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Microbes - Microbes.info

Grades
9 to 12
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Find and read articles about bacteria on this text-based site. Choose from topics such as "Food Microbiology," "Industrial Microbiology," and "Medical Microbiology." Visit the image...more
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Find and read articles about bacteria on this text-based site. Choose from topics such as "Food Microbiology," "Industrial Microbiology," and "Medical Microbiology." Visit the image den to view photographs of various bacteria. Other sections with links include "Hot Germ News" and "Disease Watch." Submit questions or read answers to submitted FAQ's. No registration is necessary, unless you wish to add comments to the forum. Registration does require an email address. Rather than using your personal email, consider creating a group Gmail account for your class.

tag(s): bacteria (30), medicine (70)

In the Classroom

During discussion of the Kingdom Monera, learn more about bacteria and our health with these articles which many will find informative and interesting. Consider creating blog posts or newsletter articles that can be shared between classes. Identify the common misconceptions of the role of bacteria in our lives. Create a class bacteria wiki. Learn more about wikis at the TeachersFirst's Wiki Walk-Through. These text articles can also be copied easily to your interactive whiteboard software for practice with science notetaking, main idea, summarizing, and more as part of content area reading practice.

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LearnEnglish Kids - British Council

Grades
3 to 12
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Here you will find a plethora of ESL, ELL and English language activities, each of which in turn has a plethora of its own activities! For example, the short story ...more
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Here you will find a plethora of ESL, ELL and English language activities, each of which in turn has a plethora of its own activities! For example, the short story about the magic carpet ride is like a picture book with animated characters, is interactive, and the story is read out loud. There are activities to print to go with the story, there are online interactive activities, and, even before the story begins, there is an interactive picture/word matching activity. Last, at the end of the story, is a short writing prompt. Wow! That was just one short story!

The categories on the site include "Play a game," "Print some activities to do," "Listen to a song," "Read a story," "Practice your writing," and "Find lots more activities." AND, each one of these categories is multi-leveled.

tag(s): songs (53), writing (369)

In the Classroom

This extensive site will make the life of the ESL, ELL, or remedial reading teacher so much easier! Though intended for ESL/ELL teachers, this site can be used by any teacher who is teaching elementary reading and writing. It would also be good for remedial readers. In some parts, i.e. the interactives, you may want to pair up a proficient reader with the ESL/ELL student or remedial reader. The reading of the stories could be done with a projector or interactive whiteboard for a small group or the whole class, and then small groups of students could brainstorm the writing prompts at the end on an interactive white board. Share some of the activities with parents, as well, for at home practice with ESL/ELL students and their family members. Be sure to include this link on your class website.

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Mailinator - ManyBrain, Inc.

Grades
6 to 12
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Frustrated at creating sub accounts with your gmail account for more than 100 students? Try Mailinator as a possible solution to the problem. Make student accounts for the web 2.0 ...more
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Frustrated at creating sub accounts with your gmail account for more than 100 students? Try Mailinator as a possible solution to the problem. Make student accounts for the web 2.0 tools you would like your individual students to use. Create a "spoof" email account from one email account (preferably the teachers gmail.) Use this "spoof" account to enter when creating web 2.0 accounts. Mail can be viewed online for any verification if necessary. The bonus? Less spam when signing up for other sites!

In the Classroom

Use your teacher gmail account to create different Mailinator accounts for each student by sending an email to the "spoof" account. For example, a student sends an email to gottalovebio@mailinator.com. Magically, your "spoof" email address has been created. Use this "spoof" email all year long for any web 2.0 tool you wish to sign up for. Find emails sent to the "spoof" account by viewing on the mailinator site (type in your "spoof" email address) or following an RSS feed (use a feed reader to view them all.) Important Note: emails must be read within a few hours as they are then permanently deleted. Caution students not to use these email addresses for anything important as it is not a regular email address. Use only for creating logins and registrations for other web 2.0 tools. Stumped with coming up with a unique name. Possible name choices are given on the site (refresh to see more options.) Be sure to read the FAQ's to familiarize yourself with the service and answer any questions you may have. Check to be sure this is not blocked by your school. If available on a teacher computer, consider cycling each student through your computer to get them signed up while being monitored. Record their "spoof" emails in case these are needed later and students forget. Be advised that these email accounts are public. If the same email address is entered on the site by someone else, those emails will be viewed. Despite this, use the service to quickly enter students to use the variety of cool online tools found on the Internet today.
 
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Free Magazines Online - James Hubbs

Grades
7 to 12
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This site has a number of current magazines available online including Forbes, Scientific American, Men's Health, and countless others, organized by category. Many could be used for...more
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This site has a number of current magazines available online including Forbes, Scientific American, Men's Health, and countless others, organized by category. Many could be used for educational purposes (see the Science & Learning section, for example). Other general topics include Arts, Business, Computers, News, Sports, and more. Besides regular magazines, there are a number of columns and blogs by famous people. A few magazines, such as Forbes and Scientific American, display feature article titles when you click on their names, but most open to the magazine home page in a new window.

tag(s): blogs (90), news (265), newspapers (97)

In the Classroom

For ESL/ELL students, use magazines at this site to teach vocabulary and American culture. For current events classes, display the latest news online on your projector or interactive whiteboard, finding it quickly with just a few clicks. Have groups explore current news headlines and compare coverage or create their own videos (news or infomercials) using a site such as Teachers.TV reviewed here. This may also be a link that you would want to list on your class website for both students and parents to use at home. If you require current events article summaries each week, your students can use this site to find the latest at no cost. Reading teachers can easily find passages to use for comprehension skills such as main idea, summarizing, inferencing and more, all from current articles and ready to project on your interactive whiteboard for underlining, highlighting and discussion.

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Memorize Now - Brad Haugaard

Grades
2 to 12
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This site allows students to enter texts of varying lengths which they would like to memorize, but it can also be much more. Working like a sort of reverse cloze ...more
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This site allows students to enter texts of varying lengths which they would like to memorize, but it can also be much more. Working like a sort of reverse cloze test, the site erases more and more of the text as the student works through it. A blank remains, marking the spot for each word that has been removed. Alternatively, students can also select "letters" to see the first word of every sentence in the item. Two ways of entering the text passage allow students to copy items from a spread sheet (like vocabulary words) instead of retyping or entering each word. This site also allows you to create flashcards to use for practice. This is a great tool to help students study and understand how they learn best!

tag(s): vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

This site does far more than aid memorization. Reading teachers can also use it to teach comprehension skills, such as using context clues to determine meaning in a paragraph. Paste in the paragraph (perhaps a passage from a non-fiction science or social studies article) and use this tool on your interactive whiteboard for students to "figure out" the missing words. Do the same with world language texts to reverse match using subject verb agreement and to analyze missing content using inflected endings. In science class, use this site to remove clues from a paragraph explaining a concepts or terms, subtracting information and having students fill it back in as they review for test and quizzes. Learning support teachers will love this option! Enter passage students write that include new vocabulary words, letting students challenge each other by subtracting portions. Speech and language teachers can use this tool to provide practice with expressive language.

For work with memorization, use this site with popular song lyrics in class. Listen to the song first and give the students the lyrics to be memorized. Or, go to YouLyrics (if district policy allows) to get the song and see a video of it and then have the students use this site to help them memorize the lyrics. ESL, ELL, and students of other languages will enjoy memorizing songs which helps them improve their vocabulary and accent. Use this site in a group by projecting the screen on a whiteboard or projector and systematically show fewer and fewer words on the screen. Have teams of students compete against each other by writing the text as quickly as possible on two boards in the classroom. Share this link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the class to memorize new information. Share it as a personal study skills tool, as well.

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Teacher Training Videos - Russell Stannard

Grades
K to 12
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Become a technology expert by learning from the best. View screencasts of great training videos for teachers. Find content to support in a variety of subject areas with tutorials and...more
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Become a technology expert by learning from the best. View screencasts of great training videos for teachers. Find content to support in a variety of subject areas with tutorials and "how to" for a variety of sites. Subscribe to newsletters to receive updates of newly produced videos. Find "how to" videos of web 2.0 tools such as wikis, blogs, and other more complicated tools by clicking on "Web 2.0/ICT Videos."

tag(s): professional development (156), spelling (168), tutorials (48), vocabulary (324)

In the Classroom

Use the links on the left hand side to find videos on how to use some of the most popular and useful classroom sites around. Find something of use in the vast array available for viewing. The screencasts of the web 2.0 sites offer step by step instructions to help novice and intermediate users in their use in the classroom. Videos are organized into topics with multiple tools showcased in the segment. Find quick videos at the bottom of the page which highlight just one tool. Even teachers of very young students will find many of the tools explained helpful for their own use in creating learning materials, centers, etc.
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VocabSushi - VocabSushi.com

Grades
8 to 12
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This site helps students learn higher level vocabulary, whether they want to simply improve reading ability or prepare for college entrance tests. Registration requires an email address....more
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This site helps students learn higher level vocabulary, whether they want to simply improve reading ability or prepare for college entrance tests. Registration requires an email address. Rather than using your personal or work email, create a free Gmail account to use for memberships. If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes.If you plan to have students register individually, you may want to create your own Gmail account with up to 20 subaccounts for each group of students (by code name or number) within your classes. Here is a blog post that tells how to set up GMail subaccounts to use for any online membership service.

Once registered, students can select fitting vocabulary words to put into sentences. The sentences come from popular current newspapers. The site also has standard reading lists for the top test prep sites, including GRE, ISEE, SAT, and ACT. It keeps track of which of those words a student is working on and which he/she has learned. Students who master certain words will find new, more challenging words added to their work-on list. Besides seeing the words used in context, you can also hear the pronunciation of most words, thus making it a good tool for TOEFL test takers as well.

tag(s): test prep (96), vocabulary (324), vocabulary development (124)

In the Classroom

Save this site in your favorites on your classroom computers. List the link on your class website for students to use both in and out of the classroom. Have students work with a partner to explore this site and then create a podcast incorporating the new words that they learned. Use a site such as PodOmatic (reviewed here).
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Flowchart - Flowchart.com

Grades
7 to 12
2 Favorites 0  Comments
 
Create flowcharts easily with this free resource. This is not just a graphic organizer but more like a simple flowchart that allows great possibilities for use. ...more
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Create flowcharts easily with this free resource. This is not just a graphic organizer but more like a simple flowchart that allows great possibilities for use.

tag(s): charts and graphs (195), concept mapping (21), mind map (24), venn diagrams (14)

In the Classroom

Users must be able to play to find the best way to create their flowchart. Learning of tools is easy with a little play. Users must decide the best use and remember to create templates for use. Users must manage the saving of flowcharts and the exporting to other formats. If using in another site, users should be able to use embed codes.

Create a new flowchart by using a blank template or one of the stored templates shown. Click the folders under "Cliparts" to find objects to place in the flowchart. The "General" folder holds boxes and arrows to get started. Drag an object to your building space. Double click on it to add text and click "Set" to place on the box. Objects will remain small, though clicking on it brings up boxes to drag to the required size. Use the right-hand side toolbar, to draw items directly in the workspace. Click on an object desired and draw that item effortlessly. Change colors and other parameters of the object with the on screen toolbox. Save the chart, save as a revision to go back to past versions, or even save as a template. Export flowcharts as PDF documents or even images. Print your flowchart easily or generate an embed code to use in a blog, wiki, or other site. Record a chart to show the process of the flowchart as it unfolds.

Consider creating a class account and have groups of students work on flowcharts for specific portions of the class work (each group could work on a different part.) Print flowcharts or download for easy sharing or flowcharts to provide simple step by step directions.

Use this resource for showing how a scientific process works, planning a how-to or step-by-step directions for a piece of writing, or documenting events leading up to a war or other historical event. Create a template to show the process of scientific review of articles or other writing types. Require students to enter their information in the sections of the template prior to actual writing of the assignment for a more effective way to plan their work. Use a scientific process flowchart to show how to use inquiry to solve a problem and learn information. Provide a flowchart of how students should learn unknown information. Even the simplest tasks become easier to follow using a graphically constructed flowchart.

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TubeChop - TubeChop.com

Grades
K to 12
9 Favorites 1  Comments
  
Chop pieces of You Tube videos easily and effortlessly in as little as a few steps. Quickly share your chopped video by providing a URL link or using the embed ...more
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Chop pieces of You Tube videos easily and effortlessly in as little as a few steps. Quickly share your chopped video by providing a URL link or using the embed code in a wiki, blog, or other site. View easy instructions and examples of chopped videos on the front page of the site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): gamification (75), movies (72), video (276), webquests (30), writing prompts (95)

In the Classroom

No registration is needed to use this free, web based application. Users need to be able to find an appropriate You Tube video and know where the start and end times of the portion they wish to cut. If more than one portion is wanted from the video (i.e. remove the whole middle), users will have to create two chopped segments which can be posted separately.

First, select the video you want to use. If the URL is not known, no problem. Search for the video within TubeChop itself. Once the video is selected, click the "Chop" button. Select the part you want by dragging the two black sliders that appear under the video to choose the desired start and end times of your chopped piece. It is helpful to note the time markers when you are previewing the original video and then move the markers to those points. Once your chopped piece has been chosen, simply click "Chop it." The chopped video appears with its own Tubechop link. Copy the embed code to share the video on your blog or website. The embed code is easily entered on a wiki as well.

If YouTube is blocked in your district, Tubechop videos will not show, either, since they are "pulled" from YouTube. Check school access before you plan to use TubeChop! (When tested in a district that blocks You Tube, the actual Tube Chop video did not play.) Be sure to check District policy about use of You Tube videos. Even if YouTube is not filtered, as with all resources used in the classroom, be sure to preview the appropriateness of the video before using in the classroom. TubeChop removes unwanted material whether inappropriate or not needed for that particular lesson.

Choose only portions needed for use in that particular lesson or remove unwanted portions that are inappropriate (or boring!) Create little clips to use as a webquest. Though it is time consuming, it would be easier for younger students to focus on smaller pieces of video to locate information. Chop small pieces of video for use as writing prompts for essays, creative writing, or blog posts. Chop portions of videos showing different viewpoints or arguments to any scientific, political, economic, or historical event. Use in the Arts to showcase music, dance, art, or other creative pursuits. Use chopped portions of video footage captured by the public to compare with news accounts to uncover bias and discuss perspective.

Comments

TubeChop is a great tool to select one part of some YouTube video, but if you are interested in selecting multiple parts of the same video, then you will need something else. I've found www.vibby.com to be great for this purpose - and it even allows annotating and commenting each specific part! Toni, , Grades: 0 - 12

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FluxNow - fluxnow.com

Grades
8 to 12
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This blog style book review source, aimed at teen readers, offers annotated listings of the newest "literature" on the teen scene. Many are done by teen writers, with cover illustrations,...more
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This blog style book review source, aimed at teen readers, offers annotated listings of the newest "literature" on the teen scene. Many are done by teen writers, with cover illustrations, summaries, author info, and selected chapters available. Although it is a sales site, the information about the literature is free. The store is accessible only by clicking on "Trade." Archives of other blog entries about older books offer more breadth in book descriptions. Be sure to advise students to avoid clicking "Trade." Since the content of teen literature is gritty and can include many controversial topics (sex, drugs, alienation, family problems, etc.), you may want to use this site as a library/media specialist without recommending it directly to students. Teachers should make that decision based on their local school community.

tag(s): literature (274)

In the Classroom

Offer this site only to your most discriminating readers. Look at this site frequently since its offerings change weekly. Offer this site only to your most discriminating readers. Look at this site frequently since its offerings change weekly. Share selections on a projector or interactive whiteboard for "quicky" book talks or take a screen shot (with credit, of course) to display a selected review on a digital picture frame in your library/media center. Set the frame to cycle through a slide show of new book selections! Other options for cycling book reviews would be to paste them into PowerPoint slides to run in a looped show on selected media center computers or to run the screenshots as screensaver images.

Now sure how to take a screen shot? Press the PrtScrn button on a Windows computer (sometimes combined with SHIFT or Ctrl key, depending on the computer), then CONTROL+V to PASTE the screen image into an image program such as Paint so you can save it. Screenshots are even easier in Vista using the Snip tool. On a Mac, the screen shot function is Command+Shift+4 (the number 4), and the "picture" (a png image file) gets saved to your chosen location, usually your desktop. Be sure to copy the URL of the page you are "shooting" to give proper credit and place a label with your frame providing this information.

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Common Craft - Lee Lefeever

Grades
K to 12
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No special skills needed. Just watch and learn. Embarrassed to say you don't know what all the "new web 2.0" terms are all about? This is for you (and probably ...more
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No special skills needed. Just watch and learn. Embarrassed to say you don't know what all the "new web 2.0" terms are all about? This is for you (and probably for your students' parents, as well). Common Craft uses a very simple, visual method of explaining all the latest technologies so that everyone can understand, using short video clips narrated by a positive and respectful voice. The next time you hear someone talking about RSS feeds or some other new doo-dad, stop here first so you will know what they are talking about. Did you think you were the only one who did not know? Don't be overwhelmed. This site has incredible popularity because there are LOADS of people quietly questioning -- just like you. If your district blocks YouTube, then they may not be viewable. You could always view the videos 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): blogs (90), media literacy (62), movies (72), tutorials (48), video (276), wikis (21)

In the Classroom

Start by looking at any video that catches your eye, but don't be afraid to search for other topics that have you wondering. You will definitely want to make this channel a Favorite to find information to keep you informed. Share it on your teacher web page to help out your parents, too! Create an account to add as favorites and subscribe to the channel to inform you when new videos are added.

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Caldecott Winners - American Library Association

Grades
K to 10
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This site is the definitive list for yearly Caldecott Medal winners in the field of art and illustration in children's literature. Besides the list of the new winners and the ...more
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This site is the definitive list for yearly Caldecott Medal winners in the field of art and illustration in children's literature. Besides the list of the new winners and the accompanying honor books, the site provides access to previous winners from 1938 onward. Information about the Caldecott award appears in a side panel with links to other important medals in this field, including the Newbery (for excellence in children's literature).

tag(s): book lists (133)

In the Classroom

Save this site on your classroom favorite's on your computer to assist students in finding books to read and sample illustrations for art class and students' own stories. This is a great link to provide on your class website for students to access at home. Within the classroom, have students choose a former Caldecott winner to read and create a multimedia presentation. Use a tool such as bubbl.us (reviewed here) to create and share concept maps about the books.

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Movieclips - movieclips.com

Grades
2 to 12
5 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Looking for short movie clips that you can view at school and use to teach something? Check out Movieclips. Thousands of short clips are available free and without registration at ...more
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Looking for short movie clips that you can view at school and use to teach something? Check out Movieclips. Thousands of short clips are available free and without registration at this site (not Disney!). Get a quick idea of the content by clicking on the Movies menu. You can make any clip display full screen using the small icon in the lower right. Note: Mature movie clips are available, but registration is required to see them. Sort through movie clips by subject, theme, genre, character, etc. Registered members can add questions to accompany clips. Unfortunately, registration also allows access to mature content. We don't recommend this option, since this will allow students access to the entire site. You would be wise to use a teacher-only email account and membership to submit questions.

Use the embed code and URL codes with each clip to provide link or embed a specific clip into a blog, wiki, or other site.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): movies (72)

In the Classroom

None, if you simply wish to view clips. Clips can be played through the site. Copy the URL or embed codes under "Share this clip" to link or share the video.

Student registration is not advisable due to mature content.

Use the clips for vocabulary with ESL or ELL students. Introduce other curriculum topics or lessons using the clips on this site. For example, use video clips to get students thinking about concepts such as tornadoes, animals, feelings, or decision-making. As you teach about characterization in literature or creative writing, use movie clips to illustrate how a writer can "show not tell" about a characters personality or motivations. Have students observe the outward signs the actor uses to SHOW what he/she is feeling, then use these signs in writing their own stories: the way the eyebrows move, the body language, etc. Emotional support and autistic support teachers can use the clips to help students learn to "read" human feelings.

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Blabberize - Mobouy Inc.

Grades
1 to 12
18 Favorites 0  Comments
   
Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. There are some real treasures among...more
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Blabberize is a photo editing tool that creates talking animations from a photo or other image. Browse the ready-made blabbers or create new ones. There are some real treasures among the ready-mades. These will help you get ideas for ways to use a Blabber! Here is an example created by the TeachersFirst Edge team. Upload an image from your computer, select an area to become the talking "mouth," and record sound from the mike on your computer. Sound can also come from a sound file you upload. You will need to "allow" access to your computer's microphone. You have 30 seconds to narrate your photo. When you complete the blab, click SAVE. You will be prompted to create an account on the spot. You will also have the options to mark your blab "mature" or "private" (not shown on the "latest" pages and other public areas). Completed Blabs can be shared via email or embedded in another web page, blog, or wiki. Users unfamiliar with copy/pasting embed code can simple share by the URL of the blab's page.
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tag(s): animation (65), firstday (26), images (274), photography (161)

In the Classroom

If your students have never tried to make a Blabber, share the introduction blab on the home page (click the Blabberize logo to get there) on a projector or interactive whiteboard. Browse a few examples first to get ideas on how to make a mouth on your photo to move and "talk." Be sure to turn up your sound! Have a student demonstrate uploading an image from a safe and legal source. You may want to use a single, whole-class account you create with your "extra" email account. Be sure to spell out consequences of inappropriate use/content of blabs. Have students enter the site through the "Make" page link provided in this review to steer clear of the "latest" blabs. You may want your students to make their blabs "private" so they do not show on the public areas, depending on school policies.

Blab the homework directions on your teacher web page. Have your students use photos or digital drawings to "blab"! Have students draw in a paint program, save the file, and then make it "speak." Spice up research projects about historic figures or important scientists. Have literary characters tell about themselves. This tool is great for gifted students to go above and beyond the basics with an independent project. Create entire conversation sequences of blabs between people in world language or ESL/ELL classes (with students speaking in the language, of course), then embed them in a wiki. Have speech/language students make blabs to practice articulation and document progress over time. Promote oral reading fluency with student-read blabs. Create book "commercials." Have students blab what the author may have been thinking as he/she wrote a poem or literary selection or as an artist painted. Blab politicians' major platform planks during campaigns for current events. Blab the steps to math problem solving. Even primary students can make an animal blab about his habitat if you set up the blab as a center. 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 blab the pictures to explain the concepts. This would be a great first day project (introducing yourself and breaking the ice). Share the class blabs on your class web page or wiki! Give directions to your class (for when a substitute is there). Use at back to school night to grab parents' attention for important information.

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Ides of March Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students honor the Ides of March by learning about Julius Caesar and to plan related projects...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students honor the Ides of March by learning about Julius Caesar and to plan related projects and classroom activities. Whether you spend one class or an entire unit on Caesar or Shakespeare's play, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning.

tag(s): julius caesar (7)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in this collection to add to your classroom during a lesson on the Ides of March. The resources listed can be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans and the like! History and Language Arts teachers will appreciate this one.

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Veteran's Day Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Explore these resources for ideas you can use to connect classroom curriculum to Veterans Day. Whether you choose to focus on Veterans Day and its history for one class period ...more
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Explore these resources for ideas you can use to connect classroom curriculum to Veterans Day. Whether you choose to focus on Veterans Day and its history for one class period or to include a special curriculum project in honor of veterans, these ideas and resources will get you started.

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the resources in this collection to add to your classroom during a unit on Veteran's Day. The links on this site could be used for lesson plans, webquests, learning centers & the like!

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Native American Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the rich heritage and legacy of Native Americans and to plan projects...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the rich heritage and legacy of Native Americans and to plan projects and classroom activities so students can explore the contributions and experiences of the native nations of North and South America. Whether you spend one class exploring these resources or plan an entire unit on Native Americans, the ideas included in the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and projects your students will not forget.

tag(s): india (37), native americans (78)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in this collection to help supplement and plan for a unit on Native American cultures. Use the links here for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like.

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Opposing Views - Opposing Views, Inc.

Grades
8 to 12
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This searchable, current website provides information on both sides of a number of controversial topics. Two slight drawbacks to this website are that there are some advertisements,...more
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This searchable, current website provides information on both sides of a number of controversial topics. Two slight drawbacks to this website are that there are some advertisements, however the information is still very good and the ads are not overly distracting. NOTE: some content may be too mature for younger readers. See suggestions below.

tag(s): autism (21), debate (44), persuasive writing (56), sexuality (14)

In the Classroom

Use this site for debate topics for students to see both sides of the argument either before they choose their topic, or as part of their research for the topic. The issues change regularly and could serve a powerful prompts for persuasive writing. Some readings on this site would also work as texts to use on interactive whiteboard for teaching non-fiction reading skills such as main idea, summarizing, or fact vs opinion. Teachers will want to closely monitor students using this site, since sidebars offer links to other topics, and some comments left by readers may not be classroom-friendly. Be sure to visit the link to Civility 101 at the bottom of the page and share it with your students! Have cooperative learning groups choose a side and create a multimedia presentation defending their choice. Use a site such as Have students create an annotated image including text boxes and related links using a tool such as Thinglink, reviewed here. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be uploaded), and then narrate the photo as if it were a news report. To find Creative Commons images for student projects (with credit, of course), try Compfight, reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Big Huge Thesaurus - Big Huge Labs

Grades
1 to 12
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This simple-looking online thesaurus is actually MUCH more than a quick-look-up. You can find synonyms, antonyms, similar words, and rhymes for any word you enter. A click on any of...more
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This simple-looking online thesaurus is actually MUCH more than a quick-look-up. You can find synonyms, antonyms, similar words, and rhymes for any word you enter. A click on any of the words offered provides the same information for THAT word, sending you on word-paths through the English language. Innocent-looking links at the top of the page also provide hundreds of prompts for blog posts and stories, with enough choices to inspire any writer. Don't let the boring white background and plain-text presentation fool you. This tool has magic powers to make words interesting to almost anyone. The database of words used to generate this thesaurus comes from "the Princeton University WordNet database, the Carnegie Mellon Pronouncing Dictionary, and suggestions from thousands of people on the internet just like you." See a special note to teachers below regarding student behavior!

tag(s): rhymes (32), thesaurus (24), vocabulary (324), word study (79), writing (369), writing prompts (95)

In the Classroom

Keep this link handy among the resources on your class web page or wiki, and be sure to bring it up on your screen or interactive whiteboard to remind students of the rich tools it offers as you teach grammar, revision, poetry, essay-writing, or even letter and resume writing. With primary grades, share the rhyming words to help teach spelling and phonics! As students share in revising a passage or writing a poem on the interactive whiteboard, have this thesaurus available on another window to model their search for just the right word. Encourage students to look up any new vocabulary or terminology at the start of new science or social studies units so they can gain a broader "sense" of the words themselves through a constellation of synonyms and related words. Help students refine vocabulary by having them rank the various synonyms offered for a certain word, deciding which has the most positive or negative connotations. Offer the writing prompts for student journal or blog posts or creative stories. ESL/ELL students can explore new words with this tool, even practicing the rhyming sounds and noticing their varied spellings. Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here.

NOTE: If students enter an inappropriate word, they WILL find classroom-inappropriate terms. As with use of any reference, your students need to know your classroom's consequences of such activity. The options are no different from students looking up body parts or pornographic terms in a print dictionary or on Google.

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Magazine Cover Maker - Big Huge Labs

Grades
3 to 12
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Create authentic-looking magazine covers sure to attract double-takes. Simply upload a photo to create your cover. If you do not need to SAVE the photo for online access later, you...more
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Create authentic-looking magazine covers sure to attract double-takes. Simply upload a photo to create your cover. If you do not need to SAVE the photo for online access later, you do not even need to join the site. Covers you create can be downloaded as completed images or sent via email and other sharing tools (Facebook, etc). Photos can be uploaded from your files, Flickr, your website, or other photosharing sites. Fill in your desired text for the titles and sub-titles and choose colors for them. It's that simple. Click 'Create' at the bottom and you have a magazine cover that will leave others in awe. For more creative ideas using Big Huge Labs, go to the top of the page and click on Big Huge Labs Blog or Forum. Big Huge Labs offers MANY similar tools, such as Mapmaker, reviewed here. Of course, this site offers advanced options for a fee or with free registration, but neither is necessary.
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tag(s): bulletin boards (17), collages (17), firstday (26), flickr (7), images (274)

In the Classroom

You need to know how to locate your photos on your computer or photo sharing site. Click the little white boxes to change text colors, etc. as you enter desired text. SAVE your completed cover when done. Be sure to give it a meaningful name if you are creating several covers on the same computer!

Check out the Big Huge Labs educator account. Easily pre-register students to avoid creating logins, view and download their creations, and view the site advertisement free. You will find information about the Educator Account here. If you and your students simply use the tool without joining the site, there are no problems with email, profiles, etc. You do need to demonstrate the tool and specifically explain which links students should NOT use, including ads and links to social networking sites that are prohibited in your school. These may be blocked, anyway. Make sure you watch and teach copyright issues in snatching photos from the web.

Have students create magazine covers of themselves as a getting to know you activity and classroom bulletin board. Print and laminate magazine covers to make them appear even more authentic. Or share the images (WITHOUT student names) on your class wiki or web page. When doing reports for any subject, have students create magazine covers that mimic the real thing instead of boring plain covers. Make covers about famous Americans, scientists, or historic figures. Make covers about objects, as well. Assign students to research a vegetable and create a cover about its nutrients, recipes, and more as part of your nutrition unit! Guidance teachers or principals can feature exemplary students using this tool. Bulletin board creativity will skyrocket using Big Huge Labs Magazine Cover. Why not offer a rotating PowerPoint slide show of student-made magazine covers for parents to view as they wait in the hallway for conferences?

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