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Visiting Authors - visitingauthors.com

Grades
K to 6
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Having an author visit your school is easy using this site. Author information, pictures and book lists, and hints on how to prepare for your author visit are all ...more
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Having an author visit your school is easy using this site. Author information, pictures and book lists, and hints on how to prepare for your author visit are all found here. Some of the authors include Marie Bradby, Timothy Bush, Nikki Grimes, Angela Johnson, Steve Lyon, Alexander Stadler, and many others. Learn where the author resides, fees, and more.

tag(s): printables (38)

In the Classroom

Have your students pretend to be an author who visits your school. Make a video of the "visits" from several "authors." Make a wish list of their expectations from the students. Have students create fictional stories of why the author wrote a particular book. Share them with the author for huge laughs. If you do invite one of these featured authors, make sure you read their books well in advance of the visit. Many of these authors have their own websites, so visit those sites as well. As a school event, you may be able to arrange a 'Lunch with the Author' fundraiser.

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SmartWriters.com - Roxyanne Young

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
While this site is geared towards writers, it also delivers powerful information to teachers and librarians. From the homepage, find the left-side links for Teachers and Librarians....more
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While this site is geared towards writers, it also delivers powerful information to teachers and librarians. From the homepage, find the left-side links for Teachers and Librarians. These include essential information on planning a great school visit from an author, resources for teaching reading and writing, and Teacher's Pets (tons of reviews of well-loved books). Also, at the SmartWriters homepage, click on the For Young Writers links to find how-to activities, contests, and publications for your students' work.

tag(s): resources (112)

In the Classroom

If you have budding writers in your class, make sure you check out the Young Writers link. Scores of websites open their doors to student publication. You must obtain parent permission before submitting any student work to such sites, however. Why not create a bulletin board, "Smart Writers," to highlight your own smart writers?

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Teacher Book Wizard - Scholastic

Grades
K to 12
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Wizards perform magical feats, and this book wizard proves to be equally supernatural. Claiming to be the first book search engine for teachers, it is built on a database of ...more
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Wizards perform magical feats, and this book wizard proves to be equally supernatural. Claiming to be the first book search engine for teachers, it is built on a database of 50,000 books from all publishers. Snazzy tools allow you to choose your own leveling system, and then match the student to a whole list of books. You will find ready-made, themed lists as well. Teachers can create their own book lists to share with other teachers. Use the BookAlike tool to see what books are similar to a particular well-loved book. Matching the right book to each individual student has never been easier. The Book Wizard Tour requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Teachers, make sure your librarian and even parents know about this wonderful web tool. This could be set up as the homepage for several computers in the library, so students can plug in their levels, their interests, and then enjoy the book recommendations. Librarians, use Scholastic's online library evaluator tool to evaluate your current collection. Teachers, take the Book Wizard Tour for an easy explanation of this helpful service.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Assign-A-Day Online Calendar - 4Teachers.org

Grades
K to 12
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Put your assignment calendar online and enhance teacher, student, and parent communication! Assign-A-Day is a free web-based calendar tool that provides an easy way to create...more
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Put your assignment calendar online and enhance teacher, student, and parent communication! Assign-A-Day is a free web-based calendar tool that provides an easy way to create monthly calendars for each subject area or grade level. Registration is free and takes you to your calendar manager page after you log on. Customize the calendar colors, font style, and size to make a unique look for your class. Create or edit assignments from any computer that is connected to the Internet. Add links to websites or your TeachersFirst favorites as part of an assignment. Invite colleagues to share the calendar and work collaboratively with you. Students and parents can see the calendar by visiting the web site (no log-on required) and entering the teacher name in the search box. The calendar can be printed out as a grid or a list for student and parent use at home. This website requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Consider creating a shared calendar for a grade level or subject area with your colleagues! Be sure to give your students and parents the web address to the Assign-A-Day web site. They can find your calendar using your name or calendar ID number. If you have a teacher web page, add a link to Assign-A-Day or ask your web master to add a link on the school web page. Besides assignments, use the online calendar to remind students and parents about other class-related items such as field trip forms, materials for science projects, great weekend family events, and the birthdays of historical figures. Since this is a public calendar, remember to protect your students' safety by not including student names. Check with your Information Technology department to make sure the web site is not blocked at school so that you can add assignments during prep time.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Free Reading - Wireless Generation

Grades
K to 2
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This collaborative, wiki-style site is full of rich literacy activities for grades K-2. Everything featured on FreeReading is research-based. There are small group and whole group activities,...more
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This collaborative, wiki-style site is full of rich literacy activities for grades K-2. Everything featured on FreeReading is research-based. There are small group and whole group activities, focusing on phonemic awareness and phonics. Topics range from sight words to letter sounds. You also have the option to contribute to Free-Reading. You can add a short story, add vocabulary for a book, rate an existing activity, and several other possibilities. There are videos of many of the lessons being taught in the classroom. The videos require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): phonics (75), preK (279), sound (100), sounds (68), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

The classroom possibilities at this site are endless. Whatever specific skills you are teaching in your language arts class, you are certain to find a correlating lesson or activity at this website. Use these resources to "spice up" your lessons and save time by not "reinventing the wheel." You might want to join the community so you can "give back" by sharing some of your own successful activities, as well. Of course, such a site is only as instructionally sound as its contributors make it. Be sure to read the FAQ and community information before contributing.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Block Posters - blockposters.com

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
Make a poster in a snap using this easy tool. Just upload your photo, slice it, and your poster size images will be downloaded to your computer--ready for printing. View ...more
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Make a poster in a snap using this easy tool. Just upload your photo, slice it, and your poster size images will be downloaded to your computer--ready for printing. View the site's gallery for poster ideas. The pictures are downloaded into a PDF file. Adobe Acrobat is required. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): photography (160)

In the Classroom

You could actually use this tool in any subject or grade level to create visual displays for your classroom or have students make their own (upper elementary and older). If you allow students to use this site, beware that the images in the Gallery may change frequently. What may be 'art' to some may be questionable to others. For art teachers, the use of this tool offers endless possibilities. Student artwork will take on a different air when blown up to gallery-sized prints. Teachers, think E-A-S-Y bulletin boards!
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Art Junction - Universtiy of Florida

Grades
2 to 10
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This is a colorful art education site that also speaks to non-art teachers. The site shares project ideas that incorporate self-expression. It also has lots of information about helping...more
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This is a colorful art education site that also speaks to non-art teachers. The site shares project ideas that incorporate self-expression. It also has lots of information about helping children learn to draw and paint. The site features a neat chart of the developmental stages of artistic output. In addition to art "projects," there are exercises to help children think more creatively and training exercises to look at things from multiple points of view and find unusual view of the everyday. There are also lesson plans, specific links and activities for kids and "Art Education 2.0" (for teachers who want to collaborate with other teachers). One project that's particularly appealing is "Community Stories." Schools share art projects and culture from around the world as they describe their schools and communities. Some of the activities require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): creativity (109), critical thinking (108)

In the Classroom

Find an art project to accompany your current unit or try the "Community Stories" link to reach out to communities you have learned about through the ESL students in your school or your world language studies.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Teacher to Ranger to Teacher Program - National Park Service

Grades
K to 12
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The National Park Service offers this unique opportunity for teachers in low income schools to spend a summer a park ranger, then "bring the parks into the classroom by developing ...more
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The National Park Service offers this unique opportunity for teachers in low income schools to spend a summer a park ranger, then "bring the parks into the classroom by developing and presenting curriculum-based lesson plans that draw on their summer's experience." If you are a budding naturalist, seeking a summer job that will make you a better teacher and bring the real world into your classroom, this opportunity may be for you. Only certain parks are involved, and the offerings on the web site change often,so keep checking back.

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ConnectSafely - Tech Parenting Group

Grades
K to 12
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This site is a discussion-opener on safe use of the "social web." Some of the tools included are social networking sites, virtual worlds, chat, cell phones, video-sharing, and more....more
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This site is a discussion-opener on safe use of the "social web." Some of the tools included are social networking sites, virtual worlds, chat, cell phones, video-sharing, and more. There are tips and advice for just about any medium kids and adults use today, as well as discussion forums where parents can ask questions and share information. Each article and advice section can be emailed at the click of a mouse. You can also download and share printable version (site creators do ask that you not modify them and that you simply tell them if you do download and share). While some posts may not represent your point of view, the important thing is to open dialog.

tag(s): internet safety (108), safety (92), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Include this link on your teacher or school web page for parents to access as part of a plan to work together. Consider using it as a hub for an evening discussion session with parents and students in a "round table" to air concerns and work together. Simply blocking or ignoring these tools is not educating or helping our kids. We want our students to grow into safe and responsible citizens both online and in person. If your school can involve and inform parents and students, you will have a better likelihood of using the new tools of the web in productive classroom settings, as well.

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Intel Schools of Distinction - Intel

Grades
K to 12
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" Every year, Intel honors U.S. schools that have demonstrated excellence in math and science education as Intel Schools of Distinction. One elementary, one middle, and one high school...more
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" Every year, Intel honors U.S. schools that have demonstrated excellence in math and science education as Intel Schools of Distinction. One elementary, one middle, and one high school in each of two categories -- math and science -- receive $10,000 cash grants and more than $100,000 in products and services from sponsors." Intel explains the criteria: "In order to be considered as an Intel School of Distinction, schools must develop an environment and curricula that meet or exceed benchmarks, including national mathematics and science content standards."
This grant opportunity recurs annually, with the deadline usually in February.

tag(s): grants (19)

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Online Stopwatch - online-stopwatch.com

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 1  Comments
  
What a wonderful tool to use in any classroom. This website provides an online stop watch (as the name suggests). On the home page, you have your choice of a ...more
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What a wonderful tool to use in any classroom. This website provides an online stop watch (as the name suggests). On the home page, you have your choice of a stop watch (counting up from 0) or a countdown (for the number of minutes or seconds you choose). There is even a "large stop watch" link that makes the counting a full-screen adventure (perfect if you are using your desktop computer at a distance -- easier for students to see). The stop watch and countdown both require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): counting (120)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool. Get out your interactive whiteboard or projection screen (or even the classroom desktop computer) and make sure the speakers are turned up. Use this tool for students to practice speeches, or to limit time for a quiz or spelling test. Shrink the stopwatch window in the corner of your interactive whiteboard as you time different teams completing a drag-and-drop challenge. The countdown feature could also be used for timing the rotations from center to center. You can even use the timer for reading fluency exercises or physical education warm-ups! A clever classroom management tool would be to start the visible count-down on your computer screen when you want the class to settle down for directions or to transition to the next subject. Kindergarten students can practice counting along with the watch!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

Comments

This is truly a wonderful tool, it uses flash though so it won't work on the iPad, in that case I suggest using http://ipadstopwatch.com it does the same thing but also has it's own unique features. Luis, , Grades: 0 - 12

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Eight Forty-Eight: Cyber Bullying - Chicago Public Radio

Grades
3 to 12
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This article, available in both audio recording and print on the web page, shares a parent's experience discovering that her daughter has been the victim of cyberbullying. The article...more
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This article, available in both audio recording and print on the web page, shares a parent's experience discovering that her daughter has been the victim of cyberbullying. The article is written from an adult perspective, but the facts and feelings it reveals are very real to anyone. Parents with children as young as elementary grades should be aware of things they should watch for, say, and do to help their children. Teachers should read it to understand the nature of the problem, as well.

tag(s): bullying (52), cyberbullying (43), internet safety (108), safety (92)

In the Classroom

Share this article with parents in a newsletter or school web page so they, too, can be involved in talking with their children about cyberbullying. Use it as a discussion starter for a parent organization meeting or possibly in a group of middle school students to open the conversation about their experiences and how different they are from what their parents were familiar with as children. Both parents and children would benefit from open dialog on the subject as part of a consistent effort for Internet safety in your school and homes.

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Understanding and Raising Boys - PBS

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K to 12
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It isn't easy being a boy growing up during the 2000s. This revealing website discusses how parents (or teachers) can better understand and raise boys. The objective is to help ...more
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It isn't easy being a boy growing up during the 2000s. This revealing website discusses how parents (or teachers) can better understand and raise boys. The objective is to help parents to raise boys who feel confident, succeed in school, and grow up resilient and responsible. The interactive features include slideshows and videos. The topics of this helpful website include "Boys in School," "The Search for Masculinity," "Active or Aggressive Boys," and "Emotionally Strong Boys". There is also a question/answer section. Some of the activities require FLASH. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Provide this website in your class newsletter or as a link from your teacher web page. There is also pertinent information for teachers at this website. Use this site to help better understand the boys in your class before you pick up the phone to call home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Common Craft - Common Craft Productions

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
  
This is a TeachersFirst Edge Entry for ANYONE who wants to know more about new technologies. No special skills needed. Watch and learn. If you are embarrassed to say that ...more
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This is a TeachersFirst Edge Entry for ANYONE who wants to know more about new technologies. No special skills needed. Watch and learn. If you are embarrassed to say that you don't know what all the "new web 2.0" terms are all about, this one is for you (and probably for your students' parents, as well). Common Craft uses a very simple, visual method of explaining all the latest technologies so that anyone can understand, using short video clips narrated by a positive and respectful voice. The next time you hear someone talking about RSS feeds or some other new doo-dad, stop here first so you will know what they are talking about. Did you think you were the only one who did not know? Fear not. This site has incredible popularity because there are LOADS of people quietly questioning -- just like you. To view the video clips FREE, click on "Video Library" and the topic that you wish to view. Despite a paid membership model, Common Craft still offers the videos for free, but it does have a watermark saying, "For evaluation only." If you wish to share this with a group, they will need to view it on individual/partner computers (or IOS devices) or on a projector that has a zoom function to enlarge a selected area of the screen.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): blogs (88), bookmarks (60), social networking (112), video (253), wikis (19)

In the Classroom

Start by looking at "Most Viewed" and "Most Popular Right Now," but don't be afraid to search for other topics that have you wondering. You will definitely want to make this site a Favorite and tag is as "professional" information to keep you informed. Share it on your teacher web page to help out your parents, too!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Tiny URL - Gilby Productions

Grades
K to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
This very simple little tool allows you to copy a LONG URL (web address), paste it into this web page, and get back a very short URL that fits far ...more
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This very simple little tool allows you to copy a LONG URL (web address), paste it into this web page, and get back a very short URL that fits far more easily on your teacher web page, in your handouts, or on your blackboard for students to enter.

In the Classroom

If you make a map in Google Maps, an online graphic organizer, a set of online flash cards, to anything else that allows you to share my emailing or copying a URL, this tools will save you from endless errors or emails full of ten-line URLs. Be sure to show your middle and high school students how to use it, as well. This will solve the problem of URLs that get split and no longer work when the text wraps around to another line.

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Tools and Templates - Education World

Grades
K to 12
13 Favorites 0  Comments
This website is full of templates that are ready to use, just download and print. Many templates can be customized. Topics are too numerous to list. Sample topics include ice ...more
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This website is full of templates that are ready to use, just download and print. Many templates can be customized. Topics are too numerous to list. Sample topics include ice breakers, back to school, graphic organizers and parent-teacher communication.

tag(s): back to school (58), calendars (44), classroom management (134), graphic organizers (43)

In the Classroom

Check out the icebreakers for the first day of school, and back to school sections for many ideas and ready to use templates. Remember that if you want to SAVE a file from a download, you should RIGHT-click the link and choose "Save Target As" to save it to your computer.

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New Teacher Hotline Podcasts: Tech Toolbox - Glen Moulton, Mike Kelley, Candy Shively

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
 
New teachers, pre-service teacher candidates, student teachers, substitutes, or any teacher seeking ideas and practical advice for using technology as a teaching tool will enjoy the...more
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New teachers, pre-service teacher candidates, student teachers, substitutes, or any teacher seeking ideas and practical advice for using technology as a teaching tool will enjoy the humor and practicality of these podcasts by an experienced teacher and an experienced teacher/supervisor/administrator as they feature TeachersFirst Director of K-12 Initiatives Candy Shively and her "Tech Toolbox" segments. The Tech Toolbox has ideas for all teacher levels of technology expertise, including ideas for overcoming barriers to technology in your school and practical classroom management solutions for technology-based lessons.

Those who join the podcast site (free) can also submit questions that will be addressed in the Tech Toolbox podcasts every other month. Visit the site to listen on your computer or subscribe to the entire podcast series through iTunes syndication.

tag(s): newbies (18)

In the Classroom

Listen during your drive to school as you ponder how to make technology work for you and for your students as a tool for teaching and learning. Better yet, get together with fellow teachers for munchies and a beverage as you listen --and maybe talk about the ideas and how they might fit your situation. Beat the frustration of trying to find and plan for technology integrated lessons as you relax together with Mike, Glen, and Candy Shively. If you make it a ritual with your friends, you may find the collaboration really helpful in making teaching the career you had hoped it would be. You choose the location to listen, and the podcasts will help with the rest.

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Auto English - Bob Wilson

Grades
K to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
   
This is a wonderful new "labor of love" resource for second language learners and ESL teachers created by an English teacher living in Spain. It includes the typical ...more
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This is a wonderful new "labor of love" resource for second language learners and ESL teachers created by an English teacher living in Spain. It includes the typical grammar lessons, flash cards, worksheets, phrasal verb practice, and idioms, but also less typical links to many video lessons and a few audio mp3's. Many of the sections have unique applications; for example, the vocabulary section has both online interactive practice and printable materials for the same lesson. The puzzles and games section includes a variety of printable worksheets. This site requires Flash. Get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): grammar (216), idioms (44)

In the Classroom

This is a good overall site you can rely on for a variety of ESL purposes. Use it to find lessons and review activities for your ESL students.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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OneWebDay

Grades
K to 12
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"The mission of OneWebDay is to create, maintain, advance, and promote a global day to celebrate online life." Started in 2006, One Web Day is a day for awareness of ...more
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"The mission of OneWebDay is to create, maintain, advance, and promote a global day to celebrate online life." Started in 2006, One Web Day is a day for awareness of the power of the Internet and activities to highlight its use in positive ways. While part of the mission of OneWebDay is a sort of "Earth Day for the web," a chance to highlight and preserve the things that make the web a healthy place to learn, work, and share -- all in an ethical way. Schools may want to take the day (or the closest school day)to highlight how much we benefit from the web and how students and families can use it safely and positively.

tag(s): internet safety (108), safety (92)

In the Classroom

Some ideas to celebrate the day: Send class emails to the web sites you find most useful to thank them for their contributions to your class' learning. Find a school web site in another town or country and email the webmaster to relay a "hello" to a classroom there. Make a class wiki to share all the positive things you gain from the web---and invite parents to join in, too. Have students keep a web "diary" for 24 hours, noting every time they use or benefit from someone else using the web (even the weather man on TV gets his/her information from the web!). Predict how many "web contacts" your class will have, then add them up to see how close you came. Plan a OneWebDay event for your school and share it on the OneWebDay site or with the local press. With primary grade students, take the time to point out which activities you do in class come from the web (these children see "the computer" as the genie of all things and do not distinguish between the web and a CD game). Make a giant "web" out of yarn and "connect" everyone on the playground. Send an email from your class to the principal, telling him/her about OneWebDay. What else can you think of?

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Rubistar - 4teachers.org

Grades
K to 12
10 Favorites 0  Comments
This online tool gives teachers an easy way to find and create rubrics to fit any project. Join for free, then browse existing rubrics made by others or create your ...more
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This online tool gives teachers an easy way to find and create rubrics to fit any project. Join for free, then browse existing rubrics made by others or create your own, starting from scratch or from a template provided. You can even make rubrics in Spanish. Search rubrics by keyword or by subject. Choose "permanent rubric" if you wish to save your rubric on the site for more than a week. You can use one of your previous rubrics as the basis for a new one, simply by choosing to "duplicate" it (then make changes). This site receives funding through the U.S. Dept of Ed, so they do "track" use by zip code. There is also a tool to analyze your rubric scores for a project, though it seems a bit cumbersome.

tag(s): assessment (99), rubrics (32)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to create rubrics in advance for any project you assign and share them with students. If you realize that you need to make changes before the final projects are turned it, it is easy to do so from the saved rubric. >

Once your students are completely familiar with the rubric process, consider allowing them to have input into designing a rubric to evaluate something: new inventions, the best way to solve an engineering problem, best mystery, the best design for a bridge, etc. Then use this tool together as you design a class rubric on an interactive whiteboard or projector. What a great way to develop higher order thinking skills!

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