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Environmental Graffiti - Chris Ingraham Brook

Grades
6 to 12
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Looking for interesting stories and tidbits about the environment and its inhabitants? Find information and facts at this blog. Click "Submit Your News" if you have interesting information...more
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Looking for interesting stories and tidbits about the environment and its inhabitants? Find information and facts at this blog. Click "Submit Your News" if you have interesting information that would be a good story. Find stories that can easily apply to any science subject.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ecology (135), environment (317)

In the Classroom

Use these stories as writing prompts, prompts for further research, or sparks to learn about something new. Consider assigning students to find and share related information to share with the rest of their class. One idea for students to show they understand the consequences or implications of an article would be to have students write diary entries, in the first person, much the same as Diary of a Worm reviewed here. Have students publish their diary with Simplebooklet, reviewed here,to share with classmates and parents.
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The Interactive Raven - TeachersFirst

Grades
6 to 12
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Here's TeachersFirst's famous on-line presentation of Poe's classic poem, with notations explaining definitions and literary devices. Roll over words for definitions, literary devices,...more
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Here's TeachersFirst's famous on-line presentation of Poe's classic poem, with notations explaining definitions and literary devices. Roll over words for definitions, literary devices, and more.

tag(s): halloween (40), poetry (228)

In the Classroom

This is a great on-line independent study for students who need additional help with either vocabulary or poetic devices. Introduce the site on your projector (rollovers will not work on an interactive whiteboard), then have students work alone or with a partner to become acquainted with the full text of Poe's masterpiece, accessing definitions and literary devices on their own. Challenge students to create their own dramatic readings of the poem using a tool such as Podomatic, reviewed here, or accompany their reading with illustrations using Thinglink, 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 (64)

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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Aspects of the Antebellum Christmas - Conner Prairie

Grades
7 to 9
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This site looks at Victorian Christmas observances from the American point of view. Focusing on holiday celebrations between 1830 and 1860, this site examines the growth of the Christmas...more
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This site looks at Victorian Christmas observances from the American point of view. Focusing on holiday celebrations between 1830 and 1860, this site examines the growth of the Christmas holiday as we know it, examining those traditions that have continued into the 20th Century and those that are but a memory.

tag(s): christmas (64), victorian (21)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a resource during a unit on Christmas, or while looking at the differences in American life before and after the Civil War.

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Dickens and Christmas - David Perdue

Grades
7 to 12
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Charles Dickens had a profound influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today. This informative site details the revival of Christmas during Victorian times, draws connection to...more
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Charles Dickens had a profound influence on the way we celebrate Christmas today. This informative site details the revival of Christmas during Victorian times, draws connection to many Dickens' novels, and explains several significant themes evident in A Christmas Carol.

tag(s): christmas (64), dickens (13), victorian (21)

In the Classroom

Use this website as a tool during a unit on Christmas or Charles Dickens. Challenge students to create a multimedia presentation around a theme from Dickens using one of the TeachersFirst Edge reviewed multimedia tools.

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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. Consider having students create their own online Victorian "albums" using a tool such as Mix Book (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 (63), artists (75), comics and cartoons (74), creative writing (166), drawing (78)

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 (4-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 (4-minutes) and very easy to follow. Blogs, podcasts, and videos are highlighted at this site. This site does have a small advertisement at the bottom of the screen, click on the X to remove the advertisements. There is a link provided, along with code to embed 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 (88), podcasts (52), social networking (112), video (254)

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 in terms of communication and safety. Create podcasts using a tool such as podOmatic (explained here).
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The Unofficial Harry Potter Fan Club - Privately Published

Grades
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

Grades
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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Jackie French Koller - Privately Published

Grades
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 (128), french (88)

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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 (75)

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 (47), webquests (29)

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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Gnowledge - Gnowledge Sdn. Bhd.

Grades
2 to 12
0 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Create your new ...more
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Create, assign, and practice tests easily with this resource! Create and manage your tests as well as view activity reports about those who have taken the test. Create your new test defining the name, subject, and whether it is your test material or from a third party. Create questions, add images, and include bits of text snippets. Help options are found on the question pages. Enter the questions, answer choices, and actual answer as well as answer explanations will be provided. Be sure to look at all the question type options in the tabs above: Fill in the blanks, Match, Multiple Choice, and True/False. When finished, be sure to click Apply New Changes, Make Visible. Note: All created tests are made public but need not be turned on until needed. Students can take tests and go back later if needed.

tag(s): quiz (84), quizzes (96), test prep (95)

In the Classroom

Use this resource as a way to practice material and improve students' scores in preparation for an actual test. Use this resource to practice involved questions that like those found on the state tests. Practicing with various question formats builds confidence and improves performance. Create quizzes and tests that students must pass before moving on to other content or other harder tests. Use these as progress steps along the way to help students learn the content as they progress through a unit. Learning support teachers may want to work together with small groups to create their own "practice" quizzes before major tests.

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Everyone can create, publish, share and take tests of any subject or syllabus on this site. Kudos! John, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Questioning Toolkit - From Now On

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

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

In the Classroom

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

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Speakit! - Google Chrome

Grades
1 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Speakit is an easy to install, free program that converts written text on web pages into spoken words within the Chrome web browser. At the time of this review, ...more
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Speakit is an easy to install, free program that converts written text on web pages into spoken words within the Chrome web browser. At the time of this review, it works exclusively on Google Chrome. You can use this extension in many different languages. All you do is highlight the text, and it reads it aloud. There are some errors in the program, they are still fixing. The tool works only on website text, not documents, etc. This extension uses text to speech service and might not be accessible to those whose computers prevent download/installation of software.

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

In the Classroom

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

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Brainyquote - Brainymedia

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

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

In the Classroom

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

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Add voice to your pictures easily and effortlessly with this free site. Add your picture easily to Twitter, Facebook, and an unbelievable number of other sites. Don't see your site?...more
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Add voice to your pictures easily and effortlessly with this free site. Add your picture easily to Twitter, Facebook, and an unbelievable number of other sites. Don't see your site? Use the URL link or embed code to add your Fotobabble where you see fit. How easy is it? Upload your picture (you can choose whether it is public or remains private.) Add your voice and review quality. Share by clicking on the option you require or copy the embed code or URL to share.

tag(s): images (266), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Users need to be able to locate and upload pictures. Use an attached or internal microphone to add voice to the picture. Manage the final product by email, adding to the vast array of services listed, or using the embed code.

Consider the use of a class account that is shared by all instead of using individual accounts.

Be sure that students understand to use appropriate and copyright free pictures. Check with your district policies about using pictures of or by students as well as using this service.

Use in any curriculum area. Use to show and tell about a favorite animal, historical figure, place, or event, artists or musicians, scientists or technologies, characters from fiction, or how to play a specific sport (as told by the ball!) to name a few. Take pictures during a science demo and have students upload and speak as the science concept - or as Sir Isaac Newton or Louis Pasteur! Have students write stories and upload a photo of their story's setting, reading their story aloud as viewers take in the setting. Try different options of storytelling: first person as an inanimate object, flashback, etc. Art teachers can have students upload a photo of recent artworks and narrate their technique or thoughts in creating the work. Speech/language teachers and ESL/ELL teachers will find that photos can promote oral language practice (and preserve a recording to demonstrate progress). A picture can SPEAK a thousand (or more) words!

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One Word - Oneword

Grades
3 to 12
5 Favorites 1  Comments
Oneword is a quick, simple-to-use writing prompt generator. Each day on the website, one randomly generated word appears at the top of the screen. You have sixty seconds to write...more
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Oneword is a quick, simple-to-use writing prompt generator. Each day on the website, one randomly generated word appears at the top of the screen. You have sixty seconds to write about it. Click "Go" and the page will load with the cursor in place. Don't pause to think; just start writing whatever that particular word inspires, and keep your fingers typing, (or pen moving), until time is up. WOW sums it up in "one word!" This activity builds creative fluency and flexibility! One word of caution: before you click on the button to submit, you must type your name and email. Students do not HAVE to submit their work. Carefully check your school's policy. See suggestions below for how to deal with this effectively in the classroom.

This tool also has a "read" section where you can see what others have written. Since this section is unmoderated and open to the public, it could contain writings not appropriate for the classroom. Stick with the writing prompts page to avoid this issue or prescreen before sharing.

tag(s): creative fluency (8), journals (21), writing (359), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

Oneword can easily be displayed on your interactive classroom whiteboard at the front of class or as an inspirational "sidebar" as students enter class. Preview that day if you plan to display the public submissions, since they are unmoderated! Teachers may use their school email (or free gmail account) address for submissions. When working on individual computers, you may want your students to write their entries offline and save them for the class to submit to a single account. The whole tedious task of entering student names and email addresses can be alleviated by the teacher signing up and creating a free account. This will also provide you with a continually expanding list of more "oneword" features and give you access to all of your entries in one place. Another option of course is keep it old school; students open their journals and just write. Like many other familiar writing prompts, they can be used in a number of ways, including daily warm-up activities, journal entries, free-writing, or as an "anytime" or "when you're finished" activity. The element of surprise is inherent in Oneword, which provides built in motivation, as students, ready-to-write, wait for the word to appear on the screen and then, without hesitation... Go! This is a spontaneous exercise in flow; therefore you may want to revisit these one minute entries and choose some for revising and editing into a cohesive piece at the end of a week or other designated time period. You can also use the prompts for student volunteers to model writing techniques on your interactive whiteboard. Have students brainstorm lists of words that would be good writing prompts that are only "one word." ESL/ELL students will improve vocabulary with such brainstorms. Teenagers can try something new by creating an interactive book online with the collection of various different entries for one word. Not sure how to do it? Create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
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Because the site is not moderated, any unsavory or objectionable entries are on full display. I did not request a membership so I don't know if there is a way for members to flag inappropriate comments. Not for my upper elementary kids, though I may use the idea off line. Ann, PA, Grades: 1 - 5

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PuzzleMaker - Discovery

Grades
1 to 9
6 Favorites 0  Comments
Here's every parent or teacher's dream: a site that helps you make your own puzzles, word games, and math puzzlers. There is a selection of almost a dozen different formats, ...more
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Here's every parent or teacher's dream: a site that helps you make your own puzzles, word games, and math puzzlers. There is a selection of almost a dozen different formats, each of which can be customized to meet your specific needs. Choose the puzzle type you want from the drop-down menu. Both adults and learners can create games!

tag(s): crosswords (18), puzzles (208)

In the Classroom

Create your puzzles by following the simple directions. These can be used both online and in print form. You or your students can create games for use on an interactive whiteboard (students highlight the answers in different colors). Have students create their own to challenge classmates! If you have kinesthetic learners or those with weak fine motor skills who have trouble with pencils, the whiteboard is a real help. Make it a center. Build a class collection of student-made games and puzzles for use over and over. Tip: If you take a screenshot of a word search or print it to a pdf, you can save it electronically. Screenshots: Prtscrn key on a Windows machine, then PASTE into a document; Command+shift+4 on a Mac; press both buttons at once on an iPad to save a screenshot to the camera roll.

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