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The House Fairy - The House Fairy

Grades
K to 3
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This site, created especially for young elementary students, offers an audio (with pictures) presentation all about the flu (and Swine Flu). Come along with 6-year old Libby to learn...more
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This site, created especially for young elementary students, offers an audio (with pictures) presentation all about the flu (and Swine Flu). Come along with 6-year old Libby to learn what the flu is, how to avoid getting the flu, what to do if you have symptoms of the flu, and more. Vocabulary words are discussed (for example, "symptoms"). Click on the other pictures to explore other facets of this site.

tag(s): h1n1 (13)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Brainstorm ways students can keep themselves healthy. Encourage your class or school to maintain healthy habits, dispel incorrect information, and avoid spread of flu by sharing this site.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Swine Flu - Made Simple - Stuffmadesimple.com

Grades
K to 8
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This site offers a short (5-minute) video explaining the Swine Flu. Learn about the symptoms, causes, how to avoid spreading the flu, and more. This site does include some advertising....more
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This site offers a short (5-minute) video explaining the Swine Flu. Learn about the symptoms, causes, how to avoid spreading the flu, and more. This site does include some advertising. To avoid advertising, click on the full screen box (bottom right).

tag(s): h1n1 (13)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have cooperative learning groups create multimedia presentations (focusing on causes, the flu itself, how it spreads, how to better protect themselves, etc.). Have groups create commercials about their topic, and complete additional research. Video the commercials and share them on a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here. Provide this link on your class website for students to share with their parents. See also this full listing of TeachersFirst Editors' Choice listings on the H1N1 flu.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Pixenate - Sxoop Technologies

Grades
2 to 12
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Use Pixenate for quick online photo editing. This free resource requires no registration as there is no image storage, only editing for saving elsewhere. Upload pictures from your computer...more
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Use Pixenate for quick online photo editing. This free resource requires no registration as there is no image storage, only editing for saving elsewhere. Upload pictures from your computer or enter the web address from somewhere on the Internet. Pixenate cautions users to follow copyright when editing web pictures. Once uploaded, use simple tools to edit the picture such as: undo, select, zoom, crop, resize, flip, rotate, color balance and tools, smooth, brighten, straighten horizon, remove red eye, brighten teeth, or draw lines and shapes. Choose more entertaining effects such as lomo effects, lens filters, adding clip art, creating heart shaped photos, and other effects. Edited pictures can be uploaded to flickr or saved to disk.

Be aware: students should be cautioned that the site sells services to make the photo into a gift (obviously, for a fee!). Other ads may appear on the page, as well.

tag(s): editing (60)

In the Classroom

Many times, pictures taken in the classroom need to be edited in some way, and this online photo editor provides many of the options needed plus a few fun effects. Since no registration is required, students can upload a picture, create effects, and save again on their computer. Advise students to use pictures that they have permission to alter. Using their own photos is one way to ensure this. Be sure to check your school's acceptable use policy. Students should be aware of how to upload and then find their creation. Use this service any time pictures are used for classroom projects, lessons, or activities.

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Find a Book - lexile.com

Grades
1 to 12
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This site allows teachers and students to go through four simple steps to find a book that has a lexile rating. The steps include entering a lexile range (if unknown: ...more
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This site allows teachers and students to go through four simple steps to find a book that has a lexile rating. The steps include entering a lexile range (if unknown: enter grade level and ease of reading), interests (similar to a keyword search), search of all items that come up, and list-making.

One disadvantage of the site is that you can only enter a keyword when you get to the third step. After a book list based on interests appears, then you can search by keyword to make the search zero in on specifics. When teachers or students select books for a reading list, they can then click to see the complete list of books they have selected. Clicking on a book title leads to another screen, but it does not contain a book summary; instead, it has a list of other keywords for the book along with other book data.

tag(s): book lists (126), independent reading (126)

In the Classroom

This site is great for teachers searching for books at specific lexile levels. Learning support and ESL/ELL teachers can find books to accompany units in content area classes but on the correct lexile level. Students can also use the site by entering their grade levels and what kind of readers they are. Use this site to differentiate the learning experience for all levels of students. Rather than having students complete traditional book reports, why not have them complete a multimedia project? Provide some choices such as a podcast, using PodoMatic (reviewed here), interactive venn diagram comparing characters (reviewed here), or online book using Bookemon (reviewed here).

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Bookshare: Books without Barriers - Bookshare

Grades
2 to 12
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This site allows FREE access to a number of books, newspapers, and magazines, all using adaptive technology. After a free registration (available to participants with documented limited...more
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This site allows FREE access to a number of books, newspapers, and magazines, all using adaptive technology. After a free registration (available to participants with documented limited vision), members can download books, textbooks, and newspapers in a compressed, encrypted file. They then read the material using adaptive technology, typically software that reads the book aloud (text-to-speech) and/or displays the text of the book on a computer screen, or Braille access devices, such as refreshable Braille displays. The advantage to this site is that it offers newer books and other written materials than many other online digital libraries. Besides written items, a number of videos are available which assist or focus on typical Bookshare users, many featuring them as success stories. A special page of information for teachers with limited vision students includes information such as other resources, reading lists, and handouts.

tag(s): air (163), disabilities (20), vision (87)

In the Classroom

If you have students with limited vision or certain specific qualifying learning disabilities in your class, be sure to save this useful resource in your favorites. List this link on your class website or wiki or email it to parents of these children. If possible, share this site with those teachers working with students with limited vision and qualifying disabilities.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Supalogo - Supalogo

Grades
3 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
Need to create a quick logo? This logo generator is fast, easy, and free to use. No registration is required. Enter your text and click "options" to customize your logo. ...more
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Need to create a quick logo? This logo generator is fast, easy, and free to use. No registration is required. Enter your text and click "options" to customize your logo. Options include a list of fonts, two gradient colors, and one outline color, and text sizes. View your logo before downloading as a png image or generating an embed code. You will need to know how to navigate finding images saved on a computer or using embed codes with various sites or blogs. Here is an example created by the TeachersFirst editorial team:

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In the Classroom

Students can create custom logos for class blogs or site. Logos can also be created for use with multimedia projects and presentations. Have groups design logos for their project or for your class, then use them throughout the year to promote pride of ownership in class projects and accomplishments. During the first week of school, have students design "personal" logos that tell about themselves and include them on your class web page. Demonstrate this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students try out the site on their own.
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Color Scheme Designer - Petr Stanicek

Grades
2 to 12
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Need help determining colors for a project, website, blog, bulletin board, or (if fashion challenged like me) today's outfit? Use this great site to determine colors that look great...more
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Need help determining colors for a project, website, blog, bulletin board, or (if fashion challenged like me) today's outfit? Use this great site to determine colors that look great together for your next project. Point and click on the portion of the color wheel to pick a central hue of your choosing. Decide among the following choices: monochromatic, complementary, triad, tetrad, among others to choose a selection of colors. View examples of your choice as it would appear on a web page. Use the RGB values for entering into the color number for your web page. RGB values are six characters (numbers and letters) following a # sign. Save your scheme ID number for future reference.

tag(s): colors (79)

In the Classroom

Art teachers can teach basic design and color wheel principles using this tool on an interactive whiteboard or have students experiment with different color schemes to demonstrate their understanding of color concepts. Be aware that some monitors and projectors may not have the color responsiveness that other hardware has, making it more difficult to "see" the subtleties on this site. Use this tool for creation of coordinated website, wiki, or blog pages. Students will find an unlimited number of color schemes to choose from in the creation of their projects. Not sure what a "wiki" is? Have no wiki worries - check out the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through.

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Cobocards - Cobocards

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This site allows you to create flashcards, and includes sharing and group capabilities. Many teachers will be able to navigate this free site very easily. Enter vocabulary terms and...more
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This site allows you to create flashcards, and includes sharing and group capabilities. Many teachers will be able to navigate this free site very easily. Enter vocabulary terms and definitions as well as any html (web page language), such as images and charts to create electronic flashcards and quizzes for word study to use in language or other content areas. Create individual sets of flashcards, or invite others to interact and learn the same words. Teacher or students can create groups to share word lists. As with other collaborative tools, the revision history is easily accessible.

tag(s): flash cards (46), grammar review (37), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Sharing with friends for collaboration does require the sending of an email invitation.

Explore the guided tour to learn an overview or find answers to specific use questions. Save your "sets" and decide whether you want them to be completely public, just for you personally, or shared with a "group." Create your own groups for each class or subject. Publish your cards for others to use. Published sets can be altered to create a new and personalized set.

Teachers in lower grades will want to create cards their students can use and perhaps have more techno-savvy help with the process. Content and English teachers may choose to set up their own network of users. Learning support teachers could suggest that their students create their own flashcard sets to assist learning of the concepts. Use the interactive whiteboard or projector for quick flashcard or electronic testing using your sets as a whole class or in small groups in the classroom. Collaborate with other teachers to create useful sets for all to use. Rotate responsibility each marking period among student groups in your class to create a set for each chapter/unit/week for the rest of the class to use as review. Give a special award (or bonus points) for the most creative, complete set that marking period.

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Diffen - Diffen

Grades
2 to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the ...more
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Do you sometimes just want to compare two things and not need a lengthy explanation of either? Diffen offers the simple goal of entering two terms and instantly receiving the similarities and differences in a table format. View simple definitions under the information table. Need more information? Wikipedia style entries of information area also available on the page. There is a Top 5 list. At the time of this review, the Top 5 included "Gross vs. Net," "Affected vs. Effected," "Meiosis vs. Mitosis," "DNA vs. RNA," and "Fruit vs. Vegetable. While not ALL topics are included, the variety is impressive. You can add your own comparison of terms to the list. You may want to discuss with your class the fact that the information here is only as reliable as the people who submitted it, and ask them whether they agree with the comparisons you find here. NOTE: If you explore some of the ready-mades or requested topics, there are some topics "compared" that are not school oriented, such as comparisons of popular television characters. Preview before turning students loose or simply direct them to a specific "diffen."

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

The options are endless. Search the differences between two types of soils, mitosis and meiosis, presidents or those running for office, of geometric figures, artists or musicians, places to visit. As a way to build higher order thinking skills, this site is ideal, since comparison of attributes requires analysis.

Try creating some lists of your own as a class after using the ready-made ones here. This activity would be easy to do on an interactive whiteboard, with students hand writing the characteristics and dragging them into Similarities and Differences columns before entering them into Diffen. This site could be used in nearly every subject area. Share this site on your class blog or website, for students to access both in and out of the classroom. This is definitely one to save in your favorites.

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Swine Flu: What you Need to Know - Nemours

Grades
K to 12
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Nemours' balanced approach makes this explanation of swine flu very helpful for parents, teachers, and kids alike. Not only does the article share the basic facts and simple strategies...more
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Nemours' balanced approach makes this explanation of swine flu very helpful for parents, teachers, and kids alike. Not only does the article share the basic facts and simple strategies fo staying healthy. Included are links to related articles for kids and for teens. In the lower area of the page (just below the clickable page numbers), look for "More on this topic" and click on the tab "For Kids" or "For Teens." The common-sense approach will help prevent spread of the disease and reassure frightened students in terms they can understand.

In the Classroom

Share this resource with your building principal and with parents to help control any panic about a possible pandemic.

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Brain Breaks - Dave Sladkey

Grades
4 to 12
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Here is a useful blog created by a high school teacher who saw the value of "Brain Breaks" in his own classroom. Many of the activities could be used with ...more
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Here is a useful blog created by a high school teacher who saw the value of "Brain Breaks" in his own classroom. Many of the activities could be used with older elementary and middle school students. The blog contains postings from several teachers. Each posting consists of a write-up of the activity as well as a video of the actual activity. The link provides practical uses and allows you to add your own as well. Breaks are archived so you can look at previous months. You can also download them. There are some great "breaks" at this site. The site does require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): back to school (58)

In the Classroom

"Brain Breaks" is an Learning Focused Schools ™ buzzword, but we all know students sometimes just need a 5-minute break with a built-in way to refocus at the end. Brain Breaks can be especially helpful when teaching on block schedule with longer classes. Here are some ideas to do that. Share one of the examples on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Take a 5-minute "brain break" and have cooperative learning groups brainstorm additional "brain break" ideas to use within your classroom.
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Educators' Top 100 Children's Books - NEA

Grades
K to 12
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As a result of a teacher survey in 2007, NEA has compiled this list of 100 Best Books for Children from an online survey The list is unfortunately not labeled, ...more
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As a result of a teacher survey in 2007, NEA has compiled this list of 100 Best Books for Children from an online survey The list is unfortunately not labeled, as the 1999 listing from NEA was, with age/grade ranges. You will find many classics as well as some newer entries onto the shelves.

In the Classroom

Share this list with parents via handout or a link from your teacher web page or use it to help make selections for you classroom library. If you provide independent reading incentives, be sure to make this list available to your students as they make book choices. Perhaps you would like to let them "review" books from the list on a class reading wiki or include student mini-reviews on your teacher web page. Or print the list out in a large font and cut strips for books appropriate for your class in general. Allow any student who reads and reviews one of the books to sign the strip and hang it, along with a review, on an "Our Reading Accomplishments" bulletin board.

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Video: RSS in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Wondering what an "RSS" is? Or maybe why you would want to use this time saver/ real world connection in your classroom? This short video (less than 4-minutes), shares ...more
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Wondering what an "RSS" is? Or maybe why you would want to use this time saver/ real world connection in your classroom? This short video (less than 4-minutes), shares WHAT an RSS is and HOW it saves you time by having your desired web content ready for you instead of your going and searching your favorite blogs and websites on YOUR time. Choose a reader (our editors like Google reader), set-up a connection between your reader and your favorite websites (subscribing; look for the orange RSS icon), and have the updates sent to your reader (rather than wasting your poking around and searching the web). 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): time (144), video (253)

In the Classroom

This is a great site for professional development. Once you set up a reader, you can subscribe to topics that fit in your curriculum: Google blog searches for inventions for your science class or current events feeds about the continent you are studying in social studies, for example. Administrators might consider sharing this time-saver with teachers during a training. With middle school students and older, share this video on an interactive whiteboard or projector (don't be surprised if they teach you MORE about the RSS options). Then have students set up a reader on an assigned topic to fit your curriculum or collaborate to set up a reader for the entire class.
 
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Video: Online Photo Sharing in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This short video (less than 3-minutes) about the subject of online photo sharing. This site refers to Flickr, reviewed here), but other services...more
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This short video (less than 3-minutes) about the subject of online photo sharing. This site refers to Flickr, reviewed here), but other services are also named. Learn how online photo sharing keeps your photos safe from fire (and even computer crashes). Learn ways to share and enhance your photos. 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): photography (160)

In the Classroom

This site could be used in many capacities: sharing students' work online (with parental consent, of course), sharing this video clip at in-service trainings for teachers to use both professionally and personally, providing the link on your website for families to view and use at home, and many other possibilities.
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Video: Web Search Strategies in Plain English - Common Craft

Grades
4 to 12
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This site offers a VERY short video (under 3-minutes) that offers tips on how to get the best responses to your web searches. This is a perfect addition to your ...more
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This site offers a VERY short video (under 3-minutes) that offers tips on how to get the best responses to your web searches. This is a perfect addition to your research unit, helping students to find information FASTER. 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): search engines (65)

In the Classroom

Share the video clip on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have students apply the tips from this video during independent or cooperative learning research projects.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Zamzar - Zamzar

Grades
K to 12
6 Favorites 1  Comments
   
Need an offline copy of a video? Need to make changes to pdf documents? This online tool allows you to download videos or convert files between different formats, including conversion...more
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Need an offline copy of a video? Need to make changes to pdf documents? This online tool allows you to download videos or convert files between different formats, including conversion of .pdf files to Word documents and Word to .pdfs. You can also convert music, video, and photo files to different formats of your choice. This is a VERY useful tool. Select the file to import or the URL of the video to download, the change to be made, and receive a link to the converted file in the new format via email. Then click to download the file from the link. You have only 24 hours to retrieve the file (RIGHT- click to download or Save Target as)!

The documents are editable after conversion. Images will not be as "editable" as text. The text comes in within a text box, but can be edited. Be aware that many school email spam filters may block the Zamzar emails because they view them as "spam." If emails do not come through or you cannot download from Zamzar's link, request the converted files be sent to a home email address and bring them to school "on a stick."

Be aware: there are MANY advertisements at this site, so this many not be a site that you want students to explore independently. Also, the site mentions having to register. You do not need to register to use most of the features.
This site includes advertising.

In the Classroom

Mark this tool in your favorites for easy access. Teachers should model ethical use of electronic resources (other people's work) for students. Making a "derivative work" from someone else's pdf handout should include a printed credit within the new document, giving credit for the original source, Ex. "Adapted from a handout by xxx available at www.theoriginalhandout.pdf." Such derivative use should only be done when the original copyright permits it, such as using materials that grant permission for classroom use. Be sure to give proper credit for videos and other files you save locally.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

Comments

One main problem with the site is that you need to enter the email address and wait for the email to download the file. There is a nice pdf conversion site http://www.pdfaid.com where you can convert and download the file instantly. Disclaimer: I am the owner of the website. pdf, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Make Beliefs Comix - Bill Zimmerman

Grades
2 to 12
9 Favorites 0  Comments
Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook...more
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Make comics to prompt writing, assess understanding, or as digital storytelling. Looking for an alternative to a quiz or an assignment of boring vocabulary definitions written on notebook paper? Trying to find a way to prompt students to write even short passages? Trying to teach simple dialog to ESL/ELL students? Working on appropriate language and interpersonal skills with emotional support students? Looking for a creative way to make clever newsletter additions, bulletin board items, or class rules? Use this great online tool for both students and teachers to create web-based or printed comic strips from a selection of characters and voice bubbles-- and with your OWN text! Our editors made a sample for you to see.

This site also features writing prompts. To find the writing prompts, click to Enter The Site and then scroll to the bottom of the page. The link for Writer Prompts can be found on the bottom right side of the site. The Writer Prompts link will lead you to the creator's blog, with many writing prompts (with new prompts added often). This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): comics and cartoons (74), digital storytelling (142), writing (358), writing prompts (92)

In the Classroom

This one is ideal for an interactive whiteboard or projector. Demonstrate the tool on the whiteboard or projector and allow the class to create a strip together before you share the link on your teacher web page. Have students create strips as a quiz or other assignment and email the links to you. No more papers to carry around and grade! Build a collection of comics on different curriculum topics to use as anticipatory sets/activators or to spark discussion. Have younger students make comic strip greeting cards for Mother's Day. The possibilities are endless.

The site creators tell us that Makebeliefscomix accepts accent marks and characters from Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin, Portuguese, in addition to English, they hope soon to add Chinese and Japanese.

Use the writing prompts to excite reluctant writers. Visit often, as new prompts are added weekly.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Google News - Google

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K to 12
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Google News provides a quick way to find news stories from all over the globe, including print media, television, and web articles on any topic you enter. Use Google search ...more
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Google News provides a quick way to find news stories from all over the globe, including print media, television, and web articles on any topic you enter. Use Google search terms just as you would for a general Internet search. you can also customize your Google News page to "serve up" topics of interest to you, assuming you have an iGoogle account.

tag(s): news (261)

In the Classroom

Set up specialized Google News searches for topics relevant to what you teach: biodiversity, current events topics that connect to your curriculum, or even your school name. Set Google News as the computer's home page and you have an instant "connection" to the real world right in your classroom. You can also customize Google News to education topics of interest to you for professional growth, such as special education, autism, NCLB, etc. Social studies teachers will also want to compare news articles collected on Google News for a current topic to help students see that news coverage is not always balanced. Ask students to compare articles from within the U.S. and those on the same topic written in other countries or by varied sources.

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Autism Society of America - ASA

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K to 12
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This information clearing house, the self-described "voice of the autism community" provides much-needed information on autism and related disorders. At this site you can explore About...more
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This information clearing house, the self-described "voice of the autism community" provides much-needed information on autism and related disorders. At this site you can explore About Autism, Life with Autism, Research & Programs, Autism Communities, and more! You can also sign up to receive e-newsletters, learn about fundraising opportunities, and find many tips for parents and teachers. This site is recommended in articles by the National Association of School Psychologists, a helpful endorsement in distinguishing among many web sites dealing with autism.

tag(s): aspergers (6), autism (22), behavior (46)

In the Classroom

Use this site to learn the basics about autism. No classroom teacher can be expected to be an expert on autism, but this site may help you understand some of what you see and some of the more recent information about autism, especially since few teachers receive much training about this in their teacher-ed programs. If you have students in your classes with autism, ask your principal if you can spend part of an inservice day reading and exploring this and other TeachersFirst resources listings on autism. This independent study may save your sanity and benefit students who really need our understanding. This is a great resource to provide to parents!

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The Teachers' Corner - The Teachers' Corner

Grades
K to 12
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This is a great site to mine for quick lesson plans, ideas on thematic units, or simply daily writing prompts. There are detailed lesson plans available for math, arts and ...more
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This is a great site to mine for quick lesson plans, ideas on thematic units, or simply daily writing prompts. There are detailed lesson plans available for math, arts and crafts, nutrition, health, music, math, reading, physical education, technology, writing, science, and social studies. Visit the Seasonal Items link to find even MORE resources related to Read Across America, 100th Day ideas, Daily seasonal writing prompts, and much more! Many of the links will take you to other sites, but the onsite printable worksheets and calendars make it worth a visit. Note: the site is laden with advertising, something TeachersFirst users may not appreciate! This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): fractions (239), nutrition (154), parts of speech (68), phonics (75), speech (92), themes (12), writing (358)

In the Classroom

Although this site has a TON to explore, one of the best places on this site is the daily writing prompt section (find seasonal prompts at the Seasonal Items link). You can share them on your interactive whiteboard or projector with a picture and fact about the day and a question requiring a written answer. This is a great discussion starter or activating strategy with any grade level and it can already be posted when the kids enter the room or used as a prompt for blogging. Whatever subject area you teach, if you are looking for some new strategies to reach your students, check out this site.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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