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CurriConnects - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Use CurriConnects to find books related to curriculum topics or subject areas. Build student literacy skills, reinforce the place of curriculum concepts in other contexts, and help...more
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Use CurriConnects to find books related to curriculum topics or subject areas. Build student literacy skills, reinforce the place of curriculum concepts in other contexts, and help students build the important reading strategy of connecting what they read to prior knowledge. Share CurriConnects as links on your class web page or wiki or share them with school and local libraries where students can select books to accompany what they are studying. Topics include Earth Science, Explorers, Frontiers and Settlers, Geographic Wonders (landforms), Inventors and Inventions, Maps, Math in Use, Medicine and Health, The Artists's Eye (books with outstanding illustrations and books about artists), What Do You Do? (careers). More are being added on an ongoing basis. Grade ranges vary.

tag(s): book lists (131), independent reading (129), reading lists (79)

In the Classroom

Share CurriConnects as links on your class web page or wiki or share them with school and local libraries where students can select books to accompany what they are studying. Explore the many ideas TeachersFirst offers for using CurriConnects in your classroom. Be sure to share these lists with ESL/ELL teachers for reading selections to build student vocabulary and understanding of curriculum.

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Dogs Serving Veterans - New York Times

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers a great starting point for class discussions of Veterans Day. It is an eight slide show about service dogs and how they are helping veterans who have ...more
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This site offers a great starting point for class discussions of Veterans Day. It is an eight slide show about service dogs and how they are helping veterans who have been disabled and as a way to dealing with stress. Each slide focuses on a veteran and his/her service dog and how the dog has enriched their daily life.

tag(s): disabilities (20), memorial day (12), veterans (19)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you study Veterans Day, the effects of war, or people with disabilities. Ask students to discuss a time when they have seen service animals and how they have been used to help someone. Discuss the information on the site and locate the countries where the veterans served on a map to help students understand what it means to go to war. Ask students to choose one slide and write a story based on what they see in the image. If your school is looking for a schoolwide service project, consider raising funds for service dogs.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Story Soup - Highlights for Children

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K to 6
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Story Soup is filled with a variety of reading activities for every elementary learning level and style. Students will enjoy the interactive nature of activities such as Goofus and...more
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Story Soup is filled with a variety of reading activities for every elementary learning level and style. Students will enjoy the interactive nature of activities such as Goofus and Gallant where readers can choose the twists and turns of the story; Rebus Roundup where students can fill in the rebus blanks to create their own silly stories; Book Clubs where learners can vote for their favorite books; and The Timbertoes where students can make their own stories using provided illustrations/captions. Students can experience a Story of the Week and The Arizona Zone, a section focused on the beloved Highlights character and her social issue-related debacles.

tag(s): literacy (106)

In the Classroom

Adapt this site for struggling readers by turning on the volume and providing it as a listening center while students follow along with the text. Allow students to work with partners to create silly stories and share with the class on the interactive whiteboard or projector. Extend the stories by using the writing process and allow students to publish their final outcomes. Use as an enrichment tool for those who finish their work quickly or need that extra challenge. Add to the desktop and use as a center activity. Or add it to the class web page and let parents and students investigate the site together.

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The Thanksgiving Story - Wilstar

Grades
3 to 6
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This site contains a short text explanation of events leading up to the first Thanksgiving held in 1621 and how that has led to today's traditions and celebration of the ...more
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This site contains a short text explanation of events leading up to the first Thanksgiving held in 1621 and how that has led to today's traditions and celebration of the holiday. Although it is fairly short, it contains many facts which would be useful in a classroom study of Thanksgiving. There is a short quiz at the end based on the information included that can be reproduced and used in the classroom.

Note - there is a link to a YouTube video midway through the information on the page, students may need to be cautioned that it isn't part of the activity.

tag(s): holidays (147), pilgrims (17), thanksgiving (36)

In the Classroom

Type up the quiz (or use copy/paste, but GIVE CREDIT) and give it to your students before studying Thanksgiving to assess prior knowledge. Use the story page on an interactive whiteboard for students to highlight key words and write a main idea sentence or do practice comprehension or notetaking skills during Thanksgiving season. Older students can read the site on their own at a classroom center and complete the quiz at the end of their session. After reading the story, ask students to write their own story from the perspective of one of the first Thanksgiving participants. Create a class book using their stories using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.

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Science in Action - Highlights for Children

Grades
1 to 6
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Science in Action is a website (created by Highlights for Children) that provides non-fiction, science-based literature for students and can be used across the curriculum. The...more
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Science in Action is a website (created by Highlights for Children) that provides non-fiction, science-based literature for students and can be used across the curriculum. The topics are fun, creative and add some variety for those learners reading about informational topics. Students can choose from a large selection of topics from categories such as Animals, Outer Space, Earth, Thinkers and Doers, and Science in Action. Make sure to check out the Scientific Experiments section for user-friendly experiments.

tag(s): animals (277), coral (12), electricity (89), insects (69), reefs (8), weather (189)

In the Classroom

Print science-based stories to use during Guided Reading at the teacher center to cover informal, non-fiction reading. Have students select a story, read it and present a summary of the main facts to the class. Extend this project by having students research their topic on the web and present a Power Point show that includes informational details such as photos, maps and statistics. Have your students work in cooperative learning groups and create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here. Have each student select one science experiment from the list and complete the experiments as a hands-on activity with the class. Have students write the sequence of events after watching the experiment and compare with small groups for accuracy.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Water Planet Challenge - Earth Echo International

Grades
4 to 12
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This site "dares" middle and high schoolers to change the world by improving the health of the environment! Start with the Water Planet Challenge. Click on the "Take Action" tab ...more
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This site "dares" middle and high schoolers to change the world by improving the health of the environment! Start with the Water Planet Challenge. Click on the "Take Action" tab to find action guides to inspire students to be Citizen Journalists or operate a cleanup. Step by step, students discover how to make a difference locally. Find lesson plans and content under the "Educator Resources" tab. Join the site to contribute lessons for others to use.

tag(s): conservation (128), environment (317), water (130)

In the Classroom

Use the "Take Action" ideas to develop ways to make a change in the local area. Create small changes as individuals and broadcast their effects to make even larger changes over time. Create a campaign to understand the issues with water and to encourage others to make a change. Audit the water use at the school to make recommendations to the local school board or town council. Create blog posts or letters to the editor (possibly coordinating with language arts class for persuasive writing) to make a point and offer solutions. Have your students create an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Picture a Story - Delaware Art Museum

Grades
K to 12
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Picture a Story is an interactive storytelling activity that lets you create stories with artwork from the Delaware Art Museum. Students first select a story genre, then a setting for...more
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Picture a Story is an interactive storytelling activity that lets you create stories with artwork from the Delaware Art Museum. Students first select a story genre, then a setting for the story to take place in. Next, they insert characters and props into their scene to create a unique scenario. From this assemblage students can either write or record an accompanying story. All of the available imagery comes directly from the Museum collection.

Be aware: there is an allow/deny button that pop up on this site. You must allow access in order to fully utilize this website. Before the site opens, they ask permission to access your computers camera and microphone. This will enable audio recording functions. Denial of this access will still allow students to create and write stories.

tag(s): art history (71)

In the Classroom

Picture a story is an engaging way to inspire students to write. Working from this rich bank of imagery can nicely support writing lessons about voice, sensory description, point of view, descriptive narrative, and story structure. Use this site with a projector or interactive whiteboard when presenting a writers workshop mini-lesson to the whole class. Use this site together with younger students (unable to read on their own) on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can submit their writing and record themselves telling their story. This is a great opportunity to address reading fluency, expression, and communication skills. Integrate writing lessons with art history. Have students research the historical significance of the images they choose. Take time to enjoy and review stories by other students and professional storytellers. This activity would work well for individual students in a lab or on laptops. Share the final project through email or submit it to the Delaware Art Museum's online gallery of pictures and stories.

General Tips and Reminders: Remember to obtain parent/guardian permission before allowing students to submit their stories. Also, check with your administrator to be sure that your school allows students to interact with the public online. Adobe Flash Player is necessary to record audio.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Virtual Pumpkin Carving - Kevin Jarrett, NCS Tech blog

Grades
K to 8
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This elementary computer teacher (and acclaimed teacher-leader in educational technology) has collected the very best of virtual pumpkin carving sites on his class blog. Scroll to the...more
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This elementary computer teacher (and acclaimed teacher-leader in educational technology) has collected the very best of virtual pumpkin carving sites on his class blog. Scroll to the wonderful Shockwave file version hosted right on this blog and to several other virtual pumpkin links below it. Go far beyond "mouse practice" to creative designs. You may be tempted to purchase several real pumpkins to try out the designs you work out here.

tag(s): fall (16), fall festival (5), halloween (39), holidays (147)

In the Classroom

Share these sites as part of pumpkin day at your school as you count and graph pumpkin seeds in math class, prepare pumpkin recipes in science, and write pumpkin stories. Save the mess and make a virtual pumpkin carving station on an interactive whiteboard or projector as part of a Fall Festival. Take a screen shot of your "best" pumpkin to accompany student writing on your class blog. On Windows, press the PrntScrn key to COPY your screen, then PASTE it into a document. You will want to use the crop tool to eliminate stuff around the edges. On a Mac, it's shift+command+4 to get a tool you use to select the portion of your screen to "screenshot." Then use the image file saved on your desktop as your illustration. You might even want to make a class book of pumpkin designs and stories.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Coloring Page Tuesdays - Elizabeth O. Dulemba

Grades
K to 3
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As the name of the depicts, this site offers FREE coloring pages. Children's books' author and illustrator, Elizabeth Dulemba, creates an assortment of "coloring pages" every week that...more
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As the name of the depicts, this site offers FREE coloring pages. Children's books' author and illustrator, Elizabeth Dulemba, creates an assortment of "coloring pages" every week that accompany her stories. There are images of animals, people, and various themes such as holidays, patriotism, and school. Simply click the image to open a .jpg to print and color. Sign up to receive alerts when new coloring pages are posted each week.

tag(s): images (269), themes (12)

In the Classroom

Although the original intent of the coloring pages are meant for younger students, they are perfect if you are looking to build a library of readily accessible images that can be categorized and saved into folders for quick display on your whiteboard or to embed in PowerPoint slides or documents. Simply right click on any image, and then remember to choose save target as, and name the image. You are then able to open it and size it accordingly.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Order in the Library - University of Texas

Grades
1 to 6
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This site offers 11 levels of practice to help students learn how to use a virtual library. They learn sorting, shelving, and reordering (placing mixed up books in the correct ...more
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This site offers 11 levels of practice to help students learn how to use a virtual library. They learn sorting, shelving, and reordering (placing mixed up books in the correct location) with a simple game. Sorting is level 1, shelving is levels 2 - 8, and reordering is levels 9 - 11. Players practice their alphabetizing skills, numerical arranging skills and knowledge of the Dewey Decimal system at 4 levels from expert to super genius. There is a short tutorial that you can view to understand the site. This site is also available in Spanish. At the end of activities, they can print out a certificate (useful for teachers to know students have been successful, but it does kill trees.)

tag(s): alphabet (91)

In the Classroom

Use this site as a preview to a trip to the library to explore library organization. This is also an engaging and practical application for understanding numerical order for math. ELL and ESL students will have no problems with language at any of these levels since it requires no more than a simple understanding of numbers and the alphabet.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Testmoz - testmoz.com

Grades
K to 12
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Use this very simple site to create a test that's accessible on the Internet. Create an automatically graded test easily and for free! Registration is not required to use or ...more
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Use this very simple site to create a test that's accessible on the Internet. Create an automatically graded test easily and for free! Registration is not required to use or to take the created tests. Simply click "Create a test," enter the test name, and create a password. Note: Be sure to remember the password somewhere because it is not possible to recover it. Read the directions on the Test Control Panel to adjust settings, add questions, and publish the test. Bookmark the URL of the finished test you make so you can find it later. After publishing, copy and paste the URL of the test into a wiki, blog, or site, for student access. View reports when students are done with the test.

tag(s): quiz (85)

In the Classroom

Skills required: Be sure to remember the password for your tests, as well as the unique URL. It would be wise to copy/paste them into a document you keep somewhere for reference. Users are unable to access the tests without the URL. Be sure to not share this ahead of time. Items in Testmoz are not made public.

Use where automatically graded tests are required, such as for formative assessments to check student understanding. Use as a "ticket out the door" to see what students know at the end of class. Be sure that this is the medium you want to use for testing. Be flexible with students who find it difficult to take online testing. Entering all the material ahead of time can be time consuming, so this may not be the best format for long tests. Use this quiz application to create study quizzes for review for students to complete as homework (or during class time). Have students rotate to create daily check quizzes for their peers (earning a grade for test-creation). Learning support students and others who need a little extra review might like to make quizzes to challenge each other or themselves. Have students who are preparing to give oral presentations in any subject prepare a short Testmoz for their peers to take at the end.

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geoGreeting - Jesse Vig

Grades
1 to 12
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This site is an engaging way to send greetings to friends via Google Maps. The creator became interested in seeing how many buildings looked like letters of the alphabet when ...more
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This site is an engaging way to send greetings to friends via Google Maps. The creator became interested in seeing how many buildings looked like letters of the alphabet when viewed in Google Maps so he decided to put them together as a way to send messages to friends. Just type in your message and it will be created using various buildings from around the world, your message can then be emailed to your friends. Each letter also includes a pop-up showing the name of the building and its location. Click here for an example of a message that can be created.

tag(s): architecture (83), maps (288)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Introduce students to Google Maps by creating messages with geoGreeting. Art teachers can use this tool to show the flexibility of letter forms created by real objects via satellite view. Primary reading teachers may even want to expose students to alternate letter forms created from satellite views! Use this site to expand your students' understanding of geography. Create messages, then explore and research the buildings and areas that are used in the creation of the message. Have students work with a partner to research a building and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. How about an interactive online poster ("glog") using Glogster EDU, reviewed here, or narrate a picture using a tool such as ThingLink, reviewed here. If you want to use another geography tool, have students use an online mapping tool to create their own "tour" for the class. Try a tool such as MapSkip (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Extreme Sentence Surgeons - Mr Nussbaum

Grades
3 to 8
7 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Critically injured paragraphs are in desperate need of repair. The goal of this activity is to find all of the grammar errors such as spelling, punctuation, word usage, and other ...more
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Critically injured paragraphs are in desperate need of repair. The goal of this activity is to find all of the grammar errors such as spelling, punctuation, word usage, and other mistakes. After 3 incorrect tries your patient (the paragraph) will "die" so it is critical that you have the skills necessary to make repairs. Upon successful completion, you can earn their PhD in extreme sentence surgery. Upon entering the game, the paragraph needing repair is shown along with a list of errors to find. This site does include minor advertisements. There are "sound effects" at this site.

tag(s): grammar (217), punctuation (43), spelling (169)

In the Classroom

Correct sentences together on the interactive whiteboard or projector (with the volume turned down). Print paragraphs for each student to correct before completing this activity at a computer center. Challenge students to write their own paragraphs that need repaired by the rest of the class. If you are having students use this site independently, you may want to use headphones or have them mute the volume.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Jayne, NJ, Grades: 6 - 8

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Sweet Search - Dulcinea Media, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Use Sweet Search to search the web for student friendly and informative sites for students of all ages to use. Simply enter your search term in the box. Use "Get ...more
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Use Sweet Search to search the web for student friendly and informative sites for students of all ages to use. Simply enter your search term in the box. Use "Get Widget" to place on a wiki, site, or blog for easy access by students. Use resources listed on the search page for more effective searching and specific lists for various subjects such as Social Studies. Although the search tool does not include TeachersFirst's teacher-friendly review and classroom use suggestions, the sites they find are solid.

tag(s): search engines (65), search strategies (30)

In the Classroom

Provide Sweet Search for your students to find some of the best student friendly material on the web. For older students, evaluate Sweet Search with other search engines to determine which provides the best information.

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Timelines: Sources from History - British Library

Grades
4 to 12
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This site, created in the United Kingdom, offers many timelines with a simple click to launch an amazing 3-dimensional page. Timelines are organized by subject matter and include samplings...more
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This site, created in the United Kingdom, offers many timelines with a simple click to launch an amazing 3-dimensional page. Timelines are organized by subject matter and include samplings from literature, sociology, history, everyday life, science, technology, explorers, medicine, and more. With another click, you can zoom from one century to another. Start in the 1210s and work your way through the years. View the context of history using visual artifacts from DaVinci's contemporaries to shopping in the 1890s. Connect historical events or technological accomplishments by seeing them alongside simultaneous events, precursors, or results. An additional option allows you to save favorite timelines and/or events.

tag(s): europe (75), literature (275), politics (99)

In the Classroom

This site is excellent for research projects or to provide visual context to your curriculum in social studies, world cultures, world history, literature, art, or western heritage classes. Offer this set of timelines as a research source for history, social studies, and literature classes. Show students these timelines on an interactive whiteboard. Or have students research various topics on their own using this fabulous tool. Pique their interest by letting them browse to find out what else happened at the same time as events in the standard history curriculum -- then ask WHY. Challenge cooperative learning groups to create online posters displaying their findings using an online poster creator, such as Padlet (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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World Wide School Library - World Wide School

Grades
1 to 12
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The world Wide Library is a collection of online books in the public domain. They are currently adding to the collection of classic titles from the Gutenberg Collection with the ...more
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The world Wide Library is a collection of online books in the public domain. They are currently adding to the collection of classic titles from the Gutenberg Collection with the offerings of the Hart Library. It is well-organized and easy to use. You can search by subject, title, author, or in a general box at the bottom of the page. Available texts are in English and also in other languages such as French, German, other Germanic & Scandinavian Languages, Italian, Latin, and Spanish.

tag(s): literature (275)

In the Classroom

Use these online texts as a source for easy copy/paste excerpts to use on an interactive whiteboard when studying literature. Suggest that students browse the offerings to see sample a book or author when searching for independent reading or research materials. Share the texts in world language classes. Since the texts are no longer under copyright, they are a great source for literary projects such as visual interpretations of poetry, or online posters about literary devices. Use a tool such as GlogsterEDU, reviewed here for students to create online visuals with text and more. Share the link on your class website for students to find copyright-free texts any time.

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32 interesting ways to use Google Docs - Tom Barrett

Grades
K to 12
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At the time of this review there were 32 ideas, but who is counting? Find exceptional ideas for using Google Docs in this online presentation. Use ideas presented here at ...more
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At the time of this review there were 32 ideas, but who is counting? Find exceptional ideas for using Google Docs in this online presentation. Use ideas presented here at a variety of levels and subject areas. Create a collaborative environment using these ideas. Revisit this presentation often as more ideas are added. If it is temporarily offline, check back in a few hours. Tom Barrett updates it often!

tag(s): assessment (102)

In the Classroom

Use Google Docs to gather information from your classes, collaborate on documents and notes, collect data from lab activities and more. Follow some of the great experiments in the presentation, such as a different twist on reading response journals, exit slips as formative assessments, and more. Be inspired and find your own twists to these great ideas.

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SMART Lesson Collection - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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This is a collection of ready to go, SMART Notebook activities from Scholastic. This collection covers all grade levels with activities in many areas. At the time of this review ...more
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This is a collection of ready to go, SMART Notebook activities from Scholastic. This collection covers all grade levels with activities in many areas. At the time of this review topics included: "Back to School: August 2008 Lesson Activities," "Math and Science Lesson Activities," "Earth Day Lesson Activities," "Famous People Lesson Activities," "Phonics Lesson Activities," "SMART Lesson Activities," and "SMART Senteo Question Sets." Please note that all of these activities require SMART Notebook software (which comes with SMART brand IWBs). If you don't have SMART Notebook you can download the SMART interactive viewer which can be found on the site.

tag(s): iwb (31)

In the Classroom

These lessons are great for the new SMART Board user or the seasoned pro. Use these if you need a lesson but don't have time to create one from scratch. View the lessons and use them as ideas to help you create your own lesson.
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Snappy Words-Free Visual Online Dictionary - Snappy Words.com

Grades
2 to 12
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Snappy Words visual dictionary is an easy-to-use online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus. It provides the meanings of words or phrases, generates synonyms, and draws...more
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Snappy Words visual dictionary is an easy-to-use online interactive English dictionary and thesaurus. It provides the meanings of words or phrases, generates synonyms, and draws connections to associated words. Simply type a word in the search box and click "GO." Instantly you will see a word map. An extra built in feature is the words in the visual interactive display are color coded according to parts of speech. Look up as many words as you need anytime; there is no limit on the number of searches and no registration is required. As with most online tools, teacher monitoring is strongly advised.

tag(s): maps (288), parts of speech (68), speech (92), thesaurus (24)

In the Classroom

Teachers and students on all grade levels will love usingSnappy Words for all subjects. Demonstrate it on your classroom whiteboard or projector, bookmark it in your favorites, and make it directly available to students from your class webpage. Elementary students will enjoy defining their spelling words or content area vocabulary. They can categorize their words by parts of speech or create a list of synonyms. Students can then create their own word "maps" for new vocabulary words using drawing tools or online graphic organizers like bubbl.us, reviewed here. Middle school, high school and adult learners can use it as a valuable tool for vocabulary specific to a literary work or subject area, preparing for a standardized test, or while reading assigned material or a book, poem, or article of choice. Whether you are writing content for an article, a blog, a letter, or any assignment, minimize this website and play with words to avoid repetition, choose precise meanings and kick your vocabulary up a notch! Share this one on your class web page, for sure.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Blipsnips - blipsnips.com

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Use this online application to take videos from either You Tube or Vimeo and snip the unwanted sections by only choosing the part to share with others. After registering, click ...more
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Use this online application to take videos from either You Tube or Vimeo and snip the unwanted sections by only choosing the part to share with others. After registering, click "Create a blipsnip." Enter the URL of the video. Click "Play It" to start watching the video. Click "Tag it" to mark the portion of video you wish to keep. Click "Save and share" to send to others. Blipsnip can also be used by dragging a bookmarklet into your browser toolbar.

tag(s): movies (67)

In the Classroom

This application is very easy to use. Users must create an account and be able to find the URL of a You Tube video they wish to bookmark and share.

Check with your technology department about using You Tube videos in your school. If your school blocks You Tube, ask about getting selected videos unblocked.

Use this application to find little segments of videos that can be used in the classroom. Bookmark (or save in your favorites) the sections and use to show only the parts of what you want. This is great for removing extraneous or unneeded material as well as keeping portions of videos hidden for the purpose of meaningful discussion. Separate World War II videos into separate battles. Clip different cell processes apart from each other in a Biology class. Share the "meat" with your class, and take out the parts of the videos that are not useful for learning. Even in primary grades, the ability to show "clips" from longer videos makes them more classroom-friendly.

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