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CurriConnects Booklist: Poets and Poetry - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
1 Favorites 0  Comments
This CurriConnects booklist features poetry books, biographies of poets, and poets' books about writing to make poetry more approachable and enjoyable for readers of all interests....more
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This CurriConnects booklist features poetry books, biographies of poets, and poets' books about writing to make poetry more approachable and enjoyable for readers of all interests. This list is a perfect companion to formal units about poetry or simply for anyone who would like to learn more about poets and how they write. CurriConnects thematic book lists include ISBN numbers for ordering or searching, interest grade levels, ESL levels and Lexiles''® (where available) to match with student independent reading levels to challenge, not frustrate. Be aware Lexile levels are based on prose (sentence length, words per sentence, etc.), and cannot be calculated for poetry, so Lexile levels are not available for poetry books. Don't miss other CurriConnects themes being added regularly.

tag(s): book lists (126), literature (275), poetry (227)

In the Classroom

This list will fit well during National Poetry Month or any unit on poetry. Finding Lexiles ''® for poetry can be a challenge, but this list includes them where available. Have your students "collect" their favorite poems as they read from this list and share them as a multimedia poetry reading using copyright-friendly images or even their own artwork. Upload images and add the poetry in the student's own voice using a reviewed multimedia tool from the TeachersFirst Edge. Go "low tech" by hosting a live poetry reading celebration in your classroom or during lunch in the school cafeteria.

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The Color - TheColor.com

Grades
K to 2
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Find and choose from 100's of online coloring pages sorted into categories at The Color. Choose from holiday categories, colors, alphabet, occupations, continents, dinosaurs,...more
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Find and choose from 100's of online coloring pages sorted into categories at The Color. Choose from holiday categories, colors, alphabet, occupations, continents, dinosaurs, nursery rhymes, numbers, and much more. Click on an image to begin coloring. You can color online or print the page to color on paper. Share finished images via email using the link provided. Registration isn't necessary, but if you register you may save finished projects for later viewing.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), animals (276), birds (50), colors (79), continents (50), dinosaurs (57), holidays (147), numbers (204), nursery rhymes (18), planets (123), preK (279), presidents (130), space (205), transportation (40)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as a resource for coloring pages in many different topics. Share a link to the site with parents for practice at home. Color pictures of the continents during geography lessons. Explore the dinosaur coloring pages during dinosaur month.

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Cloud Dreamer - Smithsonian Museum

Grades
K to 2
7 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Imagine, create, then view your own cloud with Cloud Dreamer. Click on any dot to pull and stretch the cloud into any desired shape. Choose "see it in the sky" ...more
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Imagine, create, then view your own cloud with Cloud Dreamer. Click on any dot to pull and stretch the cloud into any desired shape. Choose "see it in the sky" to view your cloud floating past a tranquil field of cows.

tag(s): creative writing (166), creativity (109), preK (279), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Use Cloud Dreamer as a creative story starter based on cloud shapes. Take a screenshot of the clouds to use as illustrations with student writing (Shift+command +4 on a Mac or Prtscrn then paste on Windows). Have students describe and imagine what is happening in the field below. Or create a story from the cloud's or cow's perspective. Combine their cloud stories into a PowerPoint show -- printable as a big book -- or online book using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here. After viewing and creating clouds with Cloud Dreamer, take your class outside to view clouds floating by and create stories from clouds they see overhead. Use this opportunity to teach young students about the different types of clouds.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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NPR's Backseat Book Club - National Public Radio

Grades
4 to 12
2 Favorites 1  Comments
 
National Public Radio's (NPR) Backseat Book Club chooses a selection every month in hopes you will read it and send NPR your questions for the author. Past offerings range from ...more
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National Public Radio's (NPR) Backseat Book Club chooses a selection every month in hopes you will read it and send NPR your questions for the author. Past offerings range from classics like Black Beauty and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz to contemporary offerings like The Red Pyramid and the Wimpy Kid series. While reading, write down questions for the author, send them to the Backseat Book Club. They will be presented to the author during their afternoon radio program, "All Things Considered." Certain segments of this site provide audio clips to enjoy. You can also subscribe to the Backseat Bookclub podcast, a great option for iTouches in your school library/media center.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): authors (120), book lists (126), independent reading (126), literature (275), reading lists (73)

In the Classroom

Visit the Backseat Book Club with students to see the selection of the month. Then include students in the decision whether to read it as a class or just have several interested students read it. After sending the students' questions to the book club, listen to the program to see whether the author answers them. Maybe some of your students have previously read the selection for the month; they can still contribute their questions. Encourage parents to read the books with their student by posting a link on your class or school library website.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Thinking, PA, Grades: 5 - 10

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Spelling Connections - Zaner-Bloser

Grades
1 to 8
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Practice spelling and reading skills for grades K-8 with Spelling Connections. Designed to accompany Zaner-Bloser's Spelling Connections program, the activities are useful for any program....more
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Practice spelling and reading skills for grades K-8 with Spelling Connections. Designed to accompany Zaner-Bloser's Spelling Connections program, the activities are useful for any program. There are links for kids, parents, and teachers. Choose from several different activities: match words to spelling patterns, word work, drag and drop words to complete sentences, use proofreading symbols to correct reading passages, or play an online spelling bee versus the computer. Pick the type of activity to play, then choose a grade level and unit. When complete, view scores. For some activities you do have to click Score/i>. Options within some games include reset or speed score to attempt to finish within the given time frame.

tag(s): matching (24), phonics (75), proofreading (19), rhymes (33), sorting (10), spelling (168), vocabulary (324), vowels (13)

In the Classroom

Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Divide your class into groups, and have a class challenge. This is an excellent site to add to student computers for word practice while differentiating for student abilities. Challenge students to increase speeds in the games as well as move up through different units. Share a link through your class website or newsletter for practice at home.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Games to Learn English - Owen Dwyer

Grades
K to 8
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Games to Learn English is a collection of games for ESL/ELL students or any student learning the basics of English and/or reading. Created for students of English language learners,...more
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Games to Learn English is a collection of games for ESL/ELL students or any student learning the basics of English and/or reading. Created for students of English language learners, the many activities focus on developing vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, word order, and spelling skills. Choose from interactives such as Fast Hands and Concentration to begin. Each activity includes directions for play and scoring explanations, and most have playing speed options.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): game based learning (103), preK (279), sentences (52), sequencing (31), spelling (168), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Although created for English language learners, this is an excellent site to develop vocabulary (and computer skills) for younger students. It also helps with speech/language vocabulary development and grammar reinforcement for special ed. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete the activities as a class with a student operating the board. Create a link on classroom computers and challenge students to increase their speed in completing games.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Phrase.it - phrase.it

Grades
3 to 12
12 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Add cartoon speech bubbles to any photo in seconds using Phrase.it. NO membership required! Choose a photo from your Facebook feed, computer, or from the site's random stock photo collection....more
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Add cartoon speech bubbles to any photo in seconds using Phrase.it. NO membership required! Choose a photo from your Facebook feed, computer, or from the site's random stock photo collection. Pick one of the 5 different types of speech bubbles, drag to any part of the image, and type in text. Change fonts by clicking the text box until satisfied Change your image by applying one of the optional filters or leave it as is. When finished, click on the Save button and add your email if you want to receive a download link. You are also able to mark your photo PRIVATE. Once the image is saved and rendered, you can simply copy its url, share via email, Facebook, or Twitter, or download to your computer.

tag(s): bulletin boards (16), comics and cartoons (74), images (265)

In the Classroom

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Teach parts of speech and grammar by having students write captions using colorful adjectives, adverbs, or specific sentence structures on a random photo. Make classroom signs and reminders. Caption the homework directions on your teacher web page. Ask your students to create captions for class photos for all sorts of reasons. Use this site for back to school fun. Post a photo of yourself with a caption on your class website introducing yourself to the class during the summer. Challenge each student to find/share a photo of themselves either the first week of school (or even prior to school). You will want parental permission before posting any student photos on your class website. Use photos or digital drawings from your classroom, such as pictures taken during any hands-on activity. Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then add a caption. Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters "talk" as part of a project. In a government class, add captions to photos explaining politicians' major platform planks during election campaigns. Caption the steps for math problem solving. Even elementary grades can make captions of an animal talking about his habitat or a "community helper" talking about his/her role, though you may have to do it together as a class to upload the image. Make visual vocabulary/terminology sentences with an appropriate character using the term in context (a beaker explaining how it is different from a flask?). Students could also take pictures of themselves doing a lab and then caption the pictures to explain the concepts. Share the class captions on your class web page or wiki. Leave directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parent attention to important announcements. Have students make talking photos of themselves as a visual tour of their new classroom for parents attending back to school night. World language classes can create images explaining and using new vocabulary. Use the site's random photo offerings for clever caption contests in your new language. Have gifted students create PhaseIt pictures to explain new knowledge they gain in going beyond the basics. For example, as the class studies plate tectonics, they could make a collection of volcano images "explaining" their own history or describing the Ring of Fire. Gifted students of all ages can make simple Phrase It images to share their own thought provoking questions about curriculum content, such as "Which figure of speech would Shakespeare be willing to give up?" Be sure to include these thought provokers on a class wiki or blog for others to respond! (No need to single out the "thinker" by mentioning who created it if it would cause ridicule.)

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FindIcons - findicons.com

Grades
K to 12
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FindIcons.com is a search tool that helps you find free icons. Type your term in the search bar to view icons in FindIcons database. Choose from several different options to ...more
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FindIcons.com is a search tool that helps you find free icons. Type your term in the search bar to view icons in FindIcons database. Choose from several different options to download icons in the file format desired, such as png. Convert to jpg, bmp, or several other file options. Each icon includes licensing information so you can look for icons that are Creative Commons or public domain. Create an account then make user sets of your favorite icons. Access your user sets from anywhere through the FindIcons website. Explore the TAGS button to find search ideas. Be aware: ANY word/term can be searched, some may not be appropriate for the classroom. If you plan to allow young people to use this site independently, be sure to discuss appropriate searching.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (265)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site as a resource for finding and saving icons to use on your website, or to include with class projects. Share this site with students to find icons for projects. If you make a whole-class account, you can create user sets in advance of projects to save time. In primary grades, these icons are terrific for teacher use! Use icons to create non-verbal signs for your non-readers in your classroom. Special education, world language, and ELL/ESL teachers can create non-verbal prompts for language learning. Use icons on your interactive whiteboard as drag and drop or labeling activities to build vocabulary and more.

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Preschool and Kindergarten Games - Sheppard Software

Grades
K to 2
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Choose from many preschool and kindergarten interactives to develop and reinforce basic academic skills. This highly colorful site includes: animals, alphabet, numbers, colors, and...more
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Choose from many preschool and kindergarten interactives to develop and reinforce basic academic skills. This highly colorful site includes: animals, alphabet, numbers, colors, and shapes. Most activities are very simple. Simply roll the mouse over objects to hear the object name and color, or click on arrows to view flashcards. Play alphabet activities to learn letters. Test your skills with a quick quiz. Choose from an extensive array of activities in the animal portion of the site sorted into categories of look, create, play, learn, find, and count.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): alphabet (92), animals (276), colors (79), geometric shapes (163), numbers (204), preK (279)

In the Classroom

Demonstrate games on your interactive whiteboard or projector before students play on their own. Demonstrate how to choose games while avoiding advertising on the site. Bookmark specific games or activities on classroom computers for students to explore and discover during center time. Be sure to share this site with parents for fun learning at home! List this site on your class website or in your class newsletter.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Titanic Interactive - The History Channel

Grades
4 to 12
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Come aboard and explore the Titanic from construction through the disaster and the aftermath. Read tales of survivors. Explore the different accommodations, food, and activities for...more
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Come aboard and explore the Titanic from construction through the disaster and the aftermath. Read tales of survivors. Explore the different accommodations, food, and activities for the first, second, and third class passengers. Take a look at a route map or timeline using links on each side of the interactive title. Each section of the interactive includes the story of events as well as captioned images, videos, and video animations of events. Be sure to check out links to related activities located on the site such the Titanic by the Numbers interactive and related video clips.

tag(s): 1910s (9), 20th century (51), disasters (39), virtual field trips (48)

In the Classroom

Take your class on an adventure as you explore this website using your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use this Titanic Interactive as an extension lesson for middle and high school students studying early 20th Century History. If you use this site with upper elementary students, you will want to pair a better read with weaker readers since much of the information is in text form. Include the Titanic as one of many topics for twentieth century "decades" research projects. Use this site for any students reading a novel or nonfiction about the Titanic. Have students use Fakebook (reviewed here) to create a "fake" page similar in style to Facebook from the perspective of one of the cruisers onboard.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium - Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Smarter Balanced Consortium provides resources and practice assessments geared toward Common Core standards in English language arts/literacy and Mathematics. Choose the Smarter Balanced...more
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Smarter Balanced Consortium provides resources and practice assessments geared toward Common Core standards in English language arts/literacy and Mathematics. Choose the Smarter Balanced Assessments link to view an overview of practice assessments, suggestions for use of the assessments, and discussion of items and task types. Find PDF's including Common Core standards and introductions to the standards under the K-12 Education/Teacher tab. The site is continually developing and working toward the 2014-2015 first school year implementation of the new assessments. Stay connected and informed of new resources by signing up for their email newsletter.

tag(s): commoncore (92), test prep (96)

In the Classroom

Find Common Core resources to use in your classroom and share within your building or district. Explore and view sample test items to use as models for building your own questions aligned to Common Core standards. Display sample test items on your interactive whiteboard (or projector) to solve and discuss together as a class. Challenge students to create their own similar questions for the class to try.

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FotoFlexer - Arbor Labs, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
3 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Flex your photo creativity with this free tool. Transform images with scrapbook-like effects and embellishments. Begin with basic effects like cropping and contrasting. Add text, draw...more
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Flex your photo creativity with this free tool. Transform images with scrapbook-like effects and embellishments. Begin with basic effects like cropping and contrasting. Add text, draw on the photo, and add animated effects to flex your photo editing muscles. The tool is integrated with Facebook and most photosharing sites. You can also upload photos from your computer. Resave photos back to your computer, share online, or store in FotoFlexer. Flex your photos without an account or create an account to store them in FotoFlexer. Only the demonstrations require FLASH.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): images (265), photography (160)

In the Classroom

Stretch your students' creativity with these fun photo effects. Type sentences or definitions on photos that represent vocabulary words. Highlight geometric shapes in photos with the drawing tool to show math in everyday life or around the world. Integrate images in multimedia products. Narrate images with UtellStory (reviewed here) or other digital storytelling tools. Use the text tool to draw information on maps. Upload images from science labs for students to annotate their experiment. Upload images of student artwork and have students annotate to explain their techniques. In world languages, add the vocabulary word for actions or objects to create a picture dictionary. Enhance pictures for blogs, wikis, or classroom sites. Be sure to check district policy before using student pictures. Annotate photos for visual directions for assignments. If using pictures from the Internet, be sure to discuss copyright issues and approve pictures for student use. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here, Wikimedia Commons, reviewed here, or PhotoPin, reviewed here.

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Venspired Free Posters - Krissy Venosdale

Grades
K to 12
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Are you looking to enhance the visual appeal of your classroom? Download creative and visually appealing posters for free through Flickr from this blog. The teacher who created it shares...more
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Are you looking to enhance the visual appeal of your classroom? Download creative and visually appealing posters for free through Flickr from this blog. The teacher who created it shares her own images for you to use. Click on any image in the blog and it will take you directly to the Flickr page. Follow the detailed steps explained in the blog post to create and save the image. There is also a link (with instructions) to create your own posters. The teacher who shared this information would like to hear from those who use her posters. This site accesses Flickr which is blocked by some school web filters.

tag(s): posters (36)

In the Classroom

Start your school year out by using some of these posters to decorate your classroom or hallways. Print pages to add inspiration in student notebooks or for motivational bulletin boards. Have students create their own posters after viewing the blog. Looking for a classroom theme? View the options available to enhance your room. Use the posters as a theme for the day, week, or month. Discuss the poster during class meetings. Relate the messages to character traits from reading selections, historical figures, or famous people. If you have a special class event, upload the images to Flickr (reviewed here) to make posters about it. Secondary teachers can create custom posters using their own digital pictures from historic sites or even roller coasters (for physics class).

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Timer-Tab - brillout.com

Grades
K to 12
8 Favorites 0  Comments
Timer-Tab is an easy to use online alarm clock, timer, and/or stopwatch. Click on any of the functions, set your time, and get started. The alarm clock and countdown move ...more
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Timer-Tab is an easy to use online alarm clock, timer, and/or stopwatch. Click on any of the functions, set your time, and get started. The alarm clock and countdown move in increments of hours, minutes, and seconds. The countdown and stopwatch also have a pause feature. One especially handy feature is that the time displays on the browser time so you can see it as you navigate other web sites.

tag(s): classroom management (134), counting (120), time (144)

In the Classroom

There are many uses for this practical online tool. At the beginning of the school year, display on your interactive whiteboard or projector to time or countdown any classroom activity. That will get the students in the habit of checking how much time they have left. Use this tool for students to practice speeches, or to limit time for a quiz or spelling test. Use the countdown feature for timing the rotations from center to center. Use the timer for reading fluency exercises or physical education warm-ups. Employ the count-down as a clever classroom management tool on your computer screen when you want the class to settle down for directions or to transition to the next subject. Students may even want to use this tool for themselves. Have a timer tab open in your web browser as you display web sites on a projector or web based activities on an interactive whiteboard so students know how much more time they have to read the site or complete the activity. Have kindergarten students practice counting along with the watch!

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Florida Center for Reading Research - Florida Center for Reading Research

Grades
K to 6
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The Florida Center for Reading Research is an excellent source for information and activities for teaching reading. Choose from several topics. The Instructional Materials for Teachers...more
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The Florida Center for Reading Research is an excellent source for information and activities for teaching reading. Choose from several topics. The Instructional Materials for Teachers portion of the site contains center activities for grades K-5, skills alignment to Common Core, and an excellent search tool for finding instructional materials on the site. Search by grade level or concept to view materials available. Identify material types such as PDF files or movies by viewing the icon associated with each result. Explore the Instructional Materials portion of the site to find materials to share with parents to help reinforce reading skills and find interventions for use with struggling readers.

tag(s): fluency (23), main idea (9), phonics (75), reading comprehension (116), sentences (52), sight words (37), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year. Use the search tool to find materials to accompany your reading instruction. Find activities that align with Common Core standards. Show videos on your interactive whiteboard (of projector) to introduce, review, or reinforce reading concepts.
  This resource requires Adobe Flash and PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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JumpRope Standards Based Grading - Jesse Olsen and Justin Meyer

Grades
K to 12
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JumpRope offers an online, standards-based gradebook and lesson building program. You can also include information such as attendance, character, and standards-based performance with...more
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JumpRope offers an online, standards-based gradebook and lesson building program. You can also include information such as attendance, character, and standards-based performance with just a few easy entries. Manually enter your students' names in JumpRope or upload a spreadsheet of names to begin. Use the tabs on the dashboard to move around to different areas of the site. Write anecdotes on student behavior, assign a category and value, and more. Collaborative features between teachers appear to require a school or district level membership, and there is no information stating it is free. Based on backwards design principles, this planning tool considers learning goals before assessments or learning experiences. Assessments are aligned to one or more chosen standards. Upload as many supporting documents or resources you desire to use throughout the year and beyond.

tag(s): classroom management (134)

In the Classroom

If your school does not have a required gradebook program in place, consider using JumpRope as an option for grading, attendance, and lesson planning.

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OK2Ask®: Ready..Set..Summer May 2013 - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from May 2013, opens in Adobe Connect. Find ways for both you and your students to stay fresh during the summer....more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from May 2013, opens in Adobe Connect. Find ways for both you and your students to stay fresh during the summer. Learn about some "Summer Sparklers" to share with your students and explore many timesaving tools for yourself: professional resources, communication and organization tools, plus classroom ideas. A question/answer period will be available. It's OK2Ask'®.

As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, teachers will: Explore the various Professional Resources available at TeachersFirst: differentiating, professional development, time saving tools, latest tech for teaching, and more; Browse and explore the various ready to go activities for students to "stay fresh"; Locate materials relevant to his/her professional challenges or students' needs; and (Follow-up) Find and use resources for both teachers and students to refresh and learn over the summer. Applicable NETS-T standards (2008)*: 1b, 2a and b, 3d. The text of these standards is copyrighted. Please read the full text at ISTE's NETS-T page.

In the Classroom

Find some excellent summer "refreshments" to share with your students on your class website or your final classroom news! Explore the teacher "refreshments" yourself once school unwinds for the year. Looking for a way to get your staff excited about summer learning? Why not invite your colleagues to view this webinar with you either in the computer lab or at home! Be sure to take a look at the resource page full of refreshing ideas! Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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CurrClick - Staley Krause

Grades
1 to 12
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Browse over 30,000 free ebook (pdf format) titles and games available for immediate download at CurrClick! Scroll through the book list or choose from specific publishers to search...more
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Browse over 30,000 free ebook (pdf format) titles and games available for immediate download at CurrClick! Scroll through the book list or choose from specific publishers to search for titles. Topics range from basic phonics readers to the Declaration of Independence to many others! Some of the topics are religious based (mostly Christian). If you are in a public school, you may want to avoid those topics. Narrow your search by choosing the link to free ebooks. Enter your search term to find available titles. Appropriate ages for each book are provided as you scroll through. Add desired books to your cart. Create an account using your email and password and then check out. After check out, titles are available for immediate download in PDF format.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): ebooks (41)

In the Classroom

Bookmark this site for use throughout the year for materials to use with any unit. Check back often, as new titles may be added! Display documents on your projector or interactive whiteboard to teach almost any language arts skills: highlighting parts of speech, subject/predicate, etc. Teacher notetaking or working with informational texts using these free texts. Be sure to use the FREE search to avoid paid texts. This would be a good site to share with students on your class website, blog, or wiki.
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Kitten Hop Dolch Word Practice - Arcademics

Grades
K to 2
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Test your Dolch sight word reading speed with this interactive! You can play in a public game with unknown competitors or a private game. To start, select your own kitten ...more
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Test your Dolch sight word reading speed with this interactive! You can play in a public game with unknown competitors or a private game. To start, select your own kitten color. The site allows competitors on up to 4 computers to play at the same time. You will hear a word from the Dolch sight word reading list. Click on it as quickly as possible. Your kitten will jump to the correct ball of yarn. The faster you respond, the quicker your kitten jumps from ball to ball. This interactive measures each player's reading speed as well as pits them against the other players whose kittens appear on the board. This site is helpful for any beginning readers including ELL/ESL students and learning support students.

tag(s): preK (279), sight words (37)

In the Classroom

Even if your students have been reading basic sight words for a while, this site offers practice in speed and fluency. You could create a learning center out of this site and have four different students competing on laptops or other devices. If you only have one computer and an interactive whiteboard, set up a learning station! Students can work in groups of two or individually to see their speed. If you choose to have students work in partners, be sure to partner each child with a student of similar reading level, so one student isn't providing all of the answers. This is a great simple site to provide for summer practice of sight words.
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Celly - Celly, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Texting, texting... 1, 2, 3. Are you hunting for a good text messaging tool? Celly is a free mobile social network to communicate with students and parents via text message. ...more
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Texting, texting... 1, 2, 3. Are you hunting for a good text messaging tool? Celly is a free mobile social network to communicate with students and parents via text message. A simple setup process allows you to create as many cells (private texting rooms) as you like. Provide your unique code to students and parents to join your cell through their phone or the web. Members can use Celly online or through a mobile device. Require usernames or allow users to be anonymous. Members' numbers are private for safe and secure communication. Customize your cells with how you want to interact with your members. Conversation mode can be configured for one-way messaging, from the teacher to all members, or two-way group chat between all members. Multiple-choice polls allow numerous opportunities for engagement. Schedule messages to be sent at a later time. Link your cell(s) online for students and parents who do not have text messaging. This is a device-agnostic tool, available on the web but also available for free as both an Android and iOS app. Use it from any device or move between several devices and still access your work. App and web versions vary slightly. Celly is free; however, standard text message rates apply. Students ages 13-18 must have parental permission to use Celly.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (196), gamification (65), parents (56), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Celly could work in class as an instant response system if your school allows cell phones. Create a protected online environment for students to communicate with you and with each other. Set up your account and all students (and parents) at the beginning of the school year or at Back to School night. Students can communicate online or on a phone. Students and parents without cell phones won't be left out because they can interact online. Quickly send reminders to students and parents or promote an upcoming event or due date. No need to watch the news! Send alerts to members for weather closures and delays. Even if your students are too young, teachers can communicate with parents via Celly. Schedule messages up to 90 days in the future. Use Celly as a back channel or interactive wall during class. Students can use the @me feature for note-taking in class. Provide polls for exit slips or to activate schema. Send polls during field trips to monitor engagement and text trivia questions on the bus ride home. Send reminders to chaperones on field trips. Students and chaperones can text you throughout the trip as virtual safety checks. Real time information from the polls provides rich data. Polls are efficient and meaningful. They make the classroom feel like a larger place.

You can say so much in only 140 characters. Allow students to use texting language to send responses. However, they should also have to write the message using correct conventions. Teach the difference between formal and non-formal writing. Rewrite passages in abbreviated speech through text messages. Students translate the messages to gain a better understanding of the material. Students can also rewrite work for peers to translate. Students can text thoughts as they read a selection to group members for interactive reading. Teach digital citizenship in a controlled environment. Responsibly using cell phones in the classroom teaches digital literacy skills to be successful.

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