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Common Core State Standards - Common Core State Standards Initiative Team

Grades
K to 12
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a common set...more
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The Common Core State Standards Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the National Governor's Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers to establish a common set of educational standards which aligns benchmarks and expectations across state lines. This system builds on what states are already doing by providing an opportunity to share experiences, best practices, and lessons, while maintaining high expectations that insure the quality of education across America to enable our students to maintain a competitive edge in the global economy.

Visit this website to find out exactly what the national K-12 standards are for English language arts and literacy in history/social studies, science and technology, as well as mathematics, and to find out if your state is one many states (at the time of this review) that have already committed to adopt the Common Core State Standards. Watch videos and the recorded webinar, and read about the key points and rigorous curriculum standards, including the content and skills related to the use of media and technology for critical analysis and production.

tag(s): commoncore (95)

In the Classroom

Take a look at exemplars and sample performance tasks and students' writing to consider how you can integrate these ideas into your own planning to prepare students for the growing challenges of today's world. You can also sign up to receive updates via email. For more information about the Common Core and implementing it in your classes, see TeachersFirst's Common Core: The Fuss Over Non-Fiction, a Q/A article for elementary teachers, and TeachersFirst's resources tagged Common Core for many helpful sites.
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The Data Liberation Front - Google

Grades
7 to 12
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Do you use various Web 2.0 items and are unsure how to move information from one to the other (or from the cloud to your computer?) Use this site to ...more
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Do you use various Web 2.0 items and are unsure how to move information from one to the other (or from the cloud to your computer?) Use this site to learn how to move information from one area to another. For example, learn how to import and export bookmarks. Also learn how to import, export, or zip google documents to your computer.

tag(s): directions (19), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Provide this link as a resource to your students. Allow them the opportunity to learn techniques to move and manage their online information. Consider putting this link on your class website for students (and parents) to access at home.
 

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Wikimedia Commons - Wkimedia Foundation

Grades
K to 12
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using ...more
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Wikimedia Commons is a huge database of free media files (images, sound, and video clips) available in a wide range of languages. You can both access or contribute files. Using the same technology as Wikipedia, you can edit, upload, and embed media file projects into any Wikimedia project. Every media file comes with a description, name of the author and complete licensing details. Search for videos, images, or sound media by keyword, content categories, nature, science, or society. This is an amazing resource to use when searching for any multimedia content.

tag(s): creative commons (22)

In the Classroom

Address the needs of the visual learner and include media files as part of the research process. Wikipedia Commons offers a way for students to gain an understanding of content through images, sounds, and video. Give students the opportunity to communicate their knowledge by narrating a slideshow of images found on Wikipedia Commons or create multimedia presentations on a site such as Glogster (reviewed here). These free media files will also help ELL or ESL teachers explain concepts and key vocabulary. This site is a valuable resource for imagery useful when creating presentations, lectures, digital stories, reports or to include on a class websites. Students learning a foreign language may benefit from using Wikipedia Commons to learn about more about the culture and lifestyle of the country whose language they are studying.

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Kinder Site - Joel Josephson & Ziv Avidor

Grades
K to 6
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This international, award winning site provides a large collection of games, stories and songs for pre-school and kindergarten age children. They are beginning to extend similar services...more
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This international, award winning site provides a large collection of games, stories and songs for pre-school and kindergarten age children. They are beginning to extend similar services for children age seven to twelve. English Language learners may be able to access the site in their primary language as the site is available in seven languages. Some stories, songs, and games on the English speaking site are in Spanish. You can search for material by age, content, or by "educational," "playability," or "fun" value. Save appropriate activities on your "my page" for future use. There are some advertisements and a few video ads before interactive activities meant for older students. Ignore the advertising; the site content is worth it. Every link and site on Kindersite conforms to "Department of Children, Schools and Families" (UK) guidelines for safe sites for children.

Kindersite collaborates with outside institutions to develop educational projects that compile resources, generate new curriculum models, create training materials, and implement teacher-training seminars. Researchers can gather user data from Kindersite that represents varying population sizes, geographical groupings, and languages.

General Tips and Reminders: Some sites originate from the UK, so some of the pronunciations and spellings may differ from those in American English. There is some advertising on the right side of the page. Some links may direct students to sites that also contain advertising. Warn your students to avoid them.

tag(s): literacy (107)

In the Classroom

Invigorate shared reading with Kindersite's songs and stories. View the colorful illustration and text on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Some stories and songs highlight the tracking of words. Other sites provide character voices when you click the text in quotations. The animation will definitely engage everyone even those who wiggle on the carpet. Differentiate computer centers with the "my page" function. Save interactive tasks that target the instructional needs of students. Make a shortcut to the "my page" site collections on classroom computers and use it as a center. Be sure to take advantage of the professional resources Kindersites provides as well. Post a link to this site on your school website for parents to access at home.
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Quiznator - Quiznator

Grades
2 to 12
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access ...more
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Quiznator is a free, web-based worksheet, test, and any other type of learning document creator. Membership is free and is promised to always be free. You are able to access your creations online from anywhere! Email is required to join, however, verification is not required. Add your documents, test questions, and worksheets and let Quiznator organize and update them for you. This makes creating multiple version of the same exam quick and painless. This is a great way to back up files on the web for school!

tag(s): worksheets (61)

In the Classroom

Upload your test questions during the summer and feel free to add more as your school year progresses, but use this tool to save a bundle of time on test and quiz creation. Put your worksheet or activity sheet questions into the program and use the questions on quizzes.
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A New Way to Lecture - Michael Zimmer

Grades
4 to 12
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At this site you will find a slide show with at least fourteen different programs you can use instead of PowerPoint for your lectures. Are your PowerPoint lectures boring you ...more
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At this site you will find a slide show with at least fourteen different programs you can use instead of PowerPoint for your lectures. Are your PowerPoint lectures boring you and your students? Take a look at this online slide show, and choose one of fourteen different programs to convert just one of your PowerPoint lectures. Not only is each program explained, but many have suggestions for integrating your lectures with the program. Take a look. Learn about some great web 2.0 sites (Glogster, Prezi, TypeWith.me, Animoto, ToonDoo, and many others). Note that many of the tools mentioned are also reviewed on TeachersFirst in greater detail if you want to learn more.

tag(s): chat (53), comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (152)

In the Classroom

Surprise your students and yourself with how effective any one of these programs can be with your material or THEIR presentations. Create a comic strip to replace a traditional grammar lesson. Use a class wiki to discuss and debate topics in history class. Create an online poster "glog" on using Glogster to demonstrate a new math concept. Once you see a tool that sounds interesting, read its full review on TeachersFirst to find even more ways to use it.
 
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Bingle.nu - bingle.nu

Grades
K to 12
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Use Bingle to search topics of interest and find results from both Bing and Google. Simply enter your search term. Narrow your search for shopping, images, news, videos, etc. ...more
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Use Bingle to search topics of interest and find results from both Bing and Google. Simply enter your search term. Narrow your search for shopping, images, news, videos, etc.

In the Classroom

Provide different search engines for students to use. Many students will obviously prefer one over the other and this is one more search engine that students can use. As an introduction to searching, provide a list of search engines and provide the task to rate each search engine and the results that are obtained. Discuss the top results as well as features of each search engine that make it user friendly, etc. Rate the top results to determine relevance to the search term as well as use in class.
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Web Resizer - webresizer.com

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 1  Comments
 
This site is quick, easy, requires no registration, and FREE. Upload your image to this site in order to create a smaller file size for use on other sites and ...more
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This site is quick, easy, requires no registration, and FREE. Upload your image to this site in order to create a smaller file size for use on other sites and applications as well as adding effects such as corner rounding, rotating, tinting, changing contrast/brightness, or adding borders/edges. Upload an image up to 5 MB to alter easily with this site. Web resizer automatically reduces the file size to create an optimized image. Be sure to click "apply changes" once you have finished making selections. Click "start over" to remove previous changes. Download the image easily in a JPEG format.

tag(s): images (271)

In the Classroom

Provide the link to this site for students to use in altering and resizing images for use in presentations and online applications. Be sure students understand the file size needed for the various sites that are used in class (for example, wikispaces has a 20 MB file size limit.)
 
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Comments

Use this all the time. Easy to use and SO helpful. You can use online, don't have to download. Frances, CT, Grades: 6 - 8

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Titanpad - Titanpad authors

Grades
5 to 12
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Looking for an easy way to collaborate with students? Use TitanPad. Easily create a new public document, share the unique url, enter your name, and begin writing. Each collaborator...more
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Looking for an easy way to collaborate with students? Use TitanPad. Easily create a new public document, share the unique url, enter your name, and begin writing. Each collaborator receives their own color, making it easy to track each person's changes. Note that in order to keep a working document private, the url should not be shared with those not involved in the collaboration. Changes to the document are made in real time. Save the final document as html, bookmarked file, plain text, word, PDF, or as an open document. See past revisions and view the history slider to see the changes in order they occurred. This is a great way to "witness" the writing process and have simple and easy collaboration! If you were an EtherPad user, TitanPad is the reincarnation of your old favorite! Note: Be sure to READ the policy about how long TitanPAds remain before being deleted. It is linked at the start of every new pad! If you do not make many revisions, your work may only remain for 2 weeks since you last accessed it.

tag(s): editing (66), process writing (45), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to manage and share URLs and track changes in a document. (Titanpad makes this unbelievable easy.) Create an account in order to create a private space.

Use a private space for all of your classroom work. Simply create a new pad for new work. With an account, change the settings of your pad to public or keep it private. Be sure to share the URL on a wiki, blog, or site for access to the pad. Be sure final drafts (or rough drafts for that matter) are saved.

Use this site securely. If concerned about others stumbling into a collaboration, create an account to receive your own private space. As Titanpad does not require users to register for public space to begin editing, no email, logins, or passwords are required. Students are up and editing without taking precious classroom time logging in or creating accounts.

Host or record thoughts from brainstorming sessions. Use with groups for any type of project based learning. Students can enter not only during school hours but outside of school as well. Use to interview others including experts, people for school news, sports teams, and anything else you can think of. Use in curriculum planning, creating of review sheets (let your students help you on this,) drafting plans, and taking notes from meetings. Allow class scribes to use to enter material discussed during class. Use in workshops, trainings, etc. Common Core writing encourages collaboration as part of authentic writing process. Use the varied colors and revision history for students to demonstrate their collaboration.

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Bag the Web - BagTheWeb

Grades
5 to 12
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Want a location to place and share all of your vital links and information? Use Bag The Web to find a great place to view and share these links. Create ...more
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Want a location to place and share all of your vital links and information? Use Bag The Web to find a great place to view and share these links. Create an account easily and create your bag. Name it, find links, and paste them along with the titles and brief description. Find suggested resources below based upon information already entered. Add these easily with the click of a button. Use the embed code to place into a site, wiki, or blog to share with students or others. Share also by using Twitter, Facebook, or other services.

Here is an Example TF Edge "bag":

tag(s): resources (112), webquests (29)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to create an account, a new bag, and find relevant material to be placed into the bag. Use of embed codes or sharing of URL's are required to share the "bag" with others.

Create bags for each unit in your classes. Allow students to enter great resources that can then be used by all students. Build a bag for your class instead with resources that will be needed by students. Discuss annotating resources by creating short descriptors for each of the sites being linked. Create a class bag and then separate bags for units of study. Bags can be linked to each other, creating a great system to organize links and resources.

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Creative Sessions - Tuts+

Grades
6 to 12
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Explore the world of graphic design and cartooning through mini-lessons on Character Illustration and Illustrative Lettering, and more. Click "Browse sessions" to see the latest offerings...more
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Explore the world of graphic design and cartooning through mini-lessons on Character Illustration and Illustrative Lettering, and more. Click "Browse sessions" to see the latest offerings on this blog-style graphic arts site intended to help users of (expensive) Adobe creative software. You need not own the software, however, to click on images and explore a series of ten mini-lessons and galleries of images created by artists in the field. See inspiring new ways to create graphic fonts and artwork either on paper or using free digital paint tools such as Queeky reviewed here or Tuxpaint reviewed here.

Read the art concepts and try specific challenges to improve skills and refine your artist's eye. These "sessions" actually took place over a ten day period with professional artists participating and submitting work, but the archived results remain online. Note: Because the artwork is submitted by the general "artist" public, teachers would be wise to preview before sharing the site in class.

tag(s): design (83), graphic design (35)

In the Classroom

Share portions of a "Session" on a projector or interactive whiteboard as the intro to an art lesson on text, fonts, or advertising. Share this link when students are creating their own digital comics in support of curriculum content in any class. Provide this link along with art options for student projects to address visual learners and feature visual/spatial intelligence. Art/digital arts teachers will want to share this link on their class web page as a student reference for working independently. Tech ed teachers will want to share the typography ideas and information from today's professional graphic artists.

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Signed Stories

Grades
K to 5
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The goal of Signed Stories is to increase the literacy of deaf children; however, it is a great resource for all children. After choosing a story, you will see the ...more
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The goal of Signed Stories is to increase the literacy of deaf children; however, it is a great resource for all children. After choosing a story, you will see the text, hear the story and see it in sign language. Almost 100 titles are available and can be searched by topic or by browsing all titles. Some stories offer more options than others. Many stories have pause and rewind buttons, so you can replay to see signs again.

In the Classroom

Use stories on the interactive whiteboard or projector to teach story elements - pause as the story is read to allow students to retell details to the stopping point then make predictions of what will happen next. Help students understand disabilities and adaptations to disabilities through watching the stories being told in sign language. This is also a great resource for students with deaf/hearing impaired parents or students/teachers trying to learn or practice sign language. In sign language classes, consider creating your own signed story videos for children's books and share them on a tool such as TeacherTube reviewed here.
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Curriki - Global Education and Learning Community

Grades
K to 12
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Curriki is a website that has been designed to help educators connect online - the name comes from "curriculum" and "wiki". Teachers can search and find resources and lesson plans ...more
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Curriki is a website that has been designed to help educators connect online - the name comes from "curriculum" and "wiki". Teachers can search and find resources and lesson plans in all subjects. In addition, educators can share their resources within the community. After becoming a member you can save favorite resources to your favorites page for easy access anywhere. Resources can be rated and reviewed to help narrow down search findings. Curriki also offers online communities that can be created and joined by its members.

tag(s): resources (112)

In the Classroom

Use Curriki as a resource to find materials to use in your classroom. Join communities of educators with common interests to share and find resources.

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Cyberbullying Help: Preventing Bullying in the Digital Age - CyberBullyHelp.com

Grades
3 to 12
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This site contains all of the information that educators and parents need to know about cyber bullying. It contains resources, publications, lessons and links to help teach students...more
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This site contains all of the information that educators and parents need to know about cyber bullying. It contains resources, publications, lessons and links to help teach students about cyber-bullying.

tag(s): bullying (50), internet safety (104), safety (91)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter to help parents learn about cyber bullying. Assign students Olivia's Letter lesson as a homework assignment. Using the ABC's of cyber bullying, have students work in cooperative groups and create their own cyber bullying ABC book using information from the site. Challenge students to create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. Though the curriculum needs to be purchased, the site does include a scope and sequence for the cyber bullying curriculum. It is a great place to start if you are thinking of implementing a cyber-bullying curriculum. Use the downloadable PowerPoint slides for a parent information night. You can also listen to an interview with the books authors.
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Wired Safety - Parry Aftab, Esq

Grades
K to 12
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This site contains all of the information that educators and parents need to know about keeping kids safe online. It contains games, resources, publications and links to help teach...more
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This site contains all of the information that educators and parents need to know about keeping kids safe online. It contains games, resources, publications and links to help teach students about internet safety and cyber bullying. Click on the link for parents, tweens, kids, educators, or teens. The site challenges students to learn about the rules of cyber world and find their inner superhero. This site provides wonderful information to educators on a variety of "cyber" topics. For students to fully use this site, they must register (via snail mail). However, many of the informational links are available online with no registration required. Please note the link to their safe search engine was broken at the time of this review, but there were links to other safe search engines. In addition, the site of the week seems to be from 2005. Even so, there is a lot of useful information available at this site for students, teachers, and parents.

tag(s): bullying (50), internet safety (104), safety (91)

In the Classroom

Share this link on your class web page and/or in a parent newsletter to help parents learn about internet safety and cyber bullying. Educators use the site as a place to gather information to create a cyber-bullying curriculum. Have your students visit the kids or tweens section and have them read the articles written by real kids. After reading have your students choose a topic and write their own article. Have them publish the articles to a blog or use a Web 2.0 tool like Bookemon, reviewed here, to create an online book. Have students take the quiz to find out if they've ever been cyber bullied.
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Evernote - Evernote

Grades
9 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this fantastic application for note-taking and idea collecting from ANY device. Think of Evernote as a ubiquitous set of notebooks ready for you to add and read from ANY ...more
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Use this fantastic application for note-taking and idea collecting from ANY device. Think of Evernote as a ubiquitous set of notebooks ready for you to add and read from ANY computer or web-connected device. Evernote is available on the web, but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. Take snapshots of whiteboards, products, or whatever you like and upload them to Evernote. Search your uploads through the search function which will also search handwritten or printed text sections in photos and images. Sync everything through Evernote across all the platforms. Use Evernote to create notes and to-do lists and even clip entire Web pages. Use to manage passwords or even record audio. Everything added to Evernote is automatically synchronized across platforms and devices and made searchable. Evernote offers a free account as well as a premium paid version. If you use it a LOT, you may max out the free allotments for data, but try it to see! The free account offer 60 MB of new uploads per MONTH, and syncing across 2 devices. Categorize and organize information using tags, note titles, and notebooks. Keep track of several projects with the "Notebooks" feature. Use the web version or downloadable version of Evernote to share read-only notebooks with others. Download Evernote to add an extension to your browser to do web clipping with a click of a button. Click "New" to create a new document in your notebook. Use the search function at the top and even save searches for later use. Safety/security tip: If you have sensitive information (such as passwords, etc.) on your Evernote notebook but want to share other parts? Simply highlight and right click to choose "Encrypt Selected Text" to remove from the page to be shared.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (166), images (271), organizational skills (127)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Consider creating a class account that can be used by all students. Spell out the use of the site and what is allowed, not allowed, and the penalties. Even though all students have the same login, create different notebooks for different tasks that students can use to upload information that can be shared by all. Create separate notebooks for student groups who can then share their notebook with other groups. Use Evernote to snapshot and share links, documents, files, and pictures for any group project or class work. Whole class accounts can be used by a class scribe during class and accessed from home for review, etc. If your students are permitted individual accounts, they can collect notes in Evernote and share their research notebooks with you as evidence of completion of that phase of long term projects. Encourage creativity with your gifted students (or any students) by having them set up individual Evernote notebooks to use as "idea bins." Idea bins are a place to collect quotes, snippets of writing or poems they have started, questions and thoughts, artistic project ideas, images they like, or even voice memos to remember creative inspirations. It is important for students to know that idea bins (by whatever name) are an important part of the creative process, even for engineers!

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The Writer's Resource Directory - Carol Kluz

Grades
8 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Carol Kluz's site has hundreds of resources for writers that link pages to book reviews, writing workshops, tips, and more. Winner of the 2009 Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for...more
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Carol Kluz's site has hundreds of resources for writers that link pages to book reviews, writing workshops, tips, and more. Winner of the 2009 Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers, The Writer's Resource Directory provides an organized place holder for many tried and true essentials, as well as other perks and frills like interviews with authors, their words of wisdom, writers' tools, and a clever thesaurus of phrases and sayings which includes definitions and origins. Please do not let a few broken links discourage you; most links do work, and they are real gems. Whether you're a novice or an expert, there is something valuable for every teacher, student, and writer on this site.

tag(s): literature (275), poetry (226), resources (112), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the numerous tips and tools to spark a new idea or expand one that you already have going on. Save this site in your favorites and use it as a massive compilation of resources while planning your entire English language arts lessons, not just writing. Use your whiteboard to show a "how-to" video or display information to enhance your lessons. Provide a direct link on your class page to any one of the sites that you choose to feature; perhaps a literary genre, book, or author that you are focusing on, or daily writing tips, grammar help, and guides for students to develop practical writing skills for reports, e-mail, letters, resumes, and more. Share students' writing projects interactively by having students create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ad Out - adout.org

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Make any web site advertising free using the cool tool. Tired of directing kids back to the web site they should be using due to accidental clicks on ads? ...more
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Make any web site advertising free using the cool tool. Tired of directing kids back to the web site they should be using due to accidental clicks on ads? Use this free resource to make the page you are using ad free. Paste the web url into the field on this site to view your site in an ad free manner. To share the adfree resource, simply copy the new web address that is now ad free to share with your students. Note that some websites may be blocked by adfree. Check on your school computers to see if adfree is blocked or whether district filters already block ads. Missing ads show up as blank spaces on the pages.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): advertising (33)

In the Classroom

Use this resource to use sites without ads to keep students on track and not be distracted by information that is not content Be sure to share this link on your class website for families to use at home..
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Animoto - Animoto Productions

Grades
8 to 12
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This animation tool will help create a slide show with pizzazz. Add personal sounds, videos, and other media to create the next level of slide show for your classes. This ...more
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This animation tool will help create a slide show with pizzazz. Add personal sounds, videos, and other media to create the next level of slide show for your classes. This tool is great for PC-based schools without access to other free video or multimedia creation software. Create 30 second videos including music choices from over 300 soundtracks. A typical thirty second video requires twelve images making this a reasonable choice for projects with middle and high school level students. However, if you scroll to the bottom of the landing or pricing page and find the column titled "Animoto For" and slide to "Education" you will see that teachers can apply for the full Animoto for free for use in their classroom. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly.

tag(s): animation (66), DAT device agnostic tool (166), images (271), movies (69), photography (160), slides (65), video (268)

In the Classroom

Use this tool easily in your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) classroom since all students will be able to access it for free, no matter what device they have. Users need the basic understanding of how to upload pictures, videos, and other media, especially a user adding personalized content. Use stock images and media available through the site if you prefer. To create a show, simply click on the create button and follow the onscreen instructions. If adding personal images and video, the program allows searching through files. Add music from the site bank or from personal music sources (copyright-free, of course). Finalize the video with the last click and view your video. Share easily from the codes or export tools provided. Use Animoto to make commercials, science fair previews, and animated shorts in any content area. Have students make "advertisements" for an organism or a literary character. Make a travel commercial for a country being studied or for cultural sites in a world language class. Be sure to share the presentations on your projector or interactive whiteboard.

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Using Videoconferencing to Support the Use of Quality Texts - Mark Warner

Grades
3 to 12
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This site has some very clever ideas for using videoconferencing to help students delve deeper into quality texts, or extend their knowledge of a topic of study. As the creator ...more
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This site has some very clever ideas for using videoconferencing to help students delve deeper into quality texts, or extend their knowledge of a topic of study. As the creator of this site says, "Some of the ideas shown could easily be used as drama activities but there are some which would be improved by bringing in an outside helper using videoconference." Another very special aspect of this site is the book titles used, and the variety of age groups represented. This is a must see site!

tag(s): authors (121)

In the Classroom

One of the ideas presented is the "Interview." Use your interactive whiteboard for students to create questions to ask the author or an expert about the book or the subject of the book. Video the interview, or save the video conference, and have students reflect on the quality of the questions once the students have had the opportunity to illicit answers to their questions. Use your interactive whiteboard to have students brainstorm what they would do differently next time as far as developing good questions.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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