions from in class to outside the classroom. Provide multiple choice questions that they can answer, agree or disagree with statements, post comments, or vote on other responses. Use the discussions to debate issues in the school community or within the country. Critique and comment on current events as they are happening. Use to discuss environmental problems. Use groupings to create literature circles. Watch the videos on the site from educators that show how they use the site in their classrooms.

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iPod user group Wiki - Joe Morelock

Grades
K to 12
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If considering writing a grant for iPods or iPads, then this is a site not to miss. View examples of grant proposals, learn how to develop a management system for ...more
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If considering writing a grant for iPods or iPads, then this is a site not to miss. View examples of grant proposals, learn how to develop a management system for your new acquisition, integrate the iPod or iPad into curriculum, and examine the results others schools have had. There are many resources to explore at this site! The resources here explain how to set-up multiple iPods or iPads, provide syncing tips, directions on how to create meta-playlists, manage school-wide podcast files, create digital portfolios, and practices that will enhance reading fluency. Much of the content may apply to other brands of tablets, as well. Impressive presentations and teacher reflections are free for download. View the hard data of previous school grant results in the form of bar graphs, pie charts, and line graphs. These all clearly demonstrate the positive effect iPods/tablets can have on reading fluency, state standardized tests and ENGAGEMENT! This is also an excellent resource to use when creating dynamic presentations meant to bolster support for innovative programming.

tag(s): grants (18)

In the Classroom

This blog provides examples of grants that serve as wonderful models when writing your own. Most of the examples on this blog are for the iPod touch, but many of the same concepts pertain to iPad use or other tablets as well. Librarians or IT directors will want to access this site for valuable background information on how to manage the maintenance and circulation of e-readers, iPods, iPads, or other tablets. If outside funding or school support is an issue, look beyond the tool and examine their instructional practices. Much of the grant success is due to incorporation of voice recording. Consider having students record their reading or writing by using some of the free web resources TeacherFirst suggests such as PodOmatic reviewed here or Audio Pal reviewed here. Examine how these grants use multitasking in the classroom. Consider using audio books while students engage in less cognitively demanding tasks. ESL/ELL instructors will find the lesson examples and results valuable.
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S.M.A.R.T. Books! - Kansas State University

Grades
K to 9
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This site offers an extensive list of children's literature to use with Mathematical investigations. The database has easy to use searches categorized by grade level, math strand, participants...more
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This site offers an extensive list of children's literature to use with Mathematical investigations. The database has easy to use searches categorized by grade level, math strand, participants (lesson creators), book authors, and a complete index. Be sure to check other grade level lesson plans as there may be lessons there that can be modified to meet your students' needs. Most lesson plans include materials needed and optional extensions or activities to go along with the lesson.

tag(s): literature (272), problem solving (294)

In the Classroom

Search for literature to use with math lessons to make lessons more interesting and add cross-curricular connections. Use the lesson plans to supplement your current lessons. Share possible literature books with parents via your class website.

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Cardboard Cognition - San Diego State University Department of Education

Grades
K to 6
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This site offers directions and resources for 132 educational card and board games. Games are listed in alphabetical order with a direct link to the description of the games. Most ...more
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This site offers directions and resources for 132 educational card and board games. Games are listed in alphabetical order with a direct link to the description of the games. Most games have a name that gives a clue to the content; however, it may be worthwhile to search other games that may be modified for different uses. Each game includes information on appropriate use of the game, rationale, directions, modifications, and information on designing game cards.

tag(s): capitals (24), logic (248), number sense (96), nutrition (159), puzzles (204)

In the Classroom

Create games to use for classroom centers, homework, or practice with classroom skills. Older students can be given directions and create their own card games. Use the card games on the site as inspiration for creating card games appropriate for your classroom.

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