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Reading Friend - Anne Elizabeth Eaves

Grades
K to 3
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Reading Friend offers an extensive library of free animated books, songs, poems, and learning activities for emerging readers. Choose from categories on the home page, the main catalog...more
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Reading Friend offers an extensive library of free animated books, songs, poems, and learning activities for emerging readers. Choose from categories on the home page, the main catalog listing, or search by keyword. Words are highlighted as the narrator reads. Most, but not all, content is friendly on mobile devices.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): literacy (107), poetry (225), preK (287), reading lists (79), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Use Reading Friend to find and differentiate literacy activities for students. Share links to books and activities on classroom computers for student use as centers. Include a link to activities on your class web page for use at home. Many of the stories and poems will help resource and ELL/ESL students who need to hear word families, phonetics, and such.
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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My Simpleshow - simpleshow

Grades
K to 12
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My Simpleshow creates dynamic and professional-looking video explanations easily (and for free!). View examples for an overview of the different available templates. Create an account...more
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My Simpleshow creates dynamic and professional-looking video explanations easily (and for free!). View examples for an overview of the different available templates. Create an account using your email to make your own videos. Start by writing a script or uploading a PowerPoint. Follow Simpleshow's step-by-step directions for using templates and adding images and text to create a video. Record your own soundtrack, or choose from provided voice-overs. Simpleshow works on any device with a web browser. Simpleshow recommends uploading published videos to your YouTube account for easiest sharing. 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 Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): animation (65), digital storytelling (153), movies (70), multimedia (61), slides (65), video (269)

In the Classroom

Challenge older students to create their own Simpleshow. Have students use this tool to share their ideas or to "prototype" an idea. Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain scientific processes, tell stories, or present research. The possibilities are endless, and students will come up with hundreds of more uses. Flip your classroom using Simpleshow presentations. Use Simpleshow to create teacher-authored animations for students in ANY grade. This tool is an excellent way to present new information or ideas for discussion. It is an easy way to share information with the class when a substitute is in your classroom. Embed your Simpleshow creations on your website or blog for students to review at home. Use a Simpleshow video on the first day of school to explain class rules or to give an exciting introduction to the year ahead. Use Simpleshow to create presentations for back to school night or conference nights to display on your interactive whiteboard or projector.

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Revue - Martijn de Kuijper, Mohamed El Maslouhi

Grades
2 to 12
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Use Revue to create a personal email newsletter in minutes. No more tedious hours putting your newsletter together. Compose it in minutes, preview it, and schedule when you'd like it...more
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Use Revue to create a personal email newsletter in minutes. No more tedious hours putting your newsletter together. Compose it in minutes, preview it, and schedule when you'd like it to be shared. Also, share on Twitter, Medium, Tumblr, Pocket, and RSS feeds. Revue also has a browser extension to make it easy to add to your newsletter while searching the Internet and load up content at any time. The free part of Revue allows you to have 200 subscribers. Sign up with your name and email, or Twitter, Google, or Facebook account. Be sure to check out the very thorough FAQ section.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): creative writing (168), descriptive writing (42), digital storytelling (153), expository writing (45), journalism (52), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Consider using Revue to create a daily newsletter about what students learned in class, and then present it as a recap at the beginning of the next day. Be sure to add images and charts where possible for visual students. Eventually, students could do this on their own at the end of the class. A newsletter would build an excellent learning journal and could be used to study for a test, or as a source for writing a final essay. Writing for digital publication is an important element of Common Core writing. In science and math classes, students can design a newsletter about a famous scientist or mathematician. In science class, students can develop a newsletter to explain to a younger student about cells, life cycles, or any science topic. Do an author study with the end project being a newsletter. For literature circle end projects have the group create a newsletter about the plot and characters. Create digital newsletters for any subject or topic: explain an event in history, demonstrate different types of animals or habitats. With the Revue newsletter tool, it will almost seem effortless to send home a weekly or monthly newsletter to parents with ongoing news of class activities, announcements, schedules, and more.

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Copyright Decision Tool - Council of Ministers of Education, Canada

Grades
6 to 12
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Encourage and promote proper digital citizenship through the use of the Copyright Decision Tool. Choose the type of published work from options including periodicals, poems, books,...more
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Encourage and promote proper digital citizenship through the use of the Copyright Decision Tool. Choose the type of published work from options including periodicals, poems, books, and more to begin. Answer questions to learn if it is a permissible use of the published work. In addition to the decision tool, this site contains many other resources for teachers including articles and video presentations.

tag(s): copyright (49), digital citizenship (63), ethics (17), plagiarism (34)

In the Classroom

Include this site as part of your digital citizenship lessons. Explore together what is the acceptable use, and what is not. Have students create online posters individually or together as a class using a tool such as Web Poster Wizard, reviewed here, or PicLits, reviewed here, to demonstrate the acceptable use of published work. Be sure to include a link to this tool on your class web page for student use at home.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Creator Academy - YouTube

Grades
8 to 12
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Creator Academy offers a series of online video courses designed to maximize YouTube success. Although this isn't the goal of every video creator, the courses provide many valuable...more
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Creator Academy offers a series of online video courses designed to maximize YouTube success. Although this isn't the goal of every video creator, the courses provide many valuable lessons in video production and creating engaging content. Each video includes a downloadable lesson reinforcing content. 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 Freemake Video Converter, reviewed here, to download the videos from YouTube.

tag(s): creativity (118), journalism (52), social media (17), video (269)

In the Classroom

View videos with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard before assigning multimedia projects. Include a link to videos on your class web page for students to view at home. Set up a video chat time for one of these YouTube videos using a tool such as Watch Together, reviewed here, to discuss the video lesson. Be sure to share with your school's journalism teacher for use with writing and video projects.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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Copyleaks Content Authentication - Copyleaks

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4 to 12
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Compare your writing to trillions of online pages to detect possible cases of plagiarism. Insert the URL of your web page to compare information to online content. Sign up using ...more
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Compare your writing to trillions of online pages to detect possible cases of plagiarism. Insert the URL of your web page to compare information to online content. Sign up using email for free to scan files and text. The free plan includes scanning up to 2.5K words per month and a low priority of scans, meaning your scan time may be fairly long. Our scan took almost 10 minutes to complete. The Andriod app allows for scanning (taking a photo) of the writing you want to check.

tag(s): copyright (49), evaluating sources (14), plagiarism (34), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Teach students about plagiarism and how to avoid it; it is a critical skill in all the content areas. Copyleaks is an easy place to introduce the concepts and have students check their writing. Demonstrate how to use the tool to the whole class using a projector or interactive whiteboard. Have students register for additional options. Emphasize to students that they have the ability and the obligation to check their work for honesty.

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Write the World - David Weinstein

Grades
8 to 12
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Write the World provides an online space to practice writing, earn badges, get feedback, join and create public or private groups, find prompts, rubrics, and resources for all genres....more
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Write the World provides an online space to practice writing, earn badges, get feedback, join and create public or private groups, find prompts, rubrics, and resources for all genres. Oh, and they have monthly competitions where the winner receives $100, and the runner-up and best peer-reviewer receive $50. Sign up with a Google or Facebook account or email, answer a few questions and start exploring. This tool is for students over the age of 13.

tag(s): creative writing (168), descriptive writing (42), editing (66), expository writing (45), persuasive writing (55), process writing (45), proofreading (23), writing (363), writing prompts (93)

In the Classroom

Create an innovative, exciting revision experience for students to edit each other's writing and engage in the peer review process by using Write the World. Use this tool to encourage students to do their best writing, proofread, and learn how to tactfully and meaningfully comment on others' writing. Use ideas, prompts, and competitions from this site as a starting point for any writing project. Share this site with other teachers as a professional development activity. Check essays online, monitor progress, and even make suggestions for revisions to provide feedback along the way to drive strong proofreading and editing skills. Students need writing practice across the curriculum. Some ideas for your students to write about are: current events, biographies, or explanations about curriculum topics.

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Writer - Big Huge Labs

Grades
2 to 12
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Writer is a distraction-free writing app for online and offline typing. Register using email to begin using the typewriter. The free version allows saving an unlimited number of documents,...more
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Writer is a distraction-free writing app for online and offline typing. Register using email to begin using the typewriter. The free version allows saving an unlimited number of documents, and it automatically saves documents as you write. Customize your experience to include typing sounds or not, change background colors, fonts, and more. When finished, export as a PDF or text document.

tag(s): editing (66), process writing (45), proofreading (23), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Writer is perfect for creating any text document without distractions. Have students create any project in Writer, then copy into another program to add images and more if desired. Although perfect for use with all students, Writer is a great tool for use with students who are easily distracted, and the ability to change the background and font colors and font size will help the visually impaired.

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Copy Edit Tihs! - New York Times and Philip B. Corbett

Grades
6 to 12
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Here is your chance to be an editor for the New York Times. This 10 question quiz includes passages from New York Times articles with one grammatical error each. Click ...more
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Here is your chance to be an editor for the New York Times. This 10 question quiz includes passages from New York Times articles with one grammatical error each. Click on the word you believe to be incorrect; if you choose the correct word, the reason for the error appears. Choose the wrong word, then try again. After three incorrect attempts, opt to select Give Up to see the correct response and explanation.

tag(s): editing (66), grammar (213), grammar review (38), journalism (52), proofreading (23)

In the Classroom

As part of on-going grammar and editing instruction, share Copy Edit Tihs! with a projector or on an interactive whiteboard and edit sentences together. Discuss the author's explanation for errors. Ask students to find their own examples of incorrect grammar in online publications. Have students create blogs using Throwww, reviewed here, to share their findings. Throwww allows you to create "quick and easy" blogs to be used one time only. A unique URL is provided. Throwww is as easy as using a basic Word program! Share a link to Copy Edit Tihs! on your class web page as a resource for student use when editing work.

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WordClouds - wordclouds.com

Grades
2 to 12
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WordClouds generates custom word clouds using your text. Create using their "wizard" with step-by-step directions to add documents or text and personalize features. Another option is...more
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WordClouds generates custom word clouds using your text. Create using their "wizard" with step-by-step directions to add documents or text and personalize features. Another option is to use the dashboard at the top of the page to add and customize the look of your word cloud. Choose colors, type of display, and font. The most frequent words appear larger and darker. When finished, select file to save in your choice of format or share online.

tag(s): editing (66), proofreading (23), speech (92), vocabulary (325), word choice (27), word clouds (11)

In the Classroom

WordClouds is a terrific visual tool to share on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Paste in a passage or URL for a political speech to visualize the politician's "message." Analyze advertising propaganda by visualizing the language used in TV or print ads. Create word clouds of historical texts of inauguration speeches as time capsules of the issues of the day. Use this site as a way to help students see and memorize text, especially visual learners. Use it also when writing poetry or reading passages of great literature to "see" themes and motifs of repeated words and images. Have students paste in their own writing to spot repeated (and monotonous) language when teaching lessons on word choice. Students will be surprised to see what words appear to be dominant. ESL and ELL students will eagerly use this site since word order will no longer be a problem for them. Have students work in groups to create word posters of vocabulary words with related meanings, such as different ways to say "walk" or "said" and decorate your classroom with these visual reminders of the richness of language.

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Help Me Write - Paul Birch

Grades
7 to 12
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Help Me Write is a social networking tool for writers. Share ideas with others to get feedback on your thoughts about a writing project. Sign in with Twitter and your ...more
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Help Me Write is a social networking tool for writers. Share ideas with others to get feedback on your thoughts about a writing project. Sign in with Twitter and your email address to create an account and profile page. Once logged in, add and share ideas from your profile page or browse through and post to other member's writing ideas.

tag(s): creative writing (168), process writing (45), social networking (114), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Share Help Me Write with your class as inspiration for creative writing projects. Have students share their thoughts with peers to get feedback on their ideas. If you prefer a different option, have students or groups share writing ideas using Lino, reviewed here. Lino creates free online bulletin boards.

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OK2Ask: Digital Storytelling In the Classroom (Pt 2) - TeachersFirst

Grades
K to 12
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from January 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Come to this TeachersFirst Ok2Ask webinar and see digital storytelling...more
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This recording of an OK2Ask online professional development session from January 2017, opens in Adobe Connect. Come to this TeachersFirst Ok2Ask webinar and see digital storytelling as an effective way to learn content. Building on our fall session, learn how to successfully implement a digital storytelling project in your science, social studies, health, or other content area classes. Discover ways to improve student communication skills. Explore options for integrating a digital storytelling unit into your curriculum. Our digital storytelling guest expert, author, speaker, writer, Bernajean Porter, joins us to continue our journey into digital storytelling. Remember, it's OK2Ask'®. As a result of this session teachers will: (1) Discover ways to integrate digital storytelling into any content area; (2) Understand steps for successful implementation of a digital storytelling project; and (3) Plan a project that integrates digital storytelling into science, social studies, or math curriculum. This session is for teachers at ALL technology comfort levels.

tag(s): digital storytelling (153)

In the Classroom

The archive of this teacher-friendly, hands-on webinar will empower and inspire you to use learning technology in the classroom and for professional productivity. As appropriate, specific classroom examples and ideas have been shared. 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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TeachersFirst's Resources for Gamification - 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 and use gamification in the classroom. Various subject areas are included...more
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This collection of reviewed resources from TeachersFirst is selected to help teachers and students learn about and use gamification in the classroom. Various subject areas are included in the collection. Explore online workshops to learn more about gamification. Find tools that you can use to gamify your classroom. Remember to start small with gamification and add more to your gamification "toolbox" as you are more comfortable.

tag(s): coding (50), game based learning (109), gamification (71), polls and surveys (53)

In the Classroom

Create your own games for review and classroom activities. As a final assessment, challenge students to create their own games to share with their peers. Use this collection to find the best gamification tools on the TeachersFirst site!

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Grammarly - Max Lytvyn and Alex Shevchenko

Grades
K to 12
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Check your blogs, emails, and other written content for grammar and spelling using Grammarly. Consider it your second set of eyes for proofreading any document. Copy and paste text...more
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Check your blogs, emails, and other written content for grammar and spelling using Grammarly. Consider it your second set of eyes for proofreading any document. Copy and paste text into Grammarly's text editor, or install the browser extension for use on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Grammarly also includes an add-in for Windows OS for use in Microsoft Word and Outlook. Use Grammarly to flag 250 types of errors, including context-optimized synonym suggestions. Click on underlined words to view and correct errors. This review is for the free edition of Grammarly, which includes the browser extension.

tag(s): editing (66), grammar (213), proofreading (23), spelling (166), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Use this visual revision program with your students who are ready to refine and improve their writing. Have students copy and paste writing projects into the text editor for a final check for spelling and grammar mistakes after making their last revisions. Continued use of Grammarly helps students correct writing on their own after seeing common errors in their writing. Never send out a newsletter or post to your web page with spelling or grammar errors again! Use Grammarly to spell check and suggest corrections for any published writing projects. Although Grammarly offers premium accounts, the free features provide a robust set of tools for use in all classroom situations. Add the browser extension to class computers for students to click on an unknown word when reading on the web.

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Playbuzz - Shaul Olmert and Tom Pachys

Grades
9 to 12
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Create and share interactive content with Playbuzz. Browse through to find and participate in polls, quizzes, trivia, and much more. Additional free features include a Video Snaps tool...more
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Create and share interactive content with Playbuzz. Browse through to find and participate in polls, quizzes, trivia, and much more. Additional free features include a Video Snaps tool for sharing portions of a video and Flip Cards. Create an account, then make content to embed and engage with other participants. Warning: this site contains content that is not moderated, be sure to view information before sharing with students.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (167), flash cards (46), polls and surveys (53), quiz (86), trivia (18), video (269)

In the Classroom

Share Playbuzz with students to create interactive classroom content. Have students create polls for favorite characters in books, use the Video Snaps tool to share significant portions of a video, or use Flip Cards in place of traditional flash cards. Create interactive content for your classroom lessons including trivia to introduce new lessons or create a Gallery Quiz to match images to clues. The possibilities are as unlimited as your imagination and those of your students!

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Simplenote - automattic.com

Grades
K to 12
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Simplenote is a note-taking tool that updates information across all of your devices. Download the app for mobile devices and onto PCs. Notes update immediately, no need to save. Use...more
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Simplenote is a note-taking tool that updates information across all of your devices. Download the app for mobile devices and onto PCs. Notes update immediately, no need to save. Use the scroll bar to go back in time and find notes from a previous time. Use tags or search to find notes created. Simplenote also allows for collaboration with other users.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (167), organizational skills (127)

In the Classroom

Use Simplenote for all notes and ideas in all aspects of your busy life. Keep your file system with you all of the time! Instruct students in the use of Simplenote for notetaking needs. Share outlines and study guides with students. All members can collaborate and add thoughts. Offer as a way to improve organizational skills.

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Baamboozle - baamboozle.com

Grades
K to 12
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Baamboozle is a quick and easy-to-use tool for playing and creating games. It doesn't require registration to play. Choose the "Play games now" link to go to all games saved ...more
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Baamboozle is a quick and easy-to-use tool for playing and creating games. It doesn't require registration to play. Choose the "Play games now" link to go to all games saved on Baamboozle. Scroll through to view games, or search for a term. Divide the group into two teams and begin play. Each team chooses a number from the game board and answers the question. Check for accuracy; then, Baamboozle keeps track of scores. Use games found on the site, or create games on any device. Registration with email is necessary to create your own games.

tag(s): DAT device agnostic tool (167), flash cards (46), game based learning (109), preK (287)

In the Classroom

Save Baamboozle in your bag of tricks for a quick review of any content. Have students create games to share with the class when reviewing for quizzes and tests. Bring excitement to professional development by creating a Baamboozle with materials you are sharing. Be sure to provide a link to Baamboozle games on your class website for students to play at home.

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EasyWrite - Deekshith Allamaneni

Grades
K to 12
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EasyWrite is a simple to use writing tool for creating easy to understand content. Just type your text into the text box and begin writing. EasyWrite highlights words not found ...more
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EasyWrite is a simple to use writing tool for creating easy to understand content. Just type your text into the text box and begin writing. EasyWrite highlights words not found in the 1,000 most commonly used words in the English language. At the time of this review, EasyWrite worked best with Chrome or Mozilla FireFox.

tag(s): digital storytelling (153), independent reading (130), process writing (45), vocabulary (325), writers workshop (32)

In the Classroom

Have students use EasyWrite to retell difficult text in an easy to understand way. Retell Shakespeare passages in simple English or breakdown complicated directions into simple terms. EasyWrite is perfect for use with ESL/ELL or special education students. Choose any complex or difficult text and break it into simpler terms for easier understanding. Do this by adding a free browser extension such as Grammarly (for Chrome, Safari, and FireFox), reviewed here, or After the Deadline (for Internet Explorer), reviewed here, to classroom computers and devices. Turn the theory of EasyWrite upside down - have students paste their writing projects into EasyWrite. If there are only a few highlighted words, have them develop more interesting and complex writing passages. Have students take a screenshot of their original work to include with a final draft.

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Hippani - Hippani Ltd

Grades
6 to 12
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Hippani is an HTML animation software download for creating apps, animations, and more. There are many tutorials available making it easy for beginners to start creating professional...more
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Hippani is an HTML animation software download for creating apps, animations, and more. There are many tutorials available making it easy for beginners to start creating professional looking results. There is a free and professional version. The free version allows you to create HTML animation and GIF's. With the free version, you can also test out the professional version during the free 30 days trial. Works with Windows and Mac OS X, however, the web apps created can be converted to iOS, Android and Windows phone apps via another program.

tag(s): animation (65), coding (50), images (274)

In the Classroom

Download Hippani's software onto classroom computers to learn basic coding skills. Students will quickly catch on to this program when allowed to explore and see what they can make. Then, for those who show an aptitude for coding, take advantage of the free 30-day use of the professional edition. Have students browse through the gallery and tutorials to learn about the features of Hippani. Allow them to explore and create on their own as part of your MakerSpace or as a center. Challenge students to use this software to create animated GIFs such as demonstrating how simple machines work, changes in landforms over time, or significant events from novels.

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Teach With Movies - TeachWithMovies.com, Inc.

Grades
3 to 12
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Four hundred and counting! That's how many lesson plans or guides you'll find at Teach With Movies. Search one of twelve categories to locate the movie, documentary, or short you ...more
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Four hundred and counting! That's how many lesson plans or guides you'll find at Teach With Movies. Search one of twelve categories to locate the movie, documentary, or short you want. Some of the categories are Subject Matter (and not just math, science, history, etc.), Social-Emotional Learning (themes like Ambition, Coming of Age, and many others), Appropriate Age (three through adult), and Set Up the Sub, just to name a few. Lessons include a general summary of the film and discussion questions with answers. Most also include a rationale for using the movie, the subjects, topics, and themes, if there is a book - a bit of background and review of it, objectives, possible problems, historical context, and more. Of course, these topics for consideration depend on the film. Sign up for the newsletter to see when there are lesson guides for the newest movies. Whether culminating a unit or introducing one, using these lessons and guides along with the video will help to make a lasting impression about your topic.

tag(s): essays (22), movies (70), questioning (32), video (269), worksheets (61), writing (363)

In the Classroom

Movies offer an entertaining format for history and thematic studies. Use a video to add to the learning experience of students who are visual and auditory learners. Use this site to find videos in a wide range of topics to share on an interactive whiteboard or with a projector. Take advantage of the free lesson plans for classroom use. Preview the lessons before viewing and convert those that can be to a real-time discussion to engage students WHILE they watch a video! Achieve this by setting up a backchannel chat using GoSoapBox, reviewed here.

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