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Common Craft - Lee Lefeever

Grades
K to 12
4 Favorites 0  Comments
   
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 (89), media literacy (57), movies (70), tutorials (47), video (270), wikis (20)

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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Memory Share - BBC

Grades
2 to 12
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On this site, students can see a variety of time lines that partially describe people's memories. Memories show up through the timeline, through a keyword, or through an individual...more
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On this site, students can see a variety of time lines that partially describe people's memories. Memories show up through the timeline, through a keyword, or through an individual url address. The archive of memories begins with 1900. For example, a page on the year 1968 yields information about a radio program popular that day. You can add your own memories to further describe the year 1968. Adding your own memories does require registration. Registration requires a member name and password, no private information is required. If you elect to have students use the site to share memories, we recommend that you follow guidelines on the TeachersFirst Edge Tips about memberships, schools policies, and safety.

The general site describes itself as a "gathering" of viewers' memories. Therefore, many of the events in Memory Share are personal, not global events. To begin, you click on the left side to select a particular year. Then scroll around a circular spiral which contains the memories others have submitted. To read a specific memory, you click on the "blob" on the spiral which represents the memory. The site also allows for storage of video memories. Both the written and the video memories are filed by keyword so they can be compared to other memories containing similar terms.

Since this site has content generated by the public, always preview information before you share it with your students!

tag(s): 20th century (53), timelines (64)

In the Classroom

Explore others' memories to gain a sense of a time period such as the 1920s, asking students what the memory tells then about life during that time. Have students interview an older family member or neighbor and add one of their own significant memories to the Memory Share site. This is also a great site to have students record holiday memories and favorite family holiday rituals. Use the site to explain what a primary source is, as well. Use memory writing as a way to practice sequencing skills and general narrative writing, publishing the final products on a timeline (protect identity, of course!). Have students create a timeline of their own memories concerning major world events such as the election of the first African American U.S. president. Share this link on your class website for students and parents to use together.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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World News for Kids - English Raven Educational Services

Grades
2 to 8
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This site, powered by an Australian teacher, offers oral news clips of recent news events. A good introduction to world news, this site is also a great resource for ESL/ELL ...more
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This site, powered by an Australian teacher, offers oral news clips of recent news events. A good introduction to world news, this site is also a great resource for ESL/ELL students. The English spoken is fairly slow and easily understandable. Listeners can also record their own responses to the stories. The four stories offered every week are at graduated levels, from easy to medium-difficult.

The site explains the levels: Level 1 (Dove) - Elementary/Primary grades 3-4; Level 2 (Owl) - Elementary/Primary grades 4-5; Level 3 (Eagle) - Grades 5-7; Level 4 (Albatross) - Grades 6-8

tag(s): news (262)

In the Classroom

Use this site when talking about current world events. After viewing a few of these, you may want your students to write, read, and record their own newscasts about local news events. Try using a site such as Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows students to narrate a picture from the news. Challenge students to find a photo (legally permitted to be reproduced), and then narrate the photo as a news report. Since the printable version of the news stories are only available for a fee, you may want to have your students write their own text version of the stories instead!

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Ideas Wisconsin - University of Wisconsin System

Grades
K to 12
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This excellent site has hundreds of lesson plan ideas, interactive tools, videos, and more. All are organized according to grade level and subject, including ESL/ELL. Although some...more
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This excellent site has hundreds of lesson plan ideas, interactive tools, videos, and more. All are organized according to grade level and subject, including ESL/ELL. Although some focus on Wisconsin history and sites, most are useful to all teachers. Besides the lesson plans, there is a news section which offers guided activities with select news events. Teachers can email the site if they'd like to see the archive of news plan offerings. All lesson plans follow WI standards. An interesting place to begin looking at the site is under "New" where teachers can see the most recently added plans. Search by grade, subject, or keyword. Some lessons are simple ideas while others are very detailed and include lots of information.

tag(s): news (262)

In the Classroom

Check here for well-developed lesson plans for a specific topic you'd like to teach. Or scroll through the offerings for your grade level and subject. Complete directions for each lesson plan will guide you through how you can use it in the classroom. Share the interactive or photos on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Save this site in your favorites to visit often for some new ways to freshen up the content in your class.

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Explore.org - Annenberg

Grades
3 to 12
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"Never stop learning" with this wonderful, high quality, and easy to use site. View videos, documents, and photos about people around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary...more
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"Never stop learning" with this wonderful, high quality, and easy to use site. View videos, documents, and photos about people around the world who have devoted their lives to extraordinary causes. Search through a wide range of places or causes. View a range of topics from health, animal rights, spiritualism, and education. Explore a variety of global issues to bring cultures and issues into perspective. View videos in HD. Download and embed videos for reuse. Remixing videos is against the acceptable use policy of the site. Read descriptions which provide the necessary background information and view links of related content and materials. This site is a must see! Selected videos can be used with younger elementary classes, depending on the curriculum connections.

tag(s): heroes (25)

In the Classroom

Find photos that speak to students and use them as an activator at the start of class. After viewing the picture, provide time for writing questions about the picture These questions will lead to search terms to find more information about culture, pollution, and socioeconomic problems. Encourage students to create poster or blog campaigns outlining problems and possible solutions. Why not create multimedia posters using a site such as Padlet (reviewed here). Find other areas in the world where similar or related problems are occurring. Identify the historical, economic, or geographical reasons for the problems. Challenge students to create a thematic Mapskip (reviewed here) This tool allows you to create a map with audio! Students can use this site as inspiration for "I believe..." style essays, photos, or videos. Looking for a FREE video sharing tool? Check out TeacherTube reviewed here.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Movieclips - movieclips.com

Grades
2 to 12
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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 ...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 (70)

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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Temperate Oceans - MBGnet

Grades
4 to 10
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This colorful and informative site provides information about oceans. Specific topics include "How the Ocean Refreshes Itself," "Ocean Animals," "Food from the Ocean," and several others....more
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This colorful and informative site provides information about oceans. Specific topics include "How the Ocean Refreshes Itself," "Ocean Animals," "Food from the Ocean," and several others. Many of the topics include interactive presentations. There is also a link to find more "Ocean Links."

tag(s): animals (285), oceans (152)

In the Classroom

If your class is learning about the oceans of the world, delve even "deeper" by sharing this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Have cooperative learning groups explore specific areas of this site and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class. Have students create a UtellStory, reviewed here. This tool allows for narrating and adding text to a picture. 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. Or, bring even more geography skills into the project by having groups create a Mapskip, reviewed here, sharing exactly WHERE the oceans are located (with audio stories and pictures included)!

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Blabberize - Mobouy Inc.

Grades
1 to 12
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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...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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): animation (65), images (275), 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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Women's History 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 Women's History and to plan related projects and classroom activities....more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about Women's History and to plan related projects and classroom activities. Whether you spend one class or an entire unit on Women's History, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning.

tag(s): women (92)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in this collection to supplement a classroom during a Women's History unit. The resources on this site can be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like!

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Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur fall early in the school year and provide an opportunity to promote multi-cultural and religious understanding. These resources will help acquaint students...more
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Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur fall early in the school year and provide an opportunity to promote multi-cultural and religious understanding. These resources will help acquaint students and teachers who may not know much about the Jewish High Holy Days with the history and cultural traditions of these holidays.

tag(s): holidays (152), rosh hashanah (7), yom kippur (7)

In the Classroom

Use the resources on this site to supplement a classroom during a lesson or unit on these prominent Jewish holidays. The resources listed here can be used as webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like!

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National Hispanic Heritage Month Resources - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month and the important contributions of those...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students celebrate National Hispanic Heritage month and the important contributions of those whose heritage traces to Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America through related projects and classroom activities.

tag(s): hispanic (17)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in the collection to supplement classroom material during a unit on Hispanic Heritage. The resources listed here can be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like!

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Constitution Day 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 United States Constitution and to plan projects and classroom activities...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about the United States Constitution and to plan projects and classroom activities so students can experience the Constitution as a "living document." Whether you spend one class in celebration of Constitution Day or an entire unit on the Constitution, the ideas included in the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and projects your students will not forget.

tag(s): american revolution (88), bill of rights (29), branches of government (48), constitution (82)

In the Classroom

Use the resources in this collection to supplement a unit on the American Constitution. The resources on this site could be used for webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & the like. American History teachers will love this one!

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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 (36), 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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Pearl Harbor and World War II Resources - TeachersFirst

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K to 12
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students honor Pearl Harbor Day and the important events of World War II through related projects...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students honor Pearl Harbor Day and the important events of World War II through related projects and classroom activities. Whether you focus on Pearl Harbor for one class or spend an entire unit on World War II, the ideas included within the "In the Classroom" portion of reviews will launch discussions and meaningful projects for student-centered learning. Take your classes beyond infamy to inspiration.

tag(s): pearl harbor (12), world war 2 (141)

In the Classroom

Use this collection of resources to add to your classroom, both inside and out during a unit on the Second World War. Materials range from webquests, learning centers, lesson plans & then some. Make sure to save this one as a favorite!

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Which Founder are You? - The National Constitution Center

Grades
4 to 10
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This website offers an eleven question quiz about which founding father you are most like. Much like personality quizzes in pre-teen and teen magazines, this site will appeal to students....more
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This website offers an eleven question quiz about which founding father you are most like. Much like personality quizzes in pre-teen and teen magazines, this site will appeal to students. It is a different take on history and the men who formed our country's foundation. This is a great site to demonstrate qualities found in true leaders.

tag(s): constitution (82)

In the Classroom

Have students take this quiz individually on laptops to hook them into the Constitution. Have students pair and share their answers. Then have students further research the founding father with which they have the most in common. Have students create a multimedia presentation comparing themselves to the founding father they are most like. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here). Or have them create a mock Faecbook "profile" and updates for their founder of choice (not on the real Facebook, but perhaps on a class wiki).
 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 (325), word study (79), writing (363), writing prompts (93)

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.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): bulletin boards (17), collages (17), flickr (7), images (275)

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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Hypercities Beta 2 - UCLA Academic Technology Svcs

Grades
4 to 12
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This beta site, created at UCLA and powered in part by Google, allows students, teachers, and parents to explore selected world cities. Users can also slide a timeline to view ...more
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This beta site, created at UCLA and powered in part by Google, allows students, teachers, and parents to explore selected world cities. Users can also slide a timeline to view images of that city in the past, compare its changes throughout the years, and study old and new maps. More cities will appear in the future. The site still has a few bugs, but it keeps improving. It sometimes loads slowly. Some web browsers do not work properly, so PREVIEW in your classroom. Internet Explorer 8 users will get a message: "HyperCities is optimized to work in Firefox or Safari. If you do not have Firefox installed, you can download it here" and will have to load an alternate browser to use this site.

tag(s): maps (290)

In the Classroom

Use this site as an anticipatory set or "activator" to introduce a unit or lesson on the cities or on maps using on a projector. Have students create a map in the old style of a city they are studying today. ESL and ELL students and weaker readers can easily use this site since there are few words! Have your ESL students check to see if cities in their countries are available here; have them do an introduction to the city and comment on what is different about the cities now. Use the timeline views to explore the impacts of world trade, transportation, and changes in government on different parts of the world.

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