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OK2Ask: Game-Based Learning: The Quest for Classroom Success - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. The quest for classroom success begins with game-based learning. Learn tips,...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from March 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. The quest for classroom success begins with game-based learning. Learn tips, techniques, and tools to challenge and engage students. Game-based learning is a dynamic strategy that offers tremendous potential for meaningful and enriching experiences in the classroom. Enjoy sandbox time in the session to explore the vast collection of resources to suit a multitude of learners. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, participants will... (1) Learn about the difference between gamification and game-based learning; (2) Learn game-based learning techniques and tips; (3) Evaluate tools and resources for game-based learning; (4) Share ideas for using tools with other participants; and (5) Start a project using one of the given tools.

tag(s): game based learning (103)

In the Classroom

Explore the many resources and ideas from this session and engage your students with game-based learning activities. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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OK2Ask: 3 Cool Tools to Power Up Your Images - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore, compare, and contrast three different online photo tools. Participants...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore, compare, and contrast three different online photo tools. Participants will learn about the features of these three tools and then participate in a breakout session to learn more about the tool of their choosing. A question/answer period will be available to help with individual questions. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels. As a result of this session and through individual follow-up, participants will: (1) Learn about and compare 3 different tools for working with images; (2) Evaluate the uses for working with these tools in the classroom; (3) Share ideas for using tools with other participants; and (4) Start a project using one of the given tools.

tag(s): images (266)

In the Classroom

Inspire your lessons with new ways to use images in your classroom. View the session with a few of your teaching colleagues to find and share new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Adobe Spark - Adobe

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K to 12
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Create beautiful visual stories with Adobe Spark. Follow prompts to add your own images or select from thousands available online. Personalize your story with text, slide shows, links...more
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Create beautiful visual stories with Adobe Spark. Follow prompts to add your own images or select from thousands available online. Personalize your story with text, slide shows, links to outside resources, and more. When complete, share using the unique URL or with the social media links provided.

tag(s): blogs (88), creative writing (166), digital storytelling (144), microblogging (44)

In the Classroom

Possible uses are only limited by your imagination! Create your own story page for parents and students where they can stay updated about what is happening in your classroom. Have students create a visual story to accompany books read in class, tell about social studies events, or display images for different science terms. Adobe Spark is perfect to use for digital storytelling in any subject!

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Highbrow - Artem Zavyalov & Jane Limanskaya

Grades
7 to 12
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Learn something new each day with Highbrow's unique course delivery system. Sign up for a course, then receive an email each day with a five to ten-minute lesson. Each course ...more
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Learn something new each day with Highbrow's unique course delivery system. Sign up for a course, then receive an email each day with a five to ten-minute lesson. Each course is completed in ten days making learning quick and easy! Choose from many different course options in subjects such as art, literature, and history. Highbrow only allows one course per user at a time to encourage complete focus on each topic. If you don't see what you like, choose the Create Course option and create your own learning experience using your expertise!

tag(s): 20th century (51), architecture (84), authors (120), business (58), differentiation (47), endangered species (38), equations (155), financial literacy (80), greeks (30), human body (121), inventors and inventions (101), logic (235), medicine (67), mental math (27), numbers (204), photography (160), poetry (228), psychology (64), short stories (25), surrealism (4), weather (188), women (101)

In the Classroom

Highbrow is perfect for differentiated learning. Allow students to choose their own topic and sign up for a course. When complete, choose another topic and start a new course. Have students create commercials for finished courses using Powtoon, reviewed here, and share them using a tool such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Challenge students to create a course after a unit of study as a final assessment. Be sure to include this site on your class webpage for students to access both in and outside of class for personal use.

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Vocabulist (Beta) - Ahan Malhotra

Grades
4 to 12
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Easily personalize and practice vocabulary with Vocabulist. Upload a file from your computer or copy and paste text into Vocabulist. Wait a minute or two for your document to process....more
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Easily personalize and practice vocabulary with Vocabulist. Upload a file from your computer or copy and paste text into Vocabulist. Wait a minute or two for your document to process. When finished Vocabulist provides a list with each word and its definition. Choose the correct definition when necessary from drop boxes or provide your own definition. When finished, export as a PDF to your computer or directly into Quizlet, reviewed here, to use as flashcards.

tag(s): flash cards (46), spelling (168), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (126), word study (80)

In the Classroom

Vocabulist is perfect for differentiated learning. Create individual student vocabulary and spelling lists based on student needs. Create lists for difficult vocabulary from any text or for any subject. Be sure to share a link on your class website for students to use at home to create study guides throughout the year.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Blended Learning Implementation Guide - John Bailey, Scott Ellis, Carri Schneider, & Tom Vander Ark

Grades
K to 12
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The Blended Learning Implementation Guide is an interactive resource for planning, implementing, and evaluating blended learning in the classroom. The guide takes you through the basics...more
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The Blended Learning Implementation Guide is an interactive resource for planning, implementing, and evaluating blended learning in the classroom. The guide takes you through the basics of blended learning with infographics, links to videos, and specific instructions for blended learning instructors. Other topics include suggestions on purchasing devices for use, questions to consider when lecturing, and resources for funding. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): professional development (123)

In the Classroom

Print and share this guide as an excellent resource when implementing blended learning in your classroom or school. Be sure to save a link to the online version to access the videos linked within the guide. Use the guide as part of your professional development sessions. Discuss and work with different portions of the guide throughout the year as you learn about blended learning. Consider using this guide as a book study with your peers for one year, then implementing blended learning the following year.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Go To Quiz - gotoquiz.com

Grades
6 to 12
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Quickly create and share quizzes using Go To Quiz. Begin by choosing from three types of quizzes to offer, each includes an explanation and examples of best use. Follow the ...more
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Quickly create and share quizzes using Go To Quiz. Begin by choosing from three types of quizzes to offer, each includes an explanation and examples of best use. Follow the steps to name your quiz, add questions and responses, and share your quiz.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): assessment (100), DAT device agnostic tool (200), quiz (85), quizzes (97)

In the Classroom

Create a Go To Quiz as a tool for checking prior knowledge or making a quick assessment. Have students answer exit questions or see what students remember from the previous day using Go To Quiz. Use for formative assessment to identify misconceptions that students may have at the start of a unit. ESL/ELL and world language teachers could use this for vocabulary practice. Have students create quizzes with characteristics of story characters for classmates to see which character they are most like.

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Flock - Cookies Riva FZC

Grades
8 to 12
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Flock is a free chat service. Start by signing up for an account and begin chatting. Communicate one on one or create a group using text or video conference. Add ...more
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Flock is a free chat service. Start by signing up for an account and begin chatting. Communicate one on one or create a group using text or video conference. Add attachments, polls, a code snippet, or an emoticon. Create a to-do list for the group or project. With the free account, chat records are kept for 30 days. Be mindful of the laws and regulations. Use the web version or download the software.

tag(s): chat (51), microblogging (44), polls and surveys (48)

In the Classroom

Teachers can use the chat feature to communicate with parents or students. Collaborate with other educators on lesson plans and activities. Create groups of students during group projects for collaboration. Attach the directions to the chat and monitor the conversation by including yourself in the group and promoting good digital citizenship. Use the poll feature to check for understanding or use the chat as an exit ticket.

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Ponder - Parlor Labs Inc

Grades
4 to 12
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Use Ponder to annotate and analyze text with Chrome or FireFox browsers or iOS. Using Ponder with your browser will measure reading activity through sharing and commenting on texts...more
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Use Ponder to annotate and analyze text with Chrome or FireFox browsers or iOS. Using Ponder with your browser will measure reading activity through sharing and commenting on texts anywhere on the web. Highlight sentences, phrases, and words that evoke a response. There can be sentiments to tag that indicate confusion, evaluation, disapproval, and more. For a fee, all of this can be applied to PDFs and video on the web. Ponder has a comprehensive support section and guide.

tag(s): browser (6), critical thinking (108), independent reading (128), reading comprehension (116), reading strategies (45)

In the Classroom

Track students' reading and develop close reading skills and critical thinking with Ponder. Register with your email and create a Ponder group by clicking on "give it a spin" in the upper right corner of the home page. Then, give the class a name, and save the group by creating an administrator account. All directions for doing this are in the support section, as are the directions for adding additional classes. Ponder will bulk create accounts for your class, with no student email required. Just contact their support. Find an article or any text you want students to read on the web. Responding to an article on the web will initiate the class activity feed. Start out by sharing text (article, book, etc.) on an interactive whiteboard or projector with your students. Read through the text with them, asking them for feedback along the way. By doing this, you will be able to show students the features of Ponder. When you create a micro-reading response, it will post to the class activity feed along with a link to the article. Ponder is a wonderful tool to moderate reading in any core class. ESL/ELL and resource teachers can gain greater insight to their students' reading comprehension.

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OK2Ask: Easy Book Report Alternatives - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Tired of the giving students the same book report assignment? Want to...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Tired of the giving students the same book report assignment? Want to switch things up? Join us to look at a few quick and easy ways to gauge student comprehension. You'll have fun and your students will thank you. This session is appropriate for teachers at all technology levels.

tag(s): reading strategies (45)

In the Classroom

Learn about simple, fresh, and effective activities to inspire a love of reading and measure student comprehension. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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OK2Ask: Awesome Apps for Education from Google - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore the myriad of apps that Google has to offer. We will explore...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Explore the myriad of apps that Google has to offer. We will explore free apps that can be used in various content areas to accomplish multiple goals. Participants will have time to explore apps and discover ways they can be implemented into classrooms with students of all ages. This session is appropriate for teachers at intermediate to advanced technology levels.

In the Classroom

Understand how to find, install, and use Google apps to support classroom instruction and for personal productivity. Watch this recording together with a few of your teaching colleagues to collect new ideas. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Ignite - Ninjas LLC

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K to 12
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Ignite offers a tool to create unique multimedia projects using layers and incorporating collaboration. Start by completing the simple sign up process (email required). Then jump right...more
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Ignite offers a tool to create unique multimedia projects using layers and incorporating collaboration. Start by completing the simple sign up process (email required). Then jump right in and begin making your first multimedia project. With the tools, you can include text, images, and video through the web service. The iPad app will allow you to add audio. The collaboration feature allows for more than one user to work on a presentation at a time. Once the finished product is ready for viewing, easily share with the URL. The presentation tool is very simple and easy to use.
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tag(s): digital storytelling (144), multimedia (57)

In the Classroom

Use this tool to present new ideas to students via projector or interactive whiteboard. In a flipped classroom, share the URL and have students view the presentation on their own. Include questions on the slides to encourage active participation while viewing. Students can use this tool to work collaboratively on a slideshow to demonstrate knowledge and present material. Discuss what working collaboratively includes before beginning the project. Have students take their own pictures to include in their Ignite presentation to enhance the learning experience.

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Sembly - Sembly

Grades
6 to 12
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Sembly is an online classroom management tool. Sign up as a teacher or student to begin. The teacher version allows you to create and add classes. After adding students, they ...more
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Sembly is an online classroom management tool. Sign up as a teacher or student to begin. The teacher version allows you to create and add classes. After adding students, they receive a class code allowing them to enter the class. Create assignments with deadlines for students from your dashboard. The assignment option also provides the opportunity for collaboration and interaction between students and teachers. Upload files from your computer, Google Drive, DropBox, and Evernote to add to assignments or share with your class. Sembly is available online and for mobile devices with apps available for all operating systems.

tag(s): classroom management (135), DAT device agnostic tool (200), organizational skills (122)

In the Classroom

Use Sembly to manage and organize any classroom. Maintain a classroom calendar so students can easily find due dates and deadlines for homework and projects. Reminder notices will be automatically generated. Share information with parents to keep them up to date. Use the discussion feature as a resource for keeping students involved over long holidays or on a snow day. Sembly is an interactive and collaborative program. Challenge literature circles to complete write ups, discussions, and final presentations about the book they read using Sembly. Lab partners can present their findings, and math students can demonstrate how they solved a problem.

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Knewton - Jose Ferreira

Grades
4 to 12
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Discover a powerful, adaptive, personalized learning program in Knewton. Knewton delivers video or written content to students in math, science, or English and then asks multiple-choice...more
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Discover a powerful, adaptive, personalized learning program in Knewton. Knewton delivers video or written content to students in math, science, or English and then asks multiple-choice questions. The next selections are based on the student's responses and those of similar students. Knewton figures out what each student knows and how each student learns best. So the more the student uses Knewton, the more Knewton learns about the right speed and sequencing to serve up the content. The material is for grades 6 - 12 in Math, grades 4 - 6 in English Language Arts, grades 9 - 11 in Biology, and soon Knewton will have materials for History. At the time of this review, the FAQ also stated that you will soon be able to upload your own content. Sign up is with email or a Gmail account and easy for both students and teachers. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): adaptations (17), DAT device agnostic tool (200), differentiation (47), tutorials (47)

In the Classroom

Introduce Knewton on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Students can sign up using the URL for your Knewton class, or by you putting in either their email, Knewton username, or account information. There is a very detailed FAQ section where you can learn all about the teacher dashboard and monitoring student progress. You could use this tool as a daily bell ringer assignment or at a center. You could also assign this for homework. Once students finish the selection, the tool will present another to work on right away. You may want to specify how many selections you want the students to complete on Knewton in each class session. Knewton will allow you to continue in the same area the next time you sign in. Working on these assignments through the year will improve your students' skills and literacy in Math, English, and Biology. Remember, History will be added soon. Post the link to Knewton on your class web page for students to use at home.

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tchat - Congo Labs

Grades
6 to 12
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Focus on the Twitter chats you want to follow easily and in real-time with tchat. Sign up for tchat through your Twitter account. Input the hashtag you wish to follow ...more
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Focus on the Twitter chats you want to follow easily and in real-time with tchat. Sign up for tchat through your Twitter account. Input the hashtag you wish to follow and all other tweets will be filtered out. tchat opens in a new tab; that means you can still see other Tweets on your Twitter account tab at the same time you are following a chat. Reply right from tchat without leaving the page; send and continue reading the conversation. The menu bar at the top allows pause and play, it stops refreshing, allowing you to find what you are looking for and to reply or retweet the information without losing it, and then resumes when you click play. You can also block retweets. Either sign in to stop the pop-up when you want to respond, or use tchat without signing in to have the pop-up and see all of the chat on the side. Each reply will automatically include the hashtag.

tag(s): chat (51), microblogging (44), PLN (4), social networking (112), twitter (50)

In the Classroom

Sometimes it's hard to stay focused on a group Twitter chat. Take advantage of this tool to avoid distractions and communicate only with the members of the chat session. It's a relief to use this tool and be able to take your time commenting back and forth and not have to hunt through countless other Tweets to find your group and that one comment where you want to reply. tchat is the perfect tool to use with Twitter in the classroom so students will stay focused on your topic. If your class is following a scientist, engineer, politician, or any other professional, invite them to a chat to converse with your students and have the students stay focused. If you are taking an online class and one of the requirements is to participate in a Twitter chat, this tool is perfect to help you meet your goal.

Use tchat on laptops during a video or student presentations. Pose questions for all to answer/discuss using an assigned hashtag. Ask students to pose their own "I wonder if..." questions as they watch and listen. Keep every student engaged and THINKING as an active listener. The first time you use tchat, you will want to establish some etiquette and accountability rules, such as respectful language and constructive criticism. Assign students to watch a news program or political show and have a chat during the broadcast. Revisit the chat on a projector in class the next day or post the chat transcript to a class blog or wiki and have students respond further in blog posts or on the wiki discussion tab. The advantage of backchannel chat is that every student has a voice, no matter how shy.

Use tchat to collaborate with other classrooms or teachers at a distance. Use a whole class Twitter account to contribute to a regular chat. Professionally, teachers can join subject or grade level specific Tweet chats that happen in real time. See the Twitter Chat Schedule, reviewed here or Educational hashtags listings here to find real-time groups you can join using tchat.

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XMind - XMind Ltd.

Grades
4 to 12
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Develop mind maps, concept maps and a variety of charts with this powerful, easy to use tool. Register with an email to begin. Watch several very comprehensive tutorial videos and ...more
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Develop mind maps, concept maps and a variety of charts with this powerful, easy to use tool. Register with an email to begin. Watch several very comprehensive tutorial videos and get started by downloading XMind. Creation is easy! Simply double click Central Topic and add the topic name. Click tab to add main topics, click tab again to add subtopics. Xmind has many features to add organization to your mind map: Drag and drop arrows to organize, colored boundaries, add images and websites (search the web from within XMind), add Audio Notes, background or wallpaper, and much more. Share your map via PowerPoint, Excel, Evernote, PDF, PNG, JPEG, and several other universal formats. If your district blocks YouTube, the tutorial videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.
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tag(s): charts and graphs (195), mind map (25)

In the Classroom

To demonstrate this tool, have your class create organizers together, such as in a brainstorming session on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Assign students to "map" out a chapter or story. Assign groups to create study guides using this tool. Use this tool for literature activities, research projects, social studies, or science topics. Use this to create family trees or food pyramids in family and consumer science. Have students collaborate (online) to create group mind maps or review charts before tests on a given subject. Have students organize any concepts you study. They can color code concepts to show what they understand, wonder, and question. Have students map out a story, plot line, or plan for the future. Students can also map out a step-by-step process (such as a life cycle or how to solve an equation).

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Share What You're Reading - Scholastic, Inc.

Grades
K to 12
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Use this handy tool to share favorite books and discover new ones. Read the advice for writing a good review at the top of the form before starting. After writing ...more
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Use this handy tool to share favorite books and discover new ones. Read the advice for writing a good review at the top of the form before starting. After writing the review submit to Scholastic by filling in a simple form that asks for first name, last initial, and no email required. To discover the next book to read select from a grade level or genre list and then find an interesting title and click to read the review. The More to Explore menu on the left links to How to Write a Book Report with Rodman Philbrick, which is more extensive in depth with Writing Tips, Challenges, and Revision Guidelines.
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tag(s): book reports (35), independent reading (128), reading lists (75)

In the Classroom

Introduce students to this tool using an interactive whiteboard or projector. Share the list of books already reviewed, and read a few reviews together. Read the guidelines for writing a review, and create a book report for a book read in class. First, model by creating a rough draft. Next, copy and paste the final version of the rough draft to Share What You're Reading. Last, show the students how to publish. Set up a station in class where students can write up other books they read. Another idea would be to use the published reviews for grammar exercises. Not only can you edit and revise a review, but it could also be a "book talk" to introduce students to a title.

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OK2Ask: Innovation with Gamification Level Up your Learning! - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Gamification is an innovative way to transform classrooms. Learn how...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from February 2016, opens in Adobe Connect. Gamification is an innovative way to transform classrooms. Learn how to maximize the students' learning potential by using game design and game elements in the classroom. Explore innovative resources and strategies to foster student engagement with gamification methods. This session is appropriate for teachers at Intermediate technology levels.

tag(s): game based learning (103), gamification (65)

In the Classroom

Engage your students and inspire your lessons by applying game principles and elements to non-game activities. These activities can be high-tech or low-tech. It is not about the tool as much as it is about the emphasis on game-like mechanics. Start small and become comfortable with the terminology and process. Choose some aspect of your classroom practice to gamify. You might choose to gamify components of professional development, classroom management, centers, entrance/exit slips, activities, or even whole units. Find additional information and links to tools at the session resource page. Learn more about OK2Ask and upcoming sessions here.
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KQED Education - KQED

Grades
6 to 12
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KQED Education offers a broad selection of resources for educators and students. Scroll through to find news articles and videos that are frequently published, relating to events around...more
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KQED Education offers a broad selection of resources for educators and students. Scroll through to find news articles and videos that are frequently published, relating to events around the world. Use the drop down box at the top of the site to view specific topics such as science or news and civics. The drop down for teachers includes links to resources for professional development and integrating articles into the classroom. If your district blocks YouTube, the videos may not be viewable. You could always view them at home and bring them to class "on a stick" to share. Use a tool such as KeepVid, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): independent reading (128), news (261), newspapers (94)

In the Classroom

Include a link to KQED Education on classroom computers. Be sure to help your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students by sharing the vocabulary words before reading, either on a handout or by projecting them on an interactive whiteboard (or projector). Highlight the vocabulary words in the text as you come to them. Teacher Librarians might want to keep this page open on computers for students who drop by the media center or include news notes from this site as part of your morning announcements. Do you have a student news show on your school TV channel? Find great material here for students to retell in their own words.

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ThinkCerca - ThinkCerca

Grades
4 to 12
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Sign up for ThinkCerca's eight free starter lessons and get your students on the road to better critical thinking, close reading, and academic writing. Find a starter kit with 8 ...more
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Sign up for ThinkCerca's eight free starter lessons and get your students on the road to better critical thinking, close reading, and academic writing. Find a starter kit with 8 lessons teaching students the art of argumentation. Each lesson is 30 minutes long. These lessons contain standards-aligned literacy concepts and vocabulary. Start with Cerca's baseline assessment for writing, and then proceed with the lessons in order since the lessons build on each other. Sign up with your email, first and last name, and school zip code. Create your class or classes, and have students enroll via a class code. Find prompts for ELA, Science, and Social Studies. Math is coming soon (as of this review). The support section has several categories which include specific help directions, and also includes Instructional Strategies, Personalized Learning Models, and Tips and Resources.
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tag(s): expository writing (44), persuasive writing (55), reading comprehension (116), writing (359)

In the Classroom

Students will need to click Sign Up and "I'm a Student." Students will enter their first name and last name so be sure you have parent permission. They will also need an email address. There is a work-a-round for the names and email address. For the first and last name you could have them enter a code, for example, the first two letters of their last name and first three letters of their first name. If students cannot have their own email accounts, ThinkCerca has a suggestion or consider using a "class set" of Gmail subaccounts, explained here; this tells how to set up Gmail subaccounts to use for any online membership service. Once your students have worked through the eight lessons here, you may want to look at 301 Prompts for Argumentative/Persuasive Writing, reviewed here, to help you differentiate future writing lessons.

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