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Common Core: The Fuss Over Non-Fiction - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Delve into the Common Core Reading standards and the shift to greater emphasis on non-fiction, "informational texts." If, like many teachers, you teach in a state that has adopted the...more
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Delve into the Common Core Reading standards and the shift to greater emphasis on non-fiction, "informational texts." If, like many teachers, you teach in a state that has adopted the Common Core State Standards, this Q/A article will help you to make sense of this shift and provide you with some practical tips and resources to get started. Although the article is intended for elementary teachers as part of our Help! I lost my library/media specialist series, the general questions about Common Core and reading informational texts apply at any level. TeachersFirst plans to offer further articles as Common Core "rolls out" in more and more schools.

tag(s): commoncore (92)

In the Classroom

Read the questions/answers and explore the suggested resources as background during this new challenge. Mark this article in your Favorites as you begin to implement Common Core. Many of the suggested resources may be helpful during curriculum planning sessions with other teachers. Click the "share" widget to send them to others!

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Introducing the ELA Common Core - Kevin's Meandering Mind

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
  
View this Prezi to learn more about the focus and goals of the Common Core English Language Arts standards. Among the highlights are reasons for the Common Core, shifts that ...more
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View this Prezi to learn more about the focus and goals of the Common Core English Language Arts standards. Among the highlights are reasons for the Common Core, shifts that are taking place, video clips explaining WHAT the Common Core means, and where Common Core plans to go.

tag(s): commoncore (92)

In the Classroom

This Prezi is very useful for the introduction of the Common Core standards to faculty or parents. This would be a great presentation to share at faculty meetings, inservice, or even at Back to School Night (probably a short clip, not the entire presentation). Share this link on your class website for parents (and older students) to learn more about the Common Core.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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TIM - Arizona Technology Integration Matrix - Northeastern Arizona University

Grades
K to 12
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Arizona's TIM presents levels of technology integration with fifty exemplar lessons to show increasing expertise at enhancing learning with technology. Presented in a 25 cell matrix...more
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Arizona's TIM presents levels of technology integration with fifty exemplar lessons to show increasing expertise at enhancing learning with technology. Presented in a 25 cell matrix format, these lessons include five meaningful learning environments and five levels of technology integration (all defined on the grid). Each cell has two lessons with a short video. The lesson levels are K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. These detailed lessons also include Arizona State Curriculum and Technology Standards. The lesson page is printable, and the accompanying video is concise.

tag(s): professional development (123), teaching strategies (24)

In the Classroom

If you want to improve and grow in how well you integrate technology in support of teaching and learning and not as an end in itself, the levels of this integration matrix provide a framework ( and vocabulary) for growth. Think about where you are now and about your goal for effective use of technology. Look at some of the lessons between where you are and your goal to find lessons you can use with your curriculum. If you are a teacher who is in the middle of this grid, this can be'?the nudge you need to get you moving towards the goals you have. Work together with a teaching buddy to support each other as you grow. Suggest this matrix to your principal or professional development planners as a way to structure self-directed, individualized professional development.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pause For Later - Pause For Later

Grades
K to 12
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Pause for Later is a browser extension that allows you to pause a YouTube, Vimeo, or Hulu video and resume playing it anywhere, anytime. You do have to download and ...more
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Pause for Later is a browser extension that allows you to pause a YouTube, Vimeo, or Hulu video and resume playing it anywhere, anytime. You do have to download and install the bookmarklet or extension. Sign up for a free account for the server to store details of your paused videos. The program also keeps a record of the videos you watch, saving you from having to bookmark or search for them later. The program has extensions or bookmarklets for Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari. There is an "Action" button on the side of the video that allows you to restart from the beginning and mark it as unmarked. There are several other features. After installing the extension, you'll see a pause button in your browser. Continue your paused videos from any computer, not just the one where you paused them.

tag(s): video (253)

In the Classroom

If a video is too long to share during one class period, use this tool to pick up where you left the video. It is worthwhile to ask the techies to install it at least on your teacher machine if school machines are locked down. Share this with your students when you assign videos to be watched from home, queuing the video to the start point you want the to use. Encourage students to mark start points for videos they include in oral presentations. Save them time searching if they get interrupted while viewing. This would be a useful tool to share on your class website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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40 Interesting Ways to Use QR Codes in the Classroom - Tom Barrett

Grades
3 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
Find ideas for using QR codes in the classroom. This slideshow is a must-see to get many unique ideas for using QR codes. Examples include adding QR codes to worksheets ...more
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Find ideas for using QR codes in the classroom. This slideshow is a must-see to get many unique ideas for using QR codes. Examples include adding QR codes to worksheets for students to check answers or to go to a video explanation for completing the worksheet. Another idea: print a QR code on a sticker and place into textbooks for students to access additional content. Add to displays or bulletin boards to make them interactive. There are many great ideas shared on this site. It is definitely worth a visit for anyone using or wanting to use QR codes in their classroom. Of course, you do need to have devices that can read the QR codes; smart phones and iTouches work well.

tag(s): qr codes (21)

In the Classroom

Choose one of the ideas suggested in the slideshow as a starting point for using QR codes. Try additional ideas one at a time. Share the slideshow with other teachers and split up the ideas for each to become an "expert" in one of the strategies. Share your experiences as you learn together. Challenge your students to dream up other uses for the codes. As a service project, students could create a QR code school "tour" or add QR codes for students to use while waiting in the cafeteria line to access nutrition information about today's menu.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Twitter - Education Chats - Chat Scheduler

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
This Google site is a chat schedule for Twitter educational hashtags. Take a look at who is using Twitter and why. You'll see that Twitter isn't just idle "chat." This ...more
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This Google site is a chat schedule for Twitter educational hashtags. Take a look at who is using Twitter and why. You'll see that Twitter isn't just idle "chat." This is just the educational chats. You can find diverse chats about everything from leadership, to minimalist running enthusiasts, to 4th grade teachers, and more. You'll probably find something that piques your interest! Some of the chats occur live, but many are ongoing. Not free at a chat time? You can always read the tweets later.

tag(s): microblogging (44), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Explore the site to discover and follow educational and professional chats that match your interests and needs. Read the tweets about what is happening in other classrooms to gain some new/fresh ideas. Students in upper grades interested in a particular career or trying to find a mentor in an area of interest could use this. You may want to preview and pick out certain hashtags for your student(s). Want to know more about Twitter? See TeachersFirst's Twitter for Teachers page.

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Portfoliogen - Create a Free Teacher Portfolio Webpage - CG Solutions LLC

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
PortfolioGen is a platform where teachers and pre-service teachers can build simple webpages to highlight their professional portfolios. Write "about me" pages, highlight certifications,...more
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PortfolioGen is a platform where teachers and pre-service teachers can build simple webpages to highlight their professional portfolios. Write "about me" pages, highlight certifications, upload documents, and provide links. Use the included forms for potential employers to contact you. Create an account by choosing a username and inputting basic email and contact information. Choose from available templates or create your own using your own background image and colors. Upload documents such as resumes, lesson plans, transcripts, and more. Use of the site is free; however, the free version does have limited document uploads and file sizes.
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tag(s): portfolios (28), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Use this site to create an online portfolio even if you are not looking for a new job. Share it with your principal or administrator as part of your evaluation process. Share it with parents from a link on your class web page. Model a positive, professional online image so your students can see how important this is in the 21st century. Use this tool to create a URL for substitutes to use with pertinent information including: lesson plans, student background, websites to use for enrichment, recordings of songs sung daily, etc.

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PDFescape - Red Software

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Use this site to be able to edit PDF documents. It is free and easy to use. Upload your PDF document or link to an existing online PDF. Add additional ...more
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Use this site to be able to edit PDF documents. It is free and easy to use. Upload your PDF document or link to an existing online PDF. Add additional text or free hand writing. Create drawings or add images. You can create PDFs, edit PDFs, fill-out existing PDFs, save/print PDFs, and more. When finished, download the final product. No sign up is required to use most features. If you must complete entry forms, applications, or otehr pdf forms, this tool can be a lifesaver.
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In the Classroom

Use to alter documents that may have been saved as a PDF in the past. Save this site in your professional resources. If you work with students who request college recommendations or need to fill out forms for scholarships or jobs, be sure to share this tool with them!
 

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Th!nk - Prestance, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
With all these technology tools at my fingertips, what do I do with them? Find some comfort at Th!nk. Providing step by step, picture by picture, instructions on how to ...more
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With all these technology tools at my fingertips, what do I do with them? Find some comfort at Th!nk. Providing step by step, picture by picture, instructions on how to complete tasks on anything from your smart phone to popular spreadsheet programs, this site is impressive and even universal. There are over 1,000 tutorials. Several topics appear on the main page, or you can search using the search box on the top of the screen. If you need help navigating your Internet browser, using your word processing software, operating your smart phone, using online payment services, using various social networking tools, or even playing some more complicated online games, this site will help. Serving you like your own technological personal assistant, share this. There is something for everyone!
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tag(s): computers (94), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Share this website with your students early in the school year so that they can reference it as needed. As you utilize word processing programs, spreadsheets, graphing programs, Moodle, or even Blackboard, share specific tutorials on how to do tasks with students before problems arise. Show that you are all learning this together. Then include links to those specific tutorials in student instructions so that they can go back as needed through out the lesson. This is a win-win. Students do not feel embarrassed asking you repeatedly how to do a simple step, and you do not get frustrated repeating yourself. If you teach younger students, bookmark this for your own professional use. Parents will surely appreciate the link to Th!nk, as well.

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Koshland Science Museum Challenges - Koshland Museum of Science

Grades
4 to 12
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Empower your students to get involved and solve some of the world's pressing problems. Join Koshland's Museum of Science Challenges. Join in by learning new skills, thinking critically,...more
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Empower your students to get involved and solve some of the world's pressing problems. Join Koshland's Museum of Science Challenges. Join in by learning new skills, thinking critically, and solving a problem. Challenges include background information. Look at the past challenges and discover the critical thinking and unique problem solving that won. Peek into future challenges to lead your students in new directions. Find resources, lesson plans, activities, virtual field trips, and web quests. Share your challenges and solutions on Facebook.

tag(s): brain (72), climate change (64), critical thinking (108), diseases (66), dna (69), energy (197), light (46), pollution (66), problem solving (272), space (205), water (130)

In the Classroom

In your classroom, offer challenges first as a problem based learning situation. Have students discover the background information and thought processes involved. Using these skills, apply to your own community. Start challenges at your school, community, state, or country level. Create a challenges competition at your school. Explore the teacher resources that apply to your classes.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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PDFmyURL - OpenTracker.net

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Turn any web page into a PDF document instantly with this incredibly easy tool! Simply type or copy and paste the url into the box and click the "P" button. ...more
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Turn any web page into a PDF document instantly with this incredibly easy tool! Simply type or copy and paste the url into the box and click the "P" button. Instantly the page converts to a PDF document and downloads to your computer for immediate use. Drag the site's bookmarklet onto your browser's toolbar for easy use at any time with any page.

In the Classroom

Use this site to print any web page without all of the headings and other extras that generally appear. Make print outs for students to practice highlighting and looking for main ideas in informational texts (especially if you do not have an interactive whiteboard to do this). Upload PDF's to your website for student use of single pages of websites instead of having students go through unneeded pages. Be sure to show students that you must make a note of the DATE when you made the pdf, since you should always include the "date accessed" in a project bibliography entry for a web site. Talk about "fair use" in making web page copies for temporary use as part of research or class activities vs copying web pages to hang them up as locker decorations! This may be a good site to share with parents via your website. (Help them save paper and print only what they need, not an entire website.)
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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ClipChoose - ClipChoose.com

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
ClipChoose makes polls based on YouTube videos -- not your typical polling/survey site. Create an account with only your email and password. Enter a question, then enter the URLs of...more
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ClipChoose makes polls based on YouTube videos -- not your typical polling/survey site. Create an account with only your email and password. Enter a question, then enter the URLs of up to eight YouTube videos. Share your poll by url or via Twitter or Facebook. The rest is up to your audience to make choices. The total votes for each choice show under the video clip. Not sure you want to make your own poll? Browse the site for polls already created. Be sure to choose before sharing with young people. This is a public site and content isn't moderated. Currently all polls are public; however, private polls and more management features will be available soon. View an example poll created here in less than 10 minutes. The videos are hosted on YouTube. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid reviewed here to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Challenge students to create their own polls then search for YouTube videos to support or explain each response. Create a ClipChoose poll as a teacher or whole class. Have students respond then write a response using quotes from videos to back up their choice. Administer a poll, then use the data for graphing practice. Display sample polls (made by you or the class) and data for practice with interpreting graphs. Collect parent or student opinions about any topic. Take a poll at back to school night to find out what parents' greatest concerns or misconceptions are. Obtain quick feedback from students about which curriculum topics are confusing them. Allow students to create polls as part of critical thinking exercises such as how poll wording may bias the results. Encourage students to include polls in oral presentations to increase audience engagement. Teach students about types of propaganda using up to 8 example videos in ClipChoose. Ask students to select the one that demonstrates the use of a particular propaganda technique.

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3D Photo Cube - Hame

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Create a digital photo cube with MySpace 3D photoCube. Upload your favorite photos or images and add special digital effects. Make your photo cube glow, disappear, or control how ...more
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Create a digital photo cube with MySpace 3D photoCube. Upload your favorite photos or images and add special digital effects. Make your photo cube glow, disappear, or control how it spins. Copy the html code into your MySpace, blog, or website.
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tag(s): creativity (109), images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

This tool is obviously too complicated for your elementary students to use independently. However, it could be used as a whole group/teacher led activity with any grade level. Visualize photo cubes with pictures of special class events, field trips, or just the usual day! Change the cube daily, to feature different activities, subjects, or kids. Bring into subject area content and add public domain images to add visual information for the content you are studying. For vocabulary words, add images to explain. Use photo cubes to show the main idea of historical events, literature, or even math concepts. Make a photo cube with related or unrelated images and use as a writing prompt. Use photo cubes for sequencing practice. Have fun with extra curricular clubs and highlighting events. Begin your school news show featuring the cube from different places in your school during the day. Have older students create their own photo cubes to accompany poetry in an online literary magazine (using Creative Commons or their own images). Art students can create a cube with images of their own work as an opener to a portfolio web site. Share this tool as an option for a "visual aid" during speech units pr to present images as art of a research report. Embed cubes on your class wiki to support conepts such as environmental concerns or local history. Challenge gifted students to create visual "puzzles" where viewers must guess the word or concept that the images have in common. Teach creative flexibility!

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PDF Converter - pdfconverter.com

Grades
K to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Quickly and easily convert PDF to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Create a PDF from almost any file using the converter. To use, select the type of conversion. Locate the PDF ...more
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Quickly and easily convert PDF to Word, Excel, and Powerpoint. Create a PDF from almost any file using the converter. To use, select the type of conversion. Locate the PDF file you want to convert on your computer (even if it is only in your download folder). Enter your email address. You will receive an email with a link to your converted file. Be sure to check your "junk filter" on your email in case it does not show up directly in your inbox. Click on the attachment and download your brand new Word file! Maximum file size of an uploaded file is 2MB.
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tag(s): worksheets (59)

In the Classroom

Ever find really neat activity sheets, but they need to be tweaked a little to make them work for your classes? This tool helps you save time by allowing you to edit PDF files in Word to avoid reinventing the wheel. (Beware of copyrighted materials, however). Science teachers can take lab activities and refine questions or add instructions as needed for their classrooms. English teachers can add standardized test prompts to preexisting general worksheets to tailor the activity to suit their state's test needs. This is a helpful utility for students entering contests or completing applications offered only in pdf form.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Handspeak - Jolanta Lapiak, Handspeak

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Handspeak is an online American Sign Language dictionary and tutorial resource. Find literature in American Sign Language as well as research, kid talk, finger spelling, video clips,...more
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Handspeak is an online American Sign Language dictionary and tutorial resource. Find literature in American Sign Language as well as research, kid talk, finger spelling, video clips, and news. Stay current with the ASL word of the Day and the Phrase of the week. Jump into the different leveled lessons to learn manners, greetings, and numbers.
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tag(s): sign language (8)

In the Classroom

With Handspeak, students can easily learn and acquire ASL in a simple straightforward method. Use as a world language option or as a supplement in your ASL class. Experiment with the world of non-hearing people, and find ways to communicate. Use on your interactive whiteboard for whole group instruction. Or use it as centers for individual learning. Use as a supplement to your units on senses, sound, or human body in science. At your health fair, provide the information as a station for expanding knowledge and understanding. Use as an analogy to figuring out vocabulary words in context. Add background to literature about differences, discrimination, or hearing impairment. Include in your list with inventors and inventions.
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Bullying Preventation Resources - National Association of School Psychologists

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 0  Comments
Find resources, research, books, and other information at this bullying prevention resource from National Association of School Psychologists. The site is not visually interesting,...more
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Find resources, research, books, and other information at this bullying prevention resource from National Association of School Psychologists. The site is not visually interesting, but the materials are excellent. Categories include statements and guidelines, resources for families and educators, research, and books and products. Many of the resources are in PDF format, making them perfect to easily copy and share. One exceptional resource is Bullies and Victims: A Primer for Parents. It contains very specific descriptions of bullying behavior (including cyber bullying) along with interventions for bullies and victims.

tag(s): bullying (52), cyberbullying (43), professional development (123)

In the Classroom

This is an excellent site to use as a professional resource within any school or district especially when developing policies to address bullying. Share information with parents during Open House sessions. Share this site with PTA or parent organizations and discuss ways to address bullying in your school. Share with school counselors as an addition to their bullying resources. Include the link on the school web page.
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Sub Hub - Rachel Friedrich

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
 
This blog offers ideas and resources to help substitute teachers make the most out of every day. It includes practical ideas such as what to bring to school as a ...more
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This blog offers ideas and resources to help substitute teachers make the most out of every day. It includes practical ideas such as what to bring to school as a substitute (who would have thought to bring your own "teacher-friendly" pencil sharpener?). There are also free k-5 lesson plans. The best part is all of the tips, support, and stories provided for substitute teachers "in the trenches." Although geared toward elementary teachers, ideas and suggestions are appropriate for any grade level.
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tag(s): classroom management (134), newbies (18), substitutes (21)

In the Classroom

Regular classroom teachers might want to share this in their emergency lesson plans for subs. Substitutes, don't go into the classroom empty handed. Bookmark this useful website (or make it a TeachersFirst Favorite so you can find it anytime) and be prepared for the unexpected! New teachers and student teachers can learn from the many tips. If you are mentoring or working with a student teacher, share some of these ideas. For even more, be sure to check out Teachers First's Ideas and Resources for Substitutes here.

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Promethean Planet - Promethean, Inc

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 1  Comments
 
Looking for resources to use on your interactive whiteboard? If so, this site is a tremendous resource for all whiteboard users, not just those with a Promethean Board. View, search,...more
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Looking for resources to use on your interactive whiteboard? If so, this site is a tremendous resource for all whiteboard users, not just those with a Promethean Board. View, search, and download from over 60,000 resources in all subject areas and grade levels. Use the Resources tab to search by state standard, content, grade level, or resource type. Register on the site to enable download ability as well as many other features such as saving favorites, reviewing resources, asking questions on the technical forum, following specific users, and uploading your own resources. Each resource includes a short description, grade level recommendation, file format, and size. Another great feature is the slide show included with each download for previewing different pages used on each chart.

tag(s): iwb (31), numbers (204), preK (279), resources (112)

In the Classroom

Before you try any of these activities, think about how you can make the lesson more student-centered. Find ideas in TeachersFirst's Hands off, Vanna! Giving Students Control of Interactive Whiteboard Learning . Browse the site for interactive whiteboard resources to download for classroom use. Bookmark and save favorites for later use. Download any resource, then tweak it to your individual needs. Have questions about creating Promethean Flipcharts? Post your question on the technical board to receive helpful replies. If you have a SmartBoard, be sure to check out the SmartBoard lessons and resources page located here. You will need to download the ActivInspire software (free).

Comments

This is the go-to site for Promethean flipchart downloads. Most files were created by teachers. The only downside is that the files are hit-or-miss. There are many gems, but you might have to browse some not-so-great files to find them. Tim, , Grades: 0 - 6

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Zoho Sites - ZOHO Corp

Grades
K to 12
0 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Zoho Sites provides simple, easy, free solutions to all your website needs! Using an email address, join Zoho use the simple, drag and drop website designer. Add images, audio, social...more
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Zoho Sites provides simple, easy, free solutions to all your website needs! Using an email address, join Zoho use the simple, drag and drop website designer. Add images, audio, social media widgets, and google apps. Built in blogs allow an instant interactive website. The free version includes permission to create and host two websites, a mobile website, 2 forms per site, blogs, uploads of up to a 5 MB file, and more. Zoho also gives an email address. Zoho also offers other services, such as Zoho Show, reviewed here.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): portfolios (28)

In the Classroom

Create separate websites in addition to your regular class website for student writing, after school clubs, webquests, or literature groups. Coaches can update practices, schedules, and up to date information. Parent groups can collaborate easily and effectively. Create a website for all the science, art, language arts, or math teachers in your district. Students can also create websites as ongoing "presentations" or me-portfolios showcasing their work. Start me-portfolios in middle school or earlier for students to manage their own "digital footprint" as 21st century learners.

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TipJar: Take a Tip, Share a Tip - Google

Grades
4 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
Submit a suggestion on Tip Jar! Some of the general topic areas include food, finance, travel, kids & family, and others. Find money saving tips from organizations like americasaves.org,...more
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Submit a suggestion on Tip Jar! Some of the general topic areas include food, finance, travel, kids & family, and others. Find money saving tips from organizations like americasaves.org, betterbudgeting.com, and choosetosave. Find tips for yourself, add your own ideas, and vote on the usefulness of specific tips.

tag(s): financial literacy (80), money (193)

In the Classroom

Include the tip jar as a resource with your unit on personal finance. Have students submit questions and comments for the tips, individually or using a class account. Use the TipJar idea as an model for tips on for classroom behavior, study habits, striving to be your best, and leadership qualities. Use the idea by creating your own Tip Jar Wiki for your classroom to share study tips, homework help, and more. Not comfortable with wikis? Check out the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through.

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