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Story Blocks - Colorado Libraries for Early Literacy

Grades
K to 1
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This early literacy site contains many video clips to assist parents and teachers in getting students ready to read. Rhymes and songs are modeled for use with younger children. ...more
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This early literacy site contains many video clips to assist parents and teachers in getting students ready to read. Rhymes and songs are modeled for use with younger children. Each aspect of literacy is explained before you hear the targeted text. Materials are available in both Spanish and English.

tag(s): literacy (107), poetry (221), rhymes (32), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Use the songs and chants on these videos to interest children in reading. Many songs and rhymes have actions that the children can do while saying the text. Have the children lead the class once they are familiar with offerings. Project the rhymes on your interactive whiteboard and follow along with the motions on the screen. Write down some of the words in the song and use them as sight words for the week. Have student helpers hold up the "sight word" as it is shared. Choose 3-5 new words from each rhyme. Share this site with ESL and learning support staff.

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Little Bird Tales - Little Wings

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K to 8
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It's as easy as one, two, three to create an online story book that uses your own artwork, photographs, text, and voice. Little Bird also has an "art pad" so ...more
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It's as easy as one, two, three to create an online story book that uses your own artwork, photographs, text, and voice. Little Bird also has an "art pad" so you don't have to scan and upload drawings; you can create the drawings in the program. Little Bird Tales has a short video explaining each step on the home page. Once the stories are complete, you can place a link to the story on a web page or wiki, or email it to parents, students, etc. This is a great way to publish student writing. This program is free and was created specifically for ages 3 to 14 as a safe, advertisement free web environment.

tag(s): creative writing (167), descriptive writing (42), digital storytelling (151), expository writing (43), narrative (21), persuasive writing (57), preK (294), stories and storytelling (33), writing (369)

In the Classroom

The possibilities for using this program are limitless. Choose a story from the public section of the program, or create your own. Use your interactive whiteboard and projector to show students the story and how easy it is to put their story on this program. Little Bird can be used in science and math for students to demonstrate their knowledge of a unit learned, by explaining it in three ways: verbally, drawing, and using text. Create myths and stories in language arts classes, or students can review a book they've read. In social studies, students can create reports on a country, time period, or famous person. Students can work individually, in pairs, or in small groups. You might want to have this program open on a computer in your classroom for students to use when they are finished with other work. Share the urls of student reports and stories on your web page or wiki.

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iNudge - Hobnox

Grades
3 to 12
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Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear ...more
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Create music simply! Use this tool to create your own music and embed it in your class blog or site. Choose from 8 instruments, and click the squares to hear sound patterns. Add more instruments to get the mix you want. Combine them, change the tempo, and add other effects. Share by URL or using the embed code.

tag(s): musical notation (38), sounds (70)

In the Classroom

Use the songs in a writing class as a story prompt. In a language class, list the adjectives and adverbs come to mind while listening to the music prompt. Create music to describe a biome or an animal or plant. Use music to represent culture or reactions to an event in history. Use music to add pizazz to a blog or site. Identify various sounds and the mood they create. View the most listened and newest iNudges found on the site.

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Squareleaf - Squareleaf.net

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4 to 12
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color...more
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Use this great online "sticky-note" website to get organized. Squareleaf is a simple to use online tool that uses colors and shapes to stay organized. Sort information using the color coding and different shaped boxes. Separate information from your personal life and daily tasks. Easily manage daily, weekly or monthly tasks by using this simple to use tool. You can review your post-its from any web connected device.

tag(s): note taking (39)

In the Classroom

Students can easily store their notes and share with others. Use this tool to manage projects and schedule tasks. Help students organize the specific tasks necessary to finish a project. Use class discussion to decide what needs to be done and the intermediate steps to completing projects. Use different colors and shapes to manage different projects. Teachers of both gifted and learning support students can use this tool together with students to build organizational skills. Teachers can use this tool to manage and plan short term tasks, longer term units, and graduate class assignments from their busy lives.

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Project Based Learning for the 21st Century - Buck Institute for Education

Grades
K to 12
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Looking for more information on Project Based Learning (PBL)? Find videos, information, and examples on this site. Though some material on this site is for sale, there are plenty of...more
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Looking for more information on Project Based Learning (PBL)? Find videos, information, and examples on this site. Though some material on this site is for sale, there are plenty of free materials. Read about PBL, watch videos, or download word or pdf documents found under the Tools section. Sign up to participate in the forum for more interaction with the content and other educators using PBL. Click the PBL Do-It Yourself bar along the right side for more information and links. Be sure to check out the tweets on the bottom of the front page for great ideas and links to use.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (113)

In the Classroom

Use these ideas in any subject area classroom. Aspects of PBL can be used in introductory activities or whole units. Use driving questions to stimulate student curiosity to know more about how curriculum applies to their lives. Use this PBL framework to give students freedom to research aspects of the content or problem of personal interest. Be sure to view the resources to adequately plan for a successful unit project that incorporates 21st century skills utilizing engaging activities and content.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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5 Minute Mystery - Mystery Competition, LLC

Grades
4 to 12
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This mystery reading game helps increase reading comprehension and critical thinking skills in an innovative way. The basic game is free. You can sign up to have two mysteries a ...more
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This mystery reading game helps increase reading comprehension and critical thinking skills in an innovative way. The basic game is free. You can sign up to have two mysteries a week sent to you, or you can use their archive. There is a "How to Play" section where you can view a video, open pdf instructions, or look at the instructions online. After reading a mystery you select the correct sentences that are clues, and select a character that the clue either exonerates or implicates. Points are awarded for each clue you get correct. For a fee, you can get a premium account that has graphic organizers, questions, and writing suggestions, however, this review is for the free, basic version. Even with the basic program, you can look under lesson plans and find objectives and ideas for your classroom and for creating leagues.

Bonus: There's an app for that! For the iphone, of course!
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): critical thinking (119), mysteries (23), reading comprehension (124), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Use your projector and interactive whiteboard to show your students the directions for getting points by selecting the correct clues and solving the mystery. To begin with, as a class, read a mystery and discuss what the clues might be and whether they implicate or exonerate each suspect. Once the students have volunteered their ideas for which sentences are clues, submit them to see the score. The program will highlight the answers you should have had, if you got any wrong. Model for your students a discussion about why those are the correct answers and why the ones they submitted weren't. Eventually they can have this discussion by themselves in small groups. Those of you with multiple classes will want to create a league for each class.

Eventually you can have small groups of students compete against each other by creating leagues. Have your students come to consensus about the clue sentences and who the real perpetrator is by voting using Tricider, reviewed here, or Decide Already, reviewed here.

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Nutcracker Study Guide - Inland Pacific Ballet

Grades
4 to 8
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Use this site from the New York City Ballet to find ways to introduce your students to the glorious music from Tchaikovsky's beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker Suite. This site...more
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Use this site from the New York City Ballet to find ways to introduce your students to the glorious music from Tchaikovsky's beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker Suite. This site offers lots of ways to incorporate the Nutcracker story and history into curriculum.

tag(s): christmas (54)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a resource during a historic examination of Christmas. Have students re-write their own version of the story using a different setting, time period, or both be sure that they consider how costumes, sets, characters, folk dances,music, landmarks, locations, events, and animals might be different. Have students consider the Dance of the Snowflakes scene in The Nutcracker. Discuss what animals they might find living in this kind of habitat? What else would you likely find living in this habitat (plants, trees, insects, etc.)? Have students record their ideas on a graphic organizer and draw pictures to go along with it. Have students compare or contrast The Nutcracker with another folk tale, fairy tale or story they have read or are familiar with.

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A Victorian Christmas - Malcolm Warrington

Grades
4 to 8
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Give students a taste of the Victorian celebration with this site showing greeting cards from the Victorian era, and explaining the Victorian origins of many of today's Christmas traditions....more
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Give students a taste of the Victorian celebration with this site showing greeting cards from the Victorian era, and explaining the Victorian origins of many of today's Christmas traditions. We wish the images were bigger, but this is a nicely designed introduction to Victorian celebrations.

In the Classroom

Use this website during a unit on Christmas or Victorian history. Allow ESL/ELL students to try using Text to Speech Reader, reviewed here, which will allow these students to follow the highlighted text as the article or passage is read to them. Consider having students create their own online Victorian "albums" using a tool such as MyScrapNook, reviewed here.

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Fraboom Online Children's Museum - Flying Rhinoceros

Grades
K to 8
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Inspire the cartoonist in your class. Fraboom free Daily Doodle live page provides online art teachers, learning communities, video tutorials, and interactive activities. Fraboom TV...more
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Inspire the cartoonist in your class. Fraboom free Daily Doodle live page provides online art teachers, learning communities, video tutorials, and interactive activities. Fraboom TV has videos on how to draw faces, noses and mouths as well as educational videos about dinosaurs, ants, outer space and much more. There are also engaging interactive books to listen to and view.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (65), artists (78), comics and cartoons (65), creative writing (167), drawing (83)

In the Classroom

Inspire expressive writing with cartooning. Play the video lessons about drawing cartoon faces as part of a writing mini-lesson. Encourage students to incorporate evocative facial features in their story illustrations. Afterward, prompt students to include expressive language in their writing that supports their drawings. Be sure to preview the online learning space before allowing students to participate. Fraboom monitors all chats and content before posting. An adult needs to enroll students in order for them to participate in the online drawing classes. Check your school policies on allowing students to participate in online discussions. Spell out permissible use and consequences in advance. This site may or may not be fully accessible inside your school filtering. Be sure to screen all portions of the site before implementing it in class and check if it is available when using your school's network.

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Video: Social Media in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
K to 12
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What is social media? This video takes you on a journey to "Scoopville," a fictitious town used to demonstrate the many "flavors" of social media. The video is short (3:25-minutes)...more
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What is social media? This video takes you on a journey to "Scoopville," a fictitious town used to demonstrate the many "flavors" of social media. The video is short (3:25-minutes) and very easy to follow. Highlighted are blogs, podcasts, and videos. This site requires you to be a paying member to embed or download the video. However, you can still see the transcript for the video. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers this video for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (86), podcasts (59), social media (22), video (278)

In the Classroom

If you are looking to learn more about various social media, check out this short video. Learn more about the "flavors" you could use in your own classroom. For research projects have students create a blog, wiki, or even a podcast and compare the pros/cons of each regarding communication and safety. Create podcasts using a tool such as podOmatic, explained here. To put the video on a "center" computer, do a "right click" on the video, select "save as" and save to the "center" computer.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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The Unofficial Harry Potter Fan Club - Privately Published

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4 to 12
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The Unofficial Harry Potter Fan Club has more information about the Harry Potter books and the world of Harry Potter. You can even find the rules for Quidditch! ...more
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The Unofficial Harry Potter Fan Club has more information about the Harry Potter books and the world of Harry Potter. You can even find the rules for Quidditch!

tag(s): harry potter (12)

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Harry Potter's Page - Scholastic Books

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4 to 12
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Harry Potter's all the rage, and the web doesn't disappoint. There are lots of resources about Harry and author J.K. Rowling. Scholatic Books has an entire Harry Potter site. It ...more
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Harry Potter's all the rage, and the web doesn't disappoint. There are lots of resources about Harry and author J.K. Rowling. Scholatic Books has an entire Harry Potter site. It features information on the books, discussion and author sections, even a Harry Potter screensaver.

tag(s): harry potter (12)

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Pooh Corner

Grades
1 to 4
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Welcome to Cotchford Farm! Explore the world of Winnie the Pooh and his friends and find out about the inspiration for this classic story. ...more
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Welcome to Cotchford Farm! Explore the world of Winnie the Pooh and his friends and find out about the inspiration for this classic story.

tag(s): literature (273)

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Jackie French Koller - Privately Published

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1 to 8
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This is the homepage of Jackie French Koller, author of children and young adult books. It includes a great deal of information about the author. Developed by Jackie French Koller ...more
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This is the homepage of Jackie French Koller, author of children and young adult books. It includes a great deal of information about the author. Developed by Jackie French Koller as her homepage. There is a great deal of information about the author, her family, pets, hobbies as well as her books. This site includes a link to writing tips for would be authors. There are links to a few other authors as well.

tag(s): book lists (133), french (93)

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First Grade Backpack - Reading - Privately Published

Grades
1 to 2
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Here's a selection of book and author sites compiled expressly for primary students. They provide quick access to a group of reading resources for first or second grade. Some can ...more
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Here's a selection of book and author sites compiled expressly for primary students. They provide quick access to a group of reading resources for first or second grade. Some can be used by students directly; others may require some help from the teacher or parent. This site also contains arithmetic and geography sections.

tag(s): reading lists (79)

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Enchanted Tulips and other verses for children

Grades
3 to 6
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A collection of poetry. ...more
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A collection of poetry.

tag(s): poetry (221)

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Doucette Library of Teaching Resources - University of Calgary

Grades
2 to 6
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Extensive collection of literary lists, award winners, curriculum supplements and support resources for children's literature. It provides professional support on multiculturalism,...more
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Extensive collection of literary lists, award winners, curriculum supplements and support resources for children's literature. It provides professional support on multiculturalism, current educational trends and interdisciplinary education, and literature based learning. Also educational research is available in a thesis collection of research by masters and doctoral candidates.

tag(s): literature (273)

In the Classroom

Use the resources part of the page to find information on literature that can be used in your classroom. Some of the resources there recommend books by age and subject, and can serve as great book lists for the teacher wanting something more.

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The Children's Book Council

Grades
1 to 6
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The Children's Book Council sponsors Children's Book Week each fall. Their site includes this Showcase collection of books recommended for children, with links and additional information...more
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The Children's Book Council sponsors Children's Book Week each fall. Their site includes this Showcase collection of books recommended for children, with links and additional information on each book selected. A good starting point for building a reading list or library.

tag(s): reading lists (79)

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100 Best Books - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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TeachersFirst offers a listing of 100 of the best books for children, along with links to TeachersFirst's content about some of those books. Check out this list for some new ...more
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TeachersFirst offers a listing of 100 of the best books for children, along with links to TeachersFirst's content about some of those books. Check out this list for some new literature ideas! The original list came from an NEA member poll. Many newer books have been suggested since then, but this list remains a solid offering of "classics."

tag(s): reading lists (79)

In the Classroom

This is a great starting point for reluctant readers. Provide this list (or link) to parents to use during the summer months to help with the "I'm bored" days. Why not challenge your students to read their way through the list during the school year by setting a personal goal and documenting their reading journey in a reading journal, blog, or class wiki with one page per student? They will enjoy looking back over their reading year!

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Webquest 101 - TeachersFirst

Grades
1 to 12
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Newly revised, TeachersFirst's extensive tutorial explains what a webquest is, why it can be useful in the classroom, and how to create your own webquest on a topic of your ...more
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Newly revised, TeachersFirst's extensive tutorial explains what a webquest is, why it can be useful in the classroom, and how to create your own webquest on a topic of your choosing. Don't miss the section on url detective work and evaluating which sites are best for your students. Fid handy ways to collect resources for webquests and hints for checking reading levels and more. There are lots of examples, tool suggestions, and links to our ever-growing collection of sample webquests.

tag(s): tutorials (50), webquests (20)

In the Classroom

Mark this in your Favorites as a professional reference. You may even want to assign students to create their own webquests following these guidelines. If you mentor new teachers, share this resource when they are designing their first web-based projects.

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