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Remember The Milk - Remember the Milk.com

Grades
K to 12
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Your busy life needs a manager. Now you have one: RememberTheMilk.com (also known as RTM). Don't worry about missing a date; any or all of these applications or programs will ...more
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Your busy life needs a manager. Now you have one: RememberTheMilk.com (also known as RTM). Don't worry about missing a date; any or all of these applications or programs will remind you: email, SMS, and instant messenger (AIM, Gadu-Gadu, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, Skype and Yahoo) are all supported. Set up a free account in minutes. Secondary students will embrace this tool to remind them of tests or assignments or sporting events. List making has made it to a whole new level.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (167), organizational skills (129), time (141)

In the Classroom

Read the Blog at this site to learn many cool ways to interact with your personal computer an devices using RTM. Learning support teachers and teachers of disorganized gifted students may want to "model" using such an online tool to help middle and high school students learn better personal organization. Make a demo account for a "mythical" student and organize him/her together so students can see how it works. You will have to check school policies and access to some of the messaging tools, however, since some may be prohibited in your school. Learning support and gifted teachers will welcome this online tool as an engaging way for students to become better-organized. Give students a tech tool, and they just might try it!

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Wiki Woman: How a Web Tool Saved My Career - Edutopia

Grades
K to 12
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Do you ever think you are the only veteran teacher who is tired of doing the same thing in your classroom? Do you wonder how to take on a massive ...more
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Do you ever think you are the only veteran teacher who is tired of doing the same thing in your classroom? Do you wonder how to take on a massive change and learn new technology tools to implement the change? This article in Edutopia magazine (online and print) features Louise Maine, one of TeachersFirst's review team members, and tells the story of the changes she made to her teaching style after 20 years in the classroom. The companion article , also in this Edutopia issue, provides specific how-to-do-this advice on making a class wiki the center of your class. Louise used the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through and our Wiki Warranty template at the start of her journey, and look where the path has lead!

tag(s): wikis (20)

In the Classroom

Take the time to read this article to build your own confidence to make a big change in your teaching -- one step at a time. Better yet, share it with your colleagues as the starting point for a teacher-conducted inservice where you work together to implement change. Not allowed to conduct your own inservice? Take the article to your principal and ask for a pilot cohort within your school to work on wikis together, starting from this article and the TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through. All you need is the confidence to ask. If Louise can do it, you can, too, no matter what grade/subject you teach.

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Lessons for All - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 6
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This collection of lesson plans features multi-sensory approaches to help all learners, including special needs students who benefit from multiple experiences with concepts. All plans...more
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This collection of lesson plans features multi-sensory approaches to help all learners, including special needs students who benefit from multiple experiences with concepts. All plans focus on consistency, repetitiveness, tactile and visual reinforcement--great for children with special needs. The original lesson plans were written by award-winning teacher Nora Coyle of Colorado, a KOAA-TV "Teachers First" Award winner.

Lesson content includes letter-sound relationships, parts of speech, paragraph writing, sequencing, earth science, animals, egg-laying animals, volcanoes, addition, and more. The staff of TeachersFirst has incorporated technology options, tips, and templates appropriate for younger students into the lesson plans to add yet another way for your students to experience and interact with new concepts.

Many of these ideas and templates can be adapted for use with almost any subjects and concepts, to differentiate for different learning styles. All lessons include national standards. Experienced and new teachers alike will find these examples helpful in designing multi-sensory, technology-infused lessons.

In the Classroom

If your classroom includes special needs learners or simply students who need a multi-sensory approach in order to master new concepts, try these lessons or use them as prototypes as you plan for other curriculum content. If you mentor new teachers or student teachers, share these examples for infusing technology into lessons and for differentiating lessons.

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Greenraising: Eco-friendly Fundraising - Greenraising

Grades
K to 12
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Why raise funds on items that cause the Earth to frown? Your school fundraising becomes 'green' when you register at this site and start earning funds from eco-conscience shoppers....more
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Why raise funds on items that cause the Earth to frown? Your school fundraising becomes 'green' when you register at this site and start earning funds from eco-conscience shoppers. Your school earns 25% to 40% of all internet or catalog driven sales. (Read the site for details.) Greenraising supplies you with order forms and catalogs if you care to do a catalog drive. It sounds easy, and it definitely is green. TeachersFirst does not ordinarily mention fundraising sites, but the possibilities for a school service project looked interesting enough to list this one.

tag(s): earth (231), earth day (111), ecology (135), environment (319)

In the Classroom

This fundraising organization may be a prudent way to fund your school's wildlife or biology club. Why not kick-off this event near Earth Day? Also, teachers, you can coordinate your recycling and earth-loving lessons around this fundraiser.

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Green School Project - Green School Project

Grades
K to 12
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Don't throw away those empty printer cartridges; make money by sending them to the Green School Project. This organization helps save the planet by recycling inkjet and laser cartridges,...more
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Don't throw away those empty printer cartridges; make money by sending them to the Green School Project. This organization helps save the planet by recycling inkjet and laser cartridges, cell phones, and PDA devices. It doesn't cost you a thing. They supply your prepaid shipping materials and free marketing materials. The site does require you to create an account (simple and free). Sign up at this site and start earning funds for your school immediately. Although TeachersFirst does not normally review fundraising sites, this project is an environmental lesson and project in one. This site also includes lesson plans, printable worksheets, literature lists, and web resources.

If you are looking for other "green" fundraising opportunities, check out the Greenraising: Eco-Friendly Fundraising site (reviewed here). This site requires Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): earth (231), earth day (111), environment (319), recycling (57)

In the Classroom

Click on the left link, "Lesson Plans and Activities" for more ideas on teaching students about recycling. Check the site frequently, as they offer 'specials' which translates to more money. If you submit a lesson plan on recycling, you earn a $10 credit. How about holding a 'green' competition to see which classroom submits the most items.

Get parents involved. Make sure they are aware via your website and newsletter about submitting these items to the school. Many parents will be able to contribute items from their workplace that was otherwise destined for the landfill.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally - Andrew Churches in Technology and Learning online edition

Grades
K to 12
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This single web page is a treasure for any teacher who includes technology as a teaching tool. This listing, a taxonomy of technology tasks, provides a way to analyze and ...more
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This single web page is a treasure for any teacher who includes technology as a teaching tool. This listing, a taxonomy of technology tasks, provides a way to analyze and evaluate your uses of technology and the assignments you give to students, using the new Blooms as a taxonomy to analyze technology tasks. Before you plan an electronic activity or form your expectations, take a moment to look at what you are really asking your students to do. Have you pushed them beyond simple comprehension? Is there another way to do the task that will develop higher order thinking? Have you planned a sequence to move from lower to higher level thinking? Do your students' projects reflect more than fact-spitting and really CREATE..or does the glitz disguise a lotta LOTS? Since few teachers today ever experienced learning with technology, this page provides a new vision in deceptively simple form.

tag(s): blooms taxonomy (9), creativity (119)

In the Classroom

Keep this page handy as you develop new lesson ideas in the 21st century. If you teach teachers-to-be or mentor new teachers, help them envision technology as a real tool instead of "fun." This is a MUST-have Favorite.

Comments

david, TX, Grades: 9 - 12

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Open Book Scenarios - Teaching Australia

Grades
K to 12
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This professional resource offers a possible look (scenarios) into the future of education. This site is a good illustration of the fact that teachers all around the world are aware...more
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This professional resource offers a possible look (scenarios) into the future of education. This site is a good illustration of the fact that teachers all around the world are aware of the changes that are necessary in education to respond to new technologies and globalization. The goal of the scenarios is to look at the possible education system in Australia in 2030. The creators narrowed down the futuristic world into four categories/scenarios. The first scenario offers a tolerant and harmonious society. The second scenario depicts a highly competitive world. Scenario three represents the society as polarized. The final scenario shows a world violent and fractured. The seeds of each of the possible societies are visible today. The scenarios demonstrate the importance of engaging with change and how THAT creates your ability to anticipate issues in the future, raise awareness, and create change! Click on Teaching for Uncertain Futures to view the book in its entirety. The links require Adobe Acrobat. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): australia (35)

In the Classroom

Teacher ed institutions and graduate classes you are taking on contemporary issues in education may want to explore these scenarios for discussion. Even high school classes exploring careers or trends in current events may discuss the reshaping of education over the next 20+ years as today's high schoolers become tomorrow's teachers. Teachers of Gifted working with forecasting and futures will find this an interesting model.

Any teacher planing to remain in the profession will want to think about how these scenarios might affect YOUR classroom in some way in the near future.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram - ReadWriteThink

Grades
2 to 6
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This online tool allows students to generate clear and easy to use "2 circle" Venn Diagrams. The opening page asks you to name the project and then label the two ...more
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This online tool allows students to generate clear and easy to use "2 circle" Venn Diagrams. The opening page asks you to name the project and then label the two circles in the Venn Diagram. When you click NEXT a professional looking Venn Diagram will be created based on your project and labels. The interactive Venn Diagram allows you to generate concepts (type words) and place them in circle 1 or circle 2 by clicking and dragging the word. You are able to place the word in either circle, or the overlapping area. When inputting a concept word a text box is provided to type in a detailed description. There is also a demonstration video that shows how to type concept words and descriptions and how to drag and place the concepts onto the Venn Diagram. The program allows you to edit and print (but not SAVE!) the finished Venn Diagrams. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

In the Classroom

Use this handy tool to guide your students through the process of organizing information in Venn diagram form. View the demonstration video together on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete a Venn Diagram as a class activity. Then have students work on individual computers to create their own Venn Diagrams to correlate with a language arts, social studies, or interdisciplinary lesson. Have students print out their Venn Diagrams and share them with the class. Once they have mastered this skill and underlying concepts, allow them to create even more colorful Venn diagrams using colorful Autoshapes circles, clip art, and text boxes on PowerPoint slides or using Inspiration software. Show them how to use color as a way to communicate meaning by color-coding, as well.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ed Pubs - US Department of Education

Grades
K to 12
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures,...more
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This site offers free publications about teaching, literacy, reading instruction, child development, math, and school safety. The offerings include materials for all levels (brochures, posters, videotapes, newsletters, and more). The intended audiences include students, teachers, parents, and administrators. Many publications and also site information come in Spanish and English.

tag(s): literacy (107)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your class website so parents can learn about this free resource. Include links to specific publications tha fit your class' needs. Or choose helpful information with your particular parents/students and share the pdf files as print-outs at conferences or via email to help parents.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Adolescent Literacy - adlit.org

Grades
4 to 12
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The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. A sister site to Reading Rockets and Colorin'Colorado, Adlit...more
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The focus of this site is to encourage better literacy and reading enjoyment among pre-teens and adolescents. A sister site to Reading Rockets and Colorin'Colorado, Adlit offers summer reading strategies, book lists, book clubs, classroom technique hints which encourage development of reading attack skills, and a special section on authors and their best books. For a Spanish language version of the main topics available as an A to Z list, click on the left side of the screen ( En Espanol ). This site has everything you already know about teaching reading in easy-to-use formats. This site requires Flash and Adobe Acrobat. Get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): authors (121), independent reading (130), reading strategies (47)

In the Classroom

If you need ideas to get students reading for fun and to help develop their confidence, try this site. Highlight this on your class website so parents can try the activities with their older students. When doing author biographies, share this site with your class using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Be sure to check out the "Classroom Strategies" link for even more literacy ideas.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Zunal WebQuest Maker - FREE - Zafer Unal, PhD

Grades
2 to 12
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Have you been pining to include pertinent webquests in your curriculum? This site allows you to view already created webquests and/or use their online tool to create your own webquest...more
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Have you been pining to include pertinent webquests in your curriculum? This site allows you to view already created webquests and/or use their online tool to create your own webquest without HTML code or web editor software. This site walks you through a tutorial on creating your own webquest for the parameters YOU want. The tutorial includes planning, building, and getting your webquest published. Best of all-- it is free. This site also includes ready-made webquests in nearly every subject area (math, art, music, social studies, science, etc.) submitted by others like you. There are webquests for all grade level. The webquests are free to use and many include reviews by other educators. An easy to follow webquest matrix is available, with all of the subjects and grade levels. You are also able to do a webquest search for a specific topic. Nearly all of the webquests are in English, but a few are in other languages. Note: the quality of webquests is completely determined by others using the site to create webquests, so PREVIEW before using any webquest in class.

tag(s): calories (9), colors (80), money (190), presidents (130), pyramids (29)

In the Classroom

Search the multitude of webquests that are "ready to go" at this site. If you are looking for a more personal touch, you can create your own webquest for each class, tailored to what you want to cover or want students to research. This site also provides a place to post a personal portfolio of your work (if you choose to include any student work, you must have written permission to do so from the student and his or her parent). You might also want students to create webquests as final products of group research projects. Be sure to provide a meaningful rubric for the essential features.

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Word Duck - The Dimension's Edge, Inc.

Grades
K to 8
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A variation of Hangman, the Dunk-a-Duck Hangman dunks the duck into the water if you can't supply the right letters for the word. Your students will appreciate the extra effort ...more
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A variation of Hangman, the Dunk-a-Duck Hangman dunks the duck into the water if you can't supply the right letters for the word. Your students will appreciate the extra effort to help them spell when you put their spelling or vocabulary words on a Word Duck list. You can create your own personalized list of words after a simple, free registration. Others may use your list, and likewise, you will find many lists already created by other teachers for many curriculum areas. More word games are being developed, so be sure to save this site in your favorites. There are some advertisements at this website. This site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page..

tag(s): spelling (166)

In the Classroom

Pair students on laptops to play Word Duck or allow them to create custom wordlists for each other as review, using your teacher log-in. Add a new game as part of review for terminology tests and include the link on your class web page. Turn up the volume to hear the water splashing, the bell ringing for a right letter, and the duck quacking if you win. Or use headsets if the sounds are getting too annoying!
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TeachersFirst Wiki Walk-Through - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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There is nothing twicky about a wiki. Learn about this online collaboration tool: what a wiki is, how you might use it in your classroom, how to explain it to ...more
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There is nothing twicky about a wiki. Learn about this online collaboration tool: what a wiki is, how you might use it in your classroom, how to explain it to parents and administration, and how to get started. There are over 50 examples of activities you can do with a wiki and links to a free tool to get started. A fresh revision of the Walk-Through in 2008 includes comparison reviews of the top three wiki tools for education. We even give you the downloadable handout to send home.

tag(s): wikis (20)

In the Classroom

This is listed as a TeachersFirst "edge" entry, but our step-by-step walk-through takes the edge off and makes your wiki a walk in the park. Check it out now, while there is still FREE classroom wiki space available from the three wiki tools we review in detail.
 

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ThinkUKnow - Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre

Grades
K to 12
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This timely website is a must-see if you are teaching computer and Internet safety. The site is divided into three age levels of activities: 5-7, 8-10, and 11-16. Students ages ...more
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This timely website is a must-see if you are teaching computer and Internet safety. The site is divided into three age levels of activities: 5-7, 8-10, and 11-16. Students ages 5-7 get to meet Hector and take a tour and see interactive information about Internet safety. There are several interactive cartoons and other educational material. Students ages 8-10 meet Griff and his friends to learn how to stay safe while using email, cell phones, chat rooms, and other new technologies. Turn your sound on to listen to Hector and Griff explain safety on a young person's level (and with charming British accents). The site for secondary students includes video clips, information, and more. All three sub-sites provide age-appropriate activities, with upbeat music and neat interactives. There are also links for parents and teachers. The teachers link features lesson plans to coincide with the cartoons and/or video clips. The lesson plans require membership (which is easy and free). Viewing the cartoons does not require membership.

tag(s): chat (53), internet safety (105), safety (91)

In the Classroom

Click on Parent and Teachers resources to access lesson plans and resources that teach alongside the Cyber Cafe. You must register to access these, but it is painless. Interact with the content of this site on an interactive whiteboard or projector with your entire class to generate a class discussion on this important topic.
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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 (37)

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
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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....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.
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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.
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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 (72), preK (290), sound (103), sounds (68), vocabulary (325)

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.
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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 (162)

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!
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